Open main menu




I have reverted the characterization of anti-psychiatry as a 'fringe' science for being NPOV, and for mischaracterizing the movement. Anti-psychiatry is an umbrella movement with different aspects — there is a philosophical dispute over whether the problems psychiatry deals with are proper "illnesses", there is a political dispute over how society should treat people classified as mad, and there is a scientific argument over whether the drugs are harmful or effective. All are a part of antipsychiatry. Calling anti-psychiatry a fringe science is not only incorrect — there is an ongoing debate over the longterm safety and efficacy of the drugs — but it also overemphasizes the scientific angle over the political and philosophical aspects of the movement. Richard Paternoster (talk) 18:15, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

I agree that the fringe label does not belong. — jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 23:07, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
Debate in psychiatry and surrounding its limits is widespread. The anti-psychiatry movement is most assuredly fringe — please see WP:FRINGE. Carl Fredrik talk 06:48, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
I have looked at WP:FRINGE. Considering the bulk of the article recounts actual harmful and abusive practices over psychiatry's history, surely the introduction's characterization of antipsychiatry as 'fringe science' downplays the history of the movement for a potshot at the its contemporary status? It's not just another alternative health belief like homeopathy and antivaccination — as the article itself shows, there is a long history here of protest and philosophical thought. While I concede contemporary antipsychiatry is not mainstream, it was a viable protest movement during its heyday in the '60s, and antipsychiatry's primary objections were (and are) not empirical, but ontological (Szasz) and political (e.g. Foucault, coercion, patient rights, etc.). Even if the treatments 'work,' neither Foucault, nor Szasz, nor many other critics' arguments are automatically invalidated. Labeling it 'fringe science' in the introduction misrepresents the movement's history, its nature, and the contents of the article itself. Richard Paternoster (talk) 05:11, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
No, because valid criticism of psychiatry ≠ anti-psychiatry. It's very simple. Carl Fredrik talk 14:29, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

───────────────────────── This article is pointed to from Controversy surrounding psychiatry#Anti-psychiatry. The "movement" of anti-psychiatry is not limited to purely medical or methodological criticisms of psychiatry. As the criticisms verge into philosophical and political, they start to leave the realm of normal scientific debate. It is because of this shift that I believe the label pseudoscience is inappropriately applied to the movement. And given that, historically, some of the criticisms of earlier forms of psychiatry have become mainstream views (such as the widespread rejection of Freudian psychoanalytic theory), it seems hard to justify applying the "fringe" label to the anti-psychiatry tradition (assuming we allow the modern movement to claim that earlier criticism as their heritage). I'll agree that both of these articles need a lot of work. — jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 07:46, 17 May 2017 (UTC) ─────────────────────────Fringe links to fringe science. Anti-psychiatry is not fringe science. The disclaimer below is rather ridiculous, although, by all means, if Wikipedia needs a disclaimer, let there be a disclaimer. The disclaimer below would presume to know, as psychiatry presumes to know, what "mental health" is, justifying the obverse, the cardinal belief of the mental health movement and the psychiatry religion (i.e. in something called "mental illness", their "Jesus" if you will). A disclaimer, perhaps, but don't call anti-psychiatry a fringe view. If you are going to do anything, okay, prove your "mental illness" is actual disease. If you can't do that, don't call the people who dispute the reality of "mental illness" fringe. Physical disease, no problem. Meta-physical disease, big problem. Theodore Roosevelt may have had something to do with this by calling people whose views he thought extreme the "lunatic fringe", but, right there, you've got a slur, not a principled discussion, and definitely not net neutrality. I'm very wary of anti-anti-psychiatry, or pro-psychiatry, trying to bully its opposition into silent submission or, even worse, death. Please, let's not ruin and silence a minority viewpoint through the tyranny of the majority. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Antipsych (talkcontribs) 18:38, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

You seem to misinterpret what fringe is. Also, calling psychiatry a religion isn't going to gain you any points… Please think before you write. There are ArbCom decisions regarding fringe and fringe science.
To point to flaws in psychiatry is not the same as being anti-psychiatry, and to say that there is no such thing as psychiatric disease is just plain stupid. How would you define any disease, be it psychiatric or not? Carl Fredrik talk 20:27, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
I am anti-mental-health-system myself (i.e. anti-libel, anti-abduction, anti-imprisonment, anti-assault, anti-poison, anti-brainwashing, etc., simply put, pro-freedom and anti-forced mistreatment). I figure anti-psychiatry is at least a stop along the road to the position I hold. Call me fringe if you want to, anti-psychiatry, on the other hand, itself should probably not be so marginalized, not so long as it has any adherents.
Can psychiatry prove any of its bogus diseases bona fide? Until such a time as it can do so, case closed. We're not "evidense based" until we let the evidense speak for itself.Antipsych (talk) 20:43, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
Fine, but Wikipedia operates according to the policy: Wikipedia:Verifiability. Carl Fredrik talk 20:54, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Basically, calling anti-psychiatry fringe is to express an opinion, and probably not the sort of opinion anybody calling themselves anti-psychiatry would hold.

