Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comments by Krista Hartmann

Showing 74 of 75 comments. Show all.

  • Hey Julie, Phantom Networking is a real ‘thing’; cynical, corrupt, and ‘who gives a sh*t’. My ‘exit’ doctor had no idea and was very uncomfortable with the article(s) I tossed on his desk. I took him by surprise. I didn’t expect him to apologize or ‘whatever’… I knew he didn’t know, he had never SEEN the Provider Directory.
    And we moved on, but I had quietly, politely established my credibility and strength in ‘I’m two steps ahead of you, I know what all this means now…I understand what has happened’. We didn’t waste time talking about it much…I was wholly in the present.
    When I started to research the sordid facts and ‘big picture’ of ‘How Psychiatry Works, Really’ … the lightbulb went on like a nuke.
    My outrage and shock was met by family and friends unable to meet my eyes; they were uncomfortable with what sounded like ‘off-the-rails’ paranoia, tin-foil-hat-conspiracies by someone who was, as my compassionate R.N. brother said, “circling the drain”.
    I abruptly cut them ALL out of MY life as I was now FULLY engaged and had no time for distractions and cheap sentiment, fighting something they couldn’t understand and didn’t love me enough to try. F*%# em’. I wasn’t mad, they were superfluous.

    It was me and my concerned cat. And no one else for 2 years. I made pre-emptory measures for her in case I failed and was institutionalized…very organized, calm, and bizarre…. had this been different circumstances.

    The day I walked out of there with the ‘exonerating’ paperwork, almost finished withdrawing…and alive…I stopped at the Dairy Queen for the LARGE Cookie Dough Blizzard and went home to her. There was no one else to cheer for me on the most significant day of my life. Eh…I was going to be fine cause this was the worst of life and I had won.

    Almost 4 years later, I’m better than I ever was. I was living a charmed life compared to what I didn’t know was coming at 54 years old in 2004. It changed me (how could it not?) and I imagine who I would have been without this pain and salvation… without this ‘test’.

    This is better…and I haven’t had an ‘event’ in 7 months.
    The future is bright. I wish that for you, too.

  • Hey Rachel, Thx for your kind words on this thread.
    Credibility is the most significant concept in my history; the stripping of it at diagnosis and the deathmatch to restore it. The irony that it still eludes me with some doctors has left me upset AND bemused.

    During an ER-side-effect ‘visit’, a YOUNG doc really believed me and expressed cynical alarm about my condition. It was nice but…then the next day he called me at home with the name of a “good” psychiatrist.
    Bless his heart…really.
    #1) While the psych was listed in my Provider Directory, when I called they were amused and annoyed, as he was a ‘Phantom Network’ listing by Magellan (BH management industry leader), falsifying the number of physician choices to ‘pad’ their bid to the state, ultimately winning the 2 Billion dollar contract AGAIN (#1 or #2 largest at the time). Milo Geyelin/Wall Street Journal uncovered this massively profitable scam and how it harms body and spirit of clients in BH state care/Medicaid.
    In my desperation for options and better services I called 40 offices. Disconnected phones, hospital reception desks, and doctor offices laughing at me were the response for ALL 40.
    Sometimes other states’ legislators fine them lunch money ($250,000 or so) which is just the cost of doing business for them….but they don’t interfere as ‘mentally ill’ citizens aren’t a voting block of influence.

    #2) Another YOUNG ER doc believed me and spent a long time listening to me and my situation, allowing me to dictate to HIM what tiny amount (1 mg) of diazepam would assuage my panic (heart palps) during withdrawal, but not add to my pollution and interfere with my forward progress off EVERYTHING.

    While fighting my way out, I had to McGuyver every appointment while under internal/external siege from the drugs, especially with an unknown doc, sussing them out quickly to determine what approach would PSYCHOLOGICALLY (irony, anybody?) appeal to their sense of professionalism, ethics/ego, and scant knowledge of the psychiatric industry (a given) to achieve what I needed, without ONE STEP backward. I learned to stop trying to ‘recruit’ them to my side and focus on my input to be considered and acted upon. Many were relieved to be ‘absolved’ of responsibility as psychiatry ‘issues’ with meds scares the pants off most of them (liability).

    It was a stress and exhaustion factor of 11..on the ‘Spinal Tap’ scale.
    There was not one second of just unclenching and trusting someone to help me.

    I’ve mentioned it before; I didn’t now where my stamina came from (lizard-brain, ice-cold, ‘controlled’ rage) considering the damages.

    It could have gone the other way…I’d still be in there, in a chair, staring out a window in my adult diaper.

  • Gee, Mr, Simon..according to the industry’s own ‘experts’, here I am….long-term use by someone who wasn’t ‘mentally ill’….”life’long”.bipolar 1 to “oops, never mind, good bye & good luck”……according to the ‘diagnostic’, party-line, paperwork.

