When a person has a break from reality, others often feel a sense of urgency. Most people think that if this does not get treated with antipsychotic medication immediately, grave and progressive brain damage will ensue. Friends and loved ones may fear that this is the beginning of degenerative process that will leave the person shuffling between institutions and poverty for the rest of their life.
This article is written for the loving supporter or social worker. It invites you to learn about the world of your loved one. My hope is that it will help you gain strategies for how to handle the relationship with someone experiencing psychosis.
The State’s Social Control Model
When you think about the public mental health system, images of crowded psychiatric emergency rooms, violent police restraints, rapid tranquilization needle sticks, jail time, or substandard warehousing barracks may come to mind.
These are all realities of the system. They are mechanisms of the state. These realities either neglect the person in the break or set them up to be forced back into consensus reality. It can become a punitive and damaging process.
Ultimately, I view the goal of the state as enforcing social control, not healing and recovery. It can become about saving money or making the afflicted impotent. It can become about endless submission, silence, and the perpetuation of lies.
There are times when the social control model does help a person improve their behavior. Improving one’s behavior can help a person minimize their risk of escalations of trauma via social punishment. It can be better than nothing. Sometimes, people can learn lessons from abuse, improve their circumstances, and even heal.
Efficacy of the State’s Social Control Model
Still, in America, state social control that guides behavioral change has a low efficacy in terms of promoting recovery. It’s more a part of the problem than the solution. Even of the people who receive early intervention treatment for psychosis, only 42% have a response classified as “good.” And studies in developing countries show higher recovery rates than developed countries! Could it be that state social control is still part of the picture?
Social myths and stereotypes leave many people thinking that degenerative decline is to be expected if schizophrenia is left untreated—when actually it can be the result of treatment. When such social myths are maintained, it can seem like social control is the only option to prevent a horrible outcome.
Still, as I suggested above, stints of incarceration can result in an increase in compliance with consensus reality. However, they also reinforce the idea that it is unsafe to talk about what is happening. In many cases, the follow-up homelessness or warehousing can be so hard that incarceration starts to look better. Throughout all such “treatment,” exhibitions of psychosis are systematically shut down rather than explored. Many go through this process and give up hope of ever working through their experiences with other people.
In this culture, when incarceration and trauma happen, all is not lost. As someone who went through a three-month incarceration that left me outraged, I believe we can learn healing alternatives instead of nurse-ratcheting up social control. Ultimately the fear of returning to dilapidated and neglectful situations did help me conform. I eventually found that with medication I could get better jobs and more quickly restore my social standing. However, it was a two-year process, and I feel like I barely got through. And the night terrors were bad!
And so, I believe that “healing” is not the most likely result of forcible social control.
Few Approach Psychosis in a Curious Manner
To promote healing instead of social control, I believe it is important to understand, normalize, and navigate the break. This doesn’t happen often enough in the system because most people are too afraid to be curious about psychosis.
Society doesn’t understand, and so neither do our psychologists and social workers! Mental health professionals are forced to do the work with little guidance. I was once one of them. Many are untrained interns/workers, and their managers may not be curious about psychosis.
Who is trained to be curious? None of my supervisors ever were. Many I work with question my tactics. There are few organized trainings for being curious about psychosis. Even if professionals are trained to work with psychosis, they may not be able to listen in a validating matter. Invalidating body language can trigger their loved one and they can conclude it is not worth it.
It is very hard to offer treatment when a person is incarcerated against their will and feels betrayed by the people who put them there. Curiosity about psychosis is imperative to initiating voluntary treatment. People who learn alternative ways and grow like flowers through the concrete cracks are so often marginalized.
Meanwhile, the basic myths are maintained. Most are trained not to reinforce the delusions. Others fear they will catch the disease if they listen. Still others fear retraumatizing the respondent and making them angry. Then they do because their fear is apparent.
There are ways around that—by validating the experience of psychosis, so keep reading.
Why Do We Choose Social Control over Healing?
There are several reasons that “treatment” via social control is so vastly promoted in the United States.
There is a very poor, medicalized understanding of what psychosis is. Unproven theories about the biomedical basis of psychosis—like the chemical imbalance myth, studies that find a tiny, clinically insignificant connection with genetics, and dubious, poorly conducted twin studies from 50 years ago—are all represented in the media as if they somehow explain psychosis as a medical condition.
If someone starts talking openly about hearing voices or referencing beliefs about being targeted or enlightened, the average person will flee or mock them. This translates into ridicule, social rejection, and pain—and couple that with the state’s aggressive treatments.
Too many people in the state and the public invalidate the trauma that ensues when social control measures occur. So many people feel it is justified. The state’s goal is simple: spend as little money on the victim as possible, tranquilize or imprison them, get them to fill unskilled labor markets, and don’t let them speak out against our cultural delusions. At least, that’s what I must conclude after a three-month hospitalization in a state hospital.
It can feel like there is not much left for loved ones and good social workers to do besides support the effort to socially control the person they love and wait and see if they will recover.
Some Basic Alternatives to Social Control
In order to promote healing from psychosis, it becomes very important to become uniquely adept at listening, validating, and contributing without getting confused, combative, or dissociated. Asking the right kinds of questions—being curious about any conspiracies the person expresses, rather than trying to argue against them—helps the person realize they are not alone. Trust building is very important.
It’s also important to assist your loved one in adhering to the requirements of work or making it possible for them to continue to socially network and have a social life. As L.A. psychiatrist Mark Ragins suggested in a CASRA keynote speech, work, or building relationships (to which I’d include studying spiritual traditions) are ways to teach us social skills, not incarceration.
Indeed, research in the United States behind Dartmouth’s IPS (Individualized Placement Services) model of vocational rehab suggests that a self-directed effort to conform to work with support is a real way to achieve behavioral benchmarks.
In the IPS model, a job is provided until the subject fails, and then another job is found and maintained until it is lost. Keeping the person moving through the job situation and adhering to social dictates until they can master the needed behaviors to keep a job has been shown by research to be the way to go. It’s in the research! Everyone loves research.
Perhaps we can add this mentality to social and spiritual connectivity and enhance outcomes even further.
The majority of persons with psychosis want to work, have friends, and believe in god. They want to avoid a life of poverty, imprisonment, and isolation. Work is a good motivator, and a good way for many to learn to comply with rules. But it requires emotional support which can be hard for people with psychosis to find.
Sure, some social workers and perhaps some families may form secret societies that monitor their loved ones. These secret societies (like treatment teams in the hospital or family discussions/gossip) can easily be abused and defame the person with psychosis. I think family members and social workers must realize that when they do this, they mirror the oppression of other organizations that may be real and may have something to do with their loved one’s awareness and ire—the police, the FBI, prison gangs, corporations, fraternities, the military, religious cults, and others.
Thus, when family or social workers recognize that they can function as agents of the state, they can be open, communicative, and transparent about the secret societies in which they participate. This can greatly enhance trust.
