“I like a good story well told. That’s the reason I’m sometimes forced to tell them myself.”
— Mark Twain
Mark Twain’s words encapsulate that great crime and injustice perpetrated against people who are diagnosed—often misdiagnosed—with mental illness by the system supposedly set up to help them. People turn to doctors when they’ve been wounded by life and are at their most vulnerable. Those of us who experience emotional problems that overwhelm us for a time often walk out of a doctor’s office with a referral to a psychologist or a psychiatrist—specialists who deal with maladies of the mind, who diagnose and treat mental illness. And yes, that was me making a superhuman effort not to put illness into air quotes, which always have that wry, somewhat disparaging tone to them.
It’s at that point of asking for help from someone in authority, someone we should be able to trust, that many have their story stolen from them. As a result, they become incapable of being who they set out to be when they were born into this world. They reach a turning point—usually one which is the result of loss, grief, abuse, disappointment, disillusionment, a fall from on high, some form of trauma—and consult a professional (again, that superhuman effort to not use air quotes) who turns their turning point into an ambush, their life adventure into a medical misadventure. Many end their days having lived a story that was meant to be only a chapter in their lives, not the whole book.
This is theft of the most criminal kind. Today, at this very moment, despite all we know about the perils of the mental health system, someone will walk into a doctor’s office for help and support. They feel they‘re in danger of drowning, they reach out for a lifeline but instead are thrown an anchor. After that, they’ll find themselves in another office, someone in a white coat (either an actual or a metaphoric one) will ask some questions and tick some boxes in the DSM-V. Where these ticks land will change their lives, give them a very different version of themselves and a very different story about the life they will live.
The following is part of my story as someone who escaped that fate. I escaped only by luck, only by chance, only by confiding my strange-days-indeed Katmandu story to friends, or to fellow travelers, or complete strangers, rather than to mental health professionals.
Back in the late 80’s, I was the Chosen One, here on Earth to bring about World Peace. I was Eve from the Garden of Eden and I was Kali, the Hindu goddess of time, doomsday and death. Oh, and I was also the next reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, forever waiting on His Holiness to acknowledge his successor—moi.
When I left Australia, I’d just finished my librarianship degree, intending to become a children’s librarian in Byron Bay, reading stories to children in a purpose-built sandpit in a library looking out to the horizon linking sea and sky. By the time I returned after nine months in the Mysterious East, I was the founder of the World Peace Party; barefoot, skeletal, slowly shattering into a million pieces as my belief in my enlightened state and my great Mission (always with a capital M) slowly dwindled away.
When I look back now, what I encountered on my return to Sydney was an unofficial, untrained, stumbling-in-the-dark version of the Open Dialogue paradigm—family and friends, a community of people who cared enough for me to provide a series of roofs over my head while I wandered dazed and confused, betwixt and between two worlds. Being the Chosen One was much harder here in Australia than it had been back in Katmandu surrounded by mystics and shamans and sorcerers and expat hippies and junkies and white witches and all of Ken Kesey’s Merry Band of Pranksters Take II. My Sydney friends feared for my sanity but they didn’t take me along to the local psych ward for evaluation. Phew! Luck luck lucky me! as my friend Dana used to say with such glee.
A decade later, after the death of my mother and what the DSM describes as ‘complicated grief’, I was again lucky in speaking to a psychologist, Jocelyn Clayton (may her name be forever praised), who listened to my story differently, who heard it through an alternative lens than the one that would have quite possibly seen me labeled for life with a mental illness misdiagnosis. This should very definitely not be a matter of luck, of blind fate. She sent me down different research paths: Stan and Christina Grof, Jung, Assagioli. My life from then on changed as a result of seeing what had happened to me—a Spiritual Emergence which spiraled into a Spiritual Emergency/Crisis—very differently than the prevailing view in both the mental health system and in our culture.
Fast forward a few decades… For a shorter period of my life than I would have liked, I worked as an art therapist with children in foster care. It was one of the great joys of my life—finally having found work I loved, a career that used all of my somewhat eclectic bag of accumulated skills and learning. Plus, joy of all joys, I took either Softy or Willow, the dogs I looked after, to my sessions with each child. Softy and Willow are both rescue dogs and they were my examples of creatures who’d been rescued from abusive backgrounds and placed in homes where they were loved. At the time, this was how I viewed children taken into foster care. As I now know, sometimes this is the case but sadly, not always.
