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Letters intended for publication are welcome. Please send them to jeffschaler@attglobal.net. Letters will be edited at your request to maintain anonymity.

To: jschale@american.edu
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2006 3:55 PM
Subject: letter for the szasz site

[Note: The writer's first language is French. JAS]

When one comes to say what he owes exactly to somebody else from a theoretical point of view, it happens very often that he does not know very precisely what to say. It is my case. I am a French Canadian essayist from Montreal, Québec, and in all my recent works I have felt the necessity to refer to the works of Thomas Szasz.

What struck me the most at first when I came to study his works is certainly the solidity, the clearness, the neatness of his remarkable discursive talent. But Szasz does not write to say and show that he exists, to show off, as we commonly say about certain persons. Szasz has something to explain to his readers and he is eager to make them understand how their existential possibilities can be reduced when they come to be classified as abnormal, marginal and even crazy persons, and that they are in consequence taken into control by those who are considered to know how they should feel, act and react, in different circumstances of their life.

Szasz has understood clearly that each human existence is entirely original and does not necessarily correspond to a mold in which a political and psychological correctness tends to put it. That is why Szasz denounces psychiatric classifications of people and constantly points out in his works the immense ingenuity of human cruelty disguised under so-called benevolent attitudes which go in the sense of discriminating and stigmatizing certain persons and social groups. We find all sorts of examples of this in Szasz's books, for instance in Ideology and Insanity, Manufacture of Madness, Fatal Freedom, Cruel Compassion.

Szasz is a social and political critic and not only a psychiatrist who would criticize the limited field of his own specialty. He insists on and demonstrates the fact that the way a person is treated at school, in a psychological clinic, a hospital or a house for old people implies social and political views of the society as a whole. It shows the tendencies of the society in the way it chooses to solve, eliminate or hide human problems. It shows that many specialists of human behaviour are completely willing to collaborate with the repression and limitation of the liberty of others, as long as it serves their own interests and career. There can be a collusion between the state interests and the ones of certain groups charged to assure social order.

What is particularly striking in Szasz works is that every page shows that he is a man of principles. That is certainly why he never beats about the bush and directly says what he really thinks. One could ask, what does it give to somebody to be as lucid and honest as Szasz is and to be equipped with such a powerful critical thought? When one speaks and thinks in the social current sense recommended, he may be honoured, congratulated and largely paid back in many ways. But the thinker who has a social conscience does not feel the need to please others. His master is the truth, and it is a very severe master who does not permit all sorts of compromises.

That is what Socrates has taught us. Pythagore was, on his part, insisting on the fact that a real master never needs to be admired and adulated. He is looking for truth and not for disciples. Later, Nietzsche added to this view when he asserted that a real master never leaves disciples behind him, only masters. Otherwise, he does not deserve the master title.

I see Szasz in the lineage of the preceding great thinkers. Persons like them, maybe nobody knows exactly just how lucky they are: they have understood that when someone is talented, nobody has to pay him back for this. In other words, to be gifted is better than to receive gifts. Great gifted people who have illuminated the course of human history have probably often felt that they were the ones who had to give something to others. That is what can be called social conscience, humanism, respect of one's own duty. When one has clearly understood something that appears important to improve human existence and enlighten peoples' comprehension, he has to explain it to others. This always goes beyond the fact that the truth that has been found is agreeable or disagreeable. It just has to be said, in total intellectual liberty and responsibility. That is what does Szasz in all his works, and maybe that is, beyond everything I understand in his works and later use and interpret in my own works, what I am so pleased to owe to Szasz.

Ginette Pelland

Ph.D. Philosophy and Essayist
Montreal, Quebec

To: jschale@american.edu

Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 10:33 AM

Dear Sir,

Yesterday the "Dossier on censorship" journal in Moscow edited by prominent Soviet disident Naum Nim published a fragment from the book "Liberation by oppression ".

The issue is dedicated to punitive psychiatry and contains, besides the book, articles of Russian witnesses of psychiatric arbitrariness, translation of materials of Foucault tribunal of 1998 (your speech, speech of Dr. Leifer and text of verdict). It was not published in Russian before.

The Russian text in PDF is available in the net at

http://www.index.msk.ru/pdf/nevol-6-2006.pdf and I hope to deliver the copy of journal personally.


Azgar Ishkildin

From: Anonymous by request
To: torreyf@stanleyresearch.org
Cc: jschale@american.edu
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2004 12:36 A
Subject: schizophrenia

Dear Dr. Torrey,

I have a brother who was "diagnosed" as schizophrenic over twenty years ago when he was in the Navy. Ever since this event not one of the many psychiatrists who has seen him has ever questioned this original diagnosis although it was strictly a stratagem, orchestrated by my step-father (a former Navy captain and M.D.) at the urging of my mother, to win my brother a medical discharge from his service commitment. However, the stratagem worked better than my mother or step-father intended because my brother soon learned that his diagnosis was useful not only for avoiding military service but also for avoiding work and for gaining access to government benefits. So now, after twenty years of anti-psychotic medications and government handouts, he is a de-facto cripple although, in my opinion, "mental illness" has had nothing to do with it.

I have thought long and hard about this. I have also read quite a bit, including your books and books by others, and have had an opportunity to observe many "schizophrenics", including some of my brother's acquaintances, his former wife, and my uncle. After all this, I have to say that I think your nemesis, Thomas Szasz, is correct -- "schizophrenia" is a label, not a real condition. However, it will be with us for quite a while because it fills a societal need. I also think that your own criticism of Szasz reflects badly on you. It comes across as small-minded. It is apparent that you have never really tried to understand, let alone answer, his contentions. Also, your attempts to diminish or sully his reputation are simply ridiculous -- you are not even close to being his intellectual equal.

I'm sorry for being so direct in my comments but I felt they were necessary. Thank you.

(Note to J. Schaler -- If you publish this letter, please remove my email address to preserve my anonymity.)

From: Fuller Torrey
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2004 9:42 AM
To: Anonymous recipient above
Cc: jschale@american.edu
Subject: RE: schizophrenia

Dear Anonymous,

I cannot, of course, diagnose your brother, but I am sure there are a small number of individuals who have faked symptoms of schizophrenia to gain discharge from the service and/or receive benefits. I saw a few of them in the V.A. system in Palo Alto during my training. Interestingly, Dr. Szasz himself formulated his ideas while working at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, apparently working with people like your brother. Since that time, Dr. Szasz has had virtually no firsthand experience with patients who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and that is why he has persisted in his well-articulated but erroneous opinions.

