Thursday, November 14, 2019

Comments by CatNight

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  • Yes at one time they did. Just happened to have an off the cuff conversation with the employee. I don’t think she had any idea. I knew the family that she was going to visit. I did not say anything because not only couldn’t believe as a professional who had worked in the system but knowing folks who had lost children and others appalling. Their help was mostly not help. But if one didn’t know or didn’t know any better or had no knowledge of past history it would seem oh how great.
    This is my one great great frustration because the net of biopsychistry and big Pharma is so very very all encompassing so that so many are blinded or made
    deaf and not their fault. It takes years to figure it out and even I was trapped. And then the Sciencetogy issues . No no it’s not that at all!! The history of survivors has been almost all but squashed.

  • I had a hard time following but the subject matter is enormous and perhaps a research article overview is not what is needed.
    I guess deportations have been around for eons. Americans seem to be in a large mix with folks being deported, some folks coming in from deportation in a variety of ways , such as the German military folk who came to the states after WWII. There was also the trails of tears which if not called a deportation actually were. There is the interment of Japanese Americans during WWII. There is the great migration of African Americans from the Jim Crow South.
    Lots of deportations from the US to other countries prior to WWI with pesky naturalized American citizens who created trouble.
    That is just a small sample. The authorities who were afraid of so many things used folks removal from here to there to stave off possibility of anything by removal. A bus ticket has been used as well.
    Most folks in the middle, are just cogs and are not able to see the actuality . They just see symptoms and treat.

    At least now, we all have a view of what is happening at the border- knowing full well there are many borders right?
    We need to learn the history behind the racism and other isms. Many of us already know what is like to be abused in the system.
    Then perhaps how to stop articles. What can we do? Not just for the MIA world but all the worlds that are caught in this web.

  • Thanks for this. I have some questions.
    What about gender specific stays and research? And I would like to know about the LBGQT folks as well. So much research is male only.
    What about other disabled vets? What works and what doesn’t work for them and my guess is there are emotional issues with them as well.
    After WWII the VA thought chicken farming was the solution for vets with visual issues. As a Social Worker, my mother worked with them and thought it was not the best idea.
    The other question is why the difference in handling trauma generationally?
    WWII vets mainly kept it to themselves and it only leaked out as they aged. Vietnam Vets had their own support and active groups- kind of forced to because no ticker tape parades for them.
    What about race?
    How do entertainment and media affect Vets and the VA?
    How does the volunteer army affect all of this?
    What about the families? In the not to distant past there was the beginning of some understanding of intergenerational trauma. This now seems to be a moot and forgotten point.
    Glad this is out there. I heard about this through a friend who lost their child to suicide. The families of Vets who lost their vet to suicide was her great help.
    This was one our local NAMI was sending folks to wakes of suicides. So much for that.

  • So much of this type of news goes unreported. This is so much of a vortex seemingly with no end. There are the grassroots organizations around this issue Moms Demand Action, Everytown, the Sandy Hook Promise, And others. It is hard to know where they actually stand and so so much is a reactionary backlash so deep research and the capacity to have deep understanding is missing. The NRA folks know this and use it as a populist tool as does our current leader.
    Truth be told we are a globe of trauma and unless we start with the basis of we are alll trauma survivors not much will ever get accomplished.
    One of the news magazine outlets ran a piece on the after-affects of being a gun massacre survivor and they not only deal with the act itself but medical lead poisoning due to the shrapnel that remains in their bodies due to the high assault weapons.
    And we psych survivors know about double whammy’s! The metaphor of this strikes as beyond precious.
    There are so many players here both hidden and above ground.
    The weapons industry George Bernard Shaw had his finger on them in “Major Barbara.”
    Ibsen had the NRA members mindset with his play , “Enemy of The People.”
    And one could look through out time in the art and commentary where rational and then convoluted thought rises and falls.
    I will share this for what it is worth. Not many folks ever respond back. One or two at most. I continue to be traumatized every day. One hopes someday there will be an end to the worst aspects of this world and my life.

  • Dorothy, thank you so much for sharing your story. It was helpful. So many times and in so many ways one has to live in the closet. I have tried several ways to integrate my psych life experience with life outside and most times it has not gone well. Either there is a cold draft that creeps into the air or silence. Most folks really don’t want to know.
    This is similar but not totally like females and or mothers with addiction issues. The elephant in the living room.
    In my area the 12 step groups have been alive and kicking and some of my own support has come from there but not always and still a separate issue.
    Not being able to tell my children oh you need to talk to my friend so and so because she lived through what you did with me is a great sorrow and I am not sure how much it is because I still own the shame and humiliation.
    There is no good manners, etiquette framework to discuss this issues and other crisis episodes of human life. I think we have all been in places where a brave soul brings up something and then silence and a quick change of subject.
    And I think we psych survivors are not the only hurting hidden humans here.
    When I was in a Preschool Board one of the mothers lost a child. No one expected her to come but she did and only one mother was able to meet her eye to eye and greet her( A LISW I knew- so yes so some profs can rise to the occasion) .
    That mother and I became great friends unfortunately she died of cancer and was not alive( trauma anyone?) when I slid , was pushed, into crisis.
    Thanks again, your voice is so important.
    Actually there is an old book and a movie on a psych survivor story written by a fellow high school alum though more addiction than anything else but she was in our local unit. The Cracker Factory- FYI

  • Interesting thoughts. But can it be morally and ethically done?
    This goes to the demise or restructure debate. Germany, Rwanda, and the United States after the Civil War are examples of the restructure approach with huge differences on how that was managed.
    Vietnam is also another country one can look to , in terms of handling hortorific trauma. That war was really the first ever time vets were really able to go back and process and meet with people who once they actively fought against. Some in WWII were able to meet with enemies as well but for many silent sufferings as in past military actions of all kinds throughout time.
    WWI showed Psychiatry actively working to put soldiers back into military action. We have the writings of many of the English writers who served on the frontlines to show us how it was accomplished. Tolkien was a WEI soldier and of course he came up with the creation of IRCs. One can see in a small way reading about his life where it originated.
    Of course if anyone today would talk of Orcs and night time fears they would be vanished and vanquished into the bowels of the MH industrial military medical complex/ and I paraphrase President Dwight D Eisenhower here in his last important speech. He was a General inWWII and lived out his retirement years on a farm in full view of Gettysburg Notional Park.
    What I find missing is the voice of survivors and any understanding or comprehension of restorative justice in the MH field.
    Any professional worth their salt is able to relate and accept their mistakes and errors. And if they don’t then. let us all show them the door.
    When involved with any type of professional helper I always admired the ones who knew and admitted to “ I really blew it this time or times.
    One doc said to me-“ When I was young, I thought I knew everything , now I listen to the mothers and follow their lead.”
    And for those reading this who were abused by their mothers and I am so sorry especially for those that ended up having help create even more or worse hurt- I believe that if one can see I am imperfect and I just want to help- they might be the ones to see all mothers are not perfect either. Atleast that is my hope.
    I will not trust those who do not admit errors and mistakes but I will try and give leeway to those who not only LISTEN and admit imperfection but also are willing to work together side by side despite ongoing disagreements.
    If that doesn’t evolve than demise is the only other solution. We never resolved the Civil War and look where that has led us.

  • This is a long lasting and complex issue on how to help our young thrive and now there is a mighty question of surviving in and of itself.
    The whole history of education from the schools formed by Puritans in New England to the luck of rich young females in Western Europe to use their father’s library books in self education.
    And then to indigenous cultures ways of youth.
    A family relative taught in the Open Air School time which came out of a public school system trying to work with public health issues of immigrants. The crisis there was TB. Students who were at risk for this disease could? or made ? to go to a school that had a physician and nurse who did home visits. The health food of the day was used – graham crackers and cream cheese- go figure. Class sizes were around 50 with the whole spectrum of abilities.
    And then in contrast look at top tier boarding schools – some things detailed in Dicken’s David Cooperfield still linger.
    The Roman Catholic boarding schools for both the rich and the disabled were at times extremely abusive or merely quite unpleasant. Much less the American movement of child separation on the Reservations. And then the slave system and Jim Crow Times with learning to read or write being a possible death sentence.
    The best mindfulness program I participated in was a UU based Sanga.
    We met twice a week with two sitting sessions and walking session in between and then a short discussion time.
    Unfortunately the church also supported NAMI and had an extremely active group and I didn’t realize when I joined.. Oh well.
    So many systems that try or are perceived as helping children are messed up and entangled with corruption and financial strife.
    This hurts not only the children but those employees who are wanting to help and those that are gifted helpers. They and the kids are caught in a bad dream not of their own making.

  • I don’t understand the dynamics during the decades with gender. Back in the early eighties there was a transgender program and folks were evaluated and then could begin their change. St the time, there were some African Americans and others and it seemed like it was no big deal. I was not involved so I could easily missed the isdues.
    I still have a hard time comprehending the fear factor. I missed a lot when being a parent and was not in the loop with LBQT folks as I had been. This hardness never needed to happen.

  • I am surprised no one has commented on this. Pink slip laws as in Ohio and other states. We need to have a list.
    How to leave a hospital. Admission clerk signaled a strong man code when I decided I did not want to be admitted.It was beyond humiliating and that unit was part Twilight Zone and part One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.There should be a Manuel st least , lawyers at best to get one the right to leave AMA.
    The confabulation of the MH professionals in these insurance paid money passed under the table corporations needs to be outed and closed down. This is not help this is at least for me imprisonment, kidnapping, and torture.
    And once you leave, yes as stated in another column another version of The First Circle.

  • Elizabeth, thanks for your kind reply. Paperwork – many good social workers resigned or were fired because the paperwork just became to hard to handle. It is one of the many elephants in the living room.
    I worked in a residential center during grad school and none of the girls were on any type of chemical intervention. When I had worked in a camp for dev. disabled kids I knew of only one kid and he usually had two volunteers assigned during outside trips. It was never what is wrong with this kid, the philosophy as I learned it was more like Montessori – How can we make it easier?
    Jane Addams, and others led interesting lives. Jane developed Hull House a kind of settlement house. Tons of info on her and others if one looks. Should be taught in school.
    I would suggest you look into creating or following a psych survivor group or program. Soteria and others involved on this site. I had lots of issues with NAMI somehow the DD movement was more into independence than the MH system. Might have something to do with both financial funding and stigma.
    Trauma I would urge to look into that as well- that is the core and key to many but not all.
    One of the ways I cope with my psych survivor life is learning new things. It’s a great distraction and life doesn’t feel so lonely. TH White recommended it!

  • Elizabeth, I am glad you have realized and then found appropriate help in your life journey.
    However, like LabenderSage, I left social work. In my time, any chemical intervention or neurotoxin regime was only used after ALL therapeutic efforts were literally exhausted. This has changed drastically and I consider it almost to child abuse levels and I bending backwards here.
    If you loo at the profession some good stuff but it came and was created by rich white privelged women- similar too but not exactly like the women suffragettes and early feminists. Not taking anything away from the good but they did kowtow to the male powers that be many more times that they should have. And look at the CEOs and CFO’s and Directors of most agencies – most male
    I am glad you have enlarged your vision and your story of struggling with Chemical intervention while working which is I think, par for the course these days.Just the paperwork alone is enough for any sane individual to seek substances to cope with the emotional morass.
    Please think on what you can do next.

  • Thanks Mike for writing this. Because I come a variety of view points I would like to share some of my NAMI story.
    From a family perspective differences were allowed and I grew up knowing about folks – my own family had issues but the MH Field was not seen as saints but some good folks there.
    In my professional life NAMI was looked down upon by most professional folks. This seemed to change with the Big Pharma bio roll out.
    There were the newspaper columns of NAMI folks seeing the light. The MH Board was run by a safety service admin and instead of mobile crisis units MH checks by police became the rule. I dropped out of the Social Work world but then ran into overwhelming trauma. I tried not to take meds but it was not acceptable. Most people bought into chemistry. And there were no good places for alternatives. I became drugged out of my mind. During that time I tried NAMI – it was awful the group and the folks were so into chemicals without seeing the possibility this is not working well for many.
    I rue the day I ever tried to reach out.
    Someday, I hope to find a way of resolution. Good luck in your next life steps.