    11 years of chemically-initiated ‘Parkinsonian’ effects AND NMS-created paralysis (twice), glucose spikes, kidney function drops, liver toxicity, hospitalized akathisia and anorexia, brain lesions, 85-lb weight gain=joint erosion=cortisone treatment, irrational fears and GAD, acute depression, suicidal ideation, drooling AND damaged salivary glands, facial tardive dyskenisia, club-footed gait, fingernail-splitting, ‘stress’-eczema, hair loss, anosognosia, gulping for air, vertigo, and hospitalized bradycardia.

    After withdrawing for 2+ years…. I’ve ONLY had 16 ‘partial-seizures’ that have ‘mystified’ my GP, the ER, my cardiologist, my neurologist, and Barrow Neurological Institute/Phoenix…..because no one is ‘comfortable or conversant’ with psych drug effects or prognosis and my insurance won’t cover the ‘2nd-tier’ testing it would take and specialists it requires to interpret them. They don’t read the Andreason report I carry ‘with’ to all appointments. Apparently my credibility is ALSO still damaged by the false diagnosis….forever, indelibly stained by Seroquel, Risperdal, Geodon, et al.

    But I know….

    On the way out the door, I’m invariably told quietly, quasi-conspiratorially… “We’re seeing a lot more of “this””.

    Gee, THAT’S comforting.

  • My ‘gateway’ drug following a 20 minute diagnosis of bipolar 1 when I came in for $ stress & insomnia.
    Result was my 1st of 2 Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome ADRs. Hospital, vitals monitoring all nite, paralysis….and 11 years later escaped with a removed ‘lifetime’ bipolar/SMI following the 2nd NMS, facial tardive dyskenisia, brain lesions, and anaphylaxis for good measure. 2 more years of titration and withdrawals.
    Since I’ve been clean The only problem has been 16 ‘partial’ seizures.
    Thanx, APA.

    Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

  • I admire much of what Dr. Moncrief has written in the past, but this ‘study’ seems to be mired in a time-warp of insistent denial, intentional foot-dragging and slow-walking what has been reported, ‘studied’, and proven for a decade or more (See Whitaker’s scathing article this week).

    I was intentionally, falsely diagnosed in 2004, riding the tidal wave of the ‘bipolar goldrush’ following the disgraceful, criminal DSM IV (thx Allen!) and experienced 2 Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome ‘events’, bradycardia that required a week of hospitalization (surgical floor), tardive dyskinesia in both eyes, micrographia caused by brain lesions, gulping air like a goldfish, inability to hold my head erect, drooling and palsy (of course), and all the other VISIBLE grotesqueries…with the ‘invisible’ effects far worse.

    My point is that sloppy prescribing resulting in anaphylaxis (documented in the ER) ‘CURED’ my “lifelong” bipolar disorder nearly overnight(!), as the cost and liability algorithms suggested they agree with me to get me out…. and get me out safely…and (hopefully) quietly.
    Of course, I am SHOCKED they aren’t broadcasting this miracle ‘cure’ for bipolar on the front page of the New York Times. Or at the annual APA convention. Or anywhere at all.

    It took 2 1/2 years as the only client of the new VP/CMO (who had been the clinic director during the clusterf*ck) to titrate and withdraw completely and he was available to me 24/7, by phone, text-he traveled a lot, or appointment. That last year was a white-knuckle ordeal WITH his guidance. Things got worse before they got better and it was a challenge to believe that I would emerge resembling ‘myself’.

    I have experienced 16 ‘partial seizures’ (I had no history) in the three years subsequent to the taper and end of drugs. Some have lasted 15 hours. After my GP suggested I should “talk to somebody’ (code for therapist), I insisted on being completely vetted medically; cardio, basic neuro scans for ‘masses’ or bleeds, testing inner ear, finally ending up at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. The knew, they didn’t know, they were uncomfortable with the Andreason proof (SHORT-term antipsychotics) regarding pre-frontal shrinkage. As Barrow is the top of the ‘food chain’ but not specializing in THIS (psychotropic) stuff, they stayed officially ‘non-committal’, but “concerned”. The neurologist mentioned on my way out, ‘We’re seeing more and more of this” and “Stay in touch”. Oh, OK.

    I can ‘sense’ these events coming now (like some epileptics) and can reach a therapist who does 30 minutes of Epley Maneuvers, bilateral, front and back. She finds THAT odd as her experience informs her this is HIGHLY irregular, extremely rare for BPV.
    Yeah, me too.
    I’ll take ANY prevention or relief.

    I won’t live long enough to see this addressed, but I’m (almost) 6 months clear and optimistic.

    My poor brain took a beating. And I watch my kidney and liver function like a hawk.

    This article overstates the re-treaded obvious and never seriously challenges the job security/revenue stream ‘elephant’ in the room….”organizational” pressures.
    The responses lacked insight (oh, the irony!), critical thinking, and sincere evaluation of the status quo. They sound like politicians.

