Bipolar by Definition?


Real quick, as I’m sure you’ve heard my story before: “Medication-induced mania.” Primary care writes prescription for antidepressant to alleviate simple stress. Pill causes major manic episode. Episode creates chaos is patient’s life: five months of uncontrollable behavior/mood swings that result in financial ruin and general chaos. Patient becomes depressed, suicidal. Patient is committed to a hospital and is diagnosed bipolar.

This was my world. Two years of trial and error (mostly error) with psychiatrists trying to find the correct combination of medications to stabilize my newly diagnosed condition. Five psychiatrists all agreed that I would need medication for the rest of my life. They all stated that bipolar existed in me all along. Family and friends were told that I needed to stay on my medication. My children’s school officials were informed of my condition. My family was fed the myth that, much like when a person is diabetic, bipolar disorder is a chemical imbalance in the brain. “It’s nobody’s fault,” they said. “It’s a pre-existing condition.” They even linked it to a history of mental illness in my family.

For the first forty-three years of my life, I was normal. (“Normal” being someone that did not need medication to control his moods.) I was happy, energetic and successful. I was an honor student in high school, and an athlete. I spent much of my young adulthood searching for the meaning of life. I read many books on positive thinking and developed an inner need to be charitable. I went to college and graduated with a business degree in marketing and finance. I worked two jobs for a year to pay off some excess college debt. I then joined the Peace Corps, and spent almost three years in Cameroon. I was twenty-eight when I got back from Africa. I immediately settled down, got married, had three kids and started a very nice small business. Over the next fifteen years, I grew that company from zero to near $3 million in sales, with twelve employees. I golfed, coached, and participated in many of my kids’ after school activities. I owned a nice house and felt very satisfied with myself.

In February 2010, I decided to get divorced from my now ex-wife. We both agreed the marriage wasn’t working and we hoped to make it as amicable as possible. It was a very stressful period in my life, but I was dealing with it. At the time, I kept getting diagnosed with nonbacterial prostate infections. None of the infections could be verified with tests (much like mental illness) but they treated me anyway on three separate occasions— unsuccessfully— with antibiotics. My primary care doctor told me that, likely, stress was causing this reoccurring condition. It was not responding to traditional methods of treatment, so he recommended Citalopram, a generic version of the antidepressant Celexa, to alleviate the stress. I resisted at first, not wanting to take pills at all, but he convinced me that it was harmless and would take the edge off. He said I was going to need it with the impending stress of the upcoming divorce. Reluctantly I agreed.

Side note. There is a so-called “history” of mental illness in my immediate family. This should have been something that sent up red flags to my doctor. My mother was diagnosed with major depression more than fifty years ago. My sister was recently diagnosed bipolar, and my brother killed himself. Clear warning signs to any qualified professional. After reading so much for the past two years about how psychotropic medications may possibly cause or exacerbate psychiatric symptoms, I am now convinced that this “history” was, in part, probably created by the medication my family has been prescribed.

At first, Citalopram did not seem to help, so after ten days I went back to the doctor and told him I did not feel any relief. He assured me this was normal, that my brain had to adjust, and that in another two weeks I would feel better. I agreed to give it more time and in two weeks he was right. I felt great. I was happy… very happy. At the next appointment, I reported to him that I was sleeping better and my mood was vastly improved. He set up a third appointment in two months’ time. Day by day, my happiness increased. My mood was elevating, and soon my ex was calling me Mr. Happy. She could not understand why I was suddenly whistling and singing in the house.

Over the next two months, I became manic. I was uncontrollably euphoric, and not really understanding what was happening. I thought work was good. My personality, while elevated, was infectious, and people actually liked me more. I was very positive and full of energy. By May, I started to lose it. I could not sleep. I stayed awake all night writing. I started multiple companies and stopped focusing on my core business. I also started a few charities. I was spending money that I did not have. Seventeen years of good credit afforded me lots of flexibility at the bank. If you can believe it, I maxed my credit card out at about $150,000. I moved from a small 2000 sq. foot office, to a 10,000 sq. foot one. This cost about $50,000 in build out expenses.

Major issues soon followed along with incredible mood swings, spending sprees and intermittent fights with a soon to be ex-wife. She actually told me I was bipolar and in the middle of a manic episode. I told her she was nuts (little did I know she was half-right). It’s very difficult for someone who was in control for so many years, in charge of his own business, with access to large amounts of money, to experience mania. Who can help when the one in charge loses it?

Eventually, I agreed that my behavior and overall health was off so I went to the doctor. I had been falling asleep at the wheel and I was concerned for the safety of my kids. The doctor that prescribed the antidepressant was busy, so I met his nurse practitioner. I told her that I couldn’t control my thoughts, and was crying a lot (I actually started crying in the office.) I was also sweating and slurring my speech. She basically told me I was having an adverse reaction to the antidepressant. She wanted me to stop taking it immediately and start taking Gabapentin. I complied. A day after taking Gabapentin I was seeing double. I then swore off taking any and all medication. I also refused to see any more doctors.

Of course, abruptly stopping a psych med causes even more problems. I spent the majority of the next two months confused and barely able to work. Five months after taking the antidepressant the episode was finally ending. I had run my company into major financial trouble, caused lots of confusion, personal problems and my divorce was a total mess. The mania ended in late July, and for a few days, I was coherent.

When one “wakes up” from mania, there is a brief period in which things seem clear. This is when you have to face the consequences of the episode. It was then that I realized I was going bankrupt. The company I’d built so consistently for fifteen years was falling apart. I had also compromised many friendships and business relationships. I soon panicked and became instantly depressed. This is a typical consequence to mania. Major depression followed.

In early August 2010, I was suicidal and hit bottom. I voluntarily committed myself to a psych ward and was started on Lithium. I also took my first dose of Xanax (funny, I distinctly remember the nurse saying, “Xanax is harmless, but it is a bit addictive. Use it while you need it, then we will wean you off it.”) Two staff psychiatrists then convinced me that I was absolutely bipolar. I tried to tell them that I was never manic or depressed, and that the pill had caused the mania. They explained that medication-induced mania simply validates the fact that bipolar existed all along. They said I had been bipolar my whole life. I was told that I would need to take medication indefinitely. This is the rub: I had to admit, after reading the medical definitions of bipolar disorder and consulting with “professionals”, that I felt I was bipolar by definition.

As much as my common sense told me they were wrong, I was hoping that accepting the diagnosis and agreeing to take the new medication would help alleviate the suicidal thoughts. The idea of a magic pill or happy pill is very tempting. They initially gave me Lithium, and within a month it was toxic in my system. I was falling over and had no balance. In the months to come, my depression worsened, so they added Wellbutrin and Abilify. Many different mood stabilizers were also tried. Four more months passed and I was still depressed, so they kept increasing the doses of antidepressants. Eventually I came out of it. When I look back, it was exercise that helped the most. I started feeling better in early January, but not for long. I immediately elevated, then had incredible mood swings. Life was very unstable at this point, as was my medication list. Depakote, Trileptal, and Lamictal were all tried, but my doctor did not think I was stable on any of them. I was then given Seroquel, and was also tapered off Wellbutrin and Abilify. My psychiatrist decided I should add Risperdal, as my speech was rapid. Whew… instantly, I got depressed again. For seven months I was lethargic and mostly bedridden. I complained to my psychiatrist that the Seroquel was keeping me depressed. She told me this was my new baseline and that I had to get used to it. Honestly, there were many days in which I just wanted to die, and felt so hopeless and unemotional. It’s a wonder how one survives.

In November 2011, after a year on meds, in my second cycle of depression, I decided to find a new psychiatrist. She had recently put me on Zoloft and Abilify again, and though I was very depressed, she refused to take me off Seroquel. I was still taking 1-2 mgs of Xanax a night to sleep, and had forgotten about the promise to wean me off. Looking back, it’s no wonder people get screwed up for life being put on so many conflicting drugs. My medication list in itself was a prescription for bipolar.

I thought my new psychiatrist from the acclaimed McLean Hospital would be better. I told him my story and he told me he would help me to get me off meds. He initially tapered me off Seroquel and the other meds, but in the end, he decided to just shift me to Lamictal. He also felt the Xanax was necessary and not dangerous, and he added Adderall for my ADD. When I look at the side effects of these meds, it boggles my mind. He was better than my original psychiatrist, but still part of the system. He was a big proponent of all patients needing medication. In March and April 2012, my depression finally lifted, and a brief period of stability seemed to ensue, for maybe a month or two. I began escalating again in June, and my psychiatrist’s advice was to once again up my meds. Oddly enough, my prostate infection seemed to be back, and eventually I came to believe that meds were not only causing the mood cycles, but also my stomach problems.

I decided in early July 2012 to stop taking my medication. My stomach had shut down for a few days and my guess was medication was a big part of that. So I stopped taking everything. I know abruptly stopping psychotropic meds is wrong. Having done lots of reading and research on the web, I knew that psychosis may be headed my way. I did not stop seeing my psychiatrist or therapist during this time. They agreed to monitor me. Euphoria and psychosis soon developed. I had so many ideas, and lots of energy. I wanted to save the world: cure cancer, solve the energy crisis, fight the drug companies. I lost it completely for two weeks. I was actually having conversations with God. Eventually I came down and for a brief period I understood what happened to me and I was ok again.

Unfortunately, as in the past, depression soon followed. August 2012 was a very confusing month. I could not focus or understand my work. I ended up making about $50,000 in ordering mistakes. This exacerbated my depression and lead to even more mistakes. I was basically in bed for another two months. Once again, I was losing hope. My family wanted me back on meds, but I told them no. I had to break the cycle. I was depressed, but I had my common sense back. I’d been through two depressions in two years; both were treated with a barrage of antidepressants that did not help. Towards the end of the previous depressions, I started to work out. I now understand patience and exercise to be the key. This time I decided to do it on my own… no meds.

In November and December, I felt better. The deep depression lifted and the confusion subsided. I recovered financially as well, and even put in some controls in case of future episodes. I’m not convinced they are over so I’m trying to prepare for another possible swing or lingering side effect.

Over seven months without meds after two and a half years on them, I feel so much clearer in my head. I know my situation is not as complicated as some, but I think it’s important to note that I met with at least five psychiatrists in the past two years, and all of them diagnosed me as bipolar, as someone who will need medication for the rest of his life. They were all wrong. The DSM IV-TR has a clause that states “medication-induced mania” is not to be considered bipolar. This revision was made back in 2000. I was treated for two years with bipolar, and if I were not adamant about stopping on my own, I would have stayed on medication and likely ended up on SSDI.

Having read a few books and many great websites, on top of meeting others with similar stories, I now know so much more. Medication has its place, but there is no magic pill that fixes “mental illness.” I’m not even sure that mental illness exists in the way it is defined and portrayed in society. Psychotropic meds are causing these potentially temporary conditions to grow into lifelong illnesses. I have no doubt that medication caused my problems. It then further complicated them due to the numerous side effects that “professionals” treated with more medication. I’m lucky to finally be med-free. My goal now is to tell my story and spread the word about the dangers I experienced with psychotropic meds. We need to change the system, and I’m very motivated to figure out how. It seems there are many movements out there that are all closely related. I wonder if there is a way to connect them all to expose the truth… and save the world.


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.


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  1. Congratulations to you on getting off the toxic drugs. Good luck to you as you continue getting your life back. Thanks for sharing your story; it’s important for every person to make public the travesty that the so-called “treatment” of so-called “mental illness” has become.

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      • Thanks Jeff for a great story that I really relate to. I found that the antipsychotics actually lead to psychosis when you quit them. It takes about 2 months after quitting Risperdal for me to get a serious withdrawal psychosis, and there are no other triggers. The brain needs to adjust to all the newly opened up neurotransmitters. I was not diagnosed until age 35, and when I look back it seems the doctors were all brainwashed by big pharma. I too have done alot of independent research, and it gets easier and easier to pinpoint the BS when one thinks about their experience with drugs, and does unbiased research to confirm. Your story is more evidence – normal well adjusted guy gets thrown for a huge loop by brain destabilizing medications. Best recommendation for everyone is very slow withdrawal through titrating over a long period of time.

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        • Yes, exactly.

          A harsh withdrawal from antidepressants or benzos can also include symptoms mistaken for “psychosis.”

          The symptoms are not related to the drug but to the nervous system destabilization that follows from going off the drugs too fast.

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          • I don’t know who you represent, but my experience is that the drugs cause the destabalization that leads to the psychosis.

            And it is not “symptoms like psychosis”, it is psychosis caused by antiphsycotic drug withdrawal.

            The conclusion based on my experience, is that it is best to either never take these drugs, or only take them for a short time while in crisis.

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      • Amazing! I have a friend in the same situation. He was a successful businessman until recently when it all came down. But in my friends situation he had a wife that kept telling doctors that he was mentally ill and had bipolar. When I met him, I didnt see that at all in him. I had him stop taking his medication. At one time they had him on 3200mg of medication. He also has said since being off the medication his head is clear and dosent feel tired. The thing is with his case, so far we havent been able to find out for sure what doctor even diagnosed him with this. He said he really dosent remember much. His ex wife kept sending him to mental health facilities trying to commit him every chance she could. So far he has had 4 different doctors say that he isnt mentally ill and does not have bipolar. But what sad in his ordeal is his exwife made sure that everyone in town knew about his mental illness and bipolar, which this has scared him.

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    • Thanks Duane, the semantics of my story seem pretty common. I know that it’s highly improbable for a person to experience mania due to an antidepressant/SSRI, but the real injustice was being diagnosed bipolar and labeled mentally ill. I would have taken anything to feel better after the mania… especially when the depression came. This is when a person is most vulnerable. My guess is most people accept what the “professionals’ say and fall in line.

      For the first year or so, I did just that. I accepted the bipolar label… even carried a list of famous people that were bipolar. (If I had this disorder, I was going to make the most of it.) Luckily, I never truly believed I was mentally ill. It’s funny, I was manic when I realized that medication was causing my mood swings. At this time, my brain was incredibly efficient, my memory almost photographic… much like Mozart writing a symphony… the mania actually afforded me the opportunity to question my diagnosis. I started reading more. I first read Anatomy of an Epidemic, then Gwen Olsen’s Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher. Then Bruce Levine, Peter Breggin and countless websites. I now wonder why I didn’t find these sites when I first started looking 2 years ago. I guess we just have to keep spreading the word… thanks for reading. Jeff

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  2. I only wish that SSRI-induced manic episodes were rare. They are sadly very common. I find it particularly egregious when you had no mania ever in your life before the pill, and they somehow manage to blame you for the reaction. I’ve heard this all too often – “We’ve uncovered an underlying bipolar disorder!” Or “Only people with bipolar react this way to antidepressants.” What they should say is, “Oh, my God, this pill is driving him crazy – we need to stop!”

    Well done for hanging in and sorting this out. Glad you’re joining the fight and making some meaning out of your Kafkaesque experience!

    — Steve

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  3. A psych once told me that he thought I had something called a “hyperthymic temperament” I read the definition and it sure sounded like me. As I kept reading, it then tried to relate it to an affective disorder. I always thought my positive attitude was a good thing… my high energy made me successful. Leave it up to psychiatry to find a way to label exceptional people.

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    • I recommend you read “Misdiagnosis and Duel Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults.” Apparently, drugging all those outside the bell curve, including the most intelligent, is the goal of psychiatry (any way for those of mediocre intelligence to maintain control).

      But I think it’s shameful to make people sick with drugs for profit, while hypocritically claiming to be a doctor whose promised to “first and foremost, do no harm.” I must confess, as a woman who still talks to God every day (Christians call it praying), I agree with Dante’s opinion in his epic Inferno, the hypocrites belong in the depths of hell.

      Congratulations on your recovery, Jeff. I, too, ran into antidepressant (albeit given under the guise of “safe smoking cessation” med) induced “bipolar.” According to the FDA drug interaction checker my “bipolar” was actually caused by “anticholinergic intoxication,” a known drug interaction problem. I wonder how many others’ “bipolar” was caused by the same. Anyone know?

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  4. Good to hear your story Jeff. And well done on getting free from the psychiatric system. I knew back in 1970 that psychiatry wasn’t to be believed, when seeing my mother in a locked ward, and have engaged with the system many times since then. Personally and on behalf of family. Recovering from labels and disabling psych drugs.

    I think that the psychiatric system is there to make society feel better. The mad people are locked up. The less mad people are on medication. Meanwhile the sane people are walking around free. When we know the opposite is true. ‘We’ being the people who have survived the system and recovered despite the lifelong mental illness mantra. And of course the government who are madder than most and know it’s all about social control.

    As for saving the world and exposing the truth, I’m not sure if that’s the way to look at it. For me it’s more about resistance fighting and speaking out until there is a paradigm shift and system change. It has to happen. Although not too sure what we’ll end up with when change comes about. At least it means that life won’t be boring. Heaven forbid.

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    • Chrys… Thanks for the support.. my mother was also abused by the system. 60 years ago she had her first depression at 19… no therapy, just a trip to an institution and shock treatments. This set her on a path for a very difficult life. 3 more times she was admitted, then thorazine came along and a life of filling prescriptions ensued.

      Saving the world is a noble pursuit. I know changing the world can mean simply helping one person. I have ideas about changing the system, those ideas need to brew or stew for a bit. My hope is to educate the masses… via reality TV, media, and web campaigns. Lofty goals.

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      • All the best with your goals and hopes Jeff, and with changing the system. For my mother it was a depixol injection for life but despite that she did the best with what she was given. I wanted better for her.

        I suppose our family history spurs us on to do something about it and to keep on keeping on.

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  5. I too became “manic” while on Citalopram 4.5 years ago. I was locked away and no one told me that “anti-depressants”/SSRIs could have been the cause. Which would have made things a lot simpler. And reduced the trauma, distress and stigma that I had to go through.

    I also stopped medication cold turkey after I got out of hospital and didn’t realise the dangers of doing that. So I ended up back in hospital in withdrawal. But no one bothered to mention the word withdrawal. But if you are a drug pushing cult you will hardly tell your victims the TRUTH. Hoping to get the TRUTH out there and to change the world! Hard as that might be. But even if I can create awareness for a hundred or a few thousand people I will be happy.

    Just be kind to yourself for the next year or two and try to manage stress well eg daily Yoga and meditation. Due to the medication these symptoms can return well after the drug is stopped. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Not forgetting that I was put on high doses of Zyprexa and Seroquel, both of which have lawsuits against the makers. What these people are doing is criminal. I never needed 10mg of Zyprexa long term. 5mg is sedating for starters. And a short time on the drug would have helped me return to “normality”. What we are dealing with is a sham and a scam of a system. That is destroying lives.

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    • Your damned either way… I was told it was the pill that caused my mania… I was also told by lawyers that because I didn’t die… I had no case against the drug companies or my doctor. Is there a way to launch a class action lawsuit against the system… unite all the psychiatric survivors.

      Not sure “a short time on any psychiatric drug is possible.” Eventually there are side effects, which are usually associated with a new condition… and more meds are prescribed.

