Thursday, May 23, 2019

Comments by Alex

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  • Ok, found him. Wow, interesting guy, looks like he does all sorts of things. I can assure you this is someone else and not me, I can’t ever see myself having this kind of profile. He’s like one big organization! I’m a very humble and kinda self-conscious guy with a simple life.

    I am indeed passionate about creating change toward global well-being, but I had to really work up to putting myself out there like I do, it is not second nature to me and I’m pretty sensitive. So this is a balancing act for me, activism is ineherently triggering. But I have reasons for why I do this, and I do follow my heart, which is totally my guidance, and because of that, I face my fears. Interesting that you noticed similarities in our written communication styles.

    My family emigrated to Argentina from Russia. So I’m actually Russian/Jewish with a Latino twist! I was born in Memphis, TN, first American born in the family. I’m definitely multi-cultural, and it’s my nature, too. So it all works in synch now!

  • Learning to love oneself is the opposite of feeling suicidal. People take their own lives because they have lost faith in themselves and cannot see past the chronic suffering. People who possess the quality of self-love do not think about suicide, and instead, look for creative solutions to tough problems.

    Sadly, society teaches us to hate and judge ourselves, that we will never measure up. That’s the program delivered to us all, via so many venues. My hope is that people will stop listening to these sabotaging messages and instead, trust their own wise minds, hearts, and intuition.

  • kumininexile, I’m so floored by your comment! First thing I did after reading this is to look up Rev Luke Shootingstar online and found nothing. Do you have a link you could share? I’m so curious.

    Not sure how to respond. I do speak from my heart always with the intention of being of some use around here. Heart is where truth is, our authentic voice.

    Thanks to going through this crazy journey and surviving it, I am pretty conscious and awake. Been waking up since coming off the drugs going on 18 years now.

    I don’t intend to sermonize, simply to inspire, support, and inform where I can. I guess my passion for truth can get me kinda rambunctious, haha, well that’s just me! It’s also my culture, I’m Latino-Jewish, I don’t exactly come from shy and reserved peoples 🙂

    I do see so much written on MIA that I feel has the potential to instill and/or feed chronic fears and hopelessess, and I try to address these in order to allay these terrible and potentially sabotaging feelings, if I can be heard. That was my goal on this blog, in any evevnt. There is always a way to move forward. Overcoming obstacles leads to everything. Never give up, healing is always possible, change is ever-present, believe in yourself, find your voice, speak your truth, and trust, trust, trust, trust…great things await.

    I do appreciate the compliment and am humbled by it, thank you.

  • “And how is it possible that supervisors I trust are acting like this is not a terrible and dangerous step in the wrong direction?”

    When you ask this, Catalyzt, I immediately get a picture of “Stepford Supervisors.” They do as they’re programmed to do.

    Keeping records of clients and their personal issues while receiving psychotherapy not only gives me the creeps, it is part of the oppressive and invasive nature of the system. Byzantine is a good word for it, this is Rome. We’re waiting for the fall.

  • I love all you say here, Rosalee, we stand together on this and that feels soooo encouraging. I, too, see and feel the light on your posts. You are tapped in, and following the truth of your heart.

    What a journey to wake up to all of this! And then proceed to take back our power. It’s surreal at times, but without a doubt, it is healing mind/body/spirit.

    Speaking our truth is VITAL! Even when it gets frustrating because we feel it is either not welcome, not heard, or not taken seriously, we, ourselves hear it, and the universe hears it, so somehow, we make a difference and grow forward. I know this from my own experience. I have experienced the universe responding to me even when people do not appear to be.

    I am with you when you get back in the ring, wishing you all the best in shining the light on evil deeds, as you say. It’s courageous, and, indeed, necessary part of this process. I am grateful for your light, your faith, and your voice of truth.

    I’m happy to hear you like your GP, and that she is supportive of your process and hears and respects your truth. Having trustworthy support whom we know is our ally is vital. As a quick aside which this makes me think of–just yesterday I was talking to my sister who is taking care of our mother who has been having chronic pain for a while. She’s 86 and has had medical issues for a while now, although she’s still totally active, alert, and has a good life.

    She had been prescribed Neurontin, to which I was raising eyebrows and informing about this best I could, but I respected my mother’s decision without giving her resistance, because I know that she is fiercely dedicated to the western mainstream health care system. My father was a physician, and it was our program.

    In addition, she always thought herbal remedies and all that stuff was junk, this was not her way of thinking in the slightest. Even the fact that my healing meant ditching the medical model altogether in favor of the natural healing, and how it made all the difference in my life and well-being, something about this was not seeming to get through to her. It was a block she had because it so went against her beliefs (that’s another story, but in this context, it is quite common for one person’s healing to create all kinds of denial for people around them; it’s a weird phenomenon, and I think kind of a stuckness we can experience, until we move through the need to be heard by others and simply follow the path of our own truth and light, away from being snubbed and marginalized).

    Yesterday I found out that the Neurtontin had been causing worrisome side effects and seeming to do more harm than good (big surprise there–NOT!), so the Dr. is weaning her off, and now they are turning to herbs (e.g. CBD) and acupuncture, my mother is totally agreeable.

    MY mother??? If she can even consider this, then I know things are changing, the light is getting through all of that dense, fear-based programming. Hooray! Between that, and powerful, heartfelt voices like yours, there’s my optimism 🙂

  • I believe the spiritual issue for those in crisis is how to ascend the dynamics of such a limited society. In that sense, we grow toward our own individual freedom and unlimitedness. That’s what will move society forward and how the paradigm will shift, when the burden and accountailibty go back to those who program people into believing so negatively about themselves, that they are needy, inferior, and “do not belong.” When these terribly false and damning projections are released from the masses, then, we will be free and “recovered.”

  • Rosalee, ugh it makes me so mad to hear that you were denied services based on your psychiatric history. That is criminal. I do know the feeling of the stigma attached in the face of health care, it is so vulnerable and powerless making, truly maddening. And of course just that alone affects us on a cellular level, really brings us down in every way and makes healing that much harder, creating fear, anxiety, worry, as you say.

    I know this can feel practically impossible for some people and you have shared about your medical issues, so I am aware that you require services, but for me the answer was to ditch the old way of medical care altogether, I became totally natural and energetic in my healing path once I got through all this, because I had absolutely no other choice. For me, the medical community had become a total dead end.

    I know you’ve also talked about receiving natural healing and doing things on that path, too, which is great because there is no stigma there (at least not that I have ever run into), and that makes a big difference in the effectiveness of the healing. It’s all present time, that is all that is addressed in that healing community. In that process, any past time energy is released with ease, those are the blocks.

    In the energy healing world, Chinese Medicine, etc., I have never had the experience of stigma or discrimination–not even close, it’s never been an issue in any way, shape or form. Everything is treated and addressed so neutrally, it’s only about the emotions we are running and releasing blocks so that our energy flows naturally, which is how we achieve self-healing. Herbs help to raise the energetic frequency of our cells, which is how healing occurs. It is a raise in frequency to achieve yin/yang balance. Every cell and organ in our body has its yin/yang consciousness.

    I had envisioned at one point integrating these healing paths, natural energy type healing work with the best of western medicine, but I have found that the health care system is so bad now, that it is completely unsafe. Where I live, it is a sham and primary care physicians have long waiting lists and people can’t get Dr.s and the urgent care centers are HORRIBLE, ER waits can be allll day long, hours and hours, and people tend to walk about before they are called.

    So really, one can get stuck with absolutely NO medical care, and HAS to figure out another way. The system is breaking down so badly, and I believe this is the way of the future.

    In the meantime, I believe we’re in a transitional period, where the system is going to continue to break down–and yes, indeed, I think that failure is mainly driven in their failure with people, this stigma and discrimination from within the system is truly shameful, and where completely unessessary human suffering occurs, caused by other humans in positions of “power.” That is crap, systemic abuse, pure and simple, and it will be the downfall of the system itself, I truly believe.

    In the meantime, thank GOD for those alternatives! I think the more we go in that direction, the more we will release the past, collectively, because we are going in a new direction where the past will be rendered irrelevant. We’ve certainly no need for these corrupt broken down systems any longer, I say let them turn to dust. There are better ways, based on present time and integrity, for crying out loud. How can one call themselves a “healer” of any kind and treat people like shit? That is one helluva paradox!

    So, I believe that as the old continues to crumble and new stuff comes forth to help move us forward (and I do believe this is happening now, we are in that process), then along with this old health care paradigm turning to dust, so will our records, and in that respsect, we will be free of the past. But we each have to be willing to trust that as we move forward, what we need and that which will help us most will appear, I really do believe that is what faith is about, trusting our process. When we apply this, we actually discover more of our control and power to create what we need and want as we go.

    Honestly, I think that’s what this time in history is about. We are purging the past so that we can create an updated new and improved society and world, it is time! It really is a time of awakening, I don’t think we’ve much choice now, from the way things are going. This is a time of great change, so let’s keep going and see what happens. I’m always looking for the light on everything, which is a good focus because it leads to the new.

    I hope that helps in some way.

  • Thank you for saying this. Not only is it my desire to be an agent of ease in this process, but I think that’s the idea of good support, to bring ease to a healing process, rather than overcomplicating it–which is one of the many places where “standard care” goes way wrong.

    For me personally, this became a sound strategy for living, to keep it simple, but most definitely I learned that the best healing comes from the energy of *ease,* what is often called “the path of least resistance.” We manifest more easily what we need along the way from this prespective, and we are truly following our own process, because there is virtually no effort after we adjust to this. Then, we are in synch with ourselves. That’s the goal! It’s a practice.

  • Yes, it is truly hard to digest what this is as we awaken to the truth of “mental health care,” many issues converging at once, and suddenly our perspective of life hangs in the balance. I see it as a deconstructing happening in order to allow new consciousness to come forward. We’d been so programmed to believe the lies, that it takes a while to adjust to this fact alone, that is was a program based on illusions which serve an elite, at the expense of clients, and of society on the whole.

    A new and improved reality awaits you, as you emerge from the rubble, as so many of us have. Fortunately, that ground has now been broken, so there is plenty of support and information out there. Wasn’t the case when I came off psych drugs, I knew of no one who had gone through this, so it was mine to discover. And what a journey it was! I learned everything I needed to learn–for now at least. All the best to you as you move along your path of healing.

  • I’m so glad to hear this, Claire, thank you. I always feel I walked this path to, first, discover certain truths which would have otherwise remained buried under the deceit and illusions of a corrupt society, and then, to help shed light on these by sharing my experience. Many awakenings to go through, which can be a bit trying, but way worth it because, in the end, each one is a gift which brings more light and clarity to whatever situation might have us a bit knotted up in the moment. Each release is heavenly, like weights just dropping off, and we feel freer and freer as we go. Best wishes to you!

  • Indeed, Michael, updated boundaries and discernment of energies based on what feels desirable and uplifting vs. what is triggering and unsafe would definitely be part of a new present time awareness to which I’m referring. I would call that living in a new consciousness, where we are more aware of how we are in control our experience, by what we allow and do not allow, exactly what you said. Therefore, we can feel powerful as opposed to powerless–a core shift in our sense of self, and that will shift our life experience radically for the better.

    Although life is life and triggering energies are everywhere, hard for anyone to avoid. I think in present time awareness, we can know our process of neutralizing and clearing the triggers and coming back to center, so as to not fall into the downward spiral–a matter of present time grounding and trusting the process. That becomes a new habit, to center and uplift ourselves. We can program our neural pathways with diligent practice, and eventually it becomes second nature.

    I tend to see triggers now as opportunities for shifting consciousness, which is a whole new updated reality, where we feel, think, and act from a more awake state of being. That is a matter of owning the trigger in the moment (each one as they occcur), and then working through it on the spot to release the emotional baggage of it, feel it and identify it as past time, and this creates a new present time clarity, where there is, in reality, no real threat other than our own thoughts, so we can update these consciously to be in synch with present time reality. That will quiet the mind because it is no longer split and struggling between past and present.

    This practice will change our life experience completely, based on our internal changes. That’s always what I try to drive home, that outer changes are contingent upon inner changes, given how we project our reality. Change the lens, change the picture.

    These have been my experiences with healing.

  • Michael, I’m curious, would you say it is a matter of coming fully into present time? (Funny, I was just writing about this in a reply I just posted, then saw this and it occured to me that it might apply here).

