The Murphy Bill: People are Afraid

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Recently, the Murphy Bill in the United States Congress has resurfaced as a tangible threat to the civil liberties of individuals labelled “seriously mentally ill.” As many others might relate, my reaction was one of rage, sadness, and utter bafflement. Usually when I become incensed I am inspired to write. But, how much more can be written on this topic? Although I have a decent amount of knowledge regarding this bill, the deceptive ideals contained within it, and the actual evidence base that should give reason for extreme caution to those considering supporting this bill, people far more competent and knowledgeable than I have already done the work of refuting the rhetoric with facts and figures and offering alternative solutions and methods of action. (see: http://www.ncmhr.org/downloads/NCMHR-Fact-Sheet-on-Involuntary-Outpatient-Commitment-4.3.14.pdf; http://www.ncmhr.org/press-releases/12.12.13.htm; http://www.bazelon.org/News-Publications/Press-Releases/12-12-13-Murphy-PR.aspx; http://www.madinamerica.com/2015/03/eugenics-2014-murphy-bill/; http://www.madinamerica.com/2014/04/murphy-bill-violates-civil-rights-increases-government-intrusion-ignores-scientific-research/; http://www.madinamerica.com/2013/12/tim-murphy-mental-health/; and http://www.madinamerica.com/2014/04/mental-health-social-justice-issue/)

Yet, here we are. Having defeated the bill once, it is back like herpes. After my frustration and anger dissipated a bit, I pondered this and was hit with a “duh” moment. Politics is not about facts; politics is about power, money, and playing on the emotions of society. I realized that it is imperative that we understand and tease apart the issues in society that not only allow such a bill to sustain attention, but seemingly needs such a bill to exist. Perhaps if we can come to a better understanding, then we might be able to offer alternatives that simultaneously honors human dignity and assuages the fears and concerns of the larger public. While putting forth the rational argument of research and evidence, which is on our side, we need to also understand that this is not a rational game. It is an emotional one, and so we need to come back on that same level; though not in the way we want (Hey, folks on Capitol Hill! I’ve been hurt and you’re hurting me more!). In our efforts to fight back and prevent a return of the dark ages, it might behoove us all to attempt to address the fear, the helplessness, the need to scapegoat, the genuine concern, and/or the natural human selfishness that people have which might lead them to support the bill in the first place.

People are Afraid

Since the beginning of time, humans have used imagination, force, law, and religion in efforts to extinguish anxieties related to uncertainty and threats to life. Today, we have added the mental health system to the mix. People who are different, who do not conform, who force others to see that which larger society wishes to hide, who trigger feelings of vulnerability, and who threaten our beliefs that the world is just are those who are castigated and shunned by society. Not to mention that chaos is frightening. Violence is frightening. Uncertainty is frightening. Witnessing someone else’s pain and terror is frightening. Hearing about child abuse, racism, and discrimination is intolerable. The world must have order, make sense, and be just. Bad things happen to bad people, and bad people must be punished. If someone is behaving in violent or unpredictable ways, then we must lock them up, get rid of them, burn them at the stake, castigate them to the fiery pits of Hell. We all do this. Everyone reading this right now does this. Perhaps you are not condemning those labeled as “mentally ill” to the realm of evil and undeserving of compassion, but I can guarantee you are doing it to some group of people. Shoot, maybe you’re even doing it to me. Much as I wish I could say otherwise, I know I do it too. That’s probably why I am writing this blog in the first place.

We feel bad when we are angry or hateful, as we rightfully should. But instead of doing the seemingly impossible work of finding compassion for those we hate, we mask it. Or worse, we justify it. Our modern day society has made overt acts of physical retaliation and outright hatred politically incorrect and even illegal. So, instead, we want to “help” those we hate with “harmless medicines.” We want to simply ignore those who cause us trouble. We want to blind ourselves to the reality of the horrors of the world. We believe that those whom we harm deserve it or even benefit from it. This is human nature, and no human is without this instinct. There is a reason that only a handful of people throughout time can be considered as Saints or reaching Nirvana or any other name of the same. People are afraid and anger is a powerful emotion that somehow makes us feel safe. What alternatives can we propose to help society feel safe? And those methods of healing that we know work, but take time (eg., peer respites, psychotherapy, finding meaning)
what do we do for those people in society who say “I need something NOW!”?

Additionally, challenging the beliefs of those folks who say “We are fighting real diseases with real medicine!” makes them even more frightened and more likely to react irrationally. Not that we should not challenge these beliefs with facts, but as many of us who have experienced altered states where our beliefs might be considered delusional have proposed, we must first seek to work within their world. This is particularly so when they are in a reactionary, frightened state, as are most who are supporting this bill. Remember, the Murphy Bill is purported to be a response to mass shootings, homelessness, and crime; regardless of the reality of the base upon which this proposal stands, these fears are real and people are reacting. How can we meet them where they are at, and help them feel safe and understood? Being angry and self-righteous (which I find myself doing quite often) feels good, but rarely gets us anywhere.

People Feel Helpless

When bad things happen, when people are afraid, when people see other people suffer, it is only natural to be overwhelmed with the urge to DO something. Many reading this now are in that head space regarding the Murphy Bill. WE MUST DO SOMETHING! People want action, not to be told that “Sometimes bad things happen because bad things happen, and if we work to decrease poverty, increase social services, decrease materialism and greed, and work on building social cohesion and inclusion most bad things will stop happening.” Or better yet, “If you stop allowing the public to amass an arsenal of military-grade weaponry, perhaps we won’t have mass killings anymore.” Not only do these things require the angry person to sacrifice, but these things take time and don’t really feel like highly active suggestions. The Murphy Bill plays on that urge: Fight extreme circumstances with extreme action. It is the American way. It is the human way. That is why we continue, as a species, to repeat the past over and over and over again. What can we offer that can feel like people are not helpless and allows them an outlet for their anger?

People Need Scapegoats

Black people engage in rioting because they are black, not because they have suffered centuries of systematic discrimination and prejudice. Immigrants, particularly Hispanics, are freeloaders and stealing jobs (that, of course, no one else wants to do), not trying to escape unimaginable violence that the US created in the first place in its illogical war on drugs. Terrorists are terrorists because they are bad, evil people, not because their people have been terrorized and oppressed by the most powerful nations in the world for the last 2 centuries. Women cause men to rape them because of the way they dress or because they “led me on”, not because some men have problems with violence and impulse control. And mentally ill people are sick with an evil, bad brain disease, not because they have suffered chronic trauma and developmental disruptions within the family and society.

We must have someone or something to blame and, lo, it cannot be us (whomever “us” may be in any given scenario). Someone must take the brunt of our fears and frustrations so that we can go on with our lives. The status quo must be maintained because it provides routine, comfort, and safety. The world is a just place, so someone must be to blame when things go wrong. And, almost always, if someone is victimized or suffering, it is their fault (or their brain’s fault).

If we believe, for a moment, in the idea that extreme emotional distress, bizarre behaviors, and even violence occurs for a reason, then we must logically look for what those reasons are. If you are a family member or even a victim of someone who is engaging in unpredictable and frightening behaviors, which explanation is easier to tolerate: “This person is doing this because he has suffered trauma or harmful family dynamics and knows no other way to express himself”; or, “This person is doing this because he has a broken brain and cannot help it.” The first reason requires compassion, understanding, and, often, an ability to look critically at one’s self. It takes time to work through the messy dynamics that “crazy” behaviors begin to make sense in, and to heal long-standing wounds. The second reason requires taking the “crazy” person to a doctor, getting a pill, and fixing him. Now, forgive me, for I am being trite and overly simplistic here. But, the point is that the broken brain theory saves people from vulnerabilities and uncertainties and provides quick and easy answers and solutions. The nuances of how life circumstances leads to extreme states requires greater effort, painful explorations and realizations, and action to change not just our immediate environment, but society as a whole. And that, well that is terrifying. Who, then, is to blame? Us? No one? Someone must be to blame. Better to blame the abstract “genes” or “brain” then. And, if it is the brain, then we must lock the sick person up for his own good to protect not just us, but him from this evil brain disease.

People Do Genuinely Care

Perhaps I should have put this section first, so as not to insinuate that all people who support the Murphy Bill do so out of hatred and fear. But, whether people wish to acknowledge it or not, I do believe these negative emotions of hatred and fear to be the main driving force. The fact of the matter is, there are already laws in place that will forcefully remove a person who is threatening or violent, regardless of mental health status, and will confine those who have committed real crimes. This bill is about more than that. It is a defensive maneuver that will allow for the detention of anybody who MIGHT become agitated, violent, or unpredictable. Further, it traps them for life in a psychiatric prison of deadly pills and life-long dependency. And it allows for “experts” who have deluded themselves into believing that they have the ability to predict the future to make such determinations of who gets taken prisoner through interviews and questionnaires. This bill, in large part, is not about people who genuinely care.

At the same time, I also believe that many people supporting this bill do have genuine empathy and care for those who are suffering. These are the people who are desperate and who want alternatives but cannot find any. These are the people who are willing to sacrifice their own selves to provide care and compassion, and do not act as martyrs or seek praise for doing so. These are few and far between, but they do account for a large percentage of the population interested in this bill.

