Showing 100 of 973 comments.
There is still good in individuals. The human ‘race’ is a pox upon this Earth. Don’t confuse the macro with the micro lest you despair that there is no good to be found at all.
Thank you for the donation link. It was heartbreaking to see the old message there from Matt Stevenson. His generosity of heart speaks still from beyond the grave.
My best wishes to Marci. I certainly understand her anger, and unwillingness to play her captor’s game after being poisoned and losing the most precious thing in her world. The cruelty of this world is just unfathomable at times.
Also, LS, the debt owed is by the heads of the pharmaceutical companies that manufactured the poisons she was ingesting. The prescriber could claim no knowledge of the harms of antidepressants but the manufacturer knows and sells it anyway, at a massive profit. I’ve always assumed you have to sell your soul to work for pharma.
Hey LS, did you make that new email address yet? Hoping we’ll hear from you soon. 🙂 (also, I tried out tutanota email and really like it – OH said he’d pass my tutanota address along when you’re reconnected)
Hi johnchristine, I have enjoyed your comments and largely agree with you. I think you know very well some of the systemic issues we’re facing. But I also understand why making so many short disjointed comments seem disruptive to some.
It seems that what you’re going through is very distressing and I’m sorry I don’t know how to help you resolve that situation, but I think you could help us to follow along and better understand your message if you’d make a more concerted effort to consolidate your comments into fewer longer statements. In solidarity…KS
Julie, there are precious few truly antipsychiatry mentors who make themselves known. The majority of those involved at this site and elsewhere take a critical reform position. I’m not interested in reforming a police force disguised as medical care.
Steve M, direct-to-consumer drug advertising didn’t really explode until the FDA relaxed its rules in 1997. For the liberals in the room who might blame the right, this occurred during the Bill Clinton presidency as he was personally strongly in favor of deregulation and it occurred across many government agencies during his tenure, not just at FDA.
The first amendment has been the biggest hurdle as the Supreme Court has put in place strong protections for advertising (propaganda). One way around this would be if the Medicare for All idea became a nationalized healthcare system and medical R&D was returned to the universities under strictly public funding to find effective drugs in the public interest. (Which is not at all to say that I support psych drugs, but if the profit motive is removed and the government actuaries begin to realize that disabling people with the drugs is costlier than the profits the industry makes on the drugs, it would undermine the forward momentum to drug everyone in America.) In an environment where corporations are people with stronger protections than actual people, there’s little hope of changing this phenomena.
I do not think it was any one thing like the DSM III changes, or the introduction of Prozac, or direct to consumer advertising, but they all played significant parts in addition to what Oldhead mentions with the advent of the grateful consumer movement.
“The goal, which was largely achieved, was to create the impression that the rowdy, radical rough-edged mental patients’ liberation movement had “evolved” into the clean, polite, largely compliant “mental health consumers” movement”
It is still the prevailing narrative that survivors should present well and genuflect to their superiors (treatment providers) in all interactions. Many survivors on this very site will demand the right to be “mad” but they don’t seemingly yet understand that they also need to be angry. It’s time to stage acts of civil disobedience and act up, not ask nicely for our rights.
There is a climate change advocacy group called Extinction Rebellion making a splash in the news this week due to their organized antics. They sign their email letters “in love and rage”. That seems like a pretty good position to take. One must harness both lest you be coopted by a more organized gentler “reasonable” and polished message.
I do wish some of the movement veterans would take more initiative to mentor this generation’s radicals who have expressed a willingness to act.
Fuck that. I’m with Jewel. I’m sensitive and I want to stay that way. The world is tough enough already.
My own mother would have complained about similar issues with getting services for me. I was a physically, emotionally, and sexually abused child and my poor mommy participated in covering up both her own and others abuses of me.
I am proud to have been a child who acted out in response to the abuse and control I was put under. It’s time to start asking why kids are acting the way they are instead of assuming the child is disordered and the poor suffering parents need help.
However, there are two issues being conflated in this article. One is the difficulty involved in getting community services aimed at the impoverished. The other issue is the targeting of impoverished parents by the educational, juvenile justice, and child welfare systems. And only peripherally involves the medical system as psychiatry is used as a tool of control. Control of the child and control of the parents.
A system of child abuse coverup exists within both the educational and juvenile justice systems, aided by the child welfare system and medicine via psychiatry. The difference between permanent loss of your children and not is merely a matter of whether you can afford an attorney. The child still has no fundamental rights. The right of the state to remove a child is not a child protection and the child that is removed is rarely protected. These are states rights vs parents rights. We should never confuse or pretend that it’s actually about the child. The child is a pawn between opposing parties.
It’s rather astounding the level of apathy that the US is displaying about our current 17 year long war which we know our leaders lied to get us into.
Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers that illuminated that the leaders of the time had lied about the reasons to get into Vietnam. A current democratic presidential candidate from Alaska named Mike Gravel entered the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record so that they couldn’t be suppressed again.
Where are the people fighting for Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and standing up for whistleblowers and against endless (extremely profitable) wars? When we take to the streets, were labeled as extremists. The mainstream media falls in line with the government and security agencies and paints us as misguided at best, dangerous at worst.
AMERICA, WHERE ARE YOU? Put down your bottles of Xanax and Prozac, feel the fear and the despair and get off your asses, we need boots on the ground fighting for our freedoms.
This passivity, this attitude that “my distress is evidence of my mental illness” is exactly what the people in charge at the top want: a compliant populace! DON’T COMPLY!!! Refuse! Act up! Act out! Be loud! Be heard!
And if you don’t, when you have no rights left, you’ll only have yourselves to blame, not your captors.
And if this is extremism, then I will proudly wear the label. I will walk in the shadow of the legacies of those activists who came before me. Sometimes you have to be brave.
Drop the disorder. Fight for your damn rights!!!
Psychiatry’s basis is a judge mental book of behavior groupings – none of which are particular to any specific “mental illness” label but are specific to the individual in distress.
The labels tell us absolutely nothing about the origins of a person’s distress. The people who these labels are applied to have very little in common and the interrater reliability of the labeling process is so fundamentally broken that no common theme can be made about anyone except perhaps that people labeled with the so-called personality disorders are almost universally severely traumatized – first by the original abuse, then by abuse from the medical system.
The labels are fundamentally flawed and psychiatry as a discipline is as invalid as the practice of blood letting or insulin therapy. (FFS autocorrect…)
The only reasonable path forward is for other medical specialities to take back their responsibility to proper diagnosis and treatment of the physical illnesses that fall within their disciplines, and for those in distress which is not directly medically treatable to have proper supports in the community that aren’t state controlled and funded.
There is ample room for change within a humanistic framework but the first step will have to be a recognition of the vast amount of harm that psychiatry is doing by dulling the normal and expected reactions of the populace toward more and more harm. Medicating away any hint of distress means we choose to pacify ourselves rather than to act upon the normal and expected danger signals this bankrupt culture is inducing in more and more of us.
