Auntie Psychiatry: anti psychiatry cartoon blog
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9th November 2017
science media centre spellcasting

Science Media Centre: A lesson in Spellcasting

There is a very, very long background story to this cartoon. I will try my best to be brief, but please do bear wtih me. First of all, let me translate the Latin Spell.

ARGUMENTUM AD VERECUNDIAM: Argument from authority (or appeal to authority) - where something is purported to be true, simply because a knowledgeable and well-reputed person has said it.

Now the story. 

It contains this quote from Carmine Pariante, Professor of Biological Psychiatry, King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience:

“we know very well that every time an alarm reduces the rates of prescription for antidepressants, suicide rates increase, including in adolescent and young adults.”

A quick Google search traced the exact quote back to a press release from the Science Media Centre (SMC) :

“expert comments on whether antidepressants can lead people to become a murderer, as is being reported in advance of the upcoming Panorama programme ‘A Prescription for Murder?’”

So, the Newsweek journalist had sourced Pariante’s quote from the SMC website.

I’d heard a lot about this UK based Registered Charity, none of it good, but I wanted to know more. A little rooting around their website put me in the picture.

“When science hits the news agenda, it’s our job to pass on to journalists as much accurate information as we can, as quickly as possible. In order to do this we send out quotes from experts…”

Experts? Tell me more…

“The quality of our experts is important to us. The SMC recruits scientists, engineers and others who work for respected institutions, publish in peer-reviewed journals and have a track record of quality research in their specialist field.”

Uh-huh. And what is your mission?

OUR MISSION: “To provide, for the benefit of the public and policymakers, accurate and evidence-based information about science and engineering through the media, particularly on controversial and headline news stories when most confusion and misinformation occurs.”


Now, I was pretty certain that Pariante’s words were neither accurate nor evidence based, but the SMC press release provided no references to back up his bold and startling claim. So, my first port of call was Prof Pariante himself. I sent an e-mail asking him to point me at the evidence. In reply, he sent me a link to this paper:

Early evidence on the effects of regulators' suicidality warnings on SSRI prescriptions and suicide in children and adolescents. Gibbons RD1, Brown CH, Hur K, Marcus SM, Bhaumik DK, Erkens JA, Herings RM, Mann JJ. (Am J Psychiatry 2007)

Gibbons et al 2007. I know this paper. It is notorious amongst many leading academics and doctors in the field. In the words of Consultant Psychiatrist Sami Timimi: “To describe this as ‘junk science’ would be an insult to junk science.”

And he’s right. Check it out for yourself, you’ll see.

Incredulous, I e-mailed Pariante back… “Gibbons et al? Seriously?” No response. And so, I turned my attention to the SMC. How would this Registered Charity with a mission to provide “accurate and evidence based information about science” respond to being challenged?

My first step was to track down the SMC Complaints Procedure. After searching the website in vain, I put in a polite request for it by e-mail. No reply. I tried again. Still no reply. I phoned the contact number.

“Are you the person who e-mailed about this?”

“Yes, that’s me.”

“Well, we don’t actually have a Complaints Procedure, but we’re discussing your request, and will e-mail you soon.”

Sure enough, later that day I received an e-mail – a very helpful e-mail.

“We would be happy to receive your complaint, review it internally and pass it onto the Trustees if appropriate.”

Encouraged, I diligently gathered together the evidence, put it to them, and firmly stated my case:

“The Science Media Centre bills itself as a reputable and reliable source for journalists [...] Journalists and the public rightfully expect to trust and rely on the information issued by the SMC. The assertion made by Prof. Carmine Pariante, and endorsed by the SMC, is misleading and without foundation.

Desired outcome: An appropriate response would be for the SMC to issue a public ‘corrections and clarifications’ notice (similar to those issued by editors of mainstream newspapers) on the SMC website.”

Three weeks later, I received this response from a Senior Press Manager.

Thank you for your email on this contentious issue. We have considered your complaint closely and there are a few points for me to address. 

First, we are not scientific experts and so do not endorse comments. This is evident in our work as we rely on and issue the views of individual scientists and, as disagreements between scientists often occur, we frequently issue sets of comments containing differing views.
Second, if a scientist feels they have made a factual error in a statement then we are happy to make amendments on our website, and have done so previously. We have not been alerted to such a concern on this occasion.

Third, if other scientists inform us that an expert has made an error, or appears to have missed key evidence, then we may decide to speak to the expert involved to discuss their response. As part of our routine work we have sent Prof Pariante’s comments to many experts across the UK and none have raised any concerns, indeed the only responses I have received have been supportive.

In result, we will not be taking any action in response to your complaint.”

Bravo! A masterful piece of institutional flimflam, neatly sidestepping all the evidence I had so carefully presented, and wilfully failing to address my central point that Pariante’s statement is misleading and without foundation.

Undeterred, I pressed on. Next step, a letter to the Board of Trustees. This time, I gathered additional evidence from specialists with recognised expertise in this area, and took a different tack to re-state my case.

“The Science Media Centre is an independent charity with the purpose of boosting public trust in science [...] In the event that information circulated by the SMC is challenged by experts as being neither accurate nor evidence-based, it is the responsibility of the organisation to conduct a full and open investigation into the complaint.

Desired outcome: For the SMC to withdraw the above statement made by Prof Pariante, and issue a public ‘corrections and clarifications’ notice on its website to inform journalists and the public of the withdrawal.”

The response was a long time coming. Worth the wait? Well, see for yourself:

“My name is Jonathan Baker and I am chair of the Trustees of the Science Media Centre.
At our autumn meeting on October 20, the Trustees considered the complaint you made about an SMC roundup relating to a BBC programme about anti-depressants. Because you were not satisfied with the initial response you received, your complaint was referred to the Trustees for discussion and resolution.

Whenever there is a contentious or new science-related issue in the public debate, or about to enter it, the SMC circulates the details to as many experts in the field as it can to solicit their responses and opinions. Those responses are then collated and circulated to journalists to help them understand and/or cover the story. This element of the SMC's work is described on the website: "One of the other ways the SMC ensures that the media have easy access to scientists and their views is by offering journalists a variety of comments from scientists reacting to the latest research."

A roundup is no more or less than that. Inclusion of a quote from a scientist does not imply any form of endorsement by the SMC. From your complaint, it appears your (sic) believe that it does, or should. But the roundup is based on the fundamental conviction that it is the scientists who are the experts, not the SMC.      

In this context, the Trustees wanted to know the answers to three questions before deciding whether or not the SMC was at fault in this case.

Was Professor Pariante a qualified and credible person to express an opinion on this issue? We believe that he was.

Were his views accurately reported by the SMC? We believe that they were.

Were his views requested on their own, or as one contribution among many from scientists with relevant expertise and credentials? In keeping with the nature of roundups, as set out above, Professor Pariante’s response was one of several received and included in the roundup. Given all of this, the view of the Trustees is that the proper, indeed standard procedure was followed in this case, and no further action is required.”

