“Dad, You Were Right”: I Got Better When I Stopped Treatment


Part 1 of 2

When I first entered the mental health system at 23 years old, my parents were baffled. I was a promising music-composition student at Bennington College, in my senior year with no academic troubles. So why had I chosen to go to therapy? I was not a minor and the choice had been mine alone. I went secretly at first, knowing my parents would likely not approve. A few months after starting treatment, I quit college abruptly and moved in with Mom and Dad in Massachusetts. I finally revealed to them that I had an eating disorder.

I soon began a more intensive therapy program called Options Day Treatment, which cost my parents nearly $10,000 yet still failed to address my eating disorder. Eventually, I received a new diagnosis: schizophrenia, and later bipolar disorder. Treatment caused changes my parents witnessed. I started smoking. I gained weight. I didn’t have any friends except people at the mental health center. Even worse, I had lost all interest in my former college studies. I had stopped composing music or playing an instrument. I was cross and unpleasant. I avoided family gatherings, especially with extended family. I shut myself in my room and refused to come out for hours.  Does this scenario sound familiar?

Even back then, my parents questioned whether this strange behavior had been caused by an “illness” or by the therapy environment itself. Both my parents had master’s degrees. My father was an engineer. He told me he did not see the logic in my claim that I had a mental illness. Yet I refused to listen to Mom and Dad and insisted they needed to “get with the times.”

Later, while I was at a residential treatment center called Gould Farm, I started taking lithium. My face broke out in pimples. I had never had pimples that bad before, not even when I was a teenager. I covered them with makeup. My hands shook all the time. I also paced a lot from the antipsychotic drugs I was also being given. Some days, I didn’t do much except watch television.

My Parents Persisted

As I cycled through treatment programs and hospitals, my parents continued to do research on their own. They started with the local public library and later discovered NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. My father observed that many parents in their group were frustrated because their children refused “treatment.” My father continued to observe my experience and noted that the “treatment” didn’t seem to offer any answers and wasn’t very humane. I was totally compliant, but I can understand now why so many of us refused it!

Both my parents noted that the “staff” at the facilities I cycled through lacked insight and were poorly paid. My parents felt the doctors failed to listen to patients and were dismissive of what mattered most. My father read Judi Chamberlin’s On Our Own: Patient-Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System. One day, he told me, “I think you need to start thinking about human rights.”

By then he was so concerned about the way patients like me were treated that he took on a position as a NAMI Monitor. He visited state hospitals in Massachusetts and asked the patients about their experience there. Likely, my father spent more time talking to them than the doctors ever did.

Through all the years that I was a mental patient, my parents were excellent advocates who constantly questioned what the docs were doing, even though my own faith in psychiatry was unwavering. It was Mom and Dad who repeatedly phoned the doctor who’d put me on lithium, reminding him he’d better test my blood levels of the drug. Later, my parents insisted that the next doctor test my thyroid hormone levels (they were right).

Yet, I continued to think of my parents as old-fashioned, insisting that the psychiatrists and staff knew better. However, when these providers did things that offended me, I went straight to Dad to complain. He always stuck up for me!

A decade later, when I was given electroshock (“electroconvulsive therapy”) for my “treatment-resistant mental illness,” they both spoke out against it— even though I was totally convinced it was “safe.” They continued to defend me and stood by my side even while my father was dying of cancer. It wasn’t till later that I realized that the negative changes in me, especially cognitive problems after ECT, were not a new mental illness I’d suddenly developed, but a result of the ECT “treatment” itself. 

Rejecting the System

I got out of the mental health system by a fluke. By the time I was 40, I had been hospitalized over 50 times. I never realized any of it could possibly be wrong or cruel. I still worshiped my doctors, worshiped the practice of psychiatry—even though I questioned why I didn’t quite fit any of their disease categories.

