Researchers Develop New Model for Understanding Depression


Acknowledging that current depression treatments are failing many people, researchers from Michigan State and MIT have developed a new model for understanding how multiple psychological, biological, social and environmental factors contribute to the onset of depression.

“This model opens the gate to understanding depression as it relates to the whole person and all of his or her experiences,” said Andrea Wittenborn, the study’s lead investigator. “It helps us understand how depression varies by person – because we know depression varies widely across people, and we think that has something to do with why treatment is not always effective.”

Wittenborn and her colleagues point out that while major depressive disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of disability worldwide, antidepressant drugs have not demonstrated a decided advantage over placebo pills. The reason our treatments have not advanced, and the public health problems persist, is a result of overly narrow theories about depression.

To move treatment and practice forward, the researchers put forward a new “causal loop diagram of adult depression dynamics.” Feedback loops are a central component of the new model. They provide the following example to illustrate this concept:

“For example, economic hardship is a stressor that can increase depressive symptoms. On the other hand, one consequence of increased depressive symptoms is the loss of motivation and an increased chance of hurting one’s economic wellbeing, e.g. due to job loss. Together, the two causal links create a reinforcing loop, which may trap an individual in increasing financial hardship and depression.”

To develop this model they reviewed the literature on various drivers of depression (including cognitive, social, environmental, and biological) and mapped how each of the different factors may create feedback loops connected to other drivers.

“Clinicians who treat depression tend to work on a trial-and-error basis, whereas this model could give them a more systematic and effective method for making decisions about treatment,” said Wittenborn. “Most importantly, this model provides a method for personalizing treatment to each unique patient.”


“Depression as a systemic syndrome: mapping the feedback loops of major depressive disorder” by A. K. Wittenborn, H. Rahmandad, J. Rick and N. Hosseinichimeh in Psychological Medicine. Published online December 1 2015 (Abstract)


  1. Wow, seems unnecessarily complex to me! I think the concept has some validity, but a much simpler chart would be needed to make it effective and efficient. Perhaps starting with a single “cycle” and building from there would be more helpful that creating this gigantic map, which to me would feel overwhelming and demoralizing to look at.

    —- Steve

    Report comment

  2. Interesting to see this, what I would call medical-model lite. The notion of depression as one reliable illness is pretty sad (no pun intended) and a measure of how ignorant most psychiatric researchers are about what a range of experiences can cause feelings of depression, and how removed they are from the experiences of actual people.

    I would reframe the following:

    “For example, economic hardship is a stressor that can increase depressive symptoms. On the other hand, one consequence of increased depressive symptoms is the loss of motivation and an increased chance of hurting one’s economic wellbeing, e.g. due to job loss. Together, the two causal links create a reinforcing loop, which may trap an individual in increasing financial hardship and depression.”

    as – “Economic hardship can directly and alone cause feelings of depression. Depressive symptoms are simply effects/end states of mostly environmental stressors and don’t act independently as a first cause (here we see a possible reversal of cause and effect by establishment psychiatric researchers). So we only have one clearly identified causal chain, i.e. social/psychological/relational stresses lead to feelings of depression and apathy and such environmental stresses also can lead to losing a job and struggling with finances.”

    Report comment

  3. As long as “depression” — i.e. extreme sadness, despair and hopelessness — is seen as something to be “treated” there will be no answer. The answer lies in eliminating the objective systemic & material causes, which is a sociopolitical task and not a medical/psychiatric one.

    Report comment

  4. In addition to ignoring larger social causes, as oldhead points out, the model is ahistorical and says nothing about trauma, especially early in life, as setting the stage.
    It may be a step in the right direction, I suppose, but then sometimes small steps in the right direction can forestall greater change. Time will tell.

    Report comment

  5. Yes, it is complex. I think that’s the whole idea. After all, do we not agree that depression is a complex problem? Why then the insistence on a simplistic model?

    The initial premise was that overly narrow theories have led to ineffective treatments. It follows naturally that a better, more accurate model will be broad in scope. I am encouraged to see some science that isn’t looking for another ‘magic bullet’ and instead is looking for ‘big picture’ solutions.

    Moreover, to my eye this map leads to psychotherapy solutions, not chemical solutions. Even if this diagram isn’t 100% accurate, I think these guys are on to something.