    I know from my experience of healing from and integrating extreme states which occured from feeling mistreated and betrayed by people I had trusted while vulnerable and open, and feeling disoriented and powerless from it, that I had to eventually challenge myself to trust present time, and stop looking at the past. Of course this was after quite a bit of self-examination, healing does happen in layers. Still, would that not lead to integration, naturally, while allowing ourselves to focus more on our goals and life purpose, creatively? I think that would change one’s entire neural map in a way that would allow a person to more comfortably ground in present time, and from there, good movement tends to occur.

    That was my exact experience, in any event, and it has become a good habit for me to always re-focus my awareness into present time before making any decision or drawing conclusions, helped a great deal in terms of clarity and personal power, and seriously *lightening up!* Oy, that was a reilef.

    I think when we keep the past alive too much, we never get rid of it, like shit on our shoe. It actually stays in our cells this way, from what I know. I had to finally stop looking back to feel whole again, which meant breaking a lot of thought habits. Your response made me think of this.

    I love Cathy’s question, thank you for posing it. Challenging a client can be risky but also necessary, I think. It’s always a fork in the road, so they will either withdraw from services, or heal something and move forward. Can’t take it personally, either way.

  • You speak good truth here, Graciela, glad we both resonate with this. A couple of things on which I wanted to comment, caught my eye and been sitting with these–

    When you talk about “commentators who give authors a hard time,” what that brought up for me immediately is how it makes me very uncomfortable when psych survivors give other psych survivors a hard time, that is my beef on this website, and what I most fail to understand as consistent with the desire to somehow unite for a purpose.

    And while I try to have eye to eye dialogues with established professionals on this site, I can certainly slip into giving some of them a hard time, because to me that is where we are looking for accountability. Maybe I shouldn’t be so discriminating, but I can’t help it. My only point with other surivors is to offer support and of course to dialogue and generate ideas and clarity (even though many have often given me a hard time), but I feel compelled to challenge the professionals, always respectfully, I hope, while also attempting to dialogue for the purpose of clarity and perhaps to manifest something new.

    But to challenge anyone practicing in the field feels totally reasonable, just, and fair to me, considering that we are looking to, AT LEAST, shift the balance of power in the “mental health” industry. To me, that is presicely the issue, and where this industry is most toxic, in the power dynamics. That’s where it is pure crap and totally undermines any potential for healing, imo.

    Problem is, this particular shift would more than likely bring down all of “mental health, inc.,” since it is totally 100% founded and based on power relationships, and I don’t think they can let go of this, which I believe is a recipe for disaster–exactly what we are constantly witnessing and about which we are protesting, most justifiably. I guess we’ll see how that goes.

    Also, I had a reaction when I saw “ex psych patient.” I have no issue or shame about this, in fact, I’m quite relieved that EX is part of this. Still, not sure I’d enjoy going through life with this as my primary identity, I think it carries stigma–in fact, it kind of IS the stigma. Were I to where a T-shirt that said this, I’d be branding myself. This may also give psychiatry legitimacy, this identity, I’m wondering about that, which is why I am bringing it up.

    I’m quite aware that a lot of people feel that things like this inevitably recur and that once “crazy” always “crazy.” For sure, I’m still crazy after all these years, but only the way any of us have our craziness, that is simply our shadow. Knowing who I am now, that’s what saves me from ever going back into such a perpetually ungrounded state, I’d have no excuse at this point, given all that I have learned, including powerful tools for energy maintenance. That’s just part of my daily regimen now, the way I nourish my body with food & water. Our energy needs clearing on a daily basis for us to remain fully in present time. That’s where we have the most power to heal and make change, in the NOW.

    But I’m done with living in fear of “recurrence,” I dropped that long ago. Healing is healing, and at some point, there is no going back, it sticks. We learn eventually how to not get too far away from our center, and always, always, always know how to get back to it. Biggest lesson ever because it heals fear and worry, and that is a huge relief to the body. Life should be fun and adventurous, and I believe taking risks is part of creating the life we most desire. But living in fear of recurrence can block us from doing this, I think, so at some point, it is helpful to address and ascend this, remembering our power of co-creatorship.

    I know, I know, yet another long post, but as always you inspire me! Idk, Graciela, you have a way of connecting me to my deeper information, which is really helpful to me. I hadn’t been able to get quite this clarity before, until I sat with what you had written.

    Not sure what I’d call myself now. Fully human, maybe? That feels good, and truthful! And hopefully, non discriminating. Aren’t we all just this?

  • It’s the same faith that guided me through my healing, when I and everyone around me had believed it was a lost cause. Sure was looking that way, and the belief which continually came flying at me, and at one point I took action based on that negative belief.

    The destruction of humanity via psychiatry lived inside me, but I was able to exorcise it systematically, heal the aftershocks which reverberated for a while, and transform all of that energy into pure creativity. That’s what I mean by freedom. I followed a certain thread which presented itself, a series of events, all based on the focus of “where is the light on all of this?” I had to create that focus myself, no one could do it for me.

    The light on my journey through psychiatric hell is that it led me to learn not just how sinister and deeply unconsious our society had become (aka awakening to hard truths) which of course is how social ills, wars, etc., prevail, but also how to create away from this (awakening to light truth).

    That was the jewel in all of this, which is something I share freely wherever I can, where it can be heard. I believe as human beings find their peace, so will the world. How could it be any other way? I believe that is the healing path we’re looking to light up, as a collective, for the greater good and for the good of our individual well-being, goes hand in hand.

    In the meantime, people are going to have different life experiences, based on which aspect of reality they/we are focused. We have choices there, and the more we can see the big picture, the more awake we are. The more awake we are, the better chance we have to ascend mass destruction.

    My desire, therefore, is for more people to awaken to the higher aspects of reality, to a more heart based perspective, so that we can heal from that which creates war, poverty, suffering from corruption and injustice, etc.–all that chronic angst we carry around from life’s traumas which we all experience, one way or another.

    It is a matter of awakening to programs, illusions and lies, and learning how to shift focus to create better energy, based on our own truth and not that of others, rather than simply matching and perpetuating that same lower ego-based energy of projecting our reality onto others, and calling it “truth.”

    Transition from ego based to heart based consciousness/reality–that will eliminate war, abuse, all kinds of human exploitation, because it will not be tolerated or enabled in the slightest, as it so obviously is now. But individuals have to make this happen from within, first, to get a society like this, obviously. How can we have an awakened society without individuals first waking up?

    And that’s hard ground to break, because there is tons of stigma and projections which happen to awakened people in an unawakened community–we’re the first to get scapegoated. Fortunately, that is familiar ground for us, so it is relatively easy to navigate from a heart-based perspective. Still we have to be willing to support others in their awakenings, too, without judgment, for society to become safe and sound, once and for all.

    It’s a human collective issue, we all have a hand in this. I think right now, in present time, life is asking us to find where we can be most useful and effective in the healing of the planet and the collective humanity which inhabits it. I know that we all have something of value to bring to the table, if we can get ourselves heard.

  • Really lovely, heartfelt piece, Michael. Thank you for sharing.

    Paradox sure makes life interesting! Where there is darkness, there is also light. The paradox here is that it is ALL light, because without the dark, we wouldn’t know the light. If darkness is growing, you can bet the light is a few steps ahead and will show itself at the most divinely timed moments. My faith is unshakable here, and of course, I make it a point to see the light on everything, it’s always there.

    I think shadow/light integration is the key here, to ground light to Earth. Then we can create and manifest from that light energy which we all carry somewhere inside of us and to which we can all connect if we are focused on that intention, rather than to continue to create and manifest from our inner darkness, which is how we get caught up in these endless loops with no change, manifesting the same conflicts and issues over and over and over again. I believe we want to ascend that loopiness for new creation. Ascending paradox is a big part of that shift, I believe, to higher states of consciousness, while grounded in our human bodies. Great expansion there, lots of newness to be explored and from which to manifest.

    Allowing ourselves to be fully human, light and shadow, with no judgment or fear about that, would change the world considerably, imo. Way more light in that scenario, not to mention one of my favorite energies: permission! Then, we are free.

  • Early childhood wounds of abusive neglect can heal in adulthood. Our solid core center doesn’t go away, it just gets obstructed by negative self-beliefs which are the result of early childhood neglect, of being unworthy of love and getting emotional needs met. Low self-esteem will affect one’s choices and judgment a great deal, so it would stand to reason that there would be trouble up ahead and one would more than likely find themselves in an extermely challenging environment and/or situation, and suffering would eventually surface, extreme social anxiety, etc.

    However, there are a lot of healing avenues for this and it does not have to cripple one for life. We can find our center and get to know ourselves in life, while developing the resilience to get back to our core, regardless of anything. There are a lot of practices which grow this aspect of ourselves and connect us to it. It’s really a matter of raising self-awareness and finding self-compassion. Then, we’re on a different track and we will treat ourselves better in life, finding affinity with what we encounter, because the experience of life is quite different between living it while carrying feelings of unworthiness vs. having positive self-regard, where we can feel our value in the world, inherently.

    The problem with psychiatry and why so many suicides are the result of “treatment” is because not only does it not “heal” anything, but on the contrary, it totally repeats that very same trauma which leads people to psychiatry to begin with, supposedly to heal those wounds. And instead, they pour acid into them. Betrayal upon betrayal.

    Whether the childhood wounding is around being marginalized and demeaned or emotional needs neglected and labeled, or shaming judgment around one’s way of being (actually, all three tend to go hand in hand)–psychiatry has something for everyone. Each and all of these can be easily repeated and made even more severe in this industry. The testimonials and feedback from many of us speak for themselves, and they fall on extremely defensive ears which turn it around and blame it on a “personality disorder” or some such truth-deflecting victim blaming nonsense. It is a study in denial and the fear-laden program of “cover your ass!” I think it’s understandable how this can lead to hopelessness and be lethal, if one is not enlightened to any other path to address issues of early childhood wounding.

    I was most fortunate to be pointed eventually to what worked for me on this level, to know my center, grounding, and sense of self. I am solid in my beingness now and know my center well, very strong sense of self, worthiness, and deservedness–just for being a human being. We’re all worthy and deserving, at the core, we are born this way (and then programmed or traumatized out of that). This belief, when fully internalized, eradicates any thought of suicide because it is an expanded state of consciousness, where it is easier to follow the path of life and manifest what you need along the way. There is clarity and ongoing creativity to embrace. That is self-validation for our worthiness, and it is ever-flowing in this expanded awareness. That was exactly my experience of transformation from all that mess, definitely a life-saver, on a daily basis.

  • I’d very much like to support Graciela here. Her courage and authenticity are palpable, and I believe she is breaking ground with her story and how she is using her voice. This is the brightest and most transparent example of transformation in process I’ve ever seen, word for word and in present time.

    Sharing beliefs is one thing, and has value in how we become familiar with the diversity of humanity. But imposing beliefs on another in a double binding way, expecting everyone to think, believe, and perceive the same way or something is “wrong” with you (or just plain, “you are wrong about you”), is EXACTLY what psychiatry does that is most oppressive and violating, and which does great harm if it is constantly chipping away at our own personal truth and questioning our sense of self. That is maddening. Mimicking this is, to my mind, what would keep psychiatry alive, because it validates their tools for oppression.

    Graciela, thank you for your powerful voice of truth and inspiration, and allowing your humanness to shine along with your light, paradoxes and all. It is refreshing and real. And I’ll go ahead and call it “change.” We are on our way. Blessings to you ♥

  • Deconstructing how we suffer as the result of economic inequality is interesting and I can see how this relates to our beliefs about ourselves, if we buy into certain social programming. Beyond this financial matrix by which the world seems to be set up, I am more focused on what *belief* would drive a person to suicide. Financial pressure is common, but not everyone succumbs to it, and in fact, most don’t, I imagine. Somehow, we trudge on.

    I tried to end my life at the early stages of psych drugs withdrawal, but it wasn’t because of economic issues (which at the time I was struggling quite a bit financially thanks to my psychiatric debacle). It was purely because of the absolute lack of loving kindness which I encountered from all the clinicians around me during the time–like a black hole–from the mean-spirited and cold, competitive therapists in a day treatment facility to my psychiatrist at the time, who was an absolute arrogant, controlling, demeaning, and stigmatizing asshole. Between the cluster of group therapists and this sadist shrink, I felt bombarded with the most negative projections and prognoses I’d ever received, just at my most vulnerable and painful time of withdrawal.

    I was terribly disabled at the time, my brain scrambled from the toxicity of the drugs I had been prescribed for so long, and was getting treated like shit and made to believe I had no future. At this time, I had a 20 year retail career under my belt, and an undergrad degree in film and a graduate degree in counseling psychology. According to my intention, coming off the drugs was supposed to be a temporary pit stop for me, so that I could get myself back to who I was, grounded, centered and back into balance, since all those years of toxic pills had wreaked havoc on my entire system. I had a vision of recovery and was prepared with all kinds of tools I had lined up for this.

