Thursday, October 28, 2021

Comments by mcoma

Showing 38 of 38 comments.

  • This is all very interesting and I always wondered why the DSM was such a big deal and it always led to the labeling and insurance aspects. What has not been mentioned and is very scary to me as a professional,parent, and client is that the community mental health centers are at the mercy of paperwork and productivity documentation. There are professionals who job for the government and insurance is just to peruse records and see if they can find a mistake that would invalidate the progress note and the center would not get paid. On the other side of the Looking Glass are professionals in the Mental Health Center( that I am sure the good doctors knows well) who go through the progress notes and records making sure those types of mistakes are taken care before the credentialing and other folks come and do their own reviews.
    In the early eighties we could have 3 hour and a half sessions to make a diagnosis and we had the option of NOS. Not otherwise specified. This was a label that I loved and used frequently.
    So much has changed and the folks coming into Community Mental Health Centers to work are not aware of the past and accept what is now happening as adequate.
    Special Education is a separate but somewhat similar ball of wax.
    Lables in some states are weighted that is if you have the diagnosis of TBI ( traumatic brain injury) the school is given more money) in the mid nineties TBI was big in my state and my son was one of the first to carry that diagnosis which lasted until a twenty minute pedsneuro assessment changed it to Autism. The fact that he could have both diagnosis never passed any professionals mind except my own. And he still doesn’t fit any category so he is basically on his own. Very High level functioning except for socialization with peers and fine motor skill issues.
    The issue in IEP’s ( individual education plan) is that you do have to fit into a mold to get services and even then the services are only for a certain level. PT and OT services are only for school related issues. Family dinner and restaurant issues are not allowed. Teachers spend hours of extra time with the IEP. It was originally a great idea. All children should have one but it has gone into the dust with the bureaucracy.
    The cauldron seems to be bubbling which is a good thing. Look at TB and the diseases that seem so simple now but lead many professionals to do things that simply did not work at all.

  • Sorry this is late R
    for retarded
    c for crazy
    dd for developmentally disabled the current proper word.
    There have been several very strong campaigns against the use or description of the word or negative image of the DD folks.
    In California there was a campaign for the ADA which worked well and involved the whole disabled communality. I think this the way to gol
    There is a “stop the r word”
    social media campaign and others.
    What I have observed is those with DD children say well at least that are not mentally ill and the folks with children who are mentally ill say my child is very intelligent. It is divisive in areas where the County Boards on Mental Health and the DD Board are separated. Funding goes to the DD folks more than the Mentally Ill folks who have less stigma.In our state they were together for awhile but the Mental Health parents pulled out. Now it is really hard for those with DD and a Mental Health concern to get adequete services

  • Thanks for your well thought out article. It was good to see that listening does happen and can affect a person’s attitude. Some parents were able to listen to you and to you them. This is what we as a movement so badly need. And it is so very hard to do. To be able to disengage emotionally and listen to someone who holds diametrically opposing beliefs. This holds true with all the groups involved in Mental Health and other disability movements and organization.
    One of the problems in our country is that at state and local levels the Developmentally Disabled and Mental Health care centers were seen as two separate entities. There were reasons but it has ended up with bad things happening to the Mental Health sector. It was almost a divide and conquer strategy. The parents of the DD folks didn’t want their children labeled the “r” word and the parents with children with Mental Health Issues didn’t want their children label with the “c” word. Back then we were unable to have an umbrella of social action and justice cover all disabilities. It would be nice to find an umbrella now and use it for everyone.

  • Thanks for the interesting article. I find everything in this area to be great reading. In the old days we would talk about the “nature versus nurture” paradigm. I think your discussion is just a more evolved scientific discussion of an old debate moved to a different level. My best guess is that is a touch of both. You can’t tell me surviving the Irish famine, the Armenian genocide,the Russian pogroms, any of the generations of slavery, and the African Continent human rights violations of all forms does not affect people and the next several generations. I still think the environment but play a role if anyone every really decided to do research
    When environment and or nurture is used as the cause of mental health problem parents and or families can get very defensive. For some reason (not for me) it is easier for parents and families to see this as a genetic disease problem.
    I still like the metaphor of the genetic map as a keyboard that plays different music according to time, place, and setting.
    This makes for great dialogue and I wish it could spread.

