Bruce Levine Blog
CDC Reports ‘Substantial Increases’ in U.S. Suicide Rate for Middle-Aged Americans—Financial Meltdown Likely Culprit
The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on May 3, 2013, reported that “recent evidence suggests that there have been substantial increases in suicide rates among middle-aged adults in the United States.” CDC analyzed National Vital Statistics System mortality data from 1999–2010, and found that the suicide rate among Americans aged 35–64 years [...]
Mark Twain famously said, “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” My immediate reaction to Jon Ronson’s TED talk ? Imperialist psychiatrists, psychopathic corporatists—but I too repeat myself. Ronson reminds us that the media’s poster boy for psychopathic corporatists in the 1990s was “Chainsaw” Al [...]
“To be a hero,” says Philip Zimbardo in his talk The Psychology of Evil, “you have to learn to be a deviant, because you’re always going against the conformity of the group.” That’s true, and I think Zimbardo would agree that the heroism required to battle for liberty and justice in the face of tyranny [...]
Even Some Establishment Psychiatrists Embarrassed by New DSM-5 Mental Illnesses—Is It Time to Abolish the Psychiatric Diagnostic Bible?
After the American Psychiatric Association (APA) approved the latest version of its diagnostic bible, the DSM-5, psychiatrist Allen Frances, the former chair of the DSM-4 taskforce and currently professor emeritus at Duke, announced, “This is the saddest moment in my 45-year career of practicing, studying and teaching psychiatry” (“A Tense Compromise on Defining Disorders”). The [...]
What Happened After a Nation Methodically Murdered Its Schizophrenics? Rethinking Mental Illness and Its Heritability
When we begin to question, we discover that (1) scientifically flawed research has been used to promote ideas around mental illness and its heritability, and (2) instead of focusing on nature vs. nurture causes of mental illness, it’s time to consider whether certain phenomena are really symptoms of pathology or instead are inextricable aspects of our humanity.
While Sylvia Plath and Ernest Hemingway received extensive medical treatment for depression but tragically committed suicide, other famously depressed people—including Abraham Lincoln, William James, Georgia O’Keeffe, Sigmund Freud, William Tecumseh Sherman, Franz Kafka, and the Buddha—have taken different paths. Did those luminaries who took alternative paths and recovered really have the symptoms of major depression, [...]
Historically, television viewing has been used by various authorities to quiet potentially disruptive people—from kids, to psychiatric inpatients, to prison inmates. In 1992, Newsweek (“Hooking Up at the Big House”) reported, “Faced with severe overcrowding and limited budgets for rehabilitation and counseling, more and more prison officials are using TV to keep inmates quiet.” Joe [...]
The corporatization of society requires a population that accepts control by authorities, and so when psychologists and psychiatrists began providing techniques that could control people, the corporatocracy embraced mental health professionals.
How Psychologists Subvert Democratic Movements: A Talk at the 2012 Psychologists for Social Responsibility Conference
By the 1980s, as a clinical psychology graduate student, it had become apparent to me that the psychology profession was increasingly about meeting the needs of the “power structure” to maintain the status quo so as to gain social position, prestige, and other rewards for psychologists. The Backward March of Psychologists The academic psychology that [...]
Many nonvoting democracy activists argue that participating in U.S. national elections only maintains the illusion of democracy, and so voting can become a wedge issue that undermines solidarity among voting and nonvoting activists on democracy battlefields beyond electoral politics.