January 7, 2018

"There was systematic political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union, based on the interpretation of political opposition or dissent as a psychiatric problem."

"It was called 'psychopathological mechanisms' of dissent. During the leadership of General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, psychiatry was used to disable and remove from society political opponents ('dissidents') who openly expressed beliefs that contradicted the official dogma. The term 'philosophical intoxication,' for instance, was widely applied to the mental disorders diagnosed when people disagreed with the country's Communist leaders and, by referring to the writings of the Founding Fathers of Marxism–Leninism—Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Vladimir Lenin—made them the target of criticism.... The 'anti-Soviet' political behavior of some individuals — being outspoken in their opposition to the authorities, demonstrating for reform, and writing critical books — were defined simultaneously as criminal acts (e.g., a violation of Articles 70 or 190-1), symptoms of mental illness (e.g., 'delusion of reformism'), and susceptible to a ready-made diagnosis (e.g., 'sluggish schizophrenia'). Within the boundaries of the diagnostic category, the symptoms of pessimism, poor social adaptation and conflict with authorities were themselves sufficient for a formal diagnosis of 'sluggish schizophrenia.'... [F]or many Soviet psychiatrists 'sluggish schizophrenia' appeared to be a logical explanation to apply to the behavior of critics of the regime who, in their opposition, seemed willing to jeopardize their happiness, family, and career for a reformist conviction or ideal that was so apparently divergent from the prevailing social and political orthodoxy...."

I'm reading "Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union." Much more at the link.



Photo by Pudelek (Marcin Szala) of a gulag reconstruction in the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia. CC BY-SA 3.0. The museum lighting gives the place — as photographed — a cozy warmth that could not have been present in the real thing.

76 comments:

Humperdink said...

"The 'anti-Soviet' political behavior of some individuals — being outspoken in their opposition to the authorities, demonstrating for reform ....."

Should read: "The anti-Swamp political behavior of a president — being outspoken in his opposition to the authorities, media, and other swamp creatures ....."

Oso Negro said...

Freedom of speech, and the right of individuals to keep and bear arms are inconvenient to all rulers in all epochs of the world.

Big Mike said...

The Democrat party certainly does admire the communists, don’t they? They keep trying to haul the worst parts of communism out of the trash can of history.

Jason said...

Trump is a bad machine.

Sydney said...

From the link: Psychiatry possesses an inherent capacity for abuse that is greater than in other areas of medicine.
Very true. They can define what behavior is normal and what behavior is abnormal, willy nilly.

Oso Negro said...

@Sydney - Oh, yes! And they do change their minds! In 40 short years it went from homosexuality being a mental disorder to not believing that homosexuality is the finest thing ever being a mental disorder. A flexible discipline.

Humperdink said...

Just read this blurb this morning: "The people who claim Trump has mental issues, also claim there are more than two (2) genders."

Ann Althouse said...

Who are the people who not only want to declare Trump mentally ill but ALSO put him in prison?

Is he, in their view, ill or evil?

Or are we in the dark age where ill IS evil?

Inga said...

How often has the term “Trump Derangement Syndrome” been bandied about this blog? I’ve also heard the term “Liberalism is a mental disorder” used here quite often. Then I’ve heard many commenters referring to those who oppose Trump has being hysterical and unable to accept the reality of a Trump presidency. So, it appears that both sides are mischaracterizing the other as mentally unstable and it’s not only the left, that are misusing psychiatry to discredit or explain the behavior of political opposition.

Ann Althouse said...

Let's look closely at what happens when mentally illness is used as a means to exclude a person from public discourse.

It's a device to avoid engaging with the ideas he is expressing. The ideas are cancelled out as mere ravings of a deranged person.

By loading political disapproval into the public's idea of mental illness, you make people feel they'd better not say the wrong thing lest they be branded mental ill and shunned.

And there's spillover damage to the people who actually are mentally ill. They have to hear mental illness reacted to with hatred and ostracism.