This might include taking responsibility to learn about things the person has experienced that pertain to you that you don’t feel are accurate. Consider asking about the things your voice has expressed to your loved one (as auditory hallucinations). Then try to see the reality of what they are saying so you can confirm ways the communication is and isn’t valid. Always lead with the way it is valid. Instead of denying everything the person experiences, consider how the hallucinations may express their feelings of persecution or danger. How might their hallucinations help you understand your loved one?
Focus on What Healing Interactions Look Like
Consider the opportunity that you have when the person enduring a break from reality gets mad and confronts you, their loved one, with something of which you are sure you’re not guilty.
I’d strongly recommend that before you confront that person with the reality check of your innocence, that you consider whether you want to avoid falling into the role of social control.
If you find yourself determined to prove your innocence, and confront your loved ones with your facts, I want to suggest they may see this as just another social control effort. It is a lot of the same kind of stuff they get in the state amidst the jails, hospitals, and shelters. It might not be appreciated
In other words, I am saying that defending yourself is a power play. It may gain you some compliance with consensus reality, but it also puts you at risk of diminishing trust between you and your loved one.
In contrast, I suggest you take this intensely emotional situation, a potentially false accusation, and keep the goal of healing in mind. Instead of asserting the power play, let the loved one explore all the experiences that the person who is in a break has had that indicate your guilt. Then, communicate and clarify without invalidating.
When This Does Not Go as Planned
I know this is an exceedingly simple suggestion! Let us not forget that asking the above question is a real test of the amount of trust that exists between the two of you.
For example, when I don’t trust the person who asks me to prove what I am saying with examples, I find I am often rendered speechless. It can be hard to put words to those experiences when you know they will be shot down.
In other words, unless I trust you and feel safe to speak about a misperception or two, words that define my experiences elude me.
Thus, if you are a social worker or a loved one and you don’t get any information, it is likely that you have rejected your loved one’s reality so much over the years that they are afraid to communicate with you. It is likely that they have no hope you would ever understand.
I believe working towards a healing relationship involves cultural curiosity into your loved one’s experience. If you can get yourself to be trusted to the point where you can explore all of your loved one’s associated experiences, then I think you are on the road towards healing them.
If you don’t have that kind of relationship with your loved one, focus on trying to get there and forget about the false accusation. Explore with curiosity other kinds of experience they have had.
Understanding the culture of your loved one’s psychosis to the point where you can admit the ways they are right about you is far more likely to reality check them in a more healing manner and really move your relationship forward.
Adapting Your Strategies
Also, it’s worth noting that people who experience psychosis often come from distinctive cultures, have different needs, and approach a break with different moods and core beliefs. In my experience, I believed I was being persecuted by secret, illegal societies overseen by the government. Other people can have vastly different experiences with secret societies.
For example, some may believe they are being spiritually aided by secret cabals like elite police and/or politicians on their mission. Perhaps not all people experience social control in their family of origin the way I did. Still, you can inquire about euphoric experiences that your loved one may have had. Just remember, you don’t want to come down forcefully on the side of your loved one’s punitive state administrators.
Consider the ways that some positive spiritual experiences really don’t need to be healed. Explore enough to identify those positive experiences that have consequences that might be curbed. Consider what happens, for example, if you make the person descend from heaven back into a living hell on earth. Staying on earth can be a challenge.
This may involve envisioning a world in which they do not have to endure social control to force them to come back down. Helping them takes communication and rational, healthy choices. It becomes more about reviewing the consequences that the state will impose if they go down that road. It becomes about mitigating those realities while maintaining your collaborative standing.
Either way, delineating yourself from the mechanisms of control that may have led to trauma or got in the way of healing is an important thing to do! As a parent or as a social worker, this may involve changing the historical role you’ve taken with your loved one.
This means, instead of telling them what to do, you should consider exploring their experiences.
Do not forget that psychosis, special messages, or a break from reality is a collection of experiences. When you force your loved ones to defy their experiences and accept your reality via reality check, it is really about you imposing consensus reality on them and it puts you on the side of social control. They may know better.
I feel this becomes about your power. Ultimately it puts them down. When you do this, they will recognize this and it may trigger trauma from their run-ins with the state. Thus, differentiating yourself from the state becomes an important strategy.
Helping your loved one heal is about using your relationship to help them to navigate consensus reality so that they can achieve their hopes and dreams. If you care about them and their relationship with you, adopt a collaborative approach to their experiences. This is far more important than them respecting consensus reality, which might be full of ignorance and propaganda.
Supporting their autonomy and freedom is needed. Learning about the mistakes you made can also be important. Give them transparent information about what you have said and done on their behalf. Ask them how they would like you to assist, then communicate.
It’s true, doing what they say and working on their behalf does require boundaries. Even if you are a lawyer, you can’t help them beat the state, only evade it.
But most importantly, differentiate yourself from the organizations that impose social control and discriminatory laws on your loved one. You really don’t want to be on the side of marginalizing them!
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.
Hi Tim. Where to start, where to start…
This is not something you’ll be able to appreciate the first time through, if at all, but assuming you are open to new perspectives:
A group of us have defined a few basic principles regarding psychiatry that we consider key to “making psychiatry history, one of our slogans.
The first is Psychiatry is not a legitimate form of medicine.” In terms of this article, use of psychiatric labels, including “psychosis,” implies a medical or scientific validity which does not exist. All these terms are misleading, and are randomly applied to disparate forms of unwanted thought and/or behavior. Their main significance is that they help psychiatry assume the trappings of medicine.
Which leads us to the 2nd principle, which also speaks to your concerns: Psychiatry is a tool of social control which enforces conformity to the dominant culture. Make of that what you will.
Trying to “make psychiatry better” is based on the assumption that it is what it presents itself to be.
“Trying to “make psychiatry better” is based on the assumption that it is what it presents itself to be.”
Nothing to add here.
I seem to be connecting with people today. Maybe it’s finally time to cross my fingers and check my emails. 🙂
I totally agree! Psychiatry (as it is) cannot be improved. It must be excluded. Recognize as a crime and exclude.
If you are interested in being part of an international movement to abolish psychiatry contact us at [email protected]
American psychiatry isn’t designed to cure anyone, just suppress symptoms.Why? Because that’s what brings in the highest profits. When my own family member was diagnosed as “incurably mentally ill” with so-called “bipolar with psychosis,” I turned instead to looking for the physical cause of his illness and treated that. This approach is called “orthomolecular” medicine. A blood test showed he had an elevated histamine level. That’s just one proven, biological (physical) cause of mental illness. Some people have a histamine level that is too low. Some people have an elevated level of adrenochrome. Some people have too much copper in their body. These are all proven, physical causes of psychosis/schizophrenia. I treated my family member by using “nutraceuticals” (nutritional supplements from the health food store) to lower his histamine level back down into the normal range while I slowly tapered him off three daily antipsychotic drugs. That took 4 months. At the same time, I also had him treated with NAET (acupuncture for allergies) and homeopathy. He hasn’t needed psych drugs in years. He works full-time, lives independently, and has a normal life. All psych patients deserve to be treated with the same type of care, namely, natural treatments that restore their mental health. The Amer Psych Assn has been FIGHTING the orthomolecular approach since the 1940s. “The problem” is that it is so inexpensive. It’s a wonderful way to treat a mental illness. –Linda from FB “A Dose of Sanity” and Youtube “Linda Van Zandt’s Mental Health Recovery Channel.” Also the author of The Secrets to Real Mental Health. By the way, I’m a retired high school teacher and I figured out how to use the orthomolecular approach. I didn’t need med school, or shrink school either, because orthomolecular treatment is sensible and easy to learn.
