Friday, March 22, 2019

Comments by CatNight

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  • Thanks Sera and all.
    These are my thoughts and experiences in my locale.
    We have a very strong medical research and NAMI presence though in some places peers ran some of the MH Centers and once upon a time we had a regional peer coalition.
    What has happened would be a news story that would be picked up by multiple media outlets about someone in a crisis with an altered mental status with police and red lights flashing and the statement”we hope they get the treatment they need.”
    The deaths of urban folks in similar situations. would not be highlighted.
    But a year later, just in time for a NAMI event there would be a “I have found the light! news story about the wonders of medication.
    It would be the so called party line.
    There would be no allowance what was happening to cause a crisis or discussion of how professionals actually treat trauma, or the varigities of a person with high level of sensitivities, or what actually does constitute a religious and or spiritual experience, and most lacking of all the concept of total recovery and how that concept has been totally quashed by the systems involved.
    When given an actual pulpit it becomes recovery porn and not the beginning of an in-depth investigation of the folks behind the curtain who have manipulated the perspectives of so much of society.
    And because of those folks behind the curtain manipulations other folks have no idea of their presence and are taken in.
    When the snake oil salesmen are the only help in town one is exploited by trying to help oneself or others with his help because it’s the only show in town. One can’t be helped with trauma or whatever systemic ills if even the mental and verbal constructs are not allowed to see the light of day.
    How to remove the curtains?
    And this point , I would be happy for truth in advertising or lending type of legal recourses.

  • There is also brain tumors both benign and malignant mistaken for so called “ mental health behavioral conditions.”
    My one LISW friend had a lose relative who had mixed up days and nights and function completely sparely from the partner and family. An expert from a leading university was consulted and sorry no help available. It was only after a happenstance medical emergency that involved a brain MRI that the benign tumor was discovered. Fifteen years of loss of life and this family had many members in the medical professions.
    A patient on the unit I worked was considered “ borderline” because of chronic complaints of headaches then after a ER visit with nonstop vomiting ah! malignant brain tumor was discovered.
    And then there was the Ohd/ MD student working in rotation who was sent to Psychiatry for issues because his concerns about his heart – “ all in his head” – he dropped down in the psych unit floor unconscious no med cart available because psych unit – do they really need one? Thorastic surgeons were seen by Socisl Service Worker to be laughing at a Code Blue called on the psyh unit floor.
    It was the founder of the Burn zI it who ran down four or so flights of stairs who responded to the Code and opened up – literally the student’s chest to do open heart massage but it was too late the oxygen depravation had already caused too much damage.
    I had heard the burn unit surgeon speak at a college class- trauma – all the burn unit folks were facing trauma. One had to be very brave to work within the burn unit. Hard, hard treatment and life long disfiguration and adjustment to life before and life after.
    Later on after my psych unit experiences , I learned my father had mentored the burn unit surgeon.
    To think that there were actual physicians who went above and beyond medical duty and trained others into the realm of not only do no harm but do whatever you can when you can and to hold onto the memories of how I was treated, especially now this month when zI was told by an aide the plan was for me to go into a nursing home and then later to find upon reading my medical records there was Lithium Toxity and Iliterallt could have died but no told me.
    I live with the memories of that and other hospitalizations and the FEAR – ANY DAY the police could AGAIN come knocking and the fear I could not as The Hets in West Side Stiry sing to each other “ Kerp Cool, man Jero Cool.
    I have no gang. Silence in the family and no talk of anything but pretend. Life is Winderful. No Emotions- nada nada burn soul killing nada.
    And other places? Canada, East Coast, Red State,Blue State, Oz. Nada.
    I exist in the whispers of perhaps better days. I cannot believe better will ever come.
    The twenty years of fairly stellar post grad SW is constantly erased by the female staff member who called me the bipolar bitch or the eyes of the nurse who licked me in seclusion.
    As. acimmitted pacifist I fight each day not to let Hate overwhelm me but if nothing my MH experience even with counselors who did no basically no harm and just shot the breeze with no treatment I have learned to hate all of them and especially myself for ALLIWING myself to be taken in.
    I trust no one because will you call the cops on me?
    Woody Guthrie – the BEOMEd psych residents who supposedly did a MH assessment and came from somewhere in the patriarchal Middle East had no idea of who he was. A Trump tenant and great American folksinger.
    Stupid stupid and more stupid.

  • We are talking here of many things – everyone area vitally important DSM abolishment, the human body and its synergy with the evionment, trauma and how the human body reacts in all its various systemic and mircrobiological ways, the professional medical establishment- including others.
    I would like to see a Timeline pre and post Industrial Age.
    This would help with focusing on public health issues that can lead or have led to psychiatric intervention.
    Pre industrial worlds didnot require literacy, many folks lived their entire lives in one place and human environmental interactions were less negative as they are now.
    The research presented so often is not that examplary. It was one of the reasons in the mid 1980’s I just stopped reading any academic journals between the topics and shoddy standards it was literally a waste of time. This of course led to Big Parma sales rep interventions. How very lucky for Big Pharma to have leading academic journals start losing its way. And every time a solid piece actually emerged, it was quashed.
    That in and of itself would be another interesting timeline graph.
    BTW anyone familiar with diabetes knows when a person is hyper or hypoglycemic behavior changes. It has been known for police to arrest a diabetic in actual medical crisis for drunken driving.
    We need to raze the Medical and Science houses to their foundations and start over.Keep any solid beams and throw out all the rotten wood and bent rusty nails.

  • Thanks and this was a perceptive overview.
    I, of course, have some thoughts from my own perspective on several levels.
    Children are not just affected by family and economics / it is the world as it is for them and us.
    The Social Work role is diffuse who are you advocating for? Both parents and children need their own advocates.
    School counselors in my locale could see students without parental permissions.
    I have and had concerns with this.
    PTA- this is an issue and the Social Service/ Psychology fields have staid out of it to the determinant of the school community at times.
    So much depends on who is who and where is where.
    Title I in the US had Social Work and Parent Councils attached to it at one time but Federal funding became an issue.
    Open Air Schools pre WWI in the US did cater to thq health and family situations with the idea of TB prevention.1

  • I am commenting here just for the heck of it.
    The idea of keeping folks down and dependent- in the DD field parents were also involved but I never got the icky affect I felt in some of the NAMI contacts I had.
    Folks wanted and where pleased with their independence.
    Getting a job was a good thing. Again the monetary factor and DD is easily identifiable because it’s real and kids are a good PR for levy’s.
    In fact, the DD system went bad in the opposite direction. One could not stay at the county workshop – costs money! One had to progress to private employment whether that was in the best interest of the human being involved. Workshops also had a devoted rec staff and off time activities.
    Voc rehab for those with MH issues in my locale closed down or streamlined .
    There were groups of physically challenged folks who protested and eventually got public transportation. It was a hard fought gain.
    When humans make other folks uncomfortable because of their distress and the raison d’entre is unknown or very complex and with our fear based society the control freaks can jump right in.

  • These called study is comparing apples to oranges. One cannot hope to research schools when Western European and American education are so staggeringly different. Different year schedule, different history, different inequality factors, different environmental factors. Mozart’s grandfather lived in “ public housing” in Germany and as I recall, it was still a solid well built apartment complex. Not do for those living in some HUD housing today in the States.
    I worked in schools and the fear , stress, curriculum issues, home, life, the isms that kids are so aware of were there and that was before school shootings became a regular part of the scenery. Again not do for Western Europe or any other global school system.
    And the research should not be on problems but how kids survive and find ways to survive the lives we have given them. So many are lost through no fault of their own.

  • Thanks for this. One view and still so many more to have highlighted.
    There really should be a White House Conference on Trauma along with Congressional Hearings and possibly a new department that would work on an interdepartmental level providing education to all the powers and others that be. Perhaps a type of “ white” or maybe “ rainbow” paper that would cut to the basics so that the information would be easily accessible to all.
    And also s long as we are still the subject of the month club maybe a trauma month.

  • Bruce, you certainly get your point across for our current times but I have a few thoughts for further expansion and thinking.
    The other side of this is Aesculypian Authority which dates back before Hippocrates in the time of healing temples with rites and rituals.
    Siegler and Osmond in their book of the same title write on this.
    At one time medicine was considered both an art and science and there was a subset subtle community contract Icede power to you to help me heal.
    Emphasis on the I here. This was the so called patient allowing for a certain limited transfer of power.
    What you describe is the complete overtaking of all power and control and intertwined bad care, treatment, and so called chemical help in many areas of modern day medicine so untruths for pure profit. The contract be damned.
    Interestingly the Rod of Aesculpian and the Cadeuceus are two intirely different symbols now used interchangeably since WWI due to human error.
    That no one in the realm of the powers that be has never even deigned to figure this is beyond my ken but makes so much sense to the question of now. Silly docs!
    Coming from a medical family and then working at a teaching hospital I could feel the difference and painfully see the difference between generations. Not at all – all the time but the trend of power and control and willful ignorance of much was apparent.
    And to be fair, medical education play a large role in this
    During WW II certain magnet schools were used to pipeline docs to war. Streamlined classes and new courses and then the war ended and nothing but the vets themselves were left if any wisdom gained.
    I grew up with this doc was a POW in Japan – he came back changed- this doc was Polish but was going to med school in England and joined the RAF, many had seen much trauma then there were the Korean War vets, and Vietnam Vets.
    There was a stream of wisdom gained through trauma – some not all.
    What I observed as an employee and then as a patient for so called MH treatment was what you described.
    But many interns and residents were coming from privilege and the path to medical school seemed set on what neighborhood you entered kindergarten.
    It was like at a family wake an extended family friend was asking me well
    what do you say? And I was like been doing this for decades and yeah it ain’t easy but I worked this out by myself at ten. And maybe family cut offs- total non exposure to trauma- both could be true.
    I don’t know how this evolved in its entirety but change cane and it was bad. May be cog in the wheel and kick the next one in line and Last is the patient and the most feared is the MH patient. Allowable stigma- free ride.
    And those that come in – some of the best never even tried because wrong neighborhood.
    Not to say Trauma is a good thing. Ask any person whose parent or parents endured trauma and even the ones who overcame not easy but it can be used for wisdom.
    I think wise medical treatment professionals are few and far between.
    Also I’d thry are- they too are trapped in the system that is.
    BTW Pharma sales rep massaged the docs giving them treats making them blind and beholden. Great, great sales strategy.

  • Lawerence or Larry? My reaction is different because I lived in the edges of white suburban privilege. This is the population that fits your writing – other folks a whole and completely different story but INTERSECTIONALITY the threads are there sometimes hidden by life sometimes deliberately hidden with harm to ALL.
    Females- mother’s are targeted by Pharma the ads 60% female patients and oh so suburban. Literature – advertising from big and small medical clinics.
    When I had my non professional intervention in was two white suburban mothers. A friend had earlier said she had started taking so called medicine so the hole in the dike.
    Also females were beginning to see issues – you really can’t have it all and if you do there is a huge price despite what it looks like from the outside. Trauma and pill popping – Valium was called mother’s little helper.
    If you talk to old 12 steppers no drugs but they had so many using them and being given them from docs and rehab centers most just gave up and went on biting their tongue.
    Some locals have a plethora of12 step groups of all kinds and there were others groups for awhile but funding for groups took a big hit and trauma and its subsequent issues and again – the magic of chemistry- Little did we know it was all a con.
    There there is the pain issue and sports and sex abuse. I could go on.
    Meanwhile in the urban areas hard times even more so. Not one job but three. No work time always on call. More guns, more anger, more police doing really harmful stuff.
    And the politicians going on their merry way because well – good health right No on call surprises, job networking, book deals. A cafeteria and gym – Congress – not sure about state capitols.
    This is a mosaic of an octupos so I am thinking in some ways better not get angry at the person carrying ONE PIECE of this multi- dimensional Greek tragedy.
    And I know triggers. I know too well.
    Ah decorum. How your mother if she wasn’t too traumatized by life would want her adult child to act and if you didn’t have one a godmother or any elderly person one could respect.
    And yes too the holder of the mosaic piece needs to have that same since only more so. The acknowledgement that folks have been harmed and the ability to if not actually hold hands to do it verbal soul to soul – we instead of me sitting in the high elevation of slsohbet soup.
    Sorry sometimes I just can’t stay silent.

  • Rachel777
    There were anti drug docs but they kept with the status quote because NO ONE knew how to stop them once they were taken as a regime.
    Behind closed doors one of the docs challenged the staff to take a Haldo or whatever chemical and NO ONE DID.
    The “ story” was two years with compliance and no hospitalizations. And when it did happen there were excuses hiding their ignorance.
    When I was given medication, part of me thought fine Show Me, Show Me Know and after years lost and awful experiences yeah my instinct was right not any type of panacea at best nightmare at worst.
    However people do seek these chemicals. No one has addressed the word of mouth part of this I tried it and it worked white suburban folks and then the kids stole the meds and some bad things happened.
    I think there are some folks who knows why that it is helpful but I don’t understand why and no one knows.
    There are no longitudinal studies at all.
    But it is clear big Pharma and the FDA were actively in greed mode. They didn’t care at all.
    If we are ever to truly have a round table there has to be all encompassing dialogue and truth in lending – really some of the blogs I don’t know.
    I am trying hard to withdraw and rest for awhile from thinking on all of this.
    Hopefully , I wouldn’t be triggered and I can just focus on now not the past. Tincture of Time the best script written after TLC.

  • Ah Ed you have a treasure to give. DE Winnicot! I wa told when a child was not cooperating he would say / you know this isn’t fun let’s doodle.
    Many of us here have been deeply wounded but there were folks who did try to help not super well but they took a caring approach – too few and too hidden.
    I for one would be interested in hearing your experiences and thoughts.

