Monday, September 24, 2018

Comments by LavenderSage

Showing 100 of 325 comments. Show all.

  • I’m glad your brother made it through the ordeal alive.

    Vanessa Marquez didn’t. Go read up on it- the call was placed not by a doctor, not by a therapist, but by her Landlord. According to the news stories, the landlord expressed concern that she was having seizures.

    The cops don’t verify the veracity of the account the caller gives them before they leap into action (ever heard of “SWATting?”) and once they are told by a caller that the subject of the call is “mentally ill” there is absolutely nothing that person can say or do to change their course of action: come hell or high water (or tazer or bullets) the subject of the “wellness check” is going to be dragged off to a hospital.

    And what if the report is bogus? a prank? an act of retaliation? What if the caller is a vindictive ex and not the concerned neighbor, friend or landlord they profess to be? Having committed no crime, the subject will be (legally!) assaulted and kidnapped, humiliated and likely assaulted some more, with no way at all to challenge this violation or prevent being traumatized.

    I cannot join you in singing the praises of the “wellness check.”

  • You are so missing the point.

    Go read any survivor’s account of rights violations. Seriously, there are So Many- take your pick.
    Now, think about all the other people who witnessed that “patient’s” rights being violated. How many are thinking “holy shit! I better keep my mouth shut and not even dare to mention that I have rights, or else they will do to me what they just did to him/her!”

    Can you honestly try to assert that it was only that one “patient” the staff retaliated against whose rights were abridged? Really? The fact that they get away with it is, in and of itself, a threat to everyone at their mercy- everyone who witnessed it firsthand or heard about it afterwards, and you know it.

  • Ok, knowledgeispower, let’s recap:

    You pulled out a quote from the beginning of Fred’s comment, and began your response to that part of his comment, not the part you now claim to be responding to as if he had called you out by name to address that part. He had not.

    Fred calls you out by name at the end of his comment, where he makes a request of you, and others:
    ” respectfully I ask if you would please read carefully the comments posted by survivors and take some time to consider and post a response to each of them.”

    So you address (defensively) something he didn’t ask you to, and claim he did, but you remain silent on what Fred actually asked you to respond to (the end part) except to assert that that was the part you were responding to, when clearly you were not.

    I point this out to you, and you reply by getting all huffy and defensive about your right to respond to Fred’s comment (something which, btw, I did not challenge) rather than doing any self-reflection.

    And you’re a therapist.
    ————————————

    Does anyone else recognize the gaslighting behavior in this exchange? Or is it just me??

  • ah, yes, I see he adressed you further down in the comment… where he asked you and others to read, consider, and respond to the posts that I, and the other survivors he named, had written.

    how you respond (or not), and what you choose to zone in on (or ignore), speaks volumes.

  • Steve McCrea, you have my permission to facilitate an email exchange between me and Stephen too! He is one of my favorite people here and I’d be happy to hear from him too (jumping on oldhead’s bandwagon here!)

    Stephen- please do ask Steve for my email if you are at all inclined to contact me. I feel a heart connection with you through some of the comments exchanges we have shared, and would love to connect with you further 🙂

  • knowledgeispower,

    You are responding here to fred77”s comment that began with:
    I’d like to draw attention to the posts above of lavendersage, Alex, Richard D. Lewis, oldhead, and BigPictureAwareness because I think they are really getting to the heart of this issue.

    and you start off replying with “since you named me…:”

    But, he didn’t name you. He named me, Alex, Richard, oldhead, and BPA and pointed to us because we are survivors with an important message to be heard and considered.

    Your next sentence quotes fred77:
    “Anyone who finds they are standing back and watching an amazing transformation take place for a client and thinking “wow, I did that, I love my job!”, I’m sorry to say is completely off the mark, and is needing to do a lot more inner work. If a client transforms, its because they transformed themselves.”
    and then you proceed to respond to/defend yourself about this.

    So if that shoe doesn’t fit you, why put your foot in it?