    Report comment

    • Depression is not one problem or illness, it depends on the individual and the situation. Feelings of depression could be multifaceted or and multidetermined, or not. For example in one otherwise happy person’s life their spouse could be disabled in a car accident, and that one stressor could lead them to become depressed. Another person could have a complicated history of physical abuse in childhood, stress at work, ambivalence in a romantic relationship, a phobia, and financial insecurity to deal with, plus a physical health problem all contributing to feelings of depression.

      Point is writing about depression as if it’s one thing is misleading. Depression may or may not be a problem determined by complex factors in different situations; it depends.

      Report comment

      • On the positive side, at least some “depression” can function as a signal to oneself that you are trying to avoid something that needs to be done, or an issue that needs to be resolved, and can be a sort of motivation to get off your ass.

        Report comment

        • Unfortunately, many of the depressed people I know do not have the insight to recognize depression as a signal of something they need to resolve. It can take years of therapy to reach that conclusion. I hope the day will come when there is enough funding to allow people to get therapy and/or meds, as they wish.

          And please, when I am in the black pit of despairing depression, do not suggest that I get off my ass. I read that as an insult, as if I wouldn’t get off my ass if I could. In that situation, I’m more likely to kill myself than I am to “get off my ass” to figure out why I’m depressed. You know that, right?

          Report comment

          • Obviously my comments were not directed at you personally so if you are “insulted” that has more to do with you than me.

            I said “can be.” I also put “depression” in quotes, as I do not consider “it” to be a disease or health matter.

            Report comment

  6. This model seems way more complex than it should be. Sure, we shouldn’t have a simplistic model, but this looks way to complicated.

    Although this model seems to be a step in the right direction, going away from simplistic models of depression and suggesting it is a “new model for understanding how multiple psychological, biological, social and environmental factors contribute to the onset of depression”, the model still seems to be very heavily geared toward a biological/medical orientation. Just look at the main factors they suggest are involved: cytokine, cortisol, effective GR (glucocorticoid?), monoamines, hippocampal volume. These things may (and I stress may) be affected by depression but they are not the causes of it.

    Also, cytokine? Cortisol? Glucocorticoid? Since when did these become associated with depression? Where’s the good ol’ serotonin that psychiatry and big pharma have claimed for decades causes depression? Are they finally admitting that the serotonin theory of depression was wrong? Are they really going to simply change the type of brain chemical(s) involved yet still run with the whole chemical imbalance theory?

    This may be a step in the right direction (a baby step), but it is still way off.

    Report comment

    • Agree. This model reeks of pandering to drug companies and allowing psychiatric researchers to justify drugs as a front line treatment. Your point about the brain/biological factors being affected by feelings of depression but not being causes of it is probably correct for most being. Most likely the researchers will eventually come up with some BS totally detached from real people’s experience like, “these biological factors may have some basis in the etiology of major depression making medication an important part of early intervention” (to which I can only yawn).

      Report comment

  7. True, everyone has their own network of issues which can lead to long term chronic depression. It’s usually a signal that something needs to change, starting with perspective and long-internalized false beliefs. But it’s different for everyone, very personal.

    Report comment

    • Although I do wonder why some people seem to rather easily buckle under to life stressors and become depressed–or in some other way feel beaten down by the stress–while others navigate life stressors with relative grace, growing and learning from stressors (and therefore relieving the stress and evolving in the process).

      That would speak to variations in nervous systems as well as how we interpret and navigate life experiences. I believe this is where personal values, self-beliefs, and integrity play a huge part in the quality of our mental health and processes, as well as in our general outlook in life.

      Report comment

      • Perhaps those handling stress and misfortune with “grace” have not been disadvantaged by poverty or chronic physical ill health or childhood trauma or dysfunctional families or any number of other stressors that tip the balance to the whole body illness that manifests as something called depression.
        Perhaps they haven’t been the recipients of the incompetent care of “doctors” who stupidly prescribed a benzo or z-drug or antidepressant for poorly understood symptoms of fatigue or insomnia or anxiety and had their nervous systems ravaged and a “chemical imbalance” CREATED, leading to full blown depression. In that case their “integrity” and “values” may not be strong enough to fight the inflammation/brain insults, especially if they fall prey to the poly-drugging that will follow as they scramble and panic, trying to get well.

