Monday, February 18, 2019

Comments by Krista Hartmann

Showing 41 of 41 comments.

  • KindRegards, your support is humbling.
    Your use of the term ‘fabulous’ is unusual in that not until last October 18′, almost 3 years after the last drug and re-integration into ‘civilian’ life, did ‘fabulousness’ wash over me. I had thought things were going well.

    Before diagnosis (BD), 15 years ago, I had a spectacular garden and koi pond with a built-in, large aquarium in my beach house that I had built and lost to bankruptcy…due to debilitating side effects. It was a bitter, bitter loss.

    All these years I was emotionally blunted to these former interests, as I felt I couldn’t be responsible for curating any delicate life, drugged, sick, and unhappy as I was. I was a failure at taking care of myself, apparently.

    In 06′ I volunteered and was subsequently offered a management team position at the no-kill animal shelter…it was the closest I could allow myself to offer care to another unloved, ‘damaged’ living thing…I identified strongly. It saved me during those years.

    As I write today, I have a new garden and self-built patio and big honkin’ aquarium that I revel in…since October.

    ‘It’ will take as long as it takes, and come when it comes, despite my best efforts to accelerate it. Writing was cathartic, then clarifying, finally satisfying.

    Humility and small grace is not a bad lesson for me to learn. And perspective is everything.

  • KindRegards, Your remarks are much appreciated, especially as someone who ‘understands’ the landscape, 1st person.

    My steady motion forward with my narrative and this idea, strengthens my resolve towards the goal of establishing an outlet for help. I received affirmation from Dr. David Healy’s website (safety and transparency), Dr. Paula Caplan, and now Robert Whitaker’s MIA site (science, psychiatry, and social justice). These are significant contributors to the principle subject and it’s many tributaries; it’s a BIG subject with many topics and I’m scratching at the door.

    To respond to your “Aha” moment remark; mine was an adrenaline, rage, and fear overload-slap ‘upside the head’ that crystallized my purpose and lifted my damaged body, like a cliched epiphany. It insisted on my full attention to what was going to be my one shot.

    Following that (overnight), I became a particular kind of shark (an ‘obligate ram breather’-I’m from Florida) in the water prowling for information, absorbing details, and never taking my FULL attention off the behavioral expert’s behavior, instinctively knowing there was a singular key or key ring, that would unlock the exit door. They were cooperative in that they underestimated me at every point.

    If I stopped, I was finished. I didn’t and I lived.

    I am so grateful and have mad respect for the sturdiness of my physical being; I was in scary shape. And I was lucky sometimes, tho’ that was often directly related to my preparation and self-discipline while drugged.

    I have secured the necessary domain(s) to continue with a dedicated website in the future. Technology makes this a time-consuming, precision-minded research investment much more than a financial one (but that too).

    I look forward towards assisting clients and their support systems, should they ask. Perhaps others (with additional resources and influence) will find it a worthy project.

    And make no mistake; “Revenge is a dish best served cold” is a delightful thought.

    A healthy, balanced life with a sense of purpose is a wonderful thing to re-establish after having it stolen.

  • Someone Else, I really appreciate your thoughtful comments. I agree; having to use battlefield tactics with an ostensible healthcare provider is so wrong, but so necessary in psych-world.
    I also agree, it’s ambitious. I’ve never let that prevent me from living a successful, adventerous life…until I had insomnia & money worries & made that fateful psych appointment. As a woman, I was ‘punished’ severly for being an unconventional, unapologetic individual. But I’m back now and my imagination has built wonderful things in the past.

    I don’t have unlimited funds. Proposals are just that; the germ of an idea based in reality that has had a ‘test flight’ and worked very well….’evidence-based’ (psych joke alert), if you will. The trick is expanding the scope and repeat. Technology today makes so much achievable.
    There are many, many ‘grassroots’ organizations who are thriving that are born from tragedy to assist others.

    All this can do is fail, as a whole or piece by piece. Failure doesn’t bother me one little bit; doing nothing but b*tching & moaning does.

