Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Comments by Alex

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  • Hi psmama, I can certainly understand why your son thinks you are amazing, you truly are! Leaving an abusive marriage while drugged and pregnant is incredibly courageous, and then fighting this particular system for the well-being and safety of your unborn son–my utter respect to you. He is a very lucky young man.

    Of course I had reactions all the way reading your story which make me heartsick and angry. You are describing all the ways in which this entire paradigm has seriously failed us all. From a sane perspective, it is truly insane. Congratulations for leaving it in the dust!

    It IS impossible to be around mainstream thinking once we’ve been through this, and it’s irreconcilable when we know what we know. The good news at this point, I’d say, is that more and more of us are recognizing this, just at the time when anything mainstream is looking seriously suspect, society is in dismal shape and we are ripe for change. I don’t measure healing by necessarily being able to do what we could do before, at least not in the exact same way, but more so by how we can transform creatively, maybe get back some skills but also discover new ones, from a new consciousness that comes with all that healing.

    As per one thing I’ve learned over the years, I call us “expansive beings,” in that we’re never done, we just keep going and growing. When we are open to it, we can gain clarity daily. More than “healing’ at this point, I’d call it straight on transformation, and from there we can move forward with more of a feeling of control, from this wider consciousness. New things come along, synchronicity happens, and we become aware of a shift which keeps us moving forward with encouragement. That feeling alone generates a feeling of light and the power to manifest. As does the love shared between you and your son ♥

  • Everything you say here I agree with, Rebel. I think this entire industry is bad news, and I think these psych drugs are products of an ill-conceived society and indeed they cause damage, part of my story, too. I am aware that many people rely on them, or feel they do, and whatever choices a person makes to alleviate their suffering is something I would never judge, nor would I tell a person they are “wrong” about their choice, if it is part of their path and somehow, someway, it makes them feel better in the moment.

    Yes, these should come with full disclosure, at the very least, if not eventually phased out of existence. But people have to discover their own truth, one cannot impose their truth on another, that is purely a projection and I think it’s counterproductive to change, only creates resistance to it. I’ve certainly made mistakes in this regard, try to learn as I go. We are all products of brainwashing and propaganda, one of the things we’re trying to clear up altogether, I believe. This is what can get complicated, but there is a lot of truth which comes from cracking these codes and seeing past the illusions we’ve been fed. When belief systems get challenged, change is imminent.

    Although if I am in dialogue with someone who feels they need healing and they do not want to go this route, I will let them know there are other options which support real and true healing, which the pills of course do nothing of the kind. We have a nature, and that’s what we need to get back to, is my belief about all of this. Personally, I think learning how self-healing applies is a good education in life. Self-healing is guided by our nature, individual choice, and self-sovereignty, and it’s free.

    There are always new things to discover as we go along in life. I’d have never thought it possible to heal from any of this, neither from the drugs nor what took me to seek help in the first place, and 20 years ago I was scared to death that this was the case, based on what I was believing and being told at that time. The messages from the mh industry–top to bottom–were far more negative and discouraging than what actually turned out to be the truth, and the impact of this was severe, until I learned better.

    Once I came off the pills, I began a trajectory of learning which I’d never even conceived before this, had never been part of my life or psychic landscape–and most assuredly not part of my family or cultural upbringing, nor early education–and for the most part I hadn’t before heard or experienced what I eventually stumbled upon in my desperation to heal, after falling way down the psychiatric rabbit hole in mid-life, and get on with my life.

    Personally, I believe in all possibiilties, until we’re done. And of course, that *is* an individual thing, we all believe what we believe, based on our life experience so far. Keep going, is all I say. New things come along every day, if we are paying attention. That’s it.

  • Hi KS, thanks for the feedback. I remember we had this disucssion a while back, regarding healing and offering hope which may be false hope for some, and I took it to heart, don’t believe I’ve said this since in such a general way. I do maintain my personal philosophy on healing, but I’m not out to impose that where it feels like judgment. So, my apologies for that. I have a lot of respect for your perspective and I know that it is well-founded, it very often rings true to me.

    Here, I am specifically speaking about the topic in this thread, the idea that the longer one takes psych drugs, the less likely that the brain damage caused by these can be repaired once they are off of them. This is a fear-causing statement which is not logical, simply not true, and it serves to dampen hope, which is what I feel is harmful. That is my objection here.

  • Steve, that is simply false logic. At any time from which the toxin is removed, healing can begin. And perhaps a transformative healing, because there has been interference with nature and we might not know or be able to predict how that repair will take shape and look like on the other side, but full repair of damage done by these things is always an attainable possibility, and perhaps there may be other conditions or factors to consider individually.

    However, length of time on these things, or how many, makes little or no difference in the intention of healing. The brain is very healable from this. I was on tons for a long time until it became clear I could no longer tolerate them, tapered off over a period of time and had the horrendous withdrawal, with no known precedent or informed resource. My brain was definitely damaged, couldn’t balance a checkbook suddenly, and I’d been a bookkeeper, math is easy for me.

    That was 19 years ago, I’ve been as long off of them now as I’d been on them at that time, when I ditched them. It took a while and I did soooo much to heal naturally from different avenues and sources, and together all of it worked. I’m back to being a math whiz and creative channels have opened, mind is clear and relaxed for the most part unless I’m focusing on something. I’m sure I’m not an exception.

    People need hope and inspiration for this not doom and gloom based on vague speculation, with all due respect. I know you want to see this all change, too, but as a psychiatric survivor who healed brain damage after 19 years of these brain toxins, the actual truth of the matter is way more encouraging than what you say here, and I felt strongly compelled to offer this rebuttal.

    The malpractice and betrayal are, indeed, more far reaching. These are the issues which have yet to find resolution. And they are crimes, damaging to society on the whole, and they’re still at it. THAT’S the problem to solve.

  • I think we can help each other as we all self-heal together. We are all healing from generations of social inequities, elitism, and abuse and betrayal of at least one kind or another, and we are all healers by nature. Problem is we’ve been separated from our nature by fear propaganda, exactly what Someone Else says below.

    When we are truly in compassion, our hearts are open and we can feel the energy of LOVE (as opposed to fear and judgment) because the heart knows we are all connected. I honestly believe that we are designed by nature to give and receive without even thinking about it, it’s intuitive, but when we are not aligned with our true nature (which is LOVE), then those giving and receiving channels get blocked energetically, causing fear and negative thought patterns, usually negative self-talk. In that moment, love is not being felt, only resistance to it, which is actually a lot of effort to resist love, because love is natural and powerful. Takes work to dam that up and keep it from flowing, and that is what ultimately drains us of energy and doesn’t allow well-being, our own resistance to love. It’s really much easier to allow love, since it is our nature, and then healing can occur with relative ease, step by step and layer by layer. The difference between feeling love and not feeling it is the same difference as the light being on and the light being off.

    Healing would be for the sake of unblocking those channels so the energy of giving/receiving flows naturally, allowing us to feel light in our bodies. When that happens, it is an incredible feeling of flow, like a robust river of uplifting emotion, what to me feels like LOVE, and it affects everything. That is the healing energy, no blocks, pure flow, like nature.

    In the spiritual community, this is what is referred to as “aligned with one’s nature,” and is considered a healthy state of being because it feels good, supports our goals and desires, and we can shine our light for others as well, expanding the light. It’s also a state of empowerment. It is in our nature to be aligned with ourselves in a way that we are giving and receiving love without effort, simply from the reflex of gratitude. Then the world will be filled with more light for everyone to benefit.

  • Yes, I agree, this is a crossing point in human evolution, where light meets resistance to light, is how I’d put it. And it can be a rough battle to get to the other side of that, the resistance can, indeed, be relentless and boundariless. And yes, it can be draining and dangerous and certainly it is not healthful for anyone concerned. We all have our paths and free will and evolve however we’re intended to, of course. Still, obviously collective consciousness needs to keep raising, which I believe is happening. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem fast enough, but I think we’re on track one way or another, keeping the faith.

  • To this, I’d just say that indeed I believe it starts with family and eariliest environments. As the article says, love goes missing. That is a HUGE problem and oh how it bleeds into society, creating social systems which fail, and which fail everyone on Earth, other than those prospering from the suffering of others. Outside of our own healing, which we do individually, where to begin?

  • I also completely agree with you, l_e_cox, word for word, especially this, so on point and exactly where a struggle seems to come in when striving for systemic change or even toward a new way of life based on integrity, self-sovereignty, and true compassion–

    “If we can understand that societal systems are composed of individuals, and that through the action of individuals systems can be changed (such as the outlawing of slavery), this gives us a path to change that starts with individuals and goes towards new agreements about what is acceptable and valuable in a society.”

    Yes, this would reverse the “scapegoat” identity to one of community leader, by example. The change would have to be internal, first, to release the impact from having carried that identity from the experience of one’s life, starting with family dysfunction leading to creating this situation for purposes of control, that story with which we’ve become all-too-familiar.

    “Scapegoats” are somehow cleverly and systematically robbed of their credibillity (stigma rears it’s ugly head yet again). Why? Because they know and are willing to speak a very challenging truth which threatens the very core of an abusive and corrupt system, “the truth that dares not be spoken” in such a system. And I’d say it’s of great value, if we are seeking radical change, to suddenly hear this voice ring true, to get past the false illusions created by the system in order to keep the truth at bay because it would kill the system. Well, that’s the goal!

  • I do understand that and it’s a critical issue. Cannot one individual begin a trend of abandoning the system successfully and finding freedom, and others take the example? It would be different considerations of course based on who we are as individuals but the collective message and intention would be the same, that’s the connector–to say an adamant and firm “no thanks” to the system once and for all, whether social, professional, or political, and break free of it to live with one’s individual set of values and desires in life, to really trust that path and letting it be one’s true guidance through life and personal evolution while respecting others doing the same, rather than to live always by trying to conform to what others want and expect, and also not putting that expectation on others. These are hard internalized habits to break, we learn them from the time we are born practically, but we certainly have the capacity to break habits when we want to and put our minds to it.

    More often than not, life moves us around without our trying, so when we work on ourselves, we affect the collective one way or another, always. We may not see how in the moment, but how could we not? The connection is there whether we’re conscious of it or not.

    Most often we conform and expect others to conform on an unconscious level in order to avoid the pain, thanks to stigma and the multiple road blocks this creates for people, of going against the grain and being different. Takes courage, trust, AND self-love, because others will try to shame or guilt you, or cause you fear, for “abandonding” their corrupt bullying marginalizing dysfuncational system (and there are ways to not take this on, with consciousness), but it’s a start, and change has to start somewhere, based on one individual’s vision, positive self-beliefs, and follow through.

    Accomodating a toxic system in any way may bring the illusion of momentary safety but it will never bring change, only more of the same. Not accomodating it will piss off a lot of people in that system, perhaps all of them. If that’s the case, then the system is rattled and there is great potential for positive systemic change, if people can muster up the courage to buck the system, one by one, and trust that they will be ok. It HAS to be individual choice, this cannot be coerced. That’s the hard part, for many reasons, but that’s why they call it “courage,” trusting the unknown, outside of one’s familiar (“the system”).

    Lots of great personal growth potential here, outside the oppressive and double-binding system to which we’re unfortunately accustomed. Pretty much unlimited, I’d say. But we have to get there. I do believe the energy of LOVE has everything to do with this, but even that word has become corrupt to some degree. It’s a puzzle. To me, the energy of love offers unlimited potential because it is not based on fear, which is what limits us. Toxic systems will inflict fear in order to control people.

    Overall, though, I’d say that we simply cannot make people be who we want them to be, that’s expecting conformity from others and if it goes against their nature, this will be problematic in all kinds of ways. But we can become the people whom we most desire to become (which is usually who we want others to be for us), if we believe in ourselves and trust the process of our own individual evolution. Then we have a free system or we are systems free, or however you want to put it. Change IS breaking up the old system, inherently, because our beliefs are being challenged daily now. New beliefs brings new perspectives which inspire different choices and actions, all of which foster a new society, aka “reality.”

  • “We shouldn’t be so surprised at the enormous levels of “mental illness” at large in society; we need only consider how bad we collectively are at love, how poor we are lending sympathy, at listening, at offering reassurance, at feeling compassion, and at forgiving—and, conversely, how good we are at hating, shaming, and neglecting. We consider ourselves civilised but display levels of love that would shock a den of thieves.”

    Sad, frightening, and true. We do it to ourselves, too, which is especially effective because it is our internalized-from-childhood voice of self-hatred and self-shaming. We could all make a bit of a conscious effort to love ourselves more and simply not be so hard on ourselves and others for whatever reason, and then I think it would be a more natural reflex to have compassion for, patience with, and understanding of others. IF we can be that way with ourselves, first.

  • l_e_cox, your comments regarding Spirit are always inspiring and truthful to me, I like how you present your perspective on this and so much of it speaks to me.

    For me, here in this realm of music and healing, on the most basic simiplified level it amounts to this for me–music moves Spirit through our bodies without disruption, it is a seamless flow of what many of us would call “divine energy,” from the spirit of that word. It is indescribable, as Amy says, but a lot of people do know this feeling, it’s why people do whatever they do, to catch that buzz, to enjoy profoundly what they are doing, whatever it is. Some things lend themselves better to this, I think, but for everyone it will be different. Musicians will all tell you how performing makes them high, how could it not? I was indimidated doing this, but at the same time, I called performing “an addiction,” in a good way of course, it’s a natural high. There is no thought, judgment or analysis, that would disrupt the flow of divine spirit energy (music) running through the body. Sounds so cold and technical to describe, but the feeling is the most powerful feeling. You’ll lose the audience if you start thinking about what you’re doing instead of just doing it, trusting that level of vulnerability to Spirit.

    I could be wracked with life issues which left me sleepless at night and walking around with chronic anxiety and all this negative thinking and self-talk, but when it came to allowing Spirit to move through me in order to perform because I had made a commitment or, at one time, it was a job that paid me, I could, somehow, pull it off, trusting Spirit. I was over 40, never had done anything like this, had been incredibly ill from the psych drugs and withdrawal, plus negative voices galore, and an option presented itself out of the blue thanks to some volunteering I was doing, and the universe took it from there, I just showed up, trusting Spirit.

    Afterwards, I’d feel better than I’d ever felt, the buzz of it all, but I’d also collapse because it took all the faith, trust and focus I had to overpower all the crap which was going on with me and even just in my own energy from it all. It really is “letting go and letting God.” That kind of trust is what allowed me to overcome whatever life issues came my way, and it was only healing for me in every way, including changing my life when I thought at one point I was kinda doomed, that’s what I felt and the messages from which I had to run and then heal from the experinece of all that stigma and negative projection via label, etc. I was just done with it.

    That is way far behind me now, don’t even recognize that person. When Spirit and body intersect with no disruption, it’s a space of transformation. After that, it’s good human maintenance, that’s how I’d put it. Like bathing, eating, etc.

    The point of my personal story is clear and direct, and aligned with the entire purpose of my being here–psych drugs separated me from my spirit (they were de-spiriting), as do many things in life, like being personally analyzed to death for years and years. I could work at a supermarket and even be a manager while on these things, I did that for 17 years, but I’d never have even thought of singing, dancing, and acting on stage, and definitely not for pay! That was post psych drugs, an entirely covered up me, had no clue of this, although I always enjoyed theater and music a great deal. But I never dreamed of being on the stage. I had other dreams.

    When I stopped the drugs, even though I was sick with anxiety and from a bit of brain damage as I sought my healing from it all, moving music through me made all the difference, and I could do it in any state of being, which during one show I was in deep crisis, determined not to go back on the drugs, and I did not, I stayed in the show even though at one point I thought I was going to quit, which did not sit well with the director and she talked me into staying, did well in it, my entire run was flawless (total friggin miracle) and eventually recovered my nerves, feeling really accomplished but exhausted, from which I recovered with rest, assimilated the experience, and moved on.

    This was more important than anything to me because I was healing from so much, including financial devastation. I said yes to the first part offered to me by a director with whom I was taking a class, because it paid. I was not seeking this so had there not been a paycheck involved when I really needed it, I would not have done it at all, I’d have let the fear and doubt of actually memorizing a script (would my brain co-operate? was a huge question for me) and then facing utter stage fright on top of that, was not appealing to me. Plus I did not want to drag down the cast, I was afraid of this. Instead, they uplifted me and supported me, knew I was scared to death and why I was doing this, they respected me for it. It was just 4 of us, and a kids show, it was light and playful, there was no competition, plus they were awesome actors and I respected them to learn from them, I could not have been more humble and grateful to them.

    They supported me more than I can say, and it worked on all fronts personal and professional. We did a revival the following year, came full circle, and that was such a blast because it was the familiar and by then I’d done 2 huge shows and was kind of becoming established a bit, so much to my surprise and shock. Spirit can take us beyond what we can imagine, if we can trust it. New creation from this, my life is an example. Music is the hugest part of my life now, currently writing a musical with a couple of friends.

    It is amazing what we can accomplish when we allow Spirit to move through us. It is why I made it a point to give this series a huge thumbs up. I do this kind of work, creating through healing, transformation of energy, spirit to body truth, etc., that’s my schtick, not thought about highly around here, I know. But it’s what I do and where my life path has led me during these unprecedented times.

    I don’t comment much any longer on here and most of what I read is too familiar by now, but this very beautiful series got my attention enough to want to bring my voice to it. I obviously have a lot to say about music and healing and overall well-being from my experience going from psych patient to psych survivor, and then some, as personal evolution sprung directly from this. Amy, I hope you are ok with my having taken this opportunity, I was really inspired and felt validated, myself. I want to keep it relevant to your very meaningful work, and also to the bigger picture of healing from the psychiatric world in the most powerful way. Music was precisely the bridge to my new self.

    l_e_cox, thank you for what you expressed because it is exactly my point and I think it’s relevant to the day and completely on point.

  • Oh yes, I totally resonate with this, which is how I associate it with healing, because it does foster that deep connection, it’s a greater reality which is beyond thought, has to be felt, an energy passing through the body immediately before it manifests into music, nothing in between. It’s mystical, I think, in that realm.

    It can be witnessed, too, and experienced from that perspective. I get hooked watching performers who are in it. Mahalia Jackson is a perfect example. She WAS the music when she performed, seamlessly. Beyond joy or sorrow, even, it’s grace to my mind, from the soul, and it opens the heart with that feeling.

    I’m no biologist but I would imagine that when we are channeling music through our bodies by playing an instrument or singing and, as you say, there is no thought at all, just purely focused spirit to body connection without thought disruption, our cells are harmonizing as we feel the music passing through us to the instrument. Who needs thinking when we are in perfect harmony with ourselves? That is an awesome state of being, and it can be practiced, as we do. At that point, we’re simply creative beings. I feel as you do, that without this, life feels incomplete. Personally, I cannot feel whole without knowing this feeling. I discovered this in the second half of my life and it has driven it since.

    Light is vital in our lives, and I’d call music a language of light, soul nourishment. God, do we need this now more than ever! All extremely inspiring and totally relevant, I believe, thank you again Amy! Blessings to you.

  • I’ve enjoyed this series very much, thank you Amy. This piece is particularly epic, delightful and rich.

    Music had everything to do with my healing. As I recovered from withdrawal from polypharm and also fighting a legal battle in the system, I started a singing/performance class in which I began to face all my anxieties on a body level, learned so much about myself and grew spiritually more than I ever knew possible. This eventually led me into musical theater which I did for years as I healed. I didn’t know I had it in me, and only when I ditched psych drugs and walked away completely from all that (mh system) was I able to fluorish this way and channel such creativity. I finally felt free in all ways.

    That was a while ago and now I play the piano just about every day. Nothing puts me in my light more directly, into “the zone,” and I can play for hours, channeling one song after another. Music is profoundly healing, uplifting, and reaches out in all directions into humanity. It’s really wonderful to see this inpsiring work in the world at this time! We do need it.

  • Getting out of abusive situations is incredibly complex and takes a great deal of fortitude, trust, tenacity, a bit of cleverness, and very hopefully, empathic support to help in the transition. We don’t want to repeat it, so there is healing to do. That’s a process subject to a person’s individual nature, to be discovered along the healing.

    Abuse has been generational and social, and the entire world is reeling at this time. We’re all affected by it and I believe each of us has some kind of responsibility in it, however we choose to take that on. I wouldn’t judge any of it. I’m just hoping that sooner than later we can start do better than what is currently failing from profound divisiveness, which is society on the whole, unfortunately.

  • To me, this is at the heart of things right now. I thought that paragraph said it perfectly and simply, to the point, and yet, in reality, it can be murky and seriously rugged and even potentially dangerous, because of what you say. It becomes an abuser-turned-victim situation, victim becomes abuser, sides are taken, lies are perpetuated, heart and truth are lost in the shuffle, chaos ensues, and on and on, back and forth. Nothing to gain from this and that “system” will utlimately destroy itself, so I totally agree, divorce is a wise option, to heal and create positive life changes.

    Yet, I think it’s the norm right now, and it’s playing out in the world visibly. I think that, as a society, it is what we need to evolve out of, to a new normal, NOT based on all this. What would that look like, a fair and just well-balanced system/community/world filled with people who know how to respectfully support one another, despite personal beliefs, so that we don’t have to rely on corrupt systems of mind control?

    I think it’s best to know our own truth and live by it, and these are changing times, so I’d say that living our truth from moment to moment is a practice which requires flexibility at this point. There are many competing realities at play right now. Who knows what truth is for someone else? We can only know this for ourselves.

  • Making it a point to “figure out other people” is most often at the expense of one’s own self-awareness.

    At the time of my training, which was over 20 years ago, I was buying into this stuff hook, line, and sinker before going through my own experience and discovering it as a huge fail to humanity. It was a rough awakening because of the dual role I was playing. I was suddenly questioning everything I thought I knew and finding my way through these paradoxes to clarity took many years of learning a variety of different perspectives of healing and personal growth, spiritual issues and evolving consciousness, how energy works, etc., and applying these to my own life situation and experience to make shifts in consciousness I needed to make in order to once and for all heal and get back to creating my life with a sense of ownership and self-agency, and being in the flow of it freely, as I desire to be.

    But looking back, my graduate psych program may as well have been “Stigma 101, Advanced Stigmatizing, How to Scapegoat Others” (as in, “othering”), etc. That was about the extent of it, to what it always boils down. I discovered first from the education, and then from my personal experience on the receiving end, that this is exactly what this entire field is based on, inherently creating this social division more and more by “assigning” (projecting) labels, false traits, powerlessness, whatever, onto clients. Lots of ways to create a scapegoating dynamic, and this is a perfect set up for it. It is the nature of the beast, it cannot be helped. The self-protecting denial factor is over the top, as this article perfectly illustrates.

  • Thanks for the amendment, Diana, and yes, I agree that embodying the soul would be to live our spirit truth. These are feelings that drive us as guidance along our own path of evolution, rather than as emotional reaction to others filtered through our ego. I think it’s how we interpret our emotional responses that distinguishes between ego-driven vs. soul-inspired. This is how I’ve worked with it, in any event.

  • As an empath, I had to learn all about energy fields and psychic boundaries in order to distinguish my energy from that of others. Chakra training helped me more than anything. When I learned who I was as energy, I learned how to embody my true nature freely. We’re all unique and different, which is how life is interesting and creative.

  • Feeling in despair from powerlessness, family scapegoating, relenteless systemic bullying, all kinds of reasons people would want to give up on life. These things do mess with the mind and it is heartbreaking. Perhaps a bit more kindness, along with the ability to hear and listen with compassion when someone is suffering, would go a long way in helping people to not feel so hopeless and alone during hard times. Common sense if one is attuned to human nature, no research needed.

  • I support your perspective wholeheartedly, exactly my experience, word for word. I spent 19 years living with diagnoses and psych drugs, and it’s been that same amount of time now, 19 years, with no drugs, away from diagnoses or anything of the kind, that is totally irrelevant at this point, and having nothing to do with “mental health” anything, other than to support radical change. I had a string of teachers for a while to help me heal from all that on a mind/body/spirit level while learning self-healing and all kinds of new perspectives, but I’m on my own now, having integrated and applied what I’ve been learning, with wonderful (indeed, miraculous) results, living by my own truth exclusively, my life, my space, my rules, my intuition, and creative freedom which I can own despite anything.

    For me it’s a totally new paradigm of living from 19 years of systematic healing and personal growth work, a new lifestyle now. Doing exactly what you say, practicing soul awareness and feeilng my own inner radiance, which I call, collectively, our light, spiritual voice, inner guidance, etc. Our soul is our guide, healer, teacher, and best friend. When we know our soul, there is no need to depend on others, that would be only by choice, not need. It’s how I took my power back.

    Your work is so authentic, and when I read your blogs I see you as creating your healing. I think that’s what we do, in the end, we create our own healing path, and that is based on who we are. It’s so personal and we’re all so unique, I see it as our signature in life, how we choose to create our paths forward.

    Mainly, I just wanted to echo what you say as reality. At least, it has been mine! We’re all just coming to understand what these things mean in the most practical way (soul growth, inner light, consciously creating) but I see it coming more and more into collective awareness, because we need this information now.

    I very much appreciate what you share, it is fresh and creative and filled with potential for new things, it is fertile new ground. I think we need more and more of this perspective, fully in the light. Finally, new avenues to explore, which means new thoughts, new visions, and new manifestations. We’ve only just begun, but it is the change I’ve envisioned for a while now, and which I practice in my own life. Thank you.

  • I disagree, I believe that, once awakened to the fact that this is all bullshit, there is something from which to recover (some pretty serious betrayal, for starters) and I also believe one can recover from it, it is entirely possible. This is a trauma, and it can heal. This kind of healing is transformational, creates change from within.

    Identifying with a BS illness for too long creates something to the effect of it, simply from how we’re moving around in our skin with that belief, it drives us. And it creates relationships with others and our entire world based on this, so it accomodates this false reality. Undoing this challenges those around us, inevitably. Everyone’s world is rocked as we go through shifts in consciousness to change our reality and relationship to ourselves, for the better, based on a new self-validating truth, clearer boundaries, etc. I don’t think there’s any way around that, great personal growth here.

    Disidentifying is a start, but there is a lot of work to do, especially if we lived with this for too long, it internalizes. This is not an easy healing, challenges our beliefs. But I do believe it’s the path to well-being and feeling good about ourselves, taking back our power and allowing our true selves to shine through, after going through all of this totally marginalizing and dehumanizing stay-in-the-box bullshit, just like healing from any trauma is possible with focused intention. It’s how we free ourselves.

    I’m reiterating what I feel is the most powerful message here, to drive change from within, because I agree with Ekaterina, it comes down to what we believe about ourselves, this is what creates our life experience more than anything–

    “The main thing is to believe, to believe that you do deserve a good life, and that you can be happy.”

  • “But there is no illness, and there is no chronic illness as proposed by psychiatry. It is bullshit.
    One can recover from THEIR illness, and one can lead a happy and meaningful life. The main thing is to believe, to believe that you do deserve a good life, and that you can be happy.
    Step out of the system, take control of your own life and your beautiful soul, and step instead into your own radiant space.”

    Well said, absolute truth.

  • Very well said and clear truth. I’ve worked with two peer agencies and this is exactly what happens. Double standards, blatant discrimination, and the usual fare of gaslighting and double-speak to avoid any challenges to their hierarchical corporate system. Because they can get away with it, because it is the norm.

    Addressing this effectively requires breaking a deeply stubborn and self-protecting toxic system where truth-speaking against the grain is seriously frowned upon and gets one ostracized, regardless of one’s role and position. But it does bring brave hard truth one way or another, and that’s always a good thing, once the dust clears. I’ve been there, and it’s always a blessing in disguise, and I know some kind of change has occured as a result of taking that necessary leap of faith.

  • Yes, it’s one of the social abuses to which I refer which is prevalent in the mainstream, financial bullying, which is not a nice energy, lacks consciousness. If I pray for anything these days, it is for kindness to find its way back into our collective humanity as a dominant force. Seems to be largely in remission at present.

  • Thank you for this very beautiful and heartelft offering, Caroline. I feel the grace of your heart from your writing. It is truly inspirational and very moving.

    I’m with you 100%. Being in service is fulfilling in and of itself. To feel spiritual abundance in our hearts, grounded to the Earth, and supporting the uplifting of humanity–especially in these uniquely trying times which affect us all–brings us all we need and want, if we trust the flow of the universe to support us as we go. That is a powerful shift in focus, and in our self-identity, based on our own personal experiences of moving through suffering and toward our true spirit nature, for relief and more toward discovering our wholeness as divine beings having a human experience.

    That was my experience with healing, in any event, the perspective which saved me by putting me in control of my own life journey, taking my power back from where I had given it unwittingly, putting it trustingly into the hands of oppressors and the corruption they practiced and supported, whether they were conscious of it or not. That was the program, what we were raised to believe. Live and learn, eh? Often the hard way, but at least there is a path beyond all of that, thank God! We still deal with all kinds of challenges in life, of course, but when we are in our light, this is our guidance forward, toward our true power of personal life creation.

    For this reason, I appreciate getting on in years and leaving behind my ignorance about the world, which looking back, I can feel the vulnerablity of this, to underestimate the destructive nature and power of social bullying and abuse, and how it wreaks havoc on people in so many ways, not to mention society on the whole.

    If we learn as we go and keep waking up to our spiritual truth, I find that life actually gets easier and invigorating rather than more and more burdensome and exhausting, because we can better maintain our well-being as we go if we know our spirit and clear hearts, moving away from fear and abuse and more toward compassion and faith, which I believe are matters of living with positive self-regard and having clear and self-loving boundaries–despite protests from the outside, which is oppressive.

    Expanding our consciousness beyond the physical world to know our spirit truth in conjuction to our human desires is, to me, THE healing because that is how we align with our truth, walk our talk, and create a positive momentum in our lives, from a completely different perspective than that to which we’re accustomed–as you say, all about money, conforming, “winning,” etc. That has been our downfall, I believe, by creating a cut-throat competetive and conflit-oriented society, which drains us all eventually and bears no fruit whatsoever. We fear not having money (not just because of surival issues but also due to stigma and marginalization), and so we can easily sacrifice our highest values in order to acquire it, coming from that level of fear/terror.

    Having the integrity to live in our spiritual truth will go against the grain in a corrupt society, so indeed our power and strength is to go by our own very personal inner guidance by honoring our emotions, how we feel from moment to moment, rather by the judgments outside of us for not honoring social norms, or whatever others go by. We are unique in how we live our lives, and so when we dare to be different, we embody the change and actually become it. I have found this path to be heart expansive, which has made all the difference in what I’ve created around me. The conneciton is mystical and profound, and very evident to me now. I think it’s pretty awesome, kind of magical. Life is more intertesting and creative for me now that I have found my spiritual voice in addition to my heart’s truth, and how they intersect.

    It takes a lot of courage and faith to evolve and grow past social conventions in order to live in our authentic truth from moment to moment, and to share your evolution along the way for greater understanding within the collective. Hats off to you, and big blessings along the way of your inspiring journey.

  • Thank you, that makes me happy to hear. Balancing healing and activism for change is an interesting edge. One does feed the other when we help each other along. I’m honored to share my story with you, thank you for your interest!

    I shared my story on Mad in Italy last year, centering mainly on my experiences in the system and how that played out. Here are the links, it’s in 3 parts–




    And I made a film in 2011 from within the system, after having left and gone back to do public speaking about my experience of healing and also the prejudice, bullying and stigma I encountered on all levels. This is more my family story, however, how I took that on initially, and then how it repeated in the system, same damn thing! I talk about family healing in this one, along with 5 others who share their experiences and perspectives as well–


    My hunch (and hope!) is that you’ll appreciate this film, Bowen, because in essence, we’re all talking about how the system made us feel like Boo Radley, that is exactly the effect of STIGMA. The system uses this to try to get people to come for “treatment” without “shame,” whereas I say RUN from the system, and you’ll have a shot at healing because there is no way no how that anyone can heal from anything when one is being thrown these projections. That is a toxic environment, textbook! Lots to say about this.

    I hope you enjoy all of these and that they speak to you. Please feel free to contact me through Steve McCrea if you feel compelled to discuss any of this more in depth. I’d enjoy hearing from you!

  • I see you as a light and beacon of truth, in addition to being a very heartfelt, articulate, and obviously brilliant human being. What you’ve been through is an education that you can pass along to others which will create great change through healing and awakening. That’s how your words resonate with me. I am extremely touched and inspired by your article, and your comments. Many, many blessings to you!

  • Well, it is a bullying society, has been forever it seems but right now, this is being called out all over the place, as you are doing, so thank you for that. That is not easy because of the enabling, making it systemic, and as you, I, and others have disovered to our dismay and frustration, there is backlash for resisting and calling out bullying, that’s a big part of the challenge with all this–trauma upon trauma of being rendered powerless.

    The bullies win because most people will not cross them, or they have something to lose by doing so, and it becomes one against all the others, aka scapegoating. All kinds of reasons and justifications are offered where there is, in reality, bullying going on. Just ask the victim, they’d know best! But, tragically, that is the voice rarely heard.

    I see the world as having been trapped in an abuse-victim-enabling/denial dynamic, just about everywhere it seems, these are the most prominant examples in the media, at least, that I can see. And it played out like this for me in the system for many years, until I found my way out of all that. These are our choices, these roles. Seems like lose/lose to me.

    Personally, I believe we can evolve out of that, and that would be enormous social change starting, a new paradigm NOT based on social dysfunction and systemic bullying, for a refreshing change. I see this as the healing path toward a better society, that’s my personal perspective on the matter.

    My thought is that what makes people uncomfortable is their shadow, so they project it outward. I believe that is what has become the norm and causing chaos among us, as a society. Those snap judgments are programmed beliefs based on prejudice, there is no thought behind them, no truth there, just a complete lack of self-awareness and self-responsibility. But indeed, that’s how people are these days, to a large extent, we learn by example. Part of our humanness in these times, I guess, it’s hard to be calm in the storm. So how to ascend this?

    First thing I think is, how can we have compassion when we operate from judgment? I think that’s impossible, they are diametrically opposed. Where there is compassion, there can be no judgment, so the more we cultivate compassion and be ok with being an imperfect human being–which is all of us–then judgment will fall by the wayside. I see that as transformative healing.

  • Bowen, thank you for your courage and sensitivity, exactly what the world needs right now. Your story is troubling because it speaks the truth of our times. To be persecuted as you describe is a crime against humanity, and it does leave an imprint. I know this from my own experience.

    “I told my hospital psychiatrist that I felt like Boo Radley in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird expecting a sympathetic response. Instead, I remember him sneering, ‘Well, it’s interesting you say that since he ended up doing some bad things.'”

    This made my head explode a bit, so many things wrong here! I know TKAM very well, I’ve read the book and have seen the film many times. I’ve said that in the past, too, about myself, that I felt like Boo Radley. For me this is no longer the case, but I remember vividly how that felt at the time.

    I can’t believe what the shrink said (well, I can, very easily, but it still stuns me), absolutely talking out of his ass, which in this case, I’d call profoundly irresponsible, and at the most subtle core of the problem with some of these clinicians. I’d call it bigoted, but it’s not clear from his response that he even knows this story! He either had no idea what you were talking about or, if he does know TKAM and who Boo Radley is, then he simply matched the little kids who gossiped about him in that very way, pure stigma, utter nonsense, and it caused them fear–not Boo, but the false stories about him, THAT was the true source of their fear. Evidently, psychiatrists, like these kids, fear their own false projections, causing all kinds of problems for everyone. Time to un-gaslight ourselves!

    Boo never did “bad things” nor would he hurt a fly. He was an extremely kind, sensitive, introverted man who ultimately rescued the two kids who gossiped about and feared him, and even taunted him, and saved their lives, totally selflessly and very bravely, given his fear of society, and out of pure kindness and compassion.

    Ignorance and stigma go together like tar and feathers. Good grief.

    Thank you again for speaking your truth, very powerful.

  • “My instinctive answer is that the path follows me when I am in my heart driven self.”

    I love this response, Sinead, it’s right on I believe. When we are in our heart, we are in our true guidance. The heart is what heals.

    And indeed, forgiveness is a practice. We have to exercise that “muscle.” Forgiveness was the cornerstone of my healing. Dropping resentment freed up my energy so I could create forward without repeating the past.

  • I really enjoyed reading this, how you are following the light toward healing. To forgive betrayal is a huge shift in consciousness, and it takes strength, humility, and complete trust in our own process of personal growth and heart healing. That is core change, very powerful work. Thank you for sharing your experience of this!

  • Your courage and transparency are very inspiring. You are helping so many people by sharing your truth with such clarity. I was especially struck by this passage–

    “At the first meeting with the psychiatrist, she reviewed the facts of my case—I was 65, lived alone, had lost a son, and my other son lived 900 miles away. Given these four simple facts, she decided that I was suffering from textbook geriatric depression. She never asked me any questions about my life that might have revealed alternatives. She never learned that I was not suffering from irritability, apathy, withdrawal, or changes in appetite, which are among the most common on the checklist of “geriatric depression” symptoms. Nor did she learn that I’d been working at a job I loved, was in a long-term romantic relationship, and was the organizer of a very active women’s group.”

    This is why I say psychiatry is devoid of humanity, exactly this, which renders it not only useless but also incredibly dangerous. These clinical, academic minds are trained to categorize, project, and “other”–that is, to dehumanize. That is the learned habit from the training and education, it is EXPECTED. And, it is cold, like sub-zero. Heart and spirit and humility have nothing to do with this institution. That is a severe dissociation which is what leads to tragedy over and over again.

    Thank you for sharing the story of your heart and journey of your spirit with the world, where your light can shine, and your wisdom will lead others. That is healing for all concerned, the evolution of humanity through expanded consciousness–true change from the inside. Continued blessings and good healing to you.

  • “Psychiatrists learn early on not to believe what a mental health patient would say”

    I wish I’d known this a long time ago, would have saved my breath and an awful lot of trouble. I think they call this “casting pearls before swine.”

    And how exactly is this helpful to a person who is suffering, to lose a battle before it even begins? And moreover, when it shouldn’t be a battle in the first place! Suffering upon suffering upon suffering. This rather contradicts the notion of healing altogether, doesn’t it? Talk about creating a neagtive false sense of self! That is off the charts, creates chronic suffering, and indeed, it is the legacy of psychiatry. What a big fat mess this creates for people, families, and for society on the whole.

    Thanks for speaking truth about this. A heads up for many, you’ve been warned. This translates purely as cynical and devoid of compassion and empathy, not to mention bigotry leading to blatant discrimination, loss of human rights and dignity, and all out social abuse, becomes the norm, as we have going on now. So dangerous!

  • “How many more stories like this do we need to hear before a “professional” telling someone they have a “biochemical imbalance” as an argument for them to ingest neurotoxins is made a criminal offense?”

    Yes, that is my question right now, too. Or at least for the word to spread really fast by this point that this really is potentially murderous malpractice and it has got to stop. Why not voluntarily? Yeah yeah I know, money and power yadayada. As far as I’m concerned, that is played. This is some kind of divisive programming, the “othering” factor, mostly through education and training but also through blatant manipulation, that has run amuck.

    We’ve been telling these stories for years and years and years now, all over the internet and in all kinds of arenas, and they all have some glaring common denominators which lead easily to the conclusion that this is pure crap, and costly in all kinds of ways. Seems neither reason, logic, or example after example in huge numbers of fails leading to personal tragedies are taken at all into consideration, and instead are either dismissed, argued with, avoided, and/or truth twisted. Nothing is ever their fault, these are the biggest scapegoaters ever, and they lie, lie, lie. That’s unconscionable to me, and downright insane. What is the friggin’ deal with this industry?? For the love of God and your fellow human beings, WAKE (the f*ck) UP!!!

  • I agree with everything you say here, oldhead, especially this–

    “But its important for victims of psychiatry to not be misled into believing that any of this bigotry/”stigma” has anything to do with them as individuals, or their “behavior.” They/we are being oppressed as a stereotype, a class, i.e. the class of people upon which psychiatric labels have been bestowed.”

    –that, indeed, the stigma/bigotry is based on stereotyping and classism, and not on reality, this is not deserved. I’d call it scapegoating, and there are many ways to speculate or call out the motive for this abuse against an individual or class of people which threatens the status quo, one way or another. Not following the herd, thinking independently and critically, is one way to get scapegoated, because that person will not feed the system. And so the gaslighting, stigma projections, and systemic bullying begins, standard procedure.

    I know that in the process, civil crimes are committed but that can be next to impossible to pinpoint and prove when this is the system itself at work. So with no practical legal recourse for being the victim of this particular brand of hate crime and discrimination, there is healing that can be done here, which is one way to exercise our power and create some kind of change, at least on the inside. That’s a start.

    I went through this, very specifically, and got a bit of legal justice initially, but this trend continued as I created my way forward, I could see this was “the norm” all along the system and its tangents.

    I called it out all I could and caused a bit of stir here and there, but the most important thing for me was to heal from having been deliberately lied to and about–repeatedly and relentelssly–in a way that specifically blocked my ability to make a living, all based on the negative stereotypes which drew a picture that was truly the opposite of who I was. With that mass delusion present in society already, it was maddening trying to get my truth out to save my own ass, it only caused more backlash. That’s how this works, and it is literally crazy-making.

    What I internalized from this was some serious doubt about myself and the world, and in order for me to move forward with my own goals, I had to clear my head of all this treachery and general negativity, and also had to shift how I took on these experiences, give it meaning to my life and personal growth and guidance. I was, after all, making choices that led me to and through all of this. That’s the inner work which I talk about, waking up to many things here in the process, about myself mostly and how to move forward in a more aware, and therefore self-empowered, way.

    I knew after a while it wasn’t me causing this, but still, I had to figure out how to best deal with this enormous obstacle (the injustice of stigma/bigotry, and the massive corruption which manifests from this, acting as saboteur to good works and quality of life) so as to meet my own needs and live my life the way I intend, freely.

    I had to figure this out internally, by first feeling a lot of hard emotions generated from being ambushed and betrayed by those I had trusted to do their jobs with integrity and comptenece. Alright, so I woke up and discovered I was naive because apparently this was way too much to expect. Led to a lot of changes for me, based on a new truth. Best I could do, that I could think of! In the end, new perspective led to new reality. Exactly how it worked for me.

    I’ve tried holding hope that others would change to suit me, but in the end, people change when they’re ready, not when I’m wanting them to–duh! I always have the power to work on myself, though. Not at all the same as self-blame, more like self-creating. This is why I focus inward on this issue, it’s an easier place of reference to create meaningful change.