        Report comment

        • Those who have suffered the worst hardships in life are the ones who typically rise above it to be an example to others. Victor Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning) is probably the most famous example of grace, values, and integrity serving to rise above such suffering, trauma, and post-trauma.

          Many people have suffered what you describe above, and their lives become motivated by a deeper understanding, which eventually brings clarity, healing, and some inner peace (with practice), from the sheer desire to be well, and to be a contributing member of society. I’m one of them.

          Report comment

        • Yes, Fiachra, I had wonderful support and guidance along the way for which I’m always extremely grateful.

          But what’s most interesting to me that I keep coming back to, is that the ones who actually were able to reach me and help me came after a really long slew of professionals in the ‘field of mental disorders’ (as I’ve come to call it) that only made me worse and worse, until my system finally broke down completely, into disability. So aside from the physical and emotional injuries that came from this, I also felt extremely and chronically betrayed, so that became a spiritual wounding, as well.

          My own personal search for meaning was the result of not wanting to end up homeless or permanently disabled and institutionalized–which, at one point, these looked like the most likely options for me–and of course, the option of suicide was one path I tried in order to alleviate the overwhelming pain of it all, which I was told I would have to accept and get used to my ‘lot in life.’

          Which, of course, I’ve since gotten rid of that lot and bought a much bigger and more fertile one, and have built metaphorical houses and other things on them, which have been of value to me and others, in a pretty profound way. So they were, both, wrong and mal-practicing telling me this.

          Coming back from the near dead was revealing in many ways, and this is when I began on my path of heart, light, and soul, which is what led me to the guides to which you refer. Somehow, in my extremely clouded, confused, and foggy thinking and sunken, anxious heart, (thanks in large part from massive psych drugs withdrawal), I found my way to exactly what I need and to what worked for me. Must have been something greater than my own consciousness guiding me because I had no clue what I was doing, and in fact, was pretty convinced that I was doing everything wrong, at least that’s what I was continuously told, whenever I would have a need. And up to that point, everyone around me had been just as clueless.

          Thank God I met the healers, teachers, and guides I did. Almost dying from suffering was the big turnaround.

          As the Buddhists say, “From the mud, grows the lotus.”

          Report comment

          • I totally agree, Fiachra, there is no one path, people have all sorts of different journeys through life, including recovery paths. What I like to encourage is for people to find theirs, whatever it is, and to not lose hope. That’s always what I try to get across by example, for better or worse. My intention is always to inspire hope where I know hopelessness lurks. I’m quite familiar with hopelessness, and it’s one of the scariest feelings ever, a real killer, and I mean that literally. Makes all the difference, I think, when we can take in even a small ray of light and hope.

            I’m aware that you credit psychotherapy for your recovery, which I think is wonderful of course. You seem very together and well-spoken, kind-hearted. And your posts speak to me as well, you have wonderful insights from your lived experience. You know I had very bad experiences with psychotherapy, in ways that I hear echoed a lot here in the USA.

            I’m really wondering about the cultural differences, in that ‘psychotherapy’ is such a product of the cultural norms, especially in family, relationship, and community dynamics.

            I’m always really happy to hear about your good experience with this, because I do think at the core, psychotherapy can be extremely helpful in recovery. I just wish we could weed out all the toxic ones we have here, because it spoils the field, and very sadly and unfortunately, there are many, I think it’s the norm. Not 100%, so I’m not saying it’s everyone. But I think it’s a critical issue because it’s quite damaging to people when this happens, obviously.

            Just food for thought, regarding the issue of what from this practice does helps vs. what actually hinders recovery. You’re obviously a great example of what happens when it is practiced with competence.

            Report comment

          • Alex,

            Often my psychotherapy has been informal or non official.

            I attended a CBT group a few years ago out of interest. At the start the therapist mentioned that when he himself was suffering from depression the advice he got from his own therapist was to go to the cinema with a friend. He said that this might well have been a good idea but that he was so isolated himself at the time that he did not have somebody he could go with to the cinema.