What we seem to be calling “effectiveness” referring to the psychiatric drugs is really merely a more rapid change of state. But we know also that the brain adjusts to the drugs so that the next depressive episode will need more of the drug or an additional drug or the “patient” may become “treatment resistant”. So our rush for a rapid improvement sets the “patient” up for a more difficult “recovery” in the next episode, and so on. (And it’s assumed the source of distress is within the individual, of course.)
Of course, people in distress are no different from each other whether it’s the new mother we sympathize with or the homeless guy who remains invisible to most until we are inconvenienced by having to step over him on the sidewalk.
Human is human. Distress is distress. Our culture is broken. Humans are not disposable. Drugs don’t make up for lack of community and lack of socializing. They don’t heal the nervous system damage that results from lack of touch and lack of human contact. Drugs don’t make us more sensitive to our own and others emotional existences. They cut us off and emotionally embalm us into our own individual ecosystems so that we not bother anyone else with our troubles.
We don’t need more drug studies, we need more humanity. We need less competition for resources and a guidebook on how to cooperate again. We need to rid ourselves of culturally imposed notions of success that involve accomplishments and material wealth and start judging ourselves and others on our measure of kindness and cooperation and love…
We must learn to be human again or we will not recover. We are not the Borg. We must not assimilate any further. Wake up, people!!!
Hi Ron, I don’t think you really understood what I meant. I used “extreme” in quote because the word is oft used to imply that the opposition’s position actually is extreme, which may only be the opinion or accusation of the party that doesn’t wish to negotiate.
I don’t view antipsychiatry as extreme because antipsychiatry does not deny that there are medical causes of distress. What it does is say that the field of psychiatry is based on a judgmental book of behaviors that have been fairly well shown to be responses to social traumas and environmental toxins and that none of the diagnoses really represents distinct illnesses so much as arbitrarily voted upon groupings and labels.
The collections of behaviors therefore are not scientifically legitimate and have been used tautaulogically in an effort to spend lots of time and money on a very lucrative wild good chase for causes of the so-called mental illnesses. So that doesn’t mean that there aren’t medical causes of behaviors and perceptions. But psychiatry and it’s book of diagnonsense is invalid. Let the neurologists take on the demonstrably brain based disorders as they already do with the dementias. Let the GI docs and nutritionists take on the gastrointestinal dysbioses and nutritional deficiencies. Let the infectious diseases doctors deal with the infectious causes of mental disturbances, etc.
But psychiatry has no foundation left, and the first floor is already flooded with its lies and deceptions to an unsuspecting people. Eventually it will collapse simply due to the rate of knowledge gain of actual causes of mental distress, which are largely environmental toxins and social traumas.
Being antipsychiatry need not be anti-medicine or anti-science because Psychiatry is focused on behaviors and their supposed genetic causes and chemical cures, which isn’t sustainable when the known social and environmental causes become more and more clear. You cannot vote something into scientific legitimacy the way the book of diagnonsense has been devised.
My view of morality is the set of things that one might find shocking or offensive but not necessarily criminal, and they most often seem to govern women’s behavior or have more of an effect on women when dictated by the church. Things like sex before marriage or how much skin one can show (modesty). But there are other ways we might moralize our own unethical behaviors, such as the thief who only steals from the rich to appease his own conscience about the act of stealing.
So that’s the distinction really broken down from my perspective.
“KS, if you’re not feeling well today, my condolences.
May you get well soon.”
Don’t you think that’s a pretty condescending reaction to a logical argument?
“Well it’s better than suffering and not learning anything, isn’t it?”
Rachel, I’m not accusing you of meanness. I’m taking this statement to its logical conclusion and saying that it would be mean and we’d never do it.
There’s nothing particularly valuable about suffering in and of itself, even if normal life events cause temporary pain. Learning from the suffering caused by the consequences of your actions is not the same. That’s the distinction I want to make.
Not al suffering is the same and so a statement that it’s better to learn than not is not universally applicable.
Ethics guide the social contract which dictates acceptable social behavior and what we owe to each other; morals guide your personal norms and are subjective and personal to the individual. Religious morals enforce the beliefs of the church, which (generally) uphold patriarchal views of behavior that others may not value.
You do not need to accept anyone else’s (religiously guided) moral beliefs in order to behave ethically and not cause harm to others.
I didn’t twist her words or accuse her of doing anything, especially not maliciously.
Rachel is also more than capable of defending herself if she feels attacked. I’m sharing how I received her words. She may not have intended to sound dismissive. Good for you if you had a different response.
I don’t find value in unnecessary suffering, so I don’t find value in learning from gratuitous painful experiences, especially when chronic traumatic stress has such extreme long term health effects.
Dismissing suffering because to suffer is part of living is a way of shaming those who are currently suffering or have experienced suffering they couldn’t change and didn’t deserve. Suggesting that one needs to find the silver lining in traumatic experiences is pretty mean. You wouldn’t ask a rape victim what she learned from the experience. You’d want her attacker prosecuted. So perhaps it’s time to start validating that suffering just hurts and we don’t need to rise above it or learn something from it, rather, we need justice, we need our stories heard, validated, our suffering compensated, and for the assault to stop against others.
Ron what I hear you saying is that you choose a critical psychiatry stance because it appears more reasonable; less vulnerable to attack. This is logically questionable but it’s also not particularly effective as an activist tactic. You start from the “extreme” in order to bring your “opponent” closer to your position. If your opponent can only claim your position is “extreme”, he reveals how flimsy the ground he stands on actually is.
The antipsychiatry “side” has ample evidence, in part thanks to RW himself, that the purpose of psychiatry is control over the population. We currently have a population that chooses pills and labels to soothe any and all discomforts. We have a government controlled by business interests and a passive population that would rather medicate away any hint of distress rather than fight for their rights in the street.
1984 was not an instruction manual. We have to attack the apathy of the population and remind humanity of their collective need to act. We’re rapidly approaching a point where psychiatry will be irrelevant because the planet is literally going to become uninhabitable and that is in large part due to the lifestyles of the white affluent class. So we can argue over semantics or we can do something to make a difference but it’s largely past time for this to be an intellectual excercise. Without decisive action on multiple fronts, we will simply medicate ourselves into oblivion as the world burns around us.
Of course there are other options. Both Gary Johnson and Jill Stein would have been better presidents than either of the two faux choices Americans were led to believe were the only real choices, and which were both to the right of anything that might have once upon a time been declared the center.
The problem with middle ground thinking is assuming it actually is the middle ground. But the middle is a constantly shifting and nebulous entity because the right and left aren’t fixed and agreed upon points.
Take a look at corporate news media to see the “right” trashing the “left” and vice versa. It doesn’t take long to see it’s a shit flinging exercise and that both “sides” intentionally mischaracterize the opposition.
Why are you twisting my words?