And with that, I yield. Game over.

View comments

Bob Fiddaman says:
November 22nd  2017

This is quite superb. Great cartoon and fascinating correspondence.

It appears the SMC is just like the British drug regulator, the MHRA, in as much that they refuse to acknowledge when they are wrong, thus putting many lives at risk.

Excellent article!

Auntie Psychiatry says:

So glad that you get it and you like it! That means a lot to me. I'm not kidding myself that it will make any difference at all, but maybe it will reach a few intelligent journalists and get them thinking...

truthman says:
November 22nd  2017

Great cartoon, and you hit the nail on the head- Carmine is not so much concerned with objective truth (or any other kind of truth) about anti-depressants - he is more all about the spin...

The SMC is a front group for various vested interests... none of them 'patient interests' I might add..

Great blog.. will be reading more :)

Auntie Psychiatry says:

I genuinely don't know what to make of Carmine Pariante - he has got away with spreading "unfounded poppycock" in the media about antidepressants, and yet his reasearch into the link between inflammation and "depression" is genuinely interesting. He has been kind enough to send me links to his papers which I really appreciated. Don't suppose he'll be communicating with me any more... which is a shame. I wonder if in his own mind he believes the glib statements he makes about antidepressants, or whether it really is deliberate spin (as you suggest)? I just don't know.

truthman says:
November 22nd  2017

I don't know for sure about Carmine, however I think when someone is highly invested in an ideology and belief system (which is what psychiatry is) then they will often be economical with the truth (and sometimes their own moral-code or integrity) when they seek to defend that ideology which means so much to them...

Auntie Psychiatry says:

Yes, you're right. And now this rotten ideology is spreading to all of us thanks to the SMC circulating these falsehoods via the mainstream media. How do we persuade journalists to open their eyes, start asking questions and challenge?
Michael Ashman says:
November 27th  2017

Nice to see you back at your drawing board following publication of your excellent book - which made both myself and my partner laugh and cry in equal measures.

And thanks for drawing attention to yet more evidence of how pervasively poor science backed by wizardly PR is leading society to accept medicine as the only authority on mental health.

Here's a thought: in its submission to Parliament on the Mental Health Act 1983 revisions a decade or so ago, RCPsych described itself as the leading authority on medical aspects of mental health in the UK and ROI.

So, leader in a field of one. Wow.

Auntie Psychiatry says:

Michael - thank you so much! You hit the nail on the head with "pervasively poor science backed with wizardly PR." Such intelligent people with so many years of science training all resolutely refusing to take a look at what's right in front of their noses. What is that about?
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19th April 2017
Of Course I'm anti-psychiatry. Aren't You?

My book is now available from Amazon. Here are the links...

One happy anteater.

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5th October 2016
anti psychiatry cartoon blog: anosognosia

Exploring Anosogonsia

The notion of 'lack of insight' in Psychiatry is not new, but it has received a turbo-boost in recent years, largely due to the efforts of Dr E Fuller Torrey and the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC). Co-opting the Greek word 'Anosognosia' from the field of Neurology lends it an air of scientific credibility, backed up by impressive claims of "anatomical damage to the brain" in those affected. The TAC website is emphatic in its insistence that Anosognosia is not simply Denial of Illness because it has a "biological basis and is caused by damage to the brain. " 

Here's an idea for anyone brave enough: Request a differential diagnosis.

From blogs and news reports to the recent rhetoric of Rep. Tim Murphy, the Anosognosia meme is spreading fast, along with spurious statistics (Anosognosia afflicts 50% schizophrenia patients, 40% bipolar) and the TAC claim that it is the "most common reason why [patients] do not take medication."

For critical analysis and an entertaining take on this issue, join Marcellas and Daniel at...

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 Pamela Wagner says:
October 26th  2016

Hi, Auntie, i love love love your cartoons, but this one has me stumped. And i kid you not. Could you please elucidate it for me? I mean, i get the notion of anosognosia, that you can't win with someone labeling you on that basis, but in the drawing i don't quite get the details. Why is the person being measured in height? Is it just the idea of measurement? Am i missing something here? And is this meant to say that literally anyone could put their face in that "facehole" and fit the diagnosis well enough for the doctor? Or am i just dense? I hope these questions do not offend, as i hate it when I do not get a joke, but it is so much worse when you cant even ask what made the joke funny to other people! Thanks so much for any explanation, and please forgive me? 

Auntie Psychiatry says:
October 26th 2016

Dear Pamela - Of course you aren't dense! In fact, I'm very pleased to have some feedback about this one. Most of my cartoons are open to interpretation, but this one, I realise, is more baffling than most. Anosognosia proved to be a very difficult subject to pin down. I struggled for many months to find an angle - none of the ideas I came up with felt satisfactory. Here's how it eventually developed.

Anosogonosia = Lack of insight. According to Psychiatry, this is not just 'denial', it is the result of actual brain damage. From the Psychiatrist's point of view, patients with Anosognosia are extremely 'unwell' because they are unable to comprehend that they are ill and need 'treatment'. From the patient's point of view, there is no way to argue against this - the more he argues, the more 'ill' he appears in the eyes of the shrink. His only option is to feign acceptance and hope for the best - it is a bit like a wrongly convicted prisoner who has to admit he is guilty in order to get parole.

And so to the cartoon. The patient is acutely aware that he must convince the doctor that he is 'ill'. The poster behind him spells out the consequences if he fails to do so. The patient doesn't really believe he is ill, so he cowers behind a fašade, displaying to the doctor that he is in full agreement, yes siree! The fašade is represented by one of those photo cutout boards you get at the seaside. They are usually fun, but this one is based on a mugshot of a prisoner, which is how the patient feels in that room.

After a lot of thought, I added the caption "A shared moment of insight." The doctor is clearly thinking something too, but I'm afraid I don't know quite what that might be.
Marcellas says:
November 14th  2016

Brilliant (and spot on). Anosognosia is a reciprocating, self reinforcing double bind. What should be terrifying to the public is how easy it is to get a label and impossible it is to disprove the label, once applied.

At the moment the public takes comfort in faith of a diagnosis, and treatment that at least dosen't make things worse. I'm sure the women executed for witchcraft in Salem had the same faith, up until the time they were accused.
Bramble says:
January 18th  2017

I love your cartoons!

Auntie Psychiatry says:
January 18th 2017

Dear Bramble - That's music to my ears! Thank you so much for dropping by.

Survivor says:
February 24th  2017

Here's the real reason people aren't med-compliant: they make you sick and miserable and screw up your thinking.