  • I know those images well, boans, and that’s exactly what I mean. The mirror in real life. It is, indeed, a choice whether to see and acknowledge one’s own misguided actions when it is purely evident, or to remain defensive, rigid, avoidant, and in cold denial. Two different choices, two different paths. One of them is humble, courageous, truthful, and healing, to own our part in anything that is so life betraying, when we allow ourselves to wake up. That, and only that, is really and truly liberating, on all fronts.

    “What gives me hope is that the corruption of our politicians where I live is so open these days that it means we are ready for change.”

    Me too! May the doors blow wide open and all be revealed sooner than later. I think at this point, however, the battle is between those of us who really and truly are ready for change and are doing what we can to create and allow it, and those who resist change because the system works for them corrupt, one way or another.

    We need a few honest to goodness “sinners-turned-repenters” on our side. They’d hold a lot of power in this because that would mean that they actually went through that transformation themselves, so they ARE the change we want to see in the world. When we stop fearing our shadows and face them with humility, along with any grave errors we may have commited along the way–and most of us have a few things we don’t like thinking about ourselves–we can practice radical self-compassion, and self-forgiveness, if it helps to release guilt. People can go through deep shifts in consciousness, but it does take work, along with the desire to make changes.

    Many ways to go once we own our shit, but it’s the only way healing and change can happen. And once people change, the world can’t help but to follow. Can’t be any other way!

  • I think the issue of stigma is really about the negative psychological effects of being treated like an “other” (marginalized), which can become internalized and that will lead to all kinds of troubles for a person that can be very challenging to overcome. There is no peace of mind in this, just constant rumination and inner struggle, either in despair or fighting to keep it at bay. Very easy to slip into hopelessness when living with stigma, so it can become lethal.

    The act of stigmatizing a human being is a blatantly abusive act because it is detrimental to a person’s well-being, and it is based on the delusion of an entire society, a mass shadow projection. It’s just one big lie that everyone agrees to, and this becomes the social rule. That’s a society ripe for an awakening, and it won’t come easy because it means everyone will be forced to see their own shadow.

    I agree that the burden is on society to do better by its own members, but in addition, it is traumatic to live with stigma. Social stigma is a reflection of what society will not see about itself, and it also deeply harms the individual who is the target of the social abuse. This is not about “hurt feelings.” This is about denying people respectability, rights, and quality of life.

    Overcoming having been stigmatized involves specific healing. Otherwise, living with stigma is like having something draining you constantly, which becomes part of one’s own process. This is an issue of personal well-being and quality of life as well as human rights and social justice. These all go hand in hand and all of it must be addressed if we expect meaningful change to occur.

  • Congratulations on the work you’ve done on yourself, sounds as though it’s been quite fruitful in your healing journey. Certainly living by our values is our integrity and protecting ourselves in a stigmatizing and discriminating industry and community is understandable. However, I can’t see how it speaks of social change–or “rethinking” anything–because there is no challenge to that prejudice, so it remains status quo.

    There is another perspective to consider when it comes to our relationships with ourselves and with society at large, and also pertaining to our roles in the world, which I think is well articulated in this quote by Marianne Williamson–

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

  • “Toxic psychiatry” and “toxic patriarchy” would seem to be just about the same thing. Sound leadership would be nice, where the greater good is considered over greed, which I define as one person’s ego being satisfied at the sacrifice of others–the essence of injustice, a dysfunctional system, and it leads to oppression and needless suffering. Even with good intentions, it’s hard to strike a social balance–if it is at all possible–when we choose to put issues of money and vanity over and above the quality of human life for absolutely everyone in that community, no exclusion, no exceptions.

  • Very powerful article and perspective. I struggle with definitions of what is ‘positive’ vs. what is ‘negative,’ and also what is ‘toxic’ vs. what is ‘nourishing.’ They can feel universal in one sense, but there is nuance and individuality here, too, that is, diversity and relativity.

    I use these words, but context and intention do matter and language has so much energy to it. We attach a lot to words, and also personalize them, I think that’s human nature. We also have the free will to choose how we face ourselves and how we relate to the world around us, through language, at any given moment. There’s a lot of creativity in how we express ourselves. I think it’s more of an art than a science, because we actually CREATE from language.

    I believe one thing that is clear is that allowing ALL our emotions is where freedom comes in. And yes, our society is highly restrictive here, no permission to be fully ourselves (or even hardly ourselves!), which not only cuts us off from our nature–which, in turn, is terribly harmful–but also, this is oppression.

    Psychiatry, in particular, slams and penalizes not just emotions, but passion, which is our spirit. Hard to put any kind of positive spin on that, it just sucks, and in the end, it is debilitating if one does not find a way back to oneself from being harmed this way. And yes, it is harmful and abusive to emotionally manipulate others by attaching shame to how someone feels about anything. That can ONLY be a projection because how can it be shameful to feel? That is dehumanizing, and defies all logic to me. As long as we’re ok with ourselves, I don’t think we need anyone else’s permission. The trick is allowing ourselves to be ourselves.

    These are challenging times. All kinds of things are coming forth from the shadows, and into the light, including some very strong emotions that come with awakening. Well, they need to if we are ever to know truth in this era of smoke & mirrors. Gaslighting has become our way of life. Hopefully, this time of “social reset” will bring clarity to all that, and we’ll see what is behind this haze passing over us. And indeed, there will be lots of long held back emotions being expressed in all kinds of ways, from all over the spectrum. To feel is the essence of human nature. No qualifiers on that!

  • furies, I’ve never paid anything I just watched all the free videos and workshops that I could find and did the work on my own. Had I needed help with the work I’d have paid for one of the more in depth workshops but I know how to do neural shifting and all that, so the validation and info was enough to get me started, opened up a healing path for this.

    But I think many of these are legit, these folks really do want to help others, we know what a challenging issue this is. The comments on these videos really show what a hidden issue this has been, as well, now coming to light in a significant way. This helps the world, the greater good, because it’s a big problem, this is more common than not and causes undue suffering, absolutely no need for this, screws everyone up simply to satisfy ONE person’s ego.

    Trust instincts as always of course but I’m glad to hear this is an awakening for you. This topic took me far, really undid a lot of my confusion and FINALLY the pattern stopped! I can see clearly now, huge relief! Keep going, you’ll be so glad you did.

  • Yes it’s all I’ve done for the past 10 years. My life is dedicated to helping people get on with their lives and also to circumvent the system if they want real and true healing. I operate in a new paradigm which I learned along the way and it was the game changer for me.

    After walking away from the system, I went back as a public speaker to expose the harms and made a film from within the system which was a platform for each of us to speak our truth about discrimination and harm done by these labels, for starters. We’ve all moved on to fulfill our goals and each one of us is doing things to help others, so it’s rippling which is enormously gratifying.

    I was making headway and doing day long workshops for system clients and staff (all in one room together, biggest group was 45 people) which were popular and controversial and got people to consider different perspectives and actually getting people to wake up, but I was eventually called out as a “radical who went against the system” and not allowed to do anymore, so I walked away and regrouped, started my own thing independently, still at it and growing.

  • I did an online workshop with Melanie, she’s the one who introduced me to this topic. She is excellent!

    Teal Swan posted a video recently about this called “Gaslighting (What is Gaslighting and How To Heal From It)” which some might find helpful, she covers quite a bit in 23 minutes–


    Honestly, I think this is the best topic to explore when it comes to our well-being. It’s the hidden beast in our society, what I’d call “a silent killer.” This kind of crazy-making abuse leads to suicide, easily, if we don’t wake up to it and do the healing work to address this.

  • “What I think we’re talking about here is people who are COMMITTED to negative and destructive behavior, people who genuinely believe that the best way to live is to be selfish and disingenuous and to mess with other people’s success and even their very sanity.”

    Yes, that is exactly what we’re talking about. Nightmare on Earth. How to stop this? would be my question. How do people get away with this, and keep going? How to fight against abuse is a problem in our society, given how we live in an abusive society. Sure is a head scratcher.

  • I’m talking about a much more sinister behavior, which would be part of a person’s relationship dynamic which they carry forward with everyone. Some people are so conditioned to being around this that they don’t notice it unless they wake up to what has been draining them for so long.

    Anyone can be a jerk, we’ve all been that at times. Especially when fighting and standing up to abuse, it seems natural to try to fight fire with fire, but that is only a downward spiral and lose/lose.

    An energy vampire is relentless in their need for control and overpowering others, and will not leave the scene without making a huge mess for innocent people, first, because they THRIVE on the pain of others, and second it feels powerful to an otherwise relatively powerless-feeling person, despite what they might project outward, like a costume. I’d say this behavior shows a lack of moral compass.

    This can be really bad news if that kind of person is in a position of power and authority, and that seems to be the norm nowadays. Why do we put up with it, continuously? It’s all of society participating in this, one way or another, until we don’t any longer.

  • Thank you for your transparency and very powerful truth-speaking, Robert. Tons of food for thought here, which I will sit with and process.

    I think the question of such paradigm shifts based on profound social and individual wounding will require what is more than likely beyond our thinking at this time, but it is not beyond our creative capacity. This is one time where the gut and heart will lead, has to be. Social transformation means changing how we experience reality, and that is not a bureaucratic or systemic issue. It is deeply personal and individual. Somehow, it has to work out in the whole, and that will be a matter of copacetic people coming together, first, how energy gathers in a harmonious way. Even 2 people who can work authentically, respectfully, and seamlessly together are more powerful than thousands of people in disarray. That would be a good start, to find that internalized harmony, first, then it can be created outside of ourselves to reflect the inner harmony.

    “Whatever happens, I’d like to avoid doing what people in our world have done for far too long and that is forming a circular firing squad.”

    Well put and great goal. I’ve been working in the capacity of activism and change for years, with regard to the “mental health” industry–which, admittedly, I have disdain for all of it, from my personal experience of it and then adding to that all that I’ve read and heard from others over the years. The big picture is very ugly. I’ve faced many a firing squad not only for my truth-speaking against the system, but even for how I talk about my healing! I’ve been offered alternative realities, people love to change my story to fit their need to stigmatize, judge, and project negatively. Gives you an idea JUST HOW BAD the problem is. Divide and conquer seems to have worked here.

    Fortunately, I got used to it and can now make a choice whether I want to face that or not. When I don’t, I enjoy the peace which my life has become after healing from this mess. That took decades and also, it took its toll, but it’s the contribution to change and transformation I feel best about (and I’ve produced a few other things, as well, over the years to challenge the system), because I rejected the entire field ultimately (I was a clincian as well as client, very dedicated to the field of “psychology”) and found my healing path far and away from that, which is not the same for everyone. Besides, when I have to say “I healed from pts from the mh field,” something is dreadfully wrong, at the very core of this, obviously!

    Our healing paths are unique, based on so many things about us, personally. For me, everything about the field of counseling psychology, including graduate school, was one big crazy abusive competetive mess, and terribly misinformed, at best. I found my path through other means more natural and energetic, healing spirit wounding, issues of betrayal and ambush, as well as physical damage. I did tons of neural shifting and strengthening my nervous system by thinking a bit better of myself than I had been. That was vital, and the opposite of what was happening in the therapist’s office. Somehow, powerlessness and dependence starts to creep into these relationships, especially if one has a label to begin with. It only goes down the rabbit hole from there.

    For me, my healing was deep work which was more an act of living and paying attention to myself, being open, flexible and humble to necessary changes within me, if I wanted to have a good quality of life and attract what I wanted from it.

    In addition, I am part of a group of practicing manifestors, whose intention it is to ground our light and build new things which will be sound, just, creative, and community well-being oriented, to expand light on this currently ailing and darkened planet of ours. That’s not easy because first we have to sort through our own shit in order to not make the same mistakes which were inflicted upon us, including “group think,” which is non-inclusive and non-expansive, poised to become dysfunctional, bullying, and marginalizing one way or another.

    This is not an easy task, but it is a highly creative endeavor to help bring in a new paradigm. So much unknown, so much uncertainty, kinda scary and very exciting. What choice do we have? We know what we don’t want, so we know what we do want. And we’re going for it.

  • “You now can’t call out narcissism as a moral ethical problem, because it’s been made into a medical personality disorder diagnosis that psychiatrists-psychologists claim only ‘they’ can ‘diagnose’.”

    Indeed, as I was writing my comment, I was aware of this irony but I didn’t bother to caveat. Using such common vernacular that people understand on a gut level can easily get confused with “non-medical medicalizing.” I also use the terms vampire or energy sucker or double binder. I’m sure in time we’ll have other terms before they become overused and co-opted, as the above have already, no doubt. This can certainly become a game of name calling, which makes me shudder. Kind of immature in and of itself, I’d say. I’ve certainly been guilty of this. It’s tough to articulate, but the feeling is powerful.

    None of these terms are very nice, but then again, we’re talking about people who can have a favorable public/social image, but in reality, whose insidious actions are seriously harmful to others. It can be covert and sinister. And even when this gets expressed and called out, it is not only vehemently denied, it is projected onto another and things only get worse from there. Tons of marginalizing happens this way, true injustice leading to chronic suffering.

    I could also say “deeply wounded people,” but that’s a lot of us, until we heal those wounds. And not everyone with deep wounds takes it out on others, but more so, they take it out on themselves while trying to be as nice to others as possible to specifically avoid the repetition, but that tends to backfire because it is not authentic and comes off as people pleasing. The change has to be internal before outer changes occur.

    When we do heal from having endured such a dynamic, which can only be transformative from what I can see, then we have no reason or desire to act that way any longer or to treat anyone at all with such dehumanizing disregard, which would be a HUGE relief to all of humanity! That would be the most crucial point for me.

    Thank you again for all of this, Magdalene, and for bringing this book and other works along this line, to the forefront. To me this is vital and more widespread that people realize (although I think people are starting to get this and wake up to it more and more), so it’s brilliant information right now, we need this awareness. This is my personal offering on the subject–


  • If you put “healing from narcissistic abuse” or “healing from narcissistic parents” in the YouTube search engine, pages and pages of videos will pop up with all kinds of different people talking about how they addressed and healed this, from their own experience. It’s not one size fits all, and this presents a variety of perspectives and options, based on how it resonates with different people.

    It can make all the difference to address this in ourselves and change these patterns of thinking based on shadow projection abuse. Our neurons are quite flexible and with focused practice, we can transform our thinking. That’s what changes reality because when we think differently, we notice different things and we also act differently, so as a result, we attract different things into our lives and experience, not repeating the past but instead, creating a new future. That’s how I’ve experienced it working and I’ve heard similar testimonials as the result of healing from this particular brand of abuse. It is literally life-changing, at the core.

  • Narcissistic abuse is so insidious and can be really hard to pinpoint as such in a society where it is the norm. This was the final stage of my healing, learning about this, and how to undo it. I learned from one source that we end up gaslighting ourselves as a result of being chronically misled, lied to, and reflected back negatively for the purpose of power and control (especially when it is from people who are supposed to be helping and supporting us), which I could relate to when I heard this, causing doubt and fear of consequences to lace just about every action and interaction. It’s really so very horrible! Causes such internal suffering.

    And yes, this is chronic within the “mental health” industry, in fact it is the foundation of it. The DSM is a book of gaslighting. Being labeled IS narcissistic abuse!

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for writing about this! I think it’s extermely relevant now given what is going on in the world. We’re all being gaslighted now, so this healing has tremendous value in present time if we cherish and are to preserve our freedom.

  • “Many of the you tubers I listen to are optimistic that the truth will prevail, and that this lockdown will aid in that necessary awakening. But I do know the systemic evil of the globalists is staggering and mind blowing. And awakening to the magnitude of their systemic crimes, is not easy. I’ve been researching into, and painting their systemic crimes for decades now, and I’m still appalled. Perhaps due to their lack of repentance.”

    Yep, you said it right, SE, exactly where I am. It’s like an ever-binding loop that needs to be broken. I’m sure it’s a work in progress, it’s being chipped away at by all of us one way or another, that’s what I believe in any event. Too many are awake to this shit now in all corners of life, but it’s a hard one because it can be a dangerous game to bust up abusive systems, it is not a game of surrender.

    I think one reason for the optimism is that issues are in our faces and up front in the light now, more and more coming, so we’re all kind of looking in the mirror at this point. With the systems falling apart, I wonder what can we do to consciously create forward away from what is proving failed, toward something much, much BETTER! A world in which anyone who chooses to can thrive without sabotage based on hate and fear. I believe now would be a good time to assess this, given what we’re learning as we go here. Everyday something new in this unfolding.

    That’s what I mean by this being a highly creative time, what we need most for transforming society into something sound, humane, and functional. It’s becoming more and more obvious that this is exactly what we don’t have (we knew, others are starting to get it), and I believe it’s what we’re craving as a collective (aside from the power-mongers). Keeping the faith, indeed, that we can focus this into being. I appreciate your truth and light energy around this, SE, thank you!

  • Someone Else, I believe this is the beginning of big changes, from that bigger picture perspective that I know we’ve talked about. There is tons of awakening to happen here. This global event is shaking it all up and it will affect everyone differently. Old systems and beliefs are being seriously challenged. That’s enough to change the world, one step at a time. As creative beings, we can do our part to make it a positive change. This is going to take stretching in thinking, taking us to new creative levels. This is my vision for the new paradigm. I think it’s time for artists to step forward in a big way.

  • This certainly could be the start of the most creative time for the world, and also supremely healing. Embracing uncertainty, finding calm in the storm (or better yet, BEING the calm in the storm), tuning in to one’s inner voice above and beyond outside chaos, practicing self-resourcefulness, trusting the process of change, etc. All kinds of energy swirling around now, with no clear focus or vision or expected outcome, it remains to be seen. This is transformation time!

  • All true and I agree, Steve, although I have a few specific people in mind–especially one psychiatrist– who totally took advantage of my vulnerability and trust at the time which led to consequences which I, in turn, had to heal and repair on my own, and which was still costly in many ways. This guy was brutal and looking back from a space of more clarity and without the dependence I’d been feeling at the time, to me it seems he was kinda crazy in a sinisterly narcissistic way. But if I wanted to work–and that was my only goal back then, to get back to work–I had no choice at that time but to see him because I was going through voc rehab.

    And while it’s not my style to wish ill on anyone, I can’t help but to take comfort in the phrase, “Karma’s a bitch.” That’s part of the drain with all this, creates all of this inner conflict. We try to be nice, but some people make that impossible, if we are to not be doormats (or vampire food!). I spoke my truth before ditching him but the consequences of his irresponsible words and insidious actions were far-reaching. I’m not sure they realize the harm they do with these projections. They sabotage quality of life, and in some cases, life itself. And yes, high earners for all this, to boot. It’s why we’ve been calling in change, this is a perfect example of “what is wrong with this picture?”

    “The “mental health” professions, at least at this time in our history, are seeming to be pretty much the opposite of enlightened.”

    I think that’s because there is no education for understanding our humanity other than life and no training for how to relate to others outside of experience. It is the *opposite* of academic and speculative. Life is what we experience as “real.”

    YES on abolition of course. I used to lean more toward reforming and improving things, but after all these years of processing this and learning of others’ experiences on here, and also from these dialogues and how I’ve experienced them, I simply cannot see reform as realistic or feasable at this point, from where I sit. Although how it will all end/transform is anyone’s guess and remains to be seen. Every system is being tested to the limit at this point, they are bursting at the seams.

  • Yes, the dynamic does repeat and it adds insult to injury, and that all has to be worked out somehow if one expects healing on this level. That’s hard inner work, doable but quite challenging. Shouldn’t have to be this way but right now the harm they do runs deep and until this stops, people can get stuck in the abyss created by this hellish system.

    However, for me there actually was one big difference: my family didn’t rob me blind like these vampires did, taking my money while disabling me with poison and then all out abuse and discrimination as I was trying to heal from the drugs toxicity. Fortunately I found what I needed to heal and get on with things, and I am generally a very forgiving person and I’ve got a pretty big heart, but it turns stone cold when I think about this horrific institution. Call me extreme, but I wholeheartedly believe it’s completely justified in this case, and totally reasonable. My experience with psychiatry–and, in fact, any tangent of the “mental health” inudstry–can be spelled out in one word: sabotage.

  • “I do hope that outlining my difference in approach will be of some use to those who want to see concrete improvements in culture and practice take place and lead to meaningful and substantial directions to reduce abuse, discrimination, and malpractice in a psychiatric world that is extremely dysfunctional.”

    How about ELIMINATING abuse, discrimination, and malpractice? Technically, it’s illegal but somehow, this industry gets away with it–which makes it systemic–and in fact most of us realize to what extent these provide the cornerstone of psychiatry, in practice. And when an industry is based on abuse and discrimination and dangerous misinformation, then how on Earth would it reform itself? How could it possibly learn to operate from and with integrity? That would take an entirely new paradigm of thinking, starting with extreme humility and self-responsibility.

    Is psychiatry capable of this? I’d venture to guess that it is not, that it is rather severely stuck in one extremely narrow way of thinking which is the core of “dysfunction.”

    So if they practice dysfunction, then this is what is being passed along to clients, how could it not be? Clients are expected to accomodate dysfunction, which only perpetuates not only anxiety and distress in individuals, but also social dysfunction at large. All this complicated and complex bureacracy to help humanity heal from trauma and abuse we’ve all been putting up with for way too long? I think not, that is beyond absurd and only adds to the confusion, overwhelm, and feelings of powerlessness, nothing else.

    Of course, they’d never admit to doing all of this extreme harm despite all kinds of protests of abuse and torture and extreme manipulation adding up to mind control, then they’d be admitting guilt and would owe their clients big time. But they have, and they do, that is truth. No way to get around that.

    Next step in change would be for psychiatrists to admit their wrongdoing and offer reparations. That would be just, honorable, and courageous, and would offer new hope to people. What exactly would the “reformation dialogue” be about, otherwise? Of course, they can keep lying, covering up, and projecting their guilt onto clients and perpetuating abuse, discrimination and malpractice. It’s a choice.

  • I think the shared distress is mass gaslighting, which would merit a new level of discernment, aka expanded consciousness. Everyone will have their own truth of the matter and is entitled to their own reality by choosing a perspective from which to experience it. Respect and appreciation for the inherent and natural diversity of humanity will put an end to oppression.

  • I did want to add that of course we are all human and far from perfect. We all make mistakes in order to learn from them and do better as we go along, growing in self-awareness. And we all have the capacity to self-forgive and to make postive changes from within that will translate into an improved world. Keyword: ALL.

  • Sometimes parents can be so self-absorbed and needy, a kid can grow up believing they are responsible for others at their own sacrifice. Some households can practice toxic, marginalizing dynamics based on all kinds of judgments and prejudices, and become very unsafe for some children, so they grow up in chronic fear and anxiety, feeling as though they don’t belong anywhere, and that can turn into living with chronic terror and dread. How parents respond to life issues, problems and crises is how a child learns by example.

    It’s usually not simply the pattern of communication that is the issue but more so what beliefs are behind negative communication, and how this influences what a child grows up believing about themselves and the world, based on the parents’ influence. If the child is particularly senstive and can pick up energy easily (which many children are like this and grow up to become very intuitive adults), then they will more than likely carry within them any unexpressed or unresolved conflict until it is acknowledged what the root cause of this is or it will persist. In order to solve a problem, it is important to know the root of it and address it as such. Real and true change (aka healing) is made at the core, not topically.

    Last thing someone who is healing needs is denial of how their childhood environment plays a role in shaping their self-image and self-regard. I believe that is universal. Not all parents have a “parental instinct.”

  • You have really captured it boans, these are the dilemmas and considerations in healing from social abuse, and it’s not an easy picture. Change and transformation are messy, like the eggs breaking to make the omelette. Trusting our own selves and how our process guides us is where we can feel safer as we go. We’re all uncertain of the future, that’s universal.

    “My ‘faith’ has wavered much over the past 9 years, going from absolute to wondering why my God would allow such things to occur. And yet then I realise it is a test of integrity that is being applied to these people,”

    Yep, for all of us, so here’s our opportunity to follow that light and it will be a better path, uplifting and clearer. That’s my belief and vision, in any event, and my experience so far. It helps to connect with what we truly believe and walk that talk, then we’re in synch with ourselves and we move forward with greater ease.

    “and they are failing miserably.”

    Oh yeah, the corruption is a runaway train, let them wrestle with it. They have to hit rock bottom (whatever that is, scary to think about) before waking up and it will be a rude awakening for them. That’s what happens when it is not voluntary. We do have a choice to embrace change or to resist it. The latter choice makes it much, much harder to navigate, of this I’m certain. I’d recommend *allowing* change, that is more ease than not. They’re resisting it, so they will have problems, but that is their awakening, so it’s quite just.

    “What will be the eventual consequence of that failure?”

    At some point, it has to turn on them, as more and more of us “scapegoats” wake up and stop feeding the vampires and claim our personal sovereignty. I believe that is our birthright, but we were born into oppression, so we have to untie that Gordion Knot ourselves. That’s a hard one, albeit doable, this is not new. Although I do believe that IS the point of all this. Walking away from energy drainers such as these is where we begin to connect with our own power–and a bit more inner peace in the process because anxiety lowers from empowerment–and then we can get acquainted with ourselves on much better terms. Makes all the difference what we believe about ourselves.

  • “They want us to fear THEIR enemies. And their enemies just happen to be US.”

    Ah, yes, got it. Wow, that is keen analysis, boans, and on point. This is what we don’t want to buy into, that’s a terrible and self-sabotaging program.

    “The illnesses being caused by the destruction of the planet by psychotic corporations…”

    Yes, I agree, that is my truth, too. And what community of origin fosters the people who run such corrupt industries that are sabotaging global society? There is a root to every issue.

  • “I’ve spoken up and no one wishes to listen here. They turned me away because someone went to the trouble of fabricating false records, and no one wishes to check them because they prefer the lies.”

    This really touches me, boans, I have this story, that statement could come from me, too. This applies to the super bureaucratic “mental health/social services” network where I got caught up in what you describe and battled it up and down for years in all kinds of ways legal and creative. And it also applies to at least a couple of members of my family, from whom I need to keep a distance if I want sanity in my life. I do come from a gaslighting family, unfortunately, doesn’t make me happy to say this and I had to heal tons from it as I spoke the hardest truth ever and set the firmest boundaries ever. Those were my choices to make and I followed through. Made me stronger, I felt the clarity, but I also felt sad for a while, then I felt free. Whew, that’s what I was waiting for, and it happened.

    The system did it all over again and I’ve spoken my truth repeatedly. I’ve made impacts here and there, I do know this. After I take my actions, I cannot control what happens after that, other than in what direction I choose to go from there. Everyone has free will, to do good or to be an ass.

    Yes, they’d prefer the lies because the truth is a mirror to them they do not like and will not accept at all cost, it would be too painful for them, too much self-judgment would fall on them. Sadly, that’s their right to resist truth, and we’re only beating our heads against the wall when we argue with deniers and liars.

    When I say trust the path of integrity, what I mean is that we can do better by not being like that, by being straight up, which it seems to me that you totally are.

    As far as “the riches and the freedom” go, well, I’m still on my way, too. But I think the potential to be richer and freer would actually come from being a victim of systemic bullshit than being a perpetrator of it. A perprator is really missing some of their moral compass, and that’s a hard awakening which I do not envy.

    Those of us on the scapegoated end are inherently humble, we’ve been humbled plenty and we feel it, I know that. I think there is power in that, precisely because we are in our integrity. If we can feel that, perhaps we’ll see it reflected outside of us, somehow.

    I don’t know, this IS my practice, I’m very conscious of this as I’ve been dealing with it most of my life, and it got worse as I was an adult, leading to lots of hard awakenings and freeing myself from double-binding toxic relationships. I was raised on this, so I had to do deep, deep deprogramming from what I grew up believing, and disover my own truth, so that I at least had the CHOICE to live by my integrity! That was the hugest shift ever, kinda surreal for a while. It’s a new world when we heal from abuse.

    I’ve been seeing the outer changes in bits and pieces, have had plenty of good evidence over the years. Then things can get wonky again, not sure if things are getting better. Then something happens to bring me back into trust, seeing movement happen. The world is dense, changes can take a while to show up!

    But that’s where I’m at with all this. I’ve gone in and out of doubt a lot, that’s human. But the light does keep showing up and showing up and showing up. And as long as that’s the case, I have hope and even optimism. Sometimes I can even achieve a feeling of certainty! That feels great. Then it can ebb again. It’s a flow of energy.

    As long as I see manifestation along the way and feel better than before, then I know I’m on track. I just keep looking forward, not back. Definitely the key to healing and change. It’s not behind us, it’s right in front of us.

  • Thank you for the honor, boans, I appreciate your saying this and I’m glad it speaks to you. And of course I do understand the rage, boy do I, that’s a most reasonable response to this crap. But I think as we gain more and more clarity, we have the option to make changes internally, right there, as it seems you are doing, and new light shines on the other side of this. Changes will happen on the outside, too, to reflect the internal changes. It’s a most fascinating process, and powerful in its ability to drive change from the inside.

    Interesting, too, I happened to give a lengthy response this morning to your comment with the Dr. Strangelove quote, you inspired me with that one. It’s still in the moderating queue, I guess is will show up soon. Kind of goes hand in hand with this post, regarding internal changes. Good synchronicity!

  • That’s an enlightening quote, boans, and a brilliant film! However, most honestly, I’m not out to create fear in anyone, that is never my intention and would go against my values. My work in the world is to help bring clarity and relief to people, not more chaos, although we most often have to move through some chaos in order to find relief and clarity, that would be the unearthing and integrative process of healing.

    Truth can be hard to hear and accept sometimes, but it is necessary if we are to live with any kind of peace in the world. Even recognizing hard truths in ourselves is freeing, although it may be uncomfortable for a moment, but that passes as we integrate our own light and shadow. To me that is the natural healing process. I see that as growth and evolution in consciousness. I believe this is the path toward inner peace, which is the ultimate healing, total relief from stress. Inner peace is the most natural anti-anxiety that exists, and allows all truth to come to light because we do not fear it, if we are in our own personal light and know our peace.

    Truth is light, which is more of an empowering feeling rather than one of fear, because it is clear and unamibiguous, so we can move forward from that. I think what we fear is our own self-judgment, which can be harsh, so we give ourselve permission to feel what we feel and be who we are, no reason to be so damn hard on ourselves! I had to integrate tons of self-judgment in order to heal from chronic anxiety, and feel self-compassion. That is self-soothing, and I become my own best friend as opposed to being my own worst enemy.

    So really, I guess I’d say our enemy is ourselves if we are in fear and self-judgment, whereas we CAN choose to be our most powerful support and self-healer.

    Fear comes from our own interpretation of events and experiences when we feel and perceive ourselves to be powerless. We end up worrying about everything, and that is chronic stress. I’ve also heard “worry” described as “praying for that which you don’t want.” We tend to manifest that on which we most focus, regardless of whether it is from our desire or our fear. I’d prefer a better feeling and to focus on that which I DO want, rather than to dwell on that which makes me feel fear, worry, and resentment. That will only create more of the same, that’s a law of nature, from what I understand.

    Moreover, I think that the impulse to “attack” is already driven by core fears. Mainstream fears shadow, while many of us are accustomed to it. I’d say we have the advantage, because we are in our truth. I own my stuff every day, I’ve made amends for my errors and misjudgments and I continue to as I go along, to stay on a path of integrity, allowing myself to be human while striving to be the best I can be.

    I’ve faced myself in the mirror repeatedly, as I believe many of us on here have. No one is perfect, far from it. Humans aren’t supposed to be perfect, that would go against nature. Life is school, we learn as we go–hopefully!

    Those who attack innocent people have plenty to fear from within their own selves. People change when they feel it is in their best interest, not in the best interest of others. I wish fear on no one, only truth and the empowerment of humility. Being human is inherently humbling, and it’s also incredibly creative. The combo of these is power. Everyone on the planet has the potential to own their personal power and not be afraid of shadow or the unknown. Were everyone to take that level of responsbility for themselves and stop attacking people for their truth, the world would be mightily uplifted and so much of this craziness would cease. That’s my vision, in any event.

  • “Most DSM “bible” believers are a part of a vast system of bullying, defamation, and neurotoxic poisoning.”

    Exactly right, this is the truth distilled perfectly. The big three, working together doing soooo much harm, obviously, what else would come from these? By now it’s an embedded program, nature of the beast. This cannot go on forever without self-sabotaging consequences.

    To these horribly misguided and toxic systems, psychiatry and its ilk: Please stop hurting people. You are hurting people terribly, repeatedly. We keep telling you, we keep providing evidence of our truth, and you will not listen, you will not believe, you will not acknowledge. Regardless, please stop, stop, STOP! Turn a new leaf, own your mistakes, make amends, and move forward in a new light. However it occurs, it must. We will all be better for it, win/win.

    We’re ALL human and we all make mistakes. There’s a lot of growth and healing in owning and correcting the error of our ways. Everyone goes through it one way or another. It’s called waking up, and growing up. Be brave.

  • Yeah, I agree, no mincing of words when it comes to truth-speaking about corruption. i know from experience that saying this to their face is useless, only creates retaliation and shuts down communication. When one says this about their peers, however, it has credibility that the victims of corruption are robbed of, as per the stigma of these labels and the social identity they perpetuate. All voices matter, but some are heard above others–or at least responded to above others, or taken more seriously than others, or some such thing. Hard to say what is actually being heard.

  • You just perfectly illustrated the gaslighting which occurs readily in this industry, as standard practice. That is psychological torture and will do more harm than anything, leaving people confused, disoriented and feeling powerless because there is no truth to this, they are totally shadow projections. I believe this is how the DSM is used as a tool for justifying these projections. It is insidious, oppressive, and supremely toxic, hurts people at the core to have their humanity so blatantly invalidated like that, especially after being provoked.

    These are wounds that cut deep, can really mess a person up until they wake up to the abuse and walk away from it. That can take a while to realize how draining this is, if one is vulnerable to such negative mirroring and feedback.

    Even after all these years of being awake to how this works, it’s still mind-boggling to me that the “mental health” industry causes such profound psychological distress with these common practices of labeling and shaming emotions! The irony is over-the-top tragic. Such damage being done every day with this shit, makes me shudder.

  • Wow, this is the most direct and powerful condemnation of psychiatry and psychatirsts that I’ve ever seen coming from within the industry. Thank you for your brave and unambiguous truth-speaking, may it ripple far and wide. I’m sure I’ll be sharing this blog.

    One thing–I do feel it is important to give hope for healing, regardless of anything. I was on polypharmacy for 19 years until coming off of them systematically and intuitively, and now I’ve been 19 years off, exact same amount of time. It was often quite rough, scary, extremely painful, and totally uncertain, but in the end, with diligence, trust, and persistence, I found my healing, thank God.

    While I was on the drugs, I wasn’t exactyly a “zombie,” and in fact I worked full time, went to school got 2 degrees, and had a seemingly “normal” (mainstream) life, albeit with symptoms I was always trying to manage, caused by the drugs themselves, it turns out.

    Years later, following various changes in the drugs, I did eventually discover they’d been eroding me from the inside all along. My organs were out of balance and my mind became foggy. This is while I was in grad school, suddenly, things went south, and it had been happening slowly all along. It was quite a dilemma for me because of what I was taught to believe about myself and about the medical profession, including psychiatry. My father was a physician, so I thought any Dr. should be listened to, “for my own good,” that a “professional” would know more about me than I did. That’s the programming, and it’s quite misleading, to the point of danger, obviously, what you are warning us about.

    I chose to break the programming and do what was good and right for me, and that was surprisingly challenging, to discern between my own voice and the stigmatizing voices that came directly from psychiatry and the mh AND social services systems, at large. It’s all part of the systemic bullying, from my experience, like poisonous tentacles to psychiatry. Such an utterly limited perspective of humanity, along with their own double binds, as per funding issues, and where the finanical power is. As long as that rules, we’re in trouble.

    Most fortunately and thanks to good healing, I finally cleared my head of the static and learned to integrate my true nature into my life experience. That’s how I found my real voice, and my freedom, and they are mine to own now, which is incredible to me, a miracle, considering I’d felt totally doomed and hopeless on more than a few occasions, and it was profound, really dark. I kept going, and the light did show up, finally.

    And that is my message to anyone who has been through this, as I have.

    Thank you again, very much appreciated.

  • People with authoritarian personalities have fears, too, namely 1) the truth 2) abandonment and 3) independently-minded people. There are many ways to disempower abusers and break a dysfunctional system, but one does have to be aware and cautious. Triggering the fear of an abuser can cause chaos within a dysfunctional community.

  • I think the “enemy” is fear, and that has the potential to attach itself to anyone at all who has not owned their shadow and instead is in the habit of projecting it outward. Not everyone does this, but many people do.

    Abusers and corruption both depend on others to fear them, and to identify with these projections, that they are powerless, especially if they have no money. Without that, were people to not buy into this, then such a system would not be able to survive, and in fact, I’m sure it would crash. That’s a matter of individual healing and raising awareness around programmed beliefs vs. what is real and true for each of us.

    We have a choice to NOT be fearful and to not take on the shadow projections, but instead, to know our power of truth and to feel that as our sense of self. Completely disempowers abuse, corruption, projections, etc.

  • BE the change you want to see in the world.

    Double binds are opportunities to expand our awareness and shift perspective to a bigger, more universal picture. Breaking a corrupt system requires truth, otherwise one is FEEDING the corruption. Expect systemic bullying, stigmatizing projections, public shaming, biased censorship, word-twisting, gaslighting, and cutting off your money supply, it’s all part of the arsenal when corruption is threatened. You are not alone.

    And if you are in your truth, you are in your power. If you know that, the money thing is not a problem, it will resolve itself. Hardest program to cut through, but I’ve learned this from experience. I’ve been in this position quite a few times and have leaped forward in all ways each time I have faced it with truth, and particularly toward peace of mind and general well-being. Truth is a healer.

    Speak up or walk away and don’t look back, trust the path of integrity. You’ll sleep better at night because you will be in synch with yourself. Living the truth of our spiritual values carries far more weight than money because it is abundance which cannot be threatened and taken away, and from that we can manifest anything we need or want, from a healed heart, which brings the courage of trust and faith. It is an inherent part of who we are.

    And there are the riches and the freedom, they go hand in hand in expanded consciousness. It is true abundance, from the inside, and it is robust. No double binds or compromise, and you have individuated from corruption, which means–and this is important–that you have weakened it, you have taken away from its power because you are not giving up yours to them, out of fear, which is their fuel. Refuse to be their pawn by knowing where your power is in this situation, and use it. That is being the example of change.

    Break the system. Trust the process. It’s the only way.

  • I’d totally love that and I just sent Steve an email to forward to you so you can write me. I’ve seriously been thinking the same thing. I was picking up that we were evolving together, here, really cool. I look forward to hearing from you and continuing this! Hugs back 🙂

  • johnchristine, I do not believe that Melissa’s gesture falls into this category, she is being inclusive, she makes these cards for everyone. The marginalizer in this story is the nurse at the desk who is not allowing light to get into the psych unit, she is intentionally blocking positive energy from getting to “certain people.”

    I’d call her a gatekeeper to the system, she is protecting and supporting it at the front lines, doing the shaming. It’s covert and where the problem is most obviously visible, especially because it is her job, she gets paid for this and it is supported by her colleagues and work culture. Makes it systemic.

    This is exactly why I think this article is brilliant: it’s an example of sharing love from one’s heart, and exactly how that gets cut off from some people, based purely on prejudice, which leads to dismissiveness, which in turn leads to non-deservedness along with feelings of lack and unworthiness. Obviously, that’s incredibly and profoundly harmful for people! It’s totally dehumanizing and despiriting, the essence of these.

    And I agree that restorative justice is exactly what we seek and should tolerate nothing less. When I talk about forgiveness, I’m talking more on a personal level, heart to heart. When it comes to corrupt institutions and social abuse, “forgiveness” would be on a different scale (like forgiving a debt), and is an option for people. But it won’t be everyone’s choice, and that seems reasonable to me.

    When it is institutional, it is about our society and humanity on the whole, how we are being influenced, by what social model? Obviously, we need repair here–even radical change–but where to begin?

    What this article highlights is a good place to start, to realize and become aware of where truth and light are being blocked, and break through or dissolve those blocks, somehow. Melissa is calling this out, which I applaud because that’s where we begin, the light is now shining on the most visible aspect of the problem, it is unmistakable here.

    These blocks are stubborn because gatekeepers will become irrational and deceitful to protect their turf, but it is where I would put my focus if we want truth to come to light, once and for all. I believe justice would follow, it would certainly be my hope. And it stands to reason that once truth comes to light, justice can be served. When the light shines brightly, it exposes the hidden shadows. Can’t help it, that’s the nature of light.

  • Ok, well, this whole thing makes me sad but it is what it is. Truth isn’t always easy, but it does shine a light. I believe that IS for the greater good, regardless of anything. My best to you.

  • I just don’t think it’s a comparable situtation. Other than that, not sure what a “correction” would look like in this case. Regardless, as always I appreciate hearing your truth. It’s not the same as mine, and I think that’s ok. I believe we can disagree peaceably and move on from all this, and that is for the greater good because no one’s truth is cast aside. It’s why I love the title of this blog, which, in and of itself, is a powerful truth to live by and practice.

  • I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to convey to Bonnie in a post once how she influenced me so signficantly, after she wrote in a comment to someone that “we are here to discover what it means to be human.” A light bulb went on and it so directly and unambiguously gave me the broadest perspective possible, I felt it ring through me. Changed the direction of my path and life work, I’ll be forever grateful.

    RIP Bonnie, you have been a supreme example of and to humanity, indeed, with your courageous heart, shining spirit, and exceptionally brilliant mind. Condolences to family and friends, Bonnie is so obviously beloved by many, and for good reason.

  • I was surprised to see this here but I do hear you and thanks for speaking your truth, Rosalee. In honor of the giving and receiving theme of this blog, I’d say forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts we can offer to ourselves and to other human beings, to humanity in general. I think it’s most practical, too, given that we are trying to bring more loving kindness, support, and safety to the planet, and that is not easy in a rough world, to maintain that.

    No one is perfect and we all have growth potential here that at least will start to provide this planet with a bit more light, which is what we’re all trying to bring in our own way, so people will NOT suffer so readily, the world can become less stressful. Forgiveness is an energy that is one way to bring light and uplift the collective.

    It is not to excuse or allow abuse, not in the slightest and that should be a given as far as I’m concerned, and indeed things do need to change. We’re all part of that process, it’s a collective issue, the whole world is involved in this.