  • zmenard, This is simply a starting point, suggesting that a shift in perspective and subtle behaviors can affect your options, resulting in possibly safer circumstances within the industry.
    If by “extreme states” you are referencing DTS/DTO crisis (all terms that can be argued about to infinity), paragraph 2 speaks to that.
    These suggestions are not all things to everyone or every situation….but the truncated G. Santayana quote “To ignore history is to repeat it” applies in spades to an industry that can’t be trusted to act in the best interest of clients/patients; a self-interested toddler with a loaded .45, their prescription pad.
    The more awareness by client/patients and/or ‘invested’ eyes on the prescribers, the safer (in theory, of course).
    In addition, age-of-consent, power-of-attorney, and legal guardianships further complicate the issue.

    I work hard to qualify my suggestions with ‘perhaps, possibly, maybe, in theory, etc’ to emphasize my respect for other’s choices, opinions, and verbiage. I don’t know what’s best for other’s; it’s just shared info on what worked for me in a void of information on the subject; breaking their code and reshaping it into a tool for myself.

  • Mr. Blankenship, “FMS is outside of the “mental health” system entirely”. Exactly.
    The system is definitely not salvageable.
    There are millions still in it. Some need tools for safety while still there and many would like to leave with a guided titration and withdrawal off the drugs, with vacated diagnosis…in writing. These suggestions helped me achieve that. Maybe someone else…
    And life is great away from danger and misery.

  • Hey Rachel777, viewing the industry as “the BUSINESS” of mental health helped form a strategy out & ‘de-clutter’ my overwhelming, front & center fear & emotions.
    In the most hyper-intense personal situation & relentless decade of attacks (& drugged), I was compelled, for survival, to become a logic ‘bot’. I was up to my eyeballs in a clear legal morass/opportunity, yet speaking directly to that ‘feature’ was “the word that shall not be spoken”…..lawsuit.
    Ironically, my oppressors were the ones that had schooled me well in risk/reward analysis, paradoxes, & internicine warfare…. It’s not personal, it’s just business.
    I was a master-class graduate; their caged, drugged specimen that finally turns on its keeper and rescues itself.

  • Dr. Caplan’s game-changing article “Diagnosisgate” is an eye-opener. When I discovered it years ago, I was ecstatic.
    Allen Frances embodies the comprehensive ‘sell-out’ of the psychiatric industry. He’s still smarting all these years later and that’s after utilizing a long list of media to whine about being misunderstood and struggle to repair his destroyed reputation and credibility with anyone who will still bother to read about it.

    Phil Hickey, PhD dissects this ‘issue’ in an excellent article in 6/2015 “Behaviorism and Mental Health” and after examining both sides, suggests that Frances, minus a character check and an enormous transfusion of humility, should “exit the stage”. Unfortunately, he can’t bring himself to leave until his ‘restoration tour’ is successful…or, in a word, never.

    This is how his massive, derelict influence directly affected a life……
    beginning with a bipolar 1/SMI ‘lifelong’ diagnosis in 2004, the result of Frances’ expansion of criteria in his DSM-IV causing the tragic ‘bipolar gold-rush’. I was stressing over financials and couldn’t sleep. The psychiatrist ‘diagnosed’ me in 20 minutes, dosed me with Seroquel, and cashed her $65,000 check from pharma, primarily Astra-Zeneca-makers of Seroquel. (ProPublica, “Dollars for Docs”)…. Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome #1.

    Frances’ subsequent shilling for Johnson & Johnson influenced Risperdal being prescribed to me from a PA who could barely speak English and understood even less, in the state BH system years later.

    I developed tardive dyskinesia in both eyes. He was annoyed but finally yanked me off of it, causing a ‘spin out’ followed by Lamicatal which caused Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (#2)-hospital, more Lamictal over my objections, ananphylaxis-hospital, and the ensuing withdrawal cacophony and pain, rebound, and 22-hr/day violent dizziness and physical decompensation for 4.5 months.
    As a single person, with no family, I faced certain state institutionalization; losing my sad, ‘rebuilt’ life 9 years after the initial diagnosis had stripped me of a great one, and plunged me into bankruptcy and worse.

    The happy ending was defined by my ferocious fight against this sh*t-show and subsequent 2-year exit from the industry, replete with safely guided withdrawal off of all drugs and paperwork changing my ‘lifelong’ diagnosis.