Auntie Psychiatry says:
February 24th 2017
Too right. That's why I stopped taking Haldol in the 90s, and stayed the hell away from psychiatrists ever since. The push by the Treatment Advocacy Center to spread the Anosognosia meme is a very worrying development. Here's the message they are getting out there:

"Approximately 50% of individuals with schizophrenia and 40% of individuals with bipolar disorder are estimated to have co-occurring anosognosia. It is reported to be the most common reason why individuals with schizophrenia refuse to take medication; since they do not believe that there is anything wrong with them, why should they?" [emphaisis added]

And here's their 'obvious solution'...

"An obvious solution to the nonadherence problem is to switch the individual from oral medication to long-acting injectable preparations"

The writing is on the wall.
Don says:
August 7th 2017

Love them 'toons! Don't know if this is the opposite of your big term--but how about a cartoon about "medication spellbinding?" aka, Dr. Peter Breggin: 
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9th August 2016
anti psychiatry cartoon blog: The Murphy Bill

The Murphy Bill: Who is pulling Murphy's string?

While researching this cartoon, I listened to rather a lot of Rep. Murphy's speeches - his rhetoric is very compelling.

It's hard to argue with Murphy's claim that "The mental health system is broken" - not only for patients and families, but also for all those caring people lured into pursuing a career in "Mental Health", and for society in general. Murphy's solution? Add more balls.

Murphy is not averse to drawing from dramatic reports in the press and social media to make his case. In this speech (at 13 minutes), he reveals with a flourish a blown-up photo of 'Man in tree', Cody Lee Miller, being led into court in shackles to appear before a judge. It is an image disturbingly reminiscent of Jesus being brought before Pontius Pilot. Murphy sees this case as an object lesson in the importance of 'treatment before tragedy'.

Looking at that photo of Cody Lee Miller, I could think of many things that might help him - a bath, a safe bed, clean clothes, home cooked food, human warmth - but coercive flooding of his system with neurotoxic drugs wasn't one of them.

For anyone wanting an insight into what it's like to be on the receiving end of a compulsory 'treatment' order, I recommend this: Coercive Psychiatry in Australia

View comments

Marcellas says:
August 10th  2016

The Murphy Bill is a real blow to actual mental health reform. There are so many aspects of it that are too sad to laugh at. Like the way Murphy offers examples of mass shooters who were in "treatment" when they acted, yet had no history of volience prior to treatment. Or like the overwelming bipartisan support the bill got, which is unheard of in the US these days. Or how the bill specifically prevents funding for "anti psychiatry", AKA people who are actually interested in facts. We discuss the murphy bill on episode 11 of our podcast, anosognosiac, which can be found on iTunes.

Auntie Psychiatry says:
 August 24th 2016

Thanks Marcellas. Yes, I'm finding the tone of the debate pretty alarming, even from this side of the Atlantic. It coincides with a ramping up of media interest in the 'treatment of mental health problems' in the UK - the rhetoric is making me very nervous.

BTW, I'm a big fan of your podcasts and recommend them heartily! Here's the link:
Snow says:
September 9th  2016

"Imagine an iron house without windows, absolutely indestructible, with many people fast asleep inside who will soon die of suffocation. But you know since they will die in their sleep, they will not feel the pain of death. Now if you cry aloud to wake a few of the lighter sleepers, making those unfortunate few suffer the agony of irrevocable death, do you think you are doing them a good turn?"
-Lu Hsun
I found many people in the anti-psy community share a same feature, they don't love human overall.
Many people just to be SSRI junkies to dead in this miserable world, the greatest happiness they could achieve, we even make fun of it. I don't care them though.
They want to being junkies, not need to care their reputation.
But, why some person " cry aloud to wake a few of the lighter sleepers"?
Because they feel lonely.

Auntie Psychiatry says:
September 9th 2016

Dear Snow- Thank you so much for this comment - I will be thinking about it all day. When I read the bit you wrote about anti-psy not loving humans overall, it reminded me of this poem... I wish I loved the Human Race...

I wish I loved the Human Race;
I wish I loved its silly face;
I wish I liked the way it walks;
I wish I liked the way it talks;
And when I'm introduced to one,
I wish I thought "What Jolly Fun!"
Pamela says:
October 26th 2016

Hear, hear!
J Gayton says:
November 15th  2016

Brilliant stuff
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16th June  2016
anti psychiatry cartoon blog: RC Psychic

Auntie Psychiatry crashes the RC Psychiatrists International Congress.

I'd love to take credit for the RC Psychic gibe, but in truth it was a gift from the Royal College of Psychiatrists: #RCPsychic

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Snow says:
June 16th  2016

I like the ADHD card design. It seems the only brightness in this dark background(/world).

Auntie Psychiatry says:
June 16th 2016

Thanks Snow. I see it that way too.

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28th April  2016
Auntie Psychiatry: anti psychiatry cartoon blog. For Garth

For Garth.

From the other side of the world comes news of an act of such brutal treatment at the hands of Psychiatry that I can only find one word for it: Torture. Not even intervention by the UN Human Rights Council has been able to help Garth. This blatant abuse of power shames the entire profession... but where is the outcry from lead Psychiatrists?

Watch this 10 minute news report on Garth's case. Bear in mind that this was filmed in December 2015; Garth is still detained in hospital and receiving forced ECT.

Sign the petition:


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Doughzie says:
May 23rd  2016

He was released today, 23rd May 2016 :)

Auntie Psychiatry says:
May 28th 2016

That's brilliant news! Thanks Doughzie.
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8th April  2016
Psy the Snake's Student Worksheet: Let Wisdom Guide

This cartoon picks up on the advice and information presented to patients and carers in leaflets published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. According to the RCPsych website, "each leaflet/factsheet reflects the best evidence base at the time of writing." 


Here are the links to the sources used in this cartoon:
ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy)
Schizoaffective Disorder
Bipolar Disorder 

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14th March  2016
Auntie Psychiatry: anti psychiatry cartoon blog. Sir Simon Wessely: Defender of the Faith
Sir Simon Wessely: Defender of the Faith

This cartoon is inspired by the Royal College of Psychiatrists anti-BASH campaign. BASH is an acronym: Badmouthing, Attitudes and Stigmatisation in Healthcare. Professor Sir Simon Wessely is leading the charge. He reveals his disquiet about the 'stigmatisation' of his profession in his President's Blog... "stigma surrounding psychiatry doesn't begin and end with the experiences of patients; doctors too experience stigmatisation - for deciding to become psychiatrists."

Many thanks to Philip Hickey for his highly entertaining analysis of this issue: Psychiatry Bashing.

Incidentally, when trying to think up a joke brand name for the ECT machine in the cupboard, I looked to the names of real ECT machines for inspiration. The first one I found was the Siemens Konvulsator. Yes, even spelled with a K. Satirising psychiatry is SO EASY!!

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Snow says:
March 15th  2016

I see a tendency that people more and more love to label people have mental problems.

Not just because the industry want money. It's because most people are insecure.