After I was cruelly deprived of water in a hospital, I made a complete turnaround at age 53. (Lithium causes extreme thirst and can lead to a condition called diabetes insipidus.) This was the first time I had ever been so traumatized. I was scared for my life, afraid I would die of dehydration.

This one incident changed me in many ways, some of those not so good. I have a harder time getting along with other people now, and I became more prone to post-traumatic stress. The friends I had failed to understand. They stopped speaking to me. I only got angrier, and very isolated and lonely. One day, I realized I needed to leave town, to go far away where no one knew my past. I told no one of my plans.

I left the country and moved to Uruguay with my dog. I did not come back for two years, and never returned to Massachusetts. This exodus and “time out” helped me realize just how harmful the mental health system had been for me. I also learned that I was never really “mentally ill.” Mental illness is a completely false delineation between people that makes the ruling-class claim that some people are inferior, or defective, human beings. The recommended “treatments” do more to marginalize and silence us than to help us. This kind of dangerous thinking, the idea that these nonexistent sicknesses have to be squelched, is more pervasive now in society than ever. It is a subversive form of eugenics.

After I left the USA, I remembered something my mother had told me when I was only 13. She, too, had suffered from an eating disorder as a teen and had recovered from it. I estimate this to be sometime around 1940, when the words, “eating disorder” did not exist. She recovered in only two years, completely without mental health “care.” Realizing this, I challenged myself over and over: If Mom did it, so can I.

Amazingly, what cured me of my eating disorder was not some type of “treatment,” but getting away from drugs and therapy, and most of all, ending my self-identification as a mental patient. I am now fully employed, physically fit, active, and happy. I even developed my own protocol to help me recover the kidney functioning that lithium destroyed. I outline this in my upcoming book, Life After Lithium. Mostly I write about how to stop thinking like a mental patient!

Thanks, Mom and Dad

Now that I am completely away from the mental health system, if I could look back and say anything to my own parents right now, I’d thank them over and over for giving me a solid upbringing, for teaching me and my siblings mountaineering and feeding us well.

I’d thank my mom for her tireless insistence that I was okay just as I am. She was an excellent role model, a dancer who danced to her own music. She wanted me to think independently, to read, and to study music. Mom was headstrong in many ways, and I am grateful that somehow she inspired this trait in me.

I would thank my dad for teaching me good morals. I am grateful for my Jewish upbringing (even though we all hated Hebrew school). When my dad was dying of cancer, he told me something I have carried with me all these years: “Julie, you will make it someday.”

I would love to thank Mom and Dad again and again for sticking up for me, for standing up to the doctors even when I couldn’t in my drugged and worshipful state. I’d tell Mom and Dad that they were the ones who encouraged me to think and act independently, even if it meant being different, even if it meant I was the only one speaking out. I’d tell my parents I’m proud of who I am today and thank them for helping me to become that person.

Oddly, I look a lot like my late mother now. I am proud to carry a part of her inside me. And If I could, I would tell Dad, right now, some 20 years after his death: “Hey, Dad, you were right.”

This piece is adapted from a chapter in Julie’s upcoming book, Life After Lithium.

You can read Part 2 here.


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.


  1. Thanks for this article Julie.

    My grandpa urged me to go off at least some of my “meds.” My parents and I shook our heads. Didn’t he know that “science had proven crazy behaviors are chemical imbalances in the brain”?

    Grandpa knew what he was talking about. He hadn’t been deceived by the shrinks’ cock and bull story.

    You were right, Grandpa!

  2. There is no “Getting Better”, as there was never anything wrong with any of us in the first place.

    And the goal of life cannot be just “happiness”.

    Rather, things improve when we stop recovering, and start fighting back. And this means dumping the therapy, recovery, cure, self-improvement model entirely.

