Five Types of Mental Health Advocates


I’ve figured out there are five types of mental health advocates. We need to respect all five types of motivations and viewpoints in order to support or combat their agendas. The question for us, is how can we each of us maximize our own impact to share awareness of this situation and then impact change? The answer is that each of us has to work from our own passions and interests and talents and skills and motivations.

One of my friends, Anne Maria DeMars who was the first ever American World Champion in the sport of Judo, says, “Why do people keep asking us to give back all the time?”And I think the answer is that we give back as long as the giving still has a place where it can enrich our own lives. The helper principle is that helping other people helps us. Advocacy and social activism has been a powerful route to freedom for many people. One of my favorite poems, “Journey”, from one of my favorite organizations, Street Poets, Inc, says, “What can I do, about the poverty and the stress, the trauma and the deaths? What can I say to my people so depressed, evil spirits in they chest? How can I try? To get a decent job when I’m always pushed on down? I try and I try, but I really need, some love and patience and compassion from ya’ll.”

AnnMaria DeMars teaching a kids Judo clinic
AnnMaria DeMars teaching a kids Judo clinic

So while we each do we can do, I think it’s important to keep respecting what other people do that is different than how we go about doing things. And it would be good to have an overall scheme to link the people in different areas to work for united goals. I have no idea at this point what this linkage should look like. Maybe the National Empowerment Center should play this role, but for now they aren’t since they are busy on other stuff.  This is a graphic I made that shows the connection between what many of us in this community choose to focus on.

Five Types of Mental Health Advocates:

1. What Mental Health Reformers Sound Like:

This is from Bonnie Castro, a very solid and truthworthy peer worker fully on our side. I’ve always respected her work and her life history of moving beyond some very difficult circumstances. We used to have the same employer until that organization and I mutually figured out I would be better off starting my own business. This is an email she let me reprint that was written to a listserv of peer support organizations in Missouri. I called them out for promoting an article saying “A job is a very good accomplishment for a person with a mental illness.” I think working ought to be the norm, not any kind of accomplishment.

I’d rather stay in the trenches and do the work there. The system is a long way still from the change we want. In the same breath I can say we came a long way in the movement from where we have been in metal health. If this was 40 years ago, I may not be replying in this email and probably doing the medication shuffle in some asylum in south east Kansas.

I’m not the kind of advocate that will stand on the governors lawn begging for rights, demanding better treatment, studying research models, organizing protests, attending conferences every other month, calling our governor and presenting 50 workshops a year. Nope that’s not me. Too much time away from home. I have a lot of stuff to do that is not work related.

Bonnie Castro and Cameron at a team building event making the largest free standing object from a single piece of paper.
Bonnie Castro and Cameron Murray at a team building event making the largest free standing object from a single piece of paper.

I am the kind of advocate in the room with the client while they talk to their psychiatrist about being over medicated and exploring alternatives to their sleep problems. Rather its tea, hot shower before bed or Ambien, but it’s always the person’s choice not mine or their doctor’s. I leave the rest of the advocacy work for people who have time and a passion for that kind of advocacy. The skills I have are better used in direct work with people and providers. So while people are busy trying to fix Washington; I am busy trying to make those small differences in how a case manager talks to her client.

All research does is tells us the best way to treat people. I have seen organizations start programs based off best practices and its staffed by people who know nothing about the model except for the supervisor who resigns a year later because she was overworked herself. Staff continue to act like douche bags and the program flops 3 years later. Sometimes I wonder if all the problems in social work regarding human relationships couldn’t be fixed with a couple customer services trainings from Sprint. (HA HA! joke.) Social work is really a complicated word that means helping someone get better. At least that is what my teacher said the my social welfare class last year. We all have a part to play when the day starts.

Corinna, I appreciate you speaking your mind. This has made for some interesting brain stimulation on my day of referral calls. Continue to speak out loud. I know we won’t agree on everything but at least you put other perspectives in my mind, poked at my beliefs and stirred my pot. I always like that about you. I remember in the peer supporter meetings, I would be like “I don’t agree with her on that” but at the end of the meeting you made sense and had me rethink how I do a few things. I consider you a hard core advocate. You are willing to fight the fight with no gloves till the very end. You’re fearless in a lot of ways. Take the jump and see where you land, worry later.

