Thursday, February 9, 2023

Comments by WoundedSoul74

Showing 16 of 16 comments.

  • I know this is an old article but I wanted leave a comment anyway. I believe one of the reasons the mental health system is harmful both emotionally and mentally for so many is the stigma you receive from the very professionals who are supposed to be there for support and understanding. I really believe this is the core of the problem. One day I was googling “stigma from mental health professionals” and found a study that was done in Australia about this topic, it still takes on a pro mental health view but it does acknowledge that this is a huge problem and can be devastating to those looking for help and support.

    I posted this comment on psychcentral and thought I would copy and paste it here.

    “I don’t post alot on the forums, I’m mostly a lurker and it seems there’s alot of posts from people who feel they’ve been harmed in therapy and emotionally abused by the very people they went to for help, I guess I find it helpful because of my own experience and it left me feeling very hopeless, invalidated, and to be honest almost suicidal. I understand that many here feel that therapy has helped them and they’ve been fortunate enough to find a caring and compassionate therapist who didn’t do further damage or complicate the issues that brought them to therapy in the first place. But there are a lot of other people who are being severely harmed especially when it comes to attachment issues. My harmful experience was at a community mental health clinic, I don’t want to go into all the details and I did post about it a couple years ago under a different user name and then I deleted that account because of fear it would be recognizable. In fact my experience got even worse after that incident and I have no desire to return to mental health services again. I’m on my own and still dealing with the problems that initially brought me to therapy but also left to deal with the hurt and shame I feel as a result of everything that happened.

    Ultimately I think the core issue with the MH System and what I experienced as well as so many others is the stigma from the very people that are supposed to be supportive. It can make things even worse in some ways if you’re male, I’m not saying that women aren’t harmed too and of course they are but the problem with being male, which I am, is that they will make assumptions or have preconceived notions about you based on these mental health labels they put on you.

    I’m curious if many other’s here have felt that they were being stigmatized or made to feel less human or even dangerous when you’re not. Believe me I wouldn’t hurt a fly and I’ve never been dangerous, violent, or stalked people but I definitely felt treated that way at times and I think because of my PTSD it made the stigma even worse. Victim blaming is ********!

    I want to do something constructive with my hurt and anger, I’ve thought about starting a blog on what I see as major problems in the MH system but I don’t think I’m a very good writer, maybe I’ll try it anyway, it could be “therapeutic”.

    I copied the following text from an Australian study that was done in 2011 on stigma from mental health professionals towards their clients. Maybe it can give some other people a little validation about their own experiences.

    “Many consumers are subjected to stigmatizing attitudes from various health professionals. For example, across diagnostic categories, almost 29% of consumers reported that their treating health professional had shunned them. These figures rose to over 54% and 57% for consumers with post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder respectively. Similarly, over 44% of consumers agreed that health professionals treating them for a physical disorder behaved differently when they discovered their history of a mental illness.

    This level of stigma is dangerous and unacceptable. The time has come to develop and deliver evidence-based mental illness destigmatisation programs in medical and other health care settings to ensure that consumers can be confident that they will be treated within the medical system with the respect they deserve.

    When this stigma is received from a health professional providing mental health services the impact is likely to impede recovery and result in poor outcomes for the individual.

    The impact of stigma is two-fold and includes public stigma and self-stigma. Public stigma is how the general population reacts to people with a mental illness; while self-stigma refers to the prejudice, negative feelings and negative impact that discrimination has on a person with a mental illness. Stigma impedes recovery by negatively affecting social status, self-esteem and social networks. This can result in poor outcomes for the individual, including issues such as unemployment, isolation, delayed treatment seeking and hospitalization. These impediments are likely to lead to feelings of social isolation and exclusion for a person with a mental illness. Contending with this on top of a mental illness is going to affect their self-esteem and level of distress, making recovery all the more difficult. When a person is being stigmatised by their health professional, these feelings are likely to be compounded, making treatment and recovery unlikely.

    Very little research has been conducted on the attitudes of professionals providing care to patients and clients with a mental illness.