It should not be the responsibility of one individual to care for someone who is in crisis or has become lost in the world. Humans are designed to live in social circles, not in isolation. Our society has created a deep loneliness and shame for those persons who seek connection, help, support, and shared responsibility. Our society has created an illusion of connection and replaced genuine care and relationships with material goods and governmental agencies acting as paternalistic rulers of ourselves. This has been happening for centuries, and it is only getting worse. In fact, this isolation and oppression is what underlies much of what we call mental illness in the first place!

When a family member, partner, or friend genuinely wishes to provide that connection and support for someone in deep pain and suffering, they find themselves lost and overwhelmed because WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THIS ALONE! The mental health system, then, becomes a surrogate social support system because we live in an isolated, fragmented society. When a family member or friend seeks out the support of the mental health system, they are then shunned and castigated for doing so. But, where else are they supposed to turn? This, I believe, is the most important area that needs to be addressed in order to garner widespread support to defeat the Murphy Bill. Where do we turn? What do we do?

What’s in it for Me?

But, trying to implement alternatives to hospitalization is a catch-22. Funding gets cut for successful alternatives, for peer support, and for community organizations due to financial and political interests. Part of this is because of the corporatocracy in which we live that honors the powers of pharmaceutical companies and psychiatry over non-profitable, unglamorous houses of respite and support. There is also the problem of greed, rigidity, and narcissism within these alternatives as well, which quickly gives them a bad reputation because people are just looking for a reason to dismiss them. How many stories have you heard of a peer who insisted that “this is the right way” or “you must do X”, leading the family and “patient” ever more hopeless. Aside from fear and a need for survival, humans are bound in their actions by the tenet of “What’s in it for me?”

Providing a lost soul with love and support, family counseling, Open Dialogue-type approaches, the Hearing Voices Network, or peer respites is a difficult venture for one major reason: there is no big money or ego-boosting incentives in these approaches
mostly. Inherent in these approaches is the message of empowerment, autonomy, learning to work through life’s problems with the help of one’s family and social circle (or building one if it doesn’t exist); the plain message from any peer or clinician providing this type of “treatment” is “you don’t need me”, and this is one of the reasons they are not widely accepted. People want to feel special, like they are doing something and “helping” someone, and they want to make money doing it. Trying to tell an entire profession that there alternatives that work, and they don’t necessarily need the involvement of said profession is a threat to one’s selfhood and survival. The second a psychiatrist or other mental health worker tells me that they are volunteering their time and working for free and have no investment in getting personal credit for someone’s recovery, then that person can tell me to shove off and not accuse them of certain degree of selfishness and grandiosity. As I stated in the beginning, there are very few human beings on this planet who have sacrificed themselves and their ego so sufficiently so as to be considered a Saint or enlightened. I sure am not one of them. In thinking about it, I’m quite certain that I am not writing this blog hoping that no one reads it. It is not anonymous. I am also a clinician, and probably find an equal measure of pride and grandiose feelings knowing that I’m somehow “different” than other clinicians. It is human nature to be rewarded by feelings of accomplishment, appreciation and acceptance.

Who among us really does not enjoy feeling praised, respected or proud? Really? It takes great effort to fight the swell of grandiosity and narcissism, particularly for those who work with “patients” everyday who frequently worship their therapist in a god-like fashion. Psychiatrists are not evil, they are human. Tim Murphy is not evil, he is human. Think about how difficult it is for some to even consider that possibility. And then re-read everything I wrote up to this point.

Defeating This Bill Once and for All

The facts are out there, and there is plenty of rational debate that has been had and still must be had. But, to play in politics, we must play their game. We need to address people’s fears. Better yet, we need to turn the table and play on these fears
 will “they” be next? What if “they” were to become despondent or crazed after some traumatic incident
 would they want care and support or to be locked up and tortured without having committed any wrong doing? With 25% of the population exhibiting some kind of behaviors or feelings that warrant a DSM diagnosis, the prospect of being locked up against someone’s will is a very real one with the passage of this bill. It is a threat to the larger society precisely because you don’t have to be an imminent danger to anybody, there just has to be a suggestion that it’s possible. Remember back in the day when women were put in institutions by powerful husbands who wanted to be free to be with their mistresses? These are the media campaigns that need to coincide with the facts. This is the only way to defeat this bill.

It was the pictures of Abu Grab that got Americans willing to fight against the war in Iraq, not the facts. It is the images and videos of innocent black men being shot down by callous police officers that have the country enraged and talking about race. People don’t care about facts, they don’t want to have to think, they need to know in an instant what is happening and what it means. I despise rhetoric and tautology about as much as I do this bill in the first place. Unfortunately, our own need to believe that the world is just is standing in our way. An honest, fact-based approach is not enough. In the age of Twitter and Instagram, where pictures of dead children can instantly be spread to millions of people with a caption mentioning mental illness, the game has changed.

The people who are running campaigns to fight the poor, sick mentally ill need to be seen as altruistic and good. They believe themselves to be the omnipotent helper who is rescuing a child-like, incompetent victim of his own brain, and in so doing is rescuing all of society. This image must be struck down and called out for the delusion it is. I imagine a campaign with a picture of an abused child on one side, and on the other an adult who is shackled and chained with people in nurse’s uniforms pouring pills into his mouth and injecting him with an enormous needle with a white-coated doctor in the background taking notes. A caption could read: “The Murphy Bill: Ensuring your abused children will be punished FOR LIFE.” I say this in jest, but only a little. It’s about as realistic as the front-page photos of a crashed plane with the caption “Hundreds dead, pilot mentally ill.” The facts are on our side. We need to do something to get people to start listening.

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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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94 COMMENTS

  1. I wish I could vote against Congressman Murphy but he always runs unopposed in my district. His biggest contributors of course are drug companies. if this bill passes the refusal of medication or hospitalization will be “proof” that the person is not of sound mind and therefore can be forcibly treated or committed.
    This bill will also cut funding to community organizations and shift it to big Pharma is this a payback to the same companies that gave Dr. Murphy kick-backs when he was in private practice? This bad bill has support on both sides of the aisle so what we can do to stop it?

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    • This bill honestly terrifies me deep in my bones. I believe the first thing we can do about it is to really put it in people’s faces the dangers and human rights travesty that will result. And like Ted says below, to make the wider public aware instead of just the choir. Maybe putting up flyers with my imagined picture on it all over your town? Kidding. Sort of.

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      • Dear Noel, For me clarity is paramount. ‘Mental illness’ is simply a denigrating description, a maddening metaphor, a pejorative psychiatric label for the stresses and strains of a person’s life beginning at conception such as the different timing of environmental risk factors such as toxins, infectious diseases during mom’s pregnancy and/or trauma; physical, mental, emotional, sexual (allostatic overload, Bruce McEwen, neuroscientist) that a person Unconsciously Reacts To and is given a description of that actual experienced life, a ‘diagnosis’ but a ‘professional.’ So What?! To continue to call that person ‘mentally ill’ is to be obtuse, be ignorant of the facts, the reality, the truth of that person’s lived stressful life. Allostatic overload effects (a person’s) epigenesis Kurt E. Wilkens

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      • me to noel…………….. nothing has ever terrified me as much as this bill has… i am seriously scared out of my mind…. i get goose bumps thinking about….. i can’t believe they are going to oppress us like we are not even human beings….. i never thought something like this would happen in america again……… we are literally going to be property from now…. and they can do whatever harmful thing they want to us….. it is going to torcher me everyday going to mental health from now on… he is turning mental health into nightmare…. this man is pure evil…. he is the devil…… he believes we are the inferior species…. just like hitler did… we are subhuman to him so therefore we deserve no right…