    But the psychiatrist who I was seeing at the time said to me repeatedly, “You lost your dreams,” in a variety of contexts. I was so confused and disoriented from just having come off of 9 psych drugs, I believed him and internalized this belief.

    So I tried to take my life, if that was the best I could do at age 40, after all the work I had put into life and my healing. Came very close, but I found my way back into my body at the last moment, was out of the hospital in a few days, and then went right to voc rehab 3 weeks later to see if I could make something of my life at that point.

    Since coming back to life, I still had to fight my way through systemic abuse, but somehow I did and got out of all that, and I’ve since lived many of my dreams, including making films and having a healing practice.

    I’ve done a lot of sliding scale work and also free, on many occasions, and my films are public service, so I’m still of extremely modest means–and indeed, I see everyday on Yahoo how the rich are gobbling up the world and its resources. But I’m so happy to be away from that stupid system and completely free of all that, that I can’t even fathom wanting to take my own life.

    I love life now–had to learn this, I really hated it at one point, obviously. But I learned to find it fascinating and creative. It is not always fun or easy and I believe challenges are an inherent part of life. But as long as there are moments of joy and I can feel that love and enthusiasm running through me, then I’m good and life goes on regardless of anything, ups and downs all along the way, and always bringing more opportunities to grow and manifest new things.

    The important thing for me was getting away from systems of abuse. Being scapegoated and marginalized is really painful, excruciating in fact. There is no mental stillness in this state, none at all. The anxiety and powerlessness can feel so overwhelming, that it is easy to lose hope, with those kinds of messages being sent.

    Not so much about being poor, but about being powerless. That’s the kicker, I think, because it zaps all joy in life to feel that you have no power, and anyone at all can kick you to the curb and do all kinds of harm to you, and you have no recourse, no civil protection, because the belief is that you must have done something to deserve it. That is where inequality really hits home.

    And that is the message which poor people receive from the rich AND the middle class, which is what I feel is most dispiriting, demoralizing, dehumanizing, and which leads to hopelessness and self-abuse/self-harm.

    I also think it’s a lie, and that no one is powerless. But to access one’s power, one has to believe in oneself way above and beyond those social programs and illusions, created to make people feel badly about themselves, undeserving, and dependent on others.

    Money does not by happiness, that may be trite but it is true. I’m pretty happy most of the time, and it’s certainly not because I’m rich–I am anything but that. But getting away from the “mental health” industry altogether and all other abusive, marginalizing systems sure did allow me to find my health and happiness, and to live my dreams and feel joy in life again. That has absolutely nothing to do with money. That is all about energy and trusting my own process, intuition, inner guidance, and self-resourcefulness. All of these came into being through different stages of healing.

    Personally, I think mental abuse drives people to suicide because it can be so cruel in how it targets a person’s core wounds and zaps all the joy out of living. And it can be very covert and clever. It’s a treacherous weapon against humanity.

    Being poor can be very frustrating, but there is no shame in being poor. The shame lies with abusers and liars who cause others harm and vampire society, exploiting poor and other vulnerable people. That is where the shame belongs.

  • Julie, obviously everybody needs basic survival skills in life, and needing money to live is a fact of life right now. Not sure what your point would be in reiterating that artists need to make a living, too. Indeed, they/we do.

    One thing we can create is a path to money. Somehow, someway, and hopefully, with integrity. That would be nice, for a change.

  • PD, I fought like hell for years and years to free myself from all that and I’ll support anyone with that goal in mind, but I cannot fight others’ battles for them, the way no one could fight mine for me. Emancipation happens when we ascend our own obstacles. Support is great but we each have to do our own work.

    For me, moving forward means creating, as I describe above. I’m open to all things creative that will help uplift and nourish humanity out of the pits. That would be my contribution at this point in time. Obstacles don’t intimidate me; they simply make me more determined.

  • Related to both PacificDawn’s and Julie’s posts, combined, re feeding the world and creating:

    Had I all the money in the world, I’d cook for everybody in the world. Not kidding about that, I’d love that job. I’ve been cooking for 40 years, one of my favorite creative endeavors, and one of my favorite ways to share light & love is to feed people. Makes me so happy to watch others enjoy and be nourished by my cooking, as many have, including my partner who considers himeself very lucky that he married someone who LOVES to create in the kitchen.

    I also love playing the piano, same kind of channeling feeling. I can pick out tunes for hours–standards, pop, all kinds of things. I’m in the zone when I do this.

    So were I to have the funds, I’d open a community kitchen and piano juice and tapas bar for all to enjoy, come and be nourished and relax and have some fun. How’s that for starters?

    It would need to be paid for, somehow, and would need an ongoing list of donors, and ongoing food donations from willing contibutors, but I’d certainly do the hands on work and creating! With helpers, of course–and other creators who want to contribute, from all of the creative arts, integrate all of it. It would be a blast! And a labor of love, and I can’t think of anything more communal that would bring joy, which we so badly need in the world. That would be in response to my original comment on this thread.

    So, anyone interested in co-creating something like this, including of course anyone with spare funds to invest in something useful to the world, which is nourishing and healing and giving and creating, talk to me. As is quite evident around here, I’m an open book.

    (I am aware that I’m walking the edge as far as posting guidelines, but I am justifying this because I feel this kind of endeavor is one of the most powerful weapons against psychiatry, in that it brings people joy so who needs drugs? I’d like to co-create an example of community uplifting, giving back, and positive social creation and manifestation. We have to create it ourselves, it won’t just appear. The more of these kinds of options in the community, the more opportunities people have to enjoy life and not feel such despair and isolation, not to mention, hunger! That’s the goal, like I said, to provide global nourishment. That would make psychiatry obsolete, eventually, to my mind, and other dishonest charlatan so-called “healers”–and a;; others on the whole–who blatantly exploit society’s most vulnerable people for their own personal gain. Feeling joy is personally empowering and socially healing, no doubt about that).

  • Julie, I’m sure you are speaking for all “starving artists,” and I agree, of course, the arts are vital to the world and have enormous value to humanity. And, it takes great courage and vulnerability to share our art with the world, although a true artist is not terribly concerned with this. For a real artist, creating is compulsive, it is our nature and how we feel alive. I feel stagnant when I am not creating.

    Still, why not be able to thrive financially from it? Many do, and hold extreme wealth thanks to their art. I guess people would have to find our art to have value and put their money where their mouth is. What else?

  • It is amazing to me how we all serve such a valuable purpose to each other, when we allow our heart felt authentic truth to come forward. I’m actually blown away and so incredibly humbled by your response, Graciela. Blown away by your impeccable honesty and humbled by your mirroring. Getting to know one another is an adventure in and of itself, isn’t it? It’s how we get to know ourselves, too, I think. Our humanity is more diverse than we can imagine, I’m sure.

    Of course who we are is who are and where we are is where we are, all due to our unique set of circumstances in any given moment, along with our unique personality and perspectives. How we come together is an interesting mystery to me, and also why, for what purpose? Again, at any particular moment in time.

    What I created was the result of the only good choices which the universe offered me, as my healing and way forward. I had no resources, this is all raw and from the heart and hip. It’s all I had with which to work, and I believe we all have the power to access what we need, if we understood a bit better our process of co-creating, and how we influence our reality as we go. We are by no means powerless, even though we may perceive ourselves to be. We’re simply not seeing our own big picture in that moment. So much to say about this.

    Thank you for your feedback, very meaningful and I take it to heart.

  • I do feel very strongly, and have talked about it often on here and wherever I have given presentations, that sharing our stories of these journeys we take, for the purpose of inspiring others to keep going when it gets really, really rough and confusing, is vital. I believe it is also very healing to ourselves when we can share as we do, and hear our own voice of truth above anything else.

    My personal belief is that we are all different aspects of One consciousness, so anything we do to uplift ourselves uplifts the entire collective, one way or another. This is how we break ground and open doors for others. I believe it gives deep meaning to what we have been through, that it has a purpose for us and for our fellow human beings. That is the nature of human evolution, to my mind.

    The comment in your above reply is perfect, I think, exactly matches my intention and vision–

    “What I have gone through has made me realize how resourceful & resilient humans are. There are all these built-in features to being human I discovered out of necessity. When that light you were talking about decides to shine brightly, I wish I could go around life rooting for all humans everywhere who are going through struggles like a cheerleader saying, ‘You’re human, so you got this!'”

    Being human is what we struggle most with, I believe. This combination of our spiritual nature and our human nature is quite a dance we do in life, and once we’re in step, the journey shifts to something more interesting and eventually enjoyable, rather than a constant battle with oneself.

    These battles are the progrmas and negative beliefs we’ve taken on from life’s traumas. Healing, I believe, is where we can see through these programs of stigma and denial and harsh self-judgment of our natural self. When we can embrace our humanness, the journey gets a bit easier because we are not fighting ourselves, but more so, we are supporting, encouraging, and guiding ourselves, as we wish to do with others. In short, to use your words, being our own cheerleader!

    When I discovered this and applied this consciously, it was a game-changer. I know it may sound simplistic in words and indeed this is easier said than done, but this is my concept of how this works, best as I can describe it in words. As you know, life has to be lived first before we can articulate it.

    So, with that said, I will share with you a bit here, without going into a really, really long post, which I do not want to take the attention away from what is important here, which is how we share our voices and inspire one another, as you have done by sharing your story here. Since you have asked a couple of times about my story, I can easily share with you here in a streamlined way.

    While I don’t like to compare stories at all, since, as you wisely say, we are all on a hero’s journey (I think just being born into this lifetime is highly courageous!) I will say up front that your story is way more profound than mine, and I’m actually still self-conscious about sharing what I do, but it seems to make a difference, from the feedback I get, so I will trust that.

    Part of my healing was to share my story, which I did around town for a few years, as part of a speakers’ bureau, so I’ve shared quite a bit. I talk a lot about my family dynamic, which is what led me to “mental health” services to begin with, and where my healing was most core and profound.

    My healing work centered around forgiveness, this is what came up most powerfully for me after I got off all the psych drugs. My personal healing path is centered around “heart consciousness,” that was the big shift for me, working from this perspective. It was a life-changing shift, and I continue this trajectory.

    While in the speakers’ bureau, I made a film documenting our stories, from our presentations, and then I added interviews and a discussion among those of us on this healing journey, speaking about discrimination and stigma from the system, which we had to somehow intergrate into our experience as we went along, a huge awakening for me. This was in San Francisco, so a lot of urban politics come into play.

    So, as per your request, here’s the film, which contains the family part of my story, along with 5 others sharing the most personal aspects of their journey, as well. I think there’s something for everyone, we’re diverse. I hope you find meaning and inspiration from this–

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtDGxJWmj5w

    And, as a bonus, here’s the follow up film which I made 5 years later, after my life had transformed from the healing I had done. Thanks to speaking my truth as I was doing, the universe rewarded me with new guidance and insights, put me in a profoundly creative place, and a new location.

    I teach about co-creating and manifesting through healing. This is to where my journey led me. My job in life is to ground light to the planet, to make it real and physical, and there are so many ways to do this, it is our innate creativity.

    We need to improve the world to alleviate suffering, however we are moved to do so. This is about sharing love through music, only 28 minutes, a musical documentation–

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8epJMOi3cwY

    I hope you enjoy these films and are inspired by them. You have touched my heart in many ways, Graciela. Deep respect and love to you ♥

    And you have a wonderful day, as well! May it be filled with light and inspiration 🙂

  • No, no, you are a hero to me. I could never even nearly have articulated, as you have so vividly and spirit-filled and humbly, the journey while you are in the midst of it as you are now. That is a serious accomplishment, to my mind, and a testament to your fortitude and faith. Even the story of your persistence and humility to get it published, and trusting that process in your transparency, is noteworthy, I’m so glad you shared that.

    One phrase which caught my attention from your story was “slow and steady,” which, indeed, is key. So much to sort through, and we’re taken on a quite a ride in order to do just that, what I’d call our spiritual journey. We all have our guidance to follow, however it shows up for us at any given time.

    I can tell from your writing and also from your beautiful and extremely gracious responses to commentors, that you are a bright shining light, I’m sure I’m not alone in noticing this. I’m extermely moved by your spirit, truly. You’re making a difference, and will continue to–in a big way, I have no doubt. The honor is mine, truly, and anyone who reads your story.

  • Thanks for speaking your truth, as always, I really sat with this and thought, why would this come back to me again as such?