Ah, but was the elevated histamine actually CAUSED by the psych drugs themselves?
Hard to say, as the late Carl Pfeiffer was an orthomolecular guy, who, like Abram Hoffer, had a large part of his patient load consisting of other people’s treatment failures. It would also depend on exposure to anticholinergic drugs- of course the antipsychotics raise your histamine level, but the drugs for suppressing their side effects don’t.
There’s nothing sane about putting “consensus” reality in a position that it determines reality. If reality were based on consensus it couldn’t exist, and so doesn’t in such a “form.” “Medicating” oneself to dowse the mind that actually is relating to reality rather than “consensus” reality, doesn’t make one sane, this isn’t “surviving,” unless one wants to exist as a being controlled by fear that has no soul: the one modern equivalent I can think of would be what happens in J K Rowling’s fiction when one is kissed by a dementer.
And all the worries, concerns, conceptions of loss and the rest disappear as soon as one simply realizes there is another way. Regardless of how impossible it is made out to be.
In fact the beginning of your article delineates exactly what causes most of psychosis, and that’s the urgency of the fears of the people around anyone who has begun to drift AWAY from consensus reality, into what might remind them they have a soul.
Loneliness you’re what I have left
A soothing from giving up nutrition
When what I need is social connection
Hearing “get help” tells of social death
How do I get from ghost back to life?
Self esteem is fantasy I now ignore
Crying is better than hitting the ground
When what I need is some love found
Hearing “take drugs” to kill that of you
Reminds me I have no value anymore
On the two way street of communication
My side is quarantined for your safety
Everything coming out is an infection
The cure is to label it all crazy
But it’s me triaged and stomped out
Wow! Beautifully captured the heartwrenching pain of it all.
Yes, wonderful — could we republish this on an upcoming abolitionist website? (Inquire within.)
Republish it wherever and whenever you like.
What about those who don’t want to compromise with or fit into collective reality at all? What are we supposed to do? Am I the only one who doesn’t see myself as needing to change? I’m very close to just running out into the wilderness and leaving society and people behind so I can’t annoy or hurt anyone. I just can’t pick a side. The antipsychiatry side wants me to change myself without drugs and “why don’t you just compromise with the social norms a little bit, you silly girl?”, the mainstream folks would like me to conform with drugs. It seems that with other humans I am either a bad patient or just a plain old general purpose bad person. I don’t know what to do with myself. I wanted to be an advocate and stand against forced treatment but if I am fully honest with my own beliefs and bring them all to my activism then I am only advocating for myself. I guess its just the age old problem of what to do with the rebels and the radicals. They are a problem for everyone, not just authoritarian dictators these days. Always being the “wrong kind” of everything is a significant problem with me. I would identify with mad pride but it seems that everyone who used to support it has gone away and “just grown up” Damn I wish I could just hurry up and do that too. Must be nice not to be a silly teenager like me. (I’m 22) Stigma still exists, but now its the “unrecovered” who have to bear the brunt of it, even in the antipsychiatry movement. I always get told “just don’t listen to the people who are putting you down.” Yet I respect the right of everyone to have an opinion and speak their minds, I do not view AP people as bullies or bad people, they have their opinions, I have mine, but I just wish I could find one person who feels like I do. Am I really the only one who feels like this? On second thought, perhaps I should go to one of those wilderness treatment ranches Dr Phil likes to talk about instead of just the regular wilderness. I mean, they might be brutal, but there’s more that one way to force myself to act like an actual human.. I need some very very tough love if I am going to force myself to be a “good patient/good person” when I don’t actually believe I need to be…Plain old compassion and gently being challenged? My loved ones and I have been there and done that since I was a little weird child. Still a misfit, still can’t conform to social norms, still too radical for this movement and literally everyone. Maybe after all these years I am the only one and the only thing to blame, but it feels like I was born a misfit all the same. Even for the mainstream folks with all their “permanent illness” narratives there is still a point at which if a person does not fight against their illness, they become plain old selfish. Perhaps I have crossed that threshold. It seems to be the one of the few things both sides agree on. If this is all my fault now, why does it feel so hard to change? If I could just decide to grow up and I’d be out of this mess, why don’t I? I wish I could get rid of my rebellion but it just won’t die.
I found this within the medical community also. (psych is NOT medical)
Sometimes we have to support our loved ones even if we think they are not
Doctors support each other constantly, knowing they are completely wrong, so
why would family not do the same in their little pack.
The very LAST thing a family should do is support the doctors.
And you are correct, people will not come forth with honesty about what is going
on for them. People know which secrets to keep.
How often do you see shrinks and medical people writing stuff in charts that never happened
or was never said. Complete and utter lies, innuendos and twisted words. Nurses see this all the time and everyone participates in this.
Now why would that be? Paranoia? So paranoid because they know that there is more everyone’s mind
than they are being made privy to? So they project what is in their own, or use their paranoia to fill in the blanks to pencil onto meaningless charts.
One has to write a report of some kind, to make it seem like a speciality.
Cassandra — My post, which is around here somewhere, was directed to you, not the author (primarily) but appears out of order, so, fyi. Take care.
Cassandra— For one thing, I would not presuppose to tell someone to take or not take these drugs or any drugs. I do voice my opposition to drugs, especially the psychiatric drugs and the associated therapies, etc. on this site. But, I have even left “friendships” because I, am of the opinion, I can tell someone how to live their life. They must make their own decision as to whether or not they should see a psychiatrist, take the drugs, etc. I can not make that decision for them. Each person has a right to live their own life as they see fit, even if in my opinion, they might, be harming themselves. But, I think, that is, oddly enough, the main goal of the “anti-psychiatry” movement—to restore to each person the right to make their own decisions and live their life as they see fit without undue and unneeded psychiatric intervention. This sounds like a paradox, but, it is not. Thank you.
No need for the quotation marks around “anti-psychiatry” however — it’s not a facetious term or a figure of speech..
Do not get rid of your rebellion. Reading this I began with the responses and ended with your original post. I am glad that is how it unfolded. Everything illuminated with your age identifiers that parallel quite similarly with mine although a decade earlier. On one hand we are all unified in the marginalization of being psychiatrized a historical practice of violence and retribution for things not in harmony with the rationale mind that reaches to the emergence of The Enlightenment and the breakdown of community following Industrialization. On the other hand I think that those of us who are emerging from the growing groups of what I am referring to as generation psychiatry 1.0, 2.0 etc. are faced with additional layers and further entanglements of psychiatrized identities that have yet to be adequately articulated in consensus for mutual support and emancipatory group healing. It results in a very entrenched sense of self-blame and inoperability that extends to nearly all sectors of our identity and life existing as a sort of Gordian knot that is further exacerbated by ageism and documentable recorded histories that will be used by families and all professionals and that outside of direct divine intervention I expect to follow me for much of my life.