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      • guys i urge you to call your congressman and senators ASAP! about murphys mental health bill… say you are against AOT (forced medication)

        seriously think about how many times you have had bad effects due to the meds… me personally… i have had hair loss (which caused me to become even more depressed as i have body dismorphic disorder), uncontrollable twitching in my face, legs, hands, and arms, i have had dangerously high weight gain which could cause diabetes, i have had horrible pain in my joints, i have had painful brain zaps, i have had it where i feel like i cannot stop pacing around and must keep moving, i have also known a friend who had organ failure because of the meds, i have read about people dieing in their sleep, i have herd of people getting metabolic diseases from the meds and dieing, i have gotten skin problems related to the meds, i have become drowsy, sleeping from morning till night… unable to work or go to school… to live a productive life…………. to live a happy life…. think about it if they force you to take a medication that causes you to be drowsy all day long how are you going to be able to do anything meaningful with your life??? tell them about these things……. i mean sometimes they may work for some of you… but if they don’t and you don’t like them… you will no longer have a choice…. they will force it on you whether you like it or not……….. that is wrong… immoral, unethical, and if you don’t take them they will now be able to lock you up in a mental hospital for a really, really long time…. also they will now be able to share your information with your family… which i think is wrong… as with any disease such as cancer… your privacy should be private… for you only…. this is treating us like we are not even citizens of the united states… we are people…. they are using the gun shootings against us… but i know as you guys do that we do not want to hurt anyone… studys show people with mental illnese are no more likely to hurt anyone than anyone else…. i am a good person… i am a Christian… i believe in being a good person……. tell them that…. also sign the petition on change.com just do a google search for “change.com Vote against The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646)” but seriously START CALLING YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND SENATOR………… our treatment should be in our hands…. someone else control your life is scary, scary stuff………. you know what is best for you……. forcing medications is wrong………… think about it…… seriously think about how many times you have had a bad, horrible effect from the medications………. do you really want to live like that? i sure don’t the idea is a nightmare to me……………. we should be in control of ourselves and have the choice in how we approach getting better… most the time all i need is someone to talk 2…. with this law they will start sharing our information making it impossible for me to be honest with them……… also alot of times all we really need or at least i do is exercise (walking & lifting weights), art, hanging out with friends, and so on………. forcing us to do anything we don’t want is dictatorial….. it is scary stuff… there is a lot of other things wrong with this bill…………. but let them know your against the forced treatment……………. let them know your against this bill…………. they will hear us if we call our congressman and senators……. please i beg you… u must act… tell them your not a threat to anyone…. you don’t want to hurt anyone…. you just want control over your own treatment, you don’t want to be locked up for really long periods of time, you don’t want your information shared……………………… this is sorta how Hitler would treat the mentally ill… it is scary…….. i am just so scared of the forced medications… they have been known to cause high blood pressure, stroke, male breast growth… think about out men… if they force you to take something that causes you to grow breasts… and you say no…….. you have to take it anyway…. that is just wrong……. they cause infertility, sexual side effects, oh and antipsychotics are prove in new studys to cause brain damage… shrinkage of the brain from 5 to 10%…… that is just wrong………. no one should be forced to have brain damage, also memory loss, heart attacks………………… guys CALL YOUR SENATOR AND CONGRESSMAN I BEG YOU…….. TELL THEM YOU ARE AGAINST specifically the Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) laws WHICH IS JUST FORCED MEDICATIONS AND TREATMENT OR TELL THEM YOU ARE AGAINST THE WHOLE BILL ALTOGETHER EITHER WAY……….. nothing about it is going to help us… only hurt us… for the rest of our lives we will be treated as subhuman… with no choices of our own… we will essentially be slaves…. freedom is precious… we are humans as well and deserve to be treated WE MUST ACT NOW… CALL ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh yeah i also had a friend who had organ failure from the meds….. just seriously even if they do work for you… it is your choice to take them or not… or what meds work for you and don’t right now but that will all change if this bill goes through CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN OR SENATOR LET THEM KNOW YOUR AGAINST AOT FORCED TREATMENT

        SERIOUSLY CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN

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      • When i looked into running I was told the “buy-in” is one million dollars. That is how much I’d have to bring to the table before the party (either one!) would take me seriously. Also to have a shot at outting someone like Murphy I was told it would take 10-20 million more!

        I’ll be waiting for your check 🙂

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        • But that’s only if you want to run as a member of one of the official parties. We need more independents and 3-party candidates. Of course, that is not a short-term plan but it may very well work when people are totally disillusioned by politics as they are.
          It’s been happening in Europe right now and in some places in US too. So if alternatives like that arrive you have my support :).

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        • I agree, more and more people are disgusted by the fact the mainstream parties have seemingly been bought out by the corporations, who by law, are required to behave as psychopaths:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMNZXV7jOG0

          Perhaps, as a doctor, you can run against this man via another party?

          We do need to reform America, since it’s seemingly been taken over by those our founding fathers warned us against:

          http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/private-banks-quotation

          Please think about running against Murphy, and I’m sorry the psychopathic banks and evil corporations our founding fathers warned us about have stolen all my money, so I may not financially support you.

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  2. “We need to do something to get people to start listening.” I think this is the most important part of the article. We can offer all the arguments we want, but no one is going to listen to them if all we do is preach to the choir. Writing articles for Mad In America is a good thing, but they’re not read by the general public. We are a human rights movement like any other and we should look at what other human rights movements do.

    And we did before 1985. I am getting so tired of saying this and mostly being ignored. If all this talk talk talk talk talk talk is the way to go, then how can it be that our constitutional rights are so openly being attacked? How is it we can recognize the legitimacy of black people’s anger as they react to their brothers and sisters being killed by the criminals who are supposed to be enforcing the laws, yet somehow tell ourselves that expressing our own anger at the abuse we suffer is somehow not “nice”?

    No, it isn’t true that typical psychiatrists are just well-meaning but misguided when they drug as many people as they can, from small children to elderly people near the end of their lives, knowing that these drugs are going to kill them? How is it somehow forgivable that they take drug company money for doing this?

    If we expressed our anger toward these people by taking to the streets, people in our movement would stop throwing this anger at one another. We should be focusing our anger at the people who have deliberately hurt us, not our brothers and sisters. We should be out on the streets, protesting the injustices we must bear, not going to conferences funded by the system where we are allowed to vent harmlessly.

    The Murphy bill, the move in New Jersey to keep parents from protecting their children from shock and drugs, the almost complete blackout of our voices from the mass media, nothing like this was happening before the disaster of 1985.

    I don’t understand how, in the face of all these horrible moves against us, people somehow think all they have to do is go to a conference and get a pat on the head from some psychiatrists. Are we waiting until the police break down our doors and take us away? In fact, in many cases they are doing this now.

    As Frederick Douglass said 150years ago, “Power concedes nothing without a struggle. It never did and it never will.” He didn’t advocate for slaves to order around other slaves, he fought for freedom. And that’s what we should be doing too.

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    • Ted,
      I agree with almost everything you say. I’m enraged and so sick and tired of people disparaging me because I’m “argumentative” or “combative” even when I’m trying to be “nice”! At the same time, I stand by my assertion that psychiatrists are not evil and that just screaming in the streets will not get us anywhere. But, my whole message here is that being nice is even worse. I think my argument is that we need to play a smarter game. Use our anger more wisely. Smart campaigns using images and playing on the same emotions that people like Murphy are playing on. How can we be strategic? Just yelling in the streets will only further frighten the public, not garner us support. How do we work together wisely? I don’t have the answers, but we need to figure it out pretty fast.

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        • Well, first of all I wouldn’t equate Malcolm with “pitchforks & torches.” He was primarily an inspirational/philisophical figure, and never led street uprisings or anything like that, so we shouldn’t play into racist and liberal stereotypes. Also it’s important to avoid adventurism; this system would love for people to provide a pretext for it to deal with us all in the ways they’re best at, i.e. creating fear and confusion.

          That said, you’re right about the main point here. It’s uplifting and empowering to punctuate ongoing work, which at this point in our struggle is largely internal, with some bombastic public outreach and drama. But the main actual work takes place in between demonstrations. (Except for those planning the demo, who are certainly doing actual work!)

          To defeat the Murphy Bill resurrection, if that is indeed what it is, we need a resurrection of coalition-building or else we’re doomedl. This is not just an anti-psychiatry issue. The good news is that they’re giving up a lot if they let go of the forced outmate treatment, and this would represent an important victory for us, however partial. But this could all easily be a trick to throw us off guard.

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          • I have meant it in a rather metaphorical way and yes, you’re right – the sheer perception of e.g. Black Panthers as possibly being violent gave the government an excuse to do whatever the hell they wanted to them and still label them as terrorists. Nonetheless, sometimes the idea that if one does not make some concessions to the less radical people the more radical may take over and go for the whole thing may be enough to produce significant change. But that of course depends of having a strong movement in the first place.

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        • Thanks. While my tone and statement was more a sarcastic observance of how society reacts (a reaction that is utter and complete BS), I can see how it would read in a horrible way. Words can be interpreted so many ways…further reinforcing my point of the importance of strategy! I appreciate your observance

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      • I think it’s pretty clear that each one of us has to fight our own battles. I did my healing and activism work on my own, I was alone in San Francisco with all this. And while it was tough as hell, I managed to succeed at both, because I trusted my process and stuck to my truth the whole way. It’s the only way I was able to really believe in myself, and know that I had what it takes to be fulfilled in life. Relying on others can be risky and disempowering. Fear-based focus is what leads to betrayal.

        If each of us fought our own battles, then things would change because this is how we find our power. Those who wait around for others are going to be waiting an awfully long time. Each of us must take the reigns for our own lives, while encouraging others to do the same. But no one can fight another’s war without making a big mess for everyone concerned, of that I’m certain.

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    • You mentioned the year 1985. I am sorry I do not know what happened in 1985. I had had some counseling through a college counseling service that utilized graduate students in counseling and guidance; but no “drug pushing.” It wasn’t until the mid 1990s when I went through a move adjustment; then again towards the end of the 1990s when my sister came down in the 1990s; and then finally in 2002; after my sister passed away from cancer. I am still at a loss how any of these incidents caused a necessity for dangerous psychiatric medication that eventually caused the firing from a job and eventual receiving disability. Now, I am labeled for life. I say NOT! I fight back until I take my very last breath and now that I am off the psych meds, I am living to 100 years old at least!