    I had lost 11 terror and pain-filled years to Dr. France and his diagnostic criteria, drug promotions and payoffs, as the “the world’s most powerful psychiatrist”…and his industry.

    When my first essay was published on Dr. David Healy’s, July-August 2018, in 4-parts…I contacted Dr. Frances to alert him to it, carefully referencing his significant ‘contribution’ to my life.

    He assumed I was complimenting him and quickly responded “Krista, glad to be of help”.
    I’m a big fan of irony.

    My ‘special relationship’ with him over the years has taught me to…. 1) always operate from a defensive crouch in any doctor’s appointment forever….and 2) “Character is destiny”.
    Thanks, Allen.

    But especially… to YOU, Dr. Caplan, for fully exposing him to the light.

  • Mr. Ruck, you & your son’s response to your wife’s ‘state’ causes me to recall how I wished that for myself…support, a little ‘shelter from the storm’. Oh, well. I’m good now, in THIS moment.

    How did u come to that wisdom? Or was it the obvious…….simply love?

    Family & friends often look to the ostensible authority for the quickest, ‘cleanest’ fix possible…usually some form of sedation.

    YOU def qualify as an anomaly.
    Salute to you all.


  • Oldhead, Re: your declaration “I’ve been offered the opportunity to write for MIA but turned it down…”

    Of course you have……but what a missed opportunity for us all not to be further informed regarding your “antipsychiatry struggle”. I think beneath the frustration you express in your Comments, you seek validation, as we all do.

    I hope the angst you reveal in every post, on every essay, every day, results in a kind of relief.

    Good luck in the future, my friend.

  • Oldhead, I’ll take that as a ‘no’, no one has ever helped you. I have enormous compassion for you.

    Regarding your ‘explanation’ of the Comments section…are you an editor or monitor?

    You’re very proprietary regarding this section dedicated to my essay. I’m flattered.
    I would appreciate a link to your essays or articles dedicated to “fighting psychiatry”. Please share.

  • old head,
    You seemed to understand Rachel777’s examples; allow me to help also.

    EMT’s responding to a hit-and-run auto accident in which you are severly injured. No one is concerned whether you grasp the “socio-political origins” that made them 3 minutes late, lack of appropriate funding, pressure to unionize, lack of sleep because of low staffing…OR…the socio-political causes compelling someone to leave the scene knowing you may die, why they were speeding and jumped the light, the subsequent effort to identify them if the police prioritze it, the possible prosecution processes, the plea deal that may be offered if located, or the lack of evidence that exists, and their possible ‘walk’, leaving you with terrible injuries and expenses….

    You’re lying in the street, with broken bones and your head split open “sucking up support, not expected to understand or help fight the systems which make that support necessary”.

    They’re there to ease your “misery”, not lecture and recruit you to a cause.

    Hasn’t anyone ever helped you, Oldhead?

  • Old head, I read your statement mis-quoting me yet again. Sigh.

    This is ALL YOU imagining what I wrote; “…with her saying we should avoid saying “anti-psychiatry” for fear of someone saying “Scientology”.

    And this is ME; “The industry easily swats it away with perfunctory dismissals and dog whistles associating the movement with Scientology or ‘anti-psychiatry’…”

    Clear now?

    I’m gonna run clean out of “Bless your hearts'” if you can’t try a little harder.

  • zmenard, I’m just thinking out loud; I don’t expect an answer to these very personal questions.
    As I am unfortunately familiar with lithium…if your dosage is OTC, does it still qualify as a “therapeutic dose”? I ask because of the (ridiculous) defining language and ‘clinical’, therefore legal, import of that word. Psych language can be manipulated BOTH ways; you’re an educator, you know that.

    Sounds like your psych is reasonable or better. Aren’t her reports to the court influential enough to affect a judge regardless of your ex’s legal representation? Who is actually in charge of your medical care…the judge? Your kidding, I hope. Perhaps your psych could have you ‘assessed’ by another, like-minded but technically ‘independent’ psych to support your stability? Mo’ paper, mo’ better.