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      • Are the lawyers in bed with the drugs companies? If you were dead how could you have a case against the drug companies? Maybe your dependents would have had but not you personally. There have been class action lawsuits brought before eg by lawyer Jim Gottstein on Zyprexa:

        I do keep Zyprexa 5mg on standby. It does work for me, as it has a tranquilizing effect. It has Prolactin in it. And if I have a “manic” episode it is part of my toolkit from coming back to earth. I use it over a few days. But I never needed to be on 10mg long term. I gained about 2 stone and still work on losing that weight. As a female it also stopped the female cycle. Plus it put me at risk of diabetes.

        I live in Ireland so things are probably different here. In America there is a company that deals with Celexa birth defects: but not what we experienced. This is there website:

        Best of luck, Anne Marie

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      • I have more to say elsewhere Jeff, but I want to address a potential lawsuit. Your losses are measurable financially. You could actually put a number on the damages to your business, your homes, downtime from work, if you sat down and said, “I lost *this* and *that* during that time of medication induced by citalopram.” PLUS “pain and suffering” (what is the value of a divorce, custody issues, and general pain and suffering?) – harder to say.

        However, that you took a generic is a little trickier. Yes, there is a manufacturer, but I think the most lawyers would only bite on would be “not manufactured to specs,” unless you sue Celexa as well for creating the molecule.

        Lawyers like the status quo, and taking on the Giants – is doable, but not an easy path. It’s possible there are enough in your boat for a class action suit. I am not in your boat, but a very very similar one. I like your choice of path to educate & increase exposure.

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    • I was made sick in Illinois, too. And you’re right, it’s all just about the money. One of my former doctors was just arrested by the FBI, though. By any chance, did you deal with Advocate Good Samaritan hospital and the “doctors,” V R Kuchipudi and Humaira Saiyed? Read all about Kuchipudi, who admitted me with a “chronic airway obstruction,” apparently because that’s what unnecessary tracheotomies cure.

      But Advocate Good Samaritan has been unable to explain how a “chronic airway obstruction,” magically turns into “bipolar,” especially when a well insured person is unnecessarily shipped to that hospital whacked out of her mind inexplicably (by doctors who wanted to cover up a prior “bad fix” on and broken bone and “Foul up[s]” with subsequent miss-medication) on a hypnotic drug. Since the DSM-IV-TR clearly states that a “bipolar” diagnosis is incorrect if a person’s behavior is caused by a drug.

      I’m quite certain you’re right, the psychiatrists “are truly the SICK ones!” We all need to just keep working and praying for justice.

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  6. When I read stories like this I see what happened to me years ago. I had gone to our city’s premiere psychiatrist because I not doing well after a severe auto accident injury. He started me on one drug then two then three all the while my emotionally stability was drastically changing by the merry go round of more drugs and higher doses. Need less to say he kept telling me I was permanently damaged by my severe mental illness as I slipped deeper into a drugged fog.

    The drug side effects was numerous and terrible. The psychiatrist either saw these as worsening mentally illness or said they were imaginary. I ended up in the ICU for Seroquel Induced Pancreatitis. By chance because I was such ongoing physical pain when hospitalized I was refereed to a neurologist who said I had the worst case of psychiatric drug toxicity he’d ever seen. I stared tapering off all the drugs I was on and here I am 10 years later drug free, thinking clearly and much happier than I was on the drugs.

    I did confront the prescribing psychiatrist and he actually apologized for wrongfully diagnosing and prescribing between his crying (yes, he did). Within an hour of telling me this he contacted attorneys and did his best to discredit me. His actions scared me and I knew I couldn’t fight the system to get justice for all the harm that was done to me.

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    • It’s quite a racket… prescribe a pill, then treat the side effects… convince the patient that it’s mental illness or a chemical imbalance. I’m now dealing with a liver problem… doc said something was toxic in my system.

      Who is responsible for the side effects… I was told I could not seek legal action because I didn’t die… or suffer something permanent. I lost a $3 million dollar company…

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  7. Jeff, thank you for this brilliant article. I’m very glad that it only took two years for you to dispel your “I’m bipolar and need my meds” myth.

    I also got a diagnosis of bipolar and ensuing drug addictions known as “treatment” from world-famous McLean. Perhaps in part because I was significantly younger at the time of my indoctrination, and had a less developed sense of self, my diagnosis and drugs clung to me much longer (though I’m now emancipated!).

    Was your main doctor there Jay Bonnar by any chance? It is good to find another McLean alumna and fellow psych survivor. Like you, I intend on using my story to reach out to other psych survivors and to others still living the labeled and drugged life.

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    • Emily, Thanks for the compliment… have to give the folks at MIA some props for good editing.

      Jay Bonnar was not my doc at McLean. My psych there was actually good in comparison to the others I met. He seemed to agree with me about not being bipolar… and even talked about getting me off meds. He initially weened me off almost everything, but insisted on shifting me to Lamictal and he did not think Xanax was a problem. He said I was adverse to medication… but recommended upping my dosage on a few occasions… I resisted and he was reluctantly supportive.

      I was most disappointed by the support groups at McLean. I was always amazed at how they preached for everyone to stay on their meds. Take your meds… that is how they started and finished a meeting. McLean is the Harvard of Mental Health. Having read some recent books and truths about Harvard Educated “expert” psychiatrists… I no longer hold them in such high esteem. Happy you are “emancipated” from psychiatry… we should start a local network of survivors.

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      • Ahh, yes, the folks at MIA are good people! Though I’m not local to MA, I did get a chance to meet a few of them. You have some advantages of being around some inspiring folks around Boston.

        I’m very interested in a survivor activist network– a national one. The closest approximation I’ve found is MindFreedom, of which I’m a member. I’m not interested in giving a full name, email, or picture on MIA at this juncture but I am accessible as a participant here and if you plan on the long haul to be in this “movement” then I will meet you in person along the way sometime.

        When I try to self-reflect on just what I was so sure of or so spellbound by with my experience of McLean I don’t really know how much it was my high regard of Harvard educated experts as much as my low self appraisal was the truly the crucial part coupled with my real desire for a quick fix via “science” to be true. Regardless, to be emancipated from psychiatry is the defining moment of my adult life. I will always be grateful to have awoken from my sedated and numbed “medicated” life.

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        • I’ve talked at length with other individuals and feel that I do want to be part of the movement. I have yet to figure out which part… so I’m trying to do as much reading as possible. I’ll check out MindFreedom… I have been to the website, but I don’t think I’m a member. I like MIA, but there are many times the subject matter is way over my head.

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  8. People get adverse reactions to antidepressants ALL THE TIME, get misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder — and then they’re off on the psychiatric medication merry-go-round for years and years.

    This is so very, very obvious. See case histories at

    Withdrawing from drugs should, of course, be done slowly. Jeff, those periods of intense depression following your abrupt quitting of drugs might well have been from withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms tend to resolve over time, sometimes years. You’re lucky that yours went away after 7 months.

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    • The most recent deep depression subsided after 2 months or so… but there is a lingering feeling of apathy/exhaustion. I have read that it can take a year or more to feel normal… so I’m taking the advice of others and cutting myself some slack. I used to be very active physically, but I’m reading more now, resting (feels very strange to do so… guilty at times)

      I checked out the case histories… amazing how many people have gone through similar experiences. I consider myself fairly educated and computer literate/web savvy. It took me almost 2 years to find MIA and other sites that helped to free me from the “system.” In the beginning, I remember wondering if, or WebMD were controlled by Pharmacological Companies. That is where I got my information initially. I spent months on search engines looking for ways to overcome bipolar without meds. Most of the results lead me back to the system. The peer support groups simply agreed with psychiatry and asked you to accept it and the treatments offered.

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  9. I wanted to add my psychiatrist realized he could be sued and pulled up the drawbridge. I never mentioned lawsuit to him but his obvious wrong doing had him on the defensive.

    My behavior on drugs was like a drunk but worse with slurring words, dazed, trouble sleeping (akathsia) and bouts of crying. Those symptoms are all gone. It was interesting that people I barely knew wondered what drugs I was on and my own prescribing psychiatrist had no clue of my drug induced behavior. I lost years of my life in a foggy haze when I could had enjoyed them with my family. I was labeled like a package without a forwarding address for 15 years.

    I was later told I wasn’t mentally ill and never had been. That’s the quandary. How can a doctor had been so wrong?? Do I wear a arm band stating I’m mentally well and competence??

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    • Who told you that your were not mentally ill? I have yet to meet a professional that agrees with me about my own misdiagnosis. Even when I explain that the condition was induced by medication, they point to the fact that my biology caused the pill to induce mania.

      For 2+ years I had mood swings… slurred speech, rapid thoughts, depression, and confusion. Most of these side effects have stopped… though I think there is still some memory loss. I’m not back to the old me just yet, but I have seen signs. Just hope I remember how to golf.

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      • I went to another psychiatrist and after 3-4 sessions of 30 plus minutes he said you’re not mentally ill and never were. You sound fine and may have a little PTSD from all you went thru being on psych drugs. I also went to see a psychologist for a 10 sessions who said the same thing, I was fine and not mentally ill. In fact she visually got upset when she heard what I’d gone thru and was concerned there might be a lawsuit. They couldn’t understand how I’d gotten diagnosed by the original
        psychiatrist. I didn’t have those symptoms and was completely lucid.

        The original doc had stopped listening to me and I was just one of his “15 minute med checks patients”. All he did was hand me pills and tell me I would never be well and me being the compliant patient believed him.

        I read in a few of my medical records other physicians (not psychiatrists) wrote “patient is off all of her meds and completely lucid”.

        I’m sorry you’re still going through this. Is there any way you can have your diagnosis challenged??

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        • My last psychiatrist told me he is no longer needed since I stopped taking medication. I too became that 15 minute fast lane appointment. I have not sought out a formal diagnosis since, but I have talked to a lawyer/psychologist from the court that believes in psychiatry. His opinion is there is a history of mental illness in my family… (which I need to challenge since my mother was given shock treatments in the 50s, then Thorazine… so is it a history or another psychiatric horror story?)

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          • My overall concern is how these diagnoses we received will impact future medical treatment by regular physicians who may not believe any thing we say?? How to make sure any new doctors don’t find this info out? That is what’s upsetting and it already happened to me. I was disbelieved and refused referrals.

            So the psychologist attorney thinks having a family member who was in prison means you would eventually go there too?
            Just a correlation as silly as what he said to you.

            There are a few decent forums out there that might help you discuss what happened. More and more are finding they were misdiagnosed and drugged but how to make sure others don’t tomorrow?? We believed the psychiatrists would have our backs and notice drug symptoms but they didn’t. They said it was worsening mental illness.

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        • Ah yes, the med checks. Mine were monthly and cash only, please. He was really ticked off when I walked out the door after my manic episode and never came back. Say a pdoc loses two or three such patients, and there goes thousands of dollars in annual income.

          Say no to psychiatry!

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          • I found pdocs who have patients with good medical insurance tend to keep them. It’s criminal but they’ll rarely say you’re doing OK enough to not come any more.

            Med Checks….what a joke,

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          • Ha… mania can be helpful. I think my last mania allowed me to process the fact that the drugs were causing my mood swings. I was told I had bipolar and the drugs would help regulate my moods. Mozart wrote some of his greatest symphonies when manic…

            I stopped all meds when I was elevated. I swore I knew it all, had so many answers to any question. Truth is, I was probably using more of my brain than ever before. I am fairly certain that my IQ would have registered off the charts (I took a few tests at the time, online… it said 155,151,157… I have since taken the tests and when I was depressed it was 117, 119… my guess is my real IQ is in between. Mania allowed me to see the truth. I stopped the pills, and caused euphoria/psychosis… but was in touch with my brain so much that I anticipated the psychosis, so I knew it would pass. It did… but I didn’t know a depression would follow. I’m now past the depression… 8 months free from meds, and happy to say that I feel much better.

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        • I was checking for new replies and saw I hadn’t fully put in how I was told of my non-mentally ill status. I had seen the new psychiatrist 8-10 times not 3 or 4 and it was for an hour each time. He did say I was fine and had never been mentally ill. I had gone to more professionals for evaluations and was told the same. Without medical info from the original diagnosing pdoc to predispose any findings I was found every time not be mentally ill. I was very truthful on how I felt and what I was thinking at these new doctors visits. Most doctors will always think along the same lines as the other docs on diagnoses if they have been informed upfront about what may be the problem. This simply proved to me psychiatry has no concrete guide lines if they can’t decide on the same diagnosis on their own.

          I’m celebrating many years of being psyche drug and psychiatry free and having a real life again. I was greatly harmed by wrong diagnoses and given powerful drugs that made me not myself. That is what is wrong with this picture.

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          • Aria,

            So happy to hear of your years without meds. I am now 13+ months off meds and the old me is almost back. I have energy again (not manic) and I no longer have mood swings. It takes a while to overcome the effects of these drugs.

            I am planning a visit to both past psychiatrists… I’d like to ask them what they think. I was very adamant to both of them that I was not bipolar and that the medication was causing the issues. My ex wife is once again behind me… she refused to talk to me while I was on meds… and she sees a big change in me since stopping. Scary to think that psychs don’t see this. I am 100% sure that I would be considered very normal right now if I talked to a new psych that did not know my history. Also think it’s interesting that psychs consider mental illness as genetic. My mother was messed up by the mental health system… meds caused her so many problems in her life. I have seen my sisters get messed up on pills as well… sad to say they don’t heed my warnings. Thanks for the reply.


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      • Jeff,
        My last two PCPs have not chosen to perpetuate my drug induced “bipolar” misdiagnosis. And anyone can suffer from ADRs and withdrawal symptoms from an antidepressant – even someone with no personal or family history of any mental health issues who was put on Wellbutrin as a smoking cessation remedy, rather than for depression or anxiety. I’m living proof that antidepressants don’t “unmask” bipolar ONLY in those with underlying bipolar or depression. The antidepressants CAUSE “violence, suicide, and mania” in anyone, just like the black box warning states. The doctors claiming antidepressants “unmask” the “partially or completely iatrogenic … bipolar disorder” are wrong.

        My doctor from 2005 – 2011 wrote me a note stating he did not diagnose me as bipolar in 2011 – and after being given my chronologically typed up medical records, with my medical research and perspective neatly organized on the side. And my new doctor (I moved) was quick to say he would take the iatrogenic bipolar off my medical records after I – with the visual help of a couple spreadsheets, and printouts, pointing out the drug effects and major drug interactions I was subjected to – explained to him how the withdrawal symptoms of Wellbutrin were misdiagnosed, and then “bipolar” was “created” via anticholinergic intoxication (a medically known major drug interaction poisoning).

        You’re welcome to use me as an example to your doctors of someone who had no prior personal or family history of mental illness, who was also misdiagnosed as bipolar due to ADRs and withdrawal from an antidepressant, that I’d actually been told was a “safe smoking cessation med.”

        Hopefully, the mainstream doctors are starting to realize they’ve been terribly deluded and misled by the pharmaceutical drug reps and academic psychiatrists. Like the charming Dr. Beiderman, whose responsible for turning a million little children into bipolar / schizophrenics completely with drugs in the exact same way we were made sick, completely with drugs. It’s shameful, I’m so heartbroken. We must try to enlighten and educate the medical profession, if for no other reason than to help protect the children.

        Best wishes in getting your medical history cleaned up. Hopefully, I’ve finally gotten mine fixed. I do think somewhere in my research I read doctors won’t clear a patient’s medical record of a psychiatric misdiagnosis for six years, but I’m not certain. But my recommendation is don’t press it too much until you’ve been drug free for at least six years, since the psychiatrists have that “disease” that claims you’re mentally ill, merely if you claim you’re not.

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        • “since the psychiatrists have that “disease” that claims you’re mentally ill, merely if you claim you’re not.”

          Social control!

          Erin Pizzey, who pioneered the shelter for battered women movement in 1971, famously stated many decades ago: “Any country that has tried to create a political solution to human problems has ended up with concentration camps and gulags.”

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  10. The Earth itself is “bi-polar”. The Sun, too.

    The psyche drugs are awful, but there’s more to the “story” about our Minds, moods and energies. Planetary, solar, galactic and universal energies can and do impact and effect human life. We’ve been going through very FAST and expansive consciousness and awareness shifts and changes for decades. Just consider how TV has evolved. Then consider the arrival of the internet (and how it has altered *everything*). Our growth and development in the past 100 years (Age of Aquarius) has impacted Humanity in a detri-mental way. There’s just way more to the story, and it isn’t all genetic, DNA or “chemical imbalances”.

    I’m *extremely* environmentally sensitive. I’ve experienced two solar radiation storms, in a Highly Conscious way. What that means is that we ALL experienced the storms, but I was fully consciously aware that it was an environmental event. I was also consciously aware of a magnetic “storm” that happened in 2008. The Earth itself had tilted, and the magnetism was intense. If I didn’t know, I would have thought that there was “something wrong with me” or that I was “sick”. NOT SO. I had vertigo but also watched *other people* showing the same “symptoms”. It was an environmental event.

    When my consciousness and awareness are on High Alert, I have all sorts of mental activity and energy activity. If I didn’t know any better, I would think and believe I was “sick”.

    I don’t watch television anymore because it is toxic to my mind, *electromagnetically*. The internet is not much different. It took almost a full year to “disconnect” from all-day-long internet usage. These are *high powered magnets*, as far as I’m concerned. And it wasn’t easy to break free from the computer.

    We need more Environmental Intelligence to come forward to provide the “science” about how truly *sensitive* human beings are. Very, very easily effected. I’m so sensitive that I could hear the earthquake in Japan, 2011 from New England. I’m not sure how many people can say that.

    I’ve rambled. Just wanted to throw a few bits out there. I hope something resonates with you.

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  11. Hi, Jeff. I just am getting familiar with all the stories here and went over your harrowing tale yesterday. You should take a look back at it all, since it’s been awhile.

    My “initiation rites” happened very similarly to yours as far as hospitalization and doctor and clinician attitudes. But also in that having “symptoms” caught up to me “out of the blue”, and was enough trial by fire that the redundant stresses and strains that the allied mental health system greeted me with was totally unnecessary for getting my attention.

    The various advisements and prescriptions all had obstrusive qualities and the interest shown in my understanding and ability to explain what sorts of problems had suddenly loomed up to face me was just about nil.

    I liked your explaining the process of keeping your goals out in front of you and finding alternative ways of employing the terminology imposed on you regarding mental events and brain disease. Endorsing the alternative web sources like MIA and connecting with the community, even if you expect to surpass all need of psychiatry yourself, is pretty encouraging.

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    • Bonjour… Je parle le francais un petit peu..

      Ok.. I can fake an accent and I did spend a few months immersed in French. Peace Corps days..

      I do keep looking back at things. I reread my story a lot… and think there is so much more to tell. I basically gave a timeline of the events, but the actual events themselves were so much more interesting. The things you do while manic or depressed… euphoria is the most story worthy. Talking to God… cures for Cancer. I wonder at times if I could have really helped in that endeavor… As “crazy” as it seems, I know there were some brilliant ideas that came from the mania.

