[Editor’s note: due to personal circumstances, the author has chosen to publish under an abbreviated version of his name.]
After hearing the following account, people whose lives have not been impacted by the mental health system have told me it could just as well have happened to them. That isn’t something one often hears when considering the likelihood of being labeled with schizophrenia.
In 1981 when I was admitted to a private psychiatric hospital, the psychiatrist, along with a clinical team of social workers and therapists, knew nothing of the terrible ordeal I had suffered during the previous year. After observing me in their Intensive Care Unit for three weeks the psychiatrist took me into his office. I sat there in a Prolixin-induced stupor as he dialed Social Security to inform a rep that I had paranoid schizophrenia. I’d been admitted to the private psychiatric hospital before the practice of trauma-informed care became acceptable. According to the National Center for Trauma Informed Care, trauma-informed care is “an approach to engaging people with histories of trauma symptoms and acknowledging the role that trauma has played in their lives.” What was the clinical team thinking then? If they believed my condition to only be the result of a genetically inherited illness or chemical imbalance they couldn’t have been more wrong, and thus couldn’t have mistreated me more wrongfully than they did!
The previous year, at age 20, I had withdrawn from a state university after not being able to keep up with the classwork. Soon afterwards I moved to Tucson, Arizona to live near an older brother, and thus began an adventure that I can only compare with Voltaire’s character Candide for its scope of misfortune. It even included a modern day version of the infamous Dr. Pangloss.
Before I could afford to pay for my own apartment, my well-meaning brother arranged for me to stay at the home of a psychiatric nurse who was his wife’s friend. At the time that nurse was having an extramarital affair with an ex-Lutheran pastor who had become a Bioenergetics therapist. Soon I met this therapist at my brother’s home. A week later I met him again by coincidence at a local fast food restaurant. There he handed me his business card and while staring at me with cold, blue, mesmerizing eyes suggested I visit him at his Tucson office.
In our first session, the therapist told to me that many people live in pain due to “chronic muscular tension.” He described how “defensive body armor causes intramuscular holding patterns.” And he showed me a diagram of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This was all a preamble to what he planned to do to me — tear me down and rebuild me from the ground up!
Subsequent sessions usually began with him getting in my face like a drill sergeant and then insisting repeatedly that I ‘get out of my head.’ By his tone and expression I could tell I wasn’t doing it to his satisfaction, and he’d progressively get louder and more demanding. The effect of his constant berating caused me to withdraw and even impaired my cognitive functioning. At around the time of this treatment, a supervisor at my job took me aside to tell me that my coworkers thought I was “mentally retarded.”
Other exercises the Bioenergetics therapist had me do included violently pounding a couch with a tennis racket, repeatedly swinging my elbows back while shouting “get off my back,” being propped against a wall with my knees bent until I could no longer support myself (he called that “fathering”), laying across a stool while he pushed down on my back and chest with all his might while exhorting me to express how it felt, and gouging my limbs, back and my face with his hands to tear apart the fascia that was causing me to hold in pain. He’d been a boxer and jazz pianist and had very strong hands.
At the conclusion of each of the sessions he’d simply send me out his office door literally foaming at the mouth with a rage that he claimed had been inside of me all along. I later read that the prevalent criticism of Bioenergetics is that it arouses intense emotions without attempting to help the patient process or handle them. That was definitely true in my case.
But as painful as the bodywork was, the things he claimed to know about my upbringing were even more so. In a portion of each session he’d direct me to curl up in a fetal position and with conviction in his voice tell me such things as “your father was an animal who never wanted you around,” and “ he was so cheap about heating your house you’d been nearly frozen as a child.” He believed that someone had attempted to strangle me as a child and repeatedly demanded that I tell him who’d done it. And during one session my mother somehow managed to phone his office. After a few words he extended the receiver toward me so I could hear my mother yelling, and then he abruptly hung up on her to tell me that I’d been “emotionally shattered as a child.” Later he claimed that my father was inhabiting my body cavity and he spent considerable energy and effort trying to exorcise him from me. I only just recently learned that creating false memories in a patient is a prosecutable offense.