2. What Human Rights Workers Sound Like:

This is Tina Minkowitz, , co-drafter of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and president of Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (CHRUSP):

Human rights is not so different than entrepreneurship, especially in the way we do it. It embodies a completely new approach.

The ECT Protest at Alternatives 2012 in Portland. Tina Minkowitz was there.
The ECT Protest at Alternatives 2012 in Portland. Tina Minkowitz presented a wrokshop on human rights at the conference.

It seems clear that the existing system has to be transformed in addition to whatever else we do. People are currently using and relying on that system, and it does appear to be at least in part meeting real needs. it would help in advocacy if we could articulate a position about how the alternatives relate to the existing system. It seems that often alternatives are positioned as the opposite in a way that means the existing system becomes the bad guy just in its existence. but if people agree that as an advocacy/policy position, we should incorporate both, how does it all fit together?

In an email I got from Europe a person mentioned the idea of “sanctuary” to have a space where you want to safe and enclosed in a nurturing way – what some people feel currently is a “positive” of forced treatment. I’ve been having some other conversations about this as well and think sanctuary is a good way to describe this need…  And the other thing is each of us needs to find the tools or practices or nurturing that works for us personally… There is both a need for support/solidarity surrounding us whether it’s support to be left alone or much more active support, and also for us as individuals to take action ourselves.

I’m looking for words that could describe elements of what would be desirable to have to meet people’s needs, once the destructive scaffolding of medical model violence and abuse and deprivation of autonomy is taken away. and i say this not in a “timeline” sense because it has to happen at the same time. but in the sense of how to imagine it in order to work for it as overall policy….

3. What Mental Health Entrepreneurs Sound Like:

This is from Chris Hendrickson, one of the founders of Street Poets, Inc.

4-5. What Disease Model Advocates Sound Like:

This is Natasha Tracy, a highly popular blogger who has resisted any attempt by members of our community to share science with her. She is quite likely pharma funded. But she has a legitimate point here in this post, and one that will piss many of us off, about being judgmental instead of compassionate. I couldn’t help but put in clarification points, though, in brackets, to counter the misinformation she puts out. The links in the blockquote are hers, not mine.

Electroconvulsive therapy is about 80% effective on depression [misquote here, see page 38 of her link] in both unipolar and bipolar depression, however, the most common bothersome side effect is that some memory is lost for the time around the treatment [straight out of the American Psychiatric Association spin manual]. Years ago, when severely depressed and suicidal, I told people, and I was absolutely serious, that I would rather die than let some barbaric quack run electrical current through my brain.  My brain was too precious to me.

Later though, after running out of treatment options and wanting to die, I changed my opinion – at least a little. While I still felt it was barbaric and mostly insane, I recognized that I needed to try it for my own recovery. In other words, my own situation got desperate enough and I really did prefer life, even an electrocuted one, over death. And many people have judged me for that choice suggesting that I stick a fork in a light socket and worse.

My friend Al Henning, who died of depression after brain damage due to ECT and loss of hope thinking his illness was permanent
My friend Al Henning, who died of depression after brain damage due to ECT and loss of hope thinking his so-called bipolar illness was permanent

But this is ridiculous, closed-minded and hateful. No one has any right to judge another person’s treatment – ECT or otherwise – until they have spent time in their brain. Until they have spent time in their pain. No matter how bad your condition has gotten and no matter how much pain you think you’re in, if there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that it can always get worse [Especially when you’ve been repeatedly told that your situation is permanent and you might not able to contribute to society.]  And the person facing ECT is usually at worse. Usually at worse and with fewer options than you can understand. So if you feel self-righteous and if you feel that your opinion is warranted over those of us who have extensively studied [one side of] the treatment, tried the treatment and know many [people from one side of the story] who have had the treatment, that’s your business. But, at the very least, can you have the courtesy to admit that your opinion is the one that is right for you and not tar and feather the over 100,000 people who get ECT annually in the US [based on misinformation and force]?

Because until you do, all you’re doing is spreading hatred and judging people you fundamentally do not understand, whose pain you do not understand. All you’re doing is kicking people while they are so far down they cannot see the light. And is that who you really want to be?

