Destination, Dignity: Creating the Future We Want


I am still thinking about the inaugural Destination Dignity March. As the recovery movement heads to Memphis, TN, for its annual Alternatives conference, it is important that I also remember the movement that helped birth modern civil rights/social justice movements.

However, as I look back on the civil rights movement and all that my ancestors marched for, I sometimes feel as if the civil rights movement has been a dream deferred.  We have come far but still have a long road ahead.  The intersection of civil rights, poverty and the psychiatric survivors movement has played out now for four generations.  As in 1963, the need for equal economic access still exists. Affordable housing and affordable healthcare are more accessible than ever, but much more is needed. On August 24, 2015, I marched for these issues similar to those in 1963.  I marched along with other psychiatric survivors asking for dignity and respect to affirm that lived experience matters in the conversation around developing and revamping the mental health system.  Having organizations like PRA march and voice their support gives us the hope and affirmation that we can work together cohesively to develop a system that offers dignity, hope and respect. PRA understands what we have been saying ourselves for decades: ”people can and do regain their lives.”

In the later 1960s, the targets of Dr. King’s activism were starting to focus more often on the underlying poverty, unemployment, lack of education, and blocked avenues of economic opportunity confronting black Americans. Like so many of us today who are fighting for social justice, dignity and respect for the psychiatrist survivor community.  We are faced with the highest unemployment rate among those with disabilities, our poverty level as a group is among the highest of the disability community.  In 2015, we are still being told that we can never get better, marry or become educated.  Dr. King believed that all people had the right to be treated by the content of their character and not their skin color or economic status.

Dr. King went to Memphis in April of 1968 to march with the city’s striking sanitation workers.  The march had not gone as planned and the city placed an injunction against the marchers.  Julian Bond, one of Dr. King’s protégés and an up and coming young leader, was charged with negotiating with the city to come up with a plan that would allow the next march to move forward.  Mr. Bond was successful in getting the city to lift the injunction, and the march was back on.  Mr. Bond relayed this information to Dr. King on April 4, 1968.  To celebrate, they decided to head out to dinner.  As Dr. King joined his colleagues for dinner, they stepped out of the door and he was assassinated.  A dream deferred for generations of black Americans.

Now the psychiatric movement faces its biggest hurdle in 2015.  We are asking our allies, representatives and members of our community to stand up. We urge you not to endorse the Murphy Bill.  We ask you to work with representation to create an alternative that won’t strip the rights of those with psychiatric disabilities. The bill calls for the defunding of SAMSHA, it tries to define what Peer Support is, but Peer Support should only be defined by those who created this para-profession and that consist of folks who provide and live within the culture of true support.  Someone who has no interest other than to hamper how we support each other should not define it.  Peer support was never meant to be a replacement for clinicians, we are and have always been complementary and non clinical.  No one gets to define my personal recovery story. My reality and my narrative come from my lived experience — not a clinical handbook of supervision.

This is our fight today.  For those going to Memphis, go with a renewed vision of what we want for our community: dignity, respect, economic opportunities, and the decriminalization of those with mental health issues.  Remember Dr. King, Fannie Lou Hammer and Julian Bond and the hundreds of thousands folks who walked, marched and sang ‘We Shall Overcome.’  Our struggle involves brutality, the denial of basic human rights such as voting, affordable housing, equal and affordable access to medication and treatment.  Access to treatment that is not physically forced and/or judicially forced is a basic human right we should all have.  None of us should fear that our privacy would no longer be between us, our treatment teams and whoever else we give permission to.  An act from Congress should not open our privacy door wide open for all to bear and witness.

Make your calls today to your representatives and let them know why you do not approve of them signing on to the Murphy Bill.  Create the future you want by being the change you want to see in the world.

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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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  1. Hi Iden,

    I very much agree with your views here. Psychiatric survivors can and should expect to reach a state of psychological wellbeing, to become educated, have satisfying interpersonal relationships, and all the things that “normal” people expect as part of a worthwhile life. The Murphy Bill works against these goals by further oppressing those at the very bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, and therefore it must be opposed and defeated.