My final encounter with the therapist was very telling. It happened in a pharmacy near his office. He told me that he was there to prescribe himself codeine to numb his pain after just learning that one of his patients had killed herself. He then made a gesture of pointing a gun to the center of his forehead and pulling the trigger. I could recall having recently seen that patient crying uncontrollably during the monthly group sessions he called his ‘Bioenergetic Community.’
During the same time period as these sessions I worked at a Tuscon resort hotel as a dishwasher. I was youthfully naïve about the hazards of hard labor and threw myself into the job enthusiastically. It was a grueling grind amidst the nerve-wracking clamor of pots and dishes that left me feeling almost shell-shocked on a daily basis.
When I returned to Massachusetts in 1981 I was a shell of my former self. I was so physically drained and emotionally depressed I couldn’t get myself out of bed for a week. One day when my mother tried to prod me to get up, I flailed out with my arm, accidentally breaking a nearby window and badly cutting my hand. After receiving several stitches at a medical hospital I was transferred to the aforementioned psychiatric hospital. Based on my overall condition it should have been obvious I’d recently been through a terrible ordeal, but no one on the clinical staff cared to question me about that possibility. And even if they had, Bionergetics was so hardwired in my mind it’s unlikely I could have answered them.
And to make matters worse, the brainwashing I’d been subjected to was about to be outdone by treatment with mind-numbing antipsychotic drugs. Talk about adding insult to injury! We’ve heard the term ‘medication arsenal’ referring to the vast array of powerful drugs at the disposal of psychiatrists. Well, it was as if a veritable psychiatric Maginot Line lurked waiting for the appearance of vulnerable and confused people like me to pepper us with every type of pill they could muster. Among these drugs was Thorazine which I was forced to take — it caused me to faint in a rest room and strike my forehead on a toilet, resulting in a gash that required six stitches.
The diagnosis of schizophrenia stuck to me for decades. Psychiatrists and clinicians in day treatment programs simply piggybacked on the initial diagnosis rather than form their own opinion. And they had ample opportunity to do so with me attending groups five times a day, five days a week. Sitting through all those groups surrounded by psychologists all treating me for schizophrenia basically conditioned me to accept it as being true. Despite the fact that I demonstrated lengthy periods of health and normalcy such as normal dating, working in a managerial position, running the entire Boston Marathon and developing and directing a peer counseling program, these clinicians all chose to focus solely on my symptoms. Looking back, I see those achievements as strong indications that something about the diagnosis was wrong and those clinicians completely overlooked that probability.
In 2001, after release from another hospitalization, I was outside doing calisthenics when I suddenly experienced a significant and lasting improvement of my visual perception and mental health. I was convinced that I had cured myself of schizophrenia and even had an article about it published in a reputable psychiatry journal. I now believe that I had finally shed the lasting vestiges of the impact of the Bioenergetics. I suddenly felt very connected to my surroundings in a way I hadn’t been before. It also felt like my traumatized personality had reestablished itself. I felt right in my mind, along with a sense of self assurance.
Then I was able to recognize a clear pattern: all the behaviors that got me hospitalized had extreme emotions driving them. The rageful outbursts, hostile confrontations and suicide attempts all stemmed from the emotive escalations that had become wired into me since doing Bioenergetics in my early twenties. These emotional escalations were often accompanied by paranoid delusions, a symptom then associated with schizophrenia, but recognized more recently to also be caused by trauma.
