Showing 39 of 39 comments.
Thank you again, Peter. This is sad and disturbing, and necessary to have published
I think Lawrence Clemenson might have Oppositional Defiance Disorder!
I love this piece, thank you!! I secretly wish you would include more of the confusion between anti-authoritarian leanings/behavior and “ADHD” in your reference to the true nature of kids’ “behavior problem”; another “annoying” behavior that is an obvious sign of “brain disease”!
Zenobia consistently coming in with the heat on MIA; So spot-on and illuminating!!! And, I agree with the sentiment that stripping the context does serve to reinforce “positivity” ideology & general neoliberal (late) capitalism and the 1984/Brave New World hybrid reality that both have created.
This material is like a floodlight on the tangled heart of the issues that I believe plague our human society; not declaring an absolute truth (or serving as another alleged “authority”), but aptly exposing the parts of reality that get erased by the dominant narrative. In other words, quality journalism.
Sera I was literally thinking about the last time I was silenced in the beginnings of opening up my own graphic detail, and opened MIA to avoid the pain (obviously lol, no one wants to hear it and I need to act Sane today), and read THIS piece.
I agree with you – every last bit. Also, if I can echo your statement and use some profanity in the comments, “Fuck this idea that what I had to live through may be too much for you to hear laid out in words.” This is a sentiment everyone needs to hear, and choose to either continue avoiding or begin to embrace.
Just thank you for pointing out the egregious psychic violence in the silencing of the core issue. Thank you.
Kelly, I’m slapping the kitchen counter and yelling, alone. This is beautiful. This is truth. This is precise and expansive, both in the best ways.
The power (yes, power) your words embody through the screen and the pixelated text is pulling me through to the next part of a very powerful journey.
I VERY MUCH aspire to be my own, real self, with the degree of power and self-security you carry into your body of work, and your physical self. You are what my generation calls a “Bad B—-,” which is a very high compliment. It’s not quite enough, though.
I also very much hope to work with you in a professional capacity when my own vision of power and security materializes outside of my current circumstances. We would make an absolutely fantastic, spiritually & “ideologically” compatible team – I have enough fierceness to contribute to the mission, believe me.
Back to the article – every word is precise and powerful. Want to know which part was the best? Read the whole thing back to yourself – that whole part was the best.
Kelly. This writing has great value to a person in an experience of madness. Thank you. Please keep contributing to MIA – I feel we need you.
Dr. B just laid out the whole truth with no apologies. Made my morning, as heavy as the material is.
I agree that psychiatry and its “theories” are as valid as a bad joke and should be treated as such. It always sounded funny to me that my brain was the culprit of my disengagement from abusive environments and people!
Nurture is too powerful in the human brain & mind to be considered second in relevance to the still-unmapped science of neurochemistry. Large bodies of research on the subject at large seem to be floating at large distance between each other, (or being kept at that distance) because the meeting of these varieties of knowledge would reconcile quite a bit of the “unknown” of “mental illness.”
Thank you for laying it out succinctly and accurately.
I personally think of these kinds of exposures to traumatic information as traumas themselves; kind of in the vein of a woman hearing of atrocities that have happened to people of the same gender, which is psychologically damaging even if she, herself, hasn’t had traumatic experiences of gender-based violence at that point. Instead of gender, though, I think each of us are affected by the knowledge of how others are treated, on the basis of our common ground as beings of emotion and comprehension. Children are naturally distressed when they see violence against non-human animals, which is another “3rd party” exposure to cruelty. This is just an opinion, but I also think that it’s in our evolutionary nature as humans to psychologically start out with (and seek out) the maximum sensitivity we can manage. After all, our power doesn’t seem to be in class, venom, or night vision, but rather with flexibility of adaptation. Sensitivity lends itself to learning and adaptation, in environments that are suitable, or traumatic, or some blend of features of both. In other words, it may not be a feature of psychological sensitivity that a person is so affected by what happens to others. It may just seem exceptional because of how widespread the adaptation of disassociating, becoming dismissive, or otherwise avoiding the material (emotional & otherwise) has become, which creates an illusory norm in society that we should not be affected by hearing these things.
