Monday, March 20, 2023

Comments by Jclaude

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  • Although I usually stay sceptic towards this type of research and, of course, others will have to scrutinize these results before reaching a firm conclusion, I feel they are on to something very important. Chemical blunting of empathy is, of course a much sadder news than an advantage, generally speaking except for military, psychopathic and other special circumstances. Even in the case of those who worry to much about others opinions unless the excessive worrying is counterbalanced by better insight, better thinking and personal progress in terms of maturity, handling negative emotions etc. Such chemical “fine tuning” is thus hazard-full and at the very least risky as others have pointed out preciously. Not caring what others feel without discrimination is not clinical progress and may lead to social isolation, neglect of many sorts and, ultimately, to self-neglect. I am quite troubled by this line of research even if it seem’s plausible and no surprise to some of you. And for once, a clear and straightforward description of the actual effect of antidepressants, other than Big Pharma’s mysterious myth that it reestablishes normal serotonin functioning.

  • OMG, Our opinions are miles appart. Mandatory reporting in sexual suspicion cases is the rule here in Quebec for well over 25 years. Any other form of abuse or negligence is not mandatory but highly encouraged. So you figure that courts can actually fix things all the time ? I commented on the case of a young girl that went to court a number of times and still, she suffered a life of hell and eventually died (up in Granby, largely covered by french and english medias) And by the way, I can’t imagine you think I stick the personal side of things. I have been working from an interpersonal perspective for decades, engulfed in bio-psycho-social and systemic lenses as well. I have practiced groupe therapy, couples and family therapy. But I dont work very much with children, mainly with adults. You seem very biased in my mind but I guess you think the same about me. I wont comment further on this matter, have a nice day.

  • Too many questions that would take very long to answer, I’ll just stick to whats essential because we are a but off focus. In line with Eric’s text, – His opinion would be appreciated here – I’d say that fist of all, I am a psychotherapist. I am not a social worker, an attorney or a police or a community activist so my work has to do with helping out the person I am with and no one else (unless it is ALSO helpfull for their loved ones, significant others or even the community as a whole, which is often the case since we are all in a social or interpersonal world). I have worked with aggressors, as well as victims (over 30 years in he addiction field and a few in forensic settings so you can guess I didn’t just deal with victimization …) and even then I did all I could to support bullies, criminals, very sick people who often have a lot of nice sides as well as more shady and even dark sides. Changing lenses has always been the norm (even thought I didn’t call it that way). What can you do about this or that : what happened in your history that can help explain how things are now ? Let’ just imagine you go through a formal complaint and try to anticipate if it is the right thing to do, now or latter,.. Sometimes, I’m basically a problem solver searching for a good plan. At other times, I help sort out feelings and work towards a better understanding. I very often invite and even train in assertiveness, empowerment, realizing that the person I am with is abused, mistreated and numbed on different issues that are creating stress and other ailments they sometimes don’t even know about, or so vaguely. My work is constructing new meaning, consciousness and then coaching to take action somehow. I very often think out loud my knowledge so as to be transparent and give all I can so my client-patient can profit from my clinical experience and theories. OK, enough bragging about myself. I juste wanted to illustrate that doing psychotherapy is usually heart born, skillful, never easy and, I hope strongly more helpfull than damaging. And of course, there are srew-ups, errors and even bad therapists that may have took the wrong directions and damaged peoples lifes. But I honestly dont think I am one of these last ones. So, today, I will keep listening to the radio broadcasts up here in Canada that have been covering the very sad news about a young 7 yr old girl found dead a few days ago in awful circumstances and to the many questions as to why she had to go through such a terrible ailment. It seems our youth protection services, schools, police and other radars where just not doing a good job. Listening and mourning on these bad news is also a part of my profession so as to never close my eyes nor my lips if I get involved with such cases that should’t be.

  • I am delighted to read you, once again even if I try to stay wary of new gurus and trends. As a psychotherapist (please dont bash me, I work very hard to earn and deserve my living), I appreciate your enlarged and innovative vision. From the delirious categorial DSM to the three prong “bio-psycho-social” perspective, your 25 – and many more- way of conceiving the complexity of human “being” is by far a good push in the right direction. And very helpful. How many times have I grappled with my clients bad, good, sacrificed, sad and afraid or again the lost parts, the traumatized and others, having trouble putting all these peaces of the puzzle together. Your model makes much cense. Lastly, I despise the comments about psychotherapists as “cover uppers” for sexual abuse. I have gave so much compassion, listening and all of my emotional attention go the point of getting numb, since 1984 to sexual abuse survivors, it really hursts me to my stomach and even my guts to read so grave accusations. Yes, of course, it happened. And I am so sad for all and every one of these double victims. But to generalize to all psychotherapists is simply “basing”. A kind of rage I can understand but object.


    I share with you a very nice melody that popped up in my mind as I was reading this article. “I can see clearly now, the rains is gone” …

    That’s how I feel now that I’m out of the medically oriented battlefield. The line is thin between compromise and collude. Many times I felt I was slipping in, the worst being afterwards. It is very disturbing to come to realize that You out aside your convictions and beliefs for fear of retaliation, by lack of certainty or by having sied with the good doctor or in order to please or relieve those who where disturbed by the “mentally disturbed”.

    After 35 years working as a psychologist in the public sector, initially in the addiction field where there was hardly noninterference by the medical actors, we got gradually invaded over the last 10-15 years of my career. I was eventually “rented out” to the mental health facilities -because they where totally “screwed” with all the comorbidity issues and lastly jumped in, full time in a psychiatry department. That last stop ended after a short 3 months trial and I was kicked out, most probably because I was more on the conflict side of the equation than the other way around. They couldn’t fire me for lack of qualifications but, part of the reason given to me was an apparent difficulty working with the team of psychiatrists. So, I’m now out of the rain and can see quite clearly. I really tried hard to compromise but it was a lost battle from the beginning. And one thing I can say for sure is that psychologists cannot have honest, straightforward discussions with all of their psychiatrist colleagues. Many, not all, but a sizable number are unwilling to listen, to hear and to give psychologists any credibility. And guess who usually wins when a power struggle appears ? I’ll let you fill in the answer. But a hint : I am now working for a private EAP, and relieved. Or re-living …

  • Thanks Tenihola for a late comment that refreshes me to Cris’s blog. It’s been over a year since he wrote it and I’m still meditating his wise and courageous text.I especially like his term “neurodivergeant”. Akin to Autism spectrum disorder people speaking aut and demanding we stop seeing them as sick, and other consumer movement vocalists reclaiming more respect for their condition as opposed to chemically imbalanced. I am still shaky for having made my coming out, in 2016 … with the wrong psychiatrist.