    Mental health professionals often serve as role models and opinion leaders within the mental health sector, and they are the people consumers tend to see when they are at their most vulnerable and whom they rely on for help, understanding and support. In addition, many mental health professionals are educators whose attitudes and behaviors influence future, professionals. Therefore, how people with a mental illness view the various mental health professions, and vice versa, can have serious consequences for treatment and quality of life for these people.

    Stigma is a major barrier to recovery for people with mental health problems, their families and those working in the field of mental health. Stigma acts as a ‘social disability’ – often contributing to at least the same amount of, if not more, stress than the original mental health issue.

    In its ground-breaking report, Not for Service, the Mental Health Council of Australia (2005) reported that accounts of highly negative, dismissive and stigmatising remarks by health staff towards persons with mental illness were still very common. In addition, family members often felt discounted or ignored by health workers.

    A recurring complaint among participants in one survey on mental health consumers’ experience of stigma was that consumers felt that doctors and psychologists treated them as less competent and they were discouraged from setting high goals. In the same survey, respondents also gave examples of disparaging comments made by mental health caregivers. One respondent reported that staff in psychiatric facilities often spoke about patients with disrespect and sometimes mocked them. One comment from a respondent, about her experience in medical school, echoed many similar statements made by mental health consumers:

    The treatment of psych patients in all rotations was awful. They would laugh at them, poke fun at them on rounds, disbelieve any physical complaint they had.

    One UK report (Salter & Byrne 2002) highlighted the need for mental health professions to tackle stigma. It found that in spite of the way stigma affects the work of psychiatrists, the prevailing attitude of psychiatry towards stigma seems to be ‘one of inertia and resignation’. According to this report, none of the main texts of psychiatry mention stigma and, with only a few notable exceptions, psychiatrists have taken a low profile in local and national debate about mental health issues. Several years after this research was conducted, people with mental illness in the UK still report encountering negative attitudes from mental health professionals. People experiencing mental illness often feel patronized, punished or humiliated and many rate mental health professionals as one of the groups that stigmatizes them the most. “

    It’s ridiculous that a profession that’s supposed to be about healing, recovery, and safety harms so many people and the lack of self reflection and accountability is unbelievable.”

    Of course the study doesn’t acknowledge that they are the ones creating the stigma through their mental illness labels.

  • I watched your video on youtube and completely agree that we are often times forced to find our own path to healing, in my experience the so called “professionals” did more harm than good. Even that term “professional” seriously irritates me, I would say most of the therapists/counselors I’ve seen were actually unprofessional, arrogant, seemed to lack the sensitivity and compassion I needed at the time, and maybe a little immature emotionally.

    Unfortunately it can be very hard healing on your own especially when you have no one for support but like I said it’s forced on you after come to you realize how ineffective, stigmatizing, and emotionally abusive the MH system is.

  • I personally think it’s helpful when both people can express their vulnerabilities. I don’t see therapists as omnipotent shamans who know better than me and I don’t give much stock to the titles or degrees they have, I don’t believe anyone can be an expert in human behavior.

    By the way I also have issues with attachment which is why I don’t think therapy is really for me, I think it’s alot safer to work on my issues by myself. Strict boundaries and rejection has always been a trigger for me, it sends the message you’re not worthy of love or respect.

  • As far as I’m concerned we should all have the right to our own version of reality as long as it doesn’t cause direct harm to another person. Some of the most gifted and talented people in history would today be considered mentally ill.

    Some beliefs I personally have that would probably be viewed as “delusional thinking” would be:
    1. The US government was involved with the 911 attacks.
    2. The assassination of JFK was a conspiracy and it’s even possible Oswald wasn’t even involved.
    3. The NSA and CIA are actively spying on almost all Americans in violation of the 4th amendment.
    4. Much of what we know about history is bullshit and lets remember, it’s the victors of wars who write history; not the losers.
    5. The Mental Health Field and everything about it is in fact delusional thinking, a total fraud that has absolutely no benefit to those who it purports to help but only to the so called “professionals” or big pharma.