Do you see the playing out of these “small” (of course in reality, very big) traumas as coming from the source of larger traumas? The kind written about here? I’ve seen research that says a person who has experienced trauma becomes more susceptible to effects of additional trauma afterwards. It sounds to me like you and Robert are talking about the same phenomenon, just looking at different parts of its scope (from society at large, to the lives of the individuals in it).
Alex, I have to agree and to tell you how refreshing it is to hear someone else recognize the collective trauma of human society – and the very collective, truly epidemic burdens it has foisted upon us, even before we are old enough to escape or manage it.
This is seriously sci-fi… thank you for reporting accurately and compassionately
THANK YOU, BOB!!
It is truly up to us, the many people watching with very critical eyes what the system is doing.
Difficult? Uphill? Of course!
But look, resources in the form of testimony, investigation, research, medicine… and now, more and more, advocacy planning.
Thanks to people like you who help us lead and lead us too. MIA keeps me at my work when the road looks rough and exhausting – I’m very excited to bring this with me to my new home state where IOC programs are legal… we are everywhere, and it’s time to get organized and effective on the local level. THANK YOU.
What a relief, I thought I “lacked insight” 😉
Topher, business model indeed. The first paragraph of what you wrote is especially telling, and given that having these labels does actually open a person to discrimination, it’s like the “anti-stigma” crowd is really pro-stigma. Sadly, a lucrative business model… effective, too, when one recognizes as you have that calling bullshit effectively ropes you into it against your will. Totally self-contained, anything human can create growth in that industry it seems.
Beyond a joke.
Rachel, I’m sorry to hear you’ve encountered such obscene ignorance from psych “professionals”… while it’s not uncommon, I think the one you encountered might have been rare, so hopefully you have pictures so that we can document this new breed of callous bullshitter!
That said, I hope there’s hope for people like me who have “woke to psychiatry’s bullshit” on their list of must’s in a partner. Can we do a MIAmatchmaker.com or something, to help us find like-minded singles? lol (except i would totally sign up)
No time for the sidelines, indeed!!
Thank you for this piece, David. I feel so refreshed when I hear people seriously use the word “revolution” in this context.
My first thought in reading what you’ve put together: might it be a good idea to hire/ask for help from some “grassroots” experts on activism in other, more “mainstream” areas? I think of the animal-rights campaigns I have participated in via Mercy for Animals and The Humane League, and the way a daily/weekly email schedule with one or two tasks each (call a congressman/business, tweet back, among others), and how these created public media storms & private disruptions in business that have accomplished quite a bit. Maybe a few people well-versed in this kind of coordination can help MFI, MIA, or any of us willing to sign up behind a central source of direction, to create public campaigns that are cohesive & direct? Having a consistent presence in the public discourse, however small, I think is a necessary foundation in the new millenium.
I think also that dissident psychiatrists (as people “above” the marginalized status of “patient”) directly speaking out together can make more of the waves that bring the movement into the public discourse. We humble readers tend not to be well-connected, but maybe you or someone in your circle could convene these folks? (Naturally it can pose a risk to them, I know.)
Another idea, and this is my favorite, pitching an exposé-style documentary on Mr. Torrey to Netflix, which seems to be a company willing to make a few waves in general, given not only the anti-authoritarian media they’ve distributed to date, but also the sprinklings of anti-pharma (even anti-psychiatry… yes!) media they’ve profited off of showcasing. I can see Dr Breggin and Mr Whitaker giving their two cents as accomplished professionals – documentary watchers like me love that stuff, and having those names go more public to the younger generation is also good news in my opinion.
