Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Comments by Fred Moss, MD

Showing 69 of 69 comments.

  • These stories are so truthful and heartfelt and horrible and real. I am so grateful to have been on this side of the sharing.

    I submit that being alive alone is evidence that the treatment was not necessary, and still being alive has the challenge of actually making a difference somehow, as a very real possibility, grim as the prospect of that might appear to be.

    Thank you all for this eye opening thread.

    Dr F

  • If what medications actually did was actually pacify those who took them, it would be one thing and bad enough. But if in fact, they are causing or at least perpetuating the symptoms that they are marketed to treat, that is a disservice at an entirely different level.

    I am not at all certain that that is not exactly what these medications are doing, all the while leaving the illusion that pacifying the medicated was the primary desired, intended and achieved function.

  • If they don’t know that it totally broken, then a good place to start would be to simply inform them. Although ignorance is no defense to a crime committed, positive change, in my experience can only occur with dialogue, uncomfortable as that might be to consider. Anger does not always have to be displayed as disrespect especially when confronting the truly blinded.
    Many, (and clearly not all, unfortunately) mental health professionals truly believe that they are doing what is right, even when it is many clear to others that they are far from that. But if they don’t even know, and sometimes they really don’t, respectful conversation is the first prerequisite necessary to affect any transformative change. Is it possible?

  • Thank you for this thoughtful response. I feel I am in a position to at least catalyze a shift, even to a small extent, but also realize that lots of damage has been done and some sort of scaled reconciliation/peace, or even completion is a ludicrously lofty task to consider.

    If the voices are lost in any direction, then those possibilities that the voices might have carried are lost too.

    One step at a time….large steps when possible, in the direction of what matters and making a difference while we are here.

  • I find myself humbly educated by the responses here. My notion that it is not just the clinicians who are involved in making it what it is, is met with emotional and deeply personal and heartfelt rebuttal. Point taken, with gratitude.

    Is there any miracle of events, any set of circumstances that would now be presently unfathomable, that could leave us in a place of looking at each other across “the table” and even mustering up forgiveness, acceptance and a path forward? Any?

    What would it take to at least begin a path in that direction? Or the the toast too burnt to even consider recovery?

    Maybe it is that just a pipe dream, an event that only can live in imagination and nowhere else? Or maybe, just maybe….. ?

  • Thank you, oldhead, for this acknowledgement. I am STILL a psychiatrist, who renounces many pieces of what it presently means to be one. Like a Viet vet, the fact that I am one never changes, and maybe more importantly, having been one, does not dictate that I stand for all of what it has been to be one. I have committed atrocities in my past, like all of us have, and refuse to see them as anything less than atrocities, upon becoming aware of the often grossly negative impact that these acts have had on others, and myself.
    I do however remain a psychiatrist, committed to transforming the narrative of what it means to be one. It’s an uphill battle, perhaps, and the first step, like a GPS, is to get in touch with exactly where we are, in order to head towards a new healing direction, if there ever should be such a thing.

  • I really do not see anyone, anywhere as being mentally ill or in any way more mentally sick than any other person. That goes for all 7.6 billion of us on the planet. The “sick” (diagnosed) are sometimes self-described as such, and see themselves as a group with similar concerns and desires. Often they have been guided that way by the so called “not sick” diagnosers (who in many ways deserve the title “sick” even more than those they are describing, by taking on the audacious notion that they can call anybody else “sick”). Ultimately, one group is not very much in touch with the workings of the other and a dangerous “us and them” mentality arises and polarizes the already nearly un-reviveable mess we are in, making any progress that might be made even less readily available.

    When I use the words “sick” and “not sick”, it was meant to be essentially rhetorical. Would it have been better if I would have used italics initially? Please pardon me. From the patient’s standpoints, the clinicians are the “them”, and the patients are the us. From the clinician’s standpoint, it is of course the other way around.
    Once embroiled into the system, however, the power does seems to shift. I am suggesting that maybe one’s power is never actually totally usurped, (see V. Frankel, Man’s Search for Meaning) though certainly the sense of imprisonment that some face in this mental health system is unfathomable from an uneducated, outsider’s perspective. I am sorry if that is what your experience is, and it is my life’s intention to make a dent in this dynamic so that these misrepresentations and misdeeds are no longer propagated by a system which declares itself to be a helping profession.

