Sunday, February 25, 2018

Comments by kindredspirit

Showing 100 of 353 comments. Show all.

  • I was with you until you trotted out the drug war propaganda. Thank you for actually using the word poison to describe psychiatric drugs. Few people, especially doctors, possess the cajones to call psych drugs poison, so kudos.

    Cannabis on the other hand is not only neuroprotective, it’s extremely useful in easing the withdrawal symptoms caused by a range of neurotoxic legal pharmaceuticals such as psychiatric drugs, opioid painkillers and Zdrugs.

  • Excellent analysis and rebuttal of the book. The last paragraph which mentions questioning his voters’ mental health requires addressing. Repeated surveys from Gallop report that Republicans have higher rates of mental wellness than Democrats. Even when demographic factors like race, income, and educational level are controlled for, right-wingers report being happier than lefties and utilize psychiatric services at lower rates. So which side is crazier? Can’t we just admit that different folks have different values and that doesn’t make them crazy? Selfish perhaps but not crazy. Trump’s voters voted for the guy who said he’d bring jobs back, bring God back, and make America great again. They looked beyond his behavior and voted in what they believed were their best interests. FWIW, a lot of Clinton voters overlooked all the flaws Bernie Sanders illuminated about her/establishment Democrats during his campaign and they voted for her in their own self interests. It’d be nice if we could focus on the fact that Trump is a bad man instead of maligning him as a mad man. It’d be nice if this means to an end crap would stop. Anyone could be psychiatry’s next target. It’s up to all of us to stop the stigmatization of those with altered experiences and instead focus on holding individuals accountable for bad behavior.

  • Somehow this topic (risperdal-induced male breast growth) is new to me and I’d thought I’d heard it all. The images are shocking. What’s even more shocking is that the effects of the drugs are called ‘side’ effects. Can we just call this one of the actual effects of intentional poisoning once and for all? If J&J knew this was an effect, why do doctors and parents need to be warned about the risk? Why hasn’t the drug simply been withdrawn and acknowledged as a dangerous substance with no value except to those whose only goal is a zombified “compliant” child? When are the doctors and researchers going to acknowledge that in many cases, changing the parents behaviors would have more desirable long term effects than pathologizing the child’s reaction to trauma and dysfunction?

  • No, not medicating, and not drugging. Let’s call a spade a spade – these substances are nothing short of poisons. The antipsychotics originated from the pesticide industry with phenothiazine – in fact, it is this antiparasitic action which made it effective against malaria. It’s derivatives include Thorazine and Mellaril among others. Phenothiazine’s discovery as an antipsychotic came during human toxicity testing by the pesticide industry, and is what led to the development of Thorazine. So let’s be very clear that these substances we call “drugs” were originally intended to be poisons and the neurotoxic effects are to be entirely expected.

    Thorazine never treated a medical illness, and it took decades of research to discover how it “worked” to disturb the sensitivity of D2 dopamine receptors. All it has ever truly done is tranquilize people and therefore produce acceptable behavior on psychiatric wards. These drugs – all of them – have never increased any objectively measurable outcome of success in people’s lives – stable employment, independent living, good social connections – they simply made them more compliant patients – at one time making them more manageable in institutions but now making them more manageable by families, most of whom are the source of the traumas that caused the initial distress. This is much to the chagrin of the NAMI Mommies who want to claim they aren’t responsible for their children’s “illness” because it let’s them off the hook. Fake families pretending to be concerned about their family member, often said person turns out to be the Identified Patient whom the family dysfunction is blamed on.

    The whole industry is sickening when you break it down, but to call these poisons medicines or even legitimate drugs really takes the cake and is sadly what keeps the whole carnival show running. The researchers, doctors, and treatment providers handing out the magic pills don’t want you to see what’s behind the curtain. Don’t be fooled by what is essentially modern day sorcery masquerading as medicine. They’d have better results with laying on of hands or speaking magic incantations over us than they have by drugging us.

  • Cat there are times when I agree with you, and I’m certainly alarmed by Public Citizen advocating for more forced treatment. But I don’t want to live in a world without regulations making sure that large corporations don’t harm me and others. I am sympathetic to the libertarian position up to a point, but regulations exist for a really good reason. I don’t ascribe to your viewpoint that leftists are responsible for this. If libertarians got their way, we’d have no protection at all from corporations (and individuals) who do serious harm.

  • Hi FD, I hope you will take a look at some of the research regarding the brain-gut connection and bacterial imbalances in the gut. 80% or so of our neurotransmitters are actually produced in the intestines, not in the brain. This is the enteric nervous system. I have found enormous benefit from months of probiotic and prebiotic loading – both in the form of daily supplements and lactofermented foods, which are expensive to buy but can be cheaply and easily made at home. I believe it would go a long way toward helping you prepare for your next taper. Let me know if you’d like more info.

  • These stories are incredibly sad and in some ways mirror how the drugs often made me feel. I’ve tried to warn others. I don’t know how better to do that than to be a shining example of recovery after ditching the drugs. I get told so often “you are a totally different person and doing so amazing”, I’ve been called “unrecognizable” from just a few years ago, and then they tell me what new psych med they’re on or offer me some of their xanax. One woman I know recently started a sentence with “all the researchers and psychiatrists agree that…” I’m at a loss as to how to get through to these dear friends how dangerous these drugs are. I’m afraid most of the people I am in close contact with worship at the alter of science and medicine and see me as some sort of statistical outlier or miracle case rather than having been injured by the drugs, and the drugs being harmful. I’m sure a few of them are still waiting for my inevitable fall, as it was so kindly described before I began tapering, in order to welcome me back into the fold. The warnings seem to go in one ear and out the other. Rather than steeling my resolve to keep speaking out against these drugs, it just makes me so very sad.

  • I took gabapentin for well over a decade for supposed fibromyalgia. While it does cause physical dependence and I became very ill trying to withdraw – several attempts resulted in gabapentin withdrawal syndrome -, I *never* got high. I can’t even imagine it making someone high. I’m trying to but drawing a blank. In fact, my doctor bent over backward telling me how benign it was when he first prescribed it. What are they doing, snorting it? I’m still struggling to see how it could make someone high.

  • Agreed. I too had a very easy time getting off benzos and pretty easy time compared to others getting off the rest of the drugs. But the horror stories I’ve read of people experiencing withdrawal for years on end have shown me how lucky I was.

  • “It seems wrong to abstractly judge who has more of a right to suffer emotionally”

    That certainly wasn’t what I said so I’m confused by your comment. Everyone has a right to suffer when they experience trauma. My comment wasn’t about people suffering, but about the statistical outcome of cumulative traumas, and poverty compounds traumas by keeping kids in a daily struggle for survival that more affluent kids don’t have to deal with.