    • Rather than making this an implicit attack on people for grabbing at whatever straws they’re offered, I think it’s more effective to focus on the underlying dynamic — i.e. that the system’s strategy is to frame what should be recognized as collective political problems, to be addressed en masse, as an endless collection of individual dilemmas, wherein people’s rage is turned inwards rather than understood and used creatively to neutralize the system’s schemes. To equate rage with mindless violence and guilt-trip people for experiencing it is another such tactic.

      • That’s the basic lie, I agree. Calling it “mental illness” means it is the client/patient’s problem instead of a natural outgrowth of living in a social system that is designed to allow a small number of people to thrive at the expense of the masses. “Diagnosing” people clearly and intentionally puts the problem on the individual and exonerates social institutions from any responsibility.

          • LittleTurtle,

            sadly I see more and more comments that seem to take that view and want to turn all mental distress into a motivation for class warfare on this site. Some act as if all mental distress, illness, trauma, dysfunction, or whatever one wants to call it is completely fabricated by the mental health industry and society in general as a means of social control.

            I don’t believe that the Big Brother of the mh industry, big pharma, and gov’t shills really has his hands on the majority of society, at least not yet. Only 1 in 6 Americans are even on psych drugs or connected to the mh industry. That means the overwhelming majority like my wife and I are ‘untainted’ and yet I see a TON of distress and dysfunction that reaches throughout ALL classes of Americans. Hell, the 1% are some of the most dysfunctional of us all: just read the news to see that money and power do NOT make one impervious to such things.

            So it really is too bad for the simplistic assessments that often pass and go unchallenged on this website.

            I’m with you, LittleTurtle and critical psychiatry. There have to be others, but it is too bad they don’t take the time to comment more often.

          • I had problems before I got psychiatrized.
            I’m against class warfare and covetousness.
            Emotional suffering is real enough. But since there is no KNOWN link to brain problems how can psychiatrists fix it? How can random acts of brain damage help anyone?

            If you read Anatomy of an Epidemic it’s not some massive conspiracy. Or it didn’t start out that way. Drug companies found they could make big buck$ selling fake remedies for coping problems and trauma.

            Psychiatrists were desperate for enhanced status and prestige. They were mostly ignorant of how their prescriptions worked. At first.

            Now there are a lot of cover ups. Big Pharma makes more money than any other industry in America. And a hefty chunk comes from drugs no one needs.

          • But since there is no KNOWN link to brain problems how can psychiatrists fix it? How can random acts of brain damage help anyone?

            I wish it were that simple. On the side of the biochemical model you’ve got people spewing ‘chemical imbalance’ foolishness, but in reaction to that provably wrong belief, many on the anti-psychiatry side want to say there are NO brain factors in mental health distress, and I disagree with that, as well. But since I’m ‘just a husband’ neither side will listen to me. The former think I’m a moron since I can’t put little letters after my name (though I do have an unrelated BA), and the latter think I’m ‘speaking for’ my wife and so they won’t listen either.

            I’ve had the privilege and responsibility to help my wife literally rebuild her personality from the ground up these last 11 years. And I’ve seen what dissociation which causes neural atrophy can do and how it most certainly affects mental health and the ability to fight mental distress. I’ve tried to discuss it a little here in the comments sections, but it’s such a huge issue, and since no one ever ‘bites’ when I try to throw out nuggets I’ve learned, I typically drop it.

            It’s too bad. It’s not the only issue in mental distress, but dissociation is a huge one, and neither side gets it. Even books that are touted here like The Body Keeps the Score, are incorrect, but because he’s never gone as deep as my wife and I have with dissociation or seen it as laid out as we have 24/7 for 11 years, he (van der Kolk) doesn’t understand it’s the dissociation and NOT the body that is the issue.

          • Sam Ruck said: I’ve seen what dissociation which causes neural atrophy can do…

            Brain atrophy in response to trauma… that sure sounds like the body keeping the score to me!

            (note: this is not a comment about the book; I haven’t read it. Probably will, though- sounds like an interesting read.)