    It seems that being off psych meds always speaks volumes (as it should) to ‘outsiders’. Conversely, being on any, no matter how small or benign is damning only situationally. As u know, 1 out of 4 in that courtroom is taking a psychotropic, but do not perceive the irony, the mental disorder code necessary for an insurance-supported prescription, or the dangers.

    You also know way better than me; Life ain’t fair.

    Just spitballing…Do you have your current records?
    And are u (or your doc) concerned about your kidneys? I found that that’s a very important talk to have…finding out if she fully grasps how fast and badly thngs can go…levels be damned. Dialysis happened around me in the clinic…bone chilling.

    As I was being titrated off everything horrible and my lithium dosage was not even close to being ‘therapeutic’ (silly low), I found I was nervous letting it go….I worried if there was any ‘there’ there (me-my brain) after 11 years of vicious polypharmacy. I kept it to myself, but it was a white-knuckle thing. I found a few others who felt the same way in random comments in publications. My exit doctor wanted me off as quickly as possible.
    Perhaps you could incorporate the kidney danger into a request for further titration…until it’s, well…gone.

    Have u ever contacted; their mission may not be a perfect fit but they may nudge u in a helpful direction….when I was in trouble, I was contacting EVERYBODY. All they could say was no…and on to the next.

    Your grasp of the ‘big picture’ regarding your son is beautiful. Your little boy is fortunate to have such a loving mother.

  • annieblue, Good on you for saving yourself.

    Regarding your initial question; It gets better. Turned out, my psychiatrist (“Dollars for Docs”, (2013)), was taking $65,000 annually from pharma, with her biggest contributor Astra Zeneca, makers of Seroquel. Seroquel was the drug she ‘dropped’ on me…for insomnia-along with her 20 minute assessment of my “lifelong” bipolar disorder. I have described it in other work as “chemo for a cold” and it caused my first Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (hello, hospital bed); my “Welcome to the NFL” moment.

    Using fear to compel clients to “never stop the drugs” is painfully transparent when your paycheck is directly tied to expanding a client base, diagnoses for life, and a lifeong stream of appointments and prescriptions…FCOI-financial conflict-of-interest.

    BTW, Dr. Caplan has been an informal advisor and very supportive to me as I have started to write. Her accomplishments are numerous and I am humbled and grateful for her acknowledgement.
    Her article “Diagnosisgate…” was a complete evisceration of Allen Frances, the task force leader for the DSM-IV. That 1995 edition was the genesis of the “bipolar gold-rush” that engulfed the country and still does. He was why I got diagnosed in 2004. He owes me 11 years.
    Paula’s a Boss.

    I hope you’ll check out Part 2, next week (I think).

  • zmenard, The anaphylaxis caused by sloppy prescribing represented, to me AND especially THEM, an enormous (legal) liability issue. It was defined and documented by an independent entity, a hospital emergency room. Most importantly, my status as mentally ill played ZERO influence. THIS was essential.

    It was a HUGE factor as anaphylaxis is ‘across-the-board, comprehensive, conventional medicine’ “black box” stuff, 2nd deadly sin (the first, sterility). My other ER ‘visits’ were all psychotropic side-effects, an area ALL doctors avoid or ‘pass-off’ immediately; usually prescribing a sedating benzo…’just be quiet and go home’. They don’t know what to do for you AND your mentally ill…you could be ‘imagining’ this ‘problem’.

    An attorney and the courts would not only clearly understand anaphylaxis but see it as a ‘winnable’ case with documentation from an independent entity, the hospital. Right/wrong, black/white…and NOW I have their full attention and FEAR…the power paradigm shifted in my favor…temporarily.
    My frightening symptoms couldn’t be ‘imagined’ or ‘faked’. You can SEE anaphylaxis…it’s measurable…and it doesn’t end well; you get dead.

    As I was aware of this…and they knew it…it presented me with a window of leverage. Personal Injury suits must be initiated quickly or you lose leverage and credibility with the courts. They were off-guard about ‘my intentions’.

    Anaphylaxis represented putting my foot in the door and ‘working’ it…hard. Cost and liability containment is JOB #1 for the ‘business’ of the psychiatric industry. Knowing that made it clear to me how to proceed.