  • As a retired LISW with over twenty years working in urban and other areas and well acquainted with treatment from both sides of the desk, this seems like a conversation from eh ? 1990?
    It is good to see a dialogue format but have you been reading what is out there and are you into empowerment, social justice of all tropes, and trauma?
    An overview of past pdych meds? Really?
    What about family history and culture?
    If one’s so called client has a Jewish background wish in terms of intergenerstional trauma , same and even more so for African Americans, Hispanics, and First Nation folks and one cannot forget the Armenian Genocide.
    Then there is the conflagration of layers of complex trauma when intergenerstional trauma is overlaid with victims turning into aggressors. Read “ To Kill a Mocking Bird” Ella May was taped by her “ white trash” father who MADE her accuse an innocent black man. Alice Walker’s “ The Color Purple” showed in fine detail a father’s rape of his daughter. Both men tragically affected by cultural history and using the only power they felt they had sex to enforce control.
    Add to this , so many folks go to their graves without being able to tell about abuse episodes.
    Then there is the why some folks endure and become assets to the world and others like these male fictional characters become part of the great morass.
    Psych meds are ways to control and if you want we all here could share ways of coping without loads of meds or none at all.
    I will be hoping for some interactive feedback. A true dialogue is multi sided.

  • Thanks for this Anders. I found new and interesting facts from your writing.
    It would be really interesting to do a blog with a timeline graphic from the start of the first diagnosing to now. There has been so much changing. When I started becoming aware my view was that this was a DD issues and this persisted with PDD . There also was a book Son Rise by Barry Kaufman and I had heard stories of total transformations. I would also like to see environmental toxins and other data in the timeline. Rachel Carson, I think only touched the top of the iceberg.
    Global info too!
    Then there is the whole yes sensory integration issue The Spirited Child was a big book in the day.
    Artists of all ills have that and in some places I have heard we are all in the spectrum.
    Also allergies and asthma. Both issues especially in urban areas.
    And just for the heck of it – there used to be cancer islands- folks would go house to house and ask and some were found and there is the public health issue in Victorian England about disease and water wells.
    There is so much and I am sure at times I have or fall into the spectrum for what it is worth- not much.
    The big issue here is school. To get help you need to get labeled.
    If every child had an IEP – change and the money to execute education like those who are truly privileged.

  • Thanks Alex I remembered to state your name at times just to triggered. However there is Alan Bates in “ King of Hearts” knocking at the gate. There is the madwoman if a certain part of Paris, France showing the stairs down to the Paris underground and locking the door behind the oil inspector and his friends. There is also this from Audre Lorde
    I have found that battling despair does not mean closing my eyes to the enormity of the tasks of effecting change, nor ignoring the strength and the barbarity of forcedignedagaibst us. It means teaching,surviving, and fighting with the most important resource I have, myself. and taking joy in that battle.
    So there is that. I am resting and will not be back for awhile. Best to all the inmates.

  • Actually if one works in a government entity one is in the government union. Supervisors are part of the bargaining unit and so forth. It gets very mess when there is a strike. Some workers stay inside in order not to break the lines.
    In Community Mental Health Clinics despite popular myth they are not government entities. In fact, they were supposed to get monies from the Fed but the monies never materialized and county taxes were used to shore up the system since each center was separate and unique. In some states funding was divided with labels such as DD levies versus DDand MH levies.
    So unions were helpful to staff it they were alliwed. Unlike government agencies there were no Pensions or PERS.
    It then made agencies created in this mode to use public and private insurance. Then even government agencies were feeling the elevator drop in financial support and they went into gaining access to government insurance. The state government did not like their Medicaid monies going to agencies do a cat and mouse Hell was created with states using every opp to deny billing monies to agencies based on progress note VOCABULARY. This approach was further developed along Case Management and Therapy lines. Administrators would cull ever note written and probably still do to ensure proper wording was in place. In the last agency I worked at a well known Jewish agency staff were using copies from progress note workbooks to ensure their notes were not censured and kept their jobs. It wasn’t never, at that point what you did, it was solely what you wrote.
    Clients needs and concerns were st the bottom of the cess pool.
    I walked away after nearly being fired. This was based on vocabulary in my progress notes. They knew I was good just not profitable. The folks I worked with ALWAYS or mostly AlWAYS liked me. I was not perfect or totally awoke but I tried to honor and respect them and learn from them.
    So their clients were retraumatized once again by having me leave. Stupid , stupid, and more stupid.
    There are folks who have a knack for supporting others through trying times. Our society puts all of us in the shredder and doesn’t care one iota how we or us or we who have tried to gain access to so called help and or support end up. Once agencies assumed CEO and CFO officials we and the system were goners ruined and abused goners.

  • Well duh. In a world on fire without any sustained emotional sustenance what would one expect?
    Church institutions are being exposed as viper nests of abuse, corporate interests of many ilks are holding up or putting into motion nefarious and malefesent power plays that have been building up for decades, museums and other art circles have been infested with money from for profit deliberate make us money at any cost short and long term thinking and acting strategies, the VA is trying to be taken over by a troika based out of Mar Lar Go, the environment is trashing and may be completely trashed, suicide rates are up in ever every human sector, isms continue to proliferate, folks are weighed down by every sector and vector of circumstance, lies abound,
    media is doing well because it’s soap opera time on the edge of what will be the next WTF moment, and help or soul caring for almost anyone – even the super rich is almost non existent.
    I keep waiting for the clean up crew to arrive for the end of our bread and circus global street parade, but the units and bands just keep on coming. I long to see the Zombini on ice or the humble street cleaner moving past toward the end of this endurance event not quite a full scale war but definitely not safe times, not a pre something or yet a post something. The hundred year war is my only go to thought and I truly hope that thought is wrong.
    And it is all folks. I cannot say police for all their issues are not in pain or acute or chronic distress. I cannot say that for staff in psych units either. I would only guess if truth be told admins at insurance companies, clergy, pollsters, are all in some sort of crisis.
    The ratings may be great for media companies but how long of an extended cycle of WTF continue. And illnesses, colds, ect how much of that is just a body metaphor for my life stinks.
    And the children. They are listening and watching and not only what is this DOING to them but what is it FOING to any possible future progeny? Intergenerstional Trauma begins in the womb.
    For some there is a hope for the future after but unless there is some sort of local, national, global plans of action or framework already being created- I don’t know.
    My hope would be for trauma centers run by all types of survivors and some how a level playing field for all. I don’t expect perfection it just would be nice to see hope in action a strong bonding of promise. Other wise the insane asylum will just become the earth itself.

  • Thanks for this. I found your personal story compelling. I am sorry for your loss.
    Back in the day in treatment with children, no medication was used. Even in residential treatment. The only time I saw it used was for developer mentally disabled children and that was NOT across the board.
    It is not only chemicals that are issued as treatment but the total disabandement of any concept of treatment quality. If there was any and I still believe in some places or folks there were , it has become extinct. What is left is the last visible skeleton of so called treatment and a continuing ongoing assault of bio0sychiatry to keep its hands on the money at all costs.
    Thanks again and THANKS for commenting.

  • Thanks yes. I had known peers who worked there and the attrition rate was fast and furious. No one wanted to work the program. They actually had me do most of the work- messed up on meds and a mother in crisis. I appreciate their kind efforts to help a peer so very much. The others group leaders not good some awful. One way of doing mindfulness was walking through the hospital and appreciating the indoor plants. There was no – none type of Jon Jabari Zinn and Harvard Mind Body techniques. Trauma was not labeled as such and all of us where in various types of and levels of trauma.
    There was no caring or empathy.
    Our insurance paid for this travesty.
    Therapist don’t care re about last labeling just get the patient in the door.
    The best form of help for parenting trauma was the program I had been Co- Director of so not an option.
    Everyone in the family of was compromises d by cancer survivorship or missing because of death from cancer or compromised by other tragic illnesses.
    And I had been the rock of gilbrater that had been utterly shattered.
    Looking based Ca any money that was a copay could and should have been used for a long family extended time away somewhere. That for some reason did not seem possible. Help at home which if one had sisters or cousins or friends would have worked with support for them. But no one was there. No one.
    The kids paid the price. I call child abuse and neglect by proxy.

  • I question this. The creator of DBT is actually a psych survivor who hid her status for years. Dr Marsha L something. She was given a SMI type of dx.
    When I was in the life of trauma one psychologist referred me to a day treatment DBT program. It was awful for me, for my family, and my extended family. It was summer and my kids were left on their own. During the cigarette breaks- I don’t smokeI wouldcallthem to check in. My one daughter baked brownies and I was not there to help her when she burned herself. It was her first time making brownies. If I hadn’t been so compromised by trauma and over medication Iwould have not gone and tried but it was pushed on me.
    The groups were ridiculous and devoid of any sense of good. YES MASTER is one of the acronyms the treatment uses. I cringed when I was forced to listen to that sexist drivel.
    Yes it had mindfulness and supposed spirituality fake , fake, and more fake.
    The reason there is any positive outcome is that there are no lap tops in the group therapy rooms. And most people don’t have twenty years postgraduate work to evaluate the program and its providers.
    I was able to chalkenge the spirituality group leader and she left the room in session. The other group members applauded.

  • As a former LISW, I saw this from the time when there was a possibility of hope to this and worse. I also have been so called gifted with being in the system in all if forms.
    Thanks for this but.
    You are not helping. Truly. It might seems as if you r but what I and friends would discuss is sometimes those helpful sessions were triggering and some of us came out of the building totally zombified. And when in a trtraumatized state and especially if you are labeled SMI the power differential is unequal.
    My mother was a MSW and worked with pregnant women who had to climb up 7 flights of stairs to get to her office. It wasn’t until she herself had been through pregnancy that she realized what SHE had done to those women and she never did that again. And she was for the 1950’s and early 1960’s fairly awoke for a white woman of those times.
    I have experienced the same OMG, WTF type of reaction after my own time in the solitary room in inpatient so called treatment.
    I saw what you have seen but there is so much more.
    I am glad you wrote this but do something. I have had bad experiences so I don’t have the freedom to do what you could do.
    1) Read up on the Pdych survivor momvement and Disability Studies. The powers that be divide and conquer so well in this area. They put each group of folk with different disabilities into little boxes and make them feel that it is a zero sum game.
    2)Ask five folks that you work work to tell them to tell you the truth of being in system.
    3) Do a trauma history with their permission and have a plan about who what where and how you can help them.
    Have you read the literature of trauma? Both professional and survivor and IHO the best are those that gave both backgrounds and are woke. There are some that have both but are not woke. Don’t dismiss them but read between the lines in everything and everyone.
    4) Make a plan to leave and get out. It is not going to get better right now. What you described is a catatonic, divisive, top down agency. It will hurt and harm you.
    5)
    Dialogue with us.Learn and maybe you can be part of the change .

  • I am interested in the framework of the new institute. Who will be on board and on the board? Where is the funding coming from?
    Will the voice of medical patients of all tropes and types be part of the configuration?
    What is the Mission Statement?
    What is the business plan?
    Have you considered how to make changes so that an action that was taken by the CEO cannot happen again?
    What are the short and long term goals and objectives?
    Will the concept of violations of human rights be of ongoing concern?
    Will there be any human rights advocacy?
    How will you get your message out and by what means?
    Thanks. I like the concept of failing up.

  • Corinna, I think we all realize your efforts. I tried to create a non alternative place and got no help, in fact I was targeted by NAMI folks who came into a free Reiki session and two females came up and started sprouting. Mental Illness is a disease like diabetes. I was too kind to ask if they had ever worked on a medical floor or personally knew folks who have or cared for those with that true disease. I also failed to ask if they had either a SocialnWork, or other type of liscence that would allow them to make statements such as that.
    I also interviewed for a Cimmunity Mental Health Center that has for years been peer focused and as soon as I mentioned Robert W’s Work end of interview.
    Also does not help my former boss was physically escorted out of a County MH meeting by police on orders of the director of the MH / SA board. He had been in line to get the position himself but as they say the fix was in.
    In some places things are difficult.

  • Thanks OH.
    Yes. Folks need to read about Jonas Salk and his refusal to take on any financial benefit from his work on the Polio Vaccine. And how many kids in iron lungs do we see now? He was legitimate. Contrast that with Marsha Getson’s latest New Yorker article on the action at the Met Art Education Center.
    People were killed – thousands all in the quest for profit.
    As is written in the Declration of Independence by a slave owner who refused to Free his six ? children from slavery until after his death “ it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.”
    There is now, thanks to Bryon Stephenson and many others a memorial to those lives destroyed by the Jim Crow era of lynchings.
    Pablum and politeness isn’t going to work.
    Though I appreciate your efforts and it shows how their thinking is irrational-

    how can any human be afraid of other and or 360 perspectives unless they are fearful of losing power and control?
    There is an ocean of this small thinking that has gained influence on so many institutions and they have or are trying to not only lock folks up but also throw away the key by various actions like divide and conquer, following the systemic method of Jim Crow subtle and not so subtle fear and control abuse, dis information, blame and name calling.
    They don’t want people to connect the dots which would show
    many but not all folks in the systems or systems depending how global one wants to go with multiple institutions
    and formats
    that the lines lead straight to a select group with various hangers on ect….
    During WWII there were various efforts to ferment change within the Nazi government and Stalin ect – it failed because many people thought at first they could be reasoned with.
    With money and power and control involved reason means nothing.
    I am still hopeful we have not reached a point of no return but it seems we need much much more like the Met action and use Saul Alinsky and other ancient and new strategists to inform the future.

