Where’s the Evidence?

A Challenge to Psychiatric Authority

In the summer of 2003, six activists took on the psychiatric establishment in a month of protest activities in Pasadena, California.  They challenged the American Psychiatric Association, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and the Office of the US Surgeon General to present scientific evidence of the biological basis of mental illness and the effectiveness of psychoactive drugs in its treatment.  To dramatize their challenge, they participated in a three-week fast, sponsored a panel discussion by supportive scientists and engaged in multiple media contacts.  They never received a satisfactory response to their challenge.  This is their story.



 

ACTIVISTS

Mickey Weinberg, retired social worker and Fast for Freedom organizer
Vince Boehm of Wilmington, DE, psychiatric survivor on Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council
Krista Erickson of Chicago, psychiatric survivor and cross-disability advocate
David Gonzalez of Brooklyn, psychiatric survivor and mental health counselor
David Oaks of Eugene, OR, psychiatric survivor and executive director, Mind Freedom International
Hiromi Sayama of Riverside, CA, psychiatric survivor and activist

 


REFERENCES FOR FURTHER READING

Bentall, Richard, (2005) Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature. London.  Penguin
Boyle, Mary (2nd edition 2002) Schizophrenia:A Scientific Delusion?  London.  Routledge
Breggin, Peter R., MD (1991) Toxic Psychiatry: Why Therapy, Empathy, and Love Must Replace The Drugs, Electroshock, and Biochemical Theories, of “The New Psychiatry” New York . St Martin’s Press
Breggin, Peter R., MD and Cohen, David Ph.D  (1999) Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications  Reading, MA. Perseus Books

Carney, Jack (2012) Remembering the 2003 Fast for Freedom:  Time for Another?  http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/09/remembering-the-2003-fast-for-freedo...
Cohen, David, Gomory, Tomi, and Kirk, Stuart  (2013) Mad Science: Psychiatric Coercion, Diagnosis, and Drugs.  New brunswick.  NJ  Transaction Publishers
Healy, David  paperback (2013) Pharmageddon.   Berkeley.  University of California Press
Hornstein, Gail (2012) Agnes’s Jacket: A Psychologist’s Search for the Meaning of Madness. PCCS Books. Ross-On- Wye
Johnston, Lucy (2000) Users and Abusers of Psychiatry: A Critical Look at Psychiatric Practice.  London.  Routledge
Joseph, Jay (2004)  The Gene Illusion: Genetic Research in Psychiatry and Psychology Under the Microscope.  New york. Algora
Joseph, Jay (2006) The Missing Gene: Psychiatry, Heredity and the Fruitless Search for Genes. New York  Algora
Joseph, Jay (2015) The Trouble with Twin Studies: A reassessment of Twin Research in Social and Behavioral Sciences. New York. Routledge
Moncrieff, Joanna (2008) The Myth of a Chemical Cure:A Critique of psychiatric drug treatment. London. Palgrave MacMillan
Moncrieff, Joanna, (2013) The Bittersweet Pills: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drug.  London.   Palgrave MacMillan
Rapley, Mark, Moncrieff, Joanna, Dillon, Jaquie (editors) (2011) De-Medicalising Misery: Psychiatry, Psychology and the Human Condition.  London.  Palgrave MacMillan
Szasz, Thomas S. original edition 1961  paperback (2010) The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundation of a Theory of Personal Conduct. New York  Harper Perennial
Szasz, Thomas S.  original edition 1970 paperback (1997)  The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental health Movement   Syracuse. University of Syracuse Press
Whitaker, Robert (2010)  Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets Psychiatric drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America  New York.  Crown Publisher