  • Yes! The DBT Day Treatment Program I was placed in used this as primary tool. It was beyond awful especially the so called spiritual component. It was all very well maintained SCAM.
    I consider them as con artists not professionals. I think the con artists are part and parcel of today’s MH world and only if you happen to be random lucky to get a so called real professional does one actually get help. Huge part of the problem. BS all around.
    Thanks for your wisdom.

  • Corinne I am surprised that you lasted so long. Kudos for what you accomplished and I am sorry for your loss and losses. Be well and maybe this is the place where something else will come. I found many grants to be insidiously political whether MH related or not. And sometimes opposite grants were written just to make sure another grant was NOT funded. You are not alone in this.
    I know many orgs are parent related and my issue was well we have two perspectives here and you need to actively legitimize both and always the folks first who deal with whatever on a day to day basis. We are the experts.
    But ah to get that point across and other agents are at work as well.
    If I could give you a solution I would.Good luck.

  • Efrat, Congratulations on your award and thanks for letting us hear your voice.
    And hearing is so so important! So many unheard and even if heated slowly or rapidly crushed in a variety of ways.
    Since I try to read everything and since you are an archivist- yeah!!!!
    Check out Tobert Coles. He worked with SNCC and knew the three murdered students of the summer of 1964.
    So in the psych world but something out of bounds. As a person in the system if I had encountered one doc but not anymore though who knows? Trauma is so pervasive and harmful for those unable to find release so again who knows.
    Please keep going and writing and maybe we all need to think of Rumi outside the fields of right and wrong I will meet you there. Go for it.

  • One needs to go through writings on medicine with the sharp fine toothed comb- along with others – and yes my comment in regards to John Lewis does not forget the waterhosing of children and the four girls burned to death and oh yes the pictures of those who actually marched st Selma.
    House of God – old novel- very interesting to read author now. Oh my a psychiatrist who may have had a partial epiphany. If one totally bashed and ignored all- the diamonds in the rough are laid to the wayside and are no help at all. Robert Coles and his experience with Dorothy Day and her house of hospitality and the farm and Peter Maurin who was literally on the edge of the margins and today would have been taken off the street and medicated out of his mind.
    There was beside everything else a forceful great forgetting. Look at the RC church and the almost total forgetting of the system of Abbesses and Dorothy despite her ironclad following of the system just not holy enough- she lived with “ those” folks.
    And if things ever get better- we all will still have to live with one another. We have several Pharma Reps in our area and their kids and all that. To lead with hate and blame never works because after usually comes if not taken over like with the Jim Crow laws. And even then what happens to those in WWII who worked for evil systems. How to configure justice?

  • It goes back further and is so intertwined. Beer Rounds. There used to be free beer and pizza made available to medical residents on Friday late afternoons. Not the best idea. Even Social Workers were given free lunches or gifts by agencies or companies that wanted referrals. I think the old sawhorse – you scratch my back and I will scratch yours- has been in play for a long, long time. Nurses took over a lot of the nursing home and or hospice discharge planning and I am not sure if it got better or worse.
    I think this played out on all levels in all areas. One just has to look. And yes I am aware because at times I was a participant but eventually walked away as much as I could until I stopped completely.
    The trouble is it is so alluring and if you have a gap of some sort in self regard it creates a filler atleast for some time. And we all our vulnerable to spin and false choices. A 12 step program would fit for many of the professionals involved in the grafting machinations and again those of us who took chemicals and in doing so hurt ourselves and possibly others. IE going through eithdrawal – the anger and rage and who to blame it on and unless in a legal or community good way what good does blame actually accomplish?

  • One does need to remember he lost his mother and is part of an othered group.
    Doesn’t make it right but if we lead with bitterness then nothing will ever be accomplished. According to John Lewis on Krista Tippet’s On Being series the Civil. Rights moment met and read and gathered and actually practiced being confronted. Their lead was this person was not born this way, this person was exposed and learned.
    “Beautiful Mind” how did they get the movie to change the facts? And how do we get professionals to aid instead of play games?
    And again, one does not want to be sidelined fighting red herrings.

  • Eric, thanks for this. I had that issue as well as was misdiagnosed at a private for profit psychiatric hospital. As a professional I had known folks of my profesdion not only unhappy but leaving it. I was not consulted but told.
    I ended up in solitary and the discharge plan was for nursing home placement according to an aide. It never happened but very scary to say the least. Got the papers and the plan was for nursing home placement but in red stamped was Lithium Toxicity. Never told.
    I am sorry for what has happened. Lithium Toxicity knowledge has been around since the 1950’s when Lithium was introduced. There was no need for what we and others were put through.I hope for better days for you and all.

  • Teresa, it is good to read your voice. As a person of many hats, the need to change needs you. To hear a professional social worker SAY the system is broken and we all need to do something is great to read.
    I would love to dialogue with you as both a retired LISW and survivor that was abused by the system.
    There is so much to talk on. And if you could hear me then I could hear you and we could reflect in a column the process of dialogue.
    Steve has my email. So I would be willin to correspond and send in the writing to be seen and read here.

  • Miranda, this was a very interesting article. But as usual I have to point out something. Anderson Cooper lost his brother to suicide and my best guess is the concept of a biological issue since this was decades ago was brought up and was used as a hold to help deal with the loss. Defense Mechanism. Anna Freud identified a number, I think there are are many human defenses against pain or memories or uncomfortable realities as there are stars in the sky.
    I just wouldn’t be so hard just because of this though I understand and at times been if not out loud internally as you.
    This is just such a good start- just tone it down because many folks will know his history or others and again I would say most of us have been affected by suicide in some way shape or form including our own history.
    In defense some folks will just focus on your non support of him and damn again.
    Continue but ah an interview with Cooper or Chris and along the way other voices chiming in our something.
    What we need is a light bulb moment.
    The powers that be have done their all mightiest not to allow any light in folks and professionals minds right. And the folks do not know what they don’t know.
    So keep on but and consider my thoughts and do what you will.
    And remember-there are always folks who say and think and feel they were helped and are on them as they speak. My guess this is a big issue. Even if they are aware of problems. Denial is not a River in Egypt.

  • Oh but Lucy, this has been great! So please do not drop out of the conversation. It is despite the uncomfortable feelings raised extremely important.
    Do not give up and I would say the same to PD but breathe and process and think on this and think on that and if something rises up please share.
    My reaction was visceral and it wasn’t I skimmed for the sake of skimming – some of it way to close to my trauma core.
    And the other issue is please please please say life is trauma. Do not create walls and barriers where they really Do not need to exist.
    Social Work/ Parenting 101!!!!!!!
    The fact that your kid is angry does not mean the kid or you are bad the fact is kid or adult fill in the blank is SAFE enough to get angry!
    This is huge!
    Because of our human history of trauma the emotions are twisted tangled and come out in a variety of health and unhealthy ways. And if one has been majorilly traumatized just getting to the point of recognizing I need to contain this emotion or well yeah These Emotions can be life long or some never are able to identify and it comes out in abuse of some sort.
    So glad you are trying glad to see multisysyemic thinking, glad to see you dialogue but for me and possible others
    Be Includive we not we as professionals but we as humans on this fucked up earth. ( And Yes Alex – not total and places of green) Then maybe an opening through the walls and barriers of now. Capice?

  • Jen and Sasha I don’t know if the Social Work path is any better but I don’t know that much regarding now. I know there is trauma focus but of what kind, range, and depth?
    And yes the Social Work Field has or had some really great stuff but at times and not in all ways and I haven’t heard ANY sense of this is what we did wrong and amend making.
    Those who came with a history sometimes were talked behind their backs and marginalized – who the student was assigned for not only fieldwork placement but supervisor – a whole world – truly -even those who had trauma issues during career- treated with kid gloves very hush hush hush whispers.
    And remember the field was created by rich white women. Kind of like the Abolition movement clarity but created by those who had more power than others and at the same time compromised by culture and society power grid.
    There use to be a MSW/JD degree. I would urge you both to do that.
    As a mother ( one hat I wear) I was confounded by being unable to use the skills I had required in my social work profession because I was unable to confront others and advocate for my children as well as I would have as a professional. I could go toe to toe , head to head with adults in the community for one of the kids I was working with and I also was known as a fighter.
    Could not do that with family especially children because ah college reference letters , place on sport team, place in high school cast, ect ect ect. And even then the fix was in in my community without being totally calling stuff out.
    So for the folks who say burn it down, I get but sometimes one really needs support and witness to call out the BS.
    Since you both know you could do this service. Think on it.

  • Actually the benzo- opiod combo was maybe is standard practice for orthopedic surgery regardless of age.
    Interesting reading this now.
    No the meds are not addictive my relative was told. Although even in the eighties some MH folk knew of bentos additive nature.
    Before this became standard the role of orthopedics was interesting and oh so very male dominated.
    Lots of addicted of all tropes would end up on the ortho wards because in winter time in the dark so easy to fall.
    And wards had access to even more substances from so called friendly visitors.
    They also could be heroes if they choose to be but many did not follow through with C. Henry Kempe’s finding of child abuse and spiral fractures and all of that. And oh yes sure! Some mothers were blamed by boyfriends or husbands and took the fall when it was the male who was abusing in all shapes and size and frames …….. verbal, emotional , physical, and sexual.
    In my suburb in the 2990’s some blessed parent had an African American speaker talk on drug addiction and recovery in America for the PTA and Community.
    He suggested going into all your children’s friends bathrooms and taking a peek in the cabinet.
    He was if nothing else but prescient.
    But so hard to do!!!!!
    I considered my self lucky when mothers opened up about guns in the house and their safety plan.

  • Actually Ellen Bass and her co- author did this decades ago. I am sorry Sera you had to endure it all. And yes any knowledgeable caring well trained and well read therapist should tell every sexual abuse survivor yes pleasure is part of the package deal. My guess is our FLOTUS is a victim herself. Notice I say victim because I don’t think she is safe. Several Congress women in the past have come out with their own stories and 4 in 1 female and 7 in 1 male and that is in my humble opinion on the low side.
    As you pointed out so searingly, one does not judge well after abuse and figuring it all out can take a life time. Thus FLOTUS and daughters maybe still too afraid to speak out and are playing the game of pretend.
    This in and of itself should be grounds for use of the 25th admendment.. Sex abuse is a crime and extreme violation of the female and or possible male. One never knows. It was done as nausaym in every captive human enclosure and that enclosure could be the White House or the Bergen Belsen. The story remains the same.
    Anyone who knows anything about sexual perpetrators knows this is part of our current 1% scene.
    I am giving up on news or trying to sort things out. An anchorite life maybe.
    I just don’t see an end in sight at this point and waiting is too soul damaging. So perhaps a cell with paper and fresh food and someone can free me if things turn upwards. Best to all. Keep if the good fight for me.

  • Jonah you have some true gems here among your thoughts.
    Tech is a tool and needs ethics and how to’s and phases of implementation and oh yes the profit motive and or control motive which left unchecked, unregulated, or ignored because just not convient to the bottom line.
    And as a professional who worked with mothers involved in the child protective service once long ago we did think on using tech because for those traumatized in childhood and then or already traumatized by sheer environmental extreme hardness sometimes the ability to connect with their infant was compromised not because of them but they had never been given the freedom to look eye to eye in a safe way with another human being Using video to show the infant actively looking and desiring eye contact , to let them be safe enough to observe and feel maybe someone wants to interact with me and dance into life is simply essential for human beings to continue to survive and the earth to survive.
    However, not sure about your knowledge of this or anyone else’s.
    This is where I depart from some other survivors in that as always there are folks in any profession who break through. And here I am acknowledging the horrirific history of psychiatry that was like so many things so successfully well hidden.
    I still get triggered with the phrase mental health and just the topic so my reading is compromised by my history of awfulness. See previous posts.
    And training ? Trained by whom and what funding sources and who actually originated the idea? Who were it’s influencers? If shareholders who really are they and if LLC who is behind the mask and curtains? And we need to realize it’s not just one convoluted serpentine and byzantine layer it is I fear Leviathan. But even the nine headed Hydra was defeated so I think there is hope still.
    It’s not MH it’s human beings in crisis and a world in crisis and for those of us in the United States a country on the edge of collapse because of so many folks asleep at the wheel.
    My mother grew up with a record album of just laughter and I think tech could work here. If one can laugh and learn amazing cool facts on any subject or walk or swing on a swing or see a piece or art. Then with both human and tech positives a sea change.
    Whenever secrecy, power and control and inequality and yuck factors appear then NO. Danger not only to the targeted by to the by standers as well.

