Sunday, July 22, 2018

Comments by LavenderSage

Showing 100 of 254 comments. Show all.

  • As a Christian, I see actual evil in Mental Health, Inc., as well as bondage and oppression, and lies…lies, lies, lies, all the way down…

    You aren’t the only Christian here who feels that way… Someone Else immediately springs to mind.

    I’m Pagan, and I agree with y’all that “MH Inc.” is evil. I’ve often wondered how many of our present-day seers and prophets, who would echo the message of so many before them– that we must not lose sight of our humanity, our connection to our Mother Earth and to one another– have been drugged out of their gourds. Who knows what planet-saving technologies, for instance, we have missed out on? Feels to me like psychiatry is just one more faction pushing the doomsday clock towards zero hour.

  • Psychiatrists get away with it again and again because patients like me don’t have the energy, time, resources or whatever, to report this abuse and sue those responsible for it.

    Those that do squander their precious, hard-fought time/energy/resources on filing a grievance find it dismissed by whatever authority they are appealing to, and lawyers? Try finding one that will take the case.

  • Good decision, Amy. Wise to taper off only 1 at once. The sooner, the better, though, because the longer you take these neurotoxins, the more damage they do. I was on effexor for less than a year- that was over 13 years ago and I am *still* recovering! I didn’t taper though- my routine got disrupted when I moved, and it was over a week later, feeling light-headed (low BP) that I realized I had not taken it. A few hours later the Vertigo set in (capital “V” vertigo- it was extreme!) and I decided I would not take that shit again, no matter how hellish the ride coming off it. The worst of it lasted almost 3 weeks, and I got through it staying very high on medical MJ- which made the vertigo less disconcerting because it gave it an acceptable context, and allowed me to eat without puking from the dizziness.

  • Speaking of Pies’ words, here are the words that stood out to me:

    I am not one who easily loses his temper, but I confess to experiencing markedly increased limbic activity whenever I hear…

    I read this, and thought “Goddess! The man can’t even cop to feeling an emotion!” Instead of having emotions like a freaking human being, he has to relate to himself with this strange and twisted biological reductionism.

  • komarek,
    The medicalization of distress is THE CORE of why people are “unsatisfied,” so why on earth would they appeal to the medical/insurance community to support their programs?! The moment you give them a voice, you are inviting co-optation. Seems the folks you are referring to are aware of this- Good for them! People escaping the fire don’t wanna end up in the frying pan either- it ain’t much of an improvement.

    Rachel has the right idea- underground support networks. More power to them!

  • It sounds to me like pretending to be a “good mental patient” was useful in making your escape from the system, kind of like the battered spouse pretends to be invested in the day-to-day routines of the marriage whilst laying the groundwork of an escape plan so as not to arouse the abuser’s suspicions. I’m glad you escaped, Rachel. Doing so has allowed you to begin building a life. Where do you think you’d be if you had continued doing what they told you, if you had followed the role model of a “Graduate” of the MH program you were in?

  • I admire your efforts Corinna, and always find your pieces thought-provoking. One thing hit me in the gut, though:
    I was offended by the notion of “Graduates”- as if the MH system had a curriculum to impart, that if you internalize their “lessons” you will achieve wisdom, insight. Oh HELL no! The better an MH student you are, the more likely they’ll attach that little diploma to your toe!
    It is those who Escape the MH system that actually have a chance of achieving something meaningful in their life.
    Recovery? (if you even embrace that paradigm; I don’t) is something people do despite the MH system, not because of it. Escapees. I get why it makes them uncomfortable. It ought to.

  • Steve-
    It can also be an energy thing, the kid holding the energy of family secrets, even if the kid does not know the content of the secret. A kid sensitive to energy might not know that mom has a drinking problem or dad is having an affair, but they feel the burden, the heaviness of the secret going on and internalize the energy of it. And to feel the energy of something you can’t explain, but to feel the extent you are subjected to it, is truly crazy-making.

  • Oldhead, you articulated the two goals of the folks who frequent MiA so very clearly! I think you should store this statement somewhere for future reference as new folks come in, so that they understand that this is the best way to move forward on either of them: to not impede progress on either of them. Both are not only Valid; both are Needed.

    I, personally, support both goals. But I am much more equipped to work on the goal of providing avenues to get the support people need when they need it, than the goal of social and political reform. The latter overwhelms me, and knocks all the wind outta my sails.