To say that schizophrenia does not exist because a few people fake having the symptoms is analogous to saying that back pain does not exist because a few people fake having the symptoms. Hundreds of well-controlled studies now say otherwise.

Fuller Torrey

E. Fuller Torrey, M.D.
The Stanley Medical Research Institute
5430 Grosvenor Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-2142
fax 301-571-0775

To: tszasz@aol.com
From: Phil Conti
Date: 8/18/03 12:56:28 AM Eastern Daylight Time

To be DIAGNOSED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so.

To be DIAGNOSED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of THE THERAPEUTIC STATE, and in the name of MENTAL HEALTH, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported,sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is THE THERAPEUTIC STATE; that is its justice; that is its morality.

From: Anonymous
Date: 2/25/02 11:05:05 PM Eastern Standard Time

Dear Dr. Szasz:

I know you probably receive a lot of mail, both positive and negative, regarding your books and ideas. I want you to know at the outset that I am a practicing psychiatrist, both child and adult, and that I agree with your ideas and applaud your courage to basically preach heresy about our field.

I have recently finished reading The Myth of Mental Illness and have just started to read Pharmacracy. I am writing to ask you for some guidance. If you do not wish to respond or feel uncomfortable doing so, I will understand.

I graduated from a medical school in the Midwest in the late 1980's and completed a pediatric internship but left that specialty at the end of the year because I felt I could not do it for a living. In medical school I became fascinated with neurochemistry and psychopharmacology. I wanted to be a research psychiatrist but my parents were against it so I tried to be the "good son" and settled on pediatrics.

After leaving pediatrics at the end of my internship, I completed my adult psychiatric residency followed by a fellowship in child psychiatry. I currently work for a community mental health center in the Northeast and do independent contract work as well.

I no longer believe in the "medicalization" of our field despite volumes of psychopharmacological data that are churned out and published in the journals every year. I believe we use the DSM IV to label people with an illness so they no longer have to take personal responsibility for their actions and destinies. In addition, patients want to be labeled so they can get money from the government because they are "disabled". I also believe the DSM was developed by the field of psychiatry because it felt uncomfortable with the nebulousness of the way it diagnosed people with "mental illness".

Patients constantly ask me, "Isn't there some test to see if I'm depressed, schizophrenic, ADHD, bipolar, etc.?" I answer, "No" and explain that all of psychiatric diagnosis is based on verbal histories ("Just talking" as you once referred to it) and reviews of past treatment records. Their reactions vary from perplexion, disappointment, to outright anger.

As an example, I see patients for the first time who have been diagnosed in the past with, say, chronic paranoid schizophrenia who have been on multiple neuroleptics in the past. I go through the DSM IV criteria item by item and find that they don't meet any of the criteria. I ask them if their diagnosis was ever explained to them. The answer is "No" 100% of the time. "Did they explain why they started you on Haldol, Prolixin, etc.?" "No". I explain that they do not seem to have ever met the diagnostic criteria as set forth by DSM IV for XYZ and then they get angry. Sometimes because they have taken medication for years that they never needed or because if I say they don't have XYZ, they'll lose a disability check.

I am only 39 and will be 40 this year. I am getting tired of adults and children who tell me that their legal problems, misdeeds, or misery are due to a "mental illness". None of them wants to hear about personal responsibility and the consequences of choices they make. They just want a "pill to make it all better or fix me".

I have tried to pass the psychiatry boards multiple times in the past. I never have a problem with the written part. I just can't seem to contain my anxiety for 2 hours before 4 colleagues during the oral exam. And when they ask about psychotherapeutic recommendations, I can't give them any answers that I believe in and the examiners can see that and I fail. I don't intend to take the Boards anymore. I don't want to be board certified in a field that I no longer feel benefits society in any way, even with the advent of psychopharmacology. Patients now have the expectation that a pill will solve all mental, emotional, or behavioral problems.

I don't know if I can do this for 20 more years; I plan to retire at 59 ½ (3/18/2022) when I can start to draw on my retirement money. My question to you is "How do I make the next 20 years bearable and productive if I am to stay in this field?"

Your very name invokes the ire of all my psychiatric brethren when I bring it up in casual conversation. Although I don't know you personally, I suspect your work has caused much anguish and suffering for yourself and your family. Your works served to confirm misgivings I began to have about psychiatry even as a resident. I have a great amount of professional respect for you even though I have never met you.

In a sense, I know I have sown my own misery. Any advice or guidance you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

(Name withheld by request)

From: Martin Kessler Martin@JETENGINETECH.COM
To: jschale@american.edu
Subject: Re: Various Topics
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 09:20:31 -0500>br>

I have been a "fan" of Thomas Szasz for the better part of the last 15 years. I have every book that he has written and their updated editions (because Dr. Szasz's updated prefaces are ususally very interesting).

The current situation with the "sexual abuse" scandal in the Archdiocese in Boston and Bernard Cardinal Law is particularly interesting. Just recently I saw on the front page of the "Boston Globe" an article about the lack of success in "treating" pedophilia. Going back to the preface of Szasz's book "Sex By Prescription", he refers to a "New York Times" front page article on the same subject. As Szasz says, the more things change the more they stay the same, applies in this situation in "spades". Law stated in an interview that with respect to Geohgan (the priest who is charged and under investigation for numerous instances of child molestation) that he was going on the best "medical" advice. It's too bad Law wasn't a reader of Szasz's work and in agreement with the role of personal responsibility in human decisions and actions. I think the situation Law is facing now would be nothing compared to what it has turned out to be had he dealt with the errant priests morally and legally rather than "medically".

I just saw on "60 Minutes" an interview with Peter Singer. Szasz had just written a critique of Peter Singer's "Medical Ethics" in the Journal "Society" July/August 2001 Volume 38 No. 5. I was essentially "prepared" when I listened to this modern day Nazi. You should make the article available on your website for others to see the unmasking of Peter Singer.

