Sunday Humor: Arguments for “Chemical Imbalance Not Otherwise Specified”

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Dr. Methodius Isaac Bonkers of the Bonkers Institute for Nearly Genuine Research puts forth a series of partially incomplete and generally imprecise arguments in support of adding a new diagnostic category to the psychiatric lexicon, “Chemical Imbalance Not Otherwise Specified.” Bonkers develops his position in relation to psychiatry’s historical body of knowledge, wherein he notes that over the past five hundred years our vocabulary to describe the causes of mental illness has expanded considerably from ineffable one-syllable words like “fumes” to indistinct eleven-syllable words like “methylenedioxymethamphetamine.”

“Gone are the days of darkness and superstition, when madness was blamed on black biles, wicked spirits and evil juices,” observes Bonkers. “We now know that mental illness is an organic physical medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome or functional deficit of some kind stemming from a combination of biological, environmental and/or genetic factors which may be linked to specific abnormalities, disruptions, imbalances, structural defects and clinically measurable, observable or hypothetical levels of neurotransmitter function within the basal ganglia, hippocampus, thalamus or adjacent regions of the encephalon, situated inside the cranial cavity occupying the intracranial space underlying the skull and outer surrounding membrane.”

Therefore, says Bonkers, it’s time for a new diagnostic category that will encapsulate the few remaining conditions that have not yet been identified: Chemical Imbalance Not Otherwise Specified.

Chemical Imbalance Not Otherwise Specified: Useful Diagnostic Category? (Bonkers Institute)

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Very hard to see the humor when you feel like you’re dying every minute of everyday from having bought into the lies that are being sold to society. I wish the hell of psych drug withdrawal would end so I and countless others could laugh again.

    Recently I spoke to a 24 year old woman who is tapering off Klonopin. She said to me “How do I know I’m alive when I can feel no earthly presence?” Her biggest concern is that she can’t feel her eyes moving and her parents are forcing her to see a therapist that is telling her she has a personality disorder. She’s afraid that her brain is swelling and no oxygen is getting in there because she can’t feel her breath.

    Forgive my very serious state of mind. We need real practical help and support to survive the toxic, chemical assault upon our bodies. Right now all we have is to cry out in pain to each other on facebook and online forums to be validated and encouraged that we can do this. We can’t go pick up groceries for someone, do their laundry or dishes, or hold their hand, etc. as we are all spaced so very far apart.

    I ask you, if you are well in mind and body, find someone in your community going thru this and offer real life assistance with their day to day survival. Thank you.

    • Whoopsie,

      Are you familiar with the famous story of Norman Cousins who when confronted with a horrible, painful illness, he decided to use laughter as a major part of his treatment with very effective results:

      http://ag.org/wim/resources/books/book_reviews/br_0805_Anatomy_Illness.cfm

      http://www.amazon.com/Anatomy-Illness-Perceived-Twentieth-Anniversary/dp/0393326845

      The problem with your approach and attitude here is the well known problem of “emotional contagion” that just resulted in a Facebook scandal due to a secret, sneaky study on this topic as reported by MIA. Bringing others down to build yourself up may seem like a good idea, but many people can only tolerate such negativity for so long, so they will end up saying “so long” to those who are constantly miserable and totally negative since this is like a contagious disease of “misery loves company.” I know this sounds harsh, but I know from experience that given our very stressful society with a narcissism epidemic, I don’t think your demeans and demands are realistic from my own experience. Rather, if a person takes the attitude you portray, they will probably be avoided and isolated all the more. Those trying to help others like to feel that the people are trying to help themselves as well, which includes trying to adopt a more positive attitude with some reciprocation of empathy and concern for one’s helpers and other relationships. Otherwise, a vicious circle is created making the person suffering from toxic drug withdrawal all the more isolated, miserable and avoided with lots of excuses and busyness by would be helpers.

      The knowledge and understanding of emotional contagion for good or ill has been around for quite some time:

      http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Contagion-Studies-Emotion-Interaction/dp/0521449480/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404698140&sr=1-1&keywords=Emotional+contagion

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_contagion

      Finally, I found this post and the associated web site hilarious and informative at the same time. And such subversive humor can help a great deal in supporting comraderie for those fighting for a cause like those at MIA, so I must say you certainly put a huge damper on my enthusiasm with your highly negative attitude.