I found children easier to work with than many adults. In general, children are more honest, more open to playing with art and art processes that, on the surface, are just that: play. I know from experience that these deceptively simple processes reach way down into the deep places within us and shed light on behaviors that are often uncommonly strange or self-defeating but that we view as being ‘this is me, this is who I am.’
I was sacked from my position working with CatholicCare as a result of challenging an ADHD diagnosis for one of the children I worked with, an 11-year-old boy of indigenous descent. When he told me he’d been re-diagnosed—having been taken off Ritalin previously because it made him feel sick—and that he was now self-harming, I expressed my concerns to the foster care agency. I sent them a copy of Generation Rx, a documentary I’d shown several times during Mental Health Month to raise awareness about the connections between psych meds and suicide/homicide plus the connections between the pharmaceutical industry and mental illness diagnoses. I also sent them links to current relevant research, some of it from Mad in America. I sent them research papers by Dr. Yolande Lucire, an Australian psychiatrist and a long-time critic of modern psychiatry. I requested a case conference to discuss what was happening with this child, particularly as there was no previous mention of self-harm in his file. I stressed that I was not coming at the situation from an anti-medication perspective, nor an ideological issue of right/wrong, nor it being my opinion vs another’s opinion—it was about making the best possible decision for this child’s life, based on a sound understanding of the consequences for him of their decision.
At my next fortnightly visit, he told me his Ritalin dose had been increased and an anti-anxiety medication added. When I asked what had caused his diagnosis to be revisited, the psychologist told me it was an escalation of his behaviors at school. When I asked for further specifics, the answers were pretty much that grab bag of ‘symptoms’ as per the DSM description of ADHD—which would have pretty much every single one of us diagnosed and medicated.
After several months, many emails, phone calls, and visits between myself, the caseworker and the psychologist whose care the child was in, I stated that if the matter wasn’t handled at that level, I’d take my concerns to the Executive Director. The next day, I was dismissed from my position. I sent the entire email correspondence to the Executive Director and to the local Bishop. They replied immediately. Subsequently, there was an investigation into my concerns. As I was no longer employed by the organization, I could not be given the results of the investigation but I was told by a reliable third party that the young boy had been taken off Ritalin. The Executive Director sent me an official letter of resolution of my concerns, stating that, “[X] is fortunate to have someone to advocate for him. This is so sadly lacking for many of the young people at risk that we support at CatholicCare.” She reassured me that he was now safely in the care of professionals—those very same professionals who had diagnosed and medicated him in the first place. I was not overly reassured by this information.
I was angry and hurt; surprised despite what I knew of other people’s stories of mistreatment at the hands of the mental health system. But more than that, I was disgusted at the treatment of this child whose behavior was clearly caused by past trauma. I’d seen firsthand the mindset of the foster parents: frequent requests that he be given an ADHD diagnosis; their belief in the biomedical model; maintaining the two boys in their care as foster children rather than adopting them because there’s more support and more money for fostering. At a case conference for his foster brother, the issue of his birth mother being on heavy psych meds and this being obvious at visits was raised. I commented that it would be in the boy’s best interest if they informed him that mental illness wasn’t genetic and he was in no danger of ‘inheriting’ his mother’s problems; that this would more than likely be a worry to him. The father, who worked for Johnson and Johnson, slammed his fist on the table, glared at me, and said, “The science is very clear…”
The science is not clear on this (unless, of course, you work for J&J) but the consequences of believing that it is are very clear indeed.
When I finally found my feet again, I sought legal advice regarding unfair dismissal (not possible due to having been head-hunted in the first place, working under contract, not having been smart enough to ask for a written contract, and various other factors that employment legislation required that I lacked). I spoke to other lawyers to find out if I could bring a case against CatholicCare to highlight the systemic nature of this event—that it wasn’t just an isolated incident, that children in the foster care system are far more likely to be diagnosed and medicated precisely because they’re already in the system. My rationale for seeking legal advice was that this is a systemic issue requiring further investigation so that valid concerns about other children in similar situations could be raised without fear of dismissal. I spoke to the Ombudsman and to the Minister for that Department. All to no avail.