    Describing THEIR “challenges in prescribing” antipsychotics is a bitter read. Damp hand-wringing and mewling about the”importance of communication” and “respecting…patient’s requests” made me throw up in my mouth a little.

    I want Dr. Moncrief to DEMAND a bigger platform and raise an angry voice, using her visibility to help FORCE change….she has all the right intentions, references, studies, credentials…’s not working so far.
    When the likes of a criminal such as Allen Frances can commandeer the NYT, The Atlantic, and the Post, still regarded as some kind of leader and expert in modern psychiatry…despite the trail of tears and shattered lives he has stepped over and profited handsomely from…it’s time for a real scientist to develop some whistleblowing swagger and never stop until things change.

    Exactly when is enough… enough?

    Regarding “….future research on antipsychotic discontinuation”….Well, I’m right here.
    Hit me up, Dr. Moncrief..
    I can answer that for you.

  • Paula, your contributions on this site are always a breath of fresh air. You thankfully avoid the existential ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda’, and talk in real world, common sense, human-based terms….first addressing the client, with the corruption as vehicle to the damage.

    Your consistent, relentless emphasis on gentleness, caution, and fully-informed decisions void of the APA/DSM/PHARMA goggles was the thing I was dying for (literally) inside the danger-zone.

    It breaks my heart a little to think someone was out there during those years & I had no access.
    Readers with ANY skin in ‘the game’ will do well to insist on someone like you if the time comes…as adults are indoctrinated just like children; drugged infantilization is SOP and it works.
    Like water on a stone, too slowly the corruption is being exposed thru indirect ways & adjacent horror stories like opioids…your credibility & voice is mighty in it’s calm, firm clarity.

  • Mr. Coates,
    Check out MIA’s “Full Moral Staus (Feb. 2019) part 2” .
    It addresses the language topic with an outline for effective push-back regarding navigating the private & public systems and their intentionally obstacle-riddled, smoke-and-mirrors processes that nullify efforts by drugged clients to advocate effectively for themselves.

    Discorse on the outside is important; tools ‘on the inside’ are more so.
    As the client is drugged and offered ‘rules of engagement’ authored by the entity they have issue with (and seemingly ‘independent’ agencies), the playing field is on permanent ’tilt’.

    I include a familiar, abbreviated glossary of industry terms that are ubiquitous in their use by professionals, but comprehensively (private, public-funded ‘care’, coast-to-coast) applied subjectively and situationally to their benefit for sustaining recruitment and when squelching any ‘complaints’ (always a pejorative), side-effect reporting, & SAFETY.

    I’ve offered some ideas towards ASSISTANCE…based on what I learned as somene who was able to ‘MacGuyver’ my way out, with a rare VACATED ‘lifelong, incurable’ bipolar diagnosis (w/paperwork!) and 2+years of guided titrarion and complete withdrawal.

    Like the law, their bedfellows, the psychiatric industry’s language permits fluidity & contradiction for marketing and public opinion advantage at the expense of millions of lives, while insisting that diagnoses are cemented in impermeable absolutism….when it suits them.

    I’m living proof to the ‘outside’ world…most everyone on the ‘inside’ is unfortunately, already fully informed.

    BTW…the ‘miracle’ cure for bipolar disorder is, apparently….anaphylaxis…and the attendant liability and public attention THAT brings to psychiatric ‘medical concerns’.

    This should be front page, ‘above the fold’ headlines GLOBALLY…yet Not. A. Whisper from the august APA & NAMI-a ‘patient’s’ best friend.

  • Hey Paula,
    Your essay has a beautiful clarity of expression regarding this massively important topic.

    As a prisoner of the diagnosis dropped on me in 2004, the accompanying suffering and stigma (from the industry), and my fight out……well….it’s forever commemorated by oh-so-quietly declaring me miraculously ‘cured’ of ‘lifelong, incurable’ bipolar disorder thru their ‘gift’ of anaphylaxis.

    Tuesday I was bipolar for life with 9 years ‘in’…..sloppy, dangerous prescribing, the ER, and “It’s a miracle!”……Wednesday I was no longer bipolar! (“Who needs intrusive attornies poking around?”)…..with the exit paperwork ‘labeling’ me 2 varieties of ‘Unpecified Anxiety & Mood’ quickly inserted into my files….”Nothing to see here……What bipolar?” Good luck & goodbye.

    Apparently, no further explanation for my ‘Lost Decade’ was necessary to me…or the world. And so modest!

    They’re silence regarding this game-changing ‘scientific breakthru’ for the ages is…umm… ‘baffling’.

    Boy, I do love me some quotation marks.

    Without them, a new reader would think my ‘cure’ was SCIENCE, not simply a cost/benefit decision, effortlessly abandoning their own ‘absolute’ dogma without pause…..Business, not ‘personal’ (OR medical science).

    Bless their hearts…and well done, Paula. You nailed it.