  • Corinna,
    I see where you are coming from but Saul Alinsky would say just your request in and off itself is putting you in the less powerful position.
    What many, many folks don’t understand about being in need of support is that there are many ways and the powers that be have limited everyone perspective on that, closed doors and windows, and blind folded , shackled, and deafened true human perspective.
    Many founders have both above ground and below ground agendas and they want what they want regardless.
    Asking to be seated at the table is much different from just taking a seat st the table.
    Why not an anti NAMI parallel group?

  • He is a Finnish psychiatrist.
    I doubt he has ever spent a significant amount of time in either urban, rural, or suburban American public school systems.
    Back in the day, when I was young and Oresident Reagan had just come into office, African American children in Virginia supposedly integrated where expressing fears that all African Americans would be moved to Africa. Considering the Inugural Committee had the Morman Tabernacle Choir sing on the steps of the Lincoln Momument with Ephesians Zimilist Jr as the MC , I would have said their fears though untrue had a solid basis and yes a nine year old child might well think bringing a pocket knife to school or not going into the bused “ white” section for school might not be an especially safe choice and combine that the integration action was created to fail because the teachers stayed and were not integrated.
    One of my friends father was a principal and went to homes to convince families it was safe.
    He ended up leaving the education field. Another good professional gone because of corrupt systems
    I am not anti public school or school but
    if one is going to talk the talk one needs mud one ones hiking boots.

  • Brice, I am so very sorry for the loss of your mother and then stepmother and then hard times seemed to have continued. You lived on and it was not stupid for you to help out others and your life narrative is so very important.
    Kids need you.
    The trouble is the system and it still there were some good things perculsting but they got shot down. Fritz Redl would be a good person to look up if you still work in residential treatment.

    To all, there are two threads here that for me seem to be getting tangled.
    There is the 911 and or mental health check and then separate the mandated reporting thread.
    1) The world is made so that ANYONE can make a call to polic and THEY have to act on that call.
    So after having a blowout in the family car with one of my teen kids who was beyond furious with me for IDK and drove down the street to fast. Well families always always be wary when there are teen drivers living on the street or. the guy who stops at the bar everyday after work. So the neighbors made a fuss, I apologized for her behavior because by that time she had taken the car and driven away. I walked into the garage and muttered to myself something about being a bad parents and because there had been a suicide in the tiwn -actually a relative and nobody in the neighborhood knew because she did not associate with me- I just had these words that came out because several days earlier the same kid who also was unaware of the family relationship Nrs so and so shot her self in the mouth and died.
    On overhearing my comment which was ostensibly private the neighborhood said loudly I know what I will do. I will call the police. She had no idea of who I was in any shape or form.
    And then the police came.
    No consequences for her poor judgement and breaking of boundaries. None.
    I was mortified.
    This practice has a long history. Some people use it to create neighborhood wars. And now it can be a racist or whatever ism and done and cloaked in so called caring.Fear plays a role too-
    It makes everything so much much worse for EVERYONE involved.

    Then mandated reporting can be used to help or hurt by usually the mandated is for trained professionals with the emphasis on trained. With the breaking of the systems there are risks the trainings are done poorly and the CPS staff poorly paid, overworked, and not requiring any special degree or life wisdom – can be problematic in the investigation.
    Children are a lifeline to the future. In the United States they are pawns for politicians and mere consumers for profit making corporations. And the abuse and neglect especially in certain groups- ah we are ruining heart , mind, and soul here.
    So IDK issues all around. I will always trust a survivor of any corrupt system then one who claims human perfection.
    We need leaders like you Brice who KNOW and create something like a phoenix.

  • Thanks Sera and kudos for writing about this! I am so glad the interactions were relatively minor- which says everything about my own life narrative.
    There are several layers to this workshop and how it played out for you.
    I admire your bravery and know exactly where you were coming from and my guess is one of the inner voices was saying don’t go there but you did and I probably might have done the same twenty years ago. Now no.
    1) This is now and we are living in a mess of a hair trigger world. We all are walking on broken glass so to speak.
    As I look for societal connections to make or observe systems of all kinds I see knots and tangles, holes, and rips in fabric.So I try to see all folks as coming from this life trauma framework but so very hard and always one step forward and two steps backward.
    So my guess all the folks including trainers were co- existing with trauma and were somewhere in different levels with all of that. Your real ness probably scared them witless!
    So the one of the two things I want to bring up is we all all know folks who have tried or did commit suicide regardless of wherever we are on the spectrum and I would stand my ground that it’s not if you Thought this life is not that great my options are very limited and any hope grows dim at one time or another.
    No group has ever brought out the connection of how we as a society not only cannot desk with death but suicide is almost a verboten word almost to the level of a taboo.
    Read the obits. Listen to the muddle story of a cousin’s sudden death. The whispered stories that children tell each other at sleepovers. You know that house in the corner? This were the whoever offed themselves by whatever method fill in the blank.
    In my old parish there was a suicide cluster and lots of wtf type of deaths in the passing years. I think trauma of many sorts played a role.
    My list of folks and peers who have chosen somehow to walk away is long.
    And there are so many ways to do that.
    Not one so called helping profession ever ever bothered to asl how have you been affected by suicide. Never because
    way way to scary and oh my the therapist would have experience your loss – secondary or tertiary trauma.
    12step programs have been the only place I have felt this is even acknowledged and I know other new groups. This is just the first that comes to mind. I am aware of others.
    The second piece is it wasn’t always this way. I really knew a Vietnam Vet shrink who would be like folks are going to do what they are going to do. There were more folks out there after the 1950’s and then it fell apart fairly quickly especially in the eighties.
    And yes there are dangerous situations and like you been there done that but not anything like your workshop.
    I hope the media picks up on this. There are some signs but not enough and I am too old to be patient for a long haul perspective. Trauma centers now.

  • Interesting thoughts Chaya.
    I found that when I was incarcerated in the psych unit I was massively drugged and my vision was so blurry it was hard to read and also just focus.
    This was an issue outside as well. My eyes did not work right.
    And go tell that story to your friendly neighborhood ophthalmologist.
    My other thoughts are no large print books, tv’s encased in locked wood boxes virtually impossible too use. Staff controlled so the worst of the worst was ALWAYS on. No auditory system for reading. No music. No art. Nada Nada.
    I also want to point out that in the penal incarceration system there are also gross injustices.
    Racism is real and ugly.
    There is a school to prison pipeline. And how many are being forced to take “ our” type of meds?
    How many really do have educational access?
    What books are actually given to them or as I would guess are they censored?
    TD Jakes but not Eldridge Cleaver?
    We need to join together somehow and somehow continue to highlight the terrible awfulness of not having any conception of discharge dates, any any legal or social advocate and No outside time.
    We can bond with seclusion and solitary confinement.
    Kids Chaya kids like ten year olds are or can be in solitary!
    We all need to study more about each other. Read and study hard uncomfortable stuff and then dialogue.
    And hopefully sooner rather than later make comprehensive change.
    I feel a bond with ex cons, I feel a bond with any type of hostages, I feel a bond with POW, I ferl a bond with detainees and refugees like those in Australia.
    The Native American children taken to boarding schools. The Irish women and girls taken and umprisioned by the Magdalene Laudaties. Those in the First and Ladt Circes in Soviet Russia and any country here and now.
    What is that old saying? None without us? Something like that together.

  • I understand your anger and he didn’t have the guts to stand up to the powers that be this enduring horrible harm for generations of women. But one has to acknowledge that he did see it but surrcombed to the academic powers. If he had not been Jewish maybe it would have been different. I don’t know and we will never know. I just like to a full view to everyone and acknowledge efforts even if deliberately stopped.
    One of the problems of history is that it is mainly written by the victors and so much important stuff is deliberately or randomly lost.
    All sides should be recorded and discussed even though the yuck favor or really really legitimate outrage is felt.
    My father would read books on folks he did’t like – buy them in fact, so I like to have a 360 view of things. Very dicey and painful at times but for me there you go.
    I enjoy your comments and thinking. Your voice is an important part of the mix – every voice is and deserves to be heard though ah at times for me, they can still be triggering from my past life of so called treatment.
    Thanks for responding!

  • Actually Richard and somewhat contrary to the article, I read and was taught it was not Freud who censored his patients it was the Medical peers and Psychoanalytic Socities that discredited Freud and in order to continue on in good graces he was forced to retract some of his work in that area.
    It must have haunted him. His culture and religious background could, may have been problematic in view of the historical events in Germany before he fled to England.
    No matter what, it was an immense tragedy all aroun for everyone.

  • Not sure I agree with injury almost a vortex / Cascade event or events. Very similar in thought but not in vocabulary to Sarah’s blog.
    There needs to be a type of Paris Table Peace talk with at least two diverse voices dialoguing in real time. A person with triworld experience in this family/ self/ MH professional world would be extremely invaluable.
    Once a word and concept framework is agreed upon maybe even have a vote here. Which words are acceptable or not?
    Then go for exposure st all the various CUE professionals are mandated to attend and do a traveling show with that. By working as a group rather than individual effort the safety fears of psych survivors would be somewhat assumed. If someone does do a Mental Health call on you at the conference it will be observed by friends instead of strangers who know what to do.
    Folks are usually bored to tears at these conferences so at worst their thoughts will be when does the party start after the evaluations are turned in?
    Then I would add legal and media supporters and then aim for a White House Conference or Congressional hearings or testimony.
    Until I can see dialogue happening and cross referencing between blogs and ALL folks nothing ain’t goin to happen.
    Breggin and others need not only to write but dialogue and in the oldblig oneboringoldman as interesting as it was. He discriminated based on profession and survivors barely got a glancing nod.
    If one is fighting Leviathian one will not win with one harpoon or a Captain Ahab in charge. Ishmael was the only human left from the Pequad and he was saved because Queque sensed doom and built himself a coffin.
    We need a type of Shakelton for our times with a band of merry not pranksters but commingled voices of strong resistance and ultimate action.

  • Yes the name and yes it is the parents who started it and in my area many families were of the Jewush faith and though I knew professionals whose parents lived through the Holocaust theconnection between inter generational trauma and the as Dr. Carl Whittaker would say before he became a family therapy parish “ the identified patient” was never seen and there even now is now aha moment or eureka in this organizational matrix.
    Codependency but ah that comes from trauma as well. And I think as Sarah did with her recent writing parents need the same creative stress response format.
    Fear this I saw in MH professionals many who had relatives with issues in the system but a type of trying to save things in the family ala E. Fuller Torrey MD and his sister. And really what happened to her? In the origin story and in my reading no would not want a sibling like that No.
    But there is the fear what if my kids get it? And for many people the crazy aunt or uncle or grandparent is erased. As the DD parents were TOLD to do by the docs when their child was born” not right.”
    And then in medical family circles ah the shrink kids – always at least one in big do do. So the fear can become a reality and then there is the .org that comes to their rescue.
    I still don’t understand the divide between ARC and BAMI though sometimes issues crossover. And is ARC still called ARC. I have lost touch. But the label was caught and mostly won.
    And in the agencies inclusion was fought for but also times just to hang with the homies too. I never ever got that feeling from NAMI ever.
    FYI Best Boy is an old but worthy documentary on a Down Syndrome young man leaving his parents. There is NOTHING like this type of effort in NAMI.
    Also Rachel there is guilt the gift that always keeps giving. Mother’s ferl that and some husbands use it for all its worth. So the Moms in NAMI How many have heard-You Gave Birth to him or her?
    Way way too many and a group like NAMI uses it for all that it is worth.
    I am with Sera on all of this.

  • Thanks Sera. This is so very frustrating because an agency which is supposed to “ help” many times is doing the work of the devil with out even being aware. It is like the parable of the 12 blind men trying to describe an elephant- 12 different versions of the truth without any any coherence.
    I think this is part and parcel of other disabilities and medical condition groups. It helps to have folks in the know but as long as there are particular founders who are using these groups for profit and greed nothing great will come out of any of these agencies.
    The divide and conquer routine started early with some states funding both MH and DD and others funding each group into very unequal ways. And there was stigma but it was used against the families. It was okay to have a DD child but never the other way around.
    A tangled tangled web. For decades parents of DD kids were told at birth forget you ever gave birth to this child. So there is that. And on and on in so many ways for so many things and especially HUNAN BEINGS.
    I go back to trauma and maybe there needs to be a category pardon the word here shock. People go into a physical Cascade condition why not with emotions as well. This would help explain why sometimes fir whatever reason some folks see some sort of results with medication.
    And a NAMI is not subtle or nuanced and maybe because there also is a bbbule most folks live in and unless they see the hand writing on the wall- they continue to be unaware and unwise.

  • There used to be time and space for PSA’s and or space was bought bringing out alternative points of view. Yup
    Brynner did a spot while he was terminally ill against smoking saying it would air after his death which it did.
    There also were pieces in the men who did the Marlborough Man advertising. I think many died of lung cancer.
    At this time there empty space.
    I had forgotten about The Plug In Drug!
    Subliminal advertising is something I wonder about . Kurt Vonnegut worked in advertising and then wrote some seminal novels about all things strange.
    His son supposedly had an “ Mental Illbess” but did recover. I hope he is doing well.

