Monday, August 15, 2022

Comments by Tim Dreby

Showing 9 of 9 comments.

  • I could do this if I wanted to work with only wealthy clients who could pay me in cash. In the US if you are down with the rest of us and want care, the labels are needed to bill. Worse there are no private practice groups who seem willing or able to use my specialty. They are built to serve depression and anxiety only. I feel like it is worse to give up the effort to develop a niche here, but if you are down like the rest of us and have to make money to survive then developing a niche is very challenging. I am currently developing escape plans but I risk poverty and housing issues in the Bay Area. Luckily, I have saved some money so I have a fighting chance. I agree wholeheartedly that the DSM needs to be defeated, but I’d argue that it’s defeated by some practitioners who chose not to listen who might know better. But I know full well it is hard to trust a practitioner to do this. I believe they have to be tested and held accountable to drop the labels.

    I wish I could say that it is easy not to sell out. Up to now I have had to choose my battles and accept being bullied at work (on occasions.) Even if I go private, I’d have to be mindful of how I convey my truth in many cases to really help people.

    The US government is not a government to be messed with when it comes to promoting human rights for people with mental health challenges. Currently the libertarians have a large portion of the population out on the streets. And we all think we are lucky and have a democrazy.

    I have fought the power in the community, now I fight the power within my self and pray.

    You ask good questions and make good comments, I appreciate them

  • I feel this is a very brave and important piece of work. I am really surprised to hear some call it “self indulgent,” or that sexual indiscretion like sleeping with a client is of little or no importance.

    To me what is powerful about this piece is that it is a transparent effort to heal something that is extremely traumatizing. When I was Mad, I recall having a strong intuition that anyone who got ahead and was powerful was only able to do that because they were corrupt. It is a notion I have learned to let go of and pretend that I don’t believe it, but I have come across little evidence to the contrary. I see a whole lot of things I want no part of and have to accept a lot misconduct by the powerful and choose to pick my battles.

    I am really impressed by this effort and choose not to quibble over words. I applaud an attempt to heal some of this world that is on fire. I think it takes a lot of integrity to be honest about what is happening and to be willing to wound your own reputation and depict yourself in an honest manner in the name of healing. As someone who feels very irrelevant and gossiped about and is never allowed in the tent, I am grateful to any leader who makes the effort to be transparent and work through issues of power and justice in an ethical manner.

    I have been ousted from a job due to what I consider to be an abuse of power and was afraid I would lose my house. But I feel so lucky to even have a house and though I suffered during the extended time of uncertainty am just grateful to have someone tell the truth about corruption that should not be hidden.

  • Thank you Annette,

    What a lovely comment. I am so sorry about your loss to suicide. That must be very hard.

    I think that the issue of medication becomes a class issue for many of the reasons you identify. I take meds because I work amidst a great deal of oppression and have to collaborate with others who may not always see things the same way I do because they lack the lived experience. I hope one day to be in a safe enough place where I can go off them, but I can’t afford to now and I accept that. I really support people who can do it without medication and they give me hope that I might find myself in a situation where I can.

    What doesn’t work for me is being judged or put down because I take meds or that I have had to endure efforts to coerce me to go off them. At least I felt that way.

    I think we need to work together regardless of medication issues to change what is happening and build networks where we can support each other. Splitting us up into different classes in my mind is a potential counterintelligence method that I feel we ought to be mindful of. Many of these battles are political in nature. In the US there is a long history of counterintelligence efforts in the neighborhoods where I work. It only works if we let our wounded egos let it. I hope to resist that and support people who can do it without medication and pray that I can learn from them when I am safe.

    I think we have the opportunity to learn cultural skills in HVN type groups. That can help more of us find meaning and get out of poverty.

    thanks for your comment.


  • Hi Bradford,

    Thank you for your comment. No, I agree with you that schizophrenia and diagnoses have no validity. If in reality people change and diagnoses don’t than it lessens the validity of diagnoses– at least that’s what I was thinking. I had to google some of those words you used. I though you might be referring to some internal family systems materials I have yet to fully understand. I get the Who reference, I am a little lost on the others. I talk about UFOs so much in groups that I lead, I consider that conspiracy to have some validity, though I didn’t when I was in what I like to call special message crisis. I find opening up my mind has helped me be well and accept some of the stuff that happened to me.

    Again, thanks for the comment,


  • Thank Rachel for your comment. I put “schizophrenia” in quotes because the diagnosis used to offend me a lot. Now I work to try to redefine it. I really don’t think what others think of when they say the term fits my experience well. However, going through what I did helped me improve my emotional regulation and emotional intelligence and made me able to be in better relationships. I think that helped me make more strategic decisions and helped me find my wife. I feel I became weller than well and though people change diagnoses never change. I am just trying to change my relationship with the word.

  • Thank you for response. I just feel when someone who doesn’t know my history and situation says I could be better healed like they are it implies that they know something that haven’t yet learned. This has led me to feel marginalized in groups and adds to my isolation. But you are right, my language was exaggerated and hearing your response helps me take more responsibility for my feelings and helps so thank you. I am suppèr sensure to discourse that excludes.

  • This issue of whether people who take medication should be counted as being in recovery is a very unfortunate one from my perspective. I believe that as a culture people who experience madness or what I prefer to call special messages are extremely diverse. I think that historically we have been divided by so many different labels that we as a people aren’t seen as a culture. And what’s worse we aren’t treating each other as brethren when we clique up and reject people who decide that based on their experiences that they want to be on medication.

    At least for me, recovery from special messages was so hard, I needed to use all my resources, my strengths, my passions, my inclinations in order to recover. I really don’t like being judged because I chose to continue medication. There are things I am blessed with and things I am not, but I was able to come back, and I am grateful.

    Being in message crisis was a degrading and dehumanizing impoverished experience, and I feel further dehumanized when someone who doesn’t the least bit about me makes a decision to exclude me because I do not measure up to their standards. I believe that some people may have gifts and blessings to get off their medications and I am happy for them and some people may have been so hurt or be facing enough obstacles that they cannot, or choose not to.

    I work with some very deprived individuals many of whom have lost their freedom to institutionalization. The horrors that they experience are hard to bear witness to and they are exactly what I experienced for two and a half years. I am compelled to continue to break through and it works and we have a valuable community with great people in it. But are we to create a caste or class system that is choosy about who we honor. If someone was unsupported and homeless instead of getting a free pass to school, I do not think that they should be penalized for it in a recovery community. Mad diversity is so complex. I have been very excluded and really have not found shelter from it away from the community in which I work. I am sorry but it hurts dearly. At the same time I am so lucky and privileged to have found some stability in my life and I am not taking that for granted.