  • Excellent article. I sometimes have a hard time with this. I have spent hours in anguish after posting something that had a word or phrase that I later on decided was politically incorrect. It would be nice to have a vocab list of best choice words!!!
    I find the tabla rosa of the screen difficult to navigate. If only there were a retract button. My guess is I am not alone in this. sometimes our word choice is not well thought out and bloopers happen. We know what we want to say but phrase it in a poor fashion.
    Even as a wordsmith I run into this. I value words but still run amok as we all do at one time or another. Being able to speak about personal reactions to others’ word choices if done in a gentle way can be a good learning experience for everyone.

  • I think Charles Dickens did a wonderful job of creating literary masterpieces about such a correlation in the Victorian era. In the American suburbs Mental Health issues are usually masked though depression has been now deemed acceptable. However, the suicides that take place are covered over and forcibly forgotten. There have been many I have known in my life. I really wonder about the environment. I also am very aware that there are “cancer belts” in different areas of the states. I live in one and the number of cancers are high. One women just started walking up and down her street and asking folks and found out that there was a large amount of families dealing or who dealt with this disease. Now that cancer is a designer disease cancer belts and CDC investigations of cancer clusters are routine. It would be very interesting to be able to get to this point with Mental Health. I know the very unlicked E. Fuller Torrey did something like this in the 1980’s but linked it to genetics and viruses.
    My guess is that there are environmental factors – they just have been given the time and the effort for proper research. We need both a Rachel Carson and a Charles Dickens today.

  • I think this is a very important essay on a very important topic. Mental Health activism has not really been involved with the environmental issue which I think is problematic. On Bill Moyers’ latest show he had an environmental activist a science professor from New York on fracking. She made a very eloquent metaphor for the interaction between genetics and environment. She described genetics as the keyboard and the environment as the section of music that is played on the keys. I really wonder with the high rates of Autism, ADD.ADHD and other mental health issues how many are influenced be our current environment? I don’t know if any studies or research has been attempted. I think it may be possible that there is a missing link. Has anyone ever researched the mental health issues of those families that lived on in Love Canal? Just some thoughts.

  • I wanted to add a caveat to this discussion. In my remarks I mentioned I believed in forced meds and treatment but I didn’t qualify it to say that only in rare occurences. Since I believe in speaking truth to power I let that in. I guess I feel the need to explain because I agree with much of your post. When I was a professional I had an experience when I had a client who was going with out meds and was supported by the doc and I. The client had severe life stressors and became really confused. There ended up being a situation where the client either had to be charged with assault and battery or go into the psyc unit.It was the lesser of two evils.If I had known what I know now afterwards I would have treated the incident as a traumatic experience and gone over the entire time period step by step. It would have been helpful not only to my client but to me and my supervisor.I guess we have to find away that in rare circumstances there is an ethically coherent and kind way to handle this. Avoiding the gray areas doesn’t make them disappear. This is when talking and listening to hard things becomes extremely important.

  • If you do a close reading of the now called Ohio Senate House Bill 43 anyone who chooses not to opt for medication after or during a psychiatric hospitalization could fit under the new wording.This method of treatment slipped under my radar screen and I now realize how close I could have come to being forced into this treatment methodology. It was pure geography and timing.As anyone involved in the Mental Health profession can attest a patient can hold a number of wide varieties of psychiatric labeling and also a wide variety of medical views of one’s ability to make informed decisions for themselves. The onus for the patient, who already is in a crisis situation, to adequately obtain professional support is heinous.It seems one must already have good legal representation if one has the bad luck to deal with a mental illness.
    I am not against all forced hospitalization and I am not totally against all medication protocols but the trend toward the Orwellization of Mental Health is worrisome.