            I only attended this group once or twice as it’s more the descriptions and common sense in ‘CBT’ that make sense to me.

            I asked the therapist if CBT worked with depression, and he said definitely.

            This group was free and nobody had to ‘check in’.

            Report comment

          • I think as long as we are not made to feel crazy, ashamed, or guilty when we express our authentic feelings, then talking about our anxieties can be very relieving and clarifying. And, indeed, the people contact can be extremely beneficial if one is isolated otherwise. I consider all that to be very sound healing.

            While I did have trained and seasoned actual healers and teachers to help me shift into a new paradigm and find my grounding, I’ve always maintained that my most influential ‘healer’ was my musical performance teacher. That was a whole different kind of healing, embodying present time with complete trust, despite anything that is happening outside of myself, especially knowing that there are real live critics in the audience, whose job it is to evaluate my every move. Those were some lessons in developing sense of self, like I’d never before experienced.

            I believe those that we can call our “healers, teachers, and guides” can be anyone in our lives who influences us to grow comfortably in our own skin and be who we are meant to be. I guess our influences tend to be a combo of people, both whom we know and those we don’t know, that we read about. We’re influenced by different people at different times in our lives, that would universal. Can be anyone, really.

            I think when we care about others, then we are naturally ‘guides’ for each other, simply because we respond with kindness and compassion. I believe that is what is most strongly felt.

            Report comment

        • I’m with you, truth.

          When environment, genes, dysfunctiomal family, childhood trauma, and a host of other influences combine, one might need a boatload of therapy, and maybe even some meds (they’ve worked for me), to overcome them. And in the US, these things are not so easily obtained.

          Perhaps someone who “rose above” such things benefitted from some protective factors, such as a loving family or good physical healthcare, or others.

          I resent the term “buckled under” used above. You’d “buckle” too if you’d experienced some of the trauma I’ve seen in my clients.

          Report comment

          • By the terms ‘buckle under’ vs. ‘rise above’ I mean specifically ‘to be negatively impacted to the point of disability’ vs. ‘gaining wisdom from our experiences for the purpose of moving forward.’ Feel free to insert your own words. I have a hard time pleasing everyone with my language, but I’m always happy to elaborate for clarity.

            I mean these terms and the language I use to be only descriptive, totally neutral, and without judgment. They are simply to distinguish two divergent reactions to life experience. I have experienced multiple traumas which almost killed me (I’m a psychiatric survivor on every level–meds, discrimination, legal battles, debilitating stigma, all stuff that repeated my original family abuse issues. I have a list of abuses if you’d like my trauma resume.

            The healing goal was, specifically, to rise above it and learn from it all. That’s a very hardy healing process, to gain meaning and wisdom from our experiences. That creates a lot of positive shifts–aka healing via rising above the trauma.

            No judgment whatsoever intended, just options of perspective. Thanks for the heads up about this.

            Report comment

          • Also, Prickly Pam, as a healer, myself, I’d never, ever say to a client, “You need to rise above this,” nor would that be my intention, to tell anyone what they ‘need’ to or ‘should’ do. That’s only detrimental to a client and would set them up for failure.

            However, I would hold that space of ‘rising above’ as a healing goal, and I would support and assist in that process–however it would uniquely look for any individual, we discover that as we go along–however it feels most effective to do so.

            Looking back on my experience a former long-term client in psychotherapy (which took me down a rabbit hole eventually), one thing I can now see was extremely harmful to me was when a clinician would collude with my feelings of self-pity, and not challenge me on them.

            Clients can sometimes feel as though I don’t have empathy for them, because I will not feel sorry for them, the way they feel sorry for themselves. They thank me for that profusely, at the end of it all, and see that, indeed, I did get where they were, I would just encourage a step forward, which was enough to set some people off.

            If someone wants to feel permanently damaged and stay angry and resentful about it, and only wants people to agree with them about that, then I would not be a good match for them as a healer or counselor because I would challenge those beliefs every step of the way. If you don’t like your negative self-beliefs challenged, then don’t share them with me, because I’ll have another perspective to offer each and every time. It may be our experience in the moment, but I feel it is never truth, just more of a pit stop, which we all take. But we don’t want to stay in the pit!