  • Thank you for posting this, Fred. I don’t know where you might have it posted before, but I hadn’t seen it. And I think it’s very important for people to read this. Especially certain recent posters, who will probably feel defensive when they read this sentence…

  • You’re welcome, Morgan! It’s a shame he is not with us anymore for you to have discussions with him. I’d love it if, after reading his body of work (the articles here, and the blog entries they link to, but I kept reading other of his blog entries as well because I found them … chewy 😀 as in a hardy baguette type of food-for-thought) you’d come back here and state what you thought. I’d be interested to hear what this sparks for you.
    (this is coming from a place of deep intuition- that there is something in his blog that you Need to Encounter at this point in your journey. There’s your Free psychic reading by LavenderSage )

  • Hi there,
    Gotta start by saying I have not watched the video. That being said, there was a blog called 1boringoldman by Dr. Mickey Nardo (rest his soul) who did an EXCELLENT job of picking apart the methodological and statistical flaws and fallacies and deceptions in the published research. If you were presenting the new research in the way he did, exposing it, and interview folks you’ve so educated, that would be a service.
    So please go read up on him- there’s articles here on MIA, which link to specifics, but really immerse yourself in his work. Please. Presenting “research” can be done in a way that helps empower people, as Dr. Nardo did, so if that is your intention, good! Go study his example.

  • thank you, oldhead, and thank you, JanCarol. That one’s been brewing sround in me for awhile now. Sometimes it takes me a bit letting my feelings percolate through my thoughts before I put words to it, but then I respond pretty clearly.

    One more “voluntary” scenario I forgot to add: the one where the school staff basically threaten parents with a medical neglect report to CPS if they don’t go along with having their “disruptive” child assessed.

    (and, as Steve has pointed out before, nobody ever assesses the educational environment that kid is trapped in and reacting to…)

  • omg, I ad not scrolled down that far.
    Haven’t watched the video, so I can’t comment on its content… will reserve judgement until I can stomach watching it, but with the very first screenshot saying “Lancet Psychiatry” it really puts me off. We’ll go from there.

  • I gotta challenge this notion of “voluntary” that keeps getting tossed around. When basic needs like one’s housing, or income, or medical benefits (some folks have physical conditions that require this) are contingent upon accepting “treatment,” as they too often are, just how voluntary can that really be? Refuse “services” and lose your place to live, or your check, or your access to your medical doctor.

    There is nothing “voluntary” about it when the consequences of refusal are that dire.

  • Steve: “Expecting the same approach to work for everyone with the same emotional challenges is the first place the psychiatric system went off the rails.”

    Gotta disagree with you there Steve. Expecting that they would know what approach would work for ANY person with “emotional challenges” without even hearing that individual’s own take on their experience, thinking they are the “expert” of anyone else’s meaning-making, is the most fundamental leap off the rails, imho.

  • “Asked if he had ever considered suicide…”

    This pisses me off so much! That is so inappropriate, asking if someone has ever considered suicide. That has no bearing whatsoever on their current state, which is what they were supposed to be assessing.

    Asking this is no different than asking if someone has ever peed their pants, and declaring them incontinent!!

    Most people, at some point in their lives, have peed their pants– maybe you got tickled (literally or figuratively) as a youngster and laughed so hard you peed; maybe in college you got so drunk once you passed out and peed yourself; maybe in your 30s you had a really exhausting week and finally catch a good deep sleep only to have that too-realistic going to the bathroom dream (you know the one). But nobody jumps to the conclusion you need to be put in adult diapers right away, do they? Of course not! That’s preposterous!

    AND… Most people, at some point in their lives, have a thought of suicide. Doesn’t mean they’re suicidal weeks or months or years later when some dolt asks such a ludicrously worded question!

    So, feel free to borrow this response if anyone asks you if you’ve “ever…” and answer their question with mine. “Have you ever peed your pants? And does that fact make you at risk of incontinence right now?” Use it as a teachable moment.