  • I find it interesting that the disability movement in America is fractured. Each disability, disease or syndrome is isolated from one another. In the sixties there was a joint movement of folks from all areas and that was the birth of the ADA. Since then competition for money and celebrities and brand name socially approved disabilities has been the norm.Mental Health issues still cause great fear and the fear factor is being raised exponentially.AIDS is the only area that has done well in harnessing support despite overall fear.AIDS has no behavioral tag associated with it whereas Mental Health continues to be seen in that light.The United States has a large incarcerated population much larger than in the past and I fear that the trend will be for this to happen to the Mental Health system. It’s so hard to organize when so many or so over medicated and have bought into the medical model. The new initiative from the White House is of concern in that Defense Department monies will be used rather than from the Veteran Administration. Maybe a gathering all interested parties in one place may initiate the beginning of a strong movement.

  • The idea of changing the system has been done in the past. The UK was active in changing and ultimately her visit there led Dorthea Dix to investigate and challenge the abusive American Mental Health system.I really think we need Michael Moore of some one of his ilk to do a documentary. I think there were some investigative journalists in the 1960’s who did go in undercover. Writing as you do is enough for you!
    These days documenting the truth would be much more difficult than in earlier decades.
    Saul Alinsky who wrote “Rules for Radicals” was a wonderful community organizer who was able to pinpoint the weak spots of the opposition.
    I think there needs to be a two prong approach one delineating the
    current poly pharmacy and one bringing to light the whittling down of psych units to mere holding pens.
    The problem with the “Bring Change to Mind” campaign has been highlighted here on MIA.What they could do if they were aware!!!
    My only thoughts are having volunteers come and monitor the hospitals akin to the UN monitors for elections in despot countries.
    There is a very good but scary book called “Feed”. In my less optimistic moments I fear the book( written as a literary satire for young adults) will become reality. I hope thought a surge is coming that will change the course for everyone involved in Mental Health.

  • Thanks for this article. I had been wondering when MIA would address this campaign. At first glance it seems well intentioned but I think you are right about the whole stigma versus discrimination viewpoint.I think it might be better if all of Hollywood and the arts would wear t shirts with their own diagnosis! I am quite sure there are many.
    I have often thought we should be using the Gay Pride and AIDS movement actions to speak and act within society. There are civil right issues especially now with voluntarily admitted folks unable to buy a gun. Not that I ever would just the same.
    All of this money wasted on smoke screens to mask the continuing down spiral of mental health treatment in the United States.
    What about a Stop the Madness campaign?

  • Thanks again for another insightful article. When I was in Social Work grad school I worked as a residential assistant to a residential treatment center. The center used to be for unwed mothers and had many places across the States. Back then in the late 70’s and early 80’s is was for “troubled” teenage females. Read basically homeless due to abusive issues. There was no medication protocol. Treatment as in individual, group, and family therapy along with therapeutic milieu were used to fairly good effect. The worst behavioral activity was running away which was always quickly rectified.
    When I spent my time in the psych or prison units last year. The television was encased in a large metal box and locked.
    According to my hospital records there was one group held by OT’s on self esteem. I was considered a bad patient because I made the statement that OT’s should not be running groups on self esteem and that that was the provision of Master level Social Workers. I actually ran a group for inpatient psych patients back in the better days. They consider my claim to be a Social Worker as delusional and grandiose.I feel a group on self esteem in a prison setting psych unit to be cruel and unusual punishment.I distinctly remember staff members getting into a fight on the night shift and I located a non American very very rich female psychiatrist who was trained as a surgeon in her native country to ask for help. She knew my husband ( a burnt out Mental Health worker who is putting in time for retirement) through work and refused to do anything to help or diffuse the situation. I brought watercolors brushes, and paper and was the defacto true OT during my time there. The OT rooms were continually locked and filled with wonderful stuff that was never used.
    I blame my brainwashing for my need for hospitalization. I truly believe the psychotropic meds made me worse. I never witnessed any violence just bored to death patients with nothing to do but wait for discharge and freedom.
    We really need to have journalist go undercover and see what is happening. I think that will be the only way to stop Big Pharma.