I don't think fringe belongs in the first paragraph where the description of anti-psychiatry comes to serve as a definition. It is highly prejudicial against anti-psychiatry (What did I say about anti-anti-psychiatry?) to do so.

If anybody is going to call anti-psychiatry "fringe", perhaps those people would be critics of anti-psychiatry, and they should be doing so in a section reserved for criticism of anti-psychiatry itself. They should not be the people defining anti-psychiatry. It doesn't have to be, and for proponents it most certainly isn't, a pejorative term.Antipsych (talk) 21:21, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Anti-psychiatry is not "fringe science" because it's not "fringe psychiatry" — i.e. a psychiatric approach disavowed by the mainstream — but instead a critique of psychiatry as an institution. If I recommended that psychiatrists give their patients guacamole baths, my proposal would be fringe psychiatry and fringe science until I could demonstrate through proper channels the effectiveness of my method.

Hydrotherapy, ice baths, blood letting, emetics, blistering, revolving chairs, and such were anything but fringe psychiatry. Ditto electrically induced grand mal seizures, and people are still receiving those, and psychiatry claims, falsely, that such mistreatments are "safe and effective". Of course, they aren't going to do any real research because if they aren't actually "safe and effective" it's going to effect profits and business as usual. Now there is this transcranial therapy, and it sounds as harebrained as anything (Wilhelm Reich's orgone boxes come to mind), but if psychiatry is on it, it can't be "fringe" can it?.Antipsych (talk) 05:48, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

Also, neither of the two sources in the first paragraph is sufficient to justify use of the label "fringe", so the word should go right away on those grounds. In fact both of them take antipsychiatry fairly seriously. That being said User:Antipsych should know that he or she is going to have a hard time getting along on Wikipedia if his or her sole purpose is as an antipsychiatry booster. But that being said, the actions of an overeager user shouldn't necessarily produce an equal and opposite reaction. Cheers, groupuscule (talk) 23:06, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Well, I'm going to have a hard time getting along at Wikipedia if everybody here is a troll for organized psychiatry and a psychiatry booster to boot. Propagandists for the psycho-pharmaceutical industrial complex make lousy resisters of social control masquerading as medicine. Corporate corruption is pretty pervasive. When corporate interests buy elections, do I really have to pretend that the wolf in sheep's clothing is actually a sheep.Antipsych (talk) 05:48, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

@Antipsych: accusing other editors of being corporate shills is a violation of WP:AGF. Don't do that.

Don't accuse me of being 1. "fringe", nor, 2. an "anti-psychiatry booster" then. My apologies otherwise. I didn't mean to violate any policy. One is, of course, innocent until proven guilty. I have no idea whether you are "corporate shills", or not.Antipsych (talk) 05:45, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

The only way you will be able to get agreement or consensus is to bring forward some sources (we can debate later whether these sources can be considered reliable or meet WP:MEDRS) that support your favored reading. So far, you have brought only bluster. That's not going to change anyone's mind. — jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 06:11, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
User:Antipsych, I think you didn't read the first paragraph of my comment carefully. I understand this is a very important topic for you. But as I wrote here and on your "talk" page it can be difficult to collaborate on writing an encyclopedia when people are getting very emotional about the topic. This is true regardless of the very real dominance of the bio/chemical/medical/technological industries on Wikipedia.

I think there are plenty of sources which don't conflate anti-psychiatry with "conspiracy theory" and other examples of "junk science". All you have to do is look at, and cite, such sources.Antipsych (talk) 05:51, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

User:jmcgnh what sources do you propose describe antipsychiatry as "fringe science"? This label was added to the article recently with no new sources to support it. In my opinion it's a stretch.
I tried to rewrite the lead a little bit to reflect the existing sources more closely. Both describe antipsychiatry as a "movement" and I think centering on this term reflects the tone of the article. Perhaps that change will help us to move past an unproductive revert war. It would not be undue to add well-sourced claims about what mainstream psychiatrists think about antipsychiatry. By the way this is what the current source (Nasrallah 2011) says:

The antipsychiatry movement is regarded by some as “intellectual halitosis” and by others as a thorn in the side of mainstream psychiatry; most believe that many of its claims are unfair exaggerations based on events and primitive conditions of more than a century ago. However, although irritating and often unfair, antipsychiatry helps keep us honest and rigorous about what we do, motivating us to relentlessly seek better diagnostic models and treatment paradigms. Psychiatry is far more scientific today than it was a century ago, but misperceptions about psychiatry continue to be driven by abuses of the past. The best antidote for antipsychiatry allegations is a combination of personal integrity, scientific progress, and sound evidence-based clinical care.

