Ten Hospitalizations in Three Years


Hi. I’m a 25-year-old newlywed woman. I’ve been detained in mental hospitals ten times in the past three years and I survived two suicide attempts. Before I was 22, I had no mental health issues.

The first time I was in a mental hospital, I put myself there. I wanted to kill myself, but I didn’t want to kill my niece’s aunt. So, I put down the shotgun and picked up a phone.

The suicide hotline referred me to Seven Hills Hospital in Las Vegas, NV. I agreed to bring myself in for a consultation. I didn’t know then that had I refused to come in for the consult, there was a good chance the police would be sent to my house.

My main memory of the hospitalization was crying. A lot. Constantly. Now, I’ve become emotionless. I can’t imagine caring about something so much it would make me cry.

Now, I have almost nothing left to care about.

At the time, my forehead was swollen with acne. It was so intense it felt like a third-degree burn. That’s what happens when you’re only able to sleep a couple of times a week.

I found the other patients more relatable than any peer group I had ever been a part of. One of my closest friends was a young overweight man in a wheelchair. Eventually I asked why he was in the wheelchair. He was currently hallucinating so badly that he couldn’t stand. He told me he was schizophrenic, and I was fascinated.

“What’s it like?” I asked.

“I wish I could explain,” he responded.

“Well, what kind of things do you hallucinate?”

“You see that wall behind you?”

I looked over my shoulder.

He said, “It’s melting.”

Then he asked, “Why are you here?”

“I’m suicidal.”

We had the freedom to say anything we wanted. Thanks to HIPAA laws, it was illegal for us to reveal the identity of anyone we had met there. I only got therapy talking to the other patients, I did not receive any meaningful therapy from the hospital. Even though I got therapy from some patients, other patients were dangerous for me to talk to. They would trick me, for amusement, into further believing in my delusions, for example.

I wasn’t embarrassed during that hospitalization: almost everyone was in the same boat. I wasn’t afraid of losing my reputation. I could finally just speak.

My friend understandably opted not to ask why I was suicidal and changed the subject.

“What do you do?”

“I own a business.”

“Wow, really?”

I nodded my head and looked down.

“How well does it do?”

“I have five employees.”

He just stared at me for several seconds and smiled.

“What business?”

“I can’t say.”

“What do you do?”

“We manufacture patches for the police and stuff.”

“No way! Didn’t you say you were only 22?”


“What are you doing here? If I had a business, a way to make my own money, I wouldn’t be here.”

I felt ashamed. I had everything going for me. I had spent the last ten years of my life transforming from the destitute fat kid to a martial artist with impeccable health. I owned a house. I had a six-figure income.

But I knew exactly why I was there. The shame quickly melted into grief and I started crying again.

He didn’t say anything else. I cried all the time and he was used to it.

I received an incorrect perception of the mental hospital. I liked it and it was helping me — I didn’t realize how much it was hurting the people around me until much later.

I was diagnosed with psychotic depression. After five days, I finally felt stable enough to check myself out. I had never been there by force, as far as I knew.

When the psychiatrist prescribed me Zoloft, he did not warn me that it could cause a manic episode.

So my second hospitalization was a disaster.

There are two wards in a mental hospital: the psychotic ward (“upstairs”) and the suicidal/depressed ward (“downstairs”). My first time in a mental hospital we heard loud noises coming from the ceiling all the time.

I asked, “What is going on up there?”

They said, “Upstairs is for the truly crazy people.”

The second hospital was called Desert Parkway in Las Vegas. The rule about upstairs and downstairs was the same. I was upstairs. I would finally learn what it was really like.

Everything was different.

No one was there by choice (including me). Most had been brought in by the police (some even facing charges). A couple people were forcibly committed by their family.

My mom had committed me because a month after my first hospitalization, my Zoloft dose was doubled and I was sent into an incredibly intense manic episode. I had driven from my brother’s place in Utah to my house in Las Vegas. I was convinced that God was talking to me through everyone and everything. That I was the next prophet of Mormonism. I sped with my hands off the wheel of my car, “trusting God to keep me safe.”

I also believed that demons were following me and inserting thoughts into people nearby. I thought they were forcing people to try and kill, hurt, or kidnap me. Since I was later kidnapped (not that anyone believes me) maybe it was true, on some level.

Psychiatry is atheistic. Which makes it incredibly difficult for religious people to navigate. You are told that everything you have ever believed in is delusional, not just the parts that are negatively affecting your life.

Well thank God he really was looking out and I didn’t die driving back.

The manic episode was my first and it was induced by Zoloft. The doctors knew I might be bipolar and if so, the Zoloft could cause this. But they had not warned me or my family.

If they had, my family would have easily seen the warning signs for an incoming manic episode and had me see a psychiatrist on the outside to be weaned off and get emergency therapy — before it got that bad.

But they didn’t inform us. They do that on purpose because they want people sick.

This time I was in the psychotic ward. Everyone there was enraged.

Many had been held there for over two weeks against their will. There were only three phones and 25-35 adults were fighting over them during the few hours of the day we had access to them. Because people there were losing pets, cars, houses, jobs, personal property, airplane flights, and more. And everyone NEEDED the phone.

The majority of the patients — correction, detainees — were substance abusers being detoxed against their will. All patients in mental hospitals truly are detainees. What I have seen in hospital after hospital (and in statistics too) is that roughly 75% of all patients in mental hospitals are substance abusers, with only a quarter of that 75% diagnosed with just a mood disorder. That leaves the other 25% completely at the substance abusers’ mercy.

For the most part, people don’t check themselves themselves in to hospitals. Substance abusers forced into treatment generally aren’t nice people. They can be sadistic, manipulative, and violent. That doesn’t mean they are worse people or that they don’t deserve treatment. However, their treatment should be separated from people with just mood disorders as they are incredibly vulnerable. These are the worst two groups of people to house together for weeks at a time.

Often, that 25% is turned into substance abusers upon release. I was offered illegal drugs by at least one patient during each hospitalization: cocaine, meth, heroin, and more. In one hospitalization, two of the patients became my friends. I told them I was a web designer and they tried to convince me to create a website to sell drugs on. When I am psychotic, I am so easy to manipulate. Fortunately I didn’t try any illegal substances, but I know many people ended up doing so. Which is why a quarter of the substance abusers have a mood disorder as well. I fully believe that the drug epidemic is mostly caused by mental institutions.

Group therapy largely consisted of alcohol and substance abuse discussions. I had no issues with addiction, but there wasn’t an alternative group to attend. These discussions were also aimed toward personality disorder therapy rather than therapy for psychosis (each should be approached in complete opposite ways).

My largest qualm: we weren’t allowed pens. Which is understandable. They provided tiny wooden golf pencils as an alternative at every hospital I ever went to. Even that I could consent to (I did not want a psychotic person there to stab me with a pen or a long pencil).

Sometimes there was a big box of assorted washable Crayola markets. However, most of the thin-tip markers had been taken and hidden in other patients’ rooms because there wasn’t enough for everyone. It’s pretty impossible to write or draw anything with the big fat broadline markers. Anyway, most of the dark colors like purple, brown and black were either dried up or missing.

So we had pencils. They refused to sharpen the pencils. So, we had no way to write or do art. In desperation I sometimes picked out pieces of lead from the pencil and sharpened them by rubbing their sides against paper, until the pencil was finally somewhat usable.

I desperately need to write and draw while manic, or I can’t sleep and will even start tearing my hair out. This could be easily remedied — they have specially designed bendy pens for prisoners. Apparently, prisons are better equipped to give detainees more comfort than the hospitals are. Which is unacceptable when you consider that the hospitals are paid thousands of dollars a day for you to be there.

Thousands of dollars and they can’t afford to give you a $5 pen.

We only got one hour of recreational therapy a day. Some days it was an hour in the art room, other days it was an hour in the gym. Aside from the gym we were in cramped hallways and a small dayroom. We couldn’t get physical activity for days at a time.

When I was able to work out, it was difficult. I didn’t have any shoes because my shoes had had laces in them. Some patients wore laceless shoes and the rest wore socks. I can’t walk or run much without shoes — without the arch support I get very bad shin splints. I also slipped and fell many times playing basketball or jogging in a small circle.

Why, when it costs thousands of dollars a day to stay there, can they not provide laceless shoes to patients who don’t have any? Some of the hospitals did do something: they gave us socks with rubber patches on the bottom. But I can’t imagine that cheap shoes cost much more money. Other patients often stepped on top of my feet on purpose, since they were wearing shoes and I wasn’t.

For all the hours of the day, I had nothing to do except sit in the dayroom watching TV (but never having a choice of what we watched), playing cards with insane people, talking to insane people, and walking up and down the hall.

I did want to read, but if our families brought in hardcover books, we wouldn’t get them. My family didn’t bring in any, anyway. I usually desperately wanted the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Most of the time, they didn’t have any (which is against the law).

Also, when I was admitted I was usually wearing something I wouldn’t be allowed to wear in the hospital. So, they would give me AWFUL clothing to wear. Once I was in a hospital gown that wraps around you three times. Usually it was scrubs. In one hospital it was nice, we got plain grey sweatpants, a shirt, and a matching grey hoodie.

However, in most hospitals there wasn’t enough underwear. They give you the cheapest, thinnest pair of grandma underwear ever, but they can’t afford to have enough? I was only given one or two pairs of underwear.

We did our own laundry, but they didn’t have enough machines, so we fought over that as well. With only one outfit and two pairs of underwear, I had to wash my clothes at least once every three days. Some people had the luxury of only having to wash their clothes every five days or even longer. Sometimes I would go several days without being able to snag a washing machine and smelling bad was another huge embarrassment in the ward.

Families were able to bring in outside clothes deemed safe by the hospital. Most patients wore them. My family wouldn’t do this. This would signify to the other patients that your family didn’t care about you (which usually meant you must be a bad person). In a hospital gown or cheap scrubs, it was even more embarrassing. It was also cold, sometimes difficult to hide your private parts, and left you easily attacked for the amusement of other patients.

A mental hospital is like a deranged dystopian high school.

You had to attend every single group. Your attendance was marked and if you didn’t attend group you were absent. Absence of more than one group a day meant that you “weren’t complying with treatment” and they could use it to justify keeping you longer to your insurance company. Groups were six hours a day.

The upstairs was chaotic, dangerous, and emotionally and physically violent. Sometimes people were yelling and throwing things. But these weren’t the most harmful moments.

Even during the quiet, “calm” times there was still constant emotional (and sometimes physical) abuse from other patients and staff. A psychotic person is in a fragile state: they are easily manipulated, paranoid and incredibly vulnerable to emotional attacks. They are forced to live in this state with criminals and drug addicts who are bored, very bored, and angry.

When my mom admitted me, I was so manic that I had no problem with it. I thought it was a test (I had to prove to God that I was submissive and positive or he would stop helping me and demons would kill me), and if I passed all of the tests the leader of the Mormon church would come get me and take me to my life of painting for them.

I baptized myself in an intake room with a styrofoam cup of water while my mom watched. I then did cartwheels in the hallway (I hadn’t done a cartwheel since I was like six years old). I had period blood running down my pants, which the entire ward saw when I was first brought in to change in my room.

For the first two days I was convinced that at any moment the leader of the Mormon church would walk into my room to collect me. Everyone would stop acting like they didn’t know I was the prophet. I just had to stay committed to the act.

I made up my own sign language and took a vow of silence.

That night I had a delusion that I was being possessed by an African slave. I hallucinated being on a slave ship, including banging my arm on the bed to create a song in unison with the other slaves slamming their hands.

They put me on “one on one” — this is when one of the nurse practitioners always sits near you and watches you. She sat outside the door to my room while I acted out these hallucinations.

Eventually I became convinced that God could hide me if I snuck out under a sheet. Then I could wait, invisible, at the locked door at the end of the hallway until someone opened it and I could escape.

Remember, this manic episode was entirely induced by a high prescription of Zoloft. I had never had a manic episode before.

When I ignored my one-on-one nurse’s demand to go back to my room, things changed. Two other nurses grabbed me and threw me into the “quiet room” which is a closet-sized room with a bed with restraints on it in the middle. I wasn’t tied down to the bed this time, but they left me locked in the room.

I continued to act out hallucinations, stand on top of the table, etc. Eventually they decided to give me a shot. They came in, held me down, pulled down my pants in front of three men, and administered a shot to my butt. I don’t remember much after that.

I woke up the next day feeling too sick to do, say, or think anything. They had taken me off a medication cold turkey and I was going through immediate withdrawals. I was not warned that I would be going through withdrawals.

I was so sick the room never stopped spinning, I vomited several times, and it felt like I had the flu. I did not know I was going through withdrawals, so I assumed the new medications they had put me on were making me that sick.

I refused to take my medication. Anthony the nurse warned me that he would give me another shot if I didn’t take it. I had no choice. I took it and I felt even worse.

I became so sick that I couldn’t get out of bed. Any movement hurt. I was freezing cold, but they didn’t have any more blankets. To make it even worse, my roommate was completely out of her mind and was up talking to people that weren’t there all night, walking around in circles and turning the lights on and off. I desperately needed to sleep but she wouldn’t let me.

My roommate was also violent. She had multiple personality disorder and was completely psychotic at all times. I was terrified she would kill me in my sleep and she threatened me verbally and physically all the time. She should have been in her own room, alone. I had seen it done at other hospitals.

The ward didn’t have one single open bed. They were doing a good job of turning a profit by being full all the time.

I went to the nurses’ station and asked if I could leave because it had been more than 72 hours. They said they needed my doctor’s approval and that they would ask him.

A few minutes later the practitioner came to my room and told me that because I had not been attending group, I was not participating in my treatment, and I couldn’t be considered for release until I started attending all of them. I was so sick that all I could do was lay in bed all day. I wouldn’t even go downstairs for meals. At first they brought them up to me, but eventually they said if I wanted to eat I had to go to the lunch room downstairs, or I would go hungry. I went hungry. I was barely eating anyways.

One of my delusions was traumatic: I became convinced that the medications were designed to make me so sick I couldn’t get out of bed. Then I wouldn’t be able to go to group, so they could tell my family and insurance company I wasn’t participating, so they could continue to give me poisonous medications, so that I couldn’t get up to go to groups… basically I thought I was in a program designed to keep me locked up for years while they milked my insurance for money.

It literally felt like the sickness would never end. For days I was convinced it wouldn’t. I thought I was going to die there — after years of torment.

After I was finally able to force myself out of bed, I started attending group. I remember how impossible it felt to sit in the chair. I was so sick I needed to lay down, but I had to get out of that hospital ASAP. So, I forced myself to go.

I had to listen to drug addicts and criminals tell stories hoping to win validation from their peers. This is one of the most boring, obnoxious discussions you can listen to. I had to do it for hours every day feeling so horribly ill.

That’s when I had to start socializing with the patients who had witnessed all my psychotic episodes for the past three days.

There were many incidents of major abuse from other patients and staff members during all of my hospitalizations.

For example:

An old fat man started hitting on me. I told the staff I was uncomfortable. They did nothing. He gave me a piece of paper with an email that said something like [email protected].

I brought it straight to staff and begged them to move him to the other psychotic ward or transfer me downstairs. No beds. They refused. He was friends with two women, who started to try and take my personal folders from me. My folder had my full name inside of it and a list of family members and their phone numbers.

I was incredibly paranoid they would take it from me. All day every day I had that folder in my hand or underneath it. I wasn’t allowed to take it to meals, so I had to slide it under my door where it would be locked away.

But in the daytime all the rooms were open, and I couldn’t safely leave it there. So instead I had to be incredibly paranoid about it all the time. Which this man’s friends exploited for fun. I was 23 years old at this point and these people were all in their 30’s to 60’s.

Once the man cornered me in a poorly designed wing (there was a group room that was open around a corner where the staff couldn’t see). He cornered me there and it was terrifying. Another 20-something man stepped in and got him to back off.

One woman told the twenty or so people I was forced to live closely with that I was a meth addict. She convinced everyone that all the delusions I came in with were my fault because I was a drug addict. Thus it was fine and fun to ridicule me. I had never done an illegal drug. All the emotional abuse was devastating. Later she punched me and another time she threw urine on me.

There were never any beds open downstairs, even if you were stable enough to be there. Near the end of all my forced hospital stays, I would finally be moved downstairs, and being in that environment would help me again. Like it helped me the first time. But at that point I was so tortured from captivity I just wanted out.

The 72-hour hold is a lie. The police or the family can demand a person be held for at least 72 hours — after that, the doctor can keep you for as long as they want or until you request to go to mental health court.

After you make the request it can take up to two weeks (and usually does) before your case is heard. If the mental health court doesn’t find you competent and you are court ordered to stay in the hospital, you lose many rights permanently, including the right to own firearms, or to not disclose your diagnosis to employers, etc.

So at first, you don’t want to go to court because the doctor says you just “need a few more days.” Why take the risk? You’ll be out of there before the court date anyway, right?

Then a week passes, and you start to panic — the doctor is finding all these tiny reasons to keep you, and now it seems the only way out is through court. From that point, you have to wait another two weeks.

This is how I met people in the hospital who had been detained there for over a month without any sort of hearing or appeal process.

After witnessing this happen consistently to hundreds of people, I know this is a fact. All the psychiatrists at the hospital care about is: Liability and Insurance. They do not care about your mental health. I have met over 12 different hospital psychiatrists and every single one of them were the same.