      Happy to report that 13 months after stopping meds, I am not symptom free. Depression is gone… mania is non existent. The toughest obstacle I had lately is apathy. That is now gone as well and I am once again focused and working full time. My guess is things will continue to get better…

      I’m trying to help others now… enjoying a local support group, and trying to help others online… via text and email. Hoping that this can grow…

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      • Jeff,

        You and I have a similar profile in many respects — successful professional placed on anti-depressant followed by increasingly erratic mood cycles, bipolar diagnosis and mood stabilizers, in turn followed, for me, by successive psychoses and hospitalizations accompanied by antipsychotic prescriptions and a schizo-affective diagnosis. Also, a history of similar mood swings in the family. I later became stable, and resumed my professional successes, but all while on a mood stabilizer and antipsychotic. That was where I was for over eight years (all the while becoming more successful) until a few months ago I finally defied and fired my psychiatrist, replacing him with someone who would help me get off of the antipsychotics. I’m 1/3 down and soon to be 1/2 down, and I’ve already as a result reaped some soberingly remarkable positive cognitive, emotional and social benefits. I also was re-diagnosed with a bipolar diagnosis and no longer labeled schizoaffective. My current psychiatrist is confident I’ll be able to ditch the antipsychotic entirely, but strongly cautions against getting off of the mood stabilizer (Lamictal). What I’m struggling with now is whether to heed his warning or to try to get off of that as well. I do feel that since it’s an anticonvulsant approved and used by epileptics for nearly two decades, I’m less concerned about side-effects and brain injury, certainly less worried than I am about antipsychotics. Maybe I shouldn’t be less worried. I’ve not decided what to do and can’t seem to get advice anywhere in between the views that: (1) under no circumstances should anyone with a bipolar diagnosis not be on a mood stabilizer; and (2) under no circumstances should anyone, whether diagnosed as bipolar or not, use a mood stabilizer purportedly to treat a psychological state. In any case, it was validating to hear your story, which resonates so strongly with me. Thanks for having the courage to share it openly.

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        • ‘I also was re-diagnosed with a bipolar diagnosis and no longer labeled schizoaffective.’

          Two labels, that I’ve had, among many other labels, that I know to be merely labels. They don’t correspond to any demonstrable biological disease, it’s about as scientific as labeling someone a ‘nice guy’.

          I too, was for many years, led to believe that there was some special difference between other mood altering drugs and drugs dubbed ‘mood stabilizers’. It’s now clear to me, that these quacks will try any chemical, knife, any electricity, and label it an appropriate thing to manipulate ‘mood’ with. Just look at the fact they’ve parlayed some drug for epilepsy into their guesswork brain meddling.

          I’ve been on Lamictal. Among many other drugs. I took them based on falsehoods that were told to me by charlatans.

          Fool me once….

          When I decided to stop meddling with my brain function, it was in response to the obvious realization that no physician in the world can demonstrate there is anything wrong with my brain function, or the millions of people, including you, that have had the same labels slapped on them from the dopey DSM. So why on earth would you meddle with it? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. So, to paraphrase the seeming value you place on the word ‘successful’, with ever increased success, I found more and more success not drugging my never-proven-diseased brain.

          If you find that drugs help you cope with life I support your right to take any drug from any drug dealer/provider/dispenser.

          I’m very happy for you that you’re 1/3 to 1/2 of the way to stopping taking psychiatry’s major tranquilizer drugs.

          I find it incredibly interesting this phenomenon of people getting one label slapped on them from one psychiatrist, shopping around for another psychiatrist getting a different label, and then having faith in the new label. Try 12 more psychiatrists you’ll get 3 more labels. It’s not a science. Better yet have them make a ‘blind diagnosis’ and see what label you get.

          It’s not a fait accompli that just because you believed some strange things and became overwhelmed with troubling thoughts that this is hard evidence something was wrong with your brain function.

          Good luck with your endeavors.

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          • Thanks anonymous. I always value your input and perspective, even if we sometimes part ways on some issues. Though in fewer ways, I suspect, than may seem on the surface.

            What I am labeling as success is an ability not only to carry out what I subjectively believe is a rewarding professional career, but also to be able support a wife and two kids as a primary earner, as well as moonlight as a musician extracurricularly. The principal ways that I believe I have not been successful over the past few years concern my cognitive, emotional and social function. I was, yes, effectively coerced by my psychiatrist, the antipsychotics I take, and the industry fueling their proliferation into believing that my baseline as measured by those three metrics were far inferior to what I had been accustomed to over the course of my life prior. To disbelieve that I had reached that this was an appropriate baseline at a time when I was made to live in fear that to get off of the antipsychotics would bring all that I had built to ruin, would have placed me on a plane of hell that would have been unbearable. Now, what made it easier for me to accept this was that I have been on lower doses of the drugs than many of my peers here, and as a result less debilitated in a way that still enabled me to be successful professional and socially. But nevertheless I have been slower, number and more socially avoidant than I had been in my earlier adulthood. And these effects have deteriorated over time, in ways that, while not bringing my life to ruin, has harmed my relationships with my spouse, my colleagues, my professional and musical peers, my family, and, worst of all, myself.

            All of that notwithstanding, as I’ve railed elsewhere on this site (quite unpopularly I suspect), I am also a victim of the coercion imposed by the culture, norms and wielders of power over my life around me that the life commitments I have made bind me to. So I cannot afford to believe in strange things (most of all, in my own inadequacy, as depression (or the feelings that are called that) compels me to do) notwithstanding that there is no proof of an underlying biological defect. If a mood stabilizer prevents me from feeling those feelings and from believing even stranger things on the other end of the spectrum, then it may be something that I need in the long term. In my experience, psychotherapy has not been sufficient. Nor, I suspect, would winning the lottery.

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        • “Heed his warning?” Are you kidding me… I’m so done with the mental health system. I was on a very low dose of Lamictal (100mgs) last year. This combined with 1-2 mgs of Xanax for sleep and still I was having mood swings and difficulty in my life. I knew the meds were wrong from day 1… but chose to “heed” the warnings of professionals. The same professionals that told me I would need to be on medication for life… same professionals that prescribed up to 6 different psychotropic medications at a time. Not sure the FDA has done any studies on how all these meds interact… but it is a prescription for bipolar.

          Do not listen to psychiatrists… I have yet to meet any that I trust. The most competent of the ones I dealt with was far from perfect. He told me he would help me get off meds and in the end, his recommendation was to up the mood stabilizer… he actually wrote a letter to the court during a tough time with my kids that I had gone against his judgement and stopped medication. My ex wife now sees the light. She completely agrees that it was medication causing me so many mood swings. We spent about $100,000 in court because of my mood swings… because I heeded the warnings of the system.

          One thing I will say is the road to recovery is long. You may think you feel better cutting down your meds, and once you are off everything, things may seem normal… but I eventually had all the standard side effects from stopping meds. Lots of swings, then deep depression… followed by a year of apathy. I had no direction… no drive or ambition. I felt no love… my feelings were dull at best. Depending on how long you take the meds… and what type of personality you have… recovery will reflect this. I am so thankful to be feeling like the old me. For those people that have never known the old you… my best guess is there is a great person inside waiting to enjoy all that the world has to offer. Hope I can help others now.

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        • N.I. – I would say that it is EXTREMELY important that you read up on the hyperthymic temperament. The wikipedia definition should suffice for determining if it describes you. If this is the case I would not have any worries about safely getting off of the mood stablizer at all. Hyperthymic people are sent into mania from anti-depressants and then are misdiagnosed as bipolar. If you were always stable prior to when you were put on the anti-depressant (I assume to help cope with a temporary situation as was the case with me) but would be described as upbeat, confident, sociable, humorous, ambitious, have an affinity for alcohol, are described as “clever” or “charismatic” – have a way of reading situations and people quickly – are creative, a wordsmith, are uninhibited and wonder why everyone else seems “half dead and slow on the uptake”, are sometimes told you really seem to “have soul” – are a great lover of life and also can’t understand why so many others around you also seem to be so easily worried or swayed into not being so happy because of things that to you seem absurd and are of little importance or consequence than welcome to the club. You simply have a hyperthymic temperament, you fellow witty entrepreneurial lover of life. They have been BS ing you. They probably told you that the anti-depressant simply “unmasked” your “preexisting bipolar condition”. Really ? Then why were you always stable ? I thought bipolar people were put ON meds because they have ups and downs WITHOUT them ! So why have they seen your reaction to drugs as proving something that is there without them ? If you didn’t have mood swings prior to to the anti-depressant then there was never any problem to be treated. You simply should not take psychological drugs. That’s what caused the problem in the first place. The drugs WERE /ARE the problem, not the solution. Hope this helps. Please read my story posted today 4/25…See if we don’t have a lot in common…

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    • Maggieann,

      Sorry for not responding. I check this post every now and then.. I really do like commenting on it. I would love to hear your story… I think it helps to know that there are people out there than have had similar experiences. Also helps to keep in touch as I think there are certain side effects that we all still are dealing with. I just read Matt Samet’s piece on Setbacks and realized that I may be having some small issues.

      I still consider myself fully recovered. I’m now in a Facebook Group called Pyschiatric Survivors. It is a forum for people in recovery, but we need people that are beyond the real difficult stage to support others not so fortunate. Email me if you like… I’m easy to find on Facebook, Jeff Fisher, Waltham. Hope you are doing ok…

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  12. Thank you Jeff, for sharing your story.
    Here is a bit of mine: I am 51, was always a “weird” or “extreme” kid & young adult. When, in my 20’s, I had difficulties adapting to work life (I lost several jobs due to attitude, inadequacies, dishonesties, etc.,), I was prescribed Prozac. It was brand new and the only one.
    When I had frank & persistent hallucinations in traffic, I stopped taking it. I maybe only got 5-6 days of it in.
    During my 20’s, every now and then, things would go bad, and docs would give me another one (different each time). And I would have palpitations, or not sleep at night. But never manic, and I never got more than 30 days on any of them until Wellbutrin.
    Then, I was afraid to go off, because I couldn’t get up in the morning (I still can’t) to get to work, and I was divorced and alone now and needed that job. I was afraid to talk about it, because if I started crying, I would never make it in to work. I was afraid to stop taking the Wellbutrin, and I took a “normal” dose.
    But I get ahead of myself. The year of my divorce, I cannot even remember if I was given any antidepressants for my divorce. You’d think they would, but I don’t recall now. But I went manic. Full blown, stalking people in 3 cities, running around half naked at night to blend into the trees better, talking to bees, making deals with God.
    But I got medicated, and got better (i.e., I was able to continue working), and it was just anti-anxiety – likely Xanax by then – and antidepressant. Maybe that’s when the Wellbutrin started. The xanax went away like it should, after a couple of months of good sleep.
    It was 3 more years before my unrelenting depression made me seek help again. This time, when they said “bipolar,” I believed them, sighed with relief; at least there was something I could do. I could take my meds as prescribed. That was Rule #1.
    Accepting this was made easier by the knowledge that my birth family was chock full o’ loons, eccentrics, whatever – most of them “got away with it,” and weren’t “caught” by the psych profession.
    Fortunately, I was extremely lucid. And I was on charity by then. So when I got angry that the nurse practitioner wanted me to take MORE depakote (I was on that for 3 years) and maybe an antipsychotic because look – see how agitated I was? I was lucid enough to not deal with her, and get a psychiatrist.
    He was a 15 minute review man, and I set up Cognitive Behaviour things for myself to achieve, and convinced him after a couple of years to just let me take a tiny dose of a sedating antidepressant, Mirtazapine. Nothing else.
    That was the condition I was in when I arrived in Australia. Where the zen-doc, so cool in her yin-yang Psychiatry office (I get 50 minutes with her) immediately put me on lithium. And I can’t get off it. And I’m worried that it’s killing me, but I can’t prove it. (blood tests come out “okay.”) She says the only way she will let me off it is if I go on Lamictal first.

    Now she’s added a new antidepressant, because I was apathetic & hopeless earlier this year.
    I am on “half doses” of both of these. But I want to be on nothing. I’m 52 years old, I feel numb, I don’t want to be on these when I’m 60, 80. I want to remember what it is like to FEEL, to CARE, before it is all over.
    So – here is our similarity. I think I WAS likely bipolar or depressive (at least) or disordered prior to taking my first dose of antidepressant. But I think the antidepressants put a “finger in the brain” that tipped me over, again and again, until I went over the edge.
    I likely AM something sideways from normal, but damn it, I’m not “undepressed” or “energetic” or “functional” on my half dose meds, and wasn’t when I was on full doses, either. So can’t I just be off them? I’m going to have a helluva time finding someone here in Australia (Brisbane, a 1.5 million people cow-town) who will support my desire. I do know I’m not strong enough to “just do it,” like you did.

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    • JanCarol,

      Whew… what a story. I’m so sorry for all you have been thru. Such a difficult thing to deal with. I don’t know your whole story, so I can’t say I know what you’ve been thru, but I do feel your pain. I feel your sorrow at not feeling the world anymore. I have been there and it is not fun.

      We do have some similarities. I understand the manic reactions… I too lost it a few times. Talked to God on a daily basis. He/She was talking back… in the form of chills. I was getting chills about 100 times a day or more… at the time, I thought that may be a cure for cancer… or anything really. I never felt so healthy as when I was getting the chills all the time.

      I don’t know your medical situation, but I never found that meds truly helped my situation. I think they may have helped my depression, but eventually they caused mania, then they would give me mood stabilizers, or depressants… and I would go the other way. It was a never ending battle to find the right cocktail of meds. Yet, once I was given multiple medications, I was far more susceptible to mood swings and anger.

      Your situation is for you to figure out. I don’t trust any psychiatrists. One thing that really helped me was reading Robert Whitaker’s book, Anatomy of an Epidemic. This confirmed my constant belief that the meds were making me worse. Once I accepted that, I knew I could never take another medication. I did not want to prolong the inevitable… I had to get off all meds. Stopping cold turkey is a dangerous idea, so if you choose to taper off meds, there are many sites that help with this. I am in a psychiatric survivors group that deals with this daily.

      One big caution… staying on meds is dangerous. Tapering off meds is dangerous. Stopping cold turkey is dangerous and can be fatal. I don’t’ have all the answers, but I do know that once I found out the truth… I realized that living life off meds was for me. I was willing to risk it… the more I read, the more convinced I became that I did the right thing. I’m now 16 months off meds… I feel so much better. I am working again, running my company… and I am rediscovering my feelings. It is a long journey that is compounded by many factors. From reading and interacting with many other survivors, it seems the longer you take meds, the longer a recovery can be. Also, coming off psych meds causes many withdrawal symptoms. One positive about your story is you don’t seem to have taken lots of benzos. This is good because benzo withdrawal can be the worst. At least that is what I am reading.

      Good luck. Feel free to contact me on Facebook. I’m Jeff Fisher, Waltham.

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  13. Hi Jeff,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. In a way, I had an identical experience, and I have heard this story repeated in so many different varieties. The bottom line is that yes, anti-depressants cause mania and all sorts of other things. It’s amazing that we have no idea how the brain works yet we are pumping people full of drugs all made in part by the pharma companies.

    I was 14 years old when I was put on antidepressants. I grew up in an emotionally abusive household, yet no psychiatrist had ever delved into that aspect of my life. I started having manic symptoms shortly after taking the medication and was an insomniac all throughout high school due to the medication. At age 18, I was admitted to a very prestigious, Ivy League school. Not only was this stressful, but my parents who had been at war since my birth, decided to get a divorce.

    I was in the center of that divorce and my symptoms got much worse. I was then diagnosed bipolar and the rest is history. Quickly I was “treatment-resistent bipolar”, and put on every drug under the sun. I was so drugged, that I could no longer function in school. I began cutting and I was certainly suicidal. I was also suicidal at age 14, because I recently discovered many poems talking about death.

    I then spent the next 10 years in and out of hospitals, constantly suicidal, and completely untreatable. I received every diagnosis possible, all in an effort to try me on more medications like a guinea pig – the highest dosages of anti-depressants (two at a time), lithium, anti-psychotics, sleeping pills, etc. I then was given a few rounds of ECT, but was so dissociated, that I could not continue.

    During these ten years, I pursued my interest in cars, so I was able to complete an auto tech education, but with many mental health interruptions. I then moved to Florida with my mom to be in the sunlight, etc. But, I was still heavily depressed and easily provoked into suicidality.

    The culmination of my life on meds, came when I met a very prestigious doctor in Palm Beach who told me that he knew why I never got “better”. He said it was because I was put on anti-depressants and that people who are “bipolar” should never taken these drugs. Ha, if I only knew then that the anti-depressants were the CAUSE of the erroneous definition. He literally told me to STOP the anti-depressants and I went into an extreme suicidal state. This man, the prestigious doctor, did not bother to taper me off. He felt, in his noble opinion, that I could not stand another day on these medications as they were the source of my ill health. This state of mind then caused him to put me on so many medications, that at one point I ended up on TEN medications. He then decided that I needed ECT while on 8 of those medications. I received 25-30 treatments. He also put me on Seroquel which caused me to gain 25 pounds in three months and tried to convince me that I had an EATING DISORDER and sent me to a friggin eating disorder center. This man was sick.

    I looked in the mirror one day, and I realized that I could no longer continue this. I, quietly and alone, studied the brain and figured out how to get myself off of the medications without any help. I wish I had read Dr. Breggins book before I had done this. Thanks to this doctor, I was already off of the anti-depressants and then I had to get myself off of 9 other meds including my 10 year friend called Lithium.

    It was hell. I did it all in only 6 months. I should have taken several years, and I though when I came off, I would be bipolar. Nope, depressed and traumatized from literally having 10 years of my life taken away from me. I then went through serious withdrawal – dilated pupils, shaking violently every time I ate, diarrhea, dissociated ALL of the time. A year of this passed and then I started feeling my emotions for the first time. This caused me to be pretty much suicidal all of the time as well.

    When I had somewhat of a handle on things, I chose to do the hardest thing a person could do. I decided to go back to school. I think I was still in a state of disillusion – I mean, I was still suicidal, but I left Florida and went back to that Ivy League University with very little support around me. The first semester was last January, and I was literally dissociated half of my classes. I had an excellent therapist who was working with me, who was also baffled that I had been able to get off meds and keep myself alive and then decide to go back to one of the most stressful schools in the country at age 30. I still have no clue how I am still living. I also got myself into manic spending sprees and had to declare bankruptcy.

    I am now at my second semester at Penn, and I have miraculously arrived at majoring in Philosophy and Science and I hope to do bioethical work. My experiences with psychiatry have certainly primed me to know the system.

    It’s a miracle that I am still alive. The psychiatric community has done a number on me, and it has been proven by several people (my current and last therapist included) that I in no way, shape or form was EVER bipolar. I have no mood swings. I sleep through the night. I have to take care of my body in ways that other people don’t seem to understand – all because one uninformed, medical school brainwashed psychiatrist thought I was bipolar when my family was divorcing and I was in a ridiculously stressful school. No one also realized that at age 14 I had just gotten my menstrual cycle and that I had also had untreated Lyme disease. Like, really? How much common sense do these people have?

    If you would like to check out my website, this is it:

    Also, here is an excellent link about how the DSM is contrived. This professor has written many books and lectured at my school:

    Report comment

    • Hi Jeff,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. In a way, I had an identical experience, and I have heard this story repeated in so many different varieties. The bottom line is that yes, anti-depressants cause mania and all sorts of other things. It’s amazing that we have no idea how the brain works yet we are pumping people full of drugs all made in part by the pharma companies.

      I was 14 years old when I was put on antidepressants. I grew up in an emotionally abusive household, yet no psychiatrist had ever delved into that aspect of my life. I started having manic symptoms shortly after taking the medication and was an insomniac all throughout high school due to the medication. At age 18, I was admitted to a very prestigious, Ivy League school. Not only was this stressful, but my parents who had been at war since my birth, decided to get a divorce.