Whereas Burns (2006) does not remark on what psychiatrists think about antipsychiatry. He does write:

This was not to be a criticism of some of psychiatry’s practices or of failures in the system; this was to be an assault on the very legitimacy of psychiatry.

and in conclusion

The contradictions inherent in psychiatry which generated the anti-psychiatry movement in the 1960s and 1970s have not gone away. Mind and brain, freedom and coercion, the right to be different (perhaps even the duty to be different), nature and nurture remain live issues. Many (though by no means all) ex-patient groups have become militantly anti-psychiatric, often referring to themselves as ‘survivors’ rather than patients, clients, or service users. In Germany and Holland the state contributes to hostels and crash pads for individuals who have ‘escaped’ routine mental health services. The most high-profile anti-psychiatry group is probably the Church of Scientology. While much of their focus is on controversial treatments such as brain surgery and ECT (Chapter 6), they are critical of the whole endeavour. They would argue that we should avoid artificial and technological approaches to human suffering and seek alternative personal routes to relief.
Overall, however, there is now much less concerted opposition to psychiatry as a discipline. This may, in part, be due to a somewhat exaggerated faith in the rapid expansion of ‘biological’ explanations and an optimism that genetic and genomic advances will soon render the whole issue academic. However, while there is less conceptual opposition to psychiatry, there is no shortage of disquiet about various aspects of its practice. We turn to these now in Chapter 6.

I hope everybody has a good day. groupuscule (talk) 13:47, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Great! some sources. @Groupuscule: I'm on record as opposing the fringe label, but not disputatious enough nor knowledgeable enough to find suitable sources. — jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 19:02, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Specific sourcing in the lede is not needed as long as it is present in the article. We should label it as such, see See: Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Pseudoscience/Proposed_decision#Obvious_pseudoscience and the sections following the linked one as well. There are a multitude of sources stating anti-psychiatry is fringe — it is not a debatable issue. Carl Fredrik talk 11:14, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
    • Where, then, are these sources? Even in a web search I see anti-psychiatry called a "pseudoscience" only by bloggers. Meanwhile, the anti-psychiatrists, of whom there are many, published through reputable channels, call psychiatry a "pseudoscience". If you would like to clarify mainstream psychiatrists' view of anti-psychiatry, Mr. Fredrik, perhaps your time would be better spent in producing a well-sourced paragraph or two on this topic. Cordially, groupuscule (talk) 12:17, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Likewise. Psychiatry is simply a medical discipline, not a science. Therefore, calling anti-psychiatry fringe, is a non sequitur. It amounts to the pot calling the kettle black. Aspro (talk) 17:50, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
No, that is plain false… I don't have time with this nonsense, I will source and replace most of this article when/if I have time. Anti-psychiatry is most assuredly fringe… Carl Fredrik talk 18:05, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Nonsense, derives from 'no sense', which we are getting from you in bundles. Your augment appears to be based on rhetoric not logic. More like book learning, rather than life experience of the real World. Don't see how your current pontifications can add value on this topic. Sutor, ne ultra crepidam. Huff and blow all you like but ask a physiologist why some sweet young things often hold an absolute conviction that they know.Aspro (talk) 18:47, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Your proof that anti-psychiatry is pseudo-science consists of what? Otherwise, your opinion violates NPOV. Essentially, anti-anti-psychiatry should not be defining anti-psychiatry in any way it sees fit. Duh.Antipsych (talk) 18:17, 20 May 2017 (UTC)