 But Nastygrams are Never Productive….

Some people are aware of the message of this blog, that medications and labels help some people but harm many others. Many people, I would say most, disease model advocates are not aware of this message. But there are a few who cannot hear it when it is told to them repeatedly. I think some of these people need authority figures, some don’t fully understand science, some are too trapped by the income provided by lying, and some need the excuse not to reach their full human potential. I’ve always had a very hard time with the people on the right hand side of this chart, understanding their motivations. One thing that has helped me understand the disease model advocate doctors is reading Here is also a blog I wrote as I tried to figure out  how to handle  disease model advocates. 

I don’t know how many people in our world know they are causing harm, know they have a way to stop it and still won’t. Some, for sure. But most people have a story in their heads about how they are helping people. So this is why hate speech doesn’t move them forward, because acknowledging what we say would conflict with their own hero story. C.S. Lewis, said, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Try Art or Humor Instead.

The difference between arguing data vs. emotions with a person
The difference between arguing data vs. emotions with a person. Via The Sacred Fire Community.

But my thought is that Nastygrams are never productive. I learned this from one of my most difficult roommates, a trauma survivor who may have had the worst case of Tardive Dyskinesia I’d ever seen. She’d spent 10 years on double the recommended max dose of Geodon plus several other antipsychotics at the same time. She sent a whole ton of nastygrams my way, because fighting was the only way she knew how to interact and she needed to provoke me to feel like she was in a dialogue. But the Nastygrams were never productive. So my thought is to ignore the people we have been unable to educate or maybe try to find someone they trust to send them information. If they can’t hear our data, maybe they can hear our feelings, our art, our humor, our humanity. It is much easier to reach someone’s heart than their mind.

And lets give huge amounts of respect, kudos, appreciation, admiration to people on the left who are honest, open, learning new things, but just have a different set of priorities than we do. Viola the revolution – we are in this together….


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


  1. yes, Natasha is frustrating to interact with but fun to see all the people who challenge her. It’s fun to post on her site if you like a lively game of ping pong, but not very productive.

    To win we need to find people who are receptive and find ways of turning them into activists, or find those who are a bit active and find ways of helping them be a little bit more active.

    Also we need to think strategically and find the groups and organisations who are likely to listen and then work with them to see if our movement can grow.

  2. Where do you place the scientologists and lesser known self-appointed masters of happiness who thrive on their professed hate of mental labeling and psychotropic drugs?

    Surely you know they do exist and target the sufferers your efforts want to help.

    Anyway, thanks for your writing. I am really thankful and especially for your letting me know about Bonnie Castro:

    ///I am the kind of advocate in the room with the client while they talk to their psychiatrist about being over medicated and exploring alternatives to their sleep problems. Rather its tea, hot shower before bed or Ambien, but it’s always the person’s choice not mine or their doctor’s.///

    She is my kind of person.

  3. Corinna,

    As a volunteer for International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP)it is my way of giving back as I feel I have been very blessed.

    Membership in ISEPP is attractive to many as it welcomes both professionals and non-professionals alike.

    From my own experiences, it was very difficult to find providers who offered alternatives to main stream psychiatry and it was even more difficult to find a psychiatrist who would work with me if I used complimentary treatments to try and taper off of psych meds.

    Medical professionals risk their reputation and their credentials by offering evidence-based alternatives like Integrative Psychiatry/Functional Medicine.

    Volunteering for ISEPP gives me an opportunity to help provide support to mental health professionals who are open-minded enough to explore, expand and create awareness of evidence-based alternatives.

    Unlike any other health condition, mental/behavioral/emotional health conditions overlap into our criminal justice system, leaving those in need of help incarcerated and at the mercy of limited services and treatment options.

    Historically, mental health laws are unique because they have been designed to employ and empower medical opinion who select specific treatment options. Coercive mental health treatment contributed to the proliferation of the psychopharmacological revolution.

    Sanctioned by the Supreme Court in Buck v. Bell(1927), many individuals labeled with a mental disorder become part of a class of people who can be deprived equal protection, civil liberties and the liberty to contract. They are in need of a strong, ethical and united advocacy agenda that promotes best-practice standards of treatment and care.

