Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D,B.C.S.A.,DAPA.

Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D,B.C.S.A.,DAPA.
e-mail: batushkad@yahoo.com

Saturday, December 23, 2006


A colleague recently asked me if I felt religion was a positive or destructive force, arguing how that many conflicts in the world appear to have a religious base.
Religion is an established set of beliefs often accompanied with rituals and an ethical plan that codifies how we should look at the world around us and our interactions with others. In some sense, every person, even those without a belief in a deity, could be said to hold to a 'religion'. The issue is how organized and dogmatic this particular religion may be. Whether religion is a positive or destructive force is dependent on the means by which we choose to use it. If this defining of beliefs seeks to provide meaning and guides us in fulfilling relationships, it can be said to be positive. If it is used to merely control the conduct of others or force them to alter their nature, it can become oppressive. Religion then can be a means when there is equanimity and shared values and meaning, a positive force which does help to guide human interactions. If the religion is based merely on fear and intimidation to guide human interactions, it becomes destructive. I have often argued that in today's society, psychiatry has become a religion and is now the 'standard' by which to codify human nature and behavior and to intimidate those who would be deviants. Those who are considered 'mentally ill' are the heretics of this religion. Then there is also those who seek to differentiate between religion and spirituality. "I am not religious, but spiritual." Good heavens, what does this mean? It often appears that individuals try to seek something outside of nature to find meaning. But what exactly is wrong with nature? Why it is that man seeks to somehow 'improve' upon nature? Why can we not accept the majesty and also the mystery of the natural world around us? It often appears that those that cannot find delight in the nature of children want to label them, drug them, or somehow alter their nature to fit into a defined way of how they feel children should behave. But this does not only apply to children. Therefore, when we define 'spiritual', we must carefully understand this term? Are we referring to our own nature and its potential or are we directing this search to something outside of us, something that must be altered? Spiritual should refer to the mind. The mind is not the brain, it is our conscience, our experiences, our nature, and utlimately who we are. To use the term 'spiritual' as recognizing our own potential for benevolence, then this is a positive use of this term.


Some individuals I am aware of from the juvenile justice system often commented that with some children within this system it appears that 'therapy' does not work. They also commented that programs for addressing truancy often appear ineffective.
I began to examine this in light of my experience with some children who have been involved in the juvenile justice system or had truancy concerns. First, most of the programs these children are referred to are often bio-psychiatric. The children are most aware that the therapists they are working with have the intent to recommend for them psychiatric drugs and are also well aware that these therapists are there to control, not hear them. Indeed, the programs are an arm of the law, they are not there to truly help the child or to give them a voice. Psychiatry itself is not medicine, it is social control, an method of dealing with those we consider deviant.
In regards to truancy, should we be more alarmed by children who rebel against the education system or those who blindly follow it? The truant child usually has felt that the education system has failed them, and struggle to have a voice and find relevancy. They are often shuffled to alternative schools that do not meet their needs but only warehouse them. Children, even those undergoing emotional distress, are bright beings, they can sense where there is a problem. However, children cannot be expected to always behave rationally. It is us as adults who must make the rational decisions to truly meet our children's needs and to address the real issues that effect their emotional well being.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


The following is some comments from my colleague, Robert Schmidt, a doctoral student in Sociology at Binghamton University. I find this material of great interest.

Medicine in general, and bio-psych in particular, purport a linear notion
of "progress". "Adolescence" is a very recent [and very Eurocentric]
construction. In the 19th century, children were typically
regulated/disciplined through work. And if the golden age of capitalism
(say 1945-1973) operated on a logic of discipline ( in schools, the
factory and the use of paddles in schools) and purported to REFORM deviant
people ( through hard work, discipline and perhaps prisons), then
certainly neoliberalism (1973-present) uses a much more pervasive
technology of social control, but it operates on a logic that people can't
be reformed (although blacks, and other groups considered sub-human,
couldn't be reformed prior to 1945 -- but that's another discussion [that
is not unrelated]).

In attempt to link hard-wired genetics with ever-changing time/space
contingent socially acceptable behavior, people are considered
PSYIOLOGICALLY "sick" before they express SOCIAL symptoms. Blacks are
considered criminals before they commit a crime. A poor child from an
alcoholic family is considered [and expected to be] an alcoholic before
they even experiment with alcohol. "Alcoholics" are always alcoholics;
addicts are always addicts-- it's part of their body. Gays, too, are
treated as psychically different.

Sure, schools don't use paddles. Parents (assuming the child lives in a
nuclear family) don't spank their kids anymore. But if spanking is
"barbaric" and primitive, what is medicine with dangerous known and
unknown side effects? If labeling a child medically "sick" alleviates the
shame of “sinful” and “bad” behavior, what does labeling an otherwise
normal child with ADD/ODD or some other “chemical imbalance” do?