    To say that a child victim of physical and sexual abuse who starts out with educated parents, healthy food, and a good education, and exposure to healthy parent child interactions will have the same outcome of a child victim of abuse who lives with food insecurity, inconsistent housing, poor education, exposure to violence and little to no nurturing is naive.

    The statistics on poverty bear this out. Childhood poverty affects all domains of lifetime outcomes including long term health, educational attainment, wealth accumulation, and even life expectancy.

  • Take two kids and two toys that come unassembled. For the first kid, give him most of the pieces, tell him where to find the rest of the pieces and demonstrate how to assemble the toy. For the second kid, give him half the pieces, smash the rest, and give him no instructions. Then make a grand announcement about how smart the first kid is and put the second kid in jail.

    This is about how screwed our current culture is, and how we set some children up for a lifetime of failure.

  • This is a subject that’s obviously near and dear to my heart so I have a little more to add. There are other ways, if people cared, to help these kids besides the educational setting. Quality childcare and after school care. Subsidized summer camps for respite outside of adverse living environments. Parenting classes that teach nurturing skills and age appropriate interaction and expectations for behavior. Access to neighborhood gardens and nutrition courses. Instituting a minimum income so parents have the resources to care for them. Expanding USDA school lunch programs to include free breakfast and lunch during the summer. Rooting out and harshly prosecuting the adults who harm them. Vastly expanding mentoring programs like Big Brothers/Big Sisters. While I think the concept of playing to their strengths is good for the kids who have already been exposed to adversity, it seems equally, if not more important to me, to do something concrete and constructive to prevent the child ever encountering these situations to begin with.

  • While this is an extremely watered down version of the things that happened to me, it’s important to realize that its hard to ask people to put things into perspective if their perspective had always been from the bottom looking up. And it’s hard to ask them to have sympathy for people who’ve also had trauma but grew up in more privileged environments when they have experienced being downtrodden in every aspect of their existence. And while I realize that there is less sympathy for those who are traumatized but considered privileged, it may help those who have been privileged to understand how much of a leg up on others they actually have.

  • Actually, I’m in a pretty good position to address this point as I did come from a mixed background. My parents started off middle class. Both well educated, both descendants of college educated folks. We didn’t start out poor. My dad was an employee of the federal government with an extremely good income. Mom was a business owner. Both were abusive in different ways. But the things I dealt with before their divorce (physical and sexual abuse inside the family) were very different from the things I dealt with after they separated and my dad moved to a very poor, high minority neighborhood. For one thing, the school system I went to was a much higher quality in the upper middle neighborhood I started in. Until third grade, I was in a much more rigorous educational setting. The other city’s schools were more than a year behind what I had been learning when I switched schools. Additionally, the adverse experiences I had were all inside the home. My friends mothers were stay at home middle class ladies who had snacks ready for their children when they got off the school bus. My friends had toys (some of them had entire playrooms!) and sleepovers and hugs! They had clothing that fit and food on the table and got regular baths and bedtime stories. So even though I was growing up in a hellish situation in my own home, I knew what other homes could be like. I knew what parental nurturing looked like.

    On the other hand, when my dad moved out, and I moved with him shortly after, I was exposed to things that no child should ever see. There were drunken fights in the street All. The. Time. Routine and severe domestic violence. Hungry children who were lucky if they had cold cereal for supper. Regular police presence. The trashy women my dad brought home would beat me for any perceived slight. Child molestors were rampant and everyone knew they had a taste for little girls. A sister’s boyfriend attempted suicide in front of us.

    My parents eventually remarried when I was 13 and we moved back to a lower middle class suburb and that was the end of being exposed to that stuff. I’ve kept track of some of the kids in that neighborhood though and except for one, their lives have not followed the same, relatively positive, trajectory mine did. If you can call being psychiatrized positive – I at least did not end up in jail or dead. Only one person I knew from that place went to college. Similar to me, her family got out a couple of years after I did and she has spent the rest of her life in relatively better circumstances. One person I know from that time has been in solitary confinement in a maximum security prison for the last decade for committing murder. Several are dead. One has been gang affiliated for years. One has had several children that she’s passed down her family’s dysfunction to.

    On the other hand, while I was psychiatrized, and that had some pretty devastating effects in itself, I also had access – once back in good schools – to advanced placement classes, good teachers and mentors. I always had health insurance and healthcare. I had a mother, who for all her faults, which are legend, taught me good nutrition and exposed me to things that broadened my horizons. We hiked the Appalachian Trail, went sailing and camping. I always had books and because my parents owned a computer business and had an engineering background, access to the internet from literally before the internet as we know it existed. I had an email address before the majority of homes had computers.

    There is literally no comparison between me and the kids in that poor neighborhood because they never had the opportunities that I did. It’s unfortunate the things I grew up with. It’s unfortunate that really bad things happen in “rich” families. But there is no comparison when you add in the horrors of poverty and the things kids are exposed to in poverty-stricken neighborhoods. None whatsoever.

    As an adult, when I moved to Maryland, I lived for years in a pretty run-down neighborhood in Baltimore and once again was living in a high conflict, majority-minority neighborhood. The four year old down the street sat with his mother’s dead body for several days before he sought help. She had died over a heroin overdose a decade before the “epidemic”. There were several shootings on my block. Constant gang and drug activity. In the decade I lived there, I watched one sweet innocent child after another turn hard and become hardened by the streets. I watched them drop out of school, join the gangs, start wearing their colors, and some of them died.

    I am incredibly lucky and I will never not acknowledge that fact. You may bristle at the idea of privilege, perhaps some liberal dogooder beat you over the head with the concept, but I am acutely aware of how privileged I am despite all that I’ve survived. I don’t know if this personal account will make any difference to your feelings that we focus too much on poverty, but in my experience – anecdotal, I understand – poverty and class are major determiners of life outcomes. I can only be a witness to how powerful they are.

  • Evolution is grand until it’s interpreted in the greater cultural context as disordered. The social order of the day favors compliance and punishes what it sees as being ‘maladaptive’. In other words, kids who grew up in chronic adversity, like me and so many I know, struggle to find their way in a world that prioritizes getting along for the sake of getting along and punishes those who call BS when they see it. ‘Keep calm and carry on’, practice gratitude and be greatful you don’t have it worse, etc. It’s how revolutionaries are kept in line…

    I think another way to harness the strengths of those who’ve grown up in chronic adversity is to emphasize their innate capacity for compassion for others. Evidence has repeatedly shown that poor folks routinely give a greater percentage of their income to charity than the most well off. That’s because those who grew up in hardship are able to empathize with others who are struggling moreso than those who’ve never experienced things like food scarcity, homelessness, or witnessing violence. Kids who have experienced these things have an enormous capacity to be part of social change and rather than emphasize their lack of complex reasoning or academic skills, we could be tapping them to be the next generation’s helpers, to come up with innovative ways to help others.

