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I LOVE your idea for a Voice Soundscape Project. It wouldn’t be very expensive to do. I’m a musician. A lot of recording arts people have access to free studio time. All you’d have to do is find someone who’d be willing to donate some, and you could start setting this up, then posting the recordings online somewhere.
Actually, a lot of musicians (and journalists!) have the equipment AT HOME to do high quality, professional voice recording.
You could make this happen for really, really cheap I bet.
AGREED … 100%!
LIVED EXPERIENCE of the mental health system is inconvenient, doesn’t vibe with the DREAMWORLD mental health practitioners and many so-called “activists” (like Glenn Close and her BringChange2Mind crew) are trying so desperately to maintain.
It’s time to start shouting it from the mountaintops: the emperor has no clothes! the emperor has no clothes!
I, too, was taught to be deeply critical of my body in high school. I know that dread of cafeterias VERY well… so much so that even in college I refused to eat in cafeterias, ever. This was something of a handicap as a lot of social bonds were formed over dinner.
But now, only a few years later, I honestly have near ZERO critical thoughts about my body. This is how it happened for me:
Part 1: I did an analysis towards the end of college of TV advertising for fairness creams. These are bleaching/whitening agents marketed across Asia (particularly in India) to women of color… any color at all. They typically show a darker woman who is poor, uneducated, unsuccessful, or (!) unmarried… who finds the object of her desires after she lightens up a bit by using one of these creams. And what I learned from this analysis was that these ads teach us WE WILL NEVER BE FAIR ENOUGH, BEAUTIFUL ENOUGH so that there will ALWAYS be a demand for their product. They generate a feeling of shame in the women viewers to catalyze the NEED, the NEED TO BE BEAUTIFUL… which will never be fulfilled.
Obvious, I know. But it was a revelation for me at the time! I saw it first with these wholy unfamiliar commercials, but then realized that all the beauty product advertising I’d been taking in since I was little was essentially the same repeating cycle. Perhaps the first true perpetual motion machine… with my shame and unknowing consent its motive power. Because, obviously, this thing stops working the moment you say, “I don’t need you in order to be beautiful.”
So that was part 1.
Part 2 was finding a food lifestyle (not calling it a “diet”) that worked really, really well for me. I feel satisfied, eat as much as I like, and stay a shape that seems natural and healthy to me. I eat whole, real foods (many of them fermented!), avoid gluten and sugar and processed foods, and make mealtimes a social, sharing event with family and friends.
The reason I felt called to share this long response to your beautiful article, Sera, was because the RELIEF and JOY @ no longer worrying about being “fat” or “ugly” or hating my body in general have been AMAZING! A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders… I am now free to be confident and beautiful!
I truly hope that other women can find this, too. I believe that both components — the philosophical and the nutritional — were necessary for me to make this leap into a healthier attitude towards my body and my self.
This was so FANASTIC. Things I’ve sensed and thought, in a wordless sort of way, but couldn’t quite articulate. Things I’ve been grappling with for years.
What it all boils down to is that EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US is a human being. It’s a human rights movement. Put another way, it is a struggle against DEHUMANIZATION, in all it’s many forms…
But that’s just my way of saying it. Likely there are better words out there!
WOW. This is unbelievable.
My immediate thought is:
WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP??
Let’s get some activism going here!! Letter writing? Call a state representative? Something else more creative and effective than the ideas that are coming to this shocked brain right now?
PLEASE, if you have the time, post some suggested actions for us to take. I for one will do it. I bet we can get MindFreedom on board. And others here at MIA.
Let’s DO SOMETHING. This is WRONG and must be stopped.
Of COURSE. SAMHSA has been funding the set-up of this exact paradigm (TEAM of experts managing the “care” of troublesome child and troublesome family) for years… look it up. Childrens Mental Health Initiative, Systems of Care grants:
Bravo, Bravo! I wish yours was the blogger response getting media attention instead of this one:
Similar sentiments, but yours is more eloquent…
Plus you’ve included the only fully understandable Foucault quote I’ve ever come across! (and this comes after an entire semester of studying the damn stuff) 😉
This was very moving. David inspired you. You inspired a new generation of activists, the collection and dissemination of a TON of research, new protests, new paradigms of thought.
How many people have been touched by your work and David’s?
I know I’m one.
Get well soon, David. We miss you.
What a fantastic articulation of a very moving story. I, for one, am so glad you had the strength to be YOU! Please keep writing… this is AMAZING stuff.
I LOVE your writing! Thank you…
I used to work for a public university as a mental health study coordinator (not a drug trial, though). EVERYONE involved in the project knew that any and all concerns about a participant committing suicide HAD TO BE REPORTED TO THE IRB IMMEDIATELY, no matter how likely or unlikely they were (one part of my job was to make certain everyone knew that). The pretense that she “had no indication that this was something she needed to report” is laughable. She literally couldn’t have been given IRB approval to do her job without affirming in writing that a.) she knew these events MUST be reported TO THE IRB b.) there was a specific procedure in place for reporting these events.
How is it she’s not being sued??
Please keep writing about this important case. I read your original Mother Jones article on Dan Markingson… one of the few pieces of writing that has ever made me cry.
Will his mother ever find justice?
What you say makes a LOT of sense. If anyone is interested in reading Alex Gorsky’s deposition (CEO of Johnson & Johnson), it’s got TONS more about Biederman’s “deal with the devil”… he was promising results back in 2001, if not earlier. That’s a mere 2 years after his “groundbreaking” paper making possible the mass diagnosis of children with bipolar disorder… and their conversion into lifelong RISPERDAL customers (that’s in the deposition and accompanying exhibits, too!)
NPR does terrible stuff on our issues. I would point out, however, that David Oaks was a guest on Talk of the Nation back in 2007 around the time of the Virginia Tech shootings. Judi Chamberlin called in, too. How can we create many more opportunities like THAT?
What can we do in our local areas to make a change? Especially if many of us are completely isolated. It would be a one-person demonstration. How does that work? And how much time should we focus on PROTESTING the negative VS. ADVOCATING for the positive (alternatives! resistance! etc.)
Practical questions from a sincere ally who DOES want to make a difference…
The last paragraph of your quote speaks very profoundly to me! You are right — all these things are interconnected and are symptoms of our society’s fundamental ILLNESS.
I remember finding Rossa’s blog “Holistic Recovery From Schizophrenia” very early on my mental health learning curve. At the time, the very title itself seemed to be a revolutionary idea to me — “you mean recovery from schizophrenia is possible? And it can be achieved holistically??” Her journey is a living testimony to that very real possiblity… Thank you, Rossa for sharing some of your story here, and much more of it on your blog. Your writing makes a huge difference!!
Also, a similar critique of the NYT article was published in Forbes, but with an intriguing pro-Pharma twist at the end…
This good drug/bad drug (same drug) paradigm is also explored masterfully by Richard DeGrandpre in chapter one of his book The Cult of Pharmacology, where he discusses another ADHD drug — Ritalin.
Ritalin (methylphenidate) is nearly chemically identical to cocaine; pharmacologically, it IS identical. Take the same amounts of Ritalin and cocaine by the same method, and you will have the same results. At the same time that the US was destroying hundreds of thousands of hectares of South American agricultural land (dusting) as part of a “drug war” against cocaine, American kids were being handed Ritalin scripts like candy. Politicians were literally decrying Ritalin as a “demon drug” while parents thanked their lucky stars for the “angel drug” Ritalin. Everything depends, not on the pharmacological effect, but the social context and cultural perception of the chemical.
Good drug/bad drug (same drug). Can we find this paradigm anywhere else? I bet we can if we look hard enough!
As will I.