  • Wasn’t sure where and how to post re: Alex’s comments. Alex, your words are so helpful and the new project of writing very cool.
    It’s so dicey because so many of us have been abused and ah the capacity to do moral harm to others is there sometimes more than other times.
    And working through the abuse and being able to identify triggers on an ongoing basis takes as you said time and energy.
    Philo from Alexandria – be kind for everyone is fighting a great battle. Yes but how to talk truth to power and feel the emotions without the emotions overcoming civility?
    That is where- some type of partner witness comes in- a team sometimes works better than a single voice but again can also devolve into groupthink re: eugenics.
    So my thought for now.

  • Thanks for this. I have some thoughts.
    First of all Socrates and hemlock. And then we go to the shame of not being buried in sacred ground. The RC has or had a strong lockhold on this. When my sister wanted to choose her burial ground and she looking into nonRC cemeteries I was like wow if your not buried in sacred ground shame for the entire family. This was big. Secrets with disability and or suicide.
    Thomas A Kempis was not given sainthood because when he was exhumed for possible canonization his inner top was marked by scratching so – he might have died of despair / so no sainthood for him. One sometimes had to laugh it’s all so contorted.
    I think what is needed is a clear and open discussion of life. Sometimes and for many it is just god awful and seemingly little to no options and I would say for all of us Trauma is life and if you are unable to work through it which usually means your life time in some cases – the thought of suicide has passed your mind. To deny this is the real tragedy.
    The questions should be who what why when and how and they should be boldly asked.
    And how can it be considered contagion when basically most people have thought in some way shape or form I am outta here.
    There are so many things no one knows or understands. And horrors to those who admit that truth. Because oh my to admit ignorance- really such bad form.
    In my MH system other side of the table journey/ no one asked How has suicide impacted your life? If asked I could say well there might have been a suicide cluster at my grade school parish and could go on to list names of for sites and then the maybes or most likelies.
    And not contagion but maybe some sort of abuse or sex abuse and or addictions.
    And no one asked me after my unintentional or mostly unintentional
    OD of my own story – the steps and what I was thinking and doing before and during. I was just shipped off to a hell hole.
    And most neurons are located in the digestive track so where does that all fit in?
    If one looks back into history one can find that first looks sometimes were fogged or mud splattered and what was really the cause was so much more different than the assigned conclusion.

  • This was a very interesting dialogue.
    I have several questions.
    The past of Ireland was only minimally discussed and the abuses like so many issues in some places and in so many ways glossed over. So here are my questions coming from both a survivor and professional perspective.
    Has the profession in Ireland in any way done grief work regarding the Irish Famine? Other than Cecil Woodhams Smith,” The Great Hunger” and scattered writingsand with our knowledge of possible intergenerational trauma affects one would hope that a reckoning and resolution could somehow take place.
    The great divide and troubles again especially with the current political environment still it seems to me from afar, a source of unresolvedness though so much better now then before.
    The Magdalene Laundaries- what was the role of psychiatry and other professions? Did they know and if so why wasn’t it stopped?
    The RC institution, the unacknowledged children of priests – and I worry about Tuam here- how did it remain in disguise?

    The book “ Angela’s Ashes” goes in poetic detail of the hardness of lives and the layers of abuse in poverty and this in families and children- where was Psychiatry in all of this?
    There is much talk of Uganda and Nee Zealand but the great silence continues for the country and the professions and church.
    Finally, in the States, there is a museum that acknowledges the names of those who were murdered by lynchings. But what to do with ALL of our emotions?
    The last question- why cannot you call out your own survivorship?
    We all have lived through various ways and means and modes of trauma- some luckier than others- how to reconcile?

  • Also. Even in Germany in WEII there was Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Stolz siblings of the Ehite Rose Society.
    So there are humans everywhere inside or outside that help not hurt or hinder.
    But finding them and some are destroyed.
    But I hold out for that. Not all resisters in WWII died.
    And abortion and the fine line that gets so muddied by some groups it’s dometimes like dancing due to shot gun fire. Ethics and dialogue tools needed!

  • Thanks Bonnie. I find it more of a mindset that is always a part of the culture in many global areas that waxes and wanes , rises and falls, but now like you I am so worried not only of its ascendency but of the children now and those to come. So many are now existing in no win/ no win situations.
    One thinks one has found a voice from the past or present and then eugenics or propsychiatry, or something yuck pops up. And some folks one knows which oh my especially when they get community accolades.
    Genocide – I now know it comes in so many forms and so many multitudes of deaths.
    Ravenbruck – I think of your efforts with the female murders on the reservations.
    I am not looking at this point for fixes. At this point I just want voices and eyes and ears atleadt trying to work together.

  • Kelly, close but no cigar. I had to stop reading because there are some wounds that are almost beyond empathy and either you never had it or IDK.
    When a human is in a place or sheer terror or horror the wound analogy misses something.
    The mothers – documented in Louise Erdrich and Toni Morrison novels who had to let their infants die to go on living. That my dear is all things being equal very much not being equal because it NEVER SHOULD have happened.
    This is the HORROR of our world terrible things happening to both children and adults not because of any inner psychic issue but the complete and utter inequality of the world.
    The knowledge to avoid most of our tragedies is there just certain folks don’t want to be bothered.
    As hard as your own hardness in life is unfortunately there are others unable to voice the true reality of life as it is these days.
    Freedom
    House in Detroit, Michigan visit there and write for them or better yet teach them how not only to witness but to act.
    We have to have both and it cannot be done without human andhumane. Support.

  • Sandy, I am glad you took time to read and review the book. I had seen the reviews and was wondering if it would be discussed here.
    I think it is a beginning crack but small and isolated in the elitist world of American academia. And thanks for the shout out to Laura. If the professor had true intelligence and creativity she would have co- authored the book with Laura.
    I still contend chemical treatment or maybe just say chemotherapy it fits in terms of bad side effects but is not even targeting bad cells to kill – is a band aid solution and now has morphed into a quasi legal solvo.
    The tools to treat humans in distress from trauma of all kinds in all configurations,or problematic withdrawal or a spiritual crisis or whatever are either few and far between, difficult in having, expensive, or hum labor intensive, or still nonexistent.
    So because of the expediency of pills or injections a dream for authortaritive administrators of all kinds. The perfect fit.
    So every professional is forced into this band aid approach and instead of helping folks, many times hurt is put upon other hurt.
    One can be a kind and compassionate professional but even then, one still has to play in the system and follow the systems rules. Some systems are less oppressive than others. But bottom line if one merely looks at the stats- the system ain’t working and folks are only getting worse.
    I would propose instead of a Physcians for Social Responsibility – remember that group? Psychiatrists Against Oppression and start actively being active not with books or papers but on your feet. The Benjamin Spock MD way.
    As a survivor even with First Amendment Rights to Free Speech if I choose to go out and protest if word gets out to the police or I act out of the margins- my very very strong fear is I will not just get picked up and arrested and charged like the Catholic protest at the Russell Building with elderly nuns and elderly lay folks- my fear- is – I will be pink slipped along with a violation charge.
    6 hours at a police station is nothing compared to days of forced medication.
    Because I live a Venn Digram life, I am not unopposed to working with dissident MH folks and can agree to disagree re the use of chemicals as long as we all agree band aid and things need to change.
    The issue with us survivors is our voices and power to be heard have been quashed in multiple levels. This is also true of any othered type culture or group of human beings these days.
    So a joint effort might be what Saul Alinsky’s ghost might say is all of our best chance at beginning whatever- change, transformation, or new entity type of support.
    There just needs to be some ground rules.
    As survivors we were abused and I do not say this lightly as a twenty year trauma involved LISW. The periods of my hospitalizations were the worst moments of my life and pure hell.
    The floors that I were on were so much much worse than any I had worked on as a staff member. They were nothing but prisons.
    So all survivors who have experienced this so called treatment will be angry and the anger can be scatter shot.
    Forgive us are legitimate anger and do not take it personally. It is what it is.
    What we ALL want is this never to be normal again and have the abuse stop.
    Then if this can be recognized let’s work together to stop things as they are.
    One needs voices st every state and local area and in a national context as well.
    And in Academia, in the board rooms, on Wall Street and in the streets.
    Your voice can be the shot heard round the world that opens up and allows our experiences to be heard and then possible ephinanies May come.
    It’s just too late to do the old ways- too much entrancement b so many powerful folk.
    Maybe just tumor board meetings – the oppsies when the medical model fails in situ? They do it for every other legitimate medical department. That would be one very small way of changing the mind set. Cracks before tanks maybe?
    As always just some barnstorming ideas.

  • Perhaps the concept of trauma centers with some medical professions out of the loop completely.
    And then the concept of those who experience alternative realties which most indengenious populations had or have in terms of a certain clan. The Hebrew Levi families and Cohn? In the “ priest” category.
    Don’t even deal with the pull concept. X them out of the board game and up to individuals if they choose with true informed consent.
    Like a cancer support agency I know of all sorts of supports and intergenerational but chemotherapy or not out of the loop.

  • Interesting and hard look research Phil. Thanks. If I had known of these articles I never would have tried to walk into the MH world. The writing reeks of total robotic mind.
    My father was a physician and he said at the end he would do it over again and go into molecular biology but he thought in a humane way and had no respect for psychiatry. He would have been fascinated by the Cascade phenomena in medical crisis situations and the fact more neurons are located in the digestive system than anywhere else. So they had a finger in the door and blew it all to smithereens.
    Phoebe yes the old definition of depression. I talked to a Georgetown psychiatrist resident about a client from a state institution whom he had dx as endgenously depressed. State institution for the Developmentally Disabled no understanding of well yeah.
    To Ann. RIP. Another Georgetown student who missed the mark among way too many.
    Stockholders- very difficult to know because of BUNDLING. I once asked to see what social justice stocks I could put my retirement fund in and CVS was the stock of choice. So in terms of fighting the opioid and other Big Pharma by Wall Street means the greeders – new name let’s label them for what they all are had the con going with the start of mutual funds. The shell game played not on the street or county or state fairs but nationally and globally and
    we all walked by eating the cotton candy and fried hot dogs.
    Even those in the field who were decent had issues and were unable to cope with them in a best case scenario way. Bruno Bettelheim who did wonderful writing was a WWII Concentrstion Camp or refugee and there were big issues in his work. Trauma defines us all and if we cannot dialogue and acknowledge the issues we all carry on our backs the effects of trauma will grow exponentially.
    We need tools just like technology. Without ethics and a moral code and constant dialogue it becomes another nine headed monster.

  • Leah, I would have liked to see more in-depth reporting on several areas that you only mentioned in padding but I think need much more light.
    Do you or others know the history of past government congressional and White House conferences and hearings?
    There used to be a fair number. This hearing was done by the Oversight Committee! What is wrong with this?
    The Senate and White House Administration ain’t hearing nothin! And the press as well.
    Second- one needs to look at every Republican member on committees such as these. Not because I am against the old Republican Party but now many Congress folks are funded by NRI and other not so benign entities. Rep. Jordan also has a history that should be explored as well in terms of possible knowledge of abuse.
    A History of Florence Crittenton would be helpful for folks to see how not all agencies were always always awful,. I worked there part time and it was before chemicals were given Carte Blanche to children and adolescents in the system and the program had its strengths.

  • Erinco, interesting writing but you seem to be blinded by Mr. Stern’s intelligence and verbal skills. His case is a great example of surface cure. And this has been the blaring siren song of psychotherapy. If not done well and if there is a power differential say starpower the analyst is just as much a prisoner as the patient.
    For all his so called” insight” Mr. Stern has not owned up to or expressed sorrow and guilt over his decades long verbally abusive radio show. When he was not part of the problem he was aiding and abetting others in their isms of all kinds say like maybe birtherism?
    I have heard no true apology. I have heard no OMG ephiphany of true insight.
    So yeah the three times to five times a week can change people in some ways but ah the concept of social justice, equality, and the concept of common good – the image of one as a human in a planet in crisis – there are other ways to help oneself and see how interconnected we all are.
    BTW one free way of doing psychoanalysis sign up to work with a Clinic who trains folks. Like other professions the student analysis is free.
    So thanks for the economic lesson but old stuff and when one picks a subject make sure the subject actually fits the definition of cured. My guess he has not been able to learn empathy and like a kindergartener can use the vocabulary but has no idea of the real meaning behind them.