  • These adaptive strengths have long been referred to colloquially as “street smarts”. Kids exposed to repeated dangers learn survival skills in order to have their needs met – it just comes with a big dose of fight or flight reactivity. They are less trusting but are also more discerning. They understand body language and vocal tone/inflection in ways different but valuable to them as it is adapted to their situation. Not mentioned by these researchers, but a skill that I’ve witnessed is the ability to barter and negotiate. Those who grow up in poverty have to find alternative means to acquire resources and, believe it or not, stealing is not the first method of most. The sharing economy, barter and trade was around and being employed successfully by the poor and those living in adversity long before the middle class started its downward slide.

    It’s nice to see researchers looking at these kids in a new light and not simply as being broken. Those who have experienced chronic adversity have unique survival skills that can serve them very well in life if, either through luck or hard work, they manage to find their way into better circumstances. Some will continue to struggle even if their circumstances change. I’d suggest research explore ways they can be helped to hone these skills to better serve in more diverse environments.

    One specific deficit that many I’ve known run into when they grow up is not knowing how to behave in different social environments, resulting in increased interpersonal conflicts. Social skills could be integrated into the learning environment in subtle and overt ways to prepare them for survival outside of their primary home and school environments. These don’t take complex reasoning as much as learning how to interpret others behaviors and motivations outside of the harm context and skilled observation of environmental cues.

  • That was a shockingly good performance, lovely tune, and surprisingly well produced video. I’ve often heard that the difference between the protests of the 60s/70s and my generation’s protest movements has been the current lack of quality protest music. Music and art remain uniting forces even after dialogue breaks down. We need more of this. Thank you.

  • Oldhead, I believe we’re pretty simpatico on this issue. When I speak of some total abolitionists, I mean those who believe that all forms of therapy/counseling are always harmful and just as tainted as psychiatric “medicine”. And that genuine help should only come in the form of freely offered friendship support. I’m not going to call anyone out, but taking a look back at Bonnie Burstow’s recent post on anti psychiatry should make it clear. Totally agreed that “therapy” being couched in terms of medicine needs to go. I also think some of the people portraying themselves as “life coaches” are scam artists as well. I don’t think a good counselor necessarily comes from a trained program. Oddly enough, a priest I saw for a while for marital counseling years ago comes to mind.

  • Cultists? Despite his shortcomings, Bernie Sanders remains the most well-liked and respected politician in America. He won Vermont by such a high margin that Clinton wasn’t even viable – she got no delegates. Clinton on the other hand supported the giant corporate giveaway to insurance and pharma, she called black children super predators, she supported the expansion of the drug war and mass incarceration, she supported welfare reform which thrust many more children in deep poverty, she supported the ban on gay marriage, taking until 2011 to “evolve” once it was politically expedient to support it, she supported Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, she pushed the ouster of Libyan President Gaddaffi – a dictator for sure but one that had pretty darn good socialist policies in place, she hasn’t met a war she didn’t support, she has a “public” position and a “private” position on everything so you can never tell what she really believes and supports. I’m honestly sick of the Hillary cultists making excuses for her absolutely undemocratic platform. She is a Barry Goldwater Republican masquerading as a Democrat and has personally worked toward the destruction of everything the Democratic Party used to hold sacrosanct! She should go back to the woods and never come out. And she can take Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Nancy Pelosi, Madeline Albright, and the rest of the pretend lefties so-called feminists with her. Her only goal is to suck up to Wall Street and the ruling class who have paid her so far over 22 million dollars in public speaking fees. Oh yeah, there’s also that pesky issue of her using slave prison labor while First Lady of Arkansas… For all I can’t stand Trump I was RELIEVED she lost the election because after all the cheating involved in her campaign and the collusion between her campaign and the DNC, I don’t want my daughters to get the idea that cheating is how women win.

  • I’m done addressing this in terms of genetic drug testing. And in terms of psychiatric drugs. Did you know you can have a psychotic response to statin drugs like Lipitor and Crestor? These are among the most prescribed and most profitable drugs in the world. There has been a push in the last several years to dramatically increase the number of people taking them. Have you heard of antibiotic-related delirium common to drugs like Cipro, Levaquin and Flagyl? The deadly rash you speak of is Stevens-Johnson Syndrome – a known reaction to drugs as wide ranging as Lamictal (an anticonvulsant) to Tylenol/Paracetamol.

    To my knowledge, simply being able to metabolize a drug won’t tell you definitively whether you will have an allergic reaction or severe side effect. However, knowing whether you’re able to metabolize a drug will give you valuable information *before* risking taking a drug that you definitely shouldn’t take. It would absolutely prevent a number of severe drug reactions. Would it prevent them all? No. And no one here arguing for the merit of such testing has made any claim whatsoever that knowing your CYP status would prevent all reactions. Again, baby meet bath water.

  • But I’m not advocating for psychiatric med tests as I’ve said several times. I’m advocating for knowing your CYP status. Regardless of whether the doctors know the mechanism of action, if the doctor doesn’t know your genetic status and ability to metabolize the drugs they prescribe, they are still taking chances with your health. In fact, a large majority of people do not possess the enzyme function to metabolize the majority of drugs on the market. Additionally, a lot of medications designed for medical issues are prescribed off label for psychiatric use. Think of the anticonvulsants and blood pressure medications. The medication my psychiatrist made me sick with (one of many actually) was not a psychiatric medication and knowing my CYP status would have been useful. I get that you’ve read that psychiatric genetic tests are worthless. I don’t get why you’re throwing the baby out with the bath water on knowing whether or not you can metabolize the vast majority of other drugs you might be prescribed based on that small amount of information.

  • We are certainly in agreement against the use of force. My perspective on coercion seems similar to yours in that it goes beyond the use of legal force to include public attitudes toward the need for medical treatment whenever one admits to any degree of psychological distress whether it be garden variety anxiety and situational depression or the extremes of paranoid psychosis-induced violence.

    Beyond that, there has been a cultural shift away from “we’re all better off when we’re all better off” to “screw you, I’ve got mine, fend for yourself buddy”. People who reach out for support are not comforted, but rather asked if they’ve seen a doctor, or told to call their therapist. We’ve got more connection now than we’ve ever had before in terms of the internet. And yet we are so disconnected from our own responsibility to truly help one another. The idea of community has been eroded. Neighbors turn on neighbors, families are divided, and we have a generation of young adults who’ve grown up in the “if you see something, say something” culture of suspiciousness. We have more connection and treatment than we’ve ever had, and yet we’re, on the whole, isolated, lonely, and suffering. At least from where I sit and observe.