    It struck me when reading your piece that psychiatric survivors are possibly the most stigmatized and discriminated against of all such groups, even more than gays and minorities. I had not thought about psych survivors’ position as a group relative to others before, although these groups often overlap.

    One criticism – please consider stopping the use of the term “psychiatric disabilities.” Unless they have dementia or Alzheimer’s people don’t have psychiatric disabilities. Disabilities is a medical word that is inappropriate states of psychological developmental arrest that are inappropriately concretized in terms like schizophrenic, bipolar or borderline. Emotional suffering and life problems are not disabilities. Further, the word disabilities brings to mind something internal, innate, static, and permanent, another notion we want to avoid.

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  2. “A dream deferred for generations of black Americans.”

    Dr. King was a prophet and the rising tide of his dream was raising all humanity whether they understood it or not . His words have such power that any campaigner for human rights or anyone anywhere on the planet that even reads them is inspired and uplifted . Had he lived till 90 years old with those around him and John and Robert Kennedy and others as well , the USA as we know it today as far as human rights would have become an example for all the world instead of a maniacally armed corporate controlled of by and for the corporation cartel entities run by a small percent of robber baron families oppressing all , spreading discord causing people to fight each other instead of seeing the robber barons behind the curtain corrupting everything to maintain power while financing enterprises for profit that include a time release eugenic factor within them.
    Thanks for your post I’ll try and call some congressman with my objections to the Murphy Bill and your right we shall overcome. Maybe we can fight them over the long haul with a Woodstock type of ongoing Music, Film, and Art, Festival celebrating Freedom and Human Rights that doesn’t end .
    Just another psych survivor

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  3. Yes, we do need to stop Murphy. If there is a cause that could and should unite the various groups and individuals who frequent MIA this is it.

    However, every MLK needs a Malcolm X to complement the picture. We shouldn’t be asking for better treatment, we should be demanding it. And I don’t mean better psychiatric “treatment.” The creation of “peer support” as a “para-profession” is not a good thing in my view and the defunding of such by Murphy is the least of the bill’s problems. If it were a valuable thing it should not depend on government funding anyway; we are not mature enough as a movement to avoid cooptation; in fact this is how the original “mental patients liberation movement” was undermined to such a degree that we still haven’t recovered.

    I hope in time you will come to an analysis which recognizes that psychiatry cannot be reformed and must be left behind, and that people need to develop genuine methods of supporting one another as we struggle to overcome and dismantle capitalism and the unspeakable agony it perpetuates on so many levels.

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    • Iden writes here of the intersection of civil rights movement and the rights of those labeled and stigmatized with psychiatric labels. From the original reconstruction era after the civil war through the black liberation struggle today this is inarguable the high water marks of our nation. There is no simple solution to the “disability”‘debate. The MIA contributor here Tina Minkowitz has done much on the legal and international level to protect our rights through the prism of disability. Personally I don’t feel disabled, although I benefited from SSI to pay for my tuition.

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      • chrisreed, people diagnosed with mental illness are the largest SSA beneficiary group. The way I see it, if someone accepts the money they have to accept they will counted among the ranks of the disabled. The movements do intersect, however some in the movement want the benefits of civil rights but are not willing to accept others as allies. e.g. disability rights and civil rights

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        • It is not hard to understand at all. Even if someone doesn’t consider themselves disabled, if being on psych meds caused impairments so severe that they can’t hold down any type of job, they may have no choice but to take SSDI. Sometimes we have to make decisions that are areas of gray and not always an either or type of black and white situation.

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    • oldhead, thank you for reading and commenting. Bring the modern day MalcolmX out I want to meet them, we need them badly, we need a new MLK and JFK too.
      As Tupac said “I was given this world, I didn’t make it” the para-profession was created the day someone said lets certify them. Even though I would prefer old fashion peer support, its too late. So we now have a para-profession and no one should but us should define what that is.
      I beleive that pschyatry can work to change itself, it wont happen over night but I have hope. This movement is at a dividing point right now, those who want to professionalize peer support and those who don’t.