With that pattern in mind, in 2015 when I started having my meds prescribed by a nurse practitioner at Mclean Hospital, I wanted to set things straight. I described to her in detail what had happened to me in Tucson. She then shared my account with her supervisor, a psychiatrist with a PhD. Based on the Bionenergetics and other damaging experiences I’d had in the mental health system, he concluded that I didn’t have schizophrenia, but rather an iatrogenic illness — that is, an illness which is caused by treatment. In a letter I requested documenting this finding, my nurse writes:
“Aaron’s functioning and stability have improved over time, and his cognitive functioning lacks some of the hallmark impairments in executive functioning and information processing. These differences from the classic presentation of schizophrenia often point toward a strong environmental influence on the etiology of the psychosis.”
“When emotional trauma has a strong influence on the development of psychosis you don’t have that same genetic loading producing a progressive illness.”
“The term iatrogenic describes illness that occurs as a result of medical treatment. This has certainly been Aaron’s experience; Aaron’s degrading encounters with the mental health system over the years have triggered and re-triggered that initial bioenergetics trauma, making most of his ‘therapy’ an ongoing input into the feedback loop of trauma>—psychosis>—trauma.”
In my case, an uninformed diagnosis resulted in a near lifetime of mistreatment and misunderstanding. How does one account for such a significant error? Perhaps it’s their desire to maintain their power that keeps mental health professionals from acknowledging the ability of a patient to tell them anything insightful. Or, it could be that graduating from a prestigious school with advanced degrees makes them arrogant and overconfident. I once had a psychiatrist who actually said to me, “With all my advanced degrees and experience you dare question me?” Ironically, it was that same psychiatrist who prescribed the antipsychotic drugs that have left me permanently afflicted with tardive dystonia. (See article, ‘A Struggle to Forgive: My long battle with dystonia.’)
Having my diagnosis changed has felt very liberating, but it hasn’t much reduced the effect of the stigma I’ve internalized. It’s very difficult for me to socially connect with people other than those with mental illness. And it’s evident that many relatives and friends are still reluctant to connect with me. As a result I am still socially isolated. I can only imagine how different my life would be today if, at age 21, I’d been deprogrammed instead of being drugged and diagnosed with schizophrenia.
I feel strongly that behind every stigmatizing psychiatric label is the individual’s equally valid account of how they became ill, and possibly one that contradicts the experts as did mine. Our stories or personal narratives are constantly being misconstrued and misappropriated by mental health professionals in the form of pathologizing progress notes and other clinical documents. It’s important that we reject these textbook constructs and with our own true words reclaim our health and lives.
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.
In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined. – Thomas Szasz
If the defined person does not stay ill, they were misdiagnosed, a circular logic explanation of a fraudster.
A typical person does stay ill when poisoned on a daily basis. Poison voluntarily taken on the belief that it is medicine. How did the belief take place? Several months of being conditioned in a jail , the jailer calls a hospital.
If I don’t take my medicine I can’t sleep at night. If I don’t take my medicine I start having some strange thoughts.
Not sure why you posted that link, “markps2”? OK, it’s from the Amer. PSYCHOLOGICAL ass’n, and not the quack psychiatrists. And you have to really pay attention to find out that almost all of those who RECOVERED from the imaginary, invented, so-called “mental illness” of ‘schizophrenia” were OFF THEIR so-called “meds”. The DRUGS. the article serves to promote the guild interests of psychiatry and the PROFIT$ of the drug companies. The pseudoscience drug racket and means of social control known as “psychiatry” has been WRONG from Day 1.
So-called “schizophrenia” is a catch-all and bogus “diagnosis”. Most folks diagnosed with so-called “schizophrenia” don’t have it, because there IS NO “IT” to have! Dr. Jim Van Os is correct. He’s leading an effort in Europe to do away with the bogus label of “schizophrenia” altogether. He wrote here at MiA a while back. Psychiatry exists as we know it today, for 2 main reasons: To $ELL DRUG$ for PhRMA, and to act as a means of social control. Abused and marginalized persons, persons whose family finds them inconvenient, or who scapegoats or black-sheeps them, are who get labelled “schizophrenic”. They get put on powerful neuro-toxins, which debilitates their brain, making them more dependent, and less likely to return to full and normal function. Psychiatry’s “diagnoses” indeed ARE self-fullfilling prophecies. And, in the article you’ve linked, psychology is trying to ride the coat-tails of psychiatry. Psychology is *ALMOST* as bad as psychiatry. Psychiatry has done, and continues to do, FAR MORE HARM than good. Psychology usually helps more than it hurts. The so-called “medical model” is all psychiatry’s evil spawn baby….