      I was in the center of that divorce and my symptoms got much worse. I was then diagnosed bipolar with the justification that if I was depressed and agitated at the same time, I was bipolar. Also, because I was not sleeping, this was also a symptom. That’s funny, because those are both side effects of anti-depressants. Quickly I was “treatment-resistent bipolar” and put on every drug under the sun. I was so drugged, that I could no longer function in school. I began cutting and I was certainly suicidal. I was also suicidal at age 14, because I recently discovered many poems talking about death.

      I then spent the next 10 years in and out of hospitals, constantly suicidal, and completely untreatable. I received every diagnosis possible, all in an effort to try me on more medications like a guinea pig – the highest dosages of anti-depressants (two at a time), lithium, anti-psychotics, sleeping pills, etc. I then was given a few rounds of ECT, but was so dissociated, that I could not continue. I also got myself into manic spending sprees and had to declare bankruptcy. When on anti-psychotics, I hallucinated and am amazed that I also did not receive a schizophrenic diagnosis. I also tried TMS.

      During these ten years, I pursued my interest in cars, so I was able to complete an auto tech education, but with many mental health interruptions. I then moved to Florida with my mom to be in the sunlight, etc. But, I was still heavily depressed and easily provoked into suicidality.
      The culmination of my life on meds, came when I met a very prestigious doctor in Palm Beach who told me that he knew why I never got “better”. He said it was because I was put on anti-depressants and that people who are “bipolar” should never taken these drugs. Ha, if I only knew then that the anti-depressants were the CAUSE of the erroneous definition. He literally told me to STOP the anti-depressants and I went into an extreme suicidal state. This man, the prestigious doctor, did not bother to taper me off. He felt, in his noble opinion, that I could not stand another day on these medications as they were the source of my ill health. This state of mind then caused him to put me on so many medications, that at one point I ended up on TEN medications. He then decided that I needed ECT while on 8 of those medications. I received 25-30 treatments. He also put me on Seroquel which caused me to gain 25 pounds in three months and tried to convince me that I had an EATING DISORDER and sent me to a friggin eating disorder center. This man was sick.

      I looked in the mirror one day, and I realized that I could no longer continue this. I, quietly and alone, studied the brain and figured out how to get myself off of the medications without any help. I was aided by meditation and vitamins. I wish I had read Dr. Breggins book before I had done this. Thanks to this doctor, I was already off of the anti-depressants and then I had to get myself off of 9 other meds including my 10 year friend called Lithium. When I went to him for check-ups, he kept noting that I was doing “so much better” and that it must have been the “Depakote” that he had just put me on. When I told him that I was off almost all of my medications, he threatened to drop me as a patient. Then he did.

      It was hell. I did it all in only 6 months. I should have taken several years, and I though when I came off, I would be bipolar. Nope, depressed and traumatized from literally having 10 years of my life taken away from me. I then went through serious withdrawal – dilated pupils, shaking violently every time I ate, diarrhea, dissociated ALL of the time. My senses were on high. Everything seemed so loud, tasted more pungently, my vision at times felt like it was in 3D. I often thought I was dying of various illnesses, and I spent much of my time researching them and taking myself to specialists. Little did I realize, in my constant state of panic, that I was just going through withdrawal and feeling for the first time. A year of this passed and then I started feeling my emotions for the first time. This caused me to be suicidal, once again. With the aid of DBT therapy, I was able to learn how to manage emotions which most people grow up learning to do subconsciously.

      When I had somewhat of a handle on things, I chose to do the hardest thing a person could do. I decided to go back to school. I think I was still in a state of disillusion – I mean, I was still suicidal, but I left Florida and went back to that Ivy League University with very little. The first semester was last January, and I was literally dissociated half of my classes. I had an excellent therapist who was working with me, who was also baffled that I had been able to get off meds and keep myself alive and then decide to go back to one of the most stressful schools in the country at age 30. I still have no clue how I am still living.

      I am now at my second semester at Penn, and I have miraculously arrived at majoring in Philosophy and Science; I hope to do bioethical work. My experiences with psychiatry have certainly primed me to know the system.

      It’s a miracle that I am still alive. The psychiatric community has done a number on me, and it has been proven by several people (my current and last therapist included) that I in no way, shape or form was EVER bipolar. I have no mood swings. I sleep through the night. I have to take care of my body in ways that other people don’t seem to understand – all because one uninformed, medical school brainwashed psychiatrist thought I was bipolar when my family was divorcing and I was in a ridiculously stressful school. In my life I have taken over 50 different medications, and about 26,000 dosages of psychotropic medications. I have been electrocuted, had TMS, have lost many friends, have lost a decade of memory and I doubt I am the only one. The system also failed to realize that at age 14 I had just gotten my menstrual cycle and that I also had untreated Lyme disease. Like, really? How much common sense do these people have?

      If you would like to check out my website, this is it:

      Also, here is an excellent link about how the DSM is contrived. This professor has written many books and lectured at my school:

      Report comment

    • Erica,

      Wow… what a story. Whew.. where to start. 14 years old… my daughter is now 15 and they tried to put her on all kinds of meds because she was angry and getting violent. I fought them every time, but I was still on meds… so occasionally they started her on something. Eventually she stopped the meds on her own. My constant preaching as to the side effects probably helped her decision… but I’m so glad she is drug free.

      As with your situation, you were dealing with a lot of things at a young age. I got divorced 3 years ago… just when all of this happened, and my kids went thru hell with divorce, my mania… depressions, mood swings and because of this, there were very expensive and difficult court battles. This is enough for any kid to have issues… so my daughter may be emotional, but she is not mentally ill.

      I will check out your website. Congrats on going back to Penn… such a great school. I think I applied to Wharton Business back in the day, but was rejected. How are you doing now? Obviously you are better, but it seems like you may still have some residual side effects from all that you have been thru. Email me on Facebook if you can, I am part of a psychiatric survivor website that helps people come off meds, and helps them understand what to expect. Part of my participation is to give people hope that things can be normal again… maybe you are in the same situation.


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  14. After being a bit debilitated from the worst episode of PTSD since the twelve years I had had it, I found myself feeling “depressed”, because it had hit me so hard and I was having a hard time moving past it. Several antidepressants did nothing for me, but desipramine sent me flying. Regardless of what the DSM-IV said at the time, the psychiatrist that gave me the prescription said that I was bipolar II.

    I went to a support group of manic-depressives and was floored. I could not imagine doing all the things they said they had done. I felt like I did not belong there, but was convinced that if I did not take my medication, that that is where I’d be going.

    The years on lithium were the worst years of my life— not because I wanted the “highs” but because I was truly disabled, couldn’t write a grocery list because my hands shook so badly, could hardly read, and stayed in the only abusive relationship I’d ever been in as an adult because I was incapable of rallying myself to get out of it. I stopped taking the lithium to get out of the situation then four more years of rotating cocktails.

    What I want to see addressed is why so many antidepressants did nothing, why two antidepressants now help me with sleep and pain from multiple sclerosis but have no effect on mood, but desipramine made me manic? It seems that such distinctions should be important to our new breed of psychopharmacologists; but they appear to be oddly disinterested in how their drugs work beyond what they can sell them for.

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    • Wileywitch… what a story. So common now that I have been reading so much. Lithium was the worst. I became completely unbalanced… could not stand still. I was lethargic… and thinking back, I keep hearing Dr. Yanovsky say… “lithium is the gold standard. It is a salt of the earth.” such bull.

      I recently got my medical records… tough to read as she did not type them out. I forgot all the meds she tried on me. Still amazed that a “professional” can get away with these things. We need to somehow make them accountable. That is what I need to work on.

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  15. Well, I am simply speechless. Let me tell U a true story, something I experienced personally, and I do mean personal. I am a moderator for a mental health website that provides posting style support systems for people with so called ‘mental illnesses’.
    One of the most popular forums are the bipolar forums. People come there not only to get support but to give it as well. How quaint..Sounds quite healthy, huh? I might add here that my Dx is: Bipolar I disorder, mixed episodes w/ severe Anxiety disorder. Huh? Well, OK, I believe that bc I have had such symptoms as these illnesses, symptoms used to define as such cases. No issue there. I have been ill most all my life bc of the symptoms I was so severely suffering from. The depressions that lasted for years at a time, the raw cruelty of those wretched feelings of being doomed to hell right here on mother earth. I thought I was just plain ‘ole insane… I could not cope with one single thing. Any stress laid me out in a long term bed ridden nightmare, with no hope of ever pulling out of it. I barely made it through school. That I truly believe was a gift from God. There seemed to be no other explanation anywhere.
    I might add here that I have always had a natural talent for English. I found out things in English classes that I already knew innately. Well, everything to be specific. I could read at an incredibly young age, seemingly with no teacher! It just came to me like it had always been there, hmmm. I could diagram sentences with no teaching of any kind. It just was another natural talent I seemed to be born with. I could write properly structured stories and amazed all my teachers at how ‘smart’ I was! Anything English I had it in the palm of my hand, naturally. I became a teacher’s helper in the classroom, helping children learn how to read when they were not reading at their age level. I was sent from classroom to classroom to help teachers with their students. I also did not like being put on a pedestal like that either for the whole school and community to admire. I felt somehow ‘chosen’ and student’s parents knew who I was. I at first had no idea of my reputation of being such a genius as I was labeled. Now, all other subjects in school I either failed or nearly failed. Teachers gave me passing grades in other subjects, bc after all I was such a genius. Huh? Moving right along here. My early 20’s were upon me. Time for college. Time to go to work. I could not hold down a job no matter how hard I tried. I became so mentally ill I just could not function in society, becoming totally unemployable bc I was so ill with depression. Getting out of bed every morning was impossible. I did not know what was wrong with me and had never heard of mental illness outside of the classroom, and had no clue there was even such a thing that existed in my family. I was incredibly unstable. I was living a life seemingly controlled by the devil himself. I felt possessed for the lack of a frame of reference to put it in any other words. Then in about 2004 in my 50’s I finally had THE meltdown ending up in the ER so ill it seemed to scare all the nurses and doctors there. That in turn made me feel quite insane, abnormal, hopeless, horrified at their responses to me. I did not know I was depressed. Had not a clue, and neither did the medical staff. There were many trips to the ER through out my adult hood. No one there ever found anything wrong with me and sent me home the next day after observation. No meds were ever Rx’d. Not one doctor or nurse ever caught on to what might be wrong with me, after all my labs were incredibly normal..Well, as the story goes in 2004 I became quite suicidal. That is when my first trip to their mental health hospital was ordered by the ER doctor. At the mental health hospital I never felt to cared for in my whole life. They gave me ‘pills’ that made me feel normal. I had a bout with antidepressants making me incredibly manic. My pdoc saw that right away, and it was quite obvious to everyone I was in a drug induced manic phase, Huh? what the heck was that? The pdoc there said I was bipolar bc of my reaction to the antidepressant I was given. Then the pdoc put me on lithium and I was discharged with the Dx of Bipolar. I had never heard of such a thing in my family so the research was on big time. I read everything I could get my hands on about ‘bipolar mental illness’. I felt I had somehow been lucky enough to ‘find myself’, despite my college education as a Social Worker… Huh? An explanation for my horrible feelings emotional, and explanation for my physical symptoms as well. Euricka! An answer to my problem. What a miracle indeed. Now I knew what was wrong with me. I became a walking encyclopedia of a new education into mental illness. I learned a LOT of things that were just left out of my college education… I felt down right ‘saved’. Informed, and quite useful as a moderator for bipolar, etc., posting sites. I went on SSDI at age 50…
    The website I moderate for is quite taken with my insight, education and personal experience with mental illness and my recovery. Recovery? What? Well, I have been on about 15 different ‘bipolar’ meds all which did nothing at all for me, made me even more depressed and now manic; and also physically ill, throwing up, so nauseous I was quite certain some day I would just check out of this world by taking my life.
    And I meant it too. And now at age 61, I am sure I would do that bc I do NOT have another bad sick crazy episode left in me. I have just decided I am too old to be that sick ever again and come out of it alive. Nor do I care to. AND NO, I am not suicidal presently bc 16 months ago while in that same mental health hospital the pdoc there put me on a low dose of….. here we go now…. Seroquel !!! I went from a suicidal ER patient to a well person literally over night with just one dose of this junk. There was a website member I became quite upset with. He claimed to be a disabled psychologist on disability for severe anxiety. OK. But, as a moderator I became quite concerned about this new member.. He had taken it upon himself to clue us all in on how poisonous and dangerous the psych meds were that we were all taking, especially Seroquel! Well, remember now, it was seroquel that made me normal for the first time in my life for any length of time. He went into detail about how ridiculously difficult and dangerous it was to get off this stuf. I was sure he had singled out seroquel bc of his awful personal experience he had getting off this so called miracle drug. This member was not relating to us as a layman, but instead was treating us all as if we were his patients, a no no on this site. I called him on it in forum and told him we all had disclaimers attached to the bottom of every single post. A Conditions and Terms Policy on this site. NO professionals treating members as patients, period. I told him there was a healthy handful of members who had some really impressive credentials after their names, but on here we are all equally laymen.. He hurled back at me admonishing me for letting the air out of his balloon. Awww…… So, I sent him a PM requesting he re arrange his posts to fit that of a layman. He went livid on me in PM and on forum and slandered the heck out of me, telling members I was a quack! Huh? He did not know I was a Social Worker, child welfare, for my state., nor on SSDI. Very few people knew that about me. I kept that kinda quiet and only shared that info with long time members and administration. So, this member in retaliation befriended another moderator by going to her Profile page, giving her hugs and well, sweet talking her, and, she bought right into the attention this man was lavishing on her. (I call that – coming in through the back door). He successfully had turned this moderator against me. The fight was on — on the forums and in PM’s. It went on for several weeks. I should have banned him from the very start when he refused to meet Terms and Conditions. But banning someone is so permanent… Silly me… Well, as that turned out, I banned this man quite irritated with his obnoxious attitude towards me … and… seroquel. Now here I am a few years later and the ‘bad’ reports on how hard it is to get off seroquel just keep landing in my lap. I have unsuccessfully tried to gradually cut back on this stuf to no avail. I take a low dose of 200 mgs daily, halved into 2 doses every 12 hours. Sounds sensible enough , huh? 200 mgs isnt such a big dose… what scares me about this drug is just what that banned member was saying about it! It is impossible to get off of it. Well, I have successfully been weaned off a jillion bipolar drugs looking for something that will work better with no withdrawal symptoms ever! Ever!. But this seroquel is quite another thing. The thought of being on this drug, not being able to get off it, and having to take it forever is just eating away at me. It just scares the willies out of me. I have always been quite thankful to the Lord for giving me access to a pdoc and meds. I was so sick for so many years, how could I not drop to my knees in Thanks to God for taking such good care of me.? Access to good psychiatric care is a nightmare in this state. It is nearly non existant, and forget finding a good therapist actually trained in your personal issues. They just dont seem to exist in this town. They all seem so generic to me. Heck, a person with a good solid understanding of the 12 steps of AA could do a better job helping people with their mental health issues… Now, as I said, here I am stuck on this miracle drug seroquel and very frightened of what this drug has in store for me down the road as I age even more. OMG! what a nightmarish thought that is…
    I go to see my poc on Monday Dec. 9 – this coming Monday! I’m not so sure what to tell her about getting this drug out of my system and possibly taking an alternative drug in its place.. My question is:: just what is a good alternative drug for seroquel?
    I have no idea. Do any of you?? I’m frightened! Please shine some light on this for me if any of you can. I will appreciate every suggestion and advice. Thank you for reading me. It is difficult for me to write any more also. I forget what I say and get things all out of sequence.. Sequence / Seroquel? Hmmm,, interesting word
    association there…
    Kelti, Oklahoma City…

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    • Kelti,

      Phew… what a nightmare. You have had a hell of a time and it sounds like you are still in the throws of it. Psychiatry is such a conundrum… it’s a catch 22… so much of it is like the chicken or the egg. If your symptoms caused you side effects, then treating you with meds may create a whole new set of problems.

      I try to not tell people whether to take meds or not take meds. Asking me for advice about meds is probably not a good idea. I don’t think they help people. If you want to know what drug to switch to… from Serequel… no answer. I could refer you to groups on Facebook that may have some advice… but most of the people I am in touch with are anti psychiatry and anti drug. It’s hard to advocate to people that drugs are wrong as some people seem to think they help. I think it’s like helping a junky with heroine by finding another drug to take. All I can do is pray you find some sort of help. The best thing I did in the past few years was to read Robert Whitaker’s book, Anatomy of an Epidemic. Educate yourself and do not accept a diagnosis.


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    • Wileywitch,

      I think you’re right, psychiatry is nothing other than harming patients for profit. It’s blatant money worship by “doctors” who’ve hypocritically promised to first and foremost promised to “do no harm,” then do nothing but harm their “patients.”

      And they’re doing it to children now, I’m shocked by the evils of the American psychiatric community, and I’m not the only one, Whitaker I believe, and many others are, too.

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  16. I’ve had similar experiences with antidepressants. They were prescribed for obsessions and depression (largely due to family problems). They sent me into hypomania and I was subsequently diagnosed as being bipolar. I’ve never had non-antidepressant triggered hypomanias. No spontaneous hypomanias i.e.

    Now, the obsessions are totally gone and have been so for a long time and the only reason I feel depressed is because I have psychiatric labels.

    Interestingly, Nassir Ghaemi has written an article citing studies where he claims that people who have antidepressant induced hypomania are almost always bipolar. I can’t seem to access those studies, but I wonder if someone could look into the veracity of these claims.

    Here’s the article:

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    • What a lot of psychiatrists and all of the drug companies want is for us to believe that when people experience mania after being put on a so-called “antidepressant” the drug is unmasking the “bipolar illness” that has been lying in wait to show up. What is actually happening is that the toxic so-called “antidepressants” induce the mania.

      It’s just another ploy to get more people on the toxic drugs and is one of the big reasons why the number of people with the label of “bipolar” has skyrocketed.

      Before the toxic drugs came along being so-called “bipolar” was a rather rare thing, episodic in nature and not chronic as it is now. The toxic drugs are causing the problem and psychiatrists and drugs companies are lying and also are trying to profit from the misfortune of innocent people. It’s all pretty disgusting.

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      • Well, I don’t know if psychiatrists are actually lying on purpose. I think many of them just follow established norms in psychiatry.

        BTW, one of my psychiatrists told me this when I asked him why antidepressant triggered manias are used to make a diagnosis of bipolar:

        1.) Not everyone experiences mania on antidepressants. The number of people who experience mania on ADs are much lesser than the number who don’t.

        2.) Studies in psychiatry are longitudinal in nature, and it is hypothesised that people who come in with depression and become manic on ADs are people who are coming in during the depressive phase of their illness and the antidepressant merely triggers what would have happened anyway.

        He gave me an example of a patient he had seen who had 11 episodes of depression before having his first episode of spontaneous (i.e without antidepressants) mania.