    Individuals in the mental health system can be forced to contract the services of specific providers and forced to become consumers of potentially lethal products.

    Because individuals labeled with mental disorders can be perceived as a threat to themselves or others, psychiatry and the use of medication management as the primary choice of “treatment” has become an unregulated power-base of authority in the U.S.

    The topic of “mental illness” involves a broad-spectrum of concerns. My main advocacy agenda involves symptoms of psyhosis and mania.

    Advocates who support forced “treatment” of psychotic symptoms should consider the possibility the treatment they are advocating for could kill a person they claim to be advocating on behalf of, or cause that person to kill/harm others.

    Likewise, advocates who oppose forced treatment of psychotic symptoms should consider the accurate diagnosis and treatment of the symptoms could save the lives.

    As a mental health advocate, my agenda is very specific and based on the fact many medical conditions and substance-induced conditions can manifest as symptoms of psychosis/mania and be misdiagnosed as schizophrenia/bipolar disorder.

    My goal as an advocate is to raise the bar on forced “treatment” to include accurate assessment, informed consent and treatment options that include the right treatment.

    In 1996 I suffered an acute manic episode from toxic encephalopathy. I was misdiagnosed as having bipolar disorder with psychotic features at the same hospital that according to the published study pasted below, misdiagnosed a 15-year-old girl suffering from lupus. After treatment with steroids, she no longer required psych meds.

    In my opinion, trying to prevent prolonged suffering from being misdiagnosed is well worth putting time, effort and energy into.

    I’m not sure where I would fit in on your graphic.

    Kind Regards,
    Maria Mangicaro

    Neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus presenting as bipolar I disorder with catatonic features.

    Psychosomatics. 2009 Sep-Oct;50(5):543-7.

    Alao AO, Chlebowski S, Chung C.


    Department of Psychiatry, SUNY Upstate, NY 13210, USA. [email protected]



    The American College of Rheumatology has defined 19 neuropsychiatric syndromes associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) involving the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems. Neuropsychiatric manifestations of lupus (NPSLE) have been shown to occur in up to 95% of pediatric patients with SLE.


    The authors describe a 15-year-old African American young woman with a family history positive for bipolar I disorder and schizophrenia, who presented with symptoms consistent with an affective disorder.


    The patient was diagnosed with Bipolar I disorder with catatonic features and required multiple hospitalizations for mood disturbance. Two years after her initial presentation, the patient was noted to have a malar rash and subsequently underwent a full rheumatologic work-up, which revealed cerebral vasculitis.


    NPSLE was diagnosed and, after treatment with steroids, the patient improved substantially and no longer required further psychiatric medication or therapy.


    Given the especially high prevalence of NPSLE in pediatric patients with lupus, it is important for clinicians to recognize that neuropsychiatric symptoms in an adolescent patient may indeed be the initial manifestations of SLE, as opposed to a primary affective disorder.

    Posted on Mad in America 11/25/2012

    • Maria,

      Thank you for your volunteer work with ISEPP and for bringing the topic of *underlying physical conditions* to the attention of MiA readers.

      As a former member of Safe Harbor’s Integrative Psychiatry group, I quickly learned that there are some *very good* integrative medical professionals, who are well-versed in addressing these underlying conditions – with Functional, Environmental, Orthomolecular and other forms of medicine.

      We need to *insist* that the *least restrictive*, *most therapeutic* options are used *first*, and that *coercive* psychiatry is *replaced* with *compassionate*, *safe* and *effective* treatment.

      Duane Sherry, M.S., CRC-R

      • I find, in my own clinical experience, prescribing homeopathy remedies useful when tapering off SSRI antidepressants:

        you prescribe them before starting the tapering off and you take care of having an independant psychiatrist doing the allopathic drug prescription to avoid the homeopathy prescriber being too optimistic-

        and beware that some homeopaths like some psychotherapists are dangerous and push for stopping at once the antidepressants or whatever treatment.

        Once, I even prescribed homeopathy to a women for menopausal troubles for which hormones therapy was not possible (she had had bilateral ovariectomie as part of breast cancer treatment). She was very happy with her antidepressant treatment although she had taken a lot of weight ( I had send her to a colleague to get that treatment a year before for a “post breast cancer treatment severe depression”) but her italian psychiatrist decided on his own to taper off her antidepressant and when I saw her a year later she was drug free and slim again!