William Chadwick said...

Not only did those Russkis know how to use psychiatry, but they also made sex better, too!

whitney said...

Sluggish schizophrenia. Absolutely horrifying. And yet such a readily available and simple tool.
As a child I was taught that anyone with any religious conviction was either crazy or stupid. I don't believe that today but most of my family does still. and I'd say the number of people that believe that has increased dramatically since I was born.

Christopher said...

Regardless of one's opinion on Trump you have to admit that his election has done a great deal of good in helping expose the level of crazy within the govt and media.

Inga said...

“expose the level of crazy within the govt and media.”

And there you go.

Humperdink said...

Inga referenced: “Liberalism is a mental disorder”

"People across the country gathered Wednesday night to scream into the sky to mark the anniversary of Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election."

http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/359531-protesters-scream-at-the-sky-to-mark-anniversary-of-trumps-election

What was the question again?

Inga said...

“People across the country gathered Wednesday night to scream into the sky to mark the anniversary of Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election."

Again mischaracterizing political opposition as a mental disorder.

People gathered at Trump rallies to scream “Lock her up, lock her up!” People went out of their way to mischaracterize Clinton as a drunk and as having some neurological disorder when she fainted from dehydration.

james james said...

There is a man who comes by the bar infrequently; mid-sixties, keeps to himself. I have spoken with him a few times, but he is not the talkative kind. Polite, short sentences, then back to reading his book.

He grew up in the Soviet Union, then came to America after the USSR dissolved back into being Russia. I would love to hear his stories, but, as I said, he doesn't talk much.

He listens, though, and it is very interesting to watch him listen. This is Seattle, and Seattle is Proudly Progressive: when people talk politics they often talk about how it really isn't Progressive enough. The Big Ideas are held back. By the Republicans, by Big Business, by the Usual Suspects with the Usual Reasons: Greed, and, well, greed, mostly.

Sometimes he listens to these conversations: sometimes he arches an eyebrow slightly, sometimes an almost imperceptible shake of the head. I don't know if such small gestures come from a man who is naturally quiet, or if growing up in the Soviet Union taught you to keep your feelings to yourself for fear of midnight visits. I have an opinion on this, but I freely admit my opinion is heavily weighed by what I would expect to be true.

So: sometimes he arches an eyebrow slightly, sometimes an almost imperceptible shake of the head. I think I have seen a small smile once or twice, but you would probably have to put a ruler against his mouth to see if the straight line was actually broken, or just a play of the light.

I once told him that I had read books on life in the Soviet Union -- "The Whisperers". "The Forsaken," books like that. Yes, it was a clumsy way to try to start a conversation. I felt foolish at the time, and still feel foolish now. He nodded, politely said "You can put down a book," then he continued reading.

He was reading a Western Novel.

Maybe the Old West is as far away as can be from a society like the Soviet Union. Then again, maybe the Old West is getting to be as far away as can be from a society like today's Seattle.

- james james

Sydney said...

Also from the link:
As Michael Robertson and Garry Walter suppose, psychiatric power in practically all societies expands on the grounds of public safety.
And this is exactly the argument that the Yale psychiatrist, Bandy X. Lee, is making to justify her abuse of psychiatry for political purposes. I understand that she has also met with Democrats in the House and Senate to further her agenda. Despicable. If they haven’t done so already, her professional board needs to publicly reprimand her for unprofessionalism.

William Chadwick said...

"Liberalism" (using the term in its current bastardized sense as a synonym for "tax-jonesing, coercion-addicted, power-tripping government sniffing and State humping") would have to be a mental illness, Inga . . . unless you consider sado-masochism a sign of good mental health. I'm not a psychiatrist, but it strikes me that someone with a healthy sense of self worth would not want to be someone else's serf.

There's also the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again, and yet expecting different results. That's pretty much a one-sentence summary of the history of the Left.