      I am very sorry to know about the suffering you and others are enduring, but it seems if you could find way to focus on more positive things like Norman Cousins above, you might find your situation more tolerable.

      • Donna and Whoopsie,

        I don’t mean to be discourteous, Donna, because I agree with you, this was an ironically funny article. But, I believe we are dealing with a healing community where different people are in different levels of healing, including overcoming the staggering betrayal of the public by the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

        And I personally can still remember being in the place where Whoopsie is, and know of others who are still not even where she is. So, I believe it’s important we show acceptance to those still in the denial angry phase, and trying to overcome, but can’t yet laugh at, the appalling and almost unfathomable in scope crimes against humanity by our current medical community and pharmaceutical industries. Especially because, their betrayal and crimes against us, after first promising to “do no harm,” weren’t actually appropriate.

        My best to you, Whoopsie, and your friend. Know you are wonderful, and can overcome.

        • Someone Else,

          Thanks for your concern about my feelings in your comment. The point is that Whoopsie was failing to consider the fact that many at MIA have been through hell and not necessarily back either.

          I was only pointing out what I have observed in my own and others’ lives as well as books I have read on the subject. People going through really horrible, traumatic times due to nasty things like abuse and bullying in their lives tend to obsess about it a great deal and can drive their families and friends over the edge by their obsessive focus on it. And certain of these so called loved ones might start seeking out the “help” of psychiatry to cope with their annoying behavior, especially abusers looking to discredit their victims. Eventually, such victims are avoided and ostracized even by certain family, spouses, friends, coworkers and others creating a vicious circle because their negativity is so wearing and people in our narcissistic culture have far less tolerance for others’ suffering and problems now. The horror of such victims can be made a million times worse by the mental death profession if the victims don’t know enough to avoid them like the plague they are since even rape victims will now get a bogus bipolar stigma with the toxic drugs and other abuses as MIA members know.

          Anyway, I just think the way Whoopsie went about demanding help for herself and others was self defeating since her comment really turned me off when I was not in the best place or spirits when I read it. Her comment made me feel like I had been punched in the gut.

          You may have heard about the famous best selling book, The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale, a Christian preacher. He was the poster child for always trying to maintain a happy, cheerful, positive outlook and wrote many other books on the topic while starting Guideposts Magazine. I was quite surprised to learn that Peale had a tendency to be really down and depressed quite a lot, so that was why he wrote those books on positive thinking and living. So, just because one is advocating trying more positive approaches to life doesn’t mean they are living the life of Reilly. Perhaps it’s their own way of giving a pep talk to themselves as well.

          You are making the assumption that some of us have arrived to Happy Land while those like Whoopsie are way worse off. You may have heard that saying about not judging others until you’ve walked in their shoes.

          Anyway, I wasn’t trying to put Whoopsie down, but rather, simply let her know that her approach was not working at least with me, so I thought the most helpful thing I could do was tell the truth.

          Someone Else, I know from your story you’ve been through hell and back and I can see where it might have taken you some time to learn to cope and deal with such a massive betrayal. Did you find lots of people willing to listen and support you through your ordeal even at times when you were very angry and negative?

          If so, that type of support and compassion is pretty rare today with people increasingly isolated and alienated even from their families.

          • Donna,

            I’m sorry you were having a tough day, and I think you and I lived through a similar hell, then both of us did a lot of research. My point being, I do respect all your hard work, perspective, and most your well formed opinions. It just seemed you were a bit hard on Whoopsie in that post, and I wanted her to feel supported here, too. But I agree, incessant negativity is not good for anyone.

            As to support, my doctors all worked very hard to defame me to my entire family with tons of lies and misinformation. So no, I did not have a lot of support. I pretended the bullies and child molesters who’d had me defamed and drugged were under my bicycle pedals and smashed their heads in with my feet every day, so I didn’t gain weight while on massive neuroleptic cocktails. I worked constantly, rather than “give up all your activities, and concentrate on the meds,” as my GD therapist suggested, because keeping busy with others was the only way I could keep the drug induced “voices” at bay. I also wrote in my journals a lot, because that also helped me keep the incessant, drug induced “voices” at bay. I prayed constantly. I threw a lot of paint at canvases, so now I have an art portfolio depicting the horrors of neuroleptics and whimsical fantasies of drug withdrawal induced super sensitivity mania. I listened to a lot of music and drove a lot, because I like thinking out my problems while driving. And I danced my way through the super sensitivity mania. And, like you, I had to research medicine myself, because doctors won’t confess to other doctors’ crimes and misdiagnoses, unless the patient knows “more about the meds than the doctors.” Mine’s more of a “God helps those who help themselves” story. MIA is mainly where I’ve gotten my anger out (forgive me), but that means you know more of my disgust, than any of my family or friends (they know the gist of what happened, but you’re right, too much negativity is not good for any relationship).