    *Understand; I didn’t know if I would succeed. I was so ‘sick’ (brain damaged) and physically compromised, I had nothing to lose. This was the second documented, near-death experience caused by these folks. I wasn’t waiting for #3.
    When opportunity knocks, you have to get ready to act. It may be your one, best shot. My ‘degree of difficulty’ was the equivalent of swimming across a pool with a cinder block chained around my neck.

    As I am not a parent, your personal situation is painful to hear about.

    Just on the basis of your Comment; Knowledge is power and mange your expectations. This will take time. Arm yourself with everything to know regarding your old diagnosis and the new one. The DSM is where you start. Get the specific codes.

    DEFINE YOUR GOALS. Always have Plan B, Plan C; flexibility is key.

    Practice, practice, practice dialogues, questions, letters in your head, out loud, and on paper.
    Initiate a sober, thoughtful, informed dialogue (letters) with your psych, when the ‘frantic’ leaves you and you can be calm. Start slow, respecting their position of power in your life. Accusations, pleading, anger …NOT YOUR FRIEND. Act as, BE the adult they want to see…

    You want everything as hard-copy evidence for your new, parallel psychiatric file. Get organized.

    The hardest thing is to compartmentalize and control your emotions. They are your enemy. It takes practice and a lot of internal dialogue…especially if your drugged. I had to learn and it took a long time and many failures. Without calm, self-control, you will have difficulty establishing even the first steps towards credibility and effective change.

  • Rachel777, What a cogent comment.

    As I sank to the bottom of the pool inside the industry and since I ‘got out’ I was troubled and mystified by the blank space in the resistance’s messaging regarding simple safety issues…and all the rest, for clients RIGHT NOW. From private practice to publicly-funded ‘care’, coast to coast, I couldn’t find the informed, objective, effective support in-real-time, on-the-ground from the ‘resistance’, folks who ostensibly KNEW what terrible things happened on-the-regular.
    I didn’t need commiseration, I needed tools and weapons.

    My safety was the only consideration, if I could reasonable secure that, even temporarily, I had a chance of effectively pushing back the other stuff harming me.
    Arguing with a doctor, caseworker, social worker, et al, regarding how corrupt and harmful their chosen industry was, is ineffective and possibly dangerous…a complete waste of time.

    Your parallels are spot-on.

    If you care to, check out Part 3 of my 4-part essay “A Unicorn: Changing a Diagnosis” for David Healy’s website, July-August 2018. I describe some of my challenges to be heard, establish credibility, and formulate a strategy to protect myself AND get the ‘F’ away from those deadly people and circumstances.
    “Full Moral Status” published here is similar but condensed for editorial approval.

    Part 2 of “Full Moral Status…” (next week?) has a detailed ‘working’ outline for achieving safety, parity, and change.
    I hope you’ll check it out.

    As you are aware, it’s easy to throw stones at people ‘acting’, trying to help others by suggesting possible solutions. They’re common as dirt and as inconsequential to the serious issues addressed here.
    They don’t have to agree, but what are they offering in the way of help?

  • Mr. McCrea, Quotes from “Full Moral Status…” (part 1) “THIS is what the movement should prioritize while still challenging the big-picture, status-quo…”

    “…Prioritize while still challenging the big-picture, status-quo”. Both.

    I hope you will take a look at Part 2.

    I propose an outline for doing just that; a ‘clearinghouse’ or information hub that can supply general and state-specific forms to assist clients on a variety of subjects and situations with appropriate push-back or counter measures in-the-moment/appointment for a parallel casefile, building evidence towards negotiations for safety, parity, and change…or exit. I offer some details, goals, marketing, and restrictions. It’s a first draft and hope to get some instructive or supportive feedback. It is not intended to be everything for everyone.

    I am inspired by the excerpt from T. Roosevelt’s Paris speech at the turn of the century, “The Man in the Arena”. “It is not the critic who counts;…”

    I am proposing something new and bold in the service of others; possible failure does not bother me in the least.

    Doing nothing but complaining and criticizing does.

  • Oldhead, “We” don’t “need” to distinguish anything of the sort. Speak for yourself, please…never for me, as you insist on doing.