  • Another perspective of this is that psych units are not the only institutions where patient abuse occurs. As in psych units are not the only institutions that use drugs/ neurotoxins/ chemicals/ beuropleptics – whatever to control patient’s behavior.
    It is at least a double edge maybe octagonal edged sword.
    For staff- many are in the edge financially and possibly in other areas. I can attest to knowing that some staff myself included where on the same meds drugs whatever as the patients.
    This was whenchemistry miracle was all the rage and I fell hook , line, and sinker.
    Many staff are coming from trauma and also abuse and addictions. Life we are all coming from life and it affects what jobs you get to how you handle employment on a minute to minute bases.
    Now with part time work and skeleton staff pushed by upper management for the sole reason of CEO and CFO and one word that had been missing at MIA stockholders needs and wants for money.
    Everything has been compromised. Every institution except for those that truly care and are humane is a disaster waiting to happen. Kind of like our nation and globally as well. The powers that be have ransacked knowledge , ethics, caritas, respect and dignity to all players.
    On the drugging of non psych patients with psych drugs. Oh yes. Slightly aggressive elderly man- here’s some half-lives for you/ they even half dosages specifically for the elderly.
    Rambucious adolescent on the ward causing mayhem on weekends / a little bit of haldol. Never acknowledging ah environment, the kids mother, just died and oh yeah the family had an outhouse instead of indoor plumbing. The rich want money – interest from their investments and not two houses but ten. Not one yacht but 9. They want t look young and beautiful forever. This allcosts extreme levels of money.
    The admins want no problems, the docs want no problems, staff want no problems. Cut the souls out of humans and voila no problems.

  • Crazifying human discomfort has a long history. Like the knowledge of trauma it comes and goes.
    In the older days of medicine there was a well known saw horse about new medical students or for that matter put any student dealing with medical issues of some sort. Very many students would come up with a dx they thought they had. It was a part of the process of diagnosis and back then for some docs it was then as not only humorous but a step in the ART of medicine. However, this came with a strong strong caveat- sometimes the med students WERE CORRECT. Any good doc or prof or professional worth their salt would be able to relate a story about someone who dx their own disease.
    What has been forgotten is not only medical and other students but many folks have the capacity to figure things out. Lorenzo’s Oil for example.
    This has been forgotten. When zi was working a PhD/ md student was complaining of cardiac issues and nothing could be found. He ended up having a cardiac event on the floor of the adult psych unit where I worked.
    The thoradtic surgeons heard the code called and laughed because it was from the psych unit. The one doc who did rush down several flights of stairs and literally opened him up was the burn unit doc who always associated burns with stress in folks lives. I heard him speak to that very issue in the late seventies. The student did not make it. The unit had a group meeting to explain to the folks on the unit what had gone down. Not a perfect place but do so so much better than some of the holes I was put into.
    This also goes to the past and milinary factories where chemicals literally made folks “ mad hatters”. This is only one example- I suspect many more and more beyond just chemistry but nutrition and other things as well.
    Insurance limiting interviews to fire teen minutes no eye contact and in and out slam bang is not care or treatment or medicine it is profit making Clog Wheel Machinary disguised as fill in the blank medicine, banking, education and on and on ad nsusuam.
    There was also at the hospital later on the 90’s a push for research for every department and section. As if doing research was a panacea or gold standard. I am sure most of the so called research studies were ethically compromised. I know my section’s work was.
    So much of the historical ethical research value has been lost or deliberately erased. The English Dr. Jenner inoculated his own family first with his new vaccine. That is the type of moral human being we need now more than ever. We have lost our way many decades ago and I can only hope somehow we can stumble into better days for ALL.

  • On Will’s thoughts.
    Currently if one is disabled for more than two years one can receive Medicare. If one is younger than 65 my best guess is that one is red glued in the eyes of medical office personal, banks and others. And since we live in such desperate times there is chatter much or all of it negative. “ Well I wonder what is “ wrong” with him/ her?
    Nasty times increase nasty talk and crazy seems like an explanation of the too many woefuly ignorant of our country. Whether deaf, or on the spectrum of various conditions, there is even more than ever the sense of ANY type of otherness as not only wrong but dangerous. The extreme tragedy of this is many of the worst offenders are victims of our system but can’t see it.
    So Universal Healthcare would decrease the othering. We would ALL have the same cards.
    Universal Income Star Trek? Yes. Robots are here and more much more to come and can really alleviate awful jobs but society is still bound by past historical conventions about employment.
    Employment and vocation are actually two vastly different concepts and we all could be Tevye’s rich man doing what we enjoy instead of gearing up to work in jobs that are awful or dangerous.
    Geel, Belgium has had a long long history of including those with differences in their daily lives.
    Everyone has something to contribute. My college President was a well known scientist and was considered a laughing stock by most of the students who mainly came from a business perspective.
    He was most known for walking the campus st 5: am and picking up the trash from the mostly white like 97% of the students nights of drinking and stupid revelry.
    Once I meet him, I found him to be a kind gentle man and still consider him a true hero. In today’s era one of the neighbors or a visitor could have seen him at dawn and called the police. A crazy man having now idea who he really was.
    Just some thoughts. I appreciate Eill’s efforts and the discussion.

  • For those who are not well acquainted with the poem
    It can be triggering even in its beauty.

    Howl
    Allen Ginsberg 1955-1956 dates of writing
    Part I
    I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness…..
    who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold- water flats
    who bored their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan Angels staggering….
    who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes…..
    who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time…..
    ah Carl,while you are not safe and now you’re actually in the total animal soup
    of time…..
    Part II
    I am with you in Rockland where you must feel very strange….
    I am with you in Rockland where fifty more shocks will never return your soul to its body again from the pilgrimage to a cross in the road….
    Footnote
    Holy, holy, holy,
    Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul

  • What is going on with Facebook and it’s targeting? It seems as if it’s one hand has no idea what the other hand is doing.
    Before Facebook engaged as an internet community it should have looked into ethical and psychological issues that would be possibly harmful. The Hippocratic Oath of First Do No Harm is relevant here.
    This is certainly bordering on a problem that was created through a new technology that NO ONE was prepared for and it seems no type of oversight in any way , shape or form.

  • Actually the term used to be gomer and go mere for get out of my ER. This is an issue for the entire medical system though I am not sure about how urgent care units have changed the use of ER.
    This is a really sticky wicket and so very much messed up.
    If folks are in crisis or feel they are in crisis or family members feel the identified patient is in crisis other than hotlines which may produce a police visit which will in turn trigger trauma there are few options because all MH private practitioners and CMHC have go to your ER.
    And crisis does not come in convent times usually it is the evening of a holiday / the day after a Saturday funeral ect ect ect.
    Not one therapist o shrink was able to elucidate a plan for hard times. One mentioned breathing – well how and why EDMR was created by walking in nature with tree leaves. So the breathing therapist also said walk in nature but no good explanation of how and why.
    One can do this on one’s own. Have a set of daily weekly rituals that help. Have things to do during hard times. Create your own design and do not rely on the system unless you have the luck to have a professional worth their Wright in gold.
    A 24/7 trsuma center for ALL citizens makes perfect sense to me.
    Police, mothers, docs, nurses, teachers, retail workers, call center workers, clergy- we all need a place to go with non pharmacy tools.
    Now with the world as it is- it makes sense probably too much sense for it ever to become a reality. But one can hold out hope.

  • Yes. Abriana most people with addictions or mostly anyone in the system do not and should not conform to a DSM dx. This is an insurance driven mechanism like IEP dx that solely bring in money for the institution.
    I as others have been in patient settings and yes you are on target for that.
    I think you saw what I saw folks from the underworld hanging out passing time awhile far removed from those that want payback.
    When I was a volunteer at a woman’s n’s shelter in DC – two blocks from the White House near what we use to call needle park I saw drug deals going down with pregnant prostitutes. Hard to ever know what was what but it stunk to high heaven.
    I would observe the units would get really crowded on weekends. My guess is the psych residents in the ER came from such privileged backgrounds were so unaware of the underground life they had no idea they were being scammed.
    By Monday most of the “ guys – some females” were gone.
    I having worked with offenders knew but under massive medication and REELING from trauma couldn’t put it into words and so gain who would believe me?
    I also ran into folks who had two different personas in two different systems. My guess they could have been NARCS. And yes I know about NARCS and the good and sometimes bad folks they envelope in their webs of investigation. And I am not even going to go into other agencies and groups that would find these floors FOR THEM safe havens.
    So this what you might have seen and I would guess corporate might have had arrangements.
    There were true creeps in some of the units and some other weird stuff that NEVER FIT into any experience I had working in a psych unit pre 9/11.
    But who knows? And again I am now “ officially crazy” so my word means nothing and will never mean anything.
    And the so called “ help” in terms of talk not help at all, at all. I was robbed of a life and profession and most importantly I was my children were ROBBED of a normal life.
    Never fall into the dx trap. It is only a snapshot and useful for using something. I prefer trauma or other terms that are less stigmatizing and harmful.
    Research more- and keep away from the system. The doc seems okay and there are good ones but if he or she didn’t ask about your experience or confirm that there was stuff going down then go on your own. Until the totality of all of this comes out just be aware. And yes this does sound crazy but check out 60 minutes and the mafia don that hid out in a psych unit when needed. It does happen.

  • Cat, I am very interested in your comment about the Adderal high.
    When Ireturned to school I got a script from my GP. A relative had used it and it seemed to help andI did fit the categories.
    This is when the MH system got a hold of me. And now looking back probably was addicted. It was the beginning of the Cascade.
    So my question is should I do a2/ step program? I am off all drugs but still have things to work on.
    I know 12 step more from an Slanon CODA and my big qualm is this was given to me by a doc and have harrowing experiences I am off all of it. This is 13 years or so in the past. I try to do the steps any way- seems like there needs to be something for those that got addicted not by need but by the system.

  • This, I would put in the file labeled things your grandma could have told you or any other wise elder type of folk.
    Any type of any artistic engagement is always going to be a good thing no matter what age or background of human. Duh!
    This is a good example of labeling being essentially meaningless.
    When one looks as people as just individual human beings not as cancer patients, or psychos, or head trauma pets, or TB pts, or stroke victims – btw why does that phrase come so readily too mind?
    And thanks Alex for your own story and great example of art allowing us to be away from ourselves and the daily realities of life as it is.
    And Soneone Else I am sorry the MH professionals were so ignorant of culture and the artistic process. They seemed to be ignorant of more than that especially compassion.
    The United States lost much when the WPA and its many divisions were broken up and destroyed. We need to get that structure back. In the eighties I spent time with two Dutch artists. There is or was I assume still is a national work program that has every government building use work of Dutch artitists for appreciation of employees and other citizens. This gives folk work, there is an evaluative process so staked are still high, and created a win , win situation for all.
    I have been at nationally acclaimed hospitals where very beautiful but extremely high priced works are presented on fine marble walls. I know artist in the city who are working several jobs while still creating art and as I walked past the art work at 3:am, I would think how much more meaningful it would be to see a local artist works and one that I may know. It would provide a much more human connection in the lonely corridors one one’s family member could be at stake.
    Also- psych patients DO NOT HAVE the comfort of family members during their stay. Irony of all Irnonies/ as a mother I slept in the ICU , I spent literally DAYS 34/7 with my family relative/s and when I was held- visiting hours were strictly curtailed and strongly enforced.
    This is what a truly ethical researcher should be/ would be working on. Fluff is fluff whether in academic journals or everyday reporting.

  • Cat. Thanks so much for posting and yes Steve it is a long long list. I was at one of these so called hospitals and it was abusive and at best ignorant of any best practice.
    I discovered this several years ago by calling the institution and someone let it slip who the actual owner was. They keep it very well hidden.
    There are so many ethical and moral issues to discuss and it is hard for me because of the memories and I still haven’t cried. There still hasn’t been anyone I can discuss this with who truly understands and the internet is good but human eye to eye contact is so very necessary for finding some sort of safe space recovery pattern in life after endurance of this trauma.I also read’s Cat’s post on another page and everyone should read it. Yes and yes and yes.
    I don’t know about Yelp. I think I did it early in and my comment/ review was removed.
    One has to remember they have lawyers and eyes and they use them to protect themselves.
    I was on another forum for serious medical issues and there was talk about hospitals checking the forum comments out especially those that could conceivably be brought to trial for medical malpractice.
    I freaked and left the forum because I was afraid the issues could have been possibly identifiable.
    All I can think of is a class action suit or some sort of human / civil rights prosecution. Other than Tina M ‘s workor the ECT case I don’t see that happening.
    I also have been called on and never ever ever want to endure that type of torture again in the time remaining in my life.
    If there were a way to safely tell someone or some group I would do it in a heartbeat. Not only do I like Cat have the memories, I have the professional experience to tell everyone what they were doing was not only professionally unethical and immoral but tstntsmount to human torture in the guise of so called help which only for the profit for a few. My guess is the staff Sunday gettin paid well either and have their own issues and the company finds this out and keeps them quiet. It is bacically a concentration type framework utterly disguised and hidden in almost plain view. They were smarter this time, they deliberately decided not use the chimneys.

  • Craig this is just brilliant and genius. I really wish this had been out when I started working in the MH system.
    This is also great for those that I know who have chosen to take chemicals. I would tell them read this read that but this is clarity for visual learning.
    And Cat – I so appreciate your 12 step viewpoint. The old timers were anti – drug and yes they were right.
    The big Pharma folks created moral injury to us all.