  • Hi Vortex,
    I know of some hydroponic farmers that either put strong fans in the growing space or move the small plants outdoors (as weather permits) because without this stress the main stalk never grows strong enough and as the plant matures it cannot hold itself aright under the weight of its own buds (let alone fruit!). Unless you tie the plant to a stake, it will break,

    I think the same thing is true of all things in nature. Children are born with natural curiosity and will explore their environment as much as possible. They are naturally scientists- testing out: what happens to this thing if I do this action? This is the beginning of confidence in one’s abilities; it is the seed of autonomy, watered by periodic failures and nourished in the light of successes.

    But in this nanny-state that modern culture has become, babies don’t even get to crawl anymore! Children are constantly supervised, all their options are provided for them– no room to explore and discover, or invent their own way. They hit school and are actively discouraged from coming up with their own ideas– the tests consist of guessing well. Their thinking is confined to the bubbles- no more are they asked to explain why/how, or to compare/contrast two things. Parents who dare to let their children have a smattering of independence, of responsibility, find that some busybody has called the cops and/or social workers and they are scrutinized for months (or even years) as neglectful!

  • Megan, I hope that you do deliver this letter personally to this “marriage counselor” and I hope that they have integrity enough to bring it into their professional supervision sessions. I think you should (strongly) suggest it. I also think you should send a copy to the licensing board that issued him/her their certification to do this work. You have a claim for malpractice here, you know, if you wanted to pursue it. Perhaps you should point that out as well.

  • oh but they ARE equipped with tasers and guns, by way of the police, who are required to go do those “wellness checks” whenever a “mental health” pro tells them to. The jobs go hand-in-hand. As soon as they pick up the phone to make that call, they are accessing those guns and tasers, and they don’t even have to get their hands (or consciences… not that there’s evidence they possess a conscience) dirty.

  • Want to understand why a particular person isn’t more physically active? Well, here’s a novel approach: ask them open-ended questions, like 1) whether they’d want to be more physically active, 2) what physical activities they already enjoy doing, and whether there are new ones they’d like to try, 3) have they cut back on (or stopped doing) physical activities they used to do more of, and why/how did that happen. Then actually listen to them when they tell you.
    For a lot of people, “exercise” is a turn-off: Folks who were bullied in gym class or on sports teams. Folks who were always made to feel at odds with their own body because it is “too fat.” Folks who fear injuring themselves and compromising what mobility they still have left. But there are usually some physical activities that people do enjoy, and others they might/would enjoy if they had whatever support they need to pursue them. To swim, you need access to a pool and appropriate swimwear. Given that, you can do it independently, but other activities require someone to be your “spotter,” (think lifting weights or climbing rocks).
    Maybe if they were less concerned with getting people to “adhere to” or “comply with” imposed directions, they could begin to listen. Tell me I’m going to jog, or tell me I’m signed up to play soccer and I will tell you to go fuck yourself. But put on some disco or ’80s pop without trying to impose an agenda on me, and just watch my body dance! Because it wants to move like that, and I enjoy the way it feels, even if it leaves me sweaty, breathless and spent.

  • one more example of how organized religion, like psychiatry, is a tool of social control. If your feelings are “too” intense, uncomfortable, truthful, etc. for the status quo, religion tells you it’s “sinful,” or “of the devil,” or “a spirit of anger;” whereas psychiatry will tell you it is “chemical imbalance,” or more generically “something wrong in your brain.” All tools of oppression to keep you in line and keep the emperor’s tailors well-fed.
    I wonder what they would say to the Jesus who threw a fit and upended the pharisees’ tables at the temple? Social justice warriors get labeled and crucified, then and now.

  • Please don’t take offense, Alex, but I don’t think you and I are assigning the name “rage” to the same experience. From the way you describe your experience of “rage”, it does not resemble mine at all.

    In my experience, rage must be “bled off,” so to speak, in order for the intensity of the energy to be dissipated enough to be approachable. Like I said, once the rage is cooled to merely anger, the energy is then accessible to be worked with productively. I’m not random with my rage, it’s too powerful to project it willy-nilly! Once released, the energy returns to its source, of that I have no doubt. Chickens, as they say, do indeed come home to roost.

    And, I find destruction quite useful, actually. I rip old clothing to shreds, for instance, in order to create the strips of fabric I can then weave into rugs. Destruction is an act of transformation!