I don’t have any belief whatsoever in a higher force, especially not the patriarchal version of such which is called Christianity. If a higher force created the conditions and then sits back and watches poor choices unfold (that he already knows the suffering which will result) without intervening, that’s not love or free will, that’s entertainment for a sick mind. It’s sadism and a gross abuse of power.
Morality is largely subjective and religious morality is an oxymoron. I am against mob mentality enforcing arbitrary rules on conduct. Hold people accountable for harmful behavior directed toward others. Otherwise, you do you and believe whatever you want but you don’t get to enforce your values, morals or ethics on others, lest you end up being the one without choice and a mob chooses and enforces you to behave in ways that go against your morals. Do you see how that works?
If god knows everything that will ever happen – omnipotence – free will is a delusion.
Religion is a tool of social control and morality enforcement, no different in its intent than psychiatry. It’s the rule by the few over the many using shame and fear as its primary weapons to elicit compliance, if not from the individual, then from society writ large.
Jesus should be offended!!! Christianity teaches that we have free will and that god is omnipotent and all knowing. Our lives were designed under this model to include all of the suffering we have experienced and it was God’s will because he did nothing to change it.
The Christian God is a sociopathic megalomaniac by “his” own admission.
Steve, when you are diagnosed with an SMI like bipolar or schizophrenia, it’s common for treating therapists to expect med compliance – not necessarily expect all of their patients to be on meds. Sorry, I worded that poorly.
But it’s still significant because the biomedical genetic theories of mental illness heritability reinforce generational diagnoses and medicating of people with certain diagnoses. In many cases, it’s generational poverty and/or systemic racism (traumas) that keeps families locked into dysfunction and causes the severe distress labeled as these SMIs. But it’s quite common for people with those diagnoses to be expected to be med compliant by virtually the entire medical profession and the mental health professionals and workers such as the nurses, psychotherapists and social workers. Mistaking the physiological effects on the body of the SDOH for severe mental illnesses and requiring those patients to be stable on meds before being willing to talk to them reinforces generational oppression rather than curing illness and protecting the vulnerable.
Completely agreed. 🙂
Jesus, I just had a revelation.
What if the real problem we call “attention deficit disorder” isn’t that a child can’t “pay attention” but that they need to be “paid attention to”. Why is inability to sit still in school or conform to rigid rules in social institutions considered a deficit within the child rather than a deficit within the family and culture?
I’m not sure how I missed this article, but MIA just pointed it out to me at the end of another recent article.
I was one of those children who was shamed for seeking attention. I was the youngest child of two working parents and three much older siblings in the home. I was an “only child” by 12. My siblings left home young and never looked back. A very common refrain growing up was “K*** will take any attention she can get, positive or negative.” They never took this as a sign that I actually needed attention.
I grew up relatively feral, I was alone much of the time, I wandered the neighborhood alone from a young age, missed a lot of school because no one was home to care if I went, and I missed a lot of meals because my siblings were old enough to fend for themselves and my mother sometimes didn’t come home for several days at a time.
It does seem like this “attention deficit” carried over into an adult – at least in terms of how I think of my own attention needs. Of course, now we have the put down “attention whore” to shame people’s need for intimacy and connection. I have recently started reaching out to try to form closer relationships and I’ve been rewarded for the effort, but there’s still that nagging voice inside that I’m “bothering” people simply for existing and it still feels like I’m making demands on people’s time.
I think you bring up really good points about how people end up being shamed and ostracized for simply needing human connection. Thanks, Megan.
Rachel, there is a wide variation in what constitutes a “life coach”. Almost anyone can hang out their shingle as a life coach. I have never ran into one that wouldn’t take former mental patients. In fact, in my experience, they’re happy to poach from the psychotherapists because many (if not most) don’t believe in the mental illness paradigm. (Which doesn’t mean they won’t blame you for your problems.)
Life coaches are probably the least offensive of the lot when comparing the techniques of therapists, coaches and clergy. Personally, I would have preferred a life coach than a therapist because they actually try to help you get your life on track instead of trying to convince you how ill and broken you are.
Church is second best. Clergy play up god as the primary savior but they may also have resources or know of resources for help.
The new trend in therapy is to refuse patients who aren’t also in psychiatric care. Therapists are the worst because they are licensed by the state and paid for by medical insurance, or by taxpayers for community mental health centers.
If you’re going to live in a glass house, please don’t complain about other people’s generalizations.
Democrats are NOT the LEFT! The majority of both the democrats I know and the left-wing people I know do indeed practice some form of religious belief.
As an actual left-wing (Green Party) atheist, I see people like you equating a message condemning religious harm with a left wing political viewpoint, and I wonder: do you understand that religion and politics are separate subjects?
PacificDawn is condemning religious harm, especially when it’s practiced in medicine and payed for by insurance. I do think that she is right on the money when she says these industries, including religion and “salvation seeking” denigrates the narratives of survivors.
It would help if you’d address the issues specifically rather than crying for help to have her censored. Denying that religion harms many and suggesting that we have no right to voice those harms puts you on the side of the abusers.
Hi PacificDawn. Your perspective is so refreshing and so welcome. 🙂
Yes, rewriting your own narrative of your life experiences is important to “recovering” your ability to function in this disturbed way of living we have collectively adopted. But there is a huge caveat here that hasn’t been mentioned and that is that the language that is necessary to reframe our experiences in the context of the world we live in is entirely missing from the therapist’s office.
I learned that my struggles had a larger context when I studied feminism and philosophy and economic systems and a lot of history. I learned this stuff in college and by surrounding myself with other educated people and other activists. I was never aided in this reframing and contextualizing by a therapist because that’s not really what therapists do. Even my favorite theradude who practices Positive Psychology would say lots of nice lovely things about my resilience and perseverance but that still placed the onus of either being well or dysfunctional on me and within me and did not contextualize my distress.
A reframing of one’s experiences has to happen in conjunction with becoming educated about the systems of oppression that contribute to human misery. That provides a foundation and a framework not just for survival in the face of overwhelming adversity, but the ability to carry those messages to others to help them contextualize and reframe their own narratives.
Therapy is a tool to help individuals learn to adapt to adversity so that they can continue to survive under adverse conditions, it’s never been about changing the conditions that caused the adversity.
I will not assimilate. We must never assimilate to systemic injustices. We are not The Borg.
Julian Assange was carried out of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London this morning screaming “RESIST!” He is today’s hero. We live in an interventionist culture. Maybe it’s just time to stop the interventions and simply respond to the actual criminal harm being committed against the many by the few.
“I never had this expectation that Robert Whitaker’s opinion of the matter had to agree with that of OldHead and KindredSpirit. Who thinks that way?“
One, I’m somewhat amused to be name dropped with Oldhead as if we are a monolith in lock step with each other. Oldhead and I disagree on plenty of things but we don’t have those conversations publicly so as to allow others opportunities to pit us against each other. That’s just a common sense activist survival skill, Frank. Two, who ever suggested Robert Whitaker had to agree with me and Oldhead? Three, what exactly are we supposed to be agreeing on here? (Please go back to point one so you recall that Oldhead and I actually disagree on things.)