The conclusion from this is that there is no linear progress.

The failure of psychiatry makes the case for Post-psychiatry. Perhaps the
failure of the psychiatry is its sucess: psychiatry serves a specific
funation, and was thus meant to fail. Institutions of power and control
don’t "cure the soul" -- and even if they could, perhaps it is not
desirable to do so. The way in which society defines, produces, labels,
and responds to [deviant] behavior needs to be changed.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


What is termed ‘madness’ or ‘mental illness’ is often the person’s only means for expression of their being lost and confused in a world which has caused them deep hurt and pain. Such is not disease but behavior with metaphorical meaning. These individuals have received through life mixed messages and been placed into situations where regardless of the option they choose they feel damned. They seek to break out from the reality which has only caused them distress. The development of hallucinations and delusions are all metaphors for the very real demons they have encountered in disordered society. The inner mind, the voice within us, becomes amplified, and becomes ‘possessed’ with the demons coming forward from the trauma and distress which has been encountered. Rebellion against the system of things becomes self-destructive as the person seeks to send a message to the world of their distress, but it remains unheard. Each coping mechanism that has been employed has often led to failure and not brought them out of the unlivable situation that is their life. However, the catharsis of this pain and grief can go in two directions- it can be misery and existential death, or it can be transformative. Through the pain and struggle, through the breaking out of the ‘typical reality’ one can journey through various modes of altered consciousness. Many deemed ‘mad’ speak of the supernatural. They have sought every attempt to reach out and create meaning. If they can be helped by a loving, supportive network to navigate through this state of confusion and the various realms of altered consciousness towards rebuilding and reconstructing a life of meaning, then they can come forward to a recovery that gives them valuable insight about human nature and who they really are and the reality of the impermanence of this life and the world around us. They will find that suffering is an inevitable, and it that suffering is the state of the world which is mired in greed and attachment. The one deemed ‘mad’ for once has accomplished a rare task- they have completely detached. But this detachment is only from the typical standards of the world. They remain haunted by the visions of their previous life. They cannot escape it, and thus they become anxious and paranoid that something or someone will pull them back to that painful existence. At times, rage comes forward as the reaction to challenges, but who would not be outraged if their voice was suppressed and they became the scapegoat for the problems of their families or those around them? Those deemed ‘mad’, feeling always alone, depart to a world where they remain alone from people, yet may create for themselves beings who give them comfort and solace. This is really the end of their search, to simply be accepted and loved. But here too lies a problem, for when their lives have been devoid of love and they receive unconditional love, it becomes like an overwhelming fire that consumes them. They have never been loved, so how can they respond to an outpouring of love? When all they knew was that oppression and coercion was said to be because ‘we love you’, when ‘love’ really was only about control, how can the person then understand genuine love? Once again, the confusion sets in. To reach the person who has been deemed ‘mad’, we cannot overwhelm. Our sincerity will not be enough, for there trust has been shattered time and time again. It is only through entering their world for what it is, by joining in, and learning to speak the language, can we ourselves begin to understand the experience of these individuals. It is only by this joining in that the person may have the chance for their journey known as ‘madness’ to reach a transformative ending towards recovery.


It appears that many children who are high energy are targeted to be subdued and drugged. It seems that adults cannot possibly tolerate such a child. It annoys them. They want the child to conform and to not disturb their cozy little worlds. We would like to make our children disordered rather than looking at the disorder of our society.
Now lets imagine an idea- that children are equals. God forbid! How could be suggest such an awful idea? Why these children are born with an inherent nature to cause trouble, we need to control them for their own good!
It is always been the desire to control, and particularly claiming we are doing this for 'someone's own good' that has led to oppression and numerous evils.
But children are fellow human beings, they are capable of reflective thought, they indeed are capable of responsibility. Children need adutls to love and guide them, but they can be rational beings if we do not stifle them or cause them trauma. It is often adult interference that creates the harm to children more often than their own independent actions.

Monday, December 04, 2006


My recent book, "Children Our Treasure" is now available to be ordered at my website

This book is a critical analysis of bio-psychiatry and gives a detailed plan for creating a relationship based, humane, and dignified mental health system.


Recently I read a text describing the Summerhill school in Britain, an amazing program geared towards the freedom of children and encouraging their individuality, expression, and creativity.
A comment that struck me is that today we are very concerned about truancy, but have little concern at looking at students who conform to the day to day system with all its flaws. It has always been when we 'just went with the flow' and failed to question that the greatest of evils in history occurred. Our methods of dealing with truancy should not be based on punishment. Instead, we must really take a close look at just how our education system is impacting our children. Just why is it that some children are so avoidant of the experience called school? Why is the process of learning, something that should be a joy and delight, become such a boring, miserable experience for many children? How can we re-create schools to be sanctuaries where children thrive and are excited about the possibilities of sharing new ideas and learning new concepts. What has gone wrong in our education system, and why do we blame the child rather than looking at the real problem?


