Functional Medicine: My Path Out of Psychiatry


I first started an antidepressant regimen at 17 years old. Overwhelmed by high school relationships gone bad, family dynamics I couldn’t control, a poor body image, and an innate drive for perfection, I succumbed to distorted thinking patterns that paved the way for my first “diagnosis,” the eating disorder anorexia nervosa.

After seeing my primary care doctor and a psychotherapist, I pursued the typical treatment model: nutrition counseling, therapy, and medication. I started taking the SSRI Prozac at a dose of 20 mg, which my doctor eventually increased to 60 mg, while also seeing a registered dietitian who promoted the good ole’ food pyramid, packed with daily doses of grains and wheat. Fortunately, I responded to treatment pretty quickly and many of my symptoms subsided over time. My bodyweight returned to normal and I eventually started having regular periods again. I continued to struggle with anxiety, obsessive tendencies, cold hands, and mood swings, but these symptoms were manageable.

I remained on my SSRI during my senior year of high school and into my college years. I was told by my parents, doctors, and society that I needed this drug, that my brain was serotonin deficient. That I was bound to be on this medication, perhaps indefinitely, in order to stay well. I initially welcomed this perspective, as it lessened the burden of owning responsibility for my overall mood and mental health. After all, if my brain was deficient in some way, then I couldn’t help it, and I could blame my social anxiety, obsessive mannerisms, and mood swings on my “illness.”

My First Attempts to Wean

Enter my senior year of college. I was about to embark on a new journey in life, and after five faithful years of staying on my SSRI, I wanted to explore the idea of finally getting off. While the medication had helped with many symptoms, I felt blunted in my emotions and personality and wanted to uncover the “real” Elizabeth, who had been somewhat masked for those years. However, I attempted to wean off my then-dose of 10 mg of Lexapro very quickly, within about a week, which left me feeling very agitated, anxious, and deeply distressed.

My obsessions kicked into full gear and I ruminated constantly over major and minor things — like what to do with the leftover cafeteria lunch in my fridge, and whether or not I was in the “right” relationship with my boyfriend at the time (now my husband). I tried to stay off of the medication as long as I could, but these symptoms were really interfering with my life. I soon started back with my SSRI again, more convinced that I needed this medication and that all of this anxiety was solely related to relapse rather than to withdrawal.

Flash forward to 2017. I was recently married and had just finished graduate school. I was working in my first big-girl job as an outpatient therapist for children and families. At the time, I was taking 75 mg of yet another SSRI, Luvox, and a starting dose of Wellbutrin. My psychiatrist from the university recommended these specific psych meds to help with the sexual side effects that I was experiencing with my husband. I had little to no sex drive and it devastated me as a newlywed.

After working at my new job for about three months, I decided to come off my medications once again, believing that I was in a more stable place overall. I had also recently watched the documentary “What the Health” and decided to become a vegetarian/vegan, thinking that I could heal my body through dietary changes. I started eliminating all animal proteins and welcomed soybean burgers, tofu, and whole-wheat pasta and bread. Despite feeling worse overall, I was convinced that this diet could cure my anxiety, preserve the planet, and help me achieve an SSRI-free life. Then, over the course of about three weeks, I weaned myself completely off of all medications (except my birth control pills, of course). Soon after, however, my well-known friends of anxiety, panic, and extreme obsession returned. I started experiencing crying spells and emotional meltdowns both at home and at work.

After a few weeks of this chaos, and without acknowledging any other factors that could be at play (poor diet, thyroid issues, hormonal imbalances — which were actually lurking under the surface at this time), I soon returned to another well-known friend: the SSRI.

The Last Straw

My next weaning attempt came in October 2018, 10 years since I’d first started my antidepressant regimen. This one was far different from the others. I had recently started seeing a new psychiatrist, who’d recommended that I add a low dose of the antipsychotic Abilify to “help” the Luvox better manage my residual anxiety. This, however, was my tipping point. One of my internships in grad school had been in a psychiatric hospital, where many of the residents were pumped full of high doses of Abilify and other antipsychotics. My psychiatrist recommended this medication with such certainty and ease, but I saw red flags everywhere. I filled the prescription, but couldn’t bring myself to actually purchase the drug, and told my pharmacist I’d take only the Luvox.

Even more frightening, I discovered inconsistencies among mental health professionals regarding how these drugs worked. I could no longer keep taking my Luvox with a clear conscience. During my next session with my psychiatrist, I advocated ending my SSRI treatment. She didn’t agree but was willing to work with me. I was instructed to lower my Luvox dose to 50 mg immediately and then stop taking it completely after 10 days. I was skeptical. “Are you sure this isn’t too quickly?” I asked. After all, I had tried tapering on a similar time frame before. My psychiatrist assured me that 10 days was the “standard” protocol for a wean like this. I faced the initial wave of discontinuation symptoms, but they soon passed about a week after finishing my last dose.

Killer Insomnia

However, right at the six-week mark of being totally off Luvox, I hit a brick wall: insomnia. Prior to this, I had always slept relatively well; I maintained solid sleep hygiene routines, averaging about eight or nine hours per night. But this night paved the way for a new challenge I was not prepared for. In addition, each time I tried falling asleep, I experienced strange electric-shock sensations that originated in my brain and coursed through my entire body, causing my legs to jolt, heart to race, and sweat to pour over my skin in a matter of moments. I tried explaining these sensations to my friends and family, but no one could really understand what I was talking about.

I began averaging about two or three hours of sleep a night, with about one or two days of no real sleep at all each week. Around this time I also experimented with CBD oil, which provided relief from stress but didn’t appease the insomnia itself. It seemed like nothing could touch this beast of a thing (yes, I tried melatonin). I spent hours in the sauna and inhaled multiple essential oils. I took various supplements while drinking sleepy-time tea into the night.

Each morning I painfully rolled out of bed and forced myself on long morning runs, hoping to tire myself out enough to fall asleep the next night. My job became incredibly challenging as I struggled to keep up with documentation and assessments, and I started taking hours and hours of work home with me each week to stay afloat. I also started experiencing new symptoms, including heart palpitations, neck throbs, and weight loss.

My behavior was also getting out of control. Some nights at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., after realizing that I would miss sleep once again, I would angrily stomp around the house and throw random cups and objects, frightening the dogs and scaring my husband. At times I would hit myself out of annoyance, feeling like I needed to punish myself to appease the rage in me. After two months of intense sleep deprivation, I knew something had to change.

Functional Medicine: A Different Approach

Knowing that my psychiatrist and other “standard” medical professionals would insist I start back on my SSRI to end the sleeplessness, I continued to stay clear of the drugs. I did some research for myself and discovered the Functional Medicine movement, a form of integrative medicine that focuses on addressing the root causes of a person’s symptoms rather than merely treating the symptoms themselves. I made an appointment at a holistic clinic in Fort Mill, South Carolina run by functional medicine practitioner Dr. Kristien Boyle and his team. After my initial meeting with Dr. Boyle, he sent me on my way with a Whole 30 cookbook and instructed me to give up all forms of gluten, dairy, and my processed soy burgers, which he told me were causing inflammation and wreaking havoc on my gut. I also had extensive lab work done, and the results were mind-boggling.

My blood work indicated a host of issues that had been lurking under the surface of my “psychiatric diagnoses” for years. Some of the major culprits included thyroid dysfunction (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), Pyroluria (a genetic abnormality which can lead to deficiencies in zinc and B6, leading to symptoms of depression and anxiety), elevated histamine and copper (which can contribute to anxiety, OCD tendencies, depression, and sleep disorders), and low cholesterol (which can affect mood and mental ill-health). In addition, a saliva test ordered by Dr. Boyle showed that I had hormonal imbalances, including low levels of estrogen and progesterone, which had sent me into an early, mini menopause.

Later on, I came to think, “Where were these tests when I first entered treatment as a 17-year-old?” And why was I the one to initiate these tests by seeking out Dr. Boyle and his team? I’ve seen various mental health professionals (therapists and psychiatrists), and none have recommended these types of tests, or stopped to think about any underlying factors, aside from the well-known “serotonin myth.”

I was provided with a detailed supplement protocol and instructed to steer clear of all forms of gluten, as this was a major trigger for my Hashimoto’s. I also engaged with an amazing practitioner who introduced me to the Emotional Freedom Technique (sometimes called a psychological version of acupuncture) and the Alpha-Stim device (an electrotherapy device designed to relieve symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia). All of these changes did help with my mood and anxiety overall, but they didn’t relieve the ongoing churn of insomnia.

At this point, though, it may have been too late. Nothing would relieve my sleepless nights; it was as if my mind had forgotten how to sleep. I also switched jobs, which decreased stress but didn’t touch the insomnia. Sleep deprivation was taking its toll on my mental and physical health. After six months of averaging two to three hours of sleep per night, I was wiped out, hopeless, and suicidal. I entertained thoughts of driving off bridges, running away, and stabbing myself with knives. In my 27 years of life, these thoughts had never before occupied my mind.

A Return to SSRIs… Plus Benzos

Six months. The longest time I had been off SSRI’s since starting them, roughly 10 years ago. After an intense, bloody battle, I waved the white flag. During my next session with my psychiatrist, however, I needed some questions answered. “Do you think all of this insomnia could have been avoided if I had weaned off slower… like over the course of a month rather than two weeks?” I asked. She shook her head and confidently denied this as a possibility. I was stunned and highly annoyed. It was reinforced instead that I needed to be on this medication to balance certain chemicals in my brain that were contributing to my anxiety, depression, and insomnia. I also asked how my hormones might be playing a role in my symptoms, specifically with my going off of birth control pills a couple of months earlier. Again, she shook her head.

I felt frustrated and bitter, not just because I had to get back on the SSRI, but also because of the lack of consensus within the mental health community at large. “How could one practitioner say one thing, and another recommend something totally different?” I thought. Regardless, I was out of options, and so that night I swallowed my pride along with my medicine.

A Better Life

Fast forward about six months later. I’m still following the meal plan and detailed supplement protocol my functional medicine practitioner prescribed for me. My thyroid levels are back in range, among other improvements that were indicated in my final blood work. And I can tell because I feel so much better. I also started seeing a new psychiatrist, who proposed a better plan for trying to taper off SSRI’s a final time by going a bit slower than before. After two months of tapering, cutting the starting dose of the Luvox pill into small pieces, I recently stopped taking the drug completely. And guess what? I’m doing well overall.

On one of my more trying days, Dr. Boyle asked me in his English accent, “Do you believe there are always some sort of lessons that can be learned?” “Yes…” I choked out through my tears. “I think so.” Since then, I’ve embraced a new narrative, one that rises above the notion that I am inevitably flawed and broken. I am not ruled by my anxiety or any other psychiatric labels assigned to me. Sure, I go through phases where I’m scared straight, fearful of repeating the same pattern again. But this round, things feel a bit different, for the better. I’ve chosen to embrace boldness, vulnerability, and persistence, while not running from the uncertainty this process seems to hold. After all, I’d rather swallow that instead.


