Today, the Burble is honored to welcome guest poster, Marvin Ross. Marvin is an author and well-known advocate for the seriously mentally ill.
I fight anti-scientific thinking and antipsychiatry. Thanks to the reaction by many against measures to help minimize the spread of Covid-19, I have begun to see the common thread underlying the opposition to masks, social isolation, proper psychiatric treatment, and vaccinations. That thread is anti-science thinking and the huge growth in the past number of years in what is called “alternative medicine.”
Unfortunately, there are many who distrust modern medicine and science and refuse to or are incapable of understanding the evidence. When it comes to psychiatry, this anti-scientific thinking has become widespread. The very existence of mental illness is often denied, and the work of medical professionals is looked upon with skepticism. Those of us who advocate for improved services are frequently attacked.
The Cost of Fighting Anti-Scientific Thinking and Antipsychiatry
For seven years, from 2011 to 2018, I wrote a regular Huffington Post blog, and from mid-2014, I’ve been writing my own blog with a psychiatrist. I was not a favorite of a lot of the antipsychiatry types who consider me to be a pawn of “big pharma” and a “drug ‘em up, lock ‘em up” advocate. One group selling vitamins to replace psychiatric medication even threatened to sue me and crashed a meeting where I was giving a talk. That company also objected to a series of columns that Natasha wrote about them and threatened to sue her as well.
One of Robert Whitaker’s bloggers on Mad In America felt compelled to write about my opposition to the Open Dialogue strategy in Finland, and one of his followers read my last book, Schizophrenia Medicine’s Mystery Society’s Shame, to give it a bad rating on Amazon.
“I so disagreed with so much of the first part of the book that I wanted to give this book 2 stars. However, I agree with the author’s belief that far too little is being done to treat schizophrenia and his sincere approach to the illness. For that I give it a 3.”
He or she then pointed out that
“If you want a real history of schizophrenia and it’s treatment try “Mad in America”. This book is more for the proponents of schizophrenia as “brain disease”. There is very little convincing evidence provided. Indeed, the author spends the first third of the book outlining studies which purportedly show major differences between “normal” and schizophrenic brains.”
Most recently, Dr. James Coyne has been cyberbullied by a first-year social work student who objected to what he had to say about suicide. Coyne is a highly respected psychologist who has authored over 400 papers and book chapters and has been designated one of the best 200 psychologists in the second half of the 20th Century.
Fighting Anti-Scientific Thinking and Antipsychiatry on a World Stage
As a result of the anti-science thinking toward psychiatry, I decided to review all the common myths promulgated by the many antipsychiatry advocates out there and demonstrate the fallacy of those beliefs. This has resulted in my latest book, just released in March 2021, called Anti-Psychiatry and the UN Assault on the Mentally Ill.
By now, you are probably wondering where the United Nations (UN) comes into all this, and here is the answer. When I first conceived of this book, I talked to my friend Dr. John Gray in Victoria, British Columbia, who is an expert on the mental health acts. He pointed me towards the UN and the fact that many of the antipsychiatry advocates were instrumental in helping that body develop its Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Countries that ratify this convention must agree to ratify section 12, which would have countries abolish all involuntary hospitalization and treatment and end the criminal defense of not criminally responsible. Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia have ratified the Convention but refuse to accept the ban on involuntary treatment and committal. Pressure is being put on Biden to ratify the Convention as the United States has not done so yet.
What You Can Do to Fight Anti-Scientific Thinking and Antipsychiatry
American advocates need to make themselves aware of the UN Convention and actively lobby their elected officials to continue to not ratify it or to at least not accept section 12. Those of us north of the border must guard against those who oppose scientific strategies to help the mentally ill and invoke section 12 as proof of our inadequacy. They use section 12 as a club to try to demonstrate that we are proposing incorrect and inhumane strategies. This is most important in British Columbia, where attempts are being made to force a rewrite and watering down of the mental health act – one of the best in Canada.
For the health and benefit of mankind, we must all oppose these anti-science “covidiots” and make sure that our health policies are based on science.
About the Author
Marvin Ross is a Dundas, Ontario writer and publisher with a particular interest in mental health. Dr. E Fuller Torrey, in his latest edition of the classic Understanding Schizophrenia A Manual For Families, called Mr. Ross “one of the leading Canadian advocates for individuals with serious psychiatric disorders.” Find Marvin’s latest book, Anti-Psychiatry and the UN Assault on the Mentally Ill, here. Also, find Marvin on Twitter.
Other Posts You Might Enjoy