That said, unlike the Left, those of us on the pro-freedom side don't use psychologizing as an argument in favor of a free society. We don't have to. The Left's premises are so obviously bogus and their agenda so easily vulnerable to basic economics and logic that one doesn't need to bring in the shrinks to demonstrate what schmucks "liberals" are. "Liberals" do a pretty good job of that all by themselves.


Inga said...

“I'm not a psychiatrist, but it strikes me that someone with a healthy sense of self worth would not want to be someone else's serf.

There's also the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again, and yet expecting different results. That's pretty much a one-sentence summary of the history of the Left.”

That said, unlike the Left, those of us on the pro-freedom side don't use psychologizing as an argument in favor of a free society.”

That’s some heavy duty hypocrisy right there in one comment.

Jason said...

The Goldwater Rule was not adopted to protect Goldwater from mental health professionals.

The Goldwater Rule was adopted to protect mental health professionals from having the industry totally discredited and their professional reputations destroyed by the unhinged lunatic idiots in their own ranks.

BillyTalley said...

Check out the movie “Icarus” in Netflix. The Russian scientist of the WADA approved lab for Olympic Games was subjected to corrupted professional psychology. Great movie that twists from Lance Armstrong to geo-politics.

Christopher said...

Inga,

If you can't tell the difference between simply saying that people are acting crazy and trying to use bastardized psychology to remove/imprison political opponents you're either a hack or a moron.

Willful obtuseness never looks good on anybody regardless of party.

Tim at large said...

I guess that it does lead to self actualization to desire serfdom, and it is rational to do the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result!

Apparently to say the opposite is an unlicensed reference to the DSM!

John Lynch said...

Psychology and Psychiatry are political. Don't give people in those fields any more power.

David Begley said...

“delusion of reformism'),”

Trump and those who elected him have that mental illness.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

This is what characterizing your opponents as crazy looks like. This is the Democrats today:

Yale psychiatrist who briefed Hill Dems wants to physically restrain President Trump, force him to submit to evaluation, declare him unfit for office. But she worries: 'This really will look like a coup.'


https://mobile.twitter.com/ByronYork/status/949753102902669323

Oh and she lied about briefing a Republican Senator.

JML said...

Inga:

I believe in you. I read ur timeline & I see what ur doing & your rage is thinly veiled pain. But u know that. I know this feeling. Ps My back Fucking sux too. see what happens when u choose love. I see it in you.

Michael K said...

Brandy X Lee, and Inga by the way, are showing why most non-psychiatrist physicians think 50% of psychiatrists joined that specialty to work out their own problems.

The "Goldwater Rule" was intended to keep psychiatrists from that impression and lessen the ridicule of the specialty.

The APA has already criticized Lee for doing what she has been doing for 18 months.

Yale has joined the crazy world in more than psychiatry,.

Humperdink said...

Hump referenced: “People across the country gathered Wednesday night to scream into the sky to mark the anniversary of Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election."

Inga responded: "Again mischaracterizing political opposition as a mental disorder."

Is living in a state of denial a mental disorder? I'm an inquisitive sort, I'd like to know.

Darkisland said...

And inga believes that Bruce Jenner really is a woman.

I'm confused.

Who's the crazy one again?

NB: I have no problem with him playing dress-up and pretending to be a woman. Whatever floats his boat iz fine by me. Doesn't make him a woman, though. Just a man playing anx pretending.

John Henry

Tim at large said...

People gathered at Trump rallies to scream “Lock her up, lock her up!” People went out of their way to mischaracterize Clinton as a drunk and as having some neurological disorder when she fainted from dehydration

Inga is right! No matter what you read in Wikileaks or what the strength of the inferences you may draw from the realization that the narratives presented by them simply don't align with the facts as presented by them, or how sky screamingly obvious it is that inconvenient, yet public record facts never seem to make it into their reporting, you are mentally deranged if you question the conclusions presented by the mainstream media!