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      • You are hoping for the impossible and the illogical. Why would you “hope” for psychiatry to make any changes which contradict its own interests? What more can be done to a human being once one has been taught by psychiatry to define oneself as “disabled”? After that it’s really only a matter degree how much total damage will be done, isn’t it?.

        So my question(s) would be, why do we need a group of “peers” to “help” us accommodate the indignities foisted upon us by psychiatry? Why do we need psychiatry at all? And how do you differentiate the role of “peer supporter” from that of the overseer during the period of slavery?

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        • Slavery has no comparison to the mental health movement. Never forget that. White folks need to get it in their minds that slavery was horrific and an apology of the sincerest magnitude is still awaited. And that not one oppression that white people have experienced in this country can ever compare.

          As far as disability is concerned, if a person does not want to have that definition associated with them then you cannot accept the benefits that come with being disabled. Are you willing to tell the millions of folks living off disability to get off, find a job and learn to cope with their sysmtoms? What you are saying is that those millions of folks are lying to themselves as well as being lied to. And psychiatry is helping them live a lie.

          What is your plan? How do you want to help those folks not be labeled disabled and how do you want to move them from SSDI into the workforce? If you know of a better method than peer support put it forth. I’m down with you if you have that method. And it needs to be something that can’t easily be co-opted.

          As I said in an earlier comment ‘I was given this world I didn’t make it’ peer specialist/peer support was created by someone long before I ever knew the words. I’m not the one to ask that question to. Aks the Oregon and California folks who created this movement.

          If people never believed that organizations and systems could be changed there would never be civil discourse. There is civil discourse so therefore I believe that all things can change.

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          • You’re taking it too personally. You didn’t create the systems being discussed so there’s no need to be defensive about the seemingly overwhelming state of affairs we face.

            Surely you understand what an analogy is. Obviously the horrors of U.S. slavery surpassed those of psychiatry. However the overseer analogy is based on the similar internal dynamics of two oppressive institutions, and if it’s not accurate please enlighten me as to the differences. Meanwhile I’ll continue the analogy by pointing out that some institutions can be reformed and some are so intrinsically evil that they must be done away with. Slavery was one of these; psychiatry is another.

            Also when you talk about the “movement” I think many people assume you mean the anti-psychiatry movement. I’m not sure what you’re referring to about it being “started” in Oregon or wherever.

            And probably you never thought about it this way but are you saying that in order for the system to toss poor people a few crumbs to survive with they should first to be required to define themselves as inferior?

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          • I do need to make a correction based on my own misunderstanding of who the “overseers” primarily were. Although some overseers were drawn from the ranks of privileged slaves –” drivers” — most of them were basically white trash. The analogy I was making would have more accurate if I had said drivers instead of overseers. Both overseers and drivers were responsible for getting the most production out of the slaves as possible.

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    • Hi Oldhead.
      It really is not okay for us to tell people that they’re “taking it too personally” while making loaded references to a genocide that we don’t suffer from. I’m also a survivor of psychiatric torture, also in this for the destruction of capitalism – but it’s not okay to use the image of racial terrorism to dramatize our case, and then dismiss the thoughts and feelings of people actually dealing with that racism.

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      • Thanks for the feedback.

        First off, I regret the “taking it personally” comment, not because, as someone else suggested, I was telling Iden how he should feel so much as for being inarticulate and allowing it to appear that way. It was a lazy substitute for what I was trying to say. I meant that he shouldn’t hold himself (or me) personally responsible for solving problems which have no viable solution within the parameters of this system, and we all are entitled to criticize and protest these without first being expected to provide “the answer.” I most assuredly didn’t mean that he was taking racism too personally and I’m sorry if it appeared that way.