It was suggested to me of the compariSon between some mental health professionals and the concept of 'prostitution'. Let me explain. With prostitution, an individual pays the prostitute for a service. Both know this is not a real relationship. Each get what they want, one sexual favors, the prostiute payment.
So it is with some mental health professionals. Some feign to care, listen to, and understand their client, but in reality it is the dollar that really matters.
It would be ideal if we could create a mental health system based on private, voluntary donations that would help sustain those in the helping professions while they provide sincere care that is humane, dignified, and based on being genuine.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


I received a recent e-mail today that caused me to ponder in regards to the term IEP or "individualized Education Plan". Why is it that the only way to receive such a plan is to be labeled and stigmatized on the school records with a 'mental disorder' or some other impairment? Wouldn't it be wonderful if EVERY child had an INDIVIDUALIZED education plan and that they did not have to bear a label to have their educational needs met and their various strengths, creativity, and learning style respected?

-Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


How do we create a mental health system that meets the actual needs of persons? How do we create a more humane and dignified mental health system?
First, we must depart from the conception of a ‘medical model’ and biological determinism which states that all problems of life are to be attributed to be ‘chemical imbalance’ in the brain. There is nothing which substantiates this conception of chemical imbalances and time and time again psychiatrists themselves have been unable to conclusively prove this theory. Instead, it allows for more oppressive and dangerous ‘treatments’ to arise.
We must move towards post-psychiatry. What is to be implied by this is that we must completely deconstruct the current paradigm based on the medical model. The entire paradigm must change to allow us to develop a system where person’s voices are actually heard and their experiences respected.
Second, therapists need to no longer function along the lines of prostitution. What I mean by this is that when a person hires a prostitute, the prostitute receives payment and the person receives sexual satisfaction. Neither thinks that this is a real relationship. So it is with some therapists, a person makes payment to the therapist expecting to have someone who might listen and be concerned. However, the therapist does not offer a genuine relationship but instead is more focused on receiving the payment for their services. It would be a positive conception of mental health services could be offered without payment; however those who dedicate themselves to the human services do need to be able to survive. Therefore, I suggest that we no longer have a system based on insurance billing and fees where a person must be given a diagnosis, but rather privately funded charitable organizations that provide services to those who voluntarily request them. If the system is privatized and voluntary, then those organizations that are not humane and dignified and do not provide actual help for people will gradually fade away by individuals being less willing to fund them.
Third, as in the Soteria project as designed by Dr. Loren Mosher, it was found that it did not take so called ‘experts’ to meet the emotional needs of seriously distressed individuals. Rather, individuals from the community who listen, care, offer compassionate support can be far more helpful to a person than those possessing many credentials.
Fourth, the mental health system needs to be completely in tune with the voices of its consumers. It must respect their autonomy and not force various ‘treatments’ upon them. The person must have complete freedom of choice in their decisions about how they will receive mental health services.
Fifth, there needs to be a complete moratorium on the psychiatric drugging of children. We have no long term studies about many of the psychiatric drugs given to children and we are finding that these drugs are producing psychosis, suicidality, mania, violence, and many other dilemmas. In clinical trials, they are short in duration so therefore it is no wonder that psychiatric drugs would appear to be more effective than psycho-social interventions which are more long term. You cannot possibly measure psycho-social intervention which would have a longer lasting impact in the long term in a 6 week study. The psychiatric drugs however only subdue behavior and never address the core problem. How is it different for individuals to use an illicit substance versus a prescribed substance to alter their moods? There are little differences between these drugs other than one being sanctioned by a medical doctor.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


“A child born today in the United Kingdom stands a ten times greater chance of being admitted to a mental hospital than to a university ... This can be taken as an indication that we are driving our children mad more effectively than we are genuinely educating them. Perhaps it is our way of educating them that is driving them mad.”
R.D. Laing