Statz is bitterly reviled by the psychiatric establishment. That’s one thing in his favor! 😀
Am I correct in guessing you mean Dr. Thomas Szasz?….
In Szasz’s Time Magazine obituary, E. Fuller Torrey was quoted. That’s like a neo-nazi being quoted in a Jewish person’s obituary….
Actually it’s more like quoting a neonazi in the obituary of one of the “righteous gentiles” like Oskar Schindler. 🙂
Thank you for sharing your story. This gives me hope – and I’m sure gives hope to others who also experienced extreme harm from psychiatric drugs and so-called “treatments”. Sixteen years is a long time. I hope it doesn’t take that long for me to shed my diagnoses.
Thank you, Aaron, for sharing your story.
I think it’s somewhat remarkable that the psychiatrist at McLean wrote down ‘iatrogenic’–that’s HUGE.
“Our stories or personal narratives are constantly being misconstrued and misappropriated by mental health professionals in the form of pathologizing progress notes and other clinical documents.”
yep~and so it goes
This is the first time I have heard of the term latrogenic. Very interesting.
I first encountered the term when I was pregnant with my first child, and researching the way that childbirth has been medicalised. Iatrogenic injury is why the US has such a dismal record on childbirth outcomes, business as usual involves many unnecessary interventions (electronic fetal monitoring, labor induction, epidurals) which almost invariably lead to the ultimate intervention: major abdominal surgery. I couldn’t find a midwife to homebirth the first time ’round, but I managed to avoid most of these by refusing the initial unnecessary intervention- an IV line. When I got pregnant the second time, I was even more determined to have a positive, trauma-free birth. I found the perfect midwife, and was tended by her OB nurse friend for the hour it took her to get to my home (she was out of town at a wedding when labor hit strong). It was perfect, and I’m a huge homebirth advocate.
LabendarSage – this is an amazing response and so on point. The US has an abysmal record for most things medical related. We have the highest c-section rate in the world, last I checked. Most have not heard the term ‘birth rape’. We have the highest medication rate in the world, the worst mental health in the western world, the highest cost of health care, the worst infant mortality rate among western nations, a very high rate of hospital acquired infection. I mean… yay ‘murica! So when are Americans going to wake up to the slow motion tragedy?
The similarities between childbirth and psychiatry are legion. They are the two branches of “medicine” that enforce “treatment” on perfectly healthy, normal people. They both use interventions that make outcomes worse instead of better, and neither is willing to respond to actual data about their interventions, instead adhering to quasi-religious dogma that are not able to be questioned without being branded a heretic. Both insist on hospitalizing perfectly healthy people and treat them as if they are bodies rather than human beings. In both cases, they deny the impact of the mind/spirit and insist on treating the “patient” as a body and ignore social and environmental context. Both professions need to be razed to the ground and started over from scratch, because they hurt and kill people gratuitously and make money off of creating medical problems when none are there to start with.
It’s not just those two specialties, end of life care is also failing miserably – often amounting to torturous attempts to “save” the elderly from the inevitable.
Cancer care leads to many taking chemotherapeutic agents that often cause more harm than good, and may be killing many people that would otherwise have lived longer without it. If chemo only gives you a 5% higher chance of surviving some cancers but the chemo itself is highly toxic, what is the point? Ever heard a family member say “it wasn’t the cancer that killed him, it was the chemo.”?
Prescription rates – across the board – are off the rails due to DTC advertising, leading to massive costs in unnecessary care and harmful side effects and interactions.
