Friday, September 18, 2020

Comments by JanCarol

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  • Excuse me – but I refuse to go to a practitioner to “change my brain.”

    There are so many things I can do to change my own brain. Sunlight. Diet, exercise.
    Daily walks, seeing the horizon, listening to music, meditation, qigong, yoga – all of these I am in complete control of.

    When I get in your chair (I assume you, @class1quirk, are also a practitioner, like jjnoles) – that choice is taken away from me, and I am at the mercy of the practitioner.

    No, thank you. And thank you James Hall for pointing out these risks.

  • class1quirk: and so – how do you suggest one sorts out the “legitimate” practitioners from the cowboys, wild west and snake oil cures?

    Is this a job of the regulator – like FDA? AMA?

    Or is it the job of the practitioner? If this is the case – how does a “consumer” (egads) choose the right practitioner?

    If practitioner C gets excellent effects, but practitioners A and B have problems (or vice versa) – how are we to know? Where is the reporting on this?

    If you have 3 auto mechanics, and 1 of them is always breaking things – well, that’s my car, and I can take it to a good mechanic to repair the damage done by the bad mechanic.

    But my body – once you damage that – yes, it is a self healing amazing body, but – where do I take it to get it “fixed?”

    The answer is: nowhere, you have to fix it yourself, and your mileage may vary.

  • Sam – too right! I know people who have been “addicted” to their puffers since childhood, and there becomes a tendency to hit the puffer anytime one is anxious or uncomfortable. It seems that the long term consequences of the puffers is similar to any other drug use: the body acclimates to it, homeostasis sets in, and the next thing you know, you “need” the drug.

    Asthma is a huge business here in Oz, and I have wondered: what if the children were taught QiGong breathing exercises instead? Or yoga? When will it be acceptable for a GP or paediatrician to have a “breathing” specialist on staff?

    As children, we change our breathing to squelch our Shadows, our “unacceptable emotions.” (ref: Dennis Lewis, “Natural breathing.”) So there is a psych element involved in these puffers and their use as well.

    If a child learns to breathe through emotions – then they will not suffer “shallow breathing,” which leads to asthma.

    I’m not a parent, so I’ve never been through the fear of “my child cannot breathe!” and the trips to the emergency room – so – perhaps I’m not qualified to comment. But perhaps that child never learned to breathe through their feelings (without suppressing them) to begin with.

  • Too right, Sam! Can you put it back the way it was?

    It is difficult to report a treatment when, if you go to physicians, you are gaslighted into believing “it’s only your ‘illness’ which is causing these problems.”

    This is why the drugs took so long to be excoriated.

    Physicians don’t like to contradict other physicians, and declare “OMG you’ve been HARMED.” Even James Hall’s neurologist said something like, “Well, it will likely clear up, but I can’t find anything . . . ” refusing to contradict this physician referred “treatment.”

    I suspect it is brain damaging, and that the damages caused by TMS “regulate mood” somewhat. Sadly, James got the damage without the mood regulation.

  • No, they have seen the light on benzodiazapenes. AFAIK, he is still on SSRI’s, and on some sort of anticonvulsant post benzo. From a Surviving Antidepressants perspective, he still has a lot of tapering to do before he is free.

    The “Lobster” chapter of his book is about as bio-bio-bio as they come. He has a lot of adjustment to do before he accepts the nature of trauma…Daniel Mackler made a good video about this topic: https://youtu.be/GtwP6AbbAUc

    I’m working on a letter to him (and/or Mikhaila) about the dangers of SSRIs, that they can produce the SAME SYMPTOMS that the benzos caused…

    It would help if I’m not the only voice from MIA doing so. If he sees the light, we could have a powerful, popular ally. He’s not afraid to be excoriated (as evidenced by his stance on making certain pronouns required by law) – he would be an excellent ally for anti-psychiatry – IF he can let go of everything he’s ever learned.

    And I’m not sure he can, but – he believes that learning (from his 12 Rules book) is a little death, and that by letting go of the old, you are cast into chaos, and it is up to you to build a new Order.

    he has definitely been through the Chaos (I believe his chaos / order model is very black/white simplicity, but – he does have a good mind) and it is my fond hope that he can see through the lies.