Also, I have been doing some volunteer freelance-style advocacy for people currently under psychiatric coercion – showing a very watchful eye to physicians, BEFORE people become incarcerated or incapacitated, can be enough in many cases to shake the system off of a person’s back before the claws are too deep. I believe that organizing some standard messages to send to psychiatrists, (re: “harmed by their care,” “possibilities of pursuing legal action,” general “ahem I’m watching” ‘s) at their “patients’ ” request, wouldnt be too hard. Anyone can act as a patient advocate, so these documents or templates could act as resources for people to send on behalf of friends, siblings, parents, you name it. MFI already has a good program for rallying behind those whose voices are stolen, so I think that this written/digital version could help in the same efforts 🙂
Thank you for being clear Mr. Oaks. I’m digging the standing chair ♥️
Call Mr. McLaren!! New evidence is now coming forward that Psychiatry is Bullshit! Who would have known he was right??
Thank you again, Peter!!
Rachel, you’re right!! Anecdotal evidence is only valid when it works for the dominant paradigm, otherwise it’s “just one case” >:(
I have to say my withdrawal story sounds a lot like yours – full will to live, little physical ability to feed my body… which I need in order to live. They don’t warn us about the chronic illness risk, of course. Add that to the list :/
Much the same with the tragic beginning of “treatment” as well. I’m sorry these trash pills have interrupted your life so powerfully. I hope your actual (!!) physical illness resolves over time and with your spirit behind it!!
Peter, in my opinion you always add and expose extremely important information, and the striking figures you bring into the conversation are always appreciated, if tragic. I can’t tell you how much of your writing on MIA I’ve shared with people in my life, and how it has REALLY affected their perspective. This stuff is the honesty that’s desperately lacking in the psychiatry and pharma industries.
Thank you for bringing the truth, man. Another thing that helps me feel and act “sane” when I need to 🙂 I’m sure a lot of others feel the same way.
I never knew Matt, but to summarize a gigantic tidal wave of words, I’m inspired by his work. Very inspired. I have respect for his decision to leave this world and to disengage from hope when it was gone, not that I particularly encourage that for anyone. The complexity of finding so few places and people to truly blame must have been overwhelming for you, given the capacity of your brain and heart – it’s always harder for people who seek the truth like that, rather than the comfort of the many available delusions. I have a deep respect for what he’s created and accomplished, it’s even a comfort to know that we are really not crazy at all.
Thanks for everything, man. I hope you’re resting somewhere that, when we’re lost in a sea of other people’s delusions about us, you can let us know we’re not crazy. Thank you for helping with the foundation of the modern movement of MIA… you’ll love the house when it’s fully built ♥️<3
I’ll be on the lookout for more, Fred. My guess at this point is that this is a “delicate” introduction to some anti-anti-stigma 🙂
Thanks for putting down the money in favor of something less… beneficial to the pharmaceutical industry!
As a non-denominational Christian, I have to say I really appreciate this article.
By nature, many major monotheistic religions DO call for faith in their followers, rather than reliance on physical “proof” to justify the call to unity and compassion. From a purely logical perspective, “delusional” as it is used here is probably appropriate.
Yet, still a common goal for egalitarian (not barbaric) society is for religious people to continue to be held accountable for any violence or oppression they cause. Psychiatry knows no such bounds.
My faith brings me so much purpose, resiliency, and will to be kind and forgiving, like faith does for many people. What does psychiatry offer except for indoctrination & conformity? A manufactured “acceptance” at the cost of our own minds?
A true dogma – it’s amazing how quickly and nearly completely the West has accepted this Kool-Aid in the absence of science.
God doesn’t ask me to hang on to false “proof” of his power and goodness. Psychiatry maintains that no faith is required for the pills to work; they have been “proven effective.”
Thank you for the article, as always.
“If all this sounds harsh, I’m glad. We must communicate the seriousness of the problem by the emotion we show. We are not university lecturers but public educators.”
Thank you, Mr. Coleman. I agree wholeheartedly.