  • Oh, binra,
    Folks going blank, avoiding, yes. And those that use “sympathy” to extract from you, get you to take care of their needs when you most need to be able to turn within and just Be. I so get that!
    Something I don’t often revisit: When I was a teenager, my little sister (pre-school age) was murdered. I had moved out a few months before and was living with relatives several states away when the arson happened. I would have been sharing a room with her had I still been living with my mother, so my feelings of grief were very much compounded by survivor guilt, as I’m sure you can well imagine.
    The day after, I decided to go to school, because I needed to be surrounded by my friends– they were my support system. Before lunchtime even hit, I get called to the office. There was a call from my mother, begging me to fly out with my aunt and grandma to be with her at the funeral. I was so torn! I knew what I needed for me, and it was to NOT go, to NOT take part in the whole funeral thing, to NOT meet anyone’s expectations around how to deal with her death. But she sobbed, and she begged, and I relented.
    The funeral was in the desert, on a gorgeous clear sky-blue day. I was wearing a deep purple dress and heeled shoes. The little casket sat in front of what seemed like a hundred rows of folding chairs, all of them occupied except for 2 in the front row- one mine, one my mother’s- my brother sitting in his seat trying to be the “man of the family” at 12 years old. And all the mourners, many I recognized and so many I didn’t. My sister was a little ray of sunshine that touched everyone she met, had a smile and wit that could melt the most stubborn, cantankerous heart. It was a small town, and it felt like half of them were there.
    I turned away, back through the parking lot, walking slowly out towards the desert, the vast sky and joshua trees, the stillness I needed to be engulfed in. But one of my mother’s friends caught up to me, asking those “concern” questions, pointing back to the canopy and my mother as her knees buckled under the weight of her grief and she collapsed onto the astro-turfed “floor” into a wailing, keening puddle. And though a part of me continued on into the desert, my body turned and I went to her. Someone had poured her into her chair, and I spent the service kneeling in front of her. literally holding her together through it. I did not resent that sacrifice, did not resent my mother for needing me, though it was waaay too much on me. But I resented the hell out of those mourners who foisted themselves on me afterwards, in lieu of my mother, who was in no shape to receive their “sympathies.”

  • Wow, binra. That is profound.

    First, let me say I’m so sorry your daughter hung herself. As a parent, my heart goes out to you.

    I usually find myself reading only part of what you post because I get lost in the verbal imagery you use, or the way you use language. Not sure, exactly, I just find it hard to follow and give up. This one I persevered through, and am so glad I did. Those last two paragraphs are chock-full of very deep, and liberating, truth. Thank You!

  • Thanks Steve! I used to keep a stack of throwing saucers on top of the fridge when my kids were toddlers. The house we lived in had a backyard full of spearmint (mint is very aggressive and will take over a whole yard if you let it, and I let it!) and the alley behind our house was my “hurling range.” Used to keep a broom propped against the back fence to sweep up the bits of shattered rage. Satisfaction smells like mint! I’ve been living urban for many years now, and have no safe “hurling range” nearby anymore. Pity.

    I know the CRASH sound, enjoyed it, ceramic is more dull/deep than bottles. But it was the feeling of power being transferred, flowing out of my hand into the rage object as I hurled it into the asphalt, and the rage energy shattering as the saucer exploded into bits on the asphalt that was so satisfying, not so much the sound per se.

    I have a special love of shattered glass, though. Have bins and buckets of it in my art space. I choose a larger piece to be the base, grind the edges smooth, and arrange and layer smaller chunks and slivers, along with bits of found objects — like shiny foil candy wrappers, or a strip of holiday tinsel, or a twisted piece of wire– on top of the base. I seal it with epoxy, and voila! I wish I could post a picture here so you could see, because my description does not do it justice.

    The sound of the shattered glass tinkling as I sift through a bin, or the soft roaring sound it makes if I tip/twist a bucket of glass shards to watch the cascading bits and wait til just the right one catches my eye, is the sound of creativity. It’s the doorbell signaling that the Muse has arrived! Well worth the blood sacrifice – I almost always get a small finger cut, it’s the price of playing in broken glass!