This is an amusing diversion from the topic though. Asking survivors “what have you done lately?” (The answer is ‘a lot’ and it’s still none of your business) in an attempt to silence criticism is a tactic the oppressors use to divide and conquer, Frank. You become a tool of the oppressors when you engage in such talk.
I will not stop criticizing positions I see as wrong. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate Bob or his efforts.
Well of course Yale didn’t help with your complaints. Didn’t you see the sign on the wall upon admission? It said “the beatings will continue until morale improves.” That’s how psych treatment works. If you don’t like the abuse, the treatments aren’t “working” yet.
Well put. And criticism of the site doesn’t mean we wish it didn’t exist.
Bruce, your comments about Laura are the same as I’ve been saying and I appreciate you pointing this out publicly. The criticisms against the article have sounded at times to be personal attacks against Laura as if she had written it or had editorial control over its direction. That said, the parts of the article about Laura were fascinating and heartbreaking and I thought it did a particularly good job of humanizing her where a lot of people might have trouble connecting with someone they see as being so privileged and whose specific troubles they might otherwise not identify with.
I still wish Laura would take a more bold and clear antipsychiatry stance, but I only hold her to her own words and not what’s written in an article about her.
Bob, I think what Sam meant is that your biggest critics are sometimes also among your biggest fans. Praise may not always be as forthcoming as criticism but I think we obviously all appreciate that the platform exists. If we didn’t have different perspectives, there would be nothing to debate and I think we all learn from each other here despite our differences.
I don’t think anyone who is benefitting should be forcefully removed from the drugs, as is currently being perpetrated against chronic pain patients and long term benzo users. Physicians could certainly supervise those patients. But banning new prescriptions in drug naieve patients seems more realistic considering we do have an FDA and Consumer Product Safety Commission tasked with ensuring the safety of products and we ought to be able to expect that the drugs and medical devices currently on and those entering the market are indeed safe to use.
How do you prevent the exploitation of vulnerable populations if people are allowed to “volunteer” for pseudoscientific “treatments”? The elderly, children, and the intellectually disabled could be “volunteered” by the caretaker or doctor who makes medical decisions for them.
Why would you consider it phony cheerleading? I have brought up these issues in my own commentary before. But you win. I’ll leave you alone.
“The reality is that corporations thrive under the conditions of fear and authoritarianism. Correct me if I am wrong.”
Amen to that!
Well, I didn’t see this as an attack. I heard a bit of dismay because of a message that seemed out of place with the reality of many psych survivors. And criticism isn’t synonymous with attack. Nobody is dissing the good doctor.
It’s absolutely a call for restorative justice. Thank you for recognizing that. And for your support. I really appreciate your comments.
Hi john, I was similarly disturbed by Dr Breggin’s fluff piece on love and no it didn’t make sense from a psych survivor perspective. I know he meant well and he is an ally but it’s ok to not like everything someone does or to say you didn’t find the piece helpful.
In my book, love is overrated and many are unnecessarily hurt by mistaking friendship, loyalty, and companionship for amorous love. They confuse feelings for actions. And then we wonder why love hurts when the actions are incongruent with the feelings we thought were love. It’s a trap. Love comes and goes but a rock solid friendship at the core is the basis for the attachment and security so many in the world are lacking.
Especially since the drugs increase the odds of violence rather than preventing it.
Hey, we have a winner. The drugs aren’t medications. The Book of Diagnonsense is agreed upon with a vote by committee, not on hard evidence. It’s a profitable industry. Several antipsychotic drugs have been blockbuster billion + dollar drugs – of course it’s in their interest to prescribe as widely as possible and to malign those who resist.
This is a very incisive analysis, Frank. Would that the psychiatrists could think so clearly. The best they seem to be able to come up with is the myth of the dangerous mental patient and their own fear of loss of control over the patient. Plenty among their own ranks admit the chemical imbalance theory is bunk and the pharmaceutical small prints always start with an acknowledgement that they don’t really know how the drugs “work”. Well of course they don’t, because they don’t. This is unscientific at best and openly corrupt at worst.
The one thing I wish we could agree on was the idea that voluntary psychiatry should also be abolished. When the drugs themselves can cause dangerous changes in thinking that end with violence – against the self or others – shouldn’t those of us who walk around in the public have some protection from the potential acts of those voluntary patients? I can’t see how if psychiatry is unscientific and the treatments can make people violent, how it’s at all ethical or reasonable to allow people to sign up voluntarily.
Interested in what you think about that.
I find it truly ironic that doctors in different disciplines often times pathologize their patients resistance to harmful treatments, and how guild interests are largely to blame.
Lyme Disease patients are similarly pathologized as either never having been sick to begin with, or were accused of doctor shopping, told were being taken advantage of by quack doctors with harmful unproven treatments, or just that were crazy.
Cancer patients have been pathologized for refusing harmful chemotherapy regimens despite cancer deaths being accelerated by the toxic cocktails called chemo.
I’m certain at this point that many disciplines have similar attitudes toward patients. We’re doctors, we know what’s best, in other words.
I read a suggestion the other day that air passengers would need to organize and essentially unionize in order to prevent have enough collective power to hold companies accountable for fatal design flaws like the Boeing 737 Max aircraft that was changed to an aerodynamic that makes it stall-prone rather than stall-resistant. I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that citizens need to unionize our different rights groups into an umbrella organization to create a body so large that we actually have some power to change the way western medicine is delivered, especially as it relates to its sexist and racist research history that leaves women and communities of color with inferior care.
If we hope to fight back against these harmful narratives, we cannot just be the angry psych patients but instead the informed, loud, and demanding consumer of medical care that we all are. Unscientific treatments must go and they must not continue to be propped up by those who stand to lose the most from their demise – physicians.
End the corruption. End the medicalization of human distress. It’s time to create a medical system that honors the human experience in all its diversity, including in its justified response to a pathological and toxic world.
Krista, you turned a genuine show of support toward someone in distress over the loss of her cat into an opportunity to slug it out. No I don’t have much respect for that. And I will always be on the side of the underdog in every single discussion.
I ran rescue out of my home actively for 8 years, I volunteered for a feral spay/neuter clinic for several years, I managed a feral colony and I coordinated with other rescuers. I did it all on a shoestring budget and I am intimately familiar with the hard choices everyone in the veterinary and rescue industry face because I’ve faced them. So your schooling on the subject is unecessary and rather rude.
I have, in fact, worked with multiple entirely selfless vets that would help any pet owner in a pinch. One of them is one of my all time heroes, and was the medical director of the city shelter, which takes in hundreds of animals a day and was one of the early 100% no-kill city shelters.