There are good psychiatrists in the world. None of them work in mental hospitals. They see what is going on, and they quit. And they do everything they can to keep their patients from ever going to one. I know this because I now have a good psychiatrist and he was appalled that I had been in so many hospitals in the past three years. He told me he was aware of how awful they were, and that we would work together to not let it happen again.

I had the same conversation with two other not-so-good psychiatrists. Even they agreed.

If you have good insurance, the hospital will use anything they can against you to prove to the insurance company that you need to be there. Health insurance is the true decider — if they think someone is at risk, they will opt to continue paying for the hospitalization. This is because if they refuse someone treatment and they hurt themselves or someone else, the insurance company can be held liable. Also, if they let go of someone prematurely, they think that person might get worse and need to return for a longer stay or make costly trips to the ER, etc.

The standards that insurance companies require to continue paying thousands of dollars a day for your bed are incredibly low for this reason.

HUGE TIP: If you find yourself or a loved one in a mental hospital when you shouldn’t be, call your insurance company and ask for your case manager. You will have a case and a case manager as soon as you are admitted to the hospital. This person is who really decides if you stay or go. You and your family will have a much easier time persuading this person rather than the doctor. No staff or patients at the hospital will tell you this. I figured it out myself, and it worked once. (Other times I couldn’t get anyone to give me the phone number to my insurance.)

The doctors know the game. Many hospitals are privately owned with the doctors earning a percentage. If all their beds are full all the time (which they are — every time I have gone in, they were at max capacity) they make a good profit that quarter. Profit = larger dividend. There is a clear conflict of interest.

Most hospital psychiatrists are purposely harming their patients to make money off their insurance. It’s like a doctor in the ICU prescribing the wrong medications on purpose to keep a person there just to make money off them. They do it, it hurts the person, and that ends up helping them make even more money later when the person relapses and must come back.

The hospital is not liable for letting a person leave early — the insurance company is. Which means that no one will be held responsible when an uninsured person walks out of a hospital and kills themselves. Which they often do since a person is 100-264 times more likely to kill themselves within one week of being released from a mental hospital.

No uninsured person stays for longer than three days. That kills people, too. The doctors say they are good to go because they can’t pay to stay.

It’s written in the law: If someone was held at least 72 hours the state/hospital did all that they were required to do.

However, if an insured person was forced to leave by their insurance when the doctors disagreed with the course of action, the insurance company will be held responsible. So, you must make a good case to your claim manager that you are stable and there is absolutely no need for you to be hospitalized anymore.

I did not know this for the first two years of hospitalizations and instead felt helplessly at the mercy of my “doctor.” This would lead me to later lose my health, my teeth, my house, all valuable possessions, my dog, my cat, and my family.

On top of that, my business has been completely ruined and will go bankrupt soon. Website traffic to my eCommerce store fell during and after my hospitalizations. I had to lay off four employees and now operate the business alone.

One miracle happened: I got married.

This is just what I experienced during my first two hospitalizations. I have eight more hospitalization stories to tell.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. “These people don’t have mental disorders, they have personality disorders. Which means they are manipulative, sadistic, dishonest, violent and emotional.”

    I just want it to be clear where I stopped reading. Shaming one group of patients by using the weaponized labels and definitions of psychiatric diagnoses against them while trying to gain sympathy for the “good” patients is victim blaming. It’s not okay when it comes from medicine and it’s not okay when it comes from survivors.

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    • I was going to call that out too BUT as an “alcoholic” I noticed that it was the usually addicts in rehab who were more often manipulative and dishonest.

      I finally learned that if someone came at me with the pre question “hey can I ask you a question?” the next questions always lead to borrowing money. One sack of crap tells me it’s his kids birthday next week and he needs money to buy a card… as he pulls a cigarette from an 8 dollar pack.

      These days if anyone starts with the line “can I ask you a question?” I immediately say no you can’t borrow money. And alot of them come with warning labels though, just look for neck tattoos.

      I agree lumping all addicts into a category is not right but I understand where that comment came from. Technically I am also an ‘addict’ . For a wile I loved that Adderal high and was badly dependent on benzos but I am not insulted.

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      • Cat, I am very interested in your comment about the Adderal high.
        When Ireturned to school I got a script from my GP. A relative had used it and it seemed to help andI did fit the categories.
        This is when the MH system got a hold of me. And now looking back probably was addicted. It was the beginning of the Cascade.
        So my question is should I do a2/ step program? I am off all drugs but still have things to work on.
        I know 12 step more from an Slanon CODA and my big qualm is this was given to me by a doc and have harrowing experiences I am off all of it. This is 13 years or so in the past. I try to do the steps any way- seems like there needs to be something for those that got addicted not by need but by the system.

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    • By definition, those are the symptoms of Class B personality disorders. It should be edited that those are the majority of these substance abuse “patients”.

      Here are common symptoms of such disorders.

      Disregard for others’ needs or feelings
      Persistent lying, stealing, using aliases, conning others
      Recurring problems with the law
      Repeated violation of the rights of others
      Aggressive, often violent behavior
      Disregard for the safety of self or others
      Impulsive behavior
      Consistently irresponsible
      Lack of remorse for behavior

      Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/personality-disorders/symptoms-causes/syc-20354463

      “According to the most recent study, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is the most frequent Axis II disorder in community samples in the United States, followed by narcissistic and borderline personality disorders.”

      OCD people are not known to self-medicate with drugs.


      There should be acute substance abuse rehabs and mental hospitals. They should not be combined! That’s just common sense.

      Not every drug addict has a personality disorder. But most of them at least display some of the symptoms. However, it is still clear that they do not belong in a mental hospital. It does them just as much harm to not be treated properly in a rehab.

      Also I wish you had read the story to see the abuse they inflicted upon me before judging me.

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      • The list of “symptoms” of “personality disorders” are simply a list of behaviors that most people find obnoxious or disturbing. It should not be surprising that people who are addicted to substances might more frequently engage in behavior that most people find obnoxious or disturbing. I will also note that many of the “symptoms” on your list don’t apply to all or even most “personality disorders. It looks like what you wrote mostly applies to the “symptoms” of “Antisocial” or “Narcissistic” PD diagnoses, which is a small subset of all “personality disordered” people, even if we accept that such categorizations are valid, which I do not.

        It would be much preferable to me and I think many others here if you would stop talking about ‘personality disorders’ and instead talk about “people who are self-centered and disrespectful to others.” PD “diagnoses” are extremely problematic for many reasons, and it can be very hurtful to some so diagnosed to be grouped together with “people who are self-centered and disrespectful to others” and dismissed without any effort to differentiate whether or not those people fit your pre-determined assumptions about what “having a Personality Disorder” means about them.

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        • The issue with mental hospitals (more clearly) isn’t that they should be separated because they are drug addicts, but because they are at risk for having a cluster B personality disorder or more importantly, display the traits of one. I still believe it is easier to decide which facility they go to based on their drug testing results – but that doesn’t mean everyone with substance abuse issues has a personality disorder or even the majority.

          Nor should they be diagnosed with a personality disorder for being sent there or having a substance abuse issue. A personality disorder is a serious diagnosis which can take years of therapy to be decided upon. As a person has to display the traits for years before being considered officially diagnosed.

          I apologize for generalizing all substance abusers with personality disorders as the majority certainly do not have one. Most of the time they do display some of the traits while addicted, but immediately after recovering from substance abuse no longer display the traits because they never “truly” had a disorder.

          Yet, personality disorder therapy (CBT) is still more beneficial to them than pharmaceuticals in my opinion. Just like how I believe CPT and EMDR therapy is more beneficial to someone with a mood disorder than pharmaceuticals. Yet both are treated primarily with prescriptions. That hurts both sides.

          This is based on me having personality disordered friends and family who went through years of CBT to recover from one.

          It just helps prevent them from being in a mental hospital without some sort of treatment for Cluster B Personality Disorders and/or substance abuse before entering such a fragile environment or treatment that will do more harm without substance abuse therapy first.

          I have several great friends that have personality disorders and substance abuse issues. I grew up in poor area of Salt Lake City, Utah. Many of my family members have personality disorders and substance abuse problems. I was abused by them when I was younger – even recently when they took my dog to the pound during my first psychotic break. Almost all of them have almost completely overcome these disorders, despite taking my dog to the pound.

          I personally believe I have an Avoidant a Cluster A personality disorder (but that cluster doesn’t usually lead to drug addiction or harming anyone but yourself).

          I believe overcoming a personality is one of the most challenging undertakings there is. More challenging than a mood disorder. Anyone who does so successfully often becomes one of the highest contributing members of society. They are incredibly strong and admirable. We should be helping more people overcome their personality disorders with right targeted therapy. Right now, our system hurts them more than it helps.

          Simply, mood disorders and substance abuse should not have the same treatment plan. They should have separate but equal treatment. Especially when it hurts their co-patients so badly.

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        • I do agree that the term personality disorder should be left out of my future comments and posts because it is apparently a very sensitive subject here. If I had known I would not have broached the subject. I just have to explain myself retro-actively because I have been so attacked before anyone took the time to figure out what I actually believe. Most people here decided what I believe without knowing me very well.

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          • I appreciate your comment very much. It is a particularly sensitive subject for a lot of folks who have been exposed to that particular label. I think I understand that you are talking about a particular behavior pattern or patterns that tend to get that diagnosis assigned. I also know that such terms are used colloquially, not by “mental health experts,” and that the concept of, for instance, someone engaging in “narcissistic” behavior, or being “a narcissist, can actually be quite helpful to some people who have been victimized and need a frame to understand it.

            I agree that people who do engage in that kind of damaging behavior can be incredibly difficult to be around, and that staff often do an incredibly poor job of protecting clients/detainees or whatever word we want to use to describe them from each other. I’ve dealt with many folks who have had similar experiences, and in some cases, the staff even joined in on bullying the scapegoat. Such behavior is awful, particularly if you are forced to be there and can not escape!!! I wish I had included that proviso more clearly in my comment, and again, I very much appreciate your willingness to recognize the charged nature of that particular label in this community. I apologize for any distress my comments may have created for you.

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        • I like this particular dialogue and find it most relevant, and important to split hairs here, and define terms mindfully. Usually, I think, there is consistency in what is defined as a particular “behavior” more than a label can pinpoint it because these labels are so stigmatizing and can easily lead to 100% inaccurate negative projections. Then the client is screwed because a whole new false identity is created, and the real person disappears. That is maddening kind of gaslighting, and can lead to chronic trauma if one doesn’t have a very strong sense of self. Eventually, a person has to get away from that for their own sanity because it is truely crazy-making. But that can be a challenge, in and of itself, depending on circumstances, like being held captive in a hospital.

          This one phrase got my attention–

          “The list of “symptoms” of “personality disorders” are simply a list of behaviors that most people find obnoxious or disturbing.”

          Yes, that is what I found to be the case in training and while I was a client. What makes this particulary challenging is that what is “obnoxious and distrurbing” to some is not a problem for others. Cultures vary highly on what is “acceptable” behavior. So many reasons for our behaviors, and it’s not always harmonious with others. When it is extreme, that can either be a problem toward progress and evolution or a maybe this is a groundbreaker who is encountering resistance to change, and that will affect how we perceive behavior, through what lens? We can admire, accept, tolerate, or fear certain behaviors, and this can vary from person to person.

          There’s also the issue of a bullying system turning the tables and making the victim look like the problem, and the abuser. I’ve seen this happen quite a bit. A bully can easily cry “victim” when called on their abusive ways. It can get very confusing to all concerned.

          In the end, I think it is evident from our own personal relationships. What is obnoxious to one person can be endearing to another, and vice versa. All personalities are challenging one way or another, and we grow and change over time, learning and refining ourselves as we go, and learning discernment in our relationships, that’s life.

          If a person is happy and satisfied with their relationships in life, then who cares what others think? Life, in large part, is about discovering who we are, which evolves over time, and who is to say at any stage, but ourselves?

          Abrianna, wonderfull charged and highly relevant dialogue you have inspired here. Thank you! I do admire your razor sharp focus.

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          • Oldhead, it’s authentic. To me, the gist of the article is about bullying, this is what most catches my attention, and I believe this is relevant in so many ways. No surprise there, I often bring it up, myself. And yes, there are ways to discuss this, but this is a powerful start.

            Yep, there’s a food fight quality here. And not everywhere, but who is throwing punches and why? I’m not suggesting analyzing this all- over-the-place comment section, it’s more of a self-reflective question.

            Abrianna clearly is open and flexible in her thinking and is desiring to learn and grow from this experience. Also to make changes for the better, and obviously has the focus and fortitude to make an impact.
            Simply having the courage and passion to open a dialogue such as she did in an environment such as this is more than respectable, it is admirable.

            As far as I can tell, she is owning her error in judgment and trying to learn from it. That takes humility, another quality which leads to progress because it is flexible.

            Please let’s allow each other to come to truth from our own process, and not try to force a way of thinking on others. The word “force” is what I’d emphasize here.

            As far as everyone else’s comments, everyone has their own reaction. I appreciate some and not so much others, but that’s my own gauge for my own truth. This covers a lot of territory.

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          • Abrianna, yes, that’s clear that you are remorseful of this, and in the process, you’re expanding your awareness, I can see this. We’re all so darn human, aren’t we?

            Again, my take is simply that “personality disorder” does carry really sabotaging stigma, and it has screwed up a lot of lives because of all the false implications around this, at least for some people.

            And I agree with you, there is a boundary issue here which definitely merits attention. Some people have none, and that’s a problem for others.

            You’ve had a great deal of experience with all this and obviously you have processed a lot, but please know you’re just at the beginning. There are a lot of layers to this, and reasons for all this emotion around what you say.

            We’ve all been on the receiving end of oppression one way or another. You are making a difference and will continue to do so, I have absolutely no doubt about that. You are clearly a leader.

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          • Thank you so much for all the comments. I really appreciate it. This is just the start and I have a long way to go from here, but I have had the drive to do great things in the past and I have no doubt I can accomplish something now. This has been a great learning experience for me and will definitely effect how I approach the subject in the future.

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      • I stopped caring about the abuse inflicted upon you when you attempted to differentiate yourself from the Other patients in order to gain further sympathy for your situation. And in fact, some would call this triangulating and manipulative on your part and consider it evidence of being personality disordered.

        You can present your case without shaming other patients but you chose not to.

        The fact that this got past the editors shows a serious lapse of judgement at MIA. Shame on all involved.

        Having a gruff, cynical, jaded, and untrusting personality is often used to diagnose difficult patients as having a disordered personality but being untrusting is not the same as untrustworthy and is not the same as being manipulative, lying, stealing, cheating, or otherwise criminally bad behavior which separates those in distress from those harming others willfully.

        Your description of those unfairly labeled with personality disorders again, is shameful. You do not deserve the sympathy you withhold from other equally harmed and labeled patients.

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        • You can’t admit that part of the psychiatric inpatient experience can include being exposed to some really horrible characters ?

          “The fact that this got past the editors shows a serious lapse of judgement at MIA. Shame on all involved.”

          Oh come on, what are we children supposed be protected in some online “safe space” bubble?

          Stop with the thin skin and chill out.

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          • Cat, I believe KS acknowledges there are plenty of horrible characters in psych wards. I have met my share. Many of those opted for “treatment” over a legitimate prison.

            My problem–and perhaps KS’s problem–is legitimizing these labels.

            The author meant no harm however. She’s a newcomer and doesn’t understand why people are upset.

            I respectfully disagree, but I’m not angry myself.

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          • This has nothing to do with the small number of bad apples often found on psych wards. These people live amongst us. They exist in every niche of society at every socioeconomic level from bankers and lawyers to petty criminals and scam artists. Bad behavior should be called out and punished.

            Lumping all “personality disordered” people into the same bin is intellectually dishonest, mean, unscientific, and shameful on the part of someone attempting to tell a story that would otherwise be sympathetic if she weren’t in fact, targeting another group of patients in order to lend herself more legitimacy as a harmed person. She’s no more harmed than any other improperly labeled survivor of the harmful institution known as psychiatry.

            I’m far from the only one that has felt this essay was problematic. Shoving other psychiatric survivors under the bus isn’t a good way to introduce yourself around here.

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          • There is not just a few bad apples. The vast majority of patients in the psychotic ward are very mean people. In the depressed ward, however, they are in fact a minority. Because the hospitals were always over populated, they couldn’t put people in the correct wards. So the real issue is that mental hospitals keep patients that don’t need to be there. They want their beds full so they make more money, and they don’t care how badly it hurts all of their patients.

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          • Wow, I don’t think I’m familiar with a hospital that has a “psychotic ward” and a “depressed ward!” Not that I’ve seen that many, but the ones around here seem to just put all of the “patients” into the same place. There was a differentiation between the ward for people with good insurance coverage, where actual therapy was practiced (or at least attempted) and people were allowed to come and go, and the locked ward, where most of the people were involuntary and where the only apparent “therapy” was trying out different drugs until the person seemed “stable” enough to be released into the community.