  • The Lion King came out 25-ish years ago. That’s not “fresh” enough to be relevant to teens. You’d need something more recent than The Lion King, and something more age-appropriate to appeal to teens, methinks. Disney cartoons are for the grade-school (and younger) juice box crowd.

    I don’t claim to know what teens are into these days, but I can tell you it ain’t The Lion King. Before you go putting any real effort into such an endeavor, you might want to bring on a consultant who is young and hip and in touch.

  • Well, when Step 1 is Admit that you are Powerless (or some such, my mother was an AA-er, not I), that does not go over well with trauma survivors- who already feel too powerless. The whole higher power thing doesn’t work great for atheists, either. My mother, btw, did not use AA to get sober. She already was sober when she started going– for her, it was more a religion.

  • if you scroll down past ALL the comments, there is a box to type in your comment. The heading reads “LEAVE A REPLY” and then lists the user name you are logged in as, or prompts you to log in. Hope that helps!

  • Have you tried helping them literally map it all out by introducing them to genograms? (I did one of my own life, looks like a freaking highway system, LOL.) I had one older lady I was working with who was essentially trying to make sense of her life. She had several chronic health conditions that were getting more severe and didn’t think she would live much longer. She *loved* the idea of a genogram and found the process so helpful in understanding some of the things that had happened in her family and how those had impacted her life. Such clarity! I saw her making shifts in her relationships, even though these folks were long gone and she was relating to them through memory. Helped her put her wounds into a larger context, of what was going on in the larger constellation of her family at the time and what preceded. And that helped her to take things less personally, because she could see a lot of the intergenerational traumas that had been in play.

    I wonder what it could do for somebody who has more time to re-vamp their life?

  • “I’ll take every label—every single one—knowing that we will find each other that way.”

    Here’s the thing, though, Chris. In my experience, whenever I have attempted to find connection or community with others who are having a similar experience of this life, if I look for pathology (i.e. use the mh labels, or lingo), I find the pathologized. I find people who see themselves as psychiatry has told them they are. These folks have drunk the kool-aid, and are therefore not my tribe.

    A related anecdote: My ancestors are from Appalachia. They have a very easy way of telling if someone is an outsider: by the language they use (specifically, the way they pronounce the names of the towns). You hear that, and you know to be wary because this is not one of us. I react that way whenever I hear somebody using the mh lingo.

  • Thank you oldhead! I had exactly the same appraisal of something you expressed recently but didn’t say so in the moment and then couldn’t find it again.

    I’d like to think I’m both 😀

    I’ve been feeling all this discourse around language, around reform v. abolish, simmering itself out, distilling into its essence. For me, it comes down to arguments of realistic vs. ideal. I look at how the mh lingo, and the system it represents, is mis-leading (as in leading in the wrong direction) and determine that it has to be scrapped in whole and re-made because the fundamentals are flawed and as such cannot contribute to the desired outcome. I am an idealist because I want things to be right and good enough. But this is different than being a perfectionist. People who say “well, yeah, the system isn’t perfect, but it’s what we have so work with it and change it” don’t get it. It isn’t easy for me to scrap anything, and I don’t come to that conclusion lightly. I’m a conservationist– that means I don’t throw away what is still useful. I’m also resourceful, meaning I can see uses in a thing beyond merely its intended one(s). I was raised by people who lived through a world war and the Great Depression, the opposite of this culture of disposability all around me. I’m also a baker, and have had many dishes turn out differently than planned. Usually that’s a happy accident, something that is not what I’d envisioned, is different than what I wanted or intended, but is still edible, still good– usually delicious! But there are those mistakes that ruin the whole thing, and if you refuse to acknowledge that and you just keep on adding things and tinkering with it, hoping for an acceptable outcome, you’re just wasting good ingredients.
    Trying to reform psychiatry is like trying to salvage a cake batter that started out by creaming the butter with salt instead of sugar. No matter how much you tinker with that batter, it will never be edible food, and if you try to bake it up and choke it down anyway because it’s all you’ve got to eat, it’s still doing you more harm than good.