  • Rachel777 : I gather you are referring to what I call poor lost souls as well as sheep. Pharma representatives seek them out eagerly and put them up front as a way to advertise their venom. As live testimony and, of course, the spell-binding is not written all over their forehead. My use on looneys is reserved to the survivors and has an affectionate meeting. The poor souls, I have affection for them also, but much more pity and compassion. We too have to cherry pick vocal, articulate and “an other voice” that represent another perspective. We have to send them mainstream. And, may I add, MIA has many very suitable candidates.

  • Dear oldhead,
    I can’t endorse your degree of cynicism. But believe it or not, I’ma at least half in agreement. The role of mystifying and confusing the public (I prefer the terme obscurantism) is, in my mind, not so much the absence of desire but, on the contrary, a desire to certain ends. Ends that fit well with the interests of owners of the different media. I’m not familiar with American media but I guess it is not very different with “up” here in Canada or in Europe. Big enterprises, big business tend to buy out newsrooms and do a lot of propaganda that self-serves i”s private (financial and economic) interests. In other words, we have to get out the message that present psychiatry is a nuisance to society, that it is not only wrong on the health side, but also for our families, our children, economy, for large fringes of the population and not only a few sparse victims … We have to be convincing not only on moral grounds abut also on scientific proof, socio-economic arguments. Social media, a new player in the news park is also, in my mind, a good vector of public education and one way to force traditional media to discuss our matters.

  • I tried to follow your hint and not respond, but curiosity and sorrow about the state of things commands at the very least a short comment. Fist, you are right about our age difference – I’m a proud and recent 61 yr old – , and most likely, our experience of living (I only got a little entangled with psychiatry as a patient and mostly worked in the system as a “chologist”).
    I may not live ti see a change but certainly hope so. But I dont feel very much more optimiste than You. Culture, politics, society as a whole changes at a very slow pace, generally event thought every now and then revolutions spur here and there. A psychiatric diagnosis, in the present state of affairs dismisses the sick more than it helps. Strict common sense, or a minimum of compassion dictates the opposite.
    How long, I ignore, but I maintain time will permit the maltreated to come out of the wardrobe (is my translation adequate ? sounds funny …). The same as women won the right to vote, slaves and “blacks” gained their liberty and a minimum of dignity. I can’t imagine otherwise. Darn it : LGBT etc are gaining a stand in public attention. Why not us looneys ? Ans especially the victims of organized forced drugging, forced hospitalization, used and abused who are not too destroyed to be able to go public. My turn to end with ‘ don’t have to respond”, but I don’t feel we are either arguing or in any way disagreeing, or disagreeable. I appreciate your honesty and authentic wisdom.

  • I’m afraid I don’t understand your point, Helpstillneeded. In fact, seems to me your demonstration proves what some of us believe about the lack of attention, or at the very least, of covering the subject in the media. I don’t claim to fully know why and hope it is only a question of time. Maybe they are in shock and have to digest that awful news before the report it out to the public. Maybe they are waiting to have a better alternative, as in fairy tails so as to have a nice ending. Maybe they are afraid to attack the establishment. Drs and Pharma are very powerful and would certainly retaliate. Honestly, I don’t know.To make another analogy, the glyphosate scandal took many years before it became public. Mote than 10 years ago, there where credible and very frightening testimonies ans it is only now coming up on the front pages. Cans we stay optimist and hope for the best, with patience ? I would like to think so even if I would prefer immediate attention from the public. My conclusion : let’s keep on trying, Efforts often lead to change. I try to disseminate as much as I can on social media and think it is worth it, on the long run.

  • Main medias have agendas and feed on often futile matters. They don’t have the guts it takes to lift delicate subjects that, for some reason are not enough fashion. They write partly for their advertisers and with many interests in mind. Sorry to say, but the mental illness field does not attract many readers, nor much interest. A bit like in the old days, addicts didn’t attract compassion or the like. It is only when public health and many others proved to the world that prohibition laws where not only inefficient but also costly and Not in publics interest did they catch the peoples attention. Money talks. Our crusade will have to copy that strategy I guess. Compassion is not on the medias agenda I fear.

  • Please don’t “hush” on fish studies. Of course we are different but very often animal studies are very relevant to humans. What I really find astonishing here is how long it took for such a fundamental study to be carried out. Prozac has been on the market for so long and major depression criteria widened su much with each successive revisions of DSM. In fact, I expect the news to go front page. It might just begin in the social media, which I encourage strongly, but public pressure just might force mainstream media to not ignore the issue. This issue is very important in my mind.If I have to declare a conflict of interest, I was hired as an assistant in a chimpanzee lab back in the 80s. I made about $9.50 an hour for two semesters. University of Montreal, comparative psychology department.

  • When I wrote “SO where the cause”, I was sarcastic. I much prefer the terme “trigger”. I f we are not here to blame and divide people into two classes, the mean and the victim. But it’s a fact that when SO’s turn to psychiatry for help, the end result is often prescriptions, forced hospitalizations and disability of the identified patient. If, as someone previously noted, psychiatrists where less versed in bio-pharm and more in family systems, interpersonal dynamics, personality development and trauma, things would be very different. I have a fantasy of a family session where the psychiatrist would inform all involved of the likely evolution of different treatment plans. I bet medication would go down very abruptly. It would most probably be the last option as nowadays, it is the first line of intervention. Occulted, unexplained and destined to be a quick fix only to band aid a crisis.

  • Significant Others have always been a pain in the a… in the mental field. Maybe not always, but for a long time and still now in psychiatric “care”. I have been in the addiction field for over 34 years and it took me way over 10 years to see them as allies and not ennemies. SO where, for a long time the cause of the disorder (i.e. : starting with Freud, then the codependency movement, unwillingly) and then, the addiction field under-stood. Psychiatry is very retarded in this matter. Maybe you are still perceived as the good scapegoat. The one that asks for psychiatric “care” and who thus gets nuts in the nit houses ? I “do-now’, just thinking out loud here …

  • Trying to get back to a recent comment from maradel I just can’t find. In her thoughtful extension of the above discussion, she elaborates on evolutionary aspects and the likely collapse of the larger society. A short excerpt follows :
    “people in favor of capitalism demonize socialism and communism as failed disasters in order to prop up the capitalist economic system. This is a huge hurdle to overcome. We need to learn from those mistakes and not repeat them.”