  • Good to see the timeline but hard to read about the death of someone caught in a tangle of modern life.
    It ‘s all there though not highlighted.

    Altar boy- I would wonder about abuse

    Poorly fitting school environment

    Opioid script possible addiction and potential nondiagnosed concussion.

    Trauma/ the death of a parent

    – the MH professionals should have addressed all of these issues straight on so maybe incompetentency in the MH system pervasive malpractice orgininating in education at the college and graduate level though there have been books and research on cultures but small and never integrated
    into the general mind set of society.
    SANSHA dual dx but never into the opioid diseaster and never into the idea of addiction as possible way of coping with trauma.
    Other issues gender identity and sexuality and bullying in school and was the school Catholic? Or like the public schools of England and other countries where from Tom Brown’s School Dsys and prior to and beyond the abuse could be both from peers and or adults. Luck of the draw for all of us.
    If you watch the series on Cheyrobol somehow easier to watch for me than the searing expose of pain shown in the Central
    Park 5 series and documentary – the Workers st the plant – 7 to 1 and they had been programmed always to obey the leader even if the leader were clearly wrong. So much for the lessons of the Nuremberg Trials unless this is an op for interweaving how Trauma seeds do much in all our human systems.

  • Julie, what always bothered me in leaving a place with so called issues sometimes voluntarily or sometimes because of politics, or other because of draconian paperwork requirements or even those times when the transition to end employment was smooth-
    I always felt pain for those folks left behind. It was both the folks and sometimes the staff. But especially if children were involved, another loss to lives of too too many losses and bad luck. So it was trauma for me as well.
    Damn I couldn’t do what I could have done or wanted to do. Stymied by the folks who only see money really I don’t have any other explanation other than greed or maybe zombie hood.
    Take care of yourself too. The yuck factor spreads.
    The other issue of bullying. Online bullying happens and is nefarious because so hard to prove and NOBODY wants to touch it with a ten foot pole- NOBODY.
    There is nothing worse to hear as a parent with an adolescent I don’t want to go to school not because of learning but because of bullying.
    The other factor is money – parents with means wield a heavy sword above teachers and the school board heads and if a offspring is involved- Not My Child!
    Which actually red flag educators a parent who is a so called good parents will know all kids aunt angels and be willing to ponder okay what could my child have done? Knowing kids to stupid and mean things and part of growing up is learning not to do stupid and mean things because really what mother wants to have to ask the question did I raise a monster?
    And then what abuse have the bullies endured? Children do not just become bullies. Though sometimes there are children you wonder but then I come back to intergenerational trauma or trauma at conception or in the womb.
    My child’s solution was to go to Community College And was awoken to the real world and did just fine.
    My talks with the superendent and police liaison officer were futile. The principal was not an option because she had verbally abused another child.
    The Guidance Department folks were useless in that they saw experienced bullying and did NOTHING.
    When your child is called down to Guidance and the staff is commandeered to stand in a line and watch as a traffic ticket is issued to an unsuspecting teen who is in AP and a busy volunteer then one knows the whole community is involved in the bullying.
    Someday , I hope to move since the community bullying continues to this day.
    Thanks for sharing your experience. Education can be so important and good but it also can be as evil as the devil.

  • My sense is that it is ultimately a red herring dialogue because if money were not involved in the process no diagnosis would ever be needed because it would only be a transaction between the helper and helpee.
    Money makes the MH world go around and some folks have figured out how to game the system bigly.
    Ida foundation or government agency would just offer salary and not require payback part of the false dichomity would be leveled.
    Title I Social Workers were paid that way as well asHospital Social Workers but that was long ago and now far away.
    By doing eliminating payment for services more time and energy could be used for addressing real mumtiststemic needs like say our earth and housing? As just two of a flood of needs.
    Think of all the time energy these folks put in and still in a quagmire.
    I appreciate the efforts but eliminate all payment entities and beucracies and go back to small clusters or one to one. Even bartering would be better than all the interference set up to block humans in need of whatever fill in the blank to get the help they need or want or desire.
    And if folks were educated on the how to for taking care of ethics they could in many cases be a umbrella. Perps use oeople’s ignorance and fear in any power situation- take away the ignorance and fear and there is a less chance of abuse.

  • If Tina really did help thanks!
    Katel,
    There are tons of books, plays, television shows, and movies.
    Some are into the biochemical approach some are not.
    There seems to be a timeframe with the early sixties past and after taking a nonchemical approach- “ I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”
    Movies such is “ A Child is Waiting” and “ Lisa and David” skim the area but are not true survivors films.
    After Jen Jersey’s “ Ine Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest” which was biographical portrayed as fiction – things started changing and there has been a steady stream of folks who are fine taking the chemicals proscribed. Kay Redfield Jamestown MD is one
    Cheryl Townsend started Intentional Peer Support And has some writing our Don Writz Book is here free.
    There are so many strands from Sci FYI to Horror to “Almost Normal”
    The psych survivor tales get pushed out by the literary big wigs because many many are involved in treatment and using the chemicals.
    I still have not been able to figure out the whole addiction process in all of this.
    12 step folks struggle as well.
    Old timers would say no way to any chemicals and then there were so many folks but my doctor gave me a prescription that it seems many became resigned to their use. But some 12 steppers will swear some are addictive.
    And with the opioid mess it gets to be a real nightmare. And the medical profession seems lost.
    I think they know but see chemicals as a band aid to stop the bleeding but everyone who is aware band sids are not long term solutions and do not cure.
    If anyone wants I could write a blog on the arts and name more names and artistic endeavors and it could be used as an ongoing list for folks. I certainly don’t know everything and even what I do know hits and misses.
    Especially if oneblioks st this white privilege. This is a huge gap. Other subjects touch in this like Roseanne Guy’s “Hunger”
    We need so much more than we have no to pull it all together. Do many times it seems multiple hidden moons circling.

  • Maybe what is needed is a piece on how to talk to folks or dialogue with them in regards to getting help or if they have pondered medication.
    Because of the vast amount of Pharma ads and the way they are designed and implemented one would think of them as a solution. The madmen and madwomen know humans and are good at manipulation and propaganda.
    There actually is a medical advertising hall of fame or should I say Shame?
    So we all are immersed in this level of subtle manipulation on an ongoing basis.
    So this is what I have done in my best self way- not every day is my best self and the rage comes and goes but when things are calm.
    Okay so you want to work in some things- nite here- try to wait until I think I need help with this ————- full in the blank issue. To intervene as in an intervention do not do this unless you are prepared to accept responsibility from any negative fallout and do not cherry pick asking others about concerned person I would say don’t go there at all. Wait, be patient trust folks to know they may be in crisis.
    I had an intervention done to me and as someone I lived once said to me the path to hell is paved with good intentions.
    That being said if someone does identify a need of their own give them multiple options and information. If for sin reason in too much crisis do reflective listening and give simple options.
    Most of the time the problem is the LACK of GOOD OPTIONS.
    Ask for help from someone else or with lived experience.
    I refer folks here and say I can tell you my story and thoughts.
    U suggest all the alternative therapies saying – this is a journey, some may work , some may not.
    Try to give low cost options or creative ways to get low cost options for alternatives ie massage schools, yoga teacher training – FREEBIES!
    For talk therapy say try at least three folks – hit or miss- research each therapist
    What do you want help with? What do you want to do yourself?
    Sometimes some people have found help with medication but no one really knows why and then issues with taking are threefold and tell them.
    Offer to go with them and be an ear and eye. One can ask to record interview or session.
    And again I would repeat over and over this is your journey yeah it s—— that you are here but use it as a tool and sometimes better actually comes. And if they don’t believe okay but if I am right you buy me lunch? Humor is essential. And listen and shut up until specifically asked.
    And the best thing is not to go away even if asked. Wait, sometimes the tuner stumbles and really does need a help or and or the finish line is reached and they want to process the journey.
    And be truthful.If you don’t know you really don’t know.
    So these are my thoughts/ do whatever with them as you all see fit.

  • Auntie, I have always liked your moniker.
    I think Sandra like the U.N. official- see latest MIA post is walking with us.
    How close and I sync are dimensions of individualism seen on any piligrimagr route. It is a process and so many ways.
    As in Dickens’ “ Oliver Twist” the reply to the question- “ Barkis is willing” is there though subtle .
    The U.N. route or The Hague is the way to go,
    The time is now not for vocalizing our so justified outrage but to work to get the tribunal. Don’t bsrk up the wrong tree!
    The fellow pilgrims may smell, one might agree on everything, and they may anger one at times but heck they on the road.
    I joe someday we can say we are all passing third and going home.

  • Alessa well yes of course the ice of using other alternatives to chemicals even of short duration is the primary goal.
    Thequqmire is most so called places of help only have chemicals are are basically prison barracks.
    One would hope there could be a sea change with trauma centers and if needed smallsmall units until all the support systems and alternatives could be put in place.
    Still some folks may still want a chemical option and again choice even a choice oneself disagrees with is paramount. If they have true informed consent and know the risks of addiction and withdrawal – there problem.
    But still there is the issue of forced treatment

  • Annita, the spelling of your name unusual but very interesting personal story. You were in the “Splendor in the Grass” or “Sybil” white female in crisis who lucked out as so many many do not.
    Your economic class ensured a sense of buoyancy but the pain of abuse and the treatment cannot be dismissed nor should anyone’s trauma.
    I knew what your story was as soon as a started reading. Past professional knowledge base.
    Your reading of medical records without support why?

    When I went to ask the medical records department of a certain local hospital the female clerk said quote unquote you are not going to like what is in there.
    Talk about malpractice in all its forms!
    That was the worst part of trying to piece together a seemingly unsolvable puzzle. The gall of that woman!!!!!!!!!

    So as Mary Oliver has written what are you going to do with your one wild truthful life now?

    How are you going to help? What you and others experienced so many have not. Not happy ending.What do you see for yourself? How did you treat your patients? Did social justice ever become a concern or cause?
    Did you stay in that bubble and practice there?
    It would be helpful to know. I am glad you survived. Your voice is needed!

  • Sandy thanks for the discussion but a very hard read for me on the psych survivor side of my life and also as a past professional in the field.
    This discussion is flashback city. But there it is and the last section about the insidious low drumbeat should have been first out of the door.
    But here are my thoughts
    1) Having developed Parkinsonism and told by a neurologist to stop well yeah but after inpatient experiences that out fear into my soul marrow- it would have helped for him- oh my – to actively advocate for me.
    In a different world we’re my father and other folks practiced it would have been a no brained call and write a letter to document your medical assessment .
    I had to stop on my own violation and it took years and I still carry the burden of weight.
    So maybe a team approach?
    2) The discussion of Haldol is chilling to read with current prescription practices and advertising being totally marketed as the real thing.
    As you may know Haldol was a go to prescription for the elderly who exhibited so called problematic behavior.
    On the medical unit we had folks thinking they were at a restaurant, someone circling the floor thinking she had lost her flight in the airport, and more.
    Nursing staff and residents were doing the right thing just trying to go with the flow and reassure as much as possible.
    Medical students however would be alarmed and would order Haldol but they weren’t always good about knowing the right doses for certain populations or the concept of mileu and now today Improv work with the confused elderly so danger for patients st times.
    When I was in crisis and inpatient I begged for 5 mg Haldol but no and proof positive I was really “ crazy”
    So this is a sad confirmation, I was right. I knew the dangers, saw the Code Blue but also aware of the new drugs- did not trust since 1981 biomarkers for depression- Never found.
    3) The issue of advertising and guild protection circling the wagons subtle but there and yes. The same folks who created the opioid crisis in many ways also as a precursor similar to the Nazi early experiments with the handicapped and homosexuals laid and profited off ALL of these chemical formulas.
    Also the end of patent copyright and more tools for them. The pain scale developed at from a Pain Management Department at Tufts by Aa very very generous grant by the Family of psychiatrists who created their own chemical company.
    4) The concept of choice and informed concent in my time as patient clearly did not have that nor was I seen as a human being with any type of a personal or famial narrative. I was a mere cog who happened to have skin and bones and private insurance.
    You might be different and it certainly seems you really have tried to be open and see what lies beneath the psychiatry family room carpet. But one also must believe and respond to the horrors of personal experience. Just like sexual abuse survivors.
    How considering the muck of s—- not sure.
    5) Choice – on the medicalfloor there was a Type I diabetic of legal age who wanted to stop her insulin. She was allowed almost died then changed her mind. The idea of noncompliance was always at issue for all patients – the forcing of those who at the heart of it all are trauma from life folks is beyond chilling.
    The biopsychistry approach deliberately and willfully due to greed quashed any information on trauma and the history of alternative treatments that were used in the past. Check out Trudy Schoop/ never heard of her I bet —-yet she was there on the wards and many others ground into oblivion.
    So these are my thoughts. Since I worked in the field like you I have flashbacks for those times when I was blind and unaware. I went into the field because it did not make sense and it was such a large part of helping professions. The only positive in any of this is my hope for the truth and some sort of restorative justice.
    Leon Uris in one of his novels on the Israeli – Palestine conflict has a page or two on a psychrists suggestion for peace there
    It deserves reading and distribution.
    Basically own your mistakes, accept them, and apologize and then do what one can to restore the error. All of this in a framework of—— imperfection apologies will always miss the mark, owning up will always involve a but but but, and restoration really only a sembalabce or symbol.
    But there it is a guide for a very very imperfect world. And even tribunals cannot undo the horror and tragedy.
    But those who actually performed and profited from crimes against humanity that is also part of restorative justice.
    May the dialogue continue and please speak truth to power you can do it.

