Monday, November 28, 2022

Comments by Carol Stence

Showing 12 of 12 comments.

  • This vague label of SMI is used repeatedly within the psychiatric system to persuade “gate keepers” such as hospital administrators and mental health court judges to allow psychiatrists to do whatever they want to patients, without protection of the patients’ rights by independent review and testimony. Patients are frequently misrepresented to the gatekeepers. The outcome can be disastrous, while their rights are devalued and their exploitation is profitable….(Our daughter was stigmatized with “Serious Mental Illness” (SMI) in the context of professional neglect of her underlying medical issues and forced medication with toxic drugs that do NOT improve the underlying issues….)
    This toxic-drug centered form of psychiatry (allopathic) couldn’t be the economic engine that it is if patients greatly improved. The ubiquitous low-standard of care, where doctors are not held accountable for what they do to patients, makes patients worse. This iatrogenic harm creates new opportunities for exploitation. Patients are used as guinea pigs in drug research funded by Pharma, and in the business of running medical schools. Medical schools need patients on which resident doctors can “cut their teeth” and who can be forced to undergo the lucrative and harmful Electro-Convulsive Treatment, after the toxic drugs have proven to be ineffective and harmful.
    The resultant redistribution of wealth by this ruthless economic engine creates many layers of employment and career advancement in the hospitals and out-patient-“care” systems. When the toxic-drug treatments have ruined the patients’ lives, they are then warehoused by government subsidy, which provides many entry level jobs. The lives of those employed by the psychiatric system become better while existence for too many patients becomes deplorable, yet patient advocates are attacked for protesting the human rights abuse and ruination of their loved ones.
    Doctors who “know the drill” of iatrogenic toxicity and decline, accuse the advocates of fearing that the effect of the drug treatment will be worse than the “SMI”, before the advocates have even learned how quickly devastating the drugs can be. Such a claim is one of the false narratives doctors use to neutralize legal standing and advocacy on behalf of the loved one…You have to see and live this to believe it. It’s monstrous. It happened to us!
    (Our daughter was stigmatized with “Serious Mental Illness” (SMI) in the context of professional neglect of her underlying medical issues and forced medication with toxic drugs that do NOT improve the underlying issues.)

    If anyone reading this with lived experience and knowledge of the psych system as a patient or advocate believes that my claims here are off-base, you are welcome to respond. My conclusions and convictions are based on 16 years of observation and advocacy which has been plenty of time to examine the facts of what happened to us and to “connect the dots” .

  • I did not mean to infer that there is a “right” medication from among the choices of antipsychotics. Rather, I should have said that a different antipsychotic was more tolerable for her, but still problematic for her in that setting of forced medication. The opportunity to observe the resolution of mania without harmful antipsychotics is usually not allowed, according to my observation. A natural therapy to resolve mania using select amino acids has been reported in the research, but has apparently been neglected in the allopathic setting.

  • Thank you for this Seriously Needed Investigation of the meaning of Serious Mental Illness. I would like to suggest that one of the overlooked causes of the SMI designation is bad reactions to medications that do not “fit” the patient and in context of possible neglect of medical conditions that impact mental status.

    A young woman was treated with atypical antipsychotic for BiPolar Disorder while her Poly Ovarian Cystic Disorder and inflammation issues were neglected. She suffered terrible akathisia that extended her stay in the acute ward for months; insurance kept paying for it. She was deemed “One of the Unlucky Ones” because even when she was forced to endure maximum titration of antipsychotic, her symptoms were slow to improve. It could be argued that she only improved after enough time elapsed for the lithium* level to become effectual, and that the antipsychotic actually slowed improvement. When she was discharged, on antipsychotic, she still had residual akathisia that produced a personality change to: irritability, restlessness with the need to walk, and quickness to become angry.

    Inflammation issues contributed to future hospital admissions where these scenarios would be repeated and eventually resulted in threat of ECT under the proclamation of “Serious Mental Illness.” A hot debate between advocate and doctor ensued, and at least that time, the advocate was heard, the medication changed, and the patient was able to sleep and resolve her mania.

    The saga continued with much suffering and grief through the years because, I dare say, the term “SMI” is too often used when the allopathic psychiatric protocol is deficiently informed by the medical specialties, resulting in neglect of medical needs that impact mental health while the patient is tormented with the wrong medication.

    Things have gotten better in recent years with signs that the patient’s needs are better understood, finally. The patient’s life could have been so much better if her needs had been acknowledged sooner.

    * Psychiatric literature mentions the anti-inflammatory effect of lithium. I would appreciate if adolescents and young adults could be given opportunity to benefit from natural and less toxic anti-inflammatory treatment while time is taken to identify and treat medical conditions that impact mental health. I believe that a conflict of interest drives a false narrative that First Episode Psychosis should be treated ASAP with toxic and debilitating antipsychotics.

  • Seebecrun, thank you for your tender response to Catherine’s story. That gives me hope that enough hearts will be touched and change will come. How I wish that I had spoken, cried, called out more than I did when Catherine was alive. We were trying to be heard, but we were so used to not being heard that I wonder if we grew faint when we needed to be stronger. I think that every example of speaking out, if only a few words is empowering. If only I had known the end from the beginning. If only I had understood the duplicity that was going on, I would have not stopped speaking; that’s what I WANT to think about myself, but maybe I’m deceiving myself. It takes only a short time for those drugs to do terrible damage to some people LIKE CATHERINE. Some people are luckier, but not our dear child. Thank you again for your tender response. Don’t be alarmed by my over-flow here. I’ll be ok, and you were perfect in your response.

  • Thank you, Krista, for sharing your story and the links to more testimony that I intend to read. I’m learning so much from everyone. It is surreal to discover the magnitude of suffering caused by allopathic psychiatry. It is as deep and wide as the knowledge to be discovered in just one human cell. As survivors or advocates, we are like an alternate universe to the systemic injustice that rules the day and keeps so many gainfully employed. May truth prevail.

  • I’m really sorry, Natasha, for all the suffering and abuse you endured. I’m sorry that there is no access for most of us to therapeutic and safe settings that use healing principles based on the best information and science. Helpful information and therapies do exist, but it is not reaching most of the people who need it. This has to change. Schools need to change. We need freedom to pursue health and happiness. I’m glad that you found Mad In America. I hope you are finding other good resources. Thank you for reaching out to encourage us and to share your story.

  • Ryan, I’m so glad to hear your successful recovery story. It is truly remarkable. You and Laura are proof that it is possible. I’m sorry so many years of your life were taken away, but by golly, you sure look like you are ready to live a good life now. I truly hope for your best. Stories like yours need to be elevated and I will try to do my part.
    Carol