    But forgiveness does acknowledge that we are all human and in a process of healing, growth and evolution. Permission to make mistakes should be allowed if they are corrected and not repeated. How else do we learn and grow?

    I love the title of this blog, Cast Aside No One. I’d love to see that vision manifest in the entire world, if at all possible. Call me crazy, sure wouldn’t be the first time. And if that’s crazy, then I am happy to be. I know I’m not alone, not by a long shot!

  • Thank you for speaking your truth with your story of healing and soul growth. It’s very inspiring, moving, and elegantly written.

    I had the dubious honor of withdrawing after 19 years on polypharmacy, culimating in 9 during that final year, which almost killed me. This was right after grad school and I was living in a big city, so life was complicated at that moment. I finally said enough of this crap, it had made me so sick, and I finished my tapering from all that 19 years ago, so I’ve now had equal times on the drugs and off of them. The difference is beyond night and day, it is astounding.

    I had no model for this, no one around me had done this or had heard of “coming off meds” and I was surrounded mostly by cynics and naysayers. But I did stand my ground on this, and one way or another I was always shown the next step, it would show up for me and the path would be clear, and I’d walk through one door or another, moving forward.

    I was brain (and other organs) damaged at the time from them, not clear on what I needed, terribly self-conscious, severely insomniac, extremely fearful and in grief that my life and well-being seemed to have been ruined forever, and I was not at all well-connected to my inner voice, not on a conscious level. I was also foggy, nervous, and very shaky, could hardly speak above a whisper and my head was filled with scary junk. My body was rebelling in about every way possible, felt as though it had completely turned against me. But somehow, I managed to find my healing by integrating all kinds of things spiritual and natural, similar to what you describe, to heal on a mind/body/spirit level. Can’t have one without the others.

    Chinese medicine was particularly supportive and effective–acupuncture, herbs, and I practiced Qi Gong as well, joined a group and it was amazing how healing this was for me. Learning who I was as a spirit in a human body is what changed everything, that particular relationship between me and me.

    I did have one healer in particular who pointed me in the exact right direction, starting with grounding, and that led to other things, and overall it was a wild ride where I learned all kinds of things about our human nature which I wish I’d known long before this, would have saved me heaps of trouble had I been raised on truth rather than programming. I really had to wake up, then wake up again, then again and again. Lots of awakening on a healing path, it can be a hard process, but it’s rich with lots of moments of awesomeness. Good support is invaluable during these times.

    I made it fine and it’s all behind me now, I’ve tranformed it all via my healing and live with new energy now, a whole new life and world for me. I know it is possible to get past this all, certainly takes hard work, new perspectives to apply, and a lot of transformation. Also takes flexibilty in thinking and a lot of humility, ascending the ego. I call it “an adventure in healing.” My complex journey led me to be in service to others, I found my life path and soul purpose this way.

    “I pray for a rich life, away from the fear of job insecurity, coercive medicine, and false labels.”

    Freedom is our birthright and natural state of being. Trust your inspiration and it will guide you there. And so it is.

  • Props, Melissa, I think this was a really valuable discussion, relevant to all of humanity. I work with energy (as per my healing path) and that’s what this is all about–how we exchange energy amongst each other. One way or another, we “relate,” and it is the energy of this “relating” that defines the quality of it, and it is felt and can be subtle and hard to articulate.

    I also believe this is what we’re looking to tweak, right beneath the surface of our actions, and it will make all the difference. It’s good self-exploration for us all and will help us refine our own energy and focus. It’s how we grow.

    I think every voice here was heard and respected and all perspectives have come to light. I’ve certainly done a lot of self-reflecting in addition to having taken action. I like this topic and take it to heart, how we extend our light to others. You’ve shown nothing but grace and humility and openness in the process, in all authenticity, true leadership.

    And your story in this blog is so revealing, you noticed the exact right thing (imo, at least), and your final words from it, “not on my watch,” are very poignant. To me that is your spirit, and it rings very true. You obviously are a visionary.

    Fabulous work here, and I mean that! I look for stuff like this. I’m very moved, and grateful. We teach and learn by example! This will ripple far and wide, as per your truest intention and heart’s desire. I have no doubt.

  • I don’t want to be all over this blog but just as an aside, I can’t help but to notice that there are interesting issues surfacing here regarding giving and receiving. This is an important aspect of our collective because it is how energy flows between us. Giving is fulfilling to the giver when it comes from the heart. If it’s neither satisfying to or welcome by the receiver, a simple no thank you would communicate that directly and graciously.

    I do understand the dynamic of “giving as charity” in a “do-gooder” and marginalizing way. In Kabbalah, that is called “giving bread of shame,” and it is, sadly, real in this world, and oh yes, it is felt. But aside from that sinister dynamic, I’d say that overall, to give is an act of faith, and to receive is an act of generosity. Both require kindness.

  • “If we could all let our light shine just a little brighter, imagine the possibilities…”

    This bears repeating, thank you kindredspirit.

    This is not to anyone in particular because it happens often, but my general question here is, when will the absolute truth that “we are all in this together” actually register as the reailty which it is? Bringing light and love to the world should not have to be an act of courage from fear of reproach but I thank GOD for brave people. I know from experience that it is so not fun to open your heart to help and inspire others and then get slammed for it in return, for any reason, that’s about as dispiriting as it gets. Do we want a better, kinder, more generally supportive world or not? EVERYONE is responsible for this!

    Melissa’s work is inspiration, that’s a gift to world, by example, and we need as much of that as we can muster right about now.

  • Thanks, Melissa, and totally back atcha! Imagine if we each made an intention to do this, say, once a week, or even once or twice a month. Not to force it, but to notice opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life in a small way. I bet the universe would respond happily, and create those opportunities for us. That’s exactly how it felt when the opportunity arose from me, yesterday, as if the universe heard my heart after reading your article. When it is truly our heart’s desire to be giving, I believe the universe will provide us with plenty of opportunities to fulfill ourselves this way. Win/win. Can’t have enough of that these days!!

  • “the more time I spend loving myself and others, the less time I spend in fear or anxious or despairing. It’s definitely a shift in perspective.”

    That’s it! Thank you, always, kindredspirit, for your encouragement and for your crystal clarity. I know you are a light and a healer as well, I’ve said this often on here.

    This has been some journey to get to this, but this is absolutely the crux of it, from what I’ve been able to gather, THE healing. I so understand it is not easy sometimes, but once we get it, it does get easier I think, because it becomes our new familiar, based on good feelings because we are perceiving the unity of spirit over the illusion of separation (ego, competition, us vs. them, etc). That is love triumphing over fear.

    That’s the self-healing, choosing to focus on that which we love, enjoy, feel moved by– feeling those feelings and practicing them with conscious focus. And indeed, it is our most natural anti-anxiety, we soothe ourselves from the inside, simply from choosing how we focus and practicing it deliberately.

    That’s our power, and really and truly, it is based on love, it’s not abstract when we actually feel it. And indeed, this will elicit new thoughts, new inspiration, and new manifestation. How could it not? And there is core change, right there.

    Were we all to practice this, the world would change with such greater ease because we are changing from the inside, it is organic not forced. Our physical cells respond to these feelings, and it can only ripple outward, that is nature. Giving and receiving love is the path we’re wanting to access, and that will allow energy to flow, which is where we find all the good stuff, including greater ease in life, which I cherish.

    That is exactly mind, body, and spirit synchroncity. Healing and manifesting are rather breezy once we’ve achieved that. There’s always something to master, that’s the fun of life, I think.

    And I learned this to overcome the effects of the psychiatric scapegoating game. I became a scapegoat even among “peers” at one point, when my healing really took off. So I got on everyone’s shit list during this time and got “the treatment,” as I was trying to recover from all this and create my way forward. It was maddening all over again, but practicing unconditional self love saved my life this time, and I was finally able to get out of that loop.

    Now I can love others–and life–unconditionally, although I continue to discern what is good vs. what is not so good for me, which is how I practice self-love. We’re all human, even our perceived “enemies,” (I don’t like that word, but to make a point). Work in progress!

    Relationships are never easy, but they should at least be fulfilling and enriching, and definitely not draining! For me, it’s a co-creatorship, and that can only be based on mutual love & respect to have any value in the world.

  • Psychiatry made me hate myself and inspired me to fear life as well as to dread my future, so every action I took came from these beliefs, consciously or unconsciously. And, in fact, I could not take much action because these chronic feelings led to spiritual and emotional paralysis. Whatever actions I did manage to take from this perspective, it amounted to self-sabotage.

    To heal the suffering which this was causing, I had to learn to love myself again (which meant calling out abuse in the moment and walking away from it, radical self-care, and trusting my inner voice and intuition over any dissenting opinion of others), which I believe is our natural state of being before it becomes corrupt with negative projections and internalized oppressive self-beliefs (starts early!), and then to embrace life from a new perspective, that of the soul, which, in essence, is everything. That allowed me to shift my beliefs into one more aligned with spiritual awareness, which encompasses the entirety of our existence, rather than merely the physical aspect of it, which is miniscule in the bigger picture. We can choose to see spirit in others, and that is a whole new perspective on humanity, and we can feel this in our hearts because it is where we are universally connected.

    There is so much more to us than meets the eye, and that’s where love is clear, profound, and abundant, and creativity is limitless. Embracing and learning our multi-dimensionality is to gift ourselves with integral awareness, and that is truly powerful, from the heart. Radical shift in perspective would mean radical shift in the world, unfolding into a heart and spirit based reality. This is what gets my vote, and my attention.

  • If I’m adding to the problem, the universe will reflect this back to me unambiguously. So far, that’s not even nearly the case, evidenced in my own life and relationships, and all the feedback I get with my work with others. I accept constant feedback, to make sure we are on track together and I am not taking anything for granted. Mutual authentic mirroring is vital to core healing.

    I do work every day on myself, change from day to day, to actually embody change. And I am aware of what I put into the collective, that’s my responsbility, to have that awareness, if I am, indeed, sincere in my desire to support radcal change in the world, toward heart and spirit consciousness. That is light.

    And I do walk my talk, it’s kind of my trademark with all that know me well, I make a point of it and I do catch myself when I am in dissonance with myself and work to amend that. Otherwise, I would not know transformational healing, that would be impossible. I’m also human and have my way less than perfect moments, who doesn’t? We all do the best we can and hopefully grow as we go, in all humility. But I believe as we get older, we have many opportunities to refine our focus. So anything we practice for a while, we become better at it, including living life.

    Of course I’ve come to terms with our collective “brokenness,” I went through the system, myself, exhaustively, wearing all kinds of hats and learning different perspectives of this from my experience. I also live consciously in the world, my head is not in the sand. I know more sad, angry, fearful people than not. I know that state of being-ness from within myself at one time, and to me it does have feelings attached to it, and what it feels to me is really bad, terrible in fact, and exhausting. It’s all anxiety, purely.

    Although, I honestly don’t see any individual at all as broken, in fact, simply “in progress,” as are we all. Society is broken because it cannot support its own people, but that’s a question of embedded programs and corrupt norms based on a lot of lies we’ve been fed and blatant manipulation of our psyches.

    The important thing is to define ourselves, though. If someone tells me they are broken and they don’t want any argument about it, then I wouldn’t argue. But I would feel strongly compelled to explore that belief, were this a client. That’s where healing is, to my mind, so if that is objectionable to a person, then they would not be my client. I’d always be at odds with the perception that they are “broken.” I just can’t get myself to see individuals that way. So I guess there is some paradox here, which is good, I’d expect this. Maybe there’s new info on the horizon here, that’s usually what paradox indicates.

    I’ve worked on this, to create a better inner reality for myself, and it has translated outside of myself. I can only hope for those ripples to continue, but it is up to each individual how they address, respond to, and deal with anything. I don’t believe in “right” vs. “wrong” here, it’s a matter of where we are and what choices we can perceive. People walk in their own skin, not that of others. I can only do my part in my own life, intending to be as kind, supportive, self-caring, and authentic as I know how, and to speak my truth as clearly, directly, and transparently as possible.

    I don’t consider the reality of “death” as “being doomed.” What I mean by doomed is asking about whether or not you–or anyone–believe that life can at all become a pleasant, safe, joyful and creative experience as opposed to the toxic mess it is now. I believe in energy transformation, not everyone does or understands this. Been part of my studies and work in the world for over 15 years now, and I apply this every day. I asked it sincerely, although my phrasing may have been cliched so I apologize if I came across as flippant, certainly not my intention.

    However, if the world is divided up between those who have hope and optimism, despite how reality is at present, and those who do not, I would like to know, I think that’s important information, to know that truth about where people stand. I feel no judgment here whatsoever, it’s simply a discernment in beliefs, and I think it matters as far as energy goes. What we believe in our hearts is what drives our thinking, and all of this does make a difference in outcome of reality, I’m sure of this.

    Still, your truth is clear, powerful and strong, and I absolutely respect it and you for speaking it, so I, for one, am glad you are on the planet. Otherwise, this dialogue would not be happening, and I’m enjoying it and learning a lot from it. We’re going deep here and I’m feeling more clarity as we go. Perhaps others are reading and getting some new information for themselves that is helpful to their process.

    You are so right that negativity and positivity ebb and flow, the light and shadow of life and humanity. That’s our wholeness, right there. We cannot create without contrast, it all matters and has value to our evolution. I go into negative states at times, that is human, and I address it head on, as I do, doing inner work and seeing where my thinking is at that moment, and how to change it, and then what actions I might be able to take to improve the situation. For me, that’s vital to my consistent well-being and I want to feel my own power in this, not powerless to society. That creates too much anxiety, and we can overcome this. That would be the whole point of activism, to my mind.

    But overall, indeed, I live in a positive light. That way, I do not feel or perecieve myself to be broken, I would not identify with that state of being, as I once would have, wondering if I’d ever feel differently, fearing I would not ever feel whole again. And at one very dark time in my life, I was convinced I was permamently damaged goods, feeling completely dehumanized and hopelessly damaged by psych drugs and the horrific withdrawal, and I took self-sabotaging action. Having barely survived this gave me hope. I had visions in my near-death experience, information, which I followed up on and it all has served me miraculously well.

    That was 18 years ago, and today I am an entirely different person with a grounded and balanced life, and back to feeling love, and understanding things on such a deeper level now, I can’t even conceive of wanting to die before having lived the best life I possible could, toward fulfillment. I love the challenge now, and figuring out how to get through obstacles and finding new pathways of hope and possibilities. I believe that is never-ending, so much to learn!

    I am the same spirit I’ve been throughout my life, I know my sense of self, but I’m a very different human being now that I am in life with new and simplified neural pathways, a vastly strengthened nervous system, and new light in my physical cells, all due to having learned how to transform energy with our will and heart consciousness.

    I would really enjoy seeing more of this in the world, this kind of transformational healing, but it’s not easy based on how it requires us to be flexible in our beliefs. For me, it was either that or die a broken man, and I spent some time teetering between these two potential outcomes, where one was far more desirable and appealing than what I was most fearing at that time. But the fear was intense, and the shrink’s messages to me were way less than encouraging, more like damning me. Took years to heal from that experience, alone, and to see myself in a much, much better light. No anxiety there, just the pure nature of being human.

    That is the journey of transformation. It’s exactly what I teach, based on how I went from hopelessness to new possibilities to certainty to knowingness to loving my life. I had given up hope at one time that this would ever happen, but thankfully I was 100% wrong and life has changed dramatically for the better thanks to new perspectives, new tools, and a new way of being. And I’m standing my ground firmly on that truth!

  • P.S.–Melissa, your article inspired me so much, that I actually had the opportunity to take action this morning. After I made this post, I went out to get a cup of coffee, and there was an older gentleman in line in front of me who discovered after ordering that he had forgotten his wallet, so without even thinking I offered to pay for him, and he accepted appreciatively. I told the barista about this artlce I had just read about acts of kindness, and this was the perfect opportunity to pay it forward. Great synchroncity! It felt good to do so, and I imagined making a difference, just with this one little thing. More and more of these in ANY arena would make a huge difference and help to restore people’s faith in humankind, and perhaps they would pay it forward, too, rippling kindness into society through selfless inspired actions. Thank you again, great start to 2020 🙂

  • Your work with humanity is awesome. Thank you for bringing light to the planet as you do. The woman at the desk at Newport Hospital, and others who work in the system with that same attitude, are what concern me. It’s what I’d call “not allowing in light.”

    These are gatekeepers to the system, protecting and perpetuating its prejudices, injustices, and profound lack of compassion, as well as the social division on which the “mental health” world and system thrive. Thank GOD you are doing what you are doing, this is what we need more of in the world. Indeed, step by step. On *my* Earth, all acts of kindness are welcome, encouraged, meaningful, and healing for all concerned, the greater good. Please keep it up!

  • “My body doesn’t speak English. She speaks feelings.”

    I love this perfect phrase. The mainstream drugs, ignores, dismisses, judges, and rationalizes feelings, rather than to honor, respect, listen, learn, and be guided by them. Indeed, that is stressful!

    If humanity on the whole were to learn the language of feelings, I believe we’d understand things better, starting with ourselves, because we’d be listening to our bodies over “social norms.” That feels like synchronicity to me, and alignment–not with social expectations, but more so, with who we really are, our true nature. Our feelings tell us who we are, they guide us like an inner light. To cut off from feelings is like being in the dark.

    I believe there is far less stress when we are aligned with our true nature because we are not split between our own desires and preferences vs. what society expects. Social expectations impose on individuals (oppression), they do not support our nature (freedom).

    When we give ourselves permission to be authentic based on how we truly feel at any given moment, then we, in turn, give others this permission, too, by example. That is the emotional, creative, and spiritual freedom which I believe we all crave. Certainly anything less than that is stressful because we simply are not feeling free to be ourselves, and that is maddening. Can we attain this level of freedom in life, and have our bodies feel good about it and be in agreement with it? I would think one would lead to the other, but it seems we have work to do here.

    Always inspiring and so thought provoking, Sarah, I look forward to what’s coming next.

  • Yes, like Slaying the Dragon and Fiachra say, millions of stories like this going on right now. It is abominable. I was almost a casuality in this same fashion, for the same reason. The abuse is profound, insidious, and thorough–mind, body, and spirit. Surviving meant moving entirely away from it, getting clarity, and seeing the big picture. Psychiatry has no moral compass, is clueless about humanity, and is destroying humankind, that is all too clear.

    RIP Zel.

  • “Anytime you base your esteem on peer opinion, you are at the mercy of peer opinion.”

    You said a mouthful, JanCarol, I totally agree with this. That’s how we give away our power, when we go by what others think, rather than by our own inner sense of who we are and what we desire. That’s our birthright. What one community might judge and condemn, another one will embrace and celebrate. We are that diverse.

    I would imagine we are born with self-esteem, it is a natural state of being. However, when we are born into a world of fucked up adults, that natural sense of self can become corrupt quickly from lack of awareness on the part of adults of how their actions and attitudes affect those around them, especially impressionable children. That’s one way to control others.

    Social media is a self-esteem killer, in general, with all the social bullying and shaming which occurs, everyone comparing themselves to others, throwing each other shade out of envy, rather than simply focusing on their own path. Everyone’s in each other’s business via social media, all boundaries are lost.

    Kids do, indeed, need better role models. I don’t think they’re terribly happy with how adults have handled things, and I can’t blame them. Some of the younger generation seem more awake. Hopefully, they’ve learned from our mistakes and we can be humble about that.

  • “Everyone is broken and without soul.”

    To me that implies suffering, that’s the feeling I get from reading this statement. So do you think we’re doomed? Or is there anything at all that can bring hope for making this world a better place in which to live, so that people don’t go around feeling “broken,” but instead, inspired and motivated to create a more appealing, safe, and supportive social and world environment?

  • RR and KS, responding to you both individually in this one post—

    KS, first, thank you so much for watching Voices That Heal and for this affirming and very encouraging comment. I did make this 9 years ago and wondered if it would still have an impact, so I’m really so grateful to read this. It’s amazing to me that it continues to be relevant, we certainly do need to continue using our voices without apology!

    And indeed, I hear you regarding how deep anger can limit our openness, I think that’s a natural human mechanism. Before I went through my second crisis (which is what guided me to finally ditch the psych drugs and, ultimately, the entire mh industry, in favor of soul work), I’d always been peripherally interested in this stuff, but it wasn’t front and center for me, just something interesting to consider and explore. I was a working stiff, 17 years in retail, taking my “meds” dutifully, and living life on Earth purely. My family is total academia, this is complete bullshit to them, so it was not in the slightest part of my upbringing, and in fact, it was demeaned rather aggressively, having nothing to do with me. It was just their way of thinking, which I happened to not internalize, thank goodness!

    But once I started waking up to the ills brought on by psychiatry and the like, I HAD to find a path to save my life, and little by little this opened up to me. However, even now that I (and also my partner, we integrate this together as we go from day to day) live by this paradigm and have for a while, I can still go through periods of resentment which will just hit me, like a post-traumatic stress response, and even I will start to question this, but it is short-lived.

    Seems that is a part of the process, from what I’ve gathered, it is layers of awakening to different aspects of ourselves, like soul retrieval. I do sometimes look up as though I am speaking to God and ask out loud, “Why do you make life on this planet so f-ing hard???”

    And if I’m particularly reeling from something, I can easily spend 10 or so minutes wondering if I’m dreaming and perhaps I’m wrong about all of this, just more kool-aid or something like that, and all the learning and integrating I’ve done goes flying out the window for that brief period of time, and I am fully in doubt on every level. But for only 10 minutes, mind you, it does pass quickly now, and then I realize what energy had hit me, and why, and to where it was guiding me, to some healing or insight or integrative process. We are such multi-dimensional humans! Not linear in the slightest.

    So I do find it all so very interesting, like a puzzle or crop circle type thing, and that keeps my chin up during those times because I’m so actively engaged with my process of soul evolution.

    And when I get the clarity from the soul perspective, there is no better feeling that I know, because for that moment, everything makes sense and just being in the moment is enough and I am perceiving my abundance on all sides, pure crystal clarity. I try to keep that feeling going for as long as I can, see what unfolds from that. Then, of course, I’ll get knocked off by something again, such is life, and I’ll feel the wounded human all over again, and then comes the next series of healings, integrations, and insights, and it can happen pretty quickly now as the self-healing program kicks in.

    It’s a fabulous process, I think, really game-changing, and I’m certainly open to sharing any info I can with you that would be helpful to you at this time. I think it’s a fascinating exploration and way more practical than people realize. Otherwise, it would just more academic nonsense without any practical application, merely theoretical or wishful thinking.

    The power in this is that it really can be applied on a completely practical down to Earth level, just takes some practice and adjusting to new perspectives. Although the stigma toward spirituality and things like soul growth can certainly impeded this integration. We all awaken in our own time, cannot force that whatsover.

    However, very honestly, I just don’t know any other way forward, I think status quo has run its course. Everything has a low ceiling on it. And it’s getting lower as the old systems crumble before our very eyes, that’s what I’m seeing happen, at least. I think there is new information in these realms from which we’ll all benefit, infinite possibilities to explore here.

    RR, I hear you and I hear this often, totally respect it. You say, “May the people of the woo be free to wish-think their woo as they choose. And may the people of the non-woo remain wholly unwooed,” and I think that’s fair enough (although the phrase “wish-think” is not exactly neutral, but regardless, I’ll take it as “to each their own,” which works for me). I’m certainly not going to argue with you about your beliefs, so I wouldn’t impose mine onto you as I wouldn’t want you or anyone attempting to impose your/their beliefs onto me. We’re all entitled to what we know and how we perceive things, I think that goes without saying. Also to learn and grow at our own pace.

    I do happen to believe in the soul, to me that is everything. I think soul is everywhere, it’s our universal connector. If you don’t, that’s fine, I don’t expect everyone to believe what I do, I’m totally aware of our diversity on this planet.

    I, personally, experience the soul every day of my life now. There are many ways of perceiving it IF AND ONLY IF one is open to it. Reality always begins with imagination, we need that in order to create it, and in turn, to create within it. I think imagination is essential, and our most powerful tool for manifesting.

    I do, however, think that there are always new things to learn, that’s never-ending. So who knows? One day you might remember this dialogue in a new light, or something I say in my response to kindredspirit might spark a new thought. Then again, maybe not, and that would be your path. So agreeing to disagree, respectfully, works for me.

    Merry Christmas and/or Happy Hanukkah to you both, and to all who are reading this! May we find peace in our hearts and minds as we continue to drive these remarkable changes through our human will, to know justice and to thrive in well-being. That is my prayer for this season and the New Year.

  • I’m surprised that some don’t see the absolute harm that psychotherapy can do in 1 to 1 unsupervised meetings, week after week. In this concocted game of transference/countertransference, the insidious damage done most often does not show up until after such negative projections have been embedded and dependence has been created or at least attempted. I think it’s the same all over this entire industry and causing all of this mayhem–the invisible vampirism that takes place, siphoning clients of all they’ve got, the fuel for the entire “mental health industry.”

    I’d say it’s mostly unconscious because that is the training, education, and the norm. We do need a new normal, however, which implies waking up to how we’ve been programmed and assess how this has turned out. Just look around…

  • “Psychotherapy is neither medical nor paramedical, it is a purely cultural activity which testifies to the time and the place in which we live.”

    This is an insightfully concise perspective of psychotherapy. I’d also add that any of these approaches are geared toward fitting in and adapting to the norm. Whereas challenging the norm is the ONLY way to create real and true change, at the core, and how we find our own voice, apart and distinct from those of others. And that includes “the therapist voice.”

  • I agree with you, Boans, that in the end this comes down to individuals who practice this kind of betrayal (whom I would not trust in any capacity whatsoever), but also, they are guided by their education, training, and this “mental health industrial culture,” which is unto itself in how it perceives and “defines” humanity. It is an entirely limited and narrow world view, not at all truth. I believe this is where the problems begin because obviously this industry is misguided at the core, on top of the overall corruption of it. Psychology is more often used as a weapon against people vs. using it as a clarity and truth-seeking tool. That’s rather common, I think.

    You’re also describing first hand the negative alliances I talk about, where the deck is so stacked against the client. To be scapegoated, gaslighted, and stonewalled is a HUGE life stressor, and when a society is doing it to their own people, then it is only sabotaging itself.

    Up to now, the world has been unwittingly supporting corruption because it’s been so covert and information has been distorted in so many ways. Plus, we’ve all been subject to social programming, and for so long we had no idea. But with all the waking up going on, I do believe this is about to change, certainly my deepest hope at this time. Won’t be an easy transition, but it’s so obviously necessary and, I truly believe, inevitable.

  • When two people come together in dialogue, they either harmonize or not. Harmony is healing for all concerned and leads to positive manifestation. The research is in the experience of feeling, and of living. If one of these two people is getting paid, that can easily throw things off balance, especially if the client is dissatisfied.

    Problem is, complaints against psychotherapists seem to be entirely discounted and the problem will always lie with the client, which of course is pure shadow projection, and that’s where the system is toxic, this “professional alliance” word against a client’s truth. When that happens, psychotherapy becomes a dangerous and harmful endeavor, creating insidious and life-derailing post traumatic stress from feelings of betrayal and utter powerlessness. Takes a lot of healing to clean up that mess. It can be really treacherous.

  • Any “therpeutic practice” or “modality” is a limited program because it does not take into account unique differences in people in a positive and validating way. That unique difference, so often feared, condemned, and marginalized, is our truth and our power. Client and therapist are mirrors of one another, that’s always a good starting point.

    There is no formula for personal growth and raising awareness. Every human being on the planet has their own process for this, and life brings us opportunities daily to grow in patience, trust, clarity, compassion, and personal power, on our own terms. We all have the capacity to be our own guide, healer, teacher, etc. It’s a matter of tapping into that inner power, owning it outright, and engaging it daily. This is a transformative self-healing practice which empowers one for life and can be paid forward in a variety of ways to create positive social change at the core.

  • “Psychiatry harms because it pathologizes the “patient” and attempts to correct the “patient” when the malfunction is in the space between people in social relationships.”

    Yes, exactly why I say that psychiatry is based on scapegoating, which is harmful for individuals, obviously, and socially divisive, to the point of creating easy targets for social abuse. I also agree about the problem being in “the space between people and social relationships,” that is perfectly stated.

    So my quesiton is: who or what would be the agent of change to correct that particular malfunction?

  • “So in conclusion, rather than voting psychiatrists off the island shouldn’t we together honour our different experiences and commit to continuing respectful, mutual learning from each other?”

    I agree that in theory, this would be desirable. However, the irony is that these issues exist exactly because communication between clinicians and clients is so deeply problematic. We’re talking about an industry which repeatedly betrays and fails its clients because instead of helping the client to resolve issues, feel better, and bring clarity, they cause the client to tank in horrible ways because they are simply not hearing their truth, and it becomes a gaslighting bloodbath. There’s a lot of mental abuse which takes place in clinical settings, it’s really insidious and causes terrible problems which are hard to catch until one realizes they’ve been hoodwinked in all sorts of ways. This seems to be more common than not, which is crazy, really. It’s a hard awakening, but it is the truth.

    This goes beyond the drugs, it is about the quality of communication, like two entirely different languages. It’s been almost 20 years since I saw a psychiarist and I used to be a steady customer. I stopped and shifted healing paths because psychiatry almost killed me, and as a result of getting away from this dynamic, I systematically healed over the years, by means having absolutely nothing do to with this. In short, I woke up. I realized, in the end, that I could pretty much count on saying one thing and having it heard completely differently, from within some kind of false construct filter, no questions asked. Where dialogue should occur, dissonance does, instead, or avoidance, abandonment, distraction of focus, etc. I have yet to experience anything differently with a psychiatrist.

    So if that particular collaboration cannot produce successful results in one person’s life, how could that collaboration possibly succeed in resolving social and world issues? That makes no sense, it is illogical. I’d expect the same disastrous results to be duplicated. I’m certainly open to being proven wrong, and would cheer it because to me, that, in and of itself, would be core change. Right now, that’s virtually impossible to imagine in or anywhere near this industry, based what I’ve experienced and witnessed over the years.

  • Yes, Rachel, exactly what I’m talking about, showing ourselves kindness and self-nurturing. The lack of these over time is what causes us harm in the first place.

    Sadly, we live in a world filled with unkind people who are not going to change without incentive, like feeling the consequence of their own lack of kindness. That’s a hard energy, which is why people project it outward rather than dealing with their own stuff and feeling their own emotions. Still, that’s no justification for being expected to carry the pain of others. This is where change has to occur, to stop this “transferring of suffering” via all kinds of abusive ways.

    In the meantime, indeed, sending ourselves the message that we are deserving of love, good care, and personal boundaries, and then practicing this daily, will inspire neural shifting and all kinds of positive changes, first in our bodies and then around us. We have to believe it ourselves, first, which would illuminate the pathway to reversing the damage of having been treated badly and deprived of loving kindness.

    To me, lack of kindness would be a form of suffering, so I try to remember compassion here, and therefore am expressly NOT carrying the pain of the abuser. Having an open, loving heart does not mean one is a doormat or sponge for others. Boundaries are as much needed in this world as is loving kindness. They go hand in hand, in fact.

  • That would level the playing field because right now I believe the world in general is in chronic stress, which is why change is in the air, something’s gotta give. In the meantime, we’re still not powerless to create change from within, which would be the first step in alleviating that stress, and that can be many steps depending on one’s situation. That would be the healing process, and it can be wholly transformative. We take in and process information through a variety of channels. It’s always going to start from within, for anyone.

  • The “injury,” I think, is when people are influenced to have negative self-beliefs, that we are lesser than or unworthy, undeserving, etc. Trauma is more than stress, it is about feeling powerless and perpetually unsafe. Oppression, bullying, dysfunctional systems are all inherently traumatizing because their ability to “function” ( and to exist at all) depends on cutting others off from their power in all kinds of ways overt and subtle.

    And certainly lying is a core feature here, as is manipulating and controlling the flow of information. Projecting and perpetuating blatant stigma is also a key factor in creating the desired illusion of separation, and this is chronically traumatic, to the point where it becomes the familiar and slowly eats away at people mind, body, and spirit.

    That’s how it works and it is totally programmed into the system. Been operating that way for so long it kind of has a life of its own, like a runaway train. That is a painful reality.

    I’d say most if not all of us share these “injuries,” until we wake up and take back our power by knowing it, and using it to create positive change, starting with changing any beliefs of being lesser than or powerless. I can’t think of anything more healing than that. It’s positively transformative.

    I am also quite sure that this is not at all true of anyone at all, how would that be justified? Who on Earth is really and truly qualified to make that kind of harsh and inhumane judgment against another human being? No one I can think of. Let’s not do it to ourselves!

  • I very much admired Stephen’s strength of character for walking the line he did in his work at the hospital, something I would not be able to do, and this is so needed in the world today. He was, indeed, a warrior, and a truth-speaker, and I believe he was also an empath, possessing a rarely found sensitivty, one of his many gifts.

    He touched many hearts, souls, and minds in his robust life, including mine, embodying true wisdom. No doubt his spirit lives on, he is obviously beloved by so many and will be remembered for a long time for his truth and generosity. May he fly freely now with his well-earned wings!

  • We are, indeed, One! Although maintaining our sense of individual self fully in our truth, and also a sense of connection within the collective, can be a fine line struggle, no doubt. Personal changes most often challenge relationships because if one person changes, it will challenge the entire system of relationships around that person, and we feel it!

    I’ve come to the conclusion that this is an inevitable part of any healing or growth path. Sooner or later, relationships come into play, and that is so not easy to navigate, kind of a built-in challenge in duality, I think, and where our buttons are most likely to get pushed. We have choices to make right there, how we respond to being triggered by others, and especially by those with whom we are close and feel trust and safety. I think your article illustrates this well, and how it then served as guidance for you, which is transformative. Personally, I think that’s so cool, exactly where our power is. Makes all the difference!

    We resonate in enthsiasm, too, I love the journey of expanded awareness, trying as it can be in today’s world. My dream and desire is for that to shift, and for this to become the new normal and seen for the enormous healing, growth, and creative possibilities which it brings. You’re right about the depth of this being endless. We are forever expansive! Always new things to learn and apply, and to discover about ourselves, our gifts, etc.

  • This is so well-written. Thank you for the vivid descriptions of psychiatric horror, all that gaslighting and double-binding, I can certainly feel the anxiety and terror simply from reading about it.

    “Apparently, disagreement with a psychiatrist about one’s treatment plan or psychiatric thinking is a delusion or a form of abnormal thought”

    Yes, that’s the toxic double-binding gaslighting rabbit hole, exactly. It certainly is not about reasonable eye-to-eye dialogue for the sake of finding truth and clarity and healing, is it? What you are describing I’m sure are based on projections of their own fears.

    What’s really bad and how this ripples insidiously into society is when unsuspecting clients internalize such projections and carry them forward from there, as a chronic condition. And everyone buys into it because it saves their asses from having to take any responsbility for their own actions, and a “client-for-life” is created–for the good of the industry while at the expense of that individual and society on the whole (they’ll claim it’s the exact opposite, that it’s for the *good* of society, when it’s clearly the other way around). That’s THE problem!

    Modalities and perspectives aside, being able to dialogue fluidly, authentically, and with mutual respect is where clairty and resolutions occur, not by this power-struggle authoritarian bullshit which is status quo. I’ve yet to know of any such place in this industry, and I’ve been scoping this out for a good long while now, in a variety of corners. Communication breakdown is not only the norm, it’s all I’ve ever encountered, from start to finish! Whether in clinical settings or at round tables trying to get some kind clarity and perspective on a situation. It’s just as you describe, one-sided, crazy-making, and futile. Disagreements in perspective are the death nell to these dialogues, whereas I think they should be the starting point to new perspectives and directions. There is a core paradox to ascend here, if any progress is to be made toward meaningful change.

    It’s extremely challenging to be awake while shackled but your truth is powerful and I wholeheartedly believe that absolute truth is the way to unambiguous freedom. It takes a lot of patience and trust, hopefully feeling supported along the way, one way or another. Please keep it up!

  • I always enjoy and very much appreciate the integration of our spiritual and human aspects in your writing, Lauren. My premise for living is that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. That perspective keeps things in balance for me, and always at least interesting, if not quite amazing. We are guided in so many ways. Thank you for sharing your process of transformational change, it’s beautiful and hard work!

  • I not only asked to be diagnosed and drugged (I was extremely programmed and believed at the time this was the responsible thing to do, the only option of which I knew at the time, so that I could stabilized my anxiety and go back to work) but I also eventually went into the field. I was REALLY asleep to the truth, believed in all kinds of insitutions from how I was raised.

    It was through a series of encounters in grad school with professors and other students, and in my training with supervisors, and the negative effect I could feel these were having on me, that I learned about “energy suckers” and, eventually, “toxic psychiatry” because by this point, I could tell the drugs were destroying me from the inside. That was my “aha!” and it led to awakening, coming off the drugs and ditching any diagnosis because I could see easily by this point that these are made up and meaningless and it had nothing to do with me or who I was in any way, shape or form, and I went in an entirely different direction in perspective, beliefs, and new practices. Major life transformation happened as a result of this change in perspective.

    I had felt stupid and duped for a long time for believing in all of this and falling prey to it, and wondered if my life had been ruined forever, really angry at these maliciously arrogant and rather mean-spirited quacks (which I discovered when I questioned their perspective about me), as I went on to heal the multiple injuries from this experience, now that I knew what had caused them. I found a good healing path for myself, thankfully.

    Plus this experience did wake me up to what caused my extreme anxiety in the first place, what led me to seek help. The socially divisive and marginalizing mindset reminded me of my family. Yet another, “aha!” Painful awakening, but truth nonetheless. I had to deal with it and grow from this by individuating from toxic communities and seeing myself apart from these, not participating on that level and not allowing myself to be a victim any longer, while owning that I had put myself there in the first place. It was my journey to take.

    Now I am awake and my life is different than I would have imagined. It is not a product of programmed beliefs but instead, it is a reflection of who I am, that’s the idea, and I own it and am now in full control of it once again, as my whole self. No regrets, it is life education. Advanced course!

  • I believe the paradigm shift is that we are working together, inherently, that is nature. We’re all connected, one person’s energy affects others, and so on, rippling into the collective. Clients and therapists, for example, are mirrors of each other and are easily interchangeable, as far as “playing the role” goes. Each can influence and affect the other in a variety of ways, positive and negative. The titles, degrees, and suits are merely illusions of separation, with a false premise of what is, in reality, true personal power vs. control & manipulation of others. How we present in the world and who we really are can often be a great divide. Being authentic is what I consider to be courageous.

  • Yup, well said, Steve. The more we live, reflect, and share with and listen to others, the more wisdom comes to light and unfolds naturally. Life educates, trains, and brings opportunities to apply it all, see how we’re doing. And on and on, learning as we go.

    You’re right, it’s not that complicated, and I agree also that the wisdom is found in the feeling of the experience, that’s the gold. Sometimes. however, life just thrusts us into it and we find ourselves feeling the challenges, can no longer avoid it. It’s very often not a conscious choice, life just happens. That’s when the journey of healing and awakening really begins.

  • Ha! And while I see the logic in this, I’m referring to the fact that these taught ways to view humans and the human experience–the programs which lead to all kinds of “models of being, behavior, thinking,” etc. which are applied in the mh industry and field of pscychology–are simply false and irrational, pure ivory tower. They are illusions which are divisive and which create a false hierarchy of power, while defying logic and disregarding and dismissing all kinds of evidence–and people!–which is why the industry is an unequivocal mess and making more of it in society. This perspective, including the subsets of the overall psychological perspective of being human, should not be the standard. It obviously does not work to bring truth, clarity, healing, or balance to the world! On the contrary, it brings chaos, conflict, chronic issues, and marginalization.

    So, using this phrase in a sentence now as I intend, I would believe that common sense says go by the evidence–I can’t imagine anyone saying it should be otherwise–and yet hard evidence and personal truth are blatantly ignored and vehemently denied, causing stigmatizing labeling to occur instead, that’s the m.o., which is the essence of dehumanizing.

    Common sense also would tell me that this is the trouble here and a huge roadblock to progress, and yet it is perpuated time and time again. Therefore, what I see from this is lack of common sense. But you’re right, and sadly, it’s not so common here. The programming is thick and dense, makes things very challenging. It’s quite a process to go from programmed to truth–the healing journey, in fact, to wake up.

  • Yes, I agree, and while that might be understandably human on one level, it is also a huge red flag, when you consider why most people go into therapy in the first place. How much of the client and their personal truth will the clinician “not want to see?” Insert projection, judgment, stigma, counter-transference, whatever you want to call it. This is where great harm is done, and it goes unnoticed, which is why I am highlighting it here. This is where the shame gets projected, rather than owned, and it is passed back & forth like a hot potato. I think that’s where things can get stuck.

    Everyone makes mistakes and has had regrets, that’s just part of the human experience, how we learn and accept ourselves on a deeper level. Plus we all come from programming, and healing is about facing our shadows with courage, humility, and self-compassion. That, alone, moves us along in a big way, toward clarity and wholeness. As humans, we ALL have the capacity to forgive ourselves for past mistakes and make amends by waking up and getting our heads out of the sand, to start with. It’s never too late to take that first step, and then we’re on a healing path, things will change and we will grow.

    I am enjoying your truth, sam plover, wonderfully insightful posts!

  • Sam Ruck, this is typically how clients can feel actually going from shrink to shink–dismissed, not heard, on the outside, and that IS the front lines, right on the line of battle.

    My question is always, why is this a battle? Should be a healing partnership. Although professional boundaries do not allow for the intimacy needed for this kind of healing. This is why that paradigm does not work, it’s always lopsided and is high risk for the client.

    What you describe between you and your spouse is the same way my partner and I have a healing partnership. Over the many years of our evolution in life we’ve supported each other at different times, going through breakdowns and subsequent integration. We’ve both been through our shadow journeys, more than once, then back into clarity after doing the inner work. We’ve been back & forth with the roles of needing the support and being the supportive significant other, so I know of what you speak, and you are a wonderful example of what the world needs more–that is, you recognize your own healing as you support your wife, it is not one-sided healing.

    Indeed, everyone grows in the process, or at least that is what should be happening. Otherwise the same old power struggles continue as well as the scapegoating, and that’s the problem at the core, from what I can gather, keeps all the divisiveness in place, status quo. Love motivates us to go the distance, to be creative, patient and innovative and stretch ourselves. That is the only way I know how healing and personal growth can occur!