  • Regarding the naming of the things we experience and the terms we use to describe them:

    I am all for reclaiming words that are used as weapons. I think Lenny Bruce had a very good point about that, about how doing so can strip those weapons of their power to do so much damage. I am all for that. And Chris, you make a very good point about finding one’s tribe. I, personally, will never claim any “mental illness” identifiers because I refuse to define myself using that paradigm. However, the language I use to define/describe myself and my mode of living, though much more accurate and authentic to my experience, is not often easily grasped by others, especially those who have not experienced other-ness. Some might say it would better facilitate a conversation if I were to use the familiar mh lingo, and they would be right, but it would be facilitating the wrong conversation. The lingo sets the rules. The moment you put your personal picture into the frame of “mental health” you paint it over with all the assumptions inherent in the illness paradigm: that the individual experiencing these things is having symptoms; that the divergence they are experiencing from consensual reality is a problem- both for the individual and the society (which begs the question of who consented to this reality, and can we take another vote?, but I digress); and that the expertise about these experiences somehow lies in the wisdom of people who pathologize or outright refuse to acknowledge the spiritual emergence happening.

    I have more to say, but need morning coffee first 🙂

  • Exactly what I was thinking, Steve– *Exactly* what I was thinking!!! I mean, who is imparting those messages to kids about their intelligence? Primarily teachers! Stick a kid with a teacher who thinks they are not that bright and can’t really improve, and they will pick up that message. If they are resiliently rebellious anti-authoritarians, they will think “Fuck those teachers! They don’t know me!,” but if they aren’t built to rebel, they will likely believe that as their truth and make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • You bet your ass healthcare needs to be PROTECTED and PRIVATE! Many individuals at the end of their rope are there BECAUSE OF the trauma they suffered at the hands of their family! And you would put these individuals who’ve managed to ESCAPE their toxic families right back under their thumb!

    I am truly sorry you suffered the loss of your son, and I have no idea the reasons he may have had for choosing to end his life, or the relationship he had with you, but he did not turn to you. And if he HAD trusted you enough to reveal his reasons, I guarantee that violating his trust by intervening upon him would have caused even more damage. Go read the June 6 article here called The Forced Psychiatric Treatment of a Child. Parents who are truly trustworthy give their child 1 safe place to land when the world is assaulting them beyond bearable, even if it’s only in memory. I, like so many other children, did not get that. Giving my family access into my healthcare would put me, and many many others, at significant risk of further damage.

  • Yes, Rachel I agree with you that we need to fight the narrowing of acceptable behavior. It’s not just sadness that gets people upset (I’ve experienced a flavor of what you’re talking about, just not church flavor)- try being eccentric. We need to fight for our right o be Sad, our right to be Weird, and frankly our right to be Pissed Off in the face of all the abuse and injustice/betrayal we’ve suffered at the hands of those oh-so compassionate souls who want to see us “helped.”

  • Would love to Julie! Writing is good for me, but I pretty much stopped when my job situation dried up and I had to come up with other means of supporting myself. I’m trying to love myself better by devoting more (any, depending) time to pursuits that feed my inner well. Your invite has provided motivation for me to spend some time and attention on myself in the form of writing. So thank you! on many levels. I need this.

  • Yes, Julie, your name allows you to blend in easily. I have an incredibly unique name (both first and last), so leaving a trail is something I always have to give a thought to. I do intend to write my story, and I hope that MIA would be willing to publish it without insisting I out myself to do so. I haven’t carved out the time to do so yet, but it is on my Want To list.

  • Ah, but here’s the difference, Gabi-

    I would not presume just by looking at you that I know anything about your “financial health”- I recognize there are lots of people with a lot of financial security who do not feel the need to advertise it via displays of wealth, and there are plenty of folks living quite flashy well beyond their means. So I’m not about to presume at a glance that you have a financial problem and need help. And even if there was a big hack/reveal tomorrow and I could peer into your accounts, see all your transactions and judge your choices, I would recognize that I’m intruding because your finances are personal and none of my freakin’ business to feel entitled to opine about.

  • Thanks for being willing to answer that, something so very personal. I wonder if the location, the fact it was your face (the thing most visible, the thing we are defined/recognized by) was a deliberate communication of feeling invisible or masked-over? Not laying on an explanation, just wondering. I was also age 7 when my body suddenly went from average to very fat. I know some women who feel that their fatness was a way of hiding inside their body, of protecting themselves from unwanted advances. That was never my truth, but I do know that I have always felt that if my fatness was an expression of anything, it would be about being more than I was allowed to be, about not being willing to be diminished in order to fit. Of course, it also expresses the fact that I am waaay more fond of ice cream than jogging! 🙂

  • Thanks, Emily.