  • Hey Alex and Grace, re: ..imposing beliefs…”. One would think that if anybody had experienced the absolutist dictates of psychiatry and the attendant damages, they would be particularly sensitive to imposing that ‘method’ on anyone else, ever. Clearly, that’s not the case.
    Everybody experiences life, religion, politics, love….and psychiatry differently. There are some commonalities but always unique, important details.

    Some insistent voices ‘re-interpret’ other’s words, thoughts and meanings, ‘correcting’ them to correspond with their own beliefs…..relentlessly. Many of us have had enough of that outside of MIA ; this should be a safe venue to speak. I somehow believe Mr. Whitaker shares that thought.

    It seems self-sabotaging to offend the people you are attempting to ‘recruit’ to your POV. Browbeating is not an effective tactic for success.

    Having experienced drugged recruitment and enforcement in the psychiatric system, it’s terrible…but as a free-person, RESPECT regarding everyone’s unique lens, yet feeling free and safe to disagree appropriately is rare and so valuable.

    Life’s a buffet; if I don’t like it, I don’t choose it. As an adult, I don’t want anyone telling me EVER AGAIN….what’s best for me to put on my plate.

  • Dr. Cornwall, There are many opinions about the existential evils of the standards and practices of the psychiatric industry…
    I was part of a business-like ‘quid pro quo’ that involved them immediately jettisoning their own fundamental precepts…if I would just go away quietly…….

    After achieving safe exit from the industry, I twice emailed the APA to engage with the ‘phenomena’ of somehow having their ambassadors rescind a “lifelong” diagnosis ONLY when I presented an IMPLIED cost and liability disruption to their status quo…were they not men and women of good faith, science, and principles?

    As my 2-year journey out plodded along (guided titration, withdrawal), the words “mistaken’ or “false” never came up. I didn’t need to hear an acknowledgement at that time, as the quiet delicacy and danger of my ‘situation’ informed me not to rock the boat unnecessarily. It wasn’t germane to be described as ‘right’, my priority was to get safe and get out.

    But did THEY not believe in one of their own most fundamental and enslaving dictums? How could they as healers withdraw me off the drugs and not be jeopardizing my safety and their own future liability…if “lifelong” was true for bipolar 1?

    DTS/DTO anybody? The implication of ‘suiciding’ was their favorite tool to keep me on the drugs; it suddenly never came up again! That was easy.

    This was never about medicine, it was business…cut a deal and move on. And they did.

    The obvious conclusion was a ‘cost/benefit’ decision. Better to cut me loose than deal with the brief but messy, and possibly loud clamor surrounding the anaphylaxis they had caused…an alarming ‘side effect’ they couldn’t assign to bipolar 1…. and medically and legally super-ceded any psychiatric smoke-screen of mystical mumbo-jumbo that always waved off those entities.

    It exposes their willingness to sacrifice their own credibility and protect their inviolate status among medicine and the public vs.the welfare of a client that they insisted UNTIL THE DAY OF the anaphylaxis, was SERIOUSLY-mentally-ill for life.


    Not exactly an ethical medical assessment of the circumstances; more “give her what she wants, she’s old and poor, she’ll go away quietly and gratefully”.

    The punchline here is that after my second appropriate email to APA hierarchy offering dialogue regarding OUR extraordinary relationship of 96,360 hours of an ‘extreme state’ caused by their treatment, I received the another ‘brush-off’ form letter but THIS time they added…wait for it…”If you are experiencing a medical crisis, please call 911 emergency services”.
    I fell off the sofa laughing, scaring the dog. It’s never THEM, it’s always YOU…like little children or addicts.

    Their lack of insight, humility, and sense of irony is disappointing from the experts on behavioral health….
    and no sense of humor either!

    But it certainly exposes their willingness to quickly abandon their own claimed ‘science’ supported absolutes, justifying all that damage and suffering…and make a deal ‘under the table’ resulting in any possible irritant or threat to Just. Go. Away.

    Their special relationship with the judiciary has taught them to ‘plea deal’ a “lifelong” medical diagnosis vis a’ vis their own legal exposure and ultimate goals…maintaining their death grip on clients.

  • Dr. Cornwall, Your lack of hubris combined with your apparent humility regarding the fingerprint-like uniqueness of the human experience is startling in it’s rarity.
    As an 11-year veteran of the industry’s psychotropic gladiator-school, I self-rescued and received an equally rare vacated bipolar 1 diagnosis and withdrawn SMI certification for my trouble; a 20-minute “lifelong” diagnosis nullified by an additional, perilous 2.5 year tightrope out the door.

    You represent a mythic, idyllic presentation of the perfect response to emotional expressions that compassionately challenges the APA’s influence on the “…American culture (that) has made almost any deviation from a continual smiley face into a psychopathology…”. (Leonard Sax)

    Good to know your engaged in this noble evolution.
    One of my biggest fears, after escaping-with the paperwork-was waiting to see if bitterness would be part of my embedded ‘make-up’. I feared the idea of a lifetime of bitterness. After 3 years of patience with my brain and body, I was delighted to find it wasn’t. To my surprise, I’m 2.0.