  • Positive writing about the good that can happen in life can never really be critized in terms of the intent and the experience that allowed good to flow.
    However being this is MIA where folks in the field and front lines on both sides meet and converse it is a bit of a sticky wicket for me and perhaps others.
    Trauma is part of this site and how humans in today’s world try to cope with their own and the meta layers we all live with.
    The most painful part of my life as lived from within the MH system as inpatient and outpatient was the experience of a lack of caritas and agape in the system.
    As terrible as my experience was, I was aware of my family’s live but it was clear they didn’t know WHAT to do and were grasping at the ONLY STRAWS that were available.
    The poly pharmacy and psychotropics or neurotoxins – take your pick
    Blunted and dampened my own emotional self do love for my self and others became an abstract term and life situation. I am never sure if I had ECT but I do have Swiss cheese memory but love because of several treatment professionals and inpatient conditions CUT out love.
    Many many folks on both sides of the MH have trauma in its many forms. One can never forget that male aid my be an abuse survivor possibly with an addiction issue and behind on his rent. He just has the keys and someday or maybe earlier did not.
    The fact that it seems we humans continue on and struggle to either gain or get back the ability to live in all its forms over and over and over again is amazing to me.
    Studies in relegion have shown an interesting connection to how children imagine god to how they see their parents. If one is not exposed to love early on in some way how can one love others in return?
    Then there is Father Zorissima’s sp? quote from “Brothers Karamazov” about love in action which is so vitally needed now.
    “ The Little Prince” and others keep me going in these times.
    It would just be nice to have Peter come down from his perch. When one lives their life sitting on the catbird seat it behooves one to realize we ain’t all sitting there.
    PS Going to grad school there were many shrink wives going back to school so they could join their husband’s practices. They would come to class and talk about not getting the project done because daughter had a baby. Understandable but there is this edge and I have always struggled with their relationship together. Cloe Mendes and Jay Haley or Salvador Minuchin come to mind. One was once married to the other.
    So there is that undercurrent as well. Boundaries even the most well meaning sets off uneasiness in me but I know it happens a lot in private practices. And thereby hangs another tale.

  • I have found this site to be extremely helpful on the journey to a better life and as a retired social worker it has helped me integrate and process what I was seeing and experiencing in the field.
    I would suggest that this site needs the perspectives of all involved because I think what we are dealing with is an octopus and it has many tentacles and is well hidden and very hard to either trap and or kill.
    One of the most interesting facts I read lately was the Newsweek article of the 2990’s which was part of a push for drugs campaign. This makes so much sense and yes not only did we buy into drugs as only true response ( and I was skeptical and still slid into the system for myself and others) and meds as the real true and only silver bullet.
    To undo this all will take years and probably decades. This is similar to sex abuse in institutions- the tentacles were allowed to grow and grow and grow unchecked.
    The issue of silence is important here. There are legal ways of silence and making victim’s voices totally taboo.
    If one knows about abuse, offenders at personal, community, institional systems do a great job and making sure silence is not only enforced but continued.
    There are layers of offending from both the for profit and non profit systems and most folks are caught but they don’t even know about the octopus they are feeding. This is true on both sides of the desk.

  • Thanks Chaya I second Alex’s response.
    Maybe add all children who are labeled which expands the area. That MI term whatcha goin to do?
    Coming from a parent yes.
    The act and process of labeling has many threads from school, from an educator, from a family member, from a doc, from a friend, from one’s self.
    In educational terms to get actual help from the school system one is forced into labeling.
    No MFI- no IEP and ah the school districts get different amount of money levels depending on the label.
    Then labeling can vary from one doc to another,
    These area areas that deserve much work and reporting. Those without resources have the hardest time dealing with the system. And there is an inherent basis against those parents with those children.
    If you could go and one is allowed with the parents request to go as support to an IEP meeting wow! And FYI in terms of forced hospitalization the IEP is a legal document and parents have rights and not sure about the child but the goal was if possible st the end have the child be part and involved in the entire process.
    PTA’s have no path for parents with children who are labeled. Privacy is a real legal issue. I would write s newsletter going out to? for parents with IEP kids- no names. What most did not know there was a lovely parent who would type and edit my writing. Even back before being in system I had dyslexia and ect issues. The drugs and the docs never ever asked made it so much worse and the lingering Parkinsonism has hurt me with communicating my thoughts and ideas.
    So I would be known but not everyone had the full story in the community or wanted to divulge how they knew. No I got your newsletter thank you. Never.
    DW Winnicut Good enough/ that’s all a parent needs to be. Let them know that- almost what you are doing but a name can lend prestige.
    Title I used to have a parent support group included with Social Workers and no labeling.Another research direction.
    And acknowledge trauma and histories. And again, mst of the best people that have come out of this world of ours have been gloriously imperfect.

  • George, I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I have known many relatives of folks who have decided to let go of life and it is hard because we have a great taboo about talking about this part of life.
    And trying to get help and not realizing that the help was mostly a sham. Those of us psych survivors and our family members again run into another great taboo. Silence can be con ie this but it hurts in the short and long term.
    There is also the issue of abuse and I have no idea where your daughter was in that issue. My grade school had a cluster of suicides but it was a Catholic school and there were issues but who know?
    I appreciate your courage and please keep in exploring and learning.
    My idea is to have trauma centers that are available 24/7 to all with all sorts of support and separate from any medical connection.
    Everyone could use it.
    Take care of yourself and read the old stuff I Trauma there are some gems in the dust.

  • I haven’t listened yet but two thoughts. I am glad there are folks who have the memory of the past with Dr Mosher and Soteria House.
    Second thought Selma Fraiberg MSW did this type of work with mother’s- the father’s in my Program fee and far between. Home visits in some ways can be helpful but ah looking from the psych survivor viewpoint maybe not.
    Third party/ neutral sites were always an option.
    Folks need help and parents in today society just are not given the best tools and stress is all around and kids have that most excellent radar and sonor to detect when parents are especially vulnerable.
    Families need support from nuclear through and including the community and nation where they abide.
    There was the beginnings and then they got smashed down but good. I saw it happen and then became ensnared myself.
    Some day I hope Open Dialogue and memories of good help which were thrown out in the bath water can be gathered together and rise through the yuck.Look forward to listening. Thanks for this I will be interested to see how home visits fare after the travesty of ACT.

  • Jay you started to lose me with the title and then with all the different stats. I appreciate your efforts.
    When I was an inpatient psych unit social worker and having been involved in a new sexual abuse team service – I started asking the folks if they had abuse and or trauma in their histories almost to a one they had experience or experiences. This reflects what Dr Bessel van dear Klerk did on his own as well.
    So if research is using DSM dx and the diagnostic process is becoming more and more fraudulent then why put all the work and time and effort in rebuttal instead of just saying / especially with twins- we need the real experts- twins, their parents, their siblings, their teachers, their friends to explain why this and not that.
    Margret Mead had the bright idea of field studies and if you really want to know about twins a nice longitudal study might work.
    I would ask why?
    There are so so so many issues that needfurther exploration and research this seems like a scientific red herring.
    The two issues that do come to mind our twin loss and disability issues in sets of twins.
    Other than that – please look into trauma, sexual abuse, power and control in the mental health systems.
    Thanks for the work. I hope it helps out somehow.

  • Steve,
    It has been known for some time that family dysfunctionalities can create short and or long term issues which overlap with all the isms and basic structure of one’s life.
    Anxiety is just one manifestation of one human’s response to life- though I also would posit one’s temperament also plays a role but that interaction is like trying to figure out quantum theory- humans are not there yet.
    There once was an ancient emperor who devised an experiment using infants. Some where handled and touched others were not. The infants that were fed but not touched all died.
    Some folks say anxiety and fear can also be signals. I think this is also true. We are as humans are not in a very good space.
    I remember having a panic attack in the 1990’s and literally driving to an activist friend’s house out to state because I felt in my bones and soul as Miss Cavel would say from the Madeleine stories – Something is not right.
    She confirmed my sense and it was helpful to have had that interaction. Worth more than any, any minute or hour of talk therapy or any medication.
    So it is a very tangled trauma web we have all woven for ourselves.
    And so many are doing the see no evil, say no evil, hear no evil layers of denial.
    The rich created s scheme that really has greatly benefited them from insurance to Pharma ect ect
    And why would they stop what has worked so well?
    My sense as a child with benefits was despite the turmoil of the 1960’s there was still a modicum of human caring around me. If the neighborhood kids were playing ball in the street and a car came someone would always call heads up.If I was riding my bike and fell someone would – be it child or adult help out.
    There was a community fabric. In some places more in others places less but it was there.
    One of the negative fall outs of desegregation was the inherent problematic design flaw.
    School principals who were from the communities were not kept with the schoolchildren so part of the fabric was ripped that along with almost flaw designed other issues ended up hurting children and families instead of really really leveling the playing field.
    I just hope someday we can begin to turn around and undo and my guess is the need for so called “ help” will dissipate.

  • I wanted to try to comment on several threads.
    One is women pushing women to take drugs or “ get help.”
    Yes, I have experienced that- specifically the wife of a doctor sending my mother named of shrinks. I don’t think she had any knowledge of my social work career. At that time, my only sister was terminally ill with metatastic cancer and had three small children and my father had a severe disability. I will always have a hard time with forgiveness with her “ only trying to help” moment.
    And yes unknown to her and friends I had already gotten scheduled for support.
    They did an a surprise intervention and it was the last straw on the camel’s back and to this day there is the time before andnthe time after.
    Not what I would ever ever done as a professional or to my worst enemy.
    There is also the artist / musician access to drugs connection that OH brought up.
    So many many folks died young and or so impaired from their best selves.
    The story of Paul Robeson comes to mind because he was given forced ECT. And he once had been absolutely brilliant.
    John Howard Griffts in his closing of “ Black like Me,” mentions the pervasive fear. Nowhere I know it came partly from lynchings. He could have been easily lynched. And what else?
    Alice Miller – I just discovered she was a refugee from WWII. I knew from Germany but not the fact she lived in a ghetto.
    So much that was done and is being done.

  • I would chose one of the caves that has the primitive drawings.There are some neat documentaries about them. Also the young adult novel City of Embrr used that theme. However utopias like Brookland and others have a very hard time surviving humans being humans. I would suggest an island so that several communities could try to thrive in parallel.
    Some monastic communities have and still are doing okay.
    Plum Village and the Taize folks also come to mind.
    Morris West “Clowns of God” trends and treads on this theme as well.
    L’Arche and Catholic Worker homes are another option.
    There are many relegious groups that use volunteers and offer communal or quasi communal living.
    Ah but past history at established places is an Issues for psych survivors.
    Lois Lowery ‘s “ Gathering Blue” is part of a cool quartet to read and comes with others choosing each other.
    It would be interesting to try to do something if money could be found. A three year plan of cave cliffs or whatever could give lots of information and help those of us cope with our empathy.

  • The old plan with a new twist would be start with his feelings. Acknowledge fears. Do some Beryl Rothschild techniques with sensory motor aspects of calming and coming into the present.
    Then tak a what Fritz Redl would call a time life space interview and try to find the source of the anxiety and or trauma and or trauma trigger. This could take hours so maybe s walk outside some coffee and some food. Another choice could be calling on your friends Peer Irganization Liasin to do this Sometimes degrees literally mean nothing.
    If a cause or conditions can be identified if the fear and tangled trauma thinking is lessened and oh yes
    Tangled trauma thinking in this state NO HUMAN can function on a totally logical or rational basis.
    Then the choice could be the friendly 24 hour trauma center for community and more support and or the friendly respite house. And really WHAT DOES HE WANT OR SEE as needs.
    Putin a limb 24 something to help but last last resort.
    Of course this is not insurance or NAMI family friendly though if one could ever change their thinking –
    And your professional administration and the MBA hospital set could be up in arms not to mention the staff around you that are APPALLED simply APALLED that you are not probating here and now.
    The resources and knowledge base is present but the systems and ALL or many of the folks are resistant to change.
    I walked away when it got to unbearable.

  • Thanks for this. It still doesn’t make sense. In 1984 at Smith College Summer CEU they had Rubin Blank a developer of Ego Psychology with his wife Gertrude talk about his own toddlerhood in which he was so troublesome his family would refer to him as Rubin the Terrible. He did it with love and humor and explanation of children needing to explore and deal with theirbgrowing sense of all the boundaries imposed by them in the world. At times, no is actually a good thing to know how to say. He also made a point that the families were are born into are our families. It is our life’s work to learn to cope with them. No matter how we wish they would not be our families it is part and parcel of us. Bad or good or indifferent.
    Selma Fraigberg’s The Magic Years goes into this thinking.
    Trauma was known to some professionals , I guess not enough to stop the tide. Still how did this happen?
    And yes the other causes beside and or including trauma. Noise pollution, air pollution, chemical exposures. Rachel Carson found multiple examples thought the earth’s environs and did not have any background in psychological anything- if we had a modern day Rachel Carson looking into the equivalent of chemical toxins and yes visual artists are exposed all the time- look at possibly Van Gogh? Abd prescription drugs what would she find? And would she be allowed to go forth?
    Serpico? And have there been others who were stopped by the vargities of life and our world as we know it?
    C Henry Kempe a WWII refugee from Germany exposed child abuse. It helps to have a survivor’s experience to think out of the box. And Salk whatever concerns some have with vaccines – do you know he received no profit from his patent PER HIS REQUEST. A true caring person. Some professionals are not worthy to clean his shoes- truly.

  • The concept of legal recourse to seizure for assessment – yes. The ability to call for a mental health check has no conditions or regulations and no downside for the person calling. It has a huge downside for the one called on. Thanks so much treatment advocacy center!
    The Stanley Family is a source of funding for the center.
    There are so many many ways to handle folks either in cris or assumed to be in crisis. Police intervention can not only lead to trauma but death. And my thoughts are the police are not willing participants. They would prefer not to be involved and do actual safety protection. Plus they have their own trauma issues. Suicide rates for police, med students, vets are rising.
    This is just one tip of a largely hidden iceberg.
    The problem is it is so hard to fight. If one gathers for a food fast one and all are both liable for forced legal and medical intervention.

