Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Comments by judybier

Showing 9 of 9 comments.

  • TF3: I don’t disagree with your sentiment. But I don’t agree that fighting for “privacy” is going to win the battle for people abused by the system, in the long haul. The big fight will be won, when the millions of little battles are won. For example, the label I wore for 30+ years, was “bipolar”, though I never believed the diagnosis. I was marginalized before I felt ill and after, though I was never fully aware of stigma, for years. (Most of us aren’t born WOKE, so to speak. Some of us find out later in life.) Once I had some facts, which I learned from a research group in Wisconsin, some peer support which I received from an advocacy group in California and with the help of my primary care physician who suggested I stop my meds… I was able to “fight” to shed the label, the diagnosis, the treatment and years of living under stigma. Of course it would be best to have never suffered at all. To quote myself a few days ago: “No therapy will ever be better than preventing pain and suffering, ending social inequities, values and beliefs that marginalize and keep people from knowing they are valued as much as the next guy…the basic human belief that promotes positive mental health.)” My “misery” was from no single source, but the lifestyle of stress I’d chosen. (Yes, some degree of agency, taking responsibility, finding the “stuff” with ourselves, promotes “winning”. My “misery” was certainly not from a single gene or even a single individual. There are millions of stories describing “abuse” by the “system” – to use your terms – but approaches that push back on the “oppressor” without taking care of the “oppressed” can be stifling – having a chilling effect on the individual battles, which others are attempting to win. It will be the accumulation of many little fights being won, which will bring success…in my humble opinion. Tell your story. rr

  • Hi Oldhead..a little hard to understand but I wanted to say, prison is certainly no alternative to therapy. It is the place we are “storing” human beings with mental health conditions and not offering any treatment. I’m guessing you know that, and were trying to say that. There are groups working on ending this abomination in our country. We need to support them, at the same time, moving toward better mental health treatment for the relatively few, truly unwell people. rr

  • Hi Slaying,
    After a short conversation here, trying to restore some confidence in the choices that people have within the mental health “industry”, I went back and did some review of Whitaker’s book and some others – Shrinks, American Psychosis, ADHD Nation. Until I read some of this history, I didn’t realize how bad “psychiatry’s self-concept” really is. It’s evolving and trying to incorporate advances in neuroscience. It’s not driving the advances, in my opinion, but the driver is technology which has enabled new ways of studying the brain. New breakthroughs have “forced” the psychiatric industry to adapt (or they have taken advantage of advances; or the consumer has asked them to make changes to incorporate advances…our economy is dynamic, there are lots of players but clearly its all “mental health economics”.). As this has played out, ALTERNATIVES TO PSYCHIATRY/MENTAL HEALTH THERAPIES, have faded…religious practice, availability of exposure to nature, availability of healthy foods and exercise (I’m speaking of MOST people; keep in mind the rise of processed foods, media entertainment that have led to the obesity problem), schools and religious establishments as centers of community life, decline in marriage (keep in mind divorce rates over the last 40 years), rise of the dysfunctional family and so many other things. PSYCHIATRY IS FILLING IN THE GAP, unfortunately. My hope is that with continued advances in neuroscience, we will explain away the conditions for which we have labels (thanks to psychiatry, the DSM, etc.). For example, recent research shows bipolar is clearly not caused by a gene or even cluster of genes. It is caused by the physiological mechanism involved in dendrite growth (I should attach the reference, here. Will do that if you are interested.) IN TIME…we may actually get bored with some of these conditions as therapies become more multi-dimensional, recognizing and attempting to “fix” all external causes as well as improve overall internal health. All mental illness will NOT be removed and the industry will not completely go away, but the artificial epidemics should disappear if we lose interest and NORMAL CURVES IN MENTAL HEALTH will come back, with “illness” being found relatively in the 1 or 2 standard deviations from the mean, where they belong. R.Reeves, PhD. (not a neuroscientist, I read.)