    I suspect we follow similar readings and socio-political interests but it is a good thing to enlarge our vision of the decay of psychiatry so as to embrace the wider picture. I also believe that many institutions are headed for collapse and/or any kind of revolution. Hopefully for the better but nothing could be more unsure. Two more comments on my behalf.

    1. There are many examples of alternatives to mainstream psychiatry both in time and within different countries across the world. I don’t have them at hand this very moment but over the years I have read and encountered numerous experiments, trials, big and small that just don’t seem to survive and attract public attention such as you hope for. On this aspect, I’m sorry to say you might be a bit too optimistic. Or is it me, being too pessimistic ?

    2. I do agree that if psychiatry is looked at as just one part of a bigger socio-political climate and the rise of autoritarism in the face of a crisis (economical, environmental, social etc.), there is place for hope not by attacking directly and exclusively this particular institution but our civilization in a wider sense. I personally correspond plenty with a group who work hard to promote “citizens constitutions” (or charters of rights) in an orderly and organized manner (with no political ties, nor prior ideology, citizen comities chosen from the general population randomly with guidance and limited mandates,..) that resembles slightly the present French “yellow jacket” movement (is that the right way to translate “les gilets jaunes” ?) but in a less spontaneous fashion. This fosters promise of a better world in my mind. It, at the very least, helps me to not slip into despair and simple desolation or “rage against the machine”.

  • Interesting how this discussion started off on the smaller notion of “informed consent” and slides to larger, more fundamental issues such as psychiatry being the right arm, or the moral arm of oppression. The image is discomforting but makes sense. After all, criminals are non-conformists. They defy the laws for community living (safety, abuse, violence, economic deviancy, etc.), as psychiatry would be society’s line of defense for its moral, ideological and cultural conservativeness. In contrast, while the criminal and police system admits it is in the service of the community, psychiatric “care” defines itself as in the service of patients. And again, one part of the criminal institution tries to make place for rehabilitation and social reinsertion to a larger extent than the psychiatric institution. Makes me wonder a lot about our authoritarian mode of being, almost everywhere on the planet. Conform, or dye, seem to be the end result.

  • Actually, the comment above here with my name in the beginning is NOT from me. Don’t know how this could happen, but I reported it. I’m just relieved the writing is not too off track or mean or otherwise disrespectful, but still makes me feel not at ease. Could the author please do the correction, if it was a simple mistake ? If, not, I’ll become very paranoid … I most certainly am not split personality (nor DID, nor did I write that”.

  • Most people and, of course, courts. I’m afraid the comparison between involuntary commitment and arrest would not hold because the logic, or rational behind each is very different, The rights guarantied to offenders aim in part so as to not convict an innocent, witch necessarily causes harm. The logic behind hospitalization is that the hospital is a friendly place, a “good thing” in every aspect. Juste the word “hospital” sounds like “hospitality”, what it should be in fact. Getting back to the survey, we now have reason to believe it is anything but hospitable for many. In that cense, the survey alerts us, and more importantly, public authorities, that involuntary admission in a psychiatric ward can have negative, and even very negative, consequences that need to be considered in the futur.

  • Sorry to say but a non responder is not necessarily catatonic but “un collaborative”, which is pretty much the same. Especially if written with ” I attempted this and that, I cajoled, tried to be his, or her best friend, nothing to do,..”. The main difference with being arrested is just that. Arrested, you have the right to silence. In the psychiatrists office, no way Hosay … One is mean, the other supposedly sick.

  • Sad but true. I’m not a pure survivor, as a psychologist, I stood my grounds and didn’t get as maltreated as many on here. But I am also left sided (with a slight, as thin as it is, right wing inclination). I have also noticed how harsh some comments are. But you know what ? Don’t event bother about the sharp teeth comments. They are not destined to hurt you. They are only very deep pain coming out as words, only words. And, as Albert Ellis once told one of his very young patients ” sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me “. Easier to say than to do, but still true. So stick in with us, please, and things can, and will change. Time is a big healer …

  • Forget the antagonism, it was a long time ago and you must of had responded too at least 200 others since. Just for the record, I had, at the time, shared my sensibility from one of you’re remarks, and you sorta dismissed me as a sissy. No hard feelings (anymore …). But yes, You had a good hunch. My bosses did seem very concerned, worried and superficially did everything they had in their power to “help out”. I was in shock and it took me many months to figure out their duplicity and hypocrisy. At the time, I was a kind of “black sheep” as we say here in French-Canadian. I eventually came to the conclusion that their way of seeming so “concerned” towards me was the best way they could get me out of there. Dispensed and neutralized, I was in fact. They where self-concerned, much more than “for” me.

  • I have to admit, your provocative tone is enlightening at times. After the flower, the pot. You also have a keen sense of twisting things around. Recognizing that bio and psycho, as well as spirituo, socio, etc facets are all “one and the same” doesn’t lead to the distorsions of language you speak about. The distorsions are, in my idea, different ways to rationalize or come up with “pseudo explanations” so as to justify exploitation of the human race. Yes, language can be very tricky and, in the wrong hands, be utilized to deceive, lie, invent, scare,.. I don’t believe the mind is always disturbed by diseases, but it can. My comparison of Lime disease and MS with past psychiatric disorders might seem irrelevant to you, OK, fine But I still think biology is everywhere and in every always part of human experiences. But, we are very far from understanding all the nuances, ore shades and I hate it when psychiatry, or event my own profession, psychology “knows it all”, has found the ultimate cure. I just have to remember past “mother blaming” to instantly become modest.

  • There was once a time that depression, as anxiety, was seen as anger turned inward. I still think it is a valid view. But, at my expense, I also learned that when I spoke up, I eventually got “judged” and qualified alternatively as Narcissistic, paranoid and bipolar. I didn’t suffer half the ordeal of many here on MIA, but it was a very cruel way to screw up my 30 years of teaching assertion skills, communication and problem solving. At least, I gained a bit of modesty, or humility, in the process of a terrible humiliation and defeat. And I also learned tu shut myself up. So no, speaking out is not THE solution. I’m still tackling with the “how to” without fearing retaliation. I hope I can find out before I die.

