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Peter Lehmann

About Humanistic Antipsychiatry

Humanistic antipsychiatry is an undogmatic and humanistic philosophy and movement. The Greek "anti" means more than simple "contra" (as, for example, in "antidepressants" or "antipsychotics"). It means also "beyond" or "alternative."

Humanistic antipsychiatry is orientated toward the interests of (ex-) users and survivors of psychiatry whose main concerns are self-determination, freedom from bodily harm, and adequate and self-defined support. It has no connection to the pharmaceutical industry and to organizations that are dependent on them, nor to Scientology or other sects and dogmatists of whatever color. Beyond health, nothing is more valuable than freedom and independence. Friends of forced treatment and Big Pharma therefore fight the modern, user-orientated and -defined humanistic antipsychiatry with special vehemence.

Humanistic antipsychiatry is filled with a contrarian spirit and the fundamental conviction that:

  1. Psychiatry as a medical (and natural scientific) discipline cannot do justice to the expectation of solving mental problems that are largely of a social nature,
  2. Its propensity and practice to use force constitutes a threat, and
  3. Its diagnostic methods obstruct the view of the real problems of individuals in society.
For these reasons, humanistic antipsychiatry pleads for:
  1. Developing adequate and effective assistance for people in emotional difficulties,
  2. Safeguarding their participation in society and their civil rights in treatment on a par with 'normal' patients (patients in physical medicine),
  3. Joining forces in cooperation with other human rights organisations and self-help groups as well as with supporting experts,
  4. Support in withdrawing from psychiatric drugs, use of alternative and less toxic psychotropic substances,
  5. Ostracization of electroshock up to its ban,
  6. New ways of living with madness and being different – with as much independence from institutions as possible, and
  7. Tolerance, respect and appreciation of diversity at all levels of life.

PfeilSelected articles about humanistic antisychiatry

Last update on May 28, 2024