I think my hope here is to say that there needs to be a collective space that acknowledges and honors the varied and further complicated lens of experience that emerges from a life marred by mentalhealth service system exposure from early age and under late stage capitalism. That honors and supports in totality the non-normative experiences of all those under the umbrella of neurodiversity and that centers on our goodness and exceptional contributions to the betterment of a rapidly sickened and sickening global society. Further one that retains enough humility to embrace the fact that harm varies from person to person and that historical separation from the entity of oppression means further distance from the range of factors and experiences that emerge from the harm machine. New and younger perspectives can sound the alarm on unidentified threats and consequences. Further they can offer fresh light and critique as to the veritable worth of liberation efforts intending to reclaim human freedoms. Everything you and I experienced in our psychiatrized lives is in someway touched by the historical consequence of the efforts and failures of those like us in times past. We should know of them and they should be informed by all of us. The nature of the systemic and epistemic violence against psychiatrized identities silos and separates our human identities and experiences from society at large and from one another once found to our own peril we are further divided and demarked into consumers, peers, survivors, etc. The impact echoes in the silence of our self-directed cultural identity through all sectors of human record. The murky waters of finding community can result in a range of harms and further alienation. We must at least hold sacred space and open arms to those like us as a sacred bedrock to all activity. You are not wrong my dear the world is wrong. Staying rebellious is not selfish it is selfless. It takes time and you are at a particularly vulnerable time in your life due to your age and self-disclosure and the growing use of involuntary containment. Question everyone and everything. Stay rebellious. Embrace every part of yourself and you will be glad. Stay the best and fuck the rest. You are ahead of schedule, remain vigilante, hopefully I’ll see you out there soon.
Wow. Great post. Are you involved or interested in AP organizing?
If I’m reading you correctly you are saying that the nature of psychiatric oppression and the harmful self-identifications that come with it change over the course of time, and I agree. And it takes some a long time to see through the game, hence many AP people are “oldies”; however the energy and passion of youth is needed to sustain and perpetuate the movement. So I hope Cassandra finds some strength and value in your words, and mine.
Each person is who he is. Will, beliefs of a person cannot be a disease. Because otherwise it remains to recognize the person himself as a disease.
In my opinion, the problem is not in the presence of those who do not write into reality. But in the unpreparedness of very many of people to judge about another person according to the same criteria that they accept as necessary for themselves.
When dealing with (false) accusations, these were a couple of things that helped me:
1)“Apologizing does not always mean you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.”
2) Allowing myself to be the ‘scapegoat’ for my wife’s justified anger at her abuser. Sure it hurt, but I saw the end goal when the anger and rage were gone so that they no longer separated us.
3) Asking for complete accusations so I could give FULL apologies, in detail…and never justifying myself in any way. Again, the goal is to diminish the anger and broken trust and validation. Later, there will be time for ‘my side of the story…’
As for psychosis, sigh, I still don’t understand the obsession with this concept. I feel it is completely unhelpful and judgmental. I walked with my wife in her perception of reality, validating it, learning from it, and providing her a ‘safe harbor’ in the midst of the storms that were associated with all the ‘extreme’ states…and so we developed our own reality as we walked together and moved out of the constructs forged from her traumatic past.
Tim, I don’t really know what kind of “mental health” worker you are. Oh, a MFT; but the reality is most the DSM “bible” thumpers’ believe in the scientific fraud based, “invalid,” DSM billing code “bible.”
But you seem to be largely speaking to social workers, in this blog. So I will say all your statements that those dealing with “psychosis” are treated as “loved ones,” by the “mental health” workers, of any sort, is honestly, absurd. And 100% the opposite of reality. Plus, referring to “psychotic” people, and others, as “loved ones,” makes reading this article very confusing.
“There is a very poor, medicalized understanding of what psychosis is.” No kidding. I have medical proof – in my medical records – that the child abuse covering up Lutheran psychologists believe all dreams, gut instincts, belief in the Holy Spirit, or one’s own life, is “psychosis.” That means my former “mental health” workers believe all people – including all who dream or believe in God – are “psychotic.”
“It’s also important to assist your loved one in adhering to the requirements of work or making it possible for them to continue to socially network and have a social life.” But my psychologist told me to “quit all your activities and concentrate on the meds.” Good thing I did not abide by that extremely stupid psychological advice.
“denying everything the person experiences,” was exactly what my psychologist and psychiatrists did. I had to leave my psychiatrist once he, very literally – including in his medical records – declared my entire life to be “a credible fictional story.”
“unless I trust you and feel safe to speak about a misperception or two, words that define my experiences elude me.” It’s not too hard to explain an antidepressant and/or antipsychotic induced anticholinergic toxidrome “psychosis,” since it was just the “voices” of the child abusers trying to harass me. But I will say a drug withdrawal induced “super sensitivity manic psychosis” is much harder to explain, to anyone. Because it was more like a staggeringly serendipitous awakening to my dreams, where all are connected, and living in perfect harmony and timing with all others. Where music, people’s vanity license plates, street signs all worked as “signs from God” to tell the story of the awakening to my dreams. It’s something too amazing, perfect, and serendipitous to easily explain. A lyrical libretto that only God could have orchestrated.
“Just remember, you don’t want to come down forcefully on the side of your loved one’s punitive state administrators.” Isn’t that the precise job of the “mental health,” including social workers’ system?
“Consider the ways that some positive spiritual experiences really don’t need to be healed.” When one has a dream one is “moved by the Holy Spirit,” and questions that very powerful dream. The appropriate response is “all that means is that the Holy Spirit has chosen to move you,” as an ethical pastor eventually said. But my earlier “mental health” workers were Holy Spirit blasphemers, who thought that dream was “psychosis” proving I had a “life long, incurable, genetic mental illness.” Wrong. You are correct, Tim, some positive spiritual experiences do not need to be healed.
“Do not forget that psychosis, special messages, or a break from reality is a collection of experiences. When you force your loved ones to defy their experiences and accept your reality via reality check, it is really about you imposing consensus reality on them and it puts you on the side of social control. They may know better.” Especially since the “mental health” workers do not actually have any proof that God, the Holy Spirit, the spiritual realm – including the dream world – do not exist. And it is, technically, illegal to drug people up for belief in God in the US.
“Thus, differentiating yourself from the state becomes an important strategy.” Although, if the social workers are actually employed by the state, such would be an unethical thing for them to do.
“consensus reality, which might be full of ignorance and propaganda.” I’m pretty certain “consensus reality” is full of ignorance and propaganda. Since we’re living in a country that has made it legal for the government to lie to the masses, most our “news” is now “fake news,” and they are now censoring the internet as fast as they can. And this disingenuous goal of the state is not new, a 1981 quote from the former head of the CIA:
“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”
“Give them transparent information about what you have said and done on their behalf.” Well, at least my former doctor’s nurses, and “mental health” workers, did finally hand over written proof of their medical / religious, real life “conspiracy” to cover up a “bad fix” on a broken bone of mine, and the medical evidence of the abuse of my child, eventually. And systemically covering up child abuse is the primary actual societal function of both the psychological and psychiatric wings of our “mental health” industry.