    And so we also need a cultural shift away from the idea that needy folks are burdens, and back toward the idea that we are each our brother’s keeper, in the very fundamental sense of shared burdens being lifted for the benefit of all. I think that talk about coercion without discussion of the underlying cultural attitudes that push people into psychiatry’s open arms is somewhat hollow and lacking.

  • I find I have common ground with the reformists in the arena of psychology. I do not believe in burning the entire mental health system to the ground. I don’t think all the helpers are doing harm. I have a therapist I’ve seen intermittently since 2008. I like him. I trust him. When I’ve felt like I wasn’t getting what I needed, he referred me elsewhere, always offering that I could come back and that he wasn’t offended I was looking for another kind of help. So I believe in the power of having a good counselor. And unlike some of the complete abolitionists, I don’t see any issue with counseling being their paid vocation if they are truly good at relating with others and building respectful collaborative relationships for the benefit of the person seeking help and change. Where I clash with treatment providers, and where I am an abolitionist, is in the medicalization of human struggles in the face of adversity. If I were to try to work with reformists, it would have to be in the arena of ending the biomedical model of mental illness -abolishing psychiatry as a medical field – and returning to a structured compassionate caring supportive framework for helping those experiencing psychological distress.

  • Additionally, I have no vested interest in calling my senators and begging of them to vote for a better different version of the mental health czar they both voted to install in the first place. My senators – Ben Cardin and “Pay to Play” Chris Van Hollen, are directly responsible for this mess. The vote was held *after* the election. They knew Trump would be making the nomination. Do you think they, or any other senator who voted for the Cures Act thought Trump was going to nominate someone who would advocate for psychiatric survivors or individual rights? What makes anyone think that another choice would be better? As far as I can tell, we might actually be lucky in this case that all of Trump’s appointments want to defund their own agencies. At least whatever horrific policies they try to install won’t go anywhere because they won’t have the funding – unlike if the Democrats had been in power. No, I have no intention of calling my senators because I don’t see that anyone who would be nominated by either side as having my rights at heart.

  • ” but I think it’s two things to talk about ideology on one hand and strategy on the other. ”

    This is a fair point, Hildegard. I only want to add that talking about strategy without understanding the ideology that has led us to this point is somewhat short-sighted. In discussing strategy, there needs to be a place for debating the ideological perspectives that allow the disease model and pharma/medical to remain in control.

    Otherwise, I agree with your comment completely.

  • With all due respect, as my comment was not meant as a criticism of your entire blog post, but merely the parts I pointed out, I see little point in arguing semantics. In real world parlance, calling someone “crazy” is synonymous with other harmful adjectives such as “mentally ill”, “unhinged”, “nuts”, “cuckoo”, etc. Further, your assertion was that it was “pretty clear” Trump has “severe and dangerous mental problems”. Your exact words, not mine. It is you who is furthering the belief that mental problems equals dangerous. So I stand by my comment. Nothing about it was a straw man, thanks I’m aware of logical fallacies.

    What I think equates with dangerousness is unchecked power. What keeps people with spoiled, entitled behavior – like Trump – in power, is that other unscrupulous people ignore his bad behaviors, or make excuses for them, so as to continue to curry favor with someone who will help them achieve their agenda.

    Yes, Freedom Lovers comes from all political persuasions, but ignoring the rightward political shift this country has taken in favor of not “arguing politics” is frankly sticking your head in the sand.

  • Well I have something to add. Our new “mental health czar” wouldn’t exist were it not for our previous Democratic Vice President Joe Biden personally campaigning and lobbying congress to pass the 21st Century Cures Act. And suggesting that Libertarians are good because they oppose forced drugging is like describing the nature of the universe while looking through a telescope at one corner of the night sky. Let’s not forget that the main tenet of the Libertarian Party is to abolish the federal government and return to state rule. Oh, except for during natural disasters because everyone wants FEMA money when nature comes calling…

  • Trump’s problem is not mental illness and though I respect your work, Mr Oaks, it bothers me to see those formerly accused of being mentally targeting others as being mentally ill. Trump’s problem is the greed, selfishness, narcissism, ignorance, and power that is common to those who have grown up and spent their lives having their every whim indulged. He’s immature and spoiled but he’s not crazy. He’s not disconnected from reality. He’s not hallucinating, talking to angels, or manic. We can point out the folly of giving such a man-child so much power, we can mock his immature propensity to tweet nonsense 24/7, his desire for attention, and his tantrums without calling him crazy. Is the wrong man for the job? Yes. Would Clinton have been better? Would more neoliberalist policies have been better simply because the person espousing them lulls you into a false sense of complacency with their measured tones? Not in my mind.

    I waited eight years for hope and change with Obama and all I got was a Wall Street bailout, a giant giveaway to insurance companies and pharma in the name of healthcare reform, and endless wars. We could have, should have, had Sanders. As it stands, we got the “pied piper” candidate and Americans will get to see just how bad things can get under a president and congress whose mission it is to destroy the government that employs them. Maybe, just maybe, if it gets bad enough without starting WW3, we’ll have a political awakening in 2020. With any luck, the DNC lawsuit will be successful and political parties will learn they can’t screw over their constituents by tipping the scale in favor of the establishment candidate.

    What were suffering from right now is the culmination of nearly 40 years of eroding the social contract and blaming those at the bottom of the pile for the state of things. Medical bankruptcies, home foreclosures, endless wars, skyrocketing student loan debt, crumbling infrastructure, the dumbing down of K-12 education, massively increasing income inequality, let me just remind you that since the Reagan era, BOTH parties have contributed to this. The Republicans are only more blatant in their efforts to destroy the system when it’s in their charge. Democrats, the new neoliberal, Third Way, centrist party are equally responsible. They simply couch their conservative policies in terms that the populace can swallow. So please, don’t try to tell me everything would be better if Clinton were president. Some of us know better. Millenials and young folks are smart enough to know they’re getting screwed. And those of you who call those of us with a soul, a conscience and a moral compass ‘snowflakes’: winter is coming.

  • Did you see the study that showed people’s symptoms improve even when they know they are taking a placebo? This suggests to me that taking a pill makes people feel like they are doing something positive, it’s empowering in a way that may be the only way they have to change their life. If you have no resources to utilize and you have little to no support, but here medicine comes in and says you can take this pill and feel better, well people are going to do that. Especially if the state pays for it – as is the case with 75% of psychotropic drugs that are covered by either Medicare or Medicaid. What I’d like to see is these funds – that is essentially stealing from hardworking people and diverting it to multinational pharmaceutical and medical delivery firms – diverted into social projects that will make a real difference in people’s lives and lift up communities rather than tranquilize the troublemakers. In other words, we are all better off when we’re all better off.