  • Ohhhh, Kinedredspirit (and others) You have just opened a Pandore box. For centuries, we have divided the mental and the physical or organic, and that was a very big booboo. Mental or psychic phenomenas are linked. I, as a psychologist like to explain bad feelings, behaviors and such to family issues psychological developmental stuff but we are also, very often, like blind men working our hands around an elephant, wondering what the f… is tha !. So much I despise psychiatry’s dumb popular bio explanations, so much I don’t deny something very biological is often happening. My wife has MS since at least 1984. So glad it is very slow one, but that’s beside my point. Fact is, when I met her, I was graduating as a psychologist. So, when she lost 85 % of her eyesight in only on eye for a few months, I came to the logical conclusion, at that time, that I had fallen in love with a histrionic woman with a typical case on conversion. But I was in love (and still am), so I didn’t make a fuss and married her. Turned out, she was diagnosed with MS. I am still tackling with her mood swings, often hopping it is “her problem” and not mine, but after 34 years, I’m still stuck with the same old question. Am I causing her mood swings or is it her biology going nuts. Before MS was recognized as a legitimate disease, she most likely would have been diverted to a psychiatric ward. No ? I honestly believe, yes so ! At the time, we had a host of elegant hypothesis about “pseudo-neurological disorders. Luckily, when a neurologist made the diagnosis, just by looking into her eyes with a lamp, around 1990, she said without hesitation ” Oh my gosh, I can see very clearly scares in the back” and then she asked, without knowing the past history : “have you ever lost sight in that eye ?”. Just to say “the bio-psycho, mutually exclusive division is scrap. We, health and mental health pros hat to go back to our homework’ and come up with way better explanations.

  • Bravo. Brilliant survey even within it’ limits. I almost didn’t read it, considering its methodological flaws but I don’t regret it at all. Of course, victims here will say “nothing new under the sun”, but myself, as an almost victim of forced institutional involuntary admission gain in-sight. By the way, I have recently lost my position as a psychologist in an outpatient psychiatric service. After 3 1/2 months. I suspect a personal vendetta by a colleague, a psychiatrist who didn’t like the fact that I just talked about medication with our mutual patients. I wasn’t advocating so much as just doing my job as usual, and accepting to talk about any subject that came up. It was still too much for that psychiatrist, especially when, as a dummy, I’d bring them up with her. So, anyhow, I think she arranged my expulsion. Not sad in the end. Yes, I lost a lucrative revenue and a very passionate way to earn my living. But, I got pushed out of a sort of hell. I don’t want to work with the Devil no more. Even if my financial situation suffers. To get back to the above article, it echoes so many horror stories, many You here can imagine. It comforts me to have an audience who understands the multiple vicarious traumas I have undergone with my years of practice. OK now. I’m ready for Oldheads comments. He and me don’t have many good vibes, even if I still feel I’m on his side. Not on his “sides”.

  • Of course, these findings may seem basic and no surprise at all for many here on MIA, but it is a major finding in the scientific (medical, psychological etc) community. That’s not a sad statement, it is an awakening jolt for many who continue to see psychosis as strictly biological, genetically determined and somehow only treatable with meds. I prefer to see this as a glass getting filled up rather than the opposite or as an almost empty statement. I may get laughed at by this optimism or attract cynicism and other angry responses but I still think it is a step in the good direction. Small and insignificant, as it may seem to some.

  • Of course the number is higher, much higher. But the good point of this study is that it reached the 1% mark point of serious events. And that without the presence of Gotzsche’s interference. In science, the 0,05 and 0,01 levels are deemed “significant”. So this is a huge victory. In happening at the very least because it will halt Ritalin prescribing, slow Concerta and the rest and lead to more research. Wait until the link is made with Gilles de la Tourette and other OCDs. I am so happy today reading this ! Guess I will have the energy to change my tires on my car in the end. Winter is closing in quickly up here in Qc.

  • Evidence based medicine is a technical term, somewhere between the latest “fad” and a revolution in the archaĂŻc form of traditional medical practice, closer to hear-say transmitted, generation by generation of young god like figures by authoritarian toubibs. Science could be a very precious way to assess it’s actual merit, but big Pharma doesn’t appreciate anyone questioning it’s propaganda.

  • In a cense, you are right Someone else. But the Cochrane collaboration tried to bring science to medicine. And one of it’s founders and most vocal and respected critical thinkers just got chased out. It is a terrible tragedy. Medical Science, at it’s most rigorous level was fighting pharmaceutical corruption. The link up on top is good and very informative. Why downplay it ?

  • As a clinical psychologist very at ease with all sort of people, I salut this study. Yes, non pathological VH is very badly undertrood and stigmatized in the medical community. I am sad to have to discuss again and again with a young adult about his voice, only one word he fears people will discover make him feel very ashamed and embarrassed. Unaccepting for this meer obsessional idea of his, he stays at home, doesn’t have the courage to work and literally lives beside his life. I once told him hearing voices is a not so uncommon experience but he only seemed surprised. I will keep working hard for him to stop his antipsychotic drug (that seems ineffective anyhow) and get rid of his phobia ans fear others will guess his embarrassment. But, in the mean time, his very focalized or compartmentalized psychotic experience is not sufficient for him to be inapt. He is a fine person to talk to, intelligent, nice, spirit full and fun to hang around. But so lonely and a sad loss … We need to know more so as to accept a different way of being.

  • Coming from a man, and not a woman (I imagine it’s true, you are a guy) is even more inspiring. Had her kid been catalogued as “bi-word”would have benne probably very devastating. But “mommy nurse” was well attuned to the system and spared him that terrible ordeal.Your story is like a fable, with a good ending. Thanks. And it also says something terribly wrong with the word “bipolar”. Life can take a large variety of “wrong ways” and to put a name on only the variant (up and down) is so reductionist, Life has it’s ups and downS. I dont believe everybody is bipolar. But, for sure, everyone have theirs highs, and their lows. Mi bipolar experience was not between being depressed and hypomanic : it was between being full of enthusiasm and discouraged or apprehensive for the futur of life on earth, not only mine, but the one of my children and all their counterparts.

  • Can’t keep the pace and read all the comments, many I appreciate very much, by the way but thanks Chriss fir a very thoughtful article. Reminds me that bipolar disorder was once part of the “affective” disorders and now, as psychiatry is “full” biological, they deem it better to talk about the “mood disorders. And way back, there where many types of disorders that could look like bipolar but had different meanings and causative factors (for e., cyclothymia, brief psychotic disorders etc.). I’m still very ambivalent about reclaiming the term bipolar for many of the reasons others here argue against it and especially because it has acquired pejorative sub-meanings ant that can be very hazardous. Juste like we got ride of overused and insulting word like “idioty’ out of the medical jargon. I think bipolar has already done great harm and should be abandoned. It is way too tricky and conjures up way too many bad images. But if ever I meet again with a psychiatrist that seems to talk like Chriss, I will be delighted to use it. How many out there, 1 in 10 million ?

