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Written by Sterlin Lujan.

People should fight to abolish what Thomas Szasz called the “Therapeutic State.” What is it? The Therapeutic State is the marriage of government and psychiatry. Government is the warmongering tribal leader. Psychiatry is the charlatan medicine man.  The enterprise is a rampaging behemoth that wields a deadly blend of deception and violence. It is an incestuous relationship that damages and harms everyone in its path. It does not heal or alleviate “mental illness,” as it claims. It exercises control over the population, while paying lip service to curing various “mental illnesses,” and leaving a trail of chemically lobotomized zombies in its wake.

The Therapeutic State has granted psychiatrists with ungodly powers. They can lock people up in asylums called “mental health facilities,” without due process and without consent. They have the authority to defraud people into drinking potions that numb and destroy their minds. They hold too much power and influence.

Thus, psychiatry represents one of the most egregious attacks on freedom, and it goes almost unobserved by libertarians, anarchists, and other freedom focused individuals. Psychiatry is the new church. It is married to the State, like the cathedrals of the Dark Ages. It conducts its witch hunts with impunity. It must be stopped, but people have to understand the enemy.  Here, I will deconstruct the concept of “mental illness”–the cornerstone of psychiatry– and throw into question the field as a scientific and medical discipline.

Psychiatric Myths Unveiled

Mental illness is a myth. It is fraud. There can be no such thing as “mental illness.” An illness refers to a sickness of the body. In medical terms, someone is “ill” only if a specific biological marker or lesion or germ is discovered on or in their body. A mind cannot be ill. The term “mental” refers to the mind, and it is an abstraction, a metaphor. It is an epiphenomenon of brain functioning. It is not an object that can become ill.  Can a metaphor, analogy, or explanation become ill? “Mental illness” or “mental disorder” are forms of semantic trickery.

What does it mean if psychiatry is claiming that the mind is sick? It means that the discipline is providing its opinion on who is sane or insane, based on culture, biases, and belief–not on medical science and reality. Psychiatry has claimed to be scientific by delving into genetics, biology, neuroscience and medicine, then retroactively confirming their diagnoses. But there are problems with this methodology. One cannot diagnose someone as mentally ill or infer they are crazy by backwards engineering. They have to find the cause first. A common fallacy within logic is called the burden of proof, which bears on the person making a claim. If psychiatry makes claim about an illness, they should meet the burden of proof for those claims. In this sense, psychiatry’s insistence about its mental sicknesses is hallucinated. Their claims are fallacious.

Psychiatry does not discover illnesses. Psychiatry does not locate disease bodies or acknowledge faulty functioning in the body, such as cancer. A group of ivory tower psychiatrists vote on which disorders exist. They place them in the diagnostic bible the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), and these “mental illnesses” or “disorders” are then applied to people for problems in behavior and thinking. Psychiatry is more like witch hunting. People are judged on actions and thought processes. They are diagnosed by a holy book. Psychiatrists merely feign the use of medical science by employing jargon and fancy euphemisms.

The DSM has had major changes and updates. Mental disorders have been removed because they were seen as offensive, society grew to accept them, or for other arbitrary reasons. Homosexuality was one. Aspergers syndrome was also recently removed. Names have been changed. Diagnosing by behavior, signs, and symptoms throws the field into question. How many more diagnoses will be removed when cultural traditions grow accustomed and tolerant of them or psychiatrists simply want to make room in their holy book?

Not only does psychiatry hold the power of creating pseudo-illnesses, they also hold the power of claiming to cure those illnesses and help the “mentally ill.” They do this by prescribing chemical lobotomies and drug cocktails that hurt more people than help. These chemicals, besides the negative side effects, have iatrogenic effects, which means that the doctor harms the patient. This is the hidden maleficence within psychiatry. The literature on the harmful affects of these drugs is legion, and no one should trust any chemicals prescribed by modern psychiatric practitioners.

Don’t Trust the Witch Doctors; A New Vision for Anarchists

Psychiatry is a fraud that plays on cultural biases and takes advantage of people’s desire for self-pity and self-loathing. It plays on peoples superstitions that insanity can exist in a supernatural form, but can somehow be localized to the body. It plays on people’s entitlement mentalities, because it allows people to seek help and get favors and money based the fact that nothing is wrong with them, aside from feeling down or unloved. For the sake of honesty and psychological purity, people must step away from institutionalized psychiatry and rely on their genuine relationships with other people, and counselors who just want to help without catering to their entitlement mentalities.

This is not to say that all people are “malingering” or feigning mental illnesses. A lot of people certainly have life issues and problems and get to feeling down; but these folks represent primary victims of psychiatry, and thus helping abolish psychiatry and Therapeutic State should be one of the anarchists missions in attempting to liberate mankind from injustice and tyranny.