The definition of something like depression is subjective. Insecure people far easier feel others are "something wrong inside them", thus labelling them.

It's like labelling someone is a witch in dark age. A lot of animals have the instinct start to attack their own species when they feel in a insecure environment.

Anyway, if a Psychiatrist keeping to make diagnoses everyday for work (money), it must be a huge effect for themselves, it's a kind of brainwashing for themselves.

I am interested how this could impact them.

I suppose it would be like this :

First, they must think "Haha, money is very easy to earn! This job is great for earn $$."(LOL, it won't be such easy)

Little by little, since they keeping to make diagnoses, their understanding for people would be far different with normal people, it's something like occupational injury. (I often use the word "something like" because the industry have no words to describe them) They would feel everyone have mental problems, and started to have trust problems.

By the way, it's a symptom of schizophrenia that they have far different belief system than most people.

Since their trust problem,they don't tell people about themselves, it's a quite obvious feature of this industry workers.

Many newbie idiots in industry do have a little bit faith of "I do this job is helping people", but after they know those drugs can't help actually, they lose the faith and grudge.

The trust problem can't easy to fix up in this age, them started to hate and drug their patients to revenge. Few of them who don't lack of money (they are quite rare in nowadays) will quit the job, but people with antisocial personality disorder would like the job.

There is no way going back, finally, their mind would far more twisted than drug selling street gangsters.

By the way, I know you are here and reading this, Psychiatrist, you deserve it.

Auntie P, there must be some "fans" of this blog are Psychiatrists. LOL

Mark says:
March 17th  2016

“When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him..”― Thomas Szasz.

Auntie Psychiatry says:
March 17th  2016

Thanks Mark. I like that.
RachelE says:
April 8th  2016

After the way they stigmatized us with their "scientific diagnoses" I'm glad they get a small share of it too. Plenty of stigma to go around! :D

Auntie Psychiatry says:
April 9th  2016

Cheers, Rachel! Good point.

Professor Sir Simon genuinely believes that medics who say that "Psychiatry is Pseudoscience" are guilty of 'badmouthing' his profession. No thoughts about whether there is any validity to the criticism, just a knee-jerk cry of 'stigma.'

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17th February  2016
Auntie Psychiatry: anti psychiatry cartoon blog. Schizophrenia Gene Discovery Buzzword Bingo

Auntie Psychiatry's Buzzword Bingo: Schizophrenia Gene Discovery

Don't get me wrong - I'm very keen to learn about the latest scientific findings on the 'Genetics of Mental Illness'. Does schizophrenia really have a 'significant genetic component' as is so often claimed? The hunt is on.

But I have yet to find a satisfying report on the subject. Light on substance, brimming with froth, each one containing the same essential ingredients : Breakthrough discovery, New insights, Step towards a real diagnostic test, Hope for new drug treatments.

So... are scientists on the brink of a bright new dawn?  It's kind of hard to tell.

Anybody would think that what really matters is the pizzazz. 

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4th February  2016
Auntie Psychiatry: anti psychiatry cartoon blog. Google Autocomplete

Auntie Psychiatry plays with Google Autocomplete

You can play too.
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Jay Gee says:
April 29th  2016
Since by law, one can not garner informed consent by misinformation or fraud, psychiatry, the DSM, the chemical imbalance theory- it is all fraud- a crime against humanity perpetrated by quacks and criminals.

Auntie Psychiatry says:
April 29th  2016
Cheers, Jay Gee. That's a good point. The concept of 'informed consent' in psychiatry is ludicrous.  

John says:
January 16th 2017

I just tried this. It goes:
a sham
not science
Not bad.....

Auntie Psychiatry says:

Cheers, John. Not bad at all. 

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13th January 2016
Auntie Psychiatry: anti psychiatry cartoon blog. Shill Doc Millionaire

Auntie Psychiatry: Shill Doc MIllionaire

This cartoon required a lot of background reading and study. I wanted to be as certain as possible about the validity of the phrase "Long-term drugging with antipsychotics causes brain shrinkage." My starting point was The Bitterest Pills by Joanna Moncrieff, a lead Psychiatrist based in the UK. From this I tracked down several research papers and journal articles on the subject. In the end, I reached the conclusion that all the evidence points in the same direction: Antipsychotic drugs are Neurotoxic. That said, I can't help but admire the heroic strides by some experts in the field to torture the evidence into giving them The Right Answer: Antipsychotics are Neuroprotective.

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Marcellas says:
January 23rd  2016
Nancy Andreason came up with the most conclusive evidence, much to her horror, when she set out to demonstrate that the drugs protected the brain against the effects of a disease. What she discovered was that the drugs, not the disease, caused the damage she was studying. She also admitted that the damage is dose related and not evidenced even by street drugs!

Auntie Psychiatry says:
January 25th  2016
Yes, Professor Andreasen's word carries a lot of weight, so this was big news.  She even went so far as to say that she found the results “very upsetting” and “we must get the word out that antipsychotics should be used with great care.” 

Brave of her to stray from the fold like that, but they soon hauled her back. She's safely one of the flock again, obediently toeing the party line.

Jules Malleus says:
January 24th  2016
I love your cartoons.
"no forced treatment" campaign. Artists wanted!
Bippyone says:
January 28th 2016
As a long time user of neuroleptics I am grateful for anyone who decides to speak out. In the meantime knowing my brain has been shrunk does not put me in a very great position.
I like too to draw cartoons and have some of my own and what is left of my brain still has the ability to be creative.
Love this website. Love your cartoons. My therapist put me onto you - heh.

Auntie Psychiatry says:
January 28th 2016
Thanks, Bippyone. You've touched upon a very difficult topic. My own experience of psychosis was terrifying, and if I ever got close to a full psychotic break again I'd almost certainly take antipsychotics in a heartbeat. But we need to understand the risks, and twisting the evidence to hide unpalatable study results is a shady business.

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10th December 2015
Auntie Psychiatry: anti psychiatry cartoon blog. Microchip meds
Microchip Meds: Abilify with built-in RFID sensor

This is no joke. In a joint project, Proteus Digital Health and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals are poised to launch the first ever digital pill with embedded ingestible sensor. No surprise that Big Pharma has chosen blockbuster Psych-med Abilify to kick off the smart pill revolution - it is already being touted as a leap forward in ensuring that psychiatric patients "adhere to treatment regimens".

Coercive drugging has never looked so sinister.
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Bippyone says:
January 5th 2016
Love your cartoons! Love the satire!

Auntie Psychiatry says:
January 5th 2016
Cheers! And Welcome!
Marcellas says:
January 6th  2016
This has particularly insidious implications in the US if Sen Murphy has his way. forced drugging and suspension of rights. As far as I can tell there is no evidence that treatment actually works, or reduces violence, or prevents suicide, or reduces disability. Im still laughing but its really not funny anymore. Its too sad and too outrageous

Auntie Psychiatry says:
January 6th  2016
Sad and outrageous? You bet. Coercive drugging with neurotoxins is inhumane.
Snow says:
February 21st  2016
...Actually, the RFID thing is quite hackable.

