In Memoriam: Matt Stevenson

MIA Editors
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MIA blogger Matt Stevenson, who was best known to the MIA community for his frequent—and insightful—comments on MIA posts, died last Thursday. He took his own life, at age 32.

Matt first showed up on MIA writing under the name of BPDTransformation, and by our count, he wrote nearly 2,000 times on MIA. The theme he sounded most often was about the spurious nature of psychiatric diagnoses, and the harm such labels could cause.

Matt was born in London, UK, and as a youth, his family moved around a great deal, such that he lived in England, Poland and Hungary while growing up, with his family settling in Northern Virginia when he was 12. In his personal blog, BPD Transformation, Matt told of the trauma he’d suffered as a child, and how, at age 20, he became suicidal and was involuntarily hospitalized.

There he was given the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, and informed that BPD was a lifelong illness, which could be “managed” but never “cured.” Thus began his descent into the life of a mental patient, which included the usual prescribing of multiple antidepressants and antipsychotics. He dropped out of college, as he had become “possessed by the fear of becoming a hopeless borderline.” He read all he could about BPD, and the first texts he found reinforced this belief that he suffered from an incurable illness.

His climb out of that self-perception was triggered, in part, by a “kind psychiatrist” who “never used this label on me.” He began to feel a “sliver of hope,” and wondered “if that feeling could become stronger.” The thought occurred to him that “maybe there is nothing really wrong with me,” and thus began his immersion in literature of a different sort, which told of people with this diagnosis “fully recovering.”

Matt was on his way to a new self-conception. He graduated with a degree in English from Marymount University, and with this new-found confidence, he began working as a tennis coach at various health clubs in Northern Virginia. “He especially loved coaching kids,” his sister Catherine recalled. Matt also did volunteer work, teaching English.

As part of his transformation, Matt began digging into the scientific literature for BPD, analyzing it and critiquing it in his own mind, and as he did, he began to wonder if “the disorder, not the symptoms, really existed at all.” This led him to read texts and books that criticized the validity of DSM disorders, and several years ago, with this new learning in mind, he stepped into the critical psychiatry world that can be found online.

His became an energetic and forceful voice, particularly on this question of the validity of DSM disorders. He was active in several Facebook groups, such as Drop the Disorder, and in such organizations as The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS) and The International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP).

In his writing for MIA, Matt published several interviews he had conducted, which reveal his skills at illuminating a subject. He also published a two-part essay that sought to deconstruct the conventional biological model of psychosis, a text enriched by his own personal story of recovery.

While Matt wrote of how his rejection of that disease story was fundamental to his recovery, as his death makes clear, he never fully escaped his diagnostic past. In a note that he wrote prior to taking his life (which his sister Catherine, following his wishes, sent to MIA and others), he told of how, five months ago, he became haunted anew by psychiatry’s disease story. In particular, he read a study that painted a pessimistic future for people who had experienced a psychotic episode, and that triggered a mental suffering that he couldn’t escape from.

“Recently, I continued to be extremely terrified of certain psychiatric studies, ideas and diagnostic labels, and could not contain the fear around them. I knew this intellectually but could not change it enough emotionally no matter how hard I tried. I was robbed of my life by these identifications.”

His hope, he wrote in his note, was that others would carry on with the critical psychiatry work that he had become devoted to in the last years. “The message should be that serious mental distress, including psychotic and borderline states, is primarily caused by adverse psychosocial events, not primarily by faulty biogenetic factors, and that people can mostly or fully become free from these states with support and sufficient hope, that key thing I couldn’t feel at the end.”

Matt was known personally to us at MIA. He was in regular email contact with editors and board members, spoke on the phone with us, and visited us once at our office. We all feel we have lost a friend, as you can see in the testimonials below.

 –Robert Whitaker

* * * * *

From Emmeline Mead:

Matt had so much to contribute to the world, and to this movement, that the scope of the loss leaves me breathless. He possessed a rare blend of fiery analytical brilliance tempered by wisdom and compassion. Over the years he was here at MIA, first as a commenter posting under a pseudonym and later as a blogger writing under his real name despite fear of repercussions, I saw Matt gradually transform as a person and refine that blend. He became known for his unflinching critiques, for the wealth of information and resources he was devoted to sharing, and for the kindness and support he offered to other survivors, frequently speaking up to honor people’s courage in coming forward to tell their stories.

Even in his last months, in the midst of intense struggle, he was still reaching out to people. Still caring, still fighting for the cause.

It’s heartbreaking that someone whose mission was to ensure that others weren’t deprived of hope by psychiatry was ultimately unable to maintain hope for himself. It’s tragic, and it’s maddening, and I have to admit it makes me question a lot of things. But I have no question about what Matt would have wanted us to do, and that’s to keep up the fight. To honor our fallen, to support each other in our grief, and to channel our love and rage into the work that needs to be done to stop this system from destroying people.

There was another thing Matt was known for, at least among some, and that was his playful side and irreverent sense of humor. No other author has ever sent in blog submissions with comments such as:

“And by the way Emmeline, Lloyd and I were going to present a version of this interview at the APA, and be paid thousands of dollars and get a fully covered vacation to the next APA conference. But now that we have submitted it to MIA, since MIA only wants exclusive submissions we cannot do that! It is only out of my deep and enduring love for MIA and its mission that we donate things like this to it. I will rue the sensual massages and free pill samples that I could have gotten at the APA conference if we had used this material there.”

I’ll miss those emails, and the comics he used to make and send as tongue-in-cheek submissions to our art section. They generally depicted his least favorite psychiatric figures as horror movie monsters or arch villains and were always hilarious. The following was one of my favorites (it makes more sense if you’re familiar with E. Fuller Torrey’s toxoplasmosis theories):

Torryalien by Matt Stevenson

Rest in peace, Matt. Wish you were here. We’ll keep doing our best to unbrainwash the earthlings.

* * * * *

From Emily Cutler:

I feel so fortunate to have known Matt Stevenson. This past April, when I went through a personal crisis, Matt was one of the first people I spoke with about the distress and sadness I was experiencing. Matt was a great listener who took the time to be there for me without judgment, and he became a huge source of support during this time. He checked in with me regularly to make sure that I was doing okay. Even though I was experiencing a great deal of self-doubt and questioning my reality almost every day, Matt continually reassured me that I was not crazy or irrational. I remember once, I joked that I must be crazy because I prayed to Thomas Szasz when feeling distressed, as his work is my “higher power” — Matt responded that he, too, believed in Szasz more than any god!

Matt’s strong belief in recovery gave me hope and helped me feel more optimistic. He always encouraged me to see all aspects of the situation I was in, recognizing the full humanity of everyone involved. When I was feeling very angry with a loved one, who had recently joined a cult-like group, Matt reminded me that this was only one aspect of this person, and to focus on the good in each person. He also taught me that, as difficult as it is, it is important to try not to filter or categorize people based on their views of psychiatry. Even though I at times feel fearful or nervous around people who support forced treatment, Matt reminded me that this is only one aspect of a person, and we should never lose sight of each individual’s complexity.

Matt was also very active in a small Facebook group I started called Smash Medical Paternalism. He was incredibly intelligent and provided lots of helpful insights into the issues we discussed. He also sent funny and satirical memes that provided much comic relief when discussing what is often a difficult subject.

Matt Stevenson - Soul Calibur

As an assistant editor at MIA, I feel very grateful to have had a chance to learn from Matt’s writing and commentary. His thorough critique of the medical model of mental health and biological psychiatry contributed a great deal to the critical psychiatry movement.

* * * * *

From Kermit Cole:

Matt hit the scene a whirlwind of power, passion and intelligence. His voluminous emails and posts were intensely well-reasoned and informed. I had no doubt that he would continue to become an ever more powerful voice in the movement to rethink diagnosis. It seemed that his thinking and his view were ever-expanding, and in our private emails — the last being this past March — they seemed to be heading in a quite optimistic direction. I am shocked and saddened that he, as Lucy Johnstone put it in a tweet about Matt, was “unable to disentangle himself from the damage dx caused to his life, hope & sense of identity.” The writing he left, including his gracious and kind notes to his friends and family, should help us all to follow his lead in freeing others of the oppression that psychiatric diagnoses settle on struggling people.

* * * * *

From Louisa Putnam:

I reached out to Matt when his “righteous indignation” (William Blake) and fury had turned toward MIA at one time, and shared with him our journey with my son, Luke. His kindness surpassed his anger and he “held” our loss of Luke with unusual tenderness. After that time, we corresponded sometimes, mostly my reaching out with appreciation for a brave post he made on the ISPS listserv, speaking his truth about the curse of diagnosis and toxicity of medication. He was right there, responding as he did, swiftly, fearlessly and honestly to everyone. I join everyone’s voices in honoring this man and missing him. My heart goes out to his family who are feeling a terrible tearing of their heart and life’s fabric. I hope we are able to join in support of his wishes.

* * * * *

From Olga Runciman:

The house of sorrow

Sadness, the ache of loss
Permeates the house in every crack and crevice
Dripping from the lamps running down the walls
The house weeps oh how it weeps

Windows filled with darkness
The door locked grief stricken
leave me alone says the sign
Can’t you see?
This house is weeping oh how it weeps

The wind wailing the sorrowful song of loss
Rain falling softly bathing the house in tears
Darkness falling covers the house
With the heavy weight of endless sorrow
And the house sobs weeping over its loss.

This is a poem I wrote when words were not enough, I want to use it here for Matt. For we have lost another brave soul. A gentle spirit, kind to the very end, whose life psychiatry stole. Matt touched so many including me and though he is gone in body, he will be with us in our hearts and holding our hands when we continue the battle for change.

My thoughts go out to his family who are suffering the pain of loss and to his many friends. As part of MIA, we have lost a passionate blogger. I am so sad that not even MIA with all the people on it was able to dispel psychiatry’s story of hopelessness for Matt. For the sake of Matt and many others like him we must continue the fight for change. We are many who will miss you Matt. Rest in peace.

I will be speaking at the Danish Houses of Parliament tomorrow, about how to reduce forced treatment and drugs in psychiatry. And I am going to dedicate my talk to Matt.

* * * * *

Editor’s note: A service to celebrate Matt Stevenson’s life will be held on Thursday October 5th, at 7 pm, at the Celebration Center, 2840 Graham Road, Falls Church, VA 22042.

All are welcome to the service and reception to follow. As this is a celebration of his life, please do not feel the need to wear black.

For those who wish to contribute, donations will be collected to support the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS), an organization that was dear to Matt’s heart.

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194 COMMENTS

    • Maybe if he and many here would be more optimistic about psychiatry, he would have recovered more. It is also crucial to know that appearing much better, as Kermit Cole wrote, can be a clue that someone has decided to commit suicide and is relieved by that. This is a tragedy that perhaps could have had a different outcome with a different view of psychiatry.

