Comments by Louisa

Showing 27 of 27 comments.

  • A pretty amazing story of a person who has done amazingly well despite psychiatric intervention. Ekaterina, I would hope that you will eventually get away from all those toxic cocktails and live your life to the fullest. You obviously have the intelligence to access information you need to find out about your so-called “psychosis” and the terrible labelling of people–and, as you mention–the stigma attached to it all. I would suggest you study the history of “mental illness” and what has led us to this story state. (I am writing an essay on the subject.) I think that we need intellectuals (particularly philosophers) who will finally get to the bottom of psychiatry and inform the general public that the idea of “insanity” is not what we see so often portrayed in literature and movies and to move beyond fear. And I hope you will look at the work of Wouter Kusters, a philosopher who says there is “meaning in madness”. (See: “A Philosophy of Madness: The Experience of Psychotic Thinking” 2014)

  • Chloe McKinnon:

    I wonder if you would be interested in sharing your contact information. I have been involved in a work on your subject (schizophrenia/psychosis and anti psychiatry) for almost 50 years. This was originally my late husband’s life’s work and I think his ideas would be useful to you. Like you, I live in British Columbia. I am Louisa Ellingham on Facebook–real name is Lynne Braga.

    Thank you.

  • Iva Paska,
    As an independent scholar who is very interested in the emergence of a new perception in ways we see and treat “mental illness”, I find your ideas encouraging. I’m glad the “dots are connecting” and that more will begin to renounce the faulty idea that the brain is like a “machine” that needs to be “fixed”. A new paradigm must be found by looking at what consciousness and mind actually are–this is beyond the realm of science.
    Thank you.

  • Hello Daiphanous Weeping,
    Yes, the story of my son is very tragic. He was artistic and intelligent and could have, I believe, had a good life–or at least, reasonable, considering the battles our young people face these days. I really like your Pied Piper analogy. You are right–children are being stolen from their parents with drug use. In my day the “right of passage” for youth was drinking which was bad enough…now it seems to be both drinking AND drugs, a sad comment on our society.

  • Hello Boans,
    I am sorry that such terrible harm befell you. Where I live we now have “safe” cannabis stores, but the products are very expensive; so people are obviously buying from friends, dishonest street pushers, suppliers and the like. Yes, the outrageous use of drugs in psychiatry must be stopped! As for “recreational drugs”–I would always advise: Just don’t use them…there are other, better ways to relieve the stress of living in our highly competitive, materialistic world. We need to learn about ourselves and why we feel we need substances to get through life.
    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • This story is so distressing and painful to me. My 30-year-old son died as a result of heavy marijuana use. He had had a difficult childhood (Dad was absent a lot and unfortunately, I wasn’t much of a mother to him.) So unsurprisingly, Julian started using marijuana after he left high school and successfully hid it from the family. For about the next 10 years he wouldn’t settle on any plan for his life and wouldn’t get a job either. He told us that his part-time involvement with the Navy as a reservist was his “work”. He disappeared for long periods of time and did a lot of “couch surfing”, but always came back home at intervals. His girlfriend gave up on him, but we learned that she and his friends were very concerned about his drug use. Eventually around the age of 28, his behaviour became very strange. He would stay up all night, taking a shower at 3 AM and going out for walks afterwards. Then he started to dress properly and carry a brief case, telling us that he was going to contact the movie producer George Lucas with some ideas he had. Our daughter recognized some symptoms of crystal meth ingestion that she had learned about from friends. Sure enough, Julian became worse over a few weeks and became extremely paranoid, telling us that his friends were driving by the house, intending to attack him. Next came a suicide attempt: he jumped onto the road in front of a moving taxi. From this episode, he never really recovered, although he was “brought down” from his psychosis with psychotropic drugs. (The hospital psychiatrist said he was schizophrenic, completely ignoring the fact that marijuana can cause psychosis!) By this time, his Dad had died (cancer) and Julian was living with me. It is a complicated story, but he started using marijuana again (an obvious addiction) against all advice to the contrary. I told him he had to leave home and find a job and for a short time I actually thought this was best for him. It was not. We are not sure exactly what happened, but it was reported that after being out all night he had returned to his rented room and then ran out of the house and jumped over the ledge of an overpass.

    This is a story no mother wants to have to admit to… I feel terrible for my own ineptitude and that I wasn’t able to get help for Julian, although I did try a number of agencies that were less than sympathetic. I am extremely concerned about the use of recreational drugs, especially marijuana since it seems to be the gateway drug to other toxic ones. I believe the supplier spiked Julian’s marijuana with crystal meth, although he refused to acknowledge that this could happen. Later, my research showed that the THC in the street drug is much higher than it was when people started using back in the 1970’s and that there is no “pure marijuana” out there.