  • So Pacific Dawn does your statement mean or include me?
    I am a former practioner but have lived psych survivorship?
    Again like in Nazi Germany, Apartheid South Africa, Vichy France, the American Jim Crow South and past and present, and those who worked with First Nation peoples bad bad and more bad but there were some who tried to help who if nothing else recognized the wtf aspect of these and other systems.
    And if you did try things fall apart despite one’s best intents.
    So have your anger but see it as a fabric of sky on a cloudy night with a passing light or two.
    Fabric can be used or ripped apart shredded or painted on- up to you.
    I really like your thinking and knowledge base. What would Andrea Dworkin do or say? She admitted she loved the writing of the old white men sexist and whatever else they were.
    Coming from her timeframe we had no other choice but to learn and if awake try to expolate from that KNOWING old white guys are in our mindset forever.
    Think on this please.
    Mad mom- right on target in many ways- see above words.
    You need to be on a Board with your knowledge and passion.

  • More than a sigh with this small gleaming.
    Back in the day, professional folks were supposed to work as a team and in the margins oh my the so called patient was suppose to be part of the team. Nothing nothing new here just confirmation of the amensia the last thirty to forty years.
    In teaching hospitals the med students and or residents come from or act as if they come from privileged backgrounds.
    Many have no concept of the feel and look and smell and sound of poverty.
    In my area the RC nuns tried to go into the urban areas to live and many, many could not handle the experience. Catholic Worker and other social justice/ spiritual folks could but again time limited and NOT intergenerational.
    And female health and narratives? Trans and gender? Now not there st all in biopsychistry though my place of work did have a gender transition program and psych was supportive. Things were starting to bubble up and biomarkets and better living through chemistry became an almost only option. Thank you DuPont, Monsanto, and all the Big Pharma national and international for profit big pockets only for me and my family decades of hard hard work. All those emails!
    If one looks at history , actually dance therapy and body movement work developed by guess what females totally squashed. Check out Trudy Schoop and her dance cohorts.
    These folks are just playing the game to look good and trying to gage the current and future times for ONLY their benefit.
    What I want, need and sometimes literally crave is a formal recognition of damage done, formal far reaching apology, and some kind of restorative justice for all of us harmed.
    Again IDK like the church and other institutions outside tribunal may be the only way to achieve any type of concrete change or reformation.
    Humans will always need support but this at least for me not support just horror though the kids in the s
    detention camps have it worse.And nothing is happening in terms of getting The Hague or UN involved.
    It seems we are frozen in any ability not only to speak truth to power but to have all these acts of abuse and torture stopped. There is some talk here and there but too much infighting, too much legitimate and no legitimate fear, and too many zombies in our midsts.

  • Again I come to the concept of further dialogue
    Terry Tempest Williams’s book “ Finding Besuty in a Broken World” has several chapters on the Rowandan genocide and life as it is. There are some powerful thoughts expressed on language and throughout the book.
    Survivor villages that still have ongoing multifaceted issues.
    And there are more places all over the world that this community could learn from and help.
    Maybe Survivor Global Networks.
    And in Africa as in other places one has to work with those who were once your enemies. One cannot amputate human beings. Though there have been times in my outrage I have thought not so peaceful thoughts.
    Check out pages270-271.

  • The concept of using label versus diagnosis is brilliant.
    The other aspect which Paula and others have not mentioned is the economic weight of so called diagnosis or labeling.
    In education and in the insurance world both public and private each label or fignistic entity carries financial weight.
    Institutions in order to make money or save money monitor this very closely.
    The other problem is there are legitimate medical disgnosises.
    I do not know how comfortable or uncomfortable folks are with legitimate medical labels.
    An amputee is an amputee there is no way around it though as traumatic as it is there some would say a great grief and period of real adjustment that could be life long. Depends because everyone is different.
    I would guess the issue that stands out for these folks is the concept of phantom limb pain.
    For along time it was not considered real. And some had it some not so like side effects of chemical treatment it had brought to the forefront of medical help.
    How did that process play out?
    The term chemo therapy should also be thought on. In its use side effects are considered real and some considered dangerous. Why such a divide?
    Chemicals are chemicals so any chemical given to humans should be termed chemotherapy implying not only real risk but real side effects.
    When folks move beyond stress to crisis or when one experiences altered mental states through substances or some experience there should be some lexicon. I have not figured out how to handle this.
    Then the poor to abusive treatment those of us who were in crisis or asked for help creates a new lexicon.
    Some folks got lucky and were helped but too many were hurt and though dealing with the double dipped situation has been difficult to say the least
    I find more support with the survivor concept than anything else. Walking through the fire seems to be the best metaphor. And that takes into account the time factor and back and forth recovery process.
    Ultimately metaphors and similes need to be agreed on throughout all the systems. That or a visual type of image.

  • Well Germany and the Allies did have the trials and there were massive educational programming. Scores of elementary schools were named for Sophie Scholl and Kathy Kollowitz. Corrie Ten Boom a Dutch Reformed Christian spent time in internment for helping out the Jewish folks in the Netherlands. Miep G. the same for the Frank Family. And yes they missed the genocide of the disabled and homosexual communities- the testing phrase learned from the Eugenic movement in the states and other countries.
    Soviet Russia had generations of all sort of pogoms. Which leader did which? Do which groups- changed with the decade. And any tyrant at any time look under the rugs and there it all is.
    But the trials did happen. Read Hannah Arndt.
    The Slave Trade in America – the North played a silent partner role.
    It ain’t never gonna be perfect but something needs to be done.
    The legislation though probably well intentioned – so many folks don’t know what they don’t know not best practice.
    Call your legislatures and do something. Check out the opioid action at the Met. They did it.

  • Well it is a start though I have concerns.
    Before policy there should have been and or a White House Conference on both Adult and Childhood Trauma, Congressional Hearings on Trauma to be real one would need to highlight First Nation Peoples Trauma, African American Trauma caused by institutional and non institutional racism, Trauma from Sexism, Tbe effects of Moral injury trauma due to First Responders and Safety and Protective Forces primary and secondary and tertiary trauma, the Trauma of Incarceneration All Systems ——see Charles Dickens writing about his travel to America and he knew trauma and incarceration,
    Intergenerational Trauma, the Trauma of Sexism and much more.

    A Blue Ribbon Panel Or White Paper or Rainbow Two Year nationwide Listening Sessions and then a Third Year report with professionals and non professionals involved.
    These activities should be funded by the Big Pharma Industry who deliberately and willfully let greed versus ethical considerations run their business plans.
    Also any companies or financial entities or other profit or nonprofit groups that have indulged in deliberate malfeasance.
    That or have a Nuremberg type of Trial.
    Policies and legislation no matter how well entioned will far apart fast if not backed up by a system wide learning and nationwide outing of the corruption that had almost destroyed our country.
    Kudus for trying but dialogue before planning.

  • Thanks but I wish I hadn’t had to be a witness of what was going on from both sides.
    I still have never had a chance to process all that has happened on both sides. I had a program for the children of clients and that was whisked away. Staff that were brought into run the program would come up and say it was wrong but what folks say as an aside and what they would say in front of admin folks are two different things.
    There also incidences while I was inside that were bizarre and so scary hard to talk about and even after the experiences with supposedly safe folks never able to be actually listened to and believed.
    I travelled some places and at one location the man opened the door and said ping she is here. Go figure. A month ago I was verbally accosted by a person down the long neighborhood block around the corner while I was walking.
    I just live day to day and hope I will find a place that is safe for me. Maybe.

  • Steve, supposedly you have been around as long as I have. Burnout was big in the early eighties and was trending toward its the system stupid but all of the stupids realized with the help of others that anytype of victim was trouble so in came the meds, incarceration, gerrymandering, redlining, and massive amnesia.
    Literally all agency meetings became explanations for how to play the cat and mouse game admin folks were playing with both state and federal agencies.
    It completely stopped being about the old term here you may have heard person in society.
    Any sense of social justice perspective or advocacy for others was out the door. It was all about money.
    Reg folk from the actual agency watchdog and other source of funding governmental and nongovernmental sources would go through record notes, yes folks your records were always seen on a random basis for compliance if the correct vocabulary were used and correct time spent ect ect the billable hour would be paid. If not the offending staff would be eventually through various ways and means be shown the door.
    Some MH agencies had a pharmacy tied to county or state. Many people were non compliant and I have never figured out how that system worked or didn’t work.
    Big Pharma came but not like in medicine. A lunch here a lunch there and if you were 50,000 in debt from college a free lunch is a free lunch.
    Funny how Big Pharma never was intelligent to use theirgrand expense accounts to offer a free meal to the community MH clients.
    There were some ground breaking programs but rife and fraught. And again good ideas and people were always beaten down- always.
    There should be a list of crimes committed and crimes for those actions that were deliberately and willfully not done that caused harm.
    Staff and former staff need to take on this. They know and many if not dead by vocation are retired.
    And the administrators off all systems and ilks- they bear the responsibility for committing and creating these crimes.

  • Alex, I am thinking of two ways. One some form of repetition and restorative justice. There could be two ways.
    One through the opioid crisis because guess who conned the medical system regarding pain? The same folks who gamed the MH field with false theories of Mental Illness is like diabetes.
    Some of the same Big Pharma folks were double dipping with both types of medications.
    If we could join class action suits somehow. But again they can see it with opioids so many don’t see for MH issues. Partly because some folks feel better. There is no paradigm.
    If one talks to 12 steppers they know some of the SSRI used for pain and they had to be really assertive in saying no this is addictive and I refuse to take it.
    The other is the gun control folks in that shooting survivors are know finding out the lead in the bullets and fragments left in their bodies are causing lead poisoning. Kind of a stretch but still. Many of the groups are more open to looking at systemic and gun industry and advertising issues rather than the proverbial “ crazy” person and then again there is much more to that narrative.
    The other way is to establish trauma centers. Mini Soteria Houses si to speak for all in the community. All of this is all human trauma so why not start the work for an eventual start?
    I hope for a White House Conference on Trauma and Congressional Hearings on Trauma but maybe in the future.
    We have to join together with all the victims of trauma and swallow some stuff stand strong on others things but if we see and after living life as it is now – we all are traumatized and there in might be the answer.