In my work with autistic children I have found that there is significant power in 'joining in'. When I wrote the article, "Entering Their Imaginative World", this is what I was referring to by this title. We do not coerce the children to do things as our world sees them, but we seek to enter, understand, and respect the autistic child's world. Through this joining in, such simple things as hopping on one foot with a child who is hopping on one foot, I have seen an extraordinary development of communication and relationship. It was this very process of joining in where I personally saw a 3 year old non-verbal child who frequently engaged in self-stimulatory behaviors move towards communication through reciprocal dialogue, taking my hand and leading me to play with him and a peer, and the building of relationship.
I relate this story from John Clay's book R.D. Laing: A Divided Self. In this quote it describes one of Laing's times where he joined in with a person undergoing serious emotional distress and relationship was forged. Though certainly an unorthodox approach, it worked because it involved joining in and realizing that what may appear to others as seemingly meaningless behavior is meaningful for the individual.
"While still in Chicago, Laing was invited by some doctors to examine a young girl diagnosed as schizophrenic. The girl was locked into a padded cell in a special hospital, and sat there naked. She usually spent the whole day rocking to and fro. The doctors asked Laing for his opinion. What would he do about her? Unexpectedly, Laing stripped off naked himself and entered her cell. There he sat with her, rocking in time to her rythm. After about twenty minutes she started speaking, something she had not done for several months. The doctors were amazed. 'Did it never occur to you to do that?' Laing commented to them later, with feigned innocence. (pp. 170-171)"

-Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Bracken and Thomas (2001) discuss in the British Medical Journal the conception of 'post-psychiatry." In this, they conclude that the field of mental health should become more democratic and that there should be no coercion. Individuals who are consumers should have more voice in the care they receive. In addition, ethics should take precedent over technology. They discuss how that individuals have seen that science and technology have failed in reducing human distress. Post-psychiatry also examines social and cultural contexts. Post-psychiatry also seeks to look at the experiences of individuals (even if looked upon as psychotic or 'madness' by others) as meaningful. The experiences have an inherent meaning and there should be exploration of how these relate to the core person. Bracker and Thomas state that post-psychiatry does not seek to develop any new concepts of what causes 'madness' but rather open the door to the client's expression and to provide them a voice. They state that anti-psychiatry looked upon psychiatry as repressive and based on an erroneous medical model and that psychiatry contended that those in the anti-psychiatry movement were merely fueled by their own ideology. Bracker and Thomas state that both groups thought there was a definitive way of looking at why mental distress occurs. However, post-psychiatry does not concern itself with this question.

Monday, October 23, 2006


We need to move to post-psychiatry. As long as the medical conception of our work is employed, there will be fraud and oppression. I was once challenged to define my work without use of terms such as 'clinical', 'therapy', "patient", etc.
What my role is is to empower people to become effective in their lives, to be able to make decisions and cope in ways that provide them the greatest benefit. We cannot eradicate pain and suffering, and at times it is this natural feeling that we need to let us know that 'we exist' and through pain and suffering we are often taught great lessons.
It is time as well that we stop functioning at the level of prostitutes, offering some sort of relationship and sense of one who 'listens and understands' while our sole intention is to make money. Financial gain cannot be the main factor in the helping professions but it appears in psychiatry it is often the only thing thought of. Managed care companies do not want counseling which might be longer term but actually teach a person new skills, but want drugs which are cheaper and control and subdue the person.
What is disturbing that the the true desire to help others build stronger relationships and have happier lives is seen as merely an 'alternative' to psychiatric drugs which are thought to do the same. Such work is not an alternative, it is what should be done period, and it often does not take a professional to build a relationship with a person that leads them out of distress. One should ask what the difference is between the drug dealer on the street and the psychiatrist. Both push drugs. Both make money. Both seek to give the person something that will 'mellow them out." The only differences are who profits, and that the dealer is not sanctioned by the law.
Szasz mentioned that child psychiatry cannot be reformed, it must be abolished. I wholeheartedly agree. We must embark on a completely new path in the helping professions, discarding all the trappings of the medical model and the fraud it entails.


The FDA safety officials had reported, "The most important finding of this review is that signs and symptoms of psychosis or mania, particularly hallucinations occur in some patients with no identifiable risk factors, at usual does of any of the current drugs for ADHD."
Gwen Olsen who had been a former pharmeceutical representative reported, "(anti-psychotics) clamp down on the central nervous system. In fact they reduce your mobility...sort of like a chemical straight-jacket."

The reason why we are seeing higher rates of violence in children in the US is solely because we are inducing it! We are placing more on more children on brain disabling drugs that can cause psychosis and mania.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