  • For me, rage is, by definition, blindingly intense, meaning I cannot access words and cogent arguments. Rage is the primal stuff of cavemen. Once the burning-hot rage has cooled to merely anger, I can use my words to release anger. But rage? Vocalizing that would only ever come out as SCREAMING and be quite counterproductive to actually communicating anything that could be received. I cannot release something as white-hot as rage via something as civilized as language.

  • Problem is, so few people read (or understand) the appendices. I’d hazard a guess that most folks only ever read the Abstract and Conclusions sections, and take that as truth. But so often, the statements made in these sections actively contradict the actual data! We really lost a gem when Mickey Nardo died. He was so very good at scouring the research for this crap and bringing the contradictions/lies to light.

  • I’d like to suggest that there are other things you could do with the rage than either a) contain it, or b) beat up an innocent person. Chopping wood comes to mind. Or an intense workout with weights (think bench press). Or scrubbing the bathtub, which is my go-to if I give a shit about being productive. Or hurling garage-sale saucers onto the asphalt, if I don’t give a shit about productive and just wanna make something “explode.” (If you do hurl saucers,though, mind the flying ceramic chips and protect your eyes.)

    Rage is such intense energy that it takes something really physical to release it from the body. Personally, I have found that suppressing my rage is VERY detrimental to my being, on all dimensions (physical, emotional, spiritual) so I only ever contain it just long enough to get myself to a space where I am safe to release it.

  • Instead of the dump, make the pieces available for psych survivor artists to transform into some thought-provoking pieces. There was an article on here some time ago by a lady (named Dorothy, I think?) who took her psych file and cut out phrases, made a collage with photos. Transforming articles of oppression into creative artwork is quite cathartic and liberating, and can have a ripple effect on others as well, get them to look at things from a new perspective and challenge what they thought they knew.

  • Wow, Eric. I don’t usually find myself connecting to the things you write, but this was quite beautiful! Thank you. Ann’s art piece reminds me of those little fridge magnets that you can arrange into poetry. However it departed from you, I hope it has found a home with someone to appreciate it.

  • The gaslighting-est thing in the book was the letters between Freud and that doctor who had treated a woman’s sinus infection surgically and left a sponge in there, but even knowing that fact did not stop the two of them coming up with all kinds of crap about her mental state to explain away her problems!

    And there was something about a toddler with a doll. I don’t remember the details, as it’s been a couple decades since I read the book, but it was so unsettling/horrifying I had a hard time getting the image out of my head.

    If there was a list of anti-psychiatry must-reads, this book should be at the top of it!

  • I only got about halfway through the article, myself. It seemed very unfocused to me, as well as the general sense of ‘ick’ that I felt while reading it. I liked Rachel’s response to the quote you pulled from the article, about the YA novel she read that told of a world where they branded the children who were born essentially enslaved, and the usefulness of the branding to those in power.

  • CatNight, have you read The Assault on Truth: Freud’s Suppression of the Seduction Theory by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson? He had access to Freud’s private correspondences, and was appalled. This book was so illuminating! I highly recommend it. Goes into great detail about Freud’s abandoning of his initial theories/discoveries, and of his patients.

  • Effexor definitely shifted my emotional range- anger comes on much more quickly than before, and I no longer feel love the same way I used to. I have the memory of how very much I loved my wife before, I can remember how the love I felt for her would bring me to tears of gratitude at the sight of her smile. I know that I love those that I love, but cannot seem to connect to the love as deeply, as fully, as intensely, as I was able to before that damned drug! I’ve been free of it well over a dozen years, only took it for less than a year, but that’s all it took to do this damage. I don’t think our marriage will ever fully recover.

  • Alright, I have been afk for weeks due to having an old computer whose components don’t always cooperate, but I’ve been reading.

    Ever heard that phrase “Last, but not least…?” It exists for a reason: everyone knows that lists are made in order of priority. That is not “in Frank’s head,” that is the English language!

