Sunday, July 22, 2018

Comments by CatNight

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  • Shaun As a former professional in tbe system I know the process of seeing and then acting on all this new information is not the easiest. You need to read all the histories of otherness and start thinking beyond
    A stand alone trauma center open 24/7 with alternatives and ohg free services or low cost would be so helpful. The rural and urban areas are shut out except for some 12 step programs and their are entire counties without any.
    The other idea is what is the basis of altered stars? Def from drugs but also in First Nation cultures and others altered states are induced. To this day I am not sure how much drugs and then my spiritual/ artistic/Empath makeup was part and or parcel.
    Trauma and some is severe and what to do after you have seen genocide?
    Getting the dx off would be a great way to make amends and help psych survirs or whatever tripe of human label one uses
    This has been the worst for me.
    Despite my past professional record I still have the dx in the records. And attorney help no tried that in various ways- THEY DONT WANT TO HELP
    Say a certain phrase and you have turned to nothing literally nothing in their eyes.

  • Hi Emily, I read your posting and thanks. I know exactly what your are talking about though for me the vocabulary would be different.
    I think you described the before and after body and mind sense and how one cannot truly forget and move on. And the need for folks and institutions to accept responsibility and atone and amend. It will never be what we want but a ritual a removing of label and truth telling.
    The word trauma fits for me because it is everywhere and eventually affects all of us though many wear masks and or deny.
    And life is not fair. Much more not fair for many. I am always aware if I had not hand luck and upper middle class ( though ah we were the family that read poetry,
    read de Chardin, and listened to Bo Didley and Harry Belefonte, had contact with other cultures so looking back we were probably considered weird in my town)
    If not for that random luck I would have been dead years ago. No doubt in my mind.
    Tillie Olsen wrote a lovely book called Silences and it is old but still worth getting your hands on it.
    Joanne Greenburg’s life and work are worth reading
    Audre Lorde yes, her too.
    So many have been victims on our earth so very very many. I try to learn about that ones who continued.
    Maybe no nouns just adjectives like Susan B Anthony suggested?

  • Emily
    Thanks for the reply. That is vital to building community. Victim yes but one needs to know there are other roles- POWS are not POWS forever they were prisoners , the Japanese Americans in interment camps eventually got out. We the living owe the others a voice and enemy lingers in the victim identity- issues. Maybe a new name ? Once the border crisis is over what role name will we give tbe children? I could go on and on.
    What does give me hope is Emma Lazarus. She was not only a poet but a Social Worker in the tentements of New York City.
    She developed cancer. In those days cancer was not treated in tbe hospital – stigma and all that. Her frien Tose Hawthorne Nathaniel Hawthorne’s daughter took care of her. After Emma died Rose became a nun and started a freeHospice program for terminally ill cancer patients.
    Society and medicine eventually changed so that cancer was not considered an anethema.
    Steven Biko died but his voice helped dismantle. apartheid.
    The abolitionist and suffergette movements wow centuries ?
    And btw an underground railway or Martha transportation line would be great baring that letter writing. I feel the safest with that.

  • Emily, I have appreciated your words and wish. you the best of luck? Why not Canada with Bonnie? And why go into academia when tenure is still such a ongoing problem?
    I have seen multiple sides of the MH system and find it now totally broken. Apartheid in some ways.
    In the past there were some as I was awoke professionals but we were still blind to slot of the abuses. As in any tyrannical government state there are good people. So often and so tragically it is sheer luck that one bumps into them.
    If you have not been forced hospitalized or pushed into an ER visit which usually ends in being escorted in a wheelchair with security you truly cannot begin to comprehend the experience. Or waking up in a seclusion room with no one telling you how it happened or why and with s nurses aid saying they are putting you into a nursing home.
    But kudus for trying to understand at least admit that some things will be forever beyond your kien. We will not hold that against you as mother mostly do not hold females who choose to not have children against them at least I do. Differences and heterogeneity are important and vital for growth.
    Saul Alinsky was aware of this.
    I looked st the survey and no. Been there done that – even enrolled in a NIMH before I rewoke. Not the best way to make change though ah it is alluring. The psychiatrist at Boring old man website -despite his elitism – was the best at debunking the ghost written research.
    As to your musical metaphor. In my area we have The Gathering Place that caters to anyone touched by cancer. No docs no dx anyone – whether you choose to have treatment or not – free services to all
    Mixing at times of most yoga and other classes and events. You are just you without a label of patient or caretaker or partner – whatever. I think it is a lovely model.
    I wrote up a replication in terms of trauma and sent it to the Board and the orgininatir of that program was on the board. She knew me and at least some of my cancer ties. Nada nada nada.
    This model would have by passed the medication and labeling issues for all. It removed them from the playing field. My guess is too scary. NAMI is so big in my area and I have been hounded.
    Giving free Reiki at a church with a NMA I group they had to come and give me their speil Mentsl Illness is like Diabetes. Nice folk but so ignorant and so very very uninformed. I know folks with Diabetes on a personal and once professional level. Not a good connection. In fact there was once a teen who wanted to stop her insulin the medical staff let her do it. Eventually she changed her mind but when I was in my seclusion rooms I thought of her freedom of choice often
    One complaint and this is for Dteve when a comment is removed the writer should get an explanation. It also would be helpful to track the why if it wafting a trigger and how to handle readings that can induce anger.
    An angry response place that can be put on hold and then renegotiated or voluntarily removed after 24 hours.
    Good luck in life.

  • The comments are an interesting reaction to efforts that should have happened decades ago.
    Does anyone know how the Nuremberg Trials were created and who and how witnesses were used?
    Elie Wiesel struggled with the concept of forgiveness for the rest of his life. Again I would look on how others handled restitution and reclaimization. The history is not that great. Intially, freed slaves were promised a small amount of land and money. But somehow it fell through the cracks. The First Nation folks are still dealing with multiple issues of health and sociology- economic status. South Africa did do a Commission but it will take decades to work it all out. The Japanese American containment – proper word? camps just had a SCOTUS long delayed moment.
    So much of human history and now we are so aware of it but instead of using it as a bell toll do many of us continue to hide our head in the sand.
    So many psych survivors myself included and horrirific experiences and done in isolation ie How do you tell close or extended relatives or say children I was put in seclusion and chemically raped. For no good reason other than I was more knowledgeable than staff and was uppity.
    So I think the psych survivor skinf to the sexual abuse folks have another layer of absolute isolation and for the psych survivor we are labeled and in that labeling our entire power our entire ability to fight back had been completely taken away.
    There are the folks on the unit but as mentioned in Eric’s writing you don’t see the folks outside.
    It’s multi layered and deserves an almost separate Nuremberg type trial or Truth and Reconcilliation Committee.

  • Chris – it has taken awhile to comment because now I find your use of the b word triggering. But that is my issue at this time not yours at this time.
    In the past in my journey, I did try to embrace the whole label role. Actually in NAMI money donation literature they suggest you use your label while asking for donations. In an act of protest I choose to use the s word. Because I knew it had negative connotations in the community and just to show what embracing the label could do in a community.
    My letter donation campaign resulted in police calls to my house. No ever came up to ask me what my story was.
    So I literally shot myself in the proverbial foot by following in pa resistant way NAMI ‘s advice.
    Prior to this my child’s soccer coach had relayed once finding I was a LISW that his brother was a s and had issues also another writer friend needed help with a relative who needed some help who was also labeled s. To their credit they were not dismissive but genuially confused and now that I know so much about the survivor movement I wish I could do a do over spend get them both connected to this site and other groups. I know they would not only listen but learn.
    At one of my CUEs before I quit the profession the presenter basically dissed the entire DSM process and said they gather in a basement and hold up their hands for options. And this was for the DSM III R.
    If you want t embrace the bi concept – whatever works- however you are on the journey and this may or may not be the last stop for you.
    I look to nature and science.
    And it shows many diverse patterns beside the binary system. Artists also talk about the four season cycle- so maybe one can call themselves a quad?
    Prosody in Poetry has all sorts of patterns- one could use as a snapshot or label. Today I am a trochee. Tomorrow or next year I will be an iambic pentameter.
    Fractals! Maybe some of us are fractal people?
    Humans for better or worse have always exhibited a need for classification. The Caste System in India is ancient.
    We also have both expressed and nonexpressedneeds for community.
    One time s relative who had a DD child said, he could be in society but stress symptoms would start and back in another more DDish community the stress symptoms would disappear or be less.
    One needs to live in multiple communities and how do we manage that? How do we talk to one another?
    And add to that Trauma and Yikes everything becomes more confused and harder to find solutions.
    The Irish still talk of The Battle of the Boyne and Oliver Cromwell and it’s is centuries! And Armenians still cope with the trauma of their own genocide over a centryry ago. And African Americans still deal with the memory of The Midfle Passage.
    Some of us carry remnants of the Neanderthals in our biological make up. What happened to an entire once thriving species?
    After a war and most wars eventually end even the 100 years war ended there is always the next morning and people have to live with each other. I try to remember that though so easy to forget.
    What do we say to each other in the morning after a war?
    How has it be done in the past?
    What happens to language?
    What happens to memory?
    What happens to art?
    As angry as I can sometimes get and rightfully so I don’t want to have to deal with an involvement of an atrocity.
    But then again there was a movement against Hitler?
    What happened to its survivors?
    And when one dismantles – how does one rebuild?
    And what about the cornerstone or keystone in a foundation of s building? If it is damaged or rotten what is done?
    More questions than answers here,

  • Thanks Knowledge. I found thee work at times very problematic. Drugs were used with kids in hospitals who were sick enough to need nursing care but to old and rambucious to handle on weekends in the floor units.
    And that was way back.
    The prof organizations need to be woken up somehow.
    BTW
    Dr Julious Richmond Surgeon General began the talk of stopping homosexuality as a sx and issues with smoking. It just takes one strong bearable voice and then the cracks start to open.

  • Julie, I am glad you wrote this and I like the discussion going on. I hear she is a good writer but I have my own particular issue with her separate from most of the discussion. I have read the other books from Kay to Andrew to Ellyn. Each has their strengths and weaknesses. And Their is the ethical debate that has never risen to any type of solution about client stories and this goes for all sorts of books especially like Mary Piper and her “Raising Ophelia” book. That should be an entire blog and more because with bestseller earnings without those human interest narratives where would the book be? Like Plantation owners where would they be without slave labor?
    One of those things that even when a book’s ideas are good and it is well written there is the reader unease but look at Eugene O’Neil and “ Long Days Journey Into Night” he used his family and his mother’s addiction to morphine – so similar to the opioid crisis now only you don’t live addicted you eventually OD and possibly die. So there is the issue of art and human suffering how to protray? And how else to get an urgent message across?
    Tony Kushner’s “ Angels in America “ and the other works of art that the AIDS crisis brought out were essential in turning the tide that and the forgotten AIDS quilt. So there is that fragment side of the discussion as well.
    Trauma studies also complicate the picture and I still see in my local community people identifying with the diabetes analogy only wow you do have a great chance to become diabetic- how ironic is that?’
    And there in my family and others those that choose to use meds and get benefit. You can’t smash them and I despite my history refuse to be rigid about their choice to take – although some day I hope it will be seen like a tobacco issue. Until that time comes and unless there are varied and solid alternatives most folks have to struggle on their own.
    Since I once was a professional I also wanted to say back in the day
    Termination of treatment was the goal. I would say we are a team and my job is to put myself out of business. And there was one program I worked in that was as trauma focused as possible during the time and it was an enforced two year time period where the last six months was all about ending treatment.
    So at times the thinkingbwas there until it became incovient to the powers that be. And I think there was a knowing downplaying of all of that and highlighting the bio aspect and illness metaphor.
    The system already iffy became solidly rigged. There was no treatment as I had treated my own clients it was pure and simple incarceration.

  • Rachel I am not sure what one would call it. And there are still gaps in my understanding because there are walls of silence around that and other things.
    All I know is that I had this friend who was very influenced by Lauren Slater in graduate school. She and others staged this meeting where multiple where aware of what was going to go down. The worst aspect is a a liscenced Social Worker I would never do such a thing to someone and I had already had sought out support. They actually gave my mother a list of shrinks so the message was medication. Not support.
    The really strange layer and their were and still are many is that a relative was trying to withdraw from a med and I was supportive at the very same time.
    Other friends were going through their own family traumas and I didn’t want to burden them and those folks continued to have really really hard times. The best I could do was disengage but life has never been the same.
    My writing hopes were destroyed as were many years of my life.
    Kind of a psychological tar and feathering so to speak. Irish folks did that to women who had the sheer gall to fall in love with a Brit.
    I was just ready to change my life and not just stagnate. So much for that.