The reasons you give are all very diplomatic but what it really boils down to for vets is a very small amount of income. Almost all vets will take in a sick animal whether or not the owner can pay – ethically, they will take it off your hands and either treat or euthanize. A large number will treat the animal and work with a shelter on adoption, giving the shelter a massive discount on fees (yes, I got a great discount on vet fees for being a shelter). These discounts can handily be extended to those who can’t afford to pay just as easily. Vets make a decent percentage of their money from the food they sell under contract from the prescription vet diet companies. Food that’s actually shown to often be quite harmful for animals. Hill’s is known to contain the 4 Ds (a term you should know if you are so into animals). Just like in any other profession, there are vets doing it for the love of animals and vets doing it for money and prestige – veterinary specialties are as lucrative as human specialties. Same problems exist with “thought leaders” and deals with prescription companies. Notice how quickly vets will prescribe a little chemical helper for your anxious four legged angel.
So, please. Let’s be real if we’re going to debate anything.
Kate, I’m so so sorry no one was there for you to help with your cat. Im literally heartbroken to read what happened to you and your kitty. A friend of mine was once in a similar situation where she’d had to leave her cats in her apartment when she went to the hospital precipitously. Her landlord called animal control and they locked up the kitties. But my friend called me and I went to animal control to break them out of kitty jail and care for them while she was away. It grieves me that you did not have that kind of support. I’d like to punch that vet right in the face for telling you to give up your kitty, to be honest. It is so heartbreaking to me when people that can help (like a vet with boarding) instead choose to tell poor people to give up their animals. My cats kept me sane during all the years I was drugged and my dog gives me unconditional love now. I can’t imagine not having her.
I hope that when you’re ready, you find another kitty companion. You might consider seeing if you can find a rescue that will work with you to agree to foster the kitty if you have to be inpatient. I know when I did rescue and all the rescues I worked with, our policy was to always take back one of our cats we’d adopted out, no questions asked. It seems like you could probably find a rescue that would work with you knowing you may need a hand once in a while. I would have been open to such an arrangement if I’d been asked. So, it’s just a suggestion but you never know what you might be able to arrange with a little negotiation with the right people.
A few years ago my theradude said it seemed like I had done DBT on myself. I never particularly cared for the group dynamic and the way DBT is often presented in a way that was ultimately shaming to the person who was genuinely seeking help and wanted to interact in more mature ways. So after a couple attempts to do a DBT group, I just read Linehan’s material and did the big workbook on my own. I used what seemed helpful and dismissed without judgement what didn’t apply to me.
DBT reminds me a lot of AA’s “working the steps” in terms of its regimented thinking about what a “borderline” or “alcoholic” actually is. It seems to largely start from the perspective that you’ve been a terrible person who needs to fundamentally change how you interact with the world. It’s seems to me that whatever push-pull kind of tendencies I may have don’t need to be thought of as pathological, but rather they make sense as a coping mechanism in response to extreme trauma. So learning more effective ways to communicate and to handle distressing feelings in interpersonal relationships isn’t about being a “better person” to others but finding a way to be happier within myself. And largely AA strikes me the same way. I never did anything worse than send loose-lipped texts when I was drunk – nothing earth shattering. And I don’t need to work the steps to understand that nothing good ever came of getting drunk or that I like getting drunk. The AA foks would call me a dry drunk but I just think it’s rational to not drink and I don’t have to pathologize myself as some kind of bad drunk and participate in the self-shaming circle jerk at meetings in order to police my own self-destructive tendencies.
I think largely these programs would be much more helpful if they came with some instruction and practice on just speaking honestly with yourself and not judging yourself and then learning to turn that honesty outwards. I think those of us who’ve been subject to trauma (prior to trauma from treatment) could take the “lessons” better if they weren’t delivered with the notion that the way one is currently functioning is fundamentally flawed.
As for trauma’s effects at the cellular level, I think the research on epigenetic changes in the way our own DNA is expressed as a result of trauma concretely explains why it has such extreme long term health implications. Physical disability from psychological trauma is real. The individual should never be blamed for these effects.
Megan, I can relate so much to the family dynamics you describe and the destructiveness to the self that happens when one is scapegoated for the family dysfunction. Kudos to you for standing up for yourself, as hard as that is. I hope you and your sister are able to both recognize and resolve your issues and restore a loving sisterly bond. I haven’t spoken with my sisters in a very long time and that brings a different kind of pain I wouldn’t wish upon you.
Thank you for sharing more of your story and for the message to place blame where it belongs rather than shrinking from the idea that anyone could be to blame. When you’re on the receiving end of misplaced blame, it’s so important to take your story back and own your own life’s narrative. And it’s wonderful to model that for others whenever possible, as you’ve so eloquently done here.
I just wanted to say that I enjoy your commentary, and completely agree with all that you’ve posted here about the state of things in the world and some of the political events and players that led us here. Your comments remind me very much of some of my favorite “news” comedians – Jimmy Dore, Lee Camp, and their ilk – with directly calling things out for how they are without pulling punches or beating around the bush as if their were some silver lining to be found among all the corruption. I won’t pretend to understand what you’re currently struggling with but I wanted to let you know I appreciate what you’ve been writing here.
Kate, your story reminds me of a stay I had on a long term term trauma unit where they kept suggesting that my boyfriend coming to visit daily was somehow interfering with my progress in treatment. They didn’t provide any context as to what they meant and I’m really bad at reading between the lines. Then when I finally left him after ten years and my psychiatrist told me how relieved she was that I finally moved on and my best friend told me she and her husband couldn’t stand my ex and I wanted to just start screaming at everyone WHY DIDN’T ANYONE SAY SOMETHING??? It really made no sense to me that for ten years I was in this awful relationship not recognizing the gaslighting and the way he was manipulating and controlling me into being “multiple” and nobody once made any kind of specific charge that might have empowered me to leave him sooner. The most I ever got from anyone was the people on that one unit suggesting politely that he might be holding up my progress in treatment.
I can also relate to the whole concept of being treated by family as if you’re just a spoiled brat. This was the dynamic I grew up with too and I have no doubt that if my toxic siblings had ever been involved in my therapy as an adult that they’d make the same charge still. I’ve been the family scapegoat for so long it’s almost comical at this point. This year will mark twenty years since I’ve spoken to my next oldest sister who participated the most in blaming me as the baby of the family for our familiy’s dysfunction. This speaks to that whole “shit flows downhill” concept that’s come up in recent discussions.
I do find more and more, the older I get, that I don’t have the mental energy for these impossible victim blaming dynamics. Anyway, it’s good to see you posting again. Those of us who see this system for what it is and are willing to keep calling it out need to stick together. While some commenters around here are content to sycophantically suck up to professionals and participate in victim blaming in exchange for positive attention from their former captors, I left that behavioral dynamic behind with the drugs and treatments.
Hi again, Fred. I appreciate the honesty and candidness in this reply. I’d like to know, do you consider your position to be antipsychiatry? Are you committed to ending psychiatry as a medical discipline and freeing the “patients” from the system?
Thank you for pointing out his web presence. I saw your comment before it was removed and took a look at his website. Wow.
You know what, actually, I think I’m done here.