The latest issue of "Society" ("Transaction Social Science and Modern Society" - full name) had much of its space devoted to the "Therapeutic State" a phrase which Szasz had coined. Funny - there wasn't a single article by Szasz in that issue. Too bad! Even more interesting was not a single paper published in that issue (every topic Szasz has written about) had even a single reference to Thomas Szasz. You have refered to similar academic oversites. A relatively recent book by Dr. Margaret Hagan, "Whores of the Court", should have had "zillions" of Szasz references. Not a single one! I called Dr. Szasz and he was very funny when I asked him about it, he said to the effect that she might not have gotten her book published had his name appeared. His name must be poison in our politically correct world.

Martin D. Kessler

Subj: Thinking Back
Date: 4/11/01 5:28:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: (anonymous)
To: Dr. Szasz

Dr. Szasz,

I began wondering how I first began reading your books.

In 1963 I spent a year in a Catholic seminary - in which I gave up religion and became an atheist. And, figured that if I were so wrong about what I was absolutely certain about the beginning of Christianity and the origins of the Bible, what else might I be mistaken about?

So I decided to examine all important ideas - capital punishment, politics, truly everything, from both sides. I realized I had a limited intellect, so I thought I would read the best minds on each side of every issue.

In 1964 I did social work in New York City and first became exposed to the psychologists who insisted these teenage kids were "sick" and therefore not responsible. I didn't buy into it but couldn't combat it intellectually.

Around 1970 one of my closest friends, about twenty three years old, had been diagnosed as a schizophrenic since he was about sixteen. I noticed that he was completely irresponsible unless and until it was for his own pleasure. His good looks attracted women and, among them, he was completely responsible.

At about that time I picked up "The Myth of Mental Illness" and I seem to remember having watched you on Bill Buckley's Firing Line. Since then I have read each of your books at least twice.

In 1977 I became interested in neuroscience and began reading Eccles, Sperry, Gazzaniga, Granit, Kandel, Mountcastle, LeDoux, Kosslyn, Schacter, S. Rose, Zeki, Squire, Ramachandran and many others. Having read your books left me dissatisfied with the "religion" that psychotherapists and psychiatrists were teaching: no free will, a drug for every human problem.

As I have informed you, for two years I have been entrapped in a VA prison. Ninety percent of the residents are numb. I wonder: were they like that before having come here, or have prescribed drugs numbed them?

For a secular institution, religion is pervasive. The three most highly recommended (urged) books are: AA's Big Book, the Bible, and M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Traveled.

Having little formal education myself I presumed that all PHDs were up to date on everything in the field of neuroscience. After all, is not, "What makes behavior change possible?" of primary interest to them?

Ludwig von Mises wrote: "Knowledge and insight alone do not bring about behavior change." I discovered that psychiatrists and psychotherapists do not really grasp the importance of that phrase.

Again, thank you for you time, and your books.


From: "Alan Palma"
To: jschale@american.edu
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2001 17:44:17

Professor Schaler,

I was thinking about our conversation after returning home, and I began contemplating the dynamics which encapsulate my generation. Your era can be personified as a backlash against the status quo; an entire generation which at once stood up to the prevalent powers that be. It was a protest against everything which had held dominance in the realms of American political, economic, and social development; American exceptionalism, racism, sexism, sexual preference, free-market capitalism, containment Cold War policy, the role of the government in relation to the individual, etc. The government was viewed in distrust for the first time since the end of World War II. The very foundations of our society were questioned, debated, and battered. Your generation chose to rid itself of the 1950's dialectic; The Donna Reed Show where men worked, women stayed home, and the United States government was the leader of the free world. I am sure it must have been difficult to even fathom the revolutionary upheaval of an entire social fabric. However, individuals within your generation decided to stand by their convictions and overthrow the existing order.

My generation is the epitome of complacency, apathy, and disunity; a truth which I see becoming only more evident as younger generations of Americans are growing up more pissed off and dangerous than mine. My generation sees the lies and deceit, the smoke and mirrors of governmental policy initiatives, the dissipation of common moral virtues such as courtesy, respect, and courage. My generation views the dilemmas of our civilization through fogged-up lenses; we see, but we do not perceive. We hear, but we do not listen. We know, but we don't care. When I grew up in high school, my friends and I had little to no respect for the law. A large population of my peers grew up the same way; Drink, smoke, fuck, fight, and do what you want. Why? The indoctrination of a generation of Americans that there are too many problems to be solved, and any attempt to solve them would be laborious and ineffective. Thus, do not attempt to change the policy; act against the policy. This does not mean the style of civil obedience utilized by Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandi, or Thoureau, but an overall sense of rebellion. No, individuals within my generation are not storming Capitol Hill with machine guns, instead they are choosing to act in violation of the law because of its illegitimate justification. This policy is not intended to enact change, but hostility. Perhaps this state of affairs is due to the fact that individuals nowadays feel they have been abandoned by the system; they feel outside the realms of family, community, or government. I do not feel that this is the result of capitalism as suggested by Professor Bruce K. Alexander, but a paternalistic federal government which utilizes coercion in order to legislate morality while enhancing its power and legitimacy. However, we must not forget that the government is a creation of the people. And, any negative facets of the system of governance can only be blamed on the ignorant masses of sheep who refuse to accept moral responsibility for their actions, and cling to the majority's dominant ethic for security in their existential issues of living and dying. Children learn from their parents by example, and the example which is created today is that one's problems are due to outside factors beyond one's control. It is impossible to change yourself. Thus, it must be even less feasible to change others. The only solution which is left is to accept fate or rebel. Seen in this light, it is not so surprising that atrocities such as Columbine take place, where frustrated individuals decimate others in order to be heard, and to re-assert control in their life.

The small minority of individuals within my generation who have chosen to constructively change the system represent just that, a small minority. And most of them believe that the only way to change the status quo and the problems that lie within our global social fabric is to provide more private property to government in return for government-sponsored "freedom." The progressives, populists, and hippies can all attest to the implications of such a policy. The rest of the population has chosen to either rebel or abide by the principle that if you can't beat them, join them. Go figure that half of the people I know are content in life with the sole goal of ascertaining wealth by any means necessary. Virtue or individual freedom does not mean shit nowadays for most people in my age group. The scary thing is that it means even less for those younger than me.

All I can hope for in this life is to attain happiness through my own personal heroism, the law. The law is a medium of change in this nation. Hopefully, I will be able to shed some light upon the millions who idle in the dark by doing what intellectuals before me have done-spreading the truth.