          • LavenderSage,
            I’ll be honest: I never read the book. I read it’s premise and the intro and never got past that. So maybe you are correct, but neural atrophy is not what I understood him to be talking about. Maybe I am wrong: forgive me if I am.

          • Sam, are you defending random acts of brain damage?

            Brittle Bone Syndrome causes skeletal problems. That does NOT justify taking a crowbar to the limbs of the afflicted.

            Damaging the brain further will NOT reverse neural atrophy from trauma!

          • No Rachel, I don’t even know what you are talking about, sigh.

            Like I said dissociation is a huge issue and how it affects mental health as well as a person’s ability to fight mental distress, and if I hadn’t had to help my wife literally put all the disparate pieces of her self back together again, I would have never understood it either. That’s probably why I lack the words to convey it because our experience has been in a completely different universe than most here and elsewhere, and everyone tries to interpret what I say thru their experience, and I just can’t seem to figure out how to overcome that barrier. 🙁


          • Sorry Sam. I guess I misunderstood you.

            What I presented was not a Strawman argument though. Many argue in favor of drugs, shocks, etc. on the grounds that the brain must be at fault. You can find such an argument made by Jaffe in his review of Anatomy of an Epidemic.

          • Rachel,

            I have learned so much about the horrors of the mh industry from you and others here, and I try never to belittle that, but that’s also why it’s so hard for me to communicate here because my wife’s and my experience is like a polar opposite where I always honored her and her desires; she never had any contact with the mh industry or its drugs, and where I never, ever, ever treated her as ‘crazy’ or any other kind of belittling way.

            At first she would quip that I was the crazy one for NOT seeing her like the rest of the culture, but I simply never did, and the more I understood her world, the more it truly made sense to me as I walked/walk with her in it as we find a way out of it together.

          • I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying that grouping people together based on their emotional state is not going to lead to any positive conclusion. Most emotional states are the result of our interaction with the environment. Anxiety is mostly caused by experiencing scary things, depression by hopeless experiences. Now anxiety can also be created by deprivation of oxygen or by taking a lot of stimulants, which are physiological causes, but the idea that there is ONE physiological cause of anxiety is just plain wrong. So what I’m objecting to is not the idea that biology can cause anxiety in some cases, but the idea that anxiety is all caused by the same thing every time, or that anxiety is even always a “disorder.” Anxiety is our body’s way of telling us that something scary is happening and we need to take action to remedy it. What it is that is scary can be very different, depending on the person and the situation. It is not a “mental illness” to be anxious. It may be an indicator of some other illness, but anxiety itself is not an illness. It’s a natural state of the body under stress.

    • When you stop recovering you die. That’s how it works.

      What if psychiatry makes someone sick and they are bedfast or homebound so taking care of basic needs is a fight?

      I’m recovering from psych damage like many here are. Sorry us getting over ECT and drugging makes you angry, PacificDawn.

      Denying “mental illness” is one thing. I don’t believe in it either. But you claim none of us are hurting or in pain. I find this callous dismissal of yours annoying–even infuriating.

      Glad you’re not hurting. But many here are.

      • Hey Rachel777, Couldn’t agree more. Many comments incorporate the terms “we’ and “us”; who are they officially speaking for? If it’s a specific movement or philosophy, I gave no such authority. I got the distinct impression, neither did you.

        As ‘mental health/illness’ and all it’s semantic iterations are defined very personally, I am also confused and offended by these ‘universal truths’ that some pronounce…and in such an angry way.

        Anger at the industry is reasonable-many here probably agree- directing it at people who are being vulnerable and sharing private moments is to what purpose exactly? If it’s recruitment to your ‘side’, I don’t think it’s effective.

        • It certainly isn’t.

          I’m in a lot of physical discomfort now. My digestive system is screwed up. Hard to be charitable or just (online or off) at times.

          But I’m better off than a lot of others commenting here. We survivors need to quit victim blaming whether we agree or not.

