I am doing a workshop again this year in UCC titled  ’Critical Perspectives on and Beyond the Therapy Industry’ thanks to critical thinking lecturers in the university. My workshop is titled’ Beyond Psychiatry - Beyond Experts - Beyond Therapy - Back to Ourselves’  It is not easy  to have views outside the box in any fixed system and the educational system is no exception.


 One of the first lecturers I got to know many years ago was Lydia Sapouna.  She is from Greece and  is lively and not afraid to show her emotions.  I initially met her in Tullamore in 2002 where I spoke  in public for the first time.  We got to know each other and we continue to work together ever since.  She  has  also helped many other survivors of psychiatric oppression find their voices. It was speaking out that helped me to value myself, find my true self and  each day continue to grow in confidence.  This would have been almost impossible if I did not get safely free from the drugs which, for decades, continued to alter my true self.  I later got to know more open minded lecturers like Harry Gijbels, Rick Deedy, Orla O’Donovan and Kathy Glavanis and each of them in their own way are turning the wheels of revolution at the University College Cork.


This year yet another lecturer called Karen McCarthy is doing a workshop on Thursday as part of the CVNI conference titled’ A Doing Therapy: Exploring Occupational Therapy as Another Way to Support People in Distress’  I know Karen for a few years having first met her when MindFreedom Ireland spoke as a group at the launch  of  Dylan Tighe’s outstanding play called  ‘Record’ 2011.  She supports our work and has invited our musical group  ‘A little help from my friends” to play and talk  to  her students each November ever since.  It is so good to witness how she is a lecturer with a difference and how the students love and respect Karen.  She is not afraid to be herself.  It is not surprising then that she does not advocate labelling people and putting them into boxes.   She is a breath of fresh air, an inspiration to other lecturers to let down their hair and trust themselves.   Maybe when we have more lecturers like Lydia and Karen the gates of academia will open  and students will be critical thinkers with loving hearts and a minds of their own!


Mary Maddock 9th November 2015

"There is no evidence that what is accepted every second of every day by society — so-called ‘mental illness’ — exists.   Yet those who get these pseudo-diagnoses have not got the legal right to decide for themselves.  As Hebriana said, more than 30 years ago, “we might as well be dead”!

Without any medical evidence, and yet reinforced with the strong arm of legal fiction, we continue to be deprived of our humanity.  As the late and great professor Thomas Szasz said,

“Classifying persons as mental patients and creating legal fictions involving human beings leads to the same results:  The person, concealed behind a mask, is rendered less than fully human or even completely non human.”"





In a Sunday newspaper in 2001, Mary read an article entitled ‘The Doctor, who won’t do Drugs.’ It was written to mark the publication of a new book ‘Beyond Prozac’ by Limerick-based Dr. Terry Lynch. In our co-authored book, ‘Soul Survivor – A Personal Encounter with Psychiatry’, Mary describes her first meeting with Terry. “I was so inspired and encouraged by the article and the book that I wanted to thank him personally. I managed to locate his phone number and spoke to him for the first time. I subsequently met him a number of times and the enthusiasm and sincerity of the man were like a good tonic. From the word go, he believed in me as a survivor just as much as I believed in him as a professional and above all as a good thinker, someone who didn’t take things at face value and had the courage of his convictions. He listened to me, encouraged me and his great understanding of the psychiatric system greatly helped me.” 


Published in Mad In America Blog by Jim Maddock, MindFreedom Ireland






Now you can watch our informative evening with Dr Terry Lynch here:



Most of all last night was an example of how a small group of committed people could encourage the busy Cork public to take time out to discover the truth about the myth of the chemical brain imbalance.

Patrice Campion came all the way from the north of Ireland and helped all of us to be relaxed while she asked Terry very important questions about his new book. Then as the night went on the audience spontaneously continued to take part in an open dialogue with Terry.
Regular people from ‘Stand By Me’ had a surprise birthday celebration cake for a ‘mature’ MindFreedom Ireland member in appreciation of his loyal support followed by a communal, resounding rendering of ‘ Sing it from the Mountains’ lead by Susan Mendez.
At the end of a most informative night, Colette Ni Dhuinneacha, Mary Maddock and John Sawkins lead a lively ‘Survivor Speak Out’ to which many others also contributed. John came all the way from Edinburgh!
Over a hundred people were present and a special thanks to Jerry O’Mullane who filmed the event which will soon be available on www.mindfreedomireland.com
When the event was over some people continued to enjoy the night with Terry and Marianne who hopes to write her own book. We look forward to it! You can hear Terry again on the George Hook Newstalk radio show this afternoon.
A big thank to everyone who helped to make this important night possible!





(Widely accepted beliefs about depression, chemical imbalances, the medical profession and the brain)


Limerick physician, psychotherapist, author and mental health activist Dr. Terry Lynch will address an audience in Cork on Tuesday September 8th to mark the publication of his new book ‘Depression Delusion - The Myth of The Brain Chemical Imbalance.’


In the book, Dr. Lynch challenges the widely proclaimed theory expounded by psychiatry that depression results from a chemical imbalance in the brain.  He states that there is no scientific evidence or medical test to support this theory which he prefers to refer to as a ‘myth’ akin to a religious belief backed up by vested interests in the pharmaceutical industry.


For years the psychiatric profession and many GPs have sold the chemical imbalance theory to the extent of having it now widely accepted by the general public.  This, Dr. Lynch states, is serious misinformation, a falsehood as untrue as the flat earth myth of past centuries.


Psychiatrist Dr. Joanna Moncrieff of University College London states that Dr. Lynch “ has given one of the most pervasive and harmful myths of modern times a thorough debunking”.  American psychiatrist Peter Breggin describes Dr. Lynch’s book as “an inestimable service to the health professionals and to humanity”.  Irish psychiatrist Pat Bracken has said that “this will be a very helpful book”.


Dr. Lynch is also the author of two other books ‘Beyond Prozac’ and ‘Selfhood’, the former an Irish bestseller in 2002 which was short listed for the UK Mind Book of the Year in 2002.  He was also a member of  The Expert Group whose Report  A Vision for Change (2006)  forms the basis for current mental health policy in Ireland and served two terms on the Independent Monitoring Group established to oversee Vision for Change.  As a full time mental health professional he has provided a recovery oriented health service in Limerick since 2002.


The event is being hosted by MindFreedom Ireland, a Cork based psychiatric survivor group which campaigns for human rights and alternatives to psychiatry’s bio-medical model of treatment.  Members will provide testimonies in support of Dr. Lynch and the public will also have the opportunity to ask questions.


The event takes place in The Imperial Hotel Cork at 8pm on Tuesday September 8th.  Admission is free.  Booking advisable at 021 4894303.  Further details at www.mindfreedomireland.com





Jim Maddock,

MindFreedom Ireland,



2nd September 2015.


PH: 021 4894303 Mob: 086 0624445


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