Alan Palma
School of Public Affairs
American University
Washington, DC

From: "harold maio" hkmaio@earthlink.net
To: jschale@american.edu
Subject: "mental illness"
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2001 23:13:19

Dr. Szasz:

For a time I was an inmate in an institution in Gowanda, New York, now closed...open as a prison. While there I witnessed behaviors from employees from the surrounding community that were sadistic, but worse, as the days of my incarceration grew, I,too, began to lose sense of right and wrong, began to become as dehumanized as the people around me, who, paid not to see, saw nothing, did nothing.

There are three events that stick in my mind 30 years later: Sleeping in a room with glass windows to watch myself and about a dozen other people and waking the first morning to the screaming epithets and curses of the paid staff as they started their day, forcing people out of bed.

I called my father and asked him to help me get out of that place, to get a room, to be able to be alone, away from the curses, and I got my wish. I went to bed in my own room after thoroughly washing the floor with disinfectant to get rid of the urine smell. As I laid in bed, the stench of urine reached me in spite of all the cleaning. I could not believe it. I looked under my bed and there was the man whose room I had taken! He wanted exactly what I wanted, and it had been his.

Like the animals who screamed obscenities at us in the morning, I screamed at him to get out of my room. I had become them.

Lined up for forced drugging one morning, a creature, almost inhuman was let out of his isolated cell. He made guttural sounds, no words and crawled on the floor- but not fast enough to suit one worker, who kicked him and kicked him until I yelled, "Stop! Stop now!" He stopped, but whose son was he who kicked and he who was kicked, what had each become. And why did no one see? College students interned and learned to take the paycheck and keep quiet, it was only money.

A psychiatrist called me to his room one day. My dad had come to visit, did I have any personal belongings in my room, no I had none they had taken everything from me and given me mismatched wrong-sized clothes so I would look the part of the animal I was supposed to be in their eyes. He was going to allow my dad to take me for a ride. In the car dad said, we are not going back, the doctor has made you voluntary, and we can just leave. Not even the end of my stay could be ethical. I had run away after being made voluntary.

The books were clean, I was gone, no one would come for me.

Harold A. Maio, MA, Survivor

From: a.fratini@libero.it
To: jschale@american.edu
Subject: contact
Date: Sat, 3 Feb 2001 10:13:47

Ceci est une lettre adréssée au Centre T.Szasz ainsi qu'à T.Szasz lui même. En Italie, la psychanalyse risque fort de disparaître en tant que discipline libre et autonome, ceci à causede l'Ordre des psychologues qui entend augmenter sa prise de pouvoir en faisant de la psychanalyse une forme de psychothérapie réservée aux "spécialistes" de la "maladie mentale". Je vous envoie un écrit publié sur le site web de l'Académie Européenne des Sciences www.multimania.com/acisp/ , ainsi que le statut provisoire de l'Association Européenne de psychanalyse que j'ai contribué à créer et qui est basée sur un certain nombre de principes d'ordre transculturel qui vont au delà des divergences entre les diverses écoles. Nous espèrons avoir l'honneur d'enregistrer quelques adhésions de votre part. Thank you.

Antoine Fratini
via Pascoli 75/c
43039 Salsomaggiore - Italy

[Please see attached PDF files: La psychanalyse aujourd'hui: science ou psychothérapie?
and Association Européenne de Psychanalyse]

Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 12:38:47 -
From: Chris Buors gospurs@escape.ca
To: jschaler@peabody.jhu.edu

I was first alerted to the writings of Dr. Szasz when I came across an excerpt from The Therapeutic State(1974) on drug prohibition. It was the imagery of vast scapegoat persecutions of the past that are today comparable to the holy war waged on people who use the wrong drugs that impressed me at first. I read that enlightening bit of wisdom at the activist site www.mapinc.org. It was posted by an individual I also respect and admire who had lost his son to adulterated heroin, and correctly identified drug prohibition as responsible.

I organized the first decriminalize drugs rally held in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada since the 1970's. I closed off the first rally, held June 7th 1998, at the Legislature with Dr. Szasz's insight that we are witnesses today to a therapeutic "holy" war.

Shortly thereafter I was sentenced for "cultivating and trafficking" (producing and distributing) to serve a 23 month conditional sentence, with a curfew to be in my residence at 8 pm until 6 am for the first year. I went to the local library and read some 20 of Dr. Szasz's books, putting that time to good use. (Funny how "Our Right to Drugs" and Ceremonial Chemistry" were unavailable.) Since then I have had over 30 letters to the editor published between our two local newspapers. I have debated the head of the Addiction Foundation of Manitoba on a local radio show and won based on the teachings of Dr. Szasz. I have responded to every newspaper story on "mental illness" that has appeared in the daily papers. Many of the letters to the editor published "borrowed" (plagiarized) heavily from Dr. Szasz. (And I give him credit every time.)

In Winnipeg, Rally 2000, held in conjunction with world wide events on May 6th 2000 was entitled "Restore Our Natural Right to Drugs." With the publicity received, you can rest assured every decriminalization (I understand the folly of "legalize" that makes the state our master and not our servant) supporter in Manitoba has heard that "slogan."

I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Szasz. He has inspired me to run in the Provincial election (Sept. 99) as a member of the Libertarian party. I ran against the Justice Minister of Manitoba, who was prepared to sic police dogs on school children. (Justice Minister Toews lost his seat and Premier Flimon lost power, I got 62 votes.)

I am now a Member of the Marijuana Party of Canada. I plan to run against the current Canadian drug Czar Lloyd Axworthy in the upcoming Federal election. I will not lose a debate because of the understanding I have acquired through reading the works of Dr. Szasz.

Chris Buors
340 Winterton Ave
Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada)
(204) 663-3485

From: anonymous by request
7/15/00 12:10 PM
Subject: A consenting voice
To: jschale@american.edu

Dear Dr Szasz,

I found out about your views by the lucky accident of reading Jacob Sullum's interview with you in Reason Online. While I disagree with your view that all irrational behaviour not caused by physical factors should be allowed (the result would be societal chaos) I agree completely that the concept of modern "therapy" gives far too much room for abuse by the "therapist".

Case in point: bitter custody dispute. Eleven year old boy does not want to live with his father. Said boy is forced by court order to undergo "therapy" by a woman with a Master's in social work to help him "adjust" to his situation.