  • Thanks for this heads up. Despite the flaws of this approach there were some real insights gathered on trauma and or childhood.
    I think the biopsy history folks saw the cracks and used the fall to suit their own purposes.
    But this is important to everyone here and around the nation,
    We of all folks especially those who were incarcerated while being a parent know this scenario all to well.
    This issues and others no matter what your political thinking gives us some sort of a voice.
    In some reports the children and teens are being forced into chemical treatment. They are being taken to psych units where some think it will be better for them. Unless the centers are aware and woke it will not be better possibly with the chemicals worse.
    The Poor People’s Campaign is also s path,
    One can call or sign a petition.
    This also would be another opportunity to break down folks ignorance about our public fear if a person is safe to disclose.
    If nothing changed it will get worse for ALL of us.

  • Dear Julie,
    Thank you for this piece. I always wondered where Lauren Slater was and I was afraid she was one of those who would continue to drink the cool aid. I also enjoyed reading about your own journey away from drinking the cool aid.
    The journey you have taken and I as well was hard and st times still hard but with as much empathy and some writer’s envy as I have- I am so so glad I did not continue the way she has.
    And I do appreciate your empathy and realization in the past we were hoodwinked. And the painful aspect is it is s Hood one can only remove by one’s self. And sometimes for many and for many reasons the Hood is the only option seen and or given.
    Your writing hits a painful chord. Lauren came to a local college to speak and was a demigod to an old close friend.
    Because of her, (LaureSlater)my old friend and others did their own ignorant intervention when I told folks I was thinking on separating.About five people were involved including my husband albeit they pulled him in. The intervention went down badly for me and I suspect with hindsight them. I have never ever been the same. There was the me before and there is the me now. My mother was called and she was dealing with a disabled husband and a dying daughter and I was contacted. See a psychiatrist. Implied wax you need medication.
    The trauma of that month made me want to take meds because I felt so NOT ME anymore. And down the rabbit hole I fell.
    It took months for my husband to admit what they had done. He was a StageIII cancer survivor and my sisters terminal illness and his post treatment side affects really made him less than what he had been. We have been back and forth. He is more able to see his role and we have some what but not yet totally resolved our relationship.
    My dying sister never thought I was crazy- She knew the details. But they never asked her.
    So I have always felt Lauren Slater had for me and maybe others a weird non involved but influencer type of role in my life.
    She is like NAMI others in needsee her and those as pathways where in reality they are error prone as all humans.
    I am not surprised at how she is doing. And I am for sorry for that. I hope she can see the light some day.

  • Well if one looks into trauma – the ability to comprehend and analyze what a person is currently experiencing sometimes never can be done ie Vets in POW camps and such.Dr Henry Louis Gates program on family history highlights hidden stories of trauma- literally for safety and other reasons not able to be acknowledge.
    Back in the day in grad school threre was acknowledgement but so small. Michael Harrington’s book- “The Other America” is still seminal reading. The problem came to the fore with the downgrading and lack of funding for community centers and many folks WANTING to go into private practice. Both options proved to be toxic to ethical professionals. I totally dropped out.

  • Thanks. I as both a former professional and as a psych survivor can empathize. It was abuse and I would venture a form of torture. There were some places in the past that did try at helping. Fritz Redl’s work When We Deal with Children.
    America is great at wording respect for children but if you look st the history no. The first child welfare case used an animal cruelty law that was in place. That was during the era of the orphan train and lost children from immigrants or dead parents or parents with issues from the whole plethora of societal problems. In retrospect the orphan train seems a better idea- at least if it was abusive you could run away.
    And lost children. We have one in our family history. There is a marker in the cemetery – Our Willie.
    Kudos for keeping on. I did it backwards from you. I still struggle because the help actually was so harrowing it taught me access hate not only for the so called helpers but for myself as well. Some days are better than others.Forgiveness is a long process because to hold on to hate is ultimately destructive for yourself and others – lose/lose situation but hard because there is no formal ritual of restorative anything.
    Essentially a doctor/ pt role was a formal societal contract read Ormand’ work on medical authority
    Legally if a contract is broken or illused there is a pathway for recompense. Any first year law student with brains can riif on the law case about the man with the hairy arm.
    As such now like in Aparthied South Africa there are only walls with some cracks. And they still are mired with issues and will be for many decades.
    What is do hard is when you drop off a pet for boarding and the staff is more empathetic and uses feeling. Words about your pet than ANY inpatient staff at any and all levels.
    And outside profs are unable to get it. Nice folks but you have to be inside just as with pregnancy.
    You don’t and sometimes can’t know what you don’t know.
    I would go for the trauma center idea the system is broken beyond repair. And also more profs need to come out like yourself
    Police, politicians and tell truth to power. But again no safety net yet.
    And a movement to stop mental health checks
    Who ever thought that one up?
    Needs to spend some time in country.
    I still can’t do things because zI live in fear of those calls. One false step a word or a “strange” behavior and I am back to a place where NOBODY CARES as the Broadway show put it so well., The Me that Nobody Knows.
    Best
    Mary

  • I don’t know Oldhead. If you go back decades there was Ken Kersey and other artistic efforts that if not upsetting the applecart at least had a tint or shade of resistence.I have been amazed at how folks on the whole nine yards of the political spectrum have been actively blinded sided to the psychiatric system’s brokeness and abuses.
    Family Therapy was started by professionals in the system who saw there were big problems.
    They flourished for several years in various areas and now seem to have a very small voice and impact.
    So any help from inside the system is few and far between.
    The Roman Catholic Church in the fifties had social action cells that convened in different areas in the States. That would be one way. I don’t know how it worked just that once it did exist.
    I think the young folks might be the key. They just need to be mentored.They at least have a huge stake in the game.
    The hundredth monkey idea- if they could see as in the shootings there is a deep and more complex story as in gender. racism, and sexism- I think they could get behind the movement.

  • Thanks for this Sarah!
    I think you have encapsulated a part of human existence. I think it works for all folks and did help me to put some of my experiences into a more clarifying framework.
    This should be taught to students everywhere so that we can have an informed public.
    It seems we are as a country – a society- and world all in trauma mode. And not with one trauma but many overlapping the personal and public boundaries of family, work, region, culture, religion, gender – and on and on.
    I think trauma maybe the one universality that can pierce through the blinders of eye, heart, ears, and mind that we all either have chosen or have been forced to wear.
    I would think giving this to the movements besides ours would be invaluable.
    Keep up the work.

  • Dear Richard,
    Thanks for sharing your gift and talent.. I was always told to mouth the words when singing in class by the nuns. I did have one friend who allowed me to sing during a trip. It was joyful- so kudos for using your voice in a good cause.
    It reminds me of the old songs – from Joe Hill to Little Boxes – to Biko- to Whose Garden Was This and so many others. There should be a list. We need more songs and creative endeavors- may yours lead the way.
    I enjoy your thinking though I come from a slightly different perspective in terms of my life as it is was and who knows what is next.
    My ongoing concern seeding this from many many sides is the system is broken and has been but how to help everyone deal with life when there are the range of OMG and WTF issues that come up like flotsam in our lives and some issues are most definitely systemic and ah the current political wave we all are forced into riding willing or not.
    I also try hard not to lead forward in anger and resentment though I know my anger was justified by the awful so called treatment I received made worse because though I was in the system I tried very hard to be aware and help. Not sure if this approach ever worked despite my own best intentions. And I also know there are always some good apples in the bin the trohble is having the ability to find them admits so many bad ones. That takes time, money, luck and a modicum at the very least of societal privelege.
    If one does not know who what how to look for help and those answers are quashed then how can one ever triumph? The fact that people have and do is amazing to me.
    I would love to have restorative justice for the stems survivors some day. We may not be able to talk directly to the abusive charlatans who creased, maintained, treated us or others but some sort of legal, societal reckoning would be great.
    I also would imagine some of the professionals in system were somewhat harmed or compromised as well and there issue at the right time needs to be addressed some where along the spectrum.

  • Sandra— I like your comment on families. As I have evolved or de evolved hopefully evolved I think families are lied to and not in th the dark and support is at the very best woefully lacking.
    I think that I had a child visit in one of the hell holes and it was so oppressive I would consider it undersong torture and no “ helping professional” in sight.
    This was the one with the tv in a locked wooden crate and the IT room locked with no OT staff though filled with supplies when I made a fuss and they let us use the supplies one time.
    The system is broken for ALL except those in power who profit.
    They break families – break down good memories and insert trauma moments.
    Just think how it affects the family dog. If animal lovers were aware of how the “help” of inpatient treatment affects and damages the pets just the pets mind you- they would be up in AAarms against the secondary trauma endured by the pets who can’t figure out what has happened to their beloved owner.
    A visit to a doc and then ER time and the pet waits alone.

  • Thanks for all the talking points.
    What can we learn from South Africa,The Female vote, and Abolition of Slavery?
    Many of these movements were multinational and reguired strange bedfellows to get the actually work done. It took decades and several generations before some of the goals were accomplished
    Witness and bearing witness is such an important concept and role.
    The immigration crisis and massaive refugee global issues – all play a role here because of the trauma issue.
    Freedom House in Detroit caters to the needs of refugees who have experienced torture.
    Our community might help here.
    Have you ever met a refugee from a war torn and violent country. I just felt the absence of safety from them. It was clear they had been through a hell I never could fully imagine.
    And in some countries -others- of all kinds are in unsafe zones.
    So how to use history and how to expand a fishing net.
    I don’t have the answers – and my locale in some ways is hard.
    But we need to think on witness-trauma- and change or someday end the system as it is now.

  • Thanks Au for your time, effort, and thoughts. I have issues but you have created a great framework for discussion.
    In your community I am not sure where the issue of trauma lays.
    My one and only concern is how can we- will we deal with trauma and for it to work we need to address it at almost all societal levels
    I am coming from Caps for Sale approach to all of this as a worker and yes through my fault I did the dip in more babysitting than not work- I had no idea of what folks who were there were actually dealing with- then I have my time in MH system and then trying to live out of system but trauma issues are still present

    We need to be able to meet in a safe place and organize. One of the student groups against gun violence laid out shoes in front of the Capitol steps for each child victim of gun violence since Sandy Hook – it was a visual like the Aids Quilt
    And in a fully trauma aware world the shooters and other offenders of all ills would be at least understood to have some sort of trauma template in their lives.
    No excuse but to understand is better than hating and or stigmatizing.
    Keep up the work you all.

  • Dear Cal,
    Thank you for this. I am so very sorry that this has happened and is still happening. I had followed some of it but did not know it was still continuing.
    Thanks for the numbers to call.
    It helps to be able to use your voice and calling for me is doable.
    What else would you like the MIA and psych survivors to do?
    There has been a bad rift between the MH – no better word for now- apology for this- and the DD folks for a long time. The folks on the A spectrum seem to have been thrown in the midst and not in a helpful way at all at all.
    FYI- Some local and state government funding divides and separates funding. My local country does this with DD services getting much more than MH.Divide and Conquer indeed.
    In the old state hospital system where I zI had seen both but more involved with DD state systems – it was crumbling structures similar to Public Housing in one of the so called bad areas- and a pervasive sense of sadness. But nothing like this – though there were cottages I was not allowed to see.
    There was the beginnings of cololesence in the 70’s and with the advent of ADA.
    We all need to work together.

  • Thanks Julie ad Pam’s for your kind words.
    It helps to not be alone with this issue.
    And to have the dx label taken away.
    To have this step put in would be utterly invaluable.
    A was a for Social Worker and I was always aware of the power dynamics. I would say I am the pilot you are the navigator we work together as a team.
    To have mostly male docs treat me like dirt- to have them and most staff treat me worse and in ways I would never treat another human being in a professional capacity I still find shocking and the wounds to my self image, esteem,trust, hope are still open and the scars still not formed enough.
    To still be confused to the why and how come and what the hell did I do wrong questions is maddening no pun intended.
    The layers of trauma that put me in harms way and the trauma that was called treatment and then the lack of clarity is every day hard.
    And Julie to put salt on my wounds- I told folks I worked with that the only perfect human is a dead human. If I did something I would admit,take responsibility, and make some sort of amends.
    If I were to call CPS I would have the kid sit in and hear every word and then I would give them the scenario facts good and bad.
    This what should happen and this is what might happen. No guarantees because the system even way back was broken
    I would advise tell Again and again til someone hears you.
    Now I know in some cases no onehears you because iPod facto because of where you are in society you are basically s non human.
    All the professionals who are in support need to think long and hard on what to do.
    We have our voices but need a way to become hear able.
    Novels like Bonnie and art in all its form helps.
    There needs to be a way to remove dx labels and a forum for professionals to apologize – take responsibility and make some sort of amends.
    That this process is not legitimized in any areas of our society today shows how off course we are.