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. This demonstrates why you should get the functional testing done early, BEFORE you go see conventional shrinks. If you’ve got to see a shrink, look for an orthomolecular practitioner- they’ll do functional testing as well, before they prescribe anything. Actually, some of these tests can be quite cheap- a lot cheaper than continuous visits to a conventional practitioner with an eternally ready prescription pad.

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      • The Canadians have a site sponsored by their International Schizophrenia Foundation (you’ll have to look up the site’s name, as I can’t remember it offhand, having it in my library of programs so I don’t have to look). They have an index of Canadian practitioners, but I don’t know if they include US practitioners and their addresses as well. The guys I saw were all old at the time (40+ years ago) and I take care of myself, so I can’t really help you there.

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  2. I can’t help but wonder if you’ve ever been subjected to an involuntary commitment Elizabeth.

    I had struggled to sleep for 2 days because I was packing my property and that was considered enough to justify drugging me with benzos without my knowledge and planting a knife on me to obtain a police referral. Jumped in my bed, not informed I had been ‘spiked’ , and subjected to 7 hours of interrogation in a cage and I haven’t had a decent nights sleep in 8 years.

    Oh and the title Your Path out of Psychiatry. In my country if you have ever spoken to a ‘mental health professional’ in your life, you are considered a “patient” for life. This allows arbitrary detentions for doctors. Make a phone call and have police bring them in for questioning. And along with that label comes the removal of your human rights, something that you don’t recognise until you say something one of your friends or colleagues doesn’t agree with. Then they are free to spike you and see that you receive the ‘treatment’ you don’t recognise that you need. Your anasognosia is getting in the way of my ability to impose my view of the world on others so to speak lol.
    There is no Path Out in my country. Even the UN stated that Australian Mental Health Laws ARE a violation of human rights and that the treatments MAY constitute Torture (difficult to prove intent if Doc keeps his/her mouth shut). And might I say even paying tens of thousands of dollars does not ensure treatment remains confidential. Don’t keep paying and they release the information to the public system and subject you to an ‘intervention’ the likes of which I have described.

    If they weren’t called Doctors they call this extortion. Won’t talk to me and pay the 600, then i’ll arrange for you to talk to someone else by spiking you and having police rough you up a bit first. We call that inducing an ‘acute stress reaction’ and with the spiking to assist us we are now free to torture and exploit the loophole of “having lawful sanction” because we tricked poilce into making referral :). How clever, and they get to call this ‘medicine’. These people are a disgrace to the rest of the folk who are doing their best to help people. A cancerous growth seeking to enrich themselves with no moral compass to guide them. And with the full support of our Chief Psychiatrist and Minister for Mental Health I might add.
    And should ypou complain about psychiatry reopening the path via these methods? Then the slandering of you begins and they release the medical records to the public and claim your illness is back to haunt you. Gaslighting leading to so many suicides, and they don’t even need to wash the blood from their hands, and can claim their is MORE need for their services.
    I’m thinking of the Operations Manager who after doing a formal investigation told me that if I didn’t stop complaining they would “fuking destroy” me. And she was right, she has been given the authority to do this to me and many others.
    So it might appear you have found a path out but its a circular path downwards i’m afraid. Didn’t notice the sign? Abandon hope all yeah who enter?

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    • It was my understanding that once my referral expired (after one year) that I was a free agent and that if I chose not to continue with the service I had received than I did not renew that referral. I was originally referred for a report about a workplace incident. And I assume that those at the service knew this also as when I started going to the police with the documents showing the kidnapping and torture they tried to get me to have a referral from my GP back dated to cover their butts so to speak. (Ie “oh sh*t he isn’t a “patient” anymore, that makes this a kidnapping. Sokay unintended negative outcome to the rescue). This was a great way of testing the integrity of those involved, especially given the pressure of acting before the police smelled a rat. In fact I think they seem to have lost any sense of smell at all given how long it took them to catch up (just over 2 years lol)
      Luckily the police won’t lift a finger to assist anyone who has been called “patient” by a doctor (no checking, they just accept that if a doctor says patient it musty be true) without the doctor first providing the green light. Which when you think about it leaves people in the same situation as the guy who escaped from Jeffrey Dahmer, only to find himself handed back by police because of his ‘illness’. I think he later killed and ate this man but ….. all jokes aside.
      The documents that were sent to the Mental Health Law Centre told a completely different story to what actually occurred. The ‘real’ set showed a man had been ‘spiked’ with benzos, had a Community Nurse lie to police and request assistance with someone he knew was not a “patient” and then let the person who had spiked him know they were on their way and to plant the items police needed to detain and refer immediately to Community Nurse (ie a knife and some cannabis). He then had a Doctor sign a prescription for the benzos that were administered without knowledge to someone he hadn’t even met and wasn’t even a “patient”. This guy would be aof great value to night club rapists. The “edited” (i prefer the real term of fraudulent) set showed a man who had been a “patient” of said hospital for 10 years was not cooperating with his Nurse and therefore police were called to get him and take him to the hospital.

      With the ability to “edit” documents like this no one is safe. And claiming that because you spoke to a psychologist in school that 50 years later you can be subjected to spikings and having evidence planted on you to make referral appear lawful because your still someones “patient”? You would think that in a civilized society I would be able to access legal services and at least have some form of help offered. Not so, in fact these guys tried to have me murdered in an ED (contact me for details should anyone require information about the methods being used, and why police find it impossible to act against these criminals). These are ‘medical ‘ matters and get referred to a toothless watchdog. The wheels on the bus go round and round …….
      There is even a section in the Mental Health Act that makes it quite clear that the time limit for referral is 48 hours after having physically examined the target. And that referral after this time is unlawful. Guess thats why they are having to trick police into making referrals for them. And surely the Minister and Chief Psychiatrist are aware of this and simply turn a blind eye, they of course know how difficult the job is and have no respect for the protections afforded the public by the law. Probably the reason that our Chief Psychiatrist doesn’t do anything about the corrupt practice of ‘verballing’ either. He accepts the Community Nurses ability to travel through time and space to make observations and his ability to read minds unquestioned. My how psychology has advanced since I did my degree.
      So in your situation Elizabeth it might feel like you have found a path out of Psychiatry. But should you ever find yourself in conflict with say your husband, wave goodbye to your human and civil rights immediately. Your always going to be “patient” from this point on. The “identified patient” is the term I’ve found most fitting. I can’t even get a list of who can drug me without knowledge or with what drugs. Despite being able to prove that it is being authorised by the Minister. Imagine that.

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      • I also note that our Prime Minister is backing away from agreements made with the UN. We need to be “independent” he tells us and do what it is Australians want and not what some busybody internationalist want.
        Things like get rid of the Convention against the use of Torture. As my situation (and that of many others) shows Australians are in agreement that we should be able to torture anyone we like. Can’t have people disagreeing in a democracy.
        And the Euthanasia Bill. We need to get that through quickly. Australians want that too. Just don’t bring it up during the election campaign and then drop it on the table after. The public isn’t sophisticated enough to understand what they are voting on. So lets not give them the opportunity and just tell them that “most people” want it. Most people want the death sentence too but …… oh wait I get it.
        Covenant on human rights down the toilet too. And these politicians are going to claim it’s what Australians want? With 20 percent of the population labelled mentally ill i guess that lot doesn’t count.
        Looks like were in for one Hell of a ride. We’re buying a heap of weapons, removing civil and human rights, and making back room deals with no accountability to a public that is forced to vote for politicians they don’t want?
        Count me out people, i’m looking for a new place to rest my Boans. Whats the process for seeking asylum from a government that allows such abuses? Doesn’t matter really I guess they will fiddle with the documents to make what they want to be true anyway.

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          • No Elizabeth, never posted a story except the stuff I wrote in the old forums.

            I did offer to pay someone to assist me with writing this stuff up but they took a look at the documents I have and said that “these are human rights abuses” and that the letter of response from the Chief Psychiatrist was “absolute rubbish” and that there had been a “cover up”. I then had a meeting with a QC who told me that he didn’t want to hear a certain Doctors name, and i’ve had no responses to my follow up. (Sorry your number seems to have disappeared from my phone, sorry can’t talk got a funeral, sorry dog needs washing, sorry can’t talk eating. Don’t be sorry, be honest, you’ve been threatened too)
            So as you can probably tell I have been severly traumatised by these event having people deliberately trying to do me harm and police and public officers assisting in that process. And now police and governement embarrassed by their vicious conduct, i’m left to be homeless and slandered by these criminals who simply deny me access to effective legal representation. (Can’t even retrieve my share of the marital property because my wife has been given legal authority to spike people and plant evidence for police, and is ‘assisting’ them in their cover up with police exercising the ‘discretionary powers’ over serious criminal offences. Kidnapping I get, the torture is a breach of the Convention and I have asked the Premier to tear it up on the steps of Parliament so that the public is aware. Guess thats what our Prime Minister is doing with his latest round of National Socialist politiking) And they are allowed to do that apparently.
            Did they really remove firearms from the public to protect them? Or was it more to do with ensuring a passive vulnerable public who can be silenced about their systematic theft of public monies. Take a look is what I say? Politicians are so out of touch with reality and their paranoia is showing under their silk skirts. (Alexander Downer who started some of this trouble with your President will tell you all about silk skirts lol But lets not look at his private conduct) And the spying on our friends and neighbours? The kneejerk, “they’re doing it too” is a dead giveaway.
            As noted above our Government has done away with most if not all of the protections of the UN Covenants. They are simply for show now, and to fool people into the false belief that they have rights. Makes it easy to knife them in the back.
            Oh what I’d give to be able to write this up and publish. I’d really like to publish the letter of complaint from the MHLC to the Chief Psychiatrist and his response. Even if it were to confirm that it wasn’t him that wrote that poison pen letter. Nothing like a gaslighter exposed in a letter like that (somebody give me the name because the author of that letter is absolutely evil).
            And I guess you would be correct to say it’s a mess over here. UN doesn’t make claims like Australia’s Mental Health Laws ARE a violation of peoples human rights and that the treatments MAY constitute torture lightly. One doesn’t need to travel to exotic places to witness these abuses, merely to their local hospitals. Like those neighbours at Auschwitz didn’t need to be pointing at the Rats of Tobruk as being nasty people. Perhaps these folk should clean up their own act before pointing fingers of righteous scorn.
            If Jesus was a Christian eh?
            Gee I’ve seen some funny women and men
            That think that Christianitys begining and end
            Is to sit up in them old Church pews on a Sunday Morn
            Now there’s 168 hours in any one week
            And one and a half in Church seems pretty weak
            They think there Jesus lives behind those locked Church doors eh?
            Now I’m pretty sure that they taught me right,
            That Jesus was the Truth and Light
            And he condemned all those who were Hypocrites and Liars.(Kev Carmody)
            Where are the good people when you need them?