“But most importantly, differentiate yourself from the organizations that impose social control and discriminatory laws on your loved one.” Again, I’m quite certain this is an unethical thing for state employees to do. Pretending a person is a “loved one,” pretending you’re a “helping professional,” there to help them. When in reality your goal is to defame / DSM stigmatize and neurotoxic poison a person for the state or a religion or any other institution, is unethical.
Thanks immensely for posting this and taking to time to express yourself. Also for giving me a way to amplify and clarify a couple things.
Am I the only one who doesn’t see myself as needing to change?
Not at all, it’s just that too many are “underground.”
The antipsychiatry side wants me to change myself without drugs and “why don’t you just compromise with the social norms a little bit, you silly girl?”
No, not at all. I don’t know what you mean by the “antipsychiatry side,” as there’s lot’s of fake “antipsychiatry” out there, but none of the AP people I work with would ever tell you to “compromise with the social norms” (or tell you to do anything really). Of course someone will always pop up to say “what if she wants to run all alone through the inner city at 3 a.m. screaming?” — but I’m not sure that trying to answer diversionary hypothetical questions should be something we spend a lot of time on.
As for taking drugs, likewise — while “we” would like for anyone to get off neurotoxic drugs, no responsible AP person with a clue — except maybe a close friend — would presume to nag or pressure you as to what to do.
if I am fully honest with my own beliefs and bring them all to my activism then I am only advocating for myself.
That’s all any of us are doing in the end, arguably — but activism is based on shared beliefs and goals, and being part of a collective energy. No movement worth being part of would expect its adherents to be clones of one another, however. In the case of anti-psychiatry activism, the range of psychiatry’s victims is universal, and crosses race and class lines (even as it serves class rule). So we’re as “diverse” as can be imagined, as the basic principles of anti-psychiatry are as applicable to Mormons as they are to Marxists.
As for “mad pride,” this is a term which has become a way of diverting the struggle against psychiatry (which is far more than the campaign to abolish forced “treatment”). I was there jamming with Howie the Harp 40 years ago as he performed “Crazy and Proud,” but it was humorous and ironic — craziness and “madness” (except for a few people) was not an “identity” in the way it is being used by some today, which is exploitative and self-effacing when you examine it. I’ve discussed this with quite a few movement veterans, who (almost) uniformly affirm my recollection, and are not at all supportive of “madness” being adopted as another identity politics mainstay. But it already has been among too many, mostly in conjunction with some sort of “certified peer specialist” operation, and I don’t think we should shrink from pointing out the contradictions involved.
Rarely do people think of themselves as “mad people” prior to being labeled by psychiatry — then they try to compensate for that hurtful and oppressive designation by saying e.g. “I’m not schizophrenic,” I’m a MAD PERSON,” which they romanticize as something positive, signifying that they are “special” (or even superior). Nonetheless they are simply exchanging one label for another and internalizing the “othering” process initiated by psychiatry. Liberation from this particular merry-go-round starts with abandoning the whole mindset of defining our lives from a “mental health” perspective and moving on.
The primary benefit of psychiatry to the larger system is that it holds the individual responsible for systemic crimes. We are expected to eat shit and like it. If we don’t like it, even though we’re dutifully chewing, we are a threat to the system, which will “respond” tenfold if deemed necessary. Psychiatry is a big part of this.
Are we already in touch in some way? You have some very intelligent and sincere questions about the anti-psychiatry movement that require more than a “sound-bite” response. There is some “underground” survivor AP organizing getting ready to rear its head at any moment — if you’re interested and want me or someone to fill you in, and have a public email (or one you can post then delete) let me know; if not there are other means we can use to get in touch.
In any case looking forward to you writing here more often.
Again, this was a response to Cassandra, not to the article itself.
“ none of the AP people I work with would ever tell you to “compromise with the social norms” (or tell you to do anything really). Of course someone will always pop up to say “what if she wants to run all alone through the inner city at 3 a.m. screaming?” — but I’m not sure that trying to answer diversionary hypothetical questions should be something we spend a lot of time on.”
I was referring to people I have met and articles and comments I have read on this site and others as well. Are those people you talk to on MIA as well? I am not saying
ALL antipsychiatry people think that, but quite a few of them in my experience, even on MIA. I am quite antisocial in a way (another label but I need to stress the extent of this) not to the point of armed robbery or violent crime, I do not mean “just a little different” I mean “very very different to the point it causes huge issues being understood, working a job, and getting along with even very tolerant people. I have tried to change in so many ways and cannot no matter what I do. I can only accept what I am.
“Rarely do people think of themselves as “mad people” prior to being labeled by psychiatry — then they try to compensate for that hurtful and oppressive designation by saying e.g. “I’m not schizophrenic,” I’m a MAD PERSON,” which they romanticize as something positive, signifying that they are “special” (or even superior). “
I am not proposing to be “special” I simply consider different traits, even very different, to be a normal part of the human spectrum. Just like different cultures, sexual orientations, political views etc. I thought of myself as “mad” and “weird” as a teenager prior to seeing my first psychiatrist and also as a kid, not because I was ashamed but because it was simply the way I am. Just like if a person says they are trans or a lesbian, they are not claiming that lesbians or trans people are superior or special.
I know that psychiatry has a major hold on society and hurts many marginalised groups. It is racist, sexist and hurts instead of helping a lot of the time. I don’t agree with its control on society and want to see forced treatment abolished or at least reduced. Is that enough to be a part of this movement? Can I be a comrade?
Yet I cannot stand for the exclusionary rhetoric and it hurts to have to stay silent within a movement, even if it’s one I agree with on the main points. It may not be you, or the people you know (they sound like wonderful friends, hang on to them) but there are so many and I just can’t ignore it. It’s like someone leaving Christianity after becoming disillusioned with evangelicalism. Not all Christians are evangelicals but many are, and the existence of more liberal ones who call themselves the true ones (and may be right)doesn’t make the judgemental ones go away.
I love the part about abolishing the control of psychiatry and the suffering it causes. I just can’t stay for the judgement and division.
I used to feel better reading articles here and thought “hey there are people who want to get rid of psychiatry and it’s influence, cool!” But now I am often in tears, not because of the good parts we can all unite on, but because of the stigma around being “unrecovered” and a “narcissist” (I volunteer and help people out when they need it, I care somewhat at least) you were not the person who said those things, but some people in the movement did and if that is a non-psychiatric category of people who can’t be part of it I guess I am disqualified….
I respect what you are saying but I don’t know if I feel comfortable calling some people the “true” anti psychiatry. Is that really for me to judge? I am just a human who can’t even fix myself lol
I’m torn between trying to respond here and elsewhere, but since we have no other current means to communicate I guess I’ll start here; my reticence is because i think some of this stuff is “internal” to survivors and not necessarily public business. Also some of it gets very involved. But I’ll try to respond the best I can.