    I wouldn’t say that I am “proud of” my arms, or any part of my body at all. I rarely made goals about my body. There was a period of time between graduating high school and getting married where I went to the gym every morning, and I’d have to say I was “proud of” my body then because I was actively making efforts to change it. I did nothing to earn my Anywhere Pillow Arms; they are a result of the set of activities I have chosen to pursue with my arms: baking, sewing, writing, art. If I had had the opportunity to spend more time/resources on other activities I enjoy, such as rowing in a canoe, I would have a different set of arms.
    What I did have to put a lot of work into was my attitude about my arms, about my well-curved body. I was heaped with all the fat hatred messages growing up, but I was also blessed with a rebellious nature that made me more resilient against others’ attempts to define or devalue me. Regardless, it gets in. What woman can say she has a very easy time of it if she tries to stand naked facing her body head-on in a well-lit room facing a full-length mirror? I have an art project in the works– it’s a mirror off an old-fashioned vanity, set into a frame that’s lined with niche shelves. On top I’m going to paint the phrase Face It. Embrace It. which is what I have done with very conscious effort since I was a teenager. So I am definitely proud of the fact that I can appreciate my arms for all they do for me, proud of the fact that I do not regard my body with shame or disgust or whatever else society might.

    I read your piece, and am glad you were able to own it rather than BS or deflect. I’ve known several people who cut themselves for emotional release, and most (not all) of them picked spots that were generally covered by their clothing, so as to avoid being questioned or confronted about the marks. So it made me curious why you chose a part of your body that would most obviously draw attention. Seems like an invitation for comments/questions. Was that a conscious choice?

  • So Julie, why did you answer the questions that did not pertain to your eyes? Personally, I refuse to answer screening-type questions. Or I at least challenge their reason for asking: “and that’s pertinent to my presenting issue how?” before I decide whether they get info or an education.

    I agree wholeheartedly that health care should be a choice, not pushed on a person. Have you tried responding to their pushy “requests” with the simple statement “I choose not to,” or does that get a bad response? I feel very free to tell them “that’s none of your business,” or in the case of preventive crap (flu shots, mammograms) “No means No.”

    Also, unless a change in weight is one of my presenting symptoms, or they need to carefully titrate the dose of a drug I’ve agreed to, I do not step on the scale for them. I realize that if I had an ED label, I’d get hassled about this refusal, but fortunately that label was never attempted on me.

  • Here is the thing I have learned about the power of shame: it lies in collusion. What I mean by that is that if you observe my body with disgust– no, let’s get specific– if you see the large flabby skin that hangs from my upper arm and say something that expresses revulsion, and I agree with you, then I feel ashamed and I carry the weight of that shame. I have colluded in your shaming of me. But if you see my arm and say something vile and I am firm in knowing that you are a troll who oughta be ashamed of their behavior, if I hold firm in radical self-acceptance and kiss my arm flab and thank it for being my Anywhere Pillow when I wanna rest my weary head, then YOU get to be the one to carry the shame because I have refused to collude with you and bully myself.

    One more example of choosing which headspace to occupy and therefore which world to create.

  • What bothers me here is this either/or assumption about “voices”: that they are either “psychosis” (auditory hallucinations) or they are “parts” of a singular fractured personality. Both assume they are generated within the self. But what about the possibility that they might be hearing voices that actually are outside the self? Never raised is the possibility of other explanations: that they may be the voices of ancestors, of spirit guides or guardian angels (depending on your paradigm), of past-life selves, or voices of non-corporeal spirits/dead people.

    Please remember that we are spiritual beings, and leave room for that, Ron.

  • Some parents get threatened by the school admin that if they don’t drug their kid they will turn them in to CPS for medical neglect. Of course, rich parents who were capable of filing a lawsuit were not intimidated in this way, but your average Joe? I’ve seen it. It’s sickening.

  • “Happiness is like a great secret that you wish more people would keep to themselves.”

    OMG Frank, that made me cackle! When I was in my twenties, I was one of those people who was a Very Perky Morning Person. I was in-between apartments, staying with friends for about 3 weeks, and this was Tammy’s response when I offered her a fresh–baked muffin:
    “Honey, you know I love you, but before I’ve had my coffee you make me wanna drive a spike through your head, okay?”

    Thank you for the laugh!

  • Thank you for putting it so keenly into words, oldhead.