Auntie Psychiatry says:
Welcome, Snow! That is good news. I do hope you are right.
Hexagon says:
September 25th  2016

Hacker here, if someone can get me one of these things I can get to work on it and post instructions on how to spoof "compliance."

Auntie Psychiatry says:
Cool! If this abomination ever reaches the market, we will need your services. As I understand it, the FDA has rejected the first application, but I'm pretty sure we haven't heard the last of it....
Closet Non-Compliant says:
September 27th  2016

Funny! We're supposed to be crazy and out-of-touch with reality, but we're coming up with clever ways to outwit those who vilify us and say we have "broken brains." People who act that way deserve to be lied to!

Auntie Psychiatry says:
"Recovery begins with non-compliance!" Those words turned my life around 21 years ago when I found anti-psychiatry activists on the nascent internet. As true today as ever.

Don says:
August  7th  2017
...How about lithium in our drinking water? It's an idea I heard. But some say it's already there from chemtrails and/or the excretions of those taking the drug.
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23rd November 2015
Auntie Psychiatry: anti psychiatry cartoon blog. Dr Pies stays positive.

Dr. Pies stays positive.

I've long been a fan of The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, and the definition of 'positive' is one of my favourites. We've all been 'positive' from time to time - be honest - but none so loudly, or publicly or repeatedly as Ronald W. Pies MD. Despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, Dr Pies remains adamant that psychiatry never bought into the "chemical imbalance theory" of mental illness, and continues to claim that his profession does not and hasn't ever promoted it to the public. Quite why he is determined to stay so 'positive' is a mystery to me.

For anyone interested, here are the links to the sources used in this cartoon.
Serotonin: How psychiatry Got Over Its "High School Crush" Ronald W Pies MD.
Schizoaffective Disorder: Health information leaflet Royal College of psychiatrists.
Schizophrenia: University of Utah - Health Library.
Depression: Johns Hopkins Medicine - Health Library.
Bipolar Disorder - causes: NHS Choices.

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Marcellas says:
January 6th  2016
Amazing how many professional continue to promote the "theory", apparently they didnt get Pies memo.
Don says:
August 7th  2017
Is it a coincidence that Prozac first entered the marketplace when Ronald Regan became president of the US? His introduction of neoliberalism caused many to lose their jobs. Anyone would be depressed under those circumstances-- a "normal" reaction.
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5th November 2015
Auntie Psychiatry - anti psychiatry blog. Turning the tables

Auntie Psychiatry Turns the Tables

This cartoon features Psychiatry Psnakes at the meds trolley "tonguing and spitting out the bitter pill of reality", as described by Daniel Kriegman in his post Physician, Heal Thyself.  Dan is optimisitic that "in the end they will have to swallow the bitter pill and face reality." 

Here's hoping.

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Arthur Ellis says:
November 21st  2015

Your website is fabtastic. When my humour goes, I tend to go. Godbless all who sail in your mind.

Arty Farty

Auntie Psychiatry says:
November 22nd  2015

Cheers, Arty! And godbless all who sail in your mind too.
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9th October 2015
Auntie Psychiatry cartoon blog: New APA logo

Auntie Psychiatry asks "What's with the new American Psychiatric Association logo?"

This spoof "Snakes on a Plane" movie poster was inspired by Phil Hickey's blog post The APA's New Image. I had a great time creating it, especially when I discovered Samuel L Jackson's classic line... "Enough is enough! I've had it with these m@#!F%'& snakes on this  m@#!F%'& plane!" 

Only trouble is... I've made the rebranded APA logo look cool. Dammit!

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Don says:
August 7th  2017
I get your snakes analogy. But I like snakes (not the medical ones). For goodness snakes, why don't we celebrate an "All Snakes Day?"
Auntie Psychiatry says:
Oh, yes. Snakes rule. Psy Psnakes Psuck. BTW, you've just reminded me of that episode of the Simpsons where Barry White saves the snakes of Springfield... here it is: Whacking Day.
4th September  2015
Anti Psychiatry cartoon blog
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Philip Hickey says:
Sept 15th  2015
Enjoy your break. Love your stuff.

Truthman says:
October 7th  2015
Great pictures.☺
28th August  2015
Auntie Psychiatry: anti psychiatry blog. Clinical Trial Rigging

Clinical Trials Examination: Level 1

This is a fictitious (yet scarily plausible) exam paper for Rigging Clinical Trials: Level 1. The inspiration was prompted by publicity of an actual clinical trial. The company's website encourages people to Explore the Study Design. Looking at the cartoon now, I realise that it appears as though ALL the placebo group fall prey to the sharks, and ALL of the drug group stay high and dry. In fact, there were patients in the placebo group who did not relapse into psychosis, and patients in the drug group who did. I’m not quite sure how to portray that in a simple cartoon though. Any ideas?

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meme says:
March 21st  2017
you forgot to exclude the non responsive from the trial :)

Auntie Psychiatry says:
March 21st  2017
Good point. Patients were excluded from the trial at the 'run-in' phase if the drug showed 'lack of efficacy' or 'adverse events'. Maybe that's covered in Rigging Clinical Trials: Level 2.
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12th August  2015
Auntie Psychiatry: anti psychiatry blog. Riding high upon a deep depression

Riding High Upon a Deep Depression

The Upside of Melancholia: Yet another thing that Psychiatry won't acknowledge. Society used to get it... before Big Pharma muscled in, cleverly marketing depression as a brain disease and pushing their drugs in earnest.

Weirdly, "melancholia" is creeping back as an acceptable medical term. Previously shunned as an antiquated throwback to the days of Victorian Lunatic Asylums, it seems that Psychiatry has done a U-turn and decided it's a valid diagnosis after all. Does anybody know why?

This cartoon is inspired by everybody's favourite Garbage track: I'm Only Happy When it Rains, a true celebration of depression. 

Go on, play it now... and crank up the volume. Knocks spots off Seroxat.

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Bramble says:
January 18th  2017

I don't either know why melancholia is making a comeback but Max Fink has something to do with it. I remember seeing a picture called Melancholia in an Edinburgh gallery or museum. It was by Cranach and didn't look too miserable - at least there was a glass of wine in the picture.

Auntie Psychiatry says:
January 18th  2017
Max Fink - the ECT guy? Is he still on the scene?