I viewed it as my duty of care to act as I did—my moral, ethical, professional and legal responsibility to ensure a child’s safety and well-being, particularly taking into account all I knew regarding the connections between psych meds and suicide.
I very deliberately chose to study transpersonal art therapy rather than ordinary old art therapy because of its connections to Jungian psychology and its examination of states of consciousness beyond that of individual identity. It also linked to my studies in Material Anthropology which I had studied at a time when I was deeply wounded and lost in my life, in an attempt to find a new direction. Material Anthropology uses artifacts from which to view the maker’s (and, by extension, the culture’s) history, spirituality, economy, etc—the myriad of connections that lead to the making of this one particular object. This is also how I view a piece of art made as part of an art therapy session.
It’s this interesting combination of knowledge, this cross-disciplinary approach, that gives me a firm basis of knowing that art, anything that’s made by hand, holds vast treasure troves of connections and connectivity and history, both personal and cultural. These storytelling threads hold the keys to understanding what’s at the core of our being. That understanding, if utilized, gives us the power to choose rather than being continually hampered by choices made for us by others, or compelled to repeat mistakes based on faulty perceptions of who we are and how the world is. This understanding and these choices are impossible if we’ve been misdiagnosed with mental illnesses based on biased and corrupted science.
This young boy I worked with, in several of our sessions, made drawings and turned them into stories of being unloved, of not caring if he lived or died, of no one else caring either. It’s an important and necessary thing for any of us to be able to discuss these issues, to put them in context, to be able to reality-test their veracity.
When I first started working with him, I was given a report that allocated him the understanding level of a four-year-old. I did not see this to be the case at all—he was intuitive and funny and mischievous and angry and loving and confident and confused and complex. The same report stated that, according to his psychologist, he met the diagnostic criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Statements such as these, I believe, which result from ticking boxes on standardized forms, can end up presenting any of us with a very distorted picture of who we are. But this is who this little boy became for those who had power over his life and made decisions on his behalf, supposedly in his best interest. Those making these momentous decisions did not suffer any ill effects or the negative consequences of their decisions—he did.
I would not have been able to come to different conclusions had I not asked different questions and questioned CatholicCare’s ‘care’ of this little boy. I would not have had a different lens through which to see his behavior had I not had my own experience of having an alternative lens than the biomedical one through which to see my own behavior and my own life, the worst and hardest moments thereof.
If people such as myself, who speak out against the medicalization and medication of trauma-related behavior, particularly in children, are silenced, the consequences are obvious. They are already with us in the ever-escalating rate of youth suicide, of children attempting to grow into adulthood without having been given the necessary emotional capacity to deal with life’s difficulties. We ignore these connections and consequences at our peril.
This is an outdoor sculpture near where I live. The little boy I speak of in this story took me to it the first time we met and told me that you put yourself in the space where the ‘I’ is missing. I made this image for him to see himself standing in that place. I used the IMAGINE sculpture from then on with the different foster children I worked with, to symbolize using their imagination and making themselves the center of their lives. This obviously doesn’t happen—or happens very differently—if they end up diagnosed and medicated, their true stories stolen from 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.
This is a great personal story, and also informs us of the current level of awareness of possibly most of the people we live and work around.
My personal interpretation is that so many people have been beaten down by their own experiences that they have lost hope of ever finding a way out. They believe – as they are told over and over – that no one really understands the mind and thus it is impossible to heal it.
This is a lie. I hope that more people, as we move forward, will realize that there is more that can be understood about all this than those who hover over us (in fear that we will find out) want us to believe.
Thank you for getting both the depth and the complexity of this issue and its repercussions in society. I don’t know anything as powerful as the arts to give us a picture of our internal worlds and enable us to navigate what can be very tricky waters indeed. Words alone don’t and diagnoses and long-term use of medications, in my view, merely trap a person in what is often the worst moments of their lives.
The only other activities I’ve seen come close to the arts are other forms of play: performing arts, non-competitive games, things like that. They key is to create a safe space that encourages self-expression. Of course, we can’t live like that 24/7, but we should all be able to have some time we devote to that, and that is “therapy” for most people.
