... No one is saying "anti-psychiatry is right" because anti-psychiatry isn't a belief system. It can't be right. It's an open-ended criticism. Skepticism is not a position; it's a process.
In my article, Stupid Advocacy Kills, based on blog pieces here, I attacked antipsychiatry for its obstinate denial, in complete defiance of the facts, that “mental illness exists in the first place, along with the possibility of finding treatments ...”
Trust me, notwithstanding KA, I view antipsychiatry as a rigid belief system that has nothing to do with open-ended enquiry, but if I have to explain myself every time I use the term, well, perhaps I should be looking around something better.
This came through loud and clear when Corinna West - a recovery advocate I hold in high regard - posted this two months earlier in response to a piece here on Knowledge is Necessity:
... I do ask, please, that you correctly identify those of us that are psychiatric survivors and leaders of our mental health recovery civil rights movement. Antipsychiatrists are completely different people with different agendas. Folks like to use the antipsychiatry insult to denigrate our work, and lumping us together is just about as inaccurate as trying to rebut Whitaker.
Ms West was referring to my attack on Robert Whitaker’s “mindlessly unqualified endorsements of the antipsychiatry movement and his ill-informed cheap shots against advocacy groups that actually get off their asses and help people ...”
The piece, Rebutting Whitaker: Not Such a Good Idea, was actually very supportive of Whitaker and highly critical of psychiatry’s response (and nonresponse) to his book, Anatomy of an Epidemic.
Do you see a problem here? Practically every person with a brain or someone who knows someone with a brain - myself included - has massive reservations concerning both the practice of psychiatry and what passes for its scientific underpinnings. But we hardly define ourselves according to our negative orientations, nor do we want to be mistaken for those who do. We ARE the 99 percent - the rigorously enquiring pro-recovery majority.
Yes, there is an anti-intellectual, anti-science nihilist fringe out there, but is there a better term for describing them than antipsychiatry? Yes there is - let’s call them the anti-intellectual, anti-science nihilist fringe.