This page was written based on a fringe, opinionated understanding of mental health. The details were chosen to support previously drawn conclusion, and the misinformation is dangerous. The dedicated people in the mental health field who chose this career because they care. Nobody pursues this level of education to get rich working in counseling, therapy, or human services, unless you went to Med School and chose this field. The role of the Psychiatrists/Psychopharmacologists is to primary focus is on neurobiology, drug interactions, med management, and stabilization. These doctors are not primary treatment providers. They use the best of their knowledge to find the right meds, for which there is no magic want. The therapist's job is to collaborate with that provider to discus the progress of any med or mood changes, so they can try to rectify it. Since those choices can be life and death for patients, the number one critical step in the stabilization process is addressing any underlying organic mental illness. Therapy is bound to fail with out certain illness being leveled out by medication. That medical stabilization is crucial. It's not perfect, because there's far more to learn about the the human brain, Nay an easy task when every single person is their own complex story of biological illnesses, personal history, and way of viewing life, to name just a few. Despite all clinicians in credible hospitals and facilities having having a Master's degrees, at the minimum as well as state board licensing credentials, nobody gets rich in this field (and most had the option to go that follow the route if money was a deciding factor). While you raise a fe very valid concerns, who proceed to turn this page into and opinion piece, based on poor research, a majority of sources providing severely discredited dated from 50-60 years ago that has no relevance to some issues you raised, a complete incomprehension of how people are committed these days (typically through close family members, so they can be cared for over a 10-14 day while they become stabilized enough to return to their loving families, which I typically find family members prefer to attended their 21 year old daughter's funeral... real Draconian.....) Furthermore, quit with the ECT scare tactics. That involves family meetings, multiple conversations, informed consent, and it is used as the last line of defense of chronically suicidal people. It's painless. Some experience temporary memory loss the returns soon enough, and the results are indisputable for treatment resistant depressions. I could keep going on this irresponsible propaganda/left wing conspiracy theory (and I am pretty far to the left myself, but this is nonsense), but I doubt this will even pot. I just some how landed here, nd was shocked to find something I'd hear on some left wing Infowars site. Wikipedia is for info. Please, don't dumb the country down more than it has been already. Peek outside your own preconceived notions. Encourage your friends to do the same. T. Richard, PMHNP, MPH — Preceding unsigned comment added by TDC79 (talkcontribs)

Moved from article, ping TDC79. I agree this page is horrible, but a long disclaimer is not the way we solve things on Wikipedia. Feel free to edit constructively instead. Constructive editing may mean removing lots of crap... Carl Fredrik talk 14:20, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Also this:

Correction to previous paragraph: Psychoanalysis began falling out of favor in the 1950's, which led Behaviorism to break onto the scene after 20 years of development. Using some principles of this theory, soon after behavioralism became mainstream, the next major step in psychology was the development of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), through the war of Aaron Beck, Albert Ellis, and John Stuart Mills. The downfall of psychoanalysis had 0 to do with discrediting the field. IT had to do with evolution. Understanding Jung and Freud, and bringing it more affective theories and practices. Not a downfall. A major advance. Not to mention, "The Myth of Mental Illness" has never been considered intellectual text among the vast majority of practitioners when it came out 50+ years ago. In 2017, it has lost all relevance among practicing clinicians. That book was was nonsense then, and has been forgotten by professionals long since.

After reading the rest: I will allow someone else to help pick apart this page of lies, misinformation, and conspiracy readings. Since Almost all source are 50-60 years old,pointing out all the misinformation piece by pice would be too time consuming. Not to mention delay boring aside form the the accessional caught this silliness samples on about.— Preceding unsigned comment added by TDC79 (talkcontribs)

Marginalize ("fringe") anti-psychiatry? How dare you! Doesn't psychiatry marginalize way too many people as is!?Antipsych (talk) 20:25, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Even if this article needs clean, it doesn't mean that we should make Anti-psychiatry article be reserved version of pro-psychiatry article. We need to find realible source to prove what Anti-psychiatry is rather than how Anti-psychiatry be proven to wrong.Mariogoods (talk) 10:10, 28 November 2018 (UTC)

Also, Wikipedia has the content disclaimer which said Wikipedia is not for medical advice. So such a disclaimer is unnesserary. (Honestly, I'm a supporter of anti-psychiatry, but don't mind that since we are here to improve this article)Mariogoods (talk) 14:15, 28 November 2018 (UTC)

Types of insanityEdit

There are/were several types of insanity in psychiatry. One was called masturbation insanity. As the page is locked I will add my reference to a medical source here. --Mark v1.0 (talk) 22:46, 22 May 2017 (UTC) v1.0 (talk) 22:52, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Snippet from AntipsychologyEdit

The following content was removed from Antipsychology and may be useful to editors here.

Some critics of psychology / psychiatry deny that mental illness exists at all, arguing that psychology / psychiatry aims to pathologise perfectly normal variations in human behaviour; whereas others accept the existence of mental illness but state that current mainstream psychological interventions are ineffective at best and unethical at worst.[1]


  1. ^ Savage, Mike (2009). "Psychology and Contemporary Society". Modern Intellectual History. Cambridge University Press. 6: 627–636. doi:10.1017/S1479244309990217.

Evolution researchEdit

This section cites numerous sources, but a quick glance at them suggests it is pure synthesis: not a single one refers to a complete argument; all of them are used to invoke basic things like "psychiatric treatment is expensive" and "swarms behave in this manner, mathematically speaking" and the rest is cobbled together from there. Eventually we reach a portion about what advocates of this evolutionary antipsychiatry believe (plus some weird coatracking about scientology), but it cannot name a single individual, group, or document that actually advocates this position. If someone can actually dig up a source for this then I suppose I'll eat crow, but until that happens I suggest that the whole section be deleted. - (talk) 18:37, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Return to "Anti-psychiatry" page.