uOttawa students protest exhibition that calls psychiatry ‘an industry of death’ | Ottawa Citizen | + Opinion

A controversial anti-psychiatry exhibition sponsored by a group affiliated with the Church of Scientology has University of Ottawa students demanding that the show be removed from campus.

Source: uOttawa students protest exhibition that calls psychiatry ‘an industry of death’ | Ottawa Citizen


This is the second piece I’ve seen on this issue. Clearly, the exhibit is upsetting some people whose vision of free speech and talking about mental health does not seem to include a critique of psychiatry, itself.

I wrote a multidisciplinary graduate studies paper related to this issue way back in the 1990s, which involved world mysticism and poststructural deconstruction. The professor who read my paper gave me an A in his course but for some reason reneged on his agreement to write postdoc letters of recommendation.

Particularly disquieting was how he changed his mind without even looking at my scholarship package, which was rudely returned to my student mailbox, unopened.

When I appealed to the professor, asking for his reasons why he changed his mind, he said his letter would be “weak.”

“But you gave me an A in your course” I replied incredulously.

“I GAVE YOU MY REASONS!” he then exclaimed in an angry, authoritarian tone.

And that was it.

To this day I still don’t know why he changed his mind. But one thing seems certain. He did not want my multidisciplinary discourse about mental health to go much further.

Have things really changed so much today? Why is it that people are so fixated on the medical model? Does this always help or in some cases might it hinder?

I believe these are important questions. And even though I was shot down for asking them, I continue to address them because it seems much of the world is mesmerized by the psychiatric outlook, which from my perspective is not unlike that of any other human organization.

Psychiatry is not without merit but also has its own issues, internal conflicts, and analytical limitations. I don’t expect the average person to appreciate this right away. But you would think a professor leading a grad seminar would be capable enough to see through the hegemony which is psychiatry in the 21st century.

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