Fleshing out the common sense that underlies your entire sentiment in this article, into a clear demonstration of the genuinely delusional current paradigm of psychiatry as you have, is exhausting for many of us who have survived – including me.
That sentence was a little exhausting, too, but my point is: all of this needs to be said, clearly and directly… again, and again, and again. So I truly appreciate your voice and how you’ve used it here.
I also love having pieces like this that I can forward to people in my life who ask, “What do you mean you’ve ‘survived’ psychiatry? What’s wrong with it?”. It confirms my own sanity for me as well!
Much love, Lee <3
You stole the words from my mouth!! I hate to overuse the term, but… this is just common sense. Thank you.
Miranda, thank you for adding this to this conversation. So aptly put, so needed by so many.
Amen, Steve. Agreed!
I am so late to the party, but… thank you for this article. It feels truly liberating and relieving in a strange way, to hear someone express exactly what you have here, with the forcefulness that is genuinely warranted. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
I also hope I never meet this buzzfeed contributor in person.
It has been a while since your story was first posted, but what a gift that it is still here for me to stumble upon in a hard moment like the one I’m having now!
What a beautiful healing and attitude there is in your life. You are inspiring. YOU get to decide the meaning of your own mind, and I am so happy for you for having taken that opportunity in this life. It is no small feat to have healed physical problems like you have, much less the emotional turmoil you went through! I’m sure the suffering was greater than you had space to write about here, and still your graciousness is what shines so beautifully just from the page 🙂
I am truly glad for you for having left the system behind, and for your new joy in your relationships with people who matter – Congratulations!!! I hear it only gets better, and I hope to read more from you sometime as well. I love that you’re offering healing to people through Reiki as well… you’re just a blessing!!! Thank you for finding and sharing the goodness that the system can’t destroy.
I’m sure you have already have an incredible amount of knowledge on healing (or else you wouldnt be so successful!!), but for what it’s worth, fasting has created unbelievable (“impossible”) change for my mind and body. Dr Fung writes a lot about it online, but he is far from the only source… he may not even be the most knowledgable! That avenue always exists, and I hope you have/you do experience the joy of it at some point if that’s what works for you. I know only more goodness can come to you as your mind and heart call out to it and it makes its way to you!
Stay well and take care!! Enjoy your freedom!
Rachel777, thanks for mentioning Schindler’s List… a relevant anecdote:
When I was about 14, I still didnt have any relationship with my oldest sister. She was mean to me, I was mean back. I didnt know her, she didnt know me. Somehow, we wound up watching the movie Schindler’s List by ourselves. When it was over, we sobbed in each other’s arms in a moment of true recognition of the value of love and humanity between us. We are still close today.
What pill could ever replicate such a profound impact? I am of the mind that pharmacy of any variety cannot cure or even ameliorate emotional or social distress in any meaningful way. Connection is the cure for loneliness, because loneliness is the suffering of a lack of connection. Chemistry is irrelevant to the issue – by bringing physiology to the table in a discussion about loneliness, only confusion and trouble can be created. Enough is enough!
Thank you, Vicki, for illuminating so many of the considerations necessary in the face of such a scary implication by modern medicine.
Enjoy that fabulousness!! It warms my heart to hear these details of coming back to what you’ve loved… in whatever way I can even grasp it, I’m truly sorry for your losses. To say it stings is quite an understatement. I’m still glad to hear you’re regaining these joys – I hear from BeyondMeds that it does keep getting better!
Your experience at the shelter is odd for me to hear about, too – in a sort of similar way, I always was disturbed by the things that happen to animals, much more so for some reason after the drugs started. After finally coming off, the weight of the knowledge hit me fresh like a ton of bricks (could write a book about that). Now, working with animal rights organizations has its way of showing me forward into peace as i extend the same compassionate and efforts to the animals… turns out, under the surface I always felt like one of them, in the factories. Realized it in October ’18, strangely enough.