      Hey-Hey

      • Maybe if pigs could fly, we’d have flying pigs. Psychiatry is a pseudoscience, a drug racket, and a means of social control. It’s 21st century Phrenology, with potent neuro-toxins. Matt didn’t die *in spite of*the LIES of psychiatry, no, if anything, he died BECAUSE OF the LIES of psychiatry. The DSM-5 is a catalog of billing codes. ALL of the bogus “diagnoses” in it were INVENTED, not “discovered”, to serve as excuses to $ELL DRUG$, and to label and stigmatize persons. Psychiatry was a driving force in Hitler’s Germany, and Stalin’s Russia. It’s a walking human rights violation. What you’re asking is for us to be “more optimistic” about a PSEUDOSCIENCE DRUG RACKET and means of SOCIAL CONTROL, Dr. Moffic….
        (c)2017, Tom Clancy, Jr., *NON-fiction

        • I think there is a different way to look at Stevie’s comment. [Obviously an incredibly sensitive issue, and though I did not know Matt at all, I can see from what has been written about him here that he was an intelligent young man, a searcher, and interested in looking OUT to help others, which is incredibly laudable when one is in the kind of pain he obviously found himself.] That said, if you look at Bradford’s caustic response to Stevie’s post, what Bradford appears to be saying is to chalk everything up to every psychiatrist being evil, “inventing bogus diagnoses to sell drugs and labeling to stigmatize.” This is dangerous thinking: you swing the pendulum so far the other direction it loses all meaning. It’s not that there aren’t very real problems with psychiatry and psychiatric medications. But the issue is complicated, multi-faceted, indelibly personal. A few years ago, in the throes of a terrifically abominable postpartum depression, I read Laura DeLano’s story. I was moved by it profoundly. As a person with a very real emotionally abusive childhood and subsequent psychiatric care since my mid-twenties after a second horrific depressive dip, including drug treatment–someone who did find the labels wanting and does have real issues with the way medication is sometimes handled–I ultimately stopped reading here because of how MIA seems to demonize all forms of drug treatment and psychiatry. It’s just not that simple. There are different ways of dealing, as many ways are there are individuals. I believe Stevie’s comment is noting that there are some psychiatrists within the profession–I’ve known several–who are not just cramming medication and diagnoses down patient’s throats without care or listening; but rather trying to help patients unravel the trifecta of biology/psychology/sociology, and not always with medicine. It was my psychiatrist who got me focused on changing my diet and exercising to alleviate depression. Yes, I believe that over-prescribing is rampant. It drives me crazy that so many primary doctors who do not know what they are doing hand powerful addictive psychiatric drugs out so freely without explaining how hard it is to stop these medications. There are enormous problems within the psychiatric community, and one is trying to hit every problem with a biological hammer. In my own situation, I am frustrated at the very real limitations of medication. But that doesn’t mean everyone within psychiatry is nefarious or misguided. My psychiatrist will not see a patient just for drug treatment. He requires talk therapy too, as he considers medication one possible tool. You lose readers and potential followers when you so angrily cling to this very one-sided view of psychiatry. You say you want a respectful discussion. Your writers and bloggers are obviously intelligent, thoughtful people. Stevie, IMO, was respectfully voicing a different point of view. Maybe applying it to the very fresh, real, horrific situation of a recent suicide was not the place to do it. But I went back and read Stevie’s general comments, and I would say that he is pretty courageous, as a psychiatrist, to come to this site and try to explain “the other side.” It just doesn’t smack of some horrible drug maniacal money grubber. Open yourself up for a minute. That’s the only way a conversation can occur. If you are only preaching to your own choir, how can you be effective with people different than you?

          • “CAUSTIC”? “Erin” calls the TRUTH “caustic”? Sorry, Erin, I’m simple stating some simple truths that most folks don’t want to accept the reality of, because they deviate from the psych/PhRMA narrative. Yes, of course there are some kind, caring, compassionate, dedicated psychiatrists. I never said there aren’t. But their existence as a minority in a sick and twisted drug racket of a profession doesn’t disprove my claims. Psychiatry is a pseudoscience, a drug racket, and a means of social control. The DSM is a catalog of billing codes. The psych drugs are far less safe and effective than the psychs&PhRMA claim. Note that I fdon’t use the euphemism “meds”, or “medications”. The fact that psychiatry is a giant head-game is evidenced by Stevie’s comment that when somebody is “appearing better”, that it’s a “clue” that someone has decided to commit suicide”! And, as for yourself, Erin, I don’t know you at all, so I really can’t say much about your situation. I’m sorry you’ve had hard times, and I hope things improve for you. If you’ve had good results from psychiatry and psych drugs, I’m glad. It does happen sometimes. But what I’m saying, is that more often than not, especially in the long-term, psychiatry and psych drugs does more harm than good. And yes, the *HONEST* research, – what little there is of it, – supports my claim. I repeat, I think it’s more likely that Matt committed suicide *because*of* psychiatry, rather than *in*spite*of it…. That’s what I’m saying. Psychiatry certainly has done ME far more harm than good, and that’s true for most of us here. I’m glad you’re an exception which proves the rule….
            ~Bradford

          • I don’t think it is at all courageous for a psychiatrist who is hostile to MiA to come here and use the occasion of a psychiatrized person’s tragic death to try and argue that “the real problem” was Matt’s (and our) attitude towards psychiatry. It doesn’t get any more petty and insensitive than that and I can’t believe you would defend it.

          • Erin said: “Stevie, IMO, was respectfully voicing a different point of view.”

            I don’t think so. To me, Dr Moffic’s comment is neither respectful nor courageous. In fact, it looks very much like he deliberately posted an inflammatory message at the top of Matt’s ‘In Memoriam’ page, knowing it would provoke exactly this reaction.

            From Wikipedia – INTERNET TROLL:
            “a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages… with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion, often for the troll’s amusement.”

          • Hi Erin. If people are given full legal informed consent (not happening for all the obvious reasons)and are willing to risk their health and safety by agree to be labeled and drugged with neurotoxins for imaginary “diseases”, then it is, that simple. Forfeit your right to access justice when something horrific happens. No one really cares or will come to the rescue anyway.
            What we’re fighting for here is, 1) the truth and 2) intelligent treatment befitting victims of CSA, persons in poverty, those suffering with medical mimics ect who are in fact, those accused of being “mentally ill” and trapped in an abusive, no-exist system. We are fighting against the vast injustices the accused are collectively suffering at the hands of a socially abusive psychiatric regime, including the outright fraud that psychiatry is and our right to exercise our rights which are being denied to us, all of which you edited out.
            Many of us are done talking to brick walls, sitting on the fence while a massive tragedy that extends way beyond the one we are currently processing, ensues all around us.
            Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but really, its only meaningful if its grounded in fact. We’re all free to think as we do, but it doesn’t change the reality and maybe just points out your own disconnect to what’s really going on.
            MIA’s notice today speaks to part of the crisis…
            http://mailchi.mp/madinamerica/mad-in-america-webinar-series-psychiatric-drug-withdrawal?e=e415d5e0d7

          • Is it courageous for a serial rapist to barge into a support group for rape victims and taunt them? How courageous would it be for a Grand Wizard to barge into MLK’s funeral to mutter racist epithets?

            Nothing brave about oppressing a disenfranchised group and mocking someone who died.

          • There are plenty of websites you can go to rave about your super cool psych doctor and the awesome pills he gives you to cope with life’s problems.

            No, not all psychiatrists invent illnesses. Only the bigwigs can vote them into existence. The lower rank and file memorize these fictions with each new DSM. Basically that’s what they learn when they choose to specialize in psychiatry. Read “They Call You Crazy” by Paula Caplan.

          • Oldhead,

            As disgusted as I am with the comment by Stevie, I don’t think it should be reported to moderators since he didn’t attack anyone. We don’t want to become like pro drug sites that delete posts they don’t like.

            Instead, show him why his comment is totally off base as Bradford and Paris did. That is more powerful in my opinion than deleting unwelcome comments.

          • I find Dr Moffic’s (‘Stevie’) comment to Matt’s ‘In Memoriam’ page staggeringly crass and insensitive – and what does he mean ‘hey-hey’? What is that? I clicked on ‘report comment’ a couple of days ago – I guess the moderators took a look and decided it complies with all MiA’s convoluted posting guidelines. So… their site, their rules.

          • AA — Does one argue with fascism or work to defeat it? The former didn’t work too well in the ’30’s.

            Anyway, haven’t seen you here lately, hope you’re well. Well enough, anyway.

          • I remember an article about a foster child on some Rx drug who killed herself. Someone had the audacity not just to vehemently defend Pharma-psychiatry but post an affiliate link to a drug commercial! Like selling Avon products at a funeral as far as tackiness. Only Avon probably didn’t kill the corpse.

          • This wasn’t the Riley child. A cute African-American child of 12 or 13 was put on SSRI’s and went through a total (bad) personality change. Hanged herself while recording it on YouTube. Some woman had the gall to post a link to a pharmaceutical commercial posing as educational. Honestly I wonder if she got paid for clicks. I should have posted that as a question under her comment/link.

    • Ditto. Different people with more effective skills, mighta interested Matt in exploring, possibly discovering more useful ‘options’ (or dialogue, beliefs)

      For me, I accept and respect individuals are always doing their best,
      limited only by ignorance, or fear of exploring, using, more useful ones.

      • Does it matter? really, what ‘the study’ said? (really?)
        I’m thinking a useful insight to appreciate the implication of, is that ultimately each of us is FREE, as well as the baggage of RESPONSIBLE, over, and for the quality of ‘make belief’ each of us chooses to ‘attach’ and hold, which facilitates our behavior and emotional experience, (focus). … regardless of what the stimuli, what others might think, say or do.

        Ultimately each of us is personally responsible for the quality of dialogue, beliefs, which dictate our behavior emotionally and physically. Blaming externals can be like chasing ones own tail, unfortunately

        • Sighs and <3 , coupled with desire for more,
          effective therapeutic 'Open' Dialogue, towards discovering more effective ways and means of supporting those finding themselves confused, distressed.

          May that Matts loosing himself in thoughts of hopelessness, that resulted in him believing suicide was his best choice, serve to be a lightening rod for inspiring more useful, effective and therapeutic dialogue, and how useful it can be to be a therapeutic facilitator, and effect authentic recovery dynamics.

  1. Such devastating news. I only knew Matt from when he first commented profusely on MIA , and then later when he started blogging using his real name.

    His blogs and his comments helped me enormously as I struggled to understand and support my loved one. I felt in awe of how he had overcome so much adversity, and how he was able to weave his own experiences, thoughts and research into such thought provoking comments. I also felt so grateful that there was people out there like Matt that my loved one might one day see as their peer or role model.

    What an amazing, intelligent and compassionate man. This is such a loss to our community. My sincere condolences to his loved ones.

  2. Death is not the end of one’s story. It just means that they ran out of time (voluntarily or involuntarily) to complete it.

    I read the part regarding his notes. It sounds like he died of fear, and a created hopelessness. The same kind of hopelessness that getting involved in psychiatry and living with the indignity of being labelled with garbage that obfuscates one’s truth, creates.

    But ultimately, as a person who was well versed with Szasz, he chose to terminate his life (given the circumstances) and it is not any inherent malady that killed him.

    There are probably many such people who kill themselves of this (but end up becoming examples of deaths due to whatever DSM label): i.e. they kill themselves because of the hopelessness that psychiatry, psychiatric labelling, the social ramifications of it etc. create; but these occurrences are likely recorded as “deaths due to mental illness” or “deaths due to X or Y disorder” when they should be recorded as “death due to fear, disgust and indignation”.

    Suicide weakens the goal and spirit of this place. Victory is a part of life. Not of death.

    P.S. I bet the Fuller Torrey types out there are laughing their asses off right now saying “See…the schizophrenic should have stayed on his treatment”.

    Personally, it doesn’t matter really. I will not wallow in misery and be shocked at this death. It is the fear of preventing deaths of these nature that creates the psychiatric coercive system. A man chose to kill himself like millions before him and millions after him. That is all there is to it.

    When his body could walk and talk, he had a goal. The voluntarily imposed cessation of those functions does not hinder or take away from that goal.

    • Alas, he didn’t seem to know many of us orthomolecular types, who don’t need to use psych drugs but do know how to use nutrients to properly manage extreme states. I hope he didn’t avoid us just because we take a medically oriented view of extreme states, because he didn’t realize our version of medical treatment is viewed in a very hostile manner by orthodox “mental health” professionals.

    • Precisely (y) T/U. The habit or choice of ‘doing’ FEAR, is at the heart of all abherent behavior choices, and which self-limits oneself from discovering, embracing, possible more useful options.

      “it doesn’t matter really. I will not wallow in misery and be shocked at this death. It is the fear of preventing deaths of these nature that creates the psychiatric coercive system. A man chose to kill himself like millions before him and millions after him. That is all there is to it.”

  3. My sincerest condolences to Matt’s family, “BPD Transformation” was one of my favorite MiA bloggers. He was such a brilliant young man, and I’m so sorry psychiatric defamation, lies, and torture took one more life. Matt’s life typifies what today’s psychiatric industry has been doing. Today’s psychiatric industry has been participating in an all of Western civilization psychiatric holocaust, this time it’s a holocaust primarily against child abuse victims.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/049860_psych_drugs_medical_holocaust_Big_Pharma.html

    Today, “the prevalence of childhood trauma exposure within borderline personality disorder patients has been evidenced to be as high as 92% (Yen et al., 2002). Within individuals diagnosed with psychotic or affective disorders, it reaches 82% (Larsson et al., 2012).”

    And the antidepressants and/or antipsychotics (neuroleptics) that are given to those labeled as “borderline” or with the “psychotic or affective disorders” actually create both the negative and positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via what are actually neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome and antipsychotic or antidepressant induced anticholinergic toxidrome. This is the medical proof that “schizophrenia” is an iatrogenic illness created with the “gold standard schizophrenia treatment,” not a real “genetic” illness.

    And since neither of these psychiatric drug induced illnesses are listed in the scientifically invalid DSM billing code “bible,” they are always misdiagnosed and mistreated by today’s insensitive, unethical, greedy, big Pharma and DSM deluded, miseducated, self centered, child abuse covering up, denying, and profiteering “mental health professionals.”