    “…the idea that people need some kind of “program” to understand and accept (often in abstract, clinical sounding terminology) their persistent inclination to react in human ways to living under a constant state of oppression. I think if people were more keenly (and confidently) aware that their very humanity is indeed under attack every day they would not need to “search for an answer” to their misery…”,

  • I was never “critical” (though I have many specific criticisms, of course) or “rethinking.” But I didn’t know I was anti-psychiatry until I knew there was such a thing. I got an MSW rather than doing a PsyD because social work (as I was taught it) is based upon Systems Theory. When there is a problem, the whole system must be explored to see where the intersection/interactions between the presenting individual(s) and the systems they are embedded in are going wrong. Whereas psychology might acknowledge those problems, the central question is still “what is wrong with this person?” rather than “what is wrong with this situation?”
    And psychiatrists? Deceivers, power-hungry pill-pushers on authority trips. I’ve seen a few (so very few that only Sandra Steingard- I think is her name- comes to mind at the moment) write here that are clearly woke and trying to change things from the inside, which I think is a positive thing. But they are the minority in the extreme, and I don’t know how they continue in the profession in good conscience. I imagine they struggle quite a bit. Incidentally, I did not use my degree in a “mental health” capacity. I did case management for families with kids/young adults who had developmental delays- helped them advocate for their kids’ educational needs at the IEP meetings, laid out the case for funding of specialized daycare and respite care, and when necessary worked with CPS to find emergency placement. And I was only in my job a few years before having a crisis that put me out on disability for over a year. No job for me when I was ready to come back! I have not been back in the profession since, and doubt I ever will, though I do miss the advocacy and I miss being the person that these parents could vent/cry to when things got dark. I miss being of service in those ways.

  • McB18,

    I do think you bring a useful analysis to this discussion. It has always appalled me that children are viewed as essentially property, and that children have no rights as a class. They are at the mercy of either their parents/family, or of “the system” if the state steps in.

    I believe though, that if the sources of societal oppression were addressed, there would be more equitable distribution of resources, which can ease stresses on parents and families, and they can do a better job. I agree with you about de-institutionalizing everyday life- taking back birthing/medicine, education, and care of both children and elders. I’d add producing one’s own food and power to that list, too. I’d love to live in a world of self-sufficient, inter-dependent communities. And btw, I’m one of those dyed-in-the-wool “Lefties”- a real tree-hugging hippie; and here I am agreeing with you.

  • I’m pointing out the erroneous assumptions you’ve made, Gabi: that pregnancy is always a result of a sex act that was the woman’s choice, and that if she’s smart enough to understand how babies are made and smart enough to use birth control, there would be no unwanted pregnancy to contend with!
    I think it’s mercy to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, since you asked. As a child who was abandoned by both my parents, I firmly believe it would have been better for me not to have been born. As a mother, I felt “the quickening” and that’s when the pregnancy became the baby. Both babies. What I miscarried (twice actually) at 11 weeks’ gestation was indeed just a bloody glob. And when I got pregnant a few years later and knew I could not handle another pregnancy (not to mention baby!) at that point in my life, I had an abortion. It was right at the end of the first trimester, by the time I had enough money saved up, and would surely have been viable. I do not regret that decision; it was what I needed to do for me and my 2 kids. So I’m very clear on what’s a life.

  • as to your first paragraph:
    Yes! That is just like telling someone that their head hurts BECAUSE they have a Headache!

    as to your second paragraph:
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! And an addition to the list: even if the partner is not abusive, pregnancy did not allow for sex after about 6 months’- I was too big to breathe! And lying down flat (no matter the position) was impossible from the heartburn that caused. Between that and postpartum recovery (I suffered a 4th degree tear with my first child), it was about 6 months of no sex. Not having that release available also took its toll- on the marriage, and on me as a person.
    And then there’s Birth Trauma- the things women are subjected to while in labor/birthing is horrific. And having that possibility looming ahead sure makes subsequent pregnancies fun! I was not willing to be traumatized again, and had my second child at home with a wonderful midwife, but not all women can do that.

  • I have witnessed a form of that phenomenon, too, McB18.