I am not saying ALL antipsychiatry people think that, but quite a few of them in my experience, even on MIA.
I guess you’d have to be more specific. Unless “not compromising with norms” means stuff like playing in traffic or ritually abusing animals I think it’s your call; of course you also should be prepared to deal with potential consequences. And obviously you’re not allowed to hurt people, etc. Otherwise it’s not an anti-psychiatry position that people should “go along to get along”; if anything it would be to defend your right to do otherwise, given the aforementioned caveats.
I simply consider different traits, even very different, to be a normal part of the human spectrum. Just like different cultures, sexual orientations, political views etc. I thought of myself as “mad” and “weird” as a teenager prior to seeing my first psychiatrist and also as a kid, not because I was ashamed but because it was simply the way I am.
But now you know that you’re not “mad” — i.e. that “weirdness” is normal, and part if the spectrum of human behavior and experience, as you put it. Which is spot on, and part of my “rap” as well. In that sense “madness” is a capacity we all possess, not a special consciousness accessible only (or primarily) to special people known as “mad people.”
But I digress, as I realize this is something you originally brought up only in passing.
I don’t agree with its control on society and want to see forced treatment abolished or at least reduced. Is that enough to be a part of this movement? Can I be a comrade?
I think you are already. However there is another principle that comes after the two I mentioned at the very top of my first post, which is Psychiatry cannot be reformed and must be abolished. This has been a precept of the AP survivors/”mental patients” liberation movement since at least 1976, and goes beyond “forced treatment.” However we do call for the end of such force as our main demand, in solidarity with all others who do the same.
I’m sorry to hear of your experiences with people at MIA you identify as “anti-psychiatry.” MIA is not an anti-psychiatry site; it’s mainly for liberal mh professionals. So it’s quite possible someone presenting themselves as AP treated you in a boorish manner. Like I said, there’s a lot of fake anti-psychiatry out there, some of it directly connected to the “peer” industry.
I respect what you are saying but I don’t know if I feel comfortable calling some people the “true” anti psychiatry.
It’s not about people but principles and ideas. “Anti-psychiatry” can refer to an emotion or a political stance. Those who primarily hate psychiatry as the result of a particular experience, shrink, etc. are anti-psychiatry on an emotional level, which is personal and subjective, and more fare for “support groups.”
On a political level, however, it’s important to have a correct analysis of what psychiatry is before effective strategies for defeating it can be devised. At this level there is an objectively “true” AP, in the sense of having a correct analysis and plan of action — one based on material reality and not wishful thinking.
Any of this ring true?
“I guess you’d have to be more specific. Unless “not compromising with norms” means stuff like playing in traffic or ritually abusing animals I think it’s your call; of course you also should be prepared to deal with potential consequences. And obviously you’re not allowed to hurt people, etc. Otherwise it’s not an anti-psychiatry position that people should “go along to get along”; if anything it would be to defend your right to do otherwise, given the aforementioned caveats.”
I am generalisisng here, there have been many different articles I have read, and also from talking to people privately as well so it is hard to think of any specific instances of what people have said. I agree with not being violent, that has been something I actually draw the line at quite firmly. (Eating meat that has been farmed and butchered in a more humane manner, defending ones country i.e World War 1, 2 and some other instances seem to be ethical grey areas, which I will not go into here as it veers more into general ethics debates) I think that yes, while there are consequences both good and bad resulting from actions, it is more complicated (i.e. homophobia experienced while holding a partner’s hand in public, rape cases, people getting harassed while wearing religious or cultural garments such as muslim hijab or Sikh turban) I know that there is a degree of relativity here, but are you proposing that racism and homophobia should be considered as free speech and merely someone’s opinion rather than illegal hate speech? When you say harm, do you include verbal attacks or just physical violence?
“But now you know that you’re not “mad” — i.e. that “weirdness” is normal, and part if the spectrum of human behavior and experience, as you put it. Which is spot on, and part of my “rap” as well. In that sense “madness” is a capacity we all possess, not a special consciousness accessible only (or primarily) to special people known as “mad people.””
You are spot on in one aspect- I definitely view my differences as normal, and I am all for normalizing it, but I feel that saying it is not a difference at all doesn’t quite capture it for me. I know that this is somewhat different from other movements for social change with its unique issues, but just because being gay or trans or black is part of the human spectrum doesn’t mean that those people have abandoned their words or terminology for their specific identities. Just because being a lesbian is not an illness doesn’t mean that all people are “a little bit of a lesbian” Just because some people are Muslims doesn’t mean everybody else suddenly becomes Muslim as well. I don’t know what the equivalent for people with mental distress would be in this instance though, it is a little more complicated and I recognize that.
“I think you are already. However there is another principle that comes after the two I mentioned at the very top of my first post, which is Psychiatry cannot be reformed and must be abolished. This has been a precept of the AP survivors/”mental patients” liberation movement since at least 1976, and goes beyond “forced treatment.” However we do call for the end of such force as our main demand, in solidarity with all others who do the same.”
I think I agree for the most part with abolishing it as well, but I do sometimes think about the small amount of people who say that forced treatment is the only thing that helps them feel safe from committing suicide. Some also say that (voluntary) drugs or therapy helped them recover and live a much more normal life. If we abolish psychiatry, can we still help those people feel safe somehow? Will psych drugs still be available in small quantities from understanding doctors who know how to prescribe in a safer manner or will there be none at all? What about therapy? I know there is great harm done but I wonder where these (admittedly probably somewhat small) number of people who did feel it was helpful for them will go and whether they will still be able to feel at least a bit better.
“On a political level, however, it’s important to have a correct analysis of what psychiatry is before effective strategies for defeating it can be devised. At this level there is an objectively “true” AP, in the sense of having a correct analysis and plan of action — one based on material reality and not wishful thinking.”
I agree with having a strategy and knowing what one is trying to defeat and you are correct, there is a political vs emotional side to this, but some will say therapy is part of psychiatry so lets get rid of that, or let’s abolish forced treatment as it is now and build “safe houses” that a peer worker will talk them into going to instead of sending police. It doesn’t seem entirely clear cut to me because different people might have differing ideas on what abolishing really means and where exactly modern psychiatry begins and ends. I can understand a lot of what you’re saying but maybe I’m not quite leaning that way due to unanswered questions or wondering how to be exactly sure I know that this is the right thing to fight for. Perhaps my perspective is somewhere in between reforming and completely 100% abolishing it and it isn’t as clear cut in my own head as I thought it was.
I appreciate you taking the time to respond here. I think that I may need to do some more reading/research and find out what is true for me. I have an email you can contact me on if you would like, [email protected] as I understand the comments section is not the best for longer discussions.