  • I felt like just ignoring all this, but it hurts and no, I wont elaborate. Not if I’m to feel my writing is not even worth reading (and being told that publicly) and then being told rude comments such as using “buzz words” and meaningless things. I am not english speaking of origin and to write 3 paragraphs cant take me a lot of time. Being answered I lost my time doesn’t give me a big incentive to pursue any form of discussion any further.

  • I hate to argue with you Alex (either cause I’m afraid to loose or, on the contrary, to win the argument and then deceive you) but.., You, and nobody will ever know for sure what drove you to think about suicide as the ultimate solution. I contemplated that, very long before i got personally involved with psychiatry. Suicide is an existential question or dilemma. “Will I wait until a sickness kills me, or any other cause, or should I take matters in my hands in times of great trouble or turmoil is a legitimate question. I am happy I decided “no way Hossai !” : life can be beautiful and full of wonderful things, so live it up to the end. Many people are not so fortunate thus. In the end, nobody can put the blame on any circumstances for envisioning to put an end to one’s life. There are so many other circumstances, conditions or, to put it in a scientific frame, “factors”. But, where I am in accord with you is my inclination for anarchy. Not a disturbed and chaotic one but, something like a “garden of Eden”. Without appels and snakes, if that’s the only problem. …

  • I just understood why you stated the thread was about ti disappear. It is pretty long, and has taken many directions … But I still want to comment on the following :
    “you can’t get rid of psychiatry without something to replace it with.” This implicitly accepts that psychiatry serves a useful function,…”

    I agree, there are at least two category of people who write here, moor likely a complex myriad of us in fact. And to only want to get rid of psychiatry is half the job. The void will surely get filled up by “alternatives”. Psychiatry has definitely Ă  control function that serves courts, parents, teachers, employers, prison administrators, residencies and society at large. This means there is a “demand”, a huge one. And, a big part of that demand is by oppressors, opportunistic people or organisations that benefit with the actual situation. But that’s only my point of view. I am in the “reformist” camp. Radical, but not as radical as the abolitionists. After having worked 34 years as a psychologist, I can’t believe, or bear to even imagine it was all so vain. But I will admit, psychology is not the ultimate solution. Part of a bigger, much bigger change. I dont always like the word “spirituality”, but bringing back a little of that would also help a great deal. And the political arena is probably the most promising of all. And that : more and better justice, fighting poverty and human misery, saving our environment, ending wars and giving access to a better, at the very least Ă  decent life, to everybody all over the planet is a very long journey. Worth it, but a bit idealistic I’m afraid.

  • I have just now understood that the “no ensalada? ,..” bit was in response to my “french fry” text. I haden’t had time to google translate all those foreign words. But I did recall my long ago Honduranian nieces laughing and calling me loco around the 1970s. So I figured out that one by myself. That’s my response to your last post. Now, I want to also respond to the one on June 21, 7 : 22 am that has no reply button to write just ender. Totally hilarious. I adore sarcasm and also all those good hints before I resume my psychological practice. And your suggestions are so spaced out. If I don’t actually want to work, I will follow them. Seem’s like a lot of fun ! But, more seriously, I actually contemplated going back on the market without renewing my licence and on a freelance “out of norms” fashion. Only one appointment per day, so as not to be rushed in any way. No records or files, home service etc. But then, a regular, well paid job came up. I do have to pay my debts so, it’s a hard choice to do but obligations command necessities (or the other way around).

  • So nice of you ! I’m honored. But, in french we would write “patati, patata”, or “poutine” or again just plain old “blablabla” which is international I guess. So let’s call us up one day : I’ll practice my english and you french. I try to write as much as I can but I still need to practice me talking. Funny thing is : I was once very fluent to conversing in english and lost it al,l for a couple of years. One day, while I was attending a conference I surprised my colleagues (and even myself) by talking like a real Englishman. So suddenly and spontaneously. But, I guess it was unimportant : I was probably in hypomania back then ! But so happy to recover my up to then, lost faculties … Crazy no ?

  • I reply to you as well as to Paula. I wont read that book cause I listened to too many soldier and veteran stories back in 2004. I side-witnessed so many atrocities that I was more and more against war, and the army and even nationalism. That’s not too good when your employer is “Veterans Affairs Canada”, a very federalist organisation. When I’d be coming back home after a day of hard work, and I would space out, dissociate and recall my own traumas. So I resigned, even if the permanent job “contest” was rigged in my favor (but that’s another story). Fact is : so many soldiers complained to me that they felt more harmed by “les Forces armĂ©e du Canada” than by their initial traumas, that is was very disturbing. I even had one veteran seen compensated up tu the heights of 90 % his salary for a minor trauma, so as to shut him up to cover up very worse traumas caused by the Canadian Army ! Shit !!! That was the drop that made my glass overflew. I thought of writing my “memoirs”, but didn’t have the guts of Paula. I was way too exhausted back then.

  • Paula, votre “french” est très bien. Moi, j’en profite habituellement, ici, pour pratiquer mon anglais. J’ai quand mĂŞme passĂ© la tranche de de 1 1/2 Ă  11 ans Ă  Timmins, Ontario, alors je ne veux pas rouiller. La mĂ©moire me revient plus je l’exerce. J’ai oeuvrĂ© avec les anciens combattants en 2004 (hĂ´pital Ste-Anne de bellevue, unitĂ© de stress et blessures opĂ©rationnelles) et, Ă  l’Ă©poque, je lisais compulsivement tout ce qui s’Ă©crivait sur le TSPT et PTSD. Je crois vous avoir lue d’ailleurs quoique je confond probablement avec d’autres cĂ©lèbres “Caplan” (dans le domaine des jeunes ou de la famille, je ne me souviens pas trop : peut-ĂŞtre ĂŞtes vous liĂ©s de sang ?). Toujours est-il que je vous trouve brillante, allumĂ©e et articulĂ©e. Bravo Ă  vous. Et je vous remercie de m’avoir troublĂ©e : j’aime pas dormir …

  • Just noticed this in the latest edition of JAMA : “Use of prescription medications that have depression as a potential adverse effect was common and associated with greater likelihood of concurrent depression.” This kind of news, coming from a very conservative or established journal surprises me, in the good sense. For more info, check out Seems some researchers are doing serious business.

  • OMG. I am so disenchanted, sad and Mad, up here in Canada ! For years I admired Allan Frances who was one of the main critics of the DSM fallacy. But now I hear about and read another side of the story. From Ms. Caplan who I did not know (thanks to streetphotobeing), another insider who quite convincingly gives me a cold shower. I will find difficult to read futur articles by Frances without feeling he may be a fraud, a traitor and somebody I put on a pedestal for way too long. But, I’ll get over it, someday, like so many other disillusions so far.