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          • I don’t know how obvious it is but the situation is that my wife did something stupid, and people at the hospital went along with her lies and committed some serious criminal offences. And rather than tell me they have decided that they would appoint my wife as my ‘carer’ and then she could make decisions for me that suited them. Which is what she did. She also at the point where I was about to find out about the spiking (6 weeks after I was snatched from my bed by police) told me she was being threatened by staff at the hospital (the Senior Freedom of Information Officer) I point out that what they have been doing is criminal and i’m told they will fuking destroy me. And they have. The “wife beater” slander created by the Community Nurse is now the truth because my wife has no choice but to assist these criminals. Though I ask that she testify to this before God, because He knows for a fact that this is not true. Strike me down if I am lying. A close examination of the call to MHERL reveals that her claim that she said “no such thing” is supported. It is just such an effective form of slander being used by public officers, and the lynch mob gathers. Though how many deaths are being caused by this conduct will never be known.
            Of course now that thehospital has appointed my wife as my ‘carer’ she can now contact my legal representatives and give them instructions, all the while ensuring that I don’t know about these covert phone calls. She made sure not to attend the lawyers offices with me because well they might ask her about the spiking and what actually occurred in front of me and none of this could be done in front of the victim. Their conspiring to pervert the course of justice needed to be done behind closed door and in the dark. Mandatory prison terms, and how lucky they are that police can not find their copy of the criminal code. No room in our prisons anyway, they’re full of Aboriginals who stole a packet of pencils from Walmart to be putting these types of crooks away. They are above the law in a land that claims Australians value a rule of law.
            Disgusting but …… what do you do? The public were coerced into voting for them. We get fined if we don’t and they have found methods of turning those fines into 1000s of dollars and sending folk to prison for not voting lol Another reason they can’t be sent to prison.
            I would have found it much easier if they had just done their job in the first place and told my wife (and her co-conspirator) sorry but I need to report your drugging without knowledge to the police, because this person is not our patient, and our doctors are not prepared to sign fraudulent prescriptions to conceal criminal offences post hoc.
            Save a whole bunch of trouble arranging to have people killed in an Emergency Dept with a hot shot. Don’t believe me? Thats okay, I know one doctor spotted it because he was there to foil the plan. And I don’t think he is the only person smart enough to figure out what they were going to do, though he did have the advantage of speaking with my wife about what they were asking her to do to me to conceal their crimes sooooo. “You just go along with what they ask and lets see where they go with this :)” Nice one Doc.
            With my wifes boyfriend hacking my email accounts and keeping an eye on who I was communicating with, and using police to retrieve the documented fact that I had been spiked, they could then close this up by slandering me as a paranoid delusional to anyone who asked about these matters. Oh and the claims that my email accounts etc were hacked by my wifes boyfriend? Yes I can prove it. He fell for one of the oldest tricks in the book regarding ‘keyloggers’. I’m identifying him as the weak link because I dont think he would really want to go to prison for simply helping out a damsel in distress.
            It got to the point where my wife was calling police to have me removed from my home because her boyfriend was coming to town for the weekend. She would call them, they turn up and write an order to remove me based on nothing moire than her word and I was on the street. I had no idea we had got to this situation. Still with a Police Service that is doing more planting that our Forestry Dept what would one expect?

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      • Both good questions zendogbreath.
        The first one seems fairly obvious. I often lay awake at night and wonder why the Doctor who interrupted the attempt to have me murdered in the ED didn’t just let them go one step further before stopping Dr I’m the boss around here. I know the explaination I was given was that he didn’t have the stomach for it, though his history of unauthorised experimentation on his own patients would suggest otherwise. Still, that was all sorted out with a sheep dip in the psychiatric system so…….
        The second question I find a lot more interesting. I guess my first response would be to suggest that in order to ensure that you keep the rights you have, you exercise them when they are being abused. Collectively. The ‘faces of fear’ I have seen when people (like lawyers or doctors) figure out what i’m saying is true are a clue. It shouldn’t be like that unless your government has gone beyond the point of no return. Not that I would compare them to the National Socialists in Germany, those guys showed a lot more intelligence and had nice uniforms. These guys are more a rag tag bunch of terrorists like ISIS. Chasing their own tails and on a date with destiny. But in the meantime they will do a lot of damage.
        Deal with them now or suffer the consequences later I would suggest. Stand up to them when the evidence is there despite the threats and intimidation, lest they become emboldened and enabled by the failure to hold them to account.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story Elizabeth. It is SO important this information gets out there and these stories get told! Your ordeal with insomnia resonated with what I endured when chemo/steroids triggered major insomnia and I began taking a hypnotic drug Imovane and later a psychiatrist threw in an assortment of additional psych drugs (and totally disbelieved the horrible effects of the drugs)

    As your story and others demonstrate all psychiatry has to offer is psych labels, damaging drugs and more damaging drugs. (and other barbaric treatments such as ECT) To never acknowledge any “other factors” is psychiatry’s calling card. It’s hard to believe and incredibly ignorant how psychiatry ignores and dismisses all root causes, context and circumstances of one’s life as if it bears no weight whatsoever in the situation.

    Your strength and persistence to do what feels right for you and not swallow anymore pysch drugs is paying off. I am very happy to hear you are doing better these days and send you best of wishes.

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    • Rosalee, thank you for this feedback and your support! I truly appreciate this. Sounds like we did have some similar experiences with the insomnia… it’s so freaking brutal. I was amazed that after 10 years no one had proposed a functional approach to all of this. It’s such a cycle. And I probably would have stayed on these meds (and more) lifelong, if it wasn’t for these discoveries along the way. It angers, yet also inspires me to take action. Again, thanks so much for your support. Truly means alot!

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  4. “I experienced strange electric-shock sensations that originated in my brain and coursed through my entire body, causing my legs to jolt, heart to race, and sweat to pour over my skin in a matter of moments. I tried explaining these sensations to my friends and family, but no one could really understand what I was talking about.”

    I know exactly what you’re talking about, they’re called “brain zaps” or “brain shivers” on the internet. The “mental health” workers knew nothing about them until 2005, as documented in this article. I had the misfortune of initially experiencing “brain zaps” in 2001.

    Brain zaps are a common symptom of antidepressant discontinuation syndrome.

    Thanks for sharing your story about the hardships of antidepressant withdrawal, Elizabeth. Especially since our psychiatrists know nothing about the adverse effects and withdrawal symptoms of the drugs they prescribe. They only know what big Pharma tells them, which is a bunch of misinformation.

    Psychiatrists should be reminded, however, that people are only as credible as their sources of information. And big Pharma is no longer being seen as a source of credible information.

    So society’s trust in those, whose only sources of information are un-credible sources of information, like big Pharma, should not be trusted. Thus the psychiatrists should not be trusted.

    Please keep that in mind in your job as a social worker, but do be cautious. Since our “mental health system” is a nasty system, controlled by incompetent and misinformed psychiatric fraudsters, who literally would prefer to kill millions of people, than confess to their ignorance and fraud. And they’ve been killing millions for decades.

    But I’m glad you, too, escaped the iatrogenic illness creation system, that is our psychiatric system.

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  5. Thanks for sharing these articles! Oh my gosh, “brain shivers” YES. Thats exactly what those dang things were. It’s good to know others have experienced the same sensations. I searched all over the internet and couldn’t seem to find exactly what described this. But that article you included really seems to nail it. And yes, I’ve only started seeing the role that Big Pharma plays in this whole process, and, in my opinion, we’ve got a public health issue on our hands.
    While this whole process was downright dreadful, I’m thankful for how its shaped my view within my profession. There are too few of us though who share this perspective. Hopefully that will change. Thank you again for your support.

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      • Hi Lavender Sage,

        I hate that this was your experience with social work. I’ve had similar feelings, and have questioned and doubted my career choice at times. Amd while yes, I think that this can certainly be the case with many clinical social workers and their viewpoints, but not all, thankfully. And from my experience, the social work field at large doesn’t seem as tied down to the DSM 5 as other mental health professions. It’s a broader field, with different areas and options, which I like. I love the jello analogy though – Hah, I certainly do hope to “melt the jello” in some way or another.

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  6. It’s always amazing to me how many psychiatrists have little to no idea at all about any of the drugs that they constantly foist onto other people. What is truly shocking is the fact that they think that people can taper off these devil’s tic tacs in ten days with no problems! I knew a long time ago that getting off the so-called “antidepressants” would take a long, long taper. The only chemical imbalance in a person’s brain is the one caused by the “antidepressants” themselves! It’s past time that these psychiatrists get informed about what they’re doing to people because it’s truly criminal.

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    • Stephen, YES! Its crazy to me too! How can this even be possible?! Where does this “standard” weaning protocol from? Too often than not , these withdrawal symptoms are misinterpreted as a relapse, thus reinforcing the “need” for the drug. Geesh. A never ending cycle.

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        • It is by design. Psychiatry is a for profit only, iatrogenic illness and “madness” creation system, by design.

          The proof? All doctors, including the psychiatrists, are taught in med school that both the antidepressants and the antipsychotics can make people “mad as a hatter,” via anticholinergic toxidrome.

          But the doctors will never admit this to you, unless you first point it out to them. At which point the doctors get embarrassed, because their fraud has been pointed out.

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          • One must realize the usage of the DSM. Diagnosing a “psychiatric,” a fictitious, disorder is not used to “treat.” The diagnosis is used to get PAID for “treating.” It can be called fictitious because, unlike medical conditions such as cancer or diabetes, there are no medical tests to confirm/deny existence of “psychiatric” disorders. The General medical ruleout provisions and substance use (including psyche drugs) and general medical ruleout conditions in the DSM (previous to DSM 5), are not followed or simply involve a single blood test.

            I knew several psychiatrists that often referred to DSM standing for, Diagnosing Something for Money.

            Additionally, they rarely if ever taper . . . that’s where the consistent phrasing comes in “the Illness reasserting itself,” appears. That illness is the withdrawal symptoms of psyche drugs.

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    • Furies, totally get that. We have a deeper seated issue here with managed care and insurance companies. I’ll bet that if we get insurance companies to start paying for integrative/functional treatments, there will be a major shift in health care , likely improving outcomes and decreasing overall medical/psychiatric costs. Perhaps then all this madness will finally be exposed and handled on a larger scale. One can only hope!

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      • Long before that, every patient will need to recognize and work (however gradually) within the parameter that what insurance will pay for will almost uniformly make everything worse and that aside from scam artists, what insurance will not reimburse is going to be more helpful.