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  3. “The Murphy Bill: Ensuring your abused children will be punished FOR LIFE.”

    I believe this is more true than you may realize, given John Read’s research pointing out that most “schizophrenics” are actually victims of adverse childhood experiences or child abuse.

    And the fact the “gold standard” treatment for so called “psychosis,” the neuroleptics, actually can cause both the negative and positive symptoms of “schizophrenia” – no doubt, especially, in a person who did not have a “brain disease,” but instead was dealing with a crime doctors don’t want to deal with.

    “Neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome is principally characterized by the same symptoms that constitute the negative symptoms of schizophrenia—emotional blunting, apathy, hypobulia, difficulty in thinking, difficulty or total inability in concentrating, attention deficits, and desocialization. This can easily lead to misdiagnosis and mistreatment. Instead of decreasing the antipsychotic, the doctor may increase their dose to try to “improve” what he perceives to be negative symptoms of schizophrenia, rather than antipsychotic side effects.”

    “neuroleptics … may result in … the anticholinergic intoxication syndrome … Central symptoms may include memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, hallucinations, psychosis, delirium, hyperactivity, twitching or jerking movements, stereotypy, and seizures.”

    I think exposing the reality that most schizophrenics are actually victims of child abuse, not evil, would be a wonderful way to try to de-stigmatize “schizophrenia.”

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    • Noel,

      It is bizarre, and sad to me, that pointing out the reality that the most common cause of schizophrenia is not considered important, to a person trying to fight an unjust system of iatrogenic illness creation, merely because the true reality is disgusting beyond most people’s imaginations.

      But John Read’s research, and mine, prove the primary function of the psychiatric industry is covering up child abuse by turning abuse victims, or those concerned of abuse, into schizophrenics with drugs.

      And an industry whose primary function is such should no longer exist. And I think this reality could be used to belittle an industry with way too much power.

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    • Someone Else,

      I don’t believe there is any such thing as schizophrenia either. What we see as “schizophrenia”, are people that have been chemically ‘adapted’.

      Their conditions have nothing to do with original problems; anyone chemically interfered with would behave the same.

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      • Hmm, a person I know who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia heard voices and behaved irrationally long before she ever took her first dose of an anti-psychotic. I don’t doubt that there are people who never had this problem in which the medicine caused the symptoms. But again, I think we have to be careful not to make broad generalizations.

        Anyway, I sure wish she could get off of the meds because in my opinion, they are destroying her health. Unfortunately, in her area, there just isn’t any assistance that would help her do this, especially for someone who has been on them for many years. I thought her psychiatrist was at least helping her get to a lowest dose as possible but I am not sure how that is going which I will ask about.

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        • Hi AA
          I’m not saying people don’t have original problems. What I mean is that the medication turns a person into a longterm psychiatric patient. While effective psychotherapy allows a person to recover and return to life.

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          • No argument whatsoever. And maybe if this person had had access to the hearing voices network, she wouldn’t have even needed psychotherapy in addition to hopefully avoiding medication. Of course, I don’t know for sure but it would have been nice to at least have seen if a med free life was possible.

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  4. There is a lot of discussion on the cost of mental illness. Many are actually calling for interventions at the level of the juvenile that may circumvent later violent crime. Some say that this will actually be cheaper than incarcerating so many for so long. A substantive investigation into treatment of young violent offenders is warranted.

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  5. I agree with just about everyone who has commented so far, about the arguments that we should raise. The thing is, what do we do to get these arguments listened to? Yes, the truth is on our side, but what good is that if no one hears it?

    And Noel, I don’t mean to be attacking you at all, because I think just about everything of yours I’ve seen here has been thoughtful and worth reading, but I have to point out that you rather contradict yourself when you talk about “screaming in the streets” but then give the protests that Martin Luther King led as a good example.

    Our folks aren’t screaming in the streets. They are almost never in the streets at all. The civil rights protestors of the Sixties, and I was one of them, did not always march silently. They chanted, they sang, above all they made their presence felt. Sometimes they broke unjust laws, and went to jail for it. Often they were denounced as dangerous radicals for disturbing what some would have called the American way of life.

    On May 16, just a few days ago, some of our people in 25 cities in 9 countries demonstrated against shock treatment. I have not seen anything like that in many years. We need to keep doing things like this. And I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.

    At least one person on May 16 was brave enough to put herself on the line and be arrested for trying to enter a Kaiser hospital that does extensive shock treatment. I thought her civil disobedience was very brave and an example that should be followed. I plan to follow it soon.

    We can’t just talk while the drug companies and the psychiatric profession continue to present us as subhuman killers who should be locked up and drugged and shocked, whose voices should be silenced, whose lives are unworthy of life.

    There are tens of millions of people in this country who have been inmates of psychiatric institutions. They are never heard from, these invisible survivors of psychiatry. If we could reach them, we would be a powerful movement. We aren’t going to reach them unless we show them an example, unless they see a movement that actually does something more than talk and go to conferences. They aren’t interested in jobs where they can order around others who’ve been abused by psychiatry. We need to inspire them.

    We need to inspire them the same way Doctor King and the other leaders of the civil rights movement inspired their people. It took courage and a willingness to do more than talk.

    There will be more events like what we did on May 16th, and I hope many people reading this will join them. We are a human rights movement, and we have to remember that.

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    • If there is one thing that I am good at, it is contradicting myself. I think I’m nearly as frustrated as you and am just trying to throw out ideas. But, I actually agree with everything you say here! Thanks for all the work you do, Ted. You are among many who have long inspired me.

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    • “They are never heard from, these invisible survivors of psychiatry. If we could reach them, we would be a powerful”

      There’s one problem with that. Most people just want their lives back and while you can’t hide being black and can hide being gay only to a point you can in most cases hide away from the psychiatric system if you manage to escape in the first place. It’s essentially asking slaves to go back to the plantation and protest the slave owners. It will be very hard to get people to come out.

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      • I certainly agree with what you say, B. It is one of the most difficult things we have to deal with. Gay people had the same problem. Despised by most people, easily able to hide their sexuality if they chose to. But there was an advantage in that if you are gay, you are motivated to connect with other gay people. Just as you say, I think most secret survivors, who make up maybe 98% of us, don’t want to deal with this experience and they don’t have to.

        I think the gay movement dealt with this by offering something to its constituency, a real movement that fought back. We can do this too. But the combination of a powerful industry that profits from our situation, plus the fact that no one wants the identity of “mental case,” for good reason, has us up against a terrible barrier.

        But if we don’t try, we are facing in the near future something far ore horrible than what we have already seen and experienced.

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    • Ted

      What you wrote about trying to get all the people who’ve been incarcerated in psych “hospitals” and units to quit being silent and unseen really struck a cord with me. As you know, I am a peer worker in a state hospital. When we had a “hospital” newsletter that was published monthly I wrote an article each month about my experiences and thoughts as a former “patient” who works in the very “hospital” where I was held.

      After the first article was published in the newsletter I received numerous e-mails from staff in the hospital who had been in the system and who’d received “treated”, but who chose to keep their former “treatment” secret and were unwilling to out themselves. They e-mailed me to thank me for standing up and for talking about my experiences in the system openly. They begged me to keep their identities secret, and I’ve done so. It’s obviously not enough to be “public” with my story; it inspires people to thank me but doesn’t inspire them enough to stand up and come out on their own. How do we encourage and inspire people to come out and stand up? I’ve wracked my brain over this.

      The other thing that your comment brings to mind is what we peer workers at this “hospital” are told by the administration. They are supportive but always state that they want us peer workers to be the ones to cause the difficult discussions and ask the unpopular and difficult questions about “treatment” that might cause things to change in any meaningful way.

      When they say this I always think to myself that they intend we peers to be the sacrificial sheep whose throats will be slashed by the clinical staff who work to maintain their stranglehold over the entire “hospital”. The administration doesn’t seem to be willing to stand up and do what’s necessary to give real and useful treatment for the people held in that “hospital”. The times I’ve been stupid enough to actually voice ideas and facts they were met with either stony silence, a patronizing and paternalistic attitude (you just don’t understand the complexity of all we have to deal with, after all, you’re a former patient so what do you really know), or literal foaming at the mouth as I’ve been shouted at and attacked by clinical staff. We peers are supposed to do the difficult, dirty, unpleasant work so that no one else has to get their hands dirty. And of course, there is absolutely no guarantee that we will be supported by the administration when the line is drawn in the sand and the battles begin. They say they support and want us in the “hospital” but words are cheap.

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      • So, I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t know just where to start to get the silent masses of former “patients” to stand up and come out so that our true numbers can be seen and so that we can form a cohesive plan of how to battle something like the Murphy Bill.