    Allow me to explain something else; “Making (the system) better” in my essay, speaks directly to the real-world status-quo, how things work NOW and tomorrow for the foreseeable future. Not how things SHOULD, COULD, OUGHTA’ BE, hopefully in the future. Valid, important, but different topic altogether. I’m clear on this in my essay.

    FYI, I’m well-informed regarding anti-psychiatry, related movements and organizations, websites, articles, books, ‘reformation’ strategies, and the major ‘players’. Your declarative ‘explaining’ anti-psychiatry’s precepts to me presented yourself as an official spokesman. Please clarify. If it’s your opinion, thanks for sharing.

    One more thing…”No hostility here, I know you’re new”. What hostility? If there is any, don’t be shy, I don’t cry. And how is my first published Blog on MIA defining me (to you) as someone requiring a ‘spot’…by you?

  • Mr. Wagner, “…the courageous people, like yourself, who have reached to the core of their being and found that which is not broken, and sunk their fingers into it with such vigor that it never very far away”…..
    Gosh, I need to lie down a moment.
    While I feel confident that you meant this as a compliment somehow, I can only request you not characterize me in any way, other than MY words and behaviors. The “broken” remark, edited by MIA for brevity, is just not that ‘deep’, Mr. Wagner.

    If you WOULD like a ‘deeper’ view of who I am, wait for Part 2 of “Full Moral Status”…in the meantime: Dr. David Healey’s 2018 July-August, 4-part “A Unicorn: Changing a Diagnosis”.

    I am not a branding or marketing expert; I AM a veteran of the psychiatric industry, the “belly of the beast”, and well-researched to the “core of my being” in facts, history, and selling techniques steeped in glossy, empty rhetoric.

  • Old head, My goodness, feel free to reject my opinion, no problem here.
    Some of your statements attributed to my essay are not grounded in printed fact, tho’.

    I don’t identify with the label “survivor”, thanks.
    Nowhere do I suggest a dismissal of the “need to ERADICATE” psychiatry. I respect others choice regarding their health.
    I don’t criticize current efforts to “ERADICATE psychiatry’ as irrelevant or destructive. My opinion based on my experience is they should PRIORITIZE “on-the-ground” assistance to clients. I needed some, there was none. And see Part 2.

    Also “Rather than trying to teach, such people need to learn from their TRUE “peers” who have unmasked and rejected psychiatry entirely”. No “teach(ing)” here, just sharing with a goal to help anyone who can use this perspective. I achieved what many would like to…and I want them to.

    You don’t get to define who my “PEERS” are after 11 years in.

    Your Comment expressing confusion about why an “old diagnosis” matters is answered in the first sentence in my response to Squash. It’s ‘real-world’ stuff.

    My experience informs me that, while some people enjoy engaging vigorously in philosophical debates and ‘proving a point’ based on finely parsed semantics, I met thousands who want tools RIGHT NOW to employ regarding safety in, and distance from, their terrible situations. Mine is not a one-size-fits-all and you’re disagreement is fine. Most people I’ve met vis a’ vis the industry, want to know how I accomplished this; medical professionals, former and current clients, and family and friends of clients.

    You strongly imply that the only valid POV is the entire “reject(ion)” of the concept and industry of psychiatry is …well, in the South the response is….. “Bless your heart”.
    Oldhead, Bless your heart.

    You’re REALLY gonna hate Part 2. I’ll be right here.

  • Madmom, I am moved by your invitation, but I’m sure you would be disappointed by my lack of ‘wattage’. Tiny joke.
    Unfortunately, I do recognize the despair in your words.
    I fervently hope this essay can deliver the smallest inroad to hope, vis a’ vis Part 2.
    In short, the hardest thing I HAD to do was compartmentalize my (drugged) emotions & become an effective, efficient, quiet shark, patrolling my appointments with a strategy, using smart tactics, building an alternative casefile. Put on an ‘attorney’ hat (no t.v. lawyer drama), do the homework-statutes, laws, mission statements, handbooks (a highlighter was my best friend), and listen more, talk less. Practice ‘calm’, engaged, awareness. I needed ALOT of practice.
    The more I prepared, the ‘luckier’ & more confident I (quietly) became. They never saw it coming; when it did, …too late!