            The issue you raise here seems to be twofold, to me – one, that people are put together randomly and without any sense of self-control or even rational selection criteria, and that this sets up bad patient dynamics. And two, that the staff do a crappy job of providing any kind of protection from physical or emotional traumatization by other patients. I think both of these are very important issues and are pretty widespread. I’m not sure that selecting out the “less damaging” patients for one ward and putting the “mean ones” in another would solve anything, though, as the “mean ones” would then be hurting each other, even if you had been protected from them to some degree. Mean people are everywhere, and if the “hospital” is going to take on patients and put them together in a ward, I’d say they have a responsibility to create safety for all the patients, regardless of the “diagnoses” of the people on the ward of the label characterizing the ward itself. Does that make any sense?

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          • Well having spent a fair amount of time on psychiatric units, including state hospitals in three different states, children’s psychiatric hospitals in two states, and many adult units on both freestanding psych hospitals and psychiatric units within acute care hospitals , I can say, respectfully that this is some of the stinkiest cow manure I’ve ever read on this site. There is no scientific basis for calling psychotic people mean. Furthermore, this started as a claim that it was the personality disordered patients that were bad, now has grown to include the psychotic patients.

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          • I’m not sure where the other commentor is located. I live in Las Vegas, NV, so that has given me a distorted perspective on mental hospitals! I also went to one in Salt Lake City, Ut that was actually more abusive then any of my other hospitalizations (the hospitalization right after this one when I lost my dog). So I assume it happens in most major cities. A lot of people go to small city or small town hospitals and don’t realize that the larger number of people going to city hospitals are in a much different kind of program.

            There is a very vulnerable group of people in mental hospitals. The other patients have been exposed to this kind of cruelty and learned how to deal with it. A patient that hasn’t been exposed to it before is exposed to it at one of the most critical times in there life. There is a class of patients that needs higher protection than the other patients do. It doesn’t mean they are “better than” the other people, it just means they are more vulnerable.

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        • 75% of the mental hospitals are drug addicts. I never met a single one of them that was there voluntarily. They aren’t there seeking help. It’s being forced on them and they don’t want it. That 75% is abusing the 25% like me. I’m just trying to give that 25% a voice. I’m just trying to stand up against our abusers.

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        • So she shames people who abused her and that’s bad? Don’t we want people who victimize us to feel shame? Is it possible she is trying to bring attention to the neglect of the system to stop the abuse? I’ve been in a Vegas psych hospital. The nurses literally ignore everything that goes on. I needed pain medication and the non-psych doctors never saw me the entire week stay. That’s just the staff.

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    • I recommend reading this article as I go into further detail about the issues with grouping these people up and statistics with sources:


      Also by definition, most substance abusers are criminals because they are doing an illegal drug. There are those simply abusing drugs they were prescribed. But still I believe they should be treated in a different facility with a different approach.

      75% of substance abuse patients display no symptoms of a chronic mental illness. Just personality disorders.

      Source: https://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb117.pdf

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      • I have done “illegal” drugs. I am not a “criminal.” No way, absolutely not. I simply don’t recognize governments authority to tell me otherwise. They are just people same as me who came into this world the same way I did. How are they special ??

        Of course they have the states legal use of violence and kidnapping (arrest) to back them up but they are still just people like me. If I want to do some ‘illegal’ drugs I will and of course take precautions not to get the attention of the ‘authorities’. I don’t party much anymore but if anyone has some extra Xanax… lol

        Anyway my definition of crime is an act that directly causes harm to another human being not just breaking some arbitrary rule of behavior. Without creating a victim who can claim damages committing a crime is impossible.

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      • “Also by definition, most substance abusers are criminals”

        Honestly, I’m not sure whether to be disturbed or laugh out loud. I do enjoy looking back on those diagnoses of “cannabis use disorder” in my old records now that I’m a legal registered cannabis patient. I did not get caught up in the opioid crisis only by the chance happenstance that opioids make me feel awful so I have refused then almost entirely despite being in severe pain for many years. When I told my new doctor that I was a registered patient, her response was not to label me as a drug addict, as doctors had done before cannabis was legalized for medical use in my state. No, her response was “THANK GOD YOU HAVE SOMETHING FOR THE PAIN!”

        Some criminal I am huh? It just happens that I’m both a severe child abuse victim and someone who has had undiagnosed Lyme disease for many years so I have had more than my fair share of being blamed for my circumstances, being treated as a criminal because the justice code still contains laws against cannabis whose origins are known to both be racist and to have favored the sisel industry over the hemp industry, and being targeted as disordered because I dare speak truth to injustice.

        I really really do not appreciate the level of shaming and blaming going in the article and in these comments. Steve, I understand you’re trying to be diplomatic but frankly everyone at MIA is asleep on the job right now. The moral compass of this website is currently broken.

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          • Lot’s of things done “about us” (i.e. in our name) are done without us. That’s fine, since we don’t want to waste our energy on their false solutions, but it’s good to keep tabs on them anyway.

            I do think someone was tone deaf when selecting this article for publication, which is not the author’s fault, so I would understand if she feels blindsided and exploited by MIA here.

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        • I don’t understand why you are grouping yourself in with the people I discussed in my article. These are hard drug addicts in Las Vegas, NV.

          This is about my honest experience. I don’t think my voice should be suppressed because you have had a different experience. We should be allowed to freely speak so we can talk with each other and use each other’s stories to understand the world better.

          My husband has a fused spine. I fully support his using cannabis for pain and see absolutely nothing wrong with it. I use cannabis to help me meditate as it is legal for recreational use in my state. It being illegal is abhorrent.

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      • Abrianna I see you already published this article on your website but with a different author (“Deleted_C is a 27-year-old recovering schizoeffective. After being hospitalized several times as a young adult, she has become an expert in art, personality disorders, mental disorders, psychiatry, mental hospitals, substance abuse, and mental healthcare. Deleted_C met PrettyTuff at a trade-show. Both entrepreneurs, they became great friends.” [PrettyTuff according to the photo being you])

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    • I feel a lot of compassion for the substance abusers. I know some whose lives were ruined. I am good friends with a few who despite having a personality disorder are still very good people. All deserve the chance to be saved.

      That chance is stolen from the mentally ill when they are forced to live closely with those people when they are in crisis. It’s also stolen from the substance abusers when they are supposed to be treated in a different way.

      I know that substance abusers suffer much worse conditions in jails. I don’t think they should be in jail for substance abuse alone. I think that is one of the biggest crimes humanity has committed. They deserve treatment, not punishment, but a different treatment than someone who is just mentally ill.

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    • I have a lot of problems with this essay. I appreciate the author’s descriptions of iatrogenic harm, for instance, her Zoloft induced mania that landed her in a locked ward. The author however, assumes that the unfavorable behavior displayed by other psychiatric inmates is the fault of character flaws or addiction (“personality disorders”) blaming individuals who may also be suffering from drug induced behavior and psychiatric harm and abuse that manifests itself differently.

      Besides, addiction doesn’t just relate to street drugs or recreational drugs. It also relates to the use of and withdrawal from legally prescribed psychotropic drugs that were/are taken voluntarily or involuntarily. Psychiatrists habituate their patients to all kinds of psychiatric drugs, then gaslight them to believe that their psychiatric symptoms can’t possibly be related to intolerance to the meds they hook people on. They willfully ignore the existence of withdrawal symptoms, rebound psychosis as well as the paradoxical effects these drugs can have on many people, they rarely recognize, let alone know how to reverse, drug induced violence and akathisia. Institutionalization can result in people’s personalities changing dramatically for the worse.

      The back ward of the hospitals in which the author was describing contain the individuals who have arguably been treated the most poorly, who are chemically straight-jacketed to deal with the drug induced paradoxical reactions they experienced, such as compulsive behavior, dis inhibition, akasthisia, violence, and other reactions to drugs. This is ableism at its worst. People who cannot physically tolerate their torture and forced drugging get blamed by other patients for not being ideal patients.

      Very disappointing. I have learned to expect this from the staff of most psychiatric hospitals, but coming from a victim of psychiatric harm and abuse, its demoralizing.

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      • A personality disorder is not a symptom of drug addiction. Drug addiction is a symptom of a personality disorder.

        A personality disorder is classified differently then a mental disorder for good reason.

        I know many people in those hospitals that became my best friends and were good in and out of the hospital. It’s not an excuse to hurt others. I feel horrible for the ones who left and killed themselves, drug addict or not. But ones that went home and beat up their wives because they were pissed off, I don’t feel bad for them.

        You have become brainwashed into assuming everyone is a victim of psychiatry and that the cause of all of this is psychiatry. Other groups of people make it worse. Not all victims are innocent. I was victimized by one of those groups of people. I got the worst of it because I had no personality disorder (and you had to fight back to not be treated the worst, like punching a kid in school so the bullies leave you alone, I wasn’t capable of that but most of the other patients were) I guess you don’t believe my testimony.

        And you somehow believe that the mentally ill and drug addicts should be forced to live closely together during their criseses.

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        • I don’t see any difference in definition. Both are defined by subjective judgments made against a person without their agreement, and both represent generalizations which don’t appear to have any consistent basis in reality. They are both decided on in committee by consensus or vote, and there is no way to objectively determine if anyone has either type of “disorder.” All the DSM diagnoses suffer from similar limitations.

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          • Therapists work closely with their patients to decide if they have a personality disorder, a mood disorder or both.

            The issue with mental hospitals (more clearly) isn’t that they should be separated because they are drug addicts, but because they are at risk for having a cluster B personality disorder or more importantly, display the traits of one. I still believe it is easier to decide which facility they go to based on their drug testing results – but that doesn’t mean everyone with substance abuse issues has a personality disorder or even the majority.

            Nor should they be diagnosed with a personality disorder for being sent there or having a substance abuse issue. A personality disorder is a serious diagnosis which can take years of therapy to be decided upon. As a person has to display the traits for years before being considered officially diagnosed.

            I apologize for generalizing all substance abusers with personality disorders as the majority certainly do not have one. Most of the time they do display some of the traits while addicted, but immediately after recovering from substance abuse no longer display the traits because they never “truly” had a disorder.

            Yet, personality disorder therapy (CBT) is still more beneficial to them than pharmaceuticals in my opinion. Just like how I believe CPT and EMDR therapy is more beneficial to someone with a mood disorder than pharmaceuticals. Yet both are treated primarily with prescriptions. That hurts both sides.

            This is based on me having personality disordered friends and family who went through years of CBT to recover from one.

            It just helps prevent them from being in a mental hospital without some sort of treatment for Cluster B Personality Disorders and/or substance abuse before entering such a fragile environment or treatment that will do more harm without substance abuse therapy first.

            I have several great friends that have personality disorders and substance abuse issues. I grew up in poor area of Salt Lake City, Utah. Many of my family members have personality disorders and substance abuse problems. I was abused by them when I was younger – even recently when they took my dog to the pound during my first psychotic break. Almost all of them have almost completely overcome these disorders, despite taking my dog to the pound.

            I personally believe I have an Avoidant a Cluster A personality disorder (but that cluster doesn’t usually lead to drug addiction or harming anyone but yourself).

            I believe overcoming a personality is one of the most challenging undertakings there is. More challenging than a mood disorder. Anyone who does so successfully often becomes one of the highest contributing members of society. They are incredibly strong and admirable. We should be helping more people overcome their personality disorders with right targeted therapy. Right now, our system hurts them more than it helps.

            Simply, mood disorders and substance abuse should not have the same treatment plan. They should have separate but equal treatment. Especially when it hurts their co-patients so badly.

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    • Would be better to call them nasty, violent people. “Personality disorders” are just labels to ensure “patients” they dislike get treated worse.

      Please focus on the bad behaviors. Not the bogus labels. Shrinks are notoriously poor judges of character. 🙂

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  2. And the sleep deprivation, if you finally get to sleep you can’t sleep long because of that blood pressure check thing at 6:15 am designed to circumvent a patients right to undisturbed rest. Every morning started with anger getting jolted out of sleep by the threatening goons.

    “This time I was in the psychotic ward. Everyone there was enraged.”

    I was too. I was threatened with injection for refusing a very dangerous debilitating amount of pills including Haldol . I threatened them back. If you people assault me when I see you outside this place I will assault and inject you with something to. I told them in a calm cold way cause I know they are trained to watch your hands are you making fists getting ready. I saw them come at others for ‘acting out’. Constant violence in that place.

    Are you making threats do we need to call the police they ask me. Ya go ahead all I did was make the exact same threats at you that you did at me so I will also file a report. They did not call. I wanted to leave with the police they don’t have forced drugging in jail. I continued to refuse, they never touched me.

    Before going to the ER for alcohol detox I was self medicating a nervous breakdown with alcohol. Every day waking up with massive anxiety then drinking to make it go away over and over. I said F this and went to hospital voluntarily. I should have had normal hospital bed not transported to that hell hole. They never gave me detox meds.

    I had other hospitalizations before that, clonopin adderal remeron zyprexa.. Told a doctor I had trouble sleeping “insomnia is a symptom of depression” I was told and that prescribing snowball followed, that nightmare was behind me off that crap but this was the hospitalization that lead me here to MIA.

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    • I was given an injection during my third hospitalization as I refused to sleep because I thought I was bleeding into my brain.

      This is because I had hit my head into the wall until I knocked myself out while being abused in jail. We are planning to post this story next.

      My head hurt very badly. I didn’t want to sleep and I wanted a bran scan. Despite having a huge gash on my forehead from hitting my head, they didn’t take me to the ER where I also needed to be treated for other injuries and infections. They injected me and forced me to go to sleep. I cried the entire time thinking I would certainly die in my sleep.

      Not being taken to the hospital was another reason why I ended up not being able to sue the jail for false arrest and severe abuse. As the chance to record the bruises and infections as proof that they occurred was taken with me. A long with the medical treatment I desperately needed because my life was at stake.

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    • Yes. Abriana most people with addictions or mostly anyone in the system do not and should not conform to a DSM dx. This is an insurance driven mechanism like IEP dx that solely bring in money for the institution.
      I as others have been in patient settings and yes you are on target for that.
      I think you saw what I saw folks from the underworld hanging out passing time awhile far removed from those that want payback.
      When I was a volunteer at a woman’s n’s shelter in DC – two blocks from the White House near what we use to call needle park I saw drug deals going down with pregnant prostitutes. Hard to ever know what was what but it stunk to high heaven.
      I would observe the units would get really crowded on weekends. My guess is the psych residents in the ER came from such privileged backgrounds were so unaware of the underground life they had no idea they were being scammed.
      By Monday most of the “ guys – some females” were gone.
      I having worked with offenders knew but under massive medication and REELING from trauma couldn’t put it into words and so gain who would believe me?
      I also ran into folks who had two different personas in two different systems. My guess they could have been NARCS. And yes I know about NARCS and the good and sometimes bad folks they envelope in their webs of investigation. And I am not even going to go into other agencies and groups that would find these floors FOR THEM safe havens.
      So this what you might have seen and I would guess corporate might have had arrangements.
      There were true creeps in some of the units and some other weird stuff that NEVER FIT into any experience I had working in a psych unit pre 9/11.
      But who knows? And again I am now “ officially crazy” so my word means nothing and will never mean anything.
      And the so called “ help” in terms of talk not help at all, at all. I was robbed of a life and profession and most importantly I was my children were ROBBED of a normal life.
      Never fall into the dx trap. It is only a snapshot and useful for using something. I prefer trauma or other terms that are less stigmatizing and harmful.
      Research more- and keep away from the system. The doc seems okay and there are good ones but if he or she didn’t ask about your experience or confirm that there was stuff going down then go on your own. Until the totality of all of this comes out just be aware. And yes this does sound crazy but check out 60 minutes and the mafia don that hid out in a psych unit when needed. It does happen.

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      • I also agree that the DSM is completely used in the incorrect way. It does more harm than good. But that doesn’t mean all the definitions inside of it are wrong (imo) but are used in terrible ways by the mental health system. It should be a lot more important to consider each patients story and their needs because of it, not relaying on a book and treating them as if they are all the same. The majority of therapists and psychiatrists do just that and leave humanity out of treatment. It’s cookie cut, and it’s wrong.

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      • I’m not sure how they differ, but I can tell you a few ways in which they are similar… They are both tools for categorising people who have painful, unusual, or offensive experiences; they can both isolate the diagnosed person from mainstream society; and they were both originally developed by powerful people with minimal input from oppressed groups.

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          • The article you quote is probably not a good example to support your argument, as the authors include depression and other “illnesses” as “personality disorders”, with depression being the most common disorder. I couldn’t actually see where the authors got those percentages from – table 3 has different numbers. In any case some of the crimes wouldn’t be crimes in many parts of the world (for example, “alcohol consumption”, “illicit relations”.)

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          • Depression was certainly not classified as a personality disorder. All of the sources are well cited. It’s not about whether or not the law has classified drugs as a crime. It’s about a group of people documented to be more abusive to others than other groups of people.

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          • Read the study you posted. This was a descriptive-correlation study. The statistical population consisted of all prisoners of Kerman, Iran. Iran is a totally different culture so that study means nothing here.

            America is the land of Mass Incarceration
            Study: 1 in 3 Americans Arrested By Age 23

            And the study above doesn’t even include those kidnapped by the government “arrested” for traffic ticket revenue schemes.

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          • You wrote “I am a victim of this group of people.”

            I believe you. Its not always bad but my last go around with inpatient I was surrounded by low lives. I totally understand why you equate addiction with criminality and defective personalities.

            I always found the mental health patients to be better company then the straight up addicts. I like the Alcoholics better too. I am ‘team alcohol’. I will take the more in your face alcoholic who tells it like it is over the passive aggressive addict behavior any day.