    I don’t see how this can truly come from professionals. This needs trickle into humanity at large, in our personal and community relationships. That is where we expect love and support, without a price tag. And it just doesn’t seem to be there enough, and neither is the trust. Society is healing from mass betrayal, it would seem.

    You’ve shared valuable information regarding healing from your own lived experience and I believe it is highly respected and your work is admired. I’m no fan of the diagnoses, but I do believe that everyone’s experience counts. We’re all different and this is about the greater good, so everyone’s perspective needs to be taken into account equally for any movement against injsutice, oppression and marginalization of human beings to be authentic and powerful enough to create change away from these. Change begins with being an example of it. Thank you for the wisdom and experience you bring to the table.

  • I recently sent a few links from here to former classmates who have been practicing psychotherapists for over 15 years now. They had witnessed my breakdown 20 years ago from years of being on psych drugs, and they also know how I was finally able to heal and transform my life after coming off the drugs, painful and rugged as that withdrawal was. They also know that I turned to other methods of healing outside of the mh industy. They had no idea there was controversy around any of this, much less a movement. At least they’re aware now, but they continue to snub me and this information.

    This is exactly why I condemn this industry. Issues such as lack of communication, lack of trust, lack of staying informed, lack of acknowledging either scientific evidence or personal testimonial, anything against the programming is suspect, denied, and causes anger and ultimately, some kind of stigmatizing projection, can’t seem to get around it.

    What also lacks in this industry is common sense, that’s been overtaken by these false beliefs about people. Disagreements becomes personal and can get rather nasty as all neutrality is lost, and supporters of this industry can become downright mean in the process, casting shame where there is dissent, creating scapegoats. It’s cultish, very scary.

    This is why sitting in a chair opposite a clinician in their office can be so dangerous. Our voices do matter and truth is ultimately more powerful than illusions, but it is indeed a never-ending struggle to get the truth heard in this industry. It functions in denial and resorts to cheap shot projections to keep the light off so that people will stay in the dark. Undue suffering is the result of this.

    Keep going, this industry needs a good hardy awakening which it has been resisting vehemently at all cost. I would love to see that ridiculously low glass ceiling shattered to bits. It is absolutely toxic.

  • Yes, sam plover, perfect example of what I’m talking about. So, so, so many ways to address trauma–which is not in the slightest uncommon, to the contrary–as part of life, it happens. I believe that as we address this however we choose in order to feel better and/or to meet our life goals (which might simply be to feel better!), we can also gain insight into how to create change so these traumas become less and less the norm, and we, ourselves, don’t repeat them.

    But for sure, if we are scared into these crazy-making programmed beliefs dished out by biased research, ivory tower education, and ultimately, the thoroughly programmed clinician, we are taking on their shit and that will lead to problems, including undue suffering and perhaps self-fulfilling prophecies.

    God yes, they are fatalistic and create these negative prognoses out of, what, ignorance? programming? projections? Whichever, it is totally false! Oh it’s awful and totally unecessary and completely untrue, can really mess with a person’s head to project such negative outcomes without foundation (or crystal ball!). Life is what it is, no sense in catastrophizing. And yeah, they get paid well for this. There’s a lot wrong here!

  • Someone Else and kindredspirit, I know you both are very much on the path of truth and light and in your hearts, while also grounded in your truth so authentically—-from what I can tell online, at least–as I strive to be. Not easy in our world right now, but I know this is the transformation to occur and I believe that to open the door to others, to even the idea and possibility of this shift, is simply to be the example right now. Respect and gratitude to you both! ♥

    And there are certainly others on here whom I’ve gotten to know through posting over the years of whom I’d say this about, as there is certainly no shortage of “being courageous in one’s truth” around here. But I’ve been aware of this particular thread and have appreciated all the light energy around it, so I wanted to express this here.

    I’d love more than anything else right now to see this trend grow! I happen to think it is, indeed, exactly what we need more of in this world, heart consciousness and awarness of our creative spirits. That’s a lot of power–good power, powerful power! And it’s accessible under any and all circumstances, it is an internal awareness, no one can mess with that if we don’t allow them to.

    Seems that collectively, all of this got buried under a whole lotta rubble and programming of fear and self-doubt. Whoever these “programmers” are, they certaintly did a thorough job, didn’t they? Of course they don’t like people awake, that’s the shift in power, toward the light, which is where we discover unambiguous truth, not all this perpetual confusion and personal conflicts over disagreement about relevant issues. I find that frustratingly distracting from the truth we really need to uncover and allow to come to light, in order to resolve these issues, I think.

    Waking up the heart and bringing it back online is quite the journey of journeys, this I know from experience.There’s quite a bit of reconciliation to do there, that’s the healing. For me, this process led to radical change more than anything else because it IS a radical change, purely, that shift in consciousness. And it certainly is not status quo, that’s the idea. Transition is hard because status quo opposes it aggressively and will let you know one way or another, discrediting, casting doubt or public shame, gaslighting, etc. (we have clear examples of this on the front page news daily now, twitter for one thing seems to be the most salient example of this)–oh, and let’s not forget “diagnosing,” duh, that covers it all!

    Of course those who are hiding crimes to humanity will hate and fear this change, truth is truth, cannot hide in the light. I see it as pure validation, we’re right on track, and growing in numbers 🙂

  • Great comment, sam plover, I agree with every word of it. We’re all healing, and we heal within ourselves and also with each other, I believe. I heal as I teach, practice, and live my life. We are mirrored daily, one way or another and can follow that thread to more and more clarity and self-awareness. We need space, time, and permission to heal, grow, and manifest our lives.

    “It is when we separate the healed from unhealed, therein continually lies the problem. Shrinks do this.”

    Yes, that’s the problem, the illusion of separation, causes marginalization and all kinds of undue suffering. No one is immune from the craziness of the world. We all contribute to whatever the world is, and can equally contribute to its healing in order for change to occur.

  • Since dehumanizers/bullies are also liars and do not respond to logic and reason, and fighting them only escalates things and drags the entire collective down, then what are the options? Some are not in position to walk away, for whatever reason. Some can, and fear doing so, for a variety of reasons.

    Somewhere, there has to be some kind of systemic transformation here if social change is going to occur in any way, shape or form. Otherwise, dehumanizing begets dehumanizing begets dehumanizing, aka generational abuse. How can this end? Better to pass along good things to the next generations, not this same ol’ shit.

  • This excellent 12 minute TEDtalk addresses dehumanizing via gaslighting and offers concrete suggestions for how to deal with a gaslighter–


    Gaslighting is when a person or community makes a person question their own personal reality and therefore, their sanity. Seems to be the very foundation of the mh industry, their reason for being. It’s what they do. It stands to reason that people’s health would deteriorate under such circumstances, as would quality of life. Keeps the negative self-doubting voices not only alive and well, but also strong and in charge.

    I believe this is the root cause of mind/body/spirit instability and lack of wellness, under ANY circumstances. I also think it’s really important to recognize and reject anything or anyone that makes you question your own state of mind and being, and your perception of your own life experience. That’s an unequivocal violation of personal boundaries, negation of self-agency, and pure crazy-making abuse.

  • “How do we balance the need to heal ourselves and find peace, and the need to stand up and defend ourselves?”

    Thank you for this, I needed to see it and have been reflecting on it. Best question, how to find that balance, indeed.

    One thing I believe is to be kind to ourselves regardless of anything. Being human and imperfect and all, I think self-compassion is good self-care, for starters, and goes a long way in achieving balance and inner peace, to be calm in the storm, at least moving closer to this. It’s a practice which I think is, both, healing and empowering because as we move closer to balance and peace within ourselves, we have more clarity and confidence, see the bigger picture, and feel our inner support as well as know our support around us. Being at peace IS to know our power and inner strength. So standing one’s ground and not taking on bs comes naturally because part of both endeavors–healing and self-defense–is developing strong and well-discerning boundaries, sense of self, etc. Goes hand in hand.

  • KS, I love your comment, it’s to the point and truthful, and you’ve inspired me to think a bit more deeply about this. Also, I think it’s the other side of the coin which I highlighted. To withhold support in the evolution of our fellow human beings is to not recognize that we are all connected. Life has its cause & effect ripples.

    I believe every human being is at least courageous, simpy for being here. I think we can take pride in however we evolve, and especially if we’ve been through hell. Most people, if not all, seem to have some version of it, and we all have things to learn, refine, adapt, and integrate as we go. But emerging from chaotic, confusing, and chronic darkness into the light, finally, is the most “winning” feeling I know, a gargantuan relief, even though by no means does this mean that life is perfect from that point forward.

    But most certainly, long standing burdens are lifted and new information is integrated, and we can feel that quantum leap big time, and more so as it begins to unfold a new reality. That’s a good time to reach out to others, if they are asking for a leg up. I believe this goes hand in hand, reaching out is part of the evolutionary process. It is how we expand further into ourselves, with great humility. I don’t believe humility and pride are antithetical. In fact, I think that’s a winning human combo, creates harmony and balance, high frequency energy.

    As I was writing out my comment above, I was kind of thinking about Facebook, along with social media in general, which I’d been on years ago but have since deactivated. That website is an exercise in vanity and was MADE to make others envious and jealous, at least back in the day that’s what it appeard to generate, although its purpose seems to have evolved into other things now, but I digress.

    I think the “winning” in our competition-based society is done by *projecting* success, whether it is real or not. So many people “win” at lying, which I think is an interesting factor in social competetiveness. I’ve known people who took *pride* in getting away with lying in order to appear as the winner at something–in other words, “cheating,” but that doesn’t seem to register these days as anything out of the ordinary. My disillusionment in society became profound as I kept hearing amid my grievances against the system, “Everyone lies,” and “everyone cheats.” Even an attorney once responded to me that “perjury is not a strong argument anymore, everyone lies.”

    (Considering that we’re all connected, this will always come back to haunt. It’s why I do my best to stay absolutely truthful when I communicate. If we’re lying to or cheating others, then we’re doing it to ourselves).

    Ok, then, so what happens when one refuses to sink to that level and is the one playing fair and being honest to the best of their ability so that the real truth comes to light, and NOT striving to fabricate things to come across a certain way? This would totally be at their own peril because they are going against “the lying, cheating norm.” In society’s eyes, they would be ostracized and come off as “the loser,” in a projected and highly stigmatized way.

    To me, however, that’s the real winner because that person is in their integrity, and in my experience, it pays off in so many ways, although society may not recognize it for a variety of reasons, but I think mostly because a rigid society simply “cannot be wrong!” Worst illusion ever, leads to marginalization. Truth is healing and leads to clarity; whereas lying is what keeps things vague and out of balance, fertile ground for conflict, illness, and all kinds of disasters.

    We still can take pride in what we know within ourselves to be true. I celebrate any step forward, or just the effort, which I or anyone around me makes. Life is unpredictable and the waters can get rough as we face our challenges. We are so doing the best we can with what we know from moment to moment, as well as rippling it outward best we know how. I think this will become more visible in the world as we move forward–I hope!

    And just btw, you made me realize that my issue with the mh industry is, precisely, that is all vanity.

  • Really powerful post, Someone Else. I love the distinction you make between “channeling God,” which is universal, and “playing God,” which is the epitome of toxic elitism. I think that is spot on point. Artists especially get this, from channeling their art. To my mind and from my experience, the creative process is always guided by divine inspiration, one way or another. How could it not be?

    And I happen to believe that healing is a purely creative process, and therefore, from that perspective, it is inhererntly divinely inspired and guided, so no need for anyone to *play* God, is there? We can simply channel what is already there, in abundance! It’s real.

  • From a spiritual perspective, healing happens through the heart. I believe the idea of a higher power is to have a foundational focus of Faith, which can inspire the feeling of love. When we feel love, our hearts are open and expansive, and this creates an entirely different self-perception and experience of life than when our hearts are constricted from chronic fear and hopelessness.

    Spiritual healing approaches the body as energy, which it is, which everything is. Thoughts and emotions are energy, as are the cells and organs of our body. From this perspective, the possibilities are endless because energy is always abundant and infinitely creative.

    Also in the healing communities of which I’m aware, Christ-consciousness, Buddha-consciousness, and messiah-consciousness are in the collective, as are their counterparts. It is in all of us, light and shadow–spiritual beings having a human experience. Again, this is a perspective offered in spiritual communities, not necessarily aligned with “religion,” as we know it.

    What I’m talking about is not at all the same as “old time religion.” It’s about energy, living in heart-consciousness, and aware of our soul evolution as part of our human experience. Overcoming challenges is how we grow in our humanity–how we, both, discover our power and feel our humility. That is the spiritual perspective of healing to which I refer.

  • Our society is set up to be cut-throat competetive, so the accomplishments of one person can easily be resented by another and lead to sabotage. Jealousy can be toxic and lead to dangerous situations and destruction, the opposite of “benign.” Knowing, owning, and being proud of and pleased with one’s own accomplishments can be enough to satifisy.

    If you are broadcasting your accomplishments, you are taking a risk. It might be courageous or it might be reckless. I think the motive behind disclosing one’s success is relevant, and that can vary. People project all kinds of cynical motives onto those who are speaking about themselves, in any capacity, and that factors in all of this, too. Insecurity vs. confidence can be a tough battle.

    Isn’t the opposite of pride, shame? Although there is a middle ground: it is what it is, to be human. Everyone’s on their own journey.

  • “anger and violence are not symptoms of any mental illness. Rather, they are normal reactions to a lifetime spent being treated like an outcast, ignored, taken advantage of, disbelieved, bullied and abused.”

    In whatever context this is expressed, it is classic and very obvious programming to discredit and continue to target victims of abuse, to protect a system of abusers and those who enable it–i.e., status quo.

    What playing the role of scapegoat leads to, in actual reality, is clarity about what is abuse and who are the abusers. And hopefully, with good healing and staying focused on the goal of social justice, how to stop it dead in its tracks, rather than to perpatuate it, emulate it, or feed it in any way shape or form. It’s tricky, because at this point the gaslighting is in full swing, but doable if we are alert and self-aware. It’s also necessary to ascend this double-bind (it’s a textbook example of it), if we want change of any kind that is actually meaningful and geared toward truth, well-being, and unequivocal justice.

  • Thank you Elizabeth! I appreciate your validation and interest, and also the sub, too. I plan to make some more healing and meditation vids soon, so watch for that!

    No plans for films at this time, that takes such intense focus and all my time and energy when I am in that process. Although eventually, when I have an opening, opportunity, and rescources, I will probably do more. I really enjoy it and find it powerful to communicate this way and also fulfilling to create. My BA is actually in film, I’m a total cinephile. The “mental health” stuff sidetracked me, but then it became fodder for my first film, so it was meaningful this way.

    Right now my work is in present time and in person. I’ve integrated my healing work and the arts in my practice, which I call “The Healing Academy for the Arts.” So far the focus has been on performing arts because those of us in the group are all musical performers, but I’m open to all the arts coming together here.

    The group I host currently practices the inner healing work by way of connecting with our deepest authentic truth (it’s amazing how far away we can get from that simply living day to day in this society!), and we also perform together in a band. Our goal is to combine healing and creating, to fully express ourselves as human beings.

    This is the freedom which I feel we all seek, universally, to be full expressions of ourselves. This is where we get cut off in oppression, and the goal of HAFTA is to reverse this, to bring back that level of permission and celebrate our spirits, allowing them to flourish in the community and in the world at large. This is what I call “bringing light to the planet.” My intention is for this to expand into creatiing through all kinds of media, to faciliate healing and personal growth through creativity and community support. This is my current project and vision.

    I’d certainly be interested in your feedback and perspective regarding Voices That Heal, if you feel compelled to comment. And thank you again for your interest, that means a lot to me.

  • Also, Elizabeth, it occurred to me you might appreciate this film I made 8 years ago. I’ve since moved on and have learned so much more from conversations on here, but I made this with others after I had disengaged from the system, other than to speak my truth about discrimination and abuse in the system, and also to share my personal story of healing from family scapegoating, along with other public speakers who share their stories, many of us relating to the “scapegoat” role.


    This was my attempt at creating change by bringing our personal truth of the matter to light. I sent it through the system and there were lots of ripples, this I know. The biggest and most relevant changes, however, came for each of us in this film. All of us have moved on, separately, contiuing to live our truth productively and creatively, on our terms as it should be. Truth-speaking is seriously freeing and empowering, and from taking risks such as these, quantum changes can occur.

    I actually have never been part of the film industry. The film I am posting here is the first of two films I have made independently (second one is a short musical documentary I made 5 years later) and is a pretty raw, no-budget, real-time film. I was learning as I went along, something I felt strongly compelled to do, despite the anxiety which this brought up, to go so public with all these personal things, and also having no resources of which to speak, other than our creativity and trust. And it all came together from this intention.

    I believe when something is meant to be, the universe will open doors and bring us what we need. That was certainly true for me in this case. Working with the light can be like magic happening, it’s really quite amazing. Most valuable thing I learned in my healing, bar none.

  • Hi Elizabeth, thank you for commenting, and my apologies for getting invovled with these dialogues without addressing you or your article, I feel a bit rude for this and will amend this now.

    You have a wonderful story of healing and I so respect all the shifts in perspectives you took on for the good of healing and clarity about your life path. That is really great healing work, how it’s done. Internal shifts will always lead to shifts in the world around us.

    Personally, from my experience also on both sides of the fence, client and service provider, I very honestly and deeply feel there is no “reconstructing” the system, I do not believe it can make good at this point. I feel it is so far off track and in such bad habits of othering and marginalizing, that it can only be divisive in the end. Seems to me this is by design, and it’s become a runaway train in this regard.

    My training as energy healer came as the result of all this, as did my artistic endeavors, and despite the hardships which the mh industry threw so unapologetically into my path repeatedly, I am seriously grateful for where it all led me, as I jumped hurdle after hurdle.

    Healing and creating are two sides of the same coin. When we heal, we are actually manifesting well-being. I don’t believe the mental health industry understands how this works, and that’s way too bad because it would be most beneficial were that industry to get this.

    I did not find anywhere in this industry room for new and creative ideas. Maybe a pretense of it, for appeasement, but nothing from newness would ever come to fruition. This industry seems to have trouble with follow-through.

    Also in this industry, FUNDERS rule, and most often they have no interest nor any idea about “healing.” These are separate and distinct agendas, having to do with investment, tax shelters, power, etc. One word I learned to take with a grain of salt was “non-profit.” Sure it is.

    The resistance to learning new perspectives was over the top when I was trying to integrate the principles of energy healing, and this is exactly what saved me from life catastrophe which THEY caused!

    I’ve been at this for years, pretty much on the verge now of giving up trying. Sure would bring ease into my life to walk away from this altogether. There is no peace in activism, and my personal agenda is world peace. Can’t reconcile these now. If inner landscape translates into outer reality, then inner peace would be my personal pathway to helping manifest world peace. Can’t do it alone, though, that has to be a group effort.

    If I were to create a “movement” it would be a movement toward inner peace because that is what will lead to world peace. We can only truly be responsible for ourselves and serve as examples to others, if we walk our talk. Energy ripples and actions do, indeed, speak louder than words, so this would inspire others.

    I hope you get better results with this industry than I did!

  • “the dynamic interplay between our bodies and our environment that create and exacerbate poor physical health which often translates into distressed mental states.”

    The converse is also true, that chronic stress will more than likely lead to physical breakdown, not only because our immune system is compromised from stress, but also our judgment can be off, leading to poorer and possibly self-sabotaging choices. With chronic issues, whether it is physical or related to mental/emotional stress, we can easily go in and out of dissociated states for long periods of time without realizing it because it becomes the familiar. Either chronic pain or chronic stress can turn into vicious cycles of repetition, double binds, and eventually a downward spiral, as each one neagitvely impacts the other.

    The third element in the triad is spirit, and one thought quickly gaining popularity in the awakening collective is that this is where true healing begins, and from there, it ripples into the mind and body, making it integral and holistic. That’s one way people do it. Chronic abuse and systemic oppression are, after all, dispiriting, exactly that.

  • oldhead, I can’t even wrap my head around what you’re saying. Healing is such a personal and individual matter. To me, healing has a beautiful resonance, the word and the concept. It is to find balance and harmony, first within, then outside of ourselves. And it’s not a one time thing, we go in and out of that state all the time, life drives us this way. Hopefully we get better at it as we go.

    In reality, we have things from which to heal on a daily basis, using the word as it is used in healing communities. Life is in and out of balance, and so are we. That’s human. Healing is natural and can be part of a lifestyle and daily practice. That’s how people can stay healthy and in perpetual well-being, by self-healing on a daily basis. That way, we’re never too far away from our center, which is the idea for well-being, balance, and a sense of control in one’s life.

    The planet needs healing, this is common vernacular. I’d venture to guess that most people would profoundly understand this phrase without taking a beat. And indeed, diverse thoughts, ideas, and perspectives can be derived and discussed from this starting point, if anything at all about this basic notion of “healing the planet” can be agreed upon.

    Why tarnish this word, and particularly to the point of suggesting people avoid using it, unless it fits into your very narrow parameters? This seems extremely counterproductive and counterintuitive to me, not to mention completely unrealistic. Issues of healing are incorporated into any core change, it would be impossilbe to not include this, especially if we’re talking about deprogramming from all kinds of brainwashing and gaslighting and all that confusion. Healing is vital for change to occur! Otherwise, things will not come into balance–ever! I don’t believe that’s an option any longer, nature will insist, one way or another. Too many people are awake now, and rightfully demanding balance, clarity, justice, and peace in the world. All of that requires tons of healing work on everyone’s part.

    It also appears to be one of the biggest splits in this community, this issue about “healing,” and the negative associations with this, and frankly, it’s hard to see that changing at this point. These are irreconcilable perspectives, completely at odds with each other. We live by our beliefs, and that’s what creates our personal realities. Different worlds, though.

  • I do want to make clear that yes, while the validation was welcome and also I felt somewhat vindicated in that truth did win out over lies in this case, and it did allow me to shift gears for a change, I’d be hard pressed to call it justice, even though it was a step in the right direction. I’m grateful for this step, but it was really a small one, in the overall big picture. This only happened because of their absolute and extremely stubborn resistance to simply dialogue! It was over the top, the refusal to meet me in the eye and then all the flagrant avoidance. Easy to oppress me while I’m employed by them but in the end, they weren’t so tough, after all. By the time mediation came around, the CEO and Prez had fled, couldn’t even face their responsibilities. And they were running a social service agency? Ee gads!

    And this continued in every single “support and social services agency” thereafter, one after another after another. I wasn’t dependent on any of them by this time, I was a volunteer until I finally gave up altogether on the local level. That’s pure toxic crap, all the way.

    This agency whom I took to legal task was a voc rehab agency to help people on disability transition to gainful employment, and all they knew how to do is to punish people and power struggle with them. They called themselves “progressive” and they were, in reality, Dickensian. I found this permeated the system.

    These people do not know how to dialogue. They can only fight or flee, no middle ground, no reasonability. Power struggle, threats, punishment, and intimidation were their m.o. And completely ignorant of their clientele and their needs, on top of it all. Total sham.

    I got lucky with an astute attorney who could get it, but that was after many doors closing before getting to her. She heard me, that was good fate, but their were tons of legal limitations, which were telling of how the system is skewed, but I had a good opening through ADA, unambiguously.

    Still, it was hardly justice for what this system robbed me of, as it has done to so many others. Plus, after this, I was blackballed from my own field–which, in the end, turned out to be brilliant because I had no choice but to venture out on my own and find my best life. Takes work, but I’m on it. So far it’s fine.

    This agency eventually closed due to loss of funding, leaving people in a lurch and that did not make me feel good, even though I knew it was corrupt. But corruption is a rock and a hard spot, and will always lead to suffering, until one can get away from it and get perspective.

    Reasonable co-creative and problem-solving dialouge can happen when everyone concerned is open and flexible in their thinking. This was never, ever the case exactly where it should have been MODELED, and instead, they *chose* to go down rather to admit fault with anything at all, so that they could have fixed it! Just one cya lie after another, no integrity in the building, no truth, no fairness, all socially acceptable. Sad and frustrating, but it is what it is. “Karma’s a bitch” is my fallback sometimes.

    Vindication is possible, but justice? I think not. Only when this particularly inept and highly vampiristic corporate conglomerate goes away altogether will justice be served, imo, and then finally, we’ll be going in the right direction of sorely needed core change with one more big network of obstacles out of the way. And that is my absolute truth.

    Re family and the stigma and all those projected lies, furies–you know, my legal win did not convince my family of anything. Neither did coming off psych drugs, nor becoming an actor nor making a film nor changing my life. They attached sinister and untrue caveats to any success I had, literally “demeaning” any forward movement.

    They did not want to wake up to their responsibility in all this, that was so clear to me. When people don’t want to wake up to truth, despite plenty of hard and obvious evidence, they just won’t, and they’ll continue to propogate the lies instead in order to keep the illusion going, because it serves their need for denial.

    I just have to know the truth myself, and my partner and friends do, too. But not so much my family, at least for years this was the case. I’ve had many conversations around this with them, with some degree of success, but as of now, I’ve given up on trying to convince anyone of anything, just living my truth now based on my choices.

  • I agree with kindredspirit that we need space for healing from abuses. This is a necessary process for change to occur, imo. I also agree with PacificDawn that justice is required here. I believe that is a vital component of healing on a personal and on a social level. Justice brings truth to light.

    I had a legal victory after experiencing and calling out systemic abuse and discrimination, and what that did was that it gave me confidence. Until I finally found a legal aid attorney who had the ability to listen to me wtih focus and intelligence and connect the dots of my experience accurately, all I could elicit with relaying my experience was doubt thrown at me, along with vicious invalidation which amounted to projecting “paranoia” onto me. I wasn’t paranoid, I was telling the exact truth and these “social workers” were totally lying. That was proven in so many ways, including by example, and yes, it felt good in that it was enormously relieving to not have to carry that burden any longer. And moreover, it empowered me to keep going, it was a huge motivator.

    On a more direct and instantaneous level, thanks to the outcome, I was not only able to continue my healing work, but this victory also allowed me to discover new acting and performing skills–and eventually a theater career–because, through classes, I was able to take that particular personal risk and it led to all kinds of healing as well as other rewards.

    In essence, being legally vindicated was exponentially healing, they went hand in hand. I had to remain clear in my truth, however, and humble to this process of healing and unfoldment happening after all that drama which corruption always manifests, while at the same time feeling and trusting the *power* of my truth and perspective of reality, to manifest my personal life experience as I most desired and intended.

    I was finished with the “mental health” industry by then, as anything reliable for support or healing, but I continued with activism voluntarily after that and discovered just how deep the injustices and deceit and covering up ran—sooooo deep, absolutely never-ending.

    The work is far from complete, obviously. More justice will bring more healing, and vice versa. One informs the other, like a double helix. That was my experience, in any case.

  • Amen, Julie! I believe this is the crux of it. To me, what you are describing is “humanism.”

    “The assumption that we’re somehow not okay in our own skin, that was the biggest insult.”

    It’s also THE pivotal projection which makes all of this so messy and complicated, that false reality which this industry projects onto others, rather than owning their own fears and insecurities.

    “Mostly, it applied to those therapists, not to us.”

    Truth. And the good news is that this makes us more powerful, when we are ok with ALL of ourselves. I believe that once we’ve achieved this level of integral self-affinity, then anything is possible.

  • “One of the reasons I made this academic analysis observation, is that spiritual mindfulness is recognised by dissenting scholars, to be very different from secularised widely popular forms of mindfulness”

    Not only scholars, but also spiritual healing practitioners and teachers know the difference. “Spiritual mindfulness,” as I would interpret this in the context of what you say, is healing because the intention is to allow energy to shift and transmute, creating change, directly, in the moment, which is where the power to create change resides, in present time.

    Whereas so many popular “mindfulness” practices do not address either emotions or energy, nor present time, in reality, which actually disqualifies it from being called “mindfulness,” by definition, but it’s called that, even if it is a misnomer in these instances. This is often just filler, offered for a variety of ego and/or financial reason; or perhaps this might offer a temporary break from otherwise chronic stress, which isn’t a bad thing. But it’s not healing nor does anything change from these “secular” (I would call it “dissociated from Self”) practices.

    Thank you for highlighting this very important and significant distinction.

  • I did my healing from all of this 10-15 years ago, during that time frame, based on my life narrative and it guided me to my life’s purpose and work in the world, part of which is speaking my truth to help others awaken to their healing path. Also to shed light on corruption. We all have to find our own way.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts as well, along with bringing attention to self-guided healing. The more voices to bring light to all of this, the better. One way or another, we’re all working together to move forward.

  • “I know this is paranoid, but I’m beginning to wonder – when we take on the Corporate Masters – what are we in for?”

    JanCarol, why paranoid? Sorely needed change is what we’re in for–freedom from oppression and tyranny, as covert as these may seem at times. This is the reality to which people have been awakening for a while now and from which we want to ascend, en masse. The power is in the truth, and when we align with that, we are owning our power.

    We know change is unpredictable, but it’s not only needed, it is inevitable at this point, thank God. Embrace the unknown! As we move in present time with moment to moment awareness, we have ample opportunity to create a new future.

  • “I also shows the possibility (or real probability) of healing that can happen when a human being relinquishes psychiatric drugs and mental-disorder labels and identities.”

    I’d call it a certainty. But it doesn’t stop with ditching the drugs and labels, that’s only step one. There are layers of healing to do, it’s a process, and it’s important to specifically be on a healing path. Healing & change is hard work and it requires flexibility in thinking, letting go of old beliefs and considering new perspectives. This is a big change and some will embrace it while others will be resistant to making that kind of core shift. Different paths, outcomes, and realities happen from this particular variable–allowing vs. resistance.

    What is also certain is that is *impossible* to heal while on psych drugs and identifying with a diagnosis. These only create the illusion of “chronic disorders” and related issues, along with undue suffering, totally and completely needlessly.

    Were people/society/professional industries to stop labeling and drugging and also to stop calling for it as a solution to anything, we’d decrease undue suffering tremendously and go in a much better and way more reasonable direction, where people had a chance to actually grow into who they are and evolve as creative human beings.

    There are all kinds of wise and effective ways to deal with life challenges on all levels, and with total and absolute certainty, this would not include psychiatric practices, which only seem to make matters much, much worse, to the point of tragedy. How much more evidence do we need?? At this point, I believe it’s rather overwhelming in favor of proving what a dangerous and extremely harmful racket this is.

  • Exactly. It is professional sacrifice to not be complicit one way or another. So be it. It’s called courage and integrity to not enable corruption when one awakens to the fact that they are contributing to it as much as they are complaining about it and blaming others for it. Don’t participate, walk away!

    Or, speak up and out and expect to get fired, and be damn proud of yourself for speaking and living truth, which really does set us free. People get fired all the time and take new avenues which present themselves. It’s called *INSPIRING CHANGE.* Followed by *being the change,* which is the natural and logical progression from inspiration.

    The hope to reform a corrupt system is only upholding corruption. What, suddenly these people will become honest? I think not. It will take a lot of humbling to make that kind of turnaround, if it were to even happen in this lifetime. Making psychiatry obsolete requires abandoning it completely, and ironically, it’s only success has been to make people dependent on it. So there are double binds to face.

    And there’s the divide and conquer at work, the civil war among the pawns in this sinister, immoral, and hopelessly self-serving game of “Hey, who has the power here? And how many people do I have to use, split, and bleed dry in order to prove it!”

    The phrase, “These are not very nice people” comes to mind.

  • I will guarantee that anyone at all working in this system is wearing two faces. There is no way to be part of any corrupt system in any capacity without compromising oneself in ways one might not even be aware of. They are lying to themselves and to others, and more than likely without awareness. That is the nature of corruption, and it will touch everyone who is connected to the corrupt system, especially if there is a paycheck involved, or any kind of “reward” for going along with the program (like, keeping your job). That skews everything, and absolutely nothing is clear or trustworthy.

    Even if one is feigning loyalty and is, in reality, opposed in principle, they’re still holding up the system by participating day after day. I don’t see how it can be any other way. The truthlessness and irrationality of it all runs so deep, which is seriously dangerous to a society asleep! Waking up is the only way to go, as I see it. Being truthful, and really honest with oneself, is a good place to start, for a change.

  • These are great and relevant questions, Rossa.

    I think it’s more about how social programming dissociates us from our heart and spirit wisdom so that we are virtually clueless about what to do, what we want, and in what direction to go–other than, perhaps, toward what society would expect and “approve,” which may bring us at least an illusory sense of belonging, but hardly to a sense of who we really are and where we most want to be. As a result, instead of clarity and fulfillment, we run into perpetual dead ends and chronic disappointment, chasing illusion after illusion.

    We at least have to be in touch with and honor our emotions, otherwise we have no way of knowing how something makes us feel, we just go by the programming without checking in with ourselves. That will always lead to trouble of some kind, and eventually, to suffering. Synchronizing body, mind, and spirit is necessary to be connected to our inner guidance/intuition/personal truth, which is wher we can find peace of mind and a sense of personal empowerment, that we are, indeed, in control of our lives and destiny, not to mention, our own minds.

    Living in oppression is confusing and disorienting because it is the norm to lie and confuse and disorient people, all kinds of justifications are made for it. Living in fear distorts reality, and all choices will be made from fear rather than from inspiration. “Common” sense is not necessarily someone’s personal sense of truth in the moment.

  • I did a search and found this video posted last year called “Lightworkers and the Ascension Process” in which teacher Michael Mirdad explains from his perspective what I’m talking about here.


    This is more common than not now, this is how this is being channeled and taught these days, totally from a person’s lived experience and the truth they gleaned from their deprogramming/healing/awakening, along with multi-cultrual ancient widsom, and its becoming more and more widespread, as a result. These are integrated teachings applied to our times for the expressed purpose of creating core change in the world.

    Not all will accept this information or will be able to hear this, as unfortunately, part of programming from an oppressive system/society is intended for people to resist light, so that they stay in the dark (angry, confused, split off from their nature, feeling overall powerless and dependent), which is why I say it is layered work. It’s program upon program upon program. We awaken when we’re ready. However, this IS the new paradigm. Perhaps it will speak to some people on here, but I imagine not the majority. I’d love to be wrong about that second part!

  • There are TONS of people who have successfully self-healed and deprogrammed themselves or who are well in the process of it, all over the world! And many of them ARE organized and/or are getting organized, with a strong intention and focus on creating and allowing change to happen, which is happening, little by little, as more and more people heal by leaps and bounds and own their power. That is the new reality. It starts from within to be real and true core change, no two ways about that.

    Begins with healing our hearts, that is transformative. I believe the energy from our hearts (which is our spirit) has more influence on the mind than the brain does. That’s my intuitive hit, not scientific. But it fits my reality.

    These folks are called Lightworkers, and they are healers, teachers, artists, and manifestors who have experienced core transformation (aka “deprogramming”), and who, in return are supporting people who are waking up to all kinds of truths beyond the family and social programs, to pay it forward. That would be the natural ripple effect of energy. No technology needed, just our intention, focus, awareness, and bodies.

    I know many lightworkers who’d been entangled with the system and psych drugs, even hospitalization, etc., and who got off the drugs, stopped therapy–basically rejecting and eschwing all of that–and did it this way, by depgrogramming–exactly this–along with detoxing and realinging in a new way, new grounding and perspective, and who are now teaching and supporting others in their process of healing and awakening in order to shift their reality into something more amenable to who they really are, based on their heart’s desires. I’m one of them, and I’m almost 60. Most former mh clients-turned-lightworkers whom I know are younger, in their 20s and 30s. They are very smart and caught on sooner, God bless them! I follow many of their teachings, they all overlap, not in conflict with each other. After the mh industry, that is entirely refreshing!

    This is a layered process and it is rather unpredictable and it requires focused attention. Out with the old, in with the new. That’s exactly what change is, and all we have to do is allow it at this point because it is well in motion. Even the Earth is shifting, no way human conciousness can avoid shifting now. We’re in an age of expansion.

    You can easily research this on YouTube, search “lightworker” or “lightworker healing” or “planetary ascension” or even “healing from narcissistic abuse”–that’s a powerful deprogramming and probably the most relevant and eye-opening right now, and there are people who’ve accomplished this and who are helping others do the same, guiding them through this complicated and very rich healing. It’s not always easy, but its doable and seriously stress-relieving, to a new level.

    Deprogramming is the most common form of healing these days, and it also causes awakening, that is its natural progression. Neuroplasticity is key, we can change our entire inner landscape this way. It’s powerful stuff! And the path toward freedom.

  • I call it vampiristic (a virus is, after all, parasitic and depends on a “host” for it to thrive) but either way, yes, it’s insidious, relentless, and dangerous, and certainly behaves as though it has *aversion* to truth and light, whether it’s about healing or justice.

    This is worth repeating–

    “But stop feeding it is a good place to begin.”

    Individuals are, by nature, self-healing and can actively build immunity to viruses so they do not become a host to parasites. The more that do, the more society on the whole becomes immune. Parasites cannot survive without a host, on whom they are completely 100% dependent.

  • Deprogramming from a cult, deprogramming from bad parenting, deprogramming from false beliefs, deprogramming from self-sabotaging thoughts, deprogramming from group think, deprogramming from toxic psychotherapy, deprogramming from abuse (esp gaslighting abuse)…it’s all a choice, and it doesn’t have to be done by someone to another. We can deprogram ourselves from one set of beliefs (neural pathways/habits) if these beliefs no longer serve us, only taking us in circles making us feel stuck, and we want to shift our experience toward that which is more natural to us, where we are learning, growing, expanding in our thinking and awareness. We discover what this is as we go along, how our process takes us through this. We’re each unique in this regard, we each do it our way.

    It’s really just a matter of noting what our thoughts are, how these thoughts feel to us, deciding whether we want to continue with the beliefs we’ve long held, or are we seeing from another perspective now?

    That’s how change happens, and it’s more natural than not. What is not natural, what is most effort, and what keeps us out of balance and moving further away from our center, is RESISTING CHANGE. That’s going against nature, which is ever-changing. When we allow change to occur, we are deprogramming from old beliefs and allowing new thoughts, vision, and inspiration to come to light. That is simply the nature of evolution. And we need newness now, not more of the same.

    Best I can do at this point. Trusting our intution and allowing ourselves mistakes in the process are vital because this is how we learn to trust ourselves, especially after we’ve been let down and betrayed repeatedly. We’re human, not machines. Life is what we make it to be. Language can be limiting, but the soul knows the truth. Get in touch with your soul, and you will, too!

  • KS, thank you for saying this. It is the path I took for myself, too, and it was amazingly healing and enlightening, changed everything. And then my partner followed suit, so two of us focused this way is super-powerful. We’re manifesting very well together these days, in synch. The more the merrier!

    This has been very challenging to put into words. Been working on that, and this dialogue unfolded well so that I had another opportunity to put this into context. I’m very happy to hear it is coming across with clarity and that it resonates 🙂

  • “There are already laws against ‘disorderly conduct.'”

    That’s why I say heart-mind alignment is optimal. Emotional intelligence is a real thing. I call it being “heart smart.” I think it’s part of our human evolution, we learn as we grow. We can be true to ourselves AND stay safe in that scenario.

    I also believe it’s what we’re most missing in our society, which is why things have degenerated so much. When I look at our leaders right now, emotional intelligence is one thing that is not standing out, quite the contrary. More like a bunch of regressed adults acting like angry children looking to express their so-called “power” in any way, shape or form–never mind integrity, fairness, and justice. Apparently, these are just too complicated to apply!

    That’s not true and real power, from where I sit, but more a product of lying and fear-mongering, so it depends on people actually buying the lies and fearing illusions. We don’t have to, if we’re heart smart. And if we don’t, we empower ourselves while disempowering the elites, because we’re not only not buying it any longer, we’re also not living in fear. That’s a program which only serves the elite, at everyone else’s expense.

  • Great, Steve, I’m glad to hear that because when we deprogram for the lies and illusions we’ve absorbed and discover the truth of our hearts underneath all that bs, that is the ultimate healing and is what creates core change.

    Going from brain-consciousness to heart-consciousness shifts perspective and, therefore, reality. It will become a heart-based reality. That is emotional and creative freedom. No more programs, just living our truth. No need for psychiatry (or any such thing) at that point because we become our own guides and healers.

    A community of heart-based humans, where individuals are aligned with their personal truth, would be the most powerful. And there are such communities in the world, at this point. They are up and coming as more and more people wake up and make that core shift within themselves.

  • I believe ultimately, we’re looking at DE-programming from all the false information and responses to all the illusions which have been projected at large, for the purpose of control. The result has been separation from who we REALLY are, each of us, our natural tendencies based on how something makes us feel. I think that can be a bit crazy-making.

    Our emotions are essential to how we make choices, they guide us toward or away from things. We’ve been programmed to invalidate or ignore our emotions, and go toward “approval.” Well-being, balance, and self-agency come from paying attention to how we really feel from moment to moment. I believe that is our “natural programming” (our personal nature), and we’re each unique in this regard.

    From our brainwashing society, there’s a lot from which to deprogram, and that is a process which takes time and requires being awake and paying attention to how one feels, rather than what anyone else thinks. Best case scenario is heart-mind synchronicity, then there is no question about the truth of the matter.

  • “It seems to me that what is wrong with the “mind” most of the time is faulty programming, or perhaps more accurately programming that doesn’t create the desired result from a social perspective. Of course, then we get into the question of who gets to decide what the “desired result” is, which is a whole different question.”

    I believe the “desired result” can only be defined by the individual who is seeking results, it’s really not for anyone else to say. It’s actually no one else’s business, unless a person knows how to be supportive rather than competetive, invalidating, judgmental, etc.

    If one goes by “social perspective,” then one is buying into the social programming. The “faulty programming” is how we were raised/programmed. This is what people are correcting now, one by one.

  • A compelling read, sadly rings true. Glad you got out of there. Many of us have learned these lessons the hard way.

    “I got my first performance review in more than two years, which was basically a personal attack. A board member had heard and complained about a podcast on which I had been a guest. Or so I was told by the CEO. In the podcast (which I did on non-work time, and never mentioned NAMI by name) I had criticized forced treatment and family-member discrimination. Because of this, I was accused of being ‘anti-family…'”

    These are the examples set nowadays–personal attacks rather than a real evaluation; criticism of the system turns into name calling and pejorative and false labels (as opposed to an adult-to-adult discussion for mutual clarity and understanding, where everyone can move forward from there); and complete disregard for personal experience and opinion thereof, which, in fact, is turned against you. Just awful.