There are real legitimate reasons people don’t trust allopathic medicine these days. It’s not just a few fields – it’s rotting from within.
Hi Steve and kindredspirit,
After the first baby was born almost 10 lbs., a successfully medication-free birth, my OB moved and I found myself with a new doctor. Throughout the pregnancy, he kept seeming to find one bogus reason or another to suggest a cesarean. And when I made it clear that I was not going to let him do that, he started making threats, and I fired him on the spot. I was 30 weeks along, and decided right then and there that I would rather have an unassisted birth than have him involved AT ALL. The husband went to the library and got books on homebirth that had resources at the back- where to buy birthing kits, how to find midwives, etc. and that was how I found my midwife. She was perfect, very well-trained, and had an OB back-up in place just-in-case. But the most important thing was my body trusted her. This was 30+ years ago, so “birth rape” was not a term, though it was not at all a rare phenomenon, and it was not a risk I was willing to take. Nobody is ever going to bully me into siding with their “expertise” over my body’s own wisdom. Not ever. The second baby was almost as big as the first, and I had not one stitch- no birth trauma whatsoever.
I ran out of Reply buttons, so this is in response to kindredspirit:
Boy are you right about other fields of medicine, especially end-of-life care! Things are only going to get worse with that as now 60% of the hospital beds are in Catholic-doctrine run hospitals, meaning that no matter what the patient’s values, it’s the Bishop’s Directives that dictate care! Forget expecting an advance directive to be honored at these places- they honor that about as much as they honor a woman’s reproductive rights (read: not at all).
Just as I chose not to entrust a hospital with birth, I will not entrust an institution with my death either. Once my body gives out and life is no longer a joy but a burden, I have no intention of suffering and waiting and depending on professionals to dispense mercy. I will die where and how I choose, comfortably.
Rest assured LavendarSage, if you have an MI label and most hospitals find that out they will NOT do much to keep you alive. Even if you want them to.
Thanks for your comments. I agree, it was big that he called my problem iatrogenic. I didn’t expect that from an institution that’s commonly thought to strictly adhere to the medical model. I believe he read all of my accounts of my psychiatric history before reaching that decision which is why I say that putting our experiences into our own words can bring about significant changes in treatment.
Congratulations, and great result.
BY COINCIDENCE:- MY OWN IATROGENIC ILLNESS SAGA
(My Communication (below) was acknowledged by my GP Surgery on May 25 2017 – and they promised to respond in 5 working days)
I am keen to challenge the 1986 Irish Record Summary and any Mental Health Diagnosis you might hold on me.
Please find attached:-
1. The Relevant Sections of my November 8, 1986 Handwritten Adverse Drug Reaction Warning Request Letter (3 pages).
2. The November 24, 1986 Irish Record Summary (2 pages) – With Requested Adverse Drug Reaction Warning Intentionally Omitted.
3. My January 13, 2012 ‘Near Fatal Modecate Experience’ – ‘Statement’, sent to;- G…. University, Depot Side Effect Research & Monitoring Team
4. Admitting Doctor, Dr F….. description of me ‘on presentation’ at G…. in November 1980.
5. The November 1986 False Reassurance Letter From Dr D…. K….
MALPRACTICE AT G…. 1986
Please examine and reconcile the attachments to this email and please read through the background information to the offending drugs for perspective. My recovery after April 1984 was as a result of discontinuing these drugs.
MALPRACTICE & DIAGNOSIS
I don’t think a Medical environment engaging in Malpractice can be trusted to represent a Medical Opinion.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE OFFENDING DRUG
Associated with Akathisia and depot Fluphenazine (Modecate) treatment
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/16313058_Suicide_Associated_with_Akathisia_and_Depot_Fluphenazine_Treatment 1983 (Dr K Shearer, Dr A Frances..)
Dr A Frances went on to become Committee Chairperson to DSM 4.
I think I describe the symptoms of Akathisia fairly well in my November 1986 Handwritten ADR Request Letter + in My January 2012 ‘Statement’ to G…. University.