          • Yes they are definitely “us” as well. We should recognize that all survivors are victims of psychiatry first and foremost. However the context and precipitating dynamics of this interchange are missing at this point, and it’s time for everyone to stop throwing stones.

        • Krista, the Recovery Movement is an ideology, a movement, a systematic approach to keeping people passive, instead of letting them become more militant.

          As long as a slave believes that he needs Recovery, he will always remain a slave.

          And yes, these are all collective society wide issues.

          Capitalism and the Middle-Class are two sides of the same coin. And it depends upon being able to abuse children and to use various means to create an underclass. Some of the things which keep this in place are Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Recovery, and Evangelical Religion.

      • Rachel777, “Recovery” is why people don’t fight back. Whether it is from familial abuses or from the mental health system, the idea that you need Recovery is why people don’t fight back.

        Remedy happens in the legal and political arenas. But if you are led to believe that you need Recovery, and that your life depends upon this, then you have been abused again.

    • “There is no “Getting Better”, as there was never anything wrong with any of us in the first place.”

      I had chronic and crippling anxiety to address. My error in judgment (and misguided belief) led me to psychiatry, whereas much later in life I learned what was really causing me to feel this way, and I made necessary changes, which alleviated this problem. The bulk of this change came from shifting my self-perception. The solution was far and away from “mental health” anything. That industry only causes people to feel terrible about themselves. So then, there is the issue of healing from the damage done by psychiatry, which to me, was also a matter of “getting better”–from drugs toxicity to criminal and violating systemic abuse.

      “And the goal of life cannot be just “happiness”.

      For some, it might be. Happiness can come when suffering is relieved. Doesn’t always, right away, especially if the suffering was caused by other people, and even more specifically if it caused by people who are supposed to be helping. That’s where the very traumatic and wounding issue of betrayal comes in.

      That’s a fork in the road for many people, we all handle this differently. Not everyone feels vindictive, although I understand why some would, seems natural under many circumstances. There are other routes to take, however, in order to resolve these issues within ourselves. Depends on our beliefs and codes of living, which are personal to each of us.

      In short, there are choices available as to how to respond to being institutionally or socially victimized. I believe most people on the planet have been, one way or another. Our government isn’t exactly “for the people by the people,” as we all know. More like “by the elite for the elite,” and the rest of us are left to fend for ourselves.

      Everyone has their own goals in life, but I think “fulfillment” might be more universally sought, although I certainly can’t speak for others. That’s always my goal, in any endeavor I take on–to feel fulfilled in the process of whatever I’m doing. Otherwise, what would be the point?

      • Alex wrote, “I had chronic and crippling anxiety to address.”

        That still sounds like you are talking about ~mental illness~

        “The bulk of this change came from shifting my self-perception.”

        Again you are vindicating the Psychotherapists by going with the idea that the real issue was always right between your own two ears, rather than an issue of being denied social and civil standing.

        And no the goal of life cannot be happiness.

        “Happiness can come when suffering is relieved.”

        You are talking about something, there is a name for it, its a kind of dissociation, and kind of placation. You are demonstrating why people go for street drugs, alcohol, and prescription psychiatric drugs. All they want is to feel no pain.

        Real living only starts when you have struck back and scored some victories, that is, taken some scalps.

        Alex, you are just telling people how to live in the very small social space which the abusers have left them.

        • I am simply conveying my experience in my own voice. How others interpret it is their story, not mine.

          I have taken my share of hits in life, and I heal as I go. I’ve had successes and victories, too. I think I’m pretty average in this regard, and I imagine I will continue to be. You are free to judge, of course, but I don’t take it on.

          “Real living only starts when you have struck back and scored some victories, that is, taken some scalps.”

          I have done this more than once. Not my favorite thing to do, but it was necessary for me to move forward, It was them or me, and truth was on my side, which gave me the confidence to take action.