Thankyou for writing this. I worked in child welfare and I agree. The medical model is especially damaging when used on children. Children’s trauma is consistently dismissed and the goal is to control behavior through medication and discipline that adds further injury. Society allows it to continue at it’s own peril. In the end society at large is harm by the damage done to it’s children.
Yes. Those working in child welfare would get this more clearly than most. You see it every day, and if you think as you and I do, it’s heartbreaking to see the horrendous damage done on a constant and continual basis. And it’s soooooo unnecessary and just plain wrong.
“My rationale for seeking legal advice was that this is a systemic issue requiring further investigation so that valid concerns about other children in similar situations could be raised without fear of dismissal.”
Yes, this is a systemic problem – and part of why I chose to NOT become a DSM “bible” believing art therapist. But it is a systemic problem with likely many of the mainstream religions, not just the Catholics. An ethical pastor – of a religion other than my childhood religion – confessed this type of systemic child abuse covering up problem to be “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.” And some of my childhood religion’s bishops are now systemic child abuse cover uppers, even according to the insiders in their main synod offices.
“It’s this interesting combination of knowledge, this cross-disciplinary approach, that gives me a firm basis of knowing that art, anything that’s made by hand, holds vast treasure troves of connections and connectivity and history, both personal and cultural.”
I agree, “art, anything that’s made by hand, holds vast treasure troves of connections and connectivity and history, both personal and cultural.” Those of us who did attend one of the number one rated art schools in the US were taught to record history.
And as it turned out – based upon many others’, and my psychopharmacological research – my personal concern of the abuse of my child, and the medical/religious cover up of such, does absolutely relate to systemic cultural pedophilia, and apparently also child sex trafficking, problems.
We do need to end “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.” And covering up child abuse for the mainstream religions, has apparently long been the primary actual societal function of their scientifically “invalid” DSM “bible” billing “mental health” “partners.” And it’s all by DSM design.
Let’s hope and pray we may end these systemic societal problems. But this would require the men of our society to garner insight into the fact that raping our children is unacceptable human behavior. It would require the doctors, pastors, bishops, police, lawyers, and judges to garner insight into the fact that systemically covering up child abuse for profit is unacceptable human behavior. And it would require our societies’ governments, et al, to start actually arresting, convicting, and punishing the child molesters.
Thank you for your insightful and truth speaking story, Karen. And, my oh my, I do so know about their desire to dismiss, ignore, silence, and outright attempt to steal our truth telling stories and “too truthful” artwork.
How wonderful that you were taught, as an artist, to ‘record history’. I haven’t met an artist yet, of whichever medium, who doesn’t have this deeper understanding of emotions, how our psyches work, at least an inkling into the inner realms of our humanity. I think it comes with the territory of making art.
And yes, there’s a wilful ignorance of the sheer stupidity of the MH system, how it’s designed, all the ways in which it allows such a disconnect between beliefs, teaching, and consequences. Very similar to how religion works. And yet, some of the best people i know work as counsellors etc. Regardless, yes, there need to be consequences for the perpetrators rather than the victims.
Hi Karen. Great story. Sums up the ‘care’ of children succinctly IMO.
In my case I was diagnosed with a mental illness in 2014. As a result of ‘mother and fathers lack of insight into fathers mental illness’ I was placed on supervised access. Apparently right up until the moment I was diagnosed I was doing incompetent parenting such as feeding and clothing my child, taking them to galleries, museums, cinemas, playgrounds, offering love, fatherly support and advice and so on.
My child LOVED their weekends with me. They really looked forward to them.
After my diagnosis I was put under the supervision, against my expressed desire, of my narcissistic sociopathic parent and my dysfunctional family who I was always the scapegoat child to. They were told they could undermine my every decision about my child. Obviously, in the child’s best interests of course, they instantly weaponised the power they had been handed and openly undermined me in front of the child on top of it. Such things give them a feeling of moral superiority over me, obviously in the child’s best interests.