  • Thank you Peter. Yes I know this some of this scenario well. I know of a Mental Health working who is barely functioning due to the work environment. She is waiting for her 3 years until retirement.She is a dead person walking. Somehow despite high turnover rates the Mental Health system continues to hire willing workers. The quality of these workers grows worse every year and many are too poorly educated and in to desperate need of employment to even begin to develop a clear and intellectually rigorous assessment of the truth. It is convenient for the hospitals and community mental health system to have workers that are lacking in intellectual curiosity and financial security. May are avid users of psychotropic and or recreational drugs.A long time ago I tried to get the nursing staff to complete an alcohol use questionnaire no nurse would agree to complete it once they read the questions on personal usage.
    May are good workers working in a toxic environment and suffering from burnout and compassion fatigue. Continuing education used to be pain for by the agency. I was allowed to go to a two week intensive program back in the good old days. Now workers are given CUE’s at their workplace that are repetitive and different versions of the bare bones basics as in “How to Write A Treatment Plan”. There are now books that have generic treatment plans for every psychiatric diagnosis from which workers can copy for treatment plans. I have seem them used copiously over and over again. Diagnostic assessment used to be allowed for three sessions now it is ordered to be finished in 3 hours. The best colleagues have all left in disgust. The older ones are only staying for financial reasons. All are so used up they are unable to talk the truth after they retire.This state of affairs is a pure and unilateral mess.

  • Dear Matt,
    Thanks so much for the withdrawal story. I now know what I have been going through. It does help to have a job. I have learning disabilities so even though I am an excellent writer my editing capacities are not work ready. I think I also have sustained neuro cognitive deficits as well that make work in my original profession Social Work difficult due to the need for detailed and massive amounts of paperwork.I am published in several genres so that is good.It helps to have support! I am glad you had that during your experience. My family and extended family have little understanding and that is hard. I have tried to find places that are healthy and provide support. I found a great Church but ran into difficulties in that they have a large NAMI group and some of my extended family is appalled that I left the one and only true religion. One aunt was especially hurting.
    I found someone to do trauma work and that is helpful but I find it hard to manage the withdrawal process and the trauma work when I don’t have a community to surround myself in. The Church is accepting of my past hospitalizations but is not supportive of my withdrawal.Having a large family is a help and a hindrance. I never know what stressors may come my way. This site has been wonderful! Thanks again for the much needed withdrawal narrative.
    I am not patient and it helps to hear time is needed!

  • Dear Alice, I enjoy your writing and your thoughts. I became a Social Worker at the same time you entered the Psych field. It was a different time.I also dropped out of my field because of what it had become. Unfortunately for me, I became ill and didn’t realize the massive changes in the Mental Health field. I wasted ten years of my life following the dictates of the system. I had known about the Psych survivor movement but only in passing and I did not appreciate the realms of abuse patients were thrown into by locked wards and forced treatment. I know now and what to speak up. Sometimes a seclusion room can be a saving grace for freedom work.

  • I enjoyed reading the article.I will leave any discussion of sexuality and all its issues to those in the LBGT and queer community who are the experts in my eyes.
    I would like to refer again to the April 2012 TED talk by Juan Erniquez. I think it’s really important to this and many discussions.So many, many questions. And so few professionals who are able to say I don’t know. Maybe that’s a beginning of a true dialogue.

  • I was interrupted while writing so I have enjoyed the dialogue.I never want to leave the impression that I support the 1950’s blame the mother paradigm.In fact D. W. Winicott came up with the idea of the “good enough mother.”Perfect parenting does not make perfect children. There are interesting writings on the “dance” kind of a double helix spiral between a mother and new born infant for many many reasons that dance can be damaged through no fault of the child or mother.But I don’t think that would be the be all and end all of a strong causation for mental illness and adult onset psychosis.
    There is a lovely phrase that is not heard of often anymore
    nonlocus of control – meaning trauma that is no ones fault. Bad things happen and hurt happens because of life in a variety of ways.No one can function at their best no matter how much they want to when they are in strong duress. No one.