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    • furies – I can offer you what I was told years ago and continue to practice. Exercise, Nature, Nutrition and Using your imagination. . . A good sweat once or twice a week, or, just cleaning. Walking, short strides while swinging your arms, getting your heart rate up and keeping it up for 20 minutes several times a week. This doubles as a way to clear your mind from distractions (it does in my case). Nature . . . you need exposure to sunlight and the natural world. If a park is nearby, especially one with trails, walk through and stop and listen to the leaves. Nutrition – watch out for corn syrup products and high sodium. Corn syrup is in many items, but by reading the labels, you can avoid much. The same goes for sodium. If you read a label and it has a lot of sodium, but salt is not listed, chances are the sodium is coming from MSG (avoid it). Reduce Television time and read a book. Libraries are full of decent novels that can expand your imagination well beyond what a television show offers. Additionally, it promotes more positive stimulation and you can carry it with you. THEN there is SLEEP. Adequate quantity/quality of sleep is the key equalizer in the average persons’ brain chemistry. I am sure you have heard, “sleep on it, you’ll feel better in the morning?” This is largely true.

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    • Thank you Fiachra! I appreciate your feedback. It’s true, antipsychotics are being handed out like candy these days when the antidepressants dont seem to “work.” In my work I’ve seen youngsters, some 10-12 years old with multiple prescriptions, including Abilify and benzos to treat aggression… hmmm…somethings not right here.

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  7. Elizabeth – Question about how you originally got involved “psychiatrically.” The issues you were dealing with as a teen, were you first seen by your MD, then referred to a Psychiatrist? Did find your root causes of the way you felt then? . . leading to the psychiatric drug madness?

    I am well aware how “conventional” medicine has moved away from wellness. The only place I have for conventional medicine are issues involving the Emergency Room. . . for example, deep lacerations or a broken limb. Complementary Medicine is where you go to get healing. The unfortunate issue is that Complementary (aka Alternative) medicine is almost always out of pocket and can seem extremely expensive for those who always used insurance.

    What most don’t know, complementary practitioners are looking for different markers in their bloodwork . . . often times their tests are so expansive, they can tell you the last time you had asian food. The good practitioners look at the Mind-Body connection from a different viewpoint. As such, they have a better understanding of the many interactions in the human body that correlate to exposures to toxins and prolonged stress and their interrelation along with their physicial/medical pronouncement. Good complementary practitioners are hard to find, but they are everywhere.

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  8. Hi there – totally get the need to find a good practitioner… fortunately I found a super good one who identified just about everything possible in my blood work. You’re right though, it can get incredibly expensive.

    To answer your question, I initially saw a gynecologist, who tested me for lupus (???)…they did standard blood work , but nothing significant came back. Its was the minimal amount, nothing like a thorough hormone or thyroid panel or anything detailed like that. From there, I saw another medical professional who diagnosed the eating disorder, and sent me on my way , no more tests were done.

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  9. Beautifully told Elizabeth! As you stated “Where were these tests when I first entered treatment as a 17 year old?” There should be a law mandating a comprehensive physical (metabolic panel and CAT scan, etc.) before any regiment of psychotropic drugs can be administered (a 10 day emergency declaration the only exception, for example). This would at least provide the patina of science to psychotropic drug ‘treatment” which, as your psychiatrist demonstrated, is as about as epistemologically sound as a ten year-old with his/her first chemistry set. I keep wondering…when have enough stories like yours and so many others going to result in a class action lawsuit: not to win so much), but as a watershed to the diseased, false psychiatric narrative itself?

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    • Plebtocracy,

      Thank you for your feedback! I certainly agree with the mandated law. In the social work profession, clinicians are taught to rule out any medical factors that could be at play first, and make necessary referrals as needed. Why are metabolic panels, or extensive blood work excluded from this list of “medical issues”? In your opinion, what do you think it would take to enact this sort of thing?
      And I’ve wondered the same in regards to the lawsuits…my intention is not to bash the psychiatrists themselves, for they are only doing what they are taught. This is a larger, more systemic issue within the field of psychiatry and Big Pharma itself that needs to be exposed. Hopefully with more sharing their stories we can get to that point.

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  10. Elizabeth, I am glad you have realized and then found appropriate help in your life journey.
    However, like LabenderSage, I left social work. In my time, any chemical intervention or neurotoxin regime was only used after ALL therapeutic efforts were literally exhausted. This has changed drastically and I consider it almost to child abuse levels and I bending backwards here.
    If you loo at the profession some good stuff but it came and was created by rich white privelged women- similar too but not exactly like the women suffragettes and early feminists. Not taking anything away from the good but they did kowtow to the male powers that be many more times that they should have. And look at the CEOs and CFO’s and Directors of most agencies – most male
    I am glad you have enlarged your vision and your story of struggling with Chemical intervention while working which is I think, par for the course these days.Just the paperwork alone is enough for any sane individual to seek substances to cope with the emotional morass.
    Please think on what you can do next.

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    • CatNight,

      Thank you for your input! Especially as a a fellow (previous) social worker, sounds like you get the paperwork struggle 🙂
      Its interesting how you mentioned that chemical intervention was only used after all therapeutic efforts were literally exhausted. I know of some agencies/clinicians who continue to follow this route, but its’ not consistent across the board.
      I haven’t studied the history of social work enough to know about the cultural aspects – I’d be curious to know how these factors may have shaped the current system?
      I’m hopeful and ready for change, but not quite sure how at this point, which can be discouraging. Within the profession, who’s going to listen (at least seriously) to a 27 year old still relatively fresh out of grad school? I’m hungry for change, but not quite sure where the table is. Alas, there is work to do, and I’m thankful to be apart of it in whatever way I can.

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      • We all might profit from reading Kelly Brogan’s experience and recognizing that:

        “The combined profits for the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 ($35.9 billion) were more than the profits for all the other 490 businesses put together ($33.7 billion) [in 2002]

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  11. Elizabeth, thanks for your kind reply. Paperwork – many good social workers resigned or were fired because the paperwork just became to hard to handle. It is one of the many elephants in the living room.
    I worked in a residential center during grad school and none of the girls were on any type of chemical intervention. When I had worked in a camp for dev. disabled kids I knew of only one kid and he usually had two volunteers assigned during outside trips. It was never what is wrong with this kid, the philosophy as I learned it was more like Montessori – How can we make it easier?
    Jane Addams, and others led interesting lives. Jane developed Hull House a kind of settlement house. Tons of info on her and others if one looks. Should be taught in school.
    I would suggest you look into creating or following a psych survivor group or program. Soteria and others involved on this site. I had lots of issues with NAMI somehow the DD movement was more into independence than the MH system. Might have something to do with both financial funding and stigma.
    Trauma I would urge to look into that as well- that is the core and key to many but not all.
    One of the ways I cope with my psych survivor life is learning new things. It’s a great distraction and life doesn’t feel so lonely. TH White recommended it!

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  12. Thank you so much for sharing your story. My experience (unfortunately) is eerily similar. The electrical jolts, paired with reading Anatomy of an Epidemic, was what prompted me to get off my meds. I titrated myself and spent a lot of time pushing for further testing and seeing specialists (OBGYN, Endocrinologist) searching for answers, which I didn’t get until seeing a functional Medicine doctor. I felt all the frustrations you expressed and was left wondering how to challenge the model we are all presented with: your brain has a deficiency, take these meds. I‘m surrounded by friends and family who all continue to be fed this model, even defending it, so I have to be very careful in how I share my experience. After stopping the meds, it was never any worse than I was on them all—in fact, it was actually better because I didn’t have the long list of side effects. This model of looking at mental health is so much more empowering, whereas previously I felt hopeless and resigned to my brain “deficiency”. Obviously I still have tough days, but instead of expecting a pill to fix that, I’m understanding and working through years of trauma and building the skill set to process the information my body is trying to tell me, instead of silencing it.

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    • Hidden In Hindsight,

      Thank you for this kind reply! I felt goosebumps as I read part of your story, as you’re right, it is strikingly similar. You’re right, too, in that we have to be careful in how we share. I’m happy to hear that you as well are doing much better. How long have you been off meds now? I’d agree that this functional medicine route to mental health is way more empowering and gives people more of a choice to take charge of their health and mental health. When the real underlying issues are dealt with, its much easier to work through daily stressors and the trauma itself. “I’m understanding and working through years of trauma and building the skill set to process the information my body is trying to tell me, instead of silencing it.” – Love that! Go you!

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      • I haven’t been checking my alerts! 4.5 years off meds. I actually requested my medical records from my former psychiatrist and found that to be both horrifying (the amounts of meds, the weight gain, the ECT recommendations…) but most of all I felt so validated. To see only the few notes my psychiatrist made about my social situation in those 15 minute sessions, I wish someone would have just said—I would imagine you’re sad and angry and anxious; look at everything you’re currently up against in your personal life. She notated it there, but with years removed and the insights I was able to see clear as day that what I was doing was internalizing instead of accepting my situation and what/who needed to change within my life. I’m grateful for you sharing, and replying to comments. I hope to be able to share more as you have here

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  13. Elizabeth, I read your story with interest and investigated your blog. I have 2 questions for you:


    I understand pushback against the psychiatric community and Big Pharma for labeling depression and anxiety as “illnesses” attributable to chemical imbalances, and profiting from treatments and medications.

    But when I look at Functional Medicine, I see similar ideas. According to FM, emotional symptoms can result from nutritional deficiencies, hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances, inflammation, thyroid issues etc.

    You were diagnosed with pyroluria, a genetically-aquired chemical imbalance in the brain that causes symptoms like ADHD, antisocial behavior, anxiety, depression, explosive temper, and fatigue.

    Diagnosis and treatment for FM is usually not covered by insurance. To cover tests and nutritional therapy, patients can join the Kalish Institute for $300-$5,000 each year (per their website). Supplements, etc., wouldn’t be included in this cost.

    Patients at Front Range Functional medicine generally invest between $3,000 and $15,000 on their care (per their website).

    The article “4 Ways to Make Your Functional Medicine Clinic More Profitable” on the Lifestyle Matrix website says:

    “The average plan costs the patient between $6,000 and $8,000 for the 10 to 12 months they work with us.”

    A survey by the Institute for Functional Medicine survey says the average annual income of an FM practitioner is $130,000, “the lowest income among all medical specialties.” (But do FM practitioners aren’t required to have a medical degree.)

    I’m NOT saying any treatment should be given away for free. We live in a Capitalistic society, and people have to earn an income.

    But FM and psychiatry seem to share a basic premise: trauma and life circumstances can play a role — but emotions are affected by chemical imbalances in the brain or body, and can be treated with substances (either dietary supplements, a $2B industry, or or Rx meds). Many people are in both types of therapy with blessings from the practitioners. So what is the PHILOSOPHICAL DIFFERENCE between the two approaches?


    I was intrigued by your your gentle reference to your faith. What are your thoughts about how faith figures in to the emotional picture?