I hadn't heard of the painting you mentioned, so I did a Google search and found this really interesting piece about it, In praise of Melancholy by Alison Anderson. Thanks for the steer!
Bramble says:
January 25th  2017
That's the one. 94 and still going strong. Published a letter about mitochondria in the Journal of the American Medical Association a few months ago.
Auntie Psychiatry says:
January 26th  2017
Aha! One of those relics from a bygone age who should've retired long since but just can't seem to let it go. Fuller Torrey is another - still causing a lot of damage at the age of 79.
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3rd August  2015
Auntie Psychiatry: anti psychiatry blog - Psychiatry's tool

Psychiatry's only tool

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17th July  2015
Auntie Psychiatry: anti psychiatry blog let wisdom guide

Let Wisdom Guide

Let Wisdom Guide is the motto of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The snake/serpent is their symbol of wisdom and health.

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5th July  2015
Auntie Psychiatry: anti psychiatry blog Crazy Talk

Auntie Psychiatry: Crazy Talk

A small selection of the colourful words and phrases we all use from time to time. I love them; partly because they are so alive and vivid, but mostly because they bridge the scary gap between sanity and madness. Everyone can relate to being "a bit bonkers" or "away with the fairies" - these peppy colloquialisms are a great leveller.

Why is our language so rich with these lively expressions? My guess is that it's because they portray mental states we are fascinated by - scary, yes, but also mystical, alluring, exhilarating.

Contrast this with the deadening language of Psychiatry. Worried about the offence that might be caused by these casual expressions, the anti-stigma charity Time for Change provides a helpful Mental Health Language Guide to put us all straight. So instead of using words like mad, lunatic or unhinged, they suggest "a person with a mental health problem" or "someone who has a diagnosis of schizophrenia."

Yeah, whatever.

A final thought: I bet you can add a dozen more phrases for madness to my list... but how many everyday expressions do you know for diabetes?

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Aid says:
July 7th  2015

Love the pictures you should make t shirts.
Insulin intolerance aside, I dund.

Auntie Psychiatry says:
July 8th  2015
Cheers Aid!
I don't know any alt words for diabetes off the top of my head either. A quick Google search uncovered a few, including the Dictionary of Diabetes Slang. But unlike the language of madness, this is a language that only people in the know about diabetes would use or understand.
Mark C. says:
July 17th  2015
Do anteaters get diabetes? i think ants are good healthy protein.
Auntie Psychiatry says:
July 18th 2015

We're fine, as long as we stay off the Honey Ants. Of course, I never touch 'em. Ahem!
Bill says:
July 28th  2016
My current fav is "cray-cray"....It's a Comedy central staple....
(Hello from ><!....
Pamela says:
October 26th  2016
I myself love the straight up call it like it is madness words, crazy, bonkers, weirdo, bizarro etcetera. What i cannot stand and take yuuuge umbrage at is being called mentally ill, and this despite my having written a quite popular memoir with the word "schizophrenia" in the subtitle! Truth is, the editors at St Martins Press chose both the title and subtitle, and the doctors long ago chose the label i have labored under and most recently to rid myself of...but in truth as well, i secretly never once believed a word of it. Yes, i assented to take their meds sometimes, because i wanted to FEEL better, i wanted to believe what they told me! But all along, even or especially when tortured and brutalized into complying, i did not believe a single thing...and i think the idea of biological mental illness and all that crap is plain crap from 1984 and gives me the willies!!! Call me mad or crazy but do not ever say i am mentally ill!!!
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27th June  2015
anti Psychiatry blog: help from a Psych nurse

Auntie Psychiatry receives the right prescription.

This might seem an odd cartoon for an anti psychiatry blog, but it represents my own recent experience of NHS mental health services. I received nothing but the best care at a time when I really needed it. What more can I say? 

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Imogen says:
January 14th  2016

Yeah, flag up that they can get it right, as a reproach at all other times.
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19th June  2015
anti psychiatry blog - FDA approves three month injectable antipsychotic for schizophrenia
Janssen Inc. announces new treatment option for schizophrenia: Invega Trinza

Woohoo! Visit to see happy, healthy Invega Trinza patients living life to the max. Oh, wait... they're all actors.

Want to know about the rigorous clinical trials Janssen carried out? Click here.
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Angela says:
August 6th  2015

This is such an apt capture of how deeply we are being manipulated by willingly lining up at CVS for the agents of the control and limiting of our minds potential. The harm that their residues will have on humans and biosystems for centuries to come, with the mandatory use and manufactured demand for them growing daily.

psychotropic Drugs, while sometimes helpful remain a source of mental anguish for most, with side effects that harm the body and shorten lives. Why are we doing this to ourselves? I love your work.

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4th June  2015
anti psychiatry blog: lure of psychosis

"Which Way?" captures the allure of extreme inner states that can lead to psychosis. Of course it is a foolish and dangerous path to take, as anyone who has ever experienced full blown psychosis knows to their bitter cost... and yet, and yet.

Sadly, psychiatry strictly disapproves of exploration, and the "illness like any other" approach leaves absolutely no room for discovering spiritual meaning or fulfillment in these profound experiences. Flirting with the Danger Zone is interpreted as "lack of insight" into your illness and noted down as yet another symptom of an underlying brain disease.

Makes me feel kind of sorry for them.

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Bernie says:
June 16th 2015

I can see your point but you seem to be approaching a contradiction to your previous advice about getting out (--i.e. do whatever you can to stay out of the snakes and ladders game)

Auntie Psychiatry says:
June 23rd 2015

Bernie - Just after posting "Which Way?" I read the autobiography of neurologist Oliver Sacks in which he describes his brother Michael's lifelong struggle with schizophrenia. Here's a summary:

"Michael felt the psychosis had opened his eyes to things he had never previously thought about. On medication he lost the sharpness and clarity with which he had perceived the world; everything seemed muffled - 'it's like being softly killed' he concluded. He called the non-schizophrenic world 'Rottenly Normal' - great rage was embodied in this incisive phrase."

It sounds to me that Michael spent his life bouncing between the soul-numbing 'rottenly normal' world and the soul-shredding terror of schizophrenic overwhelm.

Psychiatry is a branch of medicine - it won't acknowledge spiritual crisis, it only sees brain disease. The Snakes and Ladders game shows the absurdities of a system that does not recognise these profound upheavals of the soul. A Psych ward is no place for anyone with a deep-seated need to make sense of their experiences.