    Appropriate outrage, melancholy mourning for the losses, and a massive distrust of anyone connected with the system will be with me like a tattoo. Yet I find I can trust again, but oh-so-cautiously, and as of now, only from great distances, where I’m safe if I’m wrong.

  • Ms. Signes, I would like to repeat, I admire your steel when dealing with ‘distractions’ to the TOPIC presented in your essay. Staying ON TOPIC is fundamental to civil discourse. Your TOPIC is clear and easily identified.

    As I have read many ‘regulars’ exchange personal contact info on this forum in the past, check out your mail on your for more TOPICAL information regarding the issues presented here.

  • Ms. Signes, re: about being a ‘bad girl’…I was an iconoclast and pirate to nth degree when I got lassoed into my lost decade; complex sedation seemed to be the way to make me want a conventional life, a Stepford Wife.
    I wrote with more detail regarding the interior process in my July-August 2018, 4-part essay on, Dr. David Healy’s website- “The Unicorn: Changing a Diagnosis”.

    Part 2 & 3 are more detailed about how thoughts leading to a transformation; outrage and a clear assurance I was smarter than them all. All they cared about was the cost and liability issues. I had righteous ideology on my side (and research, legal experience, and preparation). I was dripping disdain…turned out I was right. They completely underestimated me.

    In the end I used that snarly energy to wrangle a massive reversal from the industry, with some luck and never giving up…and I was very ‘side-effect’ sick.

    Some people think expressing pride is unseemly. No one tells a Super Bowl champ they can’t be proud of their performance on the biggest stage… my ‘performance’ was much more significant.

    There are similar passages, as Dr. Healy allowed a much larger word count, etc. Sorry for any repetitions. I have a new essay coming out (somewhere) about how my exit doctor, following 2.5 years of trust, attempted to sexually blackmail me with only 30 days before release. Ugh.
    “Sex and Psychiatry: The Tranquilizing Drug of Trust…A White Knight Turns Dark”.

  • Ms. Signes, I applaud you in not only declaring succinctly how YOU feel regarding YOUR experience but ‘brushing back’ folks who attempt to disparage those views.

    My essay “Full Moral Status” Parts 1& 2 MIA/Feb & Comment section-may give u some insight on another perspective regarding this issue you have remarked on when publishing.

    Respecting any ‘veteran’s’ views on THEIR psychiatric experience & conclusions is essential on MIA…and everywhere else.

    Stand firm; your inherent graciousness should never be presumed as weakness or malleability waiting to be formed by another.


  • While this study gets a very broad view of the effects correct for many, it stops & pats itself on the back when summarizing…..ridiculous considering the ubiquitnous of the data that has been available in any community clinic or private practice for decades.

    Many would prefer to read about ‘the Fix’; stop prescribing any drug unless it’s SAFE.
    As it stands, that would be NEVER for what’s defined as ‘mental illness’….but some folks want that option.

    Overstating the obvious, bloodjessly discussing the need for responsible prescribing & expecting applause from the exploited and damaged is naive.

    As this represents some kind of scientific epiphany and insight is ridiculous and offensive.

  • Mr. Nikkei, I applaud your willingness to share the slow, often tedious, almost microscopic changes that you’ve observed & have as goals. To be engaged in the psychiatric system, AS IT IS, not how it should be, is daunting & thankless.

    The “perfect paradigm” is individually, idiosyncratically described. Many insist it MUST be ‘all (abolition) or nothing’, some support a reformation of sorts.

    The insistence of one’s own strong feelings as the only TRUE path for everyone else, parallels the absolutism (nothing more than opinions-diagnoses & treatments- by psychiatry) that they’re railing against. Irony squared.

    If nothing else I’ve learned from psychiatry (besides the danger I experienced), Talk is cheap…actions are the credible currency.

    When so much profit, cultural mores, & institutions are the target, change comes one small event at a time. Hard work involving showing up everyday and tackling the status quo is massively difficult.

    T. Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena” gives me inspiration. I’m sure you’re familiar.

    Kudos to you & your efforts.

  • Ms. Signes, I am familiar with the unsettling notion that when the last drug is gone, there may be no ‘there’ left.
    I allowed myself to feel & react to what came next: the PTSD thing was messy. After most of that had worked it’s way out like a splinter, I became open to tenatively feeling happiness. That became a mash-up of old and new memory-muscle and clear new choices.

    I found my brain was finally straining at the leash, rolling in the grass like a puppy.

    It was just waiting, healing, resting, & exuberant in it’s eagerness, firing on long-dormant cylinders.

    The relief was massive.

  • Hey Rachel777, Couldn’t agree more. Many comments incorporate the terms “we’ and “us”; who are they officially speaking for? If it’s a specific movement or philosophy, I gave no such authority. I got the distinct impression, neither did you.