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        • Steven:

          As usual, your experience as a peer worker in a state hospital brings a valuable perspective. I would like to make a comment that I hope you don’t take personally. Don’t get me wrong. Having peer workers in state hospitals, homeless shelters, front line crisis units, respite centers, clubs, etc. is hugely important. I wish my daughter were so lucky as to receive services from someone like you. There should be more, not fewer peer workers and peer organized programs and services. But there is an inherent problem. I don’t know what to call it, co-optation, perhaps? The minute peer workers receive system money for their services, a conflict arises. Peer workers now join the huge army of workers in the mental health system who have a vested interest in the status quo because their financial security becomes hopelessly intertwined with their healing/helping mission. It is a rare individual who is willing to lay his/her job on the line to do or say the right thing by a voiceless client, let alone on a frequent basis. I think what we need is a huge army of omnibudsmen and healers who are willing to work on a pro bono system for the benefit of those on the ‘inside’. Volunteers are a lot harder to fire than paid workers. Paid workers are often ‘let go’ due to ‘budgetary’ considerations. Being a volunteer gives a lot more credibility to a peer worker from the perspective of a client. My adult daughter who is institutionalized is getting sick of only having relationships with those who are ‘paid’ to interact with her. It takes away her hope and confidence of ever being valued on her own merits.

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          • Madmom

            No, I didn’t take this personally at all.

            Everything you say is absolutely true.

            It comes down to choosing which ditches I want to die in concerning when and what I speak about. I have to pick my battles very carefully. And in making those decisions, which are never easy, I know that people fall by the wayside and are harmed and lost. I can’t save everyone and that is very bothersome to me. Most days I wake up at 2 or 3 AM thinking about all this and it wears me out. But, I can save a few so I keep coming back. There used to be two of us in the “hospital” but as of today I’m the only one left because the other peer worker got tired of all the bs. It’s almost impossible to remain true to our training when we work in traditional institutions since these places try to use us to coerce people into doing what they want them to do. The two of us were trained to create mutual relationships with the people we serve so that they can teach us things and we can teach them things; it’s always a two-way relationship. But doing this on a daily basis is almost impossible.

            I am retired and this does give me some leeway to speak out and stand up at certain times. Until we have peer workers on each and every unit I must continue to choose my battles carefully. Rest assured though that I do know that many people see peer workers as those who’ve gone over to the Dark Side. I think this is true in many cases but you do find some of us who remain true to our training and our beliefs even if we can’t speak openly about those beliefs and ideals in the present moment. It is our job to prepare the way as best we can for those who will reform the system. I compare my work to that of the French Resistance against the Nazis in WWII. Perhaps this is just rationalization and I’m making excuses for myself, but there’s never a day that goes by that I don’t think about all this.

            Also know that my thoughts are with your daughter and with so many others who are being harmed by the system, and in some cases by peers themselves. My office window looks out into a cement courtyard where “patients” wander back and forth in a drugged stupor. I meet them in Admissions where they are active and vibrant people and then I watch their deterioration over the next days and months as they become obese and shuffle along with their heads down. There were Jewish people in the death camps who lived as Witnesses and they strove to survive at all costs so that the stories could be told when everything came to light. I also see this as part of the job of peers who work in traditional institutions. When the time comes we can tell what must be told at all costs.

            Your daughter is so lucky to have you.

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      • Hi Stephen,

        I just wanted to say that when I first decided to go to grad school and get my doctorate in clinical psychology I did it precisely because of some of the things you have experienced. I consider myself a peer, first and foremost, but could not stand the idea that I would be patronized, belittled, used as a pawn, or told “what do I know” just because I didn’t have the formal schooling that the doctors did. Sadly, as I am nearing the completion of my training, I can say that no matter what setting I am in (outpatient, hospital, school, etc.), I still get treated this way. If they can’t dismiss me as a student (who couldn’t possibly know anything), then instead it’s much worse: I am oppositional, over-emotional, refuse to learn, etc. My personality is called into question. Every review I’ve received thus far says the same thing: “Works great with patients, not so great at being a professional”. They try to use me, as a psychologist, to coerce patients and see therapy or just being with a person as ridiculous and a waste of time. My ambivalence in continuing down this path is parallel to yours for the same reasons. It has nothing to do with your position, and everything to do with making people uncomfortable. But, if folks like us always left, then what????

        At the same time, I also agree with what MadMom brings up: once a person’s paycheck relies on honoring the status quo, it is nearly impossible to maintain one’s integrity. Alas, this is the bane of my own existence these days.

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        • I really do appreciate you sharing this. Thanks. The only thing that the “professionals” understand is how to poke a pill down someone or force a shot on them. As you say, they see sitting with people in their distress as useless and a waste of time. We know differently though. Thanks again for responding.

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        • Nicole,

          I’ve had the same issues, despite an MS and many years of experience. The reason is because we’re dealing with a religious creed here, not a scientific enterprise. You say the wrong thing and you’re shunned. They come up with a “reason” that maybe sounds semi-legitimate to someone who doesn’t know much or is a “true believer,” but your real crime is not supporting the status quo. Alice Miller writes eloquently about the important message that the child must protect their parent in order to be protected, and identifies this as the source of most human emotional suffering. The same absolutely applies to most “mental health” settings – the biggest priority is making sure the staff feels OK about whatever they are doing. The clients who figure this out fastest are the ones who are declared “stabilized” and let out the door. It is a rare treat when they find someone like you or Stephen who actually cares about what they are saying and doesn’t require them to kowtow to your needs in order to be safe. It’s actually the most healing thing you can provide, in my view. But how to be there and do that in the mass of counterforce and oppression? It’s an incredible challenge. I got out of direct mental health care for that very reason, and now work as a supervisor for volunteer advocates in the foster care system.

          The system definitely punishes anyone who strays too far from the party line. I guess it’s human nature in some ways, but unfortunately only the most vulnerable people are the least able to defend themselves from this kind of oppression.

          — Steve

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  6. I’m writing, again, to my senators and representative about this outrageous bill. I think everyone who opposes it should do the same. Of course, they won’t read my email, but I’m sure they’ll tally up how many are opposed and if there are enough maybe the congressmen will think twice about voting for it.

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  7. Psychiatrists don’t know how to help those who are affected by a severe mental illness acquire consciousness. This is why they give them medications that transform them into vegetables without a personality. They care only about making the mentally ill stop having an inappropriate behavior that cannot be accepted by our society. The Murphy Bill is part of this system.

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    • You are way ahead of the game if you are reading and writing on MIA , they like to prey on those don’t know anything about psychiatry or their rights.

      When I say “they” I especially mean operations such as “Universal Health Services” Inc. a Fortune 500 company based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania that runs nasty behavioral “health” centers and makes billions.

      “On Monday, Congressman Murphy delivered the keynote address to employees of Universal Health Services (UHS) during their annual hospital management conference in Philadelphia. Based in Pennsylvania, UHS is an international provider of medical services and is the largest facility-based behavioral health care provider in the nation with 216 locations in 37 states. Murphy was invited to speak about his groundbreaking legislation, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which will soon be introduced in the House. http://murphy.house.gov/latest-news/enews-from-congressman-murphy141/

      This Murphy dude is just a dumb puppet for UHS and the fortune 500 crowd.

      This site linked below is dedicated to all the people who were harmed or killed in UHS facilities. They speak for those who have no voice, to protect others from experiencing the pain they endured.

      https://watchinguhs.wordpress.com/

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  8. You are a very articulate advocate for the disenfranchised; thank you for your community service!

    I also believe that your idea for an ad challenging the Murphy Bill is a great idea! Being gaslighted into a mental institution is a classic horror movie plot (I see the ad shot in black and white).

    Best wishes, Steve

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  9. I went to Rep Murphy’s website and read that bill. First, if I have that anosognosia, then that is great for me; because since I have been off the meds and gone through the med withdrawal this winter, I have no psychotic thoughts, hallucinations, or mania. I think I may get sad sometimes; but isn’t that a healthy response to a society such as this. This brings me to the second point. This bill brings chill and anger up and into my spine and gut. I thought for a minute I might be in communist USSR or maybe even Nazi Germany. I am definitely no expert; but this anosogonosia seems made up or contrived for someone’s selfish gain; perhaps to get debilitating harmful treatment or incarceration. Mental Hospitals are really prisons in disguise. My beloved late sister passed away from cancer; a terrible disease; which does still have some draconian treatments. Yet, in all the times we spoke with her doctors; we never heard any such word like the a word. If I have anognosia; please bring it on; because, at least I know I am healthy, whole, and shall, I say sane again!

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    • Anosognosia was originally something seen in people with head injuries, who might not be able to use one arm, and also reported no awareness of the deficit. The way the term is used now can be helpful–to describe a person on psych drugs who doesn’t realize their whole personality has changed.

      It is also a way to justify locking up and drugging someone who is rational and resisting. Just say they have anosognosia and do whatever you want. The person’s denials mean nothing.

      In the Murphy bill, they got it wrong altogether. Its proof that at least some of the bill was written by unqualified people.

      ” What the investigation found:
      Approximately forty percent of individuals with schizophrenia do not recognize they have a mental illness, a condition known as anosognosia, where the individual is unaware of auditory or visual hallucinations and delusions.”

      Should have stopped before ” where.” If you’re not aware of a hallucination…you’re not having one.