You may well be right about the contradiction - this blog is full of them, and will become more so with time. Please do keep pointing them out.
Ben says:
November 15th 2015

Great cartoon. Because psychosis is so frightening to people who witness it, they assume that the person in the altered state of consciousness must be distressed all the time too. This is simply not the case. The allure of these states, especially when compared to the colourless nightmare of antipsychotic intoxication, is very real. What is needed though is a balance, as neither extreme is sustainable in the long term if a person is to be functional and independent. The use of mind altering neuroleptic medication does not allow a balanced state of consciousness to be established.
This ties in really well with the snakes and ladders cartoon, the paradox of "staying out of the game" I.e hospital. Can I access some of that creative and expansive sense of wellbeing without the risk of going too far and attracting aggressive coercive interference.
Auntie Psychiatry says:
November 15th  2015

Thank you, Ben. You have captured my intent exactly. It's very gratifying to hear. Of all my cartoons, this one carries the most important message. I had to get it just right, and the process of creating it drove me a little bit crazy.
Thisica says:
August 28th 2017

Yeah--I've heard all of the bad stuff that can happen in the 'psychiatric' world. I don't get why psychiatrists call themselves that, given the root meaning "curer of the soul". They do sound collectively soulless to me.
Personally, I have gone through waves of what I call 'wyrd' (the older English word for 'weird')  experiences and don't want my understanding of them to be hijacked by these so-called 'psychiatrists'. The work never ends, alas. It's a constant struggle to not get caught up in the social noise that shouts "You're not normal!".
Armed with this unfortunate knowledge, I need to ensure I don't end up in the "psychiatric" world.

Auntie Psychiatry says:
August 28th 2017

"Hijacked" is a good word. Psychiatrists are indoctrinated to see everything about you through the prism of their medical training. Everything you say and do, your habits, appearance, beliefs, passions - you name it - can be noted down as "symptoms" and used in evidence against you. If you ever have the misfortune to end up in the psychiatric world, you'll find that out soon enough.
Thisica says:
"used in evidence against you..." Yes, indeed! From what I have read for years on end, psychiatrists are all too keen on playing "police". It's not for nothing that psychiatric 'hospitals' are more like prisons, using similar methods to silence the prisoners through torture, solitary confinement, etc.

Personally, I have been in a psychiatric outpatient place in 2008, after a self-harm crisis and thought loops that spiralled out of control. The place was quite dreary and clinical--certainly not a good place to recuperate! Fortunately, I stayed there for only one day. I later found the courage to work through my adolescent stubbornness, via art to work through my emotions--at home.

Nowadays, I still find art to be helpful to express my violent and despondent feelings. I have also found physical ritual useful, in the form of nightly meetings out in the backyard and tea ceremonies.
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22nd May 2015
Auntie's Snakes and Ladders: anti psychiatry cartoon blog

Auntie's Snakes and Ladders: Escape from the Psych Ward

Despite vocal claims from Psychiatry that Psych beds are always, always in huge demand, once you have been admitted to a Psych ward, you can have a devil of a job persuading the powers-that-be to let you out again. Even if you went in there as a voluntary patient and can, in theory, simply walk off the ward, you just try it and see what happens. The mere threat of sectioning is enough to make most patients quickly think better of it.

Speak Out Against Psychiatry identifies 3 main methods of escape: The Runner, Playing the Game and The Tribunal. By far the most successful of these is Method 2: Play the Game. If you’ve never been a patient on a Psych ward, Auntie’s Snakes and Ladders  will give you some idea of how the game is played. You must convincingly feign compliance, insight and acquiescence. You soon learn that taking your meds is a Big Deal, and that it must be done willingly, without any resistance. Questioning your diagnosis is a no-no as doing so implies Lack of Insight into your illness. Other game tactics include: Never Joke with your Psychiatrist – they are notoriously humourless – and Don’t Be A Smart Ass.

Once they let you go, the words of WOPR from the 1983 film War Games should be your guide: The only winning move is not to play. 

Do whatever you can to keep yourself on an even keel and keep yourself on the outside… it’s the only way.

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Runner says:
January 16th  2017

I'd like to have this printed onto a tshirt! - Runner

Auntie Psychiatry says:

Runner - Yeah, it would make a great t-shirt. Please do help yourself to any of my cartoons for this or any other purpose.
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May 15th 2015
mental health anti-stigma campaign

Psychiatry: Anti-stigma campaigns

I’ve always been wary of anti-stigma campaigns, but never quite pinned down why that should be. After all, more openness and communication can only be a good thing – it encourages connection and makes people feel less alone – no problems with that. No, it’s the “illness like any other” mantra that sends a chill down my spine – but why?

On researching the topic, I came across this excellent blog post by Sera Davidow. False Arguments, Part 2: Anti-anti-stigma.

Sera suggests that… “the idea of developing and then promoting a solely medicalized way of understanding our distress is creating the very ‘stigma’ it seeks to eliminate.” She describes the process memorably as a merry-go-round spinning at breakneck speed.

That worked for me, but rather than a merry-go-round (which is fun and exciting) I eventually settled on the image of a circular saw blade to depict it. Oh, and a saw blade was simpler to illustrate.

I’m quite certain that Psychiatry would turn purple with rage and indignation at the suggestion that diagnosis comes with this subtext: Your inner-self is diseased. It took me a long time to work out the exact wording of that phrase. Any thoughts?

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Mark says:
July 2nd 2015
You asked "any thoughts?"

Szasz wrote " No behavior or misbehavior is a disease or can be a disease."

Today we have electric light,cabletv, cellphone,computer, where we used to have to sleep at night. And we also have junk food that is not good for our minds. All the new technology man has created is hard (for the monkey inside the human) to handle.

Alan Forrester says:
May 3rd  2016

As Mark noted above, Thomas Szasz explained why mental illnesses are not diseases:  
Is Mental Illness a Disease? by Thomas Szaz

All mental illness labels are stigmatising because they deny the moral agency of the "patient". Regardless of whether the patient has acted well or badly, denying him moral agency makes it difficult for him to either defend himself or change his ideas.

Auntie Psychiatry says:
May 3rd  2016

Alan - Many thanks for your comment, and thanks for the link. I'm going to revisit the writings of Thomas Szaz. It seems that mainstream Psychiatry has learnt nothing from him, which is a pity - think where we could be now if it had.
RachelE says:
June 16th  2016

It may not be directly stated by their evil diagnoses but it is definitely implied. I find it amazing how they protest against the fact that people stigmatize and hate us when they are directly responsible for the scapegoating. As though most of them in their smug, socially acceptable, lucrative positions actually gave a rip!
Dr. Terry Lynch says:
November 10th  2016

Excellent "cartoons" and content. Re stigma, I have long since felt that the primary societal stigma is the restriction of freedom - to feel fully, to feel, express and exhibit wounding, distress and vulnerability. All other "stigmas" are consequential to this one.
Anonymous says:
August 8th  2017

Define "inner self"?  Is that... personality? A constellation of behaviour, affect and belief? A presence or being?

I have indeed been told by psychiatrists - upfront and in my face, sometimes as a personal undermining the self - that I have the inherent, genetically predisposed susceptibility to be mentally ill. Perhaps the issue is the concept of "weakness" in society, along with the concept of disease.  I would love to talk to you more about your work. The saw blade is perfect.