  • This is one of the hidden secrets of the MH industry. There is burnout and high turnover with poor working conditions and the benefits in some states meager.
    In one agency they had graphs of employees billable hours on the hallways. If you did not fill monthly requirements you were at risk for losing your job. Three months of not meeting the deadline and poof you are gone- no matter how good you were as a helper and support professional.
    Many staff take the same medications so it is literally so to speak the blind leading the blind.
    It was traumatic to work in many agencies due to one’s own stuff and then secondary and tererary trauma.
    How many clinical folks lost a client to suicide? That is a whole book in and of itself.
    Paperwork perfection was all that mattered to the administrators -many who never wanted or cared to work with humans in need.
    High turnover better financially.
    Draconian demands and poor everything else. So all the bad behavior and inhumanity could be from the dysfunctional system and those who decided to stay without awokeness.
    Double and triple whammy.
    If one thinks about it, the MH system a separate mirror and the client system a separate mirror reflecting back on and rerefecting all the shadowed dysfunctions to infinity and ad nausuem.
    One needs to step out or break the system of mirrors.

  • Yes Rachel that craving happened to me and looking back oh yeah my clients with their diet pop from morning until night.
    There must be a connection.
    Also blurry vision, that was the worst because I cut down on my driving and no medical profession ever ever explored how asa mother of a large family how could Icope with the driving and other stuff with the side effect of Parkininsom as well.
    It was a nightmare and the lost years at times are so painful to sit with. Somehow there needs to be a reckoning.
    And Lawerence for his truthfulness, worked in a bubble.

  • Lawerence , your explanation of the historical timeline fits my own perspective.
    However, when I was in crisis I could not debate with your peers who relied on psychophamacits who said if Lamictal worked she meaning me was Bipolar. She actually fired me for calling her right then and there and my mother pushed me to call not I because to actually is not playing by the rules but my mother had a disabled husband, and other crisises and hadn’t like myself been exposed to the brave new world of Pharma.

  • Elizabeth thank you for your story. Ian so sorry this was a nightmare for all of you in the family. Harm was done.
    I hope things go better and maybe some folks will be brave and admit Harm was done.
    Not all but many so called helpers were and are harmets for a wide layered reasons. We need to look at all of the system and stop the harming and hurting and abuse and yes st times the killing.
    If one is real and humble one welcomes investigation and evaluation and says this is where I think I blew it, this is what I don’t know. What do I need to make recompense?

  • Well yeah but they are recommitting the original sin- not going to those who have survived and the second layer which is separating themselves from being human and actively traumatized as humans living in this world. Then the third layer the difficult, moral harm done to those they tried to help by their ignorance.
    Until there is a true clearinghouse we all will be bogged down by separations.
    One of the psychiatrists I respected and there are some – not all are evil, he was a Vietnam vet and had a small disability. At clinical rounds- bad idea but okay it was there he would get in a discussion of cooking with the patient presented. Just an over the fence conversation. He got dissed but I really , really liked him for his ability to see a patient as an actual human being. And he was not perfect but he tried. And maybe errors and mistakes and misguided learning but who of all of us had not walked in those wrong foot shoes or untied shoelaces.
    Empathy needs to go all ways or the anger will become bitterness and then hostility and then hate and then voila moral harm.
    Keep the memory but don’t injest the outrage.

  • Stephan thank you for all of the historical information on First Nation forced residential treatment. I as usual, had no idea it was so horrorific. No way out. So many folks in your culture, in my culture with the Magdalene Laundries, in the deaf communities, and on and on.
    This is so important t know. I wish we had both rituals and sacred ground for all the forgotten human beings.

  • The key words are- “ as advocates of children and families mental health.”
    They should see and protest themselves as advocates for children and families.
    This idea had been around for a long, long time. Normal Schools actually highlighted social issues and some public school systems had Open Air Schools for medically fragile children with a nurse who did home visits and a physician and the surgeon currant health food of the day graham crackers and cream cheese.
    In the early 1980’s when child physical abuse was recognized but not sexual abuse there the beginnings of good hearted programs. Not that they were the best but essentially well meaning. They did not last because trauma and the concept of both macro and micro societal factors were never addressed.
    One local program was for identifying depression in teens. The father was a survivor but really really into the biopsych approach. It never got off the ground. Another was the idea of cutting in teens to teens. There was a more of a trigger event then solid help.
    It was like walking on the moon. So much was not understood and many tried things to quickly in ignorance.
    Not having access to the psych survivor history was a tragic and huge loss.
    There was much hidden from view.
    Title 1 reading programs incorporated both student and family support but the Social Work Staff were the first folks cut in school budget debacles.
    At that time, it was support and advocacy and never ever much about medication.
    This was also during the waves of desegregation and now looking back at the history of lynching I knew but honestly knew nothing about, no wonder kids did not want to go to school or the kids that did, the terror their families held in their hearts and heads.
    We the professionals and the government and the communities blew it big time and part of our suffering now as a nation is part and parcel of that tangled tragic history.
    Same for First Nation children who were forcibley moved to residential schools.
    I would like to think that psych survivors here and now can use our own tragic experiences to voice what so many children could and never did speak. We know.
    That maybe is true advocacy being a witness for not only ourselves and each other
    but all who encountered true abolition of human rights and dignity.
    It would be a door of hope if even beginning steps could be taken.

  • Actually how very sad that racism and othering were not stopped but continued to grow almost exponentially.
    I remember volunteering at a special needs classroom and the teachers were in awe that Semase Street had visuals of at least one Down Syndrome child. They also were truthful about Mr. Hooper’s death. And Maria’s pregnancy and her daughter’s birth.
    This was on the cusp of the debate on victim blaming and white men making correct and non correct assessments on African American culture and other cultures. The voices of so called others in the MH system became under attack and incarceration became the norm.
    The strains of colonialism, racism, sexism that were seeded from the start of the European movement over the ocean and First Nation folks had their own weaknesses but thrived until they and our immigrant ancestors arrived.
    It could have been the start of something evolutionary.
    Now Sessme Street is involved with cable and PBS stations are the second act.

  • Sera, thanks again for your thoughts. The two words frought and distraught come to mind. They overlap and become entangled in many interactions on both sides of the divide. Fear and then power and control issues rise up and those with the big stick win.
    Because I interact with various folks with a different set of life experiences than I , but once I was like them in the time before my internment in MH world I struggle to find vocabulary words.
    Educators need labels even if they don’t believe in them, the system does and thus turns the world and or our stomachs. We live in systems that are corrupt and other than dropping out which some of us do to varying degrees we all still have to cope with the stems we are enmeshed with. This is a good definition of enforced insanity.
    One way I have thought to upend the vocabulary paradigm is to think of all humans as a piece of sheet music. For those youngsters, sheer Music was once the hottest thing going say in the 1930’s.
    The sheets had the written music to a popular song or composer or singer, take your pick. If detached from the illustrated title cover one could if one was able to comprehend music put a snapshot to the type, kind of music, but also recognize it was a complete and separate identity of music composition.
    We are all separate pieces of sheet music but many of the professionals in any helping professions have not be taught the vobsbusry or how to score or write or read.
    One must understand history, the ancient music as well as current, the musical themes that rise in particular times. The ethnic- cultural of music, most cultures have percussion but how beautiful and how different from the bodhran to the steel drum.
    There is bass and cleft, patterns and empty space, there are chords and single notes, there are various beats and breaths. One can categorize but only for simplicity sake. To be a great work one does not have to come from anyplace or anywhere and even childre’s songs and lullabies have their own special place and magic.
    If we all could see and hear and acknowledge one another as human music compositions maybe there might be no need for fear and the words frought and distraught would only be used for reclaitrant music students who are not willing to learn.

  • Putting on my retired professional hat on, this is old stuff. If one looks up all the old journals of “ The Journal of Psychoanalytic Thought” or a similar title- every volume ended with a discussion on creativity. Freud and others like Nancy Anderson were obsessed with those folks that fell into the creative spectrum. In fact, I posit , they were in fact jealous as all get out that they did not have access to the creative gift. Not all but others were just admiring as all get out as well.
    Labels are only a snapshot and in the best sense a mere tool for discussion.
    Any other use is not helpful.
    We as humans all have our weaknesses and strengths and because we are a species who and what we are can fall into categories. Most male birds have bright colors. Most female birds are less colorful.
    Our differences as humans are our strength. Unfortunately, some folks want us all to fit into square peg holes. Never, ever gonna happen.
    What the writers should have focused on is the trauma in Leonardo’s life. Try being an illegitimate son in 1600 Italy!
    Try to live life with some of your so called art patrons being corrupt families who not only have government power but also great influence in religion and are known to poison enemies. Just that life fact would make even the most brilliant human dart here and there at times seemingly without focus.
    He also went to the ends of branches in his work. He examined dead bodies to gain clearer understanding of the human body.That did not buy him power or influence. There is of course more but I will let everyone do research for themselves.
    The only thing I struggle with is how to talk about human beings. When a co-worker used the special needs phrase for her child, I was unable to speak with her more. Was it a wall? Did she want me to ask questions?
    As an LD person never diagnosed in childhood , I did it myself with newspaper articles. It is there no denying but I am more than LD but my guess is it helps to have the ability to converse. And so many folks are gobsmacked by LD stuff but everyone claims to know about all the psych labels. Go figure that great evolution.
    And as a former therapist, if I ever encountered a Da Vinci it would be for support. Looking back at history only shows your own idealigical prejudice if one is not awoke.

  • This research makes me want to cry. The wheel of Adolescence care has already been invented but banished to the dustbin and landfills to make good and sure any good would be totally forgotten. Thanks so much folks whoever you are. Job well done! It will take another generation for old stuff to be found on archeological digs and new support for new Adolescent paradigms for care.
    Back in the day, there actual oh my! Adolescent Units with kids and teens from every medical department under the sun. All mixed together.
    Back in the previous day, Dr Peter Blos and Dr Peter Blos Jr wrote extensively on this era of childhood transition and nope no bio psychiatry at all, at all.
    There were issues of all kinds but again coming from both inside and out side- I would have given my eye teeth to have been placed in an unit like the Adolecent Unit I worked on or in some of the therapeutic mileu places.
    One of the weaknesses was the young staff almost peers but not and substance abuse on both sides
    If a survivor approach would have been taken maybe better care.
    And trauma- Staff was suppose to be cool and in control. Not really at times, because trauma we all deal with it.

  • Okay, glad to see the research and discussion but again we have layers of concern. If one lives in substandard housing and one lives in fear of shootings by all aspects of society how can a child really learn? This is over and above the components of life in the ACE study.
    Also ACE is really an inter generational nexus. It ain’t just the patient in the office, the child acting out in school, the father in jail, the substance addicted helping professional in all areas, the clergy, the legal professionals who have chosen greed over ethics, it is all of us.
    Until we see humanity as in great distress as the environment and earth crisis without resolution will continue.
    We all have different weaknesses and strengths and so many folks need to wake up- the canaries are in trouble.

  • This the study of TBI, should be a standard course in the first year medical and other medical field related professions.
    There is neuroplascity but the underlying history of traumatic brain injury has been completely ignored by Psychiatry.
    Sports, car accidents, falls, all could possibly make one have issues that could be easily misinterpreted as so called crazy. Add to that ECT is TBI in reverse. Go figure that one out.
    The crux is psychiatry has missed multiple balls on multiple levels throughout its history but since the advent of Big Pharma it has lost its center- though I know some here would say it never had a moral core.
    I still say despite my own patient malpractice since I worked in the field beforehand there were some who had a caring core and some may still be around.
    The question how to handle the human being either in distress and or living in a state that is on or beyond the cultural borders. So far we as a species have failed except for those eras when there were better cultural supports and even in more open indeginious cultures there were and are issues.
    Back to the drawing board for all healthcare.

  • PD, Eve Ensler has just come out with new writing on trauma and recovery. One event had Glenn Close who did an anti stigma campaign on labeling but missed the mark. It was as a helpful family member not psych surivivor.
    Eve writes the apology she would have liked to hear from her father if he had seen the so called light of his parenting actions – which were really abusive in multiple ways.
    The discussion here as been lovely in terms of using a vocabulary that enables hard and painful dialogue.
    The parents especially mothers who are the ones to hold together everything with sometimes little or no community support and sometimes the support that is there takes along while sometimes to find one has been snookered and snickered.
    The group of support for multiples was more a money raiser than help. PTA a true grapevine – one has to pretend everything is just perfect, just perfect and then alone who do you blame? And if there are other issues? And if one really talks to other parents – yes we have at one time or another crossed the red line. And as mothers we bear the responsibility of seeing fathers verbally or physically berate our sons or I guess daughters and we become frozen. Trauma over and under and between and inside and below and above.
    For the mother with the son- I apologize I can’t recall and get your name.
    Kabul Gibran – are Children are not ours- arrows beyond us.
    Thanks to all for the words.