Therapy failed to make this boy change his mind. He stubbornly insisted on voicing valid and logical reasons for not wanting to live with his father, including, but not limited to physical abuse by the father. He also insisted that he would like to see his father on a regular basis: he just couldn't live there. The social worker just as stubbornly continued to help him adjust to his situation.

In frustration, the boy considers (aloud) killing his father as a means of solving the problem, and writes insulting letters to the judge. Call it a mistake or a call for help; whatever. The therapist tries to have the boy comitted to a hospital for the criminally insane. The boy's mother and maternal grandmother manage to block this, and he is instead sent to a private hospital.

In this private hospital, he meets a wonderful man: a psychiatrist and M.D. like youself. The Doctor tests the boy extensively. The boy is visited by his father. The father is ejected by orderlies for threatening the boy. The Doctor begins talking to the boy for several hours each day, as well as conducting extensive interviews with the family.

The boy stayed in the hospital for eleven months for his own protection against the influences of lawyers, judges, social workers etc., bent on justifying their actions at the expense of a young boy. In the end, this brave man came forward with eighty-plus pages of daily reports which boiled down to this: the boy wasn't psychotic; he was angry and frustrated because he had voice, no control over his own life.

testimony of this brave man was delivered with such thoroughness, authority and confirmed documentation that the boy was got his wish: he lived with his mother, visited his father on weekends, played with friends, and had an otherwise normal childhood. He graduated high school this year, and will start college next year for architectural engineering, after taking a year off. Needless to say, because of the good doctor, the "therapy" was stopped.

If not for one doctor's sincere concern and interest, and qualified insistence that the therapist's disagreement with the boy's own point of view did not constitute psychosis, the results may have -- probably would have -- been very different.

To Mr. Marek, who accuses Dr. Szasz of "disseminating pseudo science": in that statement you are wrong. In many of Dr. Szasz's views, he is disseminating common sense. The above case is one of many. Our children are the ones being "treated" to death by therapists employed by the state who, in the interests of job security, must meet their quota of cases in order to keep their funding. It is in these cases in the best interests of the social workers to keep their "patients" coming back as long as possible, whatever the cost to the children's emotional welfare.

Why? Because children have no voice, and are at the mercy of their therapists, who are themselves just people who have chosen a particular career, like a doctor or a plumber, to put food on their own tables.


Subject: Published letter of Michael J. Marek at Szasz Cybercenter
Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 15:18:02 +1200
To: jschale@american.edu

Response to Mike Marek letter[see below]; from a reader in a far away land:

1. Most pathophysiology texts ignore 'mental illness' as if there was no such thing; as if disapproved conduct was not illness.

2. Some such books, however, include it but notice the difference between entries for genuine medical conditions, and the MI entries: The MI entries are full of wishful thinking, vague speculation, and metaphors; they are in stark contast to the genuine medical entries.

3. On those occasions when symptoms of genuine medical conditions have found their way into the lists of 'disapproved behaviours' drawn up by psychiatrists; and the mistake has been found; the genuine medical condition, even if newly discovered, goes straight to its appropriate specialty (e.g. neurology). Any real biological medical condition, on being so proven, DROPS OUT of psychiatry; leaving psychiatry containing nothing more than lists of disapproved-of-behaviours, and wishful speculations.

4.Linkage between behaviour and physiology/biochemistry does not, in itself, denote illness or remove free will. Example: someone chooses to go jogging. After running for a period they get 'runner's high' from chemicals naturally released in the bloodstream from prolonged running. They are not ill, and running was their free choice.

5. Incidentally; as Ivan Illich explains in "Limits To Medicine": regarding genuine PHYSICAL illness: as soon as someone makes a judgement that one bodily state is better (healthier) than another (ill); they become a "moral entrepreneur", promoting their brand of 'right' and 'wrong'. In a free society people can choose which brand of medicine they like; and whether or not they want to be 'right' ('healthy')or 'wrong'('ill') in the eyes of any one brand, is their choice.

Just one example I recently came across: Dr. F. Batmanghelidj wrote a book, about the role of water in the body, that claims the present basis of physical medicine teaching is severely flawed.

6.People who claim that they have trouble with living, or 'horrors' in their lives; and people who allege that others have trouble with living; and people who do find life difficult: all exist. They exist irrespective of what misleading labels (like MI) are placed on them by labellers.

7. Problems with living are as varied as people are varied. Often enough people express their 'problem' in terms of a perceived lack of freedom to fulfill a particular objective.

8. Charatible options for providing for the homeless, poor, etc. are many, and limited only by the will and wealth of society; lack of action on this no more justifies institutionallising people than disposing of them more speedily in gas chambers.

9. People like Thomas Szasz can not, by virtue of their stance, have any disciples. When you advocate freedom, you maximize your potential adversaries because every person is regarded as free to go their own way. That some people agree with him over certain social policies is incidental.

[Anonymous by request.]

To: jschale@american.edu
From: MikeMarek@webtv.net
April 13, 2000

Dr. Szasz:

I'd like to keep this clear and simple. Mental illness is real, as real as Alzheimer's Disease, senile dimentia, the ravages of a stroke, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or mental retardation. The reality of mental illness has been conclusively proven for the past 20 years or so. Tens of thousands of scientific studies supply this proof. Many different kinds of brain scans, such as PET, fMRI, CAT, have proven the reality of mental illness, which is now referred to as biological brain disorders. Countless twin studies and other statistical research have also verified MI's reality. Anyone who denies the reality of mental illness either hasn't picked up a medical journal in the past several decades, and/or is severely delusional him/herself.

As a member of the board of directors of Vail Place, a community support program for adults with severe and persistant mental illnesses, I know first hand that MI is real and definitely not caused by "character flaws" or lack of responsibility. As a fellow sufferer, I know that neither I nor my parents are responsible for the horror I have experienced on a daily basis for the past 30 years or so. Mental Illness cannot be "willed away," any more than any other biological disease can. Mentally ill people are not weak. On the contrary, any MI person who has not committed suicide is de facto a very persistant individual, "tried by fire," so to speak, and therefore in reality much stronger than the majority of the population, who don't realize how good they really have it.

