My APA protest speech:
“Keeping the Channel Open”

Chaya Grossberg
13
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If you haven’t been labeled mentally ill by the American Psychiatric Association, you have to ask yourself what’s wrong. Perhaps you were ahead of the game: you knew not to reveal yourself to them, you knew how to avoid them, you found other social support, and if so, a big congratulations. If not, what’s wrong? Why have you conformed?

Why have you not gone, in their words, psychotic, yet? At least a few times. Why haven’t you let the inequality and injustice in the world upset you enough to warrant a diagnosis of clinical depression? Why haven’t you allowed yourself to reach heights of ecstatic joy and celebration, so high you want to take off your clothes and run around the neighborhood, introducing yourself to strangers and giving away all of your possessions? Have you conformed so much to consensual reality that you never experience the intense anxiety that comes along with challenging it?

Perhaps you have felt or done all or most of these things, and if you are listening at all, it’s likely. Maybe you have received a diagnosis and maybe you have even identified with it at times. Taken drugs for it. Allowed the APA into your living room and learned how hard it is to get them out once you did.

Now you keep them at arms length. You rely on yourself and your close friends. You’ve developed good eating and exercise habits, you’re committed to getting enough sleep. Maybe you even practice yoga, meditation or prayer. Please, though, for the rest of us, don’t be afraid to go bonkers, don’t deny your need to go to extremes sometimes. Don’t shut off your grief or tone down your ecstacy. Don’t shut yourself up or shut yourself down.

I say all this because, to some degree, I have. I don’t speak up as much as I did before I was invaded by the APA. I have a hell of a lot more impulse control and I’m a heck of a lot less free. This is in small part due to my own traumatic experiences of psychiatric drugs being given to me against my will. I was on 7 pharmaceuticals at the age of 21, and bedridden for the greater part of 2 years due to the debilitating effects of these drugs. It took me another year to withdraw from them, yet I don’t feel the APA robbed me of those years. There was a part of me that got stronger, even as they robbed me of my physical and mental capacities against my will and coerced me into addiction to their products. Yet, my story is one in a million in that regard. I’m more of the haystack than the needle, and that’s the primary reason I’m a lot less free.

Millions and millions more Americans and people worldwide have been, in effect, castrated and made impotent before and after me and the numbers are growing everyday. Let me assure you, the DSM 5 would have every single one of us on psychiatric pharmaceuticals, which is why grief, PMS and adult onset ADD are mental illnesses since May 18th 2013 when the DSM 5 was officially released. When I say castrated and made impotent, I am not only referring to the loss of sexual potency that often come along with taking psychiatric drugs. I am talking just as much about other drives that are lost. Other parts of you that end up going missing, such as your creativity, your voice, your rebellion, your desire to take risks, your ability to dream big, your sense of safety, and absolutely most importantly, your trust in yourself, and others; your sense of inner knowing and integrity.

As millions of people lose these parts of themselves all around me, everyday, in the hands of the APA, I am vicariously silenced. The mirror all around me reflects our patriarchal society’s fears rather than mutual support towards authenticity and liberation, much of the time. I hardly see happy people anywhere anymore. I hardly meet people who aren’t on pharmaceuticals. More Americans take prescription drugs than vote. They are in our drinking water, we’re all taking them. This issue effects absolutely everyone: those who are good at fitting into the patriarchy, those who successfully climb the social ladder, especially anyone who is not conscious of the fears the APA has implanted in them.

The primary thing I believe each of us can do, is break our own silence. Tell our own story. Make our own media. Spread our story as far and wide as it will go. The APA is a large scary body of social control, yet the primary power anyone has over me, is the power to silence me. So I’d like to state my personal commitment to you: I will no longer be silenced. I will dig inside myself to find those things I’m still scared to say, and I’ll keep saying them. Please, please commit to finding your own sense of safety to do the same for yourself.

I’d like to end with a quote from Martha Graham:

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.

Now I ask you, if this keeping the channel open is our business as humans why ever would we take psychiatric pharmaceuticals? Or encourage anyone else to do so?

13 COMMENTS

  1. A wonderful speech, Chaya. As we move forward, beyond the “top-down” need for self and societal control, are we beginning to open the channel between our hearts & brains?

    As the burgeoning science of “pschophysiology” increases our understanding of how we function as an integrated organic system, rather than with the simplistic notion of cause and effect logic, which focuses upon the brain alone. Is a systems approach beginning to understand the vital role of our hearts, in states of mind-body coherence and incoherence?

    Can individuals use the power of the internet to learn a better understanding of themselves and their psychotic experience? The revolution the internet has brought about certainly seems to be leading us towards a growing self-realization and acceptance of our human condition, beyond the conservative need to simply maintain the status-quo.

    In my own ongoing journey of understanding & recovery, my heart is continuing to lead me back home to coherent nature I was born with. Healing from traumatic experience has involved a deeper understanding of my heart and its role in stimulating my mind.

    New knowledge has helped me understand my spiritual heart and the true nature of my euphoric psychoses. Please consider how understanding personal coherence is leading us towards global coherence;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdneZ4fIIHE

    Best wishes,

    David Bates.