        Now coming back to Nassir Ghaemi. He says, “Here is the stronger research evidence, I believe, that antidepressant-induced mania occurs, and that it almost always means the patient has bipolar disorder. Depending on the study population (e.g., type I vs type II) antidepressant-induced mania happens in about 5-50% of patients with bipolar disorder. According to almost all studies of carefully diagnosed MDD (i.e., with standardized interviews to rule out type I and type II bipolar disorder), the rate is much less than 1%. For instance, in a standard large recent study of MDD (STARD,with about 3000 patients), which used 4 different cycles of antidepressants one after another, mania cases only happened in less than ten persons, or about 0.3%. The relative difference is huge: 5-50% divided by 0.3% means that if antidepressant induced mania occurs, the patient is at least 166 times more likely to have bipolar disorder than MDD. (That is about 10 times the likelihood of getting lung cancer if one smokes cigarettes).”

        When a commenter on the article wrote that many people who have had AD induced manic episodes are about as bipolar as George Bush is a democrat, Dr. Ghaemi responded by saying, “A strongly stated opinion is not truth.

        The manic switch rate with antidepressants is 5-50% in bipolar disorder (depending on the study and drug, see Goodwin and Jamison’s textbook Manic Depressive Illness). The manic switch rate with antidepressants in the recent STARD study of unipolar depression was less than 10 persons in over 3000 patients, or 0.3%. The relative difference is 10-100 fold higher for bipolar disorder, a huge effect size.

        Why are people so angry with psychiatry? First, I will note that people have been angry at psychiatry in late 19th century Germany, 50 years before anyone ever used drugs.

        These days I will agree that there are legitimate reasons for anger, including eclectic anarchic practice, and frequent dogmatism on the part of psychiatrists. But sometimes people just do not have the knowledge of the facts.

        Stigma, partly based on absence of knowledge, is also relevant.”

        When he says , “the manic switch rate in bipolar depression is 5-50% (depending on the study population)”, does he mean that these people were people who experienced spontaneous manias and then when given ADs, 5-50% (depending on the study population) switched to mania?

        I would like someone to respond factually to such assertions (either refute or confirm them) than just insinuate that psychiatrists are liars etc. That just makes one look ignorant.

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    • Well… I am a perfect case study. I was told by many pdocs that I was bipolar and if I stopped the meds, I would have more episodes and they could be fatal. I am now 18 months free from meds and I have not had any mood swings. My brain if once again stable… off meds.

      The trouble with their theory is when you stop psych meds, there are problems… at times even more problems than before. This is then seen as further mental illness, but it is the withdrawal complicating the side effects, plus any unresolved conditions. I am no expert on the studies, but I’m sure if you post that question to the admin at this site, someone will give you some concrete evidence… good luck.


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          • So, I sent Mr. Whitaker a mail about Dr Ghaemi’s article and this was his reply:


            There are any number of studies that have assessed the increased risk that a person diagnosed with either anxiety or depression, who is then put on an antidepressant, will have a manic episode. The largest such examination of the data was done by Yale researchers a few years back. They examined something like 87,000 patient records, and found antidepressants increased the risk of a manic episode three-fold over the first year (from 2.4 percent to 7 percent, something like that.)

            Now some psychiatric researchers have maintained that the antidepressant just “unmasked” an underlying bipolar disorder. But here’s the point: what the data is showing is that for many people, this underlying emotional instability would never have been “unmasked,” and thus they would never have developed the instability that leads to that diagnosis. There is abundant evidence documenting this,which I wrote about in my book Anatomy of an Epidemic.

            As far as the low rate of manic episodes in the STAR D trial mentioned by Ghaemi, that trial was conducted in a group of patients with a long prior exposure to antidepressants, and thus you are preselecting for patients who didn’t have manic episodes in response to the antidepressant in those prior years. It’s a select group of patient, and not the wider group of patients that is first put on an antidepressant.

            I should also note that the risk of an antidepressant induce manic episode is highest in youth (age 13 or so.)

            Finally, as Fred Goodwin has noted, once you induce a manic episode, it’s not simply a matter of removing the offending antidepressant and all is resolved. Instead, the induction of that first episode seems to trigger a more lasting mood instability in many, which then shows lends itself to the bipolar episode.

            I hope this explanation helps.”

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          • I’m laughing.

            Not once, twice: “unmasked” “unmasked”

            Is that sort of like, revealed revealed?

            Like I said, the case is made and there is no greater criticism of psychiatry.

            2 Thessalonians 2:7-12

            The Voice (VOICE)

            7 For the mystery of sin is already working its way through the world; He who holds him back now will continue to suppress him only until He is pulled out of the way. 8 It is then that this rebellious one will be finally unleashed. But the Lord will slay him with the breath of His mouth; and with the splendor of His coming, He will bring him to his predetermined end. 9 Still the rebellious one arrives with all sorts of power, performing signs and fake miracles sanctioned by Satan; 10 he employs every manner of wicked deception to wile away those who are destined for eternal death because they reject the love of the truth that leads to salvation. 11 Because of this, God sends a deceptive influence over them so they will wander from the truth and believe the lie. 12 As a result, God will judge all of those who did not entrust themselves to the truth when it faced them but instead reveled in wickedness.

            You, registeredforthissite, said “These days I will agree that there are legitimate reasons for anger, including eclectic anarchic practice, and frequent dogmatism on the part of psychiatrists.”

            Anarchic. Lawless! Then you decided to ridicule me? shm.

            The most anarchic lawlessness comes from the atheistic, who reject the truth and believe the lie. In other words, they reject god and say there is no god. Synonymous words for god: supernatural, divine, divinity, spirit…

            psychiatry is a 300 billion dollar per year industry, correct? And they’re drugging up the babies and the kids? And the psych drugs SHRINK THE BRAIN and cause akathisia and tardive dyskinesia? And there’s mention of premature deaths, “25 years”? And more…

            So who can do something about all of this, Obama?

            Some people want to dismantle psychiatry, some others want to build alternatives and an entire different, new “system”, and then there’s Me, with my gigantic stench mouth, satan in my pocket and a lovely altar in my living room in a town whose name is Biblical and means House of God…

            So, you see where I’m coming from? Do you understand my angel on this? Oops, typo. Do you understand my angle on this?

            We each play a role and have a job to do.

            Before I end this comment, which some might think has nothing to do with the drugs, the depression, the “bipolar”, the studies and the science…

            There are OTHER CAUSES of so-called mood and energy disorder (“bipolar”) that are going COMPLETELY IGNORED. We have electromagnetic toxicity to consider AND solar and cosmological activity. In other words, the sickness, disease and suffering in Humanity ISN’T all about trauma, genetics and injury from psych drugs. And I do believe that up above, somewhere, I made a comment about this. Because there is SOMETHING ELSE going on in the world of human suffering. People cannot get the right “treatment” if they don’t know what’s making them SO SICK and symptomatic. psychiatry IS AN OBSTRUCTION in many, many ways.

            If the diagnosis is wrong, the “treatment” is also sure to be wrong.

            Did you know that low potassium can cause “mental” symptoms? That’s just potassium. Electricity can harm the thyroid, one of the most important BRAIN GLANDS (seated in the neck) for healthy functioning and well-being.


            People must NOT be so narrow, focusing strictly and solely on PSYCH DRUGS. There’s TONS MORE to have to consider.

            According to one source, over 150 million people are anosognostic about their sick thyroid. Of those 150+ million, how many are swallowing the wrong drugs and how many of those people sit in front of a TV and / or computer all day?


            I’m done rambling now but not done making myself SICK with excess coffee, cigarettes and electromagnetic overexposure.

            ~ jesus christ

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    • LOL. The case is already made: psychiatry IS this planet’s antichrist. It will NOT be defeated by science. EVER.

      It’s going to take RECOGNITION and REALIZATION. And that, is just too terrifying for people so they don’t do it (willful ignorance).

      Ignorance is a safety mechanism. Self-preservation and protection. People ignore, almost by nature.

      MOST people are NOT forthright and forthcoming. MOST people are crafty, not saying what they mean to say. They cover it up, say it in other ways and in other words. That’s dishonest. But that is the dominant way of the world – DISHONESTY.

      Why are people angry? They’ve been duped. Hoodwinked. Deceived. Lied to. Robbed. Cheated. Fooled.

      The antichrist is a god-like entity that denies spirit and denies salvation.

      And the drugs? Not only do they not work, they make people sick. and they even kill people.


      It will not be by science that psychiatry will change or STOP itself.

      And please, don’t forget the MASSIVE size of the body of life. We are over 7 BILLION people. I think most people cannot comprehend what that means.

      It is going to take RECOGNITION and REALIZATION to see it for what exactly it is. Then, and only then can anything change.

      This is Eternal Life. We’ve already been through all of this in previous life cycles. People need to WAKE UP.

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      • ^^ This is precisely the kind of stuff that (gets laughed at, makes one look silly, and) prevents any legitimate and serious criticism of psychiatry (or any other field or aspects of a field).

        One must criticise based on facts and logic, and not simply appeal to emotion.

        I would still like someone to tell me more about the studies (and their conclusions thereof) Dr. Ghaemi refers to.

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        • You think the antichrist is a joke?

          I’m certain psychiatry is laughing louder.

          It isn’t about emotion but if you think it is, that goes to show your lack of knowledge and understanding.

          There is NO GREATER CRITICISM of psychiatry than the absolute truth – it is the ANTICHRIST.

          So, time to wake up. Faith, not fear.

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      • I actually agree that psychiatry itself will not be changed by science, because it’s not a scientific endeavor. It’s more a cross between a religion and a multinational corporate conglomerate. Where I agree with “registered…” is that those who are NOT embedded in psychiatry will need data to convince them that psychiatry’s barking up the wrong tree.

        I also agree with you that most people don’t want to believe that evil motivations exist – they want to believe that psychiatry as a profession is at worst misguided, and that giving them a chance to review the data will lead them to enlightenment. It is hard for people to accept that the top dogs of psychiatry are operating on a pure business model that is interested in capturing and controlling market share and aren’t really too upset by the fact that a certain number of their clients are permanently disabled or die as a result of their “treatment.” But again, saying this to most people does result in alienation, precisely because they don’t want to believe it.

        I’m not sure what the answer is, but telling everyone that psychiatry is evil is not the first step, and may never even be necessary. If WE know the ill intents of the profession, we can strategize how to defeat them without needing everyone to agree with us. I think it’s more a matter of collecting those who are not ill intended and banding us all together around the idea of making things better for those who are looking for help. Those who believe in that will rally to the cause, and those who don’t will identify themselves for who they really are.

        Of course, in the end, it’s about power, and taking back power from the powerful is scary and leads to retaliation inevitably. But 7 billion people can generate a lot of power, if we’re all pulling in the same direction. How to get that coordination of effort is the real question. Whether or not the psychiatric profession, or at least its top leaders, have evil intentions is not something that anyone in the know should doubt, but announcing that publicly probably isn’t our best marketing tool.

        —- Steve

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        • “I’m not sure what the answer is, but telling everyone that psychiatry is evil is not the first step, and may never even be necessary.”

          I cannot agree with that.

          A great spiritual awakening cannot focus solely on the SAFE happy bubbles of the “Heaven on Earth” that people would like to create (Peace, Justice, Light, Love, Joy, Abundance, etc.).

          A spiritual awakening encompasses the WHOLE OF THE TRUTH.

          Most (MOST) people in the world today believe in SCIENCE. Many do not accept god, spirituality and religion. They don’t believe in evil. They don’t believe in an antichrist or, they think it’s Obama or some other person.

          I’m here with a very real, genuine, LIVING STORY of divinity, supernatural, paranormal and more. Personally, I do not need the BS (brain science).

          To deny SPIRIT, which is what the antichrist does, and even to deny evil, is only going to keep MAINTENANCE and PERPETUATION of what people say they want to change in this world.

          MUST acknowledge the TRUTH. THIS is the way to change.

          There was a comment a day or two ago where somebody outright DENIED the existence and reality of evil. I’m not having it.

          Somebody else was asking after how to engage the greater public (the masses) in regards to changing the world of psychiatry.

          Recognition of the truth will further WAKE PEOPLE UP.

          But, okay. On with the scientific studies, then. I see it as a waste of time.

          The world could kick psychiatry’s ass in the blink of an eye – GAME OVER – simply by recognizing it for what it is.

          Bipolar by definition?

          ANTICHRIST by definition:

          a god-like entity (DSM is called the “bible” for a reason) that DENIES SPIRIT and denies the people the ultimate salvation.

          Who is offering salvation? Magic pills, anyone? Did you get hurt? Real bad? Aww, sorry about your luck. Drugging the kids, right? LET’S PUT AN IMMEDIATE STOP TO IT.

          So yes, I think psychiatry could use a great big wake up call, a call that they should be FORCED to answer and respond to.

          By the way, it’s Christmas season. A shared season with Satan, by the way. Christ and Satan SHARE the holiday known as Christmas.

          MOST of my psychiatric lock ups are during THIS VERY SEASON, when I am MOST PRESENTING.

          Ain’t that interesting. Well, here I am at Mad In America, locked up in very different ways and still fighting SATAN and “psychiatry” …


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          • mjk,

            Everything you’re saying here makes perfect sense to me. (You are ‘presenting’ quite well, IMHO.)

            Whether one believes that psychiatry is evil or not, calling psychiatry evil may be counterproductive in some situations, I think.

            It’s a conundrum.

            How do we inform unsuspecting innocents of the grave danger of getting involved with psychiatry, if we do not call a spade a spade?

            I do believe it helps to be a bit more specific; e.g., some will identify bio-psychiatry as the evil form of psychiatry; I myself am inclined to insist medical-coercive psychiatry is the most evil form of psychiatry.

            Personally, I do believe that medical-coercive psychiatry (that psychiatry, which is forever ready to force itself on its “patients”) is certainly evil, yet I hesitate to say so, at times, depending upon the company I am in…

            After all, talk of ‘evil’ can be confounding, in some conversations.

            But, evil certainly exists, and I agree with you, as you explain that psychiatry is evil — in this sense that it seems more or less bent on discouraging us from discussing the concept of ‘evil’ while it goes on destroying countless innocent lives.

            (To me, that’s the very essence of evil.)

            But, there are very many people who promote medical-coercive psychiatry without realizing its evil nature. (Surely, they must be educated, not judged.)

            Considering your strong and deep connection to the underlying currents, of this season and the fact that you indicate, most of your psychiatric lock-ups happen at this time of year, I am wondering: Is it possible you have, at times, failed to realize, that there’s no need to deliberately martyr ourselves?

            (At least, IMHO: There is no need for us to do so…)

            We need never deliberately martyr ourselves, I think.

            Along those lines, I add this bit of perspective, on the way I read the story of Jesus’s life and death (of course, it’s only my humble opinion):

            Jesus wasn’t aiming to become a martyr.

            Hence, whenever I hear a fundamentalist say “He died for your sins,” I can only think, to myself, ‘You don’t understand Jesus.’

            To my way of thinking, about him, I figure, probably, Jesus would have enjoyed living to a ripe old age; but, yes, he chose to take risks, expressing himself in ways that ultimately led to an early death, at the hands of a corrupt Establishment.

            That violent death which he suffered may seem ‘necessary’ in the eyes of countless souls, who look back on it, historically.

            They paint him a deliberate martyr; for, martyrdom did become his fate; and, every indication is that, there was a point at which he came to welcome that fate.

            There came a point when he saw the writing on the wall; there would have been no dignity in attempting to escape, as the authorities were, at last, entirely determined to see him die on the cross.

            But, the question of whether his or anyone’s fate has been somehow entirely pre-ordained, from the start, is, at the very least, highly questionable, IMO.

            And, I figure Jesus’s message of love and redemption would have spread, regardless of how he died; so, I think his dying on the cross was not necessary; though, eventually it became inevitable.

            Anyway, the main thing I’m getting at (which I’d most like to relay to you here) is this: I’m praying you won’t be locked-up this season (nor any other season). After all, we are speaking of lock-up, in terms of “hospitalization,” forced drugging, etc..

            To be locked up, in a jail, would be bad, of course. But, psychiatric “hospital” lock-up is brutal.

            For someone who well understands that medical-coercive psychiatry is evil, “involuntary hospitalization” becomes a form of martyrdom.

            One can only experience so much of that, in a lifetime, without being crushed.

            Your comments form critically thought-provoking pieces in the mosaic of discussion, on this website.

            Getting locked-up would be a mistake, at least from the point of view, that it would take you out of this discussion.

            I suggest (at this time of year, especially) to any and all fellow psychiatric survivors, who may, perhaps, be inclined to tend to tread on thin ice, challenging ‘authorities’ of all kinds: Let’s pay heed to the well known warning against casting pearls before swine…


            With that expression, Jesus was saying to his followers, in effect: Think twice before ‘presenting’ yourselves to those who would only use your words against you.

            During this season, I find it is a good time to turn inward, a bit more than usual.

            So, in case I wind up taking an extended Internet break, I now say, Happy Holidays to you, mjk…

            And, of course, be well…



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          • Hi Jonah,

            “But, there are very many people who promote medical-coercive psychiatry without realizing its evil nature.”

            Yes, I think of them. WHERE IS THEIR FAITH?

            “martyr ourselves”

            I say it all the time – I AM A LIVING WITNESS.

            Religiously speaking, do you know what it means to be a witness?

            A lot of what you wrote about Christ is not accurate but I know you’re expressing your thoughts and beliefs.

            I do not fear psychiatry. I face ZERO “risk” of any hospitalization.

            “pearls before swine”

            That makes me think of this:

            1 Corinthians 1:25

            25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men

            “Happy Holidays to you, mjk…

            And, of course, be well…”

            A snowy winter makes me happy. Holidays do not.

            Good Will to you and thank you for your well-wishes.

            ~ mjk

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          • mjk,
            Maybe you’ll like my story, because it exemplifies your point. I had antidepressant withdrawal symptoms misdiagnosed by a therapist. I had agreed to see this therapist in 12.2001 because she claimed to be a “Christian,” and my withdrawal symptoms included powerful dreams. I went in and asked this “Christian therapist” what a powerful dream about being “moved by the Holy Spirit” meant.

            I’ve since picked up and read her medical records. This therapist wrote in her medical records that her belief is that the Holy Spirit is the “voice” proving I was bipolar – but dreams aren’t “voices.” And that’s denial of the Spirit. And the opposite of what all Christians believe, except apparently my ex-church and the Chicagoland ELCA synod offices.

            Reading this therapist’s medical records was enlightening because I also learned she’d actually demanded I be drugged based on a numbered list of lies and gossip from a couple who allowed my son to be sexually molested while in their care (and I was eventually handed over evidence of this in my son’s medical records). And lies and gossip from the therapist’s pastor, who was best friends with the alleged child molesters.

            And this pastor, to dissuade my family from joining his church (at the request of his alleged child molester friends), denied my daughter a baptism, at the exact moment the second plane hit the second World Trade Center building on 9.11.2001.

            Another pastor from that church did eventually agree to baptize my daughter, but did try to baptize her by the wrong name. I’ve since noticed that if one were to provide logical nicknames to my daughter’s name, she too is named “House of God” – Beth El.

            So essentially, the ELCA religion initially denied a baby named “House of God” a baptism, at the exact moment a Muslim claimed God was angry with the US Christians, so the ELCA religion could assist in covering up child molestation.