    Technically speaking profiteering off of covering up child abuse is a crime, so most of today’s psychiatrists belong in jail. But, unfortunately we’re living in a world that has been taken over by fiscally irresponsible, “luciferian,” child murdering, globalists banksters who got rid of the rule of law in the US long ago (google ‘Dutch banker’).

    It is today’s satanically controlled Western civilization that is crazy, not those of us who are disgusted by what has been going on, especially since 9/11/2001 – even according to Putin at this point.

    http://livingresistance.com/2017/03/25/putin-slams-governments-imperialism-pedophilia-satanism/

    Many Christians on the internet now see we are in the midst of a spiritual battle, one between good and evil. I wish Matt had taken the time to read the real Bible, because there is much wisdom in it, and it provides hope, at least it does for many. But I do believe Matt will be judged by God to be a hero, and I’m certain God will find Matt, even though Matt did not find God. Rest in peace, Matt Stevenson. God bless you all, keep the faith, please.

    • And yet all of the churches I attend are adamantly pro-psychiatry, SE. They mindlessly buy into the chemical imbalance nonsense that was discredited in the 1990’s.

      Why are they pro-psychiatry? Simple. Instead of ministering to the emotionally hurt, they can cram pills down them instead. While being selfish and cruel they can pass as benevolent. Oh, and those wealthy folks from Big Pharma and the psychiatric professionals? We can’t risk offending those people.

      Plus a lot of church people are on SSRI’s and get angry at the idea their drugs are addictive and correct nothing in their brains. No doubt we’re spoiling their placebo affect.

      • Oh, don’t get me wrong, YetAnotherAccount, the mainstream religions were bought out by psychiatry and psychology long ago. And the mainstream, hospital owning religions are absolutely on the wrong side, you are correct.

        Being a God or Spirit led person today is basically the opposite of believing in any of the current mainstream religions, which is unfortunate, and actually a betrayal by these religions of their parishioners, for greed and self centered reasons, as you mention. But this is a shame since there is wisdom in all of the religious writings, yet there’s also a lot of BS and lies in all of the religious dogma.

        And evidence of this is an ethical pastor confessed to me, after being kind enough to read through my chronologically organized medical records with my medical research and commentary along side, that today’s psychiatric child abuse victim holocaust is the result of what he called “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.”

        Implying that decades ago the psychological and psychiatric industries bought out the mainstream medical and religious industries with promises of covering up the “zipper troubles” of the paternalistic religions and the easily recognized iatrogenesis of the mainstream incompetent doctors. In exchange for undue credibility being given to the scientifically invalid psychiatric and psychological industries by the medical and religious industries.

        Absolutely I agree with you, YetAnotherAccount, today’s mainstream religions are on satan’s very profitable “pharmakia” side, not on God’s side.

      • “No one knows how many people with “severe mental illness” live what appear to be normal, successful lives…They are too busy juggling responsibilities, paying the bills, studying, raising families — all while weathering gusts of dark emotions or delusions that would quickly overwhelm almost anyone else.”

        Please, this is such a contradiction between the myth of the frightening other that “SMI” was manufactured to be and the reality of everyday life struggled twisted, sold and bought “as if” it is “SMI” that it boarders on the ridiculous.

        What Linehan is really exposing here, is people’s need for skills to manage their complex and busy lives, without which things can become unmanageable. Whatever that looks like, is almost always across the board falsely accused of evidence of “mental illness” for which, there is no evidence and is a such, rediculous.

        If a so called “brain disease” is cured by behavioral therapies and mindful meditation, come on, it was never a brain disease to begin with. Absolutely rediculous.

        D.B.T for BDP is not widely accepted as appropriate in the UK. You yourself noted that this slur is typically designated to victims of Child Sexual Abuse, which is a deeply traumatizing crime. Labeling victims is understood to be discriminatory, harmful, victim blaming and D.B.T, in lue of trauma informed care, keeps victims stuck in the system as fodder for life because the root cause of their issues are never properly addressed.

        “I still have ups and downs, of course, but I think no more than anyone else.”

        “Of course”, like the rest of us, this formerly “SMI” person was miraculously cured of an imaginary brain disease with simple life skills and meditation, because she never had a brain disease that doesn’t exist to begin with. Again, ridiculous.

        As for Linehan’s ironic closing remark… “There’s so much more light”… sadly psychiatry along with all its supporters remains in the dark ages.

        • You don’t seem to like Marsha Linehan. I read the NYT article. In it she explains she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. She was given a lot of ECT and psychiatric drugs. Eventually, she moved on, maintaining this secret part of her early life, until 2011.

          Point being that if she was “cured” it is misrepresentative to suggest she did it through “simple life skills and meditation” alone.

          ECT in particular can bring about radical personality change in people.

          She doesn’t mention abuse in the article, outside of the abuse she suffered in psychiatric institutions. Although I am not party to her intimate biography. In the article — which is brisk and scant on detail — she alludes to sibling rivalry in the family home as playing a key role in her emotional maelstrom.

          I don’t agree with you that Linehan ” is really exposing here, is people’s need for skills to manage their complex and busy lives, without which things can become unmanageable. Whatever that looks like, is almost always across the board falsely accused of evidence of “mental illness” for which, there is no evidence and is a such, rediculous.”. That’s not how it read to me. She seemed more upbeat about how she took her own experiences of emotional dysregulation and suicidality and developed an intensive therapy for people that priorly were written off as either untreatable, or, as with her, drugged and electrocuted until, by some brutal miracle, some personal insight became achievable.

          • Thanks for filling in the blanks on this rasselas.redux.
            I think the bottom line is she’s a shrink, pushing the brain disease myth. My point is simply, you can’t cure something that doesn’t exist. Start with a lie………

          • Judi, it seems you might be confused.
            Lineham most certainly is not a shrink.
            She is a widely aclaimed groundbreaking celebrated and effective therapist, who supports listening to and respecting individuals experiences as socialogical, not ‘diseased’ imho

          • Who gives a dam what she is. Frankly, I couldn’t care less.
            You think quiet highly of her. A patient, are you Larry? Or just looked her up real quick so you could have a go….

            She claimed to be “s”, which is not a disease.
            Bottom line: start with a lie… live a lie and spread those lies to others. That’s the real disease; the amount of people willing to sell lies for a living, despite the harm to others. It’s a sickness of the heart and soul and the real evil in the world. That’s what I think of her and anyone supporting her.

      • Thank you Jewelsws for sharing and introducing us to Linehams life, bio, and her dedication to serving, in particular those experiencing serious distress and in particular suicidal ideation, as it seems Matt succumbed to.

        Many examples, responsorily how one can be led to, shown the water, and still, for their sense of reasoning, logic, freely choose not to drink, or find effective means of nourishing oneself.

  4. Thank you to the editorial staff and Bob for putting together such a lovely tribute. It is very sad, indeed, and such a difficult loss to process. I believe Matt to be a great example of a person whose anger and “righteous indignation” (as mentioned by Louise) allowed him and so many others to survive and have hope. I think of this when I consider how odd and important it seems to be for mental health professionals, specifically, and society, more generally, to get people to stop being angry. Let us not stop being angry. Let us not stop fighting. Let us reach out to each other when we think we cannot make it another day. And let us be inspired by Matt’s drive, vision, and bravery.

  5. I had a numerous short conversations with him, although I never knew what his real name was. It seemed that whenever I visited the comments section of an MIA post, he was there, commenting on something. Whenever I had a post up, he would comment, always in the most supportive way, and when I was gone from posting for a while and then came back, he was kind enough to take the time to be very welcoming and to express the thought that he was glad to see me writing again. A wonderful individual, and I can understand why the staff of MIA and so many others have taken the time to write so many tributes to him following his death.

  6. NO!, say it ain’t so! I clearly remember “BPD Transformation! He and I swapped a few comments, and I always valued what he had to say. Somehow, it seems appropriate that today, Mon. Sept. 25, is being recognized as “National Suicide Awareness Day”. And, I’m not asking for all the details, but I DO want to know *how* he killed himself. Personally, I believe in facing the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We’re only as sick as the secrets we keep, but when we know the truth, the truth can set us free….
    I’m gonna miss you Matt Stevenson. And I’ll always remember my comment pal “BPD Transformation”…..
    (c)2017, Tom Clancy, Jr., *NON-fiction

  7. Thanks for putting this up quickly. So what are we going to do?
    I have made efforts to have a nfp trauma place that would offer free alternative therapies similar to one that my local as for cancer patients and their family and friends. It went up to the county board and met with deaf ears.
    I think we all need a place of sanctuary and even then sometimes the hurt is just too hard. But at least if we did have a no questions asked place open 24/7 that ANYONE and I mean ANYONE could do to for meditation, yoga, art, music, horticulture, writing, theater, film. And this would be run by a wide mix of folks WIDE and would highlight things and rooms that envelope folks in the best of their cultural and racial and religious heritage. A blanket so to speak. The room would have icons and ICONS. Anyone is like police officers coming off a night shift, journalists blown away by what they have discovered, mothers knowing that if they don’t get away bad things will happen, workers who have been laid off, teachers having a bad day, politicians losing the election. Actors who did make the cut. Survivors of all sorts who walking unknowingly into triggers.Students. Athletes , Yes doctors and nurses.. Priests, minister, and rabbis, nuns. Volunteer who have just saw too much. Accident survivor, medical mistakes survivors.
    Everyone staffing would be open that we all are walking each other home. All of us.
    This has been done in some places. And I honor them but there are vast areas where all folks have is this website and some others.
    And one cannot not do this alone especially now and if life continues as it is.
    What would Matt want with all of our concerns? How would he best be remembered and honored?
    Is going to the conference- and meeting something that would honor him even if we have issues with some things ?
    Can we get past the curse which was not of our own choosing and lends and lended itself to anger, and hostility, and rage of self and of others and let go and work and agree to disagree? Can we find two core principals and work with that?

    Can we be open about discussing the choice to end life? The most eloquent account of surgical thinking I heard was a tape of a alanon lead by a father a physician who fought nightly with the urge just to end it all. Andy maybe by actual talking and truth telling if not a trauma center, then rooms where folks could go SAFE that is essential. SO essential.
    I lost two grade school classmates to suicide. One classmates lost her brother, in my neighborhood there was a suicide circle after my family left the local. Who knows why?
    I lost a neat acquaintance through her inadvertent death by a relatives suicide. I have had friends, co workers who as parents have lost children. Another classmate lost her father. Relatives have chosen to go home alone but it has been hidden in the family closet.
    And that comes from a fairly privileged background. I do not know how the truly othered folks in our country have kept on going. Some haven’t.
    IT IS A SECRET NOT MANY WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE. And all secrets at least very many are ultimately unhealthy.
    The development of a ritua,or ritualsl to wash of the bad traumas!!!!!!!!
    Again I will keep Matt in my memory.
    Let’s Do Something. At least new steps in some way shape or form.

  8. When I get out of psych ward I was scared, then I started to read the typical psych shit and decide to commit suicide. Matt Stevenson story showed me that there is a hope and there is a psychotherapy cure for schizophrenia. I started to read books on psychotherapy from then on.

    Thank you Matt for saving my life and for providing hope. I will not forget it. Ever.

  9. Matt struck me as being a very nonjudgemental compassionate type of person. He had knowledge and insight and he communicated this in a brilliantly articulate way.

    It’s worthwhile for me knowing how he passed away. I can really identify with the stress involved in the promotion of extreme diagnosis.

  10. Matt’s passing is a testament to the dire need for us to continue challenging the myths around the DSM and the mass medical malpractice of misdiagnosis.
    It seems to me, that Matt knew with every fiber of his being that it was the heart of the problem, which if we fail to resolve, nothing will ever change.
    It is so needless, this loss of Matt. But that doesn’t mean I don’t understand the weight of what he was looking at. I do; it has destroyed me too. The wins are far and few between and the forces against reason are deeply vested. It was a dragon worthy of his fear and we could never fault him for that.
    This is what these ugliest of words do to us. We’re only human and these words come with consequences that are all too often, insurmountable for the mere mortals that we are. These words cannot be undone and their invasion knows no limits and compromise, even the best of us, even the learned, the wise, the writer, the speaker, the healer and most certainly, the truly broken.
    Thank you to everyone who works to dismantle the lies that scar and destroy so many innocent people. No one should be made to suffer so deeply as Matt did or – god forbid die – because they were already in pain and hurting. Why, why would we punish him more? It is inconceivable to the human heart.
    Rest in peace Matt. May your passing bring some measure of quite pause and deeply needed consideration about the level of discrimination we put upon a person when we fraudulently call them “mentally ill”.