  • I hear you Berzerk. I have witnessed cognitive decline in all kinds of polypharmacy. Sometimes it’s the simple “pain prescription” of Cymbalta + Lyrica. Heck, Lyrica does a number all by itself, as do the neuroleptics and tranquilisers. Then there’s the “over time” problem, taking polypharmacy for 2 years. 5 years. 10 years. Watch the brain go away. I’ve seen this happen, too.

    I’m pleased to see this information getting out there – but – a single case study? This feels underwhelming for the magnitude of the problem.

  • Ah but they can. That’s called “the algorithm. It has been shown that algorithm get way skewed and prejudiced – the prejudices of the people writing the parameters get amplified in the echo chambers of algorithms and turn into very prejudicial AI’s….

    Though – you said *one* person. It would depend on what parameters on the algorithm any one person fits or doesn’t fit.

  • Hey Teresa,

    The forum http://www.survivingantidepressants.org has moderators and members in New Zealand. Our protocols work there as well as anywhere!

    I have met some of the New Zealand moderators and members, back in the days when we might meet in person. I tried to hold meetings in my local area (Brisbane), but it was like herding cats, as everyone was too “anxious” or “having a symptom wave” to come out, meet people, and have a cuppa….

    So you don’t need to do it in person, and, in fact, it’s contraindicated – withdrawal makes it hard to meet face to face (even if there were no COVID). Have a look around the SA site, and you can help people with the information presented there.

    Be aware, however, that most people don’t want to be helped. I am an expert, thanks to the training of AltoStrata, but most people dismiss me as “just a paranoid person” when I try to warn them about how wrong these drugs are. I am not a doctor, and most folks are inclined to listen only to doctors. Even those that are psychiatrists. Ugh!

  • Rachel sez: “They know the drugs cause excessive weight gain, kidney failure, severe GI problems, heart arhythmia, diabetes and extensive damage to the brain and CNS”

    And if you go to the doctor – with a detached retina, cardiovascular problems, kidney damage, metabolic disorder, diabetes, cognitive loss, blindness, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue – practically anything –

    They won’t even CONSIDER removing the drugs that caused it.

    It’s like there’s a hierarchy, and psych drugs are at the top – if you remove the psych drugs, the person dissolves into a puddle. EVEN if the drugs are causing all the above problems. The medical doctors are in collusion with the psychiatrists in supporting their drugging regime.

  • Yes, when the WHO says “corporal punishment of children is *always* bad” I’m inclined to question.

    I have heard of tales of Americans in Scandanavian countries who spanked their children, and ended up with their children removed from their custody into foster care. Surely this, too, is an extreme?

    I can see why Peterson probably takes umbrance with this worldwide policy, as he is at the sharp end of the liberal stick at times.

    What he states in his book is nuanced. It is VITALLY important for children to have clarity and consistency, because it is the child’s job to test the boundaries at all times. If the boundary is in the same place, consistently, and there are consequences for crossing that boundary – to their level of understanding – then they will learn better. Especially if this is done from the support of love. “I love you, not this behaviour, but I love you.”

    It is the parents who sometimes say it’s okay for a child to throw a tantrum and then give them a lolly to shut them up, and then the next tantrum smacks them – that raises a confused and wild – and surely – abusive antisocial child. I’ve seen this more often than I can count.

    As for Peterson, it is my fond hope that his Dark Night of the Soul with his benzo / antidepressant withdrawal will help his great mind (and he does have an excellent, if rigid, mind) to transform and he will be able to drop his labels.

    One of his psychologist’s skills is to label everything. Diag-nonsense labels. “post-Marxist” “neoliberal” labels.

    It is my fond hope that – not that I wish anyone to suffer – his suffering will soften his heart and integrate his mind much more fully into opening.

    Perhaps, even, he is getting Iboga, or some other psychedelic treatment to facilitate this process.

  • “I am firmly against forced psychiatric drugging, but this does not mean that I also reject modern medicine and the idea of mass vaccination against dangerous viruses and bacteria.”

    How about “trust me, I’m a doctor” = ?

    Many of us in here have been as harmed by the system of modern medicine as we have by psychiatry. Some of us had physical illnesses which were written off as “psych problems.”