        As for your second sentence, which is a two part statement, I disagree that slavery or any other historically evil institution should off-limits intellectually as we struggle to develop an anti-psychiatry philosophy which incorporates all forms of social oppression. The slavery analogy is used frequently when discussing the history and practice of psychiatry, and of course there are infamous points of literal intersection, such as the “drapetomania” diagnosis for fleeing slaves. So I think analogies to slavery, the holocaust , etc. are legitimate and we should not consider them off-limits in our discussions. As for the second part of what you said, I agree that we should never dismiss one another’s thoughts and feelings, nor is that ever my intention.

        Again, thanks for continuing this discussion, it seemed to end prematurely.

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        • My apologies for being MIA. Work and meetings have taken over my life. I appreciate your thoughts on racism and psychiatry. I truly believe in my heart that there should not be any connection made to slavery and psychiatry in any way. It is just not a discussion I am willing to have with anyone. I live with the historical trauma from slavery, Jim Crow and segregation. There is nothing I have ever experienced in treatment that can amount to the horrific life span of a slave. I am not saying these conversations should be off limits. Until I am given proof that men and women in institutions, day programs and other types of treatment facilities are being treated as slaves were, here in this country I cannot have that discussion.
          I need to see families being torn apart by auction blocks, I need to see women completing suicide rather than live her lifetime as a slave and I need to see doctors and nurses hanging clients from trees or beating little boys to death because they may have whistled at a nurse.

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          • Hi there, glad you returned even though this blog has disappeared from the MIA home page.

            I deference to your stated feelings I am totally willing to leave slavery out of any future back & forth we may have with one another, not that I agree that it is an inappropriate analogy. (Do you feel the same way about Holocaust references?) Again, I was not trying to make a direct comparison but addressing what many see as the analogous similarities.

            Even leaving slavery per se out of the conversational mix, I think a big part of my problem with your perspective is that you consider psychiatry to be a branch of medicine, or at least a “helping profession,” rather than a branch of the prison system, which many if not most credible current Black leaders consider to be a modern form of genocide. We could match the specific horrors of the prison system with those of slavery tit for tat but it would be largely beside the point, which is that psychiatry is a monstrous system which has always upheld racism and genocide; in 1942 for example there was an open debate in the American Journal of Psychiatry about the efficacy of killing “mental patients” (“euthanasia”), with the editors supporting the “pro” position (

            Since you are obviously highly concerned about racism, as you should be, you must be aware of the high percentage of the Black population (esp. younger males) confined to the prison system. What percentage of these are also, once confined, subject to the whims of prison shrinks and their drugs? Why would you support such a system or believe it can be “reformed”?

            I would still like to see you address these concerns as well as other questions I posed before, leaving out those which may have referenced slavery.

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  4. One has to get the irony of having a march in DC that won’t take a stand on any pending legislation. That was the Destination Dignity march, and if not for good reason, for reason anyway. That reason is that some of the sponsors of the DC march were also backers of the Murphy bill. Okay. If this march wasn’t about legislation, about politics proper, what was it about? It was about the agenda of the mental health movement, or more accurately speaking, it was about money. It was about begging for money with which to expand the “mental illness” system. That’s what you get out of all this rhetoric about “stigma”. Calls for more money, taxpayer money, with which to expand the “mental illness” system. I could not, and will not, in all honesty, play any role in such a fiasco except to oppose it.

    Alright, the Destination Dignity march then doesn’t have anything to do with opposing the Murphy bill. It can’t. I want to make this point clear. I certainly don’t think this is a point your post is making, and it’s a point that should be made. I don’t see any independence in government handouts, but then, that’s me. I don’t think expanding the “mental illness” system is the best way to go, nor do I think it conducive to civil liberties and human rights. I don’t see how you can accomplish much without, in one fashion or another, getting your hands dirty in real politics. Politics that don’t involve sabotaging your objectives by making deals with people who fundamentally oppose them.