  11. I am so saddened to learn of Matt’s death. We first “met” through his comments to my blogs. This then evolved into an active e-mail exchange. I was fortunate enough to have the chance to meet him at an ISPS conference. I both enjoyed and valued our exchanges. He was clearly bright and thoughtful. He was extremely well read and generous in sharing articles with me. He taught me so much.
    My thoughts go out to his family and friends.

  12. ISEPP has lost one of its finest members. Matt Stevenson was a wonderful human being and his contributions to ISEPP were substantial. He was always researching and reaching out to others in order to understand his personal experiences on the receiving end of the mental health system. His assessment of that system was spot on. It unfortunately is not set up to respect the dignity and humanity of people who struggle as he did, and in the end it failed him.

    We in ISEPP valued his thought-provoking involvement on the ISEPP listserv and in personal email exchanges with several of us. He was not shy about sharing his learned ideas and did so in a candid, stimulating, and respectful way. I had the honor of meeting him in person and we talked quite extensively about his life, mine, and his interests in changing the mental health system towards a more humane and compassionate one. Our exchange helped me greatly as I was assuming the position as ISEPP’s Executive Director.

    After having no contact with him since early summer, I reached out to him two weeks ago. He shared that he was having a difficult time with personal and family issues and it was hard getting things “back under control.” He was particularly disturbed by a study that reported poor recovery rates for people experiencing psychosis. I know he reached out to others as well in order to understand this study. But despite his pain he still thought to wish me well.

    I always find choices like his heartbreaking. While I understand a person’s decision in order to soothe severe emotional angst, I wish the decision would be put off, at least just one more day at a time. Circumstances and situations always change, as does one’s hope for the future. Rest well, my friend. You are missed.

      • Hi Oldhead.
        I could be wrong, but I believe his sister may have that. At FB group Drop the Disorder, Jo Watson who broke the news to our group noted that (parapharsing) Matt asked his sister to leave something with her and anyone who felt a connection with him could PM Jo for that information. I hope that helps.
        My deepest condolences to his Matts family.
        Judy

        • A concern I have is that some of the many who have relied on Matt for support and self-affirmation will be affected negatively by his actions and draw the wrong conclusions. I hope you all are watching over one another. Matt’s loss of hope was short-sighted and would have been temporary if he had worked through it. I don’t know why he felt he couldn’t, but I’m sure he would not want to end of hope to be his legacy. So try to take care of yourselves.

          I’m sure that “study” will surface sooner or later.

  13. Oh No, this is so very sad and tragic. I met Matt in person last year at ISPS after reading his MIA posts for a very long time. He was deeply kind and insightful. He was fearless in his work to expose truth. This is a reminder to me that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. Please reach out for connection and do not give up my friends. Life can be unbelievably painful at times. Matt, RIP and know that we will carry your message and spirit into tomorrow. Wishing your family peace and healing.

  14. This is a huge loss for humanity. Matt was a vanguard fighter in the human rights movement against all forms of psychiatric abuse. His compassionate humanity was revealed through all his comments and his blog writings at MIA. His relatively small number of blogs at MIA have played a very significant role in decontructing the pseudo-science and oppressive nature of Biological Psychiatry.

    Matt always made his viewpoint very well known to his readers at MIA (in both his comments and blogs), but he was also very open to feedback and criticism. We can all learn from his approach to seeking the truth.

    Following his first blog at MIA I wrote the following comment:

    “Matt
    This one of the very best blogs ever to appear on the MIA website. I do not make this statement lightly. The writing style is first rate and the the depth of research and the ability to combine such research with firsthand experiences is outstanding. I look forward to your future writings here and believe you have a critically important leadership role to play in human rights struggle against all forms of psychiatric oppression…. Richard”

    We will sorely miss those future contributions to our movement. When we lose someone of Matt’s stature we must all work that much harder to fill his enormous shoes and continue our march forward. All the best to his family and those that loved and admired him.

    Richard

  15. Damn it, that’s EXACTLY what Michael Cornwall was talking about. Even from a bit of a distance, even after a degree and a job and a new chance to reach out to the world, psychiatry’s noose around his neck had never fully lifted off. Those quacks got what they wanted – now he’ll NEVER enjoy a life away from them. They perpetrated homicide-by-indoctrination. Matt, if you can hear us, your life WAS worth more than your quack’s hate and lies. We’ll always miss you dearly and treasure your razor-sharp beat down of psychiatry!!!!

  16. The outrageously and unnecessarily tragic nature of all this is beyond words. It was hard for me to not like Matt even from a distance or when I was in disagreement with him about something. Unfortunately he probably didn’t realize this, as he often took my criticisms of some of his ideas as personal attacks or as “negativity.”

    What I was always sort of picking at in Matt’s posts — which now I feel that I should “double down” on as I believe they are confirmed by what has happened — is that he never really fully rejected psychiatry on an internal level, even though he was up there with the best at being able to discredit and deconstruct it on an intellectual one. It frustrated me that he rejected most psychiatric “diagnoses” but insisted on referring to “psychosis,” which I remember us locking horns over a time or two. More frustrating was that he seemed to feel compelled to “justify” his critique of psychiatry by referring to writings by psychiatrists and psychologists, however “progressive,” rather than “street level” survivors and those whose analysis of psychiatry is as a conscious vehicle of political repression, not a well-intentioned field of human support which simply needs a better understanding of how to “help” people. And I never got him to agree that terms such as “schizophrenia” et al. were not simply invalid in and of themselves, but the supposed categories of thought/behavior they purport to describe are also artificial constructions and equally invalid.

    So, this sucks. There’s room for anger here too and people should not hide from it, wherever they feel it should be directed, but explore it and try to understand it. I would also like to know what this “study” was that triggered Matt’s downward spiral.

    At any rate, with things like this these initial reactions are only the start of a collective process which will continue for a long time. Matt Stevenson Presente!

    • Oldhead, maybe you can think of a new word for psychosis. But I have experienced an awful period when I hallucinated and couldn’t think straight. In my case the drug caused it (despite my shrink’s adamant denial.) It is a horrible experience. You can call it Gromf if you like. But why invent a new word no one will understand when one already exists?

      Depression also exists, though I prefer to call it prolonged sadness or melancholy. Going off Effexor has helped mine immensely!

      I believe William Glassner explained psychosis and depression by referring to them as “creative symptoming.” Your imagination runs away without you!

      • How about referring to “that awful experience I had”?

        By referring to an “it” (i.e. “psychosis”) you allow your individual and uniquely personal experience to be lumped together with other people’s uniquely personal experiences and their meanings reduced to expressions of “symptomology.” Plus the “-osis” has a distinctly medical flavor, as in “coronary thrombosis.” There is simply no justification for medical or pseudo-medical terminology here, even — or maybe especially — metaphorically.

  17. It’s really hard as a pysch survivor to get help when the freakouts come back. I went back on psych drugs for a while – it was terrifying to walk into a system that was so horribly mis-informed. I couldn’t have done it except I had a lot of local friends connected there. A lot of psych survivors don’t make it because there is no way back really once you understand how much bs there is everywhere. Medical harm trauma is one of the the hardest forms of trauma to overcome because….how you gonna get medical care after that?

    • Well said, Corinna. Where do you go when doubts begin to creep back in? Going “inside” is the only place I can think to go, drawing on whatever it is that will illuminate the present moment. Matt was so wise, but still young and therefore, vulnerable. He was just such a beautiful person. Getting to that bright spot is never easy.

    • My sympathies, Corinna. Oddly most of the time my withdrawal symptoms have been 95% physical. A lot like fibromyalgia which is probably iatrogenic too. I still can’t sleep some nights because I itch head to toe, feel like bugs are crawling all over me, and cough non-stop.

      Emotionally I haven’t been this well in years. Even my pro-psychiatry Mom notices an improvement. If she knew I’d gone off my drugs she probably would feel differently though.

      I plan on waiting a year to tell her.

  18. Matt had respect for everyone’s opinion always diligently replied to people,kind and encouraging when others on this site can be less than pleasant.
    Very sad news and a reminder of the thin veneer we all have varnishing over our pain and fragility I will never forget his kindness and care.

  19. I had the pleasure of connecting with Matt a number of years ago, just prior to his formally entering the “critical psychiatry” community, and then maintainng somewhat regular contact with him on one hell of a ride(!) Witnessing him these past few years has been for me somewhat akin to watching an awe-inspiring shooting star. First coming into our “atmosphere” a bit faintly (holding back a little initially, using pseudonyms, etc.). Then growing ever brighter and bolder (shedding the pseudonyms, showing us the full color of his passion and courage, not shying away from contacting and questioning the “experts” and challenging many of them directly with rare intelligence and insight). Over the past couple of years, I found myself awed and inspired by his passion, authenticity and breadth of self-led education and wisdom (often cheering him on “behind the scenes” as he took on the battles I had pesonally grown mostly weary of). About 6 months ago, as I witnessed Matt’s articles and interactions in various forums, I found myself feeling some renewed hope with regard to our collective cause, thinking, “This is one of those rare individuals who has all the right qualities to really shake up this toxic paradigm.” And then, just like that, this brilliant flash of light vanished (or at least it did so from my perspective, who knows what really happens when our “lights” burn out).

    So as I sit here contemplating this beautiful and inspiring shooting star that passed over my life these past few years, I find myself feeling a rich blend of sadness and joy. I’m sad that his physical presence is no longer with us, deeply feeling the burden of his loss in this often discouraging “David vs. Goliath” battle we wage against the psychiatric/pharmaceutical complex, and already missing this delightful, earnest, humorous, passionate man. And I feel a deep gratitude and joy at having had the opportunity to connect with him at times in these last years of his life’s journey.

    And as much as I miss Matt, I also understand how someone can become so overwhelmed by pain and despair that “bowing out” of this life (i.e., hoping to end the pain) can feel like a very reasonable solution. Like probably everyone who knew and loved him, I keep wondering if there was something I could have said or done to help him not lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel; and then there is another part of me that respects and honours his decision to “bow out,” a part of me that simply wants to give him a standing ovation for his years of gracious service and dedication to our troubled world: “Well done, Man!”

    May Matt’s passion and brilliance live on in the rest of us who are still here carrying on the good fight.

  20. What a tragic thing. It was mentioned that he endured child abuse. I know from my own experience that can create life long feelings that are very persistent. I have come to believe that it’s not the feelings that are the problem as much as the under expression, and under reception, of those feelings. That is mostly the message of abusive or neglectful childhoods, that feelings don’t matter, and should not be talked about. People in general and therapists that I have encountered are not the “reception” business like they ought to be. They are more in the “deflection” business.

  21. Sad news.

    Matt Stevenson wrote:

    “The message should be that serious mental distress, including psychotic and borderline states, is primarily caused by adverse psychosocial events, not primarily by faulty biogenetic factors, and that people can mostly or fully become free from these states with support and sufficient hope, that key thing I couldn’t feel at the end.”

    Hope. That “key thing” he “couldn’t feel at the end”.

    So hope is not enough. Support is not enough. What else is there?

    The promise of Hope is generally baseless to someone bereft of hope. Support has its limitations too. Especially if one has built a firewall around one’s deeper, darker vulnerabilities.

    I enjoyed his articles. Although I do recall pointing out that he was conceptualising madness as something to overcome, something shameful located in the past. Something that once was, but was no more.

    Standard ball-park definition of psychosis: losing touch with reality.

    The poor young man lost touch with reality. And there was nothing anyone could do about it.

    Respect to his family and friends.

    • Whatever, rasselas. Madness is a RESPONSE to AND A REBELLION against traumatizing circumstances, which are often caused by evil and pathogenic PEOPLE. That’s the truth, and Matt would still be here, thriving in his life, if his quacks had not brainwashed him out of reality.

    • What else? one asks? Understanding, Acceptance. Respect.
      We respond, react, in kind with the quality of beliefs one freely holds.
      For his reasons, his choice directed his behavior.
      Unfortunately no one succeeded, intervened, intrigued him enough
      to explore the service his choices were providing him with, emotionally.

      • You may equally caps-on that the RECOVERY movement is responsible for this man’s death. He wrote a lot about being “fully recovered”, a concept which is responsible for a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering.

        Acceptance is perhaps more powerful and realistic than hope. It’s certainly sensible to expect no storm to be the last, no matter how much one intellectualises one’s personal experiences, and life in general.