  • What an amazing recollection of your experience you present here. Borderline Personality Disorder is such a difficult diagnosis to endure, for all of its implications, including its apparent incurability, its descriptive criteria and the way that clinicians make meaning and then deal with the BPD person upon learning that, as their diagnosis, one to be aware of and not to get too close to.
    You reference a rather hopeless spiral for the (mostly) women, that accurately does eminate from an upside down world and then creates the condition’s supposed symptoms as a rather predictable direct result of receiving the diagnosis in the first place and how one is interacted with subsequently once it is established.
    The inherent entrapment you describe is palpable. Thank you for your courage to articulate your experience so boldly.

  • Your thoughtful and comprehensive reply is greatly appreciated. Thank you, Krista.

    The ability to see this as a personal and sociological phenomena, as a multi-dimensional atrocity that is obscured and tainted by whatever viewpoint one can take from the standpoint they are in at any time, and to be articulately descriptive about it all is a gift that you possess. An extraordinary gift at that.

    The way through all of this towards any transformative gain, in my view, starts with really being able to see where we (as humans generally) all are now with respect to this topic of “mental illness”. We actually may have an opportunity to make a difference here and now, given the available technology, the interest and the willingness and capacity for so many to speak their truth and amalgamate what arises into a distilled spectrum of what is really so. Then move from there.

    Now is the best time to take the next step. Thank you for doing so.

    Dr Fred

  • The disparity between what is so and what is said is sometimes beyond hair raising. Although (really) not thinking that they were doing anything wrong, their essential cluelessness and lack of compassion shown by some clinicians is astonishing. Unfortunately, as well, it does not shock or surprise me, as I have seen this type of interchange first hand in my practice when I was doing hospital work.
    Is there any way at all to make any gains at all, or really, is it beyond hope? Sometimes I wonder, and then somehow, I keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other.

    Thank you for feeling safe anywhere, and especially here, to share your experience. It is golden and horrendous at the same time. It keeps important eyes open.

  • The medicalization of psychological distress is fraught with dangerous implications and complications. What if psychiatry could, as a unique field, lead the medical world away from the medicalization of many questionable human phenomena, towards its rightful desirable place as a central healing art?

    Being a therapist or a neurologist does not, in and of itself, remove one from being an inherent part of the medicalization of psychological stress, in my experience. Obviously, it is in one’s way of being with others that healing can occur, more so than in the professional title they choose to hang on their wall.

    Would that be acceptable or expectable in a just world?

  • I love what you are saying here about grounding, Alex. I have not yet officially worked that into my platform somehow but yes, it is critically important and may in fact be the straw that stirs the drink, in so many ways. Once grounded, our humanity is realized and music and the arts come to life in ways that otherwise are unobtainable.
    It is totally copacetic and overlapping with who I am as a healer and I will be using it as part of my toolset from now on.
    Thank you for reminding me of this, in such a gentle, inspiring way.

    With Great appreciation,

    Dr Fred

  • Psychiatry, as a profession, as it is presently understood to be, is not doing a valuable service to the population as a whole, and is actually doing a grave disservice. As stated before, it is more about manufacturing “patients”, the “mentally ill” and a polarization of the populace, leaving many otherwise innocent, yet troubled people disempowered and worse than they were when they arrived. From this perspective, it cannot be tolerated as a discipline and needs to be either totally eliminated, or perhaps, thoroughly revised as a profession from the ground up, a full transformative redefinition of its purpose.

    If it was to become a profession that properly assisted people to find ways that actually worked to empower themselves and others when in despair or when mentally challenged or discomforted, using techniques that did not inherently cause any damage, it would be a different field altogether. Even if it kept its original name, it would not have to be eradicated entirely as a profession, if somehow this level of transformation could be realized. As a newly exemplary subspecialty in the conventional medical world, it could then ideally take the lead, with other disciplines following its footsteps towards healthy practices, realigning themselves with the actual healing arts rather than the multibillion dollar corporate albatross that our medical system has become over the last several decades.

  • Well thank you for this very thoughtful and thorough response. I must say that I find it ironic at a deep level. Like the pot calling the kettle green.

    I could not agree with what you are saying more. Really. I totally love your stand without qualification. I nearly always put the words “mental illness” in quotes (or dont use it at all) and have written many articles about how it is conversation alone, misdirected and often evil in its intent that created the language of mental illness as we know it now.
    As you might see from my numerous responses in this blog, I at no time will succumb to believing for one second that there is an entity called mental illness that is inherent and afflicting in nature. I am a stand for all experiences, ALL experiences that we are having, including this one right now, as being part of the only life we have, and not representative of mental illness as a condition ever. Welcome to Humanity. We have no idea what normal is. How then, do we pretend to describe and give any credibility to something called mentally abnormal?