    I’m sure you’re aware that John Piper teaches that anxiety and depression can be caused by (literally) Satantic forces.

    Also, I’m wondering how you feel about Piper’s stance on divorce (never acceptable for any reason, including adutery, abandonment or abuse); homosexuality and gay marriage (sinful, incompatable with Christian faith; a “path to eternal distruction”); and salvation (only accessible to born-again Christians, with everyone else — about 85% of people on the planet — consigned after death to “eternal conscious torment in hell.”

    *This isn’t a troll question. It is VERY RELEVANT in discussion of trauma.*

    You may be unaware of it, but there’s a huge number of religion survivors who developed anxiety, depression, PTSD, self-harm, sexual dysfunction, and suicidally as a direct result of “Desiring God” and similar theologies. ExVangelical, No Longer Quivering and Kiss Shame Goodbye are just three of them.

    Religious Trauma Syndrome is a very big thing out there, and Piper’s teachings open a door to it. I’m curious about your thoughts.


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    • Scary Black Kitten,

      First, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article and explore my site. I’m still getting things up and running over there and am grateful for your feedback and generation of discussion on these issues.
      You’ve put a lot out on the table here, which I value, but I will likely not cover everything in this (relatively) short reply. If you’d like to flush things out a bit more, feel free to contact me at the link on my site, or comment on some of the posts you find interest in.
      Regarding the philosophy behind functional medicine, I can see why you might associate it in some way with traditional psychiatry. You’re right, in that this approach can become incredibly expensive and does attribute many emotional symptoms/mental health challenges to some sort of deficit, imbalance or dysfunction within the body. But the difference for me, is that this approach actually targets many of the real underlying causes of these symptoms rather than merely covering them up through a band-aid approach. In this way, healing can occur on a deeper level as I am able to change and manipulate genetic factors and nutritional deficits. While yes, FM does pinpoint certain “broken” parts of the body, it also gives the body the freedom to heal itself through lifestyle changes, supplementation, etc. Again, you bring up a great point about the expenses of this approach – but I’m not sure how we might get around that. But, if we were able to talk major insurance companies into paying for this type of treatment, I believe it would drastically offset the cost, both for the individual and the insurance company at large long term. My hope moving forward is to advocate for more of an integrative approach to healthcare, where various tests and supplements would be covered by insurance. In my opinion, the low income population suffers the most in this regard, as they are nowhere close to being able to pay for this sort of care; yet, many of them need it most.
      I thank you also for your questions and comments about faith. While I’m still wrestling with aspects of my faith, this has been a crucial part of my healing journey. In referencing John Piper at the end of that blog post, I was referring to his perspective on how one is to view the “will of God” in his/her life, as this was primarily the focus of the post. While I do love and respect John Piper dearly, I do not necessarily share his same perspective or theology on certain issues. While I do believe that dark spiritual forces, including Satan, can be at work in the lives of believers, contributing to symptoms of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc., it is a dangerous approach to attribute all forms of mental illness to the work of Satan.
      I would also agree that the church can and does fail at times to provide a safe, nurturing place for those who are struggling, including trauma survivors. I myself have been there. Unfortunately many individuals are harmed by certain teachings and various church “cultures.” This does sadden me very deeply, and you’re right in that Religious Trauma Syndrome is a real thing. I tend to go back to the Gospels in these moments, and study the words and works of Jesus himself, and how he viewed the lost and broken. Many times, there is a drastic difference in what He taught and in the lives of many believers and church leaders today.

      Thanks again for your willingness to bring up these big issues,


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    • Any and all ideas that work can and will be co-opted and subverted when and where it’s worth it. Crime that pays is crime that stays. First need in process of reversing the crimes is avoiding being a victim. Elizabeth is lucky. So far. There but for the grace of God, all of us can go the route Boans is so far stuck with.

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    • To Scary Black Kitten’s comment, I understand being leery of any biological explanations pointing to physical imbalances, given the myths perpetrated by psychiatry. But as someone who benefitted greatly from functional medicine myself when I was having a mental health crisis more than a decade ago, I think it’s a mistake to reject any and all medical explanations for our suffering.

      One important difference between the standard chemical-imbalance concept and the concepts of functional medicine is that the former has little evidence to back it up (including no blood tests) while the latter does. Our nutrition status and other health issues do affect how we feel emotionally and mentally, which is why too often medical problems are misdiagnosed as “mental illness.” Vitamin B12 deficiency, for example, can lead to brain fog and even psychosis-like symptoms. Too little or too much estrogen can wreak havoc with one’s mood, as most menopausal women can tell you.

      Also, psych drugs do not actually fix anything in our brain or elsewhere, whereas diet and nutrition and hormones (etc.) actually can correct underlying health issues, so a person is better positioned to address life problems that may be causing emotional distress and disability.

      Physical “imbalances” of this nature are real, but they are not the whole story. So while functional medicine may sometimes be necessary, it’s not always sufficient to lighten our soul’s burden.

      As to the cost, I was able to buy all the supplements and such prescribed to me because I was lucky enough to be economically privileged, with good health insurance. (I also had a doctor who knew the right codes to use for me to get at least some reimbursement.) As Elizabeth said, the only way to overcome the very high cost of tests and ‘treatment’ is for insurers to start covering them, which could save a tremendous amount of money in the long run. Or maybe we will get Medicare for All or even single-payer healthcare (one can dream)…

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      • I’m all for better diet and nutrition myself. You can test for deficiencies in iron and B12 and other stuff.

        Long term psychiatry messed up my gut so I need supplements. B12 shots every month and iron infusions every winter.

        Counterproductive to helping anemia or vitamin deficiencies.

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      • Imbalances can be a touchy subject here, because some of the contributors have confused real medicine with psychiatric pseudo-medicine, which doesn’t seem to grasp the idea that your mind functioning well is dependent on how well the rest of your body functions, thus ignoring things like metabolic imbalances, allergies and heavy metal poisoning as sources of mental disturbances.

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      • I agree with you. The idea that any one intervention will help in ALL cases of “depression” or “ADHD” or whatever label psychiatry wants to toss out is the central problem. There are real, physiological problems that can affect mood and behavior, and they ought to be identified and dealt with through testing and smart interventions. I only protest when someone suggests that ALL such issues can be handled by nutrition or any other specific intervention. Everyone is different, and how they feel is a very sketchy guide for intervention. Good research and exploration is the key to finding out what is actually needed, instead of assuming that someone feeling depressed or anxious is enough information to know what to do.

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        • Thank you for your input, Steve.
          I’m with you in that nutrition and supplements dont “solve” all the problems. We are complex beings and relying on just one approach won’t get us too far. We’ve got to focus on all pieces to the puzzle, and everyone’s “puzzle” looks different!

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  14. Appreciate your exit from Plato’s cave. And your slow realization that there are people you have met over the years who profitted and can profit again from forcing you back inside. I also appreciate your courage to address boans’ comments. That is the scary suburban gulag archipelago we all face – some knowingly like boans and the rest of us not so much.

    Could you and any commenters here please address how to avoid and/or reduce risks of such attacks.

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    • Hi Zendogbreath,

      Thanks for your time in reading and commenting! In response to your request, here is a link to find integrative medicine practitioners in your area:
      I’m not sure exactly where you might go to find functional medicine providers, other than a google search. That’s how I found mine. Perhaps someone else might know a better way.

      Regarding Boans comments, unfortunately I am unfamiliar with much of that area. I’d also be interested in reading a full post from Boans on his experiences. Perhaps other people could chime in as well.

      Best of luck to you!

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      • Hi Elizabeth,
        I’d love to be able to put this all together for publication. Unfortunately every time I pick myself up and get to the point where I feel capable, i fall down. This was done deliberately by those who tortured and kidnapped me. A forced Learned Helplessness. I ws before these events quite a competent person with what Seligman would have described as a robust personality type. I’d keep going where others would fail. Enough, that person was murdered and no one in my community gives a damn so …..
        I did a lot of writing in the forums under a thread called The Bridge as I tried to unravel the threads of events as I remembered them and also as I tried to have police recognise that I was not a patient and that they were turning away the victim of kidnapping and conspiracy to torture but …… the law being the law they are afraid of doctors and the mafia type organisation they are running.

        My Brain Salad Surgery lol. Lots there that is just my insane ramblings but in amongst it is the truth as I saw it. (Keep in mind if you read it that I documented what occurred when I went to police. I exchanged emails with others who were present about those meetings. And then weeks later they were telling me that “it never happened”. Nothing like a bunch of gaslighters kicking you when your down eh? Police threatening witnesses to criminal offences? Yeah okay I get that but they are also witnesses to breaches of the Convention against the use of Torture. That is about as vile as their behaviour can get. Refoulment. Nothing that Bashar al Assad isn’t doing mind you)
        I’ve come a long way since that time but still find my community lacking in support. And well, were currently discussing convenience killings in our parliament so …… should I really be surprised that the government is authorising torture and kidnappings and calling them medicine?
        As with most cons, this one is fairly simple to perform and leaves the victim totally destroyed because police after being stooged can not possibly admit they were used as tools to kidnap and torture. They re simply too accustomed to having a 100% result in their favour and can literally kill anyone who complains about them. Better just to threaten their families because killing is serious business and some day someone might actually look.

        Still looking at this organised police killing from the 70s. Our Police Minister was not happy about a prostitute who was going to blow the whistle, so he had a police officer put 4 bullets into her head (not that those who know this would dare say it publically)
        Anyhow any questions about this con I can answer (and might I add much more clearly than our previous Minister or Chief Psychiatrist They don’t even like the protections of the Mental health Act so simply ignore them, and then ignore anyone who complains while doctors arrange to have victims killed or “unintentioanlly negatively outcomed”, their referred term). I must add that the Chief Psychiatrist did recognise his “error” but unlike those who have some honor, did not correct the “error” simply recognised it. Someone who had honor would also do everything in their power to correct the effects of their error. I can not say he has done nothing, what I can say is that nothing that I can see has been done to assist the victim, merely conceal for those in power.

        Anyone who has an ability to write or document these crimes for me I’d be happy to hear from. I’d also like to hear from any government who would grant me asylum, cause these human rights abusers have clearly demonstrated that they will keep doubling down on their ‘errors’ until the cover up is complete.
        Happy to answer any questions anyone might have though, despite my rather ineffective ability to communicate. Please keep in mind that this is as a result of the ‘intervention’, because as the psychiatrist who aassessed me that day wrote there was nothing wrong with me until I was drugged, tortured and kidnapped. There bloody well is now though.
        Wow, i just reaised that thread The Bridge is 5 years old. And still not a day of my life worth living since these good mental health professionals decided that I needed them to force their medicine down my throat. Same really coz I did tell them when I was being interrogated after being jumped in my bed.