          I’m not out for blood, though. My focus is on me and my family at this point, and our well-being. We worked very hard to put our lives back together after my psychiatric debacle, and have since moved into a new phase of life, finally enjoying it.

          As for the community and the world, these require collective actions, but I’m always there for support when called to act in a way which feels good and productive to me.

          • Lavender, the Recovery Movement is just like Psychotherapy, a way of turning people’s perceptions of injustice into a self improvement project and medical issue.

            Things only change when we start organizing and finding ways of fighting back.

          • LS yes I agree wholeheartedly.
            But PD is where she is and ah we as me , myself, all are dealing with being on a sometimes enforced trauma journey, sometimes a it seemed a good idea at the time journey and the rage of accepting what has happened to us in loss is a bumpy road of traveling. Sometimes we get pebbles or stones, sometimes an oasis of support here and other places. Dialogue especially using this online type of tool is not easy. We do not have eye contact , we do not have an implicit learned 5 second delay. I think the old idea of Tabla Rasa holds here. Sometimes , we write from the emotion in the forefront of our souls with no holds barred and that can be a good or it can be hurtful or mean. I certainly have done it and I apologize. I am trying hard to incorporate into my cognition a five second or maybe two minute warning posting.
            But since we are witnesses to or survivors of or experiencing several different levels of trauma – it just not easy but Alex and others have shown a light down a path we all most design for ourselves. Disagreements are part of life and learning how to handle them in kindness an Art.

  3. that the system’s strategy is to frame what should be recognized as collective political problems, to be addressed en masse, as an endless collection of individual dilemmas, wherein people’s rage is turned inwards rather than understood and used creatively to neutralize the system’s schemes. To equate rage with mindless violence and guilt-trip people for experiencing it is another such tactic.

    Agreed and extremely well worded. But also understand that the Internet and society are filled with people telling survivors that they need therapy. These people are not only collaborators, they are co-abusers.

    Any political project must made this issue clear. Can’t be in anyway promoting therapy, recovery, motivationalism, getting saved, self improvement.

    Has to stay focused on offensive actions against a broad range of targets.

    There was this, but I can’t see that it is still running.

    • I am pro panthers of any kind. Great site. Normal people should learn to think, because psychiatry is an evidence that normal people left thinking to those called mentally ill. Apollonian ego curse. James Hillman was a great thinker, he was trying to teach people how to think, not what to think about depression and so on.

      We should focus on phenomenology of things rather than searching for fake solutions, because of false empiricism.We need truth and courage not cowardice or childish theological demonization of death, suicide, suffering. We need bravery and maturity not fake solutions from cowards.

  4. Conclusion: the slightest contact with psychiatry is enough to get schizophrenia.
    Doctors will gladly give it to you if someone hit you in the head, If you have a drug or alcohol overdose, if you cut your little finger, If you get out of prison and someone attack you with a knife, If your mother or father works in a hospital and decides that it would be nice to get a disability payment, if you went to a psychiatrist with insomnia and tell him later that he is stupid, if somebody beat you in the army, if you beat someone in the army, if you drive away from the cops etc. Few people are aware of the importance of psychiatry in society. How deeply has it penetrated into all spheres and what great influence does it have. How little children are afraid that they are schizophrenic (and this fear is only enhanced, as there are no clear boundaries and most importantly there is no understanding what is mental disorder, even doctors don’t know it). The fear that you are a schizophrenic is so absurd and so strong among youth, that i make an assumption that all people are somehow connected, but science does not yet know how. And I consider this fear is a sentence for psychiatry in the form in which it now exists.

    • Going to a psychiatrist in the hopes he/she will help you, is a catch-22 situation, especially if a shrink diagnoses you with schizophrenia. It means, in the real world, that said shrink despises you and is going to use all tools at his / her disposal to hasten your demise. The whole concept of schizophrenia is absurd.