    I watched this same lack of empathy, of comprehension even, play out in my MSW program. For two years, we went through this program as a cohort, taking classes together all weekend every 3-4 weeks. One of the students was going through an awful divorce. She did not really share many of the details, but you could see clearly the toll it was taking on her. The husband was a wealthy professional, and she was completing her degree as one of the building blocks she would need to build a life for herself and her kids. When she did open up, it was usually in response to one of the other students in the class making some asinine statement about wealthy people not being in need of social supports. There were a couple of folks in the class (both of them die-hard Republicans, btw) who just could not even fathom that money can’t buy you peace, or emotional safety. In their minds, her account balance canceled out any possibility of her having an emotional crisis.

    It definitely IS a thing, but it is not just a “left” thing.

  • this is in response to Gabi’s request: “If someone has another emergency first-aid way of getting someone “down” from a mad spell that threatens to turn very violent, I’d like to hear it .”

    How about being on their side? Not pacifyingly, but agreeing with them, radically being with them. Instead of countering their fear, terror, paranoia with rationality and trying to bring them around to agree with the consensual reality, flip the script. Try being in their reality with them, as an ally. You cannot be an ally while insisting they are wrong and you are right. Doing that only paints them into a corner and makes you another thing they need to protect themselves from, so don’t allow the consensual reality to dictate your interactions.

    Rev. Dr. Steven Epperson gave a lovely example of this in one of his blogs here on MIA, a story about a woman who spent all her time under her bed acting as if she were a fish. What made her finally talk to someone about why was that the man had joined her in being a fish: he laid down under the other bed, assumed the same position, looked at her and said “glub” probably through puckered fish-lips. He did this patiently until she trusted him enough that he was an ally fish, and finally trusted him and herself enough to be willing to be human again.
    Now, granted, there was nothing threatening in her demeanor as a fish. But the technique would be the same in terms of gaining trust. Can’t be done if you are frightened, feel threatened, or are pacifying them long enough for them to drop their guard so you can proceed with your agenda. You’d have to be open and curious and caring, willing to step into their reality and be on their side. Being an ally can often de-escalate a situation that otherwise would escalate to somebody getting assaulted (and yes, needle rape is definitely an assault!).

    One of my favorite shows is Grey’s Anatomy, and I can think of several examples on that show in interactions between the doctors and patients with Alzheimer’s. When Dr. Ellis Grey was admitted to the hospital, they needed to do a basic exam, check vitals, etc. but she thought it was decades earlier and that she was running late to perform a surgery. When Dr. Karev went with that narrative instead of insisting she agree to the consensual reality, and told her it was a new hospital policy, she rolled her eyes and allowed it. That’s just one.

    I would think that people who have experienced the “yes, and” of improv theatre would be good at this.

  • Wow, what a powerful statement:

    People unable to take responsibility for their deaths are also unable to take responsibility for their survival.

    I felt this truth in my gut, literally, when I fired my obstetrician at 30 weeks and decided to have a homebirth with a midwife instead. I Trusted her, this midwife. I was unwilling to cede the responsibility for the well-being of my child and my Self to this man my gut told me was a Danger, “specialist” or not. Thank you, Sylvain, for words that perfectly express what I felt in that decision. The assumption of risk belonged to Me and nobody else. I had no regrets in the least doing what I knew from the heart of my intuition was right, and my baby (over 9 lbs) was born at home, perfect APGARs, and I did not tear or require even 1 stitch. Neither of us would have had a sunny outcome had I not followed my gut and just caved to the threats and fear-mongering he tried to pull on me. But I trusted Myself, put my life and the life of my baby in my Own hands instead of trusting him more. He was flabbergasted at being fired!

  • Back in the early ’90s, I noticed a strong correlation between the darkening of the days and the darkening of my mood. I used to journal almost daily, so it was right there in the pages, a big difference between the me that wrote in spring/summer and the me that wrote in the fall/winter was easy to discern. So I located a guy who made high-intensity full-spectrum light boxes (not easy before the internet) and bought one. Mine was 10,000 lux and I used it first thing in the mornings, for about a half-hour. The theory went like this: our circadian rhythms are primarily cued by the light we see. For some people, during the darker months when mornings are not as early or as bright, the light cue they take in visually is not strong enough to signal the brain to slack off on its melatonin production. So you boost the strength of morning light by adding the light box. Later, they came out with a “dawn simulator” version that you’d set like an alarm clock to brighten your bedroom gradually each morning. I never tried that- the light box I bought worked wonders.