    As ‘mental health/illness’ and all it’s semantic iterations are defined very personally, I am also confused and offended by these ‘universal truths’ that some pronounce…and in such an angry way.

    Anger at the industry is reasonable-many here probably agree- directing it at people who are being vulnerable and sharing private moments is to what purpose exactly? If it’s recruitment to your ‘side’, I don’t think it’s effective.

  • Dr. Moss, As I have been exploited and harmed by psychiatry, I often feel I can never trust the industry again…yet, having said that…I know redemption or change is possible in an individual’s heart and mind.
    Not all police will be a threat to people of color, although some are. Not all gang members are ‘down for life’; some work in the community to end the recruitment and terror. Not all priests are pedophiles.
    I have found threads on many sites there is an absolutism, a purist position that is antithetical to how real-life change occurs. Having an ideal world-goal in mind is admirable, but change happens gradually in most cases, regarding social inequities, injustice, and wrestling power from oppressors. And just talking will never take the place of action. It usually takes a lot of both.

    Gandhi, Dr. King, and Lincoln all negotiated their way to changes with the ‘enemy’, not achieving ‘utopia’, but without losing their fundamental way. Some ran out of time.
    Changing an entrenched, powerful institution like psychiatry will happen in increments, negotiations, and compromises; not at all satisfying to former victims. But that’s the world we live in, if history is any road map.

    I commend you for exposing yourself to a ‘tough’ crowd. Not many industry professionals will step off the pedestal or even ‘middle ground’ to deliver the ‘mea culpa’ and seemingly earnest interest in investing words AND action, changed behavior, in this particular convo.
    Choosing to define yourself as flawed or wrong AND changing your perspective publicly is solid. People can judge you as to your actions in the future.

    Throwing stones and spouting an absolutism regarding a topic that millions have varying personal opinions on, is hypocritical. I respect their position and suggestions, but.. It is often used as a cudgel against anyone who disagrees, even slightly.
    I repudiate anyone who attempts to define my experience and my conclusions. I’m able to articulate that for myself….as they do. I don’t think I know what’s best for anyone, absolutely or otherwise. Like everyone else’s, it’s both universal AND idiosyncratic. And finding common ground is validating. There is common ground in abundance. I do know that everyone is entitled to their opinion.
    I can choose off of the ala carte menu, of ideas and philosophies, forming my own perspective, noting my own caveats, like my spiritual beliefs.

    Some want to declare “What’s best for everybody, absolutely…”
    which is exactly what psychiatry is guilty, guilty, guilty of doing.

  • kindredspirit, If you don’t find value in my remarks, that’s fine., although I find your descriptor “sanctimonious” applied to my sharing, ironic, regarding some of your own posts.
    My suggestion; avoid mine in the future.
    As I use my full name, it shouldn’t be hard.

    Either way, my wish for you is to be happier. There is no debate. Chill out. Life is short.

  • Well, hey there kindredspirit, why you think I was “schooling you” and “rude” for expressing a counterpoint to a remark you made about figuratively (I assume) assaulting someone who chooses not to give help when someone asks… is baffling.
    As you read, I also acknowledged your experience and insight several times on the subject of shelter work and hard choices.

    For you to define what a “very small amount of income” is for the vet in question is impossible unless you’re their bookkeeper. I feel I can say with some certainty that you are not informed If the vet in question had already ‘helped’ 1, 2 or 10 ’emergencies’ that day, week, or month.
    Further, you reference vets intaking a sick animal regardless of payments. Yes, that has been my experience also. I missed that detail in KateL’s narrative. I thought it was because she was out of her home for a time.

    As far as vet’s contracts with vendors, of course, but again, not sure how that is relevant. And let me assure you, I am “so into animals”. But I don’t consider it a contest. You can be ‘more into animals’ than me…no problem.

    One more thing, your “let’s be real” remark indicates you’re upset,…was it my “diplomacy”, your word to describe my earlier Comment…or what exactly?

  • kindredspirit, you’re absolutely correct regarding many shelter policies. It was incorporated in our adoption contract that the animal would be returned to us should anything prevent the owner from providing. I lived in an area with many seniors who, by definition, had challenges occasionally. I directed a foster program for older animals who were often overlooked, pairing them with their human counterparts, with almost 400 clients..we picked up the tab for ongoing health care, but they had a foster home with an adoring, often isolated senior….a win, win, win.

    I take respectful exception to your somewhat angry comments regarding a vet’s practice providing boarding for an animal without an official arrangement. An emergency intake with no fixed p,u date can disrupt the already scheduled intake system which includes surgeries and accidents of their current client base. There are finite space/cage limitations, questions of liability regarding ongoing health care, and expenses involved. They might not know the animal’s medical history, possibly jeopardizing the other animals in place. The vet’s office is a business (not a dirty word) and just because it’s a medical practice lead by a doctor, does not translate to bushels of cash.