  • I think if you look at this from an evolutionary and anthropological sense, psychiatry has very much filled a human need. Throughout history, those who did not conform have been ousted from “society”, the family or the pack. The reasons for this are pretty clear when viewed from the lens of survival of the species. While there is need for genetic variation, when there is strife in the community, that community becomes more vulnerable to outside forces – predators, rival tribes, etc – and so there has always been a strong social deterrent to being different. The modern form of quashing differences is psychiatry as we know it. And it has worked extremely well in the nefarious ways it has been used to silence dissenters who would otherwise disrupt the status quo. So to say that psychiatry has not fulfilled a human need is not quite right. But it is very true that psychiatry does not cure illness and it is very much not for the individual’s benefit. It is for the benefit of social harmony – for the family and community.

  • Further, a Google search using the terms “feminism antistigma mental health” returned a first page of results exclusively aimed at articles that reduce the stigma of taking medication. And that’s what I find almost exclusively talked about in feminist circles when it comes to mental health stigma. The suggestions for improving mental health all focus on getting more and more people into professional treatment rather than improving the socioeconomic, social and living situations of the afflicted.

  • Gary, have to take exception with this last bit.

    “I would, however, defend the right of anyone to ingest anything if they so wished, whether that be alcohol, cannabis, or psychotropic drugs.”

    I don’t support the right of anyone to ingest anything they wish when the ingestion is based on lies and feeds corporate pockets. It’s not unheard of for the FDA to rescind approval for drugs that cause harm. I believe that is what is warranted in the case of most psychotropic drugs that cause far more harm than benefit (NNT) and in the case of SSRI’s the benefit is almost entirely due to placebo, but the harms are very real. We aren’t talking about people’s right o put whatever they want into their body. We’re talking about greedy corporations making mega bucks off lies that drugs will cure an “illness” in the person. If the drugs were sold with caveats that they are placebos, and the profits diverted to paying for the very real medical illnesses they cause, I could get behind that. Otherwise, consumer protection is in order. Making it sound like freedom of choice is disingenuous in my book.

  • I had a female friend as a teenager who thought everyone should be euthanized at the age of 70. I haven’t spoken with her in over 20 years but I have to wonder as we find ourselves solidly in middle age, if she has changed her tune. 🙂 This place sounds amazing. I fully plan on being an independent and outspoken, thorn in everyone’s side, spunky old lady.

  • If by “breaking” you mean taming in the sense of wild horses, then I’d completely, wholeheartedly agree. I think this is what my old psychiatrist’s aim was when she deliberately withdrew me from Lamictal over a three week period and then, when in a hellish withdrawal I begged her to represcribe, she made me “admit” to needing medications to function. I’m here to say her attempt to break me was unsuccessful.

  • No, it’s not what they found but you’d only know that if you read the article. They did not find that there was no difference between withdrawing rapidly or gradually in those withdrawing completely. They found that there was no difference – statistically, over the entire class of drugs – when switching from one drug to another. And even then, if you read deeper into the study, you’ll see that with some of the neuroleptics, they found no difference and with others they found significant differences. Only when it is averaged over the entire class of available neuroleptics, and only when transitioning from one drug to another in a short term trial, did they find no difference. It’s an irresponsible misleading headline.

  • I’m really not sure how much stock can be put into a study of such a short nature when the goal was to transition to another drug, not to withdraw completely. In other words, this study doesn’t seem applicable in any way to withdrawal, but may have application to those merely changing drugs. Since it’s not applicable to withdrawal, I’m not sure why it’s front page news on MIA. I also agree that the headline is misleading. Given the percentage of people who only read the headline and don’t read articles, I think this was not the best reporting job that could have been done on this study, as the takeaway from reading only the headline is essentially “Cold Turkey Withdrawal From Antipsychotics Perfectly Fine”. I’m not one to generally criticize the editors, but this could have been better presented.

  • Someone, there is a school of thought currently emerging that enzyme deficiency – particularly the digestive enzymes – leads to leaky gut syndrome, and that that is responsible for a great number of autoimmune diseases and allergies. The two are not unrelated. Being rude in return is not helpful.

  • Someone, I’m not advocating for psychiatric drug testing, I’m sorry you took that away from what I wrote. I was simply replying to your assertion that genetic testing was useless or overhyped when that is very much not the case. I pointed out the side effects of the SSRIs only as an example because my reaction to the SSRIs (and to another drug I didn’t name which is not a psychiatric drug but is used off label for such) are what was used as justification for my being supposedly severely mentally ill. As for whether I should have used the side effects as a reason to go off, let me explain that every single person in my life from friends, family, doctors, and support personnel battered me over the head with the “you’re severely mentally ill” nonsense. Until I went to college, I’d had a very spotty education which included two months of sixth grade, two days of seventh grade, and two months of eight grade. With what knowledge do you think I was supposed to use to magically divine that bad side effects meant I shouldn’t take a drug? Ill educated people are pharma’s biggest target. The only thing that has saved me in my life is my intelligence and my ability to continue learning new information despite my early $h|tty education. Even then, most of what was left of my support system fell through the floor when I went off meds. So you can just say I should have gone off the meds but you have no clue what I’ve been through or where I’ve come from and your words are meaningless and laughable. Had I had some medical information right there on paper saying I couldn’t metabolize the drugs I was being given, I might have been able to get off them sooner.

    Additionally, my position on the usefulness of genetic testing for drugs remains unchanged. A lot of people are told they need a certain drug, be it for high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, seizures, or depression, and when they experience side effects – subtle or emergency – they are told it’s normal and expected and they have to put up with them because they need the drug. Psychiatric drugs are not the only drugs where doctors play Russian roulette and essentially guess until they get a combo that works for the patient. The role of CYP enzymes is well known and not in question, except by those who don’t want to see their drugs become unprofitable.

  • “That said – your genes are not your destiny – they do get triggered, though.”

    Yes and no, while most genes do interact with the environment in ways epigeneticists are only beginning to understand, some genes are in fact, your destiny. This is especially true when it comes to genes that regulate enzymatic activity and cell metabolism. If you have variants that cause impaired regulation, you will most likely experience less positive effect, and possibly a greater number of side effects of certain drugs. Being a homzygote of a gene that causes metabolic impairment will mean you don’t make certain enzymes at all. The current Baby Charlie case in the UK is a good example of the type of disability that can result from inheriting two impaired genes – being homozygous. In his case, the impaired genes effect cell metabolism. So, genes can very much be your destiny if you are homzygotic for genes that influence metabolism and methylation. Other examples of genes that are fine if you’re only a carrier, but screwed if you have two copies would include diseases like Tay-Sachs that runs in the Ashkenazi Jewish community, and Sickle Cell Anemia is certain African communities.