Auntie Psychiatry says:

I struggled to find the exact wording because, for me, this is the core of psychiatry's misguided position, and the root cause of so much damage. I really wanted to say... 'your very soul is diseased' to get across the enormity of the effect medical diagnosis can have, but rejected it as too religious/spiritual. From your list of suggestions, I would go with "presence of being" as a definition for 'inner self'.

For a long time I accepted the 'inherent, genetically predisposed susceptibility to be mentally ill' explanation, but the impossiblity of trying to separate my 'self' from the 'disease' brought on the most enormous despair. It was only by rejecting the doctor's medical opinion and embracing everything about me - including the crazy and the despair - that I was able to escape the quicksand and move on.

Thank you so much for your thought-provoking comment... and I'm glad you like the saw blade!
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April 19th 2015
antidepressant prescriptions Professor Stephen Lawrie Are antidepressants overprescribed

Auntie Psychiatry asks: Are antidepressants over-prescribed?

Professor Stephen Lawrie is Head of Psychiatry at University of Edinburgh. Read more about his views about antidepressants… Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas: Antidepressants are not overprescribed.

Professor Ian Reid of Aberdeen University is also unperturbed by the dizzying rise in antidepressant prescription rates. He has no qualms about spreading his point of view in the media that “antidepressants are not overprescribed.”

And RCPsych president, Professor Sir Simon Wessley, is perfectly at ease with the figures too, saying to the Guardian: “when we talk about the rise in antidepressant prescribing, before we start leaping to the tumbrils and saying the world’s coming to an end we should have a look and say, hang on a second, if that is appropriate prescribing then that’s good.”

I find their assurances terrifying.

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April 10th 2015
Jim Hilaire Belloc Blame compliance non-compliance anti psychiatry

Auntie Psychiatry presents: A Cautionary Tale

This is a parody of a cautionary tale by Hilaire Belloc: Jim, Who ran away from his Nurse and was eaten by a Lion.

I loved this poem as a child – mostly for the gruesome description of Jim’s demise which I learnt by heart – but I was never convinced by the moral…

And always keep a-hold of Nurse
For fear of finding something worse

I mean, he gets EATEN by a LION! How cool is THAT??

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April 3rd 2015
diabetes analogy depression schizophrenia antidepressants

Auntie Psychiatry debunks the Diabetes Analogy

The Diabetes Analogy is one of those things that sounds plausible, but when scrutinised turns out to be dangerous bunkum. For people with diabetes, their blood glucose levels must be managed and maintained within a very specific range. There is no such equivalent for any of the mental disorders. Neurotransmitter activity is constantly changing, we have no understanding of ‘normal’ levels.

The Diabetes Analogy is brought to us by lead Psychiatrists, then picked up an parroted by celebrities in their ‘anti-stigma’ messages…

from the Royal College of Psychiatrists…”If a person has diabetes and stops taking their medication, they may become unwell. Similarly with schizoaffective disorder, if you stop taking your medication, you too may become unwell.” Health Information leaflet: Schizoaffective Disorder.

Ruby Wax on depression and antidepressants… “You wouldn’t say [to someone with diabetes] “Don’t take the insulin.” I mean you really have to believe that this is the real thing”.

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Gary Sidley says...
4th April 2015

I love your distinctive way of illustrating the harmful nonsense of biological Psychiatry. I look forward to reading many more of your cartoons.
Snow says:
February 21st  2016
I know they keep changing the normal "blood pressure" standard as well...
It become lower and lower.
Peter Bell says:
July 16th  2017
I got diabetes through an injection when my immune system collapsed due to an intense, extended depressive episode.
To present diabetes as a much more controllable and preventable disease is quite simply wrong.
The conditions interact in highly complex ways.
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March 23rd 2015
Top Trumps Chemical imbalance of the brain

Chemical Imbalance Theory: The erroneous dictum Psychiatrists love to spout.

And yet some of them seem to find the whole thing all rather embarrassing. Why is that?

“In truth, the ‘chemical imbalance’ notion was always a kind of urban legend – never a theory seriously propounded by well-informed psychiatrists.” Ronald  Pies MD

References: Royal College of Psychiatrists Health Information leaflets 2015: Schizophrenia & Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizophrenia: Eli Lilly website

Read more here… Psychiatry and the Chemical Imbalance Theory.

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March 12th 2015
flowchart bipolar diagnosis mania

Fun with Flowcharts: Am I going nuts?

Yeah, that’s right: Auntie Psychiatry is not anti-medication.

AP advocates intelligent and sparing use of pharmaceuticals to prevent mental breakdown. Psychosis seriously sucks.

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March 6th 2015
anti psychiatry cartoon blog - Recovery begins with non-compliance
Rebels who defy psychiatry outshine the compliant

Auntie Psychiatry says: Recovery begins with non-compliance.

A word of warning: If you're going down the rebel route, DO NOT abruptly stop your medication - it is a very dangerous thing to do. To find out why, see these cartoons... A Cautionary Tale and Rigging Clinical Trials.
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Louise says:
April 29th  2016
My pain and acting up was called bi-polar. i agree that recovery starts with non-compliance and I found mine with some freedom fighters in the system.  Those freedom fighters - nurse and therapist  helped me to gradually come off the meds. I needed to come off the meds because I was too numb to listen to the pain and trauma that had birthed my psychosis. Once off and with support I could feel my body and hear my mind again and they helped me interpret my story. I have been off meds and free for 6 years. I spent a long time not only recovering from my past traumas but in being drugged and in the system. It's hard to say no to a giant so big, hard to not comply when the giants army is so vast. Thanks for your posts fellow freedom fighter and for the light and brave truths you try to shine for us.

Auntie Psychiatry says:
April 29th  2016
Many thanks, Louise. Your words mean a lot to me.

My own conversion to 'non-compliance' came when I discovered anti-psychiatry activism on the nascent Internet in 1995. I will be eternally grateful to the founder of the Madness list, Sylvia Caras, and the band of early freedom fighters for helping me to turn my life around. Until then I had never questioned the 'illness like any other' line, and took my distress to be the symptoms of a life-long brain disease. It was from these freedom fighters that I first heard the slogan "Recovery begins with non-compliance." From that point onward, I was able to start rebuilding my life.

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February 27th 2015
Big Pharma and the prize cash cow schizoaffective depression paxil risperdal psychiatry

Big Pharma, Psychiatry and the Prize Cash Cow

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February 19th 2015
Royal College of Psychiatrists logo Let Wisdom Guide

Auntie Psychiatry deconstructs the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) logo 

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February 12th 2015
Psychiatry is like an apple that is rotten at the core
Auntie Psychiatry is anti psychiatry
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Angela says:
August 5th  2015

Rotten to the core and full of maggots.

Thanks for your work!


Auntie Psychiatry says:
August 5th  2015

Cheers Angela! This was my first cartoon. The 'rotten apple' analogy is one I've used to describe psychiatry for years. Developing the idea into a cartoon gave me a lot of pleasure.

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