SCARY and very interesting psychiatry experiment.

topic posted Mon, June 11, 2007 - 8:06 PM by  Leslee

Transcript of most of the video clip...

Response to Video: "Voice that said Thud" psychiatry experiment...from the BBC prog in March...
Which is down the side of the video, but the links that have been added to discuss it aren't working, or not for me at least:

"...Commentator - "Laing was now a celebrity in America and was one of the leaders of what was called the 'Anti-psychiatry movement'.
Psychiatry, Laing said, was a fake science used as a system of political control to shore up a violent collapsing society. Its categories of madness and sanity had no reality. Madness was simply a convenient label used to lock away those who wanted to break free."

"Hundreds of young psychiatrists came to Laing's talks and one of them was inspired and decided to find a way of testing whether what Laing said was true or not. Could psychiatrists in America distinguish between madness and sanity?..."

"He was called David Rosenhan and he devised a dramatic experiment. He assembled 8 people, including himself, none of whom had ever had any psychiatric problems.

Each person was sent across the country to a specific mental hospital. At an agreed time, they all presented themselves at their hospital and told the psychiatrist on duty they were hearing a voice in their head that said the word "Thud". That was the only lie they should tell otherwise they were to behave and respond completely normally."

Question - "and then what happened?"

David Rosenhan - "They were all diagnosed as insane and admitted to the hospital."

Question - "All of them?"

David Rosenhan - "All of them."

Question - "And were any of them insane?"

David Rosenhan - "No. There was nobody who could have judged these people as insane. ... but I told friends, I told my family, I get out when I get out; that's all. Be there for a couple of days and then I get out. Nobody knew I would be there for 2 months!"

Commentator - "Once admitted, all 8 fake patients acted completely normally yet the hospitals refused to release them and diagnosed 7 as suffering from schizophrenia and one from bipolar disorder. They were all given powerful psychotropic drugs.

They found there was nothing they could do to convince the doctors they were sane and it quickly became clear that the only way out would be to agree that they were insane and then pretend to be getting better.

David Rosenhan - "The only way out was to point out that they're correct. They said I was insane, I am insane, but I am getting better. That was an affirmation of their view of me."

Commentator - "When Rosenhan finally got out and reported the experiment, there was an uproar. He was accused of trickery and deceit and one major hospital challenged him to send some more fakes to him, guaranteeing that they would spot them this time.

Rosenhan agreed and after a month, the hospital proudly announced that they had discovered 41 fakes. Rosenhan then revealed that he had sent no-one to the hospital." (!)
posted by:
  • Wile I disagree with this statement

    Psychiatry, was a fake science used as a system of political control to shore up a violent collapsing society. Its categories of madness and sanity had no reality. Madness was simply a convenient label used to lock away those who wanted to break free."

    I feel very strongly that everyone in the industry needs to see this video. Psychiatry needs that dam chip off its shoulder.
  • I'd forgotten about this video. It was very interesting. It reminds me a little bit of an article I recently read in Marie Claire magazine (sorry, but i don't know anymore details off hand than that!!) about a woman who was in several mental hospitals. I believe this was after she had a nervous breakdown, but i cannot remember exactly. She was on a medication that she didn't like and so the doctors in her hospital allowed her to get off the meds and start running to help her mental problems. She found this helpful, but when the insurance company found out they refused to pay for treatment because they said if she is well enough to run than she must be too healthy to require treatment for mental health problems. This is a bit different than the "voice that said thud," but it just reminds me of how difficult it can be for people to actually receive the help that they reach out for when entering mental hospitals. by the way... have you ever read "knots" or any RD Laing? "Knots" is really quick read that is almost a cross between a psychology book and a book of poetry. I haven't read it in a while, but I really remember enjoying it. "The Voice of Experience" was also a really great read.

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