            They have done a pretty good job convincing people that alcoholism and addiction are the same thing but its different. Usually people who self medicate anxiety like the alcohol and it gets the best of them.

            Stereo-types are real. But I have to add that one of my buddies was labelled “border line” and was a cutter, he recovered from that. That dude is more honorable then most people you would ever meet. Been friends for years.

            My last inpatient was rough and it wasn’t the locked place I wrote about in the first post. You can pick any treatment center you want from a huge selection. You can’t pick out the people who will be there with you. Sometimes you loose that lottery.

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          • This is an interesting study on it: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4825675/

            It only covers BPD and Psycopathy, but it was 40% for BPD and 15% for psychopathy. The numbers do fluctuate based on gender, but those are the totals. There are still other personality disorders not studied there.

            In the end it’s almost impossible to complete an accurate study because it is based on questioners. Many personality disordered people are in denial and won’t be completely honest with their answers. This is also based on people spending at least 4 months in jail and a lot of people end up in Jail that shouldn’t be there at all, so it really messes up the numbers.

            What I should have said in my OP isn’t that it’s the “mentally ill” vs the “personality disordered”. It is the mood disordered vs the personality disordered. That’s a lot easier to define.

            I have also had best friends with narcissm and BPD. I suspect my mom of being histrionic when I was kid, but she went through therapy. I find her to be the strongest and most inspirational person I know. Not despite having a personality disorder but overcoming it. Overcoming a personality disorder is very admirable and can leave you with a fantastic person.

            And of course alcoholics! I used to go to alcoholics anonymous because I identified with them most since there wasn’t a mood disorder support group in my area. Lot’s of great and strong people there as well.

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      • Sure. They are both fabrications. Think about it — where would a doctor find the “mind” when operating on someone’s brain? A mind is not a physical thing, so it cannot be ill, “mental illness” is a figure of speech; however it is concretized when used by psychiatry to make people think they are dealing with actual diseases, rather than figures of speech, or metaphors. Real diseases can only afflict actual bodily systems, organs, etc. This is what people mean when they say “mental illness” doesn’t exist, and why it is always in quotes. It doesn’t mean that what you are experiencing doesn’t exist.

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          • I experienced post-trauma stress; I suffered emotionally for years after the trauma. My response was a “normal” reaction to my unique experiences with the wrongful deaths of over a half million people. Instead of acknowledging my natural reaction to my life circumstances, psychiatry invented PTSD. “Personality disorders” exist like PTSD exists; they are made-up diseases that pathologize natural reactions to trauma.

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          • Did you really say good and evil are irrelevant concepts ?

            Another cofounder of the WFMH, Canadian psychiatrist G. Brock Chisholm, reinforced this master plan in 1945 by targeting religious values and calling for psychiatrists to free “the race…from its crippling burden of good and evil.”

            In his book The Death of Satan, author Andrew Delbanco refers to the disappearing “language of evil” and the process of “unnaming evil.” Until psychiatry’s emergence, societies had operated with very clear ideas on “moral evil.”

            Today, however, we hear euphemisms like “behavioral problem” or “personality disorder.” Delbanco describes these as notions “…in which the concept of responsibility has disappeared and the human being is reconceived as a component with a stipulated function.


            There was a much better web page then that but I can’t find it cause so many people describe psychiatry as evil it got buried in the search results.

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    • Abrianna, many people who write on this website agree with the former head of the National institute of Mental Health, that ALL the DSM disorders are “invalid.”


      And the truth about those labeled as borderline personality disorder, is that 92% of them are actually misdiagnosed, discredited, and disbelieved child abuse survivors.


      Why such huge percentages of misdiagnosed child abuse survivors? Insurance billing problems for actually helping child abuse survivors were built into the DSM.


      And, of course, most people with brains in their heads, which does not include the DSM deluded, understand that drugs do not cure the symptoms of child abuse. This is at least part of why people who write here politely request you not shame “one group of patients by using the weaponized labels and definitions of psychiatric diagnoses against them while trying to gain sympathy for the ‘good’ patients.” Having empathy for mislabeled child abuse survivors is appropriate, don’t you agree?

      Plus we did have a favorite blogger on this website, who was a man who had been abused as a child, that was stigmatized as borderline, who eventually committed suicide. So many of us here still miss him.

      Hope that at least somewhat explains the situation. That being said, thank you for your story, Abrianna. Wow, did you start a business when you were just 13? That’s great! Hope you can keep it going, and it doesn’t go bankrupt. Congrats on your recent marriage. Ten hospitalizations in three years is pretty sad, your outpatient psychiatrist(s) during that time must have been pretty pathetic?

      Your story is a little hard to follow, but does express the reality of how horrendous today’s “mental health system” truly is. And I understand cohesively explaining one’s life, during the time one is being made “mad as a hatter” with the psychiatric drugs, is a challenge. Best wishes, and I hope you’re working on becoming neurotoxin free.

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      • By the way, I too, had the common ADRs of the antidepressants misdiagnosed by psychiatrists, and because of their hypocritical blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, according to their medical records. So I can empathize with the common illegal, at least in the US, issue of hypocritical psychiatrists drugging people up for belief in God in this country.

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      • I believe that the second most common diagnosis (borderline personality disorder) is almost entirely incorrect for most people. There are many psychologists out there that diagnose people with complex PTSD instead (which is many traumatic experiences with no therapy in between).

        Even though a vast majority of health professionals are terrible people only looking to earn a profit – there is still a minority that is truly passionate about helping people. They commit their lives to this endeavor.

        I understand why people here think the DSM is entirely invalid, but I have a different world view based on the experiences I had growing up with a social worker mother. Maybe you all can change my mind 🙂

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        • Your definition of complex ptsd is also entirely wrong. I had therapy throughout my childhood, as do many other sexual abuse victims targeted as the identified patient in their dysfunctional families.

          All of these comments you’ve made about the nature of various disorders are conjecture without any scientific basis.

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        • I would disagree slightly with your last comment – I believe most people here believe the DSM is invalid as a guide to “medical diagnosis” and is, from a scientific point of view, completely lacking in scientific validity. This does not mean that the DESCRPTIONS in the DSM don’t describe things that actually happen, or that a certain framing of a person’s experience might not be helpful to them, even if it is framed in terms that parallel or even totally reflect the DSM. In my mind, the objection is to claiming scientific or medical meaning to these “disorders,” when a simple review of the “criteria” for such “disorders” show them to be utterly subjective and lacking in any kind of cohesion. Moreover, the DSM itself states in its introduction (apparently not read or pointedly ignored by most psychiatrists or other “diagnosers”) that the DSM “disorders” don’t assume any kind of firm boundary between those who “have” or “don’t have” a “disorder,” and even more tellingly, don’t assume that people with the same “diagnosis” “are alike in all important ways.” The last quote is particularly telling, as it essentially admits that even people who completely fit the criteria to a tee may have completely different problems or issues and may have completely different needs which can’t be met by one approach or intervention type. Well, if the people who fit the criteria don’t have important things in common, what the heck is the meaning of the “diagnosis?” I mean, everyone with cancer has tumors, everyone with thrombosis has a stuck blood clot, everyone with diabetes has problems with his/her insulin system. But these “diagnoses” apparently don’t work like that. A person who is “depressed” may be grieving, escaping from a violent relationship, stuck in a dead-end job, suffering “empty nest syndrome,” reeling from the shock of having a new baby, or living with the long-term consequences of early childhood trauma, just to name a few. What is the point of labeling all of those people as “having major depression?” Why not just deal with their actual issues?

          I could go on, but I hope that helps clarify a little why I, at least, find these “diagnoses” utterly objectionable. It’s not that people don’t get depressed, and even seriously so. It’s that labeling them as “suffering from Depression” provides no extra help in understanding what is happening, and in fact, makes it easier for clinicians to ignore the causes and simply try and make the effects go away.

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          • Well, in my opinion, really the point of the diagnosis’s is that when you look at a large group of people with similar problems, you can use use your successes treating some of those people and try the same treatments on others.

            Mental health will always be subjective. Unfortunately, in mental hospitals diagnosis’s are pushed on people without near enough time to AT ALL to actually diagnose a person with that problem.

            Mental hospitals also cause so much harm that people are too disgusted or afraid to talk to a real therapist. And then if they do talk to one, there is a good chance they will be a bad one and it will turn them away even more.

            Mental hospitals also give people the bare minimum to understanding these diagnosis’s so suddenly they feel capable of discerning someone with them when they don’t.

            The reason why those diagnosis’s are pushed isn’t even to help the person at all. They know it just hurts people. The diagnosis is only used to justify to the insurance company why the person was there. Once again, it all comes down to money.

            The mental health industry is incredibly corrupt and perverted. I think throwing more money on it just keeps making it even worse! Attracting the wrong kind of people to the profession! People always say we aren’t spending enough money. We spend 200 billion dollars a year. The real problem, is that people do not have awareness. People are completely uneducated on these issues. And it’s hard to educate people because there is so much misinformation.

            However, I have read the DSM a few times since I was a teenager. I grew up with text book narcissistic siblings and it really helped me learn how to cope with their issues. I think the point of personality disorder diagnosis is really for other people to learn what drives such a person and how to handle it.

            Lot’s of people mis-diagnose others, however, and then treat them incorrectly. Most therapists will tell you not to label a person anything until they have talked with you at length about it and offered solutions to talk to said person and figure out if they actually meet the criteria. I did that as a teenager and it helped me cope with my family. These diagnosis’s can help people.

            However, I do agree that they hurt much more than they help at this time.

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          • Thanks for that reply. Almost all of what you say, I agree with. The main purpose of the DSM is to allow billing, and if it were used just for that, I would have a lot less problem with it. And I don’t really have a problem with a CONCEPT like “narcissistic” or “antisocial” – these can be used as descriptive language to characterize someone’s behavior for purposes of discussion. But when such subjective concepts are somehow codified into purported scientific entities or medical “diagnoses” that can be assigned to someone by a person in authority, we are very quickly into deep trouble.

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        • I think much of this entire conversation is about a child who was so insanely brainwashed with “a different world view based on the experiences I had growing up with a social worker mother.”

          Which, of course, speaks to our societal problem of the miseducation of our “mental health professionals,” with the scientifically invalid DSM billing code belief system in our universities.

          And this miseducation of people is still a problem in our universities, and for a disgusting reason, also in our supposedly Christian seminaries. And that disgusting reason is that “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions” is that the number one actual function, both historically and today, of today’s “mental health system,” is covering up child abuse for our religious leaders and their wealthy.

          And it’s not just 92% of the “borderline” who’ve been misdiagnosed. It’s also over 80% of those labeled with the “psychotic and affective disorders” (“depression,” “anxiety,” “bipolar,” and “schizophrenic”), who are misdiagnosed child abuse survivors.

          In other words, the primary actual function of today’s “mental health profession” is, in fact, misdiagnosing people to cover up child abuse. And, you do confess you grew up in a highly dysfunctional family, and are a child abuse survivor in this blog log, Abrianna.

          Contrary to our “mental health professionals” belief system, drugs don’t actually cure symptoms of child abuse, because the symptoms of child abuse are NOT a brain disease. They are symptoms of a crime.

          God bless you in your drug withdrawal journey, and I’m glad you already know that withdrawal from the psychiatric drugs can cause a drug withdrawal induced super sensitivity induced manic psychosis. Thus a gradual withdrawal is recommended.

          But never give up, because today’s medical community will always misdiagnose the common withdrawal symptoms of the psychiatric drugs as “proof of your original mental illness.” Don’t believe them. You can do it.

          I do also, however, agree with Steve’s synopsis of the problems with the entire psychiatric system.

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          • I really do hope that these issues are simply a construct of society and that I have nothing biologically wrong with me. However, it has been shown that what they call PTSD causes changes to the brain. Psychosis may have done the same to mine. I believe the longer I have between “psychotic breaks” my brain goes back to normal and reverses the physical changes. As what they call “Schizophrenics” have different brains as well.

            Their brains literally melt. Is that because of their so called disorder, or the medications they are on? If it is something that happens regularly, why don’t they work to take people off their medications to avoid such damage just in case?

            That schizophrenia program RAISE has a goal to get a person to recover fully without ever needing medication again. That program should be everywhere. Why isn’t it? Money. Likely, the same reason why there is no cure for cancer.

            I don’t know for sure, but I believe the medications I am on are helping me avoid psychotic breaks. Mostly, sleep deprivation quickly causes me to go into severe “psychosis.” Staying on my drug regiment has kept me sleeping 8 hours or more a night for the past year almost entirely. That is life changing for me in a positive way – for now.

            I only take bipolar related medications before sleeping at night. When I took them in the morning I couldn’t function. No one could have functioned at the dosages I was on. Which means I couldn’t return to full-time work. Working full-time also keeps me present mentally in day to day life and helps me avoid “psychosis.”

            When they kept me on a morning dose of medications for a year, I could not function at all. They took another year away from my recovery when they did that, and they did so for money. I asked every appointment: “I can’t work. I need to change my medications so I can work!” And the doctor would say to me, “Just a little longer. You don’t want to go back to a mental hospital, do you?”

            Well I went back three times anyways. Because I was unable to work and keep my mind out of so called “delusions.”

            I pray everyday that I will be able to go off medications someday and sleep on my own again. I may have a “bipolar brain” right now, but someday I won’t have it again. I had incredible difficulty sleeping consistently in high school, which was the only reason why I did poorly. I believe that was due to the environment I was in. I’ve feared for my life my entire life. Except between the ages 18-21 when I slept consistently on no medications whatsoever. Which is why I know I am capable of not living on them now.

            With my husband, I feel safe again. I hope I will be able to sleep again now. The constant nightmares are tiresome though.

            As far as psychotic disorders – were those people born with those brains or forced into them? I think the latter is the truth. And that anyone diagnosed with one of these “mental disorders” can completely recover from them. Telling them that they must be medicated for the rest of their lives is also a crime. Telling people their brains are inherently bad is a crime.

            People can’t stand the medication. But they can’t stand “psychosis.” When they are told the only way to ever function is medication and they will never fully recover – they kill themselves. There is no hope. I wanted to die.

            I am aware I have a different brain. I can draw anything from my imagination. I can write entire books in a couple of weeks. I started a business with no help that at one point was worth a million dollars. I love my brain. I miss my brain. I will get my brain back, just the way God made it for me.

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          • My brain is “different” too. I have a different way of thinking than many–causing it to form a different shape thanks to neuroplasticity. Starting a successful business before age 22 requires an atypical style of thinking. (Or more would do it.)

            Trauma does cause brain damage as well as drugs. Years of drugging and shaming/segregation in the MI System can really mess anyone up. But it sounds like you’ve been keeping your brain active even while drugged Abrianna. 🙂 This helped me a lot, along with other survivors.

            Remember you’re not alone. There are many worse off than either of us.

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          • Hi Abrianna,
            well you put so much in that comment. I can’t possibly comment on it all, but maybe I can hit a few points, and just a disclaimer: what I share is based on my wife’s experience and my experience helping her thru these things. Others may experience it differently and my generalizations are just that…

            I do believe traumatic experiences can ‘alter’ the brain, but it’s not permanent thanks to neural plasticity. I think just like when we hurt our leg and arm, we protect it until it is healed. The brain/mind does the same with traumatic memories: until they can be ‘healed, that is understood and assimilated into one’s overall narrative, they will be ‘quarantined’ (or dissociated). The longer the quarantine the longer the brain has to do ‘work arounds’ because those memories take ‘storage space’ often associated with personality traits and mental abilities. Moreover, those quarantines are set at the time of the memories and so they stay ‘in the past.’ And so, my guess, the brain scans show parts of the brain under ‘quarantine’ and not accessible as much.

            But our brain/mind doesn’t like quarantine: it seeks wholeness and so sometimes it will try to force those traumatic memories back into the general narrative of the person: that’s where you get the flashbacks, panic attacks, ‘psychosis’ and such. And I believe what is happening is an overlaying of past trauma to current reality which is why they feel so disorienting. Add to that the fact that so much trauma happened during childhood when we were highly symbolic and so to the outside person and the adult sufferer this all seems gibberish, but it was the best the child’s mind could do under traumatic circumstances without the aid of caring and protecting adults.

            That’s where I or your husband can come in. When my wife was being assaulted by panic attacks, flashbacks, attachment theory teaches us that I can be a ‘safe haven’ and so I (literally) enveloped my wife like a harbor does a ship and I learned to calm her during those attacks: my presence gave her brain/mind the extra strength it needed to realize they were memories from the past, and little by little I helped her assimilate them into her current narrative and now it’s been years since she’s experience any of the worst of that stuff…but the time warp experience is still pretty heavy for the various girls (‘alters’). After 40-50 years of complete quarantine (dissociation) it’s hard to adjust to their new life in the present…but it comes little by little and I just walk with each where she is. I don’t force it, but I also make it clear that I hope some day they will ‘grow up’ and be willing to marry me, and in December the first one and I were engaged.

            Anyway, that’s my layman’s explanation of what is going on. I really don’t believe in ‘psychosis’, and until I got on this website, I wasn’t used to the term and had to look it up to even see what everyone meant. To me ‘psychosis’ is simply what happens when a memory that is grounded in the past overlaps current reality, and the memory is so strong that it becomes disorienting to the person.