    Knowing the extent to which I have called out abuse in my family and in society (not just from “the system,” but the general trends of abuse and oppression of a marginalizing and scapegoating society, and also on very personal relationship levels), and also the extent to which I have identified enablers and challenged that part of the systemic abuse as well (even on a sibling level), when I see you calling me out as an alleged enabler, it gives me great pause and I have to wonder what is the reality here.

    I have, indeed, been around abuse for so long, and quite consciously even (given my life’s work), that I’ve no doubt that I have played all kinds of roles unwittingly from time to time, while trying different strategies in life to deal with all kinds of people. I am human, after all, and far from perfect. And I’ve had to stand up to all kinds of bullying, and especially as an adult all snared up in systemic abuse.

    Many powerful distortions of reality happen when bullying is called out, that’s the strategy–project, project, project, and then lie and gossip. There’s your sysetmic abuse, to cast a hopelessly negative shadow on someone–usually the real truth-speaker. That is dark wanting no light (nor change), despite whatever illusion of change might be being projected. That is false, a cover. To me, that’s the dead end system dragging everyone down, abusive to society on the whole.

    I’ve been part of many social and professional communities all my life, and have had all kinds of personal connections in my 58 years. Thanks to the healing path to which my life led me, I’ve changed so much over the years, and I’m always willing to look inward before calling out a projection.

    Mind-fucking is the most common form of abuse these days, and it is insidious and extremely challenging to awaken to and heal. Calling it out is part of the healing. Not enabling it is vital to systemic healing. The problem is that not everyone can recognize covert abuse, it is so damn tricky and can fool even the smartest people, if they are sensitive and heart-based. It’s become the norm, which is why we (well, I, at least) want a new normal. I’d call that not only a profound awakening, but a core paradigm shift in absolutely every facet of society. This affects EVERYTHING!

    Imagine if oppressors, bullies, steamrollers, gaslighters, shamers, liars, and cheaters were not enabled. There goes their infrastructure! But in reality, who is whom?? I think this is what people are fighting most over and disagreeing about, which I find incredibly interesting, if not frustrating at times.

    (And to stay in step with the article, I’d say I’m viewing life through the lens of “what is systemic dysfunction and how to transform it.” I imagine it would begin with each one of us identifying our habitual roles and deciding if we want to keep playing it or go for something else. We can choose how we respond to any situation, that is by no means universal. In fact, that’s what defines “personal truth,” to my mind, and we all have the right to our own, that is our agency and free will).

  • Loved reading this, thank you! I came off of Lithium (and several other neurotoxins) after 20 years also. I’ve now been 17 years psych drugs free and have been living by my own power and heart-felt guidance ever since. Life has a way of teaching us and seeing us through, if we are attuned to our nature. It most certainly gets better and I agree with Fiachra, that the best is yet to come. Congratulations on accomplishing such personal growth and finding your voice of truth. Beautiful!

  • Can we even imagine a world society where people are allowed and encouraged to enjoy life and at least find it interesting and creative–challenges and all–and not get to the point where they are considering not living any longer out of despair? What would it take to create a planet where people can live and create freely, as per their desires, without fear and sabotage? Can society ever be this free of relentlessly oppressive forces, so that everyone can feel their fair share of joy, and there would be no reason to consider ending one’s own life? I do wonder if this is at all attainable.

    Of course that would mean that every person on the planet would have their basic needs met, like food and other types of nourishment necessary for humans to thrive in well-being. If it can in any way be imagined, then at least there is hope.

    I’m sure many would call this a Utopian fantasy. But if it were to be possible, then none of this would be necessary. And what would mostly be obsolete would be psychiatry and its ilk, for starters.

  • There are as many lenses through which to see life as there are people on the planet. We can group them in so many ways, and I think we mix and match throughout the day. Certainly we can shift lenses and expand our perspective over time, which to me would be the foundation of personal growth.

    Overall, I believe that we can see life through a victim lens or we can see life through a creator lens, depending on how we self-identify by how we interpret our life experiences. I also believe this to be the precursor to our future life experience, based on how we identify in present time and respond to life events. I believe when we expand consciousness to creatorship, we see our best options and do not feel stuck, but more so, envigorated and motivated by our challenges.

  • My feeling response was the same as yours. For me, absence of truth and light feels icky. This is not only contrived, it’s projecting all sorts of illusions. This is the antithesis of truth, like a black hole. When one is in the sytem, being talked about by clincians is the epitome of unsafe! And all too common.

  • With all due respect to the authors, I think this is the best example of why so many people feel abused, dehumanized and marginalized by the mental health industry, straight from the mouths of clincians. I can’t detect a grain of truth or light in this piece whatsoever. I find it to be pure self-indulgence and self-aggrandizing, as usual–and this time, squared. This IS the problem. Frustrating.

  • As I’ve described, I have fought back considerably, and have had some success in doing so. Win some, lose some. We each have to fight our own battles, I like to choose them wisely.

    And I do agree that the answers are within, that’s always my practice.

    We seem to agree on a few things, but differ in perspective in many ways. Regardless, I very much respect your position and I certainly understand from where you are coming.

    I wish you continued strength, courage, and the power to create the change you desire. I have no doubt that these are within all of us, and is a matter of accessing and trusting them. That’s good hardy inner work which can only lead to positive life changes. The former is what most influences the latter.

  • “Recovery is a way of further mind fucking people.”

    Recovery is something that occurs when people have experienced something traumatic and/or debilitating and they get better eventually. I’m not referring to any movement.

    “And Life Coaching is based upon the scam that the coach knows more than you do about your own life.”

    I think in some cases, it is based on having someone outside of you witness your changes, and that is very generous and heart-based work. No one knows more than another, but support from a kind-hearted and wise-minded person who has had their share of life changing experiences is an asset to humanity, I believe. I’m sure there are scammers, like in any field, but I don’t believe you are characterizing this vocation universally.

    “How many Psychiatrists and Psychotherapists have you put out of business?”

    I have put two mh-related agencies out of business while merely trying to have a dialogue. But instead, they both lost their funding, based on my information and feedback. Not my intention, because I knew that people relied on these services, but I also knew the services were not terribly competent, to say the least, and yes, at times, abusive, and I said so, out loud and in their direction.

    But instead of playing fair and engaging in reasonable dialogue with me, they chose to be hard headed and stubborn and stick to the program, so they went down. One of these was because I wrote a letter (that’s all it took), and the other one because I took legal action and won, and then I made a film where I mention this, and sent it around the system. Their funding stopped after my film circulated.

    In addition, I have helped people to bypass the system and psych drugs altogether.

    “How many has your recovery group and your Life Coach put out of business?”

    I don’t have nor have I ever had “a recovery group,” nor a life coach (and it’s not what I am), so this is n/a.

    I own my life and live it my way, in full health and well-being, and grounded. I am complete with all this, other than to share my experience for the sole purpose of supporting others on their path. And a I know just how rugged this particular post-psychiatric path can be, and how confusing and disorienting these awakenings are.

    Life is tough for everyone, and everyone I know has been conned one way or another. Yes, we want change, and I believe I have done a great deal to instegate it, to its full effect. I continue to do this by the way I live my life. K?

  • I agree with you about the “mental health” system being of great harm, and that is because it is government related and in bed with the law, so it is a closed and corrupt system. I appreciate recovery, and life coaching is what it is, but I don’t see it as a threat to society on the whole.

    I am curious, though, what do you feel would most benefit human kind at this time, in a loving kindness kind of way? Anything?

  • I am simply conveying my experience in my own voice. How others interpret it is their story, not mine.

    I have taken my share of hits in life, and I heal as I go. I’ve had successes and victories, too. I think I’m pretty average in this regard, and I imagine I will continue to be. You are free to judge, of course, but I don’t take it on.

    “Real living only starts when you have struck back and scored some victories, that is, taken some scalps.”

    I have done this more than once. Not my favorite thing to do, but it was necessary for me to move forward, It was them or me, and truth was on my side, which gave me the confidence to take action.

    I’m not out for blood, though. My focus is on me and my family at this point, and our well-being. We worked very hard to put our lives back together after my psychiatric debacle, and have since moved into a new phase of life, finally enjoying it.

    As for the community and the world, these require collective actions, but I’m always there for support when called to act in a way which feels good and productive to me.

  • Pacific Dawn, I am a survivor of psychiatry and I’ve experienced psychotherapy which leaned toward complacency, but I do not believe this is universal. I do counseling work with others for the purpose of helping people to get unstuck when that is what they feel, so they can move forward with their goals and intentions.

    I always encourage speaking one’s truth, which is way more often than not a vital component in the healing process, and especially if it is a particularly challenging situtation (which it usually is, that’s actually often the main sticky issue), then I’m there as support, to help hold and witness the process of healing and personal change. That’s my life’s work, and I feel it has great value right now, given how the world is seeking change, big time.

    What you say is true in a lot of instances, but I do not believe it is across the boards. Some of us do encourage and desire real truth to come to light, even when it is a hard truth, which is always the most powerful catalyst to change. Without that, I don’t see healing happening. And we all need healing, including the planet on the whole.

  • I’m with Sam in appreciation, this is an enlightened response, Ron.

    There is an inherent connection between what we carry inside of us (beliefs, feelings, thoughts, focus) and the reality outside of us–a back & forth interplay, which, from what I understand and have come to believe, is the basis of how we experience life and our personal reality. Complex, indeed, and totally relevant and practical when it comes to the human experience, imo.

    And, these are flexible, they are not fixed to one point in time. Life is an ever-evolving process (human beings and our environments change constantly), so there’s always room to explore, discover, learn, grow, and refine our processes, for a better life experience than what came before. More ease, clarity, assuredness, etc., along with less fear of the unknown. Why not? Makes life better in all respects, regardless of from where we have come.

    I especially like this and resonate with it–

    “there is the idea that we all have an undamaged “Self” that, if we learn how to bring it forward, can help us heal or unburden the parts of us that have been messed up by trauma.”

    Yes, I agree with this, that we are always whole human beings. Bringing different parts of ourselves into conscious being is called “awakening” and “soul retrieval,” in other healing vernacular.

    Great and very clear truth here, Ron, thank you.

  • “People lose years of their lives to bad marriages, unsuccessful business attempts, and natural disasters. It’s not like I’m the only one. Knowing this certainly softens the blow.”

    Well, there you go, exactly, Julie. After a while of living, it does become apparent that a lot of people have stories like these to tell. No doubt at different intensities and circumstances, but again, that is because our paths are unique, and relevant to who we are. Sometimes it is natural disasters and sometimes it is relationship disaster. The latter can really take some intense soul searching and introspection, but that’s the idea, we get on that path of raising self-awareness and learning through our next phase of life. And I agree with you always here, that there is so much creative power in this.

    I think each circumstance carries its own awakening and path of wisdom and learning–to pass along so perhaps next generations have it a bit easier, thanks to the wisdom we’ve acquired in this lifetime. Better to have generational learning, rather than generational abuse, needless to say!

    Maybe that’s one way we can help turn things around, and stop abuses right here and now. Haven’t we learned by now, by our own discovery?

    That is one big shift we can make right now to create change, in the moment. Before lashing out, we can take a pause and still speak our truth–I think that’s vital–but with a bit more awareness of what we’re throwing into the collective. We do affect each other, one way or another, that is nature. We each play a part in the feeling of the collective, and we can always raise the energy a bit, which I believe leads to more clarity and also relief on some levels, a bit more ease.

    I know this will ruffle some feathers around here, but really and truly honestly, I like going by “why did this happen for me?” rather than “why did this happen to me?” Been hearing this a lot, lately, and I think it is humbling, empowering, and true. Moves us right along because then, there is purpose to all of our experiences–to enjoy, or to further awaken. Those two can eventually coincide, which would be optimal. Then, life would be so much more fun and enjoyable. I think a good quality of life includes the ability to be light and to have fun.

  • I think it’s realisitic and human. One thing we can count on in life is that we will make lots and lots of mistakes. So what, who doesn’t? We can still move along, learn as we grow, and have our moments of joy. We certainly don’t have to punish ourselves forever, or even at all. That is self-imposed suffering. I’ve had to forgive myself for a lot of things, and I imagine I will be doing that more during my lifetime, and probably even on my deathbed. Such is life as a human being.

  • “There is no “Getting Better”, as there was never anything wrong with any of us in the first place.”