            And now that I’m aware of the fact the religions, hospitals, government, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies are profiting off turning millions of Americans into bipolar / schizophrenics completely with drugs. And “medical mistakes” (largely bad reactions to pharmaceutical drugs) kill as many as died on 9.11.2001, EVERY TWO DAYS.

            Well, I do think God had, and still has, reasons to be angry with those currently in charge in the US. We have a bogus war. Bin Laden could have been correct that God was angry with some Christians on 9.11.2001. I’d like to see the wars end now – that’s one of my Christmas wishes. It’s hard to be merry, when you are aware of the almost unfathomable scope of psychiatry’s new holocaust.

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  17. @mjk:

    “You, registeredforthissite, said ‘These days I will agree that there are legitimate reasons for anger, including eclectic anarchic practice, and frequent dogmatism on the part of psychiatrists.’ ”

    No, that’s not what I said. That’s a quote by Dr.Nassir Ghaemi.

    You bring Jesus, Satan, religion, cosmological activity and all sorts of (mumbo jumbo) stuff here, when we’re trying to scrutinise these things in as logical a manner as possible.

    I hope people don’t see the kind of comments you have made, and end up de-valuing the great efforts of many of the people on this site.

    You have been reported.

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      • This comment isn’t a reply to anyone, I just need to fit it in somewhere where.

        Where the antichrist is KNOWN (I stated it for the first time, ever, here on MIA, in about May 2012)…

        I’ve just taken a closer look at something else, for the first time.

        The name Soteria comes from the Greek Σωτηρία for “salvation” or “deliverance” (see Soter).

        Wait, wut? Salvation? Deliverance? No silly, psychiatry does that (just kidding, they wish).

        Isn’t this so cool? The SAFE HOUSE came into existence (1971, right?) before the identity of the REAL antichrist was revealed. GREAT NEWS, Soteria is currently being RESURRECTED!

        So, ye know, everything is already known now. Psych drugs = BAD. psychiatry = ANTICHRIST. Solution = SOTERIA.

        Tell the fat, obese, gluttonous, evil, corrupt government and its agencies I said: YOU JUST GOT TOLD WHAT, BY A WHITE ROBE. In other words, YOU AGREE that psychiatry is DEAD and Soteria is being resurrected, AND WILL BE SUPPORTED. And it will grow and expand to encompass as much as it needs to, in order to make it POSSIBLE for Humanity to actually TAKE CARE OF ITSELF. REAL care.

        Now, Humanity can actually come to life and do some real work. Humanity has a HUGE SHIFT CHANGE to make.

        From evil to Justice.

        Just do it (nike said so).

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    • “Still no actual rebuttal (or confirmation)to Dr. Ghaemi’s article.”

      @ registeredforthissite,

      First of all, I strongly suggest that you take Dr. Ghaemi’s professional claims (no matter how ‘scientfic’ they may seem) with a grain of salt.

      I say that, as I see you repeatedly asking about Ghaemi’s article (you are seeking confirmation or rebuttal opinions), and I do have an opinion about the man’s scholarship.

      I will tell you (as I would tell anyone who is likewise attempting to discern the difference between classic psychiatric B.S. on the one hand and real science on the other):

      Having read Ghaemi’s best-seller, (A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness), I conclude there is nothing at all genuinely scientific in that man’s approach, to his subject. Truly. Nothing.

      And, really, registeredforthissite, please understand: studies which categorize individuals according to these different labels are doing little more or less than offering data, on some exceedingly limited aspect of what it is, to be thus labeled.

      And, these labels are not clearly defined categories.

      Many people are tagged with one of these labels, then some other label.

      Someone like Ghaemi, who is so wholly prone to speculating while being, nonetheless, heavily invested in making himself appear as though he is a scientist, never acknowledges this.

      He’s a performer, on the lecture circuit, propagating belief in Psychiatry itself — and in the presumed ‘entity’ of “bipolar disorder”; that’s his specialty.

      But, “bipolar disorder” is truly nothing but a very, very, very vaguely defined ‘condition’ — really, it is many possible conditions, many behaviors and moods; for, it’s an umbrella term — that, at best, refers us to countless “patients” reporting all sorts of troublesome ‘mood’ and behavioral issues, many of which (as you well realize) are actually created by psychiatric drugs.

      “Bipolar disorder” is a ruse.

      Everything he offers is pure speculation; and, of course, that makes perfect sense, once one realizes the extent to which his subject (“bipolar disorder”) is a supposed ‘entity,’ the existence of which cannot be objectively confirmed.

      So, why is Ghaemi such a very successful, prominent KOL/true-believer in his field?

      His popularity lies in his appeal to the mainstream media and to so many (countless) souls now tagged with that wondrous, all-purpose “bipolar” label.

      He lends these countless suffering souls a great deal of hope, that their “diagnosis” shall shed light upon their lives and lead them to a ‘scientific’ understanding, of their own personality development and, perhaps, even unlock the mystery of their lives’ ultimate concerns.

      He emphasizes, above all else, this promise, that there may be a connection to genius in their “disorder” — a potential for leadership, etc., etc…

      But, in truth, sadly, his grasp of all such matters is sketchy; he has no clear sense of psychology and how human character is molded by its environment; his views are cut short by his references to “bipolar disorder” itself (to say the least).

      He is plagued by all the classic blind spots of a conventionally trained bio-psychiatrist (such as he is).

      That is to say, were he to let go of the “bipolar disorder” concept (of course, that sort of ‘letting go’ will not likely happen, as “bipolar disorder” is his bread and butter; he ‘treats’ who know how many “patients” for ‘it’), he might begin to better understand what’s troubling people…

      But, he’s deep into promoting a mythological ‘disease’ — and its supposed benefits; he’s in neck deep; though, I’ll grant him: He can tell a good/captivating story.

      He understands how to create a best-seller.

      He just hasn’t any ability to well explain the basis for anyone’s ‘moods’ (nor then the working of their lives, generally speaking).

      So, he’s made himself famous for considering the seeming similarities, in the lives of a small handful of prominent historical figures, whom he winds up “diagnosing” as “bipolar” — thus making the “bipolar” label appear as though a potential boon, to its recipients.

      They crave relief from the burden of their sufferings…

      So, he creates some relief, by somewhat reducing the negative impact of stigma, they feel, in regards to their “bipolar” label.

      (One might even read his work and conclude that “bipolar” is a wonderfully positive gift.)

      On the other hand, what he does with the “schizophrenia” label…

      To Ghaemi, “schizophrenia” is a “mental illness” which — unlike “manic-depression” — provides no special realism, empathy or creativity; thus, “schizophrenia” cannot inspire one to be a leader, as can, supposedly, “manic-depression” (a.k.a., “bipolar 1”).

      Never mind the fact that, quite often, these labels become interchangeable.

      Ghaemi must be saving his stories of the positive effects of that “schizophrenia” label for another book. (Yes, that’s a moment of sarcasm on my part.)

      These labels are very vague descriptors; they’re bucket terms.

      Of course, that’s not to suggest there isn’t a whole lot of suffering that these terms point to, including sufferings that precede ones introduction to psychiatry.

      E.g., I well realize that, there are people whose lives seem to fit the ‘classic manic-depressive’ descriptions, even before they meet a psychiatrist; IMHO, that most certainly does not prove there’s actually an underlying illness or disease (“bipolar 1”).

      On the contrary, in many instances or most, even the least bit of questioning leads a good professional helper to realize, that various addictions and/or personality issues, pertaining to childhood trauma and/or to uncompleted phases of personal development, lead one to experience roller-coastering moods and behavioral ‘syndromes,’ which can lead to ‘extreme states,’ which are eventually called “effects of manic-depression”/”bipolar 1”.

      Also, in some instances, one may discover, there are metabolic issues that wind up being called “symptoms” of “bipolar disorder”.

      It’s a catch-all designation — ultimately quite un-scientific.

      No one can ever assuredly say, objectively speaking, that ‘it’ even exists.

      One can only be certain that, psychiatrists declare that “It exists! You’ve got it!” …thus, we are supposed to accept that it does exist? Why?

      At last, I don’t believe “bipolar disorder” is a useful concept.

      But, of course, sufferings associated with difficult moods do exist.

      Anyone who suffers difficult moods has my sympathy.

      Simply, I recommend, whatever they do, they should never buy into the notion that they are afflicted with supposed “bipolar disorder.”

      I strongly suggest, think of “bipolar disorder” as a completely made-up disease (which is exactly what I believe it is).

      After all, my observation has been, that no one ever gets free of the persistent cycles of self-doubting that inevitably derive from a “diagnosis” of “bipolar disorder,” unless or until s/he realizes that, in fact, ‘it’ doesn’t exist.

      In summary…

      One who has tagged “bipolar” should realize, sooner rather than later, there are countless reasons that difficult moods arise, and uncovering those reasons requires a kind of ‘detective’ work, which the vast majority of psychiatrists typically know nothing about…

      Gaining special insights into human behavior and emotion and accruing an intimate knowledge about being human, is just not in their curriculum, not in their formal education (nor either can it be expected to develop through their subsequent training, in “hospitals”); the system that delivers their education makes sure, they’ll never have the time to look deeply, into the true causes of whatever truly ails people.

      Ghaemi, being a psychiatrist, is no more likely to tell you what’s going on, in the depths of your life, than would be a famous necromancer …like, say, Neil Tobin.

      (Note: I don’t believe in necromancy, yet I figure it’s possible that Tobin could offer more useful/therapeutic story-telling than Ghaemi.)

      At last, I encourage you to just forget about the “bipolar” label and trust your ability to be your own ‘detective’ of sorts.

      I wish you the best of luck in your search to better understand the causes of your experiences.




      P.S. — To anyone who reads this comment of mine, who is, perhaps, being ‘medicated’ for supposed “bipolar disorder” (or any other supposed psychiatric “disorder”): please, do not take my message as an encouragement to hastily toss those ‘meds’ into the garbage.

      Study the discussions, on this website and elsewhere, regarding how to most effectively (responsibly/safely) come off psychiatric drugs.

      Here’s a link to an MIA discussion where I offered some of my person experience and views, regarding that subject…

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      • Jonah, how nice to see you back. And it’s especially wonderful to observe your patient, brilliant mind dissect Nassir Ghaemi and his never ending bipolar fad fraud debacle he tries to inflict on one and all including people past and present! Has he gotten to Jesus and Paul yet?? Talk about arrogance. Though I’m not the greatest fan of Dr. Allen Frances you may recall, I do applaud him when he speaks up against Ghaemi’s outrageous bipolar expansion. These two fight all the time. Though I don’t like Dr. Healy’s ECT, I love it when he creams Ghaemi on his bipolar mania, biobabble excess and his toxic lithium and other poisons since his book, MANIA, does a great job exposing the bipolar fad fraud along with many articles by Dr. Healy.

        I completely agree with you about the dubious nature of terms like bipolar, mania and hypomania since these are garbage can terms applied to a huge conflicting mass of different problems, life crises, abuse, trauma, bullying, mobbing and other typical life stressors mostly to blame and scapegoat the victims.

        I have cited many articles by experts showing that abused women and children are routinely misdiagnosed with bipolar, paranoia, ADHD and other fraudulent stigmas since the mental death profession REFUSES TO ACKNOWLEDGE ANY CAUSES OF ANYONE’S EMOTIONAL OR OTHER EXTREME DISTRESS, etc. In fact, the whole point of the evil DSM enterprise was to completely ignore any causes of their invented, bogus, voted in life destroying stigmas created with Big Pharma for the sole, soulless purpose of pushing their toxic drugs once they sold their souls to them and everyone else’s lives, sanity and survival including children no less.

        I truly appreciate your very intelligent and accurate appraisals of the bipolar fad fraud and Nassir Ghaemi’s vile, self serving role in this monstrosity. There is a quotation to the effect that one is not inclined to question or wish to acknowledge evil or problems with something from which one makes a living and Nassir Ghaemi is a great example of such a totally compromised conscience for sure as you note yourself.

        I think you and I had a debate about whether bipolar or schizophrenia is worse that we never resolved, but I sure am glad to know that you do see the pernicious evil behind the massive bipolar fraud fad that was deliberately created to replace or subsidize the bogus “schizophrenia” for the most part so these fiends could capture millions more victims with this despicable lie and pretense in the guise of “mental illness,” a concept that is fraudulent in itself per Dr. Thomas Szasz and many others.

        Anyway, your assessment is great and wise and I am also glad that you, mjk and others name evil when you see/hear it!

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        • “abused women and children are routinely misdiagnosed with bipolar, paranoia, ADHD and other fraudulent stigmas”

          I don’t think they’re completely and entirely misdiagnoses. I think people are able to specify (“diagnose”) signs and symptoms of conditions but a lot of the words (terms for the conditions) are counter-productive and the RESPONSES are all wrong.

          If my vehicle is undeniably symptomatic and / or malfunctioning, I take it to a mechanic who will examine and find the problem. Then, they’ll fix it (if they can. Sometimes, the matter is beyond repair).

          “medicine” and “psychiatry” gets the “fixing” part ALL WRONG. They certainly did in my “case”.

          I was “diagnosed” with borderline personality disorder when I was 16 (I got SLAMMED with diagnoses that year). Looking back on it now, I see perfectly that in ALL of the conditions I was diagnosed as having, worse troubles and problems came in the “treatments” and the “help” (either absent or injurious or detrimental in some form).

          I *know* BPD applies to me. I know a LOT of “diagnoses” apply to me. The problem is in the LACKING, ABSENT and injurious “treatments”. The diagnostic labels can’t hurt me anymore.

          And I still think ADHD can be better understood in saying ‘disordered hyperactive attention’ or ‘hyperactive disordered attention’. That ONLY describes what’s happening or what a person experiences. The goal is to reduce or eliminate the stress and consequences that such a condition causes, and improve quality of life. But if a person feels hurt just by the “label” of “ADHD” (because it feels like a charge, conviction, judgment and / or condemnation) what’s happening is an OBSTRUCTION to theirs and others understanding and progress.

          I think a lot of these conditions (bipolar, attention problems, depression, schiz and psych, personality issues, etc.) are quite existent. I don’t think they’re all so manufactured or crafted or imagined. I mean, malignant narcissists do exist, right?

          It is okay for us to outgrow what we once knew. In outgrowing something, we let go of it and don’t drag it forward with us. Outgrowth is a form of absolving or dissolving. And I think a lot of what needs to happen in the “mental” and “psych” world is absolving and dissolving.

          We have many GOALS and AIMS. Understanding should be the top priority, for all of us – educated and uneducated, professional and layman, healthy and sick.

          Knowledge is NOT the highest form. Understanding is. Without Understanding, there cannot be Peace. Without Peace, we suffer.

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        • Note, to the Great and Powerful Matthew: There’s a friendly P.S. to you at the end of this comment…


          Thanks for the kind words. Was I really gone long enough to be noticed, as ‘gone’? I dunno exactly…

          I do take Internet breaks. So, there was a while I wasn’t posting at all.

          Now, having been back on the Net for a bit, I feel pretty much caught up on all the latest misery in Psychiatry World, so I’m ready for another break, of course.

          RE: “I think you and I had a debate about whether bipolar or schizophrenia is worse that we never resolved…”

          Oh, yeah, well, this is not a major bone of contention — not worth fighting about. It’s just that, I certainly do feel “schizophrenia” is the worse label, in terms of stigma.

          (There’s no doubt about that, in my mind.)

          So, in fact, I do recommend, to people who are stuck with a “SZ” label, they should seriously consider ways of developing a ‘mania’ (or ‘hypomania’), so they can trade in that tired old “SZ” for a shiny new-and-improved label (“BD”).

          But, actually, whoever (hypothetically speaking) studies all my comments, will realize that I feel all casual and accepting talk of psychiatric “disorders” is ultimately full of much nonsense, at best (and, much misery-making B.S. at worst); and, the “BD” fad is absolutely horrible for humanity (most especially for the kids who get drawn into it!).

          So… Yes, IMHO, on an individual level, “BD” can become a step up, from having first been tagged “SZ”; yet, nonetheless, on various occasions, I have argued that, those who identify themselves as psychiatric survivors should, ideally, seriously question why they are claiming to have any “disorder” — e.g., why live ‘proudly’ with the “bipolar disorder” tag (that just doesn’t make sense to me, nor either does it make sense to ‘proudly’ don any other psychiatric “disorder” label).

          Frankly, I suggest every psych-survivor should find whatever is fastest possible route away from the world of Psychiatry.

          Likewise, any intelligent psychiatrists should do that, IMHO. Thomas Szasz himself should have formally turned in his “Psychiatrist” badge, I think. (Maybe Loren Mosher was sort of on his way to doing that, when resigning from the APA? idk)

          Do I digress? Yes. So…

          RE: “Anyway, your assessment is great and wise”

          No, there’s nothing great and wise in what I’m saying!

          It’s all common sense. And, I am too wordy. So, I feel perplexed, wondering how to respond to such praise — really.

          Haven’t I have previously requested from you (kindly): please, next time, refrain from offering such praise.

          Honestly, it makes it harder for me to reply when you do that… I feel embarrassed.

          (This phrase ~~> “great and wise” …should be left for the Wizard of Oz!)

          But, I’ll certainly take your kind greetings, because, of course, it can feel rather lonely at times, posting on these issues.

          So, thanks for saying hi!

          Hi back to you, and Happy Holidays…

          Be Well..




          P.S. —

          YO! …ATTN MATTHEW (the real, great and wise, wondrous Wizard of MIA):

          Would you, please, seriously consider bringing this website “like” buttons (or ‘thumbs up’ buttons) for lonely commenters, such as I?

          That’s my X-mas wish, from you.

          (I promise to make a hefty donation to MIA this year, if you’ll just add those #%#@#$!@@ bottons.)

          Or, maybe an ‘I feel ya!’ button?

          IMHO, especially for psych-survivors, to be able to push a tiny, virtual button, simply indicating, ‘I feel ya!’ could well help commenters who are more or less beset with post-psych-drug-withdrawal and/or post-“hospital”-trauma stress and/or any other iatrogenic struggles, due to psychiatric ‘care’ (so-called).

          To realize that others are with us — that, perhaps, we are actually not all alone, in the mess that Psychiatry has made of our lives…

          That would be nice.

          Meanwhile, thank you for all the great and diligent work that you and your compatriots at MIA do…

          Happy Holidays…

          Be Well…



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  18. I find Nassir Ghaemi’s claims the usual abhorrent fraudulent lies pushed by Mitch Daniels, Big Pharma CEO, that promote BIG PHARMA/biopsychiatry fraud with the mantra always blame the victim’s so called “mental illness” for all lethal drug side effects and not the toxic drugs that really caused it. Note, The Physicians’ Desk Reference blames the offending SSRI’s for causing the mania and not the bogus invented bipolar fraud fad stigma garbage can voted in DSM III “diagnosis” to pretty much replace and displace the increasingly discredited schizophrenia to sucker more victims into their despicable scam Bob Whitaker and others have documented so well. Dr. Joanna Moncrieff has written a great deal about the bogus bipolar epidemic to push the lethal neuroleptics and other toxic drugs like the so called “mood stabilizers” as well. Ghaemi pushes the lethal but useless lithium on his many victims of such fraud.