            Now let me qualify this: my wife NEVER had any psych drugs. So everything I’ve said does NOT take into account any of the effects of those mind-altering drugs. But without drugs in the picture, that is how I would describe what my wife experienced and how I helped her thru much of it.

            I do wish you well. Check out some of the sites that MIA lists, that will help you taper off the drugs. And hopefully your husband can continue to be a ‘safe haven’ and help you not feel so disoriented during the psychosis while your brain/mind is trying to assimilate the memories from the past. For my wife at this point, the last girl (alter) is still disconnected to the other 7, so when she switches out with any of the others, they simply ask me what’s going on/what they’ve missed and we go on: no big deal. I’m kind of their anchor that keeps them grounded, and your husband can learn to be the same for you.

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          • Sam I really appreciate your comments. They give me so much hope in humanity. The hardest part of this for me has been apathy. Everyone is too busy to take the time to be understanding. They don’t care that hundreds of thousands of people are being state-sponsored murdered and tortured. You remind me that there are people out there who do care.

            Your description of what a “psychotic disorder” is caused by is very accurate. It has nothing to do with biology. I have done the most of my research on PTSD and I’m working my way through the Cognitive Processing Therapy program. Before the Zoloft induced mania, my only diagnosis was PTSD.

            I’ve really realized in these comments that I do not have a psychotic disorder – and no one really does. I’m remembering years ago, before I became so cynical, that I shared these beliefs. I was just threatened with detention if I ever questioned my diagnosis at any level. Brainwashing to the extreme.

            It’s a very long road. Three years of being lost in psychosis, my trust broken at every turn, constantly feeling like I would either be murdered or snap and kill myself… you don’t experience three years of that and get over it overnight.

            I know it will take me years. Whenever my brain doesn’t have full attention on something I think about something that brings me right back to that memory. Three years, that’s a long time to create related memories while still experiencing trauma.

            Everything I saw, did, read, listened to, etc for three years triggers me.

            Everything about my house is a trigger. I hate living here. The walls remind me of my ex punching them. My driveway reminds me of my cat. The streets remind me of taking my dog for a run. The bathroom reminds me of cutting my arm. The hallway reminds me of drinking so much I almost died of alchohol poisoning. Everything everywhere basically triggers me.

            When I’m triggered I am brought right back the memory that has been triggered. If I think about the moment I was told over the phone that my dog had been adopted – I will start bawling like it just happened yesterday. I don’t escape intensity of pain over time. It feels like it will never stop hurting.

            I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through 40 of years of that and try to recover. I suppose that’s why “Schizophrenics” have such short life spans.

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          • Just be careful, Abrianna, when you seek out help. One would think that PTSD would be seen through the trauma paradigm of mental health rather than the biochemical model, and yet I got run off a ptsd site because I suggested PTSD can be completely healed if the traumatic memories are healed. Most there push the meds and their absolute belief that PTSD is a brain disorder.

            And I only share that to make sure you are careful if you seek out expert help. Most of my wife’s PTSD symptoms are gone at this point because I learned how to apply the attachment principles of proximity maintenance, affect regulation and safe haven when she was experiencing them and little by little I got her thru them. In a nutshell, I just treated her like anyone wants to be treated when they are scared: I stayed close by, I allowed my calm demeanor to affect her feelings and I physically ‘enveloped’ her as I reminded her, “you are ok, now. I’ve got you. I’m sorry no one took care of you then: but I’ve got you now, and I take care of my girl.” (most of the ‘alters’ front as little girls) Yes, the PTSD seems to make people want to flee, but I was a ‘gentle burr’ that stuck with my wife, not overwhelming her, but just staying close so that she could feel my presence, and that’s what our brains need, that feeling of NOT BEING ALONE so that they can begin to process the trauma and move on.

            And I am sorry your current residence triggers you so much. Is there any possibility of finding a new place? It’s hard to heal when you can never relax…at the same point, when my wife was triggered was when I learned to walk her thru the triggers and diminished their impact on her.

            I do wish you and your husband well.

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          • Abrianna,
            would your husband want me to help him learn to help you like I did for my wife? You don’t need to be trapped in the past trauma for the rest of your life, and he can expedite the healing once he understands how. Just have him shoot me an email. It’s just samruck2 at gmail dot com

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          • “I will start bawling like it just happened yesterday. I don’t escape intensity of pain over time. It feels like it will never stop hurting.”

            I understand that’s how it feels, but I assure you, with your husband’s help, you CAN heal and move on from the past. But it takes a willingness to eschew this culture’s infatuation with ‘independence.’ My wife and I have created a relationship of interdependence and all our points of ‘attachment’ that we have deliberately made strengthen her and help her heal, but they help me, too. No one is above needing another’s help and strength.

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  3. I have something that’s not really fair. Why is it for alcohol and addiction treatment you can go to a nice resort style place with beaches pools and palm trees, insurance pays for this, but for mental health their are very few choices besides the typical locked psych BS ?

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  4. Reply to Abrianna Peto about the Iran prisoner study. The authors did include depression (MDD – major depressive disorder) in table 3. And people with MDD outnumbered people with more standard personality disorders by 40 to 26.
    Your experience in the second hospital sounds terrible. I hope the next eight were not so bad.

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  5. “Also, when I was admitted I was usually wearing something I wouldn’t be allowed to wear in the hospital. ”

    I wore a hat to the hospital and they took it, dress code of some sort then they give you that awful shampoo that frizzes out your hair I guess to make you look like a mental patient. I looked terrible even in the plastic mirror.

    So the next day I said to them I need my hat and I forget what the excuse for not being able to get the one I came in with but I requested a replacement and they said “we can’t get you a hat” I must have looked like a killer I was so pissed and I said say to me you WON’T get me a hat who the F do you think I am that I will believe its not possible for anyone to go down the street and buy a baseball hat ?? They got me one.

    I hated those people so bad right from the beginning their strip search then their threatening behavior when I attempted to refuse the “squat and cough” part of the strip search when I came in. How disgusting. F them. All bets were off after being treated like that.

    Hospital staff had the “personality disorders” 10 times more then anyone else.

    Disregard for others needs or feelings
    Recurring problems with the law
    Repeated violation of the rights of others
    Aggressive, often violent behavior
    Disregard for the safety of self or others
    Impulsive behavior
    Consistently irresponsible
    Lack of remorse for behavior

    That’s every behavior those hospitals exhibit.

    Now check this out https://www.buzzfeed.com/tag/uhs

    And after also reading that all the crimes of UHS psychiatric facilities who really has the “personality disorders” the patients or the people who own and run these places ?

    (Stock price: UHS (NYSE) today $125.73) List of places they own https://www.psychforums.com/anti-psych/topic174650.html

    I had my fun venting about the other people in rehab above but none of them ever treated me like that so called “hospital.” Damn kidnapping is what that crap is.

    That place was so awful, they even assaulted my “girlfriend” I palled around with in the place for refusing to go sit down in the cafeteria dragged her out screaming. That was the “healing atmosphere” of the place constant threat of assault by staff. Violence every few hours.

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  6. I think the mental health care system reflects the sickness of the culture. Also, without meaning to pry, I always wish when there are articles about personal experiences, they would give a brief overview of their life, especially their early life, because it might help others of us to understand ourselves better. Most of the reason I read this website is to gain insights into my own situation.

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    • It’s such a very long story. My Dad died when I was three but my three oldest siblings still had their Dad from a previous marriage. My family was also abusive when I was a kid. I believe I had complex PTSD (which when you experience several traumatic experiences without any treatment in between.) I am working on a book. Posts like this really help me figure out what I believe that might be offensive to change my world view before I undertake the book.

      For example, my brother pushed me into a sauna heater when I was 6 giving me third degree burns. He also destroyed all my baby pictures. He assaulted me often. He always destroyed any stuffed animal or doll that I loved as a kid. My oldest brother was addicted to meth and stole everything valuable I had whenever he got the chance. My second oldest brother constantly threatened to shoot up the school and kill our entire family. My sister convinced the entire neighborhood I was having an affair with a neighbor I babysat for when I was 15. Finally, during my first psychotic break (the hospitalization after these first two) they took my dog to the pound, which completely destroyed me at the worst possible time. That is of course not all the stories, but the worse ones I can remember right now.

      There is a movement in the psychological industry to re-diagnose most people diagnosed BPD with complex PTSD. There is a huge different between someone with Borderline Personality Disorder than the antisocial, psychopathic or narcissistic ones. My mom always thought I was borderline because she was in denial that my siblings and grandmother had abused me to the degree that they did.

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      • That’s just what I was talking about below! What business does your mom have telling you that “you have Borderline Personality Disorder?” Or any other such label? How is that helpful to anyone? And you can also see, apparently, how the label is used to distract from or disguise the abuse that happens to children, instead blaming the victim by labeling them “BPD.” The very act of labeling creates this opportunity. I sometimes wonder if that is the actual point of the DSM.

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        • Well this article was never meant to discuss personality disorders. The people that abused me certainly had disordered personalities in the literal sense. Or they wouldn’t have been so cruel and sadistic. That doesn’t mean that every drug addict there is this way. But the ones who abused me? Yeah they have crappy personalities.

          And I should have made it more clear in the article that not every drug addict there is this way. But the entire response to my post should not have been about scrutinizing three sentences. So it shouldn’t have been so important for me to articulate one anecdote perfectly.

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  7. Get out of the game of being defined and defining others. If you look at my icon it is one hand drawing the other hand. A symbolism of the behaviour. Founded in hate. https://www.mcescher.com/gallery/back-in-holland/drawing-hands/

    The only person who can leave the endless battle/equation is you, as the psychiatrist is paid, and also compelled to continue to define you.
    In order to leave you must find forgiveness for yourself and for others. You must not identify too closely with the master or the slave.
    If you like the fight, you keep doing what you are doing.

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  8. Wow, that is some bullying you took. I hope that telling your story is helping you to find some peace. Your anger is more than understandable. I look forward to reading the subsequent installments, although I can’t even imagine.

    Congratulations on your marriage! May it be blessed.

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    • Not likely all the thin skin people got all upset if their diagnosis was “insulted.” Wile at the same time they insist the diagnosis is scientifically invalid.

      So if I get diagnosed as a space alien and then someone writes something negative about space aliens should I be insulted when I know I am not from outer space ?

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      • Great point Cat!

        Weird how I don’t have such an automatic knee jerk reaction when I hear the term “bipolar killer” on TV. I used to–especially when I believed it applied to me.

        But it still scares me people will discover my painful past.

        Takes time to emotionally distance yourself I think.

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      • It’s very personal and hard for me to discuss. The worst part of it was becoming psychotically paranoid that I had HIV for six months. When I finally tested definitively negative, I no longer had a will to live. As I had spent the previous six months convincing myself to commit suicide if I tested positive.

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        • Sorry you went through all that. Hope your nightmare ends pretty soon.

          There are a few online resources if you choose to go off your drugs. But now may not be a good time for you. Your decision.

          Also a class on tapering has been offered here at MIA not too long ago.

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        • It is an insult. But not intentional. Consider it a stray bullet.

          Abrianna doesn’t know any better and believes in her own label. Takes time for people to come around. Plus she doesn’t know any of us from Adam. You know you’re not whatever the shrinks called you. So do I and the majority of others here.

          Weird how I no longer act “bipolar 2” and no one knows I am supposed to be that way. But when I read articles or see crap on TV about “mental health issues” my heart races and my stomach churns.

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          • Well let’s step back from the wild assumption that objecting to whole classes of people being vilified is a silly overreaction to an insult. You don’t have to be black to object to racism. You don’t have to be poor to object to class inequality. You don’t have to identify as someone struggling with or wrongly labeled with a personality disorder to object to the vilification of all such labeled people.

            “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
            Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
            Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
            Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” – Martin Neimoller

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          • Its NOT a silly overreaction. But the horrible stigma came from a shrink. Not the writer.

            Those labels are spurious and stupid. I got mine for thinking of suicide after a man I loved dumped me for no known reason. (And my mom had been telling me for years I was unlovable and no man would want a bipolar/schizo/fatty like me.) Didn’t get mine from a shrink either, but a case manager with a BS in phys ed who fit the “type” way better than I ever did.

            I hate break ups but they quit making me suicidal some time ago. The label lasts though. Believe me, I empathize with you. Your anger and pain are legitimate.

            I only ask you to remember Abrianna did not label you. Some quack playing god did.

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          • My post here was only written to help other people in the same situation as me.

            The 25% of patients in mental hospitals that are subjected to the abuse of the other 75%. That is who I am trying to give a voice to. We aren’t allowed to have a voice because of people like you.

            Clearly, there is still far more support for that 75% than the 25%.

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      • I think I see what you’re saying here, but I don’t think anyone’s upset about a “diagnosis” being “insulted.” I think the point is that when one is LABELED with such a “disorder” (usually against one’s will), one experiences prejudice and discrimination, even if one believes the labels are crap. I don’t personally want to continue to further the concept that people “have personality disorders” which can then be used to categorize them behaviorally as “mean.”

        This is not to dispute that mean people exist and indeed suck it big time. I am only disputing that such people can be identified by seeing if they fit a list of “criteria” invented by a bunch of arrogant wealthy folks meeting in conference rooms in a hotel in San Francisco for a few days.

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        • Exactly. I agree. I miss worded it in the article, but one paragraph out of context shouldn’t have spurred on 200+ comments discussing that one paragraph alone.

          I have researched personality disorders to a great extent. I forget that the average laymen doesn’t know the history of them and that everyone is basically sensitive about the subject one way or another. My beliefs on the subject should have been kept to myself. As they are personal and based on research I didn’t have the room to explain the article.

          I should have worded it differently but the point was: there are two kinds of patients in mental hospitals and we need to figure out a way to separate them.

          But more importantly, people should only be kept 72 hours so it doesn’t really matter much in the first place. This matters because they are housed together for weeks at a time.

          You can imagine how damaging it is for an teenager experiencing their first crisis to be placed in a room full of 30 year old drug addicts for two weeks, with some of the people hoping to sell them drugs upon release.

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          • Of course, it makes no sense to have placed you there. My point is only that it is the STAFF who make these decisions, and the staff are the ones who are responsible for making sure that the residents are safe. They failed you, miserably, and you suffered extreme and unnecessary harm as a result.

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          • Yeah and that’s what I am trying to change by saying two groups of people should be separated as a general rule. It’s not perfect but it’s the only solution I can think of to prevent this in most hospitals – while people are being held for weeks at a time. The real problem is over population that keeps mental hospitals from being able to organize patients properly and the slowness to move people to facilities that better match their treatment plans. Such as PHP and rehabs.

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  9. Would you please stop making this about me? It isn’t about me and it IS insulting that you’re implying that I’m reacting to a personal label. I don’t give a shit about the few clinicians (out of the dozens I’ve seen) that suggested I had borderline because I cut myself (a LONG time ago). Borderline is not the label I object to. Borderline doesn’t get you forcibly medicated with antipsychotics, antidepressants, and “mood stabilizers”. The label that bothers me is bipolar. Nobody gives a shit about people labeled borderline. The mental health system doesn’t bother borderline labeled people (mostly women). My objection is based on an entire class of “personality disordered” people being targeted. The author has adjusted her position several times throughout the comments and sometimes sounds reasonable and sometimes doubles down on the unscientific rhetoric about personality disordered people as if she’s some kind of expert.

    I realize she is new and still believes in her labels. That doesn’t mean I have to make space for bigoted commentary about a fellow group of marginalized people. All of the negative comments made about people she sees as different from herself reduce the impact of the clearly terrible things that she’s survived. I wish her story had been focused solely on her own experiences rather than trying to present herself as one of the “good” patients.

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    • kindredspirit have you looked at Abrianna’s website? I did wonder how the sentence about personality disorders got through the editing process on MIA as it doesn’t introduce or explain anything and just seems to be gratuitously offensive. But I didn’t want to be too negative as she is young and appears to have been through a lot. Having seen her website though I think I am going to be rather more negative and say that I think that MIA slipped up on this one.

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    • I never called you borderline, so I don’t know why you feel personally attacked.

      Too Much Blood would mean that many people have killed themselves or been murdered because of the things I discuss. There has been too much blood. We need to learn how to talk with each other civilly instead of attacking each other. That’s the point of the website.

      It’s in my story because I was majorly abused by the mean people in mental hospitals that don’t belong there. The doctors and the therapists put me there but I was abused by those people the most. They convinced me more into my delusions. They made me more paranoid. If they hadn’t been in the hospitals, I would have recovered 3 years ago. None of this would have happened. They are who I am a victim of.

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  10. Bramble, KS, Rachel & all, no reason to be apologetic OR under fire for reacting to the many “triggering” statements in the article validating psychiatric labeling, etc., and taking an “othering” attitude towards other inmates.

    I do believe that Abrianna has been done a disservice by MIA editors, who unlike her should have known what the (predictable and justifiable) reaction on the part of many survivors would be. So we should probably just let it go at that and welcome Abrianna into the discussion, as none of these issues started with her.

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  11. Can anyone tell me please – in the US would the content of Abrianna’s website be considered well… mainstream? To me it seems to be very far out to the right but maybe that is because I am not American? I can accept for example in the UK that more than half the population doesn’t vote the way I do and I can still have a polite conversation with them and I am not suggesting that MIA should only attract people with certain political views. I am just curious really if anyone can answer my question before I wander off to another thread.