    Yes, it is another neurotransmitter imbalance theory. But considering that the biggest risk to the “treatment” was a little bit of UV exposure (less than I experienced in the summer sun) it was easy to test this theory on myself. I slept better. I had more energy in the day. I felt more human and less like a grumpy hibernating bear. So yes, my system improves dramatically with the introduction of a strong light cue to help my body regulate its melatonin production. To me, that’s no different than drinking extra water when I’m constipated: I’m just giving my body a bit more of an essential it needs to perform basic functions better.

  • Wow, Stephen, what a beautiful affirmation of my experience! Thank you very much! I always love reading your comments and replies. I wish there was a way to have MIA as a physical place, a coffee house maybe, that we could Tron (movie reference) our way into through the computers, so we could sit and have deep discussions together. Folks lonely or in pain could find soft eyes, warm hugs, hot cocoa. Really support each other, you know?

    I have a friend who had done some chaplain work in prisons. I was contemplating that- what it would be like to hold sacred space and be able to connect with a person who had committed heinous crimes, how would I get past judgement, how could I possibly open my heart? And I realized that the answer was simple: they are no less a manifestation of All-That-Is than I am; there is no separation. I find comfort in the notion that we choose to embark on each human journey we take as spiritual beings, that we have informed consent, if you will, about the circumstances of our birth. I am not a victim of my life, though I have been victimized/traumatized by others. I know profoundly that some of the most awful experiences can produce growth and change that would not come about otherwise. Like my friend’s mom who is grateful for all that she discovered about herself on the healing journey she found herself on after being raped. The rape experience made her look deep within, it challenged her faith- in God, in herself, in humanity at large. She found places within herself that she had never had reason to access before: founts of strength, determination, courage to fully inhabit her own life. Her rapist had facilitated that growth experience, and in acknowledging that, she forgave him. Kinda like without Pilate’s role, there would be no resurrection story.

  • Hi Au,

    Let me start off by saying I love it when they post stuff you’ve written. I like what you have to say (content) but also appreciate the way you express yourself.

    I have no experience or knowledge of Open Dialog, but I used to be a social worker on IEP teams- I was the bane of districts that railroaded families the way you describe. I was the type of advocate who would set the tone of the meeting right there as I introduced myself to the rest of the “team,” and remind them that the student and parents would be the ones driving the meeting, which put them front-and-center. Special educators loved me- they knew they could call me ahead of the meeting and let me know the real situation, not the district’s CYA version of things we would hear at the meeting, because in my role I could be effective at fighting for what the student needed without risking my job like they would be if they stuck their neck out. I really miss doing that job- I hated that the systems made it so difficult for families who were already facing so many difficulties/challenges. It was my honor and privilege to be on their side of the table, to be the one they knew they could call if they needed help.

  • Hi Betsycam, I used pot for Effexor withdrawal. My worst symptom was the extreme vertigo- for two weeks I could barely walk, could not read at all or watch tv, nothing that required me to track visually. It did not take away the vertigo, but staying really high during that time gave it a context that made it bearable existentially, if that makes any sense. I’d recommend a good sativa-dominant hybrid strain that’s potent in thc and mix it with one that’s high in cbd. If you know your tolerance for edibles, I found it helpful to have an edible on board especially through the night, BUT I would caution against experimenting with edibles during withdrawal if you aren’t used to ingesting cannabis, because edibles can be a completely different experience than you have smoking cannabis and many first-timers ingest too much because they underestimate the time it takes to feel the effects (can take up to an hour, depending). Ingesting too much can be an unpleasant experience, and defeat the purpose.

    Hope that info is helpful for you, and best of luck withdrawing!

  • and they call us “crazy!”

    Reminds me of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy where a death row prisoner scheduled for execution in 4 days is brought in because he was stabbed. He has a brain bleed and they do surgery, but his intercranial pressure keeps rising and they want to go back in, but he refuses. He wants them to let him die and donate his organs to the boy in the PICU dying of liver failure (he’s a perfect match). They insist on intervening as soon as he loses consciousness.

  • Puppies are “cute.” Kittens are “cute.” Rainbows and unicorns are “cute.” Existential matters? Not so much.
    And I agree that you should consider stepping away from the keyboard until you are no longer tired and livid. The “troll” did not personally attack you as you did him. I hope the site moderators are reading all this. Him saying “It sounds like you have a lot to live for…” is not a personal attack. You calling him “a vile and disgusting human being,” however, certainly is.