    I had chronic and crippling anxiety to address. My error in judgment (and misguided belief) led me to psychiatry, whereas much later in life I learned what was really causing me to feel this way, and I made necessary changes, which alleviated this problem. The bulk of this change came from shifting my self-perception. The solution was far and away from “mental health” anything. That industry only causes people to feel terrible about themselves. So then, there is the issue of healing from the damage done by psychiatry, which to me, was also a matter of “getting better”–from drugs toxicity to criminal and violating systemic abuse.

    “And the goal of life cannot be just “happiness”.

    For some, it might be. Happiness can come when suffering is relieved. Doesn’t always, right away, especially if the suffering was caused by other people, and even more specifically if it caused by people who are supposed to be helping. That’s where the very traumatic and wounding issue of betrayal comes in.

    That’s a fork in the road for many people, we all handle this differently. Not everyone feels vindictive, although I understand why some would, seems natural under many circumstances. There are other routes to take, however, in order to resolve these issues within ourselves. Depends on our beliefs and codes of living, which are personal to each of us.

    In short, there are choices available as to how to respond to being institutionally or socially victimized. I believe most people on the planet have been, one way or another. Our government isn’t exactly “for the people by the people,” as we all know. More like “by the elite for the elite,” and the rest of us are left to fend for ourselves.

    Everyone has their own goals in life, but I think “fulfillment” might be more universally sought, although I certainly can’t speak for others. That’s always my goal, in any endeavor I take on–to feel fulfilled in the process of whatever I’m doing. Otherwise, what would be the point?

  • Yes, there is a lot of healing and processing to do once one abandons psychiatry, realizing that it has done way more harm than anything and has only added to suffering. We all do that our own way, I believe that is a powerful truth that has been revealed from our personal stories. This is what psychiatry misses altogether, that we are unique individuals.

    I don’t feel rage though, for me that is counter-healing and keeps me emotionally connected to psychiatry in a way that I’d prefer to not be. More than anything, even after all these years away from the “mh industry,” I am relieved to no longer be part of that, and happy to be free. Also incredibly grateful, because it was not easy. To find our freedom is also an awakening which occurs in unique ways, according to the individual, and it’s not at all once, but more so, layer by layer. Lots of post traumatic stress from that experience, which is healable.

  • I remember sitting in on a meeting in San Francisco, about 7 years ago, where CIT was being discussed because a gentleman who had been receiving services from California Behavioral Health Services (CBHS), and who used a wheelchair, was shot by police in front of the CBHS building because he was weilding a knife from his wheelchair.

    Meeting attendees were the public defender, exec and assistant directors of Mental Health Association SF, an attorney for the defendant, several social workers, and me. I had been contracting with MHA-SF as public speaker and wanted to do more to help bring my lived experience to the table, for that perspective to have a voice in these matters. I was shut down and put on the defensive by those who continuously referred to the defendant as “wheelchair man.”

    The public defender asked the attorney a couple of questions about the incident with the defendant, which he could not answer. The attorney passed around his card, and was more interested in media than anything, knew nothing about the client that had been assigned to him several weeks prior.

    20 minutes into the meeting, someone came in and signaled to the public defender that he had a phone call, and so he got up and left without saying anything to those of us in the room, and never came back, whereas we all did not know what to expect. A vague discussion took place for about another 20 minutes, where everyone was confused, and then we all left. It was truly bizarre.

    The dehumanization process and indifference that goes along with it are thoroughly systemic.

  • Also, I think that a community/group of those who’ve identified in the scapegoating role would be filled with all kinds of truth, wisdom, and new clarity, although I do feel that it would be necessary for people to somehow detach from this identity, or at least be willing to, for the group to maintain a grounded and real sense of power, away from the norm, and to be practical and effective. I say this because it is so easy to scapegoat, I believe it happens way more often than not–it IS the norm!–and I believe that’s at the core of our social issues and systemic abuse. It happens in community after community, seems the most used option for alleviating collective anxiety. But if it falls on one person, than nothing at all is alleviated, and that system becomes totally stuck in bad familiar patterns. That’s a downward spiral in the works.

    In addition, the one scapegoated is the one NOT going by social programming (or at least attempting to not, and struggling with this) and is more creative and independent in thinking, and therefore is poised to make much needed contributions to society at a time that we need new thinking and expanded creativity. Freeing oneself of this identity will allow a person to embrace their uniquely creative selves, despite how others may project their shallow and truly meaningless judgments (if we give them no credence).

    To my mind, for real change to occur, the idea would be to NOT create a scapegoat–yet again–from within that evolved group, which would merely be repeating social abuse. I suggest that we learn from how that felt (which is quite terrible and dispiriting, to say the least, and is pure oppression embodied), so we have deep empathy for this and can therefore be mindful to not make others feel scapegoated or marginalized when frustrations and conflicts occur, and eveyone has a chance to contribute and feel their value in the collective, to maximize the value and functionability of the entire community. Million $ question: can it be done?

  • Isn’t that Murray Bowen’s Family Systems Theory? Which I agree with, a scapegoat is created to absolve all other members of the family/community of responsbility for how they are contributing to the collective anxiety. For it to fall on one person is irrational and unrealistic, given that we all affect each other, one way or another. That just cannot be truth, it makes no sense.

    The “scapegoat” is expected to carry the anxiety/blame for everyone, and when that person refuses to do so, things only get worse and the scapegoating becomes more pronounced, often via Munchausen by proxy. Then, the entire system is operating under a stark delusion, and they are spreading the lies, which makes it dangerous for everyone concerned.

    The one who is designated “scapegoat” is the one with the opportunity to make significant core changes to the system, but it is not easy to shift an internalized “scapegoat” identity. Arguing, debating, or trying to use reason and logic with a scapegoating system is exactly like spiiting into the wind, most of us have come to realize this–it just comes right back into our faces. Scapegoating about creating an illusion of power and control over others, that’s the goal. It has nothing to do with reason or fairness or balance or justice. So the shift has to be made individually, and creatively, from the inside, based on reflecting on and being willing to shift our own self-identity and sense of boundaries and what is and is not acceptible to us.

    However, that kind of internal shifting while detaching from the system is what leaves a marginalizing system in the dust and powerless (they have to deal with their own anxiety if there is no one but each other to project it onto), while at the same time, creating a new way of being for the now FORMER scapegoat.

    That would be how systemic transformation would come about, to my mind. Not an easy path, but neither is systemic change, so in that sense, it’s a perfect match. Certainly, neither the abuser/ring leader nor the enablers will step forward, they don’t want change, for fear of feeling their powerlessness. But the “scapegoat” sure would, once they tire of that role!

    I think the “scapegoat” is really the most powerful one in the dynamic, once they choose to relinquish that role. And it takes time to adjust to feeling powerful in one’s own light when coming from a lifetime of feeling powerless, overshadowed, demeaned, and marginalized. That’s an enormous core shift which begins internally, and it will affect absolutely everyone around that person, for starters.

  • Thanks Rosalee, I appreciate your kind words! Yes we performed a few times including a holiday show where we featured 40s big band songs from their era, fun for us all and the residents were elated from it for about a week, I heard, which was really cool to know. We screened the film for them and they just loved seeing themselves on the “big screen.” Certainly a nice break for me from all this other stuff! Trying to keep it all balanced…

  • “Fairly new to my awakening of what goes on in psychiatry and am still trying to comprehend how deep and insidious this whole fiasco is.”

    Very well said, Rosalee, exactly how I would put it–a deeply insidious fiasco. Sums it up perfectly.

    I had thought at one time several years ago, when I made the film, that perhaps the clincians needed a broader education, based on our experiences of healing outside of the mh industry, and that a dialogue about new persepctives on well-being and healing would begin, opening new vistas, horizons, and possibilities. Silly me, still not fully awake at that time.

    It is after years of participating on here that my eyes opened wider, and I realized that this would never, ever occur, no way no how.

    No shrink will ever learn anything from me nor from those who went through what we did, by their choosing, other than as token, which is how covert oppression works. And if they were to learn from us, we wouldn’t get credit, they’d co-opt the information, as per the norm. This is the politics, which is that of the status quo. THAT’s how deeply insidious this whole fiasco is. I don’t call it “vampirism” for nothing. Exactly what it is, spot on and a textbook case.

    Psychiatry/psychotherapy/”mental health” counseling are based on dialogue and communication. That and the drugs are the foundation of this industry.

    Dialogue? Are you kidding me? How about stonewalling, avoiding, lying, projecting, stigmatizing, extreme defensiveness, shaming, guilting, playing “victim,” gossiping, backstabbing, sabotaging, blaming, twisting words, etc. It’s all one big insidious collage of mind games and betrayal and cover your ass, and nobody wins because there is no truth in any of it, it’s just one illusion and disillusion after another. That’s been my awakening as of late. It is played!

  • Regardless of what leads a person into psychiatry, my emphasis is more on healing from the damage done by psychiatry once we have moved away from it. There is psych drugs damage to heal, and there is also programming to shift and old sets of beliefs to reconsider. That is life changing.

    Once we awaken to the corruption which has plagued us personally, there is a lot of shifting to do. That is a holistic process of healing and core transformation. Big changes occurs here, when we heal from internalized oppressive programming.

  • “Its clear that Laura Delano found a means of coping with the rigours of psychiatric drug withdrawal, and overcame “Severe Mental Illness” as a result of abandoning Psychiatry.”

    Many of us can claim this exact same thing: we can get off the drugs, abandon psychiatry, and that is where healing occurs–as opposed to the calamity which psychiatry seems to inevitably offer. I believe this is where numbers can be significant. That is hard evidence that psychiatry places us on a downward spiral, whereas going elsewhere for healing works.

    I know that we all have different approaches to this which work for us, and a lot is yet to be discovered by people regarding their own personal healing path. I know that you, Fiachra, sing the praises of psychotherapy for your recovery, whereas I had to abandon ANYTHING having to do with the mh industry in order to heal. Here in the USA, I find this field to be utterly useless, and only creates problems and more drama and crises for people. Here in this country, at least, this industry simply does not know what it is doing, in my very firm and well-founded (I believe) opinion.

    And they have no ears for critical feedback, none whatsoever. That’s a huge problem, especially when it comes to “the art of dialogue.”

    Regardless, I believe we, ourselves, have proven with our lived experience and all that is possible once DSM/neurotoxins are abandoned and left in the dust, that diagnoses are bullshit, based on subjective and oppressive cultural norms, and that the psych drugs are extremely damaging in multiple ways to the point of being lethal.

    Many of us have gotten away from all of this, and have managed to stay away for decades now, and have, in turn, healed from this and have found our path in life. And that is not without deep reflection about the atrocities which psychiatry has put so many of us through. I know we’ve acquired profound wisdom taking this journey, how else would it serve?

    There is no ambiguity here for many of us, it is clear as crystal that psychiatry is dangerous and harmful, and getting away can be live-saving. Period.

  • “Sometimes I wonder if clinician blaming isn’t the exact same dynamic as patient blaming, turned on its head.”

    Absolutely not. What begins as “critical feedback” to clinicians (which is fair and reasonable in any professional situation) turns into a power struggle because clinicians notoriously don’t accept negative feedback, and instead, turn it on its head (to use your phrase) and use it to project their negative feeling from the feedback onto the client, as though it were their “false perception” causing a “trauma trigger,” instead of hearing the feedback with humility, ownership, and an open mind.

    Clinician/client is not a “family relationship;” it should be a professional one. But clinicians cross all sorts of emotional and relationship boundaries while projecting what they don’t like about themselves onto the client. This is common, and was exactly my experience, repeatedly, and it does harm to the psyche until one wakes up to the abuse happening.

    I’ve known clinicians to be very defensive and basically freaked out when a client leaves their practice dissatisfied. They have to rationalize it in all sorts of ways, always ending up on the client. The kind of abuse we’re talking about can be very subtle, yet insidious in its mind-twisting ways. Last thing a client needs, and it is all too often what they receive in the guise of “psychotherapy.”

    Clinicians get paid, while clients are the ones who do the paying, one way or another, and are left drained of resources and any hope of clarity, well-being, and quality of life. How can “patient blaming” be the same dynamic as “clinician blaming?” The clinician has a JOB to do, it’s why they are paid!

    Clients are there for different reasons, I guess, but I know in my case as with countless others, I was there to heal depression, anxiety, and all kinds of confusion, so that I could have a fruitful, productive, and enjoyable life, to live my dreams. Instead, clinicians made things way, way worse, systematically, over the years. And for a long time, I was paying out-of-pocket until I had to turn to the system because my pockets had been drained from all of this messiness, and in turn, directly because of this, my life got way, way messy.