It appears unfortunate that educators have been duped into the fraud of ADHD. It is intereating to note the dramatic increase in the diagnosis of ADHD once the IDEA act was changed and the door was opened for schools to obtain additional funding based on an ADHD diagnosed child. Schools have signs implying a 'drug free zone', gbut psychiatric drugs are being constantly pupmed into schools often at the coercion of school officials. There is no evidence whatsoever of a 'chemical imbalance' in regards to ADHD and this was confirmed by the NIMH Consensus Conference. Examining my article, "Understanding the True Needs of Children Diagnosed as ADHD" on my website at danedmunds.com explores this further and in more detail. The entire diagnosis of ADHD is subjective and it exonerates educators from providing the tranquil and conducive envrionment for learning that treats each child as an individual. Rcently, a teacher stated that she felt the child has a 'chemical imbalance' and equated his supposed disorder with 'heart disease." First, heart disease can be confirmed with objective tests and is a real physical abnormality. The person experiences physical signs of distress. But with ADHD, who is distressed? The child is not suffering, it is the teacher who is annoyed by the behavior. ADHD is mainly a listing of behaviors which adults find most distressing. The teacher was asked to show how she knew he had a 'chemical imbalance' and just what does a correct balance look like? There was no response other than to say that in her many years of teaching, this was one of the most hyperactive kids she had seen. Again, subjective. Where are the tests, and again there was no answer as to why the child was overly active or exactly why this is necessarily a problem. Nor was there really any attempt to discuss the child's particular learning style and assess what could be done to make learning a positive experience. I am impressed with the free school movement. Here we see a setting for kids who would typically be drugged into submission to stale educational environments allowed the individual expression, peer mediation, and the opportunity to share their creativity in a caring, supportive environment. Why is it that behavioral concerns are minimal if almost non-existent in such environments? Where is the disorder? With our children. No. it is with our society and its institutions who fail our children, and who want to froce them into conformity by labeling and drugging.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Many programs for autistics today are designed to change the person from being an autistic to being 'typical'. Some of these strategies are done by coercive and also aversive means. Such approaches as ABA and its spin-off verbal behavior are paramount to treating individuals in an animalistic fashion and based on stimulus-response. Such strategies may cause a person to become more compliant and even robotic but does not give them any real context for developing new skills. It forces them to enter a world that is foreign to them.
Instead, approaches towards helping autistics should be focused on self-determination, respect, and dignity. Rather than forcing them to conformity to the world of 'typicals', it should have others seek to enter and understand their worlds and to help the autistic to be able to navigate through the challenges presented by the mainstream. Programs should also respect the unique means of perceptions and talents that autistics do present with.
Also, one who is autistic today will be autistic tomorrow. Why do we look at being autistic automatically as a dilemma? Why do we need to 'treat' these individuals, and exactly what is it that we are 'treating' and what is our definition of what 'works'? Is our objective to force an autistic to act as a typical? Is that 'treatment'? Would it be ethical for us to force assimilation on an ethnic minority? Rather, if we are to employ 'treatment' at all, it should be to help the person be able to navigate through the foreign world of the mainstream, not to try to change those things which are an intrinsic part of their being. Various programs should eliminate coercion and force and return to the need to respect the uniqueness, creativity, and individual differences present in those who are autistic.


it is interesting to note that the psychiatric profession often resorts to prescribing anti-psychotic drugs (always off label) to children under 18 who have autism. These children often have been exposed to environmental toxins which have contributed to their condition. The psychiatrist's answer is not to address the core issues but rather to introduce an additional toxin. When the child is sedated and becomes more compliant, they can claim success, however they have done nothing other than disable the brain of the child. Psychiatry can offer nothing more than a toxic 'solution'.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I came across an article today featuring a study suggesting that 1/3 of children diagnosed with ADHD had been exposed to lead or to the effects of cigarette smoking by the mother during pregnancy. First, ADHD is not a disease in itself, but a cluster of behaviors. Second, if 1/3 of children showing this behaviors have been lead poisoned (even if at a minimal level) or impacted by cigarette smoking, that is to say, if 1/3 of children diagnosed with ADHD have been exposed to toxins, then why is it that psychiatrists choose to 'treat' these children with another toxin- psychotropic drugs?

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


The role of bio-psychiatric intervention is to correct a supposed 'chemical imbalance' of which there is no evidence to substantiate. The mental health profession seeks to typically 'treat' the various clusters of behavior considered deviant often through coercive means. But where in any of this is the experience of individuals examined? Today's mental health professionals function as an arm of the law and of social control. What truly should be the role of a therapist?
The therapist should rather be a coach in the process of the person finding identity and examining their experiences and how their thinking shapes who they are and what they become. The therapist should be present to offer reflective dialogue to the person as to what impedes their success and happiness. The therapist is present to empower the person, not to control. Anxiety is as a result of fear but its catalyst is always a past experience. Depression is a result of despair. But where does despair originate but from past experiences. What is termed psychosis is often as Laing states "balancing between fear and loneliness'. It is a state of chronic terror also once again shaped by experiences. It is necessary then to examine the worldview of the person- What have they thought of their experiences? Where are they going and where do they want to be? We can change our worlds by changing our minds.
Distress fades as we begin to construct a path of meaning, and the therapist's role is to be a fellow soul journeying on this path, listening, reflecting.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