            Report comment

  8. Chronic or clinical depression may be the result of repeatedly failing to respond to the adaptive emotional prompt of pain we all experience when we face great loss or trauma. Like the feeling of pain when we touch a flame, the prompt compels us to do something about the loss; talk to other people, get a job, clean the house, walk the dog, confront an antagonist or sometimes just doing something, the anticipation of which causes us extreme stress. Experiences earlier in life which reduce our sense of agency can greatly increase our inability to respond and thus increase the pain and helplessness which lead downward to a deeper enduring depression. Unfortunately, the drugs we take to ward off the negative symptoms of depression also seem to increase this lack of agency, reducing our ability to act, leaving the pain intact.

    Report comment

  9. What about the situation that occurs when a previously mentally well individual with no history of trauma or sickness or disadvantage or “issues” is prescribed a drug like “accutane” or “chantix” or any other toxin and suddenly finds him/herself depressed and suicidal beyond belief?
    The brain has been impacted and even stopping the drug may not be enough to return the person to their pre-morbid state. Then what??
    How will CBT help here?
    Is this “depressive state” considered to be a “real” illness state?

    Report comment

    • That’s basically my situation, I was given Wellbutrin for smoking cessation, it didn’t work, so I was abruptly taken off it. This resulted in the common symptoms of antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, and these were misdiagnosed over and over and over again by my PCP. And finally she had me railroaded into the system by claiming I was “schizophrenic,” within three weeks a therapist also claimed I had “depression caused by self,” and a psychiatrist claimed I was “bipolar.” So much for the reliability of the DSM disorders, there is none.

      It’s all about doctors who collude to cover up the adverse effects of their drugs, by blaming the patient, and defaming the person with their made up “mental illnesses.” It’s called gas lighting patients.

      “Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted or spun, selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity.[1][2] Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.”

      And the psychiatrists are the masters at “the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.” Their “bipolar” drug cocktails are medically known to create the positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via what’s known as anticholinergic intoxication syndrome or anticholinergic toxidrome.

      “Central symptoms [of anticholinergic intoxication syndrome] may include memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, hallucinations, psychosis, delirium, hyperactivity, twitching or jerking movements, stereotypy, and seizures.”

      “Substances that may cause this toxidrome include the four ‘anti’s of antihistamines, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and antiparkinsonian drugs[3] as well as atropine, benztropine, datura, and scopolamine.”

      It is odd to me that the medical community seemingly harbors odd delusions they, and they alone, are able to research medicine, however. Strikes me such a belief system is a “delusion of grandeur,” which of course they believe requires massive tranquilization.

      Wonder how long it will take, or if the medical community will ever, realize their “gold standard” treatment recommendations for “bipolar” are a recipe for creating psychosis via anticholinergic toxidrome, and change these “gold standard” treatment recommendations. I’ve recommended this to the Mayo Clinic already, but they have not changed their recommendations yet.

      But “dirty little secret” ways to unethically, proactively prevent non-existent malpractice suits for paranoid, ignorant, and unethical doctors do die hard.

      Report comment

      • What a nightmare. You are lucky you survived. How did you fight your way to wellness? How long did it take for your brain to heal from these assaults?

