The difference between critical psych and antipsych

I am turned off more and more by critical psychiatry. People in that camp generally may view survivors and “experts” in “lived experience,” but sadly, they discredit any other expertise we have such as college degrees and other training. Oh no, if you are a nutcase you couldn’t possibly be an expert in anything else but your nutcase experiences.

Those in the critical psych camp often continue to view MH professionals as the experts on life. They validate psych diagnosis, or at least partially. Some even believe that forcing a person into a nuthouse is just fine. They view survivors as permanently damaged goods.

Get out of the camp! Do you really want to be among people who show such disrespect and disdain for us? Critical psych sees us as second-class citizens.

Antipsych honors the individual, and completely disregards past diagnoses. We agree that there’s been some crossover between survivors and providers, but we are also wary of those who venture too far into professional life, which could taint their thinking too much. A few ex-professionals are also antipsych, such as filmmaker Daniel Mackler. An example of some who are antipsych but often have had no first-hand exposure to the field are Scientologists.

I like the antipsych views of Scientology. I am friends with several who are known Scientologists. I like talking to them because we agree on many things. Not one has ever tried to recruit me, or even come close. EVER. This in stark contrast to many religious and political groups, whose make it their business to be pushy.

Just being anti-drug does not make you antipsych automatically. Many who choose to avoid pharmaceuticals will also validate diagnoses, such as those touting “herbal cures for bipolar.” Note that here you are still seen as a diseased creature who needs fixing.

I hope I have made the difference between antipsych and critical psych clearer for some of you. Have a great day!

3 thoughts on “The difference between critical psych and antipsych”

  1. I find the “critical psych” message inconsistent and confusing. “Yes, I’m a Bipolar who refuses medication. Others claim these medicines are life saving and necessary to keep them from becoming a menace to society. They are right. But we have the right to not take our medicines.”

    My guess is many who hear this message will interpret it to mean, “The severely mentally ill have a right to run around frothing at the mouth and endangering the lives not just of themselves but all around them.”

    In my NAMI days I considered folks who went off their “meds” to be irresponsible and horribly selfish. Like driving drunk. You probably see where I’m coming from.

    1. Many who call themselves critical psych are providers. On the other hand, hardly any providers are antipsych. I think they want to remain in the critical camp because they want to keep their jobs. Breggin seems to be an exception, as a psych who is antipsych.

Feedback and comments welcome!