I would like to know what your supposed "scientific screening tools" consist of. Your colleagues vote 'disorders' in and out of the DSM. There are certainly political machinations at work. Take for example, homosexuality, once considered a 'disorder', now no longer. Why?
The premise of bio-psychiatry today is to consider these various contrived disorders as the product of a 'chemical imbalance', however there exists no such thing. Even Sharfstein, the president of the APA acknowledged this by stating that 'there is no clear cut test for chemical imbalances." If you read my presentation, "Thinking Outside the Bio-Psychiatric Paradigm", you will find other references in this regard. In the early 1900's the idea was that 'humoral imbalances', improper blood flow to the brain caused mental illness which led to the development of a number of oppressive treatments.
Each era has contrived a new conception of the causation of mental illness, and the 'treatments' often are oppressive.
I would like to see your evidence that the various disorders listed in the DSM are 'diseases'. When we imply 'disease' we are implying a physical abnormality. What do we find in an autopsy of those who are labeled 'mentally ill"? There is no evidence of a physical abnormality.
You make the claim that you address 'symptoms', thus this is an admission that you are not getting to the root cause of anything but merely masking something by subduing behaviors. People are becoming reliant on mood altering drugs to cope with these 'symptoms', but how would it be any different for an individual to choose to use recreational drugs or have a few shots of whiskey to 'tone down' after a stressful day. What really is the difference between some of the prescribed drugs versus illicit drugs? One is better solely because we have the MD okaying it?

In regards to my statement, " "We are looking for externals, particularly drugs, to resolve our problems. But they do not, and in some instances our children have commited suicide and children on stimulants have developed psychosis. I assume psychiatrists can say they have 'treated' the problem, as these children are no longer hyperactive, depressed, etc., rather they are dead."
I offer no apology as psychiatrists certainly have offered no apology to the children or their families who I have seen who have experienced the damaging effects of psychiatry. Many families have sought my aid and I have worked alongside their pediatricians because they developed such things as tardive dyskinesia, psychosis, or became suicidal because of the 'treatments' offered by psychiatry.
And I am also aware of families of those who lost their children because of psychiatric drugs. Thus, I can again say with no apology, that psychiatry thinks it has a solution to the problems, but the solution offered led to harm. It is a violation of the oath as a physician to do no harm.
Where did people turn prior to the 'wonders' of psychiatry, think about that. Psychiatry has become a replacement for actually seeking meaning, it has become a replacement for spirituality. But- among those in the medical field- psychiatrists have the highest divorce rate, highest addiction rate, highest suicide rate. The majority of training is not in counseling, but rather diagnosing and prescription- thus psychiatrists have no real ability to counsel and not even having their own lives in order, how can they really expect to tell others how to live?

You chide me for stating that 'psychiatrists can say they have treated xyz, but these children are dead." I am not implying that death is a treatment. I am implying that the treatments have caused death in a number of situations or has led to harm. Psychiatry interprets many things as 'progress' which is not. The practice of lobotomy was justified in that though the person after this procedure really had no mind or soul, this did not matter as the person no longer was a disturbance to others. Thus this was seen as 'progress'. Or another example- a child is overly sedated, cannot hardly speak, has impaired functioning from the medications, yet the psychiatrist says, "well, at least he is not aggressive."
Because something can be 'scientifically validated' does not make it good or ethical. Science is important, but so is ethics. There was a study in the late 60's in which using electroshock on children with autism was seen to curb problematic behaviors. This study was scientifically validated but was this an ethical practice? I could probably validate that strapping a child to a chair would reduce hyperactivity, but is this ethical? Is giving often addictive, mind altering substances which we are finding can lead to neurological impairment or psychosis or suicide, is this ethical, even if we can validate that it may subdue 'symptoms'?

It is interesting that you mention the Nazis in your e-mail, as it was psychiatrists who were an integral part of Hitler's network. In the former Soviet Union, political dissidents were labeled mentally ill and tortured by psychiatrists. And more recently, Karadzic in Bosnia was a psychiatrist who was responsible for innumerable war crimes.

The recent school shootings- all of them (except the ones whose medical records are sealed) all received psychiatric care and were either on or withdrawing from a psychiatric drug. Psychiatric drugs induce violence. The FDA is learning that slowly. The British seem to be getting it before us Americans particularly in their ban of Paxil.
You state that you have had individuals who have stated, "you saved my life." First, this implies your arrogance to think that you did anything. When I look at my role as a therapist, I am only a coach, I am there to empower people. If anything changes, it is not my doing but the work of the client themself. Second, you might have provided a temporary ease to their pain and suffering by offering them something to alter their mood, but take this away and they are where? Have you really helped to resolve their inner conflicts or distress? And particularly, if you prescribed them an anti-depressant, they may never be able to get of the drug because the withdrawal effect is so awful. And just how long will they have to take your drugs? Will they become a life long consumer?