        The burden on some people to project a “fully recovered” persona is a significant one.

        Acceptance of madness is a whole different ball-game; but it does help with unburdening, especially when things get tough. Again. Always things will get tough again.

      • Larry you are making assumptions that no one was there for Matt, including his family, friends, or the persons who had carriage of his care.
        You have blamed Matt and appear to be using his untimely demise to further your adgenda to get people to agree that if only Matt had done it your way then he would still be here. Larry can you please tell us what it is you know that is so special and could have saved him? What is it that you are studying that you want so badly for everyone “to get” but are not telling us point blank what it is? I’m sure everyone is bursting with curiousity about what you know that can save lives. Thank you

          • I was sure i respectfully responded to your enquiry Judi. Thankfully i gave it much consideration, in one of my files, so i can copy and repaste it.

            “Larry you are making assumptions that no one was there for Matt, including his family, friends, or the persons who had carriage of his care.”
            (No, not so) (I specifically shared a logical overview, regards ‘effectiveness,’ or the absence, .. given the fact Matt focused on, and was ultimately successful in his held belief that suicide was the most useful option for him.)

            “You have blamed Matt and appear to be using his untimely demise to further your adgenda to get people to agree that if only Matt had done it your way then he would still be here.”
            (WTF are you talking about? pretending to know about me? as if having an adjenda? or pushing anything?)
            (Blame? i choose to believe, and have shared oftenly, is for me, a useless game, most often used to avoid acceptance of personal responsibility for the choices one chooses, such as emotionally, or behavorily)

            “Larry can you please tell us what it is you know that is so special and could have saved him?”
            (Pardon? Saved him? from what?) (I accept and respect Matt simply wasn’t aware of, or willing to believe, continuing engaging with, and learning how to experience life more pleasurably, was possible or worthwhile, imho) (Matt didn’t need “saving’ it seems to me, as much as therapeutic companionship.) (Don’t most simple suicides occur by lone individuals? alone with their thoughts, beliefs, unstimulated, unmotivated, to want or see any use of looking for other options?)

            “What is it that you are studying that you want so badly for everyone “to get” but are not telling us point blank what it is? I’m sure everyone is bursting with curiousity about what you know that can save lives. Thank you.”
            (Look, i can’t begin to share the depth of my experience, or ongoing interest, study) (I’m not here to convince anyone that i know better than others, how to swim in their own river of life)

            (I simply respect, embrace believing in everyone, being free and responsible for the quality of narrative, in telling themselves what they freely ‘make believe’ about everything life presents themselves with, to grow and to learn from, represents, belief wise.

            When i have time, and ‘God’ willing, i will attempt to compile a list of the highlights of people, their words, message, beliefs, and how immensely grateful I am for the challenges, relationships, experience that i’ve chosen to grow myself from, and appreciate, value. Yes I intend on leaving some kind of meaningful legacy, particularly for my 4 Grand-children, Son and Daughter, and those that might be interested. Thank you too, for inviting me to respond)

  22. I have had a brief correspondence with Matt. He referred to himself as Edward Dantes. (Count of Monte Cristo.) He kindly discussed some ideas I was toying with on becoming financially independent of the system.

    We psychiatric survivors really could use more job/career coaches dedicated to those in our situation. This is a very pressing need for most of us. If our finances were in better order a lot of our emotional issues would take care of themselves!

    I am sad Matt felt death was the only reasonable option. Often I have felt things would never get better and the only thing that kept me alive was my religion. I believed that regardless of how much I suffered or whether there was any earthly hope of comfort or happiness I should stay alive because it was the will of God. I would pray for Him to take me, though.

    Religion is not a magical pain killer like some think I claim it is. It did not make me “feel good” all the time, but it kept me alive. There is no pain killer for the emotions in the long run.

  23. Beautiful tribute to a very intelligent, kind and thoughtful young man. Thank you, MIA editors. I enjoyed his posts very much on MIA which made me think and question how I was trained and increased my desire to fight for change. His death is not in vain. As Winston Churchill stated, “Never, never give up”. MIA readers and dissident professionals please keep pushing for change in the current mental health system, DSM-V, and how we view and treat our fellow human brothers and sisters. Things are changing, you are making a difference. We are all in this life together. Prayers of peace to Matt’s loved ones in this time of grief.

    • I’m sorry for our loss of Matt Stevenson . He was so young , So talented , brilliant , creative, I didn’t even realize or remember that Matt also posted as BPDTransformation . And he was so thoughtful and showed kindness to so many here , and a warrior for his beliefs . By the time his interview with Paris Williams appeared I realized how , how fortunate we were to have Matt blogging and commenting here. I’d hoped one day he’d interview me . May Matt Stevenson have peace and bliss in the world of eternal life and his family and friends be comforted .

  24. I am so sad to hear the news of Matt’s death. Matt’s voice was smart and compassionate, gently persuasive without cutting down. He was a valued teacher on madinamerica for many of us and the archive of his words will continue to teach visitors to this site.
    Could we benefit from being more than an online community? If I’d known in which part of the world Matt resided and lived or traveled nearby, it would be nice if there were meet-up madinamerica cafes so that we could support each other in person. When I attend conferences or visit projects where I’ve met the real people behind the blogs or comments, the movement feels so much more concrete and lasting. Our movement forward more tangible. But it is difficult for many of us to travel far. Can we design local hubs and make maps for meeting, giving hugs, sharing person-to-person stories? with love and respect for and much trust in this community, Diana in BC, Canada

  25. A tribute to Matt Stevenson by Jo Watson and Gary Sidley from the ‘Drop the Disorder’ Facebook group:

    We never met Matt Stevenson face to face. But despite the 3700 miles between our homes, Matt has succeeded in leaving a legacy that will forever endure.
    All our interactions with him occurred via social media, and included both individual contacts and collective debates within the ‘Drop the Disorder’ group.
    Gary first touched base with Matt in April 2016 when he – using the name ‘BPD Transformation’ – expressed support for Gary’s maiden MIA blogpost and highlighted the ‘claptrap’ of politicians who refer to ‘those with serious mental illness’. On the same thread, Matt illustrated his zany humour by suggesting that psychiatrists were ‘covert emissaries sent by super-advanced aliens’ with the aim of drugging everyone on earth so ‘we won’t be able to resist when the alien invasion comes’. Matt became a regular responder on Gary’s subsequent MIA blogposts, his feedback always remaining courteous even when energetically challenging the bits with which he disagreed, and usually supporting his arguments with references selected from the psychotherapy literature (of which he had a deep knowledge).
    Jo found Matt hugely supportive and encouraging during the early days following the group’s creation and developed a friendship as the months progressed. As a nocturnal person, Jo often chatted with Matt during the night (it would have been daytime for Matt in Washington) and found his genius philosophical banter & obvious passion for change intoxicating. Matt would make her laugh and inspire her in equal measures.
    There was never a shortage of Sun Tzu quotes, it seemed like Matt had one to cover any situation!

    We feel privileged that he opted to join our ‘Drop the Disorder’ Facebook group where he quickly became a valued ally in the ongoing struggle to counter the dominance of biomedical and diagnostic approaches to human suffering. Within the group Matt was involved in multiple conversations, always demonstrating an engaging combination of compassion, humour and knowhow when responding to other people. Since his death, we have received many messages from group members expressing sadness and shock, as well as reflections on their individual relationships with him; in particular, his passion and integrity have been highlighted.
    Despite the pain we feel about Matt’s tragic death, we can still smile at the above recollections, and recognise how privileged we are to have had the opportunity to share many communications with such a worthwhile and courageous human being. In contrast, we feel intense rage when we reflect on the implications of some of our email discussions a couple of weeks before he ended his life.
    Matt had contacted us to ask our opinion on a research paper that provided a systematic review of the literature on ‘recovery from schizophrenia’. He told us he’d been ‘struggling to resolve some concerns’ about this paper, in particular the 13% recovery rate cited therein. We responded, pointing out the major flaws in this study that had led to its unduly pessimistic and misleading conclusion. Matt’s reply, the last we heard from him, delivered in his usual respectful way, was: ‘Thank you this is very helpful. I appreciate you going into a lot of detail on everything. I’m going to take some time to think about what you said’.
    We are left thinking about the central importance of maintaining hope when people are suffering emotional distress and overwhelm. How can it be that contemporary psychiatric practice is dominated by a biological paradigm that inherently stymies the aspirations of people through their array of hope-quashing assumptions of biogenetic deficits, and associated mantras such as: ‘brain disease’; ‘severe and enduring mental illness’; ‘life-long condition’; ‘personality disorder’ and ‘chronic schizophrenia’? Matt knew, intellectually, that this medicalising of human distress was pseudo-scientific nonsense, but – as described in his final letter shared by his sister Cathrerine after his death – he had heard these doom-laden messages from psychiatric professionals so often that they were now etched into his core and thereby resistant to rational challenge.
    Micheal Cornwall’s words in his recent blog written in memory of Matt resonate painfully..
    ‘Tragically, their grossly untrue views about us, that they impose on us, can become as destructively powerful as if they have cursed us.’
    In keeping with many more of Matt’s friends and allies, those of us involved in the ‘Drop the Disorder’ will strive, as Matt did, with passion, humour and regular philosophical quotes to channel our sadness and rage in a constructive way by continuing his fight for a greater recognition of the importance of adverse life experiences in the development emotional distress.
    Matt’s legacy will live on in the collective struggle for change and in any changes that these efforts may bring.
    RIP
    Drop the Disorder
    https://m.facebook.com/groups/1182483948461309

    • This sort of validates some of the stuff in my own post speculating about Matt still having too much residual internal, unconscious attachment to the fraudulent tenets of psychiatry. He repeatedly, as I mentioned, would base his conclusions largely on statements made by shrinks of varying sorts, rather than by those with a political analysis of psychiatry as flawed in principle, not simply in practice. Like many he was caught in the space between reform and abolition.

      My suggestion to you all is that the lessons that you hope to learn as a result of this include the understanding of how clinging to psychiatric ideology (that’s what it is) in any form can be deadly, as it seems to have been in Matt’s case. You seem to know the article in question, yes? It needs to be immediately deconstructed and condemned. Can you tell us what it is?

      • Does it matter? really, what ‘the study’ said?
        I’m thinking a useful insight to appreciate the implication of, is that ultimately each of us is FREE, as well as the baggage of RESPONSIBLE, over, and for the quality of ‘make belief’ each of us chooses to ‘attach’ and hold, which facilitates our behavior and emotional experience, (focus). 🙂 … regardless of what the stimuli, what others might think, say or do.

        Ultimately each of us is personally responsible for the quality of dialogue, beliefs, which dictate our behavior emotionally and physically. Blaming externals can be like chasing ones own tail, unfortunately 🙂

          • What if the study, (belief of someone else,) suggested BS? which in psychiatry is quite common. How is examining the detail of BS going to prevent someone like Matt for example, in choosing to hold and use more therapeutic, self empowering beliefs?

            The content, or stimuli is not where emotional maturity lie, but in the creative freedom and responsibility of the individual, to learn how to therapeutically self dialogue, examine, the usefulness of the beliefs one might be ‘entertaining’ oneself with. Effective therapeutic mentors can facilitate one in developing healthier habits of examining and recognizing ownership of the kind of beliefs one is embracing, holding, and realizing the actual service of such choices, more responsibly 🙂

          • You’re talking like a shrink, Larry.

            If this study had the power to sway Matt after he saw through so many others it might contain some sort of devious new twist of logic which needs to be immediately deconstructed, and its bankruptcy exposed so that it doesn’t so influence others.

            It’s also possible that on an “unconscious” level Matt was searching for a rationalization, nevertheless if the article in question was persuasive-sounding enough to provide an effective “trigger” it should be identified and explored from that angle alone.

          • ‘oldhead’ indeed. Relating my invitation to explore, as being ‘like a psychiatrist,’ is curious.
            Since when do psychiatrists invite dialogue?
            Don’t they pretend to be experts on others,
            and that clients have little ability to improve
            the quality of their relationships with self, life?

            Whatever the article, or others said
            about anything? isn’t that just them?
            sharing their beliefs? Yes, naturally
            I suspect Matt was searching….for how to define, and what to believe about himself, his experiences. The extent or specifics of his awareness, of the quality of beliefs he inclined himself, and chose to believe, empower, was entirely and freely up to Matt, I respect.