Thanks for this anyway, Richard.
The excuse that truly makes me sick to my stomach is when people say that child molesters are mentally ill and can’t help themselves. In fact, the whole business of civil commitment after completing a prison sentence for sexual assault of minors (and sometimes violent rapists) goes along this line of thinking – that there is a mental defect and the perpetrators are incapable of change so better lock them up forever.
We have forgotten – with psychiatry and with civil commitment after prison – to simply hold people accountable for their behavior. Instead, the new labeling system will put you in the appropriate bucket and you will never escape that because you are immutable and incapable of being anything other than severely mentally ill, deviant and disordered. Forever.
I’d like to throw in that we are, as citizens, propagandized to by the news media and by celebrity activists who participate in the “I Love My Diagnosis!” game. The news that Any Schumer dropped about her husband’s late-in-life “autism” diagnosis was in my news feed this morning and I find it profoundly insensitive when massively successful people hop on the bandwagon of the “disordered” as if it’s an exclusive club they’ve been admitted to.
To everyone who may have read this comment thread between Daniel Smith and I and who were offended or hurt by my use of the term “Uncle Tom”, I want to offer my sincerest apology and say I am deeply remorseful for any pain or upset that I caused by being so insensitive.
It was brought to my attention that this term is racially charged and I regret, after reading about the history and literary context of the term, that I used it in a way that was profoundly insensitive and (unintentionally) racist.
I would especially like to apologize to those in the community of color who were harmed by my using this term so carelessly. I understand I was wrong and I hope you will accept my sincerest apology, and that it will help to heal the harm my words caused.
Yes Steve, a comprehensive list of all the ways people end up diagnosed would likely fill up an entire book.
Thanks, doc. This sounds pretty unequivocal and I’m happy to hear it. I’ll look forward to reading more.
Daniel, I appreciate your last comment. There were many wise words in there. I am glad to have had the opportunity to talk with you. I think that there was good intent regardless of some miscommunications between us.
I have rarely read so many unjustified attacks against my character in all the time I’ve been commenting here.
This is vile and shameful and so profoundly unprofessional I’m simply speechless.
I made so many concessions and explained how patients could even be defensive and protective of kind nurses. I thanked Daniel for calling out areas he thought I was wrong so I could explain.
This is exactly the kind of targeting and pathologizing crap from those in the industry that I have been protesting and your words are both untrue and hurtful.
Please do comment again, as many times as you’d like. I could care less about having the last word and will remember to avoid you in the future.
Also someone exposed to smilex just before becoming a corpse. 😀
Careful, Rachel. We can’t call out shrinks for participating in systems of harm. Some shrink might show up and school us to be more kind and careful with our words because they’re a victim too…. (sadly this too has actually happened though I won’t name names at this point)
You walked into this by taking someone else’s story of harm from abusive mental health workers personally. What you did would be the same as if someone called out abusive parents as a group and you came in to defend the idea that not all parents are bad. It wasn’t about you until you responded to someone else as if you’d been personally attacked. You can’t even own up to your own participation here. This is why we call this crap out.
SomeoneElse’s comment wasn’t about you.
Or the cake is what they got from the food bank. One time I went to a food bank around Easter and they had no actual food but they were happy to send me home with a large bag of Easter candy.
We act as if everyone has the same resources, knowledge, opportunities, time, innate abilities, physical health, etc to “take responsibility for themselves”.
Some people can pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Some people don’t have boots. It’s not a hard concept to grasp.
I also do think it’s a bit odd to suggest there isn’t a character difference between the person who witnesses injustice and speaks up vs the person who witnesses injustice and looks the other way.
I have also been on the receiving end of abuse from the “sitters”, and nurses (usually the LPNs and aides), and social workers that Julie referred to above. They are complicit. There’s no way around that. It’s just that we accept that “shit flows downhill” rather than seeing those below us as being in our care, our charge. How is it ever okay to inflict harm on those beneath you simply because you’re also near the bottom of the pile.
The whole “look out for #1”, look out for yourself first, has really far surpassed whatever usefulness the idea of putting your own oxygen mask on first might have had to offer. We live in times where many only look out for number 1 under the perverted excuse that they have nothing left to risk. I do not accept that as a valid excuse for participating in harm.
Well I have to admit that I’m absolutely astounded at the words you’re putting in my mouth.
Yes, if those at the bottom will not act in solidarity with the rest of the oppressed, they are siding with the oppressors and I don’t have sympathy or time for that. And asking me as someone who’s had the stuffing knocked out of me in my life to accommodate people who would take the easy way even as I fight tooth and claw for freedom and equality is the height of bullshit.
By the way, I do appreciate you calling stuff out so that I have opportunities to clarify and expand on ideas that people may receive in a way differently than they were meant.
I have lots of ideas and beliefs and they’ve always been open to challenge. Open and honest debate is absolutely necessary.
I understand why my words may have seemed offensive or uncaring.
I suggest that being strong isn’t something one inherently is or isn’t. Being strong is an action. Being brave is an action. Courage is doing what’s right even when it’s frightening. Battle is a series of advances and retreats and none of us is strong or weak at all time. We aren’t robots after all.
Celebrate the small victories. Retreat and regroup after the failures.
I’m not unfairly targeting anyone. I lost my children. Some people lose their lives in this fight. I know what is at stake by fighting back. Nothing I say is said lightly or flippantly or with disregard for the real and lasting consequences one can face.
Let me add that I do sympathize with their fear and I sympathize with their risk. I don’t sympathize with those who know what’s right but do something else. How is that person any different from the Uncle Tom during slavery?
Hi Dr. Moss, I recognize where you were trying to go with this but I think you are barking up the wrong tree by singling out people for embracing their diagnoses considering the amount of outside pressures that you only give lip service to (like the pharmaceutical industry.)
Patients accept their diagnoses for many reasons:
They’re “crazy” from the effects of trauma and a diagnosis is the only way they receive any validity and recognition that they are truly struggling – and the social support system that comes to the diagnosed.
They’re physically ill with an undiagnosed illness with emotional/behavioral manifestations and a diagnosis validates their suffering – even though the diagnosis and treatment are inappropriate for their physical illness.
They’re poor, uneducated, suffering from our toxic environment and culture and a diagnosis presents help in the form of “disability” – usually patients are convinced they’re “disabled” only because capitalism is a system of winners and losers and underperformers are left to die in the streets so disability is a good alternative to that.
Or they’re brainwashed by media or anti-stigma campaigns that liberals mistook for compassion but secretly increase stigma.
Or they’re too young to know any better.
Their diagnosis gets them a reasonable accommodation that they cannot get otherwise. I have a service dog due to my PTSD diagnosis. I’d love to drop the diagnosis but she serves a real function in my life and I’m not apologetic for that.