  • It was neat to see the support given to folks. Happy Birthdays to Bonnie and Julie and a very unbirthday wish to the rest.
    Sometimes I wonder if I was given ect superticiusly. My experience was so bizzare and I did get a hip fracture and do you trust the memories of those times? How much fog was real or not?
    I have interacted and failed so I go day by day.
    I am unable to find away to integrate my self before in system my self in system and my self outside system though every time a police car passed me by I inwardly and outwardly cringe because I was hauled off.
    I can ride or walk and give an historical trigger trauma life recount.
    Leaving is an option but where and when and what would constitute a safe place for me?
    The sum of my being is deer in the headlights frozen
    The risk of being hauled away with face mask and five point restraints and forcibly medicated is to strong to overcome.
    If there were pathways of acknowledgement of apology or amends it would help but no.
    Silence from written correspondence and the records I have obtained – many Un obtained are not helpful and just the fact second parties are used to copy them means another human being has seen my history without my permission.
    I don’t comment much anymore.
    Best to all.

  • Of course responsibility is very important. There used to be a professional therapist who worked exclusively with adolescents who had murdered a parent. She never advocated for them to be absolved if the murder but worked within the criminal justice system. If and when able and allowed she would take them to the parent’s grave site.
    She understood the seeds of trauma but also comprehended hate and severe aggression is intolerable in a functioning society.
    And we all have to acknowledge there is a very wide spectrum on how humans have distinct temperaments and how each of us copes with trauma.
    I just get upset with the nomenclature used to avoid responsibility of the powers that be who avoid responsibility with the use of the phrase “mentally ill”.

  • The latest news report I read and it is hard to even consider delving in-reports TRAUMA!
    He is an ORPHAN!
    The system failed him and all the ties that bind- the big Pharma playbook, the NRA change from times where assault rifles were not used or even thought about, the weapon industry – those who make money off of assault weapons, the Mental Health system which soon after deinstutionslization began to flounder because monies from the Federal government weren’t forthcoming and a divide and conquer mentality ran slipshod and wild fire over the disability movement especially seen between the DD and MH funding and publicity.
    Professionals in the helping fields became cogs in a more and more restrictive and push the pills work culture. Important information on Trauma was pushed and or erased so that the pills could or bogus therapies designed for submission could be used and touted.
    He in the eyes of the world was one of the EXPANDABLES.
    And he figured that one out.
    Until we all rise up
    Victims will be melded into Perps
    More people and children will die and ever so many people like in Thomas Grays “ Elegy in a Churchyard” will live lives at best of quiet desperation and those that had gifts unseen and unheard will never make their mark and help change the world.

  • Thanks Kat and I am sorry for you and all of us harmed by so called “helpers”.
    Although trauma has been known as an issue it has gotten trampled on time and time again. To acknowledge the extent of how trauma has impacted our society and most importantly how offenders in all professions have used heir radar sense to make malignant use of trauma to empower themselves and their minion is difficult. This is not just a psych issue- this is societal at many, many levels.
    Read the tactics used by rich offenders to stop the victims in their tracks.
    Not only Big Pharma but other for profit organizations – their tactics and toxicity. How can they ever sleep at night?
    Roxanne guy has a new memoir that is spot on describing trauma. Read it in pieces that fit. I found it helpful. Krista tipped On Being podcast deals with trauma at times and other areas that I have found helpful .Suppossedly there is a Holocaust Trauma Clinic? If so it should be a generalized one for psych trauma survivors paid for by Big Pharma instead of Advertising and PR the profit stream goes to these centers. And 20% of all psychiatrist’s income who have been named as a non- helpful traumatizing physicians – go to funding for a ten year period.
    Not great but I would take it.

  • Pia, This is in some ways a large can of worms but I think the time has come to talk and begin discussions. I have knowledge coming from multiple side of the issue from both a personal and professional stand point.
    US Primate Centers – PETA heavily protested these centers and found issues. At the same time, these centers worked on cutting edge AIDS research during the awful epidemic. Some primate centers have now been closed.
    Most medical researchers have used animals because they thought it was better than say the use of research on unknowing or uninformed human subjects. Look up Tuskegee Institute history of horror.
    The Nazis used concentration camp children for medical research look up the accounts of the survivors of the twin research.
    Read “Refuge” by Terry Tempest Williams and her account of the effects of nuclear testing on her extended family members.
    Check out the movie “Lorenzo’s Oil” a film version of a true account on how a father helped find a solution to his son’s genetic disease.
    The urge to find help, to find a cure, to find the proverbial bullet runs deep for family members.
    The urge to find better ways of fighting protecting the country runs deep in governments.
    The urge to find more profit, more money runs deeps in for profit and even nonfood profit systems and research is then used upside down.
    The focus is on how to keep people addicted and profit flow not only flowing but more and more.
    With chemicals used by agriculture the research is on how to increase profits no matter what the chemicals are doing to the biomes and ecosystems.
    Read Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”
    Even a so called simple product like infant formula can create issues because it is given to developing countries therefore allowing innocent infants a portal for cholera and other diseases where water is not abled to be boiled.
    At one time medical researchers were transplanting heads of animals on to dogs. True. Names withheld.
    I also am aware of medical researchers who are good decent folks and are aware of the need of families and patients who are facing life long medical problems and pain. They can be forced into silence when they become aware of ethical issues. NDL’s and gag orders and threat of professional obliteration. See some of the Hollywood movies that centered on doctors caught in research nightmares.
    For decades state institutions and schools for the disabled were the perfect place for research. Silence and lack of power perfect place to work.
    Abuse and those who participate in it are bullies and act like typical offenders.
    Whenever their is lack of truth, the push for profit over ethics, bullying of whistleblowers or potential whistleblowers, whenever there is the smell of stink coming from CEO’s CFO’s lavish lifestyles and perks given to professionals to keep them quiet or aid and abet the goal of the corporation, institute, or system ` unethical thinking, and justifying is looming and looms large.
    In the eighties the hospital I worked for pushed research on all departments. It was voluntary but not voluntary. We did research projects that we had no heart or interest in and the results were compromised but put in because of the pressure.
    Small beans, but that aura of culture kept growing and growing.
    Check out how rabbits were killed for pregnancy tests. Check out research done by cosmetic industries.
    Some folks would say PETA over steps but I think they need to be listened to and respected for their viewpoint just as families members and patients need for help need to be listened to and respected.
    Ethics needs not to be sidelined as a pain but as a full partner at the table of medical research.
    Think tanks funded by neutral funding resources with all concerned folks dialoguing.
    Doctors need to hear parents, researchers need to hear and see patients face to face, funders need to talk to all involved.
    Profit should be taken off of the table of consideration.
    Good things have happened with medicine and to her sciences but just because good things have happened or are happening in no one removes the ethical onus for all involved to use ethics as a guiding light so that shadows can disappear or kept to a bare minimum until animals are never used.
    The use of cadavers, dead embryos, all need a long and deep conversation.
    We not fear dialogue and strong feelings and tiring thinking. We just need to do it and move on to a better way of acting and creating helpful information.
    As you can tell, the arts also need to be pulled in. There are great television episodes, novels, movies, plays, folktales that can provide perspective and guidance.
    An Ethics Profession using all of this could help.
    There are some and those who work or work in hospitals know about Tumor Boards and meetings trying to figure out what happened to a medical nightmares. The Ethical Review Boards that really are more show than anything else because they are considered dangerous and or superfluous.
    We are all humans, imperfect beings at best.
    We all need to listen to our better angels in every way. There will aways be issues, the having to take the better choice versus the best choice.
    But as long as that choice was well considered and worried on that is okay.The concept of trying is the true golden rule. We cannot ask anymore. Good and true caring ethical human effort.

  • I thought animal research was now banned. Is PETA still active and if they knew of your studies they would be outraged.
    Abuse is abuse whether with human and or animal subjects exposed to possible toxic chemicals.
    I would suggest you read about the LSD and other experiments foisted on willing and or unaware subjects. Also read Richard Adams “Plague Dogs.”
    Once I and others felt clinical trials were at the cutting edge of the best medical thinking of the time. I have learned with rue and regret the powers that be co-opted much of medical research for the advancement of fame, wealth , and glory.
    There is a wide spectrum on what is and is not acceptable in research.
    There needs to be a firm ethical foundation and do no harm part and parcel of the process.
    Dialogue and openness and knowledge of history needs to be involved.
    Edward Jenner’s inoculation of himself and family members- worthwhile or not?
    Samelweiss and his concern about hand washing .
    Lister and his concern about clothing of medical folks.
    Madame Curie and her husband and their deaths.
    Terry Tempest Williams and her accounts of families during the era of atomic testing and their resultant medical problems.
    Is this the best we can do?
    There has to be a better way.

  • Maybe a dictionary of terms? It could be self published and it would create interest. I would suggest contacting all and every movement whether it is in total agreement or not and create a safe space to work together discuss, dialogue, and disagree. I am thinking of the King James Bible framework here. It became a literary work of art. There were several main translators and all had their own issues but it worked more than well.

  • Steve, thanks for leaving too! There have been lots but its one of those not talked about things. I have run into folks I knew in the profession and many have walked away if they are able too or some are just putting in time and I mean time in a prison like sense. It’s bad as you know.
    Oldhead private practice can work only if you take on private pay folks. Most folks can’t pay privately and use insurance. Back in the day, it was difficult to get on the insurance boards. Second time around for me I just gave up. Most folks attach themselves to a doc and he/she leads the practice. DX is still needed for insurance to pay.
    Private pay means you need a set skill and you need exposure to the rich. I found you had to go into branding and marketing and that turned my stomach. The other issue in private practice is the need for more and more patients. That is why other family members are immediately seen as cash cows. I would talk about my family and would almost see the therapist salivating because I had several kids.
    It makes good people into money hungry cogs in the system.
    Then there is ethical concerns about where you practice. Do you practice in a community where you live or not?
    I was once offered a great job well paid, neat hours, working with kids but it was in the community where I lived. The kids I would be seeing would be aware of who my own kids where and could possible come to the house. This would create issues if there was any abuse going on and and confidentiality issues. I would never ever say anything but I was afraid the kids would worry and no not the best thing for them. So I missed out. However, stuff did happen and in light of those events it was probably a good decision on my part not to accept.Some professionals don’t mind this but until we all can be open about trauma and getting, giving , and receiving support I still ind it to be dicey.
    Now that I have been in the system I have never been sure if the system grapevine was in effect. When I worked in agencies – it was there and I was aware of the whispered stories and tales – yuck!- so possibly my second foray into private practice might have been hampered – who knows?
    If one had access to wealthy folks one could be a “helper” with those family members in need. But it would be fraught because my guess would be there would be trauma and secrets and skeletons in the closets.

  • Thanks Sarah, this is brilliant! Yes. When a person calls 911 they are never judged in any way shape or form. They could be in crisis themselves yet their word is taken at complete face value.
    I have been a victim of this twice. One was a neighbor who smiled gleefully as she said ” I know what I will do I will call the police.” she overheard a comment I made while she was standing – actually trespassing on my property have having an adolescent blow at me and stated some pretty devastating things. The adolescent took off and the pole came to my house. It was awful, humiliating, and shaming. Luckily, the police where rational but it was close to losing my freedom. The woman was in crisis and she got away Scott free. She had a son in Iraq, had lost a nephew, was raising a niece, and don’t doing to well financially in a well income development. She was a tenant among no tenants.
    She never spoke to me after I brought cookies to welcome here. She had no idea of my life, my education, she knew nothing about me. She had no idea of the medical crisis of my husband, my parents, my children. She had no idea I was a LISW. But she was listened to and obeyed- not me.
    The phone calls to police really bear scrutiny. I don’t think the police like it very much either. It puts them between a rock and a hard place and they are sworn to uphold the law whether the law is incorrect and biased or not.
    There has to be a better way to deal with all of this. I credit the cell phones as part and parcel of an ongoing problem that just keeps on getting worse not better. It’s the propaganda, its Big Pharma, its life after9/11. It’s folks not being able to use common sense. It’s lack of the ability to handle etiquette questions in the neighborhood. Lack of good healthy manners and healthy boundaries.It’s the elevation of psychiatry to religion and holy status.
    Think back thirty years ago. Except for the prevalent racism and in a smaller way -that so many of us missed and were not aware of – this did not happen.
    My mother roomed with a woman who had a daughter with issues of non reality – let’s say. The daughter was in and out of the hospital system – poor one – but my mom was not afraid and she never ever told stories about the police coming and dragging her away. If it had happened she would have told me. Really.
    The militarization/criminalization of mental health and the uptake of “-othering”
    So how and why did this start? And how can we stop it? I wonder about Reagan assassination attempt and others, the Vietnam War protests, and if someone decided to use mental health folks as ducks.
    Thanks again. Keep up the work.