            A psychiatrist? hardly. A useful therapeutic mentor, coach, facilitating family and friends, to open themselves to exploring discovering their freedom, .. and responsibility for ones choices, acceptingly, non-judgementally, that is my focus, intention, (accepting the freedom of others to accept that, or to make me up elsewise)

            Yes it might be interesting to see what beliefs
            of others he mighta chose to buy into.
            All i’m suggesting is its not useful to believe one can force or make another to ultimately buy into suicide however, experience emotionally, believing anything, or to stop engaging in internal dialogue choices, that do not support growing oneself, self empowered, independent, as to the quality of beliefs one holds.

          • Since I don’t recall you ever having any sort of personal dialogue with Matt, at least not here, I consider this to be an MYOB situation for you. Our comrades are not “cases” to be studied.

          • Agree with you Oldhead but no one here wants to go there re the actual study have u noticed that ?
            Do you know?? what it is ?
            Tired of reading thru the garbage trying to find out
            i read lots of stuff every week that is discouraging and devastating that i ignore because it is BS

          • I agree it’s curious that this is considered “my” obsession; I would think everyone would be demanding to know what the study is/was. And no, I don’t know either; I do remember some sort of vague allusion to something somewhere here that I didn’t bother to follow up on or try to research. Either by Matt or one of his close associates.

  26. Hi everyone. We heard from Matt’s sister that it meant a lot to their family to read about people’s interactions with him. She also shared his obit which I will paste here:

    It is with great sadness that the family of Matt Stevenson announces his passing on Thursday, September 21st at 32 years of age.

    Matt graduated from Marymount University with a degree in English. He then turned his lifelong passion for tennis into a career as a tennis coach. Matt loved coaching and was very popular with his students, especially the children. He was an inventive teacher and created many games to teach his young students new tennis skills through fun activities. Matt also volunteered teaching English to new Americans , and he organized many socials for young people in his community .

    Through his struggles with mental health, Matt became passionate about helping others in crisis and working towards a new paradigm for mental health treatment . He pursued this passion through his involvement with several organi z ations , including Mad in America, The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS), and the International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP).

    Matt was an intelligent, thoughtful, and caring young man with a quirky sense of humor. He is mourned and will be greatly missed by his mother Judith, his father Hugh, his sister Catherine, and his many friends.

    A service to celebrate Matt’s life will be held on Thursday October 5th, at 7 pm, at the Celebration Center, 2840 Graham Road, Falls Church, VA 22042. All are welcome to the service and reception to follow. As this is a celebration of his life, please do not feel the need to wear black.

    For those who wish to contribute, we will collect donations to support the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS), an organization that was dear to Matt’s heart.

  27. I was lucky enough to discover an ability to understand many seriously disturbed psychotic patients. My background was in science, with undeveloped interests in journalism and drama. I also came from a family with serious mental problems originating from unhealthy infancies.
    I had a natural interest in psychotherapy, but never thought this would extend to psychotic patients until, totally by accident, my second psychoanalytic training case suddenly became psychotic!
    I became very panicked, and this made my patient feel doomed.
    What saved us was that my supervisor, Dr Donald Winnicot, suggested that I stop talking (nonsense) and try listening.
    Since I had no other option I tried keeping my mouth shut.
    The patient, a professional man in his 20s, kept coming despite his life falling apart and his incoherent thoughts. He had no other option either.
    But then, after a few sessions I finally felt I understood something. So I tried to give a positive sound. This led to a positive word, and then gradually to positive communication.
    The patient was then able to put himself together, get a girlfriend and develop a life.
    Dr Winnicot hypothesized that he had developed a false, conforming personality during the war when his parents were busy with war work.
    But this therapy took 4 years, and I realized that psychoanalysis could be a wonderful framework for treating psychotic conditions.
    Since psychiatry didn’t want us running psychiatric units without drugs, I eventually gave up on it and withdrew into private practice in Ottawa, where the health service paid for psychotherapy.
    There I found that treating seriously unwell psychiatric patients to be the most interesting, challenging and rewarding part of my career.
    There were many psychoanalysists in town, but since they had little interest in treating the severely ill or disturbed people this gave me opportunity to earn a living for my family, and see if a scientific, analytic approach to cracking the code of mental illness was possible.
    Perhaps my most difficult patient was a woman who had been damaging herself with suicide attempts for many years. She’d had frequent hospitalizations, courses of ECT and drugs, but was still virtually unmanageable on inpatient university wards.
    For some reason she came to see me 5 times a week. She talked but I found her difficult to understand. One day she pulled out a butane lighter and sizzled her forearm, which already was heavily scarred. I had to struggle to stop this without ending the therapy, as another psychoanalyst had done.
    She did stop but did make serious suicidal attempts. The hospital she occasionally went to considered her brain damaged, and I remember, though I’m not religious, thinking it would take a miracle to save her.
    But then something amazing happened!
    She must have mentioned that she had had a difficult birth and had spent some time in an incubator. I already knew that she had developed a deadly, but managible, disease as a young child.
    It suddenly occurred to me that she probably had received very little nurturing as a young child and what she was doing was attempting to silence/kill the screaming, deprived infant in her.
    This certainly surprised her, but in a few days we began to work together to see what we could do for this abandoned inner self.
    I knew that Dr Winnicott had given some patients tea, as well as kindness and understanding, and a close relative of mine had had severe maternal deprivation, so I suggested that I give the patient a baby’s bottle of milk during sessions.
    She readily agreed, and we did this for a couple of years until she weaned herself. She also developed a very positive relationship with my wife, who was a senior therapeutic community nurse when we married, and who breastfed all our children. My wife had accompanied me on midnight home visits when the patient had learned to call for help instead of attacking herself.
    She became a wonderful person who enjoyed helping others, as well as herself.
    This reinforced my ability to help chronically impaired people by helping them to understand and work through what they had endured.
    Ordinarily we mammals die without adequate maternal care, but now we can keep babies alive through other means, but often with severe emotional damage.
    I found this can apply to people diagnosed with labels such as paranoid schizophrenia, OCD, clinical depression etc.
    Unfortunately when I did presentations of our work to the psychiatric and psychoanalytic associations I belonged to they weren’t interested. They seemed to want to continue to think of severe mental disorders as biological and genetic, despite the failure to prove this.
    I note that Nobel prizes have been given for physical treatments like lobotomy, rather than for psychological or spiritual approaches.
    I suppose this is understandable since we have made such amazing progress in the physical world since we escaped from the religious, spiritual one.
    Thank you for talking about Matt Stevenson, which inspired me to write this.
    Edward Arthur Childe BSc MD

    schizophrenia

  28. Thank you, Thank You, Thank you, for sharing your amazing experience in discovering incredible effectiveness in ‘facilitating others’ to explore and discover more useful options in making sense of their relationship, with self, life, and emotions that logically often come with the quality of dialogue one has adopted in order to make sense of themselves.

  29. So sad, as he is another in the age group of 21-35 which is dying at unprecedented rates today, whether through suicide or drug overdose. Interesting that the young woman who started Project Semi-colon, Amy Bleuel, also took her life.

    If he was told that Borderline Personality Disorder is permanent, he certainly wasn’t connected to the right literature about it. BPD is certainly a condition that can be treated and outgrown. It is often outgrown without intervention. I’ve read numerous books on the subject. BPD not primarily genetic, and so I’m wondering if it was an inaccurate diagnosis. Marsha Lenahan, who invented Dialectical Behavior Therapy, dropped a bombshell a few years ago which she admitted that she was a Borderline when first hospitalized with a psychiatric issue. (The diagnosis Many or even most teens act like they have BPD at some time or another. So do drug users. I have a friend who definitely fits the criteria for BPD and she grew up in London in an orphanage (both parents died of cancer by the time she was 8, as they had lived through the ceaseless bombings in World War 2). Certainly her BPD is an adaption to all the trauma, not getting the love she needed as a child.

    We need to look at societal factors, not just blaming it all on psychiatry. There is so much pain out their today and it’s getting worse, not better. I found as a young adult many things are very surprising and that life is so very different from what you think and expect, which contributes to anguish. Think of all those who came to age as the economy collapsed.

    • With all due respect Jedlsfs, although you hit the nail on part of the head, consider that when stating,

      “We need to look at societal factors, not just blaming it all on psychiatry”

      … this is indeed a problem, but not in the way you position it. It is more accurate to say that, psychiatry is blaming the brain when it should be pointing the finger of causality on social issues.

      Psychiatry’s slight of hand (scam) is in taking all social realities (poverty, violence, drug abuse, real medical illness (medical mimic) and underhandedly morphing them into “mental illness’s”. They have cornered the market on real problems for profit and are to blame for force streaming every problem of living, into a brain disease and positioned themselves as the only solution and forcing everyone into the “mental health” system, where all they do is mislabel, mistreat (the answer to poverty, crime and real medical illness, is not neurotoxic drugs.) They turn people into the problem.

      Social problems belong with sociologists who study the Social Determinants of Health, which has little to nothing to do with access to Allopathic sick care.

      If you go to FB group Drop the Disorder you will note most of the professionals there have debunked the fraud of BPD. The DSM5 (for the nothing its worth) was going to scrap “personality disorders” in this addition but did not, this leaving countless people to become victims of this stigmatizing, discriminatory and harmful label -most of whom, as you note, are actually victims of CSA.

      The NIMH withdrew all funding for the DSM5 owing to its lack of scientific credibility; it could never withstand a junk science litigation. By law misdiagnosis, is medical malpractice and filing a claim in order to get someone (help) into the system or get yourself paid, is insurance fraud. All DSM dx’s are a medical scam. Two (2) important legal actions, both against the same shrink, recently came out in Canada. Hopefully this starts a trend that will eventually shut this mass fraud against the public health and safety down and the money wasted on ‘mental health” can be spent on the things that build health (SDOH) to the betterment, vrs the detriment of society. Best

      • Don’t waste your breath Judi. These folks claim they want to show both sides and arrive at a compromise. But it’s really the same old, “Do it our way or we will force you and make it hurt worse.” I see someone is making a nasty accusation that “mentally ill” people will hurt family members without “treatment.” Disgusting! I’ve known lots of folks doped up on Rx drugs through the years and not one of them was a more conscientious person when on the drugs. Most became numb and lacked empathy as a result.

        • I hear you YetAnotherAccount. This fear mongering is indeed one tactic used to justify force “treatment” (which has nothing to do with “medicine” and is nothing but state control).
          There is however compelling evidence that the drugs do cause violence and self harm. When we put those facts out there, they are twisted and spun to be used against us and justify more ill treatment. The arguements from our side are valid but when the intent is to profit at any cost (including human lives) any tactic to maintain control over that money and power will continue to be employed against the public health and safety.

    • I thought the whole point of a personality disorder designation was that it was not a supposed illness “like any other”, but more about behavioural and characterological problems?

      Like all classifications (pretty much all nouns really) the nittygritty is arbitrary, and a little bit slippery, but there are remarkable similarities in problems from person to person that end up with the borderline label — mostly women although I’m given to understand it’s as prevalent in men as it is in women.

      Some people rejoice in the designation, others are reviled by it. But it can’t be hidden, surely? How can the intensities be hidden in the real world? I expect in the world of work for some people that is possible, given that masks are available and rewards and punishments tend to be absolute.

      I think if you can overcome the difficulties there should be no need to be concerned about a label given to previous behaviours and thinking styles. What does it matter to someone recovered?

      I’ve found the death of Matt Stevenson deeply troubling. It’s bought into focus some real concerns I have with notions of recovery, online personas, and the expectations of certain narrative styles, antipsychiatry dogma and closer to home, my partner’s struggles to obtain help in a system that is not inclined to provide it.

      I think by and large people do grow into new skins. But the role of ECT in that process is rarely mentioned. It came as a shock to me (‘scuse the pun) that Marsha Linehan had been repeatedly zapped. Why do people so often play down the role of ECT in their “recovery stories”?

      Not that I would advocate ECT. But then if it did bring about radical personality change, for the better, is it an entirely indefensible approach?

      There are lots of survivors of lightning strikes that have also undergone radical and positive personality change.

      I don’t know what to make of it all as things stand.

      • My uncle fell off of a roof (carpenter) and fell on cement below. Because of traumatic brain injury he is a different person. Unfortunately he’s nasty and hateful, but he’s easier to control in some ways since he can’t think straight.

        Maybe shrinks should consider dropping people on their heads over cement blocks as a treatment. It certainly changed my uncle’s personality.

        • Thanks for the rhetoric. Amusing.

          Marsha Linehan didn’t have an industrial accident. She had ECT. I can appreciate why some might configure ECT as some kind of blind-eyed industrial accident, but even still, that isn’t what I was getting at.