  • I’ve been too busy to comment much around here lately, but I wanted to chime in with this.

    Recently, while discussing with my counselor my history in the mental health system and all the damage the massive overdrugging did to me – which he agrees did enormous harm – he asked me if I agreed that my ex-psychiatrist (a long-time colleague of his) had had good intentions. He also wanted to know if I thought those good intentions were enough.

    I agreed that she had good intentions, with some caveats. But I have thought long and hard about the second question, and my answer is no, good intentions are not enough. She had a decade to witness the effects of the drugs she was prescribing to me. She was a very smart doctor, graduating at the top of her class from the medical school of a highly respected elite private educational institution. She had ample opportunity to assess the criticisms of psychiatry and with an undergrad degree in chemistry, she certainly had the knowledge to understand how the drugs effect the human body and brain. She certainly understood that the so-called “mood stabilizers” and “antipsychotics” did not function in the way they claimed to, and that they were simply major tranquilizers. She was old enough to have been practicing before Prozac was released, and to have witnessed the massive drugging that has taken place in America over the last three decades and the nonsense of type 3, so-called ‘latent’ bipolar. She is culpable of harm. Plain and simple. Though I believe she wanted to help, I also believe she ignored the knowledge she had, and lied to her patients, believing that “the ends justify the means”. Not only that, she purposely caused me to experience a horrible drug withdrawal reaction and then blackmailed me into “admitting” that I “needed” the drugs before she would represcribe the medication I was addicted to – one of her “mood stabilizers”.

    I used to believe that the doctors just didn’t realize the harm they were doing. I no longer believe this is a matter of stupidity. I think these doctors are intentionally lying to patients because they know that their very livelihood will go away if they abandon the biomedical/chemical imbalance/drugs cure all model. That’s what we are fighting. A profession who realizes it will be eliminated if the truth gets out. F&ck their livelihood. These are our lives.

  • The biggest obstacle I see in my daily observation of Mental Health, Inc is that the fourth wave feminists have bought into the biomedical model and are screaming it from the mountaintop in the name of “mental health parity” and “anti stigma”. I’m starting to understand why some people call feminists ‘feminazis’. No attempt to reason with this group is successful. On social media, attempts to explain the downsides of biomedical mental health results in blocking at best. I’ve also been doxxed, had accounts suspended by Facebook for simply disagreeing politely (if enough people report your comment, it results in automatic termination of your account), and had these (mostly women) post links to my accounts on their personal social media pages calling me ‘crazy’ and calling on their posse to also attack me. Honestly, if we were only dealing with doctors and researchers, it wouldn’t be as difficult to counter the biomedical narrative.

    I honestly don’t understand this either because in nearly every other arena, the feminists are the first to point out the effects of environment and inequality on human suffering. And yet, they don’t seem to understand that blaming the brain results in increased stigma. I wish everyone pushing the biomedical narrative would read the ‘Breaking Free From the Stigma Paradox’ that was recently published on this site, to get a taste of the effect of the biomedical model.

  • You know, I really wish I’d had the testing done a long time ago. I am a poor metabolized of certain drugs. All my doctor did was blood levels. My blood level was always low despite being on a high dose, so she increased my dose, leading to unnecessary side effects – including severe light sensitivity and symptoms similar to Multiple Sclerosis. Had I had the genetic testing and realized I didn’t possess the enzymes necessary to metabolize the drug, I could have gone off it or tried something else. As it stands, I still have not healed from years of taking this drug and believe at this point that I have permanent optic nerve damage. Genetic testing is not folly, but you’d better believe that when more than 50% of drugs go through a certain metabolic channel and there is evidence that an enormous number of people lack the ability to properly metabolize them, that the media companies – who receive billions in advertising dollars from pharma – are going to be pressured to downplay the significance of genetic testing. Same with the researchers who should be independent but in fact receive most funding at this point directly from pharma. If you want to believe the naysayers, fine, but I follow the money. And the chemistry is not that hard to understand either.

  • Makes sense. 23andMe’s major downside is that it isn’t a whole genome sequencing, which is still very expensive – in the $2-3K range. And they’re legally only allowed to tell you certain information about your results. This is why I followed up with Promethease analysis.

  • Hey someone, while I agree that buying into specific medical company’s psychiatric genetic testing is overblown, knowing your CYP variants is extraordinarily useful in predicting which drugs will make you ill. You’re right that it can’t say which ones will definitely work, but it will give you useful information for which drugs to avoid, as it did for amnesia and her husband. This idea is not new as you can see from the citation below from 1988. The only thing that is new is the ability to affordably test individual patients for their genetic carrier status to determine whether or not they will be able to metabolize certain drugs.

  • Additionally, if you have it done through a medical channel using insurance that info is now in your medical record and can be used against you for insurance coverage (life and health) and other nefarious purposes. If you go through 23andMe, you can opt out of sharing your data with researchers or anyone else and keep it completely private. You can even use a fake name, they don’t check.

  • If you want to knOw genetic information like CYP450 status (of which there are multiple variants you can be a carrier of) or other CYP genes that effect drug metabolism, its far cheaper and easier to have your genome analyzed by a company like 23andMe ($199.00) and then use Promethease (4.99) to analyze your results. I should not take SSRIs, for example. And I have some weird CYP variants that effect other drugs and foods I like through impaired methylation processes. It was useful info but I would not go to a branded medical company for the tests. Too expensive. Not enough additional useful info that I could tell.

  • Hey HSN, You should make a conscious effort to be more interactive with your cat. Even if you don’t feel an immediate reward or don’t think it’s helping. There are numerous studies showing that petting a cat helps with depressive symptoms. It may take a while so you may have to think of it as exercise – something you do for long term benefit even if the immediate feeling isn’t fun. Try it as an experiment for a while. It’ll be good for you and kitty. Hang in there!

  • Surprisingly, my mother saw an ethical surgeon in the 1990s when she had a disc injury from falling off her boat and pretty severe sciatica. He refused to operate and told her she’d have back problems for life if he did. He told her to get a couple of canes and walk every single day. So that’s what she did. And she healed. Everyone I know who has had back surgery has ended up with either repeated surgeries or permanent sciatic nerve pain, or both.

  • “It’s the whole medical system, not just the shrinks who are quacks.”

    Hear, hear!

    The number of people I’ve known who have been harmed by medical treatment is staggering. My dad had a reaction to Lipitor that landed him in the hospital, where he acquired an infection that killed him – but not without an eight month long battle on life support.

    A friend developed osteopenia after taking PPIs for years. Didn’t know anything was wrong until she started having repeated bone fractures from no-impact injuries. She was only in her 40s.