    I would strongly suggest folks look up the TED talk given by Juan Erniquez recently posted and presented on April of 2012 entitled Will Our Kids be Different Species. He talks very succciently on the epidemic theory of brain based issues.His views need to be heard here!!!

  • I would take this research with a grain of salt.By highlighting a specific period as a causative point for Mental Health dysfunction this is creating a point of stigma. My psychotic episodes did not start until my late 40’s. They were associated with extreme stress and PSTD.Rather than spend time, money, and valuable resources on the seeds of Mental Illness why not pursue the venue that has been a continuous player throughout time – stress.When I was a staff person at a Residential Center for Adolescents none of the kids there were on medication. Many came from abusive and or neglectful environments. None were ever completely out of control.
    What has happened since then? Either there is a global epidemic or the quantities and multiple layers of stress has caused maladaptive behavioral issues and disordered thinking while concurrently medication has been used to treat rather then spend time and money on reducing stress in our lives of economic globalization and great economic disparity.There has also been a dearth of research on environmental concerns. How much of this is environmentally based ? Who knows? Asthma rates have skyrocketed as well as food allergies and Celiac disease. An educated person on the street would conclude that if these medical problems affect the body in those particular areas might they affect human thought processes as well?
    Either there is a vast epidemic going on or

  • Just wanted to let people know their was an interesting discussion on “Morning Joe’ about the recent NYT article regarding Adderal Abuse. Our concerns are going mainstream and we are not alone in our concerns. We may have differences in how we see psychiatry but the days of the ten minute interview and med script I think may be coming to a blessed end.

  • Yes and what has been so hard for me as an avid seeker of appropriate treatment has been the clear lack of in depth understanding not only of psychological concepts – but family therapy constructs, and cultural understandings with some of the Mental Health professionals – especially most of the psychiatrists that I have had to use. I regret I lost the last decade to the use of medication which ultimately caused more harm than good.It was very frustrating to be put under the care of a doc who had much less training and intellectual understanding than yourself.When I worked I had great respect from my colleagues.

    In my Mental Health travails, there were many times I did not feel respected in any way, shape, or form. And I agree- some of this was the almost automatic cultural distancing and complete and utter lack of knowledge of the work and writings of Anna Freud’s psychological defense mechanisms. My story hit far too close to home and many were and almost all have been unable to be brave enough to admit this to me.

  • This is unfortunately just an affirmation that has long been known to psychiatry. Many years ago, a Social Worker in Michigan Selma Fraiberg worked with mothers who recently had given birht. The mothers were considered at risk for abuse and or neglect. The program she launched was to mother the mother. There was a wonderful article about this process. There was a great effort in the days of “The Great Society” movement to incorporate her work and others such as Fritz Reidl (sp?) into community programs.Sadly the interest waned and those programs are few. Most were for folks from lower socio-economic areas.
    I think some of the reason the programs based on this approach did not continue was that there were issues in all the socioeconomic areas. Look at the family history of royal families. Money does not prevent emotional turmoil in families. I think the writings of Alice Miller are relevant here.
    This path creates fear because we as professionals have to look at our own families. It is hard to read this article as a parent with mental health issues because it painfully hits home.
    I think everyone needs to take this element into account. Divisiveness never helps. Let’s see if we can all collectively take a breath and begin to hold hands and walk the walk where all parents regardless of creed, race , status,gender, are given hands to hold them up during tough times. The mother crying in suburbia is not that far away from the mother in an urban center crying. Johanna Macy in “Active Hope” talks about the Great Turning. I think this area fits very well in her conception of forces for positive change for our world.