    One time I told a counselor I thought the MHS was a total crock, she put in my file that I was delusional.

  • “AA manages to combine all three levels in one program and environment, capable of moving ever deeper depending on people’s needs, hopes, and responses, but most other mental health and social service agencies operate predominantly on the rational level and in their best moments move to the emotional level.”

    The difference in AA is it’s supposed to be one alcoholic helping another alcoholic. In other words it’s an equal relationship where you can relate with one another although it’s not always perfect. In the mental health field it’s so-called “professionals” who are helping as you put it “these people”. By labeling people with phony pseudo science mental health labels you’ve already established a divide where you see the person as “other” and this in turn leads to less empathy and stigma no matter how much training there is.

    I was reading an Australian study done in 2011 on stigma by mental health professionals towards clients and according to their own research it’s a wide spread problem and in my opinion it’s not going to stop until we drop the dsm, and the pseudo science behind it.

    I could relate especially to this part: “People experiencing mental illness often feel patronized, punished or humiliated and many rate mental health professionals as one of the groups that stigmatizes them the most.”

  • I apologize if it seems I was trying to divert attention from the subject of racism and as I said at the beginning of the post I do agree that racism is an issue in the MH System, also because I am white I can’t pretend to know what it’s like to be African American or any other race but I do believe that the MH System discriminates against a majority of people regardless of race who access mental health services and minorities have it even worse. Overall I think we all need to unite and address that this entire system is abusive, corrupt, and disempowers those who come to them for help.

  • While I do agree that racism does exist in the MH system, in my opinion even poor whites are often treated in the same manner, being a white man myself growing up in a emotionally abusive family and years of bullying and many other things led me to believe I was worthless and someone who didn’t deserve love or respect and I internalized all of this. I don’t mean to sound like a victim but it destroyed me and the MH system was no help at all, in fact it only confirmed and reinforced the same messages.

    These are all the things I’ve experienced from the so-called “professionals” and no I don’t have some delusional prosecution complex. This is the “help” I received.

    “You Don’t Matter” – Lack of respect, shaming & not listening

    • Treating the client as a “diagnosis” rather than as a person

    • Undermining the clients self-confidence and self-esteem and making them feel humiliated; jokes being at the clients expense, laughing at clients

    • Not listening properly and only “hearing” what fits in with the therapists own preconceived notions

    • Making clients doubt their own reality (gaslighting)

    • Failing to act on the clients complaints (disbelieving/dismissing/writing off ) as symptoms of their mental illness or ignoring the clients current life circumstances.

    • Refusal/inability to provide proper support when the client is making major life changes

    • Putting down a clients belief system and labeling it as “delusional” or deviant simply because it differs from the therapists own views

    • Asking the client to pursue homework that is never used in the following session or forgetting

    • Breaking promises made to a client

    • Making the client feel like they are dangerous or being treated at distance

    The process of medicalization tends to strip clients of their social context, so they are seen through a biomedical model, resulting in a total disregard for the reasons the client has adopted certain behaviors or beliefs that I believe are from a number of certain factors such as child-hood emotional, psychological, or sexual abuse. The biomedical model then causes the Therapist or psychologist to view the client as slightly less than human then themselves often based on the Therapists own biases, preconceived notions, and prejudices were by a form of dehumanization occurs paving the way for MH system to client abuse and this can be directed to towards both low income poor whites and minorities. Also the biomedical model allows for profit to be made based on the clients so called “symptoms” as defined in the DSM.

    More than this it’s effecting our entire society, as Alex said it’s standing in the way of progress and achieving true unity and love.

  • Of course kids can develop PTSD and have long term affects well into Adult hood but as soon as you start diagnosing and using the DSM it puts children at risk of even greater harm with stigmatizing labels, drugs, and cold uncaring psychiatrists.

    I know because many of my issues are a result of my childhood and the mental health system only adds to the shame you already feel about yourself.

  • I’ve always refused to get on these medications, everyone of them has made me feel worse and increased my anxiety. They would always tell me that it would take time for me to get used to the effects but if I huff gasoline long enough I would get used to that to,lol.