  • I forgot to mention…people who have healthier ways to approach feeling, being socially and psychologically healthy should absolutely stay away from psychiatry or mental health workers. Religions, for example, have served the purpose of promoting positive mental health – always and way before drug companies were invented. People should be encouraged to develop a health spiritual life or belief system that serves them in times of fear, confusion, pain, grief, other human states that sometimes lead to mental illnesses. Our religious institutions have taken a hit in recent decades and we need to bring them either back…or let new ones enter the mainstream. Average (meaning everyone) people will benefit from average spirituality…let’s at least acknowledge that. We really should put psychiatry out of business, but until that happens…we can at least regulate it, FEED IT SOME REAL NEUROSCIENCE THAT INFORMS RATHER THAN PROMOTES FALSE NEEDS (the result of out of control business practices, which everyone is susceptible to). rr

  • Hi Tireless. Thanks. So, here is where I think “therapy is going” and why “it’s all in you” approaches will continue to fail, as they may have failed you in the past. Dualistic beliefs about mental illness leading to “thumbs up or down diagnoses” are out; spectral thinking in psychiatry has at least given us (clients) the possibility of being “not so bipolar” or “not so autistic”, for example. Diagnosticians have to look for and acknowledge LOW levels of anxiety, depression, mania, suicidal ideation, autism…whatever the issue the client (we) seem to be presenting. They also have to acknowledge the possibility for CHANGE in the client’s (our) state…with or without therapy, drug or otherwise. WHERE SUCCESSFUL MENTAL HEALTH CARE IS HEADED…is toward even more complex “diagnoses” that acknowledge the multidimensions of lives that have produced the state the client is in…EXTERNAL and a few INTERNAL (genetic predispositions, physical health including brain (physiology) health, and psychological states the person brings with them into therapy). (Trauma, btw, is only one external circumstance, but people talk a lot about that today, as a source of “the problem”. It may be. The notion of ACEs, Adverse Childhood Experiences, is a little broader and more useful to explain specific events. But looking for specific events in someone’s life can often result in a big nothing. Humans often feel unwell, simply by growing up in and where and how they grew up. No therapy will ever be better than preventing pain and suffering, ending social inequities, values and beliefs that marginalize and keep people from knowing they are valued as much as the next guy…the basic human belief that promotes positive mental health.) Clinics and individual therapists will promote COMPLETE REMISSION, RECOVERY or HEALTHY LIVING WITH A DIAGNOSIS… to the extent that they can view the individual in a multidimensional (holistic) way and be able to provide support for external as well as internal factors. This approach is consistent with “clinics”, “community level mental health centers/services”, hospital settings that have social workers available, any collaborative approach that includes non-medical (schools, police, other social services) that are setup to work alongside medical personnel. Getting this to happen takes politics, advocacy, money – maybe from unexpected sources trying to do good or deal with corporate guilt, leadership, good medical professionals, good non-medical professionals…it takes voters who get it and it takes grass roots efforts. r.reeves

  • There ARE alternatives to the psycho-pharmaceutical industrial complex, all linked to huge changes in lifestyle. But sadly, there are few places left in the world where these alternatives exist…and where one can prevent or avoid the “complexities of the complex”. It’s like going to the shopping mall…which I hate to do. At some point, when the hole in the bottom of my shoe started to make a blister on the bottom of my foot, I had to enter the “gates of shopping hell” to buy a new pair of shoes. Now I can just enter the “virtual gates of shopping hell” on my computer…and hope the shoes I buy, fit…but ANYTHING to stay out of the mall! If we could just find those alternatives to the lives we are leading…maybe some nice way of life where we don’t have to “wear shoes” at all…those psycho-pharmaceutical “complexities” will disappear for lack of need. Or maybe we’ll just lose interest. In the meantime, most of us have to “wear shoes”…find ways to protect ourselves from today’s friction of living. And when those protections wear thin…we may have to get a little help. r.reeves 1/12/2018