  • Your welcome. Thanks for thinking too! I also have thought about pregnancy as a metaphor for trauma coming from the underrated, often disqualified female point of view.
    Once it happens, it. can never, ever be forgotten now matter what happens. It can be both a curse and a blessing. It can be an awful , awful result of rape, it. can be something very beautiful. Usually it is so to speak a wide and large mixed type of blessing. Like the song “Sunrise,Sunset” an aching awe.
    Not a perfect fit. I guess I was thinking about can curse be a blessing? Ever? I still think you need more than oneself and a concrete metaphor ritual to turn it into something good. Fairytales and folk tales, and liturgy might have hidden or open answers. Community and refuge are in important. I think of “Into the Woods” songs and story and the one titled “No More.”
    Dante’s journey into the woods. Our journey into the ugly briar patch or do harm medicine or do harm by ignorance, sanctimony,patraicharchy, racism, agism, sexism. We weren’t really given a choice to where we journeyed. This is key. Friends, docs, family, those we went to for support led us there through good intentions or not. Remembering the path to hell is paved with good intentions. And can we ever truly get out of this country not of our own choosing?. I think the wind pulls, and invisible hands still have power to send us nightmares and ghosts. It takes a lot to totally pull away and some are endowed with magic shields others through no fault of their own not as gifted. No More.

  • Thanks for putting this up quickly. So what are we going to do?
    I have made efforts to have a nfp trauma place that would offer free alternative therapies similar to one that my local as for cancer patients and their family and friends. It went up to the county board and met with deaf ears.
    I think we all need a place of sanctuary and even then sometimes the hurt is just too hard. But at least if we did have a no questions asked place open 24/7 that ANYONE and I mean ANYONE could do to for meditation, yoga, art, music, horticulture, writing, theater, film. And this would be run by a wide mix of folks WIDE and would highlight things and rooms that envelope folks in the best of their cultural and racial and religious heritage. A blanket so to speak. The room would have icons and ICONS. Anyone is like police officers coming off a night shift, journalists blown away by what they have discovered, mothers knowing that if they don’t get away bad things will happen, workers who have been laid off, teachers having a bad day, politicians losing the election. Actors who did make the cut. Survivors of all sorts who walking unknowingly into triggers.Students. Athletes , Yes doctors and nurses.. Priests, minister, and rabbis, nuns. Volunteer who have just saw too much. Accident survivor, medical mistakes survivors.
    Everyone staffing would be open that we all are walking each other home. All of us.
    This has been done in some places. And I honor them but there are vast areas where all folks have is this website and some others.
    And one cannot not do this alone especially now and if life continues as it is.
    What would Matt want with all of our concerns? How would he best be remembered and honored?
    Is going to the conference- and meeting something that would honor him even if we have issues with some things ?
    Can we get past the curse which was not of our own choosing and lends and lended itself to anger, and hostility, and rage of self and of others and let go and work and agree to disagree? Can we find two core principals and work with that?

    Can we be open about discussing the choice to end life? The most eloquent account of surgical thinking I heard was a tape of a alanon lead by a father a physician who fought nightly with the urge just to end it all. Andy maybe by actual talking and truth telling if not a trauma center, then rooms where folks could go SAFE that is essential. SO essential.
    I lost two grade school classmates to suicide. One classmates lost her brother, in my neighborhood there was a suicide circle after my family left the local. Who knows why?
    I lost a neat acquaintance through her inadvertent death by a relatives suicide. I have had friends, co workers who as parents have lost children. Another classmate lost her father. Relatives have chosen to go home alone but it has been hidden in the family closet.
    And that comes from a fairly privileged background. I do not know how the truly othered folks in our country have kept on going. Some haven’t.
    IT IS A SECRET NOT MANY WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE. And all secrets at least very many are ultimately unhealthy.
    The development of a ritua,or ritualsl to wash of the bad traumas!!!!!!!!
    Again I will keep Matt in my memory.
    Let’s Do Something. At least new steps in some way shape or form.

  • Thanks Michael,
    I went into the field as a dissident social worker and still became entrapped and suffered the curse or maybe irrevocable harm. I also am so sorry about Matt. It is a thin wire we all walk on a times. I will add hi to my memory bank of those who choose to leave. There are many in my life. And that I think is worth a whole blog – the secrets that people carry about don’t tell the hows of a death. The church and its concern about being able to be buried in sacred ground. The trauma of unknown entity, the trauma of family members caught in a web they can never totally talk about in society.I have known folks and have known family members And there is the gossip – the neighborhood stories – this where the women killed herself in the garage. No name only that story with what – the intelligent question is what had or was happening to her?. It’s pain all over. I know even harder stories but that is for a someday writing.
    Your words meet what I have been grappling with – the before and after person. For some it happens during childhood, others adolescence, and for a few of us in mid -age when everything was going okay until non locus of control events created a landslide, an avalanche, or avalanches as Mexico has shown us – lightening can and does strike twice.
    I was never a label person but did fall into using it because eventually there was no other way to work in a system. It was a shortcut that never should be able to be shown in the light of day. I still struggle with my use but wonder how to get an idea across to someone else without spending a long time and with keeping stories private. Another issue that needs a blog.
    For me, there were several layers to the curse working. And maybe you or others could address that. The spell or curse has to have a ritual, it has to have effective energy and the submission of belief from the accursed. I am thinking stereotypical Vodoo here with the representation of a figure and several pins not just one being stuck in its shape.
    Many times, I would rise up and continue on. I had a background and history but the hard things kept on coming fast and furious so I could shake the curse off with time and effort and energy that could have been better spent elsewhere. And the false starts, and going in not the best direction also created fertile ground and space for the curse to work. I am talking NAMI here at least my local version – I am talking trying to search for the “right”doctor/’right’ therapist/”right” method.
    I am talking of wearing the curse as a badge of honor – Thank you Glenn Close.
    The psych docs NEVER EVER listened to the extent of trauma I had or was having in my life. I was other and I could see the fear in their eyes – literally. I was typhoid mary to them. And I think there was anger – many were male, many from foreign countries with a patriarchal system eons in the making. How dare I question and give them troubles? And they cursed me and finally it worked.
    After having a Lithium toxicity reaction and put in seclusion because it was never properly diagnosed until I found the correct dx in the charts several years after.
    In the more very prison like secure unit I was told by an aide that they were going to put me in a Nursing Home.
    That was their curse by proxy. It worked very well. I still at times
    carry it.
    My family members have no idea, no ability to conceptualize the horror of that experience. Friends and family continue to think I will rise again and go on and be the self I was prior to my time in country. They don’t understand that they and I lost the me who was.
    It doesn’t mean that I can’t continue on in life or do things, or learn things. It just that I do not have the self concept factor I had before the system ate me up. Things got worse after that so the pink slipping which was a visual and experiential cursing made the recovery that I had obtained in trying to lift the curse – it was basically obliterated. And now once in a while small things – unexpected encounters- can make things so much more difficult and other landslide happens. The curse is redone and revealed again.
    One really needs closure. I in fact have used empathy rage to curse back the invisible perpetrators. But wanting those others to feel my pain and angst is only reharming me with echoes.
    I would love for their to be a ritual to take away the power of the curse. Even if someone took the place of the various professionals who harmed me. And I could make a grounded truth story to them. It would be helpful.
    The other issue is the recovery issue. If you talk about cursing how can you recover? If some folks like many here on this site have been repeatedly cursed how to overcome?
    Not all of us will have the opp for truth and reconciliation most not.
    Can we have a OZ moment where the three friends are given awards not for what they had but what they struggled with? So the Cowardly Lion is given a badge of Courage despite his fear issues.
    There has to be a solution. You don’t want a curse to stop expectations just the acknowledgement that pieces of who you were have been lost and scattered. It’s a different you and that takes time for all to mourn , to grieve, then adjust and make any need accommodations.
    Maybe the ability to tell the hard truth to family and friends so that they understand completely how and why the pieces were lost and scattered. Even professionals need to hear this . How?
    And trauma so much in the world, so little ability for humanity to cope well with it and in these times my cursed life mirrors the world at times. Grace and grit and maybe a miracle or two would help. thanks again. mary

  • Hi Help, You found this site – that in and of itself is a very good thing. I know hope sometimes its a word that hurts more than helps at times. Just hold on and walk a step by step breath by breath life and read. IT would be so nice to have mini and or large trauma sanctuaries open 24/7 to go to when hope is lost is the junkyard of life. They have a small version for cancer folks in my area. Not open all the time but enough with free alternative therapies and support groups. Everyone deserves this type of support ACROSS THE BOARD. And we all need group support to help deal with our memories of the trauma that we lived through in the psych units. Reparation monies from the Psych docs and guilds and Big Pharma folks.
    How did the Japanese-AMericans fight for their reparation? Learning and gaining knowledge helps with the despair!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pick something and learn, then pick something else, and learn some more. Walk, hug trees – do different things, try different libraries, thrift, volunteer to walk a dog at a dog shelter, buy a goldfish, write a letter to someone. PEN PALS. ANYONE?
    AND TRY TO KEEP CONNECTING. THEY MADE US ASHAMED. Try to believe even when you don’t feel like it that we are worthwhile and valuable. Call your Senators and Congress members. Sometimes they will talk to you!!! Thats one interaction with another adult who doesn’t know your history!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Understand the anger. I have relatives on meds. I give them my views.It’s a hard call even when I was aware at some point I fell into line with horrific results for me.
    Just so you know. Sometimes the options are very, very poor. A old old friend was a social worker way back before the 1950’s. She had a lovely family with a very very brain damaged CP small child that could only literally cry. There was no capacity for human emotion – my guess is that the brain must have been malformed or something awful happened. As a social worker she and she was very aware of the maltreatment in institutions tried to help the family get the child in the institution for relief . the child screamed and slept, screamed and slept in a non cyclic way. the family had go to court their petition was denied because the state would only take children five and beyond. there were no meds then just placement in an attic. Not good.
    Until all of you can use the brains that I know you have to open your minds that sometimes despite. the bad bad issues sometimes people have the right to use medications as the only option left. If yo
    Be kind, have mercy. If you haven’t worked with DD folks with severe impairments don’t comment. it shows. You are getting angry at the choir. Here . And yes. I am anonymous and yes I have been on the other side. But don’t do what Big Pharma does and paint everything on just two sides. The snarky stuff does not become you. Keep your minds open when triggered and in anger. And I have empathy rage – sometimes I want folks to feel what I have felt in solitary confinement.- Walk away and write on a different day. WE need all of your voices just not the voice coming from the trauma and suffering we all had. I think of Mandela. Years of prison. We all can do this. And I will tell you I fail all the time and my curses are truly vile.. If I was a Big Pharma person I would be shuddering!! Yikes!

  • If we are talking children here, America has a terrible track record with the support of children. Politicians and others talk a good story but that is what it only is a tall tale. Child care, education, support for parents, support for disabilities, good education for those who do want to help as in Social Workers and I would say even the medical students is laking in historical content and context,and in critical thinking. The isms are pushed aside and swept under the rug. What is honored and put on the alter is profit, greed, and getting the best deal at the lowest price. And yes country clubs and cars, and high end fashion and jewelry. Those things are considered ultimately as more important than families and children in our country. Vets who were knowingly exposed to hard things have to fight to get proper treatment and if you come from a lowballed, low exposure culture or group watch out- the system will and can eat you up.
    There are good folks scattered among all the layers. The trick is to find them and somehow connect a thread to one another with not only exposure but some sort of active force that will in the end blow down the tower of blocks that these adult toddlers have built. One can always hope.
    Thanks for all your voices.