    I fervently hope your life turns around, L. Hansen. Your son deserves his mother and I imagine it will be an uphill battle. Please try for your own sake as well as his and I wish you every success for a better life!

  • Thanks for your responses, Birdsong. Yes, it has been said before: “It is no sign of sanity to be well adjusted to a sick society.” ~ R.D. Laing
    I firmly believe that more of us need to tackle the issues of why we are living in a immoral society ruled by scientific materialism.

  • Dear Shiloh,

    Your story is truly heartbreaking. My late husband’s life’s work was trying to set the record straight about our misguided belief in Western psychiatry’s medical model of “mental disorders” and how this is based on false premises–treating these “disorders” as physical diseases. And it goes further than this because science can not pronounce what a disorder of the mind IS until it can explain consciousness, which it tends to ignore. The problem extends back to the Age of Enlightenment, but I won’t go further into this here. I can’t write my husband’s book–the most I can manage is an essay and feel I must do this because it explains so much.

    I am truly glad you have come out alive and yes, hopefully you can write something that will save others from these completely unnecessary toxic drugs and other treatments as well. And hopefully your children will realize that their mother was only trying to overcome enormous difficulties but was led down a hazardous path through no fault of her own. We, as a culture, are indoctrinated into believing that unless we are goal driven and seeking personal satisfaction at all times, there is something wrong with us. I believe that nothing could be further from the truth.

    Wishing you the very best…

  • This system must be abolished. Innocent people’s lives are being ruined for the reason that we think we can “medicate” life problems away. I admire your intelligent narrative and hope your will continue to write. I am working on the seemingly insurmountable conundrums in today’s world, especially in the area of so called “mental health”.
    Thank you.

  • Hello again Sam,
    It cannot be an accident that just a few moments ago I sent a comment on your last piece (under the “Why Do We Lock People Up?” essay) asking if you had ever considered your wife’s experiences to be “spiritual emergence”? I see you’ve given us a lot more information here and it will be enlightening to read your booklet when time permits. So, thanks again!

  • Hi Sam,
    An amazing story of courage and compassion. Your wife was indeed fortunate to have such a caring husband. Of course I have no idea what proceeded your wife’s dilemma but am wondering if you ever looked into the concept of spiritual emergency–that is, could your wife have been going through a state of seeing the world with new perceptions that most people cannot understand. In the case of so-called “schizophrenia” there are alternative ways of seeing it: “[A] natural and temporary self-healing process involving the removal of illusions and false beliefs which originate in the programming of social conditioning and which inhibit the psychological growth necessary for effective adaptability. The apparent ‘craziness’ of so-called schizophrenia is the sign of the person’s passage into a higher level of consciousness.” While I am sure you may not want to “revisit” the painful time your wife was going through it all, I just wondered if you had ever considered the concept I am suggesting.
    All the best to you and your family!

  • Although I happen to agree with you about the profession, the fact that Dr. McLaren is a psychiatrist and is trying to expose the terrible wrongs could benefit us all. Working “within” the system means he has access to what is really happening, rather than trying to fight from without which can be MUCH harder!
    Let’s not forget that R.D. Laing was a psychiatrist as was John Weir Perry and Stanley R Dean. There are others fighting the system now like Peter Breggin.

  • An excellent article. I’d like to take it a step further. Christine, you mention that in solving your particular problem you “dug deep into how [your] psychological problem developed.” I think we should be asking what led us into this toxic system in the first place. It is high time that we look back and “dig deeper” because the current system cannot be repaired unless we understand exactly where the problem lies. Being concerned and even outraged as I see in so much outpouring (both on and off line) is NOT going to change the situation, except perhaps, in negligible ways. I agree with your statement that “it is important to look at the conditions in society and the mental health system that feed these problems.” But it is just as, perhaps more important to look at what caused those conditions–the root of the dilemma, in other words.

  • I have been heartened by Dr. Hickey’s two articles and the excellent research he has provided in an effort to fight the pernicious effects of psychiatric diagnosis and the inherent psychotropic drugs that have and are causing irreparable harm.