Meanwhile I noticed a change in my child’s behaviour. Aggressiveness, bedwetting, standoffishness and so on. I expressed my concerns to the ‘professionals’ ‘caring’ for us. Beyond a cursory look at my child’s home they pretty much ignored me because I was ‘sick’ and trying to make others look ‘sick’ to take attention off of my ‘lack of insight’. Even though I was just a father concerned for his child.
Years passed and then I was informed my ex had become a chronic alcoholic and the child was put in the care of her sister ( a fine woman thank God ). I hadn’t been informed of the couple of years of supervision of my ex by the state beforehand because she had told them it would make me unstable.
After I was informed I calmly told the ‘authorities’ they had failed in their duty to care by not informing me because I was providing my ex with money whilst everyone else was hiding her credit cards and such. They admitted their mistake yet suffered no consequences.
It’s seven years later and I’m still on supervised access because I refuse to dance to my ‘care’ teams tune and admit I have a mental illness. Nope…never happening. Their wrong and I point blank refuse to be blackmailed with the love of my child to appease the ‘authorities’ delusion.
Instead I simply completely honestly keep reiterating to them the damage that was done to my child because of their incompetence and lack of understanding of the people involved.
Naturally I’m dismissed as being ‘just a mental patient’ and they try to manipulate me with power plays instead.
Thankfully my child seems to be happy generally now. They are old enough that I told them the situation. There were tears from them at all the lost moments they missed out on with me yet by some miracle they have been influenced by my morals in spite of all they’ve been through.
Still though, its maddening that the most competent and loving adult in their lives is the one deemed incompetent.
I do wonder though, is it wrong to not completely roll over for my ‘care team’ for the sake of my child? It wouldn’t work because apparently my ex also ‘lacks insight into my mental illness’ so even if things went back to before my diagnosis ( which they wouldn’t ) I would still need supervision just to drop my child back home. Snookered. I do know in this situation a compromise leads to a never ending series of compromises and I don’t believe its healthy for my child to see their primary male influence being made a lapdog of judgemental incompetents. Indeed my child sees through the nonsense now. Thank God. That was a worry for me.
Thanks again Karen.
Sorry to hear of your situation Jack. The system is so messed up and it proceeds to mess up so many lives. It sounds like blackmail and using a child as a pawn. Glad your child is starting to see through the coercion and harmful nonsense.
Yup it is blackmail. A pretty young lady psychiatrist I talked to once said “Its in your file you can’t see your child if you don’t take your medication.” “I was never told that” I replied. “If that’s the case its called blackmail.”
“Yes” she said “It is blackmail” arrogantly sure of the power imbalance.
It dismayed me that a pretty young girl of the younger generation would actively engage in perpetuating the abuses within the system.
They use the fact that our Constitution puts the child’s welfare first to try to control me within a free Republic yet when I pointed out where the Mental Health Act blatantly ignores the rights of citizens under the Constitution with such things ignored as the right to bodily integrity ( forced medication ruined my sex drive ), freedom of religious expression and such apparently that’s completely irrelevant because I’m ‘just a mental patient.’
So the state has a right to use my child as a pawn and if I do anything that any man who has his child used in such a way would be compelled to do such as punch the clowns I would be declared criminally insane and locked up indefinitely without trial.
As far as I’m concerned they are criminals, the lowest of the low, traitors to their nation with no respect for the Constitution or what the people who fought for it died for and should be treated as traitors…but what can I do? I’m ‘just a mental patient’ yeah?
Yes, it’s that horrible knock-on effect that happens with a diagnosis/misdiagnosis, that change in identity, how people come to perceive you, how they treat you, all that you have to fight against when you become part of the system. And at least, if you’ve not succumbed to that, then I think you’ve won in not having had yr sense of self stolen from you. And if your children see the wrongs that have been perpetrated against you, then that’s a double win. But yes, snookering and endless mindf*ckery at the hands of people and a system tht ultimately doesn’t care, is quite often the order of the day. It sounds to me like you’ve escaped that fate as much as you could. I wish you well.
Hi Karen. Thanks for your reply. I’m not a part of the system I’m simply being stalked by members of it as far as I’m concerned.
I was really pointing out that the child themself does not only have to be diagnosed as you’ve conveyed in your writings. I’m saying also that a parent being labelled can also seriously affect a child.