Of course, CNN today wants us to know that the Sandy Hook father that recently took his own life was doing good work on researching the source of violence in the brain (bullshit), and that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance that serotonin drugs fix (also bullshit). The Sandy Hook activists want everyone to believe that there is a thing called “mental illness” (bullshit) that some of us have and that we should be targeted for having our guns taken away – slippery slope to violate the rights of small portions of the population at a time.
“Mental illness” is a political football and suggesting that those who are deluded by the current cultural attitudes embracing treatment are doing anything more than getting their needs met in a culturally acceptable way is in many respects blaming the victim.
It would be really helpful if the doctors who have been posting recently speculating why their patients believe thy are mentally ill were actually aware of and/or made any attempt to elucidate the actual cultural and socioeconomic causes of social/emotional dysfunction rather than navel gaze at the motivations of the targeted population.
Something else occurs to me. I think that the current model of crisis care – of waiting until someone is genuinely experiencing a total breakdown to provide any help whatsoever – is part of what is fueling the perception of mental patients being a group of inherently unstable people needing forced crisis intervention.
This is a social issue – part of the SDOH (social determinants of health) that Judi brought up. It’s fostered by a system of unhealthy competition that children are socialized into from an early age, a system that presents acquiring material wealth and status rather than making human connections as the path to happiness and fulfillment, and a system that pretends we all have same opportunities so we are all individually responsible for our own successes and failures. It’s a system that pits us against each other and divides us, yes, to a very large degree. (Yes, I’m referring to capitalism now.) And it’s a system fraught with perils for those who resist and fight back – risks to both the inmates/outmates and to those who hold the keys/syringes/digital pills, so to speak.
And yes, some of those people – the orderlies, the sitters, the home health workers, the peer workers – of course they are the ones taking some of the biggest risks by challenging the authority inherent in the system. They’re not far from being one of us, after all. At the bottom, barely keeping things together financially probably, discriminated against, frightened of losing what little they have. Absolutely. The sitter who talks to you or sneaks you a candy bar or lets you send a text message on their cell phone – those are all massive risks. You are completely correct. But it used to be noble to do the right thing, no matter how frightened you were of the consequences – to speak the truth even when your voice shakes. And speaking as someone whose been punished many times for doing the right thing, I can sympathize with the fear, but I can’t sympathize with people who shrink from doing what’s right because they might find themselves one of us. Where is the solidarity in that? Where is the humanity in that?
Hey Julie, it’s absolutely true that mental health workers can be and are frequently abused. And while abuse of poor employees and immigrants is a human rights abuse, it’s also a labor abuse which is different from the abuse committed upon the unjustly incarcerated. But yes, abuse of the lowest employees is absolutely part of the way those in actual power (the doctors and unit directors and politicians etc) maintain their positions of power.
But as an olive leaf, I’ll say that I don’t have a blanket hatred of everyone working in the system. That would be ridiculous and unthinking. I recall on one unit I was on for several months, the comraderie between the inmates was real but oh how quickly one could find themselves shut out by misdirecting their issues – a beloved nurse was severely injured by one of the other inmates and that person was shunned by the rest of us for the entire time the nurse was out of work and until the offender had made appropriate penance after her return. That’s an actual community approach to behavior control that works to hold people accountable for bad actions.
When people working on the inside treat patients with kindness and humanity, it was never lost on us. So it would be simplistic to reduce any statements I make about those working in the system to just an us vs them.
But it is imperative that those who truly are kind and caring individuals (the nurturers) witnessing abuse to open their eyes, acknowledge what they’re seeing, and find their inner warrior or mama bear or what have you, to fight for us in bolder ways. Private kindnesses are noticed and valued, but action is what will is needed. Bravery and courage to speak and act – that’s what I call on everyone inside the system to strive for. Everyone savvy to what is going on needs to wake up and take action toward change and use whatever skills they have to effect it.
And enough with the rebranding. It’s time to end this horrific stain on human history.
As far as what works? I actually don’t think dialogue has a huge effect except for with the very few who are skilled at rational discussion. And I wouldn’t necessarily put myself in that group at all times.
I am much more the type to use my own body and risk my own freedom by participating in direct action. I led a group of girls to run away from the group home we were living in at the age of 12 like a budding little Harriet Tubman (Oh the innocence of that rebellious child who had no idea she was leading the sheep to slaughter!). I led a walkout in college, I was a peacekeeper for the FMF ahead of the March For Women’s Lives in 2004, I protested with Americans for Safe Access inside my state house to facilitate medical cannabis legalization in my state, I sat in front of the Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters with the Standing Rock delegation in DC, and I have every intention of using my voice as a former child bride to see underage marriage banned in my state. I’ve earned my chops as an activist. I protest, I write letters and make phone calls and donate and spread the message and I risk my freedom for what I believe in. And I challenge those who are temperamentally more submissive and cooperative to take such risks with me.
But (for those who don’t know) I am physically ill and right now singing the canary song in the MIA comments section is one (albeit small) way I can do something – anything. It’s slow activism, for sure – it’s attempting to change one heart and mind at a time. It’s what I can do in this time and space that I occupy right now. I won’t apologize for my anger. It is necessary fuel.
It is, for the record, my actual intention to talk back, to act up, to make a scene. I have no doubt I would have gotten on swimmingly with many of the old revolutionary heroes who took such risks in generations past.
Obviously none of us presents a full analysis of the systemic problems causing the distress we see and experience in every single comment we make here.
I was responding to the question of whether or not we unintentionally do harm at times by expressing our hurt at the wrong target. And no, I do not think that I have done that. Even if someone had not ever read my commentary before, knew nothing of my personal history (either as a victim or an activist), it would be fairly obtuse not to hear the underlying message being presented here. It’s pretty simple: the so-called “helpers” are complicit in harm. That’s it.
Imagine what an organized walkout might look like. Psychiatry cannot function without the implicit consent and cooperation of many many different people: families, police, politicians, social workers, the entire medical profession, peer workers, etc.
I hold people accountable for their participation.
Daniel, I understand the question you’re asking. Yes, sometimes folks get hit by friendly fire and that is not my intent. I would hope that the underlying message that you picked up on – that incrementalism and compromise aren’t effective tactics for radical change – was heard. It’s also not my intent to shield those who could be doing more to help from being wounded by the miss-slung arrows of those who are still hurting. It’s is not the job of those who have never participated in this harm to protect those who do – with forceful words if necessary. Are hurt feelings bad if they spur the complicit into real honest action? (Because no one is proposing actual violence here.)
Rachel, those arrhythmias are really disconcerting. I’m so glad to hear yours has abated. And the borderline diabetic state too! YAY!!!
I used a homemade turmeric-based product called Golden Paste when I was withdrawing from Lexapro. The active compound in turmeric is curcumin and curcumin has a moderate MAO effect and actually outperforms antidepressants in clinical trials (not that you’ll ever hear that in the mainstream press). Anyway, Lexapro isn’t exactly the same as Effexor but it’s close enough chemically for me to feel that the withdrawal effects would probably be modulated by curcumin in a similar way. Anyway, I thought I’d put the idea out there for anyone who is similarly struggling to come off any kind of antidepressant after long-term use. There may still be a way to come off – very carefully. Try not to lose hope.