Never question the Russian thing, it's like The Great Pumpkin, if you show complete faith, it will come and Trump will be impeached and you will see that the lack of evidence was all part of God's plan!

Tim at large said...

Pretty funny too that just yesterday Inga was assuring us that someday we would be written up in psychiatric journals for not hating Trump. It's almost like the poor dear is bereft of a sense of the ironic.

Tim at large said...

So I guess that Inga DOES accept the Trump presidency!

Anyway, an honest person might note the difference between generc rhetoric, (your crazy!) and using the authority of a medical license to pronounce diagnoses. One would think that a former psychiatric nurse would know that!

Humperdink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Humperdink said...

Osama bin Laden was hiding out in Pakistan, within two (2) miles of Pakistan's version of West Point. Trump cancels $20+ billion in foreign aid to the aforementioned country for harboring terrorists - Trump is nuts.

Trump signs a yuge tax cut, where 80% of the taxpayers get a tax cut - Trump is deranged.

Trump rolls back EPA regs - Trump is mentally unstable.

Trump mocks rocketman. The Norks agree to meet with S. Korea this week - Trump needs mental counselling.

Trump opens up both coasts to drilling - Trump is mentally unfit.

Michael K said...

The transsexual thing alone is evidence that the left is on shaky ground accusing political opponents of mental disorders.

Inga said...

“Pretty funny too that just yesterday Inga was assuring us that someday we would be written up in psychiatric journals for not hating Trump. It's almost like the poor dear is bereft of a sense of the ironic.
1/7/18, 8:18 AM
Blogger Tim at large said...
So I guess that Inga DOES accept the Trump presidency!
Anyway, an honest person might note the difference between generic rhetoric, (your crazy!) and using the authority of a medical license to pronounce diagnoses. One would think that a former psychiatric nurse would know that!”

Pretty funny how Tim doesn’t understand how my comment was one an example of the “generic rhetoric” he just described. As a former psych nurse (which was only 3 years out of my 35 years of nursing) I say relax and enjoy the irony of both sides trying to prove the other is most crazy, lol.

Phil 3:14 said...

"Brandy X Lee, and Inga by the way, are showing why most non-psychiatrist physicians think 50% of psychiatrists joined that specialty to work out their own problems."

Michael, I'm not sure surgeons are in the best position to speak of another specialty's mental health.

Inga said...

“Is living in a state of denial a mental disorder? I'm an inquisitive sort, I'd like to know.”

I’m not a shrink, but I’d say it was not an optimal way to live. So is mischaracterizing political opposition as a mental disorder. Screaming at the sky is indeed odd looking, I wouldn’t do it. I also wouldn’t wear odd hats with Tea bags hanging from it at a political rally. Just silly, but not nuts.

William Chadwick said...

No, not hypocrisy, Inga. Learn to read. And think.

Inga said...

“Inga:
I believe in you. I read ur timeline & I see what ur doing & your rage is thinly veiled pain. But u know that. I know this feeling. Ps My back Fucking sux too. see what happens when u choose love. I see it in you.”

Would you like to restate that in English?

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael K said...

"Michael, I'm not sure surgeons are in the best position to speak of another specialty's mental health."

I guess you don't like surgeons but I was not speaking as a surgeon.

Most physicians I know consider more than 50% of psychiatrists to have problems and that is why they entered that specialty.

virgil xenophon said...

I've long wondered if Inga was/is indeed a total moron or for some strange reason she just wants everyone to think she is..

Inga said...

“I've long wondered if Inga was/is indeed a total moron or for some strange reason she just wants everyone to think she is..”

Maybe I’m a stable genius.

Tim at large said...

You would think that a genius would get something right now and then.

Inga said...

“You would think that a genius would get something right now and then.”

I’m still waiting for Trump to prove his stable genius too.

virgil xenophon said...

Maybe Inga is of the Wyl E. Coyote "Sooper Genius" kind, Tim..

virgil xenophon said...