    Another friend went for a knee replacement. Was told before surgery NOT to mark which leg was the surgical leg and which non-surgical. She ignored that advice and marked her legs as “THIS KNEE” and “NOT THIS KNEE” and was later told by both the surgeon and surgical nurse (privately and separately) that had she not done so, they would have operated on the wrong knee.

    My mother has been dealing with chronic Lyme disease for over five years and has been dismissed by doctors as it being all in her head. Now dealing with Lyme related cardiac issues and psoriasis with little help from doctors.

    I’ve had repeated surgeries to repair the damage from my hysterectomy. Thank ALL THE GODS that I refused the mesh surgery my doctor had pushed me to have as an alternative to hysterectomy now that the pelvic mesh lawsuits made it clear what a disaster that has been for women.

    And then there was the recent experience of being treated VERY differently from my fiancé when we presented to our doctors (in the same practice) with the same symptoms. I was dismissed without so much as an exam, while his doctor wanted to do surgery. They – his doctor, the surgeon, and the radiology place – pursued him for about a month. We’re getting better slowly with a drastic elimination diet. I asked his doctor during the visit if this could be diet related and was told emphatically no.

    Yeah, I’m so SO over western medicine. Doctors are bullies and western medicine does at least as much harm as good. I don’t know of a medical school that requires the hippocratic oath anymore. The new oath seems to be “do more benefit than harm”, and that is a distinctly different approach than “do no harm”.

  • Interestingly, and not to dispute your points at all, the folks at Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Unit were the first to say they didn’t think I was bipolar at all. After 11 years of bipolar treatment, they diagnosed me with MDD. I thought they were nuts at the time but I was still fully indoctrinated as seriously mentally ill and genetically bipolar when I saw them in 2013. Took another two years to get off the SSRI, and three years to get off drugs entirely. At eight months “clean”, I’m starting to feel like a normal human again, of course, with lingering paranoia of being dragged back into the system and drugged.

  • Uprising, I don’t even think there are very many people who feign disability. But our disability system is basically an all or nothing kind of deal. Especially for those who receive SSI rather than purely SSDI. Working a small number of hours would be beneficial to a large number of people, if only for the increased human contact and feeling of contribution to the community. But for those on SSI, every dollar you make takes a dollar from your check and for low income folks, they risk losing Medicaid coverage, and other social services. A minimum income and Medicare for All would go a long way toward getting people out of the disabled mindset because it would no longer be an issue of keeping your benefits intact for basic survival.

  • I’d like to know why the people writing our welfare laws thought it was better to force me to work an exhausting, minimum wage labor intensive job and to pay more for my daughter to attend daycare than my job paid me, setting me up to be stressed and depressed. Wouldn’t a minimum income or at least a maternal income for the first few years that supported low income mothers and allowed them to stay at home and nurture their children be a better way to prevent maternal depression? I didn’t need job finding skills, I needed enough resources to not be homeless and to feed my child. Our home didn’t suffer from a lack of love, it suffered from a lack of money.

  • Telling your therapist can also get you fired for breach of contract if you’re stupid enough to sign a safety contract. Ask me how I know.

    The strange thing in my case is that I never self-harmed until I was drugged with SSRIs. And I have never had any impulse to do such since I went off SSRIs in August 2015. None. It’s yet another behavior completely attributable (in my case at least) to the effects of the poisons they call medicine.

  • I don’t know anything about Congress investigating the APA- that’s news to me. I did know they investigated NAMI. Forced them to reveal their corporate donors, which they hadn’t ever been willing to do before. Unfortunately, they still don’t reveal how much pharma donates. Their donor sheet is organized in tiers, and I think the top donation tier was something like 1mil+ (Might have been 100k+). There’s really no way to know how many millions are being donated by the corporations, and specifically by pharma as a whole. I think the investigation was back in 2010 by Chuck Schumer’s office in the Senate.

  • Decent article, some boneheaded comments though. Particularly the ones who keep insisting that psychiatrists don’t prescribe narcotics. I have come to believe that I am incredibly lucky that I don’t like how narcotics make me feel. The only one I was ever able to tolerate was Darvocet. Thankfully that one was removed from the market and I got off pain pills altogether after an 8 year odyssey of prescribing by shrinks. Psychiatrists (and other MDs) have done their best to get me hooked on heavy pain pills. Two psychiatrists continued to write 30 day supplies for Darvocet immediately after I was released from the hospital from overdose attempts. It’s the medical version of Russian Roullette. One psychiatrist treated me for pain with Darvocet, Dilaudid, and strong NSAIDS such as Celebrex without any rheumatoid testing. I got some lovely intestinal bleeding from that combo. Shrinks are the most irresponsible lot of doctors there are because they are taught not to match physiological indicators of illness with drugs but to match behaviors and feelings with drugs. And they pretty much throw the whole pharmacy at service users. It’s the same approach as drone bombing a village to get one bad guy. They throw the entire arsenal of drugs at the consumer and basically just cross their fingers and hope the magic incantation they wrote on their prescription pad works. And when the consumer becomes delirious/psychotic from the combo, they call it ‘serious mental illness’. The mentally ill group is the group of lab coat wearing maniacs masquerading as doctors. SMH

  • FD, that is the common ploy. Tell you you’re too sick to work but if you follow their instructions exactly to the letter you’ll get better. Then when you get sicker and sicker, they either blame you for bad behavior, or tell you it’s your illness getting worse. They took me in the same way. I was horribly depressed because of circumstances completely out of my control, and they deliberately disabled me.

    Worse, in my case, I believe that the psychologist who first told me that I needed to go on disability was receiving kickbacks for referrals. His brother was a disability determined and reassured me that I would be approved because it would go across his brother’s desk. I was literally poisoned and funneled onto the disability system. But at the time, I was a severely distressed domestic violence victim with very little education and no support and so I was easy prey. But I do believe there was fraud committed to get someone like me into the system.

  • Hear hear! It is absolutely time to stop worshipping at the alter of allopathic Western medicine. Antibiotics were once our savior and are likely to bring the downfall of humanity due to their extreme overuse. For everything else, there’s Lipitor, Seroquel, or surgery.

    And dear god don’t try to escape life with a shred of dignity. Paramedics and hospital personnel have to perform cpr even on 85 year old frail dying patients. It’s pathetic. We’ve forgotten how to live and die!

  • Helpstillneeded, Your situation sounds appalling.

    For myself, I had eight right-unilateral ULP ECT sessions in 2014. They were discontinued when I became hypomanic. I lost a full year of memories, had extreme mood swings during the three weeks of ECT, and became severely depressed within weeks of cessation. It was a complete waste of time that did nothing but damage and left me more depressed after than I was before.