BlueCassandra: What you write is very interesting and does cause much thought in many people. Personally, I would like completely get rid of all the drugs. But, I do not know if others who consider themselves “anti-psychiatry” agree with me, but, that honestly does not matter. They are extremely dangerous, debilitating, disabling, and life threatening. The issue might be that if these drugs are “outlawed” they may end up on the “black market” or there might be a resurgence of “prohibition parties, etc.” Prohibition had a big impact on the US and probably set the stage for the Great Depression. As far as what you said about comments made to others on the street because they seem to be “different.” In the US, due to the First Amendment, speech like this, although hurtful is still protected. Of course, right now, due to “cancel culture, etc.” much “free speech” is being challenged. However, I would be well, un-American to support the banning of such speech, unless violence is definitely intended. Sometimes, in such horrible situations like this, the best thing to do is say nothing and walk away. There are those people who think we should say something and maybe we should, but walking away can be just as effective, even more so. I believe freedom is the most important thing. And one thing, I know from my experience in the psychiatry, etc. world is they don’t care about freedom and only desire to take it away from you. This is done through both the drugs and therapies, etc. Yes, people are suffering and people suffer every day, but taking away someone’s freedom only adds suffering upon suffering. There is so much to say here. But, this freedom is all tied up in free will, individual determinism, etc. Yes, freedom is taken away when one commits a criminal act. But, it should never be taken away without “due process.” Psychiatry, etc. cares nothing about “due process” or anything close. That is what makes psychiatry, etc. so wrong, so evil. It is completely lacking in American values. Our forefathers and foremothers did not fight a revolution for psychiatry, etc. They fought a revolution to free us from things like psychiatry, etc. of course, in addition to the British crown, etc. This is why I am “anti-psychiatry.” Thank you.
Bingo! — thanks for the contact email.
I appreciate you taking all that time too, and it would be helpful considering these things in smaller bites, and maybe introducing you to a wider forum. I don’t always have prepared answers to everything.
If people want to talk about diversity, as you can see from the range of comments here, psychiatry unifies a lot of “strange bedfellows” — (with the emphasis on “strange” I guess). 🙂
Anyway I’ll get back to you in a day or so. Thanks.
oldhead: I actually think the MIA might be more middle of the road than either left or right. I, also, consider it almost as a “gateway site”— one of the first places people look for help when they realize they have been betrayed and damaged by psychiatry and don’t know where else to turn. There are many articles and comments posted on this site as to how this damage has occurred to them. Robert Whittaker has also, in addition, to his eye-opening books, has written an posted many articles that are essentially helpful to understand the world many of us now face after the drugs and therapizing.
Blue Cassandra, As someone who has “flirted” around with many labels about me; some from outside me and someone I thought fit me, it is very easy to fall into the mish-mash of labeling. In college, I considered “labeling” so important, I tried to create a psych experiment on labeling. I was sadly a psych major. But, of course, something, I did not consider at that time and that has taken years for me to figure out: is that human beings are not fodder for experimentation. There is nothing wrong with being rebellious. Look at my online id on this site: rebel. However it is extremely important that one chooses to rebel, one must choose exactly what it is they rebel against… After my experiences in psychiatry, etc. rebelling against psychiatry, because I do know now it reflects only evil back into the world, is necessary and to borrow from the old Star Trek series, one of my “prime directives.” It would be remiss of me to speak up against the evils of psychiatry, even at the present moment, I speak on this site or other carefully selected site(s). Thank you.
Not sure what this is in response to — I don’t recall referring to MIA as either left OR right wing (though by my definition even most of what is now referred to as “left” is right wing). I actually believe the terms are at this point essentially meaningless. (See this disturbing new article by Glen Greenwald: https://greenwald.substack.com/p/journalists-start-demanding-substack )
MIA is a good place to nurture people’s anti-psychiatry consciousness till they’re ready give up on “reform” and join the anti-psychiatry movement.
This article is very interesting. However I take issue with several points. First, the author did not capitalize God, thus, discounting any religious beliefs that the person with the alleged psychosis might have. Second, the term “agents of the state.” Well, where do we start with this one? I don’t know, but, I see Red Lights Flashing rather like Communist China or Russia, etc. And, the question has always been what is this break from reality? Who determines if another person is actually experiencing a break from reality? Could the person who is experiencing the break from reality be the social worker or concerned family member? Who is to determine what reality is? Could it be the alleged patient’s imagination? How many times is an excellent imagination been misinterpreted as psychosis? Oh yes, I saw no mention of how the drugs, such as psychiatric drugs, are the probable real factors behind psychosis? Just my imagination saves lives. Being or pretending to be an agent of the state to allegedly save someone else’s life does not. So many think their imagination is some form of psychosis and seek help, but, it is the very wrong kind of help. If I can help at least one person to not traverse that real road of hell, then perhaps, I am not living in vain. Thank you.
There are not “different forms of psychosis,” which has no specific or consistent (or rational) meaning. But if you call anything and everything “psychosis” it follows that you will find infinite “forms.”
Tim: With regards to the Dartmouth research (Indeed, research in the United States behind Dartmouth’s IPS (Individualized Placement Services) model of vocational rehab suggests that a self-directed effort to conform to work with support is a real way to achieve behavioral benchmarks), how and then why do you emrace filling a job slot, rather than questioning Voc Rehab’s general lack of understanding for what is required to create the space, that is even to realize the client to grow a business at the speed at which value and values are being created from the client perspective? What I am suggesting is a conscious effort to realize the creation of an economy shaped by many!
The sheltered work programs or to fill a job, until that role plays out, does not really afford the stronger joy of being accepted in an active role within a sustained role in creating a community. A reading of Robert Reich’s new book, The System …(the former Labor Secretary under Clinton) identitifies part of the problems that have rigged the system.
To appeal or struggle with a Rehab counseling experience too often diminishes the hopes and dreams of the applicants to being controlled under and by a pharma method, unless the client is able to find a doctor and team of people who will afford expert testimony, The Client Assistant Program can provide some legal assistance, though the attorney may be funded by the agency, thereby creating a conflict of interest.
The necessity to know and manage numbers and relationships can occur, and be realized only in an economy that values citizens, regardless of the difference in thought or body form. Hence, to even go beyond the terms of “break with reality”, when in fact the realities that are disovered in altered states of knowing, discovering requires something better than a context of “social” control when the patient is really not being considered part of the social.
To try and work in the realm of social policy, that affords a way not back into the norms of the state, but rather an inightful way to experience a more robust community for all requires insights learned … Many times the social worker is being caught in ethical burnout of not realizing the requisite resources to address liberation from driving the client into the wall. There is a political reality at work in what is you are conveying.
Perhaps see the writings of former Berkeley Professor, Lynn Duhl and students work I think might have touched on Oakland. Fiinally, how to also apply the theory into what is being learned from within the marketplace of lower-tech (no or withdrawal from drugs) as legit way forward. Thanks for offering your ideas up! Keep on!