  • What might be an interesting construct to investigate is the character from “Alice in Wonderland.”
    The Mad Hatter was based on reality. Folks who worked in military factories became irrational and endured altered states. It was eventually discovered the chemicals used in the factory process were the cause.
    I find this haunting especially in our world. So much exposure so many suppressed and or uninvestigsted issues of altered mental states. Trauma is one layer but only one of many.

  • Good to sex abuse trauma brought up on this website.
    When one has been traumatized it can take years or never come out.
    One of my strongest issues with the psychiatric fields is the cover up and blatant disregard for the area of trauma. WWI soldiers were needed to return back to battle so the British Military became trauma recovery experts. The poet/ soldiers that survived were complimentary of their treatment.
    Many other writers wrote from their trauma after the war. Then trauma was forgotten though the negative societal issues continue to implode and transmute. Vets were part of the Black and Tan forces sent to Ireland. It did not go well. Moral injury over and between more moral injury.
    Sex abuse although not quite the same as veteran trauma but intertwined because of colleteral damage of civilians part and parcel at times.
    Children are so much more vulnerable and so less able to speak. No language but a cry truly.
    My best guess is that psychiatric professions misdiagnosed trauma victims as various labels including so called dkizophrenia. If one would study any case histories of WW1 of vets treated same symptoms of clusters with a non trauma related label now.

  • Thanks you. You had a much different experience than I had. I supervised a social work student who my own supervisor refused to work with because she was out with her status.
    Living in an area with many medical and academic institutions the peer movement was almost nonexistent. The one state peer group disbanded.
    I guess in my journey I am still caught in the abuse that occurred and lack of any ongoing peer contact that fits for me. Everything is NAMI based everything.

  • Ron, interesting thoughts but I disagree. There are those two paradigms but you have totally ignored the most important paradigm abuse.
    As a LISW with twenty years of social work in areas of children and adults and families and trauma of all kinds, and in the MH system inside and outside and with experiences with the old state institution system. There are places field students were NOT ALLOWED to go into I know medical malpractice and abuse when I see it, even if I was zonked out of my mind and dealing with life trauma not of my own making.
    I was severely traumatized by the so called treatment from friends taking it into their own hands you need a shrink and calling on my mother who was dealing with my terminally ill only sister and her three small children ect ect ect and saying YOU NEED MEDICATION never once allowing me the gift of oh she ‘s got her hands full but I trust her to ask for help if she needs it. And I never would have chosen a public park system to confront a person dealing with nonlocus of control events. A letter if you really felt the need to become involved would have been hah! the sane thing to do. And then calling my mother with names and phone numbers of shrinks was just the beginning of my years of total disaster.
    And then to have the majority of the so called professionals not to treat that trauma or ask about other non locus of control life events borders on cruel and unusual punishment or I would even venture to say torture.
    Whether a survivor self identifies with recovery or with the idea of a pride movement – whatever works to get you through life. And I would not expect folks to be in one Camp or the other or some may have arms and legs in different streams, again whatever works.
    Restorative Justice. And if one knows anything about it – not perfect and one can never take back the disaster years but a formal apology, a clearing of the diagnosis or diagnoses would be a kind of benchmark to begin with.
    I also suggest you read about anti- facits and Marxist’s in Vichy France who were at risk of internment or prison. Some never recovered.And when I was in an Unit it was more internment than anything else. Some prison systems the ones that are not in the south or made for abuse actually have kitchens, and libraries, and outside time ie The Shawshank Redemption. Club Fed as well.
    This is not the time for thought experiments in paradigms but thanks for your effort. Another time maybe?

  • Michael, I appreciate your writing but ah not quite what I have been hoping for from professionals.
    You and the others choose to stay in the system and I don’t know if you shared your own experience with altered states or not. My guess is you did not? Not clear and as the system was getting more restrictive and more Pharma based what did you do? When folks reported abuse did you do anything to change the system or really could you?
    Did you contact the county or state officials? Did you ever try to find peers that really were like you in past experience?
    My sense of things before my forced time in system was folks who divulged their past were stigmatized not maybe in from but from behind.
    I am looking to move and going through stuff. I am going to share a letter I found- an apology from a high school friend. Unasked for but decent.
    This is 15 year old male teen who lived in a blue collar neighborhood, father dead and life not that easy. I was more upscale but very learning disabled and on the fringe of life- part but not parcel.
    This is the next step.
    Dear-
    I know I’ve been a real pain in the…..neck. And I know I have done some stupid things. All I can say is that I’m really sorry. I hope you will forgive me and still think of me as your friend.
    4 sentences. It does not take much.
    We have lost the art of this and fear rules the day in terms of any type of restorative justice. Responsibility even when ah 39% or 89% not my fault.
    Georgetown University is muddied and muddy but it’s out there and the river is running through it’s slave ownership history.
    My one relative ran a part of a medical research tri- part community for ALL involved. She dealt with families and she was bowled over by their desperation to find ANYTHING that would help. She was amazed with the patients. She liked and admired some of the professional staff, others not so much. But she gave all equal footing.
    This is what we survivors need equal footing to be heard and the freedom not to live in fear so that we can speak.

  • LS yes I agree wholeheartedly.
    But PD is where she is and ah we as me , myself, all are dealing with being on a sometimes enforced trauma journey, sometimes a it seemed a good idea at the time journey and the rage of accepting what has happened to us in loss is a bumpy road of traveling. Sometimes we get pebbles or stones, sometimes an oasis of support here and other places. Dialogue especially using this online type of tool is not easy. We do not have eye contact , we do not have an implicit learned 5 second delay. I think the old idea of Tabla Rasa holds here. Sometimes , we write from the emotion in the forefront of our souls with no holds barred and that can be a good or it can be hurtful or mean. I certainly have done it and I apologize. I am trying hard to incorporate into my cognition a five second or maybe two minute warning posting.
    But since we are witnesses to or survivors of or experiencing several different levels of trauma – it just not easy but Alex and others have shown a light down a path we all most design for ourselves. Disagreements are part of life and learning how to handle them in kindness an Art.

  • Ann , your story and your mother’s was hard to read but glad you wrote it and shared.
    Medicine really ignores the female and I really wonder what really is going on in female bodies. I also wonder about trauma and stress in our bodies and in pregnancy.
    I would suggest you look into your parent’s family histories to see if that played a role in both how your father handled things and how your mother felt about pregnancy.
    There are so many silences in the female world about this area and the medical world has greatly illserved families by their chemical interventions.

  • This was interesting and a worthwhile read especially about the Maori.
    On the discussion of childhood and parenting- sometimes the issues were difficult with I would guess integenerstional trauma which was discussed briefly and no good systemic way of helpful interventions. I am thinking of my mother’s friend who had a very rambunctious child. As she was talking on the phone she would describe what was going on/ he’s hanging from the chandelier now, he’s ……… I also experienced this with a friend of my own age different behavior but what to do?
    I am not sure if this child of my mother’s friend was the same one who on his own went to explore an empty house without telling anyone and was found dead three days later from a fall in the house.
    The trust that folks put in the helping professions and systems has been broken in small and large ways. Marian Wright Elderman ‘s Children Defense Fund idea should be broadened to all our communities and at all levels of society. Rambunctiousness can be a sign of future greatness and we all deserve to have our own owners get supported and when needed helped out.

  • Don , glad to hear your voice. I am very leery of any social media these days. But if you feel it works for you, great.
    PD. Your thoughts are important but I am going to say one needs to merge with other causes that touch on your own. Politics can make strange bedfellows and one most always be aware of what is liable to happen underneath the covers.
    In our country, we now have children and or families held and experiencing much of what we survivors have experienced in a similar but different realm.
    If we all in our various viewpoints consolidated around helping these people out it would be a win / win situation. No politician or founder or professional can understand their experiences – but we can. If we help then we can gain legitimacy for or own past histories. And then our voices cannot but helped but to be acknowledged.
    And fighting for another cause sometimes is just less triggering and can energize instead pull one down in the crap.
    I think PD this is what happened in the femanist beginnings. They fought against the instituting of slavery and then realized oh there are other forms of slavery as well. But the anti slavery campaign gave females a field to begin to gain creedence.
    And we are still fighting for equality for females and other gender issues, and on and on for racism and environmental issues and there is an infinite number I fear at times. But something to focus on and get out of one’s own pain. But maybe a way forward with a possibility of real change and more than just small pats on the head and a treat or two.
    And maybe pick a cause any cause and walk into it and or then at a good time – I know this because I have experienced being held without freedom to leave and then maybe the fruit will be ripe to be picked.

  • Robert, what can I say here?
    You are spouting old stuff here behind the curtain of an accomplished Social Work career.
    However,
    You knew when you entered Social Work, it would not be what administration level you would achieve but how high could you manage playing the political game. You were male and you were white. You did well.
    Most folks here are unaware that Social Work originated with mostly white rich women but not all, not all. Emma Lazurus of the Statue of Liberty fame was one I would guess – who just began working in the tenements. Jane Addams and others pushed to get it recognized as a real profession. And then 1960’s?the administration role went almost all male. There were some females in my time but the stats screwed male.
    I think in the 1930’s and later some of the male social workers left for other professions, in the legal and medical realms. For awhile, in my era, there were JD/MSW degrees but that would create problems maybe?
    What I suspect you know and what you write here I would guess are two different things- the washed laundry hanging outside or the dirty laundry hidden in the attic with the dead skeletons.
    These are the topics I would hope we could get from you if you decide to climb down and unzipp the curtain and pull out the hidden laundry and finally get it washed and bury the dead with all due dignity and respect.
    1) Sex abuse of clients in all the associated agencies. This happened with the entire spectrum off staff. Not all agencies, and not all staff who worked in any agency. It is still a verboten topic but it is there and it is time for it to come out.
    And yes, one never knew who, what, when, where, and how until one stumbled upon it by hook or by crook but it is and was an issue.
    2) Impaired professionals. Whether through trauma- primary, secondary, or tertiary experiences it is there and so often not treated fairly.
    Substance abuse issues. How to handle and what really are the stats here?
    3) How to handle abuse and neglect by unliscenced staff members in institutions or agencies, or group homes for those who are deemed through age or disability as unable to care for oneself?
    And again, trauma plays a very large role here. Any caretaking can cause burnout or I would say secondary or tertiary trauma and how staff to the janitor and cooks are treated portends how the clients are treated. Abuse and neglect can be very much top down problems.
    4) Inability for the Social Work profession and perhaps others to own their own life traumas and own life recovery episodes. Why does one go into Social Work and in particular areas- we all have narratives that link us to our own or other life stories. Let’s tell them and not hide them. My best guess is that one of my respected Social Workers of all , worked with traumatized mothers for a reason- there was a need in her or a need in me that created a desire and yes sometimes a good deed or two because of that narrative.
    5) Use of Peers and Volunteers in agencies. This maybe probably should not be combined but both populations seem to have been poorly used at times. Again the concept of Famy Therapy or Organizational Theory or the old proverb about the fish head rotting first. Maybe not you since you have written here but I don’t know your state or locale so maybe there still is some sort of honor code in the so called Mental Health professions.

    6) In my times in the system as a person supposedly in need – I was pushed in and did not walk into it because so called friends were concerned and had no idea I was actively getting support for the traumas in my life but they took it upon themselves not only to intervene in my own agency but to intervene in my husband’s and mother’s.
    They also had no idea of my professional knowledge base and that I would never ever do to a client or human being what they did to me.
    And the worst part was I sustained serious trauma from their interventions and actions and the treatment was just as damaging or worse. I found out often in life if something happened to me I am usually not alone
    7) And my guess is trauma is not the end all or entire issue. There are so many possibilities in our world for people to enter altered states.
    So in light of all this, I request you and others in positions of power to wade in the wasters and get off the boats you all are riding.
    Create a paragraph of “ I have stains on my hands ect…
    Create bridges instead of walls.
    Create truth not more baggage.
    And please read RFK’s address to the folks on the night of MLK Jr’s death.
    There were no acts of violence in that city, the only city in the nation not to be affected by traumatic violence.
    It can be accomplished. You all have st least one example.Make it so.