          • “The Power of Positive Thinking”
            Actually the idea of positive thinking has been debunked. People need to be able to express “negativity” and to be able to discuss the trauma that happened to them. Trying to put on a smiley face usually makes things worse in a long term. Maybe the focus should be to shake up the narcissistic society rather than tell the victims to stop whining.
            Btw, I didn’t have any “negative reaction” to her post – all I could think is sympathy and understanding that she’s not in a place where she can laugh at the system which has harmed her so much.

      • This response, I do find humorous. Giving lessons in “How I should be, think and feel.”

        My message seems to have been lost on you. I will reiterate, people are dying and need help, a phone call, a hand to hold, you could save a life today.

        • Actually, though I didn’t find your initial comment at all “humorous” as I said, oddly I felt you were dictating how others should “be, think, feel and act” while demanding we all help people like you in a very negative, guilt tripping way when this post was supposed to be a moment of humor that might inspire comraderie among psychiatric survivors and cheer up people at the same time since the humor is about our oppressors. Subversive humor can be very helpful to those fighting such oppressors.

          Although you are angry with my response, I was simply sharing my own hard won knowledge about human nature and how people tend to react to other people who are constantly negative, guilt tripping and so self involved they end up treating others quite badly while licking their wounds to the point of being narcissistic themselves. And I sure can understand how people can get to this point, but I also know it is self defeating and self destructive in the long run since it alienates people all the more while the victim is increasingly isolated and depressed. Just telling it like it is, so please don’t shoot the messenger. You could save a life today too.

          So, I guess I will say I am glad I could offer the help you demand by being a butt of humor for you since you didn’t/couldn’t see the humor in the post here and decided to ruin it for everyone else.

          • I can’t get involved in an intellectual debate or even read indepth into your “how to do it right” internet materials because I have a rather severe brain injury from psych drugs. Right now my brain and body are screaming in pain and I’m losing perspective because this has gone on for 6 years with few breaks (which are blissful). I don’t think it’s true that I ruined it for “everybody”. Maybe for you Donna because my post raised a negative reaction for you and for that I’m sorry.

            If you offer love and kindness out of guilt that is not the kind of action I’m asking for. I’m not telling anyone to do anything but asking those that are well in mind and body to have their laughs but please also reach out to support those suffering. It was a plea for help and apparently I didn’t speak it exactly how you would have me speak it. Maybe you could give lessons to people on how to scream and wail politely so that it doesn’t disturb anyone.

            Perhaps this is how the screams remain silent ones because of responses like this? The message I’m getting from you is “Go away and suffer alone because I don’t care and neither does anyone else because you aren’t asking “properly”. We just want to laugh and giggle and write blog after blog and post after post and you all can suffer and die as far as we’re concerned. Just don’t disturb us with reality.”

            I have no idea why I responded to this post “Sunday Humor: Arguments for “Chemical Imbalance Not Otherwise Specified”, normally I keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. Every now and again it gets away from me and I speak out. I tried to read the article to get to a place of laughter too but was unable to see the humor and that made me mad that I’m stuck in this humorless dungeon. I apologized for my serious mood and asked for forgiveness. I love to laugh and I love to give love and support, those two things have given me a reason for existing. I feel I’m getting more and more disconnected from that place of ease within myself as I see nothing real changing here on MIA, nothing real being done that will help those in horrific suffering. We are thrown to the wolves while people here endlessly point out the failures of Psychiatry. That is really frightening for me.

            If it does nothing for you to offer comfort, encouragement and solace, then don’t, you are not who I was addressing. Likely you too are not in the right place at this time, I hope you get there one day too. I do hope someone here is in the right place to hear me and respond to my plea. That is all.