    We have to make a few things clear. These Destination Dignity marches are a way of obscuring all sorts of things. You can’t please everybody, try, and you get something like Destination Dignity. Remember 1984 newspeak? If war is peace, and love is hate, etc., the dignity of the Destination Dignity march is indignity. I don’t think that by marching with supporters of the Murphy bill, and pretending the march I was participating in had nothing to do with current legislation, I would be helping my cause one iota. Why do I take this position? I take this position because I think sometimes it helps if you can actually distinguish between the sheep, and the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

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    • I had never heard of the “Destination Dignity March” before, though alarm bells started going off in my head when Ida mentioned the so-called “Alternatives” conference and the so-called “recovery movement” in the introductory paragraph. Now I know enough to agree that we’re talking abo0ut wolves in sheep’s clothing for sure. So thanks for the heads up. I hope Ida will be willing to dialogue about these issues while this post is still current.

      I have never experienced the misfortune of attending the notorious “Alternatives” conference, but know enough about it to suggest that the name be changed to the Same Old Same Old (SO-SO) conference, which I believe lists among its accomplishment refusing to allow Bob Whitaker to speak (though relenting after protests); refusing to allow anti-psychiatry demonstrations (possibly even anti-ECT protests, not sure); and refusing to allow workshops on detoxing from psych drugs. (Anyone who can fill in the details about any of this please do.) Will they also refuse to take (or even allow) a stand against Murphy?
      Maybe people let this kind of stuff fly a few years ago but I hope by now we’re on the way to “recovering” from this Dark Ages period of our hopefully re-emerging movement.

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          • This should be interesting. I know Iden is one of the keynotes for the Conference in Memphis.

            I happen to know that much of the opposition to the Murphy bill comes from the same people who put on the Alternatives Conference. This should come as no surprise at all as some kind of shake up of SAMHSA that would impact Alternatives was called for by the Murphy bill. There is some support of the yearly march at Alternatives as well.

            Look at who forms the coalition behind the Destination Dignity March, and you are going to get a different picture. First the founding members. While The Campbell Center and The Copeland Center might not be that bad, you also have The Center for Dignity, Recovery, and Empowerment, an offshot of the MHA, the MHA, and the NY Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services. These are pretty pro-force organizations in some instances, and check sometime to see if the MHA isn’t a backer of the Murphy bill. I believe it is.

            Look at the supporting members, too. Active Minds. The DC Department of Behavioral Health. NAMI. ETC. ETC. Yes, there are a few names of organizations who do oppose the Murphy bill such as the Bazelon Center. Intentional Peer Support is mentioned, too, but this isn’t about the Murphy bill or many of the organizations listed WOULDN’T be listed. This is about numbers. Just about numbers. If you bark every time you hear the words “mental health”, you get the idea. These particular marches aren’t about human rights and legal protections, and they aren’t about opposing the Murphy bill. They are about asking that money be pumped into the “mental health”, actually “mental illness”, system. They are about expanding that system so that there will be more and more and more people with it, and so those within it now will feel less alone. It is not about opposing that system, protecting people from that system, or getting people out of that system. It is about expanding that system, and contributing to the epidemic in mental health labeling that we are already experiencing. Case closed.

            I have to separate campaigning for more “mental health” so-called treatment from campaigning for human and, therefore, civil rights. They are not synonymous, and they are often at odds.

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          • I have to separate campaigning for more “mental health” so-called treatment from campaigning for human and, therefore, civil rights. They are not synonymous, and they are often at odds.

            Far from being synonymous; I would call them contradictory. Frighteningly, lots of so-called “progressives” blindly echo calls for increased “mental health” funding.

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          • Although as most of us know here, psychiatry is not really part of medicine.
            However, because of the roll of Big Pharma, psychiatry and medicine share some of the same problems. Thanks to my Pacifica Radio app I can listen to engaging commentary on Against the Grain, while walking in my neighborhood for exercise.This week’s broadcast included a critique of preventive medicine (in some twisted way, civil commitment is some form of this-early intervention). Although the broadcast doesn’t delve into psychiatry, many of the lessons drawn are relevant to our movement.