    It also reminds me of 1 on 1 sessions with psychiatrists, also accusatory, projecting, and being way out of bounds with respect to what the goal and objective SHOULD be.

    And I used to work in the system as a voc rehab counselor, very similar experience, which proved to be costly for them because at least I got some legal vindication given that my former employers were so entirely in the wrong and I knew this. But this shit should not be happening in the first place, this is so below par. And sadly, how we do things these days. Very frustrating.

    God, we soooo need better leadership and better examples of how to treat people!!! What you describe here is the road to nowhere because it’s gonna stress the hell out of everyone. Bad strategy for doing business, and for living, as far as I’m concerned.

  • There’s plenty of evidence of BIG change happening, at the core of society. Mostly, at this point in time, it’s that people are waking up more and more, on a daily basis, to their innate personal power, and learning how to transform themselves out of oppressive situations, toward freedom. Some of us have recounted our experience with this on here, and there are countless stories and testimonials about this on YouTube, for starters. We’re in a new era, it’s unfolding currently.

  • So to respond to your final statement, there are all kinds of ways to bring truth, light, healing and change using absolutely no money, which can spread far and wide on a physical level, beyond the virtual. I have been creating all kinds of things and helping people for decades, hardly getting back what I put out. I don’t care, as long as it’s helping people. That is really and truly gratifying and fulfilling, which leads to all good things. Ask anyone who does this kind of work, I’m not alone in that. It’s how I know I’m on my path, otherwise it wouldn’t work like this, nor would it feel good to me! I’ve no complaints at all, other than with what is going on in the world, and trying to affect that as positively as I can in a variety of ways, from my vantage point.

    Between no-budget films which were labors of love, and a long-time practice working with individuals, families, communities, etc., and just plain old being there for people without asking for anything in return, I think I’ve impacted quite a few folks and it has rippled, from what I’m aware. There was some exchange of money here and there, always by mutual agreement as per services. But my volunteerism greatly outweighs any of this. I’m hardly a for-profit individual, and I don’t lack for anything and to say I am of modest means is an understatement.

    I had to learn to create my life this way because my money was stolen from me by the vampirism of psychiatry, is how I guess I’d put it bluntly. To me it’s the absolute truth because it was all so fraudulent and harmful to the point of affecting my income in very direct ways, after my savings from having worked for 20 years was zapped. I know I’m not alone here. I’ve accepted it, there is no justice in this system.

    But I wasn’t going to settle for living in lack, so I learned all about the energy of abundance and co-creating with the light—as we’ve discussed often—and I walk my talk, true to my word, and I live the example of this, without question. I’d invite anyone to come to my home and see how this works. It’s impossible to describe in a dialogue such as this and would involve too many personal details which are relevant but which I’m not willing to share here.

    But when it comes to putting my “energy” where my mouth is, I am so prepared to do that. But I don’t know how, other than in 3D reality person, where there is no question about what I am saying, and that I am being true to my word in every respect. My partner would not only corroborate it all, he’s an example of what I’m talking about, as well. We’d illustrate by example and tell you all about how we do this, and how it came about through our adversities, to discover this, and how anyone can apply it, who is willing to learn how energy works. It’s the jewel of our journey, and it totally saved our lives.

    So hey, you put out a challenge? I’m ready to meet it, head on. I’d be more than willing to give a workshop on how to co-create on any scale desired, large or small, without money 🙂 (or, at least, for extremely minimal money, way less than one would think; but still, there is a lot to be created without money, that would be hard for people to fathom due to programming, but I can change that!)


  • Wow, seems we are having a huge misunderstanding here. Not sure how to respond in the moment with respect to the issues, that is secondary to me right now.

    What I’m feeling at this point is bad that we have had such a communication glitch. It wasn’t my intention to turn anything around, I was attempting to respond from my own truth, based on where I am in my activism. I thought there was a logic to what I was saying, congruent with and relevant to all we are discussing here. Obviously there are layers of issues and things to process, in light of it all. I’m fine agreeing to disagree. I won’t argue with your truth of the matter, but I do have mine, and I guess they are different, which is fine, why not?

    Thanks for your honesty, Rosalee, as well as for being authentic in your heart and emotions, I always appreciate that very much, it is clarity. Although I must admit that I am disappointed that you feel I am twisting your words, which I can honestly tell you is not the case, at least certainly not intentionally, if that’s how it came across. I do not operate this way, I know that I practice integrity and I consider myself to be straightforward and direct in my communication, best I know how, at least, always my intention.

    I can’t stand mind games–and you’d know why this is–and do not feel they lend themselves to anything good, much less truth, and I’m most sorry that is not evident to you. I am human, after all, and never make any bones about that. I certainly wasn’t intending any of it to be personal!

  • “If brain-injured, gas-lighted individuals were allowed to have restorative justice, then all of the torture and lying would be unnecessary. The same people who were negligent in the brain injuries and gas-lighting are the ones who insist on no dialogue. Why? Because they were negligent in the first place (and they are still negligent). They simply will not admit that they were at fault.”

    That is the clearest truth I’ve heard yet, and to the point–the crazy-making paradox and dissonance of it all. Thank you, johnchristine, for your perfectly spoken truth. THE heart and spirit of the matter. The ones whom you identify as “negligent” are the stressors, in the first place. That is where I would shine the light, too.

  • “I want to abolish psychiatry, but it’s not going to topple all at once.”

    I don’t believe that’s necessarily true at this point. I know a lot of people personally and also know of them via internet, who have never been activists nor would know about MiA, etc. (other than with whom I share this info) who already have only negative things to say about psychiatry, and who are aware that it is based on lies, misinformation, and toxic drugs on top of it all. So many people have healed and have gotten their clarity outside of anything having to do with this system and industry, and they are paying it forward successfully.

    I think more people than not get that we’ve all been had in many ways, and the mh and social service systems–all based on psychiatry and its “hierarchy of power”–are at the top of that list. The problem is that no one really knows what to do about it. Corrupt systems have been the norm for so long now, hard to know who and what to trust. Communication breakdown is the norm when there is resistance to change. It’s intentional, to ensure status quo. But that can’t go on forever, so it’s really not a sound strategy for survival, which is why the status quo is in trouble.

    At this point, however, it only takes one domino to fall so as to kick over the rest. The trick is finding that one domino and tapping it over to start the chain reaction, and more than likely, it’ll be an accident, a matter of convergence along with all the truth coming so quickly to light. There’s no foundation in truth here, we all know this is unequivocal truth, at least I am of that opinion quite firmly. So there is no real foundation here, it’s been exposed a million times. Rapid change can happen this way, under these circumstances. I’m not a historian, but I imagine history holds many examples of this. Stands to reason to my mind, in any event.

    And regardless, in this age of information super highway, things happen more quickly than ever. Many previously held in high esteem celebrities of all kinds have seen their careers go down the toilet, along with public respect, in the blink of an eye, thanks to the internet. This can happen to industries and long- established institutions, too. Psychiatry and its ilk are already on shaky ground, I don’t think it’s a secret any longer.

  • Rosalee, I do know that you are considerate of others this way, I’d never question that. I’m just highlighting the financial disparity within this community, which duplicates the financial disparity in society, and these so called “health systems”–and specifically anything mh related, where I believe this disparity is especially flagrant–which causes such issues of inequality and therefore, marginalization and discrimination. This is social abuse, which, to my mind, is responsible for the ills of society at large, that level of deep division which is crazy-making for people on the wrong end of that.

    I wasn’t equating “solidarity” with money, I meant that these different consciousnesses (lack vs. havingness) are hard-pressed to come together in unity due to power imbalance and different immediate needs. These will create divergent mindsets and realities, and are most likely to be in chronic conflict.

    Mostly, I was responding to this–

    “And there certainly is not money falling from the sky to operate a website of this magnitude.”

    When the fuel is money, then we’re going by the old paradigm and there will be no change. That’s my main point of my response. There are other ways to build and create, without being dependent on money. That would be a truly powerful enterprise, built from new ways of thinking. THAT is change.

  • Hi Rosalee, you know I have, both, gratitude for MiA and also my criticisms like many do, I’ve been public and transparent about all of it. But I am wondering about asking people, many of whom are on fixed disability incomes and/or living in poverty, to use their very limited financial resources this way. There is a lot of financial disparity in this community alone, and I’m wondering how this is affecting things here.

    These are highly contrasting perspectives–having vs. not having financial resources–and at this point, I am not sure they are reconcilable, so solidarity here is a lot to expect because this represents two unequal levels of power in the current paradigm (key phrase), which MiA can only replicate. Is this really the best we can do?

    And, indeed, Mr. Whitaker, MiA has been of great value to me, despite our tiffs, and I’ve certainly helped to support it in many ways over the years. But we are eluding core change, which, personally, I believe is the only worthwhile goal at this point as anything else is going to be more of the same, and I am wondering if we’re on the same page about that. I’ll see what unfolds from here. Thank you for these unique opportunities to gain clarity on such complicated and controversial issues!

  • This sounds exactly like my experience in graduate school and MFT training. I also attended an experiential program, which requires expert guidance and boundaries, which the faculty simply did not possess, not even close, making it terribly unsafe and a lot of students felt this. It was a hot topic among us and we tried to address it with faculty in so many ways, only to face this stubborn defensiveness to the point of being surreal. Now, after decades of dealing with this industry, I’m used to it, I get it, and it’s apparently standard procedure in this biz, turns out. But the problem starts in the training and education.

    Indeed, there seems to be little to no interest in the needs or development of the students. Some other agenda entirely going on and it is up for grabs what that would be. But for sure, it was easy to tell that this was not about educating and supporting students on their path. This was all about them, the professors, and they were so competitive not only with each other, but with the students as well! What I witnessed more than anything in grad school is all the different ways one can wield power over others, this is what I saw in action repeatedly, and it is what was taught to and modeled for future psychotherapists. Some serious manipulation and splitting going on there.

    And it’s basically the program, what it amounts to, anyway. I remember distinctly a supervisor telling a group of us interns, “Don’t give your client too much power,” meaning, take their feedback with a grain of salt, they’re just trying to manipulate you. Clients are discredited before they even walk through the door in this total and unambiguous “us vs. them” attitude and mindset.

    We learn by example, so that explains a lot about why clients have issues with the “professionals,” and why this industry is what it is. It’s just one big power struggle based on this ridiculous hierarchy where people take themselves just a bit too seriously, I think, and act like saviours and martyrs, which is always going to be delusional thinking. This can only be draining and fruitless, at the end of it all.

  • Yes to all of it, Rosalee! MW would be the shot of light and heart-based vision we need, although that would require a shift in consciousness. I’m glad at least she is getting attention, she is learning as she goes. And she’s getting more support than I would have thought she would, she is reaching people because she makes sense, so that’s encouraging. I so admire and respect her courage, given the climate of things around “differences.”

    And yes, by now I’m sure my opinion of anything mh is pretty clear. As I say above, we need something new and different…wayyyy different. Like, honesty, integrity, clear and direct communication, flexibility in thinking, awareness, etc., that kind of different.

  • Steve, the science of it all was thrown in my face when I was doing my own healing my way, based on faith, trust, and my personal intution. They were wrong and I was right, what can I say? This is so easy to prove.

    These issues are complex and the industry is so misguided and filled with false information, which can be deadly to people and has been, that more than mere science is needed here. We need new vistas and perspectives, and this requires imagination, innovation, and flexible thinking. We are our own scientists and have the capacity to observe the results of our own work.

    The professionals who are getting all the grants and doing all the research have failed us miserably. I’d like to see this community being more open to new possibilities and ways of thinking. The “mainstream academic research science” of it all has become stale, it is sooo played!

    The mh field is stuck in repetition compulsion and as a result, it is in chronic failure, despite whatever perspective du jour it chooses to adopt, until that one is disproved and dead-ended. Then another theory or modality will come along, and take that same path to nothingness. People spend their entire careers gathering money for no-result research (or worse yet, research that is taken as gospel only to be later disproven, after already wrecking peoples’ lives because it was either mistakenly or deceivingly touted as “scientific reserach” and, therefore, “proof”), and living well despite it–and some live quite well, including even a jet-setting, world-traveling lifestyle. Not that everyone wants this, it’s not exactly a noble and fullfiling goal unto itself, but I believe the implication is clear.

    Especially considering that, on the other hand, the research helps no one else to improve the quality of their lives, and people often suffer as a result of believing false research claims, especially when they are desperate and especially vulnerable. I think it’s a travesty of social vampirism, and economics and aggressive class division are at the heart of it.

    This has happened for so long, and from where I sit, I believe it is because these “new and exciting theories” are always missing vital information, due to the general closed-mindedness and inherently divisive, hierarchical, and therefore, stigmatizing nature of this field. This is always reflected in whatever theory or modality, seems to be part of the mix always, which undermines any possible truth to be gleaned from the research. This is a grave disservice to society and the public at large, without a doubt.

    As far as healing goes, the mh industry is a dead end. I haven’t always thought that way, and when I first came to MiA as a commenter, about 7 years ago, to explore these things further and on a deeper level with others who’d shared at least a version of my experience, this wasn’t my set in stone perspective. Although I was starting to wonder. The issues just went deeper and deeper into rabbit holes, like one void after another.

    Overall, however, I was more questioning how to help this field elevate in awareness and do better by its clients. By now, however, I’m deeply convinced that there is no way in hell this will happen. It just stands to reason, at the end of it all, and very easy to intuit at this point in time. I think it’s painfully clear.

  • Thanks for the link, KS, it’s so interesting how these perspectives shift from one thing to another.

    What I posted about kidney-adrenal balance does apply to exactly how I healed from chronic stress and anxiety, by addressing this at the root of it all. I was guided to this by a medical intuit (with whom I had a 15 minute session for $45), who gave me the protocol to withdraw from the 9 psych drugs I was on at the time, and how to find my balance again (which had been long lost thanks to these pills and all the toxic mh stuff). I followed this to the letter and it worked, I ended up doing her trainings and internships for the next several years, which is how I healed integrally, trained as medical intuit and holistic healer, and became certified to open my own practice.

    Learning to ground and center and to make this practice central to my healing, taking specific herbs to bring balance to kidneys and adrenal glands and also to regenerate other damaged organs (including the brain), along with acupuncture and a variety of energy practices (e.g. Qi Gong) brought all of me back into balance physically and as a result I was finally able to start experiencing the calm of inner peace and a quiet mind again, which had been eluding me for the years that I was on those drugs and yakking with therapists.

    Plus, I did tons of healing with my family and relationships, all of that had to be addressed, regardless of anything, if I wanted to get on a new life track.

    But on a physical level, what had once been called “Panic or Anxiety disorder” along with even “bipolar disorder” all went away when I addressed the kidney-adrenal system along with all the yin/yang balance of my energy, mind/body/spirit. Now my mind is programmed to bring me back to center without effort, it’s automatic. The body will follow that protocol every time. That would be the nature of my holistic healing and personal transformation.

    I no longer require the herbs or any of these practices, other than grounding and cenering, that’s always how I begin and end the day. But the rest was transitional, so I am free from all that now. We can train the body in the direction of self-healing.

    I still believe this is universal, it is tried and true ancient wisdom and when you witness it working, it’s like math, very clear logic. But as we say on here often and I believe it’s important, we all go by what makes us each tick, individually. In general, I find Chinese Medicine to be so much more accessible and simple and it gets to the heart of the matter with ease, which makes healing plausible and likely. That’s my personal experience with it and, therefore, my take on the matter.

  • What you say, Tom, I recognize as being caused by kidney-adrenal imbalance, as per Chinese Medicine, which is not only rather common, but it is also not at all complicated or hard to correct.


    The psychological issues are generally created when this is treated as though something is dreadfully wrong (and inconvenient) with the child (or adult) and they are, therefore, taken down the wrong and misguided path, potentially causing all kinds of problems, and quite possibly and probably, from being labeled, stigmatized, and marginalized, causing undue suffering.

    Coming back into balance from triggers is a practice, and absolutely everyone could benefit from that awareness, being human and all.

  • Yes, you say it perfectly! That is the shift in focus needed, entirely, without question. And that would be a community issue, to not enable it, to not agree with it, and to not fear calling it out.

    If calling out abuse in the moment were to be unequivocally supported and seen as courageous and strong, and worthy of note as a red flag, then that would indicate a sound, just, safe, and balanced community. As it is now, coming forward to call out abuse, injustice, etc., one risks being shamed as whiney, thin-skinned, and fragile, and I guess lately, “snowflake” would be added to the list.

    That’s why they call it courageous, but at the same time, it is the essence of, both, dysfunction and social injustice–one person vs. an entire scapegoating community, all banding together from fear, oppression, and some kind of co-dependent need. That happens when one person’s truth is being highly resisted, to the point of cover up.

    Why, I would wonder? What is so threatening about that one person’s truth, who becomes a scapegoat? Maybe because it IS the truth that no one wants to see because it will create too much of a challenge to change on a core, systemic level? I guess there would be a power shift, and that’s too scary to even think about–well, for those in power, at least!

    I think, perhaps, these are viable reasons for dysfunction/systemic abuse to be so damn stubborn. It’s easier to think up ways to discredit the truth-speaker, with labels and negative gossip, in all kinds of intentionally sigmatizing ways, but it will not lead to anything good to do so, because it is entirely untrue. A community built on outright lies, as many are, we are discovering more and more–the epitome of corruption and injustice–is a house of cards. It’s only a matter of time before truth comes to light, always.

  • I agree. You simply have to be human to be affected by these.

    And how about instead of suggestive labels like “fragile,” put on those who have been victimized and betrayed (which I know you are not doing here, Steve, I’m saying this in general, it’s unfortunately common to attribute “fragility” to victims of abuse who claim post traumatic stress from abuse), we put the attention on the ones doing the abusing, who are, in reality, the fucked up ones because they are doing harm to others outright, and that’s more than merely a suggestion. It’s a fact.

  • “there are some superb practitioners, a large group that do decent work, and a small group that are actually toxic.”

    This is a standard statistical curve and is by no means a truism. I would say very frankly and with all confidence that the toxicity level in the field of psychology is much higher than anyone would want to admit. And that is understandable, it’s a hard truth for many. But it’s highly relevant information when we are seeking changes at the core, and it’s exactly what many of us dialogue and debate/argue about on here, a hot topic.

    Personally, my experience is that it permeates the industry, causing it to radiate it into society at large. I can’t even imagine this not being true, after what I and others have been through with this. I’ve been outside of it for a long, long time now and have been able to get clarity from a distance by this point. This goes back to grad school and my own training, followed by a stint through the system and a variety of tangential agencies playing various roles from client to professional to independent trainer to advocate for others, over a period of 20+ years.

    It’s all toxic, through and through, I had to get away to survive, it almost killed me as I was doing all I could to heal and move forward. I’ve been vindicated and now I am thriving when I’d been given up for dead by that industry. I’m sorry and I mean no disrespect, but toxic is the only word I can think of to describe my entire experience from that field, and that is the God’s honest truth.

    I think where the dialogue breaks down is that it seems impossible to separate personal ego issues from the evidence of countless personal testimonials. Boundaries become blurred, defenses go up, projections go out, the gaslights are ignited, and the truth always gets twisted right here, in the never-ending power struggle between the academically programmed clinician vs. a truth-speaking client. This is where things get downright surreal, and potentially crazy-making.

    It’s also where change would be the most potent, because it is also where the stalemate occurs. It’s the communication in this field, which is painfully ironic. I think it’s problematic and seems to inevitably lead to confusion, anger, and frustration, rather than clarity, truth, and real and true progress. Too many illusions–all those programmed beliefs–which only serve to feed and maintain the hierarchy, which is exactly where the toxicity resides, because it is the familiar and it is false, without substance or justification, and entirely lacking in justice. Time for change.

  • Very good! Yes, trauma causes unnatural shifts in energy, along with energy blocks, and if left unaddressed the energy from the trauma and unexpressed emotions get embedded in our cells and can affect us adversely in a variety of ways–in our bodies, in our relationships, and in the quality of our lives. It can be so subtle and insidious because it is the familiar, which makes it especially tricky and actually requires waking up to it, which can be a hard truth.

    This is where good, heart-based and focused support can be extremely helpful, I believe, and advantageous, because it can be a challenging cross-over. However, leaving these energies and blocks unaddressed at the core causes repetiition and snowballing of the energy because the trauma is trying to work its way out, and until it does, it will only attract more of the same. In the meantime, we feel more and more oppressed by our own bodies.

    There is a way out of that, and I’m so glad your article highlights this! But no, it’s not easy, it’s quite challenging, and uniquely rewarding. I see it as deprogramming from false beliefs, and that involves a network of shifts which take place in the body, including neural pathways, to change thought habits. That shifts our entire energy field and creates new perspectives and realities. That is core change, from the inside out.

    I’ve been through this type of healing, and it’s rather close to miraculous, honestly, and I’ve helped others over the years facilitate such a transformation. It’s quite something to witness, as it is to experience. Takes diligence, dedication to healing, and permission for change to occur, surrending to it.

    When we shift focus, perspective, and beliefs, we create openings for that energy to be corrected and we are easier in our flow of energy and, therefore, in our well-being. That is when our experience will change for the better, because we have released old past time energy that got stuck in the body, so we create new experiences, not repeating the past.

    This is the foundation of energy healing. Our emotions are critical to how we guide ourselves through life. If they get judged, shamed, numbed, or disregarded, we’re in the dark because we’re disconnected from our guidance system. And it is NEVER too late to wake up and turn on the light. Healing the wounds creates fertile ground for healing the body, because it would no longer be working against itself.

    Great article and info, thanks!

  • Yes to all of it, KS, you’re speaking truth, I believe. I’m just saying that some relationships are worth going through conflict while others, I believe, would be a waste of time and energy. For me, that would depend on how that first conflict plays out. I know there are some things I cannot tolerate right off the bat, despite the role I am playing in the relationship, and these red flags can become apparent quickly in conflict. While the nature of what we are willing or not willing to tolerate is individual, of course, I do believe we all have our need for boundaries here, for the sake of self-caring.

    And at the same time, we do have opportunities to grow here, when we are challenged by conflict, and clients can give therapists the opportunity to do just this. If both parties are healing and growing, then it will not be a power-based relationship, but more of a sound healing contract, and wonderful growth can be expected on both sides. Which to me, is the point of healing through dialogue. It’s never one-sided, realistically speaking.

    But, indeed, when it is this authoritarian power-struggle fyog it’s-you-not-me thing we’ve got going on, that’s purely farce, no one is healing, and it is particularly detrimental to the client, to the point of potentially causing them quite a bit of harm. Unfortunately, this is the mh industry norm.

  • I’m surprised that you call yourself “agnostic” Steve, I thought you were firmly of the belief of something greater than ourselves, or that which connects us all, higher self, etc. You certainly channel quite a bit of light, I’m sure all would agree about that. I certainly perceive you as spiritually aware and evolved. Would you not own that?

    I think it’s a feeling and it’s personal and individual. “Waking up” implies inherently that one had previously been “asleep.” (From unconscious to conscious). That’s like a light going on, and it is a feeling in our bodies, and it does eventually influence our perspective and perception of things, and eventually, our personal realities.

    It’s an experiential thing, one has to know it by lived experience, we gather our own data as per following the thread of our emotions to whatever awareness it brings us from moment to moment. Absolutely impossible for anyone to know another’s experience in this regard, it’s so personal and involves personal data that is meticulous and entirely individual, like a fingerprint.

    In this case, I’d call it a “soul print.” We each have one, and they are all unique. To me it makes sense, stands to reason, and rings true. More than that, I wouldn’t know how to argue about it, but perhaps some master teacher would. For me, it just works in a practical way, to get this.

    It’s why we don’t want to dull or numb our emotions with these toxic drugs, or anything else. The evidence is in what happens when people go off the drugs and continue onward, creating in their light, finally. We are growing in numbers by leaps and bounds. MiA has been instrumental in this, several of us participate here, so for that I’m grateful to it.

    This has my experience of it and absolutely everyone else whom I know has gone through that particular experience of awakening, whether it involves psychiatry and drugs or not, that’s just one way of doing it. But waking up to our own light is how we bring light to the planet, and everyone has their own path to that, and it begins with a feeling. It’s emotional, that’s vital to awakening. When people have heart openings from awakening, they tend to weep, it’s so profound and loving.

    It may not be in maisnstream science journals or the creed of academia, but it is in tons and tons of highly respected and discussed literature throughout the ages, up to and including today.

    And in fact, it is increasing today–there is so much out there now that is accessible regarding integrating the light with our physical existence and the implication of that–because we need this more than ever now, new ways of thinking, expansive to include the spiritual, which brings light to new possibilities for solutions to all kinds of wicked problems in the world today, which is what Marianne Williamson is trying to do. We’re trying to wake up here…

  • “real trust isn’t built until you’ve successfully navigated a conflict (or several).”

    That’s a good point, KS. Any relationship is going to inevitably bring some kind of disagreement or clash in values or perspectives. How that is handled is key to the substance and creative power of that relationship.

    I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say “several,” however, I can always tell after one conflict if the relationship is worth it or not. If the conflict leads to a dialogue with the intention of bringing mutual clarity (whether or not new harmony is achieved or agreeing to disagree), then that is a powerful relationship and there is potential for co-creating forward.

    However, if the conflict is based on power struggle and “needing to be right” and “needing to win,” and all that ego stuff, then that usually gets pretty nasty and sabotaging and I’d predict a tumultuous and mutually draining and frustrating relationship from that, no thanks.

    And of course, in my experience, mh clinicians have always fallen into the latter category, which is why I detest the field. It is a waste of time and energy because that particular conflict will NEVER be resolved, and will only repeat and repeat, guaranteed, until there will eventually be “a bad breakup” or abandonment or some such sabotage. In that case, I’d say it is best to wake up, cut one’s losses, take any lessons, and move on to better things.

  • It’s really impossible to measure such a thing as “an effective therapist” because it is going to be an individual thing, how the client feels about their therapy and how they’ve been able to apply it and feel supported in that process. It is all 100% subjective and involves many moving parts.

    Success in healing is on the part of the client, not the clinician. When a clinician claims “victory” rather than attributing it to the client’s work, that would be supreme arrogance, the essence of it, and basically, stealing the client’s light, which happens quite a bit. Therapists are prone to bragging about how much they help their clients, I heard it all the time during graduate school, and there are countless books to fit this description. To their mind, it’s about them and their “brilliance,” rather than being about the client and their courage, strength, and creativity. It’s why I warn of vampirism in this field.

    The therapists I’ve known do not “countertransfer” as much as they, in fact, initiate the “transference.” Seems to be the state of mind before a client even walks into their office. In their minds, they seemed to want to parent me, which felt, well…gross is really what best describes that feeling.

    I find it to be incredibly unprofessional, unethical and devoid of boundaries, not to mention extremely dangerous in the dependency which this creates. And yet, this is how it is taught in graduate school. This is the program.

    When I was seeing pscyhotherapists, I never, ever considered them to be any kind of authority/parental figure (or even a “best friend” for that matter), but more of a provider of professional services to help me discover the aspects of myself which were causing me trouble in life, so that I could make informed changes. Most of them (all but one of them) were way out of bounds in their projections, and hated to be told they were “wrong.” That would always get turned around into a really bad manipulation and nasty projections.

    I woke up to this after having spent several years in therapy, only to become more and more confused and mind-chatty, eventually down the rabbit hole of chronic rumination and endless thought loops. It was only when I stopped “talk therapy” that my mind was able to finally quiet down and focus on what I was creating in life. It was like having a nervous sytem transplant, everything just calmed down and I felt stillness and light for the first time, and I was able to ground in the present. That is inner peace, which I can’t even imagine any kind of “talk therapy” achieving, quite the contrary. For me, at least, this is the case, some may find this useful. There’s only so much blah blah blah I can take. A calm, quiet mind is a gift and it has to be cultivated and practiced.

  • You show great self-awareness and courage in your humility. Congratulations on walking your path in service to others. I agree, it is incredibly rewarding and it brings us closer to our true selves, in synch with who we really are. That is where we experience the true abundance of life.

    One sentence from your article stood out to me which gave me pause–

    “I need to accept myself for who I am, but I also need to feel acceptance from those around me.”

    To the first part, I definitely understand that from self-stigma, the first step would be self-acceptance. But even more aligned with who we are would be to celebrate and embrace who we are, beyond mere self-acceptance, to really shine our light. That is when the power of our hearts and spirits come to light in the world, and we can truly make an impact on a grand scale, from example after example influencing and inspiring more and more people to shine their light, rather than to fear it. Most people do fear their own light, given the turbulence which authentic truth can stir up in the midst of corruption, the light showing where all the shadows are lurking. But that’s a good thing, and I stand by that firmly. Speaking truth clealy and directly without fear–or in spite of it, either way–is the essence of change because it inspires action from all that triggering.

    And to the second part of that statement, well, I have a lot to say, I’ve worked with this aspect of myself quite a bit over the years, and it has been profound in how it affected my life experience, so I feel compelled to share my experience and thoughts about this here.

    This phrase about seeking acceptance from others from others brought up for me when I’ve had to traverse environments where I was a treated like an outlier, yet from all the evidence of my life, I knew I had purpose there, this was not random. While no, it does not feel good to be in a community of bashers, stigmatizers, and marginalizers (which to me, is pure bigotry), if we are doing this with purpose (to change the system), then not only is it to be expected, but we also have the opportunity to really own our power and not give a rip what others think. Totally disempowers stigma, as it is no longer relevant. Power is power.

    I know that often one is addressing a core wound of “rejection,” and of course acceptance is a much better feeling, but until we embrace ourselves for who we are and totally release the opinions of others, we’re more applying a band-aid rather than actually healing from rejection, scapegoating, or unnatural separation from our family/community of origin. Usually that’s what drives people to seek approval and acceptance in life, and it’s quite common, unfortunately, because we lose ourselves in that process.

    But we can remedy this within ourselves with deep inner work and expanding our self-awareness to include spiritual aspects of ourselves. That tells the whole story of who we are, rather than just a fragment of it.

    That was the most significant change I went through, because like most people, I was seeking approval, and it wasn’t consciously, it was just programmed into me that this is what I wanted to look for in life, that was my upbringing as well as the messages from society.

    To me, seeking approval is exactly the same as seeking acceptance. I see no difference in this because people will accept you if they “approve” of you, which is, in essence, CONDITIONAL love, which is purely manipulative and double binding, and again, more common than not.

    When I stopped seeking approval from others and stopped fretting over whether or not I am being “accepted” or “approved of” by others, and instead embodied my authentic truth, I grew by leaps and bounds and my entire life changed for the way better, to pure cteative freedom, because that is the real me, and not the product of programming. No emotional shackles from needing approval or acceptance, because I know myself and my place in the world. That is not up for judgment by others, it is mine to know and to own–between me and my God, so to speak.

    And it led me to those with whom I am copacetic, and where I no longer have to fight this particular battle because it is no longer relevent.

    Standing ones ground while facing double-binding opposition, which comes across as irrational, is extermely empowering and leads to all kinds of clarity, truth, and personal growth. That’s an entirely new reality, the essence of transformational healing, which is where “relapse” ceases to be an issue, there is no such thing in that expanded consciousness because we have integrated on the most profound level when we stand in our light of truth despite anything at all. That is tremendous strength and power, above and beyond the ego. In fact, the ego dies here, which is where “transformational” comes from.

    To expect approval from others is to give away one’s power. When we can stand in our light of truth and feel good about that because TRUTH is the light and we can feel it, then we have overcome the need for approval, and we are good with ourselves, no matter what others might say or think. That inherently translates into peace of mind, self love, and profound synchronicity in life.

    Of course an oppressive culture would want you to rely on their approval to keep you out of synch with yourself. That’s how they get you in their control, how we get programmed to appease social norms, rather than to challenge them as they should be challenged during these toxic times.

    The remedy is to have an unwavering sense of self, and to know our own hearts. That’s more powerful than any social program, which relies on undermining people’s sense of self and empowerment, through fear, judgment, marginalizing, etc., and results in such a personal transformation, that there is no relapse after this because we’re functioning in an entirely different paradigm of being, based purely on self-agency and free will, and NOT appeasing cultural norms (aka, seeking approval). That is where change will occur in the biggest way.

    With all that said, you do seem to know your heart and it is about being of service to others, with which I match, I’m purely in service to others, when I am not taking care of my own needs.

    Thank you for being an inspiration to others. That right there raises the energy of the planet and makes the world a better place in which to live. That’s the direction in which I’d like to see the world go, one in which people own their power, embrace new ways of being, and forget this blasted system which divides people up into columns of “approved” vs. “rejected.” No one, but NO ONE should have that power, and they wouldn’t if people did not go by this blatantly false and measure of humanity. That’s exactly what gives power to “stigma.”

  • It’s not “paranoia” when society actually does persecute groups of people, and it is not discouraged by the law. The fear is justified, and purposeful, and is based on reality, not simply a product of negative imagination. Persecution can be real and it’s a common tool of oppression. It’s also oppressive to call it “paranoid” when, in fact, it is based on reality. That’s actually called “gaslighting,” the essence of it, precisely. Very abusive, and oh-so-common, most unfortunately.

    Paranoia is the product of fear-mongering, which psychiatry projects readily, as does the media. Paranoia is more common than not, people are in fear these days. Everyone is oppressed and it is easy to feel hacked and watched in this day and age of spyware and cameras. Our society is created from fear (classism) and, in turn, this creates paranoia. That’s the truth.

    People who are currently in power and who have committed crimes or who have been lying to make a buck or to control others are the ones whom I imagine are truly having paranoid thoughts right now. Lots of ugly truth coming to light about the elites, so they must be living in fear, because they are being found out and exposed for who they truly are. It’s about time!

  • Wow, really powerful comment, and succinct in its clarity.

    “There are too many vested interests and there has been too long a history of entrenched oppression. A tradition of not-so-benevolent dictatorship by self righteous and deluded do-gooders. The self-delusion of many “helpers” that they are doing good is their shield against the horror of reality.”

    I’ve used the phrase “delusional do-gooders” myself. This is absolute truth, the whole story in three easy-to-read sentences. Thank you, please write more.

  • It’s only a matter of time before mainstream “wisdom,” which I find to be woefully academically-based, is replaced by actual truth, which to me is founded on actual human experience–unique to everyone, on the whole. There is a wide and seemingly irreconcilable gap between these two perspectives.

    Long held beliefs are being repeatedly challenged, and it’s causing an un-civil war, so to speak. At some point, hopefully sooner than later, the smoke will clear and more and more truth will come to light for everyone to see. It’s all being fought out in the media, in plain sight at this point. Everyone has their opinion about it, that’s the world in all its diverse glory.

    Truth always comes to light, one way or another, despite the extreme resistance to it by those who are prospering in the current system, based on secrets and lies. So much change happening now, it’s hard to keep up. Thanks for highlighting this extreme split in our society.

  • “really the problem is they just have too much money and power, not even humility or generosity, and is that what’s making them unhappy in the first place?”

    This is such a powerful statement, and truly beautiful in its insight and wisdom. To be humble and generous IS to be powerful, and it feels really good, rich and buoyant. No fear there, only love. These are healing energies, and they can create really wonderful things in the world–amazing things, supportive to our humanity!–when we allow and consciously practice these.

    Relying on money to be one’s power is foolhardy and based purely on social programs and illusions. Rich one day, poor the next, happens all the time. Then what?

    Lots of potential for personal and spiritual growth there. My personal opinion is that this is the best option, because it leads to meaningful change, new perspectives, and a new lease on life from which to continue, changed and transformed, realizing one’s true abundance, and not only surviving, but thriving and creating as you go.

    That is one potential outcome of losing everything, once a person gets over the shock and fear, which would be natural and human repercussions inititally. But with inner work and examination of one’s beliefs at that moment, which are tested under such circumstances, one can rebuild, and with more wisdom than before. That is inner peace, strength, courage, faith & trust, which are priceless.

    But people react in all kinds of ways when they lose material possessions to which they have become attached, ESPECIALLY money! That can be a rude awakening because it brings to light a dreaded survival fear that one has been carrying around all along, buried underneath all that “wealth” and then, suddenly, they are facing it, because the wealth is gone, no shield from the truth any longer.

    That is a story older than time, countless examples of this throughout history, and happening now. This whole “money & power” thing is way over the top at this point, given what is rapidly coming to light about the elites of this world.

    Humility and generosity are the basis of heart-consciousness, which is where our human and spirit selves align in harmony and synchronicity. Nothing more powerful than this. And it’s from the heart, so it is authentic, and not the product of material wealth and control over others. That’s a whole new paradigm of being.

    Thank you for saying this, Derek. I wouldn’t have expected to glean so much from it in the moment, this all just kind of poured out of me when I started responding. But obviously your statement is very inspiring to me! And to my mind, it’s absolute truth, and worth highlighting because it is key. Associating humility and generosity with power–which to me is a real and true equation–really could make an impact on how we choose to be in the world.

  • Psychiatry has driven a lot of people into poverty, while getting richer from doing so. The underlying and rather torturous message from clinician to client is often “I have and you lack.”

    Diagnosis: energy vampirism, which is the underlying cause of classism, which is the root of marginalization and social injustice, which inevitably leads to rage, powerlessness, depression, depsondence, hopelessness, violence, and/or suicide. It’s really simple math.

  • Shifting neural pathways is a matter of changing core beliefs and habits of thinking, aka deprogamming from double binding illusions and social progams, in order to experience our authentic truth, the truth of our heart and spirit. When we attune to that which makes us feel good and hopeful, rather than constantly dwelling on the shadow of life, then we are creating better feeling thoughts and beliefs which are not limiting, but instead, which honor our ability to self-heal and to embody our unlimited creativity. From this, our reality improves a great deal and we are in control of our experience, owning our power. That’s joyous freedom.

  • This is such an interesting article, and of course very disturbing. Although it seems like a logical progression based on what I experienced almost 20 years ago, when I was caught up in the system, when it was the paper trail which found its way distributed throughout the system, which “defined” the individual, thanks to the oppressive arrogance of psychiatry and their systemic ilk. So now it’s in techno-bytes and logarithms. Hmm, that seems rather soul-less.

    I wrote about this in an article recently published in 3 parts on Mad In Italy. Part 3 just posted this morning, and I think what I describe from my experience is the precursor to what is talked about here, regarding techno-sabotage of a person by having no concept of their humanity, and going by God-knows-what information. That’s all illusion-based reality, and it directly creates marginalization, comes from “mh industry” perspective, so skewed and false, all shadow projection.

    I believe it begins with self-delusions on the part of the clinician. Certainly in my case I know this was truth, no two ways about it. Obviously, based on what is going on with these apps and remote diagnosing, seems as though this is frighteningly common. How scary for the clients.

    Big problem in psychiatry–no regard for a person’s humanity. Where does this bogus information come from? I can only call them projections, because they so often more than not, if ever, have a basis in consensual reality (*consensual* being the keyword here). What happens with clients is that these are realities made up about people (who comprise “the system,”) to favor those who consider themselves “authority” on humanity, ironically enough, while acting as though a person’s humanity does not factor into their being-ness–aka psychiatry, et al. Tragic irony.




  • Marianne Williamson is going in the direction of change. Coming from a heart-based perspective in the political arena is to show courage, faith, and extraordinary strength. She knew she would get ridiculed, didn’t stop her from standing front and center to deliver her truth.

    Truth is not always popular and not always easy to take, and yet we crave it because truth is light, always, regardless of whether or not we can take it in. To allow in light and truth, one must deprogram from false beliefs and detach from social “norms” in favor of living and embodying one’s own unique truth.

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”
    Marianne Williamson

  • “the abuse is built into the foundations of our society.”

    PD, I totally agree with you here and I think this is really important to wake up to. And because it is built into the foundation, it is the norm, which means that it is the familiar, which means that people are used to it and do not recognize it as abuse. All kinds of excuses, justifications, and chronic enabling happen here, holding up the system of abuse.

    Considering that we are all part of the collective, and we have all been programmed one way or another, we can make sure WE are not contributing to this by not allowing ourselves to be abusive toward others. In addition, we can make abuse in our lives unacceptable and have strong and non-negotiable boundaries around this. Abusive people don’t respect boundaries and will tend to wear people down before giving up, so it’s tricky and takes practice. We’ve been programmed to take abuse, enable abuse (look the other way or make excuses for it), or to be abusive, so breaking these programs takes some doing, what I’d call inner work.

    Old habits are hard to break and require neural shifting. Playing any of these roles supports the abusive system. One must evolve out of that dynamic for the system to experience challenging change. That would be a new normal, to break the system by not playing ANY of the roles in it.

    But I agree that it’s the norm and society is set up that way, currently (power-imbalanced), so a new normal (consisting of integrity, kindness, justice–all missing currently from the foundation of society) would be required for anything to change–political, social, economic, etc. That’s not at all easy for people, to move away from the familiar and trust the unknown, but I believe it’s necessary for survival at this point.

  • A friend sent this to me recently–

    The Rwandan prescription for Depression: Sun, drum, dance, community. “We had a lot of trouble with western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide and we had to ask some of them to leave. They came and their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better, there was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again, there was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy, there was no acknowledgement of the depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out again. Instead they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave.” ~A Rwandan talking to a western writer, Andrew Solomon, about his experience with western mental health and depression.

  • The one thing I agree with here is that one cannot heal if one is in the midst of abuse. The first step would be to get out of that situation. And yes, that can be really, really hard for a number of reasons. But it’s a must, before anything else.

    From there, many things can happen which can include punishing the abuser as well as starting a healing process from the abuse. Were healing to not occur, that person would more than likely walk right into yet another abusive relationship, happens all the time like that.

    But when a person heals from abuse, then they change whatever it was that attracted them to that abuser to begin with, and why they didn’t hear their intuition and pick up on the signs. And there are always indicators, we just don’t pay attention to them because we are in need of something. This is what people have to change within themselves if they expect to break patterns of abuse. That’s a separate issue from vindication, but it’s necessary in the process for anything at all to change for that person.

    None of this is easy in the slightest, but it’s what it comes to for some people. First step, though, is to get out of the situation one way or another. From there, it’s up to the person how they are best served proceeding, and I don’t believe anyone has the right to tell that person what to do. It is their choice and I feel it should be respected and HONORED.

    I disagree with most of what you say, but I’m not going to argue with you about it. You have a right to think what you want as does anyone. I believe that’s the entire point of this article.

  • Rosalee, thanks so much for posting these and KS and Rachel, I’m so glad this rings true to you, as well.