  • Truth I agree but as one who has seen and experienced multiple perspectives- even I would have to admit there can be rare circumstances that usage is the only option left. That is why there needs to be trauma sensitive treatment, money for standard and alternative treatments, well paid and cutting edge informed staff from janitors up the line.
    There is such a thing as disability fatigue. My family has been very very aware and our ability to handle difference and otherness fairly high though definitely not perfect. Our family has had a multiple perspective on disability through personal experience. One family elder came back from a family event and said there were just too many disabled folks to have a relaxing time. And this was said with love. If we are going to a near if not complete medication philosophy then we must acknowledge and accept families and staff will need supports just as much as those in need or crisis. Lopsided approaches and views are ignorant and doomed to failure.
    Trauma informedmeans thewhole 9 yards,the whole cobbdle from
    prevention to everything else.
    It also means we must all accept we fit into the other category now and then or lifelong. Sometimes both- sometimes on a variety of different levels. Use of chemicals should only be used as a desperation measure. If services were really well funded, proactive, and all encompassing I would hope greatly that the option would be used if at all very very infrequently.

  • Too long in coming but I will take it. Thanks. There has been a long history that is mostly covered up behind this research. Back in the days of institutions, there were attempts to separate folks based on cognitive function but this was after WW1 and the indriduction of IQ testing in soldiers. Many inmates were commuted due to all sorts of issues and many times those with nonsimilar issues were committed. I still remember a an “inmate”of a state institution for the Developmentally Disabled trying desperately to use the very weak process available to him to get out based on the fact he was not developmentally diabled.
    In some states services are tied together in other states not. Therefore many times the monies go in unequal portions to Developementally Disabled systems rather than “mental health”
    This creates a wedge among family members – jawbreaking at times to me. On the radio I heard a sister of a developmentally challenged woman state – “but she’s not crazy”
    In another instance if a life long MH labeled man say-“but he’s not retarded”
    Many folks after deinstulization started taking place went directly to nursing homes – even children.
    I can easily see how medication was used to make it easier on staff with bare bones staffing and almost no training.
    Many group homes are run by immigrants and they bring their own trauma issues with them which adds another layer to the mess.
    Monies are barrel scraping for many programs- like many areas of social services in our country today and that makes the use of medication the go to response BD with the historical amnesia and lack off i depth education and training many programs are being run by administration and staff who are completely ignorant about best practices.
    The other issue not addressed here but should be is the high rate of abuse. Developmentally disabled folks are prime targets and putting them on these types of medications only aids offenders. In a state wide training on offenders they interviewed a hospital staff member who worked with
    compromised patients and abused them knowing they had no ability to tell on him.
    Another issue is how to handle problematic behaviors. Medication should be at the very end of the line. The idea of “least restrictive environment”isessential. Every
    every program that works with folks in need needs to have a team approach and medical ethicist on board.
    Expensive yesbutwho everpriseddoing the right thing would be easy or inexpensive?

  • Thanks Eric and to your mother. The concept of other has been so problematic in our human history. I always wonder what the story is on the Neanderthals. They intermarried, 3% of our genes come from them but how did they disappear?
    Lepers in the Bible, the mark of Cain- such a long, long history.
    The concept of “” the wandering Jew”
    It boggles the mind. In our present history, even Winston Churchill had his leanings and ideas. The funny thing is- those who mightly support fear of the other usually have stuff hiding in their own closet.
    And btw- never feel ashamed or try not to feel negative about any of your writing where you were in process of any different state of mind. Sometimes writing is the only helpful thing. But I understand. Thanks again for this.

  • Amity and Darby thanks for bringing Kate’s death. The article was great. There are a lot of connecting threads to her story in my life story.
    One is her experience in the old style institution. Yes. I was in several as a vistor and intern.
    And she was more spot on then she knew.
    One summer I worked in a small basement room in my county’s probate court microfilming old commitment papers. It was clear the scam was on for many folks by family members. And there was always the death certificate months later for many.
    Someone needs to research these records.
    And the saddest part for Kate and for myself was we were forced to going to a place we already knew was hell. RIP Kate old gal.

  • No. The premise is finehope/hopelessness but no. No mention of trauma and s second person account versus the actual article. Please stop publishing these pieces. I find them a waste of time and energy.The are masked as helpful when really they are the same old same old,
    The once now and then interesting depth filled articles are almost not worth reading.
    Central American,South American, DACA, and the Hispanic view of past and present common treatment oractice would be much more interesting and helpful.The livesif so many activists have Ben lost. Presents to all of them. Speak your true voice.

  • Eric to clarify my writing.
    My fault- Torrey was on the scene in the early 1980’s trying to promote that a winter reoccurring virus caused the s word. If you were born in certain months he tried to prove their was a greater risk due to this virus idea. He didn’t strike me as strident and rigid but that was before I was in country.
    There is information on the badge system used in the cc camps. The guards used it for easy identification of what prisoner class an inmate was. Sounds horrorific and would overlaying even more future affects in a survivors family.
    I never knew about the labeling system until now Look under shaming badges.
    In my area a lot of NAMI folks have been Jewish and I wonder about the dynamics of that. Don’t want to comment further because it is not my story.
    The badge usage ties into color coding. My last stay in country I was forced to wear bright orange patient wear for two days after admission.
    Shaming badges- shaming clothing / essentially the same thing except patients are supposed to be there for help.
    The whole industrial/prison system especially in some areas / read here Arizonia is rife with this thinking process. Again not my story but we need to hear and maybe help.
    To think a WWII refugee was able to be the first American medical doctor to identify child abuse is informative. His cohort Fritz Reidel was among those who conceived the concept of therapeutic mielu.
    Anna Freud worked with refugee children in England. She and her father were very late refugees from Germany.
    Bruno Bettelheim was also another refugee who worked with children and later committed suicide. No one wants to acknowledge that can of worms.
    You may not agree with all that they did but they came from war and it informed their life.
    Children and adult children of War vets are beginning to realize secondary trauma in their own lives.
    I am thinking each of us as the ability to handle stress present and past and sometimes the stress becomes so overwhelming you go into altered states. And each person is unique and their circumstances are unique . This is not being acknowledge in the system.
    Thanks again!

  • Thanks so much Eric.This is the work that I think is so important.
    Torrey, at first was into a virus cause and did work on birth dates and Ireland. That has been around for a long long time maybe 1950’s but the historical story and other abuse stories point much more to trauma and secondary and tertiary trauma.
    Check out the badge and color coding schemes used in the camps in Germany and other places such as surprise! Institutions of all kinds.
    Some of the refugees from Germany developed into interesting voices for children. C. Henry Kempe and Fritz Reidel among others. Not perfect but aware in some areas.
    Keep up the good work!

  • Thanks Sera! I just commented on this on another social media site.
    I would direct folks to put on their presidential historian hats in and do research. Have issues does not preclude you to being a great president. Massive amount of words have been written about Lincoln and please check out his wife Mary Todd Lincoln. Hers is a hard story.
    Behavior, behavior, behavior should be the way to remove a president from office. Choice is involved.
    We all need to speak up. I don’t know how to get away from the stinkin thinking you so elequently described since it involved those in MH Mt Olympus.
    I am repulsed by all of our leaders aspects but at the same time I can also appreciate how some folks voted out of desperation.
    What have we come to? I can only hope that something good will find its way like a weed and push trough concrete cracks.
    My guess is that he and others despite money despite background had trauma – it was covered up and hidden and they choose to continue to wallow in it rather then stop and at least try to turn around.
    As the song goes…. “You have to be carefully taught…”

  • Thanks Richard! Yes. In many cases an opioid is one of many meds prescribed. Spinal surgery folks can be given pain meds- benzodiazepines, ant- depressants. In some ways it is good to have pain control but there is a plethora of ignorance on the part of medical folks on how to do good withdrawal. There is also the lack of coordinated teams that could introduce alternative methods of pain management. PT and OT folks and the alternative therapies all have ways which taken together could help end some of this problem.
    If support from insurance and medical administration folks would come in team work and review for each patient that would be great. Money continues to be the only bottom line these days.
    To have a doc – no matter who or how good function well with time limits, paperwork issues, and lack of inter and intros professional interaction is the work of the corporate devil.
    No one can do well with complex human medical and emotional issues totally ensconced in an insurance and hospital administration cell.
    We see what has happened.
    My fear is what will happen.
    I believe those of us who have seen the machinations of the “Mental Health” side of things are the true and vivid canaries in the coal mine. And look what happened to them when disaster struck.
    I worry in my worst moments that we have all become canaries and the coal miners are aware but the Company folks are willfully oblivious.

  • Also many docs throw in SSRI for pain management for long term sometimes lifetime pain issues. But sometimes they throw them in just throw them in without really thinking.
    This whole issue needs much much more discussion and research. For those unfamiliar with pain management in the last century there were issues especially with folks who had sickle cell anemia it became a war between staff and patient about the realty of pain.
    This was also before alternative methods were considered real options.
    So there is a history and view that’s needs to be acknowledged.
    Again so much more with everyone involved needs to be done.

  • Richard yes that explanation of the difference between addiction and dependence from proscribed medication is excellent. I saw that happening before my very eyes with a relative who luckily was more aware than the pain management doc. I also talked to an addiction specialist who was seeing the same issue. Interestingly he said he heard about Robert ‘s work on the radio and literally had to stop driving to listen.
    As a tip for those who know or are folks dealing with pain issues- meds can come in strips one can cut them and titrate them down as needed. Some docs are unaware of this option to handle pain -one can walk away from the meds. My relative used all sorts of alternative methods and walked away.

  • I have been silent on this site. I have looked at the various contributions and they have all had interesting thoughts .
    There still seems and this commentary proves it again- a divide between users and non user professionals. Whether they have lived experience is never mentioned and that creates more of a divide on this site. Is it fear based or did they just get lucky or does status play its hand even with a female based cohort?
    Glad this is being thought about but meh because it is so all encompassing – the range – used is or seems overwhelming.
    The best folks to be actively involved with actual power to talk the talk and monetary ability to walk the walk would be those with multilateral experiences.
    Until you have been pregnant one just can’t conceive – no pun intended- how life is changed forever. We as a world community keep on looking to professionals even with the best intentions who just miss the boat because as in male Ob/Gyn cant talk the talk or walk the walk.
    A movement needs folks from both sides in an equal concurrent community. Actually, from the whole spectrum.
    Seneca Falls and the meeting way back before that. Check it out -African American females and others working for rights of both.
    We just need to do it and folks will come like an open audition . Scary kind of very Who knowsish but look at how many stats have been found in theatre or sports. One lighted candle showing the way.
    Think folks. Work together. Listen and professionals be humble. Some of you never ever would have suirvived by what we survivors have and had been done to us.
    Blogs with both folks – a written conversation would be a good start.

  • Wow Madmom you hit the proverbial nail on the head. Yes and to add- we live and probably have always lived in a world encircled by trauma. We have had the tools and analysis for this over time but it keeps getting lost or pushed down
    Freud deals with it in his writings on anxiety. Right there- the words about a person coping with danger.
    What you describe is almost like the process one goes through when one is taken hostage. And NAMI and professionals were- no doubt about it. The CEOs and others in the power cycle acted as offenders- the Pharma vacation package to docs like a rape walk by a sexual offender – check out what the lay of the land is
    So how to get eyes and ears opened up?
    How do get the offenders a juminy cricket and or a growing nose when lying?
    Thanks to Robert for bring up a framework which allows dialogue too
    I have struggled with my anger but am also aware resentment is the poison that kills you. Hate does not make great.
    But one also has to experience the outrage and other feelings in order to walk through the wailing wall.
    My guess and best bet is the CEO folks and others on the other side have unresolved trauma issues as well.
    They used power tripping and money as coping mechanisms to the great loss of us all.
    If South Africa can work towards betterment of atrocious times, if other countries can do so in fits / starts and Good progess – this should be doable. The trouble is human lives are being irrevocably damaged tonight on the wards, in the prisons, in the nursing homes and group homes where staff is mandated to act in ways they might not believe in.
    And now more than ever there are restrictions in what can be done with activism.
    There has to be something doable. I willl as always keep putting my thinking cap on.

  • In Europe there were institutions that had families of physicians and staff living-eating-playing with patients. It was not unknown to have a former patient become a professional . Frieda case of Dora is an example.
    Rorschach -who developed the test had some interesting thoughts worth exploring and the test itself.Food for thought.
    Thanks for exploring I don’t think I could have done it!
    And thanks for bringing up incarceration.
    The private prisons and private detention centers all need voices.
    What I long for is more of a solid network of folks working together to institute a new narrative and change but I still like your hope
    Why not try?