        I led a great life until I had an abrupt withdrawal reaction to missing an Effexor XR dose (a drug stupidly prescribed by my GP to “treat” the crying, loss of sleep, and loss of appetite that my husbands affair triggered; all “normal” reactions to betrayal and grief;
        I was on the drug 12 years bc not taking it for even one dose meant weeping, anxiety, head zaps… Thought I “needed it” to be “well”…was just addicted).
        Reinstating the drug did nothing, upping it by THREE times re my retarded GPs orders made it worse. Detoxing quickly made it worse…
        And then came psychiatric “help”/intervention…12 poisonous drugs in 8 months… Became suicidal, agitated…no one thinking the illness is related to the toxic drugs, switching, changing, crossing over, withdrawal. I am screeching with terror and head pain and the next intervention for misdiagnosed “treatment resistant depression” is ECT. Lied to and terrified, I sign and end up with 21 ECT that destroy my memory and my cognitive skills. You were fortunate this barbaric electrical lobotomy was not your “next step”.
        I get physically sick every time I see another Dr. David Healy article in MIA on the horrors of psychiatric drugs, knowing this “doctor”, highly esteemed and admired,promotes and advocates on behalf of a barbaric assault that is simply causing brain damage.
        I could have survived the drugs. The brain injuries and trauma of ECT, the loss of self, identity, joy, memories is beyond bearable.
        Psychiatrists, with few exceptions are useless and ignorant and uneducated and dangerous. They are responsible for poisoning children with Ritalin, creating psychosis and “bipolar” with their drugs, killing people they diagnose with “schizophrenia” with poisonous toxins, shocking pregnant women and the elderly. They should be sent to prison, fed antipsychotics, and given ECT every day till they die.
        I commend your efforts to inform and educate the doctors at the Mayo Clinic, but they will continue with business as usual $$, including ECT as a “treatment option that is safe and effective” when all the science shows it is “craniocerebral trauma” causing acquired brain injury. These “people” do not care what they are doing to victims of their misguided, indefensible stupidity. I am sure they feel threatened by the reality of the exposure of their evil deeds. So your “helpful insights” are probably written off as the unscientific ravings of a “mental patient”. As such, you can be ignored.
        So, I have had the discussion with Alex about “healing”. I do not think that is possible after ECT induced brain injury, no matter how determined or “strong” I am or how many good “examples” of survivors I read about. My “self” as I knew it is gone.

        Report comment

        • truth,

          So sorry about what happened to you, it’s just appalling and criminal. And you’re right, I was lucky to escape. Did so by quoting my oral surgeon to my last psychiatrist, who spoke the blatantly obvious words which my psychiatrist did not believe coming from my mouth alone, and likely because he didn’t bother to read the prior medical records I’d given him. My oral surgeon said “antipsychotics don’t cure concerns of child abuse.”

          The therapist who had initially misdiagnosed me had handed over her medical records with the proof she had misdiagnosed me based upon lies and gossip from the people at whose home my child had been molested, plus lies from their ELCA pastor, and some decent and disgusted nurses in my PCPs office had also finally handed over my child’s medical records with medical evidence of the child abuse also – so I had no choice but to overcame my denial of the child abuse.

          And when you’re drugging someone up to cover up child abuse, and other doctors are being told this, no doubt this crime does become embarrassing for some psychiatrists. Thank God.

          “And then came psychiatric ‘help’/intervention…12 poisonous drugs in 8 months… Became suicidal, agitated…no one thinking the illness is related to the toxic drugs, switching, changing, crossing over, withdrawal.”

          Yes, the psychiatrists are just sadistic, psychopathic lunatics in their massive overuse of drugs. I was put on 16 different drugs during a period of just over a year, all drug cocktails known to cause anticholinergic intoxication syndrome, and each subsequent cocktail at a higher and higher dose. Despite the fact my psychiatrist knew I had zero personal or family history of mental illness, other than my grandmother was allergic to one of the old neuroleptics, and I was getting worse and worse with each of his cocktails. Can you fathom doctors believe it is acceptable to defame a person’s wonderful grandmother, so they can rationalize their insane behavior? White trash.

          Once I stopped seeing the therapist, so she could no longer spew the child molesters’ lies to my psychiatrist, my psychiatrist did finally start weaning me off the drugs. That took another 2 1/2 years.

          But I did suffer from two drug withdrawal induced super sensitivity manic “psychoses” / awakenings to my dreams (which were weird, but not scary, more like a spiritual awakening) after being weaned from the drugs. Both of which, unfortunately resulted in medically unnecessary hospitalizations, the first because my husband had been brainwashed and lied to by the psychiatrists.

          Forced psychiatric hospitalization was the most appalling and disgusting experience of my entire life, hands down. One of those doctors, though, has now been arrested by the FBI for having lots and lots of patients medically unnecessarily shipped long distances to himself, “snowing” patients, and performing unneeded tracheotomies on patients for profit. I was “snowed” for ten days with various combinations of 16 drugs, including one that’s not even legal in this country, with at least 8 or 9 drugs given to me every day. Again, every single one of those drug cocktails was known to cause anticholinergic intoxication syndrome. Thankfully, I avoided the unneeded tracheotomy.