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  15. Elizabeth it’s funny how many churches teach the members that psychiatry is the cure for emotional pain and host NAMI in the church basement. One mega church I attended had the nurse and counselor from the local mental illness center get up and preach the Gospel of Psychiatry. How Science has proven we have chemical imbalances in our brains to cause depression etc. and only “meds” can save us.

    Why has organized religion sold out to psychiatry? A little online research could show the “chemical imbalance” is a filthy lie, yet they promote this from the pulpits more than Jesus and urge members to see a psychiatrist if they’re sad because their puppy died. I saw this at a megachurch and wanted to puke.

    What is your opinion?

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    • Hi Rachel,

      Thank you for reaching out and bringing up these important issues.
      These are similar questions I have faced through this whole process myself. I don’t necessarily have all the answers, as I am still relatively new in this field of thought (as I once was a strict follower of that chemical imbalance “belief” system). I largely gravitate towards Dr. Caroline Leaf’s perspective – she is a brain specialist and a strong believer. She has written many books on the area of mental health and spirituality, and advocates against the use of psychotropic drugs. This is one Christian woman who does not shy away from the truth, and is bold in her approach. We need more people like her within the church community.
      When I come across these situations similar to what you described, I am reminded that these individuals (nurse practitioners, psychiatrists) hold these viewpoints largely because this is what they were taught within their academic settings and by being immersed in the medical community at large. As we both know, new research is constantly coming out, defying these myths and proposing a different course of action. It may take time for these individuals to come to terms with this new mindset, as it is largely a mindset shift. Rather than becoming bitter or angry at these individuals themselves, I focus on the larger perspective, and how the system at large is to blame. For harboring resentment towards these individuals themselves won’t get me anywhere, nor will it generate many good solutions. So, if I haven’t already answered your question, my approach in these moments is to respectfully disagree, offer a different perspective, present the evidence, and hope for an open mind. All the while, continuing to educate and advocate on a larger scale.

      Hope that helps,

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      • So sick I could barely get up today thanks to years on a “cocktail.”

        I’m afraid to tell people at my church why I’m sick, broke, and alone since they’ll treat me horribly. I got kicked out of a religious college since the dorm mom blamed me for acting weird and having seizures on 10 mg of Haldol.

        “If Rachel were only taking her meds she would be great with a smile on her face, friendly, happy, improved hygiene. And they never, ever cause seizures.” That was Kimmy’s excuse for booting me off campus.

        In vain I protested that I was taking them exactly as prescribed. No one believed me. Know why? No one cared as long as they had an excuse to get rid of me.

        Recycle plastic, but people can be thrown away since they are biodegradable and make great compost.

        Those like Kimmy are more than happy to throw everyone like me under a bus since all they want are pretty, rich couples with kids and their own homes.

        They don’t give a damn if “crazies” lose jobs, can’t think straight, lose everyone they love, get horribly sick and die on the streets. Psychiatric nurses and psycho-therapists are rich and respectable and bring money into the church by touting the lie. If they believe it, their ignorance is appalling. Apparently they don’t read any articles from the journals of their profession.

        And when people take their very bad advice and go on SSRI Drugs because the family cat died and can’t sleep for 3 weeks/have an “episode” and wind up labeled Bipolar and on a cocktail of 6 drugs, unable to work or interact normally in polite society these same people will warn them to stay away from the nursery, gossip about how crazy they are at lady’s luncheons the “bipolar” is no longer invited to, and calculate how best to freeze her out so she’ll leave. 🙁

        Their love is as phony as the science of psychiatry. I call BS on it! 😛

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    • Personally Rachel777 I believe that psychiatry grew out of the separation of the State and the Christian church. The State required the control mechanism of the church. They needed to be able to use the slander of demon possession, and subject citizens to forced treatment for the slander. Someone Else has written some great comments about how these old professions have managed to survive and thrive in the modern Nation State.
      Aren’t we all still looking for devil worshipers and witches everywhere? These days we call them terrorists and paedophiles but ……. we still need to be able to make what we do lawful and what they do worthy of punishment of the worst kind, and psychiatry can be used to punish despite the claims these folk are doctors. They are still eavesdropping on the confessional and slipping one off the bottom of the deck during communion. Justice served? Only if it is done minus any corruption in the system.
      I mean when you thin k about it what was the difference between what Ariel Castro did and what was done to me? A licence from the State.
      Anyhow, I’m a great believer that laughter is the best medicine. Heres a video of some people at my local church taking someone to mental health services. 🙂

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      • “Terrorists and paedophiles.” You forgot mass shooters.

        Only shrinks claim to be able to discover these people BEFORE they actually commit crimes of rape or murder. Psychic psychiatry. Then they have the right to inflict cruel, unusual punishments on them. Due process?

        “Darn it Jim, I’m a doctor. Not a judge and jury!”

        I thought the belief that you can read minds or see into the future was a symptom of “severe mental illness” but every good tyrant is above his own laws.

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        • I liked Dante s’ contrapasso for those who claimed they could look into the future (the Heretics). Their heads were turned around 180 degrees. Perhaps we could overlook the physical effect of doing this as an unintended negative outcome related to the treatment for heresy? A side effect if you will lol

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        • It’s good isn’t it Rachel777?

          “I thought the belief that you can read minds or see into the future was a symptom of “severe mental illness” but every good tyrant is above his own laws.”

          I also thought this. When you get banged up over here the person who is exercising that power needs to complete a Form 1 to give the reasons they believe you meet the (non) standards for incarceration and forced drugging. This statutory declaration requires them to state their “observed facts” so that they are not locking people up based solely on communications from others. The Community Nurse who had me snatched from my bed by police made observation that would have required him to travel back in time 3 weeks. He also made the “observation” that I was “having thoughts of harming others” Note others not other after I had an argument with the person who had tried to blackmail my wife, three weeks earlier.
          Now, a person as highly trained as our Chief Psychiatrist you would think would recognise such an illness and yet ……. here he is standing by this ‘verballing’ corrupt public officer. He has no problem with this man travelling through time and space to make his “observations” nor that he is reading my thoughts of harming others. It does however make it easy to abuse the human and civil rights of citizens. Pesky laws getting in the way of arbitrary detentions and giving doctors carte blanche. How to overcome that? Put someone into a position where their negligence means that the rules are not enforced and turn a blind eye to criminals operating within the system.
          Someone like a Chief Psychiatrist who doesn’t know what a burden of proof is, and therefore wouldn’t know a criminal if he tripped over one 30 times a day.
          “Suspect on reasonable grounds” becomes “suspect on grounds he believes to be reasonable”. Thus your failure to report his suspected criminality to the Corruption and Crime Commission under section 28 was because you never suspect? No one ever meets the standard for reporting? Might I suggest that what was done was the apprehension or detention of a person not suffering from a mental illness (s.336 of the Criminal Code with a term of 2 years prison) This meets the standard of mandatory reporting and if not done is an act of Serious Misconduct. Now how could you report if you don’t see the crime? Everyone else can but ….. you can’t.
          Did you write that letter Doc? If so your a disgrace to our community. People paid with their blood for those rights for you to write them away with your negligence. See your duty under the Act. Or is that like our police who can’t find their copy of the criminal code and use negligence to provide support to the criminals operating under your watch? Lucky they’re all so afraid to tell the Emperor he has no clothes and seems to be suffering from some sort of genital rash lol. I’d see a doctor about that Doc.

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  16. I haven’t been to a functional doc. But I’ve been reading about it this past year.

    I’ve had depression for decades. And I used to be on antidepressants and antipsychotics. That isn’t what led me to dietary changes, though. I was a sugar addict for my whole life. And weight I had gained wouldn’t go away in my 40s. I had been decreasing sugar for a while. I didn’t make a big difference. Then I tried low-carb paleo. That helped a fair amount.

    Though I felt better, it was only when I when went very low-carb (keto) that I realized my depression had entirely disappeared. No moody funks, brooding, apathy, irritability, etc. Just gone. For all the doctors, psychiatrists, and therapists I went to, not a single one ever recommended functional medicine or anything like it. I never had any tests on much of anything. Most simply told me to take drugs.

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    • Benjamin,
      Thanks for adding to the discussion! I’m so happy that you found relief through the keto diet, which is somewhat similar to the Whole 30 – which provided me with much needed relief.

      High amounts of sugar can definitely mess with you, and the way our food industry at large it set up, much of it is literally addicting. So glad you broke free from that! You’re right, in that this issue is missed within the mental health system at large. Its’ a shame, as this should be the first approach, rather than the “last.” I’d certainly encourage you to seek out some detailed blood work – even if you get it done yourself, and study up on how to interpret the tests. That may be able to save you money in the long run, but I’d always recommend a good FM practitioner to guide you along the way. Best of luck!

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      • Elizabeth, the alternative to mental health, psychotherapy, and recovery is always the middle-finger. There is no reason for these things to exist, no reason for anyone to cooperate with them. They are all predatory, striking at people who have been margin alized and usually abused.

        What we need to build are groups for political and legal activism, and to help people fight back to obtain justice over past abuses, and to fight back when they are being targeted. The Mental Health and Recovery System is often coercive.

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          • I disagree.

            We DO need more legal action and political activism.

            We also need recovery and healing from the abuses that took place. When people learn ways of being that aren’t helpful to themselves or anyone else, a court victory may make them feel good but will not help them learn how to interact with others or to be able to function within society.

            We need both.

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          • I agree with kindredspirit that we need space for healing from abuses. This is a necessary process for change to occur, imo. I also agree with PacificDawn that justice is required here. I believe that is a vital component of healing on a personal and on a social level. Justice brings truth to light.

            I had a legal victory after experiencing and calling out systemic abuse and discrimination, and what that did was that it gave me confidence. Until I finally found a legal aid attorney who had the ability to listen to me wtih focus and intelligence and connect the dots of my experience accurately, all I could elicit with relaying my experience was doubt thrown at me, along with vicious invalidation which amounted to projecting “paranoia” onto me. I wasn’t paranoid, I was telling the exact truth and these “social workers” were totally lying. That was proven in so many ways, including by example, and yes, it felt good in that it was enormously relieving to not have to carry that burden any longer. And moreover, it empowered me to keep going, it was a huge motivator.

            On a more direct and instantaneous level, thanks to the outcome, I was not only able to continue my healing work, but this victory also allowed me to discover new acting and performing skills–and eventually a theater career–because, through classes, I was able to take that particular personal risk and it led to all kinds of healing as well as other rewards.

            In essence, being legally vindicated was exponentially healing, they went hand in hand. I had to remain clear in my truth, however, and humble to this process of healing and unfoldment happening after all that drama which corruption always manifests, while at the same time feeling and trusting the *power* of my truth and perspective of reality, to manifest my personal life experience as I most desired and intended.

            I was finished with the “mental health” industry by then, as anything reliable for support or healing, but I continued with activism voluntarily after that and discovered just how deep the injustices and deceit and covering up ran—sooooo deep, absolutely never-ending.