  • Thanks Sera for this and all the comments.
    I originally as a professional was turned off by NAMI but felt badly. This was before trauma and generational trauma was really talked about. Then when I allowed myself to be pushed in the system I felt I had no where else to turn to in processing my own trauma. It was not helpful and I discovered in my locale MAMI had over run the narrative. I went to one walk it was small and ran into other professionals who said they came out of pity.
    However the hospitals and social service agencies were big time supporters.
    Management and administration love this philosophy even as you know Sera journalism folks do not question the narrative.
    I have had NAMI folks come to a church Reiki healing volunteer project and proudly spout the propaganda.
    I thought the church was progressive but it had its NAMI ties.
    Open AA meetings are more real about emotions and issues with trying to get help with things other than meds. Old timers were no meds then the wave of folks made it so they too were pulled in now it seems like they are more more open.
    Best talk on suicidal thinking was at a alanon meeting- go figure.
    I would suggest folks read Jane Mayer Dark Money because I think that is part of what we are dealing with.
    My concern for myself after my forced hospitalization is safety.
    I keep looking for a good place to move but fear doesn’t strike out yet.
    So speaking out in my local is fraught and wrought. There are supportive folks but in these times I just don’t know. The worst part is I have so much to offer. I feel my insights and gifts are being wasted and diminished every day.
    In the old days there was so much more latitude and openness to difference at least when I was a teen.
    I think a buddy system and use of a 12 step type of narrative might work
    Telephone trees or email chains.
    One trouble for me is that I feel I have been burned by reaching out and I am unsure like I guess many others are which folks are safe.
    The best memory I have ofvrecent times is going to a panel of self labeled autistic adults. It was held at a center developed and run by parents. One of the speakers ended by saying and asking why there were not autistic folks on the board and why they all couldn’t have more of a voice! Yes! She spoke out and received a round of applause. The panel was organized by an advocate coach who like me when I worked felt folks sometimes need help but they should be in charge and take flight on their own wings.
    Fear has continued and forceably been instilled in our narrative by others.
    This has made it doubly hard to speak out and be listened to.
    I also don’t want to burn down bridges for those in NAMI who just need open eyes and ears.
    Theatre folks might be a way to get the word out with new works with talk backs . You don’t get that with movies.
    And we also have to be open to all the isms that are inherent in the system and for me in my perspective.
    Sometimes I don’t see all the ways I have lucked out.
    And not to shut down. Sometimes hard not to do.This dialogue has been great. Thanks to all.

  • In regards to your wish in the last paragraph. And thanks for the work – it saddens that it has come to this in our research world.
    In my area,NAMI had implicit power to expose the medical school students and residents to carefully picked folks who would relate how the status quo of the system worked well for them. These folks were picked by staff who might not have had any professional training. At one meeting another woman and I were dismissed because of our expressed views that did not fit into the narrative. In our area, the journal news venue would come out with a reformed surivi or who had been a media flashpoint and now had seen the light and repented of their ways.
    Many medical residents that see folks may not have received trading in the states. This creates a double edged sword hanging over patient’s head because they are dealing many times with medical folk who are only told the one narrative and may come with a cultural background that is patricharal and could be elitist.
    Their ability to hear people’s suffering and trauma is diminished at times.
    With the emphasis on medication so much is thrown effectively down the toilet in terms of any good that the profession achieved at times in the past.
    The concept of true Auepiscaplian sp? is lost, torn asunder, and rent to the pyschiatrist’s very soul.
    I admire the ones who hold on to the inherent moral practice of the Hippocratic oath. It still is not easy for them.
    I would think drastic intervention is the only way to change the power dynamics-
    Even if at times chemicals work for some the issue of where the MH world is belies a sense of things being on the right track.
    Look at Polio-scabies these conditions showed drastic change not a slippery slope into hell.

  • Monica you brought me back. Thanks for your words.
    As both a survivor and a retired LISW I share your perspective in some ways.
    I worked in the field for over twenty years before being pulled into the system by uninformed family, all of us traumatized by ongoing criss issues, uninformed friends, and “helpers” who really didn’t help.
    The worst was the trauma of hospitalization.I knew what a decent looked,acted,and felt like. These units were prison- nothing more-nothinging less.
    As a professional, I worked assiduously to treat the relationship as a team effort.
    I took time to establish trust and when something bad went down I told the truth of what I had control of and what I didn’t. So if abuse was acknowledged I told my client the law – prepared them for what would happen and had them listen to my call to the abuse hotline. I tried very hard to let them know it would not be easy and keeping on telling their story to the safest folks they could find.
    I was only there to help them learn to cope with life independently.
    My job as I saw was to put myself out of business.
    I tried hard to have a mutual respect relationship. I learned many things from my clients and sometimes was in awe of how they maintained.
    My issue with the MH professional writings is -at times- you can feel the defensiveness- and I would say fear.
    When one starts out writing- ” I have this- I wrote these books, I have presented these workshops, and most revealing of all – I come from this family constellation – and I am not willing to admit any true hard issues because I am an expert.
    This stance- for me as a reader with both lived and professional experience disbelief, anger,triggered hurt- the stance of power- and ultimately sadness and continued lack of hope that the secret tragedy of MH care will never be totally revealed and change happen.
    I want a dialogue. But it has to be played out on a fair field – a round table like the Paris Peace talks.
    If you read literary critical thinking vocabulary and fiction matters in terms of the power of relationship.
    There are so many people involved in the system that I would really like to hear from. Police officers, aides who work on the units, judges,ect.
    Maybe Robert and staff need to work on some sort of framework for dialogue for all.
    Or some toiols not used now. What about survivor first reads and commentary before a MH work comes out?
    What and how did Bishop Tutu’s commission work?
    Maybe a reading list for potential contributors to read before writing suggested by survivors?
    Hannah Ardnt’s work would be important.
    There are virulent isms all over the MH system from ages and ages ago. It has gotten into the white mean now and U think that is part of why MIA exits. Not the best way but please let’s use this to solve not continue problems otherwise U will not be back.
    Politeness never hurts but the issue of power is fraught and wrought here and U know it might not even cross contributors minds or they just are not sure how or what to say so they go into default pistering mode.
    How can we do this better?

  • Sorry Chaya I did not address your hurt.
    I don’t think there are many fantastic thereuputic relationships. One has to have a gift and one has to be lucky to find that person.
    Kind of like marriage except you are in an truly unequal economic relationship.
    I go back and forth. I try and then stop for a variety of reasons
    We all all looking for that missing piece that would make us feel less hurt or empty fill in the blank
    Sometimes we find in a professional sometimes in a friend
    Sometimes in other acts of alternative stuff and actions
    Ultimately I think we all our hurting and some of us are not only aware but we pick up the vibes and carry them in our souls.
    Keep on walking the walk.You are not alone and I value your presence here. You ran into a bad situation where your support was wounded and did not have the tools strength or skills to deal with your nonlocus of control loss. She could have done several things
    She could have cried with you
    She could have done a ritual
    She could have modeled or talked about how to say goodbye
    She could have advocated for you and the others and told you her actions
    She could and I think had the responsibility to help you have another support
    She could have spoke the truth this really you know what
    She could have resigned
    Or she might have tried and failed and was unable to acknowledge it or talk against the system and in her on life was on the edge
    Best is to forgive piece by piece and bless her because festering feelings thoughts and memories never help us
    Easier said then done as I know all all to well
    Another day or time there could be a place for seeking another but help comes from walks and small things or just having your great writing and voice
    Keep open and keeping the idea of a dream catcher
    The webbed area keeps the bad stuff out the hole allows the good in
    I don’t do any work though I have done peer experiences workshop stuff
    Still dealing with life
    Thanks for putting a light to this

  • Sorry for the typos the lingering side effects of meds and overlay of dyslexia and dysgraphia
    I had made use of supports from social workers in the past but on my own way in my own choice stream and mostly behind closed doors
    Had planned for more but couldn’t squeeze it in too much hell going on
    In past had supervised some one out in the peer community I was only Worker who was willing
    Also tried to get clients off meds in 1980s but wall
    Now I know why they were clueless!
    Being in the worst scenarios has given me 360 almost vision
    Someday would love to use it for all

  • Oh yes for twenty years as a LISW. I dropped it when I became frustrated with the profession and its trajectory in the regional systems.Also multiple family issues made it nigh high to impossible to do good work or advocate for change.
    “Friends”intervened nonprofessional clueless during an extreme nonlocus of control period calling already fragile family members to get me into the system. One so called professional colleague was involved but I am never gotten the details. It started me into the cesspool of meds and seclusion and as ful side effects and totally destroyed my sense of self worth.
    Still recovering from it all
    CV available on request!

  • Thanks Chaya for your thoughts.
    And Steve for yours and the others.
    Therapy is a minefield. There is no good way to walk through the maze and it is a maze with yucky and good things based so much at random which makes it worse for the traumatized person because once again you have little to no agency at a time you really need it.
    I have had a spectrum my issues is that several therapists leaned on me or I was aware enough because of my gifts and training they were not able to handle my life circumstances. Another issue was the complete and utter separate role of the therapist and docs inpatient and outpatient
    It is a huge horrific desert so that the one professional who could at least advocate is also locked out by the medical system.
    Training Steve can provide extra but it in no way shape or form is any sort of guarantee.
    I would advocate for a shamanistic system which is inherently peer sensitive along with a fine tooth selection of useful and helpful wisdom writing from all areas and all times.
    And my work was always to put myself out of a job.
    That was always my shared primary goals and it was a team approach. I never thought I knew it all and was open to see my work asa journey for me as well. The system is so corrupt and rotten that these tenants are little found. The docs are lost like CEO’s.Most have lost their moral souls and compass and are deaf -blind – and dumb in the worst way possible. They do damage on a daily basis and at this point I have have found no good way to put an end to their great damaging of humans.
    This was the most horrorific part for me being in the system. They abused and tortured one of their own and didn’t even care or believe or bother to ask and actually listen to me as a human.
    It was a gift in learning the great pain of disenfranchisement. At least I can use it for good and to finally be brace enough to speak truth to power for all of those caught in horror situations.

  • Emmaline and Elizabeth
    I worked with RD’s and still know some.
    What is important hear is the “othering” unintentionally going on.
    In order to dialogue well and there is a learning curve here
    Read Kein Uris he has a great section in working through listening and responsibility.
    It would have helped if Elizabeth had said
    Catnight
    I hear you and others have a hard time with the use of my terminology in the article
    How best can I reframe those phrases?
    Oh trauma yes thanks for bringing it up and I will have to do more research on that aspect
    Power plays a role even in conversation and now blogging.
    Colonialism 101
    It would be interesting to have a lunquist well versed in oppressive societies do an analysis of the power plays in this dialogue
    May not have been intentional
    but there you have it.

  • Again Elizabeth reread your words!!!!!!!! ” I have found a way to get many people get past their mental suffering.” I am not denying your knowledge base’s truth or ability to help folks. You are not a savior and your terminology is still problematic in my eyes. That’s what got Carl Whittaker, the famous family therapist, in trouble – he drank his own cool aid.
    I think most psych survivors are open to new helpful ways. The terminology you use is important. Mental suffering my foot! Let’s do the time warp again! As far as I know you have no idea what suffering really is. It would be helpful to take off that mask. Get in the mud and find a way to describe trauma issues, nutrition issues, medical issues – pellegra sp? – actually did cause altered mental states as well as syphllis – the environment ! “Silent Spring”.
    I was also a LISW for twenty years in the trenches of urban areas and severe trauma, humility is everything. Again think on it.

  • I understand but everyone needs to think long and hard on how to dialogue with each other in order to change things as the are.
    First is respectful listening with a vocabulary of compassion.
    Then there needs to be an acknowledgement that we all have hidden or visible trauma.
    You can’t be human and not have it.
    You have to take off the masks and get down on the floor
    Some folks do it better than others and it is a learning curve.
    See the musical
    “Fantastic” and “The Madwoman of Chailot” in particular the ragpickers speech.

    And we have to acknowledge we are working on a puzzle with no box top cover to follow.
    We each have pieces and it will take time and effort and mud and dust and ash to deal with the process.
    Psych survivors like myself suffered trauma in treatment and in life circumstance or with something.
    Our feelings and needs for the ability to acknowledge and help deal with inherent triggers in dialogue had to be understood and acknowledged.
    I am very aware that if I use my name and degrees it will be seen and heard in a different light then if I use my name here.
    Same person two sets of realities.
    The voice changes and the stigma begins when you state your full reality many many times.
    Before my time in the belly of the beast I was aware of psych survivor movements and some in the professions.
    At times the ones who opened up were gossiped about and derided behind closed doors.
    I hated that as well and I am so sorry I was not able to stand down their words.
    We all carry baggage memories of what was done and what we could have should have done.
    My concern with this blog was in Elizabeth as well intentioned and so well informed could not hear my plea for compassionate listening and then responding
    She has replied so Thank you for that!
    What is so hard in saying I
    Oh I am sorry
    I never thought about that aspect
    I will try to keep that in mind.
    Not expecting perfection here just real humanity
    Thanks for your reply.