    While I was numbed from psych drugs, I was convinced to have 2 major surgeries which have deteriorated my health. The surgeries were skillfully performed, they did what they were meant to do (thyroidectomy, hysterectomy) – and yet – I was not given any alternatives (dietary changes, etc.). Numb from the lithium, I submitted to the medical procedures. Maybe I couldn’t have avoided them – but they were deemed necessary at the time.

    I am now very cautious about anything involving the system of modern medicine – whose protocols are developed by pharma. Remember, it’s GP’s giving out most of these drugs, or getting people started on them.

  • I just read an interesting article on communication about vaccines.

    There is harm done by them, largely swept under the rug of the “vaccine court,” and the billions paid out in claims against them only cover a few of the cases reported. It is difficult to prove that the vaccine caused harm, and yet many people believe that “things were never the same” after the jab.

    So: Those who question vaccines (“anti-vax” is a slur, and has absolutely no subtletly) are asking: “Will this hurt my child?”

    This is about communication. And so the scientists and doctors keep replying, “We need herd immunity.”

    So the first question is never answered. And the studies are not there to answer the question. The studies are about herd immunity and control of a disease, but the question of individual safety is frequently cast aside for this herd immunity.

    The scientists are not listening to the parents, and the parents no longer trust the scientists, because their concerns are not being heard or answered.

    The faster a vaccine is rolled out, the less I trust it. There were some vaccines which came out after SARS and MERS that were quite questionable.

    I’ll want to see how well it is doing before I join the herd.

  • My mother was not separated as she suffered from COVID symptoms (but they wouldn’t test her to verify).

    I have a friend in Indiana who is helping a homeless man sue the local hospital who turned him back out onto the streets, COVID positive. Hey, let’s eliminate the homeless population in one sweep!

    So – no, these protocols to “help the vulnerable” aren’t really helping the vulnerable.

  • Yes, I’ve seen the Snowdon vid. I have a story of people whose phones (in Singapore) which were OFF – blinked and text messaged “Stop talking about that.” (I think they were talking about surveillance)

    I have not disconnected camera or mic …however I do not let the phone connect to internet.

    We all have our lines. That one is mine. And so – no app for me. Likely requires internet / data connection.

    Your link to Dastyari is behind a paywall, so couldn’t see. I remember hearing the name, but not the controversy.

  • I learned more about the tracker app. It is not for warning you off an active case, but if you do test positive, they go to your phone, and have a list of every phone you’ve come into contact with in the past 3 weeks. It’s for tracing contacts (which, they are doing a pretty good job of now, without the app).

    2 million (so far) have downloaded it.

    And Boans, the next “enemy” might not be Jews (there aren’t that many here, to my knowledge). Who knows what random enemy the state will create for us? When everyone is tracked (including medicine), it could be for a gene allele, or – as Oldhead postulates, a virus caste system.

    I opted out of MyHealth. It’s my understanding that in the US, there is something similar in response to the “opioid crisis” that tracks people nationally through pharmacies. We’ve noted on SA that it’s hard to get labels dropped from your file, even after moving.

  • Oldhead, the Australian PM wants every Australian phone to carry a COVID19 tracking app, like they did in Singapore. He’s bought the app from Singapore, and wants to use it here.

    This is above and beyond the normal tracking capacity of the phone. It will Bluetooth to all nearby users and issue warnings when too close to – what? another human being? an active COVID case?

    I’m not sure how this is meant to work, but it’s evil. Pure evil.

  • I have to express delight that Maryanne Demasi is working with Peter Gotzsche!

    Her report on statins for our ABC-TV (Australia) was key in saving me from the devastating consequences of those drugs.

    Her report questioning the efficacy and highlighting the dangers antidepressants was before “Anatomy of an Epidemic” (at least in my world)

    Both shows were banned from the ABC, and Dr. Demasi has been disinvited from presenting on that platform, even though she was a delightful and challenging presenter. (The Aussie Medical Association didn’t care for her views much)

    The show where she used to present (Catalyst) is now lobbing softballs, “reality tv”with a dash of science. “Does flash-frozen salmon taste as good as fresh? Better? Let’s analyse this **scientifically!**” YAWN.