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      • No offense, but I have to disagree with you there, Mr. Better Life.

        I have known some people who heard voices and thought they were actually people or their house was wired to let them hear the voices.

        They happened to be medicated, by the way. That’s when I began to do a private costs vs. benefits analysis of the drugs we are supposed to take….

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      • Thank you very much for explaining to me how anosognosia got to be used. It makes sense in reference to people who have had brain or head injuries. But, now, it has been transferred to psychiatry and is used wrongly to accuse and harm people in the false defense they are trying to help. Thus, the enslavement, forced treatment, and loss of civil rights that the person incurs. It does not belong in psychiatry. Actually, psychiatry does not belong in psychiatry. Any pretense that is helping people is a harming, horrible, deadly lie. Thank you for explaining to me.

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  10. Noel, this was a fantastic post. The depth and nuance of your thinking about why people distort things they fear was impressive.

    People get upset when I tell them that ISIS is not totally evil, that most rapists and murderers are not hopeless and are in principle redeemable, that schizophrenia is a nonexistent fictitious label and that people with any of its symptoms can fully heal, that BPD is the same, that psychiatry mostly sucks, and so on. I’ve said all these things to my friends, thinking along some of the same lines as you. Part of me even enjoys the shocked looks on people’s faces when I say these things; making people challenge their long-held views can be satisfying.

    Unfortunately I think what is most needed for society-level change in emotional distress is a massive financial investment into providing intensive long-term psychotherapy, safe housing, extensive group peer support programs, job assistance, and in many other ways parent-like love and safety for the “emotional children in adults’ bodies”, who are mistakenly labeled schizophrenics, borderlines, bipolars, etc., and of whom there are so many walking among us. Whether or not this Murphy bill passes, it will be hard without these other social programs to deeply help that many of these emotionally stunted people, most of whom are from the poorer classes of our society and cannot afford as much help as they need. The irony is that the disability and lost productivity costs related to decades of not working will far outweigh the costs that would be incurred if we were to provide these programs for them for a much more limited period of some years. In the bigger picture, given peak oil and climate change, I wonder how much this worry about the Murphy bill even matters.

    Also, for real change psychiatrists would have to lose most of their power and abandon many of their Cadillacs, Mercedes, McMansions, and cushy vacations. The existence of the Murphy bill is, loosely, a necessary step to maintain the system that allows psychiatrists to subsidize their Mercedes’ and McMansions on the backs of drugging and incarcerating millions of suffering people, people who will not be able to fulfill even a small fraction of their potential for relatedness and wellbeing because of our society’s greed and ignorance.

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  11. Ok, here are my blunt responses to specific parts of Murphy’s legislation, which is outlined here –

    http://murphy.house.gov/uploads/Four-page%20Summary%20Helping%20Families%20in%20MH%20Crisis%20Act.Apr.2014.pdf

    “Mental illness does not discriminate based on age, class, or ethnicity.” – Actually, it does. Mental illness targets younger, blacker, and poorer people much more often than older, whiter, and richer people. Someone should really talk to mental illness and get it to understand that in today’s egalitarian society, it ought to stop discriminating. Just stop targeting those blacks and poor people, mental illness, please.

    “More than 11 million Americans have severe schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression.” – Exactly. 11 million Americans have broken brains and bad genes, and the other 306 million have normal brains and good genes. What a brilliant observation… Seriously, what a bunch of tired BS. These categories don’t exist; emotional distress and life problems, even the most severe, exist on a continuum from extremely severe to relative wellbeing. Artificially cutting off 11 million people from the rest with these fictitious labels is garbage.

    “When left untreated, those with mental illness often end up in the criminal justice system or on the streets.” – And when treated, those with mental illness often end up in the criminal justice system or on the streets. The original statement implies that many of psychiatry’s treatments are working. Actually they suck. That’s part of why America has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of its prisoners, and why one of the richest countries in the world has one of the highest numbers of homeless people per capita.

    “The mentally ill are no more violent than anyone else… but individuals with untreated mental illness are at an increased risk of violent behavior” – Okkk…. which is it? What muddled thinking…. I’d say that the “mentally ill” on average are slightly more violent than most people, only because they’re more distressed, angry, and impulsive than many others, and because we haven’t succeeded in zombifying all of them yet with psych meds. What a shame that psychiatry can’t “treat” all of them with pills so they can all become docile good little patients.

    “Psychosis begins to manifest between ages 14 and 25” – Um, translated into normal-person English, people who have been the most horribly neglected, abused, traumatized, and otherwise damaged, begin to show the most overt signs of distress when they are pressured to move out into an adult world they are totally emotionally unequipped to handle in young adulthood. You would think that psychitrists from Mars are making these statements.

    “Approximately forty percent of individuals with schizophrenia do not recognize they have a mental illness, a condition known as anosognosia” – Ironically, these 40% are quite correct and are viewing reality more clearly than their psychitrists – they don’t have schizophrenia, given that no such organization exists. Perhaps it’s better that they don’t accept the lie that they have a brain disease which they’ll have for life. The attempt by this type of psychiatric thinking to make people “accept their mental illness” creates a hopeless vision of chronicity and lack of agency that dooms severely emotionally distressed people to more suffering.

    “Fifty percent of persons with mental illness are first afflicted by age 14 (75% by age 25)” – How the hell could the numbers be this round and perfect? Human emotional problems don’t work this way; they don’t suddenly start at a certain age, and even if they did, they would never break down into halves and quarters.

    ” Early diagnosis and medical intervention improves outcomes dramatically” – Labeling people with a fictitios diagnosis makes no difference to their outcomes, as Sami Timimi demonstrates in his papers and Youtube talks. Medical interventions cannot treat emotional problems, except to zombify extremely distressed people for brief periods. What is likely happening here is that getting some sort of emotional contact earlier rather than later is better.

    ” The federal government spends $125 billion annually on mental health” – How many tens of billions of our tax dollars do you think goes to buy Mercedeses and McMansions for psychiatrists and massive profits for Big Pharma, all at the expense of zombifying millions of distressed people with psychiatric poisons and robbing them of the chance of true healing that long-term psychosocial intervention might provide?

    “Access to physician-prescribed medication is vital for vulnerable individuals in avoid acute mental health crisis. Current policies that permit only “one drug” per therapeutic class policy ignore the clinical needs of individuals with mental illness who rely on vital, non-interchangeable prescription drug therapies.” – Um, no; on average people would do better, after the short-term, without being heavily treated by drugs. Maybe Jeffrey Lieberman should supply the missing evidence for the original statement.

    “The National Institute of Mental Health measures public health outcomes to develop medical models of care. For example, the Recovery After Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) project shows earlier intervention with treatment The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717), Rep. Tim Murphy 4 for a person at risk of developing full-blown schizophrenia allows.” – The NIMH is full of deluded fools who truly believe that emotional problems are brain diseases. They are funded by drug companies to confirm the myth that these people should be turned via medication into creatures from The Night of the Living Dead, so that they won’t bother the rest of us. The NIMH’s research is based on invalid unreliable fictitious categories that do nothing to explain anything. What people need are love, support, understanding, jobs, and financial resources, not more BS research on figments of researchers’ imagination. What a waste of taxpayer money.

    “Between twenty and fifty percent of the incarnated system inmates have a mental illness. ” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Somewhere between 20 and 50 percent of prisoners have broken brains and bad genes, and somewhere between 50 and 80 percent of prisoners have good brains and good genes. That makes good sense, doesn’t it? Isn’t it great how we can get these nice round numbers to identify exactly who the messed up ones are?! Thank goodness it’s not 37.343% of prisoners that have a mental illness. That would be scary.

    “Despite increased medical and scientific research into the nature and source of serious mental illness, a mental illness stigma persists… The Department of Education, working with mental health stakeholders, will undertake a national campaign aimed at reducing the stigma of severe mental illness in schools. ” – Maybe that’s because your research into the nature and source of fictitious categories sucks, and because using campaigns that reify and concretize pseudo-categories of emotional distress, with their hopeless concepts of brain disease and chronicity, will only serve to increase stigma rather than reduce it. Duh.

    Believe it or not, this is the nice version of what I wanted to write; that is how disgusted I am with these lies and distortions. Teleporting the NIMH offices to Mars and having them study the mental illnesses of Martian rocks would produce better insights than those in the quotes above.
    Living in Washington DC as I do, it’s too bad that I can’t be invited to walk into Congress and give my point my point breakdown of the Murphy bill just as I have above. I’d like to see our loyal representatives’ and drug company lobbyists’ faces when they heard my points above.

    And, no wonder I got kicked out of that NAMI meeting when I started making critiques like these to the other participants several years ago…

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    • OK, it’s time for reading comprehension test. Compare and contrast these two quotes:

      1. “Despite increased medical and scientific research into the nature and source of serious mental illness, a mental illness stigma persists… ”

      2. “The mentally ill are no more violent than anyone else… but individuals with untreated mental illness are at an increased risk of violent behavior”

      Tell me again, who’s stigmatizing the “mentally ill”?
      There’s so many things wrong with this remarkable piece of propaganda that I do not even know where to start.