      • Yes it is. Schizophrenia is a right for those who are privileged enough to destroy you. Schizophrenia should be a neutral description of the condition. Only a place on a psychological map. The problem is that language and the real image of the psychological reality does not exists. It was destroyed by spiritualists and materialists. The confuse religion or brain theories with psychological reality.

        When ego is on apollonian shallow level of the psyche you are mentally health. You are convinced that control over psyche belongs to you, this is only illusion,… very practical illusion, indeed. When ego goes deeper into strict psychological reality, psyche takes over the control over ego, and then they will blame your brain for that, because it is seen as illegal… There supposed to be Hades, there. But, like I said, that reality does not exists, because Jesus “saves us from it” and christians have called it hell, and then people confused psyche with evil..

        Thanks to Jesus and his spiritual utopia, schizophrenics now are living in closed illegal and sealed coffin.
        Religion banned psychological polytheism and so on. Psyche and gods has nothing to do with religion or prayers, they were only symbols of non material reality. Hades/Zeus is the father of the psyche. But now we have apollonian hegemony of rationalism or rather rationazism, fixation of control, scientific BS, brain theories of mental illness.

        The ship with apollo in control will sink, it is only question of time. Psychological forces are supplanted and stuffed in a small, tight prison box. They will explode and probably California will sink. Europe will sink in the ocean or something. Because of APA, because of apollonian ego fundamentalism.

          • Psychological polytheism is not a religion. It is a metaphorical description of our psychological reality.
            Monotheism is religion and fixation also. Psychiatry is a form of monotheistic fundamentalism with pretensions to science, however roots of psychiatry are strictly theological. Psychiatry is a weapon of god against human psyche, which was confused with hell or satan and evil. Which is disaster for psychological man.

  5. Julie, I was glad to see your writing posted and really liked it and knowing your comments helped put a lot in context for me.
    Since I was in the profession and still are around folks who have different beliefs I have had to agree to disagree but your account is helpful for others to read in that other framework.
    The historical account of the changes in treatment yes! Some would say prison is still prison with pianos but at least there was an outlet if nothing else.
    I really liked your kudos to your parents. I still remember my parents picking me up at the horrorific day treatment program and wanting just to cry because the whole situation was so f’d up and I couldn’t figure a way out.
    And it is like an itch one wants to keep scratching there has to be SOMETHING and many times there just isn’t.
    I went to grad school on the east coast and literally it was my therapist says this my therapist says that.And I knew folks who were in until their therapist died.
    Again whatever works for folks but that requires money and hours and hours and I tried but so much focus on self.
    As an LISW, I told folks my job is to put myself out of business.And they were in the navigator ‘s seat and I was there for support and advice when really really stuck.
    No therapist I saw ever used those words or ideas with me. No one.
    The portrayal of NAMI. For many, it’s the only support out there.
    Your story is one facet of a very large prism.

  6. People make all kinds of mistakes and have all sorts of bad things happen for them. But eventually, hopefully, the see that Recovery is a trap, something designed to make them internalize the problems.

    Then, they can join with comrades and start fighting back and start holding perpetrators accountable.

    Recovery is just another thing beyond Psychotherapy which people seem to want to hold onto.

    Believing in their own deficiency is easier for people than facing the ways in which they have been vilated and betrayed.

    • We the survivors are living under colonial oppression.

      What are Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Recovery, and Motivationalism for?

      They are to deal with those who are not in compliance with middle-class standards, especially those of the middle-class family.

      They are designed to oppress any who cannot live the lies.

      We need to see our own emancipation as part of the broader anti-colonial movement. I suggest starting with Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth, as he build first on foremost on the underclass. And this is where most survivors find themselves.

  7. Do you have a twitter account? I see your blog has tons of writing. I really enjoyed this piece and it strongly resonated with my experience. I’m curious if you have become involved with an organization in ways similar to what your Dad did. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I hope your words continue to reach others and give them a chance at healing too.

