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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  • SubGenre:Personal Memoirs
  • Language:English
  • Pages:220
  • eBook ISBN:9781618428776

Rise Up/Fight Back

Selected Writings of an Antipsychiatry Activist

by Don Weitz

Book Image Not Available
Overview
The book features a radical perspective on psychiatry and the “mental health system” informed by an antipsychiatry perspective and anti-oppression analysis. In the Introduction, antipsychiatry is defined as active and radical resistance to psychiatry - antipsychiatry is not an intellectual or “academic exercise.” This book should have wide appeal – not only for psychiatric survivors, antipsychiatry and social justice activists, but also for psychology and sociology students, psychologists and sociologists, dissident psychiatrists, “mental health” lawyers, patient advocates, and anybody concerned about the power of psychiatry and its threats to our human rights, health, and lives.
Description
The book features a radical perspective on psychiatry and the “mental health system” informed by an antipsychiatry perspective and anti-oppression analysis. In the Introduction, antipsychiatry is defined as active and radical resistance to psychiatry - antipsychiatry is not an intellectual or “academic exercise.” The book deconstructs psychiatry as a social control system.. As social control, psychiatry is specifically deconstructed as inherently coercive and based on force, fear and fraud. Psychiatry’s uses of force --involuntary committal, forced drugging, electroshock, physical restraints—are authorized by the state, legitimized in mental health legislation, widely practiced, and rarely challenged. Fear and intimidation are inherent in psychiatry’s “treatments” and threats of force. Psychiatry’s misappropriation and promotion of the biomedical model including its diagnostic labels constitute medical fraud. ”Schizophrenia”, “bipolar mood disorder” and “ADHD”, for example, are unscientific and subjective - negative moral judgments promoted as real illnesses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), psychiatry’s bible of character assassinations. These labels do not refer to any disease process or illness in the body including the brain, they’re not “medical science” as frequently and dishonestly claimed by psychiatrists. Given this radical antipsychiatry position, psychiatry must be abolished because it is frequently harmful, coercive, fraudulent, intimidating, essentially unethical, and violates several civil rights and human rights including autonomy, freedom of thought and freedom itself. The book is organized into four major parts in which the social control theme is developed. Part I deconstructs psychiatric labeling as stigmatizing, the first stage of social control. Part II is the longest part; it consists of critiques of major procedures such as forced drugging (“medication”), electroshock (“ECT”), physical restraints, “seclusion”, and involuntary committal, and community treatment orders as psychiatric weapons of fear, force and torture. In Part III, psychiatry’s complicity in several patient deaths and inquests as coverups are discussed. Part IV highlights movement resistance against psychiatric assault, including electroshock (‘ECT). and urges the development of more community-based, survivor-run and humane alternatives. The appendices include the movement’s historic Statement of Principles, a Chronology of Resistance Against Electroshock, and Antipsychiatry Bibliography; these documents should be useful to antipsychiatry and social justice activists, students and researchers. This book should have wide appeal – not only for psychiatric survivors, antipsychiatry and social justice activists, but also for psychology and sociology students, psychologists and sociologists, dissident psychiatrists, “mental health” lawyers, patient advocates, and anybody concerned about the power of psychiatry and its threats to our human rights, health, and lives.
About the author
Biographical Note Don Weitz is an antipsychiatry and social justice activist. He is co-founder of the antipsychiatry magazine Phoenix Rising (1980-1990), and co--editor with Dr. Bonnie Burstow of the anthology Shrink Resistant: The Struggle Against Psychiatry in Canada (1988). As an activist committed to abolishing electroshock and the psychiatric system, Don is co-founder of the former Ontario Coalition to Stop Electroshock, its successor Resistance Against Psychiatry; with Dr. Bonnie Burstow, he is also co-founder and Executive member of the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA). In April 2005, Don chaired a panel during two days of public hearings in Toronto City Hall on electroshock organized by CAPA; he drafted its report titled "Electroshock Is Not a Healing Option". He is a board member of the Psychiatric Survivor Archives -Toronto, as well as an active member of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) and a strong advocate of affordable and co-op housing. In 2003, he was honoured with the Social Justice Activist Award by the Metro Network for Social Justice; in 2007, he was one of four recipients of an Award in Advocacy presented by the Mental Health Legal Committee in Toronto. In 2010, he was honoured with an award for Lifetime Antipsychiatry Activism by CAPA, and a Lifetime Achievement Award by OCAP. Don has also been a guest lecturer in the Mad People's History course in the Critical Disability Studies Department of York University. In March 2008, he was a keynote speaker at a conference titled Are We Mad?: Critical Perspectives on the Canadian Mental Health System held at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Don is also host and producer of “Antipsychiatry Radio” on CKLN in Toronto. He continues speaking out and protesting against psychiatric oppression and for human rights for psychiatric survivors and other oppressed people.
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