    I believe that you will never find a greater proponent for the stand I hear you taking than me. In my first entry to this MAD environment, I thought that I was making that clear, but I have apparently fallen short. Please allow me to continue to learn, develop and contribute in a direction that can make a positive difference in thIS multi billion dollar funded atrocity known as the “mental health system”.


    Dr Fred

  • No, please don’t go! I am not interested in censoring you or anything. And please keep saying everything that is important to you. Never stop that. I have never lost my license in ANY state, though there has been a discipline event for which I have had to follow my tracks. I had a DUI in September, 2002, and was on probation as a result of that years later in 2005 (indiana) and 2006-2008 (ohio) when they realized late that I was not disciplined on time in 2002. At various times, in NC and Illinois, I did not report that event properly and was dinged for that. Recently, I voluntarily gave up my license in Michigan, due to not doing any more conventional work there, and having not done the typically drug company sponsored CME requirement, and this also shows as a disciplinary action. My licenses now in California and Illinois are full and active.
    That is the extent of my formal disciplinary actions.

    Among other things, I am indeed a “coach” now as I don’t perform regular psychiatric care because that require diagnosing and medicating. i don’t accept insurance for my services and am gearing that practice to high ticket customers who then can carry this message to others in their space. I still perform with no or very low reimbursement when the calling comes. The prices listed on my website are for work I can do for those with the money to pay that, to assist them in getting (for REAL) that indeed mental illness is just a conversation and with proper attention to different components, can be transformed, by many means, including, but not limited to, removing the assailing medications and the damaging diagnoses and replacing them with the universal healing techniques of creativity and connection and detoxification.

    I don’t work for any corporations or businesses and my offer for them is to go into those facilities and assist them to learn about the misdirection that mental illness industry has taken and to redirect attention to the empowerment of everybody, the families and the friends and the identified “mentally ill”. These speaking gigs are being toned now and have not gathered real steam yet, and the circumstances around them are meant to be customizable to the challenges I am hired to face, in each unique circumstance.

    Regarding my negative reviews on the internet, there was a time that I was stingy with giving out medications (benzos and pain pills in particular), instead standing for sobriety and alternative ways of dealing with distress, and the patients who were seeking them from me thought that I was being mean to them. I was threatened with slander and did not budge. Then it actually happened. There was a concerted effort to malign me and make things up about my personal life and professional life that were simply untrue and also literally unremovable and un-respondable. They have stayed on the internet as a reminder as to the treacherousness of this platform and the possibility of easily getting character assassinated for things that did not even occur. I am so sorry that this misperception still lingers.

    I am priced high for my coaching services but actually those services are meant to and intended to remove mental illness from the conversations of my clients and the people they associate with, for once and for all, because really there is not any inherent entity as mental illness. Finding new ways to deal with, describe and treat those who have been saddled with these conditions is the only thing left for me to address in my lifetime, as a legacy level committment. Hence, the Global Madness project.

    I am passionate about my stand to end mental illness as an entity on a global scale. It really is with deep and full conviction that I do this. I have been around to many, many nooks and crannies of the national and international system and have plenty to offer if given the opportunity. I still have my credentials, and my passion and interest, so I proceed.

    There is nothing etched in stone about how I may be of service to anyone in the future. I certainly am not here to fight anyone about my legitimacy in the field as my record is long and although not unscathed, represents experience in many relevant areas over time. That I survived at all, let alone with a willingness, desire and passion to alter the sick system from the ground up on a global scale is way more surprising to me than having some serious battle scars to show for my ride through the meat grinder.

    Can I be forgiven for who I have been, at times conventional, at times revolutionary, at times loved, other times rejected, at times larger than life, at other times human? I hope so, but if not, well, life is rough and I have learned that first hand many times.

    If you feel my services can benefit you or somebody you know or an association you are involved with to really assist in altering the narrative about mental illness on a global scale, please let me know. I am flexible and much of my work, if purposeful, is done without charge and with the same level of deep committment. Other pieces of my work can have a price tag, to be determined.

    The money I will make when providing my payable services will be funneled back to the system directly. Althiugh I travel and attend to growth and development educational courses, I live modestly. I have minimal material goods, including no car, no TV, virtually no furniture, etc. I plan to reinvest my earnings directly to the cause of altering the narrative of mental health for all people for the rest of my life. I ask that you do not judge me by what the market can bear for my unique services, and somehow get, sooner or later, that I am a stand for the end of mental illness, using whatever means possible, on a global scale, for the rest of my life.