  • Is there really more to say ? I read enough to have a very clear idea of the harm that was inflicted on you. And,iftherereally is more to say, other than to get too explicit and just multiply examples of what is already very obvious, OMG,I can’t wait to read further … Thanks already for such a vibrant testimony.

  • Even if i’m in complete agreement with you, Ariana Moxie, does “knowing the downside” suffice when you read, as courageous and generous Kelli wrote so vividly “Once a child is in the system, if the parent disagrees with treatment, they are then given a diagnosis as well for thinking differently than the physician.” ? So revolting …

  • “patients adhere to their labels in order to evade personal responsibility in life.”
    I don’t know if this can be considered victim blaming. Maybe, but in my mind, taking total responsibility in life can be very hazardous and at times impossible to sustain. I guess it depends on one’s perspective. Be it objective and without pejorative assumptions or on moral grounds. I recall countless times i heard “critical parental or authority figures scolding and shaming weakened or vulnerable people by commanding to be “more” responsible.

  • Please, let’s calm down. I may have triggered this acrimony and I am sorry if it is the case. But, for a personal anecdote that sum’s up my thoughts, let me tel you all this. My wife who I love deeply has MS since the beginning of our romance in the early 80s. In the first manifestations of her ordeal, as a young and innocent psychologist, when seeing that she suddenly lost 90 % of her eyesight in one eye, I concluded she was a typical hysteric (conversion disorder). But, I was in love and thought at then: I’m a psychologist so I can cope with that. Then, I found out about MS, and I had a hard time coping. But, 34 years latter, we are still together and even more than ever. My concluding remark : I was a fool, instructed by my mentors to see histrionic conversion anywhere. Fad of my time. Now, I know better, but it took 15-20 years to sink into the shrink I am. I don’t want to be perfect anymore : just good enough.

  • And actually, my intention in doing these 3 last posts was to distract and diffuse the tension with a nice little post I found somewhere else. But, I forgot to post it when I got caught in replying … And now, I realize I can’t download my file. P. S. : I think I finally got a link for it. Try going to:

  • Sorry for being so abrasive, my tone could of been more courteous. O didn’t notice your post was referring to another one, I figured it was still on this subject. Of course, disease mongering is a terrible modern tragedy and anyone can be guilty for inventing new diseases. But then, I crossed so many “weird looking,walking, twitching” people in my professional as well as personal life, it seems very likely that TD is only the tip of the iceberg of an eventually long liste of permanent damage to the brain and SNS of many unfortunates. Just the fact that TD has been known for a long while and that it is still often denied says a lot about our willingness to recognize that variety of harm. So I still think it is a very delicate matter to dispute with someone that is convinced of presenting such a terrible condition. A bit like arguing with someone coming off meds that complains about brain zaps or such. Whatever, I present my sorrow for my acting out on you and send you my best regards. We are discussing very muddy water subjects and it’s easy to slip on a slippery stone, get mud on ourselves or event fall face fist in the poodle. We are only humans after all and at least, we are engaging in such challenging discussions.

  • Dr, please, Dr, a bit of delicacy before you use psychodynamic expressions. It was predictable and written in the sky your comments about regression, tardive akithisias, child-like regression and like would be offensive, and dismissing to Rasselas (and most likely others here). Maybe you had intended to provoque the discussion – you succeeded – but I’m afraid your excellent article lost a lot of credibility by reverting to psycho-bable simplistic like advancing (it all comes down to the mother-child relationship, or personality explains everything or even Biology is the best explanation for all MI !).

  • No, they don’t. But bad physical care, as well as bad public health in general also shorten’s lives. And also, psych drugs cause many other ailments that impede on longevity : liver problems, diabetes, heat failure, sudden death (also called ? I don’t remember, but I think it has something to do with synergetic serotonin failure or something) and sex drive halt and anhedonia, and also shakes, tremors, sever withdrawal reactions like “mind zaps”, and suicide, and sudden extreme violent outbursts, and the list goes on. As well as obesity, of course.

  • Three months ago, as I was getting really irritated by my doctors refusal to consider my plan to get back to work (2 years of sick leave and a mix of positive and negative medical or psychiatric expertises), my jaw fell when she commented : “I’m afraid you still seem irritable and that makes me think you are not quite apt ti go back to your job” ! I was not irritable, I was extremely irritated by her stubbornness, her persistant insistance I fly to file bankruptcy to get rid of my debts instead of considering me able to work and pay my ton of bills. She then really jammed my jaw, commenting the following”. And as far as I’m concerned, your debts could be the proof you are actually still bipolar. Honestly, I admit, I fantasized playing the sick role and acting like a real bipolar should : go out and party every day, make sick jukes, fool around for a while and juste have a hole lot of fun. WRF, I often felt guilty and shameful for just laughing and enjoying life once in a while. The sick identity was really getting on to me. Even when feeling high energy, doing my housework, shores and cooking was suspect. So, yes, Mr. Kelmenson, psychiatric diagnosis can bee very dehumanizing, invalidating and a very perverse mindset that taints every aspect of one’s existence. Even for the person diagnosed so, imagine how peers and other outsiders “read” emotions, behaviors and other signs of the alleged sickness afterward. I sometimes feel like a freak.

  • Obvious ! Depends on who considers the evidence. But I agree, it may not change much in termes of public health policies, work force and the like but it has the merit of building stronger data on the matter. And, the conclusion is not only about feeling terrified. It’s about not being able to work, in the 50th decade of life, a period of great competency and often with a lot of productive years ahead. It can be very tragic, I went through it and now what it is like, first hand …

  • Julie, I’ll get back to you in private on this issue. I worked 34 years as a clinical psychologist in the MH, addiction and Youth protection agencies and am totally flabbergasted about how my “peers” mistreated me, as ell as how my former employer deceived me, if not outright set me up to disgrace and dishonor. It all stated with my own family problems and, sadly, our distress transported in my wotkplace, the trigger that my bosses used to push me out the door, for very different issues. They had a good pretext. As a psychologist, my superiors had all the leverage needed to coerce me, bully me and do whatever they intended, pretexting the dangerousness of an unstable psy. So, I guess I was raped bu MH as well as my former employers. Sorry for my vulgarity, but I feel the need to scream out ” “They f…ed me up real nice”