          The psychiatrist at that hospital was so pissed when my insurance company refused to pay for any more of her torture, she was hoping to put me in a mental hospital for life. She worked at an ELCA hospital, and it was an ELCA pastor who was involved in the child abuse cover up. She even tried to claim she had tests that medically proved I had “millions of voices” in my head. I said, “Wow, that’s news to me.” The other doctors had to hold her back from hitting me, and told me to just ignore her. I call her psycho Saiyed.

          I did follow up care with the psychiatrist who eventually weaned me off the drugs, out of embarrassment. But, I learned years later from my health insurance company, that psycho Saiyed apparently continued to fraudulently list me as her “outpatient” at some hospital I’d never been to before. So when I suffered from my second, and last, drug withdrawal induced manic psychosis, which landed me peacefully lying in a public park, staring at the clouds, trying to mentally come to grips with the fact I’d found the medical proof that I had indeed been made “psychotic” via anticholinergic toxidrome, not “bipolar.” And I’d, in reality, dealt with extreme and appalling medical and religious betrayal.

          I was taken to a hospital by a cop, for peacefully lying in a park. Not sure when such became illegal in the US, but I was in shock and completely disgusted by the betrayal and lies at that time. I was given a forced physical, which I’d politely refused, resulting in a “medically clear” diagnosis. But, apparently since Saiyed had been illegally listing me as her outpatient at that hospital I’d never been to, rather than being let go, I was once again in the middle of the night medically unnecessarily shipped to Saiyed. By the way, I did not sign HIPPA papers at that hospital so those doctors did not have any legal right to contact any of my former doctors.

          Saiyed injected me with Geodon, after I told the employees there that I was allergic to their drugs, and taking them was against my religion. Since they did not listen to me, and chemically raped me instead, I started hitting myself. One of the employees said she’d never seen such an adverse reaction to a neuroleptic before. So I was then force medicated with an insanely strong antibiotic, which is known to cause psychosis, for a non-existent UTI (recall the “medically clear” diagnosis from the just given forced physical).

          That drug made my heart feel like it was going to stop, so thankfully I was only forced to take it for two days, and I was let out in a week with a supposed diagnosis of “adjustment disorder.”

          That was my last dealings with the “mental health” industry. I have since, finally, gotten the “bipolar” misdiagnosis off my medical records, since my current doctor is intelligent enough to understand that anticholinergic intoxication syndrome is not “bipolar.” But what a nightmare, and what a bunch of criminals fill the supposed “mental health” system. And I’m shocked at the levels the ELCA religion will go to, to cover up their “zipper troubles.” Read the chapter on evil describing what’s going on in the ELCA synod offices to this day, in regards to covering up their pedophilia problems:

          “So, I have had the discussion with Alex about ‘healing.’ I do not think that is possible after ECT induced brain injury, no matter how determined or ‘strong’ I am or how many good ‘examples’ of survivors I read about. My ‘self’ as I knew it is gone.”

          I wish I could give you a hug and help make you better. I will pray for you, and I do believe a positive attitude does help, so hope you will try to think positively. I’m so sorry both of us were so appallingly maltreated by doctors, it’s just absolutely disgusting. I haven’t had the discussion with Alex yet, but do agree with much of what he says. But recovery does take way too long, psychiatry’s lies and treatments really are “torture” – pure evil. And I do still have the antidepressant withdrawal induced “brain zaps” that were originally misdiagnosed as “bipolar” to this day. What a sick, criminal mockery today’s psychiatric industry is today.

          Report comment

        • Truth, I’ve never experienced ECT so admittedly I cannot speak to healing from the effects of this on the brain. While I can stick to my guns about everything being healable, I totally understand that when I make these comments, it must be quite irritating to you, at least, and for that I do apologize, that’s certainly never my intention to insist on something when it is not the reality of another. As I say above, I do have that one exception where I tend to insist on keeping hope alive, but I understand how that could be quite annoying when it feels so far from your own truth.

          With that said, I guess I can elaborate on this a bit–given what you share above and I’m sure you’re not alone in how you feel, from what I’ve read from others–to say that when I say ‘heal,’ that can apply to on many levels, but overall, I mean to shift or change. And I do feel there is always one step forward you or anyone can take from wherever you are. And then another, and then another, until at some point, you realize that things have improved significantly. At least that’s a start, and you just never know. If it’s not compelling to try, then don’t. We have the choice.