  2. Chaya,

    Thank you for sharing your very brave, inspiring, motivational speech from the APA protest. As I said in your last post, I love your thoughts and writing ability and relate to them very much.

    I am pretty surprised about the seeming blackout of the OCCUPY APA 2013 gathering. Part of my problem is that the sound is not working on my computer no matter what I’ve tried to fix it. I’ll have to seek help elsewhere. So, I’ve been unable to access the videos. In the meantime, could you share about what went on with you and other survivors at the recent APA protest and the reaction to it here as time permits?

    Anyway, you’ve done a great job describing the huge, horrible oppression of biopsychiatry that has gained a foothold in every area of our lives from the womb to the grave. If you check it out, you will find that those at the top of biopsychiatry plotted to infiltrate every area of our lives in the 1930’s by acting as a fifth column so they could destroy the family, church, schools, courts, medicine, morality or ideas of good and evil, and every other human institution that joined people together in love and solidarity. The purpose was to isolate and alienate everyone from their cultural and other ties to create a “new world order” for corporate global enslavement by the 1% robber baron power elite. Rockefeller, one of the robber barons, was a huge funder and influence in creating this goal and the hideous bogus eugenics theories to justify the unfair, huge power and wealth grabs of the white power elite. This was done by claiming their genes were superior to all those below them, which continues today under other seeming innocent names like the new brain project announced by Dr. Insel of the National Institute of Mental Health to seduce BIG PHARMA back to the fold. Obviously, these power hungry sociopaths succeeded beyond their wildest dreams and our worst nightmares with their never ending expansion of their horrific eugenics agenda as a plague on all of humanity. Bob Whitaker has written an excellent post about the taint of eugenics in recent NIMH research under his blog on MIA that I’ve posted under Jeffrey Lieberman’s latest post.

    Anyway, reading your heart felt, inspirational post made me think of one of my favorite poems:

    Max Ehrmann

    Desiderata

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.

    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy.

    Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

    Sounds like you are trying to motivate all of us to practice something like Desiderata recommends.

    Thank you again for another great post.

  3. Joanna,

    Never mind. I thought I’d have to hunt for it, but found it quickly:

    From Chaya Grossberg above:

    I’d like to end with a quote from Martha Graham:

    There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.

  4. Chaya,

    In keeping with your posts, I was checking out a post about the changes to bipolar in DSM 5.

    I was appalled to find the following DSM 5 bipolar changes:

    Bipolar and Related Disorders

    Hypomanic Episode — Criterion A revised to include increased energy/activity as a core symptom

    Manic Episode — Criterion A revised to include increased energy/activity as a core symptom

    Major Depressive Episode – proposed removal of the bereavement exclusion and addition of a footnote to clarify for clinicians how to differentiate bereavement and other loss reactions from Major Depression

    Now, they are including unipolar depression as related to bipolar since one horrible psychiatrist in the past thought of them as the same. So anyone down or “depressed” (a dangerous word now) about nasty life stressors and events can be falsely accused by the mental death profession and their patsies of being “severe mentally ill” or bipolar, so they can make them permanent patients in their thrall and forced on lethal brain/body damaging/disabling drug cocktails/ECT and other tortures for life as well as forced treatment and robbery of all human, civil, democratic rights including due process to fight this fraud.

    As you can see, any grieving for lost loved ones is a mental illness after all of two weeks and subject to a bipolar stigma especially if your SSRI’s cause mania and other known lethal effects that will be blamed on your “mental illness” and not the lethal drug that caused it. This is a great BIG PHARMA marketing ploy by a slick CEO!

    And in keeping with your enthusiasm for engaging with your life force, energy and vitality, the mental death profession has outlawed it by making “increased energy and activity” a CORE SYMPTON of bipolar in DSM V. No child or teen will be safe! Got to push those new depot antipsychotics still on patent!

    What a bunch of nasty frauds. Per their dictate, nobody better dare fall in love, be excited about one’s work, enthusiastic about hobbies, nature and other activities or show happiness, energy or liveliness anywhere because the robots of the mental death profession have outlawed it by decreeing it a severe mental illness.

    Dr. M. Scott Peck in his great book, THE PEOPLE OF THE LIE, says that evil people or malignant narcissists want to destroy life and liveliness by attacking our spirits. He also points out that live is evil spelled backward, so evil people attack others’ life and liveliness. I think bio-psychiatry meets this standard for sure with predation on mostly normal people to stigmatize them and force drug and imprison them if they don’t meet the robotic criteria of the power elite bio-psychiatry really serves who prefer useful slaves accepting their exploitation without protest.

    Unbelievable. Needless to say, these are very dangerous times.

  5. Hey Chaya – I love the intro to this…and, moreso, the way that wry humor led into such a powerful and nuanced speaking of truth to power…personal/political…artful. You’re fantastic and inspiring.

    This ->

    “So I’d like to state my personal commitment to you: I will no longer be silenced. I will dig inside myself to find those things I’m still scared to say, and I’ll keep saying them. Please, please commit to finding your own sense of safety to do the same for yourself.”

    That struck something in me and I thank you for it.

    Here’s a brief quote from Audre Lorde, whom I want to quote about 10 pages of right this very minute. Yes, keep speaking!

    “I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you…. What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.”

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