    When I finally switched tracks to real and true healing, thanks to an exceptional teacher and healer whom I had met, and an entirely new group of healers with an entirely different mindset about life and humanity, and how our mind/body/spirit system works, I got 100% better over a period of a few years, and my life healed as well as my mind, body, heart, and spirit. The messiness transformed into new clarity, and from there I could proceed forward with my new life, feeling newfound relief and freedom.

    I was the constant, wanting only to heal, but what varied were the “clinician/healers” to whom I turned. MH clinicians and these practices tanked me; the energy work healed me. It is simple math!

    “I wonder if there is a place for getting outside of the bashing and creating a new and true empowering context for the patients and the clinicians caught up in this truly terrible mess.”

    Clinicians can do anything they want. As KateL says, they can quit, no one is forcing a job on anyone. But clients are either forced to be there, by law, or they are there voluntarily trying to heal. Of course, there are all kinds of ways in the world which exist that do bring healing, and which are not messy as this is. That’s where I would go with all this, for getting out of the messiness.

    It is where I went and it worked, unequivocally. But that gets bashed, too, and invalidated. I don’t care about that, but it does discourage others. I go with what works, and I know what didn’t work and what did work.

    MH anything is THE terrible mess. Lose that, and things get much, much clearer. It’s a matter of taking leaps of faith and trusting one’s process, AND really and truly being open to change, not just “political lip service.” Without these, it’s status quo until status quo itself burns to the ground from its own internalized mechanisms of oppression. How could it possibly survive at this point in time?

  • World peace is my vision, as well. I believe it begins with inner peace, despite anything going on around us, that we are clear and comfortable with our own truth as we go along discerning and making choices in life, moment by moment, based on what we know about ourselves and our intentions—that is, how we are moved by our spirit to proceed forward from any moment in time.

    We must know our strength to endure and overcome, as well as the power of our heart’s wisdom and guidance. This is what I have thus far learned in my particular life journey.

    Thank you for voicing your truth and vision so unambiguously. There is great power in that level of clarity, I believe.

  • So true, of course, about the competing agendas–political vs. personal–and that is causing great distress continuously in these endeavors.

    I think all our stories are quite messy and complex, this is not an easily streamlined subject. There is so much at play here, so many factors which motivate and fuel our life experiences, and each of us has our own unique story to tell, which can also morph over time, depending on how flexible we are with our beliefs and perspectives.

    Healing, personal growth, and evolution are messy, in and of themselves. Like birth. It’s natural, but not easy and quite challenging and painful, to the point of stretching us. And exhilarating at the same time, if we are attuned to the new life happening. That is change occurring, in the moment.

    My reason for sharing my story of how I got into such a mess, and then how I got out of it, layer by layer, is first and foremost for my own clarity, to hear my own voice in a self-validating way, and then I can move on from that particular piece of my story, as though I’d retrieved that part of myself and integrated it.

    What others hear or how they interpret what I say and how I say it–or if they simply cannot hear what I am saying, like there is no reference point or schema–is not in my control whatsoever (which is why I stopped seeing “mental health” clinicians a decade ago). I’m always willing to elaborate, when questioned with respect and genuine curiosity, as opposed to being impulsively invalidated for my truth. That clearly indicates a negative projection, and personal agenda over greater good. Perspectives need to stretch and grow for change to occur.

    It’s happened each way over the years–I have been heard sometimes and I have been grossly projected onto–but I don’t respond to invalidating projections any longer, other than to say, “Sorry, you are wrong in that projection.” No reason to explain myself, that’s a rabbit hole, and regressive to childhood; I only hold myself back when I engage with this and give it any credence. At this point, I know myself better than anyone else could possibly know me, and that’s my certainty. I am under no obligation to prove anything to anyone, that is compromising my personal power. I’ve learned that the hard way over the years, and it’s been a most valuable and fruitful lesson when it comes to manifesting positive life experiences, for a change!

    I speak my truth and share my story for my own clarity, first, and how that ripples is always interesting to witness, but my job is done at that point. Hopefully, when I share my story, my voice will reach the right open ears (and hearts and minds), and that’s always great progress when that happens. For now, at least, I am comfortable with my own truth, and that is what brings me peace and grounding in life.

  • Very moving and inspirational. Thank you for sharing your journey and for the courage and wisdom to trust your process despite the feeling of vulnerability, which is where most people stop dead in their tracks and hide from their own truth, and which, in turn, is the road to nowhere. You are doing the opposite, speaking your authentic truth with transparency and positive self-regard which I respect more than anything. Congratulations on your profound accomplishments!

  • I don’t think it’s as much approving vs disapproving of certain kinds of behavior as it is naturally self-caring and self-respecting to distance oneself when certain behaviors become exceedingly challenging and have no regard for personal boundaries.

    And what may be challenging for one person is breezy for another, due to familiarity, for one thing, but also because we have diverse sensibilities and varying relationship dynamics, based on from where we come.

    Anger is a human emotion which we all feel at one time or another, and blame is certainly warranted in a corrupt and harming system of oppression and abuse. But chronic hostility and aggression–in whatever form, overt or passive–will definitely push people away, which stands to reason I think.

  • Dr. Fred, that is MUSIC to my ears, as my own dad would say. Thank you, yes, indeed, I’m a Renaissance kind of person, the world came alive with art, music, theater, a new paradigm of thought and living, out of the Dark Ages. It was a grand transformation.

    When I went to see a medical intuit in 2001 to guide me off of a lot of psych drugs safely (out of dire medical necessity, all of a sudden), the very first thing she said to me was that I needed to learn how to ground my energy. This had been the cause of my anxiety and ups and downs all along.

    Had someone told me this in 1982, it would have saved me sooooo much trouble, I can hardly calculate it. Really, none of what I went through would have been necessary, I’ve no doubt. This was new info to me. Drugs are the last thing one needs when one lacks grounding. They unground us even more, keep us out of our feelings and in our heads, spinning in thoughts. So it’s a double-whammy.

    So grounding was step 1, to bring some peace to the system, a bit of calm and deep breathing to just feel slightly more ease, that feeling of surrender just for the moment, and then things fell into place so much more easily because we are creating what we need along the way, is how I look at it. Amazing the difference it made.

    And it’s not easy, life is ungrounding as it is, but mutliple trauma makes it ever more so, because we keep ourselves unwittingly ungrounded with our own thoughts. There is healing to do here. It does take practice. This is what I learned of most value, I think, and what helped me to get on with things. Came to me from a variety of sources along the way, I had to synthesize it.

    Only other thing I feel compelled to say here is that trust is something to be earned nowadays, we’ve all been so betrayed by one person/community/institution or others. We are, indeed, all in it together, like it or not! We all serve, one way or another.

    Thank you for your presence and work in the world, and for putting all of your skills to good use. We’ve all challenges to overcome. I’ve enjoyed the exchange and sharing 🙂 Cheers!

  • Dr. Fred, I checked out your services. We basically do the same thing and have similar goals with clients, to help free them of negative self-beliefs and feel their creative power. To me, that is a heart based energy, specifically. The idea of “mental illness” doesn’t even enter the picture, unless they bring it up as past experience, or they are looking for that new perspective. I work with people of all walks of life, with this same goal of personal freedom, starting from within. That is universal to all souls, the desire to be free.

    I was wondering if you are familiar with the concept of grounding, that is one thing I notice might be missing in your work, based on my perspective of healing and transformation. I am not seeing grounding here, does that make sense to you? Being in our bodies, grounded to the Earth. That is how we make manifest our vision.

    At some point, as we are guided by our own intution, we have to surrender our vision to the universal life flow of energy and trust the process without the intention of controlling anything, wouldn’t you agree? Detaching from outcome? Would you agree that this is a vital component of our personal power in the process of manifesting our lives? And specifically, to transformation? At some point, it’s necessary to let go and trust, if change is to occur with relative ease. I ask because it seems aligned with your work, if I’m reading it correctly.

    My second film is an exact example of this. It is of the Earth, and you can see it in the film, Earth and nature are visible. Humanity is on Earth, that is the nature of being human. Music is considered of the Earth, which is why it brings people together and speaks on many levels, transcending language. We feel it in our hearts,, and when we GROUND this feeling, we are bringing light to the Earth, to all of humanity. This is healing on so many levels!

    I believe we all have this power, to bring light to humanity, simply by grounding, coming down to Earth, and opening our hearts, just a bit to start. Is this at all copacetic or overlapping with how you help to guide and empower your clients and audiences? It’s all I’m ever trying to get across, and I wonder to what extent this rings true to you, especially given our similar goals in our client work–to empower via their own sense of personal freedom and self-regard.

  • Thank you, Dr. Fred, I hope it helps to expand your awareness from a client perspective.

    Since your work is about personal transformation–as is mine–I do have one more piece to offer, again in the form of a film, the follow up to Voices That Heal. This time it’s short, only 28 minutes.

    This is all about music, love, healing and community service. On a personal level, it is my transformation, my example of it. This was 5 years after I made VTH, after my life had transformed thanks to the very thorough and in depth healing work I did, which also served as my training as a healer and teacher. I credit my truth-speaking, mostly, for moving me forward. It is directly because of that I ended up in a new and very beautiful, peaceful, and healing environment–among the Redwoods. Direct correlation between speaking my truth and transforming my life, the dots connect directly.

    Aside from being a healing guide for people, which is my life vocation, I am also music director and accompanist for a band which performs as a way of giving back to the community and raising the energy, this time with our musical voices.

    This is the result of my eschewing diagnoses and any kind of label, getting off of toxic psych drugs and withstanding a terrifying and painful withdrawal, and then getting on with my life in a way that makes my journey most meaningful and fulfiling to me, grounded, alive, and with enthusiasm for life in all of its abundant creativity.

    Littleturtle, I have a feeling you would enjoy this, too, I hope so at least. And certainly I invite anyone to watch this short film, who is in the mood for a bit of a joy elixir for the weekend. All of my films are intended to heal and uplift our spirits on some level, and to open our hearts.

    This film is purely heart-based, a musical documentation of a moment in time, and I think it’s fun and uplifting, certainly my intention. Anything to bring light to this dense society of ours and create some relief from the undue suffering. Love, music, volunteerism, giving back–those are our highest frequencies of energy, and they do bring healing to all who participate and who can take it in.

    This was our gift to the community of residents in the assisted living facillity where we performed, and their families. They ate it up!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8epJMOi3cwY

  • You are too kind, Dr. Moss. This was my path, for better or worse. I did learn so much and I do recognize now that life is amazing, I will say that. Miraculous, even.

    To answer your question, I’m a bit ahead of you. I made a film about just this subject several years ago, simply with storytellers (including myself) recounting our journeys, and sharing our perspective in a unique conversation amongst ourselves. We are not of one mind or voice, but more so, we are diverse in our thinking. My intention was to present our perspectives in a way that was harmonious, what I call “A choir of voices” taking the audience through unique journeys of being and healing.

    I read about your upcoming documentary on your website, and it made me think of my film. And, I think it fits perfectly with “Welcome to Humanity,” because that is exactly what my film is–simply our humanity, expressed and embodied through our own voices of healing.

    I had no resources for this, so production values aren’t the greatest, but I believe the messages are clear and worthy of note. Certainly we tell an eye-opening story. It was also my first attempt at making a film, which I hope to do more, film is a passion of mine, and I think a great medium for truth speaking in all kinds of creative and engaging, entertaining ways. If you choose to check it out, I hope you enjoy–

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtDGxJWmj5w

  • Thank you for this perspective. I have heard this before, that diagnoses absolve one of self-responsibility. And it may apply to some people who use “illness,” or a label, as an excuse to not be accountable, but I don’t think that is either the norm or the majority of people, and it certainly doesn’t apply to me. I believe one needs to be careful about generalizations like this, as it can create a totally false projection onto those to whom this does not apply, and that is not helpful in healing because it is not truth.

    The first time I ever heard of “manic-depression” (as it was called in the 1970s) was on a Maude episode called “Maude’s Moods.” A few years later, in college, I began to experience alternating bouts of depression/anxiety, and then relief from that for several months, which put me in my usual chipper and sociable mood. That had mostly been my “normal.” Outwardly, I’d been a pretty happy-go-lucky and fun-loving kid.

    Then it happened again, that same cycling of emotions, and I went to see a counselor on campus. I told her that I thought I might be manic-depressive (as per the Maude episode, that’s all I knew about this), and she administered some standardized tests and then suggested I see a psychiatrist. At that time, there was no association between m-d and violent outbursts, suicide, hospitalization, or in any way being a “threat” to society, so as far as I knew there was really no stigma associated with it. It was about having extreme moods (welcome to humanity, right?), and there was something one could take for it. Seemed perfectly respectable, like Valium, also middle-class popular in the 1970s.