    To me the really scary thing about these drugs is it could be one of the causes for the lack of compassion and empathy that seems to be so common these days.

  • When I was going mental health services I would constantly tell my therapists about MIA or other alternatives to the current system and I only had one even bother to look at MIA. Her response was “I don’t understand it”, I imagine she probably didn’t read more than a few articles.

    What really bothers me is the lack of interest in looking at other alternatives because very few people at least from what I’ve seen never really get better in the current system. All they learn to do is manage their so-called “symptoms”. I find this lazy and it shows a real lack of caring about the vulnerable people your working with.

    I think I saw this quote once on MIA,
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

  • Since I was a child I internalized through my parents actions towards me along with siblings proof that I was worthless, a horrible person, stupid, ugly, and the list goes on and the traumatic events that I saw and that happened to me gave me a double dose of shame, guilt, and humiliation. Some recent events at a Mental Health Clinic I was going to only served to reinforce these beliefs about myself. The client you describe sounds very similar to me, unfortunately it’s difficult to find someone who really understands and who won’t add to my shame.

    Most of my life I’ve felt I don’t fit in or that I’m accepted for who I am. It’s as though I’m always singled out for humiliation, rejection, and exclusion. I feel that not many people if any at all like me especially after they get to know me better, this really effects my innersoule, I feel based on other’s actions or lack of caring I truly am a pos. On a intellectual level I know that I project my own self-hatred on to others believing they dislike me as much as I dislike myself but in the heart it’s so hard to overcome this especially when people constantly reinforce that internal message “You’re worthless and don’t belong”.

  • “Just remember one thing. You are the only individual of your kind in the entire Universe. there never has been another person like you in the past and there will never be another person like you in the future. You are unique and special and one-of-a-kind. You are precious and a treasure beyond imagining simply because you are you. Hold onto this and never forget it, ever.”

    Thanks for that, after being hurt like this it can be really easy to forget those things and allow it to destroy your already damaged self-esteem.

  • Alex, how you able to bring a lawsuit against the mental health facility you were going? I was thinking about doing the same thing but I’m at a total loss of were to start. This isn’t just about me but other people that I know are being hurt, abandoned, and neglected. From what I understand it’s extremely difficult to prove abuse in a court of law by mental health facilities or practitioners simply because the courts will believe them over the client. In many ways there experts at gas-lighting.

  • I was very hurt by bad therapy, more than once and almost committed suicide over it. After telling another person so many of my inner struggles and issues, I was laughed at, treated like I’m a horrible person=gaslighting, had my issues discussed with other staff without my knowledge or consent and was lied to about this. I tried standing up for myself and made complaints in a appropriate manner to some of the management at the mental health clinic I was going to but nothing was ever done, I didn’t even get so much as a phone call and of course no apology what so ever. It took me a lot of courage to go to this place and open up to someone I didn’t really know, it was a big risk to trust and I was taken advantage of, as Alex says in his post I felt I was emotionally raped.

    After so many years of struggle and loneliness I wanted to believe this person really cared and they got it, that they didn’t judge me and knew just as I do that I am good person but who has been abused as a child and that is what made me the way I am today but unfortunately in the end it all turned to be a lie, it almost felt like abuse I had experienced as a child, being bullied, taken advantage of, treated by my family like I’m worst person to ever have walked the face of the earth. Even though I’m a man I’ve always been extremely sensitive and have a very tender heart but for some reason people have never treated me very well, it could be my looks I’m not sure but what this intern did along with other staff at this mental health clinic was abuse and as far as I can’t tell they don’t care one bit about the pain they caused and take no responsibility for their actions. Their excuse seems to be that everyone they see is mentally ill and when that person is hurt it’s never their fault.

    After everything I’ve gone through with the mental health system, I’m doubting myself, I feel worthless, unlovable, and don’t really feel I have much hope for a better future. I finally managed to get a job but it’s difficult maintaining employment when I feel so hopeless and I don’t really want to be around people.