    The shelter I worked for was a destination/solution for hundreds of people a month, wishing to leave an animal with no intake fee (ours was the lowest in a very large county) for hundreds of reasons. Many were heartbreaking. We were emotionally blackmailed on the regular (ex,’ If u don’t take this cat, I’ll kill, drown, shoot it’). Our waiting list was always (for my 7 years there) 3 months long.

    There wasn’t enough cages, volunteers for care, food and medical supplies, or funding/$ to keep the lights on, pay employees, or maintain insurance and rent.

    The times we DID take pets in for health for financial hardship as boarders never ended well; the ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ syndrome with ugly social media posts and zero thanx.

    I’ve been poor and sick with an animal who needs care. It’s gut-wrenching at a time when you’re at your lowest.

    But there are 2 sides and you KNOW, having worked there… people who work in this industry are not indifferent to terrible situations of pet ownership; just the opposite.
    The hard, anguished decisions are every single day. The saying in the business, so you don’t burn out too quickly, is that “You can’t save them all”.
    Unfortunately… I feel sure you know this to be true.
    This is ‘off-topic’ for MH specifically, but there are many threads that wander somewhat…and I expounded on the topic of the benefits of shelter work earlier.

    Perhaps KateL can approach a shelter just to ‘socialize’ the existing population, a little grooming, play, and/or feeding,,no stress, once a week for an hour or so, not taking on too much responsibility and interaction with staff. Small steps. I can’t imagine a shelter turning that valuable contribution away.

  • The ‘way out’ for me and many I know was to rouse ourselves from the isolating comfort of our bedrooms, homes, keyboards, relentless routine of self-examination, ‘picking a scab’, and help others.

    It’s not deep or original; many will reject it out of hand, it’s tired, it’s trite, it’s blah, blah, blah…I can’t find any interests….I hate people…no one understands MY specific pain….I’m uncomfortable…

    Getting outside my own head was rewarded with PERSPECTIVE…a dry, boring, undramatic term……. that only quietly changes everything. But you’ve got to show up.

    I learned that mine was (very, very) far from the worst circumstances and tragedy that can happen to a human being or living creature. I had been saturated for years by shame, anger, damages, nobody ‘gets’ it-itis, and queen-of-pain syndrome. And apparently comfortable there for awhile. I was not confined to a wheelchair, and despite my interior denials, I still had freedom of choice as to how I was going to spend my time on earth.
    I had to come to terms with ‘it’s not a contest’, ‘get in line’….and some tough self-love.

    Occasionally writing Comments here and there and reading about others had a limited effect after awhile; seemingly cathartic, but to what end? For me, the answer was more of the same, on an endless loop. I had to step off. I was devoting most of my time immersed in the situation and people from the past that I loathed the most. I CHOSE to do this. I was giving away my power and years freely to these old monsters. Eeeuuw.

    Volunteering took awhile (years), but what it delivered in pride of alleviating the suffering of those less fortunate, was tiny compared to the maturity, humility, compassion, and PERSPECTIVE it delivered.

    I did this while I was still in the machine, suffering everyday with side effects that made me legless at times. The beauty of volunteering is that you can bow out during the rough patches; they’re delighted to have you back whenever you can come..guilt free & for me, with an abundance of compassion.
    It was transformational.

    For me, it was easier to relate to animals and like-minded folks. There was less talk and more eyeball-to-eyeball with unwanted, non-judgemental, damaged critters who only saw their position in the world through the lens of kindness vs pain, contentment vs fear, survival vs death. I could relate.

    My heartrate dropped, anxiety diminished, well-being creeped in, and I allowed myself to trust and feel things, even when the outcome wasn’t positive, which happened too often.

    And THAT was a big test; would I careen into sadness? No, there was always more (unfortunately) that needed what I could offer. Staying home and being depressed was self-indulgent when they sat in cages waiting for a small kindness; I could deliver that and STILL be depressed, if I chose. They just wanted a little pat on the head and some fresh water.

    Yeah, I took Tai Chi, Qi Gong, etc., but it just reinforced what I was being schooled in every interaction at the shelter regarding unfairness, cruelty, and pain.

    They don’t care what your past is, they only know NOW…the “Be Here Now”-Eastern philosophy stuff turns out to be true. Take what is valuable from the past, cut away the rest, and keep it moving towards Happy, even if ‘you don’t mean it’. The ACTION is the therapy. It’s not pretentious or deep. I was astonished how simple and clear it became for me.

    I know my Comments are long, but I don’t frequently Comment and have to gather it all up after reading others. I’m also aware of how easy this will be to dismiss and perhaps mock. I’m fine with that.

  • Hi Dr. Moss, I loved your essay. Having been in the ‘beast’ for 11 years and finally fighting my way out with a vacated diagnosis, I felt uncomfortable and ashamed when people asked why I didn’t get out sooner. I was aware that at diagnosis I felt a kind of relief at the moment of vulnerability that the experts recognized something and had a plan. I didn’t, which was why I was there. Out of my hands, into theirs. Unburdened. EZ-PZ…and that made me responsible or the next decade, my fault. It’s taken years to dig myself out of that self-blaming.