  • OMG, Julie Greene. A very eloquent example of “group thought” pressure if ever I witnessed one. I gave group therapy for over 30 years and it is the hardest way of helping but, alas, also very popular. And, unexperienced therapists, of every horizon, often don’t event understand how a group therapy can harm, too enmeshed and zealous to give out a quick fix. Scapegoating, “parent blaming” and “society blaming”, among many other pitfalls, can just reinforce bad feelings, resentment and coming up with bad conclusions about the causes of everybody’ misery and ailment. I once saw a movie about a teen bootcamp and even if I’m well informed, I was positively impressed by the intense, unbearable pressure the group was putting on a rebellious young woman, that resulted in catharsis and spectacular releie. Of, course, movies often have good endings. But, in real life, things don’t always have such nice outcomes. To get back to the testimony of Sera Davidow, it all comes to the same thing : people, either peers in group therapy as well as “professional carers” all stereotypes, beliefs,¨group of origin” thinking and popular ways of construing reality that put people in categories that more often than not disqualify (or invalidate) their own perspective, which is a form of violation, dismissal of the persons effort to make cense of what actually happened, or is still happening. Peer pressure can be harmful, but in the context of group therapy, the adults in charge have a big part of responsibility for the harm. And, when all this is perpetuated by “professionals”, it is even more devastating and totally outrageous.

  • I finally took the tike. And I am disgusted. Thanks for a refresher on how I felt abused, degraded, non believed and gaslighted beyond my imagination. Hearing you made me go trough 2 years of almost hell. And I managed not to let them drug me. But my job, my relationships, my dignity was practically wrecked and torn to shreds. After 34 years as a psychologist, dedicated to my best to thousands, and just in to my sixties, I still don’t accept how I have been so mistreated !

  • Brett Deacon, I suggest respectfully you try harder to find common ground with Gerard. I don’t want to try to stump you or look superior, but his line of thought makes a lot on sense. Maybe he is a bit stringent with his “interpersonal origin” hypothesis, but still, given that perpective, the form pathology takes is less important than the initial causes. In that perspective, “Depression” becomes a global or generic term for a very large class of disorders of the self with as many root causes. And thus, therapy will be closer to retracing the persons personal and interpersonal story and then helping to sort things out. I don’t know if you agree or not, but I am pretty sure you apply, at least in part what I just wrote. And, if I am right, that points to some common ground between you too. Best regards.

  • I will admit I haven’t even taken time to listen yet (it will comme when I’ll do the dishes or some other duty of the sort) but still, I want to say thanks and bravo for such a demonstration. What caught my attention the mere title that “shocked” me. Because, just over 3 months after 2 years of being periodically coerced into tacking either Seroquel of Lithium for alleged bipolar disorder, I still get flashbacks of what I consider a PTSD linked to the terrible feelings I flet about being robbed of my dignity and attacked on my mental and physical integrity. Of course, people around me consider I react as a sissy because common sense says it was only good medical practice. I don’t see it that innocent and even benevolent way. I was scared like shit, panicky and mostly afraid the psychiatrists would go through with their threats of committing me into the psychiatric facilities where I worked part time during many years as a psychologist. Luckily, I was never hospitalized even thought I stood my ground and refused to submit. My story has a relatively happy ending but still, I feel a deep scar remains. On a more global aspect of all this, we must realize that “PTSD” has been arbitrarily restricted, with DSM revisions, to actual danger of death so as to not incriminate many other instances of trauma, namely coercition, professional abuse of every kind, institutional violence and other forms of abuse that are pervasive and left unchallenged. It is no coincidence that most DSM diagnosis expand ever more with each revision process (the criteria are less strict), but PTSD, for which medication has the least ground is shrinking.

  • Please do ! People aren’t listening because the subject matter is just too disturbing. To realize that medical and psychiatric “care” is so destructive commands a very drastic change. But most people prefer to trust the medical community and trick themselves into figuring : “Of course, their methods seem cruel, but we are not competent tu judge the work of our dedicated doctors and nurses’ …

  • Sadly, it could take many more studies, but maybe not if the information is shared in many ways, including social media. For my part, will do my share on the facebook pages I run for the french speaking community. Cultural and, ultimately, political change is often a long run, or marathon, in the face of economic forces that resist as long as many dollars are involved. Just consider how long it took to counter the cigarette lobbys, gun sellers, pesticide etc. But let’s not sink into apathy and helplessness. After all, most here are not on antidepressants (or, any more) !

  • Pretty compelling even thought the findings are correlational and thus, inconclusive in terms of causality. But still, this study challenges the medical community with a possibility that goes contrary to the common belief that antidepressants may have to be taken for life. This is not trivial but very critical. Doctors, psychiatrists, pharmacists and all other healers involved in prescribing will eventually have to face the fact that they could be doing harm. If more studies keep pointing in the same direction, it will gradually lead to a major change in prescribing habits. The prescriber will eventually have to “guess” on the best time frame for antidepressant use and also at what point the symptoms are either induced or not. That will be a very hard riddle … But then, by shifting the liability of prescribers in the direction of having to be prudent, they will have to change. I’m am very happy to see such research, independent of the industry and of a (very) long term prospective nature.

  • What I find so frustrating is the extent of blindness of the many people surrounding medicated people. So many red flags keep “popping up” but there is such strong resistance to even notice them, and make a tentative hypothesis about the likely possibility of a causal link. Of course, the prescribers are always afraid of liability issues and fear much more not giving the magic bullet rather than “soft” treatment but still. How can they not stay objective and genuinely caring and ? Like in the old metaphor, give Ă  hammer to the worker and suddenly, everything looks like a nail … Thanks Dr Breggin for your courageous call for a more complete set of tools.

  • Your analysis is very compelling. And I don’t want anything to do with either flawed research, as a nicotine addicted person, or scientology or even anti-psychiatry hidden agendas. Let facts be facts and things will progress in the right direction. Pseudo-science, cajoling or false news wont. But I’m just speculating, of course …

  • Idem ! You took the words out of my mouth. I saw no reference and decide to browse all the comments before asking. It’s no being too academical to expect a link or at the very least a biographical not for reference. I’ll go further by, with all du respect to MIA, confiding that if I cite MIA too often, it will discredit my efforts to disseminate all our wisdom and common sense in social medias. MIA is decidedly on “one side of the fence” and I want people to hear what “non partisan” research and real-life studies have to say. I’m not trying to hide my allegiances, but I like to give out fist hand references so as to augment our audience.