    I miss her hard hitting medical exposes, and to hear that she’s working with one of my heroes, Peter Gotzsche, is good news indeed.

    Keep up the good work Dr. Demasi and Dr. Gotzsche!

  • Hey Sam –

    I mostly agree.

    I do think that this is progress in the mind of Dr. Scott Hall, however.

    In this one thing: a disease is a permanent, disabling horror. A label that follows you all the days of your life.

    An “injury” is temporary and can be recovered from. Like Rachel said, “I was mad, but I got over it.”

    This might remove some of the harmful labels that Rachel is protesting. And people can be expected to get better.

    it’s not the final answer, but a step in the right direction.

  • Rachel: “But no doctor would ever pronounce me cured because the DSM 5 states that that is impossible.”

    Someone Else: Believe it or not, my psychiatrist actually claimed “recov’d [bipolar] disorder” on my second to last appointment with him.

    Sigh. While I call myself “undiagnosed,” I believe my medical chart says “Managed with supplements, exercise and other natural means…”

    Once you get that label, it’s hard to get rid of it.

  • Eh Boans: “We can’t have foreigners knowing that if they come here they could be snatched out of their beds and tortured for three weeks in a mental institution and it would be considered lawful? They wouldn’t come, and we wouldn’t get the opportunities that provides. Forget renditions to Egypt…”

    Foreigners? What about Cornelia Rau, an Australian Citizen who “went off her meds” and spoke German and got “rendered” to an immigrant detention centre? This was featured as part of the story in “Stateless” by Cate Blanchett. I was glad to see the Rau case get so much attention there (even if they claimed she was “mentally ill”)

    I’m pleased with the lockdown so far – but there are disturbing trends expanding the surveillance state.

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/coronavirus-mobile-tracking-app-may-be-mandatory-if-not-enough-people-sign-up-scott-morrison-says

    More details on the app: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/apr/14/australian-government-plans-to-bring-in-mobile-phone-app-to-track-people-with-coronavirus

  • Hey Fiachra – I’m not picking on you, I’m more interested in how the language ended up this way –

    WTF is “High Anxiety”? ? ?

    I never heard of it before Mel Brooks. . .

    And now people whose anxiety seems more intense than “average” (whatever that is) claim to have “High Anxiety”

    Perhaps, since you are good with language, and have used this term, can describe how “Anxiety” becomes “High Anxiety”?

    This is just a little bugbear of mine, tired of hearing how everyone’s “anxiety” is superlative in some way. . . . (I know you put it in quotes – but if you were told you had “High Anxiety” what did that mean?)

    Thanks, JC

  • Thank you Steve for this comment.

    It is part of the mass hypnosis of – medicine, politics – damn near everything these days. People vote with their emotions, people react and respond with their emotions.

    I was just saying to someone today – that – in order for the hypnosis to be broken, people need to suffer. This is much colder than Anomie’s comment, it’s cruel. But it’s the truth.

    Until someone experiences the harms firsthand, we will not be believed.

    EVEN THEN, they will say, “it was a bad apple,” and not look to the system. It takes even more suffering to break that.

    I wish, Oldhead, that people reacted, responded to facts. But it is obvious that people do not. Therefore it is vital to appeal to emotions, as well.

  • It seems to be in the right direction…what I seem to understand as “harm reduction.”

    Making sure that folks have a safe place to sleep. Food to eat. Companionship. The basics of being HUMAN.

    If it costs $10k more per person to use this model – perhaps those with “lived experience” can help, as they go through the process and get better.

    I’m reminded of the old Mission model, where, you’re given a bed, helped off the street drugs or alcohol, and then given work around the Mission to help them get on their feet again…

    it’s not the answer, but it’s a start. My concern for this is that it is crying for “privatisation” if someone can make a buck doing it. . . Sigh.

  • I’ve been complaining to docs for DECADES that paracetamol / acetominophin is NOT SAFE, and yet it is the FIRST THING they give for ALL COMPLAINTS.

    I have severe osteoarthritis of the knee, in addition to back pain, and they wonder why I refuse their daily doses of “Panadol Osteo” and instead favour the occasional opoiod then the pain interrupts sleep or functioning.