By diseminating this pseudoscience about the "myth of mental illness," Szasz and other ignorant and delusional people like him have done inestimable harm to those in our society who are least able to help themselves. Dr. Szasz's hyperbolies have, for instance, played a pivital role in ejecting severely MI people out of the state hospitals and into the streets four decades ago, usually without any resources for survival. Furthermore, Szasz and his disciples continue to erect roadblocks against the humane treatment of the MI and against the search for cures for this most devastating spectrum of diseases.

Your misguided crusade must stop. It is contrary to decades of scientific proof. It is contrary to reason. It is definitively inhumane.


Michael J. Marek

10:54 p.m., CDT 13 April 2000 (Thu.)
University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN, USA

To: Professor Thomas S. Szasz
From: PIKO@nepsy.szote.u-szeged.hu (Dr. Bettina Piko)
Date: February 10, 1999

Dear Prof. Szasz,

I feel so honoured to keep in touch with a thinker like you.

I did not hear your views during my medical studies, but in sociology. I must tell you that I am very glad I did not choose psychiatry as a medical specialty. I was always interested in studying mind and behaviour, and even do it myself, but biological psychiatry is a crime. For me, psychiatry is a social science, based on psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and sociology. I entirely agree with you!

I also think that not everybody can make a good psychiatrist. One needs special abilities and skills, and even personality. Yes, mental illness is still a myth -- and more and more. If we think of neurosis, how can it be a disease? It is per definitionem an adaptational disorder. But adaptation is a process and dynamic, not unchangeable. Thus, sometimes I am neurotic, sometimes not. (I do not mind admitting that I am a neurotic, being too open to creative challenges. Why is it a problem?)

I also like your [classical] liberal views. I liked the ideas of Jefferson, John Stuart Mill and Hayek, whom I studied while attending sociology courses. As I have written in my article, the most important rule of living is to respect the other person's personality. I am trying to teach these rules to my students through teaching anthropology and sociology. But middle-aged people here were socialized in socialism and did not understand the message of [classical] liberalism.

I am rather cosmopolitan, I also like England and Holland, where I have been several times. I am 32 years old now and have a husband and three cats (not children).

I am wondering how you can manage the period of your professional repression. These years could be very difficult for you. I am very disappointed about the future of psychiatry and even in psychology, which has a tendency to become a natural science as well. I like biochemistry myself, but I do not think that it is something on which healing of the mind should be based.

I am very glad to get familiar with your views and would be glad to know you more.

Best wishes,

Bettina Piko
Szeged, Hungary
PIKO@nepsy.szote.u-szeged.hu (Dr. Bettina Piko)

To: jschale@american.edu
From: techill@atlcon.net
Subject: Praise for Excellent "Szasz Site"
Date: August 25, 1999

Dear Dr. Schaler:

Anyone recognizing a dog's vast intelligence has got to be a fine fellow according to my book, sir.

I thoroughly enjoy the excellent -- and immensely useful -- Thomas S. Szasz Cybercenter for Liberty and Responsibility as I've discovered this summer.

You might appreciate the candid views expressed in psychiatrist Loren Mosher's open letter of resignation from the American Psychopharmacological Association -- that is his own euphemism -- as is available on the Internet.

Dr. Mosher's letter of resignation, written this past December, may be read in full via the direct link below:


Since a number of psychiatrists and psychologists have contributed to your outstanding website, I do not believe that I'll submit anything for posting consideration. Not that my views amount to nil, but visitors to your website would be far less impressed by my views, I imagine, than those provided by today's practicing psychiatrists, the correspondence from Karl Menninger, and those views also expressed by Sir Karl Popper, too.

I've forgotten today how I first discovered the wise, helpful insights regarding life given us by Thomas Szasz. Perhaps it was initially a reference to Szasz's rejection of the existence of any "mental illness" which was made in Karl Menninger's 1975 work, Whatever Became of Sin? -- a gem of a book itself, I suggest -- which then caused me to search out several of Szasz's earlier published works at that point in my own troubled life.

Whatever, I now regard Thomas Szasz as an individual providing one of the brightest beacons of understanding for the rest of us as we attempt to chart our respective voyages through the often dark and stormy seas of life.

Instead, merely consider this letter as a most heartfelt "thank you" for making the wonderful Thomas S. Szasz Cybercenter for Liberty and Responsibility available for all on the Internet, sir.

Very best regards,


Cyrus J. Stow, DDS
Conyers, Georgia (USA)

To: jschale@american.edu
From: anonymous
Subject: No subject
Date: August 19, 1999

Professor Schaler,

Thank you for writing the article "Freedom, Psychiatry, and Responsibility" in Psych News (July, 1996) that my supervisor found on the Internet. I am a County Designated Mental Health Professional (CDMHP) in . . . Washington. I found your article insightful and validating. I am in support of your perspective.

In Washington State we are the "disinterested third party" who has the only authority to involuntary detain a person. However in Washington State law we are protected from liability when we detain a person; but not necessarily when we do not detain an evaluated person, thus being more exposed to law suits or at least various complaints from local citizens and political stakeholders for any number of reasons. In the cases when we advocate for a citizen's freedom and responsibility who may have mental health issues and we do not have the "legal evidence of imminent risk of serious harm as a result of a mental disorder"; we often find our self without protection from "institutional psychiatry" except for our own devices of clinical wits, integrity, good will with the local political stakeholders that we find our decisions at odds with.

I think with the community's perceived increase of violence by those labeled mental health issues and the community's misplaced expectations that the mental health witch doctors/priest/psychiatrist/CDMHP can dispel/exorcise/treat or at least save the community from the evil violence of mental illness (which seems to be classic defense mechanism of the community's fear/anxiety). Thus with the community's increased fears and its need to grant more authority to the "institutional psychiatry" to protect public safety, your article is even more timely and important.

Thank you!