Lastly, it is so nice to know that with psychiatry so much 'good' can be done while making so much money.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Monday, August 21, 2006


I had the wonderful opportunity to appear as a guest on the "Take America Back" radio program with Bruce Wiseman, the president of CCHR in the US.

In this program, I detailed my view that bio-psychiatry has become a replacement for spiritual values and the seeking of meaning and is a religion which has its credo and sacraments. Bio-Psychiatry is based on the premise that behaviors are the result of chemical accidents. See my article on "The Religion of Bio-Psychiatry" listed below.

Monday, July 31, 2006


I came across an advertisement today for Adderall XR that featured Ty Pennington. He describes his difficulties as a child behaviorally and how that he now takes Adderall XR and it has worked wonders for him and that when he takes it he does not feel 'sped up'. Well, Ty, sorry to say, you are taking speed. Adderall is a combo of amphetamine salts. Now, go to the bottom of the ad and you will find warnings about increase of vocal tics and Tourettes, the possibility of the development of aggression and mania, and the potential for suicidal thought. So- is it worth the risk to treat a disorder for which there exists no actual test and which was merely voted into existence by a show of hands at a APA committee. The drug companies must really enjoy having a noted person such as Pennington, but parents need to read beyond Pennington's brief statements (for which he is being paid a pretty penny.)
It is not to say that children cannot have challenging behaviors, but this does not imply that this is a disease, there is no evidence of such. There are certainly more healthful solutions towards addressing children's behavioral challenges than drugging them into compliance. It just happens to take a lot of effort, but where do people want to put forth effort in today's society?

Sunday, July 16, 2006


I read today an article discussing that up to a quarter of children attending summer camps are tkaing various psychiatric drugs, and that now they line up in the morning where nurses or others dispense these drugs.
One psychiatrist states: "There is no doubt that kids are more medicated than they used to be,"
said Dr. Edward Walton, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the
University of Michigan and an expert on camp medicine for the American
Academy of Pediatrics. "And we know that the people prescribing these
drugs are not that precise about diagnosis. So the percentage
Another psychiatrist argued that these drugs help these kids be able to attend camp where they might not be able to function as well.
These camps have existed for many years and there was never such a precedent. The drugs being used such as Risperdal are not even indicated for or tested on children. They carry serious warnings about tardive dyskinesia. Are camp staff really trained and able to recognize adverse events that may occur to children on these drugs?
25% of kids in these camps need a drug? For a subjective disorder? When will it end? It is indeed possible the with the current trend and the public's enchantment with the fraud of bio-psychiatry, that we may very well may end up with the majority of children taking some sort of mind-altering substance. And how does this fair with our supposed War on Drugs? Legal drugs are considered acceptable whereas ilicit ones are not even though the characteristics and profiles of some all of these drugs are often similar? Bio-psychiatrists appear to be nothing more than legalized drug dealers. Their ethics are on the same level as the drug pusher on the street. The illicit drug dealer is out for themselves but also on some level probably feel they are giving a desired product to help people 'escape' from troubles. The psychiatrist promotes drugs under the guise of help as well. The difference is that the psychiatirst is sanctioned by the government. It is about social control. The illicit drug dealer though is not sanctioned and will end up in jail. You can take an amphetamine that is prescribed by a psychiatrist and there will be no consequences to you. Have an amphetamine that is not prescribed in your possession and you will be carted off to prison.
What is going on with a society where our children line up for drugs as they would their orange juice or breakfast in the morning?

-Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Today I happened to share with some colleagues information about adverse events of psychotropic drugs as well as information on black box warnings. I shared the greater need for informed consent. The question posed to me was, "is there an alternative?" When I answered "yes', this was followed by, "well, we need training in this alternative." Therefore, this is where the problem lies- the level of training and how mental health professionals are indoctrinated. Only 2% of medical schools train in counseling, thus psychiatrists are solely taught to prescribe, not to counsel. The alternative lies in relationship based approaches and such programs as the Caregiver's Skills Program for children who have been considered to have disruptive behaviors. The alternative lies in educating and training parents to become more involved with their children. In addition, it requires us to take an active stand for social justice and improvements in education where the root of many children's challenges lie. It requires us to not look upon children as 'diseased', this is a fraud, but more than capable with the correct mentoring, guidance, and affection to develop into stable human beings capable of self-control. Therefore, in addition to educating on the dangers of psychiatric drugs, it is necessary for us to be actively involved in showing that indeed there is a more healthful way to meeting our children's needs.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Dr. Edmunds is continuing to see new clients for consultation. He is working mainly with those who have received the diagnosis of autism or schizophrenia using a relationship based approach. You may contact Dr. Edmunds at


It is common that those who are challenging the bio-psychiatric paradigm and raise concern about the psychiatric drugging of children are often considered to be linked with the Church of Scientology.
First, this was common in previous eras where anyone with divergent views was labeled a Communist- the age of McCarthyism.
Second, in my viewpoint, all religious groups have rights to tolerance whether we agree with them or not. Scientologists just happen to be opposed to bio-psychiatry. Therefore, we should ask why other religious groups have not also considered the harm done by bio-psychiatry.
To me, it would make no difference whether I was alligning with Hasidic Jews, Muslims, Christians, or Scientologists, if the cause for which they are struggling for is ethical and just.
Thus, I am pleased to join forces with the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights International in its pledge to create a more humane mental health system. This is something we should all strive for regardless of our religious upbrining or affiliation.

-Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Monday, June 26, 2006


What is defined as schizophrenia and psychosis is typically a state of chronic fear and terror. These individuals have been shattered by trauma. Within them, mental images of past events continue to haunt them. The inner voice (or conscience) which we all possess becomes amplified to a level where visual and auditory hallucinations become present. Grandiose thoughts arise as an attempt to either stave off depression or to escape from the painful reality of a distressing situation and disordered world. Anti-psychotics have been used to diminish the hallucinations and other distressing behaviors, but they have never addressed the reactions of the person and the underlying trauma and factors that has led them to seek a departure from defined reality. Therefore, in collaborating with these individuals, we must meet them in their sense of reality. We must join in respectfully and in a dignified manner, slowly and gently addressing the various disturbances in thought process. We must uncover the hidden traumas and seek to 'be with' the person as they develop new coping mechanisms. It is entirely possible for individuals even in the states of severe mental anguish and distress to recover. And it is indeed possible for this to be accomplished without the addition of toxic drugs. The key is relationship. That is what these individuals are lacking and need. They need to know that there may be exist, if even but one, stable and loving relationship in a world so often filled with pain.

-Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.


In today's society we have become so preoccupied with mundane things that we have lost sight of our treasure- our children. In every aspect of society, children are receiving less than what they deserve. Quality time and affection are lacking in families. It is few moments that we take to seek to understand their emotional world and to truly expand our relationship. The education system has failed our children by training them to become good test takers but now endowing them with real skills to succeed and not providing them opportunities to explore their own strengths and inner qualities. It is no wonder that psychiatric diagnoses such as ADHD abound in American society. However, the attention deficit is often not with our children but is rather with the society itself. We have failed to give our children the needed attention. As a result, they react in various ways, sometimes hostily, in order to alert us to our distress. Instead of hearing their distressed voices, we instead resort to drugging them or ordering them into submission to a disordered world.

-Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


As I have reviewed in a number of articles and can be seen in the literature, stimulant medications for children have not shown improvements in academic performance or pro-social skills in the long term and there exists adverse effects. Of more serious concern is the possibility of some children developing psychosis. Anti-depressants in children have been linked with suicidal ideation in some children. Anti-psychotics can lead to tardive dyskinesia.
Therefore, it is my view that with children it is very risky and dangerous business to subject them to psychiatric drugging. In addition, children have little if no voice in the matter as to how it makes them feel or if they agree to taking these drugs. Therefore, psychiatric drugging of children needs to be curbed.
In situations where an actual physical abnormality can be demonstrated and where the person is exhibiting self-harm or harm to others, the use of a psychiatric drug could be considered but not as a long term solution. An example would be in a situation where a person has traumatic brain injury and is self-harming. With adults, they are able to be given informed consent. Therefore, an adult who chooses to use a psychiatric drug being made fully aware of possible adverse effects, this is entirely their perogative. The issue is informed consent with adults.

Monday, June 05, 2006


I recall a child who came to me for an evaluation for wraparound services. This was my first encounter with the child. He entered the room staggering and swaying, barely unable to keep his eyes open. He almost fell out of his seat and his speech was slurred. When I commented to the parent that the child looked highly sedated, the parent responded, 'well, at least he's not aggressive." This led me to conclude that this parent was actually looking at this child's miserable state as progress.
All psychotropic drug effects occur by disabling the brain. Because a child becomes more subdued does not mean that there has been any real progress. The child has not learned any new skills. They have not learned self-control, they have merely been chemically strait jacketed. People are not understanding the damaging effects of psychiatric drugs on the brains and development of children. They are looking at children as being more subdued in their behaviors but failing to understand how these effects come about. Children may miss a dose of a psychotropic drug and their behavior becomes dramatically worse. Then it is said that, "oh, they missed their medication, they need their medication." But think of it this way, there is little if no difference between many prescribed drugs and illicit drugs. A drug addict who does not have his fix becomes quite crazed. This does not mean the addict actually needs more of the drug, though it may appear this way and he may feel he needs more of it. So it is with children on psychotropic drugs. When they miss their dose, their behavior can become erratic. But this does not mean they need the drug or need more drugs. It means that they are having a rebound effect.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.