Wikipedia:- ‘Signs and Symptoms’
“….Neuro-psychologist Dr. Dennis Staker had drug-induced akathisia for two days. His description of his experience was this: “It was the worst feeling I have ever had in my entire life…”….”
Adverse Drug Reaction
“…The side effects most frequently reported with phenothiazine compounds are extrapyramidal symptoms including pseudoparkinsonism, dystonia, dyskinesia, akathisia….”
From GP Surgery June 2 2017
This is to confirm that the the Partners’ answer to your request will be sent to you on Monday 5/06/2016 via recorded mail.
RESPONSE RECEIVED FROM GP SURGERY VIA RECORDED MAIL
Dated 05 June 2017
Dear Mr ….
Firstly may I apologize for the delay in our response to you. I have reviewed our prior correspondence and our prior consultations with our legal advisors.
We have been advised that we are not allowed to remove prior correspondence from the records as we would be considered negligent if we were to do that. As a practice I hope you can understand that we have followed the legal advice that we have been provided with.
However I do note there no mental health ‘problems’ within your notes I would also point out that if you have letters from other medical sources indicating that other records are considered malpractice we would want it to be added to the medical record so that the situation is explained clearly.
I am aware that we have been discussing this matter for many years and I would like to make it clear that ……Medical Centre is not able to change its position due to the aforesaid legal advice. While we would like to continue to have you on our patients list if you find our position unacceptable you are within your rights to find another surgery that may be willing to do this.
Well written article, Aaron. My only question is: what if you really did fit the criteria for “schizophrenia?” Would the “treatment” have been any less brutal and ineffective? I don’t think the problem is that you were “wrongly diagnosed.” I think the problem is that you were “diagnosed” at all, instead of what you suggest at the end, which is to be looked at as an individual human being with a story to tell.
Thanks for sharing – it takes great courage to put this kind of story out there, but it’s VERY helpful to others still receiving “treatment” that is ruining their lives!
I was just “fired,” with a certified letter and posted one to add from my last GP for “abuse” toward their staff. No such “abuse” took place, other than that I got from that last practice’s receptionist who engaged in insulting colloquialisms when I waited for my medical appointment and for her to take my co-pay and filled in medical form, which apparently she may have been instructed not to do. I had waited 4 and 1/2 months to see that last doctor. I had asked that last doctor at my appointment to remove the offending “label,” and she would not. It’s not my “paranoia” that has made me so unpopular in my area, it’s my unwillingness to accept the medical model imposed, and attempts to keep alive now off the last neuroleptics and sleep drugs, and as one of my former Internists remarked, “be a good, compliant patient,” ya sure. 30 years of being so, and observe the results, doctor (his partner was snickering when I last visited him). 16+ months into a hellish, heart and bank breaking withdrawal and I morn every waking minute of my involvement with this felonious, fraudulent, malignancy, brain/mind damaging, murderous “profession,” and my label started at age 18, yet then held a secret then to me and my mother. Such “labels” lead to lives of misery and despair, iatrogenic harm, and ruined lives.
My GP Surgery had already “asked me to leave” via the Manager, more than a year ago. Then the Manager themselves ended up leaving, so I don’t know what happened.
I have nothing to tie me in with Severe Mental Illness in my 30 years in the UK. My GP Surgery were working off an 1986 “unsafe” Irish Record – which I wasn’t prepared to be “fobbed off” about.
Aaron, Wow what a horrible trauma! Thanks for speaking out and warning others. May you someday, somehow get justice.
My mom gets really mad when I tell her anything negative about the mental “health” system. She can’t deny anything I tell her (haven’t told her about psych “medicines” being identical to street drugs or “diagnoses” actually being moral labels.) So she whines about how that’s “all I ever talk about.” Last time she resorted to verbal abuse.