CDMHP Coordinator,

To: jschale@american.edu
From: ornery4@hotmail.com
Subject: Adventures in p$ychiatry
Date: August 27, 1999

>Generally, those who want to foist Electroshock Treatment on
>others do so because they make a living out of it and because 
> it is a way of effecting social control.  I suggest that more 
>lawsuits be directed at doctors and others who misrepresent  
>themselves to the public in the name of helping people with  
>their "mental illness."  One cannot reason with people who believe 
>that coercion is medicine, ECT and mental illness are science.  One 
>has to speak to them in a language they understand, i.e., the 
>full force of the law.  Assertions that people don't recognize 
 ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^
>their mental illness and therefore don't recognize their "need" 
>for ECT are fraudulent and those making such assertions should  
>be held legally accountable for assault and battery, not to 
>mention fraud and product liability.
>                                   -- Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.
>                      Adjunct Professor, Department of Justice,
>                                                Law and Society
>                                           jschale@american.edu

Professor Schaler,

I'm twenty-nine and have over eight years experience in the psychiatric abuse department. I've had countless meds foisted upon me, seven Hospital stays (only two were COMPLETELY unwilling, and none lasted much more than a week), a two week stint with "the jumper cables" (ECT, six to eight treatments), and now I'm going through a lot of terribly gruesome withdrawl symptoms from lithium, which I discontinued over THREE MONTHS AGO! I realized the stuff, Eskalith, was doing B-A-A-A-D things to me. However, nobody seemed to believe me... that is until I showed them the dermatological "welts" on my abdomen most likely caused by the toxic substance. Since I stopped all medicines, minus my necessary Levoxyl thyroid hormone, my mind has progressively felt much clearer! My body, on the other hand, has felt like complete shit! More so sometimes than others. Now, even though my current psych quickly admits that my previous treatments were inappropriate, he is completely clueless in remedying my ailing physical state. The only answers he has ever demonstrated he can provide come via his trusty prescription pad! General primary care physicians won't even begin to take me seriously (tried that, too...). I've always been skeptical of the religion that psychiatry is, but I desperately needed help! I have been trapped in a stiflingly oppressive family, of much lesser intelligence than I, all my life, who, until now, had psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, etc. labeling me with all sorts of ugly jargon (I am the sole product of my mother's first marriage which ended over twenty-six years ago. I have an adopted father, and three half-siblings, all younger). Do you have any helpful advice for me? Or do you know where I may find some?



From: Stillborn <didi@endless.org>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 22:05:27-0400
To: Jeffrey_Schaler/jschale/Faculty/SPA/AmericanU@american.edu
Subject: something about me

Hello my name is Mazelle De Vries, I recently stumbled apon a couple of Szasz's book. Most importantly 'Cruel Compassion'. allow me to bore you with the details..

I am a 22 year old woman who was dragged kicking and screaming into the mental health prison in 1990 at the age of 14. I was having "anxiety" and given klonopin and imiprimine. I have been hospitalized several times and seen by society as "sick". As I have gotten older --through experience- I found everyone around me to be wrong most of the time.

I come from a poor family in a fairly white trash-esque community in Massachusetts. When I began having mideas that didn't go along with getting a 9-5 job and having children I was labelled "mentally ill". I should also mention that I am physically addicted to the klonopin and still (unfortunately) taking it.

This addiction has made me more of a prisoner. If I do not see my "doctor" I can't have my pills and will get violently ill. I seek knowledge, that is my 'fault' lately I have been researching the brain chemical Dopamine.

After I had begun taking things into my own hnds -so to speak- I found Szazs. I should tellyou that the illustration on the front of "Cruel Compassion" is a drawing I have been drawing myself since I was vvery young.. (a scribbled outline of a person who looks lost and trapped croutched down.

I have no college educatoin so it is fairly difficult for most in this society to take much of my phylosophies and psychological theories seriously.

I believe that I am founding a new school that would demolish any of the old ones as far as psychology is concerned. Somewhat a school of acceptence. Why am I writing you? well we share beliefs it would seem and I enjoy finding others who do. I don't often come in contact with people who can grasp my concept of reality. Reading "Cruel Compassion" made me feel less alone then ever in my life.

I would appreciate a responce. but I do not expect one. If you are intersted in exchanging ideas etc please reply.

I tend to be friendly. Then again I tend to be angry and rude.. it's your choice.

Thank you

"smoke 'em if you got 'em"
           -Dave the schizophrenic

       a baby
      tearing everyone
     reaches out
       for her

From: "David E. Gallaher"
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 17:58:22-0500
To: jschale@american.edu
Subject: Illegal drugs

Ideas we put into our head are and always have been more dangerous than substances we put into our bodies. The framers of the Constitution were amazingly bold to protect the former unalienable right with the First Amendment. What a shame they could not conceive of government stooping so low as to restrict our unalienable right to "self-medicate." I guess they made the mistake of assuming that even crusty John Adams, who enforced his Alien and Sedition Act, would have remained impressed at the words in the Declaration of Independence: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

We need to recognize that the crusty Puritans have so much more influence over us than we on them simply because we tolerate them while they don't tolerate us.

David E. Gallaher
Cincinnati , OH


From: RachimB@aol.com
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 00:22:55 -0500
To: jschale@american.edu
Subject: Szasz site

Dr. Schaler,

MM's letter [see below] prompts me to respond with one that complements his.

Szasz' ideas found so congenial a place in my heart for two personal reasons, I think:

1- My parents tyrannized their five children with my mother's myriad "phobias", which were given the imprimatur of "medical conditions" by professionals (who bought this line and did well over the years by selling it to my parents), and not the cruel choices they actually were. One small instance: my mother's phobia of New York City was the grounds for forbidding her teenage daughter from visiting most of her grown siblings, who lived there. (My father, the self- declared "healthy" one, declaring her to be unstable and ill, served as her "lieutenant", as my oldest brother termed him. It was an exquisite mix of hatred of and servitude to women.) These phobias were often undeclared, to spare my mother's pride, and they served to restrict and mystify the children on those rare occasions we weren't neglected in our parents' all-consuming folie a deux. Their relationship should serve as a cautionary tale of romantic love: intense, selfish, immensely disrespectful of the Other. No wonder when I witness disrespect, my blood boils. It is never academic to me. So you see, we were raised by what MM would have become had he had children, but not woken up in time. We children were gored by the myth of mental illness. And, with clarity gleaned from each other and wise sources, we see right through it. Not surprisingly, it hits home when I see this scam perpetrated by people to evade responsibility, and believed in by their apologists and the public at large.

2- Having been raised an Orthodox Jew, I recognized in Szasz' uncompromising (but livable) appeal to standards of respect and responsibility and the plea to at-least-call-a-spade-a-spade the best part of my religion, stripped of dogma, partisanship and paternalism.

Rachim Baskin.

I have no need of anonymity.