  • What was it something like 11% of the population drugged in 2010, up to 16.67 last year, it’ll be over 20% very shortly. Considering how few people find real help from the meds, and that those numbers are only people currently taking psych meds, and doesn’t include the huge number of people who previously took one or more, we are approaching critical mass!

  • I actually think that the large numbers of people taking these medications now is a huge boon to the antipsychiatry movement. That means large numbers will experience firsthand both the side effects us survivors have been complaining about for years and they will experience the medications lack of long term efficacy. I think the currently booming business is the path to busting it. I’m happy there are so many medicated people now because firsthand experience may be the only thing to open minds and create a revolution against pharma and psychiatry as the solution.

  • This is the twit whose video convinced my fiancé that I should have ECT and then he talked me into it out of desperation. I wish we’d never seen this video. I’d like to deck this guy right in the face. Shame onTED for giving this guy a platform.

  • This reminds me of my neighbor recently who stood in front of me holding a cigarette in one hand and a beer in the other defiantly declaring how “all the scientists and all the psychiatrists know that addiction is a disease”. I just thought, whatever relieves the cognitive dissonance you have about your bad habits and gets you through the day lady, more power to ya. I don’t see the point in arguing with addicts that they have the power to change their behavior. It’s a pointless folly.

  • Sara, thank you so much for writing this. It was a wonderful read. A couple of things stood out to me. The reaction I’ve gotten from others when saying that I’m off meds and doing fine is essentially looks of horror. We as a society have been conditioned to view people with SMI as diseased and dangerous, so the idea that someone is off meds and functioning well is unbelievable and scary. Second, your tactic of lying and becoming a con artist is essentially the advice I give people now. Even if you’re symptomatic, don’t tell anyone. Muddle your way through it as best you can. Fake it til you make it if you must. But if you value your freedom, keep your mouth shut. The slightest symptom is seen as a need for medication. If I have a few days where I’m depressed or anxious or not sleeping or especially on the rare occasions that I have suicidal thoughts, I don’t tell anyone because they invariably suggest I see my doctor.

    I agree with you that it’s necessary for survivors to tell their story. I am inching toward the day when I will feel safe telling my story with my name and face attached. Thank you for telling yours!

  • Hi and thank you for writing about this. I’ve enjoyed watching Bonnie’s lectures on micronutrient therapy and have put some of the suggestions into our daily practice. We believe that aided greatly during my withdrawal process and continued physical healing.

    As for changing policy, might this be an area where a public writing campaign or petition effort of some sort directed at those in charge of policy – whether it be at the institutional level or the legislative level – be an effective tactic in this case? While there are plenty of people who write off the idea that nutrient therapy can have such dramatic response, there are plenty of us with lived experience using this on ourselves or loved ones.

    Restricted diets and nutrient therapy seems to be a well-accepted part of the care regimen for children with autism. And there is so much evidence, emerging and already gathered, on diet, digestion, and mental health. It’s hard to believe that those who are resisting these changes for adults with aggression and violence are doing it for any other reason than spite for what they see as bad behavior.

    Good luck. I’ll watch out for any requests for personal stories or petition signatures. Thank you for your work and dedication to sharing this message.

  • Right, Frank. Infanticide is sadly a thing that happens and will continue, just as other types of murder aren’t going to end suddenly. But I was just a little shocked that she said such a thing so cavalierly without any context. I didn’t ask under what circumstances she advocated for such. Perhaps she simply meant if the infant had some horrible defect that would make for a short painful life that there should be some sort of compassionate physician assisted euthanasia. But even that would be awfully controversial (judging by the abortion debate alone). And I can’t imagine how a mental health provider would interpret such words from a mental patient – without an awful lot of context, it’s just saying murder under a certain age is acceptable.

    I know she worked with poverty stricken women in tribal communities in South America when she was young and so that kind of situation could enter into her reasoning. But I never asked. Advocating for adults to be allowed death with dignity, or for women to control their own bodies is controversial enough for me.

  • I just wish I had said something to her to reassure her after he left that she is just fine as she is. We’re regulars in that store – there every other day – we see her often, and she is so pleasant. I just hope she doesn’t internalize that message that she needs to be fixed somehow. I wish I wasn’t so bothered by this encounter but I remember being that age and being so impressionable, and having children her age it just really bothers me that ill-informed people say things like that to them.

  • I was in my local grocery store today, and overheard a horrifying conversation between the checkout girl and the customer. They got on the subject of crafts and she said she started so many projects and had trouble completing them. He said “must be ADHD, Adderall is in your future!” I was really saddened because this young girl – perhaps as old as her early 20s – was getting this message from a middle aged guy that she had a brain disease and needed a drug to finish her knitting. I was too speechless, and frankly too polite, to interject. But it’s been eating at me ever since.

  • I didn’t grow up with TV – we played outside. I used to have one when I was a young adult I gave it away in 2005 after I hadn’t turned it on for more than a year. We bought one last year to fill the space in a built-in media center in our house but we only watch Netflix on it. One or two shows in the evening while cooking and eating. No commercials that way. Sometimes people will mention some great new commercial and I have to look it up, I’m so out of the loop.

    For me, I find moving TV too stimulating and news channels traumatizing. Ive been reading the newspaper since I was three and have always been a bookworm. Except for the years I took antipsychotic medication. One of the wonderful things about quitting meds was regaining my ability to read, follow along and remember information.

    I think humans have always been able to be distracted by mindless entertainment. I think of the Roman Colliseum games or Pagan festival, English court jesters, etc…

  • The marketers have spent decades researching what makes different populations tick. Did you hear about the political dossier that was amassed and then left vulnerable on an open server for 12 days this month. Doesn’t matter that it was associated with Republicans, all parties collect that information. Thanks to technology and the amassing of data, The marketers know more about than we know about ourselves! And that’s why tv works!

  • It’s hard to argue with smart people who think informed consent consists of reading the pamphlet that comes with your prescription. I was discussing this with a friend yesterday but, nice (and smart) as she is, she seems to trust that the info about drug dangers is already easily available and just kind of glosses over when I start talking about the issues such as drug company corruption, drug trial misinformation, statistic says about the ineffectiveness of ssris and benzodiazepines, and the harms of antipsychotics. I think the information just gets lost in her fear that we’re coming for her xanax.

  • Frank, that’s a fair point, so I’ll clarify by saying that the current rendition of (psychiatric) social control is predicated on “illness”. It is not the only form of social control. Morality (religion), intelligence, race, socioeconomic status, among others are also form of social control. Abolishing psychiatry will not end the attempts by those in power to maintain power and social control. But thats a flimsy argument (your many headed snake theory) for not abolishing psychiatry, respectfully.