As an example the last time I saw my child I was in the family kitchen talking to them. My brother staggered in drunk after drinking all day and started talking nonsense to them. They got very uncomfortable because they hate being around drunk people after what happened with their mother. Then my brother started criticising me because the rest of my money wouldn’t be in my account til the next day. I calmly said “Never discuss finances and criticise a father in front of his child. If you have anything to say to me take me into the next room.” Unlike a normal adult who would accept this my brother started hurling abuse and putdowns at me for a solid half hour. My child hated it and left to play in the garden.
Naturally being the scapegoat I was blamed for it by my family and wasn’t allowed to go with my child to the carnival the next day. My child cried when they realised I wasn’t going and was disgusted that my brother had taken my seat in the family car.
I didn’t get to do anything with them for the rest of the week and wasn’t even informed of sleepover arrangements or anything. I was told nothing.
Personally I think this is proxy psychological abuse of my child. The child saw the utter unfairness of us not doing anything together over something a drunk uncle caused and it hurt them.
Also what of when they are a little older? Seeing their father being put down, mistreated, shamed and punished like a child will they still respect my words if they hit a rebellious phase?
These things can be set ups for immense possible damage to a child IMO. They have already been traumatised by the ‘care’ team handing all the power to an alcoholic mother.
My ‘team’ ( lol ) don’t seem to see the issues. My family just blame me for everything and my child is a second class family member to them already because I’m the father.
As far as I’m concerned my child is at the mercy of lesser, more unintelligent people who can’t see the length of their own noses and act on fantasies of possible outcomes about me based on nothing but a set of ‘symptoms’ that I actually don’t have and instead of actual potential outcomes based on the information at hand.
With regard to the MH field, as I always say ego is an affront to the intellect. One must leave that aside when dealing with people particularly children.
You know yourself from your own writing in your story they are know it alls that know sweet eff all.
An excellent piece Karen and much needed advocacy for children.
“It’s at that point of asking for help from someone in authority, someone we should be able to trust, that many have their story stolen from them.”
“This is theft of the most criminal kind. Today, at this very moment, despite all we know about the perils of the mental health system, someone will walk into a doctor’s office for help and support. They feel they‘re in danger of drowning, they reach out for a lifeline but instead are thrown an anchor.”
Very well stated truths. Psychiatrists who hastily and judgmentally affix labels do not suffer any negative consequences. It’s only the person labelled (under the pretense of getting ‘help’) who pays the price for the harm that masquerades as ‘help’. When psychiatry redefines someone’s story, and thus their reality, it sets a trap and forces someone to live in a trauma that could have been healed and moved on from. Horrible this type of ‘help’ is inflicted on adults but should be considered abusive and criminal when inflicted on vulnerable children.
I agree psychiatrists live in a consequence free environment. Don’t forget also that many of them are from privallaged backgrounds. All the ones I’ve dealt with seem to know is a sheltered home life, school, college and then hospitals. Really what would such individuals, who have only ever known structured, sheltered environments, know about the rough and tumble and hardships of the average persons life? I believe this is part of the reason they are generally so blinkered and ignorant to the effects of environments, traumas and experience on ‘patients’.
They really are in no position to judge anyone IMO and Karen’s story is a testament to the naivete and ignorance of people who have never known hardships such as the child in her story suffered.
I’d also like to point out that my own comment above illustrates that other children pay the price too such as the children of some ‘patients’ with diagnoses. The problem is much more far reaching than even that I’d say.
Imagine my panic when I realised that, because of my diagnosis, I couldn’t go for full custody of my child and had it not been for my exes sister they would have been placed in state care and fostered out. It was shocking to realise also that after two years in a foster home my child could be adopted by them against my will.
There was zero examination or vetting of the people my child’s care was given to in any event. Thank God for their aunt…
Yes I totally agree Jack. When a psychiatrist comes from a life of privilege it’s unlikely they can understand or even relate to the adversities, hardships, abuse, poverty etc. of the ordinary person. But they sit up on their high horse and judge the suffering of those who are much less fortunate. It’s appalling how a child’s life can also be so negatively affected when a judgmental, totally subjective label gets placed on the parent. So often psychiatry and their bogus labels are used as weapons for agendas. I am glad your child’s aunt prevented further upheaval in your child’s life.