  • It was an interesting part of your memoir to read, thanks Julie.
    They used to be aware and talk about Lithium Toxicity but I haven’t heard folks use this phrase.
    I experienced it – confusion, loose bowels, and instead of being medically treated was placed in seclusion and then transferred to the highly monitored back unit where aides were paid to chart our movements.
    It wasn’t until I obtained my records that I saw Lithium Toxity written over another diagnosis and the plan was for nursing home placement. An aide mentioned it to me.
    This hospital was part of the multinational alaphabet soup corporation that has taken over many of the orginislly small psychiatric institutions. Most of my professional colleagues left after they saw what was happening.
    You should write a Manuel for folks and for their families.
    The whole pediatric bipolar stuff in my mind is or borders on child abuse or neglect. I never thought I would ever have to say that. It just doesn’t make any sense except for profit.
    And again- where are the professional vpiices here?
    We still are in echo chamber land.

  • And Ann where is your voice here?
    This thread is symbolic of one of the many issues we all as a world are dealing with.
    In the light of all of the blogs of abuse and medical malpractice there still is no professional voice of apology. And there’s the rub isn’t it? In our litegeous society this could prove problematic but since Hugh and Ann are in their senior years maybe not so much?
    When they were young there was Heinz Kohut a WWII refugee who came to the states and developed Self Psychology – the best to come out was therapy as bike riding. It was quickly quashed.
    The onus of working with insurance companies and yes I did as well is still part and parcel of the dialogue that has not been addressed. Adult Adjustment Disorder but they would only make payments for 10 visits or so and thus up the annuity to a different label with more payments.
    The other route to go was private pay but two issues – elitist and what about abuse and neglect issues? Very dicey!
    And what about Social Justice?
    Again white therapists talking about what seems fairly well off clients.
    If you are both going to own nonauthartarianism then be real and honest and take full responsibility.
    And where are the comments from Ann and Hugh and others on the psych survivors’s blogs?
    Again rampant discrimination.
    There is nothing wrong with admitting error or mistakes from either ignorance or really bad idea.
    Mistakes are how humans learn.
    Unfortunately, we have lost the ability to truth for the base needs of greed and profit. And we all are paying the price.

  • The academic jargon and kowtowing to the academic world creates walls to those in mh systems, those survivors of said systems, and the general folks on the street.
    They need to honor and boldly hold the voice of the survivors in their circle or it will all be lost. All together or not.
    They also before doing this need to recognize, accept ,hear the damages inflicted on those who sought help or were forced or prodded to “seek help.”
    One cannot change until the elements of abuse and neglect and violations are acknowledged and amends made.
    One way to look at the system is a ritual gone rotten. This takes on the whole history of caring for others.
    “ It takes a ritual to repair a failed ritual. It also takes a person directly responsible for the failure to right the wrong. Acknowledgement of error is not error…….”
    Ritual
    Power, Healing, and Community
    Malidoma Patrice Some

  • Andrea Dworkin’s femanist writings on abuse and rape fit well into the anti- psychiatry movement. Women were not believed. All Our Trials by Emily L. Thurman takes onacurrent and broader view on female incarceration.
    Violence against any human. We see this with the weapons industry and other corrupt entities with a full out repression of truth and facts.
    There actually is a psychiatrist that sees racism and inequality as factors writing out of Vanderbilt. Go figure.
    We have to deal with crime victims, we have to deal with the human tragicomedy of life in war, and poverty and history so there will ALWAYS be that.
    But the systems as it is now and has been – no.
    There needs to be a quashing of DSM and the creation of a process of being unlabeled. Even with HIPPA – if you give a medical professional a list of meds you are on – dead in the water.
    SSD status – red flag and oh my if the police come to your house.
    Also the stoppage of mental health checks by safety forces. There are ways and there are ways to talk about fears of a person in crisis. And then the ER portal. Both present options are no win situations and not help.

  • I was not able to read the blog. As a retired LISW and a psychiatric survivor I am put off by one therapist talking with another. This is another co option of psych survivors and other folk’s personal narratives for mental health professionals fame and profit or publishing rights. At least this is how I have come to view the books and ect.
    It’s a sticky wicket and I think we need dialogue.
    The other issue is we psych survivors have no diagnostic label expungement process as our fellow citizens do with legal crime past labels.
    If we could dialogue as in a round table yes.

  • PacificDawn, wow I like your comments but sometimes disagree. Your bringing up of the feminist perspective is right on target. Yes but or maybe and so……
    Andrea Dworkun seems to fit in here as well as Andre Lorde and Kate Millet and somehow the kids of Parkland especially the young female who said so beautifully “ I call BS.”
    Although Andrea was a feminist she also acknowledge – hey I like those male writers- to her great loss. She lost out on the support of other feminists because she deigned to say yeah Joyce was a good writer.
    Same in the movements here. Sometimes folks on the so called other side have good thoughts.
    One needs to realize in Nazi Germany there were folks who tried to take down Hitler. And there was Schindler and Walkenberg and Corrie Ten Boom. And oh Kathe Kollowitz.
    Name a time, place, and group and yes even as Nero fiddled I would bet my life there were some folks who said this is f’d and tried to do what they could. Emphasis on tried and what they could do.
    Keep on posting! And keep on, on the journey. Bilbo Baghins poem-/ The Road Goes On and Tolkien WWI vet all his brigade simply totally disappeared fighting in the trenches. He got lucky getting sick and evacuation. Orcs are Trauma based.

  • This as been a very interesting thread to read. The historical aspect of the history of survivors is so important. It needs an almost horizontal graphic timeline to show when and where what happened over the last say 60 years.
    I was not surprised about the article not being perfect. It was what I expected under the circumstances.
    The artistic community is so invested in the use of the system for support.
    One forgets that T. S. Eliot and others broke down and then recovered and lived their lives. Not sure of the extant of involvement he had but especially since his first wife had terrible issues but he had his own and managed.
    Almost every artist creates from seeds or a seed of trauma. And how to deal with trauma?
    Do we a witness to hear our story?
    Do we need a tool box?
    Since trauma has a human bodily component what is it is not possible?
    And do witnesses to folks in trauma need support as well?
    Dialogue though slow and imperfect is the only way to go and I think one of the better ways if we are starting to not think and just feel to have tools to use so that we can opt out and then rejoin the dialogue.
    And yes emotions are part and parcel of being human. We as a species have never figured out fantastic ways of coping with all of them and if we do find a tool or two damn the powers that be snatch them up and hide them or worst of all use the tools for their own nefarious forces.
    I would like to see side by side work.
    So each group can do their best to be heard and deciminate the most powerful needed to be heard information.

  • I really appreciate the process of journey you went through , Sandy.
    There should be some sort of ethical framework for journalists in how to write on disability issues and a thorough and solid understanding taught in every journalism and or creative writing school on the whole world of disibties and civil rights, and ADA, and a deep understanding of the world history.
    At one time, my local paper had a column about disability and I think she had her own story with the disability world which if one is truthful we all have.
    The word skizophrenic is a firework word. There is so little understanding and so much FEAR.
    There needs to be a dialogue and folks journalists, politicians, clergy, neighbors, relatives need to admit and own up to the fear.
    Yeah as in Alex’s story the journalist should have admitted to being afraid to talk to him instead of acting out his fear and dropping the opportunity to do good journalism.
    It would help to have disabled journalists of all ilks in every journalistic medium or for them to acknowledge it.
    Also if writers or journalists use people’sstories and profit off them there needs to be a form of reimbursement to the individual folks and one also has to acknowledge having one’s story come out can have both positive and negative effects and what to do about the negative effects?
    I would like to read about you and your uncle and the relationship. The uncomfortable parts and the comfortable parts.
    And the dx part which has done such great damage that needs to be addressed.
    And trauma and how we as as a world and society deal with all of its multifaceted layers.
    How did and why did your uncle get labeled? And what was the real story ?

  • Julie, I was glad to see your writing posted and really liked it and knowing your comments helped put a lot in context for me.
    Since I was in the profession and still are around folks who have different beliefs I have had to agree to disagree but your account is helpful for others to read in that other framework.
    The historical account of the changes in treatment yes! Some would say prison is still prison with pianos but at least there was an outlet if nothing else.
    I really liked your kudos to your parents. I still remember my parents picking me up at the horrorific day treatment program and wanting just to cry because the whole situation was so f’d up and I couldn’t figure a way out.
    And it is like an itch one wants to keep scratching there has to be SOMETHING and many times there just isn’t.
    I went to grad school on the east coast and literally it was my therapist says this my therapist says that.And I knew folks who were in until their therapist died.
    Again whatever works for folks but that requires money and hours and hours and I tried but so much focus on self.
    As an LISW, I told folks my job is to put myself out of business.And they were in the navigator ‘s seat and I was there for support and advice when really really stuck.
    No therapist I saw ever used those words or ideas with me. No one.
    The portrayal of NAMI. For many, it’s the only support out there.
    Your story is one facet of a very large prism.

  • Hi Cindi, thanks for writing this. Marci’s story is hard for me on several levels. So I will try to support in a way that is safe for me.
    I would suggest trying to find a MH professional who is very well acquintated with Selma Frauberg’s University of Michigan parenting work with mothers. Old but I know in the 1980’s there was an effort to get a directory by U of M with all the programs using her work. For those who don’t know she figured out parents engage with children via their own trauma and then problems happen so trauma based. Not sure if in this day and age any exist but having that background and then having a background that acknowledges the negative side effects that would cause an altered state in a mother – I wish there could be that professional. That perspective is key. In the program I worked in- meds were rarely used. She needs a professional that knows both inside and out.
    As a former person in system I would suggest Marci pick her battles with the unit staff. They carry the keys. And no matter how one feels about them and how they act they still carry the keys.
    It sounds like she has fallen into a viscous battle and there ain’t no way she is going to win by keeping up the fight.
    Been there, done that.
    Make the staff your friend. Give complements. And it ain’t easy and phew but it seems to be the only way out of her problem.
    One almost has to think of it as a strategy in and of itself. She can think whatever she wants in her head but keep it in her head.
    Folks in internment camps, concentration camps, prisons, all created coping strategies for living without any power and control.
    It can be done.
    My best guess is that she is a trigger for staff. Any parent has stories of almost sand what ifs and then knowing what I know or guess about staff they might be on the same chemicals she was on and wow internal emotional conflict.
    Another legal strategy is maybe civil right or something in that if staff is compromised how can they fairly treat a patient? Just a thought.
    Please let her know she is not alone and has support.

  • Stephan,yes I understand so well. And we who live in layers of Venn diagram life are burdened by what we knew and what we now know.
    I still would say there are always good folks but how, what , when, where, are always random occurrences. I have stories from the older generation of helpers like yours and myself though different paradigms but the sorrow remains the same.
    Barbara Kingsolver’s words from” Poisonwood Bible” are so helpful forgive yourself. Those of us that cared no matter how imperfect did things with what we thought was the best we could do. We are all time bound and knowledge bound.
    This is why I try to walk in kindness even with my anger because one day a person might see the light.
    When acts are done in nefarious and hurtful ways – a whole different story. And any – any institution not only have their weakness but there evils.
    The one thing my local paper once did right was to publish an anonymous op/ed from a doc trying to do amends.
    All professionals need this type of outlet.
    Sometimes, I would like to contact folks but I don’t know.
    Again having places of refuge or repair of trauma could do a wall of amends for folks.
    We could do so much- my greatest frustration.

  • When C Henry Kempe a German Post WWII immigrant “ discovered” the medical diagnosis of child abuse I do not think he ever imagined the system we have today.
    One needs to do a thorough and deep deep dive into the entire history of childhood and human development. The concept of children and wives as chattel. The institution of slavery of all kinds, throughout the world past and present.
    There were always moments of wokeness but always battered down and since the early eighties any advancement seems to have been drowned.
    I think the word genocide in terms of child welfare is not too harsh.
    And this is Child Welfare in all strata of American society. Being born in the 1 % is no guarantee of not being exposed to sexual abuse or other forms of child abuse as in neglect.
    One of the things that bothered me both as a mother and helping professional is the fact that child counselors are not required to ask permission to see a child in school. The carte blanche aspect is not best practice. There needs to be a total reworking of how to help children who are or have been in trauma life situations- a new and ethical paradigm.