Have you ever heard of a woman named Pam Africa? She is my hero. She had her front teeth knocked out when she put her own body between police and the man they were beating with their billy sticks.
When MHW start shielding patients with their own bodies (truly risking their careers, their livelihood) they will absolutely earn my profound respect. As long as they meekly go by the rules and are just trying to educate from the inside, sorry, they’re saving their own skins with faux activism.
I acknowledge that you are attempting to see my point of view and empathize and I appreciate a peacemaker when I see one. I tried that. I tried rubber bullets. If anyone is surprised that I’m firing live rounds, they haven’t been paying attention. But your efforts are noted, Daniel.
Stephen, while I admire people who actually do attempt to educate their patients covertly or intervene for less harmful and coercive care, I can’t day the same for those working on the inside merely trying to change the hearts and minds of their fellow jailers. Very few people such as yourself come here and say they are actively trying to protect their patients from harm the way you have and do.
I don’t deny that mental health workers can be victims of the drugs and labels as much as anyone else. But I have no respect for anyone who continues to work in the system once they realize how harmful it is. Mental Health Workers are complicit in harm if they aren’t actively helping patients escape the system.
We don’t need your apologies, we need you to buck your masters and unlock the doors for those trapped inside. We need civil disobedience by those holding the keys. Prison guards get no sympathy. Apologies aren’t worth the oxygen wasted, or in this case, the 1’s and 0’s.
“Psychopathology is not pathology, psychopathology is moralizing masquerading as medicine.”
The very act of calling some moods, behaviors, thoughts, etc as “maladaptive” would be hilarious if it wasn’t so farcical. (LOL) Abused animals act in the same ways that abused humans do. It is ADAPTIVE not maladaptive. It is exactly as the mammalian human animal evolved to respond to repeated real and perceived threats. Higher order thinking can only do so much to protect the animal from harm it cannot escape. We must fight back as surely and determinedly as we would were we caught in a fire or at threat from drowning because the harm is becoming more consuming as time moves forward, not less.
““We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
— MLK ‘Letter From Birmingham Jail,’ April 16, 1963””
It is a way to get rid of you because people who’ve absorbed a great deal of harm often exude their distress even subconsciously.
We are damaged goods clearly. We live in a throwaway culture. Just look at all the old people tucked away in homes. Out of sight out of mind.
Critical psychiatry facilitates more of the same. It is faux activism. It makes me sick.
End psychiatric abuse NOW!
It won’t. And it won’t address infectious diseases that cause distressing emotional states.
It won’t address our Hunger Games culture either.
It is yet again placing the blame for distress within the individual.
Screw your new psychopathology labels.
Individual responses to trauma are not pathological. The people doing the traumatizing are the ones whose pathology needs to be addressed. The victims need restorative justice. All research that doesn’t address these two things is victim blaming and useless waste of time and money.
Great comment. Can’t disagree with any of this. I wish more people were aware of these things.
Actually Alex, what you said reminds me I am not a salmon, and made me think of the song Swim by Jack’s Mannequin. Have you heard it?
Alex, this was really well stated. I like the idea of working with the chaos. 🙂
“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.”
I really like the Wikipedia entry on this one. It’s written for dummies like me in plain English:
“Chaos theory is a branch of mathematics focusing on the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions. “Chaos” is an interdisciplinary theory stating that within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns, constant feedback loops, repetition, self-similarity, fractals, self-organization, and reliance on programming at the initial point known as sensitive dependence on initial conditions. The butterfly effect describes how a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state, e.g. a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can cause a hurricane in Texas.”
It accounts for the millions of random environmental inputs that make us unique, and it follows that if each of us are a unique series of inputs then attempting to label and “fix” the natural results of those inputs is misguided at best.
I have a theory that the inflammatory state caused by trauma (as shown with the ACE studies) may be directly toxic to bacterial health and diversity, and is probably responsible for the “leaky gut” concept in a sort of inflammation – leaky gut – brain toxicity – inflammation feedback loop.
Of course, I’m not a scientist, so what do I know?
It’s old school thought to believe that “brain health” is what effects thoughts and behaviors actually. Nutrition is tertiary to brain health via gut health. The bidirectional biochemical connection via the vagus nerve is why the gut is called the second brain. Without a healthy gut you cannot have “brain health” because it’s bacterial digestion of food stuff in the gut that produces the chemical state that positively effects the brain. Without a healthy bacterial load in the gut, you cannot be happy. Ever. And no amount of self help, professional therapy, or adjusting brain chemicals will change that. The nearly instant changes in affect seen among chronically depressed patients receiving fecal transplant pills from healthy happy donors when being treat for c diff infections made it pretty clear.
There have been studies showing that immigrants who move to America quickly adapt their gut bacterial load to mimic those of Americans despite keeping a traditional diet. And immigrants have far higher rates of depression and “psychosis” than native born peoples – their gut changes coupled with discrimination are a double whammy. Other studies are showing that gut bacteria species are going extinct at similar rates to the extinction of other plants and animals, and it’s reasonable to believe that environmental toxins (the amount of roundup in our diets) is contributing to this decline in bacterial diversity in our gut.
Again, butterflies in your stomach? That’s not your brain. That’s your gut. Those are signals from gut bacteria directly effecting feeling and behaviors. It’s a fascinating subject of study. 🙂
Actually, chaos theory (from mathematics) might be more useful for understanding human behavior and emotion than almost any proposed psychological theories about such.
You don’t know me and you have no reason to believe me, but when you say:
“Unfortunately, I’m not at a point where I can say I am a fellow survivor; because, basically, I feel like I was destroyed. I did not survive. I am still here, but I might as well have been dead for all those years, and the injustice of it is more than I can handle. I am one of those “Highly Sensitive” folks, and the cruelty of the double damage and all the loss is more than I can bear. How much is one person supposed to take? PTSD on top of PTSD ”
I can only reply that you are not alone. That is how the psychiatric industry functions. It takes people with social problems and labels, drugs, and stigmatizes them as different, bad, broken, deviant, and diseased. It – psychiatry – poisons and tortures in the name of “treatment” and “compassion”. And then it acts surprised when people don’t want to live anymore, when people come to realize that EVIL is not a pointy headed devil but is instead personified in the kind looking doctors, nurses, and social workers who claim to be helpers.
Every day of this life presents opportunities to just quit. I know how hard it is to keep going. I’m so sorry you’re hurting. You’re not alone.
Psychiatrists don’t become neurologists because they don’t seem mostly focused on actual brain diseases. They are focused on controlling behavior. The bad brain is merely the scapegoat of psychiatry, not their primary interest, because they know full well that the drugs don’t correct any deficiency or imbalance in the brain.
We are smurfs, Gargamel is the corporate state, Azrael is the psychiatrist – always ready to pounce from the shadows and secret us away one by one…