But now it’s clear we’re both onto bigger, beautiful things! You’re so far ahead of me in terms of time spent free, and I aspire to have your attitude when I “catch up” in the time passed. I agree that these plans will happen, and I can sense that any humility or grace or further fabulousness you seek will either come to you, or you’ll create it. It’s an exponential sort of path, and I’m glad a kindred spirit like you is on it. Outreach back to the folks who were left behind can only bless you now.
If you keep writing, please post it to MIA! I look forward to reading whatever you offer. Thank you for this piece and your kindness, and congratulations again! Breathe that freedom, homegirl
Krista! You are so fabulous!!
I understand what you’re saying about narrative driving you forward, an amazing thing, isn’t it? Once I said the words, “I am going to rip the throat out of big pharma with my own teeth,” suddenly everything i had to do became more clear and direct. Served cold, indeed; doing it under their noses for my own freedom was one thing, but doing the same for the sake of others is as sublime as it is morbid to experience. It warms my soul to think of someone like you really living in their freedom, and with purpose, which is something many folks never grasp. Good for you, congratulations – you’ve blessed me by sharing it, too!
“…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.”
Like music to my ears… you are clearly too smart for the system to let go without a fight. Too bad they forgot you had a mind of your own… well, I guess it’s not that bad 😉
Your aha moment echoes my own, although different. Maybe you could write about that? I suggest it because I would LOVE to hear it from you in particular, not to mention it could offer some spark for some individual reader… who knows, endless possibilities!
I can totally see how there is a good measure of technical tedium involved for the future; I hope you notice your drive surpassing every obstacle as it does. It is No. Small. Feat!! Yet you remain fabulous, with solid foundations in your self and your plans. I can’t wait to hear news on the project as it inevitably unfolds!! [Maybe The Withdrawal Project (inner compass initiative) would be interested in taking part?]
Yes. Yes! If I had some capital to invest, this exact framework would be right where I’d put it – regardless of failure or success.
On-the-ground is where it’s needed; of course we know FMS is not available to “patients,” and of course the system knows it, too. Further communication with the system as it is, from critical organizations, only gives the illusion of progress towards the FUNDAMENTAL change/compromise… which would hopefully be to stop incarcerating or drugging people, ever. They don’t want to change, and they don’t have to.
And thousands are held captive. These thousands are a priority, and I love what you’ve put together here and marvelously gleaned from all of your experiences. The way you’ve put it together is perfect in my opinion, concise, and TRUE. If only I could find out what it is in the human mind that sparks that “Aha” moment, the disengagement from emotion (however valid) that then gives birth to determination for survival.
Your sudden determination was powerful, and obviously still is. I think it may take a certain amount of “cynicism” (read: experience) in any given reader who takes this pitch, to understand how correct your whole perception really is. It is a business, a cruel one, clearly. Everything you’ve outlined here can massively serve the people inside the system who is able to choose to use the resources, in spite of their inhumane situations.
Our factual victim status can absolutely wind up in the back seat behind the miraculous human capability to survive… even if just for an hour at a time, and even isolated, even in a deeply drugged and compromised physical & emotional state. I’ve done it, I don’t know how it happens, you’ve done it, but I do know that reading this Part II woke up some of that old fire in myself.
… maybe the first information any user of this future database receives could be just what you’ve written here. Something about it is gripping and compassionate without maybe even meaning to be. A potential wake-up call for the soul? Who knows; I love your idea, and I love that you’re out living the good life. Much respect.
I mean to say this particular writing is just right for a fairly mainstream outlet to publish; it’s not highly technical, and it makes a very pertinent point with the story. There are single articles and papers that can refute every claim of the system, but these are so direct that they naturally get snuffed out. This story is relatable, sadly, and Sera makes her point concisely and by illustrating how it went down. To the unfamiliar, it can even come off as morbid humor, a very popular thing right now in the media. Keep doing what you do, Sera.
And what purpose did it serve for these ASIST folks to disrupt your life, violate your privacy, and cause the dehumanizing harm that they’ve become blind to from overexposure?