    Also, given that Ghaemi has made his total career of the despicable vile fraud of the nonexistent bipolar disorder fad is so evil it boggles my mind. He has even written a horrific, junk science book whereby he retrospectively defames great historical figures with the modern day mental death profession’s fraud and lies with emphasis on his pet stigma of bipolar! His cohort, Fred Goodwin, he proclaims a great bipolar genius has been exposed as taking lots of BIG PHARMA money while touting his supposed expertise on radio for which he was discredited and fired thanks to Senator Charles Grassley. Ghaemi also thinks Joseph Biederman is a model of virtue and a medical genius as well for expanding bipolar to children and infants no less to help expand Ghaemi’s neverending bipolar power grab. Ghaemi sees nothing wrong with taking drug money per his writings and touts all the typical BIG PHARMA fraud claims of bipolar and DSM fraud in general though ironically, he pretends to be against the DSM and its older creators since he prefers a more scientific approach that will allow just about everyone on the planet to be stigmatized as bipolar so Ghaemi and his cohorts can gleefully commandeer an entire bipolar planet and next our whole galaxy!! How hilarious if not so deadly, vile and dangerous!!

    This reminds me of theological arguments about how many angels fit on a pinhead when speaking of dubious topics in general like bipolar fad fraud.

    Dr. Thomas Insel, Chief of NIMH, has now declared all of DSM voted in stigmas totally invalid and lacking all scientific and medical credibility including the bogus fad fraud bipolar invented as a garbage can stigma to include abusers and abuse victims to push the latest lethal drugs on patent per Dr. David Healy in his great book, MANIA, and many articles on bipolar “mania” fraud, biobabble and other absurdity.

    And Ghaemi wants to know why those like him and others pushing this despicable fraud are hated, despised and do nothing to earn anything but our total contempt with such conning and fraud that have destroyed countless lives based on total junk science as Dr. Paula Caplan and countless others have exposed??? I think he and his cohorts should have their own heads examined for even asking such a question. But, I think it’s just rhetorical as long as these fake doctors maintain such social power and control in the guise of medicine and so called “mental health.” Let’s not forget the fact that a bipolar stigma is just a demolition enterprise to discredit and destroy a person/victim with impunity often a woman or child trauma victim of abuse so they can be subjected to the mental death profession’s total demolition enterprise that has been predetermined to be perpetrated against the new victim once fraudulently “diagnosed” with this latest social degradation scapegoating, witch hunt ritual along the lines of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.”

    I’d love to see Ghaemi get a taste of his own great “medicine.”

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    • “nonexistent bipolar disorder”

      I don’t agree. I think “bipolar” certainly does exist but that it’s wrongly boxed.

      “Let’s not forget the fact that a bipolar stigma is just a demolition enterprise to discredit and destroy a person/victim with impunity often a woman or child trauma victim of abuse so they can be subjected to the mental death profession’s total demolition enterprise that has been predetermined to be perpetrated against the new victim once fraudulently “diagnosed” with this latest social degradation scapegoating, witch hunt ritual along the lines of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.””

      Mockery and ridicule, the demonic and parodies!

      Parody of The Lottery

      The South Park episode “Britney’s New Look” (season 12, episode 2; episode 169 overall) portrays the town as ensuring its food supply (and, allegorically, American popular culture as obtaining sustenance) by sacrificing young celebrities through a cycle of attention and exploitation that eventually lead them into self-destruction. Specific references to the original work include the use of “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” as a phrasal and syntactic template for “Sacrifice in March, corn have plenty starch.”

      All I can think of is Hunger Games and modern day Roman Colosseum. No violins in KoRn’s violent Evolution.

      KoRn – Evolution

      I actually DO have a beast in Me (!) and I know exactly what my beloved Jonathan is singing about. These are THE DARKEST DAYS (Kali Yuga). Depression, mania, madness and insanity? Ignorance, FOREVER!

      “I’d love to see Ghaemi get a taste of his own great “medicine.””

      You just might get your wish…

      this song from 2001 says it *perfectly*

      Now is the time the moon is in alignment
      With the unknown zodiac, the untold sign
      Of the fiery maniac within each breast
      Awaits a stirring irridescent whirring
      Of a six eyed god whose wings beat
      In a time so odd, so very odd
      And we’re all lost, all of us blessedly lost

      Forever forever and ever and ever
      Forever forever and ever and ever
      Forever forever and ever and ever
      Forever forever and ever

      Now is the time the old gods return
      Now is the time the old gods return
      Exactly when the world is not expecting it
      Exactly when we’re sure of ourselves
      That’s exactly when the old gods return
      And sweep our cities back into hell

      Now is the time that the old gods return
      Now is the time that water begins to burn
      Now is the time that the apes take wing
      And we recognize them from that Oz thing
      And we realize it was a prophecy
      We realize it was a prophecy
      Yeah the old gods laugh, it amuses them
      The old gods laugh

      Forever forever and ever and ever
      Forever forever and ever and ever
      Forever forever and ever and ever
      Forever forever and ever

      Now is the time the old gods return
      Now is the time the old gods return
      Exactly when the world is not expecting it
      Exactly when we’re sure of ourselves
      That’s exactly when the old gods return
      And sweep our cities…
      And sweep our cities back into hell

      Forever forever and ever and ever
      Forever forever and ever and ever
      Forever forever and ever and ever
      Forever forever and ever

      Now is the time the old gods return
      Now is the time the old gods return
      Now is the time the old gods return
      Now is the time the old gods return

      (there is no unknown zodiac, there is no unknown sign – it is known: ELECTROMAGNETIC TOXICITY)

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  19. There is one thing though. Robert Whitaker in his reply to my e-mail mentioned: “Finally, as Fred Goodwin has noted, once you induce a manic episode, it’s not simply a matter of removing the offending antidepressant and all is resolved. Instead, the induction of that first episode seems to trigger a more lasting mood instability in many, which then shows lends itself to the bipolar episode.”

    Personally, I don’t have hypomanias at all without antidepressants triggering them. Once I stop using them (and the triggered hypomania goes away), I don’t have spontaneous hypomanias either. I see that this is true for many others as well.

    How many of you have spontaneous hypomanias (given that your first ones were antidepressant induced)?

    I dislike calling it antidepressant induced “hypomania” though. It sounds like a sophisticated term for what just seems like a cheap drug high to me.

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    • I sent another e-mail to Mr. Whitaker (boy, he sure is prompt when it comes to replying) which reads: “Thank you for your response sir. Don’t people experience spontaneous manias as well (i.e. without antidepressants or other drugs)?

      It is thought that people who experience manias on drugs are people who are predisposed to experiencing manias because not everyone gets manic on drugs (antidepressants or otherwise). I think this is the basis for the “underlying bipolar disorder” hypothesis. What do you make of this information?

      Also, is it necessary that people who have hypomania triggered by antidepressants will go on to have more hypomanias even without antidepressants? This doesn’t seem to happen to many.”

      His response was: “Yes, some people experience spontaneous manias. I think the pathways to mania are many.

      With antidepressants, the point is simply that they increase the risk that a person with depression will have a manic episode. Perhaps the reason is that those who have a manic episode have some underlying vulnerability, but nevertheless, would never have a manic episode without it being triggered by an antidepressant.

      I don’t think it is always the case that someone who has a hypomania triggered by an antidepressant will have more hypomanias. But as Fred Goodwin, former director of the NIMH has written, once the initial mania happens, the resulting mood instability may not resolve itself with the removal of the offending antidepressant, and there may remain an increased vulnerability to mania in the future.”

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  20. The number of people who’ve had AD induced manias are enormous. It’s alarming.

    These are just a few reports by people. Just investigate online and see how many people became manic on antidepressants.

    One of the things we often read is that, “SSRIs cause mania in bipolar people”. Really? Would these people ever have had mania without SSRIs in the first place? Would that bipolar diagnosis ever have come up without SSRIs?

    Why is it that some people experience mania on antidepressants while others don’t?

    Also, it’s well known that, often, different people respond to a given drug differently. Does that mean that they have an underlying problem that would have spontaneously erupted or that they’re just different?

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    • “Why is it that some people experience mania on antidepressants while others don’t?”

      @ registeredforthissite,

      In my preceding comment, to you (above), I have already offered you my most basic explanation for why I insist, that, IMHO, “bipolar disorder” is not ultimately a useful concept.

      (Of course, you can understand, from all that I’ve said: I do well realize that it’s a very useful term for psychiatrists who make their living promoting it. And, it’s a very useful concept for Big Pharma.)

      Now, on the other hand, I do find “mania” to be a genuinely useful term.

      However, it is a term too often bandied about without regard for the fact that it can describe a wide variety of phenomena.

      And, as it is a phenomena that’s subjectively perceived, we should not accept, at face value, that every supposed ‘case’ of ‘mania’ is, in deed, mania.

      After all, psychiatrists tend to see ‘signs’ of a supposedly developing ‘mania’ in every sort of enthusiasm, which presents itself through “patients” who were formerly deemed “depressed”.

      So, before we simply accept, at face value, that anti-depressants are causing an huge epidemic of mania, and before we conclude that all these people, whom you refer to, as having experienced AD-induced mania, have experienced it, let’s get real, by recognizing what is actually meant by this word, “mania” (which, as you well know, psychiatrists declare the key “symptom” of presumed “bipolar 1”).

      Google the words “define mania” (here’s what comes up, in large print, at the top of the screen):


      mental illness marked by periods of great excitement, euphoria, delusions, and overactivity.

      synonyms: madness, derangement, dementia, insanity, lunacy, psychosis, mental illness;”

      Additionally, for the sake of discussion (as one who’s said to be experiencing “mania” is, of course, typically described as “manic”), here’s what comes up when Googling the words “define manic”:


      showing wild and apparently deranged excitement and energy.
      “his manic enthusiasm”

      synonyms: mad, insane, deranged, demented, maniacal, lunatic, wild, crazed, demonic, hysterical, raving, unhinged, unbalanced;”

      Those two terms (“mania” and “manic”) can be useful, most definitely, I believe — as long as they’re used carefully…

      They are pointers, which describe experiences, that can be very disconcerting, particularly to observers; however, they are terms that must be applied carefully, thoughtfully — not hastily.

      After all, we see from their definitions (above), that all sorts of (A) subjective appraisals and (B) personal value judgments are implied by their usage.

      In particular, we should note, that: “mania” suggests the presence of ‘delusions,’ and “manic” suggest being ‘deranged’; so, truly, one should not apply these terms casually, in describing anyone’s experiences, unless one believes that the seemingly ‘afflicted’ person is delusional (and ‘deranged’).

      What if the individual is not delusional (and, not ‘deranged’).

      [*Note: “deranged” is an extremely judgmental description of a person, I think; so, I’m disinclined to use it, to describe anyone who is not so far ‘out there,’ s/he is essentially insane.]

      Generally speaking, “hypo-manic” and “hypo-mania” do not imply delusional thinking; so, to be clear, we can use those terms, when referring to people who are experiencing seemingly out-of-the-ordinary ‘elevated moods’ — yet who are not experiencing delusions.

      The distinction is important; for, ones being accused of being ‘delusional’ (and/or, for one to admit to being ‘delusional’) can be life-altering — in ways that leave that person decimated.

      A person who is viewed by psychiatrists as ‘delusional’ can be stripped of his/her rights to self-determination.

      Calling someone “delusional” is no joking matter, in the world of psychiatry.

      Ones life can be forever altered, for the worse, upon his/her being accused (by a psychiatrist) of ‘delusional’ thinking.

      Hence, being called “manic” by a psychiatrist can more or less ruin a “patient’s” life.

      (People’s expressions often judged as “delusional,” in society, when they are highly enthusiastic about a new idea or endeavor, and that’s understandable, but that’s different, because “delusional” is term that everyone uses…; I think we should use that term and this “mania” term sparingly, as we are discussing the way in which psychiatry use such terms.)

      In deed, any psychiatrist’s application, of these terms, to describe anyone else’s experiences, is instantly suspect, in my mind.

      (In fact, anyone’s application of these terms, to describe his/her own experiences, is also suspect.)

      I will not blindly accept that all people who claim to have experienced “mania” have thus shared a common experience — largely because I know how damaging it was for me to have been called that… (more than a quarter of a century ago).

      I will not agree to presume that you were “manic,” unless or until you might offer enough details, of your experience, to convince me that you were truly delusional.

      If I am to accept that someone has experienced mania, I need to hear (or read) a person clearly detailing his/her experiences of presumed ‘mania’; I’ll begin to accept that s/he was manic only once I can understand what s/he means by “mania,” only after listening very carefully to his/her personal story — and only after concluding that s/he was truly delusional.

      I was called “manic” — and was accused of being delusional — but was not delusional, truly.


      As compared to the most usual states of mind, which most people are experiencing, on a daily basis… “mania” implies a rather ‘extreme’ state of mind — particularly when we agree, “mania” is marked by delusional thinking.

      The point that I’m getting at: While I know many people say they’ve experienced anti-depressant induced mania, I’m doubt that the true number of incidents is anything like the reported number of incidents.

      I’ll bet the true number of incidents is a noteworthy number; but, I suspect that, most of what’s being called AD-induced “mania” would be much more accurately described as “hypomania”.

      There’s a big (HUGE) difference, really.

      I consider ‘hypomania’ to be a perfectly natural and potentially quite creative, fairly easily self-managed experience, which is unfortunately medicalized by most psychiatrists.

      It is not an experience that should be pathologized, at all; yet, psychiatrists are prone to pathologize/medicalize all sorts of experiences which shouldn’t be pathologized/medicalized.

      Hence, they observe their initially ‘depressed’ “patients” as supposedly ‘becoming manic’ — when, in fact, all they are, reasonably speaking, is hypomanic.

      It happens all the time, and that’s mainly because…

      Psychiatrists fear ‘mania’ (and, they find ‘manic’ people quite difficult to deal with); so, they aim to nip all seemingly ‘developing mania’ in the bud; they do that, by medicalizing hypomania and by failing to distinguish between hypomania, on the one hand, and mania on the other.*

      *(Note prominently — on “mania” v “hypomania” and distinguishing…: In some instances, is not going to be at all easy to distinguish, because it can be incredibly difficult to judge who is or is not ‘delusional’; and, really, many people are delusional, in ways; very many are; perhaps, they’re delusions aren’t particularly problematic; or else, they aren’t typically conveying their problematic delusions. In any event, I don’t envy anyone who is in a position, to be professionally compelled, to ostensibly discern the truth of who is or is not delusional. For, there are perfectly benign delusions, and whether or not others are or are not experiencing delusions, that’s such a murky area to consider. There’s undoubtedly a huge percentage of people who are constantly experiencing a vast grey area that exists between reality and delusion. Personally, I think most nearly all psychiatrists are delusional, especially when deeply immersed in their work. They are incredibly deluded in ways! So, really, I don’t believe most psychiatrists should be expected to demonstrate an ability to accurately distinguish between the two…)



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        • The following brief passage is excerpted from a recently posted PsychologyToday(dot)com blog/article (“Who Is Mentally Ill?”) by Steven Reidbord M.D.:

          Since “mentally ill” obscures as much as it clarifies, perhaps no one should be labeled this way. Indeed, only in psychiatry can a person be declared ill by someone else. In the rest of medicine, it’s self-descriptive. In my view, “the mentally ill” harbors too many unstated implications and vaguely shared assumptions regarding whom we are talking about. Legal restrictions and entitlements should be based on more concrete standards — and actually, they are. ”Mental illness” is more of a rhetorical flourish, a bit of hand-waving when it’s difficult or inconvenient to pin down specifics.

          Interestingly, Dr. Reidbord is himself a psychiatrist.

          I have not read anything else from him, so all I know is that I appreciate his view of the term, “mental illness,” as described in his blog post. For anyone who may be interested in reading it, in full, here’s the link…

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          • Jonah,

            Another great post! As I said I like to read your very careful, thoughtful analysis of such absolute BS that is far more polite and kind than I could ever be when discussing the crazy making bipolar fad fraud.

            That’s it!! It’s the evil bipolar stigma itself making us all crazy.

            Did you ever see the great movie, Gaslight, with the psycho husband Charles Boyer trying to make his wife, Ingrid Bergman, believe she’s crazy, so he can rob her blind after he murdered her aunt? Sounds like this film was about the mental death profession and just ahead of its time since Bergman ends up looking and acting pretty crazy and hysterical or even “manic” when confronted with all the lies and dirty tricks of Boyer as he searches for hidden jewels in the victim’s house in the attic no less while messing with her mind when the gaslights go up and down. She is only saved when a young man in law enforcement sees her distress and danger and VALIDATES HER REALITY, a crucial remedy, that the psycho husband like the mental death profession invalidates as a matter of course!

            I highly recommend this movie to see how psychiatrists with the original abusers routinely drive their victims crazy with self doubt, verbal abuse, lies, false accusations of being delusional, paranoid, etc. And don’t think I am exaggerating as I have SEEN this evil first hand!!!

            Anyway, Jonah, please keep up the good work on the bipolar debacle!!

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          • Hi Jonah,

            You’re right in that arguing about which “severe mental illness” life destroying DSM stigma is worse is a lesson in futility. Since you did a great job demolishing the bogus bipolar stigma, that’s enough for me.

            I regret if my seeming “praise” bothered you and I don’t recall your asking me not to praise you. I was merely stating my very positive personal reaction to your writings, which I liked a lot as I tried to convey. You have a way of making things like Ghaemi and bipolar appear absurd with your calm but hard hitting citations of great evidence. I’m not sure you could call it praise given my personal prejudice and hatred against all things bipolar as should be obvious to one and all by now. But, since I have no desire to offend you, I will bear that in mind for the future and try to be more sensitive about this issue.

            It seemed that you were going to write more about Deepak Chopra from that past discussion I cited, but I’m not sure I can recall why right now. It may be that I said he could be viewed as a charlatan by some and you were going to share some information.

            Anyway, I come and go myself depending on whether I feel I have anything to say or another bipolar horror story gets a rise out of me, so my noting your coming and going wasn’t meant to be a big deal. I just enjoyed your comments and take on the bogus bipolar fad fraud and its chief pusher, Nassir Ghaemi.

            I guess I’m not in an argumentative mood and I thought we had a good, friendly discussion the last time in spite of the times we argued over various issues like citing the works of Dr. Allen Frances. I had hoped and thought we mended fences at that time since you do strike me as a gentlemanly sort.

            Anyway, I hope you write more about the bipolar fad fraud since it has certainly all but replaced the bogus schizophrenia stigma while used for the same purposes as the Yoism web site pointed out when Dr. Loren Mosher was still alive.

            Happy Holidays to you (and Matthew too). Be well!



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        • registeredforthissite,

          This website has no private message options, but here’s my email address…

          [email protected]

          I see that you’re impressed by Robert Whitaker’s quick responses to your email, so please know: If you send email, it may take me a while to respond.

          I guess it’s accurate to say that I dislike email, and I struggle with my aversion to it, at times.

          Hence, at times, it takes me weeks to respond; occasionally, it may take me months… (When that’s been the case, usually, I’ve explained it, in advance, by sending a very brief email reply, explaining, I have read the email, but there will be a delay in my responding.)

          Hopefully, my delays are not taken as a sign of disrespect, on my part.

          People just need to patient, at times — knowing I can be slow getting around to answering my email — all email — everyone’s email.



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      • Donna,

        Please have no regrets about anything said to me. We’re all good. About that movie you mentioned: No, I haven’t seen it.

