Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Comments by PaisleyToes

Showing 26 of 26 comments.

  • I would respectfully disagree. This sounds very much like the kind of group that the article questions.

    Also, the label PD has serious issues. I would invite you to read more on how it stigmatizes women in particular (I realize some men are dx PD) that The System is impatient with, and often is interpreted by both patients and professionals as hopeless. The group sounds patronizing to me: “You don’t know how to have good relationships so let’s practice.” It may be that if I saw the group it does not come across that way at all, but it sounds a little off. Input from participants to leaders cannot be relied on: There are many reasons participants would give positive input when not feeling positive about it. That is not to insinuate that the groups are not helpful — they may well be very helpful. But participant response to the leader or on questionnaires is not the best measure of that.

    I am on “the other side” — so it is easy to disregard my experience, but maybe problematizing it will give you insight that will make groups even more effective. I wasn’t actually dx PD, but just about everything else in the book. I have seen the damage those words can do. Perhaps you could do a companion piece to this article to explain your ideas more deeply.

  • Regarding hospital groups … I guess the sad thing, the pathetic thing really, was that when I was in the hospital, I really *wanted* the group to work. I wanted to be able to talk with someone about what was torturing me. I wanted to find someone else in the world who had my reality, or at least something different from the rest of the world’s.

    I know now that that’s really not what’s going to happen in a group or in a hospital. But I was so disappointed and hurt. The whole thing, at its core, is sad. Sure, now I can look back on how foolish my expectations were and talk dispassionately about the reasons. But then, it was really painful. And it’s continuing to others right now ..

  • Yes, and these children as therapy leaders took notes on our participation … so if you didn’t play along they would report your lack of cooperation to the p-docs … so the whole group in my situation was a bunch of people trying to look like they were good little patients so they could get out more quickly. It was like made-for-tv psych ward therapy. What was most astounding was that the leaders couldn’t see we were all just saying what would get us out. They thought they were so talented they were curing us all. Who was deluded.

  • Wow say more! I am in peer-led 12 step which is great, so I was making the (incorrect?) assumption that peer-led was in general better. Of course, each group would be different. I went twice to DBSA peer-led which was actually led by a NAMI counselor because, she said, we were incapable of leading ourselves, and she was a disaster, but then it was NAMI so that’s what you’re going to get. Over-medicated people and heavy religious tone. But I would like to find out more because all I’ve heard is how great peer led is supposed to be.

  • My group is al-anon, although not at all centered on mental health (well, not directly!), people share their lives in what feels to me like a meaningful way. AND no psych professional leaders, which is a lot of why groups have problems in my experience (which is by no means representative). I get a lot out of the community feeling there, am accepted, whether I just need to sit there or share what’s going on. Sometimes we go out for dinner. Nice. If I miss, they notice. Diversity of people and perspectives and experiences with what has worked. Obviously al-anon is not for everybody. The most important thing is that I have my caring community and am less isolated. I am not generally a community-seeking person, but this works for me. I wonder if a diverse group with clear ground rules and common goal, even if it’s rescuing dogs or recycling or whatever might serve a purpose … sort of goes with the Rat Park idea. Any ideas or experiences from others?

  • Yes, yes, yes — and religion, any religion, is then the opiate of the people. But my religious beliefs are so radical that they are probably more divisive than helpful. My biggest criticism of my own beliefs is that they are elitist if I have somehow overcome a religious bent. And perhaps that, if religion is endemic, I must replace old ones with something else now (if not medicine) that I am still unaware of. So … if “we” have de-throned medicine, what have we replaced it with? So yeah, the religion argument is very convincing, but if not medicine, something else will replace it, and what are the dangers of that? I guess the core problem is “believing”. What do you think?

  • Just think about the logic of this argument for a moment: US has these problems, but Norway and Japan with a higher standard of living, do not? So many arguments are flawed. For example: After looking at only one source of “ease”, he declares “By process of elimination, this is the best way to answer the riddles I earlier posed.” Process of elimination involves looking at all other possible sources, so his conclusion would be the only possible one. But he doesn’t begin to look at all possible alternatives — only one or two. It has the trappings of logic, but the actual logical processes behind the words are absent. This happens with many of the arguments. I think if he’s going to make a stab at the logical argument route, he could be a little more careful making arguments logical. This logic wouldn’t stand up in a first-year college writing course. The problem is serious because things presented with logical trappings are often taken to be logical. Whether his argument is valid or not, it has not be proven by this article.

  • Mr. Blankenship, I think the anti-psychiatry elite are just as bad. They judge and shame people, too, who don’t conform to their standardized version of neurodiversity. They don’t handle disagreement well, either. I would like a more open dialogue where we weren’t belittled for having a slightly different take on things.

  • Jo — I have no reason to doubt that you support infinitely better ways. The focus so often seems to be in dismantling the DSM to the exclusion of any other goals (not necessarily you, but if you look back to past writers, this pattern emerges). Maybe the editorial board chooses only those kinds of articles. Do you think all that is needed already exists, but needs to exist out of the DSM system? So we’ve got that covered? Others have written about dismantling other aspects — counseling, for example. If anti-psych is just about identifying what’s wrong, that’s fine, and probably very necessary. I guess I would say I hope other movements crop up with suggestions for future movement, in addition to cutting down a very bad system. DSM has been a bane of my existence, too, and I’m far far far from supporting it. But … sometimes the balance seems off.

  • OK, I see this who are self-diagnosing or were wrongly diagnosed.
    But I think this is belittling for people with real suffering for neurodivergent reasons. If you are not concerned with them, that’s fine. If you are questioning whether they exist, I would be interested in knowing that. I also wonder whether this philosophy finds people still suffering to be failures of the anti-psych world.
    This question has been ignored every time I’ve written it to authors on this list. Feel free to continue … just wondering.

  • Good for you. Keep up with the discussion — I said nothing about character. Just because you say that something is a construct, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Gender is a construct — does that mean gender doesn’t exist? It’s all well to go tilting at windmills, but I want to know specifically what to do when you need corn milled. It’s all well and good to say white middle class maladies can be handled otherwise. But what about the hard cases?

  • Fair enough. But who is your audience, then? Has the person you want to reach read Foucault? If this is just for the ivory tower, I still don’t see how this will create any change. I am anti-psychiatry, too, but writing for a different audience. After decades in academia, I just don’t see how academic discussion does anything beyond stimulating other academics. Pretty limited effect, it would seem. I still don’t see any purpose to what you’re doing.

  • I think being anxious before surgery is an entirely different phenomenon than general anxiety, not related to a particular event or worry. I think it’s like standing at the top of a bridge worrying about bungee jumping vs the feeling after you’ve jumped off. I think many people who haven’t really had anxiety disorder see these as the same. I hope that non-med breakthrough would work for both, but if you have 24/hr anxiety, it wouldn’t be practical. But sounds good as a first step in training the brain.

  • One thing that confuses me is the conflation of nervousness before surgery with a childhood ongoing condition of anxiety. It seems unfortunate to me that the same word is used for both conditions. I have had bad anxiety from the time I was a child, and it seems to me that it confuses people when “being nervous or worrying” is used in conjunction with “anxiety”. But for all I know, I am the only person who is bothered by this distinction!! Any comments from the author on how these are medically distinguished would be welcomed.

  • I get so tired of suggestions. Try this medication, that technique, this vitamin supplement. I don’t say to cancer patients, “why haven’t you had surgery yet? did you take vitamins when you were a child?”. I treasure the people who can just sit with me when I hurt, when the voices are too loud in my head. This is a valuable piece for me. I wish I could send it to everyone without offending.