From: RachimB@aol.com
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 19:23:15 -0500
To: jschale@american.edu
Subject: the web page


I'm new to the web, but not new to TSS's writings. Great idea. Szasz opened my eyes in "75, and his values found instant resonance in me. When I want to describe his theme in a phrase, I tell people "respect for the person".

He is one of the great prophets - as the term should be used - of our era: one who calls evil- masquerading-as-good what it is. Thank you for your work.

I'll refer people.
Rachim Baskin

The Meaning of Liberty in Latin America

To: JSCHALE@american.edu
Date: Wed, 06 May 1998 17:07:45 PDT

Dear Friends of Liberty:

The fight for freedom is not over yet, and Latin America is the perfect example of this case. One of the main problems in this part of the world is that people are changing economic freedom for the so-called "political freedoms " and because of this we have to realize and understand that if the political process does not protect the private property, the life and the freedom to trade goods and services without any Rent-seeking cases;.... any other goverment regulation will not be useful.

The question here is: Are the political freedoms really worthwhile, are they really freedoms, without the ability to trade and exchange as a person wants? What good does it do me to be able to vote for a candidate if that candidate will not protect my property, or my ability to work or invest money?

And ultimately, we have to remember that economic freedom is a perfect way for removing or reducing the power of a centralized government and placing it directly into the hands of the individual.

The real political starts with a simple fact.... It has to be defined who will make decisions in society, the State or the individual. I hope politicians in Latin America will be courageous enough to recognize economic freedom is absolutely essential to ensuring the economic and spiritual health of their countries. For Latin America the Free Market System is not a necessity, it is an IMPERATIVE.

David Martinez-Amador

August 12, 1998
Dear Dr. Schaler:

Thank you for spreading the important ideas of Dr. Szasz through your website. As a criminal prosecutor, I deal with issues of freedom and responsibility on a daily basis. It is heartening to find that Dr. Szasz's uncompromising stance in defense of freedom and human dignity is available to the world on the Internet. I hope you will continue to maintain the site.


July 5, 1998
To: jschale@american.edu
Subject: Szasz books have helped me personally

When i was a child i found that i was able to escape responsibility for anything that i did. I was born in 1965 and i was diagnosed as being "hyperactive" early in life. My parents and teachers were aware that i was diagnosed by a high profile MD who was supposed to be an expert in what is now called ADD. Take a wild guess what the first question was asked to the other children when they misbehaved. "Why did you do that?" Now the question i was always asked was "M., did you forget to take your medicine?" or "Did you have sugar today" (a common misconception back then) I would sheepishly grin and say "i forgot to take my pill". Most of my teachers would just send me down to the school nurse, i would take a pill and then go back to class as if i hadn't misbehaved at all. It was a sweet deal. Other kids misbehaved and the school called their parents and when i misbehaved they usually sent me to the nurse. Don't get me wrong, people still became exasperated with me however i was able to escape the full wrath because i was seeing a psychiatrist and taking medicine. In high school i knew a girl that attempted suicide. She told me that the hospital was like a resort hotel. I became upset when i was dumped for the junior prom and I was placed in the psychiatric hospital for depression after i made some small token cuts on my arm and swallowed a few aspirin. I actually had the audacity to request the same hospital my friend had been in. (i didn't go there). Even though i was out for the last quarter of the school year i still passed all my courses because the school psychiatrist felt it was in my best interests not to be held back. After my high school graduation i had twelve jobs the first year before i slowly came to the realization that employers are not as tolerant of impulsive behavior as my school was. I slowly became a productive citizen and started to stay at jobs for years instead of weeks. I worked as a __ and started to go to college for __. I also met a nice girl and bought a house.

A year ago i did something foolish and was charged with a misdemeanor. My lawyer told me that the charges would be dropped if i behaved myself for a year and had a psych eval. I trotted over to the local ADD expert and the judge told me to report to a probation officer for six months and if I stayed out of trouble the charges would be dropped.

I trot over to this old dingy building to see the probation officer and i am face to face with this gruff older man. He read the psychiatric evaluation and started to mock the wording in it. He looked over his cubicle at the lobby where S. (my fiancee) was sitting and said something like "You have a good future, a nice girl and own your own house and yet you expect me to believe that you are mentally ill". I was stunned by his complete disregard for the professional evaluation. He continued to lecture me in a paternal way. He informed me that i could stop seeing the "shrink" and that i had a homework assignment. I had to read some of the writings of Thomas Szasz. He briefly outlined Dr. Szasz['s] opinion of mental illness and i politely smiled and thought he was off his rocker. I went to my college library and dusted off a copy of the Myth of Mental Illness. As i read it i started to think about my own life and came to some conclusions.

1. If a building inspector were also getting paid to fix any code infractions he found, no building would pass inspection and the public would be screaming about kickbacks and price gouging. However a psychiatrist gives an opinion that there is no concrete way to verify and then he offers to help you at a very steep cost.

2. Since i was a child i learned to hide behind excuses that well intentioned professionals made for me. I was conditioned to the point where i believed my own press.

3. Because i was hyper and had few friends i was told by my doctors and teachers that i had to stop trying to make people like me and this resulted in me developing the attitude that if people did not like me for who i was then i won't lose any sleep. The problem remained that i still did not have any motivation to change my behavior.

4. People do not seriously believe in Chronic Fatigue because it does not have a complicated medical term. However how much respect would the term "Short attention span disorder" get as compared to Attention Deficit Disorder. If you call the fellow who pumps your gas a "petroleum transfer engineer" it sounds much more respectable.

After reading the Myth of Mental Illness i came to the realization that there is nothing organically wrong with my brain. I just happen to be an impulsive person and that society should make no special allowances for my shortcomings. I felt my eyes were open and called my probation officer and thanked him. Dr. Szasz['s] book has helped me look at myself through new eyes. I had started to take Dexedrine after the psych eval and i found that for some reason it does help me focus. I still take it but not because i feel i am mentally ill, just because if it helps me slow down to a level that i can focus without being distracted. I still believe there are many people who benefit from psychiatric help. However i see how the label of mental illness is abused by a lot of people. If you are personally acquainted with Dr. Szasz, please thank him from the bottom of my heart. Please let me know if he will be giving any lectures or debates in the Pennsylvania area anytime in the near future. I would love to take the probation officer because he thinks the sun rises and sets on Dr. Szasz.


Thomas S. Szasz Cybercenter for Liberty and Responsibility:
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