  • Thanks Robert. I remember a time when working at a university connected teaching Hospital was a actual learning experience for interns, residents, and staff. Critical thinking and analytical questioning were prized. It could be a conduit for a cracking open of the walls of the medical industrial governmental corporate industry.
    I brought my medical ethics prof to our Social Work rounds and he eventually was hired by a leading medical institution but his voice literally disappeared. Ethics should be involved in every aspect of medicine from school and beyond.
    One of the conditions in a ground round I attended was Pellegrea sp? Nutrition based emotional issue. My guess like Lyme Disease, Lupus, and other issues one is seeing only a fragment of the whole. The 12 blind men and the elephant meta metaphor comes to mind.
    They should have had in the best practice of academia comparison and contrast in research. They should have personal accounts from all perspectives, and their should have been an art/ media retrospective of treatment including survivor accounts both nonfiction and fictional.
    This is where Bonnie’s book needs to be in- all the bibliographies from medical, nursing, pt, ot, rd education and into alll the community college courses.
    The psych departments should also have tumor boards and all that goes with inpatient medical work at an academic teaching center.
    There was one patient and I have heard other accounts of both benign or malignant tumors causing supposed “ psych” symptoms.
    You could put your name in for a presentation next year. You have the status. And even if it’s for nursing assistants it is a seed or a weed which ever metaphor works for you.
    Cover it with a trendy title and then at least create a ground work for critical thinking.
    “ Splendor in the Grass” would be benign but give folks a what is wrong with now type of view. Doesn’t have to be big or flashy.
    I would love to see if you could pull this idea off.

  • Thanks for this. And aucontrare OH. In many ways the inpatient system has involved to actually be more nefarious and henious than in the 1970’s and other times. I am writing this having read the writings of those forced into insulin shock treatments and knowing and having to have dealt with a person who was a rape baby from their mother’s instiutilization and should they connect or not?
    My own experience post 9/11 was as awful as documented here. Any treatment a joke, severe restriction on movement, incarceration rather than treatment. There are no Day rooms anymore. The for profit industry has spread their tentacles all over the system from hedge funds who own city ambulance services to the most minimalist type of staffing where employees are required to be ignorant of any past best practices.
    In the roller coaster projection of treatment throughout time we are almost and in the juvenile justice system and criminal institution back to shackles on the wall. Dungeons and dragons are now real.

  • Yes! I read the book. It is a twofer for females! Pain and or DSM dx in ten minutes or less. Also the whole ignorance of the female physical experience. Has any female ever ever was asked what was or is your puberty experience and or who would actually want to disclose to some of the treating docs any way.
    Also the repression of sexuality so that gender almost becomes meaningless.
    Thanks for bringing this up. Books need to be written. And check treatment advertising! Women are the prime targets.
    And why are females in this movement more hidden than not?

  • Thanks for this Lawerence.
    This is another example of cross currents in medicine that have gone badly and how corruption and greed infiltrated the entire medical system.
    Insurance, education, and research modalities created further opps for abuse.
    The Sackler Family is worth a research effort.
    Back in the day folks with Sickle Cell Anemia and terminal cancer had true hard pain issues. It was a dilemma and people experienced terrible pain.Other conditions also had pain management nightmares.
    This happened parallel to and at almost the same time as psychisyry’s change into bio psychiatry.
    For both crisises there are alternative treatment and coping modalities. But there mostly are not funded by insurance, are scattered around and usually only work through individual trial and error and many times even if they work are too expensive to continue long term.
    Triple that level to pediatric populations.
    Good Living Through Chemistry. Right.
    My relatives and I found pain management docs a joke.
    Some found help with anti- depressants Truly.
    It’s just a gargantuan mess in capitol letters written in flashing neon colors.
    I would like to see Insurance Companies investigated as well as medical and professional schools investigated, private and profit hospitals addiction and Psychiatric programs, the entire range of owners of big Pharma and should shareholders pay a price for the deaths involved?
    The legal profession and government should be investigated as well. How many NDA’s are there floating around?
    And what other wealth strong arms with pens and legalcompandiums have negotiated silences from folks?
    Some folks do need help with pain. Some folks need help with trauma or perhaps other issues. They all and we all should have the right to have competent and humane medical and no medical treatment options.
    And the children- a real chance to live well and prosper.
    Sales reps told docs it was nonadictive, they in turn told their patients but the big lies create hell. And so many families are living in hell.

  • Well Oldhead amends can mean many things on a spectrum or actually going off the spectrum to start a new paradigm.
    Suffering and trauma and altered realities whether by a spiritual or another means all will still be here even if and when psychiatry is changed, destroyed, altered, or ended.
    Healing of human souls is paramount.
    How we go about that in global, national, regional, or local areas depends on what voices are the loudest.
    History is written by the victors so how to achieve that?
    According to recent books and articles I have read- manuscripts and letters were destroyed by wars and aggressive relegious frictions of all sorts. There has been much that was lost or suppressed.
    One needs not only to have a game book but a game plan as well. Unless one has those essential tool along with funding and some ability to wield power nothing will happen. We can talk or write but that doesn’t change things.
    I still posit there are people in the system who could help.

  • It’s been interesting to read everyone’s thoughts. I found Fromm’s work around college and grad school and was intrigued. I tried to use it for Agra’s school course and received an failing grade and just ended up rewriting what the prof wanted or needed to hear.
    In sacred literature and philosophy there are shades and shades of definitions of the word live. Agape, caritas, Eros and others.
    Companssion and having the ability to truly connect with anotber’s suffering is an absolute requirement for shamans or any in the helper role.
    This is so sadly sadly lacking in our word today and in the MH system or any so called service profession.
    I can consider writings such as Fromm or sacred literature or any other thinking work or artistic creation as touchpoints or touchstones.
    Every culture has them and they can be at times traced to the extreme past which is so interesting.
    Doesn’t mean we agree or disagree they actually are ah! A Good Trigger or set of Triggers!
    Talk about missing the boat or mark! The blatant focus on me, myself, and I, the igornace of human history, and “ Wallstreet” the movie prime directive of “ greed is good” have been swallowed hook, line, and sinker, by many.
    The old primary source writings sometimes reveal a different wisdom more embracing of kindreneess of all and insight to suffering to occurs in all its many many forms as a key to connection rather than hate.
    Psychiatry as in other institutions not only needs to acknowledge the awfulness of treatment, make appropriate and sincere apologies, and then appropriate and real ongoing amends.

  • Dear Cheri, thanks so much for this. It is more than past time that you as a person and as a cohort of peers come out in to full view.
    So much to unpack here for my own narratives and as a micro – macro- and meta narrative of trauma as it has been conceptualized by Medical, governmental, and other systems some more corrupt and self serving than others.
    We are all patented by trauma survivors. Any person who has or had a parent who survived Concentration Camps, DP Camps, Refugee Camps, War even those on the so called winning side and especially those children of vets or who were raised by nurses after their trauma in the WWII Philippines and Brit civilians in the Pacific Theater and after, there are so many incidences as many unfornately as stars in the sky. Can you imagine parenting after having a loved one killed by lynching?
    That there are survivors at all is something to honor in and of itself.
    Before my time in system – irony all of my life is irony- I created, developed, and implemented a program for children in the MH Clinic where I worked. For some reason, it was taken away from my control. Though one of the workers hired admitted to me her mother had issues with parenting and some sort of trauma. She did not last long and the program seemed to disappear as well.
    I also was involved in a parenting program which tried to address trauma and parenting using Selma Fraiberg’s work. Her essay , “ Ghosts in the Nursery” is old but worthwhile reading and should be in any educational syllabus for training any type or level of professional in the system. That it is not, is beyond comprehension.
    During my time in system both in and out of places – your story of children touched by the system in almost an immoral corrupt way and family matters as a nonissue, deliberately ignored was so very true.
    And what was I to do with my knowing anger? It was beyond BS for me and others but to speak and challenge was only punished by more drugging and more punishment.
    As a family, we have never processed in any shape or form what happened to me. Nada – nothing- SILENCE.
    I have learned to hate because of all of this. But I REFUSE to let hate rule my life. NO.
    I have spent thousands of dollars and still silence from all of the professionals I have tried to work with. So I exist and do what I would tell the kids I worked with, tell and tell and tell again.
    One’s voice becomes weak with the telling, one’s fear rises as one has had to deal with police intervention – illegal and uncalled for- so I exist and hope someday those involved with my own narrative and others will be brought to justice or the truth will come out and be exposed.
    Thanks again. And BTW your take on NAMI is on target. Ah trauma when it goes underground it creates minefields for all. They have their own issues and have fallen and are not allowed to get up and see.

  • Rachel , I always am interested in your thoughts. Yeah I know we were duped big time. And I totally understand your self loathing. Been there done that. Depends on the day, depends what triggers I am forced to endure. Drive past the hospital ect ect ect and just that could drive folks into trauma.
    12 step programs deal with your feelings. Just lie say your an addict and leave it at that or do CODA.
    Stick with the old folks they know their stuff and yes they know exactly how you feel. Our issue is we were totally no responsible – we were just seeking help- not a crime. Bessel van der Klerk has states church sex abuse victims have an extreme self loathing – kind of the same dynamic.
    NB Noel – Writing is good but engage and do. Talk is worthless without action.

  • I am shocked just shocked at these redearchers’ conclusions. Really? SES and other migrating factors may impinge on the well being of folks broadly either possibly depending on the statistical level of significance of their lives?
    Have they not read or were taught James Agee’s “ Let Us Now Praise Famous Men”?
    Have they not read or were taught Harriette Arnow’s“ The Dollmaker”
    Have they not been exposed to or taught about Jacob Riis sp? Photographic expose of immigrant children?
    Have they not seen or been taught both “ Brother from Anotber Planet” and “Matewan” John Sayles excellent film narratives of folks in the lower SES levels of America?
    Have they not been exposed to all of the past and current art forms of all kinds from all cultures and genders that have been documenting this aspect of our country that many do not want to acknowledge or if they do acknowledge the graphs, diagrams, formulas, and advanced analytical equations use their suffering for their own personal, economic, guild, and academic enrichment and immoral- unethical gains.
    Way too little, way , way to late.

  • Thanks Noel. I find this a nefarious tactic and almost perp like. Use something legitimate but abscound with the money and goods.
    I refused to look at the latest DSM when given a chance. In the other ones there was a axis about stress and life events. It was there but never ever used.
    Now folks see trauma as a profit engine.
    BTW folks should read up on the Sound if Music family. There were issues like in all families and one member was ill used by the MH system.
    I am still waiting for the use of the system to be shown to be used by corrupt other systems. Andrew Greeley had a thinly disguised mystery novel where a priest who had uncovered church malifiesence was remanded to a Psych. Unit.
    The system needs an entire inside out reform.

  • Eric, I am so sorry and hope to hear about a positive outcome.
    Stephan G yes the Day Treatment – Old Partial Hospitalization programs are a good example of professional “ babysitting”
    Waste of time for all. I don’t know who was more bored the staff or us clients. Both were cigs in the system.
    Developmental Disability programs at least back in the day had better program planning. But once back in the day some MH Clinics did do more. Depended on staff.
    Also the Green Door Program in DC with the club format. But then was then, this is now and it’s like looking back at former leaders of our country and thinking wow maybe they were better than I thought because the now leaders are beyond reprehensible.

  • I found the docs who endured military service like WEII ect. have had more of a wider perspective and heart. Not all but some.
    Now it seems that the system of getting to medical school is rigged. Parents pay for tutors in preschool just to keep their kid in the upper mix. And how are any “ othered” folks ever going to fight such an entranced secret system?
    As soon as you walk in the door of an upper class PTA meeting – by your skin color, by your dress, by your accent. And if heaven forbid you fit “ the criteria” if your child is in the special needs stream oh my oh my oh my. Actually some of the best teachers are in Special Ed- I you are lucky to get one of the good ones wow. Not all but I did put my other kids in a tracked classroom because of how good the team of teachers were. Those kids deliberately dumbed themselves down so as not to get put in the other stream.
    Lots of kids in the advanced classes ran into trouble. Sometimes med students and residents as well. Not enough life discomfort.
    Medicine is a contract between community and folks in the community. For multiple reasons including several systems that are corrupted that contract seems to have been smashed to smithereens.
    I would love to have a transgender doc, or First Nation, or African American, or Huspanic- anyone who has lived life with no rise colored glasses in. I would trust them and take their advice and really ponder it instead of in the first three minutes of a new pt interview want to get up and leave.
    At least in other medical types there is a chance for running into a possible good one. Psychiatry is less and one is hardly ever believed- at least for me in my time on the other side of the desk. I worked with some caring ones back in the day before bio took hold- also know it wasn’t all pretty for many- but never had one that helped only hurt. Some tried but their efforts still damaged.
    I want docs who lived through stuff in al specialties.
    I
    I knew of one resident who got into trouble for referring too many of the patients to Social Services- just discharge planning, nothing else- not billable you know.
    Holly Nesr has an old song” It Could have been me…”
    I think she needs to rewrite it and title-
    “ It has been most of us and now we Rise Together”
    I just don’t know how to make it happen. By having been taken off the streets and forced treated my fear stands in my soul. I do not know anymore. Blocks and walls and I don’t have the wherewithal to surmount them anymore.

  • Thanks for replying. I guess with my former professional hat on- there are so many layers and is not whether one has been traumatized it’s the whole story.
    The lack of female trauma experts is a concern and the lack of other gender types as experts.
    Selma Fraiberg MSW from U of Michigan did trauma work with mothers. The MH business like society has femanized or otherized trauma denies it and it moths into craziness.
    How many mothers in the CPS system were abused and victimized by men? I still am traumatized by a clients last words to me indicting her father to the abuse of herself as a young girl after blowing up after two years of work. She wasn’t able to talk as I wasn’t in my time in the system and still am or feel constrained.