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  12. You wanna know what sucks? After spending years of my life working myself up to writing and publicizing this article, just one paragraph derailed it.

    “The majority of the patients — correction, detainees — were drug addicts being detoxed against their will. These people don’t have mental disorders, they have personality disorders. Which means they are manipulative, sadistic, dishonest, violent and emotional.”

    One paragraph and my entire story is invalid. One paragraph and almost all of 110 comments discusses it – and only it. I put so much work into it but it was all for nothing.

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      • This is regarding my personal story, I was mostly abused by my fellow patients. Specifically, drug addicts that were there detoxing against their will. So what I hope to help achieve by writing this article is preventing that abuse. That is *one* of the goals of this particular article.

        Of course, drug addicts are also abused. Of course, all mental hospitals should be completely revamped to end that abuse for both types of patients. I have made it clear that mental hospitals need to be changed in many ways to help both patients. But because of what happened to me, I think we should start by organizing these two types of patients into two different facilities.

        I also made many other suggestions based on my experiences that were completely ignored.

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    • Also everyone had seemingly glossed over the most important sentence. They are drug addicts detoxing against there will.

      Everyone seems to think they are just nice people checking themselves in for help. Almost no addicts check in voluntarily – if they were, they would go to a rehab.

      I never met a single one that had checked themselves in. Mood disordered people did all the time. Not the drug addicts in the psych ward.

      Mental hospitals are now forcible rehabs. That’s 75% of what they do. A drug addict not looking for help is a much different kind of person than one that is. They are in general going to be abusive people.

      I don’t understand how this community can disagree. What you are doing is not believing a victim. You’re not recognizing who committed the crime and how they are responsible for it. You are completely invaladating me as a survivor of two suicide attempts – due these abuses I experienced.

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      • “Forcible rehabs.” Good point there.

        Stupid and pointless. I have visited open AA meetings with a friend (and was a member of another 12 step program once) The man leading the group grumbled afterward to me about judges forcing people to attend these meetings as punishment for DUI’s.

        “Waste of their time and ours!” he said.

        You can’t force someone to become a better person against their will.

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        • Tradition 11 : Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.

          Court orders go directly against their own founding guidelines. attraction rather than court orders !!

          If I ever chair a meeting I would refuse to sign court cards because I will not be a part of the “justice” system by proxy. Not my job to help them in any way.

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      • No one ever invalidated the abuse you have experienced. But I and others object to you targeting a whole class of people with unscientific assertions based on a narrow interpretation of your experiences.

        Your story would have been received very well here if not for the hateful commentary about people labeled with personality disorders, people with drug addictions, people experiencing psychosis. You seem to be under the impression that 75% of psychiatric inmates are bad terrible mean abusers. There is no scientific justification or rationale for these assertions, just the ramblings of someone who has been victimized.

        Anyone paying attention will know that the Groveland Four were just pardoned 70 years after their ordeal. It behooves ALL of us to call out sweeping generalizations because what they experienced is the logical result of how it plays out in the real world when we assign our troubles to a boogeyman instead of holding the individuals who harmed us to account.

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    • You’re right, sometimes you mess up and the right thing to do would be to own the mistake and apologize instead of doubling down on the nasty commentary against a fellow subset of patients.

      It is possible to say everything you’ve said about your own experiences, even those of being abused by fellow patients, without targeting an entire diagnostic group. I was raped as a teen by three black boys. I don’t go around calling all black men rapists. You target the individuals that hurt you, but don’t color everyone with a diagnosis with the same brush or you are behaving the same way as those who have done harm to you.

      I would suggest you stick around and read the comments on other articles and get a feel for the place before making any more sweeping statements about anything or anyone.

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  13. This is making me sick. Maybe the MIA editors should have explained a few things to the author here. We don’t validate DSM diagnoses here. Any. And that includes so-called personality disorders. The basis of such labeling is based in eugenics, the assumption that some people just don’t make the grade.

    I’d like to point out that HIPAA, which by the way, is not spelled HIPPA, doesn’t oblige the patients to do anything! HIPAA only applies to medical providers and any personnel who work in a hospital or treatment setting. So your shrink’s secretary is bound by HIPAA laws not to go leaking out who sees the shrink. The janitors also cannot tattle about who they saw on the psych ward. Patients are not legally bound. They are highly pressured to not squeal, not say a word when they witness abuse. Sadly, many patients actually believe this is covered by HIPAA law. It isn’t.

    You won’t have to pay a fine or do prison times if you name the names. It is helpful to others if you warn them about a particular abusive clinician, or name the hospitals that treated you badly. What no one should do is exaggerate, lie, or reveal very intimate details about ANY person, on social media, publicly viewable articles, or on a website.

    As a writer I am very careful about revealing anything about other patients. This isn’t because of HIPAA, though. It’s because if you use a name and say you saw that person in a nuthouse, you could be wrecking their reputation. When I have mentioned specific incidents or specific people I sometimes get around the libel issue by fictionalizing the characters, or creating conglomerate characters. You have to disguise their identity in that case.

    I am not subscribing to subsequent commentary on this article mainly because I don’t want any hateful, disgusting talk about “personality disorders” showing up in my inbox.

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      • The only difference between a “personality disordered” person and anyone else is a shrink (or messed up case worker with a BS in PE) labeled them for any reason whatever. Didn’t like their attitude/voice/hairstyle/labeler going through a divorce or not enough protein for breakfast.

        Why not just say, “My roommate was violent and bullied me?” For crying out loud.

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        • I know some therapists really well. They have told me that they take the longest time to diagnose someone with a personality disorder and always start with simply trying to give them help, then testing treatments for other disorders, and only resort to that type of label/treatment when all of the above fails. It’s like a last resort for them because they also know that the label won’t help someone even if they do have one.

          Certainly, there are therapists who irrationally label someone with a personality disorder and throw them away. It has happened to me once. But that doesn’t mean all therapists are that way. The proper way to do it is after years of therapy. Therapy that most truly personality disordered people will not stick with long enough to be diagnosed. Which is part of the reason why these diagnosis’s are so rare. The other reason is that personality disorders are rare.

          I know I need my therapist. I know I need to trust my therapist. I had to go through almost every therapist in Las Vegas to find one decent one I could build a relationship with. He has helped me. Especially with these generalizations against my abusers.

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          • It happens often enough however. I got my own delightful BPD label from a case worker, btw. Not supposed to be that way. She thought my desires for emotional connection and monogamy were unhealthy, swinger that she was. 😛

            Have you ever asked yourself how labeling someone BPD or a narcissist will help them? Or even the victims of abuse–if they’re abusive.

            I had a wonderful friend named Gladys who refused to leave her cruel, abusive husband. Why? He had been “diagnosed” “bipolar.” Gladys felt it would be cruel to leave the “poor, sick” man. Countless folks also labeled SMI begged her to consider his abusive behavior. Not his “mental illness.”

            “Bipolar” was irrelevant. Kenny was cruel, selfish, and bad tempered. In Gladys’s case her kind heart combined with pseudo-scientific lies was her undoing.

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          • I fled an abusive guy myself. Didn’t need a shrink to “diagnose” him either. I just checked his zodiac sign and realized he did horrible things because of the Sign he was born under. Lol. 😉

            I also read his fortune cookie and it said, “You will hurt the people you love.”

            Using the exact sciences of fortune cookies and astrology I realized he was abusive. Couldn’t have figured it out by watching the way he kicked puppies. I needed science to help me out.

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  14. ” I put so much work into it but it was all for nothing.”

    You can’t judge the results by the over reaction of half a dozen snowflakes. 1800 views divided by 9 peoples negative reactions. Big deal. That’s 1 in 200.

    Think about a bunch of guys watching football. It looks like everyone is loving it cause guys are expected to like football but alot of us can’t stand it cause most of it is commercials and people standing around the field, its all waiting but those that don’t like football usually pretend to be enjoying the game to fit in because the illusion is everyone else is wile contributing to the illusion that all dudes like football.

    Its the same thing happening here. The negative reaction is creating the illusion that “everyone” feels a certain way and people that agree are afraid to speak up.

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  15. “One of my delusions was traumatic: I became convinced that the medications were designed to make me so sick I couldn’t get out of bed. Then I wouldn’t be able to go to group, so they could tell my family and insurance company I wasn’t participating, so they could continue to give me poisonous medications, so that I couldn’t get up to go to groups… basically I thought I was in a program designed to keep me locked up for years while they milked my insurance for money.”

    This is not a delusion. This is the truth. Abrianna, you have stockholm syndrome. You are taking the side of your abusers because they have succeeded in indoctrinating you that you are “sick” somehow and that their physical abuse (drugging, force) was “needed” or that if “done right”, it is “good for you”. Let me rewind a bit: you were in a life crisis and had prior trauma. Rather than help you with this, profiteers drugged you. The drugs, because they are so toxic, made your mental state worse. Because the violent and predatory psych industry cannot have the general public catching onto the fact that their drugs almost always lead to worsening, they lock you up and terrorize and drug you more in a rotating door of catch and release so that it looks like some type of “science” is occuring.

    But it is not. They merely want to make the toxicity of their products less obvious by teaching you to blame yourself for the abuse and toxic poisoning they have inflicted. Sadly, it has worked on you. No doubt, other people trapped in these places can also be abusive. But you are defending the people who have abused you the most and trained you to think that abuse is okay. The real abusers are psychiatrists and their prisons to detain cash cows who might be “at risk” for figuring things out and escaping.

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    • I’m in a tough situation. The liberals will hate me because I say anything negative about certain drug addicts. The right will hate me for not being a perfectly healthy independent person and they will assume I deserved everything that happened to me for that.

      I don’t know if I will ever get any sort of real support. But I won’t ever stop trying to make this system change.

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  16. Hello Abrianna,

    I’m sorry you were received so poorly at this website. I do agree with Oldhead and some of the others that you were kind of set up to fail which is unfortunate.

    I think I can see through many of the statements you made that others found triggering since I’ve never been diagnosed or labeled by the mental health industry, but I admit even I was triggered a little when you described your experience of one person with multiple personality disorder…because my wife has d.i.d. and 11 years later I’ve yet to see her psychotic or dangerous: just traumatized and kind of in a ‘time-warp’ (to make it easy to understand).

    It is clear that you have tried to read up on this issue; sadly there just isn’t a lot of alternatives to the information you have read. I don’t know if you would consider staying and trying to learn why others found your statements so upsetting. There is good information here and it might lead you to other sites as well.
    Wishing you well,

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    • I never said I judged the girl with DID. I felt horrible for her and can barely imagine the horrors she has experienced in her life. I gave her my clothes. I was so nice to her that she even switched to a really nice personality on the third day and we finally got to talk like people. I was the only person who she did this with as the rest of the patients and staff were completely horrible to her. I stuck up for her. I am not a bad person and nor was I bad person in mental hospitals or closed minded. I never did anything to ask for the abuse.

      None of that changes the fact that in those first days she was horrible to me, made me more psychotic, and I was scared for my life every minute I spent alone with her. There is nothing personal about being afraid of someone who is scary just because they too are a victim. I still liked her in the end. I still didn’t judge her for anything she did.

      My only real complaint is that the staff made anyone live with her in the state she was in. It wasn’t just bad for me, it was bad for her too. She needed to be alone. It wasn’t fair that she couldn’t stabilize from her psychosis in a private room. As I got to see her in an embarrassing state. Almost any of the other patients – if they had been in that room, would have yelled at her, called her names, etc.

      Fortunately, when I was just as psychotic in future stays, I was allotted a private room until I stabilized. It was a terrible crime to not give that opportunity to her. If someone had lived that closely with me when I was that out of my mind (as I was in the future) I would have been absolutely mortified.

      I think I did something very good for her. And I am proud for how strong I was to do so at that time. She needed a friend and I provided her with one. I wish someone had done that for me when I was in the same state in the future.

      Comments like this are helpful for the conversation. It actually gives me the chance to explain something regarding a specific issue in the 12,000 words. If I had attempted to take the time to explain the individual cases – including the parts where I was very kind, nice, and liked people that even abused me, this story would have been 24,000 words long. That’s why we have comments. To be able to clarify and add context to the story.

      Instead everyone here made assumptions about me and my words without talking to me first. They didn’t talk about something specific so we could have a constructive conversation. They just said incredibly hurtful personal attacks. They generalized ME.

      Honestly after this I am too embarrassed and stigmatized to be able to stay here and learn anything. Maybe if the community had been gentle and less judgmental I could have stayed and learned more. However, I have been active here under a different account before I wrote this story. And I definitely won’t be sharing that username if it would be connected with the atrocity of the response to my story.

      I was brave for writing what I did.

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      • Abrianna,
        I didn’t say you were judging her, and I am sorry she was violent toward you. I wasn’t calling you out on that. That was more for the other survivors to clarify that I understood their position and why they are upset.

        But to you, I do hope you will stick around despite how you’ve been treated by some here and try to see what MIA is all about. It’s got a very different perspective than what you appear to be familiar with. We try to see past labels, diagnoses, and even actions and understand the ‘why’ people act the way they do, though you’ll see inconsistencies just because it’s hard to talk about things without a common language, and that language has, unfortunately, been shaped by the current cultural narrative on mental health/illness.


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  17. Do you guys understand the hypocrisy? You’re telling me to judge that psychiatrists are more likely to horrible because we have encountered many horrible ones – while expecting me to not say drug addicts are more likely to be abusive despite me having encountered many horrible ones. I’m not trying to generalize either group. But obviously it is okay to somewhat generalize or we couldn’t have much constructive conversation.

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    • I don’t consider psychiatry or drug addiction good as institutions.

      As far as individuals–I try to look for the good in others. Most of the shrinks I have known strike me as good natured but detached. If you went along with everything they said, and didn’t ask questions they were pretty nice. Only one was truly evil, and her patients had no defense against her abuse.

      But even if they mean well the treatments still have done many grave harm.

      In the old days they used to treat cholera patients with blood letting.

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      • It’s all true. Even the therapists I have liked – it always felt like they cared more about their money than me. However, the mental health system isn’t going anywhere. We have to start with small changes instead of demanding that the entire subject be thrown out and started over with.

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  18. Abrianna’s essay has not helped the mission to re-think psychiatry, rather it has led to people who have endured harmful and spurious labels and destructive psychiatric treatments to feel more stress, stigma and discrimination. Commenters on here are referring to others who disagree with the message as “snowflakes”, really?

    Perhaps Abrianna should read the Memoriam post on MIA, in particular Kermit Coles’s tribute:


    This may help her understand any person can be suffering for a great variety of reasons but no one deserves to be denigrated for their suffering.

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  19. Since everyone hates me so much I don’t really feel like posting an excerpt from this other story as planned. Judge me all you want, but I won’t really feel judged until you read the worst of my abuse and still judge me.


    Here’s an excerpt that is related.

    “We traversed to a building with 50 men and women in jump suits. There were two small rooms where virtual court was held. I sat upon a table where without three days of sleep, I struggled to be consciences but was too uncomfortable to sleep. And I did lose consciousness for moments at a time.

    The stench of my body was radiating, and I believed the detainees would see me in contempt. But they asked what I had done, and I said unto them that I drew with chalk on Fremont Street.

    And they did believe me as they too had been wronged. Yet they were astounded. And seeing my bagged eyes, matted hair, bruises upon my appendages and the stench they knew what I had suffered thus far.

    And one did smell as I did and look as I did. And I asked her why she was there. And she said unto me that it was for a spoon. She too was unable to speak. She showed the paperwork she held. And it said she was with drug paraphernalia and described it as a spoon and rubber band. And I saw the tortured soul in front of me and I asked, this is how they wish to treat drug addiction?”

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    • Not everyone hates you, Abrianna. I am truly sorry for the reception you got. This isn’t the first time this has happened. I wish MIA could figure this out. I hate to see everyone upset instead of finding our common ground to fight the real problems and issues.

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      • No one “hates” her. The reception was totally predictable, and justified, as it was very hurtful to many survivors who trust MIA to be in their corner, just as we expect not to find blogs by Torrey et al.

        We should be fighting the real problems and issues, which need to be defined and analyzed, and have nothing to do with “personality disorders.”

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        • It was much more hurtful to me than anyone else here. First, everyone else here was supported by everyone, and I was only supported by two people. This was my first time sharing any part of my story. I don’t think you understand the implications or impact this will have on my life. All because I offended some people, I have been mercilessly attacked and scared into not sharing any part of my story in the future.

          I have said: I don’t think that drug addicts deserve worse treatment. Just separate treatment. I do believe drug addicts have suffered just as badly as me – in fact much worse in many instances (which is what I learned in jail). I do not blame drug addicts for their conditions. I have no ill will for the personality disordered and only wish that they received the treatment they deserve to better recover.

          Everyone here is telling me what I believe. I know what I believe. I know what the messages I were really trying to convey are. It is patronizing to tell me what I believe based on how you interpreted the story.

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      • Every time MIA invites an author to share his/her story, and he/she doesn’t use the ‘correct’ terminology or show the correct ‘attitude’ and perspective as defined by those on MIA, (and which I largely agree with!), then that author gets mercilessly attacked for his/her ignorance instead of trying to use that as a teachable moment. I DO understand that the survivors are triggered and quite naturally responding to the kind of language and attitudes that were used to dehumanize and traumatize them, but how will MIA ever expand the tent if it allows these authors to repeatedly get attacked in such a manner?