          What I was getting at is that Marsha Linehan — like a number of others — appears to play down the role of ECT in her personal transformation. To go from a person severely emotionally dysregulated and suicidal to someone conceptualising and then offering to the world a therapeutic approach to emotional dysregulation and suicidality is quite a leap. Of that there is no doubt.

          ECT is a risk. A very significant risk. But to remain as an emotionally dysregulated and suicidal person is also a risk. People should be free to choose the risks they wish to take, if, at the end of it, there is promise of a life-saving change.

          I’m not sure if she elected to have ECT or it was forced upon her, but in any case, it must have played an essential role in her “recovery”, because she didn’t, like your unfortunate uncle, become a nasty and hateful person because of it.

          • Just to add that Marsha Linehan didn’t overcome her problems through embarking on a course of DBT. She emphasises instead that it was the search for DBT that led to her emancipation.

            In her narrative the ECT she endured played a very minor role.

            How can ECT play a minor role?

          • ECT from my own ‘in house’ observation of over 6 months in the ’60’s and from personal intervention with crazed and ignorant hospital psychiatrists in defending others, is used because of an inability to chemically lobotomize some people, and was dreamt up to replace physical lobotomies, (which were outlawed) because ignorant psychiatry mistakenly continues to obsess that those who display evidence of distress or emotional trauma, are irrevocably brain damaged, or diseased, and the habit of distressfulness, unresolveable. ECT role? is simply a convenient tool to attempt to lobotomize, and vegetabalize ones so believed ‘diseased brain.

            Its EFFECTIVENESS in doing so varies simply because everyone is unique, Some can withstand the trauma, where or how it is directed, +intensity, as to what to incapacitate in ones brain. Some like Lineham somehow manage to escape being totally emotionally crippled, and manage, some more than others to get along with their brain crippled to some extent.

            I believe Lineham would elaborate, ect played a minor ‘therapeutic’ role, and considers herself fortunate and lucky, to have been able to survive with her brain relatively undamaged and resilient enough to still operate, as well as it seems to.

          • Unlike my uncle, a minority–maybe 10%–of TBI cases do become sweeter, nicer people. Like Harrison Ford’s character in Regarding Henry.

            There have even been a very few cases of people diagnosed as “schizophrenic” who suffered severe accidental burns or injuries, like spilling boiling water down their fronts. Immediately afterwards they returned to sanity.

            I believe Glassner and Szazs might have something interesting to say about those cases.

            Dumping boiling water down someone you think is “psychotic” looks not only cruel but unprofessional.With ECT it’s easier to pretend it’s harmless and painless. And it’s a freak thing. Besides, even if it worked, psychiatrists don’t really want a cure (mostly) since life long treatments are more lucrative.

      • “I thought the whole point of a personality disorder designation was that it was not a supposed illness “like any other”, but more about behavioural and characterological problems?

        Like all classifications (pretty much all nouns really) the nittygritty is arbitrary, and a little bit slippery, but there are remarkable similarities in problems from person to person that end up with the borderline label — mostly women although I’m given to understand it’s as prevalent in men as it is in women.

        Some people rejoice in the designation, others are reviled by it. But it can’t be hidden, surely? How can the intensities be hidden in the real world? I expect in the world of work for some people that is possible, given that masks are available and rewards and punishments tend to be absolute.

        I think if you can overcome the difficulties there should be no need to be concerned about a label given to previous behaviours and thinking styles. What does it matter to someone recovered?”

        Of course not. Are problems of character medical problems now? Why should it not matter to a person if their truth has been obfuscated away in a defamatory manner by a DSM label? So what if they have “recovered” (whatever that is in a person’s life)? Ever seen how such labels are misused in the social sphere, courts of law, marriages etc? Know how easily they are weaponisable and used to obfuscate the truth away?

        So what if there are similarities in people with that label? There are similarities in people I designate as assholes as well.

        • Yes, I am aware of those issues. And I am aware of the pitfalls of lumping people together.

          On the other hand, life depends on a convenient shorthand, and psychiatric nouns serve that purpose. All nouns do.

          You seem to be implying that being defamed is unacceptable (by being designated an objective psychiatric label), yet acceptable if it is *you* doing the defaming (by designating others as “assholes” based on your subjective judgement).

          Nouns are mis-used, discrimination is rife. Emotional dysregulation and suicidality are serious and significant problems that left to their own devices will cause untold grief and strife.

          Acceptance is perhaps the only significant bridge to cross. It seems to me that a number of “recovered” individuals downplay their problems or downplay some of the medical treatments that have helped their problems. I could be right. I could be wrong. Increasingly, it’s the pictiure that’s forming for me.

          Problem therein is the balance of risk, and the courage to take those risks.

          Perhaps everyone plays theatrics with their personal narratives, especially if it’s a hero narrative that has become the mainstay of their career or career aspirations.

          • Being called an asshole is not considered a medical diagnosis. It is not going to appear somewhere in a medical or court record unless in the context of “he called him/her an asshole”. It is not going to appear in a news clip on TV where some crackpot does something ludicrous and the newsreader reads “he was a schizophrenic and bipolar too”.

            Also, it was an analogy. I could have easily written, with the same meaning, “there is a similarity among people one designates as assholes”. I could not have used the word “asshole” at all. Instead I could have written “wonderful people” and it would work the same.

            Acceptance of situations one considers unacceptable
            is the bedrock of the struggle to survive.

            Some aspects of what is considered to be treatment may have helped a few. It is the aspects that have hurt them as much or more, or unjust occurrences that result in people landing here.

            You seem to be extremely perturbed by this death. But were you as perturbed about the man’s life? When someone dies it becomes about “he could have been helped etc.” but when one is living things just go on as they are.

          • Isn’t it depreciative to refer to people as being this or that diagnosis? What if we were to honor and respect them simply as human be-ings? not dismissively as ‘being’ their symptoms? Individuals, that for their sense of reason, simply involve themselves, ‘doing’ symptoms that could be referred to as schizophrenic, bi-polarish, paranoidally. in otherwords not AS Schizophrenics etc, but simply DOING schizophrenia? referring and respecting, accepting them more as people, and less this or that form of emotional distress, or behavior?

          • The study which Matt read and felt hopeless over is not something which many of us here have not felt. One just has to go to the heavily pro-psychiatry sites and read the junk people write there, with all the jargon, intellectualisation, stats and debates. It is enough to make anyone who has practically (and not by reading journal papers and science blogs) been through what psychiatry (and the social and psychological consequences of it), with the best of intentions behind it, does to someone, go into a depression and create a sense of artificial disability out of fear, even if they are not actually like that.

          • Registered — I hear you. It is of course much safer (and certainly less offensive) to be called an asshole than to be “diagnosed” as a “BPD,” although both are nothing more than slurs. The latter is more dangerous as it assumes the pretense of a medical determination rather than a form of hate speech.

  30. Please remember that some people actually want treatment, and that the DSM is used mainly for insurance purposes, not that insurance companies should make the determination. People really should be more careful about writing off all psychiatry and psychiatrists as evil. Some of them really want to help people. To claim Psychiatry is all a massive fraud is unproductive. That it’s methods are very flawed and tentative should be exposed. However, some of the people who are making “wrong” diagnosis are actually well-meaning. loving people. We want a system that provides the most good for highest number of people, including family members who may be affected by a person’s behavior if it’s harmful to them or others. I have met people who trust and believe their medication or treatment works. These people should not be disregarded. Bruce Springsteen is one of those people, as he explains in his biography, “Born to Run.” But more I fear the extreme charges against psychiatrists will put too many people on the defensive, and we’ll be as ineffectual at changing things as we are with changing gun laws.

    • So what’s the problem with gun laws? Oh, you mean the way nonviolent psychiatric survivors face unfair discrimination when they try to buy weapons to defend themselves? I totally agree.

      Sorry to hear that about Bruce, how disheartening. Probably took a lot of the edge off his writing; we may never hear what might have been his best stuff.

      If psychiatry is a massive fraud, using standard dictionary definitions, why should people call it something else just to avoid offending the ignorant?

        • Nobody’s trying to take away her darn drugs! As far as I’m concerned if Bruce Springstein, Carrie Fisher, and Patty Duke want to belong to the Church of Psychiatry they have that option. Tom Cruiz and Kristy Alley swear by the Church of Scientology. Funny how Jewels says we MUST listen to Bruce Springstein’s ravings in praise of psychiatry but Tom Cruiz is an idiot and cult member. Hey Scientology makes him feel good! How is that different from devotees of Psychiatry who say, “Prozac saved my soul!” in tones of reverential awe.

      • Exactly Oldhead, why are we forced to pussy foot around the ignorant? Killing human beings with impunity and drugging children for fake diseases is so beyond offensive
        and we are held to the standard of not offending those who defend the guilty. The level of protectionism around these illegal acts is so offensive there are no apt words to describe how vile it is. I know these people are allowed to be here, but to me its offensive to allow them space here, when they have so many in which to high five each other for getting away with murder, in. Why don’t they go there? Why they are here, why not be with those who think like you instead of coming here and pushing their mass ignorance in our faces? They have to be getting something out of it. I wish I was allowed the freedom to say what I really feel about it, but I am not. It makes me physically sick to my stomach.

      • Yes Bruce is completely into the idea that he was depressed because his brain chemistry was stuffed up.. its a working class thing that someone cleverer must know the truth..shame on him
        I have not listened to a single track of his since then and Carrie Fisher an apologist for the drug industry her stupid brother made a huge prozac pill to carry at her funeral really he has missed the point the drugs killed her you moron and the diabetes and heart disease and maternal abuse by a mother who solicited her out at an early age

    • I totally support people’s rights to chose psych meds as long as they are making a fully informed choice. Unfortunately, that rarely happens with any med that is prescribed.

      My former psychiatrist was very well-intentioned and caring. But the issue is meds were prescribed that destroyed my life and caused permanent damage. Going on psych meds was the worst decision I made in my life.

      • Exactly. How can a drug company educated Psychiatrist possibly facilitate informing fully, adequately, truly effective therapeutic options for their clients, who misguidedly look to them as being God like experts on how to be healthy, well, emotionally?

        Introducingly sharing Bonnie’s continued contributions:
        “For people concerned about the horror of psychiatry and especially people concerned about the horror of electroshock, please know that an anti-ECT campaign is just kick-starting. And those of us involved could use help. If you know of anyone who has had electroshock in Canada over the last 2 years, and is interested in getting involved in a class action suit, please encourage them to get in touch with me. Also, when it comes out in a few weeks, please read my novel The Other Mrs Smith, that centres on ECT, and blog about it, write reviews about it, and bring it to other people’s attention. (I’ll let you know just as soon as it is out, which will be before the end of the month.) If in the Toronto area, you might also want to come to the book launch (Nov 3, 12th Floor OISE, 252 Bloor West, Toronto, 5:30). Please see amended flyer attached.” https://scontent.fykz1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/22221519_10159490311810444_7965703160791676408_n.jpg?oh=7271c43b764e92fee4315c3a57f89d1b&oe=5A44C956

      • Bradford, love your upstanding style.
        Before others jump on you, or take you to task, (regarding your opening reminder,) some will probably ignore you clearly emphasising ‘SOME’.

        Facts, (as beliefs i embrace are), with respect towards ones independnce/freedom/responsibility of thought, People do, behave as they do, simply and logically in sync with their choice and quality of ‘dialogue’/beliefs, freely held…. and examine, discern or not, whether or not their operative beliefs actually serve or not, towards drawing the quality of experience to themselves they are wanting, or not.

        The part of the dynamic that is problematic, is the propensity of believing others, such as psychiatrists, educated with drug co. money, know how better, or anything of what its like to be their client, walk in their shoes, or even taught to care, or take interest in or respect.

      • Whats going on now?
        Of all the quality of engagement and often disrespectful attitude i’ve witnessed? What was so troubling that required ‘removing for moderation’ from Bradford?

        I’d like to suggest therapeutic open dialogue, might best help, (me anyways,) appreciate, and possibly learn from.

        • Hi Larry,

          The comment that was removed for moderation stated that some women want to be beaten or abused by their partners. Our posting guidelines prohibit sexist statements. Also, here at Mad in America we strive to be a safe space for all people. Many of our readers and commenters have experienced abuse and domestic violence. Comments that include victim-blaming statements may be re-traumatizing for people with such backgrounds.

          We ask that all further comments remain on the original topic of the article. If you have any further questions about comment moderation, you can email me at [email protected].