    Oldhead, I’m not guilting anyone nor discouraging anyone from fighting, I did a lot of fighting myself, as part 3 of my article on Mad in Italy (to be posted soon) goes into a bit.

    I was also doing tons of healing work simultaneously, because all that resistance takes its toll. I believe there should be a balance, that’s all I’m saying, just attempting to raise awareness a bit around the issue of maintaining personal well-being while fighting the good fight. There is a lot of growth and healing when done together. And I don’t think that’s terribly radical, either, it’s logical.

    However, on this website, I, on the other, have been smeared for talking about healing and for that being part of my professional work in the world. I’ve been thrown guilt for deriving income from helping others, after years and years of struggling, and then all the training I did to learn and apply what I did. I think that’s bullshit, and I’m not going to hear any more garbage about how I’m “contribuing to abuse” by wanting to heal and desiring healing for anyone who desires it for themselves. I’ve done way more work for free than not, but some people can pay me and they do because they find my services to have value. I’ve never, ever turned anyone away for financial reasons, and would not ever consider doing so. I believe I am helping humanity and have been bringing change for a while, because I am an example of change and transformation. I help others in this regard and it improves their quality of life. What, exactly, would be the downside of this?

    I was a victim of all kinds of abuse during my life, and I went very deep and to great lenghts to heal from the effects of this, change my inner landscape to stop repeating that pattern, and at the same time, as part of all that, I also fought the good fight, spoke truth to power, broke up systems, took consequences on the chin, moved on, etc. But the first precedes the rest of it, if you want to be effective. I help clients find their voice and power, and encourage them to use it, when they feel ready and courageous to do so. In the meantime, I help them to discover that courage. It’s up to them what they choose to do, I just help people clear out voices external to their own, so they can hear their own inner voice, guidance, and intution with clarity. That’s what psychiatry has cut us off from, I know this all too well. That’s the healing, and it is powerful.

    Everyone needs healing right now, one way or another. Change will bring up our most shadowy stuff to address, otherwise, change will not occur. That’s why a lot of people resist change, because on some level, they know it means their stuff will come up yet again, all those programs we took on that no longer serve because they are false.

    Many of us on here have an advantage, in that we’re accustomed to hanging out in the shadows, doesn’t scare us at this point, it’s a familiar. I guarantee this is not the case for mainstream types, middle class, etc. They are scared to death of shadow! If we can embrace our light as well as we embrace our shadow, then we are more powerful than the mainstream. But without that “light” part, we have no power. I’m sure of this.

    But some of the rhetoric around here makes healing sound like a dirty word, and that’s what my post is about. I think it’s clear, true and neutral, so I’m not understanding where the “guilt” comes in, except as a projection.

  • “but our society teaches us from early on how to mute that “little voice” and talk ourselves out of believing what we have legitimately observed.”

    Yes, Steve, you say a mouthful here. Psychiatry completely dissociates us from our intuition/inner voice/inner guidance with drugs, pure and simple. It’s why I was NOT attuned to my radar as I entered the field, followed by going through the system, which is why it took a while to wake up to what had been occurring.

    I believe the psych drugs don’t allow normal neural shifting from lived experience, causing one to get stuck in old patterns because they do not process so there is no growth in awareness or expanding consciousness.

    Once I got off the pills and healed from what they had caused me, my neuroplasticity kicked in (thank GOD!) and my consciousness expanded wildly, which was my healing and then some, like quantum shifting. Finally, my neurons were flexible again. Then I had to learn how to ground all that new awareness. Quite the process, on the exhilirating side.

    What you say is also one of the things I caution about talk therapy–therapists can easily talk a client out of one’s inner voice and intuition, when they impose their own truth and reailty onto the client, filling the client with self-doubt and questioning their own sense of self and personal reality. Challenging a client is one thing, but throwing doubt at them for any reason is abusive because it can only cause confusion, anxiety, and ultimately psychic harm, if they are particularly vulnerable, which is most often the case.

    Personally, I think cutting someone off from their inner truth, intuition, and personal sense of self-guidance is a crime against humanity. That is nothing short of disastrous for a person, to be dissociated from their personal truth, no two ways about it. That is how suffering can become chronic because one cannot find their way out of the dark, if they don’t know their own light!

  • Part 2 of my article just posted today on Mad in Italy, challenging the system regarding how psychiatry can directly create despair for a client, along with the very powerful illusion of hopelessness. I talk about what led to my desire and attempt to end my life, so I’d like to offer it here, as food for thought on the matter.


  • Wonderful, brave article. Yes, it is time to bring this into focus. There’s a lot to chew on here that merits deep thinking, but my initial reaction was around the issue of “shame.” It’s a terrible feeling and is akin to despair, but let’s put it where it belongs.

    To my mind, there is no shame in struggling with life and even wanting it to end sooner than later. Thanks to deeply embedded social programs and systems of abuse and corruption being the mainstream, life can be disorienting and alienating, for example, from intense feelings of “not measuring up,” leading to feelings of unworthiness. These are based on lies from toxic systems, and I believe this can happen to anyone. It seems natural, considering who are the rich and powerful influencing and controlling our society, setting such public examples, and relentless in their pursuit of power. At least, as filtered through the media. Still, what we witness on the world stage seems consistent with what is happening in the collective right now, which has become, literally, explosive and deadly.

    Now, let’s talk about Jeffrey Epstein…

    Tell me again why poor people or lonely people or confused people should feel shame? There is no shame in being human, none at all. Takes courage to live this life and we must be creative about it.

    But shame on these social predators and piranhas who go after children and even go so far as to create a society of sexual predators. Makes me furious to think about the gaslighting society has taken from these vampires–society’s “elites”– and the suffering and tragedies created for people from this shit. To the victims: THEY are the ones who should feel ashamed, not YOU!!!

  • I’m not sure I follow your reasoning here, PD. Who is taking abuse lightly? Regardless of vindication efforts, people still need to heal from abuse, and that is a complex healing. Otherwise, it is bound to be repeated and to me, it’s important to stop the cycle of abuse, and there are many players in that dynamic.

    It’s not one or the other, healing and finding justice can go hand in hand. Everyone makes their own choices based on what they feel is right for them, as it should be. No one size fits all in any respect!

  • I’m going with the fact that we agree that psychotherapy is a huge risk and can cause serious damage, more so than people realize and it is extremely challenging to pinpoint because emotional abuse can be very subtle, albeit very powerful in sabotaging one’s sense of self. This includes different levels of gaslighting, Munchausen by proxy, etc., all standard practices and tools of the trade which keep business alive and flourishing. That’s all I want to convey.

    Agreeing on that merits no qualifiers. That’s the only point I want to drive home because I believe it is an important truth, regardless of the very rare exceptions. Many people do not realize the harm that this causes, and it is what I try to highlight with my activism. I think it’s core to all of this.

    The worst part is that it is based on relationship behaviors which are accepted as the norm. We live in an abusive society, it’s not even noticed or recognized–aka “being well-adjusted to a sick society.” Kinda scary, when you think about it. Hard to know what to believe! Indeed, in a society created by lies, illusions, and power abuse, things are bound to become quite confusing. That’s the whole idea behind corruption.

    But I do know how I FEEL when I am dealing with abusive, double-binding, controlling, manipulative people, like radar. These are also human beings and obviously have their own issues. But it’s a heavy energy which drains and which can undermine well-being, and it warrants caution.

  • One of the things that really bugs me about this website is when I feel as though I have to be an apologist for healing. Not understanding why this would occur, and with such ferocity, in this venue. That feels terribly counter-productive and counter-intuitive to me, and I don’t get the logic of it toward any fruitful end. This feels like a double-bind to me, can’t move forward, it’s a feedback loop. Needs to be broken through and ascended, imo, for progress of any kind to occur.

    Not recognizing healing for what it is, is not recognizing even the possibility of change. That’s the problem here, and I cannot see in any way, shape, or form, how these difference in perspectives and beliefs could ever reconcile. Were they to, I’d be learning something new, to which I’m always open, because otherwise, I just don’t see it at this point. It is a perfect split, kind of a shit-or-get-off-the pot moment, as it were. It’s all a choice, but eventually, one has to choose to go either one way or another, or they’ll split apart like a wishbone. You just can’t keep weilding a sword and heal at the same time. There is a time for everything, and healing is vital, ESPECIALLY when fighting the hard battles of life.

    But to discount healing is to dismiss well-being and the totality of our humanity, both individual and collective. It’s neither practical nor effective, keeps one in pain and suffering mode, and in the end, only serves to sabotage one’s own efforts. It’s completely self-marginalizing, keeps things status quo. I know this from experience, and I think it stands to reason.

    Doesn’t have to be this way, if we choose to integrate ALL of who we are, and not just the wounded fragments brought on by our life experiences. We are soooo much more than that, and we need to know this if we want to expect anything good to come from these efforts. That would be some serious change happening, in the moment!

    That’s my 2 cents, fwiw.

  • Right, which makes it high risk. Threre should be a disclaimer, then: “psychotherapy can be hazardous to your health and can possibly screw you up more than you can imagine. Enter at your own risk.”

    The potential for hard core damage is very high. I don’t think the few good ones make up for the other 99%. Makes it a highly questionable profession.

  • Brilliant comment, Catnight. All of this is especially powerful and true–

    “The mothers – documented in Louise Erdrich and Toni Morrison novels who had to let their infants die to go on living. That my dear is all things being equal very much not being equal because it NEVER SHOULD have happened. This is the HORROR of our world terrible things happening to both children and adults not because of any inner psychic issue but the complete and utter inequality of the world. The knowledge to avoid most of our tragedies is there just certain folks don’t want to be bothered.”

    Although deep psychic wounding is certainly the RESULT of an unjust and unequal society, as is sheer terror. That is an unsafe world so we suffer from chronic fear, worry, shame, guilt, and doubt–all negativity, and extremely disempowering. And from those wounds, more of the same is created, generationally. As a humanity, we’ve been at this for quite some time, eons. Right now, these energies and emotions run thick throughout the collective. To my mind, they are up for healing, shifting, and transmuting.

    I’m thinking as we address one we address the other, and some will be prone to look at society, first, and see the flagrant injustices which in the end harm everyone, and others will look within, first, to see how to shift perspective and then be in the world in a different way, creating from new beliefs and perceptions, a new interpretation of life seen on a broader big picture level. I believe they complement each other and are inherenntly interconnected, as well as equally vital on which to focus.

    I do feel that healing our deep wounds would raise the energy of the world to new clarity, so that perhaps we can find solutions which will bring humanity into balance, thus creatiing a just society. It will simply be more practical for all concerned.

    Creating inner balance and harmony will create these around us, because we define our boundaries differently as we discern what is nurturing and supportive to us vs what is toxic and draining. Deep wounds can create confusion for the psyche in this regard and cause people to repeat bad dynamics because they are always trying to heal that wound through another, albeit unconsciously.

    Whereas CONSCIOUSLY healing these wounds from within changes our self-perception, sharpens our ability to discern how something makes us feel, and shifts our entire relationship landscape, as we begin to attract that which supports our balance and well-being.

    Thus, reality expands based on what we can achieve internally, with our awareness of self and others. Things change as we grow, and beliefs are tested, causing us to reflect on what we now, in present time, value, as distinguished from that which no longer serves us, so we let it go. That is the nature of change and transformation, which is what we’re after given how dense our world is right now. We are in dire need of light!

    But you’re right, Catnight, some folks “don’t like to be bothered about this.” That’s a problem when those who resist change sabotage the efforts of those who desire it. And many don’t just desire it, they NEED for change to occur because their lives, and quality of life, depend on it. I believe it is reasonable and just, but that doesn’t matter. For the powers that be, it then becomes an emotional issue, and they turn into “victims.” So shamelessly manipulative and false. That’s the sticking point.

    Reiterating this–

    “The knowledge to avoid most of our tragedies is there”

    Yes, this is what wants to come to light, and which is being kept hidden from view by those supporting the corrupt and insane-making status quo. In our status quo, our global “norm,” there is great profit garnered directly from the tragedies of “others.” When we allow this to be seen and known, and stop enabling systems which reap profit from suffering, causing only more suffering, then transformational shift will be in full swing.

  • The 1:1 clinical model is still very risky for clients, especially if the client is part of the “disability system” and low income and identified as such. Their power is limited, at best, and I think it’s really hard for a clinician to not even unconsciously exploit that, especially if the client is critical of services and files a legitimate grievance.

    This is what parts 2 and 3 of my article explore, as per my example with a particular psychiatrist of what can go very, very wrong, and most often does–all based on client’s word vs. clinician subjective perspective of reality and their personal opinion of/judgment toward the client. The deck is way to stacked and this kind of ongoing clinical relationship lends itself easily to personal harm for client and social injustice, directly.

  • This is interesting, to consider the freedom to think as we do, and to know that it will be diverse, by nature. Of course attempting to control the thoughts of others, as some people make a habit of doing, is not only high risk, it is a blatant violation of personal boundaries. If one’s boundaries are flimsy, then they are vulnerable. Yet, people seem to be constantly trying to manipulate the thoughts of others. And when they can’t, they can try to manipluate one’s life, to have power over another to this extent. That’s pure oppression, and I think about this when I think about my experience with psychiatry.

    A psychiatrist has the right to think and believe what they do, like anyone else. Yet, what they think and believe freely will most definitely impact their clients, one way or another. And if what they believe about the client is negative–which so often it is (consider even simply a diagnosis)–then the client is in trouble.

    These are irreconcilable differences in thought, beliefs, and perceptions because one is dangerous to the other, given the clinician-client dynamic, where the client is transparent and the clinician is non-disclosing (which, to me, amounts to deceit). That is a recipe for disaster, and it most often has led to that.

    So for me it’s a dilemma: sure we are free to think what we want, but wouldn’t mutual transparency and trust be vital and necessary components of a healthy relationship and social dynamic, rather than one of forced imbalance of power by not sharing one’s honest and authentic truth?

    Bonnie, I invite you to check out part 1 of 3 of an article I wrote which recently was published on Mad in Italy. It’s posted in English and in Italian, and is called “The Art of Being Human,” and deals with just this–how to honor diverse thinking and recognize when beliefs are irreconcilable because of the damage a belief can do to another in certain situations regarding relationship power roles. Parts 2 and 3, to be published soon, detail how one particular psychiatrist’s beliefs about me almost destroyed me and my life, and how I had to address the post traumatic stress of dealing with what I consider to be a treacherous human being to whom I naively surrendered my power for a time, during the most vulnerable time of my life due to being in the throes of withdrawal from a bunch of neurotoxins which I’d taken for years and years. I had no defenses at the time, nor any sense of personal boundaries for myself.


    In fact, you have influenced my work from the time that I remember your saying in a comment a couple of years ago that “we are looking at what it means to be a human being.” Something clicked when I read this statement by you, that indeed, this is the bottom line: when we can give *ourselves* permission to be FULLY human, regardless of what some others may think and believe about us, then we are free. That is our power, how we think and what we believe. It matters.

  • Thanks, Fiachra, I’m glad to hear this speaks to you. Yes, our “systems” do just that, they argue with themselves, helps no one in the end and only causes chaos for everyone, the Great Divide. Starts with the “leaders,” they are the examples. Ultimately, we have to lead ourselves if we have only divisive leadership, which is what creates a society/social system divided.

    It’s what I write about in the article which just got posted on Mad in Italy. Please check it out! Part 1 of 3. My original version is posted in English and Marcello translated it to Italian. It’s nicely laid out I think and I appreciate being published in 2 languages.

    I’d be so interested in your feedback, of course, which I always find to be very heartfelt and meaningful, if you feel compelled to comment so far. It’s a new site, so not much commentary at all for now.

    Who knows? This might lead to a book eventually, so much to write about! That’s a big undertaking, though, and not sure I’m prepared at this time. I’ll see how this flies, first, one step at a time.


  • Rosalee, turns out I will not be publishing the article in this venue, but I do have it and would love your feedback, if you feel inclined to read it. If so, feel free to send me a note through Steve with your email address, and I’ll be happy to share it with you.

  • Yep, will do, Rosalee, thanks so much for your interest and enthusiasm! 🙂 I sent in a submission last night, so hopefully sooner than later. I’m open to it being cross-posted, if MiA is interested, but I don’t know the behind-the-scenes workings, so that’s up to fate as far as I’m concerned. Stay tuned…

  • Thanks, Rosalee, I always appreciate your encouaragement, reflections and insights, as well, and consider you to be truly a light here. I will look forward to your feedback and commentary!

  • Marcello, knowing that you consider Donald Hume to be a mentor is exactly what I’m taking about. Thank you so much, this is a beautiful response which satisfies what I’ve put forth here because that is a positive, influential, and personally empowered role to play, exactly! From client to teacher–that is transformation which can ripple into the entire dynamic to create systemic change at the core.

    And, it is what I’m talking about as far as knowing where the most valuable information is and giving credit where credit is due. Thank you for your humility and self-awareness here. It is refreshing! Respect, in return.

    Thank you also for inviting me to write about this for Mad in Italy, I’d be honored. Please let me know where to submit.

  • Hi Marcello, I do understand that but to incur a true shift as is needing to occur here, those with lived experience would be choosing YOU, not the other way around. Either that or you’re looking for a supervisor, which would require having lived experience of escaping all the trappings of the mh system. There is more subtle nuance in that process than I could possibly express in one sitting. That is a journey filled with twists and turns. It’s quite complex but doable, many if us have achieved this.

    Can a clinician be truly humble to the wisdom of lived experience and the person who carries that with them, and allow them to guide the process of transformational change? I’ve yet to see that. And when I do, that would indicate significant core change is happening.

  • I don’t see anything new in this, it has been claimed repeatedly with absolutely no shift in perspective or power dynamics.

    People with lived experience can “emphasize” themselves and play any role they choose in life. I would not recommend playing a role assigned by mh clinicians in any arena whatsoever because that is inhernently a disempowering and marginalizing role, one way or another, where people tend to get used and sucked dry. There is no need to continue giving away one’s energy and power for the agenda of professionals, unless of course that is a person’s choice and perhaps they don’t see it that way. That is possible, but still, I believe my perspective here is reasonable and well-founded.

    “They” can do what they want and perhaps some good will come for some people who need this support. That’s fine, but I believe it is limited at best without the basic shift in the systemic professional vs. client paradigm–and re “client,” that includes those who are no longer clients but have the lived experience of going through all the crap of psych drugs and withdrawal, along with escaping and healing from systemic abuse and oppression from these very same power dynamics.

    Otherwise, I don’t see how a profesisonal can even begin to match the wisdom or depth of knowledge which one acquires living this, unless of course they have had these very experiences and has processed through them to at least some degree. They are unique kinds of trauma that have to be lived in order to be understood, I’m absolutely certain of this. The truth comes from the FEELING experience of life, not from observing it from the outside. That’s just pure projection. Truth is within, not outside of us, ALWAYS.

    Despite anything, as I said in my original post, this is not a paradigm shift in the slightest, and I don’t see it even as a move in that direction. To me, this is status quo, despite this often stated pledge to “emphasize the role of lived experience.”

    That is not change because the role of the person with “lived experience” still depends on how the clinical team chooses to perceive it. That’s a limiting social program, and not at all the freedom to grow and evolve past the systemic dynamic artificially created and skewed toward the professionals’ interests, at the expense of those with “lived experience.”

    That is a power issue, plain and simple, and is exactly what has been going on and which continues to be problematic in the mh industry.

    The “role” of lived experience is flexible in a community, including the potential for leadership and teacher. That’s where true core change will occur, when lived experience stops being a “role” assigned by a system made up of a group of clinicians, and this community allows people with lived experience to own their wisdom from that experience and create for themselves/ourselves from that very powerful energy, rather than to continue to give their life force away to professional opportunists. That is exactly status quo and where the core problem is as I’ve experienced and seen it over the years.

    So where’s the change here? That’s what I was getting at.

  • “Our core team members, in alphabetic order, are: Francesca Bagaglia, psychologist; Laura Guerra, pharmacologist; Marcello Maviglia, psychiatrist and specialist in addiction medicine.”

    Not exactly a paradigm shift.

    “I am referring to the huge role played by the social, cultural, economic, ideological, and political contexts in the development and persistence of emotional distress.”

    So am I.

  • I felt the reality of my past time issues surface all at once when I withdrew. The drugs had not allowed natural shifting to occur so I was repeating the same dynamics in my life rather than evolving away from them. That’s where I had to work on shifting and streamlining my process, so that I could move forward with greater ease, which was life-altering.

    Getting off the drugs alerted me to the inner changes I needed to make so that I could create my life with higher awareness in present time. New reality emerges from this and anxiety subsides because there is no toxic interference with the process. It is natural now and I am clear on what is good for me and what drains me or simply does not speak to me, so I follow this discernment as my life guidance now, rather than based on what is expected of me or will garner me “approval.”

    Feeling badly about oneself for not meeting standards for social approval is what tends to lead many people to psych drugs in the first place. And we all know what Krishnamurti said about being well adjusted to a sick society not being a measure of health and well being. Quite the opposite is true, I believe– that seeking approval from a dysfunctional society makes us be dysfunctional on our own way. If we don’t comply and instead stand our ground and protect our well being and challenge the system, then we won’t fit in. Get used to it. I’d rather be healthy and functional rather than to fit in where it is not a healthy environment. That just means big change is on the horizon, which is a GOOD thing, imo.

    Getting off the drugs allows consciousness and self awareness to expand as we heal from the toxins, which are part of the reason for the anxiety. Big part of healing is detoxing, followed by coming into balance, experiencing relief, and achieving new clarity. That is change and transformation.

  • I don’t believe that anyone deserves shame or has any reason to feel shame. It’s a fabricated tool of oppression, a program based on social norms–you either meet them or you’re out, and it will not be pretty!

    That’s bullshit, we have more power than that as individuals and are free to evolve outside of any and all boxes, rules, and social programming, to be our true selves. If that is the message from the community, then it is oppressive, pure and simple. Middle class, for one thing…

    Sound social norms would include flexibility and growth-oriented, rather than punishing and marginalizing. People who challenge norms are, one way or another, calling for change, and that should not be dismissed. Probably means that it is time. The more that is resisted, the more conflict will ensue, and shaming becomes part of that because it is a great way to inflict insidious pain and throw someone off their game.

    Free will plus creativity make an extremely powerful combo, and really, the essence of who we are by nature. Both, pills AND shame, cut us off from our nature, so we will not be the fullest expression of who we are. And that is nothing to feel shame about, we’re all healing, growing, evolving at different rates, discovering new aspects of ourselves all the time. We learn as we grow. We also are free to make changes as we go, and it is most natural and common to do so.

    It’s not a contest and there is no reason it should be competetive. Personal growth does not work that way, and it’s where people lose support, when it becomes a competition of who knows more than whom. That’s ego crap, not helpful. We know what we know, and there’s always more to learn. We can help each other this way, rather than to compete and put down when there is a disagreement.

    “I do appreciate a good success story, but let’s not overextend it to telling others what they should do based on our own experience.”

    I think that goes without saying but I’ve never seen anyone go that far. That’s extermely solipsistic. It’s just a matter of speaking our truth and sharing our experience with whatever insights we gained, and people choose what rings true to them and what does not. Anything more would be aggressive and counter-productive, I would imagine.

  • Yes, it is extremely dangerous, as are any 1-1 clinical meetings with that kind of power disparity–where the subjective “truth” of the clinician is considered gospel and that of the client is always suspect, at the very least. That is obviously a recipe for disaster, and it’s exactly what this paradigm has produced and perpetuates without blinking. Really shows how toxic the situation is for clients. It’s utterly powerless-making and pure human rights denying oppression.

    Worst of all, it is fertile ground for insidious abuse, often covert because it fits the unfortunate “norm,” so it is a program which needs to be challenged. In fact, I believe some kind of abuse–and not necessarily intentional–is inevitable, in this scenario. Nature of the beast.

  • “Pill-shaming” in and of itself is vague at best to me, which is why I did not use or refer to this specific phrase in my response to Sera.

    What I am agreeing with her about is regarding the idea of imposing one’s personal belief (even if it is gospel truth) on another regarding how they address whatever is going on with them, when they are resisting hearing it. That has the potential to trigger all kinds of very bad feelings, and it can be violating and dehumanizing to a person to be invalidated for their personal choices in life, especially when this is due to a political agenda.

    That’s more akin to status quo than it is to revolutionary change, because it is imposing beliefs on another, which is a kind of force, to my mind, and it can easily bring up shame, directly and indirectly. We have that already, and it’s rugged, not working. Time for change.

    I think when a particular dynamic starts getting labeled as a general behavioral trend, such as the term “pill-shaming,” and it becomes a political tool, then the real issues alluded to and which are directly causing problems–in this case, the feeling of shame and judgments for one’s choices in life–falls by the wayside.

    “Shame” is a destructive, toxic energy. It makes people sick and disoriented, and can lead to utter hopelessness and despair. That is suffering, caused by projections.

    And I was especially agreeing with Sera that to shame a corrupt and relentlessly harmful industry in order to stop it from doing harm to others is not the same as shaming our peers. The first is impersonal and simply giving back what they have dished out–and we do want it obsolete, that’s the idea–while the latter is definitely personal and potentially wounding to someone trying to heal.

    I’ve certainly felt shame projected at me in the past from my peers and that was actually for coming OFF psych drugs! I’ve been called a “pill-shamer” for talking about coming off the drugs, for relaying my experience of healing and coming into wholeness, and I’m not a shamer, that is not in my character. I’m too empathic for that, and it’s been done to me quite a bit, so I know the effort that it can be to get past that in order to stay on course with my life and in my clarity.

    “Shame” is probably the most commonly unconsciously projected feeling, given how painful it is to carry. It makes all the difference to be able to discern it, even when it is subtle and insidious, all based on illusions and projected images.

    I work with people who suffer with shame until I help them to put their experience in the context of their own lives and personal growth, and not go by outside judgment or social programming. That is how a person can take back their power. We know ourselves better than anyone else can know us, but a person has to believe this in order to live it and be free.

    I talk about my experience so people know it is possible if that is what they are thinking about at that time, especially since in my case it was a lot and for a long time that I took these, and I survived the withdrawal and healed my body and fixed my life, back on track and moving forward again, with more ease than before because I learned what I needed to learn, getting far away from psychiatry.

    I do have a before and after story which very strikingly brings to light the harms done by psychiatry and the absolute good it can do to get away from that (like night & day) and I can offer support on many levels, which people do take me up on.

    But it can become disheartening and discouraging to be met with dismissiveness for one’s truth and personal experience because it does not match a political agenda. It’s why I said no to writing a blog here a long time ago.

    I would like to see more sensitivity when people share their personal experiences and their version of truth, and I do believe I walk that talk. It’s always my intention to be respectful of anyone’s personal truth, even when mine is not the same. I believe it ALL matters, no exception, and somehow, it fits together as a whole.

    That would be significant change in and of itself, to lighten up on others in this regard, and I have a feeling it would invite in more truth, clarity, and courage–the cornerstones of revolutionary change.

  • Been reading along and not sure how to chime in, this was very layered and spoke to me in different ways. But this right here, Sera, what you say in this response, is the crux of it for me, and I like how you distilled it, that is most clear and I completely agree.

    “the two sides are *NOT* equal, and that the ‘shame’ should be reserved for those who have the power and are doing the harm, etc.”

    Yes, the shame belongs there because that is their weapon for causing fear/paranoia, creating disability, dividing and marginalizing people, and for fostering a general overall environment/society of oppression and discrimination. Shame is a tool very commonly used to control vulnerable people, and it is powerful until one is no longer vulnerable to it. I do think that’s possible, but it takes inner work, which is what shifts the power dynamic–first internally and then externally.

    But if the industry and the individuals who have partaken in this feel shame, then it is for the purpose of waking up, so that they do no more harm. That is appropriate, I think, with an industry that will neither speak nor listen to reason, and turn away hard evidence, thousands upon thousands of personal testimonials, and all kinds of obvious truths in order to keep things good and vague and confused. It serves them and their agenda to do so. What else to do but to send that shame back from where it came? We’re against a wall otherwise, perpetually.

    But to shame, judge, or criticize individuals for their life choices in such a complex society with all that goes on for a person that someone on the outside could hardly know, would amount to a blatant projection in my book. What else would it be when we shame others for their life choices, not the same as wanting to shame those who harmed or shamed us and others to begin with, and often as a casual and habitual, unconscious practice–which is REALLY scary.

    But when it is peer to peer, it is harmful and divisive in every way–bad for one and all–and in opposition to creating positive change. It causes people even more suffering, last thing they need.

    Holding a non-judgmental space for someone is the best way to help anyone through anything. They make the choices, and that’s how it should be. Talking it out, considering options, all good stuff. We all get to speak our truth, but in the end, it is that individual’s choice, and breaking the oppressive system would mean actually respecting and honoring that authentically and unconditionally, imo. And if one can’t, then they are no help to that person at all and should mind their own business. Takes courage for all parties concerned. Good thing to exercise, from time to time, I believe. That is healing.

  • My impression over the years has been that MiA replicates the status quo systemic dynamic rather than challenging it, by example. My experience with the power dynamic here has been an exact replica of what I experienced while going through the system years ago, down the line. My desire is to see and experience change from this, not more of the same. I am very interested to know the response to the feedback given throughout this blog and comment section.

  • “’This labeling-mania is obviously based on fear, ignorance, and hate’ on the part of the “mental health” workers, who have odd delusions that “all distress is caused by chemical imbalances” in peoples’ brains. I presume that’s what you mean, Alex?”

    That is part of it, SE. Of course “chemical imbalance” is a completely false narrative which has led to mass delusion based on ignorance of humanity and how people function. Add to that the self-delusion that they think–insist, in fact–that they DO understand how things work, and you’ve got a dangerous delusion happening.

    I do think that ignorance breeds fear and arrogance breeds resistance to truth. Put it all together, and you have a group of professionals and an entire industry marginalizing their clients–who tend to speak their heart’s truth, that’s why they are there–which then turns into a negative projection because the clinician has failed to see that the client is a mirror of themselves. We are, after all, all connected.

    However, these labels create the illusion of “us and them,” meaning that we are not connected, but totally separate. That, in and of itself, is a huge mass delusion, and indeed, the “mental health” industry aggressively and blindly perpetuates it, it is their mainstay. Not only for financial gain, which of course is relevant, but also for their very fragile and needy (it always seems) egos.

    Clinicians LOVE to be worshipped, and if they are not, they’ll mask their self-hate by labeling the client (for starters, it can go much deeper and become seriously insidious gaslighting abuse). That’s how I’ve seen it for years, from grad school to going up and down the system. Many of my colleagues in training were some of the most aggressive marginalizers and truly bigoted, snobby, elitist people I’d ever met, all justified by labeling others. Keeps hard truth away from oneself, to fall unjustly and perilously on the unsuspecting. In this industry, that is criminal. There is fraud and malpractice all over this, widespread and systemically.

    I think it applies in general, however, that people tend to project pejorative labels on other people to keep themselves from identifying with their own shadow. “Mental health” inc. legitimizes this, as does academia, as does politics. These mainstream entities actually *set* the example for hate, fear, and division. I believe it is why we have so much suffering, all due to believing these liars and all of the false social narratives that have permeated our culture, and which are so harmful to so many, and to the greater good in general. These have led us down a treacherous path, all based on aggressively projected illusions which serve to divide, separate, and create fear. The truth shall set us free.

    It’s a mind trick, to project one’s shadow, and clients pay for it, obviously. My way of dealing with it was to throw it back to them and let them feel it and deal with that crappy, thick, dense energy. It wasn’t mine to begin with.

  • What a horror story, to be separated after 6 monhts for “science.” More like mad science. I’d call it “nature-interruptus.”

    How could the psychiatrist who spearheaded this “study” ever dream that this kind of unnatural separation at such an extermely tender and developmental age would cause problems for these kids later in life? It’s only common sense. This made me sick to read–how insanity is created, right in our faces.

    I’d totally blame Dr. Neubauer and whoever else approved and went along with this, for Eddy’s suicide. That’s an easy one. Forget “nature-nurture,” and I don’t care what happened in between the separation and Eddy’s untimely death. It was this mad doctor who blatantly and coldly manipulated these kids’ path, for professional gain. That is going against nature, and completely contrary to anything resembling empathy, insight, intution, and integrity, not to mention a moral compass. BIG CRIMINAL FAIL for these gentlemen, and for humanity on the whole.

  • Having gone through the mh system in San Francisco, at least this wasn’t an issue. The shrink I was seeing at the time, several of the therapists in “day treatment,” my voc rehab counselor and boss, and the senior staff attorney with whom I worked in legal mediation, were all gay, as were about 50% of the people around me, in all tiers of the system and in general. In SF, that’s the norm.

    Same Earth, different worlds.

    God I wish people would wake up. This labeling-mania is obviously based on fear, ignorance, and hate. That is what is bad for the world and its inhabitants.

  • “We don’t just live with others but also through them and in them. They place us and ground us into the world. When they see us, they identify us. After all, what is identity but the slow, lifelong accretion of gazes: us looking at ourselves being looked at by others? What we see is, largely, what they see, or what we think they see. And when they turn away, when we become unseen, in a way we cease to be . . .”

    This is a stunning paragraph and I could not disagree more. Us vs. them all over the place. How many times is this division stated outright here? It’s as if an individual has no power unto themselves. This is as about enmeshed co-dependent programming as it can get, as far as believing from where we get our power, grounding, and sense of self. From others?? I think not.

    We live our own lives, not those of others. Life responds to us neutrally and mirrors us honestly, whereas people tend to manipulate and control for their own agenda or sense of power. There is integrity in the world, here and there, but right now I find that hard to come by. Hopefully that will change soon and we’ll see more and more integrity in leadership. For the time being, seems we’re on our own for a while, during this transitional period where people are finally waking up.

    But overall, if we are stuck with needing approval from others in order to BE, then we are rendering ourselves completely powerless. That is not only absurd, but that belief can also lead people into dark places fast and cause undue suffering, just from the cruelty of others. Indeed, people shouldn’t be cruel, but some are, it’s a fact of life, and many are in positions of power where they totally exploit this false belief for the purpose of control. I think it’s common, and one cause of our current chronic unrest.

    We don’t have to be powerless to that, or to sink to that level of high stress and fear. One can disengage from that system altogether, and save themselves from such nonsense such as “you need our approval in order to exist.” Most oppressive and utterly controlling belief I can think of.

    The only approval we need is our own, and when we are self-affirming, regardless of any outside opinion and judgment, then we attract others who resonate with this. That is individuation 101.

    Bullies, abusers and marginalizers–those who “reject” by othering via very cruel, insidious, and damaging social abuse–are the ones living in fear and self-delusion. The rest of us can be free of this if we know our true selves and power. Not this bullshit programming that we “cease to be” if we are disapproved of by our community. That’s actually a position of power, when one can rise above it and keep a strong sense of self and purpose. It can foster change for necessary growth, in the entire community!

    Social rejection comes from fear, and that is on those doing the rejecting, shunning, and marginalizing. These are the folks working “through” and “in” people. It’s called “vampirism,” and it leads to learned helplessness for their “victims.” We can have better boundaries than that, and not allow ANYONE to work or live “through” or “in” any of us, other than ourselves, as it should be. That is entirely freeing.

  • Really thoughtful article and valuable discussion here.

    “I have called psychiatric diagnosis ‘the first cause of everything bad in the mental health system.'”

    Yes, all the assumptions and cultural prejudices and justifications for marginalization (social abuse) are not only reflected here, they are encouraged, validated and unequivocally supported.

    My question then becomes, “What has led a person to be in this position to begin with?” Something is obviously lacking for a person or someone has been terribly misguided and has faced personal injsutice to wind up face to face with a psychiatrist in the first place. Issues do need to be addressed one way or another, and we all have them. If we lacked guidance and/or nurturing during developmental years–and even worse if we were betrayed by the family system, which is often the case–then this will show up one way or another as we move along in life, sometimes later down the road, but the evidence of this will surface one way or another at some point in life, and it can be quite striking in some, more subtle in others.

    I agree, no need to diagnose this, but there is something to address and shift here. And I believe there is burden on the individual and on the society which surrounds that individual. But where to begin? The past is the past, can’t change that. We’re in present time with our issues at this point, and poised toward creating a new and more enlightened future society. The sooner that future comes, the better!

    Right now, I think this applies to more people than not and increasingly stressful and oppressive times as in the ones we are currently living will bring these issues to light more and more. How we speak and write about it certainly makes a huge difference when trying to raise consciousness. Precision is essential for clarity to translate. I think it’s more effective to communicate in synch with our beliefs, not according to what others believe. That seems totally self-defeating to me, and boarders on appeasement, which of course is what supports status quo and inhibits change.

  • Great point, Steve. The heart and spirit are not perceived, and that is way problematic because these are generally what need healing when we are in distress. And they will heal in time, if they are seen and validated, rather than only further tortured by neglect, abuse, and betrayal.

    Of course, toxic drugs don’t nourish the heart or spirit, although I guess these are used in lieu of loving kindness and helpful validating insights. Not working too well, is it?

  • Just saw this, CatNight, I had somehow missed it.

    Based on the above statements, I’m thinking along the lines of fraud and malpractice. To me it fits down the line. The problem is cover up, denial, and lying. It would take tremendous courage for someone from within that industry to break the system. That would need to come from someone–a psychiatrist, namely– who is tired of covering up and ready to challenge their peers legally by supporting the legal cause of those of us harmed specifically by psychiatry and its standard practices, and who recognizes the need for reparations, how that is truly just.

    I know we were harmed by lying Big Pharma, too, but I’m most angry at those who are supposedly trained and dedicated healers and instead turn out to be “snake-oil salesmen and drug-dealers.” That is so betraying to society it’s over the top. I believe it’s most dangerous because the institution sells itself as some sort of standard of being which is absolutely false, fabricated, based on social approval and “fitting in” (making others–the dominant class–comfortable, which is how our power and energy are drained). This is specifically how people become othered, marginalized, disabled, and second-classed, which is treacherous and heartless because it undermines people’s civicl and human rights and causes them to suffer from shame, powerlessness, and poverty, when that does not have to be the case. Makes it toxic, elistist, and exclusionary–aka socially abusive.

    Big Pharma is corporate, diverse, and out for profit. Psychiatrists are supposed to be healers and they are the opposite. It almost destroyed me and my life, all based on what felt like a seriously sadistic psychiatrist who was not in check. I don’t know what was up his butt, but I found myself needing his services to receive other necessary services (or so I thought at the time, programmed as I was), so I got stuck taking a lot of shit from him until I further awoke and finally just walked away in search of real healing. Finally found it, thank God, and nowhere near this so-called “profession.”

    God they can be so awful and abusive, really draining in how they question our reality and self-awareness, in favor of what THEY think or observe or conclude or perceive. What a recipe for disaster, and that’s just what it has been. It’s absurd that this practice of blatant projection and calling it “reality” has been allowed for so long. I just smh about it now, looking back at how much harm this does to people under such false pretenses.

    I saved myself, but as long as this is going on out there, I’m willing to speak my truth in any way at any time where it will make a difference.

    Don’t know if anything else can be done at this point and I’m not really attached to anything in specific. I’m just constantly amazed at how every potential channel and opportunity for some change to occur, it just fizzles. One illusion after another. Like the “dark forces” holding on to the status quo. I still think truth wins out in the end, but the plethora of smokescreens is overwhelming, as I know you know. It’s created a lot of density for the light to penetrate, as we continue to speak our truth of the matter.

    Yep, sure does seem the entire world is functioning from some traumatized place at this point, and certainly in the USA right now. It permeates the collective. I’m sure new things will pop up in response to this. Healing is a huge need right now. The world is changing, and we are transitioning to new paradigms all over the place.

  • Quitting IS the change. Then, you are not enabling the crappy boss, taking your power back, and changing YOUR reality, trusting the way forward. Takes leaps of faith to get out of bad situations when our survival seems to hang in the balance, but if we don’t take them, we’ll never know our true power because we are giving it away to “crappy people” (which to me means liars, users, abusers, oppressors, etc). Fortunately not everyone is that way, but it can be disheartening trying to find integrity in the world right now.

    People don’t quit bad/abusive/oppressive situations because of fear. When we operate from trust and the knowingness that we deserve better, that is the inner change from fear and self-recrimination to trust and self respect.

    Makes all the difference in our life experience when we learn to let go of that which drags us down, and trust that there is something better in store which is validating and supportive to us, because we deserve it, just for being human–and saying unequivocally NO to abuse, oppression, disrespect, etc., and from the inside, especially. That disempowers depression most of all, to feel our power to create change by making challenging choices. Nothing more creative, engaging, and life-affirming than that, imo.

  • I do believe justice will be served, on a grand scale, as long as we continue to speak our truths of the matter in order to bring new and personally/collectively freeing perspectives to light. No room for compromise there, as far as I’m concerned. Truth cannot be censored. It will persist relentelsssly until it is righfully acknowledged and allowed to guide the process.

    Right now, as it is, it is the lies and illusions which are guiding the process, which is why things are so damn messy here! All the “covering your ass” shit that goes on when trying to get to the truth of things, rather than humbly stepping forward and owning what is going on behind the scenes, and therefore, allowing appropriate changes to occur, based on truth over individual ego and the need to control things, and, I imagine at this point, also fear and guilt. That would be novel and truly courageous–heroic, in fact.

    I think systemic abuse happens when there is a need to control, at all cost, and mostly, people–for whatever reason, always justified somehow, in a toxic system. That will never be a just situation, ever.

    But allowing truth to guide (for a change) is the most powerful catalyst to change which I can imagine. I’m a big believer in “the truth shall set you free.” All of us.

  • I thank God for the psychic healers and medical intuit with whom I worked so that I could successfully withdraw and heal from two decades of psych drugs. Being open to new perspectives is how anyone can heal, grow, and move forward in life, past the double-binding matrix of illusions and projected judgments. There are charlatans out there like in any professional vocation, and as always one has to use their intution and discernment where trust is concerned when it comes to healing services.

    But energy healing (all based on subtle energies, and which includes the ancient art of Chinese medicine) doesn’t even begin to compare with the insitution of psychiatry in terms of limiting beliefs, marginalization, and systemic harm and abuse. Chakra, energy, and psychic healing are all based on principles of SELF-healing, so it supports and fosters personal agency, empowerment, and independence.

  • “I believe that this is due to disability money, that often this is why people go along with it.”

    I believe this is a huge assumption and overgeneralization, while projecting blatant stigma onto people who do identify as disabled because they have a disability which makes having steady employment and income that much more challenging. You never know what is behind a person’s decisions when it comes to their survival, and it’s none of anyone else’s business, anyway.