  • Interesting thoughts Bob. It’s refreshing to hear a professional discredit the DSM and yes the DSMII was different.
    I am not sure about the stroke analogy and um the reference to the mums. My guess is paternal or paternal like actors play a role in abuse. Easier to get angry at a female- and why is that?
    Also racism et al is also is trauma inducing in and of themselves. Inter generational personal, family, culture, gender is another damn layer.
    And economics! Macro and micro!
    And the environment!
    But thanks for your thinking! And I would really like to hear your own story.
    We are all trauma victims but ah so important to go beyond into better things.
    Did the folks in the system agree to see you? That would be helpful to know. Also were any released? Because any type of incarceration is trauma.
    The best thing you were able to elucidate for me was trauma’s impact.
    There is enough trauma is life when other types of trauma are either allowed and or made to occur that in and of itself is a divine human tragedy.

  • Well all, of course Ghandi was imperfect as Jesus, as Vera Britten, as Rabbi Hillel,
    Victor Frankel, Corrie Ten Boom, Dorothy Day, . The importance is not their flaws, their importance was/ is that they spoke out. Some better than others, some less hypocritically than others. There are no saints on this earth.
    Some people like Dr Peter Goertze speak out.Some do as Stephan Gilbert has chosen.
    The only option I have found for myself is to tell my story to chosen people and groups. And it was as far as I can tell a random shout in the dark. But I followed what I would tell the kids I worked with to tell and tell and tell until someone listens and hopefully either can or will act. No guarantees just the knowledge that there usually are some sort of good folk around. But luck is a crucial element.
    Oh my Dr Torrey talk about wrong way Corrigan – perfect example of TROUBLE.
    The force that drives the fuse.
    I just hope someday we can have a counter force that drives the fuse of our own.

  • I always enjoy reading Sandra’s work. She is thinking!
    I think as survivors we can’t always make all professionals whipping posts for our very justified anger and rage.
    This WHOLE movement is a process and there are fits and starts and fits and starts.
    As much as the Nazi’s in Germany and other repulsive regimes with their minions are completely reprehensible to me. I also know there were those who tried to help. Some did amazing things and were killed, others did little and still were killed, and others lived on.
    Every time we blanket our thinking it stops as Leonard Cohen put it so well we need to acknowledge that it helps that other humans let the light come in through the cracks.
    And I will stand my ground with stating every every corrupt system has cracks.

    The other issue is there is no good alternative yet. If you are rich maybe but jus maybe because professionals can take advantage of the rich.
    Who btw is “ treating” Kayne West?
    Hell of a job?
    Where is a person who cares about the little boy that he was and what he lived through? No language but a cry that is unheard and labeled mental illness.
    So there are few open doors and windows which makes the field like living in Germany knowing about the camps or just after the Allies came in and what does one do?
    The ability for funding and creation of true supports is ALWAYS iffy.
    British Military Medical Staff knew about trauma because they had no choice but to return soldier suffering from battle faitigue to the front. It worked but after the war ended- No more soldiers needed at the front lines do it was all forgotten to the detriment to all of us.
    So while we are in movement and there still is no way to Adequetely heal from the malpractice and abuse we suffered we have to slug on and anger even the best and most justified can end up a burden. MLK Jr. and Ghandi and Vera Britten and others knew rage and because they knew it so very well they choose the nonviolent path.
    So don’t stop wring criticisms just maybe doing something somehow. May not be realistic but I speaking for me, can’t totally turn off others when they are trying. If we do turn off others we are uncomfortable about or maybe they are a trigger- so many ways of walks
    I don’t want to be as rigid as the Nazis and other tyrants my way or the high wayor for many in contact with them
    death. Or the parents who says when I say jump the only question you can ask is how high?
    Allies are important even if you don’t totalky see eye to eye.

  • The Deaf Community ran into quite a large number of issues in the MH system. One of my graduate school placements was at a pact unit with a significant deaf population. One could be labeled psychotic with a mere misunderstanding of the type, kind, or dialect of sign.
    Interestingly , Joanne Greenberg who wrote “I Never PromisedYou a Rose Garden” had many writings based on the Deaf community. “ In This Sign” a heart wrenching read.An excellent intersectional meme or metaphor for this topic of Fanon.

  • Sascha, Interesting thoughts. With your MSW are you in a peer role? Does your written job description require lived experiences and does it require a graduate degree? If the agency recognizes your graduate degree what is the pay scale for you compared to other peer support folks? Same or different?
    Are peer support roles used as babysitters? Keep them quiet til the Crisis Unit or Pilice arrive? Or do you do actual support ie yoga classes, meditation classes, nutrition or can you do how to walk away classes? What about anyone taking a trauma history? What about inter generational trauma issues?
    Are you allowed to speak about discontinuing meds? Are you allowed to get folks bro bono legal help?
    What about those folks with children? Where are they and how are they?
    I did Peer involvement to meet folks. I had one job but kept very very quiet. My local area is almost all NAMI enforced thinking though I just want informed choice at this point because so many are not open and are so ignorant of history.
    The local peers seemed very constrained and most are not aware of any other options. At a meeting only one other perso an addiction counselor knew of Robert’s work. Job Kabat Zin was a new name for many. Many took the job because so what are you going to do? And like me maybe a possibility of sharing and small human connection and contact.
    Each two places with their folks disappeared and the job was too dicey.
    I found the system as a LISW too broken to ethically work in. And I found NASW local and national regions to be of very little help and or support.
    My most wow type memory before being in the system but working for an agency was when in a staff meeting the African American psychiatrist asked if anyone would be willing to take either Haldil or a similar drug – just to see.
    Silence and I would guess fear. That says it all.
    And BTW my guess is that there are invisible peers who are in treatment and or in meds but are not “ out.”
    This maybe the biggest stumbling block of all – what webs we weave when we first practice to deceive.

  • Steve
    Thanks. The most help I have found is through just folks that have been in the system. But for me I also had another life and have lived other paths before, during, and after my time in system.
    Having a more non mainstream look at the system plus some folks stigmitism in the past makes it difficult. To pretend or not to be pretend is the question. Much of the time I have difficulty doing either.
    Breathing and walking and other alternatives help but to thrive and get back to where I was and that journey in and of itself was not easy. This site and some peer meetings have been helpful but there needs to be more.
    Aeopisciplian authority given by the people to medical professionals is a legal and social contract. There had to be a way to break or call
    BS to contract that harm.
    I await it’s coming.

  • My other thought is that enuf with trying to figure out comprehendthe other side.
    What would be really helpful to me asa psych survivor is a framework – a compass rose- some rituals or paths others have used to not only walk away but continue on and if at all possible thrive in some way.
    Reading some of my medical records by myself was almost a revictimization. Talking to others is a literal crapshoot because so many upon hearing your real life story use “ that voice” of now but very effective othering.
    And again I have come from a lucky spot.
    How to live with the memories?And they come up at various times unwillingly.
    EDMR okay but my myriad of issues and practioner change to require meds changed that option for me.
    The anger of knowing how I treated folks and the trauma of not in any way shape or kind in return at certain times stillrankles and the inability to dialogue and understand where and why and how these practioners treated me as they did is at times an existential agony.
    Anger ultimately is only helpful on a short term basis but forgiveness that is one sided can be achieved intellectually with effort but is hard to retain and unless one is truly a wisdom healer never enough to change life paths in an effective way.
    The geographic cure can work but again the issue of memory.
    At this time we are seeing memory come up for sex abuse , and. othering and abuse in our nation or world history,but not psych . There have been so much too so many in ALL areas.But a mee too movement for us? Or is that beyond the Pale?
    How can we help ourselves bind our own and other’s traumas?
    To be effective activists especially now with so many arrests and physical and weaponized ( instruments of all kinds) WE need to walk in and move forward rather than do I what I have done – hide.
    One activists suggestedalways carry a second set of clothes so if your taken you have a change. I don’t WANT to be taken and until I have a modicum if some sort of resolution. No- no matter what. If I had not had my 15 years in the system, more than likely I would be out in full force for a variety of causes.
    I know one cannot give power to people but when the people still have the power what can one do?
    Getting of SSD but nine months and that track record hasn’t been reached though I have tried.
    School again? Two graduate degrees and my abilities are as sharp in the past and there were LD issues from birth.
    Volunteer one has to disclose or pretend.
    Inust want the freedom to be me and offer wheat ever small wisdom I have gathered.
    Anyone else have this need for resolution to move beyond?

  • Thanks Michael and Judi for the after comments.
    I would say another word for empathy maybe user and knower of human emotions- more of a phrase but it’s essentially the same idea.
    Samenow sp? in his writings of criminal minded folks – the real kind not the forced and contrive school to correctional system elitist pipeline – talked ofcomplete and utter comparentalization. There was no thread between their life just a series of moves of power and control.
    “Angels with Dirty Faces” is an interesting take on this as well as”Heart of Darkness”
    In my past work with offenders there were several type of folks- some were able to eventually move on past a predator mind set others not. Abuse and trauma were ever present in all of their histories.
    I think we see this mindset in almost all of our systematic institutions. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Oscar Romero – Corrie Ten Boom, Miep Giess, Dorothy Day, Raul Wallenberg, Sr. Dorothy Stang,
    James Wendell Johnson, have been and there are now folks who at best died in the face of these forces
    or challenged the status quo. And throughout systems there have been so many deaths, so many silenced voices, so many possible great hope futures deliberately or by happenstance killed off.
    The predators know human beings well, so well and they as stated in Judi’s commentary take time for the set up. There are many – too many rape walks. A rape walk is when a perp prowls in invisibility around the home or workplace or whatever and sizes things up. They know fear and anger and anxiety. And are skilled in creating it and using it for their own purposes.
    My best guess is somewhere there was a choice made by them to go full throttle into this mindset.
    The problem is we as patients, or parishioners, or constituents, or consumers, can easily be gladhanded by these folks. And I have found despite my dissident professionalism I still was dragged down into the basement bowels of the psych system. My sense of intuition and trust shattered to the winds. And this is from someone on the at first other side of the desk. What the world has done to so many without my privelge is at times for me devastating.

  • Katherine, Interesting though the comments here are correct – this is old stuff and it pays to be sensitive to those who are reading. That being said who asked you to write it and submit?
    It is important to know the curve and trajectory of history but there are slot of gaps like maybe Bedlam? And the Dalem Witch Trails right up in your state. One reason was possible Ergot poisoning. That is worth a blog right there.
    I think one reading one of these articles it would help to know many many states had institutions like these and many are still alive who were in them or like mevisted and or did volunteer or fieldwork in them. All of the ruined buildings are places for the kids to go in and get scared.
    Matter of Fact there was a big movement just awhile ago about this very topic. Halloween and the insane asylum for fun and profit. No.
    The point on the graveyards.Just like in Ireland. I strongly recommend the movie about the Magdalene Laundaries – very unsettling but true. In Taum numbers and numbers of small bodies were found and I would be if a dig was done in an asylum some small bodies would be found as well.
    Also before writing I would suggest you do some research on the West African port city? that was the dispatching site for the Slave Trade. There are several good media pieces about African Americans walking through the holding rooms.
    I think this is still important as one day one hopes the well intentioned good and the horrors are catalogued as past history as the families and children who have been detained by our government will walk through the buildings and walk through not as refugees but as free people. The same with Rikkers and other heinous facilities.

  • Thanks for your thoughts and this type of information Lawerence.
    I was in a museum which housed an old drugstore and the old meds were infused with opiotes. From infants to the elderly much of the so called elixers were made out of addictive substances. The probation era did not focus on these but maybe those substances were outlawed?
    How did snake oil salesmen morph into Pharma reps and docs with a pen and a pad of paper?
    EugeneO’Neil highlighted the old addiction epidemic in “ Long Fsys Journey into Night”. Day not Fsys.
    One would think that drama would be essential medical school reading.
    One idea might be a new way of writing scripts that would make the physician admit to doing a thorough medical history and write down three possibles scenarios: outcomes of taking the medication and then it is informed consent and then the patient can decide.
    I would also like to see investigative journalism take on Pharm Reps and other Medical Sales Employees. The are on the front lines and did they not know what they were doing? No ability to see the local population as human beings? No ability to let the docs know their educational background? Any moral or ethical classes?
    Please write more history or research it for us? When did the tide turn back?
    Not sure about your concerns re universal health coverage. Again research andcomparision to Norther European countries. BTW Nursing Homes really started going well with Medicare/ Medicaid. Some folks use a good idea and utterly ruin it for their own nefarious benefit.

  • Yes I found that out as well. The history of the Rorschach Test is interesting/sad as well.
    Paul Robeson psychiatric treatment and suicide is another story that needs to be told. His son wrote about it and came to some interesting conclusions.
    Likewise Hemingway’s story has some perhaps unusual details as well.
    The Mad Hatter character in Slice in Wonderland is based on history facts.
    Workers in hat factories would go out of their minds very often. It was the chemical fumes that caused the mind alterations. I find that something to contemplate.
    I still think we all are the canaries.