            The work is far from complete, obviously. More justice will bring more healing, and vice versa. One informs the other, like a double helix. That was my experience, in any case.

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          • One can certainly “recover” from traumatic experiences, at least to some extent. The term does not always refer to physical injury. But the metaphors of “disease” and “illness” have been so abused by psychiatry that people are understandably suspicious of any term that might imply such. I’m more comfortable with the term “recovery” than I am “healing,” which sounds more physical; still I think we need to be tolerant of such language, though it may be ambiguous and confusing at times, till we come up with something better. After all, people speak of sports teams “recovering” from losing streaks without it being interpreted as a medical issue. It’s a shame that psychiatry’s use of terms such as “mental illness” has made us so nervous about using metaphors at all; they are an essential part of poetry and creative writing.

            Btw, people can very literally recover from the effects psychiatric drugs.

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          • There is also physical illness with neuropsychiatric effects. I continue to heal from Lyme. As well, chronic psychic distress takes a toll on the body. These are what the link between ACEs and chronic illness is partly about.

            I am not just referring to mental processes as such, but the dynamic interplay between our bodies and our environment that create and exacerbate poor physical health which often translates into distressed mental states.

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          • I want to amend my comment. Unless one is talking about drugs or something physical the term “healing” should be avoided, even metaphorically.

            As for “trauma,” it does not always refer to physical injury. Merriam Webster has 3 meanings, one of which is simply “an emotional upset.”

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          • oldhead, I can’t even wrap my head around what you’re saying. Healing is such a personal and individual matter. To me, healing has a beautiful resonance, the word and the concept. It is to find balance and harmony, first within, then outside of ourselves. And it’s not a one time thing, we go in and out of that state all the time, life drives us this way. Hopefully we get better at it as we go.

            In reality, we have things from which to heal on a daily basis, using the word as it is used in healing communities. Life is in and out of balance, and so are we. That’s human. Healing is natural and can be part of a lifestyle and daily practice. That’s how people can stay healthy and in perpetual well-being, by self-healing on a daily basis. That way, we’re never too far away from our center, which is the idea for well-being, balance, and a sense of control in one’s life.

            The planet needs healing, this is common vernacular. I’d venture to guess that most people would profoundly understand this phrase without taking a beat. And indeed, diverse thoughts, ideas, and perspectives can be derived and discussed from this starting point, if anything at all about this basic notion of “healing the planet” can be agreed upon.

            Why tarnish this word, and particularly to the point of suggesting people avoid using it, unless it fits into your very narrow parameters? This seems extremely counterproductive and counterintuitive to me, not to mention completely unrealistic. Issues of healing are incorporated into any core change, it would be impossilbe to not include this, especially if we’re talking about deprogramming from all kinds of brainwashing and gaslighting and all that confusion. Healing is vital for change to occur! Otherwise, things will not come into balance–ever! I don’t believe that’s an option any longer, nature will insist, one way or another. Too many people are awake now, and rightfully demanding balance, clarity, justice, and peace in the world. All of that requires tons of healing work on everyone’s part.

            It also appears to be one of the biggest splits in this community, this issue about “healing,” and the negative associations with this, and frankly, it’s hard to see that changing at this point. These are irreconcilable perspectives, completely at odds with each other. We live by our beliefs, and that’s what creates our personal realities. Different worlds, though.

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          • I kind of think the “emotional upset” definition derived from the “physical injury” definition, and, therefore, somewhat metaphorical, or null and void. If you look into the origin of the word, trauma is the Greek word for wound, and “emotional wounds”, in the main, are metaphorical wounds.

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          • Maybe I should re-amend my comment — Rachel is healing from the physical ravages of psychiatry, which are not at all metaphorical. It’s when you start speaking of emotional “healing” that the slippery slope begins.

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          • “the dynamic interplay between our bodies and our environment that create and exacerbate poor physical health which often translates into distressed mental states.”

            The converse is also true, that chronic stress will more than likely lead to physical breakdown, not only because our immune system is compromised from stress, but also our judgment can be off, leading to poorer and possibly self-sabotaging choices. With chronic issues, whether it is physical or related to mental/emotional stress, we can easily go in and out of dissociated states for long periods of time without realizing it because it becomes the familiar. Either chronic pain or chronic stress can turn into vicious cycles of repetition, double binds, and eventually a downward spiral, as each one neagitvely impacts the other.

            The third element in the triad is spirit, and one thought quickly gaining popularity in the awakening collective is that this is where true healing begins, and from there, it ripples into the mind and body, making it integral and holistic. That’s one way people do it. Chronic abuse and systemic oppression are, after all, dispiriting, exactly that.

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        • Respectfully, Pacific:

          Many people actually have emotions so overwhelming and powerful, they can’t work. They can’t talk to people. They can’t leave their homes. Some can barely cook meals or leave their rooms. And this emotional state lasts for weeks, months, sometimes years.

          People have actually had this experience without ever having taken a psych medication or even spoken to any doctor. And this has been happening since since long before psychiatry or psychology existed.

          I’m curious: What do you propose should happen with these folks? Or do you deny they exist and that they have ever existed?

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        • Pacific Dawn,
          I totally agree with you on promoting political support, activism, and legal support as needed. This was one reason why I entered social work; I appreciated the emphasis on social justice and activism.

          I do believe that for many, therapy can be a healing tool, and there are ways to provide this intervention with out necessarily “labeling” people or pushing medications on every “depressive” symptom. For many, good, quality therapy could even be a tool for escaping long term medication use.

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          • Healing is just a way to marginalize survivors.

            It is what anti-rape activists have always called, “Second Rape”.

            It’s not that they don’t believe you, its that they don’t believe that you are entitled to justice instead of pity.

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          • You seem to automatically equate healing with pity. Pity does not heal. Nor does healing remove the need for justice. In fact, justice is often critical to healing occurring, as Alex relates in his post. There is no reason why healing and justice can’t both occur together.

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          • “For many, good, quality therapy could even be a tool for escaping long term medication use.”

            I would never suggest this connection. Medication use has been shown to impede therapeutic advancement. I am far from alone in feeling like therapy is a waste of time, and in fact, counterproductive when one is having medication-induced behavior they don’t understand or even know is being caused by the medications.

            Hypomania can be a very dangerous state – one I never experienced before SSRIs. They are a gateway to suicide because they eliminate the inhibitory feelings we naturally experience upon thoughts of death.

            There’s the additional concern that many therapists drop clients who stop taking medications or don’t have a psychiatrist. It’s happened to me and plenty of others. Therapists have to learn how to diagnose and psychopharmacology, at least in Maryland, just to be licensed.

            I lied my way through my entire withdrawal. “Yep, doc, I’m great, thanks.” Even as I was in deep distress. Good therapy is possible but it certainly isn’t common. I’d never advise someone to inform their therapist they were going off meds. Or to use therapy as a way to get off meds. It seems like many of us only get out of the system by dropping out completely.

            In short, I don’t equate healing and recovery with professional therapy. Therapy *can* be helpful but that is so rare in our current system. There’s no substitute for having/developing strong connections with other humans, but I think that is rare and unlikely to occur in a genuine way with a professional you’re paying.

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          • The idea of “healing” in the context of systemic abuse is just a scam. You don’t heal when everyone sees you as the one who is at fault.

            If they didn’t see you as the one who was at fault they would be helping you to obtain justice.

            No, they see you, just as they have always seen rape survivors, as the one who is at fault.

            Healing is just a way of surrendering to abusers.

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  17. Our politians make claims in todays newspaper regarding the claim by a young woman that she has been ‘spiked’ in a niteclub. They are up in arms and looking to have the licence of the owner removed. “Serious incident” “Completely unacceptable”, “Abhorrent and extremeely dangerous” and “Serious issue”.
    I wonder if these politicains making these statements are aware that they have Community Nurses authorising the spiking of citizens with date rape drugs and doctors signing fraudulent prescriptions to conceal these offences? Are they aware that should this young woman walk into a police station to make a complaint they will explain to her that they do not have a copy of the criminal code and if she does not go away she will be arrested?
    Oh that’s right, they thought I was a “patient” and its perfectly acceptable conduct in that instance. In fact, somebody make this young woman into a patient because she simply doesn’t have any proof that she was spiked and is suffering paranoid delusions. It’s quite a common delusion i’m told.
    So the response of the niteclub owner is consistent with the response of the people who concealed the evidence of the spiking in my case and yet they are somehow different?
    So I will be making a few phone calls to see if these politicians are aware of how our police are dealing with these criminal matters, by simply calling them medical issues and turning a blind eye to them.
    If it is “abhorrent and extremely dangerous” why have they told me I will be arrested for being able to prove that it was done? Is it not offensive that it is done to someone with the status of “patient”? Not that I was but it seems to be a preferred false narrative to conceal criminality.
    Is Doctor going to sign a prescripion for the spiker 12 hours after it was done, and allow his patient he hasn’t met yet to be treated without their knowledge?
    Was it not “abhorrent and extremely dangerous” to spike me with benzos because otherwise it was going to be difficult to get me to talk to a verballing public officer? And it would be so difficult to plant evidence for police if I were not unconscious from the spiking?

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  18. So I will be making a few phone calls to see if these politicians are aware of how our police are dealing with these criminal matters, by simply calling them medical issues and turning a blind eye to them.

    Do you think they care? Again, psychiatry IS the police in a slightly different form.

    Don’t be a stranger btw Boans. 🙂

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    • At times I wonder if they care oldhead, and then I think about the amount of skin cancers that go undetected here in a land where the sun burns you black. Sometimes it’s best you do care about the small spots that seem insignificant, because it can turn into some really bad news for the subject. And whilst our pollies may not seem to be too worried about the small blemish, they will care when their nose is being removed, and not just to spite their face.
      They will care when the methods used are affecting them and theirs. Like our Treasurer fleeing the State when he was about to be referred to a psychiatrist not all of them will escape. And if they have looked at my situation there will be concerns. I sat next to one of our Ministers in the clinic that released my confidential information. Are they aware that this is what is occuring? They had better be for their own sakes .
      Might be best you wash your stockings and suspenders Mr Downer, your closet is going to be opened for all to see what your wardrobe contains (not the person I sat next to) lol

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      • They will care when the methods used are affecting them and theirs. Like our Treasurer fleeing the State when he was about to be referred to a psychiatrist not all of them will escape.

        Sort of. Unless they’re a problem for those in power politicians will largely be immune. But it’s like the climate situation: the same sun shines on all of us and we all breath the same air — polluters, politicians and polar bears alike.

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  19. I would love me some justice. Can’t see it happening for me.

    “I had a legal victory after experiencing and calling out systemic abuse and discrimination, and what that did was that it gave me confidence.”