    I’ve also seen evidence that acetominophen / paracetamol damages the motility of the gut – which is also tied to the dysfunctions which get labeled “ADD” and “ASD.” There are specific bacteria involved (if I have to take paracetamol, there is a special probiotic I also take a couple hours after) that this drug damages.

    “ADD” and “ASD” may not be valid diagnosis. However, there may be neurological damage which causes the behaviours and challenges that these children face. Add to it trauma, parental attention, and you get a perfect storm. But the potential for neurological or gut damage is a good reason to be extremely careful what toxins we expose ourselves and our children to.

  • I was born in the USA, but moved to Australia late in life (post diag-nonsense)…

    One of the things I love about Aussie culture (that came from the UK, I’m guessing) is how all problems can be addressed over a cuppa tea.

    Car accident? Here, love, have a cuppa tea.
    Cheating husband? Can I get you a cuppa tea?
    Grief and loss? Let’s have a cuppa tea…

    It’s not the cuppa tea so much (though I love all teas, herbal and green and black and white) – as the invitation to sit, chat, and at the end of the cuppa (or two, or three, or whatever the crisis requires), everyone is feeling better, even if the problems aren’t fixed.

    Tea is community. Sharing. Communication. A safe space for emotions. (though, tea is also a bit of “stiff upper lip,” “get it together” in some circles – but I live in hope!)

  • I like the way you think, Jane. Thank you for this.

    A 4 year program for survival of trauma and abuse (including psychiatric abuse) with a curriculum of work, tilling the soil, talking to trees, making art, washing dishes, chopping wood, carrying water.

    I think you are onto something here.

    it’s got to be less expensive than what is currently being done. It would provide jobs for laypeople (no doctors or experts, PLEASE). And it would enrich our culture immeasurably.

    Thank you for this vision.

  • @madmother13 – so what did you do?

    I liked Steve McCrea’s differentiation of:

    MEDICAL ERROR – woops, we goofed (but they never admit it – “pt didn’t respond to treatment” is usually how that gets charted)

    MEDICAL HARM – the treatments cause damage

    MEDICAL MALPRACTICE – negligence and malfeasance, which, in the case of psychiatry, is because of error (diag-nonsense) and harm built into the “treatments”

    So – I have a number of “diagnosed” friends, and once that diagnosis is there- MD’s think everything is related to psych. Perhaps they looked at your son’s cancer and thought, “hygiene.” blah blah blah.

    I have a similar issue with fat. People who are overweight go to doctor, and doctor blames everything (cholesterol, arrhythmia, pain, endocrine, fatigue, blah blah blah) on “well, if you’d just lose weight. . . . ” (gosh, Doc, why didn’t I think of that?)

    It’s a bias, a prejudice, and an unconscious one.

  • Anyone who is taking the drugs is under forced treatment – because the doctors don’t tell you – they don’t know themselves – the long term consequences of these drugs.

    I’m reminded of this, here: https://www.madinamerica.com/2020/03/iatrogenic-domino-poisoned-polypharmacy/

    Sounds like forced treatment to me. Even if it is based in ignorance and incompetence. There is no excuse. The information is out there. It’s willful, to protect those in power.

  • I loved your introduction about individuals rejecting the humbug of psychiatry.

    But I am afraid you lost me at #1: Find your purpose.

    While now, that I am in my 6th decade of life, I know my purpose (I always called it “porpoise” while I was looking for it. . . )- it took me 5 decades to get the tiniest glimpse of that.

    Belief, religion, faith give porpoise. But in the throes of distress – that is not accessible. While it may seem easy for someone on sanity’s side to say “I have porpoise,” it is impossible for those in distress. This is a big picture demand which is overwhelming. “Just find your purpose,” is a short, sweet sentence – but an impossible, unforseeable mountain to someone who is suffering.

    Is it possible to break that down into smaller, bite size chunks? Such as: find meaning for today, this hour, this moment? These moments are the things that pull someone through the distress. Big picture philosophy sounds great on paper, but is thin on the ground for practicality.

    All of your Kirist principles are good – but I also find that they are well covered by the Buddhist Eightfold path, including Right Livelihood (adhering to that one changed my health greatly for the better).

    Keeping it Real. – JC

  • I wish there **was** such a thing as “treatment options” for fibromyalgia.