And has her own calling card to prove it too..

Inga said...

“Maybe Inga is of the Wyl E. Coyote "Sooper Genius" kind, Tim..”

Sorry, Trump has already appropriated that label.

Tim at large said...

I’m still waiting for Trump to prove his stable genius too.

Maybe you could look to see who is behind the desk in the oval office. Hint, it’s not Hillary, as you so repetitively assured us it would be. In fact, you were so sure of it, you voted for Jill Stein! LOL!

Inga said...

And has his own calling card to prove it too..

Donald J Trump, Stable Genius, POTUS.

Inga said...

“Maybe you could look to see who is behind the desk in the oval office.”

You know, you’ve convinced me. Trump was genius to use the xenophobia and bigotry of the right to get elected.

Tim at large said...

As a former psych nurse

Yes, yes, yes, you were just kidding and your professional credentials had nothing to do with it! You were just kidding too when you went on an extended multi-day rant about Trump being a “sociopath” how it was “serious as a heart attack” and how it could be diagnosed from afar just by examining his public statements!

“Never Mind!” - Inga LaTella.

You guys really should read history books, now and again, that aren’t just polemics designed to re-enforce your previous beliefs, they you might have known the history of the mis-use of psychiatry in politics.

Naah! It’s not like you have sufficient self-awareness to muster up any shame!

Tim at large said...

Belief in the rule of law, the legal authority of Congress to make laws regarding the border, and the sovereignty of the United States is “xenophobia”? I guess any opposition to borderless international socialism is xenophobia then. It’s almost like the word has no meaning!

Belief that American workers should get first crack at American jobs, even if the lack of cheap imported competition drives up wages, well, that’s “bigotry!”

Tim at large said...

Anything short of denial of the legal authority of the United States government to regulate its borders is “xenophobia.” Now I get it.

Inga said...

“You were just kidding too when you went on an extended multi-day rant about Trump being a “sociopath” how it was “serious as a heart attack” and how it could be diagnosed from afar just by examining his public statements!”

I totally admit I’ve said he’s crazy and have wondered if he has dementia, plus I’ve commented on his character. Now how about you Trumpists admit that you use psychiatric terminology to describe the opposition of Trump by non Trumpists? A little honesty would be a nice normal thing to do, no?

How many times have we seen tags referring to Trump Derangement Syndrome used in the last several months right here on this blog? I don’t know if hypocrisy is abnormal, but I do know it’s a human trait.

Tim at large said...

You keep seeking these little frissons of self satisfaction, seeking to bathe in the illusion of superiority by coming here spouting ideas other people put in your head, and which you have never critically examined, for some reason. Why not go to a liberal site where commenters who might point out the absurdity of your positions are immediately banned?

Inga said...

“You keep seeking these little frissons of self satisfaction, seeking to bathe in the illusion of superiority by coming here spouting ideas other people put in your head, and which you have never critically examined, for some reason. Why not go to a liberal site where commenters who might point out the absurdity of your positions are immediately banned?”

I don’t like echo chambers, unlike you and Michael K. Feel free to describe my commentary as you see fit, I’ll do the same.

Tim at large said...

Show me the example of conservative commentators or ever blog commenters drawing on the authority of a medical license, referencing medical diagnoses, like, you know, “sociopath,” bringing in medical groups who are out there abusing their medical licenses in the public sphere, against the ethics of their profession, to pronounce remote diagnoses.

I would like to hear about it.

Tim at large said...

I’m sorry for that previous comment. It wasn’t really called for. I would have deleted it by now, but since you quoted it, I will leave it up. Only fair.

Inga said...

“Show me the example of conservative commentators or ever blog commenters drawing on the authority of a medical license, referencing medical diagnoses, like, you know, “sociopath,” bringing in medical groups who are out there abusing their medical licenses in the public sphere, against the ethics of their profession, to pronounce remote diagnoses.”

Michael K and Francisco D come to mind.