  • A very good set of points “Slay” ! Only thing : some apparently say it is a disputable fact, turning it into fiction. It seems just as hard as to try to convince non believers about climate change. And on your point about supposedly educational public health campaigns, the latest I heard was about the so called “tide eating” challenges. Don’t know what US media say about this but here in Canada I have herd that the public health campaign actually fueled youth into doing such foolish things. Only one documented case had occurred before public authorities panicked and launched a rapid PR response. The figures of reported cases jacked up to close to 40 right after. Anybody knows you dont tel kids ” don’t do this or that” !

  • I don’t mean to argue, bcharris, but my knowledge of SSRIs is different. In fact opposite to your story but comes up to essentially the same end result. Of what I heard and read, SSRIs where stumbled on by accident, like many so called molecules and initially marketed as “potent” antidepressants. With time, doctors reported anecdotal evidence that it also seemed to relieve OCD Sx and sex overdrive. The funny part is that many spouses where delighted the SSRIs where having calming effects on their husbands harassing libido. My hypothesis is that by diminishing the sex drive of once depressed husbands who, in fact, where sexually frustrated, and thus depressed, sex drive decreased and, as a byproduct, frustration fell, and then greater couple harmony set in and depression then lifted off. I don’t know if my interpretation is mythical, wishful thinking or only plain “story filling”, but it certainly makes me smile.

  • Can I join you, littleturtle, (great nickname by the way) ? I also adore the expression “bio-bio-bio” event thought most psychiatrists here in Quebec pretend to embrace the bio-psycho-so called model, but in fact are definitively closer to bio-bio-bio ! Yeahhh, it’s stuck in my head and on my tongue, for good I feel.

  • Great article ! What else can I say ? Oh, yes, I cans also add that it stimulated a very fascinating string of comments. I’m trying very hard to go through all of the intelligent responses before I comment further but I’m a little overwhelmed. I dont mind being overwhelmed when the discussion is so captivating.

  • I greatly appreciate your reflexion on “iatrogenesis” and got a few thoughts afterward that make me feel cynical. If insurance and reimbursement agencies ever came to recognize the validity or the real existence of medical induced schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and many more, would they not be tempted to try to recover their previous “bad” investments ? To make things even clearer, imagine when the condition of a person worsens, lets say as an example, from a minor transient condition to a much more severe and chronic one, it is legitimate for those who pay for all this to conclude : we have been framed into having the obligation to spend a hell of a lot of money because on an initial misdiagnosis and, as a consequence, a wrong pharmacological treatment that will cost us a lot of bucks, for a long time again. And, since there is scientific evidence that should inform physicians and psychiatrists in order to prevent such errors, someone, somewhere should be liable and take responsibility for such damages. I hope my response is “understandable” and logical. If not, I could try again (I’m french-canadian and often have trouble being clear when writing in Shakespeare’s language). But I do think that the day the industry and stakeholders will “wake up”, the cascade of what is involved will be monumental, financially as well as in many other aspects.

  • Excellent news, event though it is “back to the writing board”.

    The laetest revision of DSM eliminated the psychological and social aspects of mental disorders. As many have predicted it would happen, Dr Francis, for one, given the strong loading of pharmaceutically delegated lobbyists.

    Prior versions of DSM where built around a “multi-axial” system of diagnosis. One of the 5 axes was “stress factors affecting medical and psychiatric condition”. That is now expurgated in the 5th editions. Favoring a strictly biological perspective on psychiatric illness.

    So, it’s a good thing that extreme stress and adverse childhood events come back to central stage. In the same vain, a McGill and Douglas team in Montreal studying a bank of donated “brains” for science have just found a lot of solid proof that adverse upbringing affects the structure of the brain.

    On day, the psychological and social causes of mental health and sickness will impose themselves to the scientific and medical authorities …

  • Please TirelessFighter3, stop being so mean and hostile. As a practicing psychologist since 1984, I find your words very harsh and hurtful. I’m not exaggerating when I say I devoted my hole career to trying, as I could, to do my best. I felt the pain, the anguish, the despair of thousands, or is it hundreds of thousands. I got home sometimes exhausted, numbed out and in a very bad mood after days of hard labour. I hava had many nights of nightmares, remorseful when in doubt but I never actually felt I was inducing helplessness or otherwise taking advantage of my patients, clients. Yes, it was my way of earning a living and yes, people came to me in trouble. But I was not there to take advantage of their situation, unless earning a living is what you consider taking advantage of people. I cared, I still do and I even put my head on the line on coming here in hopes of hearing consumers way of thinking and in order to de a better job. Getting told I’m in there just to do harm makes me feel very uncomfortable. I guess you have been similarly hurt and maybe even abused by the mental health system, but please, dont put everybody in the same basket. Regards.

  • What I make of your “consultation” with mental health specialists is that Skylar and Missy had a long and ruff dialogue about the necessity or even just the mere usefulness of having an expert opinion on a legitimate issue. Feeling “different”, reading all the scrap written on MPD, DID etc can leave anybody unsure and frightened at the tough of being sick in the head. And I do find that what you did was the reasonable thing to do, even though psychiatry is very often wrong and misinformed. It could of had had a very worst outcome. Luckily for you, it didn’t. In the end, I don’t see here any pleading. Just plain making a medical check up, and the kind of check up that took a lot of thinking through and courage.

  • Nice test I really appreciated even thought I was a bit reluctant at first.

    So seeking out validation, acceptance or some sort of comforting actually didn’t do you much harm in the end. No ? A scary journey, yes, but I am glad for both of you that for once the ever so widespread skepticism of the medical experts you met with played in your favor. I was nos so fortunate. In fact, after I did as you and consulted a psychiatrist in 2016 about my mood swings, my career was shattered and I am now still struggling to stay on my feet. To make a long story short, the psychiatrist concluded I was bipolar and without actually checking if, in fact, I was dysfunctional or dangerous or unfit to care for myself – what you refer to as severe enough to “meet the DSM criteria for “distress and/or dysfunction” -. Just the mere fact he had concluded I was bipolar and refused to take meds was enough for him to classify me as unfit to work and laking insight. Since then, I have met with 5 other professionals, 2 who considered me fit to get back on the pay roll and 3 the opposite. Even thought the last three document no evidence of mania, hypomania or depression in the last 18 months. And the last visit to my family physician left me totally in dismay. My doctor, for over 20 years, came to the conclusion “well, then maybe we can buy peace if you only accept a little dose of Seroquel”. For what reason ? With no symptoms to treat ? Why would I accept medication I fought for the last two years … Feeling neither “hyper” nor sadder than any average mid-life adult that was put in retirement way too early. But, like they say “that’s life”.