    Part 2 is about this essential part of building & controlling your REAL collaboration (a new concept for them).

  • Squash, I knew that running with an open diagnosis might affect my self-determination as I aged, any large or small legal issues, & my will after I pass. But it was always Plan B. Even now, HIPAA Privacy rules are ‘leaky’; I’m always vigilant.
    Being tagged as “off my meds” was a potential disaster.
    I carry my ‘exit’ paperwork w/me (phone) always, as if I’m in a police state. Paranoid much?
    I was in a precarious medical state (brain damage) for a long time. Without that ‘exit’ doc, I was losing my independent capacity…and I’m single, no family. Institutionalization awaited.
    He was concerned. Me too.

    Controlled rage & victory transformed into a loud, appropriate, aggressive compulsion to publicly expose the private spanking I delivered (with a little well-earned swagger) hopefully inspiring others to push back…effectively.

    Stay tuned for Part 2 (verbs!)

  • Well, bless his heart.
    One can’t avoid the omnipresent ‘brand’ that is Allen Frances. He finds it impossible to turn the knob of his own voice to ‘off’. Over the years, since he was ‘un-friended’ by the APA, he has nearly ‘pulled a hammy’ positioning himself as the multi-headed hydra in psychiatry, vigorously crafting and marketing a seemingly independent ‘wisehead’ visage, balancing his ethically corrupted past with his relentless campaign for acceptance, credibility, and legacy-restoration by all branches of the industry; APA, ‘civilian’ readership (NYT, et al), industry associated, government publications, and ‘mindful’ (kind of) ally of the anti-movement.
    Like an idealogical pretzel, he announces, pronounces, and feverishly edits his messaging to be almost all things to all sides; a pure creature of his psychiatric in-breeding, both academic and, most importantly, commercial. He must be exhausted.

    Those of us who have been on the receiving end of Dr. Frances’ contributions to the industry vis a’ vis the DSM-IV, are hard-pressed to fully appreciate his infinite apology tour that has morphed into a third-party candidate status in the convo; not really conventional psych, not really anti-psych, more ‘all-about-Allen’ psych, a message that speaks more to his refusal to put his money and mouth where his lost ethics used to be and spending his senior years endlessly grooming his own professional reflection in the mirror.

    I was a recipient of Allen’s efforts when, in 2004, I was ‘slam-dunked’ into a “lifelong, acute, chronic” bipolar 1 diagnosis with an SMI “forever” chaser. In January 2016, I ran to my car and peeled out of the clinic’s car park clutching paperwork that vacated both (!) and have devoted the past 3 years to restoring my health, body and soul.
    As MIA readership is pretty much an ‘inside baseball’ audience, details of my lost decade misses the point and are painfully familiar; I was introduced to heretofore unknown territory like despair, terror, comprehensive physical decay in brain and body, and exposure to the basest instincts in mankind. My loss of self-determination and credibility was thorough and immobilizing, right on schedule.

    In July 2018, prior to having an essay published on this subject, I invited Dr. Frances to check it out, as he had had an enormous contribution to my current mental health. I purposefully kept the invite ambiguous and ‘swiss’. He promptly tweeted me back with “look forward. glad to be of help. best, al”.
    It was as predictable as the sun rising in the east. He assumed I was thanking him. What an a**hole.

    Join the Resistance, Al. With your big megaphone and massive self-confidence, you might just save your own soul while turning those self-described (but getting fainter) “mea-culpa’s” into hard currency. It might help mitigate the dark, deep damage you delivered to millions who can’t articulate because they’re drugged for the rest of their lives. That’s not me anymore.
    I know what you did, as do so many others. I am YOUR creation; don’t be afraid, fully embrace me. My bona fides on this subject are unimpeachable. I paid the check for your sins.
    You’re welcome….and you owe me and the millions of others, bigtime.

    Al, listen up…..character is destiny.

    Thx Dr. Hickey, for continuing to expose this guy and generously giving him some much needed career counseling. You are far more diplomatic than I could ever be…considering.