Political abuse of psychiatry

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Political abuse of psychiatry is the misuse of psychiatry, including diagnosis, detention, and treatment, for the purposes of obstructing the fundamental human rights of certain groups and individuals in a society.


  • The stress of asserting civil rights in the United States these past ten years ... has stimulated specific reactive psychoses in American Negroes. ... The particular symptomatology we have observed ... is colored by a denial of Caucasian values and hostility thereto.
    • Walter Bromberg, MD and Franck Simon, PhD, "The Protest Psychosis: A Special Type of Reactive Psychosis," Journal of the American Medical Association, Archives of General Psychiatry, vol. 19, no. 2 (1968), p. 155
  • Drapetomania”—that is the name of the mental disorder that was contrived by Samuel Cartwright, who said that Blacks had a mental disorder if they had a desire to run away from slavery.
    • Lisa Cain, as interviewed in Psychiatry: Industry of Death (2006)
  • In the nineteenth century, ... official Western medicine recognized drapetomania, the tendency of slaves to run away from their owners, as a disease. ... With hindsight, drapetomania is easily dismissed as a harmful fabrication of fictitious disease, in a culture violating human rights. Less easy is it to recognize harmful fabrications of our own era for what they are.

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