        Thanks to you and Maria for recognizing that sometimes doctors can help!

        • Dr. Fulli,

          You are welcome.

          Consider symptoms of psychosis/mania could be caused by a number of medical conditions including but not limited to: brain tumors, cerebrovascular disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Creitzfeld-Jakob disease, anti-NMDAR Encephalitis, herpes zoster-associated encephalitis, head trauma, infections such as neurosyphilis, epilepsy, auditory or visual nerve injury or impairment, deafness, migraine, endocrine disturbances, metabolic disturbances, vitamin B12 deficiency, a decrease in blood gases such as oxygen or carbon dioxide or imbalances in blood sugar levels, and autoimmune disorders

          I think any reasonable person would value medical care during an acute psychotic/manic episodes.

          We should all keep in mind that no person is immune from a manic/psychotic episode.

          If I could ask Robert Whitaker one question in an interview it would be: If you experienced an acute psychotic/manic episode, what treatment, if any, would you seek? and why?

          If you wouldn’t mind me asking, what would be your answer to this question?

          Kind Regards,
          Maria Mangicaro

          posted on Mad in America dot com 11/27/12

          • Maria,

            Thanks for your comment and work.

            To answer your question is easy: if I were myself to suffer a psychotic episode or even a severe depressive state, I would want a good doctor first and not a team of healers who could let me die of hypoglycemia or from a neurosurgical emergency or whatever.

            To be honest, being based in France where so many psychiatrists are psychoanalysts not interested in medicine , I would not trust a psychiatrist I would not know for sure to be good in general medicine.

            NB: I am middle-aged, do not consume streetdrugs, and never was psychotic so the chances for a medical illness causation would be very high but even for a younger person I would find non medical healer dangerous and would opt for a general hospital emergency room not call healers on the telephone but we are discussing an acute psychotic episode.

  4. Corina,
    I understand uou might be busy doing good things -as Pr David Healy who was attacked recently for not answering questions on “his MIA blog which is just a reposting of a foreign blog – and not able to answer comment but I would really like you to answer my yesterday question:

    “Where do you place the scientologists and lesser known self-appointed masters of happiness who thrive on their professed hate of mental labeling and psychotropic drugs?”

    I would dare to ask it twice because an hagiographic and very long post on two famous antipsychiatrists on another MIA blog fails to acknoledge that Dr S had and is wildly use by the scientologist as their best weapon to attract mental sufferers to their organizatio. ( NB: it was not a place where a psychiatrist could have post comment leading to any discussion worth having in my opinion).

    On the same line -sort of -I would strongly advise your readers to look at the link offered by MIA to another post of “Boring old man”

    Worth meditating for antispsychiatry activists, in my psychiatrist biased opinion. Here a short extract, a few sentences:

    ///By the time the DSM-III came along, (…) the paradigm of psychological causation was the one being rejected. To me at the time, it was the baby in the bathwater of all the complaints about the power, the dogmatism, the speculation, and the fiscal drain of psychoanalysis. I agreed with many of those complaints myself, but what about the baby? ///
    And I would, in a sincerely kindly meant suggestion that, when you speak publicly outside of MIA and the likes minded, you should find an extra word for “Mental Health Entrepreneurs” in order to not find yourself in the same place as bas Pharma, private psychiatric facilities and the likes.

    All the best to you and your entreprise!

  5. Corinna,

    Here is one of Bob’s recent lectures.

    His lectures support the disease model, don’t they?

    At this point I am at a loss why he does not incorporate the fact the most common cause of acute psychosis is drug toxicity from recreational, prescription, or OTC drugs and organic causes of psychosis are being overlooked.

    I am quite sure if he or one of his loved ones experienced a first time pyschotic episode he would want a physician who would test for and treat underlying medical conditions.

    Robert Whitaker – Global Psychiatric Epidemic – October 23, 2012 – CPH

    posted on Mad in America dot com 11/28/2012

  6. Hi Maria,

    Psychiatrists are doctors like dermatologists.Aren’t they?

    Would you dare to write that dermatologists must disappear because -to take only one example, the first and for a long time only manifestation of a Hodgink’s lymphoma can be a skin rash looking very much like common eczema?