    There are topical things (CBD ointments, menthol based preparations). Magnesium baths (couldn’t live without them). Fish oil, turmeric.

    But the drug options (gabapentin, pregabalin, amitryptaline, and opiates) all have their risks.

    I have a friend who has been on amitryptaline now for 40 years for pain and sleep. She was not even aware that it was really an antidepressant, and that it might be causing many of the health problems she is suffering now.

    Ive been offered all of these drugs, and have opted for occasional opiates for relief, and the non-drug options I listed above.

    To come off your drugs, see http://www.survivingantidepressants.org

  • He hasn’t been a psychiatric fan previously.

    But if you read his chapter on Lobsters, he’s big on the serotonin theory of well-being (chemical balance). He’s big on diag-nonsense and making order out of chaos. He has done private practice, so if someone presents to him in an extreme state – he speaks not of “spiritual crisis” or “cognitive dissonance” but – “psychosis” and “schizophrenia.” He believes in Bipolar and Depression. I’m unsure what he has said about ADHD – he may look to the way we school children and parent them with that one. I don’t think he is for drugging children (faint praise).

    But he does love his cubbyholes of diagnonsense – and that’s what I think he will have trouble walking away from. In that regard, while he’s not “pro” or focused on psychiatry – he does love the psych labels. They make “order” out of emotional and mental chaos.

    Maybe now that he’s being called an “addict” (in some corners) he’ll be able to rethink.

  • @Daniel Smith – there are absurdities on the left, too, who are deeply in support of psychiatry.

    They want the homeless to have “treatment,” they want their kids to have access to “treatment,” in fact, “‘Treatment’ for all!” (this is the danger with Bernie) “Equal access to ‘treatment’!”

    It is not in the best interests of the left to acknowledge that there is no chemical imbalance, that diagnosis is diag-nonsense. It just doesn’t seem “compassionate” or “progressive” enough.

    Humph and Humbug.

    To liberate from Diag-nonsense and “Treatment” is just too far for the left to acknowledge. They are too busy choosing PC language for addressing “stigma” to acknowledge that the emperor is naked.

  • I’d add: for MOST people tapering is the way off. And for Benzos, which are insidious – the microtaper seems to be the best way off.

    Yes, I’d like to know what “antiseizure” drug he is on. In Russia, it could be Phenibut which hits GABA receptors – but is more likely to be gabapentin or pregabalin. All of this, however, is a guess.

    And YES – “go have a fast detox” is NOT a good recommendaion. We have hoards of people suffering from this approach – they beg us at SA – “can I just check into hospital and get off this?” The answer is no. This will cause harm.

  • Yes, read Tina’s response. Glad to know she was involved with it – that fact alone lifts it in my esteem.

    But it’s still paper. Not the way it is run on the ground. I was excited to see Australia as a signatory. Then I realised – Boans’ story, and the sterilisation of the “disabled” is still happening here.

    BUT at least with CRPD someone is talking about it. Without CRPD it would just be happening with no oversight at all. That’s my interpretation, anyway.

  • This is a discussion I’ve had with some of the American Ayahuasca centres, who want someone to be off their SSRI’s for 3 weeks…

    I’m like – uh – that’s very questionable. If I were the Shaman I’d want them to be drug free for at least a year, preferably 2. Based on what I know about these drugs from Surviving Antidepressants.

    But when I mention it to them – they’re like, “Oh, the Medicine will take care of that. . .” and I’m like – um. Neuroemotions? Extreme physical and nervous system reactions? Akathisia – Tardive Dys-anything.

    So a little cavalier with the post drug syndrome. I was unable to convince them of the danger.

  • Hey Juliano –

    This is not really the place for this – but I use the term “magick” to describe: The Art and Science of Changing Consciousness At Will.

    I use the “k,” not because Crowley did – but because it is not stage magic or sleight of hand.

    In my learning, there are two main types of magick: Power Over/Service to Self, and Power With/ Service to Others.