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    • Frank the Destination Dignity March did not beg for money. We did ask for donations to help buy snacks, pay for the stage and other equipment we needed and for music. We didn’t ask for donations for any of the orgs involved. Were some of the sponsors backers of the Murphy Bill? Yes, nothing new there. We invited several orgs. and indiviual activist to speak, activist that had different views but they declined. The march was meant to be inclusive of different viewpoints. If those activist didn’t show up, the organizers are not to blame. I personally invited radical activist who politely declined. It’s just like voting, if you don’t vote your essentially keeping your mouth closed. Be about the change you want, create that action. It’s easy to voice something but much harder to move it towards action.

      Also, the march was not about expanding the mental health system…false. I don’t know who told you that. There was no trying to please everybody, as I said there was not any money or politicians involved. We marched to show that we are people who deserve dignity and that we have voice. I didn’t pretend the march had nothing to do with current legislation and neither did any of the other marchers or organizers. I assume you were not there and you did not hear Oryx Cohen speak about Murphy and the disservice it would cause our community. The march was about dignity not indignity for the 300+ folks there, the three buses that came from New York State, NYC and Long Island. It was about dignity for the people who drove from Delaware, PA, Virginia and NC. Tell those folks they marched for indignity and I guarantee you they will tell you a different story.

      But I expect all the folks who had things to say about this march did not show up and show out. I expect people who have lots to say to be about their words and create action. I’m not a talker I’m a doer.

      I don’t speak for anyone, I do speak for myself, I want to be clear on that.

      My question to you Frank, is how many actions have you put forth other than writing remarks to blogs? Have you gone to Congress to testify? Have you marched anywhere in reference to the Murphy Bill? There is no glory in sitting behind a computer and telling others what they should be doing if you are not willing to do it.

      I appreciate everything you have to say and agree on most points but you are blaming people who don’t deserve the blame.

      I would like to see you in the field with me and whoever else comes out for the next march. If not invite me to yours, I promise you I will be there and not behind a keyboard putting you down.

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      • Actually you are trying to “put him down” by demeaning his comments based on your assumptions about his willingness to “act.” You may find it interesting to learn that Frank has made similar statements re: “talk” vs. “action” in other contexts. In this case however he made concrete observations about the politics and leadership of the events discussed and did not direct them at you, but to advance his analysis. People should not be criticized for not “acting” when what is being done does not fit their concept of what’s necessary or desirable.

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      • First problem, I’m not a believer in “mental health conditions”, “mental health challenges”, “mental illness”, “mental disorder”, or whatever you want to call it. I’m not marching in order for people to feel that they have a right to play artificial invalid in perpetuity, and, likewise, to claim taxpayer money as an entitlement, sort of like as an award for one’s proclivity to folly, for life. I’m for mental patients’ liberation, I’m not for eternal bondage to the mental patient role. Where the psychiatric survivor movement becomes a mental patients movement, I don’t want to have anything to do with it.

        Look at the coalition, Iden. The founding partners and the supporting partners include such mainstream organizations as NAMI and the MHA. Obviously this march couldn’t be about opposing the Murphy bill. It also couldn’t be about civil liberties and human rights as you are partnering with people who oppose the civil liberties and human rights of people with lived experience of oppression by the mental health system.

        I’m not against protest, and I’m not against political action. I just like for aims to be clearly formulated, and I don’t like a lot of blurred lines. There is also the problem of contradictory aims. Some of the aims of this march cancel out others. Such can hardly be surprising considering who your partners are. Okay, suffice it to say, it’s not an action I would become involved in, and I’ve been involved in quite a few actions in my lifetime. I helped to organize a march locally against shock treatment this May, for instance, I didn’t have a problem whatsoever doing so. It is something I happen to feel strongly about.

        Let’s get back to those partners, shall we. I’m not partnering with them. We have a saying, “If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” I’d personally rather remain true to my principles. As that is something I can do, that is something I will do.

