After 25 years of chronic emergency, 22 mental hospitalizations, a stint at a “community mental health center,” 13 years in a "board & care," repeated withdrawals from addictions to legal drugs, and a 12-year marriage, I plan to live every last breath out as a survivor, an advocate, and an artist.
An interview with Jesse Zook Mann of Mental Health Media about trauma, medication withdrawal, and the possibility for recovery. Jesse was severely harmed by psychiatry, but uses language that reaches people who identify with the mainstream paradigm of mental health and mental illness.
How does experiencing physical abuse as an 8 year old shorten one's lifespan? How do insulting words turn into diabetes? Or sexual abuse trigger a heart attack 50 years in the future? Emotional wounds can damage DNA and produce a huge web of destructive effects, but therapy can turn the process around.
The Resilience Investment, Support, and Expansion (RISE) From Trauma Act, legislation designed to increase support for children who have been exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences, includes $50 million in funding for a “mental health in schools” program. Exactly what these programs would entail remains unclear.
It would take decades before I recognized the trauma caused by repeatedly being separated from my mom when she was hospitalized. I grieved almost exactly the way children did who had lost a parent to death. Yet it was grief without closure because my mom was not dead, just... gone.
Becoming "trauma-informed" is often just a way to advance one's career and feel good about oneself while pretty much doing nothing different. Here's a glimpse into the ways in which mainstream services and trauma specialists are perpetuating harm while patting themselves on the back for being progressive and aware.
I remember clearly thinking, “I’m done. I’m not putting myself through this again.” I wasn’t going to settle for the side effects of a marginally better than placebo treatment again. Here is a brief look into my rollercoaster journey of recovery, returning to work, having my trauma re-triggered, finding a way through, and finally living well.
As a clinical psychologist and someone who was herself “diagnosed” and “treated” for “serious mental illness,” Noël Hunter has a unique vantage point to view the mental health profession. I spoke with her about her new book, which offers an insightful critique of mental health’s diagnostic and treatment irrationalities.
This is my story of forced psychiatric treatment as an eight-year-old girl, from my perspective as an adult mental health professional. Being held down kicking and screaming to be injected with a benzodiazepine is a human rights violation no child should endure for saying no to a pharmaceutical. In hindsight, when I reflect on that day, it feels like a form of child abuse.
Contemplating human existence with a different paradigm of thinking will open our minds to perceiving the profound human diversities rooted in race and culture, developmental experiences, gender identities, sexual orientations, trauma, hunger, or immigration status, to name but a few ways we are or become profoundly diverse as humans.
An interview with Jeffrey Michael Friedman, clinical social worker and activist in the psychiatric survivors movement who provides trauma-informed therapy to victims of abuse and violence, including those who have survived abuses within the mental health system.
Psychiatrists and medical doctors don’t ask who was hitting who and how often in your family. These questions would largely put them out of business and invalidate their industries. These questions would make a mockery of their many years of schooling and many prescription pad options. But these questions would also heal.