    Did you even take a moment, Mickey, to consider the validity of Frank’s point before you decided it was all in his head? Did you stop to consider that the way you enumerated these groups is an expression of your own values and prejudices, however unconscious? Because both the enumeration order, and (most importantly) the way you responded to Frank pointing this out to you, speaks volumes about whose voices, opinions, and viewpoints you value, and whose you don’t.

  • Don’t you just love the language they use?

    Results of the study indicate that over three-quarters of zolpidem users are not following FDA recommendations to reduce risks of side effects and drug dependency.”

    Those irresponsible users! Don’t they know they’re supposed to follow FDA guidelines, even if the prescriber doesn’t?

  • Thanks Auntie, I was wondering where oldhead was, and was hoping it was just a glitch, but pre-emptive moderation? Wow. I know oldhead rubs some folks the wrong way (hey, so do I, I’m sure) but I have never seem him post anything that would merit this recourse. I trust oldhead to not compromise his integrity. I will wait and see how this plays out to know whether I can say the same of MIA. Wow.

  • Trusting untrustworthy people is dangerous, especially if they hold real-world power over you. Doctors have been given such (illegitimate) authority by the legal system. I think your client deserves to know that this doctor holds this (pejorative) opinion of them, so that they do not entrust this person with any disclosures that could be used against them.

    “Informed consent” should include that Miranda clause “Anything you say can, and will, be used against you,” especially by doctors who cling to that “lack of insight” crap. They are already subordinating their clients’ realities.

  • Sounds like you are not planning on sharing that tidbit with the client. Color me: Disappointed, but not Surprised.
    And I concur with you that that attitude is quite prevalent in the MH world.
    Do you show your clients their charts? Do they get to read the (official, btw) statements that have been made about them? My own therapist (Goddess, I miss her!) had no qualms whatsoever about handing over my chart whenever I asked to see it. That was one of the ways she earned my trust.

    I mean, why should a client trust a “pro” who won’t trust them, or balks at this very personal example (seeing one’s chart) of Nothing About Us Without Us?

  • The author makes an erroneous assumption that fear of death is universal. It isn’t. Sure, the physical act of dying can be downright unpleasant depending on the circumstances, but death as an existential fear? A lot of people have a different relationship with death than that, especially those who experience it as a natural part of the cycle of things: Life–> Death –> Rebirth. Nothing scary about compost 🙂

  • I hope you plan on sharing that email letter with your mutual client, so they will know just how trustworthy that doctor is! Are you planning to inform this client of their right to change doctors, and support their choice?

    Doing so would demonstrate trust in your client, and would demonstrate your commitment to the paradigm shift that places client autonomy and self-determination as core values of your work rather than doing what’s expected and acquiescing to the institutional culture that prizes professionals’ “insight” over the individual’s own truth.

  • Yes, and Amerika has learned from the Cold War- don’t wait until dissidents are actively opposing totalitarian control, with adult ideas and intellect and a coherent message that could draw in and mobilize potential allies. Nope, catch those deviants when they’re young, still brewing their ideas, brand them early and forever, drug them up, blunt the intellect, problem solved!

  • shaunf,
    As to determining who is a potential dissident, Bruce Levine and Eric Maisel have addressed this better than I could. Please go read

    The Systemic Crushing of Young Nonconformists and Anti-Authoritarians (link: https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/03/the-systemic-crushing-of-young-nonconformists-and-anti-authoritarians/). Pay particular attention to paragraphs 6 and 7.

    Psychiatry’s Oppression of Young Anarchists — and the Underground Resistance (link: https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/06/psychiatrys-oppression-of-young-anarchists-and-the-underground-resistance/)

    The Diseasing of Defiance (link: https://www.madinamerica.com/2017/05/the-diseasing-of-defiance/)

  • I do not believe there is a “political function of these medications” as you say.

    I seem to remember the Soviets used Thorazine (wasn’t it Thorazine?) to silence and punish dissidents? They used the argument that only a crazy person would criticize the Motherland. Speak up? Locked up. Drugged up. Shut up.

    I’m not a history buff, but some of you regular commenters are. Please refresh my memory and give us a history lesson. I know there’s one around this very topic.

  • 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!