Sunday, August 1, 2021

So Long, Pill Mill: A Letter to My Former Patients and Their Families

I love being a psych nurse practitioner, and I never want to feel that my only role is pushing pills. The private practice I started is my effort to move away from this dysfunctional system.

Suicidality: When Your Feelings Are Too Dangerous

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After finding a cop at my door, I learned it wasn’t safe to talk about my feelings of wanting to die. As a result, I spent the better part of the next decade not telling anyone when I was suicidal.

Cindi Fisher on Hunger Strike: Free My Sidd

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Cindi Fisher has gone on a hunger strike to demand that her adult child, Siddharta, be freed from Western State Hospital after being suddenly removed from the discharge list without explanation.

When Homosexuality Was a “Disease”: My Story of Abuse

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The horrors I was forced to undergo to “treat” my homosexuality are now unthinkable, but continue to raise questions about psychiatry’s ethics.

Making Mental Health an Ongoing Priority:  A Patch Adams Approach

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My brother’s sudden death and Mental Health Awareness Month spurred me to spend May making small, very personal efforts to both honor his memory and move the mental health conversation forward.

The Worst Thing: How My Mother’s Death Pushed Me to Overcome OCD

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The goal of creating a legacy for my mother required that I go beyond managing my symptoms to confronting my OCD at its roots. I had to fundamentally change my understanding of anxiety.

Boy, Interrupted: A Story of Akathisia

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I watched my son’s life change almost overnight. He developed akathisia from antidepressants, taken as prescribed for just a few weeks for garden-variety anxiety.

My Mother Wound: Rethinking “Fear of Abandonment”

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Therapists are quick to refer to this pain I feel as a “fear of abandonment,” as if it is a figment of my mind and something not worth the time to attend to.

Bearing False Witness: Childhood Psychiatry, Trauma, and Memory

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Through journaling, I realized that my lifelong confusion surrounding my memories of traumatic events was the direct result of the psychiatric labels and drugs I swallowed alongside years of parental abuse.

Someone I Used to Know

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When I sit in Billie’s office, I am still 13 years old, bitter anger saturating my body. I am 23, sobbing that I cannot do this anymore. I am 24, celebrating my first year of college. I am all of these people and none of these people.

Childhood Trauma Is Not a Mental Illness

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My childhood was stolen by systems focused on labeling and medicating me instead of healing the effects of abuse and neglect.

The Role of Love in Mental Health

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The one core ingredient on which any recovery from emotional distress depends is the one that never makes an appearance in any medical handbook or psychiatric diagnostic manual—that is, love.

A Nurse’s Nightmare: Child Nearly Dies from ADHD Drug

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My hope and prayer is that this dramatic look at a negative effect of this class of drugs will help you understand that, in my professional assessment, their risks outweigh their benefits.

Surviving Child Psychiatry: My Quest for Love and Justice

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Maybe I'd be better able to form relationships if I'd had support from people who knew I'd need re-integration services and psychosocial rehabilitation.

Now I See a Person: A New Model for Breaking Free of Mental Health...

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NISAPI helps people achieve recovery by pairing the normalcy of a ranch and the nurturance of horses with a philosophy of postmodern collaborative practice.
woman walking away, footprints in the sand

To the Young Person Who Doesn’t Identify with Their Disability Diagnosis Anymore

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Your diagnosis should serve YOU. Not your parents, your doctors, your teachers, or the next door neighbor. We should be fighting for a future where the person being labeled has the ultimate say over how doctors and therapists view them.

Writing Is My Best Medicine

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For me, writing is a powerful tool for wellness and healing, whether that involves an escape into science fiction or simply putting my dreams, emotions, memories, and observations on paper.

Kids on Psychiatric Drugs: Where Are They Now?

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Once, for a brief time, there was an outrage over child drugging, in particular the use of child protective services and the schools in forcing or coercing this drugging on children. Today, instead of continuing to sound an alarm, most of society considers this normal.
sad child

Four Children

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I went to the children’s ward, to work with the kids. I remembered to tell all of them that I had been locked up my whole childhood on psych wards, and this always made them trust me.
blurry photo of flowers

Suicidal Thoughts, Psychiatric Diagnosis, and What Really Helps: Part Two

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This piece is the second of a two-part essay about suicide, diagnosis, what doesn't help, and what does help. This part is about barriers to seeking help and about the ways we actually can be of help to people who are considering suicide.
Photo of a flower

Suicidal Thoughts, Psychiatric Diagnosis, and What Really Helps: Part One

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This piece is the first of a two-part essay about suicide, diagnosis, what doesn't help, and what does help. This part is about suicide, diagnosis, and some of what fails to help.
child with protective mask standing in front of blackboard and the word "spin"

CAUTION: Spin Ahead! There is No Evidence That Psychostimulants Reduce the Risk for Infection...

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Debunking a recent study on ADHD and COVID-19: It suffers from a series of manipulations and spins that are inappropriate in scientific research that aspires to objectivity and that aims to reveal truths.
prescription for Valium

Born Addicted to Valium: Understanding a Lifetime of Symptoms

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Withdrawal felt like: evil feeding on my soul, my spirit being tortured, not being able to feel love, constantly feeling like I was falling in a dark tunnel, and wanting to get out of my body.

Child Abuse and Psychosis: My Healing Journey

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Hospitalized for "grandiose delusions," I began to wonder: Was my dis-orientation really just a sickness? Or in "treating" it, was I missing a powerful re-orientation toward healing old wounds?
geriatric depression

The Year I Lost Everything, Psychiatry Offered Nothing

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After a failed suicide attempt following my son's death, New York State incarcerated me in a mental institution for 21 days. The environment was degrading, stultifying, and downright depressing.

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