    I am sorry for the hard times.
    What would your family member think of all this?
    Could there be a dialogue?
    Please think on my thoughts8
    Mary

  • Did you hear me properly Elizabeth?
    Again you used the word mental and you totally ignored the current untenable situation with South Sudan which hilights terrorism and trauma to the max.
    You used the word “they” in a pejorative manner not taking into account or taking the responsibility to share with your readers a fact that every nutritional student in college knows the pervasive desert islands of grocery stores in urban lower SES neighborhoods.
    And the pervasive in your face marketing of the Big Pharma of food companies. They all use the same playbook. They all make tons of money off of us.
    You may have interesting information but that and a cup of coffee will help no one and only continue to hurt your soul.
    Until you allow yourself to go from they to we you will be worst than any the worst of us
    Until you can share in the human world you and your work are nothing
    You are like the APA NAMI Big Pharma all the moneyed interests that care less for others than for themselves
    Read the latest on Syria
    Read the recent books out on mass incarceration
    Read about The Lost Boys of Sudan
    Have you ever once talked with a refugee?
    I have- a family who lived under a card table on the Main Street of Phom Phen sp?
    Have you ever talked to a grown man who was a lost boy? Gentle kind men and so so very fragile with the torture they survived.
    Have you ever spent time with folks in deep deep trouble and trauma?
    Have you ever experienced times if deep deep trouble and trauma?
    Until you can honestly claim both and use the vocabulary of compassion
    Don’t bother replying
    And BTW
    Check out
    Cry the Beloved Country – one of the first of many many good reads on Aparthied.
    Mary O’Malley MSW MFA

  • I do recoil from the term mental illness. Actually it’s a trigger but in order to dialogue with folks until they become more aware I will merely mention my discomfort and put it on the table.
    Please think on it. Your ideas Elizabeth are interesting and very worth consideration as one piece of a multilayered puzzle.
    Where and how that piece is located is still unknown.
    If we take off our 1 st world glasses and take a very painful look at let’s say
    South Sudan and child soldiers who are returned home in apparent altered states nutrition would play a role as well in a big way trauma
    And how do we heal these children much less our own foster children who are experiencing devastating but different trauma as well
    Healing costs in time – money – labor intensive with each individual persons own code so to speak to and for maintained healthy living.
    Cry the Belived World

  • Yes but there is a important historical caveat here. Dry eyes is actually a dumbed down terminology for Syogern’s Syndrome sp? It is related to the immune system and immflamuation
    . It has a high cluster for females. The term has been used for decades and was never something that any of the docs I knew got excited about. It’s an inconvenient but workable medical issue for most people. Having a elderly relative with it I know it wasn’t pleasant but not overwhelming.
    Like most of these issues, I would prefer more research and exploration of nonpharma interventions. Always, always with every medical or actually human issue money and its intricate loops get in the way of good kind just merciful medical intervention.

  • Wow. Thanks for this.I this I was swatted. More than once I fear. At least it gives mea framework to put my situational memories in perspective. The first supposed swat took place with a neighbor who was a tenant of the rented house next store, and whom I had welcomed into the neighborhood with cookies. It was a bizarre scenario and I made a one sentence statement in a traumatic moment ( when family privacy should have been respected) and she gleefully said very out loud,” I know what’ll I’ll do I will call the police!”It was an act of such nefarious stupidity with waves and waves of ramifications that I would do anything to take it out of my memory bank.
    I am glad to know that this is an actual problem and that I am not alone.
    In all my years as a professional Social Worker mother, neighbor,cousin,friend, daughter, sister, niece, peer, I would never ever do something like that to anyone. There are ways and there are ways and our society. really needs to get our act together for all of our sakes. Thanks for the Lind

  • Well hope springs eternal for change on all levels but without complete destruction of everything. I worked with sexual offenders. Not to wash away everything is difficult, hard, and the easier approach would be to throw away the key and prison for life. But then we would not be helping ourselves and would be like so many times in history the oppressed become oppressing. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.I prefer the mud fight messy smelly and difficult and very yucky truth to power is like that. So yes I am not saying be pollyanna all the time but thinking on it, allowing for the possibility that there were underlying and overarching reasons for this horrific fiasco of dead lives and so so much hurt – what happened can never ever be totally undone or forgotten but as Rumi says there is a field beyond right and wrong and for everyone’s souls when the terrible truth is hung out like clothes on the drying line after the the truth telling the penalties and there are always penalties we need to walk into that field together. And I acknowledge some of us will be cursing and none to happy but thats okay nothing in life if perfect -we live in the land of maybe. And my rage has been extreme and ongoing and I still find pockets where I want to do more than scream and yell. Even throwing bricks seems not enough.
    And I know of all the range of issues, all of them and I still say this there are few folks who can acknowledge all of the pain they have caused. It is a learning curve and for some very difficult. A step is still a step to the field. It is the only method I know and have read about that continues life past those awful moments and times of the horror of humans actions done to other humans. The song is a dream hope and dreams are needed.Anger can never be all in all – it will consume everything.

  • Thanks for this. This should have happened long, long ago but I appreciate reading about this. I knew even before I walked through the glass mirror that things were not great and in some places down right bad. It seems things were horrific in many areas in many ways.
    And yes we do need to unite. I love the last song in “Your a Good Man Charlie Brown.” It is – in its very essence – the only way, moral ethical, golden rule way to make this stop and pick up the pieces that remain and the lives that have not yet been lost.

  • Thanks for this Sandra! I envy your ability to speak out clearly and strongly to your fellow peers. I still don’t know how that would go with my college peers. My school was very business orientated like a folks went straight into CPA work and or MBA. The rest of us humanities folks were in the minority.
    BTW. Whatever happened to the medical ethics trend in medicine? Cleveland Clinic did have a designated medical ethics professional on staff who once taught at my college and I actually was in his class. Talk about Upside/Down world. I was being treated by unethical psychiatrists and I was the one with the college credit in medical ethics taught by leader of ethics at a major hospital chain. Way to go medicine!
    Again, thanks. I appreciate your trying though having been on both sides I can get frustrated with process. This was a great effort.

  • Thanks and my very empathetic sympathies. Yes -otherness – is the crime. Look at the horror of Rwanda between two groups of people both sides vilified by the other. In Irish history – to be an informer could get you killed- reasons of why notwithstanding. In stories many are simple folk beset by their own issues.
    Getting a SS check is a red flag. Fear rules. The entertainment industry has colluded with this
    Maybe we need a Untied States of Otherness? That or the island of misfit toys for real.
    We need to unite and work together past all the self and other imposed divisions, barriers, walls, and obstacles. We, Us are such important words. Glad to see you are so brave and active.
    Are you fearful this will happen again? Or with this just the perfect storm? When this does happen how does one cope with the fear?
    The funny thing is most police officers , many have their own issues and many are in or in enforced treatment themselves – a whole different issue MIA needs to shed light on.
    I would surmise like Sandra’s recent blog and others we are all at the mercy of a few and boy have they done a slam dunk job at pulling the wool over all of our eyes.
    Unite!

  • Back in the very old days our local, city hospital was called the Pest House. It was called that because once you went in you usually never came out or if you did survive you were usually compromised with infection. Samelwise sp? was a medical person who realized the concept of infection but it took twenty years for other medical folk to believe him. So when people did need medical care they would delay and then in the delaying if it could have been cured it was too late. This happened to a relative. There are cycles that different systems go through reform -corruption- reform -corruption. Some cycle faster than others. Unfortunately , we are lucky to be living in massive corruption. If only we can be lava for the reformed part!
    If you talk to old time nurses they will say there are big time issues with nursing care as it is done now. With a gray haired nod that it wasn’t perfect in any way shape or form back then.
    Even in ICU’s there is more professional stuff time at the computer monitor than patient care and talk time.
    And even the you are trying to do the 24/7 family caring – it is extremely difficult, draining, and very uncomfortable.
    And mistakes and problems still are present. Just getting an IV put in can be fraught and wrought. When they have to cal the Air Flight team to put in an IV tube for a young girl and you are on the phone to the primary doctor’s office and can never ever to talk him directly almost crying because the third attempt was a botch and the Child Life worker is looking at you like this is sh—
    So this isn’t just an elderly problem this is a crime against humanity. We are in the modern era and our medical care system is back in the 1890’s!! Thanks so much folks who brought this mess into our lives.I would blame the docs and other medical professionals who didn’t speak up loud or strongly, the government and the huge multilayered – multi factored medical corporate industrial complex that put greed ahead of every human life it touched.

  • Dear Suzanne, So sorry for your loss. It’s like an octopus- the systems we have to live in – so many corrupt tentacles that reach out and reel us in yelling or not.
    Yes medical malpractice help is hard to obtain and even when you do I am thinking there are gag rules and confidentiality agreements that make it. difficult for the word to get out to help and advocate for others.
    Haldol has been used for decades to manage patients. It find it appalling its presence is still around to hurt and hider human lives. There was a so called “geriatric dose” in the early eighties when I was working in a urban centered hospital. Trouble was many of the residents and interns didn’t know about it and wrote out full dosages.
    Sundowning is an issue. I wonder now if it has any ties to medicine side affects. Way back some of the nursing staff did try to mange folks without resorting to chemicals. It depended on the affect given by the patients. If you were humorous or easy – no problem.
    Improv is supposed to help with folks. I highly doubt hospital and Nursing Home staff are trained in this type of technique in any way shape or form.
    In our area there was a Elderly Facility Ombudsman which helped families with all the stages of pre admission and then on. There actually was a book written – “Tender, Loving Greed” by a woman who went through something similar to your awful story.
    In some states, private for profit nursing home facilities were used to take on the flow from closed down state institutions – so much for true and real deinstitutionalization.
    I have found some of the newer for profit hospice outfits appalling. Hospice was started with St. Christopher ‘s in London England. I do not think Elizabeth Kubler Ross envisioned the corruption that has taken place in our health related society.
    And yes every person in a hospital bed should be allowed to have family and friend 24/7 support. That this is not allowed in psychiatric facilities is beyond the beyond.
    I would hope some day we can if possible a national day of mourning for those killed by medical incompetence. Maybe a wall? as in a wailing wall not a border wall!

  • Yes Johanna! Absolutely and include in that private prisons! It is the corporationization of the medical-industrial-gorvernment complex. I am thinking of Henrietta Lax here. Her cells provided millions to research and brought about so much for other c cancer patients and look at how she was treated. It was only after a book came out that there was some compensation for the family and even that was wrought.

  • Thanks Sandra and thanks for letting us know how and why you posted this. They wanted exposure to MIA but didn’t want to risk doing it themselves.
    Why don’t professionals who write in the so called ” Mental Health” field write books with their patients and not just their stories. This is co – opting people’s pain for profit. There have decades of these almost narcissistic books where patients lives are used and the “slaves?” stories are used to give them money and media presence and the nefarious coat of wisdom.
    Again, First Do No Harm is forgotten amid the rush to more money and celebrity.
    Where are the morals? Where are the ethics folks?
    Askforcor. I am so sorry for all your family and your son. Yes have him write here or anywhere. Also if you found some NAMI support lucky you! But you have a voice all especially those in power in ANMI and behind the curtain need to hear! Write more! Good luck with concept of community. I like it a lot although I still maintain heterogeneity is healthier than homogeneity.
    With my cousin who had Down syndrome was in both worlds. Her parents said that doing to much out of her Downie world would stress her and she needed to go back to her community. And she was very very well aware that she was different. She was a great rebel and out of the box person. So community needs to be balanced with other communities as well of all kinds. Balance. That is the question of the ages!
    How do well interact with who we have born with our birth tribe that will never not be and then the tribes and clans our lives have given or thrown at us? Can we all take off our masks some day and see we are more like than different.
    Sandra this is the problem I see with your profession though it was less so in some ways is the psychoanalytic days when all shrinks were supposed to undergo treatment at least the shrinks were walking around knowing they had their own issues. With the advent of biological psych this got thrown out the window so that the wall between doc and patient went up higher and higher. This also happened co-currently with the entire medical profession with the demands on paperwork and the disinvestment in society for caring professions.
    My question to you would be since I won’t buy their book. I would say boycott for their lack of courage. And letting you be their whipping child – the question would be did they understand the concept of therapeutic milue and were they well read with the more humanistic professionals such as Redl, Mahler, Fraiberg, Moustakas, Satir, Mosher?