Inga said...

Worth repeating.

Blogger Phil 3:14 said...
"Brandy X Lee, and Inga by the way, are showing why most non-psychiatrist physicians think 50% of psychiatrists joined that specialty to work out their own problems."

Michael, I'm not sure surgeons are in the best position to speak of another specialty's mental health.

1/7/18, 8:51 AM

FullMoon said...

None of this stuff matters anyway, Wolff says his book will end this presidency.(Drudge)
Fer reals, this time.

Richard said...

Inga, 16 posts so far. You go girl!

walter said...

C'mon Inga.
The "crazy" being applied to Trump isn't blog comment level jabs..there is an attempt to frame a clinical diagnosis to enable actual removal from power.


Phil 3:14 said...

"I guess you don't like surgeons but I was not speaking as a surgeon"

Michael,
I love and respect surgeons.

I just know from experience in my past professional lives that some have "issues". I believe the nature of their training (at least in the past) has something to do with it.

Inga, please don't quote me.

Inga said...

“Inga, please don't quote me.”

I will quote you when it is appropriate and it was appropriate. Please don’t make comments with my name in them and which concerns me, and then tell me not to quote you.

mockturtle said...

Much the same occurred in China during the Cultural Revolution. It was thought that 're-education camps' could turn wrong-thinkers into right-thinkers. And wouldn't the Left just love to open up camps like this today? Oh, wait! The American educational system!

n.n said...

America also has a psycho problem, a faction of the fourth estate, riding hand in hand with JournoLists.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"The Left's premises are so obviously bogus and their agenda so easily vulnerable to basic economics and logic that one doesn't need to bring in the shrinks to demonstrate what schmucks "liberals" are. "Liberals" do a pretty good job of that all by themselves."

Buckley said the same thing about Lenny Bernstein discrediting the term liberal by calling himself one.

n.n said...

discrediting the term liberal by calling himself one

Brand destruction. Go left, young man, woman.

That said, the logic of the concept "liberal" implies divergence, which is perceived as tolerance, and has an unearned favorable connotation, and, by virtue of establishment, a favorable denotation. Just as the concept "progressive" implies [unqualified] monotonic change. And "conservative"... well, principles matter.

n.n said...

Racist. Sexist. Homophobic. Islamophobic. Pig.

Principles? No, principals. Pro-Choice. Euphemisms. Genius!

indiana118 said...

"So, it appears that both sides are mischaracterizing the other as mentally unstable and it’s not only the left, that are misusing psychiatry "

The fact that mental illnesses = insults = mental disorders is precisely the sort of reason why people who claim to be professionals have a responsibility to use care in slinging labels and diagnoses around.

There is a huge difference between me saying "you are _______" vs. someone who is a licensed, credentialed professional saying the same thing.

People keep talking about the Goldwater Rule (not diagnosing people from afar, without having examined them) but there's also this: it is unethical to discuss your patient's problems in public, without their permission.

I hope Trump does something to 'hit back' because the abuse of psychiatry is such a terrible abuse: real mental health patients are so vulnerable, and the profession - with its ability to commit people and to administer serious personality-altering chemicals against someone's will (not to mention past abuses such as lobotomies and electric shock therapy, with professionals who want to bring those things back) - it's just horrible that we tolerate people misusing this sort of power.

Rusty said...

"You know, you’ve convinced me. Trump was genius to use the xenophobia and bigotry of the right to get elected."

But he didn't. You simply interpreted it that way. Other people, who are not chimps, interpreted it in a different way. Even you, queen lesser primate, Inga were guilty of lumping everyone who voted for Trump as some sub-human deserving of flung poo and being called a xenophobe and bigot. I freely admit I know nothing of chimp psychology and therefore cannot judge the mental stability of your troop. However judging from the sheer amount of poo flung I'd say you have some anger issues. Nobody like a pissed off chimp.
Unless they're wearing a tuxedo.