  • Thank you so much for this! IT must have taken many, many quantaties of time, energy and thought not only to plan but to pursue and finish it! Congrats. I really would love to buy a copy and get for my Church. We have a NAMI meeting and I think the issues with them an others is many ways is not lack of goodwill but time evolved rigidity and entropy. Back in the 1980’s there was a lovely documentary about an Australian Government Institution for the Developmentally Disabled. The director and writer worked at an institution where the staff had lead massive changes in treatment and sanitary conditions. However to the new worker the problems were glaring.Every five years a new Dorthea Dix needs to be reborn. Thank you for doing your part.

  • Dear Ken, I am very well aware of ALS through a close family relative. I hope you are given time and the type of ALS which offers it.All disease is hard and when folks have to deal with more than one it is tough and so blatantly unfair. But who has said life is fair? Please keep us informed of your journey. The good and the bad. My prayers are with you.

  • I really liked this article. I wish it could have been included with the NYT discussions on guns and mental health. Please check out the discussion. Again, my concern is not the stories but on doing proactive work. The MLK Day idea is fabulous. How do get MIA voices in mainstream media? Massive letter writing campaigns. This maybe a very uncomfortable time for us but it does give us an opening to express and advocate for a different approach.

  • Thank you for this. I agree with much but think there were some things left out.
    I would not be afraid to bring up Mental Health treatment as a talking subject. The whole system is in array. Though gun violence is not the best entry point for a national discussion on Mental Health treatment and everything in the Mental Health world,it might be our best chance.
    I am glad you delineated the problems with psychotrophic medications but the discussion of proper and best practice treatment options is vital.

    Respite homes that allow a person to safely try to withdraw from medication and a peer counselor on every psych unit and treatment facility are just as important.

    How many concerned parents have heard their adolescent would like to go off meds? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to say it’s worth a try here is a place that can help you see if this is a possibility for you.

    What if “The Gathering Place ” which offers free alternative therapies, support groups, and a a library with a liberian would not be just those facing Cancer. What if there were a place for those with all sorts of chronic illness?

    What if there were college and medical school scholarships for those American students interested in going into psychiatry, those with excellent academic qualifications? What if there were fellowships and grants for them after they start up practice so they don’t need to be beholden to Big Pharma money? What if the Koch Brothers or others would actually create funding for nonmedical professionals in the same way?

    A true dialogue needs to take place where people from all sides of the issues forget their talking points and listen, really listen even to the folks they strongly disagree with. I think if we can bring this all down to a individual and small group level things will begin to change. I think of the Abolitionist movement and the current PBS special episodes. It took years and many decades before Emancipation and we still have rampant racism in our society. Fear is our worse enemy. And I know for me shame is mine.

    Please try for this. In our culture where we have the television shows “American Horror Story’ and then “Homeland” and “Enlightenment” all getting high ratings it is apparent we have a cultural,social, educational divide. With a national database “Carrie” the CIA agent would be black listed for weapons. So we all have some talking to do with each other.

  • Thank you for this. I was at a 12 step meeting and the talk was given by someone who at times was actively suicidal but never acted out. The room was full of nods of recognition as this person spoke elequently about the key factor that triggered the emotional pain. I think this is going on everywhere but doesn’t get talked about and or noticed.
    I have known of several successful suicide attempts and have been greatly affected by them. Always such a sad loss but the words that are needed to be spoken sometimes don’t get said. We carry the words in our heads all of us but never share them so in the world it looks as if things are “normal”.
    Suicde is a rippling wave that afffects the whole community in many different ways and patterns of combinations. I think the 6 degrees of seperation theory fits well. It would be interesting to do a mapping of the effects so that a visual could be used to show the various stress ripples.I think it would show that my several contacts with this tragedy is not uncommon and the conversation needs to be started sooner rather than latter.