          Best regards,

          Emily Cutler
          Community Moderator

          • Thank you for expanding on and sharing the concern for others possibly still making up their relationship dynamics, with experiencing shock, trauma, still not fully recovered.

            Indeed, I agree how different people engage, relate with others, or their beliefs, was possibly getting away from the intended focus of, or perhaps purpose of this thread.

            It was reaching perhaps, to attempt to expand reflectively, compassionately, towards facilitating understanding, accepting more responsibility of ourselves, what it is to be human, and free as to the beliefs we create, and use, upon which we experience the beliefs and behave as one does, and the responsibility that includes, without some reacting as if such understanding, acceptance, is in some way blaming others, rather than simply accepting, understanding, and respecting ourselves, and these gifts. Hugs, smiles, and gratitude.

    • I don’t ‘buy’ people want ‘treatment’ so much as they want to know, learn, how to not be experiencing distress, confusion, fear, resultant anger, violent behavior impulses or sense of hopelessness, ‘disempowerment’, and instead be more authentically healthy,
      happy, and self empowered.

      Questions, (exploring) can lead to discovery of a greater sense of ones inner wisdom, and self empowerment. Not referring to questions loaded with judgement, but simple questions, to oneself, in getting clear, focused, and in touch with a healthier happier relationship
      with self and lifes stimulus.

      I for me, like to think of myself, and remain focused intentionally,
      on being such a facilitator. Smiles and hugs.

      (This, and from my personal educational experience, is what motivates me to administer the numerous pro-active forums I do, focused on this attitudinal committment) If anyone wants a list, or invite, they are welcomed to pm me on FB

    • Your missing the point, which is that all the dx’s are a fraud and people’s health and lives are being put at risk because they are conned without informed consent into using dangerous drugs they do not need. These antidotial claims that drugs are “saving people’s lives” are unfounded and can be put down to placebo effects, none of which are protective of brain, liver, kidney and other inevitable damage.
      The scientific consensus shows they are more harmful than beneficial.
      Without psychiatric fraud, people would have to build skills to overcome the challenges they face rather than relying on drugs to cope. Society could put the money to better use in building communities where people are not so vulnerable that they don’t have any choice but to turn to a system of social control that functions under the guise of being “medicine.” Of the many things that shock me about your declarations, is that you clearly have either failed to read any of the articles posted here at MIA or you completely disagree with almost everything that is exposed here. It’s a real head scratcher. Good luck to you, you’ll need it. And really, I am not interested in your comments so please don’t reply to me, I’m done reading anything you have to say.

      • Anyone have any idea who Judi is referring to,
        making such a fuss about?

        Most certainly not me. Everything i write, here, and in the forums i administer is towards facilitating awareness, and respect towards individuals, and that no Dr (or their belief, DX,) can presume to know precisely what its like to walk in their clients shoes, or experience what they do,…. all they can do is guess. Also,to presume to know the extent of anothers familiarity with Matt? his life and works??? wow, such presumptive arrogance, Clearly not ranting about me. Sigh

        • I believe Judi is incensed at Jewelsfs’ comment. What made me angry was Jewelsfs insinuation that the “mentally ill” were a menace to their family members.

          My parents have never accused me of threatening others. They drink psychiatry’s kool-aid, but they don’t seem to know what they fear will happen if I go off my “meds.” Maybe they imagine I’ll go catatonic, talk to the giant bunny only I can see, or my head will just explode. Since “mental illness” kills people, spontaneously exploding heads is as legitimate a worry as any.

          • thanks for attempting to clarify for Judi,
            I didn’t get, or make up Jewelsfs insinuated
            that ‘everyone’ into emotional distress,
            WAS automatically a menace to their family members
            It is possible though is it not, for ‘some’?

            Regarding her suggesting more simple charity regarding those choosing to ‘practice’ ‘psychiatry’ ???
            “Some of them really want to help people.
            To claim Psychiatry is all a massive fraud is unproductive. That it’s methods are very flawed and tentative should be exposed. However, some of the people who are making “wrong” diagnosis are actually well-meaning. loving people.” … I for me don’t choose to use to flame her, but thats just me being me, from all my experiences, and of growing, being exposed to the ignorances of mainstream psychiatry.

            Gratitude can be quite useful sometimes?
            (not obligatory, naturally… however looking for silver linings, or value? even when covered in ‘shit’) …can often serve to grow something other than distressfulness, anger, discontentedness perhaps?)

            ps I’m not about ‘pushing anything’ simply more towards facilitating reflection, possibly discovering, only, and respectully, if one wants, easier ways to swim the river, than against the current. hugs and love.

          • Forgiveness, yes. My religion teaches that.

            But if someone does me harm I’m not obliged to be grateful!

            And if you push the viewpoint that “mentally ill” are depraved and dangerous, or are “possibly” so, you will find a lot of angry comments as well.

    • And as I turned 18 it wasn’t relevant how well meaning the “psych doctor” was , as he could probably decide how intense the voltage and for sure how long to apply it to my brain , 15 times every other day against my will. Although feeling continuously terrorized , held against my will all that time , what I felt during the 14th electrical brain shocking , was a pain for 5 seconds that seemed endless and was like an atomic bomb going off in the center of my brain outwards and the brightness of the explosion extending to outside my skull . I told them about the pain and please no more of this . They told me there was no pain and casually continued in their ” profession “. And I should be more careful about writing off psychiatry and psychiatrists as evil because , if what I said here is not enough to make them all renounce psychiatry, then nothing ever will . And I haven’t even scratched the surface in telling of the crimes against humanity they’ve committed against me, let alone the countless millions or billions of others that so far have not seen any semblance of justice for the torture and terror they had to , and too many still have to , endure .

      • You capture well that slice of the torture you endured Fred. I am so sorry they did this to you and would not stop.
        Claims of “well-meaning” and “loving” people doing what they do to others is so insensitive, that to my mind, can only be being written by a shrink trying to justify the money for nothing abuse they collectively inflict on innocent suffering beings.
        I hope it does not traumatize you further. It absolutely sickens me to my core. The goal of this kind of moking torment is to prop up a dirty dying industry and as such deserves nothing from us, not a second of our time. Of course defend yourself if that feels right, but we’re talking to a wall, incapable of caring about the dead, disabled, addicted and lied to victims.

        • Sorry to bother to ask you to clarify who specifically you are ragging on so obsessedly Judi. The more you specify such things as “this persons only goal is to prop up a dirty dying industry and as such deserves nothing from us” clarifies thankfully your not carrying on about me.
          I do sometimes encounter people who pretend to know and prejudge me as something quite removed from what I am. All the best.

  31. The range of comments here shows how complex this situation is. I didn’t know Matt but I still feel grief for the pain he suffered and the loss of a person with so much promise.

    I have also been terribly damaged by the mental health system. But I have also been terrible damaged by doctors in other specialties and the scams perpetrated by those specialties. It is not just psychiatry!

    Do you want specifics? I have 2 hips. I’ve had SIX total hip replacement/revision surgeries with another one coming up because I’m being poisoned by toxic levels of cobalt now. My very first prosthesis was “recalled”. I’ve had 4 hip dislocations because of subsequent defective prostheses. I’m not the only one. Orthopedic surgeons and the medical device industry make huge amounts of money by deceiving people. It is no different from psychiatry’s scams.

    This is a societal issue and it is getting worse. Focusing on one slice of the problem detracts from the real issue we need to address.

      • Could not agree more. “Ignorant prentiousness” seems perhaps an common observable condition of not only those that professionalize practicing ‘doctoring’, yet never quite getting how to be effective in facilitating embracing emotional maturity? Hugs, and sighs (at me,) smiling acceptingly at my ineptitude of not being able to satisfy everyones belief in their need to react discreditingly, in pretending to know me.

    • Maradel, I could not agree with you more. As a victim of medical malpractice, I feel for your situation. If I can figure out how to start a new thread here, I will post possible solutions. I follow other medical malpractice victims and the system is a disater beyond description. I have brought a great deal of psych fraud into other medical malpractice survivor groups and tried to bring information about rampanent misdiagnosis and mistreatment in all “medicine” to light in psych survivor groups. Other victims are more likely to get it than psych survivors who have to fight so much stigma as well. Interestingly when I ask other med mal survivors (thyroid, any autoimmune disease, fibro, Lyme, abused women, ect) if they were psychiatized before they were properly dx’ed a lot of them admit to being labeled with conversion (all in your head) disorders and drugged. This impedes their ability to get medical services and makes their pre-existing conditions worse. Some remain under the false belief that they remain “mentally ill”. Psychiatry has its hand in everyones pocket and puts its mark on countless lives. I will not go into this further here, but suffice it to say that you make a critical point and if we were to join with other med mal victims, this movement would really start to grow. Thank you

    • Great point! My quack of a GP tried to get me to take metformin. I do not have diabetes.

      Dr. Quackenbush’s rationale was that I needed to go from 350 pounds to 120 pounds in no time flat. Never been that thin since puberty. He claimed metformin would help me lose weight.

      Maybe the Big Pharma Cartel folks promised him a vacation for two in the Bahamas if he wrote X prescriptions of this drug.

  32. And yet psychiatry remains as pure 100% unadulterated bullshit.
    Even though psychiatry has nothing to do with health
    more people would benefit in regard to freedom if we all joined the main health freedom movement which eventually could grow into massive demonstrations demanding freedom in our own choices free of all coercion with the freedom to reject pseudo science whenever and in whatever field the oligarchs are financing and inserting it in .
    FREEDOM MUST BE TAKEN , ANTI-PSYCHIATRY TO THE CORE, REBEL THE CARTEL .

  33. https://nationalhealthfreedom.org-freedom-congress/health-freedom-congress/
    At the above link don’t miss reading the International Declaration of Health Freedom which can be found by scrolling down to the year 2006. It’s wonderful ! (Even though psychiatry has nothing whatsoever to do with health except stealing it , the Health freedom movement has the potential to provide some freedom for psychiatry’s victims (in light of all the multi generational brainwashing that’s transpired)as well as allopathic medicines victims : past, present, and future. If enough people support it, that is.

  34. I was just thinking how much Matt would have likely appreciated all the discussions and debates that have resulted from this post and the other posts written in honor of his memory. I hope that the ‘celebration of his life’ service yesterday provided lots of comfort and meaning to his loved ones. Rest in peace, Matt, you gave so much positive energy to this world.

  35. Is there glitch here?
    I’m getting the message my attempt to edit,
    punctution or spelling, is “SPAM’ ???
    or is my caring to respond respectfully,
    towards clarifying Judi’s misinterpretions,
    and her seeming need to speak for
    or represent others, also SPAM?
    Oh, t/u i see the post addressed publically to me has been removed,
    t/u much better, yes.

    • ‘With him,’ yes. Attentively coaching and stimulating him,
      specifically to realize, celebrate, OWN, his FREEDOM,
      more effectively for himself.

      How oftenly we only are shocked and awoken, too late,
      by clearly habits and behavior of continuing to give ones power, focus,
      to what others might believe, rather than remaining true to honoring,
      respecting the gift we have. Authentic love…. of self, life.

      • Larry, I tried to read thru this entire thread yesterday after I got back from vacation. And if I remember correctly, you were espousing the idea of ’embracing one’s freedom.’ As much as that sounds like a wonderful concept that I heard all my life growing up on the right side of the political and religious spectrum…it didn’t really hold water once I began helping my wife heal from the severe trauma she suffered as a child which resulted in her developing d.i.d. That trauma becomes so ingrained in people that it becomes nearly impossible for them to see any kind of freedom without MASSIVE amounts of help…which I have been providing to my wife as I slowly ‘reprogram’ her mind/thoughts to move from the trauma paradigm she grew up with to a healthy paradigm that truly does allow her to ‘celebrate her freedom’ as you espouse. I had to learn how to help my wife do this while unlearning so much that I thought I knew most of my life. That is the kind of help Matt would have needed to overcome the suicidal thoughts, but I understand most people don’t know how to give that level of help: I certainly didn’t until I was forced to learn it in order to help my wife…but I didn’t really want to come onto this thread for Matt and use his death to push my ‘great idea’, but that’s what I had in mind with my simple statement…
        Sam

        • Thank you for speaking to the notion of Freedom i might refer to from time to time. For me we tend to think of ourselves as either Free, or Victimized, limited… and either choice, we might believe in, is i accept not right or wrong, but providing different quality of experience and behavior. Wonderful your wife spurred you to explore discover, learn what perhaps you were both brought together to learn, together?