    Would you dare to suppress cardiology because the cardiologists have been abused on the statines front by bad pharma marketing?

    My view is that psychiatrists should be good doctors first keeping in touch with the progresses of medicine in general and – like other specialists work with family doctors and ask other specialist for advice.

    I also think- personal opinion- that all childpsychiatrists should have qualified as pediatrician first. This case is a rarity in France and many French child psychiatrists-even academics are still accusing the mother ‘s behavior of producing autism and psychosis.

    When it comes to give a treatment for a terribly annoying treatement resistant skin rash, it would be ludicrous to think that a dermatologist is less able than any other doctor to treat it and for example tapering off the doses of corticotherapies!

    NB: You might want to use alternative therapies and it becomes another story -with naughty people out there on the internet as sure as you find honest practitioners of alternative medicines- but if you do not refuse allopathicic drugs, it is ludicrous to refuse the dermatologists expertise.

    If a client refuse psychiatric drugs fine but if he doesn’t -or if the law people make him obliged to take it- the ideal situation is a non paternalistic competent psychopharmacologist psychiatrist trained by honest academics.

    Please, Maria, do not idealize internal medicine or general practices. Bad Pharma marketing and clients wanting a quick-fix with drugs do exist in every medical discipline and sometimes an internist can make an honest mistake and send to the psychatrist an internal medicine case- so to speak- when a good psychiatrist will send the client back.

    Idem for a cardiologt is the same in psychopharmacology: better to find an honest psychopharmacolgy To refuse it is one thing. Fine with me – I have not prezscribe myself any of those medicine nor ECT (but I send some people to colleagues who do from time to time)- since 1989

    I know it is different in the USA and the doctor
    Would you dare to suppress cardiology because the cardiologists have been abused on the statines front by bad pharma marketing? will you

  7. Corinna,
    This is a good discussion. The social entrepreneur label fits you, and me too. Yet what I do in the mental health area doesn’t define my whole agenda. Mine is social policy activism, about making things better for us all, using politics, writing, education and whatever else is handy. Mental health themes run through some of today’s most critical issues, from poverty to health care to workplace violence to education. People who have first-hand knowledge of these challenges have something to contribute in all of these areas.

  8. Picking up on the word “entrepreneur”, I think of this TEDTalks (which I thought – with my severely mentally ill mind – was quite excellent):
    Ernesto Sirolli: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!
    17 Minutes, 10 Seconds


    When most well-intentioned aid workers hear of a problem they think they can fix, they go to work. This, Ernesto Sirolli suggests, is naïve. In this funny and impassioned talk, he proposes that the first step is to listen to the people you’re trying to help, and tap into their own entrepreneurial spirit. His advice on what works will help any entrepreneur.

    The members of APA might want to tune-in and then challenge themselves to live up to their own mission statement.

    “Our mission is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.”

    In other words, they claim that they are “most well-intentioned aid workers” who “think they can fix” (improve people’s lives).

    What Mr. Sirolli has to say is applicable to anything that takes two to make a thing go right.

  9. Hello,

    I agree with every point that Dr. Fulli has made above.

    Individuals labeled “mentally ill” are among the most vulnerable in our society and in need of hardworking advocates.

    Advocates need to find common grounds to create a strong and uniform advocacy agenda.

    Those we advocate for are at a disadvantage when advocates pursue arguments amongst each other rather than ensuring their agenda includes protecting the health, safety and welfare of mental health patients.

    What I appreciate about the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR)of Florida is the fact they expose crimes in our mental health care system, not just psychiatry.

    Here is a website created by a member of CCHR. There are more psychologists, social workers and counselors listed than psychiatrists.

    As Bob has pointed out, many primary care physicians in our society are at fault for the proliferation of prescriptions for psychiatric meds, not just psychiatrists.

    Primary care physicians tend to believe the stigmatizing aspects of “mental illness”.