        I’m not a mental patient, and I’m not marching so more and more people can claim to be mental patients. I don’t see any big improvement in an increased number of people calling themselves mental patients, consumers, or what have you. That’s just how it is with me. I’d rather see fewer. I’m not one to stretch an idea so far that it’s completely unrecognizable. I recognize some of these “partners” behind this march, and that’s why, in this particular case, I’m not marching with you or them.

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          • Stephen,

            In this case, I would agree with you but many times, the issues aren’t always black and white. In the Justina Pelletier case, there were folks fighting for her freedom whose political values I despised. But if I had had the opportunity to march with them regarding demanding her freedom, I would have held my nose and done it.

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        • The Campbell Center was a founding partner of the march. I assure you I did not wake up fleas the next day. I do know that in order to get things done you need coalitions and partners. If MLK had listended to J. Edgar Hoover and terminated Bayard Rustin, a black gay, quaker the march on Washington would not have happened. If Bayard Rustin had listened to blacks in the 40’s telling him that whites were not to be trusted he and George Howser would have never created the freedom rides coalition. The civil rights movement would not have happened if Jews, Christians and blacks did not create coalitions. It is absolute nonsense to tell a group of people they cannot partner together.
          I also say that I am not a mental patient, I never recognized as one and I don’t tout myself to be one. I am for folks being off social security, working, and living productive lives. Having families or going to school, living the dreams that they dream. That is what I advocate for and will continue to advocate for.

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          • I am for folks being off social security, working, and living productive lives. Having families or going to school, living the dreams that they dream. That is what I advocate for and will continue to advocate for.

            Glad to hear it. So am I.

            I just worry about lines becoming blurred over much between one thing and another. I have a lot of reservations about the march in question. Sorry..

            In George Orwell’s 1984 there is what is called Newspeak. This is speech, actually manipulative propaganda, that blatantly contradicts itself. I think when these lines get blurred over much it is possible for people to pitch one idea while working strenuously on achieving the opposite idea, if unwittingly. I think one must be absolutely clear, or there is danger of losing sight of one’s objectives. That’s all. Anyway, maybe we will have a chance to march together sometime. We shall see.

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  5. Hi Margie,

    You said,
    “OK I get it the issue is having been on or being on meds is the criteria for disability. I thought that the Soc Sec Disability folks needed a diagnosis with a doctor’s note or documentation. Now I know better, thanks””

    Actually, I am not sure and I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. Maybe people have found a way to get the documentation and or doctor’s note without having to take meds, I don’t know.

    Sorry for the confusion.

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    • You do have to have a diagnosis and Social Security re-evaluates people every so many years. They request your records of the psychiatrist who prescribes for you. From what I can gather the assumption on their part is that if you achieve a certain level of healing and recovery that they will at least reduce your benefits or remove them totally. However, I’ve never seen anyone removed from the rolls. This may be because so very few people who take the drugs are able to hold down a full time job. Some people do work part-time, and that’s allowable as long as you don’t make over a certain amount of money per year.