    What was to come was not what I thought I was signing up for.
    Being drugged with the side effects initially felt like a penance of sorts (the industry allowed me to think just that) and others I met shared those incongruous feelings. Over the years as I got more profoundly blunted, sicker, and more damaged from the side effects, I realized that it was sinister and there was nothing wrong with me that warranted this kind of ‘correction’/punishment. Not one damn thing.

    Of course, I had been relieved of any credibility at the moment of diagnosis. Being drugged, I could have fallen back into the stuporous ennui that defined me for a decade. Finding the energy and intellectual organization on the drugs to make an effective push-back was out of my reach.
    Fear and rage finally propelled me out. It was a controlled violence towards my captors and I took back what was salvageable.

    My point is that while I was ‘in’ the system, I was active in groups and had eyes wide open to what was going on around me. I know there were folks very comfortable with the identity of the diagnosed bipolar. I knew that feeling. I have no doubt in my mind they were some also comfortable being described by a doctor instead of tackling the hard bits of life. I also think many people don’t have the skill set to navigate life for all kinds of ‘legitimate’ reasons. And depression in others confounds and frightens me. I only know it as a side effect. Each person’s ‘story’ is as different as fingerprints. My takeaway was that the drugs sooner or later exacerbated any pejoratives, reinforcing more drug ‘treatment’. And that’s some Texas-sized BS there. And it’s not new news.

    I believe the marketing machine of pharma and the APA have successfully convinced many that a bipolar diagnosis is the indicator of a sensitive, good individual dealt a crappy hand and defines them as ‘special’ and cared for. Maybe. No
    I only believe THAT from a non-prescription writing psychologist whose only skin in the game is an expanding client base. Talking good, drugs bad.

    You struck just the right note when explaining what you’ve seen and it takes some big ones to say that in your professional context here on MIA.

    The fear everybody has in criticizing the diagnosed when most know the ‘inside baseball’ game of ambiguous language, false diagnoses, meta-drugs, and retaining conscription, is self-defeating.

    The industry has been correctly defamed for their venal behaviors, yet there are a few ‘good ones’ (doctors); conversely, people have terrible challenges they need help overcoming, but languishing in a diagnosis to wield it as an excuse happens also. We can hold more than one view of an enormously complex model.

    As a feminist, it reminds me of the few bad apples who use false sexual assault claims that poison the well for the many, many more true victims. Or the recent Smollet case where many are conflicted or a wide variety of cultural reasons; it should be “it’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove”. But sometimes we just know and that’s still an opinion…. Psychiatry has taught us unintentionally that only works sometimes. Their claim of absolutes is specious and inflicts harm.

    You spoke about a taboo among clients and former clients and good for you. You got it just right. I’m glad you had the boldness to put it out there.

    I apologize for being long-winded. You hit a nerve that I believe, only the diagnosed (& the diagnosers) understand. It’s messy.

  • My goodness, Ms. Morrill, this self-important, naval-gazing, “studying”, “examining”, & “analyzing” research is darkly hilarious.
    All this verbal mincing around the client’s “lack of opportunity to make explicit requests” is insulting to many in the ‘trenches’.

    With respect…and real-life insight gained from 11 years of private & state-funded psychiatry, coast to coast…may I suggest you apply your study of “the impact of social violence” directly to the topic of this specious little report.

    Were you ‘just sharing’ or do you think this tepid, pearl-clutching is significant somehow to anyone outside of the zone of academia?

    The interaction in most appointments is NOT a dry, polite exchange (as the previous Comments attest), it’s a regular mugging, an assault on client’s rights, health, & short & long-term safety; shrieking, contorting, on-your-knees suffering.

    This article’s attempt at sanitizing this “social violence” (your field) at med checks in the name of mental health care, is mightily offensive. There is no respectful listening to a client, no responsive actions taken, just ‘cost & liability’ considerations.
    Side effects are authoritativly declared trivial or (clients ALL know this by heart)-SYMPTOMS. And that’s a Full Stop.

    There, mystery solved….now ‘study’ how to, psychologically of course, supress the conflict-of-interest gene in psychiatrists; nature or nurture? Talk among yourselves.
    We’ll be waiting right here.

  • Hi Gina, thank u for your Comments. I hope there was some encouragement for u, knowing it’s possible. The “Art of War” had a calming, clarity for my beseiged existance at the time. I can’t recommend it enough for organizing my strategy & tactics while containing my drugged, hyperbolic emotions.

    For a few more details of my situation; “A Unicorn: Changing a Medical Diagnosis”, July-August 2018, 4-part series. Part 2 may interest u regarding the genesis…it was a pedestrian beginning to the grand guignol that would follow.

  • 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.