  8. You are so lucky to have had supportive Parents. Obviously they had Brains and Wisdom. My Parents were totally brainwashed. Sometimes growing up wealthy can be just as bad as growing up without financial security. I think most do not see it that way. When you have wealth, there are more people trying to get some of it and Psychiatry has positioned itself to grab a big piece of that pie. Psychiatry has not only kicked off the whole Eugenics movement that lead to the Holocaust, it has managed to make everyone forget that fact while insinuating itself as a “catch all” in every system. Even religious Rabbis seem to think that Psychiatry is a good thing. I have taken it upon myself to educate the ignorant and somehow I have plenty of opportunity to do so. My Mother went to school for psychology and every day I had some new label she had learned in school. I re-lived that nightmare when my Daughter decided to Major in Psych and Criminal Justice. After 3 years of College she was absolutely inculcated to become the next E. Fuller Torrey Jr. I was horrified. The University of Wisconsin is supposed to be a pretty decent Education. Everything they taught her was absolute Lies. I knew better because I lived under the intersection of Criminal “Justice” and Psychiatry by Court order for longer then I care to remember.
    My parents were also under the impression that Marijuana was akin to Heroine and I got shipped of to an American Gulag deep in the woods of Maine. At age 17 I vowed to shut it down. It took over 30 years and the Internet but Elan closed 4/1/2011.
    Elan was a Synanon type program (Confrontational attack therapy designed for hardcore drug addicts) owned by an x Daytop graduate and a Harvard Psychiatrist.
    The methods they used were cruel and Inhumane to absolute physical and psychological torture. Psychiatrists and Education Consultants refered the wealthy kids to Elan and got hefty kickbacks for their referrals. The State kids were court ordered for “treatment” as a type of Juvenile Jail Diversion. The only real criteria was ability to pay. Most of my peers are dead. 3/4 of the people who attended Elan from 1974- 1984 are DEAD. (Mostly Suicide). Shutting that Hell hole down was totally therapeudic. Unfortunately the “Troubled Teen Industry” is big $$ and is the Evil spawn of psychiatry. Since 2009 legislation has been introduced to regulate residential treatment programs for teens but it always dies in the Senate. Nail Salons have more regulation. Every year Teens die in “treatment” but our representatives in Government are too busy investigating, hating and judging each other to change anything.
    In Wisconsin I met many Women who had their Children taken from them and given up for adoption for nothing more than being labeled with depression or anxiety.
    Psychiatry has way too much power to destroy. They know exactly what they are doing. The whole system is built on lies that have destroyed countless lives since it’s inception. We need to Abolish it like the infestation it is. Thank you Julie for this article. ☺

  9. “What the bourgeoisie,
    therefore, produces, above all, is its own grave-diggers.”


    I need to learn more about Marx and Engels, Fanon, and Foucault. But what I take of the above is that the bourgeoisie is creating the underclass.

    And then Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Recovery, Motivationalism, and Salvation Seeking are ways of managing and propagating said underclass. And this is why I say that we must fight all of these things, calling it Anti-Biopolitics. The posts of Danzig666 seem to be the ones most in alignment on this.

  10. ^^^^^^ Jim G., where is the legal front today? We need to respond to Mental Health, Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and gov’t run Recovery Programs with lawyers.

    Some are now starting to sue Psychotherapists, “Transference Abuse”. What this means of course is that they are suing when they realize that the therapist was never on their side at all.

  11. Julie, so glad you are conveying this important message and glad your parents were so clear-sighted. I had an email address for you but cannot find it now and would like to send you a private message. Can you please email me, or if you don’t have my email address, then — though I usually avoid Facebook messenger consistently — please send me your email address through a Facebook message. Thank you.

  12. Great to see Julie’s energy coming through here. She wrote this so recently, it’s still hard to believe she’s gone. What’s comforting is to see that she had come to some important reconciliations with herself and others by what turned out to be the end of her life. I hope her book is in good hands till we can get it published for her.