    Are you willing to extend that level of honor and courtesy to consider that? If so, please do. I am a true and deep stand for this work.

  • I absolutely accept your bitterness, every piece of it. Will you allow me to do that? Or does my place in the world, as one really wanting and able to facilitate a transformation in this narrative, preclude me from ever understanding anything or ever being able to get it and then move to make a genuine difference in the way that things go in this terribly vicious and corrupt system?
    Am I really disqualified from having any understanding because I am me and you are you, and if so, is there any bridge that can be built to allow me to better understand and get your experience wholeheartedly, honestly and authentically?

  • Great story and congratulations.

    A diagnosis is not what was critical to your successes in this relationship, as I see it. Instead, I see that you were able to connect with your wife, and to get what she was going through, in a compassionate and empathic way. From there, the 2 of you were able to create a new way of being that allowed for honest growth and development from a empowered starting point. Maybe it was not the diagnosis itself that promoted this growth directly.

  • I find it entirely fascinating that this conversation regarding mental health and mental illness creates a sense of inherent discrimination between “us and them” . Doctors and clinicians feel somehow different than patients, and vice versa. It is fascinating that this conversation seems to naturally suggest that there are at least 2 groups (the sick and the not sick) rather than the one group of humanity that we are all members of. Polarization is the inevitable outcome and nothing good can come from that starting point.

  • There is a lot of things that are implied here. I am not saying that doctors are taking advantage of people who are looking for it, per se, or that it is the patients fault to have become a patient. What I am suggesting is that it is a sick system over all and each and every component has a say in how things are going.

    I am suggesting also that it is a system that can change however, though it requires an honest look at where we are followed by a new conversation about how things can become and then taking action in a direction that can make a difference.

  • We would have to really look at more than what you think you have come up with as an explanation for anxiety here. Genetics and GABA and these rare diagnoses are fraught with peril, as so much of it is uncertain cause and effect considerations that we act like we know more about than we do, maybe.
    A neurologist could be helpful, but really, there is so man possible pathways to consider to relieve yourself of the mental discomfort you might experience or being experienced.
    Thank you deeply for you sharing.

  • There is such an incentive to stay familiar rather than to consider what appears to be the riskier business of taking on a new realm of reality. Fascinating how we humans are wired, since change is so totally and completely inevitable (as is death, of course) and so ironically, the things we fear the most, to the point of pretending that it is not desirable or at least worth accepting simply as being what is so.

  • Our minds were emptied of being available to listen to new things, during our training, and it really takes something to consider that the dogma we have been trained in might be flawed or outright incorrect. We speak with certainty even when we really don’t know, because that is how we are best accepted. It really is an eye opening experience to learn that what you have been doing may actually have been harming others, when you were certain you were being held to the very highest level of helping from the top of the totem pole.

  • Thank you for this authentic post. If your diagnosis and treatment are working well, there definitely is not any reason to consider changing anything. I really mean that. It is great to hear a case where finally after going through diagnoses from so many different spectrums, you have come to one that works for you and seem to be being treated properly.

    Also, please excuse me for any offense you may have felt. Clearly offending you was not my intention, and I am sorry that was the stated effect that this article had on you.

  • Again, please understand that I am a firm proponent of assisting patients in ways that they never thought imaginable, to reempower themselves genuinely and have been successful in facilitating that process on numerous occasions. Labeling as ill does not contribute to empowerment ultimately and in no way delegitimizes the pain and discomfort. Learning that it is not an illness or affliction, in my experience, or at least considering that idea as a starting point, and therefore not treating with toxic medications, allows for new powerful ways for exploring how to negotiate one’s way through life.

  • I am sorry that the article has in any way been seen as putting the onus on the patient. I have only focussed on the patient as one of the many components of a truly multi-factorial system where most people feel that they are contributing to the greater good, or giving people or systems the benefit of the doubt that it is designed to assist people in feeling better. In reality, this exquisite lattice of piecemeal illusions seems to have become a system that perpetuates itself, and not in the direction of promoting the health that might be only a paradigm shift away.

    Feeling terrible and feeling as if you are certainly abnormal are two components that are inherent parts of being a human. Being given confirmation of the above is not truly empowering, but does allow both the diagnoser and the diagnosed to find some pseudo relief for reasons that I have brushed up against in this blog post.
    Thank you for this contribution.