    I didn’t “self-diagnose” to get out of responsbility, however. What I wanted was relief from all that anxiety which this brought with it, and which made it impossible for me to focus on point. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to function in life if I did not get this taken care of. I knew it had a “solution” to manage the “symptoms” (Lithium), and taking that would allow me to be able to live like a “normal” person, work for a living, have a life, etc. This was my program from the suburbs, and I followed the protocol. It was all I knew.

    That’s exactly what I learned from the media, and I went with it. It kind of worked–I worked full time, went back to school, and began a relationship which continues to this day, 34 years later.

    But of course, thanks to taking the “psychiatric path,” I suffered many side-effects, which I dealt with one way or another but kept my medical bills hardy, and I was eventually met with dire consequences which completely tanked my health and almost cost me my life, and I had to go to great lengths and expense to correct all of this on my own with blind faith. I had no example at the time of coming off psych drugs, nor of “healing from mental illness” (as I thought about it at the time).

    I did find my healing path away from psych drugs and diagnosis, thank goodness, and got my head on straight, my issues integrated, and my life back on track. But it was a close call, way too close for comfort. This was my personal wake up call to the shadow underbelly of society, going through the “mental health” industry and all its tangents.

    Fortunately, I discovered 20 years after my initial diagnosis that I was wrong, the Dr’s were wrong, and none of this was ever true, and I never had anything more than emotions and some issues from my family which I had to eventually address and clean up, and bring in my own information so that I could make my life choices in a reasonably sound and discerning way, rather than driven by chronic negative internalized voices and self-image.

    I recovered from it all, but damn, what a waste of time, energy, money, and effort. Lesson learned! I do wish I could get a refund, however. This was costlier than I could possibly say. After 20+ years of being shit on by this so called “helping profession,” a full refund would make me a very wealthy man. Psychiatry took me to the cleaners and my partner and I only suffered even more in return.

    So, I take full responsbility for walking into these offices in the first place, and for believing Norman Lear, but it was the popular belief at the time, and I was actually being SELF-responsible, that was my sole intention. Still, I have to say this to psychiatry in general and to the “mental health” industry on the whole, with full sincerity: thanks for nothing.

  • “I just wanted to pay attention that you can’t get chaos (real randomizing) even using the most powerful computers (I know this as a programmer), so why do we expect this from nature?”

    This is very interesting and your question makes perfect sense. I do find paradox here because in one sense we can say nature would be infinitely organized (I can only imagine) and on the other hand, it can create chaos, so I can also imagine it by nature being chaotic. Plus, I am always able to say I feel my chaos, even though I’m a very focused and highly organized person. But it takes effort to focus and I also like to relax and just allow, be “in the flow” as is said, which is when I feel my “chaos.” Which is fine, I’m good with it, still grounded and all.

    I’m also an extremely creative person, so the chaos is exciting to me, not at all disorienting. I do create and manifest from chaos, all the time. To me, it feels like my nature, with which I’m totally aligned, so I guess I’m projecting onto nature from my own sense of self. But then again, isn’t that what any of us would do, how it works?

    Perhaps we are the ones projecting the chaos so that we can create from it, maybe that’s the human element of nature which brings this. We are definitely unpredictable, never know how we’re going to feel from one day to the next. Chaos is much more interesting than “perfect order,” although there is beauty in symmetry, as well. But we are such creators, I think, that I do believe is human nature. We create one way or another, whether consciously or not.

    I’m seeing both sides of this paradox, and I very much appreciate what you say here because you are a progammer and you would know this, so what you say does give me pause. Definitely food for thought, thank you for that!

    “On the other hand, we have paranoia (occuring synchronicities).
    I think that synchronicities is the universal language of nature, it is a tool of evolution.”

    That’s beautifully put. Yes, universal language of nature and a tool of evolution, I’d agree completely with that. But I’m not clear on where “paranoia” fits in here–unless you mean that we can interpret synchronistic events through a lens of fear, which then I could see how paranoia could develop from this. But that’s more about the beliefs we are carrying, not about the synchronicities. Not sure whether or not I’m understanding you correctly here.

    I experience synchronicity all the time, and it’s always a good feeling, joyous and affirming. Makes me feel that I’m on my path, and that things are lining up with whatever intention I have at the moment.

    It’s been during times where I am lacking synchroncity (or better said, I am not perceiving it due to lack of focus) where I’ve felt in the dark and with a lot of anxiety. Whereas the synchs bring me reassurance, calm, and confidence–a feeling of light and certainty in my body. It is a very good feeling, like, no worries!

  • Salimur, I think we all have our take on this, nothing is set in stone about it. I believe it’s a matter of how we take in and interpret the nature of life, based on who we are and how we organize information. It’s different for everyone. I see it as an exploration.

    With that said, what comes to mind from reading your post is that I do feel we run energy akin to electricity, that our bodies are comprised of a continual action of electrical impulses, which would be our brain activity in relation to our nervous system, and all the signals that go out to the different parts of our bodies for the sake of functioning. It is why grounding is vital, the way we ground our appliances so they do not short curcuit. We have circuitry, too, that is our nature.

    Everyone experiences lightning and static electricity, these are most natural and universal. So to liken them to “psychosis” and “autism” only works for me if you’re saying that we exist on a continuum and each of us can achieve these extremes. That would be human nature, not just the nature of “some people.”

    Perhaps we all go in and out of different aspects of the contiuum without even realizing it, if it is our nature. So the question would be, why do some people get stuck at the extremes and wind up labeled, and rather boxed in for life, based on these labels?

    Finally, I’ve never heard of “synchroncity” being associated with “reduced brain activity,” although it makes sense now that I think about it. I associate synchronicity with increased awareness, especially present time awareness. It is one way we witness life happening in the moment.

    Too much brain activity means we are running a lot of electricity and that takes us out of the moment, and also out of our grounding, so indeed, we would not notice the synchronicity. Which is too bad, because synchronicity is the magic of life! It is all around us all the time.

    I would say heart activity is a higher current of electricity, so to speak, than that of brain activity. Brain activity is dense and heavy, to the point where it can lead to fog. Heart energy is aligned with love. That is our nature, too, I believe. And love can be, both, healing and quite chaotic. Still, there is clarity in love.

  • Right, there is nothing to fix. We can work with the chaos. I don’t see us as humans being powerless to the chaos, but more so we participate in it. It is our nature. I think when we take that in, we can stop struggling against it as though there were something “wrong” with chaos, and instead work with it in a way that is fruitful and reassuring. Like going with the stream rather than struggling against the current to go upstream.

    Chaos is nature and nature is chaos. There is always an “x factor,” which makes life interesting, challenging, and creative–anything but static. How we organize this within ourselves depends on many things, but ulitmately, it determines how we experience our reality, which is also unique.

    We can create order out of chaos for the purpose of manifesting something, but that can go away as quickly as it came. The chaos is constant, underneath it all. Good stuff, I think, real truth.

    Witnessing is the power here, I think.

  • “Actually, chaos theory (from mathematics) might be more useful for understanding human behavior and emotion than almost any proposed psychological theories about such.”

    I agree, this is absolute truth. You nailed it, KS. Problem solved, like in math.

    https://fractalfoundation.org/resources/what-is-chaos-theory/

    “Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected. While most traditional science deals with supposedly predictable phenomena like gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions, Chaos Theory deals with nonlinear things that are effectively impossible to predict or control”

  • “It is astonishing that iatrogenic problems such as persistent diseases and dysfunctions induced by prescribed drugs have received so little attention from the research community.”

    I’m not astonished, I think it’s predictable. We’re talking about corruption, manipluation of information, and deceiving/confusing the public. That is status quo. Clear, honest, direct truth is the last thing I would expect anywhere in this arena. That would be a really nice and welcome change.

  • Thanks for this link, Fiachra. She’s excellent! Says it all, letter perfect.

    It’s a lifestyle based on exactly what she says–setting an intention and paying attention as the process unfolds, remembering our self-kindness and non-judgment, feeling appreciation and gratitude along the way, and allowing joy in the moment by paying attention and recognizing joyous moments. For me, this work is a panacea, no exaggeration.

    I call it the healing & manifesting path, and in the process, it cured me from ALL that ailed me and keeps me in a state of well-being. Same with my partner, we both practice this. That is truth. It is the jewel of my journey, gives meaning and purpose to all of it, even those years of suffering and deep despair. This has been the payoff for us. Learning this turned it all around for us both and we’ve never been healthier and happier.

    She’s right, this work does reverse the aging process. And exactly why I say above–it allows cellular regeneration, because when we meditate, we get out of our own way. When we are truly and fully in present time, we are in our power.

    I love this path, totally works for me. I teach along these lines, as well.

  • “Brain scans of Buddhists monks (“the “Olympic athletes” of meditation,” as Lifshitz and Thompson write) demonstrate stronger and more robust brains.”

    Stands to reason, given that surrendering effort and control relaxes the mind, body, and spirit, conserves energy and redirects it to where it is most natural and useful, and brings relief from stress. This allows healing to occur naturally via detoxification (letting go of the old) and cellular regeneration (allowing the new). The ego is what gets in the way of good healing.

  • Putting a kabbash on the conversation? How are we ever going to get to truth if we do not play these out? This is terribly amiss, Steve, and I disagree with your summary, it misses many important factors and I’d call it part of the reign of error, to stay true and relevant to this blog. But I’ll stop here, as per your missive. But dang, really!

  • “And I thought some of us were building a political movement here, not trying to satisfy someone’s “personal” “agenda”?”

    Isn’t wanting a political movement, in and of itself, a personal agenda? Many share this, but not everyone does.

    I came to MiA for the healing factor, not political. That’s my personal agenda, and I believe it meets the criteria for the greater good, as well. Healing can be applied to individuals and to societies, to denote the need for bringing something or things back into balance, for the good of all. Well-being, clarity, and ease in manifesting occur when our many parts are working in harmony, not in chronic conflict with each other. That is the nature of healing–to bring into harmony. Each part has its individual function, but no one part is more vital than the other. They have to work together for the organism to survive and fulfill its purpose.

    Justice is of course a vital aspect of this, for the sake of social harmony and well-being, but where to begin with that? What is the most effective way of bringing justice to such a corrupt and programmed world based on lies and blatant manipulation of vital information and human minds? That’s a relevant discussion to be had.

    Healing is advantageous to everyone and unites people, whereas politics is advantageous to an elite, only, at the sacrifice of those on “the other side,” so it is inherently divisive while continuously creating social hierarchies. There will always be “others” and scapegoats in that scenario, can’t avoid it.

    And to me that is the core problem with mh industry, precisely: scapegoating. That’s where the problems begin, and snowball from that. Scapegoats are silenced, demeaned, ostracized, shamed, disbelieved, constantly on the defensive, etc. And all because the people around them do not like their truth, so they try to ruin a person’s credibility. It’s an age old story, and it needs to stop. The one usually scapegoated is the most valuable person in that community, and has the best information for healing, growth, and expansion. It’s not organized, but that’s why they are scapegoated–to avoid change at all cost.

    I’d prefer any movement to be about healing and personal well-being for anyone who desires this, without the extra added bonus of corruption, oppression, marginalization, and discrimination–which of course, undermines the whole concept of healing anything on any level. If it is political, healing is limited at best. That is status quo.

  • Thanks so much for pointing this out, Richard, I had not seen it until now, and I have responded in kind.

    I really was not being specific with this comment, btw, but in general, I do try to weed out oppressive leadership types, that’s a discernment I make regardless of political leanings and/or professional identity. Oppression is oppression, and it can come in from a variety of sources and self-identities. THAT, to my mind, is the real and true enemy.

    My comments are not intended to be personal, but to point out where we can all be more aware of how we might, ourselves, be contradicting the cause of freedom from oppression. That would be vital to recognize in ourselves.

    I find all politics oppressive, so I wouldn’t consider it to be an effective tool to use when seeking freedom from oppression. I’d consider it more to be undermining to that particular cause.

  • Thank you, Lee, I had not seen this until Richard pointed it out, and I very much appreciate your acknowledgment of my experience. I was, indeed, baffled, since we had had a meeting of the minds up front, but I understand how these miscommunications can happen in a forum such as this, lots to keep up with here. We’re all learning as we go, and it sure is humbling for everyone concerned!

    So, as far as connecting, I will send you a note via the MiA authors page.

    Thank you so much for reconsidering, and for seeing me for who I am. That’s a good start! I look forward to more conversation soon.