  • Thanks for this Tina. The Native Americans have had such medical, psychological, environmental traumas since western civilization crossed into their lands. It is amazing that they are still standing and fighting! It gives me hope like with other minority confluences of human groupings. So many abuses and deaths and yet we humans still rise.
    Matt, I hear you and I still struggle. I need to be able integrate my lives as a professional, parent, and psych survivor. Some of the things that have happened have been a pink-slipping while I was at a bank. The memories are torturous. I have outed myself in the past to problems. While I did the NAMI thing
    ( I had no other place to turn to talk about my hospitalizations and med concerns. I had never felt comfortable with them as a professional but I was so lonely and so angry. I thought I would give it a try. It only made things so much worse)

    I sent a letter as they suggested to neighbors asking for money. Bad idea I know. And stupid me in solidarity with others used the word ” schizophrenic”. I think that damaged our whole family in the eyes of the neighborhood. And it damaged me when they would call the police on me. It damaged my children and my husband ( a metal health professional) who was so very very ignorant ( not sure why as of now) of what was happening.
    I am super aware of ” the change of tone” many people use when you self disclose. And the problem is you never know who will be prejudiced and who won’t be. It ls like playing Russian roulette sometimes. The risk can be great and future ramifications can have a long road out.
    I would self disclose if I was in a safe space, with a community for support. I don’t have that. I feel the need to move but family issues are still keeping me here. The expsych patient as parent. There are worlds of issues that never get to see the light of day that we folks deal with unable to speak about them.
    So I have done gutsy things. When the bank had the police and EMS I shouted on purpose Michael Brown, Sandra Blonde and when they tried to put in the van I acted out again verbally saying I was a traumatized female and being surrounded by a circle of uniform men was traumatizing in and of it self. For that I was handcuffed, face masked and restrained. So I can be gutsy but sometimes not in the healthiest way for me. I can only hope I gave those men nightmares – so much for serving and protecting. I called them out on their diagnosing of me. I called them out on my history with diagnosing and doing so much better with folks than most of the psychiatrists. And the shrinks knew it! I could have told them my story. That was not allowed.
    This was an awful incident that never should have happened. The whole thing on police involved in mental health is something that is another issue. I can’t imagine any police officer who wanted to go into that type of job have the desire or the personality set to deal with people in crisis. Communities here and everywhere need folks who are trained and willing to provide emotional CPR or whatever to deescalate and help instead of traumatize and hurt.
    So I still need to cling to my pen name. When I have integrated all my history of trauma and abuse and feel safe then I can come on board.
    Could we have an encrypted site for this and for organizing? Organizing again for me is traumatic. I really don’t want to do do the acting out piece again. It wasn’t fun. But I would be willing to share my ideas.

  • Thanks for this Sera and your commentary Tina.
    I would prefer impeachment but can understand why folks are using the view of a compromised president to make s change.
    It reminds me of Riyadh Kipling’s Captain Couregous .
    A vain and nefarious rich young man learns about true courage and kindness from a Portuguese immigrant – Manuel who died saving his life.
    The rich and the celebrities have been godified and are above the law and common human decency expectations.
    Not all but many and our President is a text book example.
    I hope his time can be shortened without the use of psychiatric labeling.
    We seem as a society to be trapped in unhealthy thinking patterns. We will be paying the price. Interestingly, Kipling was caught up in this circular logic during the years and at the start of WWI.He believed in the cause and actively pushed to get his son in the war effort. It took the death of his son and the true carnage of the battle to open his mind.
    Thanks again.

  • This is so frustrating to read not only because of the study but where the study was placed for the general public to read.
    Science always has a place but the complete lack of focus on the infant’s physical,environmental,medical and family variables – in my eyes-negates the results.
    I wish media would have a for every new study or research paper there also would be published another on the same subject matter but with opposite results.

  • Dear surviving the system and Sandra and others,
    This was an interesting dialogue it is a start. Thanks all for your thoughts.
    I think the pain of folks here is palpable and strikes me to the core because I feel it as well. I do wish I could relive my 16 years and undo it all and excise the memories especially the really really bad ones.
    Sandra if you are reading – undoing is on of Anna Freud’s defense mechanisms. Have you read her work?
    Children use it and so do adults though one would like to use sublimation more.
    The damage we have suffered like so many humans do through the Agee is done. No matter how hard we sit for it not to be.- it was. So what do we do with justified anger and outrage. We can use it for good and we can try to let go with forgiveness and acceptance. Not an easy task especially when MH professional folks are unable to go the full ten yards with the idea yes bad things happened, we are sorry, and although we cannot change your past we will try to make amends.
    I think Sandra you personally and others are struggling with acceptance of this paradigm and I thank you for the initial efforts.
    One way might be a medical record line line tool to strike out the label and diagnosis in our charts. Some sort of mechanism to undo the label forever.
    What do folks with Type II diabetes have in their charts when they successful end the issue by diet and other means?
    Maybe this needs to go throughout the medical world.
    Strike Out the Diagnosis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Thanks so much for this Matt. And thanks Lloyd for bringing up Margret Mahler’s work with whom Selma Fraiberg followed. There were issues with this approach but lots of important good things if a person who was in trauma and crisis could get a person like Lloyd. Not many around the country especially these days and in our recent past.
    It made me want to cry reading this because if I had the option this is a person I would have gone straight way for help. I was never able to reference Mahler, or Fraiberg Or Real, or some many other folks because they people who were on the insurance boards or who saw me were unaware and uninformed and I was in too much of crisis to be able to think about what there knowledge base was.
    I was being evaluated by folks who had never read or s studied what I studied and never had the intelligence, medical and professional ethics, and curiosity to ask or see me as an intelligent professional and parent with loads of life and yes maybe even goodness to share. I was seen as other and as a dangerous other. This is what I s till need to cry for. The drugs and trauma took the ability for me to cry away. I have times where I think I should be crying But am unable to start. Because of the lack – anger is easier to draw upon. Bad all the way around.
    The idea that Lloyd articulated so well of the opposition an anger and rage being legitimate emotions and steps up the ladder of life development is so true and so very very very MISSING in our society and in the psych world. Greed and little minds and extremely tiny hearts rule. And how can they all sleep at night?

    Matt, I think you need to do some research on Aeuspcalian sp ? Authority. That is the contract that lay folks consent to when having a medical issue or crisis. We give power over to professionals who are suppose to help. The contract in psych world has always been corrupt ( looking at its history) and there have been bubbles of times and only in certain lucky places where the contract was not broken and it worked.
    There will always be sickness and there will always (if we survive in our world of ours as it is today) people who have been traumatized in primary ,secondary, or tertiary ways.
    How can we put in place a working contract for dealing with this in a healthy way?
    How. can we create a new paradigm of healing for all?
    Lolyd’s way created way problems too – see and read Se Miller’s “Family Pictures” for what went wrong with that approach in the past.
    There will always be mistakes made, errors created even with all the best intent in the world. The proverb ” the path to hell is paved with good intentions” is around for a good reason.
    How can we all redo and put in place the idea that nothing is perfect, anger will there for good and sometimes not good reasons, but the idea that
    trauma doesn’t have to be a fuel for misery, it can be a tool for strength.
    We cannot be afraid of each other. How to teach empathy to folks who are committing abuse of the A sp
    contract and how to get them to apologize for what they have wrought?
    We need a framework and we need a think tank.

  • Great Idea. Good Luck.The DSM was only supposed to be a codifying tool with the use of symptoms that never were based on anything scientific in the best sense of the word.
    It was all about human being ‘s observations of other human beings with a nonegltarian bent.The observer had ultimate control of the observed.
    There was as in all medicine a silent agreement that this relationship and balance was in the best interest of the patient.
    people yielded to this relationship with the hope that the entire ethics of the Hippocratic Oath would be abided by.
    If one was lucky with being at the right place – at the right. time – with a ethically good person. One may have been helped. Ultimately many, many folks were not.
    The idea of trauma and sense of true medical ethics was smashed.
    It became a handbook for another round of snake oil salesmen like the Victorian Medical medicine men whose practices preyed on the so called “hysterical female.”
    Let’s bury the book.

  • Thanks for all your commentary here.Life just has been so hard for your family and that is so unfair. I am glad that your daughter is better. Coming out of inpatient and even other monitored living arrangements is difficult.
    It took me years to begin to be able to verbalize what happened to me and I was a former mental health professional.
    Continued good luck and hope for some peace.

  • Thank you Katie for this. It describes so well the dilemma we as psych survivors or folks now in various levels of the system on various sides of the system have to face.
    When I was in as a professional there was a lot of gossip about folks who were professionals who had come out about their history. Many times it wasn’t mean but there was a definite change of vocal tone and general sense of unease at best. Worst was the mocking.
    For awhile I followed NAMI and that was the worst choice of my life. Telling usually doesn’t help since we are never given passes.We are always watched and beholden to others.
    The sad fact is I think that many folks are taking meds and they don’t share that. That makes everything so much worse!
    Glad you have your space. I still open to find it someday.

  • Well it seems as if this is a better alternative to just drugging I have some concerns.
    There is no mention of why the kids were depressed. Big important factor in assessment and treatment.
    The treatment scenario highlights multiple approaches and seems isolating
    What must kids need – if they are safe are peers fun and a way to get out of their me-ness.
    Some of these approaches work but should be done in a community setting.
    Volunteering,job, creative activities,art,music,theater,comic book club, whatever works and fits best.Parents – even ones with great weaknesses- still know their kid best
    Some need lots of help -some just need a different pair of eyes
    Kids just want -desperately need to feel okay about themselves and to be able to contribute somehow to the world
    Riding a bike – same process
    Each person is different but most of us are able to learn or there are creative ways to make it possible
    And btw DBT is for the birds- not in a good way

  • Thanks for this Sera. This has been an ongoing issue for me. I remember an episode of ER where the adolescent was being drugged and wanted to stop but was not allowed to. The leap from “Splendor in the Grass” to this movie says sadly too much.
    I find the concept of DID interesting because for me going into the psych world and then trying to do the psych survivor world it is like having different personalities or living in different worlds or realities. I had over fifty years as a an “aware” but not really “aware’ professional and then my less than twenty years of psych world.
    It reminds me of the old children’s book”Caps for Sale” which cap am I going to wear today?Actually my memories keep all the caps on. But I still haven’t integrated them into my entire self. They are so bad, at times horrific in terms of hospitalization that I think I and others really need a ritual to process them and go on with life. Sometimes I escape the memories but that requires no integration. Some day I hope to accept all of me.
    The issues are so complex, so deep, and twisted I find myself getting snickered and then oh no sets in. Movies, and books, articles, and news so can all look good at first and then no.
    And how does on fight Hollywood? Especially when there is so much yes and needed – to steal from Improv- Yes for some folks meds work and for many others they really really don’t.Many don’t want to listen after the yes if you are working that way. Sometimes No is louder though less nuanced for better and for worse.
    “King of Hearts” and “Madwoman of Chaillot” are movies and or plays that show a less fearful aspect to psych world. We desperately need modern and better versions.

  • I feel the need to clarify my first post. I used Alice Miller because not only did she discuss childhood trauma she also discusses the systematic non-caring of children in our society. The rule of silence is golden is still too sadly true.Children now are products for advertising. How much money can they bring to the coffers?
    And when one is in the grips of the Big Pharma lie and one sees their child getting abused, or hurt, or in academic trouble it is easy to go for the chemical brass ring. It is the only ring one has at times or is given to you. To search out and follow through with other treatments requires time, money, and energy that many parents or caregivers just don’t have.
    Glad MIA is getting on the parent bandwagon. There also has to be the acknowledgement that sometimes parents are on the rat wheel just as much as their children.And how to we help those families?

  • Hi Margaret, Thank you for your sharing and congratulations! I can so understand where you are coming from on multiple levels. Its so hard when your are off medication and the people who are in your support network have no understanding of why you are on the journey. It would really help if there were support for people going through withdrawal. Kind of a support system people who helped out with those who were dying from AIDS. Not exactly the same level of seriousness but I think to be fair to those around us who see us in distress they need to have skills in helping us live and survive the distress. Another metaphor would be the ancient Druid schools where they induced an altered state. Most schools have PTAs and I would guess back then there was probably either a formed or organic support group for the families of druids or druids to be.
    I think the intent of NAMI was sort of like that but they were taken off course in one of the ultimate acts of evil I can think of.The Pharma folks saw an entrance and ran with it. Talk about birds of prey.I have tried and am still working through this with others. There is no societal pathway for this mutual experience to follow, I guess we are making it ourselves.Blood,sweat, and many ,too many tears.
    Good for you. I hope one day to follow in your steps.