  • Indeed, these are worthless agencies. But when one is stuck inside the system and starts waking up and begins going from agency to agency and advocate to advocate and non-profit to non-profit seeking some kind of reasonable support–and there are so many junctures where this would be most relevant and vital, and to be expected as baseline in a *functional* society– one learns the hard way, that it is nowhere to be found.

    And not only that, but in addition to coming up empty handed as you are going through the various stages of healing and integration, you’ll get a good dose of second-classism (new “ism”) and full blown stigma along the way, simply from asking for help from people who haven’t a clue what they are doing, seriously. Either that, or they’ve found a reason to not like you. Then you’re really cooked, don’t expect justice at all, if that’s the case, which to me is the epitome of abuse of power, to make it personal when there are social justice issues at stake. Neutrality is needed here, and that’s really hard to come by in the system. Talk about feeling powerless! That affects a person’s nervous system, for starters. It’s totally mind/body/spirit detrimental, I think it stands to reason.

    And don’t even THINK about getting an honest answer when you ask a question! Or an answer at all. I had to file a grievance once just to have a dialogue with the CEO of a mh-related agency with which I was once affiliated, who refused to talk to me, and who really had no legal right to stonewall me like that. I rightfully protested, and I got my meeting. Then, I had to take her to legal mediation, because she just could not understand outside her small minded perspective. So much drama, rather to have a simple dialogue. No integrity, no ethics, tons of fear, it is truly mind-boggling to awaken to how deep it goes, but it is what it is and I believe, from what I continue to gather, that it’s gotten way worse over the years.

    When a person is recovering from psych drugs and systemic abuse only to encounter more of it from “advocates,” it is like going from one parent to another complaining about abuse, and all they’ve done is to gang up on you. Include sibs and grandparents on that, too, if you like. Don’t rock the boat, AT ALL COST!

    And why not? Because it breaks the system. That can be scary, because it is unfamiliar and EVERYONE has to own their shit, but it’s necessary because one person cannot continue carrying the burden of all of this lying and protecting abusers in any given “system.” That is THE oppression, and falls on a scapegoat, which is where change needs to happen now, and hopefully, that’s exactly what is changing. We can’t keep functioning like this, it’s the downfall of the system.

    The line which I included in Voices That Heal, which to me sums up the entire attitude here and uttered by a therapist to an older member of a group complaining about crime in his housing situation was “take your meds and don’t make waves.” ‘Nuff said. That would be the title of my book about the system, from my first person perspective, were I ever to write one.

    Going through this crap is wildly surreal, and healing from it is profound. Too many illusions in our society to count. We each have to decide for ourselves what is real and what is fake. Lots of FAKE out there! It’s up to each of us to learn to discern.

  • Thanks for saying this, and for all of your validation regarding how you value my commentary, Rosalee. That is extremely helpful and encouraging to me, always. Honestly, many of the brilliant writers on here have been examples to me. I’ve worked hard over the years to refine because it is all so friggin’ complicated! Aligning words with intention is walking the talk.

    I’m honestly so glad my words bring clarity to the situation, that is *exactly* my intent, so thank you for mirroring this. I’m never quite sure, been putting it together for years now. This is healing for me. I’ve unraveled from this by now, but I remain posting here because I know it still continues, and I want to make whatever contribution I can to stopping this crazy ass abuse and vampirism. It’s over the top and it still pisses me off to no end.

    Lately I have been aware of the resonance among many of us now, in this particular regard of how this systemic abuse plays out, and that is MOST encouraging to me. It is so insidious and really hard to pinpoint, but necessary, I think, and we’re getting it to it here, I believe, so hooray for that! I think it’s at the heart of the matter, to be honest, how rights and freedoms become totally and relentlessly compromised, and that’s a blow to a person’s humanity, truly. That’s my perspective, in any event, and what speaks to me most re “chronic mental distress.” It’s really a pisser, to say the least, and I’m HIGHLY intent on, one way or another, getting this crap to fucking stop already! Something’s gotta give at this point.

    “As if the harm of psychiatry was not bad enough then you find out all the channels you reach out to for resolution or justice are in bed together and/or riding the same gravy train.”

    Yes. And also, I think they just perceive humanity through the same filters, as themselves, and “others.” These are the “otherers.” That’s how they justify hoarding all the wealth, by deceiving the world. I think the lies are catching up with all of them, though, don’t you think? We’re awake, and not backing down from the truth, whatever actions we choose to take or not take, as long as we are true to ourselves at this point. Truth is truth, and it’s out there now. I’m encouraged by this.

  • “Disability Rights and they told me they are only working on physical accessibility issues right now.”

    This caught my attention, thought it was an interesting response from them. What, exactly, does that mean? Sounds like they are discriminating against certain types of “disability,” or they are clueless how to address SOME disability issues, so they ignore them.

    The Disability Rights agency in Northern CA is really awful and when I was dealing with them years ago, they seemed to only perpetuate discrimination rather than to be the example otherwise. I did reflect this back, quite rationally and from my experience of this, but directly and with all certainty while using the exact examples from our dialogue. It was straight math, so very clear and unambiguous, and unfortunately, completely typical. Once one has been through systemic abuse, it gets really easy to spot, in the moment.

    And of course, the attorney with whom I was communicating at the time got angry, defensive, extremely patronizing (in a gaslighting kinda way), and cut off communication. Gee, big surprise.

    There’s really no end to the web of deceit, illusion, and stonewalling that goes on here. I think it’s a house of cards, though, so it will eventually cave in on itself, as long as we keep waking up and speaking up, and moving forward ourselves. That will ripple and others won’t make the same mistake we did in this regard, to trust this intricately corrupt industry. That is my best hope right now.

  • Yes, it’s a reality they make up in their heads (as per the way their training has programmed them–and I know this first hand because I had this same training at one point), which serves them personally and professionally, and with steamrolling force and completely disconnected from any sense of real and authentic present time truth, they impose it on the unsuspecting client. I don’t know what to do about it, it is a toxic rabbit hole trying to argue against these blatant negative projections.

    Best I know to do at this point is to continue to crack these codes of social dysfunction and speak my truth best I can–yes, these are either blatant liars or they are doing the best they can while brainwashed by the system. Either way, the client is in danger and can suffer a great deal as a result, all due to these unchecked projections, which is pure lack of self-responsiblity on the part of the clinician. I believe that by now, on the whole, they have earned this reputation. I think that’s as clear as a bell.

    Whatever solution eventually arises from all of this, I believe it has to come from profound creativity based on absolute truth. Not sure that can be defined, but I know that it can be felt.

    As per my own words, I would own this as an extension of my own reality, this experience did come from something within me. Ok, good to know, and to own it brings me back to my own personal power.

    I’ve been working hard over the years to shift that which led me into all of this to begin with, and that not only grows me in my awareness, it changes my entire reality while opening new pathways by which I can move forward. That is how I apply what I have said in this thread, to this situation. It’s complex and layered, but that is my inner work, and to me, it all adds up with good clarity and a new big picture, which serves the greater good, rather than the “elite class,” at everyone else’s expense. From my perspective, in any event, I can feel this.

  • “Psychiatrists are seen as hard-working, caring, understanding healers, but they’re really snake-oil salesmen, drug-dealers, and master-sedaters. What they do should be illegal. Someday everyone will realize that not only do psychiatrists not heal anything, they’re a major contributor to the recent rise in suicides and overdoses.”

    Lawrence, thank you for writing this, and I completely agree. I admire the fact that you are a psychiatrist and are willing to express this bluntly and directly in a public forum. My experience–along with so many of the testimonials I’ve read over the years on MiA and elsewhere–unequivocally supports these statements. This is my story and the truth which I discovered, too, exactly, as I emerged from the dense and disorienting haze of it all, which took years to get clarity on this mess! So many ways in which that particular insitution wraps its tentacles around a person, it’s not just the psych drugs.

    So we were conned by frauds in an abusive profession and as a result, we got the life sucked out of us (along with quite a bit of money–including “lost wages”) under the pretense of “health care,” and it’s been costly in many ways to millions of individuals and families, and society on the whole, like organized crime.

    You’ve been on the inside for a long time and see this without question, it is your field. And many of us know this from having been the ones taken in by such an extreme and sinister, dangerous scam.

    Your voice has credibility, and this is quite clear, damning, and truthful, what you say here. Is there really no legal recourse for this? We are owed, no doubt about that, and the folks to whom you are referring need to be exposed, held accounatable, and disempowered.

    Obviously, from what you say–and of course we all know this, but I’d like to state it yet again and explicitly right here–psychiatry is extremely detrimental to society and a crime against humanity! How is this *civilized* in any way, shape of form? It’s actually destroying civilization. I believe that is 100% accurate and truthful as are the statements which you make, and they go hand in hand.

    I, for one, would like to see civilization preserved, albeit in a radically new paradigm far and away from this sabotaging matrix we’ve got going and in which we are expected to operate in order to “succeed” in life. These are illusions and outright lies, but psychiatry is obviously a loyal cornerstone of them and continues to foster the illusions, the lies, and this matrix, for the gain of a few at the expense of everyone else. Wondering where to go from here, with this information.

  • What anyone can most accurately observe are their own feelings, beliefs and judgments, which are about the observer not the observed.

    The one being observed has his or her own reality (feelings, beliefs, judgments), to which they–and all of us–are entitled. If it does not match what is being observed, then the observer would more than likely be missing important information, which they may or may not ever receive. That would completely depend on what the person being observed is willing to share or reveal, or not. Transparency is a choice. Trying to fill in the blanks with speculation (projections) and taking action based on that is what I would consider to be really unfair to a person, and moreover, extremely violating. To me, this is the essence of injustice.

    In a clincial situation, if a client is being projected onto negatively by a clinician, by way of “observation,” in any way shape or form, then they are in trouble until they wake up and get out of there. I’d call that unsafe, a toxic situation, etc.–i.e., dangerous to the client. And sadly, negative projections are the bedrock of mental health, inc.

    Were that to suddenly change, it would be radical, but it’s hard to imagine that it ever will. That would depend entirely on whether or not clinicians are ready, willing, and able to own their own stuff and to stop projecting their shadow feelings and judgments onto the client–to realize that we are all biased observers of others, one way or another. Personal truth is based on our own experience, and on what we feel and believe at any given moment, and definitely NOT what others project onto us.

    Having waded through clinical environments for years and years, it’s really hard to imagine a 180 like this, but I’m open to being wrong about that. That would be terrific. But for some reason, I just cannot see this occuring. It would shake the foundation of the entire industry to realize that “observations” are, in reality, merely projections of self–each and every time.

  • I don’t believe there is any such thing as an “impartial observer.” Anything we observe is always an extension of an aspect within us, given how we project our personal reality onto everything. I think it’s impossible not to do this, it is the essence of being human. If we judge what we are observing as something outside of ourselves, then we are not owning something within ourselves. I believe that is always true.

  • If there is one thing that will support mental clarity and ease in moving forward in one’s life, it is running in the other direction from gaslighting. This is the cause of extreme mental distress and confusion, and overall sabotage.

    Trying to explain oneself in this situation only deepens the rabbit hole of gaslighting, and can cause a person to feel drained and insane after such an exchange. I’ve heard it compared to having an eggbeater in one’s brain, after dialoguing with one who is prone to gaslighting. Indeed, it is, and there is healing to do after this. It’s a form of post traumatic stress, if one has been gaslighted for a long period of time. That’s hard to wake up to if it is a familiar, and for a lot of people it is.

    And which, unfortunately, IS something that some people do quite casually these days, when it has always worked for them, to disorient others as a way of feeling “powerful.” I think it becomes a neural pathway, from chronic gaslighting as a life strategy, which I believe is more common than not these days. This is an important awakening if one is on a healing path.

    Gaslighting causes internalized oppression, we bind ourselves up with conflicting thoughts. Life changes when one frees themselves from gaslighting and the pts thereof, a huge dark cloud of anxiety and fear lifts as that eggbeater dissipates and the mind, brain, and nervous system become calm and relaxed, for a change. That’s a complex and extremely valuable healing, if one desires for truth and clarity to come to light, not to mention more ease in living.

    But no, I say do not ever argue with a gaslighter. They will only be aggressively defensive and tell you that any interpretation you give to whatever they are expressing is “wrong,” that’s how it begins–classic double bind–and then they put YOU on the defensive, yet again. It is a complete waste of energy and creates nothing of value to humanity, just more chaos and confusion, frustration, stuckness, rage and despondence. Status quo, and how it is protected as such.

  • 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–


    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–


    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!


  • 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–


  • 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.


    “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–


    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.

  • People have moods, it’s a human quality. Considering the range of emotions we’re equipped to feel, we’re hardly one-dimensional, or even two-dimensional. We are mulit-dimensional. We experience heartbreak and celebration, life challenges and rewards, defeats and victories. And everything in between, the mundane and the routine. That’s life! And we each respond differently to it, which is our natural diversity. We just need to remember our center, then we can handle it all with grace.

    People need to get over their fears and prejudice of differences. We’re all different to somebody.

  • “I want to show the public how even using drugs for “soft diagnoses” like depression/anxiety can ruin your life with a Bipolar 2 label rendering you a degraded non-person in the public’s eye. And a non-citizen with no legal rights at all.”

    Good grief. Talk about fear-mongering and shaming! Please let’s not. What on earth is this website about, anyway???

  • “Not attacking you Alex.” Yeah, yeah, “friendly” challenge works for me.

    I’m protesting wasted resources, and this is an all-too-typical route for that. Perhaps that would be up for debate in some way and maybe even I am generalizing. Not interested in elaborating further on this, that would be a waste of MY resource.

    Are you asking me or anyone that last question? Seems like either a total non-sequitur or you’re being cryptic. Either way, I’ve no idea what you’re asking or why, sorry.

    Edit: Oh, ok, I posted this and saw that oldhead gets you here. I’ll let you two talk amongst yourselves. G’day!

  • Rachel, I’m surprised at your response here. I would have thought you were totally aware that millions (billions?) of $$$ are wasted on bogus research, that resources in general are terribly wasted and misused by these research institutions–resources which could (and I think, should) be rerouted to more urgent and practical, humane needs. That’s what I meant, stated with a bit of irony. I’m fine with people making a living and drawing income, everyone that desires this has that right of course, nothing wrong with that. But the ecomonic and class disparity is glaring, and so much of that is created by “research funding.” I don’t have to tell you this, do I?

    As far as my charging for services, sometimes I do, but not always. In fact, the majority of the time I don’t. I made more money acting than I have ever charged for my healing services. And I’ve retired from theater.

    Most of my work in the world–healing, teaching, public service films, musical community service–has been for no remuneration whatsoever. Often I’ve told people that I wouldn’t charge them for something, and next thing I know they are offering a donation. I’ve received unsolicited cash in the mail as well as via PayPal, along with really lovely gifts, when people value the work I do and get a lot of healing out of it. If the work makes no impact, then no payment would be expected, although that’s never happened.

    I’ve experimented a lot with this over the years, it’s a challenge. What I’ve never had is set fees. If I do charge, it’s always a negotiation based on my economic needs and what a client can comfortably pay. This is all so flexible for me, definitely not my motivator. It’s simply an exchange of energy, and that can be in a variety of manifestations. I’ve had my computer fixed in trade for healing work, for example. Whatever is practical and fair at the time, for everyone concerned.

    When one does authentic healing work (what I learned to call “working with the light”), then the universe pays, one way or another. That’s happened to me all throughout the time I’ve been doing healing work, for the past 14 or so years. Kind of a trick of the trade, but it’s based on knowing how giving/receiving energy works. It really simplifies things, and the focus is the healing, period. I’m more interested in a person being present with their healing work, that is way more valuable, satisfying, and fulfilling than money.

    I live very frugally, not on much, month to month, and all my modest needs are met and then some. It’s called “working my abundance.” I don’t need to charge $100s and $1000s of dollars to do good work in the world. Although when people think my work is worth that kind of money, and many have said as much, I certainly don’t scoff at it 🙂

    I always pay it forward. Money is only energy, we give it too much power. And we don’t need nearly as much as we think we do (as per social programming), not if we understand our power of manifesting. That’s the gold!

    Well, not just manifesting, but specifically, manifesting from the heart. That’s an important discernment from manifesting from the ego. Seriously! If we’re manifesting from the ego, money will matter in a way that is quite stressful, and constantly so. If we’re manifesting from the heart, not so much. That’s ease.

    No charge! 🙂

  • I started getting panic attacks as a side effect from the psych drugs I was taking at the time, started about 36 years ago, a year after starting these drugs. I did not realize this at the time, I had no idea what this terrifying and painful experience was, but I figured this out years later, after coming off the drugs, and eventually the panic attacks disappeared.

    But in the meantime, I was prescribed the usual benzos for this, at one time up to Xanax, Ativan, and eventually Klonopin was added. All leading up to big breakdown to where I had to ditch all of the drugs, and start over with all this, from a fresh and streamlined perspective.

    Eventually, I learned that regardless of what life experience triggers us into a panic attack, it translated into adrenal overactivation. So on top of having panic attacks, it also led to adrenal exhaustion, which is that “tired but restless” feeling, which is a state of physical imbalance.


    I addressed this in many ways over the years but identifying this as an adrenal issue is what led to my turning a corner. There are herbs very specific to overactive adrenal glands and adrenal exhaustion, for which I saw a very well trained herbalist and Chinese Medicine practitioner. In Chinese Medicine, this is all about “Chi” which is our vital life force energy, and this is what gets depleted with panic attacks.

    The herbs, accupuncture, Qi Gong, and grounding meditation all help to calm our nervous system and adrenal glands, so that our bodies don’t become flooded with adrenaline from stress, and in turn, our bodies become better equipped to handle stress when we are grounded and in chi balance.

    This is a lovely and brief (7 minutes) meditation which I found online called “Meditation for Panic Attacks/Emergency Anxiety Relief.” When we practice this enough, we are in essence training our neural pathways toward thoughts of calm, relaxing, and safe. Then, we can become our own self-healing agent during stress.


    I of course still can feel anxious and get nervous about speaking publically, performing, facing certain life challenges, and some thoughts can still trigger anxiety if I dwell on them, being human and all. But I have not had a full blown panic attack in years and years.

    Getting off the psych drugs, balancing my energy through herbs and chi exercises, and also GROUNDING (vital for any kind of anxiety, especially panic) is what healed me from years of hair trigger panic attacks, and it also healed my nervous system in general, from a lot of trauma. It’s all very natural and self-healing, with good support from the Earth.

    That’s what grounding is, to the Earth. The way electrical appliances must be grounded so as not to short-curcuit. Same thing. Humans short circuit, too, if we’re not grounded.

  • And finally, I guess “recovery porn” can be misleading. To be vampired and used by the system as examples of “recovering thanks to the system” is not good, I agree with this. That is harmful to individuals, society, and everyone concerned, if the stories are staged or fabricated in any way in order to manipulate for the purpose of aggrandizing the system.

    But overall, healing and recovering can get a bad name around here, and I do object to that. People do have a right to heal and telling our stories of healing is inspiring and encouraging to many, and courageous of, healing for, and empowering to the storyteller. (Although I’ve noticed people scoff quite a bit at this on MiA, for which I’m sorry, but geez, how double-binding and naysaying can one get?)

    Let’s not get the real deal confused with “porn,” which to me would indicate “exploitation.” Not all stories of healing and recovering from mental chaos and confusion to find meaning and clarity in our lives are exploitative, not when they are authentic. And I’d say that is most of the stories we hear. I believe the fabricated, staged, and purposefully manipluative stories are the minority. And generally one can tell when “something doesn’t add up.” Still, I’d be respectful of anyone speaking their truth, first and foremost, especially of their healing. To me, our stories are sacred. As an agent for social healing, this would be one purpose of my particular activism.

  • Ok, I hear you here. As it happens, Kevin was around when I was at MHA-SF (Mental Health Association, San Francisco) and later, after I left, he was on the board for a brief period of time. He’s become a celebrity and indeed, is a spokesperson for the system.

    I challenged MHA directors on this, and that is when I discovered they were advocates for the system while continuing to marginalize those who were thinking outside the box and going against ths status quo–like me, who had the only story of coming off so many toxic psych drugs and taking an agency to legal task, and then setting up my own independent practice, and certainly the only one who had ever spoken at this agency to make a film about it.

    My story was real and truthful, as was the stigma I experienced, and did not support the system whatsoever. My intention is to sway people away from the system, if they are looking for clarity and healing, and to look into their own hearts, for starters, while not listening to negative projections. Those who were supporting Kevin for his story were the exact same people who threw me under the bus (as I mention in an above post). How ironic! Although I guess it stands to reason.

    Well, this is exactly what I’m talking about re San Francisco and CA “mental health, inc.,” so in that respect, we’re on the same page here. And I appreciate that you are hearing me. I believe Kevin is aware of his choices and how the system works, whereas some of those who share their stories are really on a healing path, trying to make sense of their lives, not to become celebrities or anything of the kind.

    We’re all human, I certainly expect perfection from no one, including myself. But justice, yes indeed!

  • “I do personally take issue with some of the folks who’ve kind of made their careers off this struggle, and go around endlessly telling their stories *without* being clear about what needs to change,”

    Sera, with all due respect, don’t you think that this is, in and of itself, invalidating to a person sharing their story? When I started speaking publically, my intention was for my truth to come to light, from my own voice, whereas I had been previously so incredibly misrepresented and innundated with extreme stigma, which was very destructive to my life, and where I began my investigation of all this. In that process, so much else has come to light, and I have integrated this along the way.

    But from the start, sharing my story front and center was incredibly freeing and healing for me. Yes, at first I was “being used” by the “stigma-busting so-called advocacy agency” with whom I was contracting, and I discoverd this eventually, and took the actions I felt appropriate to take to save myself from this vampirism.

    But in the meantime, it was a powerful start for me in this regard, and I got a lot out of it, including my film, which was my personal catalyst for transformation. Had I not been contracting with MHA-SF, this never would have happened. And I’m so glad it did! I got what I needed, in the end, and saved myself from all of this stigma and deceit and avoidance which THEY were dishing out (the irony of it all, a truth often told by now). As I’ve said often, it changed my life dramatically for the better! And all simply from speaking my truth and telling my story my way. Finally…

    Not everyone is at the same level of awareness and personal evolution here and raising awareness of vampirism and deceit is a good thing of course. But I still feel it’s a bit sabotaging to our fellow human beings to use their stories as ammunition to fight the system. That seems self-defeating to me, and kind of matching their energy, rather than rising above it. This is what your statement brought up for me.

  • Catalyzt, wow, I feel heard! Thanks for this. Your comment is wonderful through and through, and on point. A few things I want to highlight here and respond to–

    “The natural, and (in my opinion) completely wrong thing a therapist could say in this situation would be, “No, actually, here, look in my notes, what I said was something different, obviously I wasn’t angry at all.” Or, even worse, to write in their notes, ‘Client is being manipulative, exhibiting borderline features,” etc.’”

    Yes, this happened to me, exactly. I come from my heart and reveal myself honestly for the purpose of examination, and I never had any inkling of “personality” issue. I had anxiety and depression, and have always tended to be respectful (not perfect, but not anti-social, either). If this were not the case, I never would have had a successful career, friends, or have been partnered/married for going on 34 years now, in a very loving and mutually respectful, symbiotic relationship.

    But then this came along, what you describe. Trying to heal, I instead fell into the system and got trapped by exactly this way of thinking, which blindsided me completely, and also where I started to wake up. This was only the beginning.

    “That sh*t makes me want to hurl.”

    That shit almost destroyed me, my life, and that of my partner.

    “Let’s try to figure out what was going on.”

    Yes, that would be sound and reasonable, to examine why there might be miscommunication going on. It takes two to tango. To put it always on the client (which is the norm, AND the education and training) is to scapegoat, which is marginalizing and abusive. It’s also completely unrealistic and would indicate avoidance and delusional thinking on the part of the therapist. RED FLAG!

    “I think therapists sometimes are afraid they will be sued for admitting they might have made an error– or that they might have been human.”

    Yes, I believe both are true—the first one being “fear-based” (paranoid) and the second one being self-aggrandizement. Both are problematic when working with clients. These are the energies and beliefs which get transferred, and it’s a big mess for the client.

    “the real liability– both emotional and legal– comes from dishonesty and inhumanity.”

    Indeed, unequivocally, and without question!

    “Your experience at the mental health clinic sounds… kind of surreal, and not in a good way, more of the bad-acid-trip Clockwork Orange variety.”

    LOL, very well put and yes, I’ve called it going down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass, etc., but you say it well! Fortunately A Clockwork Orange is one of my favorite films of all time (from a filmic perspective–Stanley Kubrick is an artist hero of mine), so perhaps navigating this was my own personal surreal film to live—although I am not the Alex as in that film. I was not a Droog nor anywhere near that, nor am I a lover of ultra-violence nor violence of any kind. I am a peace-lover, and I embody that. That’s my entire reason for living, and what I healed inside of me—the trauma based on emotional violence in my childhood home due to textbook family dysfunction.

    My family is from the academic world, the fighting was almost purely psychological, and it was fierce, powerful, insidious, tortuous to the mind, and wounding to the heart and spirit. I had to go to great lengths to heal all of this, especially after the mh world and practices buried it, then perpetuated it, and the trauma snowballed, until I went to energy healing and grew wildly in my self-awareness. That was shocking and necessary, and most importantly, it was effective. Awakening always is.

    I would expand your statement, however, to my “experience in the entire mental health community of San Francisco” was “surreal, and not in a good way…bad acid trip…” That was 17 years worth, total, even though I was involved in other communities at that time as well (mostly theater and LGBT communities, where I had no social issues like I did in the mh world–that was unique for me).

    Started in graduate school, where these issues surfaced for the first time. I did not hide that I had a diagnosis and was on “meds” (as I called them at the time, now “toxic psych drugs”), and I had been all during my first career in retail management, and I turned that into an asset as a psych grad student.

    But it wasn’t long before a professor began to give me a really hard time–including trying to get me kicked out of school, at which he failed because it was not merited, I had an excellent reputation otherwise–all based on what I was revealing in my assigned papers, as per the assignment! This was an experiential program, so we were expected to talk about ourselves honestly. Oops! That’s where things started to get rough for me, and that downward spiral continued through my internship and upon graduating. That’s when I came off the drugs due to side-effects, and went into the system. Double whammy!

    From day treatment to voc rehab to professional “advocacy”—and with all kinds of clinicians along the way—it was a banquet of the absurd. I had no idea what world I had fallen into, but I wanted out. My challenge came as I realized that I could no longer tolerate this community, that it wasn’t sound, and no way I was compatible with it.

    Yet, I know I have a calling here, that bell went off big time for me, and this is corroborated by teachers, my partner, and my clients. It is evident by my way of being, and also by my life experiences, which were not all of my conscious choosing, of course. Otherwise, why would I have experienced all of this madness, only to heal from it so spectacularly?

    So I switched healing tracks and found my path. I can integrate much of what I learned here, but most of it is useless without certain awareness and tools which, in the end, actually undermine the traditional mh paradigm, simply by definition. That was my experience, in any event.

    But in the end, it was all shit, pure shit programming with the end result of projecting, marginalizing, and stigmatizing. That ruins people, it stands to reason. Can’t say it any other way and be totally honest about it.

    I can get angry thinking about it, but for me this was long ago now, and I don’t like thinking about it because it is so stonewalling, it makes one feel absolutely powerless, and that is the feeling that is most transferred to clients. That is bad, and not how I go around feeling in the world. We all have our power, but it is undermined by these standard by-the-book and bequeathed professional manipulations.

    “I think part of me likes to pretend that this doesn’t go on, that the only abuses of power are the more routine issues that I hear about more often from my colleagues.”

    Thank you for owning this, Catalyzt. I’m sure you are not the only one. However, I’m also sure that we both know that waking up is a good thing, even though it may mean waking up to hard truths. Well, truth feels better than lies, and way deep down inside, we all know truth. When our conscious mind is in agreement with our unconscious, then that, I believe is the first step to real freedom. When these are split, that is a constant struggle. But in synch, we can manifest our way forward with relative ease.

    Thanks for your honesty and openness, and for how you are taking in this information and processing it. And especially for wanting to do right by your clients. We all deserve to be well and happy, if that is what we most desire. For the mh world to be a booby trap like this is what I’d like to see change, one way or another. And if it can’t change, it should not exist! There are better ways of finding inner peace and well-being.

    Many of our experiences with mh have led us in the opposite direction, and we have no legal power to demand reparations. I was simply sabotaged repeatedly by my own colleagues (because I’d been a client) and sabotaged by my peers in the system (because I’d been a therapist). Another great film/book of that same time: Catch-22!

    Fortunately, I found my way forward despite all of this, and, in fact, learned how to perceive this is my guidance. That’s exactly how the change in perspective worked for me, and I disidentified as “victim,” and instead became what is known in the energy healing world as a “co-creator” which has to do with manifesting. That is our true personal power, that of manifesting.

    Still, I should stop talking about it because it riles me to think about it, and to think about a lot of people whom I feel very strongly should be legally reprimanded. It all feels like such a stalemate to me, no movement, really. Blech.

  • Oh, and btw, I did try to communicate with this guy, and with his supervisor, after reading these notes, and was stonewalled all the way. I ended up leaving a Yelp review advising people to get their notes, that it is their legal right to do so. And I made a film about all of this, with a few others, and sent it around the SF “mental health” system. Best I could do, that I could think of.

    The film did make an impact, this I know because word got back to me from a variety of sources, and I was invited to do screenings and to give workshops. Plus, an agency with whom I had worked and which had treated me very badly, thanks to blatant stigma, pure ignorance, and corruption, closed soon after I sent the film around, lost its funding from what I heard. Not what I was after, but they preferred to close rather than to dialogue, learn, and make some vital core changes, which is tragic.

    And I wasn’t slamming anyone in that film, but more so, trying to start a dialogue using our experiences as the starting point, from “the client perspective.” I’d never seen this before, and it was my attempt at opening a critical discussion about the “mental health” system, for the sake of everyone expanding awareness and learning from each other. Given the extraordinary number of homeless and marginalized people in San Francisco, I thought it was time to hear everyone’s voice at the table. But the hard lesson which I learned here is that, truly, there is no back and forth dialogue, that is impossible. Yet another problem here–no quality dialogue between clients and psychotherapists! How can a session, therefore, be productive?

    An up-close analysis of a typical client-therapist dialogue (if there is such a thing as “typical” in this case) would be most interesting and revealing, I’m sure of it. Were a client and a therapist from the same closed-door discussion to agree on the details of that dialogue, I’d be truly shocked. It would be a matter of who one would tend to believe over the other. Yet again, why I feel these 1:1 meetings can be dangerous and do quite a bit of damage to an unsuspecting and vulnerable client.

  • I’ll tell you one thing that keeps going around in my head regarding all of this, which makes me eschew this particular psychotherapist-client paradmigm we have going on, and all the “social requirements/rules” that go along with it–

    During my training, one thing we were told repeatedly was that if we are to see a client outside the office–like, in the streets or at the store, etc.–the “appropriate” thing to do was to ignore unless we were approached first, to avoide SHAMING the client (so others wouldn’t know they were in “therapy”). This is common practice in San Francisco, where people run into others on the street all the time. I’ve had therapists do this to me, and it felt totally like snubbing. I always said hi to anyone I knew whom I saw in passing, including my clients. No one objected or felt “shamed,” of course not! Not only is this rude, but even simply philosophically, this is an extremely marginalizing social program which should not in the slightest be perpetuated. It CREATES and projects shame where none exists, or needs to.

    The reason I say it’s complex is because of things like ” avoid dual relationships,” which I believe is also a very oppressive and unnatural concept, but at the same time, it speaks to the boundary issue. It’s not so cut and dried, and it’s all going to depend on a person’s ability to discern between boundaries and what is naturally human. It all gets murky and controlling because these “relationships” are so poorly defined, and everyone seems to have a different idea of what is appropriate or not. What I learned in my training was definitely based on duality and division, and which to me, would only cause more trauma and splitting.

    I just think that when people “study” people, then we are forgetting how to RELATE to each other. Those are two different aspects of our brain, heart, mind, and being. I say we relate to one another, and stop studying each other. That’ll be a big change to come.

    My personal example of how convoluted reality gets when talking to a psychotherapist–the last therapist I ever saw (this was about 8 years ago) was at a public clinic which had one way mirrors as its walls to the street, so no one could see the waiting room and who was in it, and also a security guard just off the waiting room, who carried a gun. I told the therapist I was seeing how this could so easily elicit shame and fear for people, why such hiding and drama?

    Honestly, I cannot remember how he responded in the moment, but when I got my notes upon leaving (which I always recommend to people they stay on top of their casenotes, as God knows what can be written in there), he had written that I was feeling fear and shame. AHHHHH, made me want to scream. I’m over it, but it took a while. That felt like emotional rape to me, so invasive, twisted, and insane. Not a word I said was heard (other than those two “buzzwords” and totally out of context) and instead, this guy made up his own reality, projecting all of HIS crap on me. The gun is there because of THEIR fear, and I’m sure this would cause them shame to realize they feared their clients.

    What can one do? Abandon ship was my best option, and never look back. If only for the sake of my own sanity!

  • Very beautiful and such truth, thank you for sharing this, Starr. Indeed, the light is our abundance and we are the light. To allow love is to be loved is to love ourselves and all that is. And therein lies the healing for One and all. Namaste.

  • Catalyzt, I appreciate the validation, I do try to move beyond the ordinary conversation but it’s challenging because I believe there are competing agendas and motivators in here. And I say this with complete neutrality because I also believe whatever is motivating anyone’s communication and perspective is valid, of course, whether we’re talking about beliefs, ideas, or emotional expression. We’re in murky waters with all this, nothing is terribly clear. But I do feel the agendas conflict more than harmonize, which may be why you are noticing what you’re noticing. Nowhere to go with that.

    My personal goals and motivation has everything to do with healing and personal growth & evolution (I happen to find these creative processes both fascinating and profoundly practical)–not just on individual level but also what I call “social healing,” which addresses marginalization as social abuse caused by the inherent divisiveness of the current “mental health practices” paradigm–starting wtih toxic psych drugs and bogus “diagnoses,” which make the division clear and palpable.

    But also I’m concerned about many things in this paradigm which are considered standard practice, which are more subtle yet equally powerful, if not more so, in a way which is potentially debilitating to the client. That’s a long list and I would not get into a discussion like that on here, it’s too complex. In short, I believe it can all be so risky for clients in all kinds of ways, short and long term.

    In general, I think it has to do with the parameters of the dialogue and the expectations and boundaries from such a relationship/contract. I think this is always really unclear, and there seems to be no intention of making it clear, which is interesting to me.

    I see “psychotherapy” as a service, whereas I have found often that a “therapist” falls into a counter-transference way too easily, and wants to become a surrogate parent or “best friend,” or something like that, and that is where I feel psychotherapy can fall off the rails and power/ego issues begin to compete, and it is not a fair fight because the client is open and vulnerable, as it should be for healing, but it should be SAFE, which so often it is not, pure and simple.

    To my mind, this should be a professional service, not a takeover of client’s life. I think this is where the dissonance is, and what causes serious problems. Transference/counter-transference psychotherapy is most commonplace, and is part of the education and training, and even history. I believe that is more about the therapist (i.e., ego) than the client, and can become terribly and insidiously abusive, in so many ways.

    Overall, I do agree with oldhead. I don’t think there is reform here, the imbalanced and divisive paradigm is too embedded. I don’t see how the field could function without it, that is the foundation of it. And yet I see it as the core problem, as far as healing goes. I had trained and interned as MFT, but I shifted to an entirely different way of healing when I experienced my own betrayal from the “mental health” field as client AND professional, and that became my new training and life path–energy, balance, grounding, natural and self-healing, all streamlined into ease and accessibility. I find it much more universal, human nature-based, and completely voluntary, supporting and encouaraging our uniqueness. These studies not only guide us in our healing (via self-healing), but they also raise our awareness around how we are co-creating our lives, to give us more control and power in that process. That information is gold!

    I do believe in what I’d call a “healing dialogue,” which requires a specific awareness around the energy of our communication. It’s something I practice and teach. I’ve facilitated quite a few group discussions this way, and they’re awesome, everyone feels expanded and grounded from it. A lot of healing and shifting happens, too, because it is in the moment and with a focused goals of clarity, walking our talk, and manifesting our way forward.

    I have to put politics aside when I talk about healing. The two do not mix, to my mind. Healing is about truth and authenticity, whereas politics is about social power. I’m only interested in the power of healing right now. I believe society calls for it.

  • Exactly, we are all extensions of Source energy, including clients, and most often they are not treated as such. My particular activism for change is to bring this to light, for anyone working with clients to consider. Seeing a client’s divine nature while being in our own is the opposite of othering, scapegoating, and basically, all prejudice. We’re always in our divine nature, can’t be otherwise.

    “Namaste” means the “light in me sees the light in you.” If we could all claim this, then we’d know our light as well as the light of others (we all have light at least somewhere in there!), and the rest–our differences, even of opinions–would be interesting and creative, not threatening and, therefore, divisive and destructive. That’s my vision. I keep trying, maybe one day…

    Thank you for a wonderful read, and for allowing good hardy expansion in this space. You take care as well, and very best wishes!

  • “THIS is what people look like when they are living in their divine nature.”

    When we are aligned with our higher self/divine nature, then we see clearly that everyone is an expression of this–each one of us a unique aspect of the one Divine consciousness. It is not just those who “look a certain way.” It is everyone, regardless of how they look and act. Diversity is Divine.

  • The invalidation and dismissiveness with which I could be met was actually the most powerful healing I receieved. I was climbing out of the oppressive discrimination which I encountered full blast in the mh system and voc rehab, and my life had not quite healed yet (the disability/unemployment part of this journey), and not doing this for pay or anything like that, it was all volunteerism to stand in my truth and own it.

    Some audiences were fantastic while others were more naysaying types. The validation was nice and felt good, but the invalidation is what was most powerful, and gave me the best opportunties to grow and heal, because that’s how I discovered that my truth was more powerful than the projection of others.

    THAT is what I love about truth speaking, that particular challenge, to flip off negative projections and see them for what they are, which is a reflection of from where that is coming, has nothing to do with me. In fact, to elicit rudeness and resistance to truth was actually pretty validating, that I had made an impact.

    That is what saved me from oppression–my own self-validating self! That’s the voice I’d been looking for, underneath all those pills and the negative sense of self created by the stigma of the system. Finally, there it is, MY Voice!

    So, as far as my value goes (as per the title of your article), it is assigned by ME, not by others, aka SELF-worth (as opposed to worth as projected by others, on the demeaning side). Period. That’s my point here. Made all the difference in my life, to feel my worth, rather than the worthlessness which the system obviously wanted me to feel about myself. I don’t think so! 🙂

  • Thanks for writing this, Sera, I was very moved by it. It is heartbreaking and infuriating the level to which people are dehumanized, and actually betrayed to the point of sabotage, while trying to find their voices, own their lives, and move forward in their own truth–as you say, from wisdom hard-fought and gained from surviving harrowing and traumatic experiences.

    Speaking my truth publically for years, as I was coming to my clarity around this whole experience, grew me in so many ways and changed my life for the better, and I got all kinds of healing from doing this; and at the same time, because of this, I got thrown under the bus by my own peers and colleagues in the system. Go figure. Overall, truth came to light so I would not change a thing.

    Truth speaking is challenging, but unequivocally rewarding, from my experience. But indeed, on our terms, with our own voices, and for God’s sake, not for competition! Gross, indeed. And quite counterproductive, overall.

    “‘Speak your truth…” The quote should end there.

  • “…that the psychiatrists do despise those of us who work in retail management. As that psychiatrist was being held back, by other doctors due to her fury, her defamatory departing comment to me was ‘I’ll see you in the malls.'”

    Omg, they had to physically hold her back while she was angrily yelling defamatory things at you? That sounds like some kind of assault to me, or attempted assault. Insanity.

    During the years I was working in retail, in the 80s/mid 90s, I was living in the ‘burbs and at the time, I was not having problems with therapists or psychiatrists (ah, the good ol’ days). That all began in the late 90s when I began grad school in San Francisco, and then after that when I got off the drugs, went into the system as, first, client, and then as professional.

    My first strike was during grad school, that I had a “diagnosis,” that was enough to elicit stigma, projection, and power abuse from one professor who was more full of himself than anyone I’d ever met up to that time (until my last psychiatrist, who was quite a piece of narcissistic work–sinister, mean and just the biggest asshole ever, couldn’t get away fast enough from this jerk, and ALL of psychiatry once and for all).

    When I was in a social services group, my crimes were that I was 1) a psychotherapist and 2) withdrawing from psych drugs, and 3) intelligent and competent. The last one was true of everyone in the group, I think. The therapists/facilitators really resented intelligence and independent thinking in their clients, I’m sure you and others have picked up on this, too.

    One thing about mh clincians–they are extremely competetive, and at the same time, they cannot stand competition. As a group, I find most therapists to be terribly insecure, despite outward appearances, which is why they can easily resort to gaslighting. Go figure. More insanity.

    “Those who claim to be experts on the brain, who only bothered to develop the left side of their brains, should be educated to the fact that those who bothered to develop both the left and right side of our brains, will be the more “insightful” and able to see the big picture.”

    First thing I noticed when I began grad school was, in general, the lack of appreciation for art and theater (one of the reasons I moved to SF in the first place, aside from The Beats). I found the mh academic culture to be incredibly dry, analytical, and extremely unimaginative–to the point of stale and overwrought thinking. Anything but creative and innovative.

    Developing one’s creative side and “right brain” consciousness is, indeed, vital to deep thinking, gaining truthful insights, and assessing the big picture. That won’t happen in “menal health, inc.” I’m sure of it at this point, I don’t see how with the way they are programmed.

    “So let’s hope the “mental health” workers do some day get out of the “mental illness” creation business.”

    Yes, beautiful vision, SE. The world needs free thinkers, artists, creators, heartfelt humanitarians, as well as true blue systems busters, whistleblowers, and truth-speakers. NOT more drones from the cookie cutter mh industry. No thanks.

  • Social issues will be alleviated as individuals (and, in turn, societies) align with nature. Science will either eventually prove this if it wants to, or some may continue try to keep truth away from the public and keep it to themselves, so they can continue to collect more and more money for more and more “research,” or what have you–maybe a nice big house, exotic travel, high rent office space, state-of-the-art technology, etc.