        Another movie, comes to mind now — much lighter, of course (and it is, everyone knows, very popular, this time of year).

        That’s “Miracle on 34th Street.”

        As I’m sure you’re aware, it’s all about the attempt of conventionally-minded folk who find themselves visited by Santa…

        Though it is a classic light-hearted Hollywood family film, I actually think it’s a cautionary tale, as it lends a fair sense, that, in deed, there are ‘mental health’ professionals (psychologists and psychiatrists) who love nothing more than to attempt to control and discredit imaginative people…

        (The nice thing about this movie, it’s got a happy ending.)



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        • Woops, I mistakenly put the word “attempt” in a sentence, above, where I had meant to say “reactions”. I.e., that classic Hollywood film is (as we all know) about “the reactions of conventionally-minded folk who find themselves visited by Santa…”

          (What ever happened to that edit button, I wonder?)

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          • Jonah,

            Yes, I love the movie, Miracle on 34th Street, and the battle between the nasty mental death expert and the beautiful Santa person who inspires one and all. The court scenes are hilarious and inspiring when the great politicans are put to the test about whether Santa exists or not in the presence of their angry wives and potentially devastated/upset children. It’s very heart warming when they are forced to admit Santa exists as well as the judge when the US Postal Service delivers all Santa’s letter to the Santa on trial. It shows the hyprocrisy of most adults involved while exposing their their self serving interests by not wanting to touch the Santa issue with a ten foot pole since it might harm their political aspirations!

            I guess the real miracle is the fact that this Santa and the young man who supports him inspires a young, cynical woman to believe in love and even the Santa of her childhood dreams once again making it very inspirational to one and all. By doing so, he also makes the young girl’s dream or Christmas wish come true too. The fact that Santa’s cane is left in their new house at the end is a nice touch too.

            Santa even gets “violent” with his cane when the weasel mental death expert tries to manipulate a younger would be Santa that he has serious issues based on his wonderful heart warming aspirations to share Christmas joy with youthful hearts of all ages like the older Santa.

            What more could one ask from a Christmas movie!? Great choice Jonah! Nice to hear from you.

            Also, thank you for your kind words and encouragement that we can all use here as you say.

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  21. I just want to throw this out there, see what people think.

    I think the best possible arrangement is to have a nutritionist and a malnutritionist work together, side-by-side. See what I’m saying?

    There are those who know about nutrition. But what do they know about malnutrition?

    There are those who know about malnutrition. But what do they know about nutrition?

    I don’t know if there is any person who knows and understands the totality of these two very opposite knowledge bases.

    And people keep asking: what is the model of mental HEALTH? Seriously, we’re dealing with TWO terminologies and I see this as part of a mass complexity that needs to be sorted out.

    We have “mental illness” and we have “mental health”. BOTH of these things can cause SUFFERING!

    So, I hope somebody understands what I’m getting at. And, what is NOT bipolar? What is the word for that?

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  22. I was told that I have a “family history” of bipolar disorder. When I asked this family member of mine who had the bipolar diagnosis, I found out that all of said family member’s hypomanias were antidepressant triggered as well!

    You take a depressed person and you give them ADs. Then when this person becomes hypomanic, you change the diagnosis to bipolar disorder. Then if some relative takes ADs for depression and/or obsessions and becomes hypomanic, tada!, you’re told, “You have a family history of bipolar disorder”. Not to mention that even our (said family member’s and mine) depressions were associated with problems and adverse events in our lives. It wasn’t like we were walking around and we became depressed for no reason.

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    • “It wasn’t like we were walking around and we became depressed for no reason.”

      You probably won’t like hearing this but the vast majority of my comments are for the general public anyway…

      Before the universe came into existence was great, great sadness. True story.

      Depression is not understood for what it is. It isn’t a “disease” or a biological malfunction. It is part of the stuff that life is made of. It is simply part of life.

      Slime and snails, and puppy dog tails

      And left my baby blue, nobody knew!

      Humanity will never, EVER be without “depression”. Or lunacy, or mania, or evil or any of the horrid things we live with in the bubbly stew, magic brew.

      Aah, haha, Facts of Life (are all about you!)

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  23. 1.)How long does it take to develop hypomania after starting an antidepressant? I know it varies from person to person, so give me a range.

    2.)How long does it take to subside after cessation of the antidepressant(without a mood stabiliser)? Again, I know it varies from person to person, so give me a range.

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  24. re: Someone Else on December 25, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Bin Laden is on a list of GENIUSES, isn’t that interesting?

    Osama Bin Laden (Saudi) Islamicist

    I see 9/11 as DIVINITY. I see it as a literal “wake up” call, meant to rouse Gods.

    rouse (rouz)
    1. To arouse from slumber, apathy, or depression.
    2. To excite, as to anger or action; stir up. See Synonyms at provoke.
    1. To awaken.
    2. To become active.

    We ALL (ALL is MUSLIM, by the way – Allah means ALL) seem to have personal stories about how we experienced that day, and how we relate to it.

    Meet Betty Ong, who was my neighbor in Andover, Massachusetts. She and her boyfriend Rob had the middle apartment of the row house we lived in.

    I also have had very disappointing experiences with some religious “officials”, which filled me with horror (I expected competency). I must say that I did have one Blessed experience with some other people. Due to homelessness, I hadn’t showered or bathed for a full month. I asked social services MANY TIMES for “resources” and was told NO.

    It took A LOT of courage but I finally decided to go to a Church rectory and ask. They were GOOD to me – without hesitation, they took me in to let me shower.

    I will never forget.

    I know you’ve been through some real Hell, just like me and SO many other people (if not all of us).

    This is what the pope said today:

    Pope Francis Offers Hopeful Christmas Day Message

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis offered a Christmas wish Wednesday for a better world, praying for protection for Christians under attack, battered women and trafficked children, peace in the Middle East and Africa, and dignity for refugees fleeing misery and conflict around the globe.

    Francis delivered the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (Latin for “to the city and to the world”) speech from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to 70,000 cheering tourists, pilgrims and Romans in the square below. He said he was joining all those hoping “for a better world.”

    We are a MASSIVE mass body of life.

    Over 321 million people in America, and over 7 billion people on this planet.

    I think about that a whole lot.

    “for a better world” … for who? Because I’m counting OVER 7 BILLION PEOPLE.

    Oh, and sexual abuse? When people acknowledge INSANITY (which is a sexual disease) then we might be able to do something about it. Cheers, to 7+ billion people.

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    • mjk,

      Sorry you lost your neighbor on 9.11. My brother’s college roommate died, too. I grew up in NY, and still haven’t looked at all the names of those who died, I just know they were fellow New Yorkers, thus friends, at least in heart.

      But I find your comment about 9.11 being “DIVINITY,” a “‘wake up’ call, meant to rouse Gods” intriguing. The reason being, that two weeks after having the Wellbutrin withdrawal misdiagnosed as bipolar, and being put on Risperdal, I had a horrendously adverse reaction. The Risperdal resulted in a terrifying psychosis, I was so out of my mind sick, I wouldn’t leave my bedroom (even to care for my two little children) for three days.

      I now understand from my research, that it’s fairly common for non-psychotic people to suffer from psychosis, when put on antipsychotics. This is part of why I believe little children should NEVER be put on neuroleptics, and I’m absolutely mortified by Dr. Joseph Biederman and friends’ creation of the pediatric bipolar epidemic, merely because he wanted to sell Risperdal to little children.

      Nonetheless, what’s odd is your comment is exactly what the “story” within my Risperdal induced psychosis implied. Supposedly, God did intend to shake the earth with 9.11. And His intent was to attract the attention of other “gods” of other planets.

      And since in 2001/2, my psychiatrists (who were covering up easily recognized iatrogenisis and ELCA sins) apparently also wanted to cover up all “Foul up” (actually documented in my medical records) reports of their “new wonder drug.” I was, of course poisoned via anticholinergic intoxication with massive major drug interactions. But this anticholinergic intoxication was called “bipolar” by my psychiatrists.

      Nonetheless, I was, after the four year statute of limitations on child abuse was up, weaned off all the drugs and my psychiatrist proclaimed “Recovered disorder.” By the way, the anticholinergic intoxication caused me to have three inane and evil “voices” talking incessantly, but thankfully I only had these “voices” while on the drugs.

      But, as is now known typical, I did end up suffering from what I now understand was lithium withdrawal induced psychosis – another drug induced psychosis. But my drug induced psychoses are the most fascinating story. And mind you, I wasn’t all that religious prior to being drugged up, based on lies from my former pastor, I just believed in God.

      The story of my 2006 and 2009 drug induced psychoses took the form of an awakening to the story of my dreams. And to make a long story short, it’s the story of Jesus “coming in the night like a thief” “singing a new tune” and calling a universal judgement day. And literally, I can tell the entire story in the lyrics of thousands of contemporary songs. It’s an amazing story, although just the story of my “credible fictional” life and dreams.

      And the truth be told, I do hope my dreams come true. My dreams are a story of hope for a better planet. And right now we’re living on a planet with never ending wars, where defaming and drugging people up for belief in the Triune God, based on lies from child molesters and dream queries is considered “appropriate medical care.” It’s not, it’s insane. I hope, dream, and pray for a better world still.

      I’m sorry you went through so much hell, mjk, none of us deserved to be victims of Pharmageddon. Putting the money worshipping corporations in charge, unchecked by the governments that had promised to protect us, has resulted in 7% of American children, at least, suffering from a completely drug induced bipolar / schizophrenia disabling disorder. We all need to hope, dream, and pray for a better world. Ruling with deception, force, and coercion doesn’t work, the psychiatrists are doing it wrong again.

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  25. Hey Mr.Fisher,

    Now that you have a bipolar diagnosis, are you supposed to mention it when it comes to your driver’s license (and other things)? Do they deny you your right to drive due to it?

    If they deny you a license based on an iatrogenically created diagnosis, that’s horrendous! In such cases, who does a person go to? After all, the doctors with MD degrees must be right, right? *sarcasm intended*

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    • I couldn’t get health insurance for my children and I, after my husband passed away, because of an “iatrogenically created diagnosis,” even though I could medically explain how I was made sick with drugs. All hail the “gods” of mainstream medicine (sarcasm, too).

      But, thankfully, I ran into a really nice lady at the DMV, who followed me around the DMV, and skirted past that part of the questioning.

      Plus, she told me it’s best to take my name off the organ donor list because she felt being on that list was “too tempting for some doctors.” Since my former doctor was recently arrested by the FBI for having many patients, who did not require medical care, unnecessarily shipped to him, “snowing,” and killing numerous patients; it seems that nice DMV employee was right. Warn your friends!

      And all hail the doctor “gods” who are profiting from killing the kind organ donors (again, sarcasm).

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        • Well, she was at the enterance handing out the numbers. Someone must have had to leave early, and handed a soon to be called number back to her. And she was kind enough to give it to me, so I didn’t have a long wait.

          Then when my number was called, she had the lady who called my number go do something else, and she waited on me. She must have been the manager.

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      • Also, if you’ve been denied insurance, you pay your med bills out of your pocket?

        What if you get a heart attack, become unconscious and then find yourself in a hospital with the realization that you don’t have money to pay them back? Maybe in your case, you do have the money, but what does someone who does not have money in a situation like that do?

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        • The government and / or hospitals pay. I’m hoping the government is finally starting to realize that turning millions of citizens into bipolar / schizophrenics, completely with drugs, wasn’t the wisest move in the long run. One would think at some point (hopefully, soon) this would seem obvious.

          A country, or businesses, that only care about short run profits, will have problems in the long run.

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    • I have not heard of anything about reporting mental illness when renewing a license. Of course… this year is when I’m supposed to renew… so I guess I will see. I know I’m not bipolar… never was. I’m now 19 months free from meds and as stable as ever. Happy to report that I am back running my company… setting goals and once again interested in a relationship. My kids are doing better as well.

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      • hi, jeff.

        my story in a nutshell is that my husband has a similar story and nearly ruined our lives completely. i always knew there was nothing wrong with him and the drugs made him absolutely crazy. he is now on board and has been clean and free and feeling amazing for about 10 months.

        he and i atre thinking about writing a personal story so i’ve been reading some of the old ones. and i was just wondering- how are you doing today, years later? i want to trust that my hub will never forget teh truth, but i worry… so i was wondering if you could please let me know how you are these days.

        thanks so much,

        all the best,


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  26. You might often read online that “trauma does not cause bipolar disorder”. Well, of course! That’s like saying that stabbing yourself in the foot with a knife does not cause pain. The point is, these things ought to be analysed not in terms of mere causes, but causal factors.

    Take the stabbing analogy. When you stab yourself, you feel pain. But is it only the stabbing that makes you feel pain? Nope. The fact that you have pain receptors which respond to that stimulus of stabbing makes you feel pain.

    So there are two causal factors here. The external stimulus, that is, the stabbing, and the intrinsic factor of having pain receptors. They are both causally related to feeling pain.

    If you take people who have a congenital insensitivity to pain, stabbing them causes no pain. So should we say that stabbing does not cause pain?

    Apply this same analogy to bipolar diagnoses.

    If a person comes from an abusive household, or has been experiencing trauma for a long time and this person goes to see a psychiatrist for depression, the psychiatrist might prescribe an SSRI which may then causes mania, and this person ends up getting a bipolar diagnosis.

    So yes, many bipolar diagnoses are causally related to trauma.

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  27. Jeff – I am so sorry about what you have experienced, but at the same time it felt good to find someone who had a similar experience to me. Fortunately, my experiences were much shorter lived. Like you, I was put on an anti-depressant (zoloft) due to a temporary anxiety / stress provoking situation and it ended up creating a drug-induced mania for which I was hospitalized. Afterwards, the depakote they prescribed (along with the same depressing situation) created a depression for which I was hospitalized 4 months later. I had been normal and stable all my life and apparently have a hyperthymic temperament. Like you, I am upbeat and energetic and also have been successfully self employed for over 20 years. This was the first half of 2012. When I came out of the depression I began to deeply question the bipolar diagnosis so I got a second opinion from a lady who smartly knew to distinguish drug induced mood states from preexisting conditions. She took me off of meds. (tapered). That was the end of all that until about a year later (November 2013) I had a manic reaction to natural herbs (for libido). My doctor wanted me to visit the clinic again. I was shaken from this episode and agreed with the doctor and my wife to go back on the lithium the 2nd opinion psychiatrist had taken me off of a year prior. Of course when I visited the outpatient clinic in late December 2013, they were happy to say that I needed to continue the lithium. I began to do research in the weeks following that mania and prior to my visit to the clinic and that is when I stumbled onto the hyperthymic temperament information. Described me as much as it does you. They don’t like to hear about this because they know you are not supposed to treat personality traits (unless they make it a personality “disorder” etc.) After another month of taking the lithium I stopped, but without telling my wife so I could get truly objective proof that I didn’t need it. I have been an avid beer drinker for 30 years and also have a keen sense of humor and am talkative. These are all “hyperthymic things” (along with an ENTJ score on Meyers-Briggs). They wanted to believe I could not control my drinking without lithium nor my talkativeness. This was simple enough. I talked less and I drank no more than one 12 oz. beer per night so that my wife would think I was still taking the lithium. They actually thought I should take lithium for being a talkative beer drinker. Jeez, they’ll medicate you for anything. I had cut my beer drinking in half (3 six packs a week instead of 5 to 7) in January 2013 because I realized this was necessary for weight control as I grow older (I’m almost 48). The intake counselor that I saw in late December 2013 seemed perplexed that I could at the drop of a hat suddenly cut down on alcohol that much without “help or support”. I like beer (a lot) and the effect of alcohol (a lot). That’s why I’ve done a lot of it. However, the thought of a substance having power over me seems absurd. I simply did this because I decided to…. Just like I cut way back on alcohol when on lithium because I needed to. These idiots said things like “I guess the lithium made / makes that easier” without taking into consideration the weeks the lithium takes to build up to a “therapeutic level” in your system. Wouldn’t that mean it was my sheer will power (I’m very disciplined) for the first few to several weeks ? Apart from that, what I find most absurd is that the hospital outpatient psychiatrist explained to my wife back in 2012 that I was “definitely bipolar” because “well…we saw an “up” and then we saw a “down”. BOTH DRUG INDUCED…DUH !!! I thought bipolar meant you had “ups” and “downs” because you’re NOT taking meds and that’s why they put you on them !! In any case, I am happy that you too have gotten off of the meds. I have also read that people with a hyperthymic temperament are very likely to have a drug induced mania from anti-depressants. The psychiatrist from 2012 decided I was perpetually hypomanic. True in a sense, except that is a bipolar state – which by definition changes. These are just stable personality traits. I do think that bipolar exists. My wife is classically bipolar and I think she does need meds. However, people like you and me with hyperthymic temperaments should never be treated for bipolar. It’s so crazy to “figure out what meds this person should be put on” because of the way you reacted to meds. I think there are entire other classes of people who get put on meds that cause problems like I’ve seen you describe. It may be that some people do need meds, but treating hyperthymic temperament is ridiculous. So many mental hospitals misdiagnose people, herd people, and are way too stuck on the notion that patients must be treated with meds. You and me and too many others with our temperament are diagnosed with something we don’t have. Imagine a mental health system with enough common sense to say “this person who has been stable all their life had a bad reaction to a drug so let’s just take him or her off of it”. This would go against their whole way of doing things, but imagine if they just had a print out of wikipedia on the term “hyperthymic temperament” and simply asked a spouse or relative if it describes the patient. If the answer is yes, then they should just say “someone like that should never take anti-depressants”. Could you imagine that actually happening along with an admission that “nothing is wrong with him or her as long as they don’t take an anti-depressant”. That would have been the common sense solution for you or me. Don’t think that will ever happen. I admire what you’re doing and wish I could stop the system from misdiagnosing people and trying to convince those of us who don’t need treatment into buying into all of this nonsense.

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  28. Hello I am really stunned with your sttory, I live in Catalonia (Spain) with my wife who is diagnosed with much things Bipolar II, Borderline personality disorder, but last year we figured out what are psiquiatrist do to ppl and how much injustice is done. She had a really hard life problems with parants and with her ex wich told a lot of lies at shrinks and she have a medical history really bad. It is really scary without respecting the private life of “patient”. The first and ultimate way she told her psiquiatre that she want to lower dossis of medicacion the PDoc said in historial that she is not aware of “decise” she have. I went with her only to see what are thay talking about and her terapist started analising me without any premission or any right t do it. She entered Citezen Commision on Human Rights recently in way of joining revolt against abuse. CCHR SHe have “terapy” of Lithium 800 mg and lamictal 200 mg with Tranxilium ( which I understand is like this Xentrex in USA). Can I as any of you there how can she quit which plan to use, to quit taking this “medicaciones”? Also she is scared for her chiled which is diagnosed with ADHD and she know he will enter in all this injustice system, and she what to help him before his brain is prejujged by the aminofetamina pills he takes more than one year now.

    I am sorry I am writting in her but I know english better.

    P.S. If you can or want to you can put a contact with her on FB Merce Kajganic Arias

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  29. Wow

    This is almost exactly what happened to me, too!

    Don’t know why I’m surprised.

    Wish I could get all those near and dear to read this–gave them “Anatomy” but doubt they read it.

    It’s not so easy, Frank, to be ‘free’ of the system…

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