  • I see that you are suggesting that the illusion begins even one or more steps earlier. The carrot is that there is an inherent belief that is set in that once one is identified with a psychiatric syndrome, something can be done about it, and that if the right doctor could be found, it will be. Only, as you also imply, that notion is also an illusion, that there is something that a doctor can deliver from his knowledge based pharmacopeia, that can make an appreciable positive difference is flawed from the start.
    Doctors feel that they are doing the right thing and patients feel that they are trusting the system as they should, and together these things fall apart drastically when proven to be rooted in ideas that are not representative of the whole truth.

    Thank you for this thoughtful response, Steve Spiegel.

  • Well, maybe someone can get another and someone can understand what another is going through, and even name the other without calling them sick, afflicted or defective or ill. Although that may represent how the person feels about themselves at any given time, maybe getting that humanity in and of itself, serves up all kinds of things, including intense pain, discomfort, confusion, fear, etc., can provide a deeper, empowering context to promote healing.
    The question I ask the mentally diagnosed: What if somebody really got you, and did not confirm that you were sick, but instead confirmed that you were well (within humanity’s broad limits) or at least not defective. Would that suffice? Or somehow, is “getting you” a function of agreeing that you are less capable than somebody who meets the (very) vague fleeting criteria of normality?

  • I Really appreciate this heart felt post. Although you feel beaten up and tattered, perhaps, just perhaps, it could be temporary.
    At 45, you might not even be 1/2 way through your life here on Earth. Far from over, maybe it’s time to take what you have learned, everything you have learned, accept it for the unique life experience it has been, and be a contribution to those behind you, or to yourself, in ways that you never thought of before.

    Just an idea.

    Thank you again,

    Dr. Fred

  • I absolutely do NOT blame the patients or those accepting their diagnoses for the perpetuation of the cyclical atrocity. There are plenty of twisted incentives at all levels that allow for good, well meaning people to continue doing what they do, to feed the system in perpetuity, and seemingly not even see the critical role that they have in the process. It certainly is not the patient’s fault and they are not to blame. They are a cog in a great big, massively corrupted system that is not working, at least not as well as it could be.

  • This is a fascinating perspective. I tend to agree and yet find that my psychiatrist friends are often the last to learn. Not always as wealthy as you think, and definitely struggling with life’s many facets as all of us are, they (we) are given lots of incentives to stay the course and lots of respect for doing what we do, and it is seen as very risky to one’s being to consider challenging the exact industry that has been your life’s committment for many years.

    Along with that, by doing so, psychiatrists might be left with having to face the notion that they were not helping the people that they thought they were, and in fact, may even have been inadvertently harming them. A tall task for anyone. Imagine learning that all of these years, you have been hurting your children while you thought you were doing the right, but difficult thing, in the name of helping them. The transition appears to be risky.

  • Your concoctions and teas sound lovely!

    It is a work in progress for all of us, really and thank you for your genuine authenticity. Nature, connection, creativity are all universally healing. AA and 12 Steps is incredible. Actually doing the Steps, with a sponsor, is a life-altering beautiful experience. Do Steps in order if you can. Step 9 has 8 steps before it for a reason. And Step 4 has 3. Acceptance is indeed the name of the game. Getting that all of this, every piece of every piece is simply part of being alive in these difficult and beautiful times.

    Welcome to Humanity is a compassionate way to manage nearly all of what life throws at me, I know.

  • Thank you, Rachel. It seems you are on the mend, and now represent those who have been there, and can forge the path for those to learn and discover from what you know.

    Clearly, diet is a critical feature in maintaining general and mental health. And the American diet is linked quite literally to the drug industry, hence the Food and Drug Administation.
    Keto, Paleo, Vegetarian, even Westin-Price and others have been making some very real dents in relearning what there still is left that is good to eat, regarding taste and functionality.

    Congratulations and thank you so much for your comment.

  • Might it be that the diagnosis itself, and the medications that are prescribed to deal with it, could be causing the symptomology to be exacerbated or worsened while giving the sense that it is necessary to continue taking so as to maintain some supposed modicum of mental stability?
    Horrible and deceptive as that may sound, I am just asking what it would be like if that was true? What would we do if we all learned that?

  • I got that and thank you.
    I have an inquiry….. (not a challenge, but a true query)
    What if you were to learn, somehow and as the result of a true miracle, that you were not Schizophrenic, and maybe never have been, despite overwhelming and completely convincing evidence to the contrary for the years up until now? Maybe that the diagnosis was incorrect, and that the treatments had exacerbated or even caused your symptoms?
    What would be your response to that realization, completely far fetched as it is? Can you imagine?
    If freedom from the notion that you have a defect or afflication or a mental illness was available, would that be desirable and might you find yourself rejecting it?