          • Whoopsie,

            I am really not the callous, hard hearted person you seem to believe me to be.

            There were times when I was in crisis in my own life and not at my best to put it mildly. Certain people gave me warnings and tough love advice that initially really ticked me off, but I realized that without them and my smartening up enough to take their advice, I would have never survived or escaped a very horrible situation thanks to some very abusive people in my life that are now out of my life completely. It’s pretty amazing I’m alive!

            I am very sorry to hear that you are going through such a tough time withdrawing from meds. Are you familiar with the web site, Beyond Meds?

            http://beyondmeds.com/2014/07/08/shaking-medicine-3/

            This is an excellent, very comprehensive and highly recommended web site if you haven’t checked it out. It is by a former therapist and she has tons of information on her site including drug withdrawal, etc.

            Is there a support group you can join to share and help each other through this difficult process or are you in one already?

            I know that you are angry and very concerned about yours and others’ plight, but if you check out Rob Wipond’s front page story at MIA about how psychiatry is preying on so many children to stigmatize and drug them, you can see that this multibillion dollar menace is not going to go away easily and continues to do much harm with impunity. We are all very angry and upset about this menace to our nation’s children especially while continuing to despise such an agenda for any human being. So it is certainly an uphill battle if you see what we are up against.

            Bob Whitaker, the founder of this web site has already accomplished a great deal with his excellent, hard hitting books exposing that psychiatry is like the emperor wearing no clothes with an increasing number of people getting the message as Bob speaks all over the globe and continues to blog about mental health.

            Anyway, I regret if I seemed to overreact to your post. I could have just remained silent and gone my merry way, but I felt I had to tell you my reaction to your post in the hope that you’d find a better way to attract more empathy and support from others while benefiting from the good vibes one gets when trying to help others yourself as well even in a more passive, quiet way if you don’t feel well enough to do much else.

            I was not trying to tell you what to do; I just passed along some good advice that was given to me when I was in the pits. There is a saying that applies here, “Take what you need and leave the rest.”

            I hope things turn out okay for you and your friends. I have done a great deal of research on “mental health and drugs” so I try to help by sharing what I know from both research and that best of universities known as Screw U.

            Take care. I hope it gets better for you.

          • “human nature and how people tend to react to other people who are constantly negative, guilt tripping and so self involved they end up treating others quite badly while licking their wounds to the point of being narcissistic themselves”
            Then maybe you should consider getting rid of such people in your life? I mean “a friend in need is a friend indeed” – if someone can’t support you in your time of need they’re not worth the relationship.

        • Someone Else,

          If you read my latest response to Whoopsie, you will see that I really was trying to help based on my own experience in getting and needing some tough love to survive during my own life crises with abusers. I imagine that toxic psych drugs in withdrawal can be some of the worst abusers from what I’ve read.

          Anyway, I appreciate your support and compassion for both of us. I’m glad you shared more details about how you got through your own hellish experience and I liked the idea of your biking/exercising as well as doing other positive things to stay healthy and survive the psychiatric assault you suffered.

          I read a great quote once that went something like this:

          “True words are not always beautiful while beautiful words are not always true.”

          So, all I can say is that what I said came from the heart in the true spirit of really wanting to offer some real help rather than empty words that might have sounded better or “beautiful empty words.”

          Thanks again for your support and sharing, Someone Else. I really hope you do get better Whoopsie.

        • B,

          I agree that enforced “positive thinking” can be phony and inhumane as in the book, Bright Sided, whereby the author writes about people giving her grief because she wasn’t positive enough about her breast cancer diagnosis. Give me a break. She discusses many of the negatives of the positive thinking movement in this book.

          I did not have a problem with Whoopsie being down, crying out for help, complaining or any of that. What concerned me is that she came off as attacking everyone at MIA instead of trying to reach out to them/us and share in mutual problems, trauma, suffering, health/drug questions/support, etc. I just tried to say I’ve learned the hard way that even though anger is a trauma symptom most people have a very hard time coping with their own and others’ anger for any great length of time especially when both may be suffering from distress, trauma, etc. that can be easily triggered. So, I was suggesting maybe sharing without the seeming attack might get Whoopsie and her friends better and more support from those sharing the same problems in the long run.