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      • The experts in this country who are working on stigma point out that the number one group or profession that is the most stigmatizing of all and who contribute most to the power and growth of stigma are psychiatrists followed by clinical psychologists. Look at the work of Patrick Corrigan concerning this.

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  12. Here’s a good one that may be in the guise of the Murphy Bill in North Carolina. I just heard on the news that Governor McCrory signed a bill that makes it a misdeamenor for a patient in a group home to not report abuse. Sadly, many, of course do not know they are being abused; so drugged they are by the meds or they are “intellectually challenged” or otherwise incapicatated. I guess the governor and the ones think they are helping people? It is just another way to persecute the vulnerable and suffering. What is wrong with us in the twenty-first century? Oh, God, help us!

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      • I apologize if I got it wrong; but, that was the way it was explained on the news. Media is suspect, also. Thank you for the clarification. I guess still that even the abuse exists is horrific and scary. I have successfully fought to stay out of group homes and I have thankfully succeeded. They are another part of the dehumanizing factor inherent in the way we treat those who seem “different” or seek help today for their suffering. It is just a way to hide a part of themselves that people are afraid to see. And most of them; people don’t even want them in their neighborhoods because they are fearful of crime and lost property values. I could go on; but, I get sick thinking about it. All I know is that it is now more than ever time for change. Like the civil rights fighters of the fifties and sixties, it is now time for our voices to be heard and our civil rights to be fully restored. We are human beings, also.

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  13. I am writing again. A previous post says psychosis according to the “experts’ (Who are the experts?) occurs between ages 14 and 25. I did drink a lot after age 19 until age 25 or so and experienced depression; but, never had any sort of “psychosis” until after age 35 or so after I had been put on the psychiatric medications. It increased after the anti-psychotic meds they put me on; for what reason I don’t know or remember. Now, I am on disability with an very illegal and defaming illicit, useless, derogatory, dehumanizing diagnosis.

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  14. You seem to be saying if a person is not a saint or an enlightened one they are the same as most all psychiatrists and Murphy who have chosen and accepted evil as an ongoing way of life. I think there is a large population of people in a more live and let live mode in the middle. Murphy the psychiatrists , big pharmaceutical , and many other ‘providers’ within the Therapeutic State have abandoned that mode and the people along the way. Maybe Murphy should see a psychiatrist. Cause it may be inevitable the way he’s going Murphy will meet lot’s of McMurphy’s and Chief’s in upraised sink mode along the way.

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  15. Hi guys,

    I’m so frustrated, yes, frustrated. I’m however repositioning my frustration at you and me, unfortunately…

    In the holy Talmud it states that when the romans wanted to stage mass Jewish practice bans, a wise Knight in the kings court chastised the sages screaming “go out and protest”.

    Yes, we did, and the Talmud said we were successful.

    Yes, in the roman monarchy! Why not in the free america???

    Why shouldn’t we line the streets countrywide against this corruption…

    It will happen one day, when people will bang their fists on the table, saying: ENOUGH!!! Why wait.

    Media makes it easy to organize. No on city for all; all cities for all…

    Protests in CA, NY, IL, CO, NJ, PA, Etc.. I’m talking about masses in the millions.

    Peaceful though! Am I making sense? Have we lost our want and desire to become warriors like our country’s forefathers?

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  16. I am ready to organize and protest. I am ready to fight the whole screwy system; not just the psychiatrists and bigpharma; but, also psycho-social rehab places; clubhouses, vocational rehabilitation, community mental health clinics and anybody and anything that denies our natural health, happiness, prosperity, and freedom. They decry obesity as a national health epidemic. They say we have become less productive, lazy, and more apathetic. They decry everything; but forget to deny the main erosion of America and the world is due to this false concept of mental illness/mental health. I could go on and on. There is a lot of corporate greed going on and complicity in congress and that affects a lot of everything in America; but, I have come to believe that this is the worst threat to our security since Hitler gained power in Germany in the 1930s. I may exaggerate; but, I don’t think so. This- whatever it is- has caused us to lose what it is to be American; no matter your political affiliation, creed, race, or economic or social status. It is time to fight; before we lose what is left of this great nation. Perhaps, others in their great nations feel the same.

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    • Hey, how about collecting small amounts of money and have these articles published in major news outlets like NY times, post, Washington times, nutritional journals and magazines! Get the word out first. Media is very important but not always is social media equal in effectiveness.

      What do you guys think?

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  17. Herpes! Ha! If I had to choose between herpes and psychiatric “treatment”, I’d gladly take my chances with the herpes. Laws such as these, in which abusive families are granted unchecked legal authority to make their pathological dynamics the de facto law of the land, are going to become silent but deadly forces of evil in this country if Mad people choose not to unite in revolt of them. The inalienable right of individuals to control the territory of their minds and bodies is a human need that is indispensable to our spiritual and psychological vitality. Families of Mad people often spend years violating this right and the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act” aims to ensure their continued accruement of the benefits they receive from our status as second-class citizens without having to invest any time or effort in oppressing us. This Act, should it become law, would also make the diagnosis of a “mental illness” and the social enforcement of this diagnosis indistinguishable from the processes that are used to criminalize people for felonies and misdemeanors. Anybody who isn’t sick before being trapped in their family’s web of oppression will qualify for any number of “diagnoses” after they get brainwashed, butchered, and banished from a life outside of the cult that is psychiatry.

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    • You have said the truth so eloquently and so horrifying. Before this brain/biological chemistry idiotcy; they suggested something like how a mother treats her child may lead to “schizophrenia.” Personally, I believe the whole mental illness diagnosis thing is an attempt to denigrate and hurt people that may be unique or actually telling the truth about the state of a family or the state of society. I vaguely remember hearing in a psych class once that it was the one in the family who sought help who was actually the healthiest in the family. If this is so and it probably is; then there has been a concerted by all controlling powers mentioned to force that person to become the sickest member. Yet, no matter how sick the person seems to become; that healthy core is still there if only treated humanely. Tragically, many in the system have become so brainwashed; they no longer want to be healthy again; would rather remain sick; and are actually fearful of no longer being sick. Their whole selves are now wrapped in this sickness myth. So, we are no only up against what has been mentioned; but against also the hostages who have come to love and revere their hostage takers. God, I pray when can reach them soon; before we lose them too. I woke up. I know that others can too; but, they are so scared. It is modern tragedy.

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      • Well stated, poor parents do indeed contribute heavily to psychotic distress, as evidenced by the strong correlations between psychotic diagnose and abuse/trauma. In medical language, bad parents do heavily contribute to and in a simplistic sense cause schizophrenic symptoms. That doesn’t mean these parents are bad people; they’re just extremely poor parents through no fault of their own. Recognizing this can actually be helpful because it allows one to begin to understand the twisted family dynamics that often contribute to psychotic breakdowns, whereas the broken brain theory of schizophrenia precludes understanding, period.

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      • Let’s not paint all parents with a broad brushstroke and let’s not liberate one set of ‘scapegoats’ by creating an alternative set of scapegoats. The liberation of parents and children who are trapped in the psychiatric system is tied together. Most parents want their children to be empowered and have choices, to live independently, to be able to pay their own way in the world as opposed to be being permanently dependent on government disability checks, able to travel the world and experience adventure, experience love, enjoy healthy sexual relationships and platonic relationships, resolve past griefs and losses, procreate if desired, know the feeling of being needed, having something to give away to the world, having responsibility. If an adult child is trapped in the ‘sick’ role, please do not assume that other members of the family unit want the child to remain ‘sick’ out of convenience or to keep secrets hidden. It’s so easy to stereotype. Parents may exercise bad judgement or be emotionally unavailable at times and yes, they may be trapped in dysfunctional patterns but they are generally not sadistic, and in a supportive environment, parents are capable of making great shifts in their thinking for the benefit of their children. Let’s not return to the times of blaming the mother for everything to get our children out from under the thumb of psychiatry. That is just stupid and counterproductive.

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        • Please, I am not trying to paint all parents with one brushstroke. I am only trying to make the notation that in the psychiatrical decision to embrace the biochemical basis of this false disease of mental illness; they have forgotten how important the environment and its stressors are in determining our bodily, mental, and spiritual “dis-eases.” I am not to say there are our evil parents; only some very bad parenting. “J” did state how the Murphy Bill would keep the abuse and dysfunctionality of bad parenting that hurts and causes trauma in place. I do not why you react you so strongly to what I have said. Most parents do want the best for their children. But, many are trapped within the system; as are the children and need to be released. Many who have been trapped in the mental illness corporation are there because of some verbal, physical, or emotional abuse by their parents or authorities such as in school or churches. It is a fact of our society we must accept not deny. I am not trying to make a scapegoat. There are many articles and videos on this website that speak of how emotional trauma does lead to suffering later in life. I did not say or even imply that parents were sadistic as you said. You have read words and meanings into what I wrote that were never there. I am so very sorry that you have reacted so strongly and so negatively to what I have said and did not read what others said. I was only stating some of the prevailing theories and thoughts that were circulating prior to this incredible encroachment of bigpharma and false biochemical theories on natural human responses to the traumas of our society; including growing up in it. Please reexamine what you have written and please do not dismiss the suffering and agony of the millions of the abused children and adults in society. There are some very good parents; but, the reality is there is a lot of silent suffering occurring in our country. We have lost so much in our country that makes this so. Psychiatry is a contributor. Bigpharma is a contributor. There are also other institutions that contribute. Please wake up and stop defending.