I need a safe space to grieve. Have a plan to move hundreds of miles from her. This way I can show her–and the rest of my family–that I’m not the Village Idiot. Mom is always telling me to live within a 50 mile radius of them since “you can’t take care of yourself!” A friend who encourages me by phone asked me if I would look into a support group after moving. Unfortunately there are none for those who suffer what many of us do.
Was treading dangerous ground yesterday. We were talking about long-range plans. I mentioned I probably was only good for another decade–tops.
“That’s ridiculous!” she said, then she saw I was serious. I briefly mentioned my heart problems–medically acknowledged and therefore undeniable. Luckily she grew silent after that. I did not mention that this is iatrogenic damage, both direct and indirect (gaining 150 pounds on brain drugs.) I am 43 years old.
I am losing weight now. After going off most of my “meds.” Hopefully this will ease up on the strain on my ticker!
There is support to be had. I think Laura Delano of recoveringfrompsychiatry.com is working on a direct peer to peer support system for those of us recovering from the system. I’m very careful who I talk to though as most people’s version of support is “have you talked to your therapist?” And “maybe you should take something”. I think societally we’ve forgotten how to meet someone where they are and actually – you know – SUPPORT them. We all are in the mindset of quick fixes and calling the “pros.” I think your idea of moving far away is a good one. At least that way if you do start to struggle, it’s easier to hide it and you’re less likely to suffer well-meaning interventions. Move far away, talk on the phone once a week. Lie through your teeth about how awesome everything is if you have to. Lol
Yep. My new “awesome therapist” and “the treatment team” who meet my every need and tuck me in at night.
My Mom’s only real complaint about the MI System is she gets jealous and feels threatened that they want to take me away from her. And they won’t take as good care of me as she can!
Between the devil and the deep blue sea. She keeps pressuring me to get help from “housing for the disabled.” Besides feeling like I have the flu a lot from drug withdrawal (slowed taper down, so it’s bearable now) my work history is all but nonexistent. And I’m in my forties.
Freelance writing web content seems like my best option. I can do sedentary work for up to five hours a day. But I’m so demoralized! Seem to have some emotional block to applying for gigs.
FeelingDiscouraged, I lost a lot of weight once weaned from the psych drugs, keep the faith.
Aaron, thanks for sharing your story. I too was actually able to get my medical records corrected by pointing out that the “schizophrenia” drugs could create what appears to the doctors to be both the negative and positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via what is actually neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome and anticholinergic toxidrome. The doctor who corrected my medical records even had me teach one of his students about anticholinergic toxidrome and called me a “one in a million” medical researcher.
No doubt that because the “gold standard schizophrenia treatment” is known to create both the negative and positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” that most of the “schizophrenia” is likely due to iatrogenesis. Especially since most of the “mental health professionals” don’t know this, since these neuroleptic induced syndrome/toxidrome are not listed in their DSM “bible.”
I’ll pitch in and add that I also lost the weight. Went from size 26 to a size 8. I assume I have some long-term cellular damage but with work, the metabolic issues can be reversed after stopping the meds.
Way to go, KindredSpirit!
I used to want to be a size 8 or smaller, but for me that has always been unrealistic.
5’4 1/2″ but really broad shoulders, hips, thick wrists, and long in the torso. Way the women in my family are built. Size 14 is fine for me in mid life.
With a bit of luck you’ll get all your stuff back. Just take it steady!
Well-meaning parents are often the cause of extreme distress. They often love the “mental health” system because it absolves them of responsibility to alter their own behavior, and allows them to blame “your disease” for the fact that you’re upset with how they treat you so disrespectfully.
Moving away might be the best “prescription” for your “mental health disorder.” The more you can associate with people who like you just the way you are, the less “crazy” you will feel and the more you’ll be able to live the kind of life you need to live.