    However, I have to take issue with the definition of “illness” as discussed here. Dr. Hickey mentions that “traditionally brain illnesses have been the province of neurologists with one exception: those brain illnesses that impair mental processes (thinking, feeling and behaving) have been seen as the province of psychiatry, while neurology deals with all the rest.” So, aside from the organic brain problems causing “illness”, we have accepted the idea of “mental illness” that causes a number of unwanted symptoms in the area of “thinking, feeling and behaving”. My contention is that none of these should be labelled as “illnesses” since the domain of “illness” is, as Dr. Hickey points out: “a reliably identifiable flaw or deficiency in the structure or function of one or more bodily organs”. Thinking, for example, is defined by the Cambridge English Dictionary as: “the process of using your mind to understand matters, make judgments, and solve problems”. NOW, we come to the essential matter–what is the “mind” and what is the connection between brain and mind? Do the chemical/electrical workings in the brain produce “thought” or for that matter, “consciousness”? Science has tried to tackle this problem without success. I suggest that this is because “consciousness”, “thinking”, “feeling” and “behaving” are areas that can only be dealt with using philosophy, especially in such areas as metaphysics, ontology and epistemology.

    It is absolutely true that psychiatry has been allowed to conjure up all sorts of spurious diagnoses to deal with what are normal quandaries in everyday life. It is also true that people have been deceived by psychiatry which has, in turn, deluded itself. But I think that there IS a counter argument and that I have stated it here.

  • What an amazing ‘success’ story and such a needed narrative! The public needs to understand that a radical change in psychiatric ‘therapy’ is the only way to help those suffering from the traumas that we inflict on each other. I wonder if the scientific/materialistic methods will ever truly be wiped out. These only seek to understand the ‘mind’–not the workings of the ‘heart’ and the depths of the ‘soul’!
    Thank you, Lynne Stewart!

  • Such a revealing indictment of the abuses in a system that has terrorized people for over 200 years. And it is equally appalling that your personal story was so affected by psychiatry “from the other side”–by which I mean, not as a ‘patient’ but as a family member of a psychiatrist!

    Of course, this is not the first time we have encountered people being incarcerated in psychiatric institutions simply because they had done something ‘deemed’ to be illegal by more powerful and ruthless people. In other cases, patients were in some way seen as ‘inconvenient’ by their families and whisked away, often never to be seen again.

    It is very encouraging that brave people like yourself, Kate, are speaking up and writing about experiences that shine the light both on racial inequality and psychiatric persecution.

  • An interesting topical article! I am glad to see that the author is against ‘drugging’ and the current dreadful trend of “biological psychiatry”. And I agree that the answer is an individual one. I am coming from a Jungian perspective: Jung believed that only the single individual could effect change in societies. What the author has stated here about “emotional contagion”, Jung would call a “collective shadow”. We all, according to Jung, have a Shadow–undesirable traits that we prefer to ignore and repress, since we like to be seen as good rather than the complex self that we really are. When our shadow is not faced and acknowledged, we tend to ‘project’ our undesirable characteristics onto others. A whole group or society is also capable of this and we all know of corrupt leaders that have used a group shadow to their advantage: it is the fault of the ‘other nations’, never ours. And so, the answer can only be the difficult challenge of individual change–one person at a time who will eventually spread his/her understanding to others by example. We need to look inward instead of focussing our attention on popular social movements and messages.

  • What an excellent and revealing account, Mary. I am glad you are out of the grips of those who would ‘diagnose’ you, rather than just listen to you. We need a completely new paradigm for the psychiatry. The problem, as I see it, is of philosophical ideologies. We have long forgotten other modes of perception: symbols, metaphor, spirit, mystery, dreams and sacredness–the spheres that are so essential to the human psyche. Today’s ‘scientist’ is an empiricist who sees only the material world and attempts to fit everything into a narrow picture he can understand.

  • Dear Sean– Your story needs to be told and followed up in depth. People don’t realized that psychiatry is only about 150 years old and is actually an ‘experiment’ foisted on an unsuspecting and uncomprehending public who are now taught to believe in the great god “Science”. Psychiatrists will never understand the ‘psychotic’ mind, because they have no experience of that mode of thinking themselves. A great mistake was made during the Enlightenment era when a material philosophy began to replace the spiritual dimension of man. The idea of ‘soul’ became ‘mind’ (created *somehow* by chemicals in the brain–this is never adequately addressed) and psychiatry now treats brain ‘illness’ with terrible drugs.
    I am sure you would be interested in the work of Wouter Kusters a philosopher who himself, was labelled as ‘psychotic’. His book (A Philosophy of Madness:The Experience of Psychotic Thinking) looks at the issues of what it means to be psychotic and what the philosophical ramifications are. I am working on an essay covering the subject.
    All the best to you!

  • I am so glad you are free from the psychiatric system–my late husband worked on the problem of “schizophrenia” and “mental illness” for 40 years. (I am writing an essay.) You might be interested in the work of Dutch philosopher (and former psychiatric patient) Wouter Kusters who is attempting to see “madness” from a non medical view. I am reading his latest book, “A Philosophy of Madness”.