    I seem to be the only person who was very bothered by Dr Mark Foster’s Sept. 10, 2010 post on Mad in America describing one of his patients as:

    “A 31 year old blond woman with a history of traumatic brain injury and partial hemiplegia. She also has Hep C and a history of severe polysubstance abuse. She states “I don’t want any more drugs” and then promptly asks to be switched from Effexor to something else because it doesn’t help anymore, and by the way could I give her something for pain and for anxiety and for sleep? She tells me she’s taking 6-8 tylenol PMs twice a day to help her sleep. She says she’s “addicted to sleep” because that’s the only way she can avoid the impulse to go back to illicit drugs. And by the way, she’s trying to get pregnant. (Gulp)

    I switched her from Effexor to Trazodone. She is a difficult patient, a bottomless pit of needs with no coping mechanisms, and I don’t have a clue how to help her. She is truly a “broken brain”–literally–and will always be disabled. In her case, keeping her semi-sedated makes some sense–to spare herself and society the legal and criminal consequences of her mind unleashed. It seems to be what she wants. In her case, I made a med change that may address one aspect of her problems (sleep) and hopefully spare her the liver damage from the Tylenol, and then we live to fight another day.”

    The stigma of being labeled “mentally ill” prevents many individuals from receiving adequate medical care.

    At one point I had 3 different psychiatrists tell me that I was depressed, all three offered a prescription of prozac. My complaints were that I was so tired I could not get out of bed and I felt like I was dying. I did not complain or indicate that I was sad or depressed. Finally a relative suggested I have my thyroid levels checked. Hypothyroidism made complete sense once I looked up all of the other symptoms I was having. My primary care physician was reluctant to run the test and almost accused me of being a hypochondriac. My TSH came back at a dangerous level of 147. I have witnessed other mental health patients deprived adequate medical treatment and dental care while being treated in psych wards at a cost of over $800/day.

    Much human suffering could be prevented if better medical and dental care was afforded to those labeled “mentally ill”.

    Bob pointed out in Mad in America that cases of “insanity” were cured by treating infected teeth. He went on to include the mistreatment of patients who became victims of “bad medicine” but he missed the main point that treating infected teeth can abate symptoms of psychosis. Today, holistic dentists take into consideration tooth decay and abscessed teeth can be contributing factors to schizophrenic-like behavior.

    Preventing and ending unnecessary suffering should be a concern for all mental health advocates, regardless of what type they are considered to be.

    Posted on Mad in America 12/5/2012

  10. I was tortured relentlessly by the profit seeking professional pseudo scientific electric pharma psychiatric guild conglomeration from the age of 16 to into my 50’s. Fortunately my survival instincts kicked in and I was able to physically escape at least 5 times from 3 different of their institutions . There were 2 others I could not escape from .
    My problem all along turned out to be dental work done by the pseudo scientific American Dental Association. Silver amalgam actually should be called 53% mercury amalgam. I was mercury poisoned beyond any doubt . Hal Huggins trained dentists saved my life along with the money my parents left me so I could pay them for it. And thanks to the Traditional Naturopathic Doctor Joseph Liss who informed me of the problem.
    One tooth was left in my mouth a back upper right molar . The advanced dentist said the panoramic X-ray showed it was a healthy tooth . I was worried , I couldn’t tell anyone , I was hearing the sound of a gong in the right side of my head . Even when I went into the woods I could still hear it . I finally realized the sound was not from the outside but was going on inside of me. The previous dental work had eliminated sleeplessness ,other extreme state phenomena and voices I had heard for decades. Only this gonging was left. I went back to my Huggins trained dentist and asked him if he would remove that last upper right molar . He said nothing was wrong with it but I really didn’t need it and if I wanted him to he would remove it. I asked him to remove it and after he did he told me he never saw this before . A large pocket of pus directly under the tooth that the Panoramic X-ray did not detect . He cleaned out the pocket according to advanced dental protocol which means besides removing the pus also grinding away with a burr the periodontal ligament.
    I was reborn strong again but unable to really help the millions of human beings captured and tortured by psychiatry after having been also pseudo scientifically “treated” by the American Dental Association dentistry.There really is much more to be said . On YouTube listen to Christopher Shade PHD explain about mercury poisoning. Also on YouTube Russell Blaylock MD retired neurosurgeon.
    There is nothing like lived experience, Health Freedom , and anti-psychiatry.The knowledge of honest people relating lived experience can protect us somewhat from the ravages of the Main Stream Therapeutic State.