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  6. The “mental health” system ( Industrial PharmaPsycho Complex) part of the( Therapeutic State ) for the great most part is not designed for anyone to come out the other end of alive using no “services”, “meds” and/or no “electric voltage to the brain” or without co-occuring or alone occurring compliance & monitoring social worker or therapist counseling and most usually not without periodic psychiatric psychiatrist and/or nurse practitioner to change the “meds” themselves and/or doctor assistant or AMA doctor continuing and even changing doses of the “meds”. ( by “meds” I mean toxic chemical cocktails ) . Do not forget they never forget their “diagnosis -label which can follow a person like their own shadow limiting in a negative way most every aspect of life including relations with family and others , employment possibilities of the living wage variety, education possibilities for many , and on and on . The younger you are when you are captured into this system generally the harder it is to totally escape from it . The brain washing takes to varying degrees for varying durations of time for each individual captured . The “meds” are addicting , the brainwashing withering. For some like myself some outside financial help made the difference of survival or not. I would never blame the victims of this system because to escape it means outsmarting the system as going along with it means being ground up by it . It’s been said all is fair in love and war and we know the system is not about love and to get free of it can be the battle of a lifetime and to take our subsistence disability money for as long as we feel we need to, is a small part of the needs we take or a small part of reparations a small part of us forcibly take from them for what they have taken from us to preserve a portion of dignity and revenge as we slowly wake up from the nightmare of psychiatry into the pervasive robber baron controlled oligarchy . The disability money can help us get some first do no harm help elsewhere . Plus help us research what happened in detail to us and how to carry on . Plus help us find useful strategies to help others extract themselves from the hell of the system . Anti -Psychiatry : We reject their authority, We reject their coercion or any organization or anyone else that dare pick up that baton , titled or not , we reject their diagnosis and we reject their treatment. The DSM should be burned. Health Freedom must be there along with our constitutional rights pre- corporate adulteration , for each individual .Corporations are not people . We must also find a way to break up into pieces Big Pharma and make it honestly regulated by the people somehow or they will poison us all eventually somehow if they or their sister cartels have not already done so. I’m not against DSM free non coercive counseling freely entered into or non prescription pharmacy without psychiatry as Julie the Mad Blogger so eloquently speaks of elsewhere. Alternatives 3 times would not let me present about my lived experience of extreme states mainly caused by mercury laden amalgams. For countless people mercury amalgams make it that much harder to deal with problems in living many of which are beyond the pale. Over the phone I was told there was no connection . I say Bullshit ! I agree we must fight for what we believe as best as we are able. Some of us are so poor and/or disabled we can only write or speak or take part in demonstrations close to where we live . Anyways may we the people find a way to gain our human rights and to reach our potential with out denying others a chance to reach theirs. Just a part of my point of view. BTW we must begin to collectively even better outsmart the system if we are for human rights and against psychiatric and other crimes against humanity.

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  7. It’s interesting to read all the different takes on disability as it pertains to the issues that get talked about on MiA. I have a hard time understanding how anyone could claim that no one with mental/emotional problems can be disabled by those problems, if only temporarily. Certainly, not everyone with such problems is disabled by them, but some clearly are. (I am thinking in terms of the social model of disability here and not the medical model.)

    Saying that some people with mental/emotional problems are disabled by them is not the same as validating the lies of psychiatry. It only appears that way because psychiatrists have unfortunately been set up by the government as gatekeepers to disability benefits for people with mental/emotional problems, and the language of psychiatry is the only language recognized by the government when it comes to social support. Therefore, anyone who needs social assistance due to mental/emotional problems must be psychiatrized to get it.

    In addition, legions of people (myself included) have been disabled by psychiatric “treatments” themselves. That disablement is also very real, and as far as I know there are no avenues to seek social assistance for it without again going through psychiatry, which will deny the iatrogenic damage it has done and assume that any impairment is the result of the “diseases” that psychiatry pretends to treat.

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    • definition of the social model of disability from Wikipedia:

      The social model of disability is a reaction to the dominant medical model of disability which in itself is a functional analysis of the body as machine to be fixed in order to conform with normative values. The social model of disability identifies systemic barriers, negative attitudes and exclusion by society (purposely or inadvertently) that mean society is the main contributory factor in disabling people. While physical, sensory, intellectual, or psychological variations may cause individual functional limitation or impairments, these do not have to lead to disability unless society fails to take account of and include people regardless of their individual differences. The origins of the approach can be traced to the 1960s; the specific term emerged from the United Kingdom in the 1980s.

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      • YEAH, thanks for posting the “social model of disability” blurb, uprising. Honestly, I was just talking about this with a friend a couple weeks ago, disability justice organizing seems to be doing better intersectional / broad-based work around liberties than specifically rad-mad/anti-psych groups, and like, drawing more people into a better economic critique too.

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