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        • I was reading toomuchblood the chapter. I lived it too, psychosis in jail. I think I got “triggered”, ya I did.

          Wouldn’t it be fun to hurt those people back ? Those soulless just doing my job types. Have it completely turned around and be the one inflicting it on them. You weren’t very nice to me, I never did a thing to you but I am going to F you up now real bad. THAT would be fun.


          I hope these 2 that drowned the 2 women in the prison van go to jail and get housed with the rapists and pedophiles. Cops don’t do well in jail. Before they even drowned those women they were guilty of crimes against humanity.

          “Thompson said his office was responding to court orders to transport the women from a hospital and a mental-health center. The sheriff’s office transports 1,200 patients per year, traveling up to 40,000 miles each month, he said.”

          F them and their cage van. “just doing my job” doesn’t work with me. You torture 1,200 people a year, you could get a job doing something else.

          There is a part of me that evil now too. Most people will go their entire lives never see the inside of a jail or so called hospital. When I see on TV a cop got hurt it makes me happy. That’s evil I guess but it does. They are that system.

          I remember the first hospital I was like WTF I never knew this existed in our “civilized” society. I never knew anyone could just arbitrarily take your rights completely away like that.

          Again what lead me here was the threat of injection when I refused those dangerous pills. Injection. That is inside me. That is a rape. My body is the only thing I own in this world. You can’t poison it. They are lucky they didn’t do that. I would have retaliated. I had it all planned, made the plan in the hospital. I was just going to run up on the person that did it and hit them in the knee with a metal pipe as hard as I possibly could, one hit a complete shatter, then run away. I was thinking do it on Halloween the only day no one questions you wearing a mask.

          I shouldn’t even read that stuff. I was ‘triggered’. I already know about the horrors hiding behind locked doors.

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          • That’s why I am going to make CrazyAbuse.com. I plan to collect every story of abuse I can find and organizing them into each jail. That way we can all see which jails and hospitals are allowing the worst abuse to happen. It will also be a mass of evidence the average person can’t ignore.

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      • Posting as moderator:

        To a large extent, I have failed to moderate this thread effectively. Comments which are generalizations regarding people with a particular psychiatric label are expressly identified as violations of the posting guidelines, to wit:

        “We are an oppression-free zone. Comments that are racist, sexist, transphobic or otherwise oppressive may be subject to removal. Statements that attack or assume things about a person based on a label they carry (i.e. “psychiatrist” or “schizophrenic”) are similarly not condoned.”

        I take full responsibility for failing to intervene effectively, and I intend to change that starting immediately.

        That being said, it is acceptable for people not to appreciate certain aspects of an author’s blog and to say so in the comments section, as long as the comments themselves are within the guidelines. I know this can be tough for authors, but it is a reality that has to be respected if we are to have any kind of meaningful conversation about these topics. It is a balance that has to be struck, and the guidelines are the best way I think we have to strike such a balance.

        I will add that anyone seeing a post violating the guidelines is again welcome and encouraged to report it. It helps the community when the members of the community participate in setting standards they would like to see respected.

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        • “That being said, it is acceptable for people not to appreciate certain aspects of an author’s blog and to say so in the comments section, as long as the comments themselves are within the guidelines. I know this can be tough for authors, but it is a reality that has to be respected if we are to have any kind of meaningful conversation about these topics. It is a balance that has to be struck, and the guidelines are the best way I think we have to strike such a balance.”

          I don’t know, Steve, There’s got to be a better way. I’ve watched a number of authors get run off because they used the common vernacular and still retained at least part of the common mindset on this subject of mental health, and yet the staff clearly thought they had a story worth telling. It takes most people a while to learn there’s a new way to look at mental health issues: how we view it, talk about it, etc. We can’t just assume these authors are going to get it all right the first time unless there’s a LOT of heavy coaching and editing by the staff to help them.

          To take the attitude that ‘it can be tough for authors’ means we continue to lose allies for no other reason than to allow the survivors to treat the authors in a manner that I bet they never treat anyone in real life. That’s not ‘giving them a voice’: it’s just giving them a pass to be disrespectful because of their past history of abuse. If we’d just been willing to teach the authors a little and work with them as they learned new ways to think and speak of this subject, they might stick around.

          Abrianna is clearly an intelligent, articulate and studious young lady: she could end up being a great ‘point of light’ in this fight. And yet she was just as traumatized by this experience as kindredspirit and others, and this is NOT just because ‘you failed’ (in your own words) on this one, individual thread. I’ve watched this happen repeatedly even before you took over as moderator. I sincerely hope you all can figure out a better way to do this: one that respects everyone and yet gives everyone time and space to grow and learn.

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          • MIA made a mistake here. I think that much has been recognized, so there’s no need to act like this is something systemic.

            There IS a better way — Abrianna should have been allowed to grow her understanding of the issues before being presented as an “authority.” People’s reactions here are completely legitimate, but it’s not her fault. At least not initially.

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          • Posting as moderator:

            I appreciate you sharing your views on this. I want to make sure to clarify that there is no requirement that people avoid the use of “psychiatric language” and that people will never be moderated for that reason. The reason many posts on this thread were moderated was a specific violation of the guidelines against making assumptions regarding a group of people based on their psychiatric label or other chosen or assigned identity. The issue of “psychiatric language” is something that people in the community get to hash out among themselves.

            That said, I do agree with you that folks would do well to consider the potential impact on a poster, including authors, when they comment. It’s important to remember that many of us were at a different place when first exposed to the kind of views one hears here, and that we may be running off potential allies by being overly harsh in our assessments and our language, because most people can and do learn if they are able to hear and process the information. But that goes well beyond the purview of the moderator.

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  20. Well in the end you have all helped me. I have been writing a memoir for years and I am learning how to be less offensive and keep certain views to myself because they are difficult to explain. Every comment, no matter how hurtful, has helped me in a way.

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    • It sounds like “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” “Writing a memoir for years” is a great idea and will help you better understand yourself and the world around you. Your courage in addressing hostile comments will serve you well; you will become wiser in “learning to be less offensive” as you better understand views that “are difficult to explain.” I am looking forward to reading more of your perspective. Please feel free to use me for a sounding board if you like; I can be reached through a free therapy program that I administer at UnifiedAlternatives.org.

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  21. Posting as moderator:

    I have been very soft on my moderation of this thread, and I think that has been a mistake. That time is over and I am returning to full moderation policies as always. Comments that generalize about “the personality disordered” or any other psychiatric label will be moderated from this point forward. Please restrict your comments to the specific people you have direct experience with. “The people in the ward I was in” or “the other residents” is acceptable language. Generalized statements about “Drug addicts” or “people with personality disorders” is a violation of the posting guidelines, specifically,

    “We are an oppression-free zone. Comments that are racist, sexist, transphobic or otherwise oppressive may be subject to removal. Statements that attack or assume things about a person based on a label they carry (i.e. “psychiatrist” or “schizophrenic”) are similarly not condoned.”

    All commenters are to follow these guidelines, and further comments in violation will be removed. If you see a violation, PLEASE do not react with further escalation – report the comment to me via the reporting button, or by e-mailing me at “[email protected]

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    • You’re going to hate me — please understand I’m not arguing about the issue at hand and tend to agree with you here — but as a matter of consistency, “schizophrenic” is a label ascribed to people by psychiatry, which they “carry”; but “psychiatrist” is a self-proclaimed identity, not an externally-imposed “label” that they “carry.” But I know you didn’t write the guidelines. 🙂

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      • That is true OH. But we must be just and not make our opponents out to be nastier than they are. Most are ignorant of the damage they do and actually think they’re helping people. (Those in the “Inner Circle”–presidents and high ranking APA officials, shrinks turned bureaucrats, famous pro bio-bio-bio model writers–are another matter.)

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        • I don’t see how this is a response to what I just said.

          It makes no difference whatever what individuals’ intentions are, it’s their actions we are concerned with. Those who are unaware of the destruction they sow are at least as, if not more dangerous, than those who are deliberately malevolent. It’s the primarily the mentality that needs to be exposed and confronted.

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      • I don’t disagree at all, and I believe chosen labels are more relevant for critique than those foisted on one by someone else. But I still hold that making complete assumptions or generalizations, even about psychiatrists, should not be allowed. Saying “all psychiatrists are NAZIs” neglects the fact that some psychiatrists, such as Peter Breggin or a handful of others, have been major critics and providers of helpful data to fight the status quo.

        A very good point, though, and I’m glad you raised it.

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    • This sucks.
      I should really quit this. I rode and was a big part the wave against ‘big pharma’ the chemical imbalance lie spreading that info across the internet . The pharma lawsuits.

      WTF are we doing now ? Forums are dead, we have no battle plan anymore.

      “This series is being developed through a UMASS Boston initiative supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundation. The interviews are being led by UMASS PhD students who also comprise the Mad in America research news team.”

      Website was taken by the NWO.

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    • I am glad to hear this. This article should never have been about personality disorders. And I have felt pressured into discussing my personal opinions on the matter due to the immediate negative replies to this thread. Over three sentences that were simply worded poorly.

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      • Your right but NOTHING pushes my buttons quite like censorship. Actually not much else does. Its the one big button I got.

        I put that time into writing that football analogy maybe not a ton and I look and its gone. That’s the biggest FU ever. In those wrenched institutions they take away your say about anything I won’t just take it online.

        The only reason I am here is because when I was in that “hospital” I said when this is over I am speaking out.

        Hard enough that the psychiatric establishment has the billions for marketing and lobbyists now we have to also take on the burden of PC speech only. F that.

        You got a valid point that people should be able to get help without being surrounded by predatory people but you described them using “wrong speech”


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        • Commenting as moderator: Posts are moderated ONLY for violating the posting guidelines. I have explained clearly the reason why posts making generalizations about “personality disorders” or any other diagnosis will be removed, and provided a specific quotation from the guidelines that outlines this exact situation for purposes of clarity. You agreed to these guidelines before you started posting here, and you should not be surprised when violations of these guidelines lead to posts being moderated.

          It is not appropriate to raise these issues on the threads, and I have explained to you each time why the post removed has violated the guidelines. Any future comments about “censorship” will be immediately moderated. I have only allowed this to stand so I can explain to any readers who may be confused the actual cause of posts being removed, which has nothing to do with any political agenda and everything to do with the posting guidelines that everyone has agreed to by choosing to post here.

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      • I put alot into this fight spreading the message, probably a million views at least learning to be almost a hacker getting kicked off websites then just signing up again the IP address game every time I tried to criticize psychiatry and tell me story or post anything against the narrative.

        What is the narrative here that you have to like everyone you are in treatment with because they are just “sick” or something.

        I wrote about telling someone who was manic to STFU on the story “Individuals with Psychosis Symptoms More Likely to be Victimized”

        Yes I did that, I started with him cause he was running his mouth outside the AA club. Manic or not he was starting S and I gave him some but I look back and my post is gone cause it doesn’t fit the narrative that they are all victims. This dude was an ass not a victim.

        Anyway play that game with the report button on me it only gets worse.

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        • Something seems to be going on with you, I repeat. Usually your posts are pretty on target, but you’re pulling your punches here. And don’t pretend this is about “censorship.” Personal insults are not allowed here, that’s all. This includes insulting groups of people who have been labeled.

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    • Luv ya Cat. But calling those who’re still shell shocked “snowflakes” is not helping matters.

      We need to deal with one another kindly and gently here.

      Abrianna had NO idea she was hurting people’s feelings. Please remember this. Her words hurt many, but it’s like someone who accidentally sticks their foot out too far and causes you to fall. As opposed to deliberately tripping people.

      To Abrianna, I hope you’ll forgive us for judging you unfairly. You had no idea how people here feel about psych labels. Particularly the “personality disorders” can of worms. My biggest problem is it’s horrible to write anyone off as hopeless and irredeemable. No human can read minds or see the future. But when people assign personality disorders that’s what they’re pretending to do. Sometimes these become vicious self fulfilling prophecies, making reformation more difficult than ever.

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      • Abrianna had NO idea she was hurting people’s feelings

        Yet when she was informed that she WAS she refused to hear it. So I think it’s time to cease with the blaming, the apologizing, and this discussion in general. Almost none of the other blogs have any new comments due to this tabloid-style distraction.

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      • I really don’t want them written off as hopeless. At all. Just that there should be emergency rehabs and emergency mood disorder facilities. More importantly, that people should never be held more than 72 hours so they aren’t forced to live with abusive patients for weeks. I just don’t think the latter is possible anytime soon and the only thing we can ask for is the first solution for now.

        In fact, they are trying to change the wording on the law from “A danger to themselves or others.” To something more vague like “Mental Health Crisis.” When they were already doing that, but now they want to make it legal. We are moving absolutely in the wrong direction and it is terrifying. I would rather die than spend another two weeks locked up with that majority of patients who are abusive.

        And it could happen. I had another psychotic break in April. It’s the anniversary of that third hospitalization and my abuse in jail where I lost my dog. It’s also my birthday which has been forever ruined. I called the police because I was afraid my abusive ex-boyfriend (who I met in a PHP) was coming back. Which I had a good reason for fearing as he had been following me again.

        Due to the history of my address (many phone calls that led to hospitalizations) they took me straight to a mental hospital. I only spent five days in. But one of the patients completely had it out for me when I defending this young girl from her emotional attacks. She was turning the entire ward against me and I really feared for my life. The two patients that became my friends tried to get me to become a drug dealer upon release.

        They only released me faster this time because: I wasn’t in a UHS hospital. I had a husband that was willing to say he could take care of me. Every other time I was held for so long because I didn’t have anyone who said they would support me upon release.

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  22. I very much appreciate the Author’s experiences and observations. Her reports of patients and staff being totally abusive is the standard, not the exception.

    As for the Author’s use of DSM labels . . .it appears she has not came to the same conclusion many of us have, they are not scientifically valid or even near reliable. The history of psychiatry has been used to marginalize, stereo-type, criminalize and commoditize, suffering individuals. Remove the “Disorder” from Personality Disorder and you get “Personality.” Personality is developed over a lifetime’s worth of experiences and is HIGHLY subjective.

    The reaction to life experiences, especially trauma related ones, work out in multitude of ways. For those without access to quality support systems, you will see much more substance abuse and visibly culturally “deviant” behaviors. These are those who have never had or failed to find adequate coping mechanisms.

    I cannot overstate enough how one’s traumatic lifetime’s worth of events plays out in one’s physical being, day to day. The thing about trauma, it can be physical, emotional, spiritual, real or perceived, single-event or long-term (not all inclusive). . . Many of us experience severe anxiety, and associated sleeplessness (or declining quality of sleep). That declining quality of sleep leads to sleep deprivation and that is often presents as mania/paranoia/psychosis . . . or DSM Bipolar in many cases and Schizophrenic in others. Here’s where the self-medication comes in . . . many self-medicate to reduce the anxiety, and to sleep. This leads to the abuse of drugs.

    The anger you are feeling is from those of us that have found the DSM, not only lacking in help, but CRIMINAL in its use. Many times, those suffering from trauma related issues, or depression or a host of other real-life conditions, first interaction with the Mental health system is a DSM “substantiated diagnosis” and the dangerous psychiatric medications. These are Psychiatric Diagnoses, not Medical Diagnoses. Actually, when one is labeled mentally ill of any sort, there is almost always never a Medical Rule-out. The medications, as you have realized, have a host of other related side-effects, which is often why many “psychiatric patients” end up on numerous medications. . . one medication for the original diagnosis, other medications due to the side-effects of the original medication . . . pharmaceutical HELL.

    In your reporting, I do see a level of Spiritual conflict. There is something there, but as your experiences are YOURS I can go no further. What I can recommend, find someone good in leading you into your own life’s experiences with your own trauma. It is obvious that it’s there.

    Now that you are married, make sure your husband is well aware of what is going on with you, what you are feeling. Make sure there is a game plan if you find yourself in crisis. Make sure you have a way to sleep, really sleep, when you cannot.

    You may have to do your own medical rule-out . . 23 and me health edition would be a good place to start. Even though their genetic markers often associate DSM diagnoses, these genetic markers are MEDICAL conditions, not psychiatric. Quite to the contrary, DSM co-opted several overlapping medical conditions so they can say these DSM diagnosis are medical.

    Learn how to REMEMBER events, not RELIVE. Reliving events involves both remembering the event along with the emotional turmoil associated. Just remembering the event removes much of the emotional/physical bodily reaction and associated anxiety. No, this is by no means, easy. It IS NECESSARY.

    Once you have a valid Medical Diagnosis, work with your Psychiatrist to remove your DSM diagnosis. You are young and more than likely will want children. The unfortunately real situation is, if you have children while being diagnosed as Bipolar or Schizophrenic, a Social Worker will meet with you to determine whether you are a “fit” mother. While a person with a substantiated DSM diagnosis is profitable to these systems, they are even more profitable if they have young children.

    I could be wrong, but I have found experience is the best teacher. Second best, those that have experienced it. . . .much of what you find in this Forum.

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    • I am really fortunate for my husband. He is experienced with this stuff because “mental illness” runs in his family. His uncle even killed himself. When I went psychotic last April the way he handled it was so much better than anyone ever had. Everyone always tells me my entire “delusion” is false. Which is incredibly embarrassing, so it makes me double down.