I’m glad you pointed that out, Steve! Sometimes families can be very toxic, and very supportive, – BOTH at the same time. Usually, the so-called “mental patient” is also the family scapegoat, or “black sheep”. That’s what happened to me. By labelling me, the rest of my family only had to point the finger at me, and blame me for everything wrong in the family, rather than look at themselves. This kind of behavior is what we see in NAMI everyday. And, the whole mental-illness system itself is a sort of meta- family, and just as dysfunctional. And as much as behaviors need to change, as you say, isn’t it moreso ideas and attitudes that need to change? I think you’re saying we all need more acceptance! And acceptance doesn’t require bogus disease labels, and potent neuro-toxins!
The Bioenergetics guy: classic therapist abuse. An issue not explored sufficiently in my opinion.
Sounds like an abusive quack. Too bad Aaron went from one abusive quack to another! 🙁
Rarely do I encounter writing that flows so nicely and takes so little effort to read. Aaron, you have a gift, or you’ve worked very hard, or both.
Thank you for sharing your story – I wish you all the best for the future, and so pleased that you survived. I lost six months of my life to psychiatry when I became caught up in psychiatry in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, in 2012, which was a result of being sent down the path of taking antidepressants 14 years earlier by an incompetent general practitioner in 1998, which I usually refused – I was simply exhausted and had physical medical conditions, and many responsibilities. As soon as you take any sort of psychotropic medications it gives you a history of mental illness in the eyes of the legal and medical professions – and these medications are given out like sweets here in Australia – when they are very powerful and dangerous medications. Then I was referred to a psychiatrist at Coronation Place Specialist Centre, as the general practitioner would not believe that the diagnosis of fibromyalgia I had been given by another general practitioners even existed as a condition. In all of this time I was studying, working, raising a child, and everything else. I had an adverse reaction to major psychotropic medications given to me by an incompetent psychiatrist, Dr Alana Sheahan, and was taken to hospital where my obvious symptoms of withdrawal and an allergic reaction were misinterpreted and I spent 6 weeks being annihilated at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital – they simply made up my medical and social history, and unlawfully detained me and gave me ECT three times in error. It has been established to have been a medical error – and still after a four year complaints process with a most dishonest Health Ombudsman – who has battled me personally to disprove me, even when Queensland Health has admitted to the medical error – no one has been held accountable. The lies that have been told by the psychiatrists involved to cover up this medical error are truly despicable. Queensland has a very corrupt Mental Health System, and successive governments do nothing to sort it out – thankfully more people are speaking out. The President of the Mental Health Review Tribunal was recently removed from his positon, and the media is now taking an interest. I look back and cannot believe how I got caught up in all of this – I am a highly educated person, a mother and I had friends who were in positions to assist – it can happen to anyone. The Queensland Palaszczuk government is looking on and doing nothing about my matter which is now a well-known case. The violence, abuse and neglect of patients in these facilities is unspeakable. The Chief Psychiatrist knows all of this goes on, and so do many others. Psychiatry is slowly but surely losing its power.
The way doctors use “antidepressants” to get trusting patients hooked reminds me of stories of dealers handing children chocolate bars laced with street drugs. Two kinds of creeps, legal and illegal. Both without consciences!
I am in oz too in WA and that sounds so horribly typical. they label they vilify and they love their drugs it is unbelievable,
the well paid chief psychiatrist and the minister for MH purportedly there to ensure protection and balance just sides with his negligent abusive mates who can lock u up whenever they feel like it
Well done u for carrying on it gets very tiring to constantly be fighting this injustice but at least ur not going under
take care of u and yours
kind regards from someone who understands
Arron this is a fantastic piece
they have no interest in the actual truth just lies , what suits, an oppressive system whatever they can get away with because they can
I love the first person pieces on MIA because of the guttural honesty that resonates
thank you !
I’d like to thank everyone for your stimulating and incisive comments and reactions to my piece. I initially circulated it among family and close friends and the response was disappointing to me. It was very difficult for them to accept my change of diagnosis and that made me angry and hurt. The positive comments I’ve read and received here have been really great. My gratitude goes out
to Mad In America for all they’re doing!