It isn’t just psychiatrists who may come from privileged backgrounds. I did, too. But isn’t the American Dream to rise to the level of the privileged? Or descend to it?
I don’t think privilege has as much to do with a person’s character as some would like to believe. But to the extent that privilege engenders a fear of “ordinary” people, it can cause a separation to occur which could lead to an unrealistic view of life. The truly evil rely on that separation and the “class wars” that it can bring about.
I’m not saying all privileged people are naive. My uncle, whose younger than me, for instance, was spoilt and sheltered growing up, yet he is a completely down to Earth bloke.
Yet I am saying that the privileged with lower brains aren’t intelligent enough to think outside the box. They simply stick to the rote mediocrity of whatever they have memorised in college IMO.
Privilege may have nothing to do with a persons character yet I find that a person of low character coming from a privileged background has very little in common with the average person.
As for class…I find it interesting that I, an Irishman, from a middle class background whose living in a working class area, is treated as a lower life form by the state. I see how the working classes are treated by the shrinks all the time, they forget I understand where they are coming from because I grew up in an area where college education was a given.
You may have come from a life of privilege but your not an idiot. Psychiatrists, public sector anyway, invariably are IMO and experience. I’m waiting for the ‘doctor’ ( lol) to prove me wrong.
Hi Jack, it’s Larry (small L looks like big I).
Your opinion seems fairly sensible to me.
Though some insist it should or must be otherwise, we come to this world by numerous different paths and with different sets of abilities. To the extent that human society needs to be organized, some sort of “class system” becomes inevitable. And though it would be most wise and workable to let each individual each lifetime rise to a position where they can serve best, there has always been a tendency for those with more responsibility and control to save their positions for their own family members. This is unfortunate and gives criminals a wedge to pit “classes” against each other.
Psychiatry is very much a part of this game. And many of us can see this clearly, as they interact with us a lot more than others who are participating in various criminal activities. The situation is truly appalling to me, brought up as I was to trust these people.
To psychiatrists my thinking is delusional. Do you know I was judged psychotic again last year simply for showing the shrinks proof that what I was saying wasn’t contradicted by reality? Its a rigged game.
I’ve done much to serve my country yet that was also judged delusional simply because it was beyond the abilities of the ‘doctors’ judging me. It never once entered their thick skulls that maybe the reason I was able to do it is because I’m more capable than them. Yet they say I’m suffering from grandiosity because my abilities go beyond theirs.
Like you I’m into Ian Stevenson but apparently a belief in such things is also a sign of mental illness as is stating that you don’t have a mental illness. Caught at every turn.
I don’t think shrinks have more responsibility. If they did they would need to be wise. As it is I see myself, a ‘mental patient’, as a trapeze artist. Elegant, poised, brave etc while the shrinks that shoehorn their way into my life are like clowns in a clown car. Driving in and fouling everything up in a slapstick, amateurish way.
As a ‘lower life form’ I must go on disability and kowtow to my ‘betters’ who are on a much higher pay grade. I’m a peasent and the shrinks are there to ‘help’ me because I have neither the intelligence nor education to help myself.
At least this is how these bright eyed, baby faced, naive creatures see me.
I’ve actually never dealt with a shrink older than their thirties. What exactly do they know coming from college to outpatients or whatever?
I never trusted anyone but myself. I see the fresh faced naivete of the shrinks yet they can’t see the seasoned, intelligent 43 year old man in front of them. All they see is a set of imaginary ‘symptoms’. They might as well be at home playing with Action Man or My Little Ponies as far as I’m concerned.
Yes. It’s the lack of consequences suffered by those who are in power and abusing that power that ultimately prompted me to finally write this piece. Every single person I was dealing with, from the case worker to the psychologist to the paediatrician who gave the diagnosis, to the foster parents, the CEO, the bishop, had access to the same info, the same research that I did. There’s no excuse for ignorance in these matters, not when lives are at stake. And yet, it goes on… and on… and on. Bad enough that it happens to adults, inexcusable when it happens to children.
Its a shame I can’t like comments on this site Karen…