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The Rosenhan Experiment

Open discussion about the Anti-Psychiatry Movement and related topics. This includes the opposition to forced treatment and hospitalization as well as the belief that Psychiatric Medication does more harm than good. Please note that these topics are controversial and therefore this forum may offend some people. This is not the belief of Psych Forums or Get Mental Help and this forum was posted to offer a safe place to discuss these beliefs.

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The Rosenhan Experiment

Postby Darktolight74 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:41 am

The Rosenhan Experiment is to me one of the most significant studies done on the validity of psychiatric diagnosis. The study was actually conducted by a psychologist David Rosenhan. What he found was that even ordinary behavior can me labeled as symptoms of mental illness under certain conditions. He sent 8 psuedopatients, 3 women and five men, to different psychiatric hospitals all faking so called symptoms of mental illness. All were admitted. Once they got in they were told to act normally. What’s funny about the study is that they were told to take notes on the staff and the psychiatrists; they did this right out in the open. There note taking was actually seen by the staff as a symptom of their mental illness. Even though they really didn’t have any so called “mental illnesses” in order to get released they had admit the psychiatrists were right. All were diagnosed as schizophrenic. For anyone who is interested you can read about the study here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosenhan_experiment

What the study confirms is the strong confirmation bias that exists in the mental illness system and behaviors that would be seen as normal can be used as evidence of symptoms. Even in the case of what many may consider odd behavior, for example talking to oneself which could be a defense mechanism to combat severe isolation and loneliness, is used to stigmatize the person rather than seeing this with compassion and empathy and what this person needs is friendship not being treated at a distance and labeled as mentally ill.

In my opinion the mental illness system is also creating societal confirmation bias; everyone seems to be running around labeling anyone they don’t like as mentally ill, such as narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve dealt with bullies in the past and come from a family where I was the scapegoat but I don’t believe the people who treated me this way were narcissistic since personality disorders don’t really exist, its people’s upbringing and society that creates people like this. Also it’s a personal choice the way people behave; this is another aspect of mental illness that can serve as something positive for those who act this way, it takes away responsibility for ones actions. My point is that psychiatry is creating a society that lacks empathy and understanding between people.
Hopefully people will one day wake up and realize this whole thing is nothing more than pseudoscience. But because of relentless propaganda by the mh system it could be a long time before that happens.
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Re: The Rosenhan Experiment

Postby DaturaInnoxia » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:52 am

I've always found the Rosenhan Experiment validating: to know there's some evidence that this type of thing happens.

It would be ideal if there were fake patients randomly circulating psych facilities (all facilities actually) on a regular basis to whistle blow on mistreatment too.

The trend of people calling everyone they don't like a narcissist is more about dramatization, pointing the finger, and building up what they went through.
If you can't have (or be) the best of the best, you need to have (or be) the worst of the worst.

I question how valid personality disorders are too sometimes - especially when defined by what they do rather than their stories and how they have and continue to respond to their "story."

It seems way too vague and can really work against individuals.

Then again, many mental disorders are too vague - especially when it comes to causes and conditions.

I've had a variety of bad experiences; however, I'm lucky enough to have the insight to have figured out how to make the system work for me (or at least what little it can offer me), but sometimes that can be like walking a tightrope
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Re: The Rosenhan Experiment

Postby KingOfAntipsychiatry » Fri Jul 09, 2021 10:43 pm

Rosenhan experiment happened in 1973. Even now there are people who fake having mental illness to get drugs proving psychiatry diagnosing hasn't improved much from 1973. Diagnoses in psychiatry are based entirely on behavioral, not biological, criteria. Psychiatrists diagnose depression by asking the patient how he feels and whether his sleeping, eating and other behaviors have changed. Psychiatrists diagnose attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by asking the patient, family members and others about the patient’s tendency to get distracted, act impulsively and so on. Psychiatrists don't use any scientific test (Brain scan, DNA test, chemical imbalance in brain test) to diagnose people with mental illness.
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