I have a lot of heartburn memory about VR, Sheltered workshops and related junk. It was basically two times that VR sent me to my near death in the world of psychiatry, etc. I was once involved in a Sheltered Workshop. It was very demeaning. We were even told to enter in one set of doors, while the staff had a more exclusive set of doors to enter. They could care less about matching assignments to skills and abilities, etc. VR had all kinds of crazy rules, such as if one had received a Bachelor’s Degree as I had, they could not pay for me to receive any other type of training or education in another field even by testing and other methods, it was determined more suitable for the client. I am not familiar with the books you mentioned. I probably would not ne inclined to read them, but, I will say VR and related entities are taking the taxpayers monies and do very little to help the client. In some jurisdictions, they might be more inclined to obtain items and assistance to help those with obvious physical disabilities, but otherwise, I would advise someone who needs help “vocationally” to get help elsewhere. It would definitely keep their self-esteem and self-worth in place which helps them vocationally and otherwise. Thank you.
Sounds to me like “consesus reality” is the problem. Trying to “fit in” is what leads to making oneself vulnerable to oppression, while not fitting in can be ostracizing. Fortunately, there are all kinds of different realities on Earth, depending on whom you ask.
I apologize if my comments have hurt or offended anyone here. I remember a scene from The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon says to Amy (referring to the times he says things that offend people) “I don’t mean to be hurtful” and Amy says to him, “You never do, that’s the problem” I am a predator and have been since birth. After reading many different perspectives by those in the antipsychiatry, critical psychiatry, psych survivors and neurodiversity movements I realized I was not sick. But if I am not sick and still hurt people in numerous ways (being embarrassing when my family goes out, being annoying, critical, not politically correct, yelling loudly because its the only way to let out my stress without severely self harming, among other things) what is that? I have tried and tried to work out for myself where hurting people verbally/emotionally or verbal/emotional abuse begins and ends but it seems to me there is no truly objective answer. I have thought and pondered long into the night about it, solely on my own for the sake of my own self determination, attempting at working it out on my own so that I could stop feeling guilty for being an “abuser” without relying on therapists, psychs or even other people. At the end of the day, if I am hurting people and can’t stop no matter how hard I try, even with no psychs or professionals of any kind whatsoever in the picture, perhaps I should not be advocating for psych survivors until I work out how to stop being this way without doctors and their quackery. If this is not genetics and not circumstantial factors that have made me this way, maybe it is something spiritual? Perhaps I need an exorcist instead of a doctor. Me advocating for psych survivors who have often been hurt by abusers is like a tiger advocating for mice without giving up his carnivorous ways. If I want to help them and not be hypocritical like the doctors, I have to find out how not to be an abuser, and that is going to take some time. I am not the same in some ways. That is a fact I must face, whether I like it or not. I yell, I have self harmed in public, I made my gentle, quiet introverted dad hate me when I was only eight. I may not be sick or crazy, but I relate to others in a certain way and it feels to me that it is too much and I must give it up. Everyone I ask has told me I am selfish and too much for others. Not doctors, humans. Plain old friends and good natured humans from all walks of life. I have tried and thought long and hard but I cannot refute this notion. It is subjective so I must to a certain degree take their word for it. I do not want to feel this excruciating guilt my entire life. If even Sheldon Cooper is less abusive and critical than me, perhaps it is time to face some facts and change. How exactly to do that? Well, I am the doctor now. I guess I have lots of experimenting to do…I hope I will be ready to finally change soon. This guilt is tearing me apart inside. I really don’t want to, but if I don’t want to die from this guilt I simply must. I am ashamed to let it show, but this is the real me. Maybe not “mad” or “sick” but still too far. If I find a way to cure this without the shrinks, I will shout it from the rooftops. I would accept it, but where will that get me? My heart cries out to be accepted as I am, but if somebody (or lots of somebodies, or even me) cannot do that I wouldn’t hold it against them.
I don’t know if this applies to you, but I’ve known a LOT of people who have been traumatized in youth and adulthood, and it is very common that such people strike out when threatened or bossed around. I don’t think it’s “abnormal,” but it can be a problem sometimes.
I don’t really want to go into that on a public forum. The past is the past and I feel like the best thing for me is to leave it where it belongs. There were things that were said and done to me but I don’t really care about it anymore. It would mean there would just be more responsibilities put on me I didn’t ask for and more things I am guilty for if I went into that. Somehow “Its not your fault but it is your responsibility” makes me feel even worse than plain old “It’s your fault.” but it probably was though.
I certainly would not expect you to. I was only mentioning that it is not a rare thing or an abnormal one that people who have had their trust frequently violated have a tendency to be sensitive to others’ questionable behavior. Anger can be a good way to protect ourselves from danger!
But in my opinion, anger always has reasons. The person is angry when his offend. And why should this go unpunished? It’s a strange idea – you can offend some, of some must not. One woman was tell such a story. – Sometime in childhood, of her of son beat of peers. And since then he has been ill and many years has undergo psychiatric guardianship. But behind this, a rather commonplace situation is visible. – Resentment traumatized him and there was a need to somehow compensate for it. He himself could not. It just he turned out to be weaker. But and no one else tried to do it. Although it would seem – why not? Well, you was could somehow punish those offenders. To talk to them, to make them apologize. And this may have been enough, the resentment would have weakened. And this boy would not have been so traumatized. And trouble would not have happened. He live would as everything, grew and developed. But for some reason no one found it necessary to do this. And the resentment was driven inside. And all life was broken. Legal impact was not applied. And therefore psychiatry was applied. Psychiatry (compulsory psychiatry) is always applied instead of right.
I don’t disagree at all. The point is not that acting out of anger is always OK, but that feeling anger is not a “disease” and behavioral choices are not ma “disorder.” They are choices. And choices have consequences. And if we want different consequences, we need to make different choices, and we can use our feelings in different ways rather than trying to snuff them out or feel guilty for having them.
And I do not quite understand what exactly You do not agree with. Of course, feeling angry is not a disease. Moreover, anger is an absolutely normal quality inherent in all living things! It is in every human being to be angry. Without this, there is no man. No one will remain indifferent if, say, they him begin to scorch by cigarettes. In such a situation, any person will become embittered and aggressive. And what does it mean not to get angry? – What would they put out cigarettes about person, and at the same time he smiled good-naturedly? Is this normal behavior? Who would agree to accept such “help” for themselves? Which psychiatrist would agree to accept such help for themselves?
“Acting out of anger” is always okay. Another thing is that an angry reaction should not exceed the harmful effect. Yes, anger must be kept within limits, not to allow serious consequences. In addition, the origin of the anger must be taken into account. It is not always adequate to the harmful effects from the outside. A person by mentality can be despotic, accustomed to command. And therefore, any objection can cause anger in him. All this requires moral and legal assessments. But by no means of medical!!! By and large, the tendency to hang psychiatric labels of “morbid behavior” demonstrates the unwillingness of very many citizens to evaluate the actions of other people according to the same criteria which they adopt for themselves.
Oldhead I’m sorry for my comments being all over the place, I have been very emotional the past few days and I probably should have done more reading and thinking and been clearer in my own views before posting.
No no no. The spontaneity is fine, and positive — even poetic at times. If you can’t be unorganized here, where can you be? It’s probably better to just let the connections you’re making spill out. You can organize it later.
My apologies everyone I think it will be best for me to leave this site. Keep up the good fight.