      He believed me to a degree and worked with me on ways to keep me more secure. For example, the psychotic break was driven by my fear of my ex-boyfriend coming back. So he bought a kick plate for the door and we installed a security system on all the windows. He told me that our dog is part pitbull and anyone that comes through that door is going to get their throat ripped out by him (lol).

      The other delusions were related to the government because my ex was rich and had convinced me he worked with the CIA. I thought the CIA had been breaking in and doing things to make me feel crazy. Like for example, steal all my underwear lol. He found all my underwear and put it in a pile to show me that it wasn’t true. I thought the CIA was following us and he acted like it might be possible but showed me that it was safe. I find it really funny now, though I was embarrassed about it the immediate months following. He never made a joke about it until I did. I can’t say more to explain this fear of my ex in case he reads this. If I expose him completely he might really kill me.

      What’s really important about my ex is that he was a meth addict I met in a partial hospitalization program. So you can see how being exposed to such patients is incredibly dangerous for vulnerable people like me. I used to be open minded about drug addicts in mental hospitals. Now I am very afraid of them for good reasons.

      The point is that normally I am shamed to the point that I feel like I must believe my delusions more to get people to believe me because I don’t want to be crazy as they say. He didn’t do that to me. I recovered much more quickly and it might have been my last psychotic break.

      His family is also Mormon. I was raised in Utah. My Mormon dad died when I was young and I always wanted to continue following that faith. But my family ridiculed me for believing in God at all. (They had a different Father). His family is very Mormon and I finally feel at home with them and not feel crazy for believing in God. The most important part of recovery for someone who is “mentally ill” is their support system out of hospitals. Which is why family meetings and family therapy while someone is hospitalized is even more important than separating the patients. They can get out faster and then it matters less who they were locked up with. Right now, they offer little or no such service.

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      • Thanks for sharing more, Abrianna,
        I’m glad your husband is so supportive, and it sounds like he’s doing the EXACT right thing for you. It’s almost exactly how I’ve treated my wife’s various ‘alters’ (gag) when they share their fears with me. I can either validate the girls, take the fears seriously and help the girls thru the fears…or I can deny their fears and the girls simply hang onto those fears more tightly because ‘no one is listening.’ The former always works better than the latter, and yet so many take the latter route…

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      • “What’s really important about my ex is that he was a meth addict I met in a partial hospitalization program. So you can see how being exposed to such patients is incredibly dangerous for vulnerable people like me.”

        I have seen it 100 times working at that treatment center. These slick sacks of crap coming down on the ladies like vultures. Hi girl, this is my 14th treatment but THIS time I am quitting !!

        And I am going to start my own business / open a tattoo shop and bal bla bla I have no life experience besides dropping out of school, getting high and in trouble for years but I am real good at behaving like everything I see in rap videos !! I can also speak street slang and spit alot.

        Then you have dudes like me “I can save her” tried that twice all this drama and getting cornered into no win situations. OK lets just do all the things YOU want to do !!

        Seriously though I have seen it so many times “beginner” women get lured in buy the ones who have been around the block preying on their vulnerabilities. The ones that brag about the number of partners they have had like there is some kind of prize for the high score besides an empty life.

        New girl comes she is surrounded immediately. We had a counselor that used to warn against it telling them they have broken pickers, your picker is broken don’t get in a relationship till you have been sober for a wile.

        Its true, cause these women didn’t seem like dudes who somewhat had it together myself included, they liked the damn clowns for some reason. That low self esteem they get scared of healthy dudes I had a counselor tell me.

        Here I go maybe saying something offensive. Talk on egg shells no thanks. I am not saying you or your ex fit anything I have described. Just a testimony to what I have seen being around this for years.

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        • You sound like you’re quoting from my own writings. What you’re describing is very real. I don’t think it’s always due to “low self esteem.” I think women in our culture are trained from early on to like “bad boys” and believe they can “save them.” Some men do this, too, but women are primed for it from the first time they read “Beauty and the Beast.”

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      • Please consider a different perspective: Your life experiences including your experiences with your “ex” are extremely distressful; your distress causes emotional suffering that is painful. It is natural for people in extreme fatigue and people in extreme pain (both physical and emotional) to have delusions and hallucinations. Unfortunately, you believe the accepted medical model paradigm led by psychiatry that advocates that delusions and hallucinations are symptoms of a pathology. It is hard to understand how psychiatry pathologizes sadness because its “medical model” is a classical paradigm. A classical paradigm is accepted by most people without question; our community generally believes that sadness is unnatural regardless of cruel and unjust life circumstances. The least fortunate 2% of the population have a human right to avoid abuse and a human right to suffer from abusive experiences according to the UN commission on human rights.

        All emotions are natural; they are direct reflections of personal experience. Your fear of your ex is natural regardless of an “objective analysis”; you earned your fear the hard way. It is a crime against humanity to pathologize sadness.

        Your husband comes from a family rife with emotional suffering from distressful circumstances (rather than “mental illness”). He learned empathy for emotional suffering including the suffering of an uncle who took his own life when the natural emotional pain (and hopelessness for relief) became overwhelming. He understands the value of emotional support for symptoms of emotional suffering rather than treat the behaviors as symptoms of “mental illness.” Supportive environments promote emotional well-being; in contrast, pathologizing natural emotional suffering worsens distress.

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      • It sounds like you had VERY real reasons to be afraid! While you might have identified some “wrong targets,” your fear of your ex appears to be very well founded. Good job getting away from him, and well done to your husband for doing what the “mental health experts” were too blind to figure out. Just goes to show you don’t have to be a “counselor” to understand how to help someone in distress.

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    • I also agree that the DSM is completely used in the incorrect way. It does more harm than good. But that doesn’t mean all the definitions inside of it are wrong (imo) but are used in terrible ways by the mental health system. It should be a lot more important to consider each patients story and their needs because of it, not relaying on a book and treating them as if they are all the same. The majority of therapists and psychiatrists do just that and leave humanity out of treatment. It’s cookie cut, and it’s wrong.

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  23. I understand the reason why people were upset. It appeared that I write off every person I don’t like as personality disordered. I can understand that people who had been written off that way in the past would be hurt by knowing more people in the world exist that do such a thing. What I met by personality disordered was that it was in the literal sense: they displayed abusive behavior that didn’t make sense to me. We shouldn’t ever assume that all people who act in such ways have a personality disorder or that if they do have one they don’t deserve equal treatment. Most people with behavior that doesn’t make sense are that way because they were abused in their past (especially in childhood) and it isn’t their fault.

    No one should be labeled and then thrown away. Everyone deserves as much opportunity as possible to become healthy. The DSM may have some correct definitions inside of it, but it is used in a truly evil way by the mental health profession. I have used it to make more sense out of my abusive family and understand better how to handle their abuse. I think using it in that way with the guidance of a therapist can good if done correctly with months of talking about it. But a therapist hastily using it to decide whether or not a patient is worth saving is abhorrent. I know that is how it is usually used and that this is terrible.

    I am sure plenty of my doctors and therapists have thought I had a personality disorder and was malingering as well – even if they didn’t say so. In fact, I know of one who certainly did. I was in a PHP program and he began to treat me awful. I knew he was quick to diagnose people with personality disorders without knowing them very well – but he wouldn’t say so. I could tell because I knew so much about personality disorders. You could just tell by the way he treated people. He did it to others in the program that I knew didn’t have a disorder.

    He didn’t bother to understand my story: That during my first psychotic break I was hospitalized, then in abuse in jail five days, then released and immediately hospitalized again where I lost my dog. This led me to meeting my abusive meth addicted ex-boyfriend in a partial hospitalization program.

    He then abused me for six months, including chocking me several times, handcuffing me to a bed for days at a time, and stealing over $80,000 that was mostly saved to pay taxes that I will likely be in debt to for many many years.

    Then I was suicidally depressed for 8 months where every day I wanted to be dead and I was only waiting for my life insurance to be two years old (it was a couple months away) so my nieces could get the pay out as it was the only way I would feel okay about abandoning them.

    Then when I started to recover, I chose to enter another PHP with this particular therapist because I had met him in my very first hospitalization and he was very good to me and I trusted him. After he threw me out of the program, I felt like I could never trust anyone again because yet another person I trusted had betrayed me.

    I then I had four more hospitalizations and two suicide attempts. Cutting my arm so badly I have a 5 inch long scar on my arm and another time drinking into so much excess one night that I nearly died from alcohol poisoning. Which both led to two more hospitalizations where I was abused again.

    During that time my business was attacked with negative SEO and taken off Google. This forced me to fire all five of my employees this year and try to continue to recover from all of this while running an entire business by myself. I lost an additional $45k and now have no money whatsoever.

    He didn’t care to understand my story. He labeled me and threw me out of the PHP program when I was one of the patients in the most precarious situations. I had a psychotic break a month or so after and was again abused in another mental hospital.

    If I had been safely monitored in the PHP program as I should have been, I believe I would have recovered 1.5 years ago. I understand completely how labeling people personality disordered ruins lives.

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      • Before I was 22 years old I had no mental health problems. I had been in a three year long relationship with a great man that ended amicably. I owned a house and a business that was valued at 1 million dollars (it’s worth $200,000). And now I have somewhat bounced back and I’m happily married with no personal issues. I completely blame all of what happened to me on the system. I was psychotic and I abused into psychosis again and again. You can’t punish someone out of psychosis. I am bipolar and that’s it.

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    • Thanks for sharing that. You’ve outlined the basics of how these “PD” diagnoses are used to invalidate and dismiss clients who have abuse histories. A minimum qualification for any counselor in my world is someone who recognizes that the DSM labels are BS and who understands that most “mental illness” is a result of being treated shabbily when one is vulnerable.

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  24. It was always anxiety combined with withdrawal that pushed me into ‘psychosis’ where I believed I was dying or already dead.

    Since we are on this topic of separating people by diagnosis I vote to segregating all the suicidal people into one section of the hospital so the rest of us don’t have to be subjected to the dehumanizing suicide protocols.

    I mean what the hell, I bug out and go to the hospital thinking I am dying trying to avoid death this incredibly intense feeling of impending doom the next thing they got me upstairs no shoe laces being followed around by Mr Clipboard so I don’t kill myself ?

    Always been scared of death, as a kid seeing cemeteries and coffins thinking what if I am not dead but they bury me anyway ?

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  25. Ok sorry my “anti social” personality is coming out. I was being a troll. I do try and only use the anti social part of me for doing good things, like the robin hood excuse. Anyway this activism against psychiatry really helped me in the path to recovery. I was hurt by it all and needed an avenue to fight back and being nice about it was never a priority.

    Just keep doing what you are doing publicizing the abuses in those hospitals. I like doing it directing my own anti social ways at them for a good cause.

    I am out for now.

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  26. Abrianna,

    I apologize for saying that you do not deserve sympathy for the abuse you have encountered. I do not agree with many of the views you have espoused in your essay, in the comments section, or on your website. I think you have a lot of listening and learning to do to incorporate more than your own experiences into your world view, but it was wrong of me to write you off entirely based on beliefs you have developed due to your traumas, however erroneous and ultimately harmful to others those beliefs may be. I could have handled myself more diplomatically and instead I let the argument get out of control. Please forgive me for that.

    I’d like to welcome you to the community and hope you will continue to both share and to listen so that you may gain a deeper insight into the causes of your distress which ultimately leads to long-term healing and happiness for you.

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    • The_cat. . . whether it was an experiment or it was not, I think Abrianna’s posting was a reminder to all of us what I consider our role in participating. We are here for Support, Comradery, Information and an Outlet. That is what MIA offers me.

      As a caregiver, I to have failed my loved one in believing the Mental Health Establishment had answers. In both her and my lives, they have only created more problems. It wasn’t until she ended up in jail that one of the staff psyche staff notified me how much he could see trauma in her condition. This coming from a mental health professional having worked 20 years at the VA. Add to that, a genetic sleep disorder . . . amplified by her anxiety, medication not doing the one thing it was supposed to do, make her sleep. Boom, you have trauma creating anxiety creating sleep deprivation and the mania and psychosis.

      What I am trying to say, I, and her family, were painfully misguided intensely amplifying her trauma. My positions evolved the more stories I read on MIA. I NOW have a better grasp on many of the “mental health” issues and the failings of the Established Practices in Hospital and Statutory Policies. This is a direct result of my involvement here.

      I was told a long time ago by a very good MD that had a secondary specialization in psychiatry (ca. 1930’s).

      “If you cannot say something nice, say something constructive.”

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      • You are basically telling the same story of my life and how my family initially reacted to my condition. I too went to jail over nothing where I was forced into psychosis more than I ever would have been naturally. The difference is you stuck by her side instead of giving up and writing her off as crazy/useless as my family did. You did nothing wrong, my family was misled and they gave up. You didn’t give up. You are a great person and you likely saved her life.

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        • Unfortunately, my loved one is stuck in the forensic mental health system receiving nothing but more anxiety and trauma. I am trying to be there for her, but I have never been a talkative type. Add to that, the system itself is criminal in its operation, and I really have nothing to tell her.

          For most of my life, I had a great MD available to me. He got board certified in the late 1920’s with a Psychiatric specialization. When he turned 40, he enlisted in the Army Air Corp during WWII. He learned much from his experiences. His primary tasks was treating “Shell Shock” victims, what is now called PTSD.

          His stories . .. were incredible. What he taught me about Shell Shock victims, his protocol. Sleep, sleep for at least 24 hours initially, eat healthy. Once Sleep was maintained, talk to the patients. After the patients had slept long enough, they could verbalize what they were reliving. The more safe the patients felt, he would proceed to teach them how to remember the traumatic events, not relive. He never put a time limit on his protocol, but he was always successful. He was so successful, many of those he treated on the European Front moved to Cincinnati after the war to be his patient, have access to him.

          He carried his love of people, his psychiatric tact, over into his everyday MD practice. He would always have the patients write him a letter how they were feeling and what they were dealing with previous to examination. This was part of the patient’s history, which is long lost nowadays. Additionally, he recognized the necessity of supportive relationships. When he was not working in his office or doing house calls, he would do his Rounds . .. everyday, including ALL HOLIDAYS.

          There is a motto that we no longer take seriously, yet was the cornerstone of his treatment methodology, “sleep on it, sleep well, don’t sleep too much or too little, you will feel better in the morning.”

          Very few psychiatric hospitalizations emphasize sleep as a part of a maintenance program. Quite to the contrary, their practices deprive those needing sleep in order to recover from crisis.

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          • There are many fantastic doctors and therapists who specialize in PTSD. That’s where the good ones are, but there are only a handful in any given city. I can’t even find one that specializes in it in Las Vegas.

            You are absolutely correct about sleep. The number one indicator that I’m about to slip into an episode is sleep deprivation. If I haven’t slept a few days, there is a good chance I will become “psychotic.”

            So what do I need most? Sleep, just as you said. Especially when the body is trying to adjust to extreme chemical changes as they mess with all your medications and dosages.

            Im woken up in the middle of the night for blood tests. I’m woken every 15 minutes when a flashlight hits my face.

            If these disruptions didn’t cause me to stay awake – fear did. I was constantly terrified my roommate would awaken and strangle me in my sleep. I was so paranoid people around me were being possessed with demons to kill me. I was too afraid to sleep.

            Finally, I was awoken up for breakfast. If I wanted to sleep, too bad, I was getting locked in the day room to be forced to socialize. I have so many memories of sitting places with so much discomfort and exhaustion. All I wanted to do was lay on the ground. Someone else actually did it one day. I wished I was that brave.

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          • Of all the idiotic things they do in psych hospitals, waking up “patients” in the nighttime or early in the AM may well be the most idiotic of all. Anyone alive knows that sleep deprivation impacts the emotions and the brain’s operation in a destructive way. Especially someone suffering from any kind of hallucinations needs, above all, SLEEP! A “normal” person deprived of sleep for a long enough time will start hallucinating. Why the f%$k would you wake up someone who was hallucinating once they fell asleep? Unless you WANTED the person to keep hallucinating…

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          • Had a fellow patient wake me up one night asking to get in bed with me. (!!!) 😛

            So groggy I couldn’t figure out what he wanted at first. When I did I popped out of bed and told a male staff member. Happily he believed me though the patient denied it.

            The next day he apologized after his wife finished visiting him. I told him he was forgiven, but please not to try anything like that again!

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  27. Abrianna, no insult intended, but I can see why people would be offended by this article. You are young, and do not take offense, but you have many years left to learn, observe. I hope you become aware of the sheer uselessness of labels. You might never become aware of it, many do not. You might believe that using a label is better than naming the things or actions/reactions of people you meet along your path. If I were you, I would read MIA, I would read the comments. Educate yourself with an open compassionate mind about humanity which you are part of. You are Abrianna, you are NOT a label. You might have a hundred actions/behaviours/reactions that don’t fall in a neat little pattern, but you NEVER a label. There are no meds for your ‘behaviour”. Sure they scramble some random chemicals and cause changes, the changes are not a perfect you. Forget labels, quit coming back to labels when it suits YOU. I read your whole story, now read more MIA and comments and relearn. You came here, because hopefully you want to explore further. Especially the futility of labeling, the futility of a psychiatric system and those who support something that has great power to damage. You experienced the futility, and here you have a chance to learn.

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