    I must live with the fact that my family tells a story about who I am and what I’m about without me being able to voice my own truth, and now with a diagnosis…I must live with the fact that after I’m gone, my side of the story is too.

    Must be nice to get that validation…and JUSTICE.

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    • I do want to make clear that yes, while the validation was welcome and also I felt somewhat vindicated in that truth did win out over lies in this case, and it did allow me to shift gears for a change, I’d be hard pressed to call it justice, even though it was a step in the right direction. I’m grateful for this step, but it was really a small one, in the overall big picture. This only happened because of their absolute and extremely stubborn resistance to simply dialogue! It was over the top, the refusal to meet me in the eye and then all the flagrant avoidance. Easy to oppress me while I’m employed by them but in the end, they weren’t so tough, after all. By the time mediation came around, the CEO and Prez had fled, couldn’t even face their responsibilities. And they were running a social service agency? Ee gads!

      And this continued in every single “support and social services agency” thereafter, one after another after another. I wasn’t dependent on any of them by this time, I was a volunteer until I finally gave up altogether on the local level. That’s pure toxic crap, all the way.

      This agency whom I took to legal task was a voc rehab agency to help people on disability transition to gainful employment, and all they knew how to do is to punish people and power struggle with them. They called themselves “progressive” and they were, in reality, Dickensian. I found this permeated the system.

      These people do not know how to dialogue. They can only fight or flee, no middle ground, no reasonability. Power struggle, threats, punishment, and intimidation were their m.o. And completely ignorant of their clientele and their needs, on top of it all. Total sham.

      I got lucky with an astute attorney who could get it, but that was after many doors closing before getting to her. She heard me, that was good fate, but their were tons of legal limitations, which were telling of how the system is skewed, but I had a good opening through ADA, unambiguously.

      Still, it was hardly justice for what this system robbed me of, as it has done to so many others. Plus, after this, I was blackballed from my own field–which, in the end, turned out to be brilliant because I had no choice but to venture out on my own and find my best life. Takes work, but I’m on it. So far it’s fine.

      This agency eventually closed due to loss of funding, leaving people in a lurch and that did not make me feel good, even though I knew it was corrupt. But corruption is a rock and a hard spot, and will always lead to suffering, until one can get away from it and get perspective.

      Reasonable co-creative and problem-solving dialouge can happen when everyone concerned is open and flexible in their thinking. This was never, ever the case exactly where it should have been MODELED, and instead, they *chose* to go down rather to admit fault with anything at all, so that they could have fixed it! Just one cya lie after another, no integrity in the building, no truth, no fairness, all socially acceptable. Sad and frustrating, but it is what it is. “Karma’s a bitch” is my fallback sometimes.

      Vindication is possible, but justice? I think not. Only when this particularly inept and highly vampiristic corporate conglomerate goes away altogether will justice be served, imo, and then finally, we’ll be going in the right direction of sorely needed core change with one more big network of obstacles out of the way. And that is my absolute truth.

      Re family and the stigma and all those projected lies, furies–you know, my legal win did not convince my family of anything. Neither did coming off psych drugs, nor becoming an actor nor making a film nor changing my life. They attached sinister and untrue caveats to any success I had, literally “demeaning” any forward movement.

      They did not want to wake up to their responsibility in all this, that was so clear to me. When people don’t want to wake up to truth, despite plenty of hard and obvious evidence, they just won’t, and they’ll continue to propogate the lies instead in order to keep the illusion going, because it serves their need for denial.

      I just have to know the truth myself, and my partner and friends do, too. But not so much my family, at least for years this was the case. I’ve had many conversations around this with them, with some degree of success, but as of now, I’ve given up on trying to convince anyone of anything, just living my truth now based on my choices.

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      • Thank you Alex for sharing –
        I’m glad you were able to gain a victory in this – even if it was a “small” step. Its’ encouraging also to hear about your endeavors in the film industry and acting. This could also be one outlet for generating change on a larger scale.

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        • Hi Elizabeth, thank you for commenting, and my apologies for getting invovled with these dialogues without addressing you or your article, I feel a bit rude for this and will amend this now.

          You have a wonderful story of healing and I so respect all the shifts in perspectives you took on for the good of healing and clarity about your life path. That is really great healing work, how it’s done. Internal shifts will always lead to shifts in the world around us.

          Personally, from my experience also on both sides of the fence, client and service provider, I very honestly and deeply feel there is no “reconstructing” the system, I do not believe it can make good at this point. I feel it is so far off track and in such bad habits of othering and marginalizing, that it can only be divisive in the end. Seems to me this is by design, and it’s become a runaway train in this regard.

          My training as energy healer came as the result of all this, as did my artistic endeavors, and despite the hardships which the mh industry threw so unapologetically into my path repeatedly, I am seriously grateful for where it all led me, as I jumped hurdle after hurdle.

          Healing and creating are two sides of the same coin. When we heal, we are actually manifesting well-being. I don’t believe the mental health industry understands how this works, and that’s way too bad because it would be most beneficial were that industry to get this.

          I did not find anywhere in this industry room for new and creative ideas. Maybe a pretense of it, for appeasement, but nothing from newness would ever come to fruition. This industry seems to have trouble with follow-through.

          Also in this industry, FUNDERS rule, and most often they have no interest nor any idea about “healing.” These are separate and distinct agendas, having to do with investment, tax shelters, power, etc. One word I learned to take with a grain of salt was “non-profit.” Sure it is.

          The resistance to learning new perspectives was over the top when I was trying to integrate the principles of energy healing, and this is exactly what saved me from life catastrophe which THEY caused!

          I’ve been at this for years, pretty much on the verge now of giving up trying. Sure would bring ease into my life to walk away from this altogether. There is no peace in activism, and my personal agenda is world peace. Can’t reconcile these now. If inner landscape translates into outer reality, then inner peace would be my personal pathway to helping manifest world peace. Can’t do it alone, though, that has to be a group effort.

          If I were to create a “movement” it would be a movement toward inner peace because that is what will lead to world peace. We can only truly be responsible for ourselves and serve as examples to others, if we walk our talk. Energy ripples and actions do, indeed, speak louder than words, so this would inspire others.

          I hope you get better results with this industry than I did!

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        • Also, Elizabeth, it occurred to me you might appreciate this film I made 8 years ago. I’ve since moved on and have learned so much more from conversations on here, but I made this with others after I had disengaged from the system, other than to speak my truth about discrimination and abuse in the system, and also to share my personal story of healing from family scapegoating, along with other public speakers who share their stories, many of us relating to the “scapegoat” role.

          This was my attempt at creating change by bringing our personal truth of the matter to light. I sent it through the system and there were lots of ripples, this I know. The biggest and most relevant changes, however, came for each of us in this film. All of us have moved on, separately, contiuing to live our truth productively and creatively, on our terms as it should be. Truth-speaking is seriously freeing and empowering, and from taking risks such as these, quantum changes can occur.

          I actually have never been part of the film industry. The film I am posting here is the first of two films I have made independently (second one is a short musical documentary I made 5 years later) and is a pretty raw, no-budget, real-time film. I was learning as I went along, something I felt strongly compelled to do, despite the anxiety which this brought up, to go so public with all these personal things, and also having no resources of which to speak, other than our creativity and trust. And it all came together from this intention.

          I believe when something is meant to be, the universe will open doors and bring us what we need. That was certainly true for me in this case. Working with the light can be like magic happening, it’s really quite amazing. Most valuable thing I learned in my healing, bar none.

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          • Thank you for sharing Alex! I just started watching, and hope to watch in its entirety this evening . (Also just subscribed:)
            “Truth-speaking is seriously freeing and empowering, and from taking risks such as these, quantum changes can occur.” – I love what you said here. So so true. I’m encouraged by your truth-seeking approach. Do you have plans of making any more of these movies in the near future?

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          • Thank you Elizabeth! I appreciate your validation and interest, and also the sub, too. I plan to make some more healing and meditation vids soon, so watch for that!

            No plans for films at this time, that takes such intense focus and all my time and energy when I am in that process. Although eventually, when I have an opening, opportunity, and rescources, I will probably do more. I really enjoy it and find it powerful to communicate this way and also fulfilling to create. My BA is actually in film, I’m a total cinephile. The “mental health” stuff sidetracked me, but then it became fodder for my first film, so it was meaningful this way.

            Right now my work is in present time and in person. I’ve integrated my healing work and the arts in my practice, which I call “The Healing Academy for the Arts.” So far the focus has been on performing arts because those of us in the group are all musical performers, but I’m open to all the arts coming together here.

            The group I host currently practices the inner healing work by way of connecting with our deepest authentic truth (it’s amazing how far away we can get from that simply living day to day in this society!), and we also perform together in a band. Our goal is to combine healing and creating, to fully express ourselves as human beings.

            This is the freedom which I feel we all seek, universally, to be full expressions of ourselves. This is where we get cut off in oppression, and the goal of HAFTA is to reverse this, to bring back that level of permission and celebrate our spirits, allowing them to flourish in the community and in the world at large. This is what I call “bringing light to the planet.” My intention is for this to expand into creatiing through all kinds of media, to faciliate healing and personal growth through creativity and community support. This is my current project and vision.

            I’d certainly be interested in your feedback and perspective regarding Voices That Heal, if you feel compelled to comment. And thank you again for your interest, that means a lot to me.

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    • There will be no true justice until psychiatry has been exposed and rejected by the people. Meanwhile you need to reject others’ characterization of you without feeling compelled to defend your existence. This is harder when it’s family but there comes a point where you have to just walk out the door, literally or figuratively.

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      • I just realize that ‘me’ is very small…dust in the wind, so to speak.

        “We” are not that important.

        And I have divorced my whole family. I refuse to be abused by people who learned messed up ways to cope with trauma and project it onto me, the family scapegoat.

        Thanks all.

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      • I can identify with the ‘family scapegoating’ experienced there, but it hasn’t gotten so severe yet as to require a divorce from my family on my part.

        “The people”, especially families and their ilk, are why psychiatry is in the position it is in today. I’d say we need to work a little harder at informing and changing the hearts and the minds of “the people” than we have. They are, after all, not completely lost. Some of them might even be said to be ‘with us’.

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  20. Steve, so called ~healing~ is just a gimmick to tell people that they should learn to live without public honor. The therapist listens, but they are not really listening because they don’t agree.

    So what else can you call this except PITY ?

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    • If someone were NOT a therapist, just a friend or colleague, do you believe that that person might listen to someone else’s experience in a non-exploitative way? And that such listening could be helpful to the person telling their story? Is it possible that those “on the barricades” might tell each other stories during lulls in the fighting, and that they might benefit from sharing their stories with each other?

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  21. Once someone realized that their life has been mangled by abuses, any progress they make in fighting back will most always threaten people’s denial systems.

    So it has then to be solo, friends, even a spouse jettisoned, and no psychotherapists or recovery programs.

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