“The answer lies in power and dominance.”
I’m very sorry to hear about this happening to a person I respect (albeit from afar). I would call it shocking, but this framework of “help” and “safety” is very much the norm as we all know. Still disgraceful, considering the minimum humanity I would hope all people deserve to be treated with.
What you’ve written here has actually explained the problems of inefficacy (!!!) and exploitation of almost all of the many, many aspects of the current “suicide-prevention” paradigm that are so noxious to society, MORE clearly than I’ve ever read from any article explicitly about that topic… the way you’ve written this is very particular, subtle and powerful – an extremely valuable piece of writing that has the power to impact the system itself, and I’m sorry that it had to come from such circumstances.
I’m excited to see whose desk, and which publications, this story winds up on. I believe you’re set to light a rare, public spark on the mountain of clinical injustices and similar stories. Your writing is a gift – thank you, Sera. I’m sorry for the way things are, but as you know, there are a lot of us and we are bolder than most.
Very well put… plus, if their patients’ grief has to be labeled illness, then what willingness does any given psychiatrist have to admit their own grief? Perhaps they need to dip into their own supply, God knows it would be quite the learning experience!
I’m deeply sorry for the experiences you’ve had with the system. There is no excuse for that kind of torture.
I often revisit this article, to keep myself sane… after over a decade on drugs I did not want to take, I have fought very hard to understand how the abuse happened, and there are far too many people who insist that I change my mind. I feel much less like a “clinically insane” person after I can review what I’ve learned about the nature of psychiatry, conveniently summarized in this article with ample evidence to boot. Thank you Niall.
This article is so wonderful and, “in my opinion,” desperately needed for today’s society!
I would quote the most salient parts of it, but I genuinely feel every word of this needed to be said.
I’m a little shocked I haven’t heard the phrase “psychiatric medication saved my life” discussed from this perspective before. I have had this phrase used against me, about me, about others, and as a general “end of story” in some of the strangest and most stressful conversations I have ever had. I think it’s clear that you’re right in pointing out that this perspective has a very loud and well-established platform already, one that often silences criticism of psychiatry, by hiding behind what seems to be both a scientific AND a personal statement about psychiatric drugs.
After all, when someone says these drugs saved their life, what decent person can “argue” that it’s not true? If someone were to say that psychiatric drugs destroyed their life, however, I’ve seen it’s generally well-accepted to argue against that statement.
Also interestingly, you bring up how street drugs can possibly be credited in saving lives this way. I feel this way about my own experience with non-psychiatric drugs, and I know others who do too. (Interestingly, none of us feel that they are a first or even second best option for dealing with distress; me and the people I know are all pained to remember how desperate we were when we turned to them.) That subject also seems foreign or irrelevant to some people when brought up in these contexts, but I deeply appreciate that you’ve mentioned it here!!! Hopefully in the future, people will generally be less skittish in discussing the nuance involved in the topic.
The movement for a (any) solid and established alternative to psychiatry is definitely still young, and articulate pieces like yours bring us all forward.
Thank you so much for this article; on a personal level, it’s soothing even to read it and know that there is understanding for this perspective.
Thank you Sera, this article is beautifully written and extremely timely and relevant!! I cannot add a single thing, you have hit the nail on the head in my opinion. This is also perfectly written to explain the concept of language’s importance without delving too deep into semantics (which often loses the less-curious person’s attention).
I especially appreciate what you’ve written about “triggers.” I realize I’ve recognized the same issues as you have in that regard, but you’ve put my sentiment into words in a way even I couldn’t until now.
I think this article can (and should) also be a resource to other organizations and people in pursuit of justice, in their work to understand the finer points of how oppressive systems are reinforced by the participation of the masses.
It’s always beautiful to hear that someone understands how oppressive this system is, and to know that the intent of language like this is not totally lost on everyone. Thank you, Thank you for writing this!!!