  • How can oppressive attitudes and behaviors (define and notice as you will) be of any value in the fight for freedom against oppression? This is a general question to consider that particular paradox, especially when considering who the self-proclaimed leaders are of any movement.

  • “when those lines have been clearly drawn FOR us from the start.”

    And they continue to be. I’ve been twice moderated in this thread for making direct and honest statements which reflect the truth of the situation, and it seems they were taken personally, rather than as an indication of the change needing to take place, which is the sole intention of my posts. So we’re back to status quo. That speaks volumes here, but I dare not say what!

  • As per what oldhead is saying, Richard, this is one of my problems with how these dialogues are going down. Being asked to bring people to him and that we all “learn and study hard,” when I am asking to confer about a dire situation in San Francisco going on right now, where he is, is absurd! I’m not following anyone, and certainly not getting onto a psychiatrist’s bandwagon. That is precisely where a shift needs to take place. I mean a loud and clear wake up call, if this is not obvious.

    I am struggling to understand why some of you can’t get this, and take it so personally. Doesn’t it stand to reason that I’d be a fool to use my energy the way Lee suggested? That is totally for his own purposes and agenda, give me a break. I don’t see survivor empathy here in the slightest, quite the contrary. This is getting to be truly bizarre.

  • I made an observation based on my particular dialogue which I feel has information relevant to “class struggle.” “If you do this for me, then I’ll do this for you.” Not what activism is about, to my mind, not a tit for tat situation. Plus there is more info in that if you go deeper, but I’m not going to give it that attention now.

    Overall, Richard, I don’t see any of this in terms of “allies” vs. “enemies.” My role in this is from a healing perspective, not political. I understand there are political issues at play here, but that is not my area of focus. I try to see what are the universal principles at work here vs. personal goals and agendas.

    My perspective, I believe, ascends “right vs. left,” my identifiers don’t come from this duality. I look more for where the evolution is already naturally occuring, as opposed to where it is stuck and in resistance.

    To me, the “enemy” isn’t people, per se, but more so, actions and behaviors which do harm to others, from wherever that comes. We all share in the potential to harm others, even if that is not our intention, so I advocate for expanded awareness and personal growth for anyone concerned, non-discriminatorily. I believe that would be for the greater good, as well as good for individuals seeking evolution and change.

  • “If it’s something you heal from, then yes, you’re implying disease or disorder.”

    Nope, it implies an “imbalance,” which is human, we all go in and out of balance and everyone has things to heal. Any particularly challenging day or event/experience can throw us out of balance, and the remedy is healing (bringing into balance). That is universal and no one is immune from this.

    Abusive behavior throws people–and societies–out of balance. My only intention here is to call it out for the sake of helping to create a more just, kind, balanced and unconditionally supportive world, which takes self-awareness on everyone’s part. Anything else is irrelevant to me ♥

  • Your response is so gracious, Catalyzt, thank you. And I’m extremely gratified that this has been of such value to you, that is always my intention when I speak about my experience as I do.

    I was feeling it as I wrote and it’s always a bit of an emotional adventure to revisit, but of course whenever my experience and perspective can be of value to others either personally or professionally, I’m very amenable to a hardy and productive back & forth. It is always healing to me, one way or another, and I enjoy hearing about others, too. Really and truly, any time!

    My particular passion is how the human spirit unfolds during this lifetime, that of mine and others, such an amazing (understatement) creative process. It’s really quite something from that perspective. I love experiencing and witnessing that.

    Enjoy your nature-filled getaway! Sounds awesome 🙂 I live among the Redwoods now, and it’s Heaven on Earth. Most healing thing ever.

    PS–I just realized your post was made a few days ago, sooooo, I hope your getaway *was* replenishing!

    And also, if you were to want to speak in private, please feel free to contact me through MiA. I’m sure Steve will be happy to forward a message to me, and I’ll respond. Email, phone and Skype all work for me.

  • I never said or implied disease, that’s not my way of thinking. I believe it is a learned behavior and life/relationship strategy. To heal it, we’d have to unlearn it, break negative self-beliefs and thought habits, practice unrelenting self-compassion and compassion for others, and find our way back to trust and integrity. That’s a big transformation, but it’s doable if so desired. It’s the essence of heart healing and spirit mending.

    Narcissistic is another word used to describe what I mean. “Malignant narcissism” has become common to refer to this way of being, as in “to malign.”

    Narcissistic abuse has become a common theme in today’s society, and there is tons on YouTube about this which I have found to be extremely insightful and healing. People are waking up to what this means and how it has affected so many of us, and how to heal it so that we don’t keep repeating this relationship pattern, beating ourselves up, or paying it forward.

    And as my original post states–aka bully, abuser (which we can often be our own, from internalizing this). Whatever word or phrase with which anyone feels best describes this for them, with which one is comfortable. A thorn by any other name is just as prickly…

  • Toxic personality, to me, occurs when someone thrives on deceving, manipulating, and sabotaging others. It is control at all cost, with no regard for anyone but themselves. It is the relentless pursuit of and the creating of problems, rather than solving them, and sabotaging to truth, love and kindness.

    I looked up “toxic” and found this in urbandictionary.com, which is generally my meaning–

    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Toxic

    It is not my intention to insult anyone, but simply to identify an aspect of our society which I feel is all-too-prevalent and problematic, causing choas, confusion, and a lot of deep hurt and trauma. That’s my personal perspective on the matter. I’ve known quite a few people who fit this description to a tee. But my point here is that when people like this hold positions of authority and power, I’d call it the root of the problem.

    My concern relevant to this website is when mh clincians have these personality traits, and I’ve known quite a few of these, too, professionally and personally. Which would make it “toxic psychotherapy.” I believe that is epidemic, and why I pursue this line of reasoning, to raise awareness about this and bring light to the situation, largely based on my experience, but also based on the experience of others which I’ve read about, including yours, Julie. You’ve often spoken of abusive therapists, and this is what I’d call “toxic,” because vulnerability is exploited and it does harm, and in exchange for this “service,” the clincian gets paid. That’s about as toxic as it gets.

    And don’t get me started on politics, which is what sadly sets the example for toxic hypocrisy in our society.

    Indeed, I’m sure there is wounding there, I know there is. But often people deny their own wounding, and at least unconsciously, in turn, they inflict it on others. It’s quite common, and it harms people and damages communities. It’s what I perceive most of this “clinical work” to be, in the end–unconscious therapist transfers their wounds to unsuspecting client. I believe that is the end result of most psychotherapy at present.

    There is no excuse for abuse. Absolutely none.

  • Heartbreaking, frustrating and all-too-familiar story. I love your vision for a new society, based on healing, forgiveness, peace, and love. Keep to it, as will I and I know many others who have this same vision, and perhaps the world will fall in line, if we are walking our talk. I believe that is essential, and I know with certainty that it is the direction in which hope, light, and blessed truth are found. We be the change, and others will either follow suit, or get out of the way.

  • Oppressive, toxic personalities (aka bullies, abusers) in positions of power and authority, which marginalize, censor, and generally sabotage others, can come from anywhere along the political spectrum. Some might be overt and on their sleeve about it, unapologetic, while others are more duplicitous and covert about their prejudice, virtually in denial of it while practicing it actively–the now proverbial “cognitive dissonance.”

    These are what cause problems for people, and for society at large, and drain anyone and anything in sight. I don’t believe it has anything to do with political leanings, labels, or philosophy. This is way beyond that. I think it’s an extreme lack of sense of self, which can only define itself in relation to others–specifically, it seeks to define itself as “superior” in relation to “inferior others.” (A shadow projection, of course).

  • Thanks for the offer, Lee, but I too am working on my own manifestations at this time so my energy is tied up in that direction. Perhaps our trains will meet at some point if we are both intent on ushering in a new era of healing, which is my life purpose at this time. I work with other healers of the new paradigm. All the best with your goals!

  • Dr. Coleman, I just watched a few of your videos on YouTube. The ones of the baskets, artifacts, and woodwork are lovely and so interesting. You have an exquisite home!

    I also watched a couple where you talk about psychiatry, and indeed, I will agree and concur overall with what you are saying, from my experience.

    What got my attention the most is that you are in Berkeley. My entire “mental health” system saga occured in San Francisco, from 1996-2012, when I left SF. That was my odyssey through graduate school and internship then to the system as client, and then voc rehab counselor, and then I worked with two Bay Area “advocacy agencies.”

    I came off of a plethora of psych drugs and went through all that withdrawal on my own (no one had done this before in my vicinity), and I also had a legal action against a social service agency for discrmination and wrongful termination, which is what delayed my time on disability–the system itself sabotaged my transition! That was proven beyond a doubt in mediation. You can imagine how in San Francisco, this would cause hardship and anxiety, and it came from the system, and the “advocacy agencies” were just as bad–discriminating and corrupt.

    Fortunately, I found my path and am a healer and teacher now, and I was also an actor in the Bay Area, and worked with a theater company in Alameda, in fact, as well as in SF. But all the while, I was investigating and discovering how SF had become such a mess over the past decade or so, and I see that the mh system is front and center here, that’s where the red arrows pointed to. I continue to wonder what can be done about this.

    ADA is pretty clear about “reasonable accomodation for reasonable request,” and is violated all the time in this oppressive system which deprives people of what they need–the opposite of *accomodating* needs. And that’s the tip of the iceberg.

    There are so many issues of blatant discrimination, including wage discrimination, against people with disabilities. And there is tons of abuse toward them, in the form of blatant disregard and hostility when trying to receive services. Grievance procedures are corrupt, and only get one into trouble. It is the epitome of OPPRESSION, when there is consequence to filing a reasonable complaint, and these are beyond reasonable. They point toward injustice. I’ve had plenty of experience with this over the years, including with Community Behavioral Health Services (CBHS), Dept of Rehabilitation, Mental Health Association, and Disability Rights CA.

    As far as the “mental heatlh” system and tangents go in SF, I’d call it exactly The Reign of Terror. Many of the clincians I saw along the way were downright terrifying, and they are extremely authoritarian and extremely classist. It is painfully obvious.

    The attitude is exactly what sucks, and which is so negative and marginalizing to people. It is impossible to get justice in the Bay Area, especially if one is not wealthy. Never mind “poor;” only the uber rich thrive in that city.

    I would like to see justice in the Bay Area. It made me so angry to discover what I did. And it has everything to do with why SF is innundated with homeless people, and all kinds of suffering, individual and social. I learned exactly how the system treats people and turns them out on their ass if they do not “do what they are told” or “know their place” or “challenge the system.” It is social barbarism.

    Any chance we can confer further about this in order to maybe do something about it? This would be my greatest wish, to help clean this up but good. Thank you.

  • Thank you, very interesting interview, and I appreciate the hard and detailed work done here.

    Re the law, my experience has been not so much with regard to enforcing the letter of the law, but more so, in what I encountered as the bigoted and classist attitude of most attorneys toward marginalized people, especially poor people. I’ve spoken with many attorneys over the years with respect to what I’d repeatedly come face to face with all the way in the system, and in the “mental health” industry in general. And while I did manage to find one who heard me and we followed through with success, that was a needle in the haystack.

    In general, the attorneys with whom I spoke carried the same prejudice and stigma as psychiatrists and seemingly all mh clinicians do toward people with diagnoses and psychiatric histories, and who have been labeled “disabled,” believing the illusions and perpetuating the negative projections. (As I’ve said, it’s the program, the education, and the training).

    As a result, clients lack credibility and power in these systems (mh and legal), pure and simple, and face more abuse systemically simply from calling it out in the first place and defending themselves against it. Standing one’s ground rightfully and courageously can be dangerous in the system. It truly is sinister, most precise word I can think of for it at the moment.

    I do not believe that either political structures or legal parameters have the power to change attitudes and perspectives, which I believe would be required to clean up the huge apocalyptic mess which this “reign of error” (and terror) has created, and which it mind-bogglingly and criminally continues to perpetuate. To be authentic, it would be the other way around. Shift in attitude would come first, and then we’d have a shot at a fair, just, humane, and appropriate legal system for all concerned, and the law would be carried out as such. Otherwise, it is an endless blood bath of shaming and blaming words, to the bitter end, which is inevitable. Status quo is in a downward spiral right now.

  • “So it’s a complete waste of money to continue to research for genetic markers for illnesses we’ve already medically proven have iatrogenic, not genetic etiologies. And looking for such was always a waste of money.”

    Yes, thanks, Someone Else, for bringing it back around. Exactly my initial point–the money wasted on needless research is astronomical and a huge problem of corruption, lack of accountability, and basically a lack of real value. These very sizable funds would better serve people who are IN NEED.