          When I cited Norman Vincent Peale and his Power of Positive Thinking, I said I was surprised but impressed that Peale had been depressed and down a lot in his life, so I give him a lot of credit for making this effort to help himself and others be more positive while even enhancing their sense of humor. It’s better than letting the broken record/tapes of trauma and misery keep playing in your head in the same stuck groove that makes you all the more miserable and addicted to misery! Like getting outside and getting active as you recommended, this type of “positive thinking” is for your own health, well being, stress management instead of being your own worse abuser, enemy, companion with constant negative, miserable rehashing of the traumatic past that is hard for even the victim to tolerate in the long run never mind family, friends, coworkers, etc.

          One thing I like in Peale’s book is when he met with a very depressed person, Peale asked if he would like to go to a place where all his problems would be solved completely. The depressed person said yes with great enthusiasm.

          So, Peale walked with this person a distance and they came to a cemetery and Peale said that this is the only place where people have no problems, stressors, etc. He probably said it better, but it really hit me at the time that anyone living is going to have problems, stressors, challenges, losses, etc., so we have to accept that if we hope to survive and better, thrive. The other alternative Peale showed is not a great choice for most people.

          Anyway, that’s me. I enjoy reading inspirational, spiritual, positive things to boost my spirits. I’m sure everyone is a unique individual and has to find their own way to cope. Yet, those who have been there and survived and thrived can offer much valuable advice to others that I am always eager and happy to explore what has worked well for others.

          Take care.

          • I can see your point about the anger but I just didn’t read Whoopsie’s comment that way. When it comes to cheap tricks like “So, Peale walked with this person a distance and they came to a cemetery and Peale said that this is the only place where people have no problems, stressors, etc.” I find this idiotic and patronising. It’s akin to the famous “children in Africa have it worse”. It doesn’t help anything and if anything only makes the person more depressed and/or angry. What I hate most when I feel down is all the people telling me how I shouldn’t feel bad because someone has it worse, or it’s just life or it’s going to get better or other truism with no relevance to anything I’m going through.

    • B,

      Once again, you have provided evidence that when either psychiatry or survivors apply a one size fits all approach to unique individuals, there is going to be disagreement and even resentment.

      So, I said that I found inspirational, humorous works very helpful and inspiring while you said you feel the opposite way. And we’re both right because we are different people. Same thing with your reacting differently from me in my exchange with Whoopsie. Wonderful! You’re showing that we are not just unfeeling robots defined by labels and fables like the horrible DSM stigmas, but rather, unique individuals who can experience things in thousands of different ways. That’s why we share with each other on these blogs, right? And as I said, I love that saying, “Take what you need and leave the rest.” I already reminded Whoopsie of that as I tried to explain my response to her based on what I found most helpful in my past.

      Therefore, I hope you will respect my unique feelings, interpretations and what works for me just as I certainly will do for you.

      Thanks for you response.

  2. This is my favorite paragraph- “As can be seen, the category “Not Otherwise Specified” greatly enhances the mental health professional’s ability to successfully diagnose, treat, label and permanently stigmatize any patient whose illness might otherwise slip through the screening examination undetected – potential clients who would fall under the radar, bypassing the social safety net and tragically escaping the warm loving embrace and abundant therapeutic benefits of our nation’s glorious mental health system.”

    I do want to offer a bit of a side note on the “NOS” category, however. I’ve seen multiple cases where therapists will use an “NOS” diagnosis for billing in order to avoid using a more stigmatizing label, like “Psychotic Disorder NOS” instead of Schizophrenia, or “Dissociative Disorder NOS” instead of DID. Obviously, having a system where therapists need to label people in order to be paid is horrific, but under the current system, there is a bit of a hidden value in these otherwise ridiculous “NOS” diagnoses.

      • You’re probably right. I’ve never received either of those labels, so I can’t speak from personal experience, but I have heard people who have say that as far as quality of care and rights violations go, there’s nothing worse than a Schizophrenia label, and it certainly seems that anything that can be labled as “psychosis” virtually guarantees dehumanizing “treatment.” Just from a personal standpoint, I appreciate that a “NOS” label was used by my former therapist to try to protect me from misconceptions about the diagnosis that more accurately fit with what I was experiencing, although I fully acknolwedge that neither diagnosis involved any form of psychosis, which may be why my experience with that label was more positive.