  • The Original Sin, is denying God…not therapists. I’d never “submit” to a therapist. If a therapist requires “submission”…a client should leave that person’s care, immediately. If a therapist requires “trust me”…a client should leave that person’s care, also. If the therapist requires “here’s what I do here, please let me take you through this program”, a client has a choice to stay or not stay. Yes, I agree that most therapists are trained in one type of “therapy” or another. That places the responsibility on the client to know what approach is used in that office, which I find extremely risky and difficult, especially when the client is suffering and may not be able to clearly decide. That is why I believe all “listening and caring” professionals or volunteers, need to find out as quickly as possible, what the CLIENT BELIEVES the approach will be, what their fears and anxieties are about entering the therapeutic relationship, what the “AGENDA OF THE CLIENT”, is, so to speak. The therapist does have an AGENDA, as you say, and both individuals need to be “on each others agenda”, so to speak. Many things will impinge on establishing a TRUE, “we respect your spiritual beliefs”, helping relationship…timing, money, family influences, emotional state of the client, logistics, the weather, what other things God has in store for you the day you seek help…etc. Watch out for bad therapists, and seek good ones…the same way you would watch out for bad preaching and seek good preaching. And if you are one of the lucky ones, who can pray…just let God lead you to the help you need…whether it’s therapy or not. You’ll get what you need and so will others…especially those who need to learn about “ORIGINAL SIN”…hopefully they can learn about it without having a panic attack, extreme anxiety over the issue or other emotional or mind-related injury. But it happens to people, sometimes. r.reeves 1/12/2018

  • I agree with you. There are experienced “caring and listening” volunteers available to you that do not charge for their services. You can find them online…there are many places to “chat” or if you’re really in crisis, get immediate help (Crisis Text Line for example). There are some therapists who post free videos and talk about all kinds of helpful subjects. Or if you need a flesh and blood person…many free clinics are out there, or if you are medicaid eligible, almost any clinic will take you. Religious organizations are often great places to find “caring and listening” volunteers – find the “no judgement” places…progressive churches, multi-faith or inter-faith organizations often train and supervise their volunteers (one well known program is Stephen Ministers, in many Christian organizations…free, trained, supervised…so you can get dependable help.) Also, National Organization for Mental Illness has FREE programs, support helplines and other services. They basically have a “don’t over medicalize” point of view, at the same time, letting people know what meds are out there and the pitfalls to look out for. They are very “peer to peer” oriented, so the people who you would learn from, have been where you are. There are 900 NAMI chapters across the country. Get out (or online) and explore what is available near you. Look up!!! r.reeves 1/12/2018

  • Being able to converse in a variety of styles seems right to me. Clients come in with pre-conceived notions about what the counsellor is able to do for them. The first task is often to “talk them down” from whatever expectation they have of YOU (the listener)…chit chat, vamp-until-ready sort of conversation. Could take minutes…could take months. Eventually, they will hopefully, see you as you are…ready to listen and help them identify and work on their “problem”. If meds are needed to slow the process down…then hopefully…you are working in a collaborative group, can make referrals, can get them the medical support they need as they work with you (avoiding “over-medicalizing” as you say). I don’t think counselling is being threatened by the medical model. I think the general population is getting wise to the fact that the DSM5 is a problem (the NIH isn’t using it for bipolar diagnosis, for example)…that one shouldn’t dive into medicines for mental health issues. But because of stigma, the general population isn’t diving into “counselling” either. They are still avoiding treatments of any type. THIS IS A HUGE OPPORTUNITY TIME FOR TALKING THERAPIES OF ALL STRIPES TO GET TO WORK AND LET THE GENERAL PUBLIC KNOW WHAT PSYCO-SOCIAL SUPPORT IS and that talking to your “Aunt Haddie” is not the best they can do. Beef up your academic program, training people to speak all the languages they can…analytic, non-directive, cognitive behavioral, medical…whatever it takes to help them LOSE INTEREST in the approach they think they are taking with YOU…and simply have that helpful conversation…r.reeves PhD.