  • Excellent article. I enjoyed reading the comments. I find it very interesting comments were not allowed on the article. Why doesn’t the NYT and other media sources allow our voices to be heard. As anyone tried to submit articles and op-eds? Writing to the editor I find releases emotion but gathers dust.
    I really think we need to have the ghost of Saul Alinsky rise up and follow his actvist approach.
    I think pushing for peer mentors on all shifts on psych units would be a good first step. This would allow the conversation to continue without threatening the powers that be.
    Working on the establishment of peer run respite homes would be another effort that would pave the way.
    We need to seek each other out geographically. The online support is good but not enough. The 12 step movements have been doings this in some ways. I think they have just as much emotional issues as psychiatric surviviors.
    Again thank you for the article. It is so frustrating to hear misinformation, to hear of another gun tragedy and pejoritive terms being used. The Bully Project used a documentary and talk backs. Can we get Michael Moore involved with this?

  • I too felt so bad about David’s injury. Just when we need his voice in the current state of the country it won’t be heard as loudly as it could have been. I hope for the best and his soon as possible return. I ask that we all take up his place at this time. The tragedy of last week has opened up a great opportunity for our voices to be heard. If there were a peer crisis home in that state maybe the tragedy could have been averted. It seems at this time the mom was shouldering her son’s total care. No one can do this for long. We all need help and we all need to feel safe to ask for that help. We need easy acess to obtain that help without resorting to ER’s ( a most demeaning thing since I have been there.)
    Churches need to take an active role as well. There are hurting people in the pews and there is help ( if you look hard enough and search long enough) it might not be in your state but there are supports.
    Please all of us take up the torch and run.

  • We need to speak out, shout out now with loud, clear, and rational voices. Our stories are not important at this time.
    We need to take a front and center place at the table. There is now time to add our voices and concerns to the upcoming national discussion.
    We need to let the country know just taking a pill is not the only option for treatment. We need to let them know about Scoitia (Sp) House and Finland. We need to let the nation know that Case Managaers and Therapist many times make less than public transportation bus drivers and lack any sort of pension as well as solid medical insurance. We need to let the nation know how hard it is to find a well trained and intelligent psychiatrist. We need to let them know there are openings that are being filled by foreign docs who have no no training in the field because they do not have a liscence to practice medicine in their own field here in the states.
    We need to fund medical school scolarships that allow Americans of any nationality or creed or gender who are brilliant to come into the psychiatric field. Most foreign docs come from pathriarchial countires that are sexist and eltist. They were never trained in any solid psychoeducational theory or practice.
    We need to highlight the need for peer mentors for every psych unit in the country.
    We need to push Insurance companies to pay for full Mentl Health treatment and not ten minutes med checks.
    We need to have places like The Gathering Place in Cleveland, Ohio not for cancer patients and familes but for those dealing wiht Mental Illness. They advocate research and alternative therapies and its all for free!
    We need to demand the destigmization of Mental Illness and offer true support for parents with special needs children. No parent should have to walk into an IEP meeting alone without any support.
    Let’s use this awfulness as a gift for long term good for ourselves and our children.

  • Hi, I loved the article and the ensuing disscussion. As a grad student in Social Work I remember reading Szaz and Foucault. I also remember working on a psych unit and the docs trying to find a blood marker for depression.
    The standard addage then is that psychiatry is in the middle ages compared to some other forms of medicne. I also have been in the Mental Health Coommnity and have found the treatment through drugs and therapy in and out patient to be less than stellar to say the least. I have only recently come to this website and others and I have ten years of regret for following the bad advice and treatment. Once a psychiatrist at our Community Mental Health Center tried to ask all of the staff to try a neuroleptic none of us did. There was never any support for discontinuatioin of meds. Having lived through several short and long term periods of psychosis brought on by really exteme stress I think medication was the only option. However I think it should only be used if nothing else is working. In my state there are no alternative mental health treatment or professionals. I think the peer assisted crisis format is a wonderful idea.
    I think we are following in the steps of the anti smoking movement. My other concern is that Wall Street has siphoned off the best and the brightest. The quality of Mental Health professionals is getting bad as compared to the sixties when doing good was something to pin a career on. My husband works as a Mental Health professional and the environment is awful. They literally cannot find qualified people to work in the case management jobs. My children actively tell any of their friends never to go into any helping profession due to stress and low pay. So many things are against this but I am so heartened to have this and other conversations going on! Please keep up this vital work!