    What’s changed is that people are now more awake and savvy, so we’ll get the information one way or another. We don’t really need the ivory tower perspective any longer. It is neither practical nor grounded in reality, and I think most people realize this by now.

    Life simply is, and it creates as it flows. The evidence is everpresent, we do not need scientific proof of this. Life abounds, it is inherently abundant clearly, as we hear, see, feel, taste, and/or smell on a daily basis. Experience is the teacher and guide, unique to each of us.

  • There are a plethora of healing paths far and away from anything bio and psych mainstream which many of us have discovered as we healed from psychiatric debacle. Debating it is an academic exercise and helps no one who is suffering in the trenches. It’s a matter of educating oneself in and applying different ways of thinking which already exist worldwide.

    Chinese medicine and the study of yin/yang (masculine/feminine) energy balance in the body is universal truth and based exclusively on the nature of being human. Trauma is energy, as is healing, as is love. Nature is about balance for ease in evolution.

  • “But you’re a man, and our society’s “mental health” systems are set up for men, and set up to destroy harassed or abused women and child abuse survivors, for the religions and their wealthy donors.”

    I would not at all argue with you here, SE, you are correct of course about this, and it is extremely problematic.

    However, as a man who experienced the trauma of systemic abuse, I have to say in all honesty and very frankly that part of that was being a middle aged man being demeaned by 25-or-so-year-old young women with…well, let’s just call it “attitude.” I was in my 40s then, and I’d been around a few blocks by that time, although still programmed enough to wind up going down that particular rabbit hole for a while, until I finally woke up and got out myself out of there.

    But there were many men my age and older who had to put up with this unbelievable lack of professionalism from this particular group. I thought it was fierce and unacceptable, and one of the factors in why I ended up filing a legal complaint, and winning. They didn’t know shit, but acted as though we were the dirt beneath their feet! I’d already been through one career and had been a clincial intern, but to them I was something else entirely–someTHING, not someONE–who deserved no respect, no regard, and who wouldn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie.

    This is a serious problem with perspective, and it’s a big part of the systemic dysfunction. A staff can easily be comprised of people in their 20s, barely having cut their teeth in life, calling themselves “the professionals,” and herding people who were much older, and who knew life and had experienced many things, like chattel, as per the example of a textbook class system. It’s surreal, like, through the looking glass. Big FAIL.

  • “Psychotherapy is only a cultural conversation and as such must not be reimbursed. Psychotherapy is in no way different from practices such as Catholic confession or Siberian shamanism; it has the same social function, the same methods and the same results. The reimbursement of some psychotherapists to the detriment of others is a caste privilege that reinforces the corporatism and institutional association between psychotherapists, psychiatrists and health insurances.”

    Brilliant and perfect.

    “‘Technique’ is actually ‘folklore.'”

    Yes, that is truth.

  • The perspective may be different, but the misinformation and stigma are the same. “Psychological issues” vs. social abuse and injustice. The latter is the cause, the former is the effect. Remove the cause, change the effect.

    NorCal is my turf, what I’m most personally and thoroughly familiar with re the mh world. And I will swear up and down that as far as “mental health, inc.” goes up here, it is in the toilet, doing all harm and no good, a ruanaway train of gross incompetence, delusional self-aggrandizement, and rampant power abuse. It is 100% elitism. This, I know for a fact. And that is the harm.

    This also includes all “advocacy agencies” up here, for whom I’ve contracted or consulted with many. They are pure shit double-standard hypocritical advocates for the system which funds them and gives them an identity, nothing else. In all the years I’ve worked with a variety of mh, inc. personnel, I’ve yet to meet someone actually qualified and skilled to work with the particular population for whom they are contracted to serve.

    Seriously, no people skills whatsoever, to say the least–basically, corporate drones and administrative bureaucrats is more like it. It is pure and unequivocal insanity. And I’ve no doubt anyone up here in or around this system will tell you that. It’s a very open secret.

  • Wow, SE, I feel and hear you, my thoughts are exactly the same. It is MADdening (which I guess is the point?).

    I was in customer service retail for 17 years and my experience is as yours, mutual respect as well as integrity of the products we’re selling is vital. I had very loyal and appreciative customers for years–AND a grateful staff (I was manager) because we were all in it together. To me, power meant responsbility, not getting away with abusing or demeaning or thinking negatively about my staff, that would have tanked us.

    I was recognized for having the lowest turnover rate in the company because I knew how to promote people to where they most belonged (and to where they preferred), where their skills and talents would shine, and my departments thrived. Members of the staff I supervised felt good about themselves, their jobs, and we had fun! And everyone felt valued, that was the most important thing for good functioning.

    Again, to mh clincians and staff–what’s the problem here? Can’t you see what we’re saying? When are you all going to wake up, own this crap you’ve been dishing out, and come out of denial and avoidance? C’mon folks, get real. We’re speaking the truth here, no doubt about it. Lift your heads up–out of the sand. For everyone’s sake. You’ll feel better to surrender here, because the truth shall set you free. It will set ALL of us free!

  • They do, indeed, cause chaos to the mind and body. And I think it’s so important to emphasize that the damage needn’t be permanent. People can and do heal from psych drugs damage.

    My healing from having taken so many of these drugs over a long period of time was complex and I had to take leaps of faith and be open to learning all kinds of new things about how our bodies work and how to bring each organ back into balance, including my brain. That took focus, diligence, and trust, along with guidance from an ace 5th generation herbalist.

    After 20 years of these things, I took my last pill 17 years ago, and I am healthy and in balance from head to toe. No brain trauma (or trauma of any kind to any organ) has remained, for which I am most thankful to God every single day. Every day of my life is a miracle, and I want people to know it is possible to heal from these 100%.

  • “As to being investigators, since it’s us non-“mental health” people who did bother to investigate, do our research, and find the iatrogenic etiology of both “bipolar” and “schizophrenia.” I’d say the psychologists aren’t very good investigators.”

    That is so true!!! At this point, I believe many of us know way, way more than they do. We got our info through first hand experience, and that is what is most reliable, without a doubt.

    And they’re not very good listeners, either, they don’t hear a word we’re saying. And it seems as though when they do hear, it gets translated into something else by the time it reaches their brains. It really is like we’re in two different worlds speaking two different languages. It’s weird. That is not my experience with the world, only with mh-related clinical or social service people. That is a world unto itself.

  • I just don’t think psychotherapy is safe. Some people have no issue with this, and I’d call them lucky, because it can so easily go the other way. The training lends itself heavily to projecting, which is what ultimately leads to othering, marginalizing, and blatant stigma.

    It’s not necessarily about the DSM, one can reject that and still be doing this level of projecting, unconsciously, because that is how humanity is perceived through the psychological lens, in divisive “us and them” terms, and based on what, exactly? That’s what this programming inspires and creates, social division based on arbitrary terms. That is inherently abuse of power, because it is a betrayal of trust. It can all be unconscious, but it is still the result of this programming, which is why I call it unsafe.

    This is how programming works, which is what the education and training of this is all about, from what I recall, and my memory of it is quite clear. It’s a filter which is divisive to humanity, and it can stick and do a lot of harm in the most insidious ways, hard to identify but it can be felt. People graduate from their training programmed, not awakened. That’s very unsafe for future clients.

    The first thing a “psychotherapist” (or anyone who desires to help people this way) would have to learn is what it means to have a “healing dialogue.” That has a specific intention, energy, and flow to it, and I’ve never encountered anyone traditionally trained to have this awareness.

    Another thing is to understand how cording works, which is how subtle communications transpire, and how to separate from this after a client, so it is not carried forward to the next client. Everyone is healing and growing in a healing dialogue, not just the client.

    This should be a professional service with appropriate boundaries, not a takeover of someone’s life and beliefs, and ultimately, in worst case scenarios (and they do exist significantly, I believe), their mind and spirit. The issue of boundaries is usually a big problem with therapists, I have found, in that they can be terribly invasive with their own conscious or unconscious judgments.

    A lot of therapists have control and power issues, too, and can play all sorts of mind games, but that’s in all healing vocations. One MUST be careful and trust their intuition when seeking help and support in any healing way. We’re ALL vulnerable as we heal and grow. Otherwise, we don’t.

  • I call that malpractice. In fact, I call psychiatry systemic malpractice. I believe that is as clear as crystal.

    At this point, I think a class action suit against APA would be in order. There seems to be overwhelming evidence of this–ridiculous diagnoses with no foundation, toxic drugs, abusive practices, tons of harm and death, total blood on their hands, and how injurious this is for people, and costly in all ways, including financial–BIG TIME. While they are getting so rich doing this to people!

    I am living proof because I can tesitify what it’s like on the drugs and how all that ends up, and then how my health came back and life blossomed for me, not only when I came off the drugs but also when I quit seeing psychiatrists. The only thing psychiatry did for me was to temporarily destroy my health and tank my life, all while following that particular protocol. And I know there are plenty of others who have simliar stories and trajectories. It’s obvious, and many of us are here in one place, desiring reparations which I know we richly deserve.

    Any brave anti-psych personal injury or malpractice lawyers out there who are true to their word? Lots of us are here with very compelling stories to tell. And clear, articulate, and determined voices with which to tell them.

  • “’Dysfunction’ is a robot term.”

    I think that’s fair, in that it became a buzz word a while back. I recently began using it again, after having used words like “toxic, abusive, marginalizing, oppressive, corrupt” etc. Still, I do feel the word “dysfunction” covers it, and I’d like it to have the same punch in energy as those other words, which perhaps it feels tame given how abiguously defined this can be, as in, “my family/community/fill-in-the-blank institution is dysfunctional because it made me unhappy/afraid/feel insane.” That’s what I mean by it, and indeed, there are a lot of questions to ask at this point. Where to begin? Like a generic case study!

    I think a powerful aspect of “dysfunction” is that it HATES truth, repels it at all cost, and for good reason, since dysfunction is based on keeping active all the deceit and false projections, one way or another. So when truth does start to break through a bit, and then more and more because, perhaps, people are starting to wake up, the dysfunction is what is threatened, as it should be!

    Soooo, I think waking up is what will go a long way in resolving these issues, and so on and so on. I think that’s how to “bust up the system.” I imagine this would mean different things to different people, but “waking up” would be the common thread, to my mind. Just the thought of going from dysfunctional to functional–and getting the true ramification of these antithetical ways to operate–gives me a great deal of relief. Hmmm, wonder why?

    And I agree with Rachel completely, that would be FUNCTIONal, for love to be the motivating factor, as opposed to fear and extreme rivarly. Oh, that makes it so toxic! Someone pays dearly, and it shouldn’t be that way. Waste of energy, resources, PEOPLE, brilliance, creativity. The difference is vast, between Dark Ages and Renaissance. This is what blows my mind the most, and I’ve drawn this conclusion after hearing all of these 1000s of stories over the years, along with my own experience. Big core shift, everyone is affected. Then maybe we’d have a world of problem-solvers as opposed to problem-creators, as it seems we have at present, and have had for a while.

  • One of the things I detest most about mental health, inc. is how it dehumanizes people, like lab rats. This does harm in so many ways and is rather vampiristic.

    To mental health, inc. clinician/authors: Write about your own mad lives and inner voices, and stop co-opting your clients’ lives and voices for your own personal, professional, and FINANCIAL gain. That is everything which is wrong with the mh academic culture. Please STOP.

    Study yourselves. That’s how truth comes to light. Not by projecting onto others.

  • “Any time a supposedly professional person gets defensive with someone they’re supposedly trying to help, it suggests that the person doesn’t actually know the subject matter at hand and their client/customer is hitting too close to home.”

    Hmmm, not so cut and dried as all that, that’s a generalization which could easily lead to false projections based on presumptions. I’m actually talking about the ability to think and feel beyond the superfice. I’ve been shocked at the shallowness I’ve encounterd in the mh world, I’m sorry to say. But it’s true! And that’s what leads to trying to solve problems with drugs and diagnoses. If it’s not “in the book,” they are lost. That’s a fact. And there is no blueprint for healing. That’s what I’m talking about here. That is a creative process and the mh world does not get high marks in creative thinking. It is stale!

    Re what you say, Steve, I’d say we’re all human and getting defensive might be reasonable, given what clients can project, as well. Although, indeed, a good healer would know how to read the energy of this and not get bogged down by it, but instead, use it as part of the healing. Our initial reaction to things are the most authentic information there is, whether we reveal it to others or not. And when we do, it is an opportunity for truth to come to light.

    I’m talking more about a pattern of shutting down communication in all sorts of ways–distracting, avoiding, even emotional “punishment.” I’d call it more of a relationship issue, where communication becomes impaired due to avoidance. That’s when I think things might be hitting close to home, with chronic avoidance and defensiveness. Happens ALL the time! But I wouldn’t get it confused wtih impulsive projections. That would be repeating what is most destructive and violating about psychiatry, in all its delusional thinking.

  • Outstanding article. Yes, calling out abuse, and calling it out, and calling it out…”calling unacceptable behavior what it is.” Absolutely. Healing from abuse is complex, but a big first step is calling it what it is. And, it is widespread, no doubt about it.

    “If your goal really is to truly help someone, the most effective way to do that is to actively condemn the abuse, neglect or mistreatment they are experiencing.”

    Yes, indeed. Although it is a rude awakening for many, and given Stockholm Syndrome, it can be messy to call it out before the one experiencing it is willing to see it. Still, holding the truth in a compassionate way is helpful, rather than feeding the denial. A lot of programming and brainwashing type control happen in these situations, and waking up can feel threatening.

    I definitely agree with the focus of your article, Megan, and I wholeheartedly support your truth here. Society can benefit from it, when it chooses to come out of the dark and hear and listen to the truth. Thank you.

  • “The terms “mental health” or “mental illness” both seem to imply that there are some people whose brains work right and others whose brains work wrong, and that being in the second group implies some kind of pathology. It’s not a good starting point for a positive discussion of how to help people who are suffering for whatever reason.”

    I don’t see “mental health” as having this implication, per se, but of course “mental illness” most certainly does. I’m not seeing these as necessarily opposites, nor have I experience these as such. “Mental health” is used in a variety of ways and is quite broad; whereas “mental illness” is more precise in what it connotes, with a network of very specific false assumptions attached to it.

    Not feeling “mentally healthy” doesn’t necessarily imply “mental illness,” as people mean this. We may just not feel up to par for a time, so we rest and switch focus, until we feel our groove back. That seems natural and human, and not dramatic.

    With regard to all the categorizing of and projecting onto people which this profession practices, I’d call it lazy and superficial thinking. It’s easier to go down a checklist and put people into categories than actually understanding their humanity, which would require depth of thinking AND to be comfortable with their feelings, both of which are SERIOUSLY missing here, from what I’ve experienced with clinicians. Not to mention, it’s way more lucrative to work the human assembly line system.

    But it’s lazy and shallow to me, pure and simple. Why do you think so many mh clincians (at least that I’ve known and have spoken with) get so defensive, passive-aggressive, or avoidant whenever they get presented with an intelligent argument? They’ll get mad and quit before reaching clarity and mutual understanding, because they cannot maintain focus and grounding and have no idea what they’re talking about and simply cannot own it. That has totally been my experience.

  • However we interpret these and apply them to our own experience, in general, I think, mental clarity feels a whole lot better than mental chaos, confusion, and disorientation, which is a human experience at times, and which can feel very painful. And even more distressing is that we can’t always put our finger on what would be causing this–at least not until we can move through the heavier feelings, which is when light can begin to come in and truth can reveal itself.

    Learning to navigate this with consciousness is a good and practical skill to have. In fact, these times of profound confusion tend to occur as a signal to awaken to something about ourselves which we’d been resisting seeing (another natural human quality), which is where we find relief, when we do that inner work. We may or may not be motivated to awaken and feel fear in doing so. All of that would depend on our level of trust in our own processes. Definitely a hot spot.

    But overall, clarity feels much better in the body, and it moves us forward, whereas we have to sit with confusion if we want to reach a point of clarity, and that can be challenging to the point of making people feel stuck. It’s all about the process, I think, and when we feel we are moving forward with relative ease vs. when we feel stuck and in constant effort. To me, that would signal relaxed vs. stressed.

  • Considering the damage which ALL of these drugs do–at least from my experience that is the case, I was on all different kinds and classes of psych drugs over the years–I’d say this is not a hair worth splitting, for any practical purposes. And of course, that is my personal opinion on the matter, and I’m aware that not everyone will agree. I’m not interested in debating this issue, either. I know what I know.

  • Thanks, Rosalee, and yes, defining these things for ourselves can bring good clarity and is on the healing path, imo. My personal definitions have changed over the years as more and more of all this came to light, and I discovered I wasn’t alone in all this. “How are we all relating?” (from this particular “psych experience”), would become my question.

    I like what Steve S puts forth (as per T. Szasz), which I’ve seen before. Like you say, it is accessible, and I feel it covers us all here in the human race. It’s perfectly neutral. If we’re human, we’re going to encounter problems with living. It’s where we have opportunities to grow in all ways. And that’s life!

    It’s interesting that this blog is called “My Mental Health Awakening.” Seems like a lot of awakening is happening here! You asked very key questions and basic overall clarity is growing, I think. Feels good right now, in that sense.

    Thanks, Starr, for opening this dialogue with your story. I believe that truth-laden blogs foster forward moving and energized discussions leading to clarity and light. It’s why I love it when people share their stories, leads to all kinds of liberation.

  • I like this, too, re “problems of living,” and it is universal. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t experience this at one time or another. So then we can go on to ask “what problem(s) am I having, and how do I resolve them?” I believe much of this depends on our problem-solving skills. Which doesn’t necessarily mean taking action, it can also mean changing how we perceive our situation. That can open a door to resolution, too.

    As long as we’re in problem-solution mode, then “problems of living” would be a clear way to address our issues in a way that we solve the problems. It can be a complex network of issues, so one step at a time. We’re only human!

  • When we use the term “neurotoxins,” we’re referring to any of the drugs typically prescribed by a psychiatrist, including SSRI, benzos, etc. We are claiming that they are all toxic to the brain, one way or another.

    For “neuroleptic,” (which I use interchangeably with “neurotoxins,” although I find that “toxic psych drugs” covers all of it), I found several varying definitions, and some do say specifically what you say, KS, but this is the first one that popped up on bing, and others keep it general, too, fwiw–


    (of a drug) tending to reduce nervous tension by depressing nerve functions.
    tranquilizing · calming · depressant · soothing · calmative · relaxing · [more]
    a drug that depresses nerve functions; a major tranquilizer.”

    When we talk about these drugs, seems we should be on the same page regarding what we’re talking about, given all the different things we call them. I think the prescribing patterns don’t really follow rhyme or reason, it’s pretty random at this point. They are all addicting, dangerous, and hell to come off of.

  • “It seems like a distressful, “unjust life circumstance” to carry critical self-judgement due to early trauma.”

    Yes, I agree Steve, and not everyone has this to the same degree.

    Although I do believe that when we’re subject to particularly cruel and unjust life circumstance–especially if our lives start out this way, being born into a traumatizing family or the like–as we come to a better and deeper understanding of it and do whatever healing feels right to us, then we can become powerful and well-informed spokespeople for change, as we are doing here. We know what went wrong, so let’s be examples of “doing it right”–meaning specifically, let us be just and fair with ourselves and others, as opposed to being cruel and invalidating, which can, indeed, cause people to suffer if they are unprepared to take on such callous projections.

    That’s one way to heal (what I’d call “transmute”) the energy of trauma, and in that process, we shift our self-perception and self-identity from “victim” to “empowered.” And thus, we embody the change we want to see in the world. So much to learn as we grow, I don’t think it ever ends.

    I tend to agree with your perspective as well, I feel I know from where you are coming when I read your posts.

  • Rosalee, after all the conflicting opinions I’ve seen on here over the years, I think it boils down to individual interpretation. Some might say “there is no ‘it,'” while others try to understand something about themselves or others close to them, when something in life doesn’t seem to be working to our satisfaction. So many reasons for that.

    Personally, I like to focus on how to get back on track, which would also be different for each individual, but it takes some introspection, and sometimes, trustworthy feedback, depends on each person, their process, circumstances, etc. That’s how I see it and it can happen to anyone who is a human being.

    As far as what to call these professionals in a way that would reflect the reality of the situation, I’m sure you can get all kinds of responses here. If they are part of the public system, I call them government bureaucrats because that’s exactly what they are. Definitely NOT healers.

  • Stephen, thanks for that clarification. The only reason I’m surprised about this is because of how you’ve identified as a “survivor of psychiatry” and all that you have shared re your opinion about neuroleptics. You’ve also talked about being hospitalized so I guess I thought psych drugs would be part of this. Thank you again for sharing this information, it does bring more clarity here.

  • Why can’t “mental health” (or even “mental clarity”) refer to how we feel about ourselves and our own lives and our own problem-solving skills, and our ability to navigate our lives and manifest what we need and want with some degree of confidence? Not always 100% of the time, after all we are human and inherently imperfect, striving for this or that, to keep us motivated.

    I’ve experienced solid mental clarity and also extreme mental choas and confusion. The latter was brought on by a variety of life factors converging. That made me feel mentally confused due to emotional overwhelm, an issue with being human, happens to everyone at one time or another. It signals us to look at something in order to grow, like a life passage.

    One by one, looking at each issue which was causing me confusion or painful anxiety and disorientation, I could take care of these. Sometimes, it meant shifting a life situation, where I could. Sometimes, it meant shifting a belief, and that would bring relief and change. Eventually, I felt mental clarity, which made me feel healthier in every respect.

    I don’t think our suffering is always in relation to others or life circumstances, although it can start out that way. Sometimes, we do it to ourelves, with our own critical and self-judgmental voices, which would be what we carry inside of us due to early trauma. We judge others we judge ourselves. That is, indeed, the result of trauma and can cause suffering and mental confusion. We can take care of that, and come to mental clarity. That seems both neutral and natural to me.

  • “I think the correct statement is that people who TOOK ANTIPSYCHOTICS showed brain shrinkage, regardless of their spurious psych “diagnosis.'”

    Right, that’s how this convo started out. And I’ll repeat that this is an incredibly gross and irresponsible overgeneralization because it hardly covers the majority of people who take or have taken neurotoxins. So this sample population “studied” is not at all an adequate representation of this group, but more so, there was something else going on with that group, if their brains had, indeed, shrunk. Saying that it is the “neuroleptics” is misleading and just plain wrong, and it contradicts the truth for most people.

    I’d deem this a bad study, it is not truth. Therefore, it is useless and false, exactly like psychiatry. This study, and any extension of it, is what would, to me, be spurious, misguided, and misinformed.

    And of course, I do think these things are toxic, and they do impact our synapses and neural pathways, and I know they affect our bodies and our organs negatively, throws them out of balance. That can be remedied. But as far as the brain actually shrinking? I will not buy this. That’s preposterous, and lends itself to dangerous and marginalizing prejudice. This is what I, at least, target in my activism.

    It’s thinking like this (“their brains are smaller than our brains”) that sets people up to be treated like crap and marginalized in society, based on “scientific” mythology via academic ivory tower “research.” To me it’s rather obvious. Status quo.

  • JanCarol, yes, that is beautifully stated and to the point.

    And I’d expand this to: the beliefs of our heart, along with our will and determination to overcome obstacles, are our keys to healing and manifesting the life we truly desire. I believe this to be absolute truth.

    My opinion about this “brain shrinkage” study has all to do with truth and integrity in activism. If these are missing in whatever info comes forth, then I find it useless and counterproductive. No change there.

  • I just don’t want it generalized, as it is being when used as a “tactic.” It’s not based on universal truth, and it is harmful to those to whom it does not apply, which is a lot of people, probably even the majority.

    Honestly, I’m not sure what you are “stunned” about here, nor why it is so hard to understand why I would not be agreeable to this from the tendency to overgeneralize and in turn, harm a specific group. I thought that’s what we notice in here, how groups are projected onto and marginalized, and therefore are treated differently in society and their rights and freedom are compromised. I just think this study and using it as such perpetuates this, and indeed, it’s not necessarily true of everyone who has been on neurotoxins. Not even close.

    And the people who have been measurably damaged can heal, if they wish to do so. But it might challenge core beliefs. That is the nature of core healing.

    Thanks as always, KS, you make me think deeply about the issues. Done here, too!

  • “Alex, the problem with your position in my view is that you can’t refute what you see happening on brain scans. So you either believe it is due to the underlying disease process or you believe it is due to the drugs themselves.”

    How many people on the planet have had brain scans? These are selected fractions of the population, as with all of these studies. There are so many factors that affect the brain, above and beyond the two choices you give. I would call these studies “not reliable,” for so many reasons. A discussion regarding these reasons is beyond the scope of this forum, that would be a long discussion which would merit a better space than this, imo.

    “The fact that schizophrenia patients have long documented hard evidence of shrinking brain tissue isn’t disputed anywhere as far as I know. The only scientific dispute is the cause.”

    I actually do not know terribly much about “schizophrenia,” per se (I’m more versed and better suited to speak about anxiety, pts, depression, bipolar, and dissociation. “Schizophrenia” is one diagnosis that was not applied to me, so I cannot speak to that experience).

    Personally, I do not feel science is capable of solving this, these are issues of human experience and each one is individual and unique, which personally, from my pov, I’d call that a hard and fast rule, no exception. So it does not stand to either reason or logic to me that just because some sample population is showing something like this, that it is necessarily true. Too many variables and competing agendas here.

    To me, one of the most powerful features of “psychiatric survivor-ship” is that we honor our individual selves and that is our truth, regardless of anyone else’s truth or experience–and most definitely beyond academic research. That’s the first thing I would throw out if we want a new paradigm. Otherwise, it’s the same poison, different flavor.

    “There’s little to be gained by saying that you don’t believe you experienced brain shrinkage from the drugs because of course not every brain was damaged in that way but the studies showing brain shrinkage in this cohort are pretty solid.”

    I disagree, I feel there is a lot of gain to this because I believe that our beliefs are what shape and create our reality because it is what most influences our thinking and feeling responses. When we change beliefs, we change how we think and act, and we feel differently about our experiences because we’re coming from a different and broader perspective.

    I once believed I was “permanently damaged” for a lot of reasons, and for a while I really spiraled downward from thinking this way, from practicing these beliefs. Then I learned some new things, new ways of looking at my experience, and how I could influence it with the power of my own thought and focus. THIS is how I busted through false programming, which is where I took back my power. Took a while and it was a surreal ride, but it did the trick, and my thinking is now completely my own, and I apply it to my life as I wish, like the free-thinking individual which I am.

    Where I believe there is nothing to be gained is believing that one is damaged beyond repair, or even that one’s brain has shrunk, because “studies say so.” I believe that holding that belief is what causes impairment (and fear, and frustration, and discouragment) because we will create these ourselves if we believe our brains have shrunk, and in turn, we feel damaged, lesser than, and limited. No thanks.

    “It seems you can’t accept that others may have been harmed in this way because you don’t believe you were.”

    I’m not going simply by my experience, not in the slightest. I’ve been around people on and off these drugs for a really long time—in my practice, as peers, and in everyday life. Not one of them would I say had a “shrunken brain.” Were I to think that of any of my clients who are or who have been on these drugs, I would not be able to help people heal at the core, the way I do.

    I’m not even thinking in these terms. I’m looking at a person’s heart (open or closed), spirit (where it does not feel free), and with respect to their brains, as long as we can carry on a fluid conversation, that’s what I will notice. If not, I’d look at why, and it is always 100% of the time some kind of relationship trauma, because that is when we start projecting.

    Things get challenging here, it’s kind of a fork-in-the-road because this is where our most core beliefs are challenged, when we are in relationship to others. But never, ever has it been because I think someone has a small brain, or smaller than “normal,” or what have you. Honestly, I can’t even wrap my mind around that. I find it useless information on the one hand, and damaging to believe it, on the other. I think this trumps “studies,” so if no one is challenging these, then let me be the first.

    “And the fact that a study designed to show the neuroleptics weren’t the cause but instead showed they were is solid evidence.”

    No, I don’t think it is solid evidence. I think it’s, at best, a fraction of the story, and one which makes the ground fertile for generalizing about people in a negative way, which is bad news as we all know.

    Overall, I cannot see the logic of this. I think it is way too limited in perspective, and is not accounting for so many factors in a variety of different people. To me, this particular cause (whatever it is) is beyond science. It is about individual truth, because that is what dictates our path more than anything. We want freedom, not more programming and negative beliefs crammed down our throats, that’s the case with me, in any event.

    I’m going to believe what I’m going to believe because that is the sum total of my experience with this so far. That serves me tremendously well, and I don’t see how it hurts anyone else, and in fact, I’d be happy to relieve anyone of this burdensome thought or belief about themselves, which I think would serve anyone well. But that has to be a choice. I think it’s important to pay attention to what we believe about ourselves, way more than what others believe about us.

    If you or anyone tells me, “Well my brain shrunk from these drugs, and that’s my truth and don’t mess with it!” then ok, I won’t. But what I would be thinking is that this belief of having a “shrunken brain” (from wherever it comes) will haunt that person in a way that is neither helpful nor healthful.

    I appreciate your asking for clarity, KS, and I hope that in some way this provides a better idea of from where I’m coming. If not, this is the best I can do with this right here and now. We know what we know, and we see what we learn as time passes and more and more info comes to light. But this is definitely my position with this, and the foundation for why I now hold that belief steadfastly. It certainly does serve me, and others around me, quite well.

  • Ok, thanks for clarifying.

    “I don’t think it’s possible to undermine people’s faith in it without some hard evidence that the psychiatrists are full of crap.”

    I know they’re full of crap and you know that and many who read here know that, because we have interacted with psychiatry for years and know first hand that dialoguing with a psychiatrist is risky and downright crazy-making from the irrationality of their thinking.

    Overall, however, I believe people are going to have to discover this for themselves, if, in fact, they are in the realm of thinking about turning to psychiatry for anything. I’ll still speak about my experience to help shed light on the reality of psychiatry and “mh” anything, and I will help folks to bypass all of this with good alternatives to mainstream thinking, but I won’t go with this strategy, though, and I reject the “shrinking brain” theory as a tactic, because I don’t believe it is truth and it continues to serve elitist ideology.

    The only “strategy” I use in every facet of my life is following the truth of my heart, including activism. I’ve had a few victories against the system, fighting it pretty much on my own (until I got a legal aid attorney to help me when legal issues came up, for which I had to pay nothing), which was based solely on simply following my truth intuitively, and as a result, some pretty big changes occurred, inside and out. I’m going to stick with that. But thanks for explaining how this particular information is being used here.

  • Hi Starr, please forgive me, I got caught up in a dialogue here on your blog and I haven’t even acknowledged your story.

    Very well done! Awesome, in fact. Congratulations on getting through it all and assimilating your life experiences into living your truth and life purpose. I would predict you have an exciting and very enriching and rewarding life ahead, and you will help many people with your empathy, wisdom, and insight by way of personal experience.

    I lived in San Francisco for 17 years, I know the “mental health” industry well in that city, was associated with a variety of agencies–in client and professional capacities–before leaving the Bay Area a few years ago.

    A lot of change is needed there, there is so much discrimination and social abuse against people with diagnoses and on disability, it is the norm. I have so many examples of this, from my own experience and from witnessing this with others repeatedly, on a daily basis–including the example from a legal action I took against a non-profit, to help fight this from the inside. It is extreme and I strongly believe it threatens the quality of life in the Bay Area, which has sadly been in decline for a while now.

    I largely credit the San Francisco “mental health” system, and its extreme incompetence, for the city’s decline. They are so confused, to say the least! And creating all kinds of social ills, not to mention individual crises. In the meantime, “disability” and homelessness are growing industries there, so I say they are not doing their jobs.

    Instead, clients on the whole tend to be judged, dismissed and dehumanized, not seen as thinking/feeling adults with the same rights as anyone. That is a terrible rift in the social fabric, and I’m sure you have noticed that it is palpable. I blame the mental health industry for this. They’re supposed to be helping heal and mend, and instead they are divisive and marginalizing. Change is needed right in this area, not sure how that would come about.

    You sound like a social warrior, so I am wishing you the very best of luck and cheering you on! You’ve got a tough job, but you are needed. Glad you are heeding the call!

  • Responding to Steve, above (I don’t have the capability to insert my comment into the thread like you do, so I’m responding down here)–

    “I think it’s important to know about and use these studies to make our case, even as we all know that every individual case is different,”

    “Our” case? To whom are you referring in the first person plural? MIA? Other?

    Besides, I think it’s robbing Peter to pay Paul, in that you are simply creating another so-called “damaged” group–with new labels to support that–in order to scapegoat and make people feel lesser than and marginal, not to mention, dependent.

    And the systemic issues persevere, despite any shifts in perspective here. That’s not the change which I seek, that would go deeper to the core of systemic and social dysfunction than this argument does.

    “and that recovering even from long-term use of these drugs is possible for many so exposed.”

    Yes, that is the main thing, and many of us have done just that. It is vital for people to have living and breathing examples of healing from this crap, in order to hold hope, encouragement, support, and validation for their unique healing process, as opposed to more judgment and stigma and self-defeatism that inherently come with discouraging, fatalistic, and downright scary messages, such as “your brain has shrunk.”

    Even with holding that perspective while not revealing that you are thinking that, one can tell, people pick that up after a few moments of communication, and it can be detrimental. Best to know a better truth, from my perspective, as a former client. That would be of benefit to anyone, I believe.

  • I’m completely out of all that, this was over 15 years ago and I’ve since moved on and enjoy my life thoroughly. I’ve done tons of healing in all sorts of ways, and have been a teacher and have had a healing practice for over a decade now.

    Part of my life purpose is to speak my truth about this. It was my path to take, and it has enriched me in all ways. And, it woke me up but good. As long as I have healed all that brainwashing (and social programming from way back), I am happy, at peace, and aligned with my heart, truth, and spirit. What more could I ask for? I’m here to encourage others.

  • Yes, the neurotoxin/gaslighting combo is a killer, without a doubt. The worst of the gaslighting and abuse took place for me as I was in withdrawal. I was in a social services day treatment program which had several groups with a variety of psychotherapists/facilitators, while at the same time I was seeing the last psychiatrist I ever saw. I’ve never been around so many assholes in my life.

    I was rather defenseless in my withdrawal state, and they took full advantage, like kicking around a sick puppy–which at the time, I was, and nobody really understood what was going on, but they pretended they did and made things up to justify their thinking (false projections), as per the norm in “mh practices.” Made me feel insane, depsondent, and hopeless, and indeed, it almost cost me my life. And all of this, as the result of actively trying to become more healthy, clear, and functional. Not in psychiatry! That would be a false expectation, without a doubt.

    But I eventually recovered from all of this and got it all straight, the truth of the matter was clear: the psychiatry driven “mental health” system kills people, as it came so close to doing with me.

    “I’m glad you got your brain out!”

    Me too! Or conversely, I’m glad I got all of that out of my brain. That was friggin’ over-the-top crazy!!! My truth of the matter, and message to others, is: it can be done.

  • Yes, I agree with you, Nancy. It’s the training which is misguided. Some would call the education “programming,” with which I’d concur. The conditioning is passed down, which I think is what we’re trying to stop–bad information to be replaced by way better information, true to healing rather than satsifying an institutional or political agenda. That would be my intention and goal, in any event.

    I was in training and MTF internship when my world began to turn upside down from the psych drugs I’d been on, and no one around me was any help, to say the least, and really quite discouraging, which turned into “demeaning,” which led me right into hopelessness. I eventually discovered and realized that the education was bad information and the skills of the therapists were seriously below par, and all of this could lead down a treacherous road for anyone, as it had done with me and so many others.

    While someone may not be out to deliberately harm another, when someone tells them that their actions are causing pain and hurt, and they argue, ignore, or turn the blame around, I can only call that toxic abuse. When the abusers have allies and not the victim, then it is systemic, and not good for anyone, regardless of having noble intentions. Even the most progressive ideas will not fly in a system such as this, since no truth can come to light in a toxic system. Information becomes corrupt, because that is the energy of toxicity–to destroy and sabotage, not to support and create. That’s how I see it.

  • That film is more than a marketing strategy, it is false advertising and blatant propaganda. Especially if your confidence was violated, as it appears that it clearly was, repeatedly.

    I started out by going to my college counseling center (this was 39 years ago) and while I did not experience what you did in many ways, I still found it not only extremely unhelpful, but also filled with incompetent counselors. They were awful, and indeed, made me feel as though something were terribly wrong with me, because I was depressed. There were reasons for it, but they did not bother to probe that, and I tried 2 different counselors. The last one was the one that convinced me that something was wrong with me, whereas now, I can see that she was judging me, purely. Looking back, I can now understand the projection.

    Great truth-speaking here and well-written piece. I hope this article gets around, especially to the counseling centers and universities. I also hope you find your peace. Speaking your truth is a good start.

  • Yes, it does, and they are relentlessness about it. And so many of us are mirroring back those negative expectations from psychiatry, based on experience and our own negative outcomes from said “services.” It will not kill them (I would hope!) to learn from what the mirror is reflecting back, rather than resisting it at all cost.

    Vampires are the ones who cannot see their own reflection–aka getting defensive, hostile, retaliatory, and shutting down communication when reasonable and heartfelt critical feedback is being offered, and especially when it is obvious to everyone that harm is being done, and the harmful behavior will not stop.

    Their survival depends on harming another, to drain them of life force energy. And then another, and another, and another…the vampire is the one who is dependent on others, they need the energy of another in order to survive. It is endless seduction and victimization, until the vampire is destroyed.

    That’s the only way (according to legend) to stop the cycle of vampiristic harm, to drive a stake through the vampire’s heart. In that vein, I just try to speak my truth of the matter as clearly and directly and precisely and reasonably as I know how–and then creatively when that doesn’t work. Feels good to say it, in any event, because it is truth.

  • “I’ve watched IQ loss, decision making falter, inability to perceive and discern “grey areas” (black/white thinking), and complications get immeasurably simplified due to the drugs. I help people come off of neuroleptics, and these qualities are common among many of them.”

    This somewhat reflects my experience when I was in withdrawal from 9 drugs after 20 years on one mix or another, and indeed it was temporary, there is healing for all of this, and it is layered and complex.

    For me, part of it was neural pathway rerouting and also nourishing brain cells (herbs, light, conscious relaxation); and another part of healing my brain was about healing tremendous fear–dread, terror, to be precise–from all the negative messages that were ruminating in my brain (also causing sleep disturbance/chronic insomnia for a period of time), due to heart and spirit wounding and the disorientation which comes with that, from all kinds of systemic vampirism. That’ll throw the brain–and one’s entire energy system–off-kilter but good after a while. That is a very intricate and humbling healing, and it is the transformation.

    Systemic abuse can be very subtle, yet powerful to the unsuspecting. That has the potential to impair brain functioning in an even more powerful way than the drugs because we have a hard time recognizing abuse in an abusive culture, and it does involve recognizing toxic relationships, which can be understandably terribly challenging for people.

    This is the complicated part, healing the brain/mind/heart/spirit from gaslighting and negative projections and other dysfunctional relationship patterns which ruin peoples’ health and lives, because they lose their clarity and are filled with doubt, worry, and chronic negative ruminations. All because others like to send messages of doubt and fear. One has to be careful about this. I remember this well from my experience.

    That is what I had to heal in order to feel good, be healthy and clear, and experience the joy of life, once and for all–drugs or no drugs.

  • Sorry, I believe you are both wrong and speaking fallaciously. JanCarol, I’m aware of myself and I’m surprised you are trying to explain me to me, and I’m sure none of my “brain is missing,” if that is what you are implying. I’m also aware of the interconnectedness of the brain, the mind, the heart, and spirit, and I also recognize and understand heart intelligence (or lack thereof). This is what feeds the mind.

    Talking about “brain shrinkage” and insisting on it is only going to feed prejudice and lead to greater misunderstanding and misinformation. I believe that those of you who insist on “brain shrinkage” in this context are delivering a very dangerous and misleading message.

    Forget studies, Steve, we’re talking about real people in real life, not these academic illusions which are constantly perpetuated by people who have absolutely no personal or first hand experience with what they are “studying.” No credibility here.

  • Mark and Stephen, do you guys believe that the drugs shrunk your brain? That’s what I’m infering from your statements, and by the fact that you are trying to somehow convince me of this phenomenon, which you will never be able to do. I have yet to see anything persuasive here, it all stinks of divisive programming to me which makes the ground fertile for marginalization and dangerous discrimination.

    But if that’s what you all believe about yourselves, then that is what will affect you the most, that belief. I feel people own their reality by what they believe, so I do make it a point to not argue with the beliefs of others, that is really none of my business.

    But sometimes, I’m so tempted to break that rule, because from what I’ve seen in both of your posts, I don’t see how your brain could be shrunken, you both seem rather wise, alert, awake, and brilliant to me. I’m sure there’s stuff going on, from what you have both described of your experience–like with anyone, really–but I would venture to guess that none of your issues are in any way about a having a “small brain,” due to “reduction in mass.” If that’s what you want to believe, I wouldn’t argue, but I would at least give it a gentle challenge. If I am wrong, I do apologize. This is not intended to invalidate your beliefs or question your reality, I’d go with what you say about yourselves.

    But from what I’ve seen, I’d imagine the two of you have more brainpower than all the shrinks in the world put together. That’s just my intuitive hunch, based on what I’ve experienced in the world during my lifetime, in addition to what I have read on here over the years. You guys have your finger on the pulse of truth, whereas we all know that *mh anything* is devoid of this. Frankly, there is no power in that, only the illusion of it. And it’s a powerful mass illusion because it’s been around for so long and pushes our most basic buttons to create fear, and because so many people have bought and continue to buy into it.

    But, this illusion can be broken, when we make the truth stronger and more powerful and way more relevant than these institutional scams we’ve got going on now, and especially psychiatry, the poster child for institutional scams. Our voices do, indeed, matter. They are essential.

    Please do not insist that this negative and fear & shame based truth is more powerful than my truth of healing and well-being. That would be a travesty in this community, don’t you think? What purpose would that serve, other than to feed the beast?

    This is how everything is upside down right now, to my mind– wrong people in power, wrong people disempowered. Reversing this would go a long way in healing society. But how???

    Truth is the only leader, really, and it can come through anyone. It’s up to us to discern what is real for us vs. what is negative and disempowering programming. That’s the way to freedom, systemic transformation, and social change, and in that particular order, I do believe. Feel freedom, first, and the system will begin to transform, not the other way around.

    Freedom of speech and spe