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          • Two girls who tried to commit suicide in their teens: one was sexually abused by her grandfather (as many other in her family) the other physically and emotionally abused by her mother. Result: both involuntarily committed, one of them drugged up for years. Of course nothing has ever happened to the abusers.

            This is what psychiatry is for: blame and re-victimise the victim, protect the abusers. It doesn’t really matter if the abuser is a family member or a stranger or an authority figure – it’s the victim who’s weak for breaking down and who has a broken brain. That is truly disgusting.

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        • Well said madmom.

          I think it is really important to recognize that psychosis seems to be the mind/brain’s ultimate response to trauma, but that ‘trauma’ seems to come from many sources -some biological, some a result of physical traumas, toxins in the environment, diet deficiencies or gut issues etc,; as well as many emotional traumas including bullying, hard family events, child abuse etc, etc, and there could be many more causes of which we are not yet aware. The truth is there is still so little that we understand about it. Add to this that people come with different temperaments, different resilience, and possibly different ‘ways’ that nervous systems respond to trauma. I remember one MIA author made the analogy that for some people the trauma does not have to be big- just like some people break their ankle from stepping off the curb.

          I leave open the `possibility’ that ‘perfect’ parenting combined with supportive environments and knowledge of emotional risk factors, might be able to prevent severe breakdowns in many people. – I certainly look back and wish I had done some things quite differently with my loved one and I wonder how big of a difference these changes would have made. However, I believe all us ‘average’,’pretty good’ or even ‘very good ‘ parents are ‘at risk’ of having this devastating experience with their loved one, happen to them.

          I also think that there are many reason why many parents have gotten ‘under the thumb of psychiatry’; reasons that tie in with being the victims of institutional corruption. And like madmom, I believe that most parents are capable of; and indeed will, make ”great shifts in their thinking for the benefit of their children’ once institutional corruption is further exposed.

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        • Hey, people. I can understand how my previous comment could be read as a zealous indictment of Mad people’s “well” family members. This was not my intention at all, so I truly do apologize to anyone whom I have offended. I was raised very well by one Mad family member and one “well” family member, so I lay the responsibility for my own victimization at the feet of our public schools and, of course, pro-force psychiatry. Because the Murphy bill is called “The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act”, and because many of us will be abused more by our “loved ones” than anybody else in our lives, I wrote about the brand of barbarism that exists within abusive families. The sources and manifestations of our trauma are potentially infinite. The variations of human evil and cowardice which must, for the sanctity of human life, be restrained by us wounded mad are uncountable. The ability to destroy life is proportional to the hubris of our imaginations.

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      • Duane ,
        I just read the link you provided . Wonderful putting together of a bill that I wish was law . I think it’s great. The next thought I had was how large of a bag of cash is required to get it past . Than how do you pass something that interferes with business as usual for big pharma who may really be our government ? I believe Ted has mentioned the name Bernie Sanders as a politician who has been sympathetic to our concerns in the past. This would need massive popular support . It is important to try it somehow. What do you see as the necessary steps to do this . Why not see if their is enough interest to get your proposed bill printed where it could be seen . It seems the media would possibly pick up on it if we passed out copies at future demonstrations. David Oaks also could maybe help figure out how to proceed with this . Let me know how I could be of help. My main skill is as an unlisensed natural healer across many modalities. Wishing you and us success.
        Fred

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        • Fred,

          As always, I appreciate your kind words and encouragement.

          I have been doing my best to gather support for this got a number of years through Safe Harbor, MindFreedom, MIA and many other groups to no avail.

          Should there come a time when there is a real interest, as well as a commitment, I can be contacted through LinkedIn.

          I was a rehabilitation counselor for quite some time, but have since retired, because I could no longer stomach the targeting of people with severe disabilities being targeted by psychiatry.

          Again, I appreciate the kindness you so often express on MIA.

          Shalom,

          Duane

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        • Bernie Sanders looks like the one candidate that is worth anything. For starters he’s probably the only one who has principles and has stuck to them throughout (the only other one who may have some is Rand Paul, at least on foreign policy and government spying). The rest of the bunch are either crazy lunatics and/or corporate hacks. If Sanders has somewhat reasonable stance on our issue then there’s no question we should back him up. Hillary is deep in the pockets of banks and likely any other big business.

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    • This is a beautiful bill. I am encouraged; but, I am not exactly hopeful just at present; but, I have a vision of the psychiatric survivors rising up like the civil rights and anti-war protests of the 50s and 60s. I believe it is inevitable; as the abused are now waking up their abuse and enslavement. The next twenty years or so may be a challenge and I am up to the challenge and since my happiness and well-being are no longer circumscribed by mean-spirited alleged professionals; I and the rest of us are going to be just fine. That will really irritate these greedy, power and control hungry psychopathic people to pieces.

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  18. Since a lot of us “mentally ill” people are creative even after forced druggings, we can use our creativity on projects like youtube ads, movies, art exhibits, indie songs, and creative literature to get the message of psychiatry’s harmful effects across. As a writer, I am working on a short memoir called Psyched! I hope to get in the Kindle Single Select. If anyone here makes movies or composes music and needs a writer I’d be happy to work pro bono writing your screenplay or lyrics.

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  19. Yes, even as sick and drugged as I was on the medication; I was still mostly able to write my poetry. I believe it was God’s and nature’s way to keep me alive through the pain and somehow remind me that there was life in there that could be resurrected again.

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  20. Rebel,
    I’ve been there and am free now after a 44 year struggle to free myself from the pseudo scientific sadistic cult of psychiatry and all their paraphernalia.
    Here’s a poem I wrote some 30 years ago about the same sentiment you articulate above.

    The Bird Born into a world with with no sky
    Bird crouched slowly forward
    Looking for an opening
    In the cement ceiling
    It was no use unfolding his wings
    he had been walking for years
    In darkness searching
    Bird would have given up long ago
    But certain things still puzzled him
    What was the tapping
    he sometimes heard
    that seemed to come through from the ?
    Fred Abbe

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  21. This was a well thought out and very emotional blog. Thanks, Noel.

    Perhaps as a model, we can look at England or Australia, where “mental health” is a part of the free government healthcare system.

    To that end, please check out my upcoming blog (June 4) in LifeHack.org entitled: 15 Truths About Schizophrenia Many People May Not Know.

    Much of my material came from here: http://www.bps.org.uk/networks-and-communities/member-microsite/division-clinical-psychology/understanding-psychosis-and-schizophrenia “Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia,” Division of Clinical Psychology, The British Psychological Society, 2014.

    This is a hands-on publication well worth looking at in the face of all the negativity with the Murphy bill.

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  22. reason why forcing medication is wrong…
    i have gotten high blood pressure from the meds, blurred vision, painful brain zaps, sexual dysfunction, electricity like feeling in veins, i always feeling doped up, drugged up, unable to stop sleeping (how are you supposed to be productive or go to college/work if you are tired all day long… how are you supposed to live a fulfilling life like that)… like i am talking being tired all day long, acne, cysts, hair loss ( really hard on someone who has body dismorphic disorder… obsessive worrying about the way you look), dopping, sloppy, drunken, unable to stop pacing around, horrible pain in my joints, weight gain… so much so i could have developed diabetes, also antipsychotics have now been proven to cause brain damage, they shrink the frontal lobe of the brain 5 to 10%, had a friend who had organ failure because of the meds…,
    also the meds cause spasms and twitching in my legs arms and face before… luckily mine stopped but i herd it can become permanent… who would want to live like that… how does that make your mental health better?

    CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND CALL YOUR SENATOR… IF YOU SPEAK UP YOU CAN STOP THIS…………… TELL THEM YOU ARE AGAINST FORCED TREATMENT… YOU ARE AGAINST YOUR INFORMATION BEING SHARED WITH OTHER PEOPLE>…. TELL THEM YOU ARE AGAINST THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DO IT NOW………….. WE HAVE LITTLE TIME LEFT PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE CALL THEM NOW

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  23. call every senator on this site http://realmhchange.org/2015/11/02/it-is-time-for-all-of-us-to-act-on-the-murphy-bill-now/ PLEASE TELL THEM YOU ARE AGAINST FORCED TREATMENT… TELL THEM YOU ARE AGAINST YOUR PRIVATE INFO BEING SHARED… TELL THEM YOU ARE AGAINST BEING FORCED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL… ALSO I READ SOMEONE THERE THAT THE PEOPLE YOU REPORT ABUSE TO WILL BE DEFENDED IN THIS… SO IN OTHER WORDS IF YOUR ABUSED IN THE HOSPITAL… TO BAD

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