  • Unable to LogIn on any other name.
    Julie,
    There was much non help in the past and currently. Luck of the draw. As in any maladaptive system there are always people who try to do their best and try to have a high standard. Then there are the others and more others.
    In sex offender training we had a video of a nurse in a children’s hospital who admitted to abusing kids with severe neuro issues precisely because – they wouldn’t tell.
    So at various times there would be winds, waves, of truth BUT NOT FOR LONG.
    This was before sex abuse really came out just at the beginning edge- the system folks didn’t want to deal with it and it still lies buried.
    There is the buried abuse of all kinds from sides on the floor – poorly trained, working just to survive with their own issues that they try hard to keep under roots and up the ladder. The worse for me is the administrators who don’t go on the floors, who make money pushing papers and are wined and dined by big Pharma.
    As a lowly medical social worker, I was dined ie lunch/ one time and never ever again I refused even Christmas gifts. Oh and there was one free baseball game and lunch for the Mental Health Center Staff. One time.
    Beer rounds on Friday afternoons for all the residents- it’s a story in and of itself. From pens, to fridge magnets, to Rum. Similar to the 1776 musical song-
    From Bibles to Rum to Slaves. YouTube it and insert the words nouns if your choice.
    I am truly sorry to you and all.I went in to change the system and became woefully victim of it.
    I did do some neat things. Out of the box but still stuff happened and the memories are part of the life I live now because no way to break them through formal or informal means. And who am I?
    Too many life experiences and any wisdom I did have or gifts lost.
    Again my apologies to those hurt.
    Nothing can take back the time or memories- in a truly just and or merciful world there would be a formal written apology, listening and grieving time, and some sort of compensation. Unfornately, I know of no Time Machine and the taking off if the masks and stopping if the dances st The Net and pleasure resorts seemingly will never happen.
    Make a list of those you have lost and send it to the CEO’s and CFO’s of Oharma and for profit psych hospitals and private prisons and juvenile detention or treatment centers.
    Send it to your local County MH board and DD board. The abuse and corruption is spread and anyone who is disabled is at risk for lowly or the worst high level Perps.
    Also the artists need to wake up. They fell in line and look what had happened. Just like me.

  • Actually in the world and all of its history there is always the tension between artist and systems. Dante was forced into exile. Kit Marlowe was killed.
    There are between the lines stories of many artists some mentioned here in this comment area. The more brilliant one is and wide seeing the more trouble an artist walks into. Stalin and his regime was very unkind to artists. How Boris Pasternak survived and his work broke free is another between the line tangle of story.
    Here in my area one has to play the game to survive. There is no room or even an iota of space for other nonsporoved opinions. One pretends and pretends or is hauled off or worse.
    Some are doubly or tripley unlucky with being an artist from less privelege and or othered classifications. DFW was white and male as were others. I am reminded of the play title “ For Colored Girls…….” Nina Simone and others who tangled and were tangled into knots. Tied so tight – ever after the trauma bound times by docs or other officials refused solace or comfort. And some -many lost their lives. And art dies.
    I once was in a educational parent council for parents of kids with “needs”
    Made it to possibly two meetings – childcare issues.
    Some of the women – and they were all women- were really interesting and I would – had there been childcare provided or help from the school district to continue on.
    However, there was a Mom I thought was great. A few weeks after it turns out she was abused and killed by some young men, Layers just layers of trauma here- whirlpools.
    From reading the accounts – it seems they had seen her daughter and scoped her out as victim. She must of sensed it and went to get car alone. She was abducted and my best guess is she refused to tell the offenders the location of her daughter and they killed her.
    To this day no one from the Parent Council ever did anything to honor or even understand what she did. I was aware because I worked with offenders in the court system in one of the many jobs before terteriary,secondary, and primary trauma and life as I live coincided. And the art I thought I could do and share is not a possibility.
    This could have been, this woman’s life could have been used to understand not only trauma but how humans lose the ability to care and have empathy for others. My guess is those offenders had hortirific stories of their own. And sometimes trauma can cause the choice towards awfulness and a life of awfulness until death. Poor or wealthy.
    We talk of suicide but that is a stillpoint or ending. It is an end cause and the various why’s are deep and wide. My guess is in that family relatives have thought of ending it all- the ripple affect.
    Writing about suicide doesn’t really help. Writing about the why of the whole so called helping world does a bit more. Callling out the acts of human bravery or kindness sheds light in a very dark world. Artist can feel the flow of the cold and or warm currents – see the stains in the water or the affect of sunlight on a calm dawn beach. We also tell uncomfortable truths or see them and live with them in the prison that we all share -the human mind.
    I request that if you read this comment offer up a moment of silence to this mom I knew for a brief shing hour or two. Do something for another person today- do something more than just common.
    Work on art or help or forgive someone and or maybe yourself.
    Cry for the hurting males who killed her perhaps. They were not born that way- they were made by our common nightmare human inhumanity to other humans. I have no doubt.
    And then can we break these chains we all have tied around ourselves? And just move out and beyond ourselves.
    In her honor I will be retiring my Catnight name
    Next time it will be my own name and damn the consequences- it can’t get any worse I have lived through it all and am still here.
    Best to all- Mary O’Malley psych survivor seclusion…….. all of it – and retired LISW with twenty years experience in trauma issues.

  • Lawerence, You have written about a searing issue in today’s world.
    As always I wear several hats on this issue.
    1) Having worked on a medical floor in Social Services pre opioid era there were huge pain issues for folks. Sickle Cell Anemia who mostly come out of an African American population base were sometimes not believed by some of the staff. Elderly folks with compressed spinal fractures were totally incapitated.
    So pain was a huge quandry on multiple levels.
    Pain used to be used as a diagnostic tool back in the day.
    Salk developed a vaccine for Polio. He refused any monetary gain. And why NOT others?
    How this all became so awful is still unbelievable to me. Who was supposed to be monitoring the ethics of ALL of this?

  • Well so much for true intersectional dialogue. Despite his reliance on diagnostic toolShaun at least takes time and energy to reply- thanks for that.
    I think this thread covers a lot of bases old and new.
    I would love to have some Vets speak and dialogue with them. Way backs out ten years ago a mother who lost a child to suicide was telling me about the suicide issue in the VA. I would submit unless you have been in country there is no way any one can get the experience and peer relationship might be very important but I don’t know.
    There is trauma but there is also the spiritual mindset but I don’t have a good sense of what is what. Druids use to intentionally create a psychotic type of experience. So there is that whole realm that is never accounted for by most professionals.
    There is the whole epigenetic issues of trauma generations in the making with the whole world of isms that so many people deal with and have to deal with still today. Lynchings and Detention Centers and forced marched exiles.
    It would be nice to hear a We have no idea and let’s do a remake with a three year review with everyone involved.
    Some folks are helped by mainstream folks and processes but that is a very narrow spectrum and why not use everything?
    Healing has always been needed because human life just ain’t easy.
    The corruption and sense of do harm rather than do no harm just needs to stop.

  • Stephan, I always reading your comments and I thank you for your well written manifesto.
    I have issues with peers support in some ways but you are witnessing in your work place. I am so sorry you are not seen as the gift that you are.
    You could easily be co- managing an unit and really shine.
    The fear of professionals has prevented so much good from happening.
    Why not Peerand Professional Managed Units at every hospital and do an evaluation of comparison and contrast?
    Of course the administration already fears the outcome and are barricading every level and type of access for any other option.
    Thanks for your work but I wish better for you and please take care of yourself.

  • Shaun, I am commenting on several of your thoughts.
    Any psych dx is a snapshot of someone in a moment -it does not hold true forever or in the next thirty minutes. A broke arm is a broken arm that can be seen on X Ray even after the body has been submersed in a bog centuries after death.
    So even the use of PSTD has concrete issues. In regards to your opinion that not all humans involved in war exhibit that label- it depends.
    The British Government had problems with returning vets in WWI – and during the war the military had an advanced program to treat soldiers who were suffering from so called battle fatigue- ah another problem with labels- they can change and fall in and fall conviently out of favor. The main aim of the program was not to resolve but to make them ready to return to battle. Any knowledge that was gained was either buried or lost.
    So although the returning vets did not fit a label of battle fatigue – there were no more battles- they were unemployed and had so called unruly issues. Wonder why?
    The government as so many institutions do too many many times gathered them to form a security force in Ireland which was in the midst of one of a zillion rebellions. They became the Black and Tans and wrecked havoc and further trauma on the Irish people – a so-called moral harm type of period.
    Trauma signs and symptoms does NOT neccesssrily be OVERT it can be subtle and life long and for those with either wealth, or power, or those with strong support networks, or those with a healthy environment, or those with a strong educational background, or those with a special talent or gift, or those with just sheer good luck, it can be there but not exposed and or kept in quietly or loudly hidden by themselves or others.
    The mass 1960’s youth movement where did that anger and energy come from? My guess is 90% had a parent or parents who were somehow directly negatively affected by WWII.
    Not speaking about trauma is still living in a silent prison of trauma.
    Some sex abuse survivors if they do tell especially those with clergy or other dominant societal offenders take thirty or more years to tell the truth and many go to their grave effectively still silenced by the offender and or the system that refused to acknowledge the truth of the trauma cannon.
    And once one is medicated one is usually stuck in the system because of the medication.
    There is NO institional method that is acknowledged by the MH system to Eliminate the Label and diagnosis and or use the medication as a true short term solution.
    The MH system now plays the productivity game – at least at my last job – where workers are made to have high productivity rates or literally be fired.
    It actually works better to see clients for decades rather than not.
    I only worked in one program that was as trauma based as possible at the time where there was a time limit involved. Then for awhile short term treatment was in and they changed the program time frame. The wink wink here was – they will always be back.
    This is too long- Icould write a book but your journey is still in the making think more, research everywhere, and we survivors not only have knowledge but deserve much much better than what we were given. Restitution’s are needed.

  • Patrick, I appreciate your effort here, and the fact you are writing in a second language. You sounded like Lacan and possibly Levi- Strauss.
    Shades of Literary Criticism here which most American folks unless they have a grad or BA degree in Literature would miss and might not only find confusing but off putting.
    I think you were trying to say I am with you but too high flauntin’.
    And if not that you built a fourth wall with your use of the word Signifer.
    There are lots of gaps here but the history is expansive but we need the whole kitchen sink- dirty plates and all.
    So the torture that was considered treatment needs to be called out. Freud and his forced reversal with his first academic writings on sexual abuse of his female patients changed to hysteria.
    And although Anna Freud did some great work – what about her relationship with her father?
    I am glad to see your calling out of the issues with Autism.
    Have you read Sue Miller’s “ Family [email protected]? It is still one of my favorites though now it is dated but still.
    You by passed addiction and what was the real story on Freud and cocaine?
    And according to my memory bank in the nineties we as professionals were being to the DSM was bunk. We just we never told the truth about why.
    One of the things as a professional that I respected with a few of the psychiatrists I worked with was their ability to have compassion, empathy, and even as mutation to those thevwirked with or discussed. Some of them would talk about artists of all kinds and be in awe of their creative talent. A few. And in your Psychoanalytic journal one of them always had a section on artists and or creativity?

    I did not get this empathy in your writing. Next time maybe more Victor Hugo and less Satre.
    You cannot join with others if bridges are too walking.

  • Dear Helen,I appreciate the effort but not there yet.
    To quote TS Eliot – that is not what I meant at all-
    When I suggested dialogue in an earlier post. I meant like Gail Collins and Bret Stephan’s weekly writing. A dialogue – could also be more voices now and then.
    The divide is not broken until listening occurs and is internalized and oh light bulb moment occurs.
    I am reminded at one hospitalization at Windsor Laurelwood they had a student nurse give us patients a talk.
    One patient asked her if she was afraid of getting contaminated by us- this was after for me 15. years as a LISW with time in the inpatient and outpatient worlds of mental health system.
    Her reply is classic and should be put down in Capitol letters in the first/ next M H system tell all book or even better Medical and Nursing and USocial Eork text books on what not to say to folks.
    Her reply was no because she had asked her parents if anyone in the family had issues and they assured her no- no one in her family had issues so she felt safe.
    I wanted to stand up and shout- you lie!
    Anyone but anyone who has worked in the system know almost all profs have had some family experience or the old sawhorse shrinks kids are the most troubled of all doctor kids. And I would say anyone who has a doc as a parent needs a 12 step program just for that.
    Another Social Worker who went on to a PhD in academia – name available upon request- discussed this. But we both were unaware – oh our dads were vets- obtbey could do great work but yikes their trauma issues really played out at home. And it doesn’t mean just Vets. All and I mean All are survivors of various types and forms of trauma.
    Until that is put up front – the bridges are still down and waters still troubled.
    The aide? Staff member – one of the great ways control is used in inpatient units- one never knows the education level. Aide? LPN? Intern?
    RN? Roving Staff? Hired help? Student working while dealing with single parenthood and school and another job?
    The aide who called me a crazy bipolar bitch probably was not just calling me that there were echoes of a past or present she was presumably unaware of.
    So please better ways of dealing with power and control. Again as porrviste the effort. You all can do better.

  • When I was a professional I had an idea but not total comprehension of those supposedly I was helping.
    I think this dialogue needs to happen here- a joint survivor /prof ongoing conversation.
    This project is worth all try but the issues raised here are very legitimate.
    There are several aspects
    Power and Control – Systemic in a variety of areas
    Human Rights
    How one reclaims a voice when it has literally and metaphorically been quashed
    How to reconcile- past, present, and future.
    Just more thoughts for other pieces.
    I believe it can and SHOULD be done.
    My mother was a Social Wirker and worked with pregnant women and had them climb stairs. She told me after she herself became pregnant she realized the 7 story flight was awful for them and never did that again.
    I feel that way too. In some ways, I had no idea.
    So how to change perspective when the system has walls high walls around change?
    John Steinbeck’sThe Grapes of Wrath and Rose of Sharon’s lasting life giving image at the end.
    We all have to change. Some from what was done to us others for what we did to them.
    Another run of columns two person please!