What is the BizOMadness Blog?

This blog is devoted to raising critical awareness of psychiatry generally. It is likewise devoted to the antipsychiatry research projects, publications, and related activities of Dr. Bonnie Burstow. Especially foregrounded are The Psychiatry Project, The Madness Project, and "Psychiatry and the Business of Madness". Related to one another, The Psychiatry Project and The Madness Project involve hundreds of interviews, a dozen focus groups, analysis of several hundred documents and their activation, and dedicated periods of institutional observation. The culmination of both as well as of decades of related interviews and activities is "Psychiatry and the Business of Madness" (timely updates on its publication will be provided)--a cutting edge book in which psychiatry is investigated from multiple angles and which begins to tackle the inevitable question: So if we get rid of psychiatry, where do we go from there?

For the Events page to find events related to this research or this book, see

To check out reviews of Psychiatry and the Business of Madness and related publications, see http://bizomadnessreviews.blogspot.ca/

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The New York Booklaunch of Psychiatry and the Business of Madness

The New York book launch of Psychiatry and the Business of Madness was a smashing success. It took place at Bluestockings, on June 29 starting at 7:00 p.m. While I had been worried about not that many people showing, 54 people turned up, filling the bookstore to capacity. All speakers were terrific, with Lauren Tenney speaking first, followed by Paula Caplan, followed by me, followed by Celia Brown, following by others.  The audience was engaged, asked very poignant questions.  And on the heals of the question-and-answer period was a highly animated survivor speak-out where survivors shared courageously, talking about their ordeals at the hands of psychiatry, how they have dealt with it, and what can be learned from their experience. Emotions ranged from enthusiasm at the prospect of creating change, to anger at the infringement on human beings yet happening, to fellow feeling.  Additionally, what was very telling, we went over the time allotted; and many of the people who left gathered for hours later at a local pub to continue discussing psychiatry.  An indication in itself that interest had been sparked. All and all, a stellar event. Thank you, Lauren Tenney​, thank you, Paula Joan Caplan​, thank you Liam Walshe​, thank you Celia Brown​.


  1. i was so happy to be one of the 54. i bought the book several weeks ago, read it all, and agreed with every word. last night, bonnie, when you kept saying reform cannot work- it must be a revolution- i kept nodding my head, over and over. i did have to leave early (after nearly 2 hours) to get home to my kids, but i felt so empowered and so much a part of a brother/sisterhood, and part of a solution (my family has been devastated by "the system". ) thank you again for speaking the truth, for swimming against the tide...

    all the best


  2. Psychiatry and the Business of Madness – An Ethical and Epistemological Accounting
    by Bonnie Burstow

    If I had read this book when I was directed by my mother-in-law to seek medical help my life story would be very different.

    I have read Psychiatry and the Business of Madness cover to cover and highly recommend it to anyone (or a family member) considering a need for help with their emotions, or that something has gone wrong in their regular life.

    I did not realize until Bonnie told me as she signed my copy that my disastrous brush with psychiatry was featured in the chapter on forced electroshock. We had worked together against the evils created by psychiatry thirty years ago, and had no contact until I had written my unpublished book AFTERSHOCK, and needed to discover what was currently happening in the battle for freedom from psychiatry. It was an eye-opener.

    Bonnie’s book is a well-thought out, well-researched well-written telling of how this group, of mostly men in what is legally only a lobby group (APA), have grasped control over the pharmacy industry, government and education bodies, controlling media reaction and installing an entire industry placing normal human reactions into the burgeoning field of “mental illness”. She writes of the history of how this covert group drove out all competitor healers, and the growth of diagnoses (DSM) that link to specific treatments that will follow you in files that take precedence over a person’s testimony.

    At the head is the psychiatrist whose judgements are the word of god, and his is the only voice heard on any supposed team effort. Once you are befuddled by the rapidly changing drugs regimen that are forced on you, ECT is brought into play as the shrink announces drugs did not do enough to cure you. Once you have no memory, or a damaged brain, you cannot know for sure that there was not a psychotic episode, as claimed, to warrant this grand mal treatment. (I just had a baby.)

    The final chapter presents hope that smaller communities of people caring for each other may have a better life with compassion for ourselves and others.

    Buy the book, a veritable textbook answer to overturn the controlling industry that thwarts society’s daily existence.

    Connie Neil
    survivor & activist

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Much thanks for you thoughts and our own tireless work over the years.