          You mention a lot of complex issues in your narrative, including physical damage mixed with a lot of understandable anger, despondence, and other really heavy negative feelings. Again, all very understandable and they seem totally justified. Still, they’re burdensome, and this is where you have the opportunity to explore a bit, at the emotion feeling level. That affects us physically in every way.

          Off the cuff online, and not knowing you, of course, I wouldn’t know where to begin, but I imagine if you sit with it a bit, you can figure out what tiny thing you can shift–even a perspective, maybe–that would help you soothe or get some kind of clarity or anywhere that you can access where you can make a change pretty easily, in the moment, that would bring some kind of relief. Once you get that process rolling, it gets a bit easier, and the relief comes a bit faster. It’s a practice. I don’t know your situation, condition, nor what support or tools you have around you, but I’m hoping that something might occur to you.

          If not, then perhaps you are correct, and I’d admit that, I don’t mind being wrong. I might be wrong that everything is healable. But really and truly, I’d prefer to be right, that you or anyone can heal even just a little bit from where you are now. No one can predict an outcome like that, when it’s never been done before. There’s always a first. I think healing from psychiatric torture and mistreatment is a new frontier.

          Report comment

          • truth,

            I am in the same boat as Alex, since I never experienced ECT either, so am not an expert on that. And I’m so sorry that you were subjected to that, so very sorry. But, Alex does make a good point here, he says, “when I say ‘heal,’ that can apply on many levels, but overall, I mean to shift or change.” I agree, your old “‘self” as [you] knew it is gone.” But I do believe you can heal, by making a “shift or change.” And you should realize, you are much wiser now, than your old self was. And wisdom is a good thing.

            But it is shameful we have an industry full of predatory wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing, preying on those who are down and the weakest within society. All of us here now know that’s all the psychiatric industry is, and they should all be ashamed of themselves, especially their attacks on children. They are a cancer within humanity today.

            And we are all trying to forewarn humanity of this, as we process along on our healing journeys, which is a noble thing to do. I was talking to my cousin yesterday, and she was telling me about how much she loved, and was so proud of her mother, who was an outspoken cancer treatment advocate. Bill and Hillary Clinton actually flew out to her home personally, after her death, to extend their sympathies and gratitude, for all my aunt’s volunteer work for cancer treatment patients and women and children, personally. You personally now are one of the under appreciated mental health advocates, every bit as important as a cancer treatment advocate. You are an important person, and force for justice in the world.

            If you can look at the good in yourself, take pride in that, even though it’s not being appreciated, it might help you heal. At least I hope it does. My best to you.

            Report comment

          • Someone Else, I want to highlight what you say about gaining wisdom from our traumatic experiences, I totally agree with you that this is a key element for us. That wisdom is unique, and I feel it is a gift that can serve humanity profoundly.

            Having gone through all of this, we know things others could never know until they experience the kind of dark night we psychiatric survivors have experienced. I think this wisdom we gain is the ticket to our freedom, and also to a new and improved society, if we apply ourselves.

            Even if we are partly impaired physically, we can still heal our hearts and spirits through that wisdom, and find our power again. From that, anything is possible.

            We are the pioneers that can replace the charlatans of which you speak, as social pillars, simply with our deep wisdom from these crazy experiences we’ve had.

            And thank you, always, for your wisdom. You express it with a lot of clarity and power, which I so appreciate. Your truth speaks to me quite often.

            Report comment

  10. I get physically sick every time I see another Dr. David Healy article in MIA on the horrors of psychiatric drugs, knowing this “doctor”, highly esteemed and admired,promotes and advocates on behalf of a barbaric assault that is simply causing brain damage.

    I’ve always wondered what’s up with this glaring contradiction. If I remember correctly Lauren Tenney has been the only person at MIA to address this.

    I know that brain damage from concussions, etc. can be very slow to heal but does gradually improve; if there’s any similarity here you might have to just accept this as your “new normal” (as much as I hate the term). Sort of a 2 steps forward, one step backward process. But I do know shock victims who have eventually returned to creative pursuits.

    Report comment