    Those who would manipulate for Power are definitely in the Service to Self category. The problem with Service to Self as a path to Enlightenment (and it is a valid path, called the Left Hand Path – ref, that “Kabbalah” which you relegated specifically to the Power Over people, but which can be used for all manner of Transformation) is that Service to Self must be 99% pure in order to be effective. Therefore, Hitler failed to achieve his goal of Superman. He was not pure enough. (and if he was not “pure” or Selfish enough, then who is?) I strongly suspect that the Bohemian Grove practitioners, too, are sheep, led to believe they are more powerful, more pure than they truly are.

    The advantage of what you call “folk magick” or what I call “Service to Others,” is that you need only be 51% pure in order to achieve transformation and Self actualisation. Simply put – you help more people than you help yourself.

    This is the power of the grassroots, the power of the masses. The Big Magick that you classify under “occult” is indeed big, powerful, scary stuff.

    But we can each seize our Consciousness back from the Matrix, one Human at a time. Serve others. Offer help in manifesting Change of Consciousness At Will. This is not Mindfulness in the service of “don’t look behind the curtain,” instead it is Mindfulness in the service of discovering and uncovering what lies behind that curtain.

    There is much which is “occult.” Not all of it is evil. Some of it is even mainstream, such as the mysticism of Christian and Buddhist monks, or Sufis and Hindu saddhus, chanting, praying, dancing and meditating to purify and aid others. (and yes, a good majority of these are really just chanting to strengthen the status quo – but not all!)

  • The role of a Shaman in a traditional society is, indeed, meant to conserve the tribe and culture as is, without evolution. Evolution is not a welcome beast in a small interdependant tribe. Individualism is not a welcome development.

    This is interesting to me, as a post-tribal Shaman, my role is to help facilitate growth and evolution and release from the social constraints which have a person blocked and tied. To me – this is what psychedelics do, too.

    And yet – we got the psychedelics from traditional cutlure, which uses them quite differently. They are used for communion, for reinforcing traditional belief systems, for talking to God. And it is the Shaman’s role in traditional culture to interpret these experiences and visions to ensure that they are integrated into the tribe as a whole.

    I agree with Oldhead, these are not narcotic, and while it might feel like communion when the whole tribe (or village) gets drunk together – it is not the same communion as when you all step out of your brains together. Narcotics offer a false communion. Plant medicine is another animal entirely.

  • Interesting point – here in Australia, we call that “backburning” – using fire to fight fire.

    I’m being devil’s advocate – I mostly agree with you.

    People in emotional and mental distress have no business meddling with their brain in this way.

    Meditation and other practices can produce gentler results, in the direction of stabilisation, not destabilisation. (note: possible microdosing might be beneficial in these circumstances, but **might** does not a solution make)

    That said – sometimes the emotional and mental distress is because the current paradigm or viewpoint isn’t working, and that is exactly what the psychedelics shake up.

    But I’d make the meditation a prerequsite – the ability to sit through extreme states and observe them with curiosity without being overwhelmed by them.

  • Anomie –

    Iatrogenic disability is indeed different to “mental illness.”

    And I think it is something that is overlooked. It is not a diagnosis offered to anyone. And yet – everyone I know who has been on the drugs for more than 10 years – and many of the people who have come off of them, as well – suffer from iatrogenic disability.

    Some of us are able to struggle and get by – but many of us are not.

  • A lot of homeless and ex-prison in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky are given a bus ticket to my former hometown, Bloomington, Indiana. I don’t know how good the shelters are, there, but it’s possible to get fed, and there are other social services in place in that little blue mecca amidst a sea of red…

    As a result, the ex-con population in Bloomington has tripled or even quintupled. This may be why you don’t see homeless in your neighborhood.

  • Hi Sam! That’s a good question.

    What is a well trained ego? What is centered and grounded “enough” to experience the multiverse opening up between your ears? I recommend meditation, but it is a different path for everyone. Is 3 years of meditation enough? 5? Again, it’s different for everyone. I would say, the ability to experience extreme states with curiosity and the ability to observe them, detach from them, is “well trained” enough. Some people meditate for 20 years and never find that (even though they are peaceful, and the practice is beneficial).

    If you try a psychedelic – nope. Sorry, not a “happier” existence. But possibly a more real one, a shift in perception that might lead you to greater happiness – or, greater engagement with your life and choices.

    The problem with happiness is a lot like the problem with love. If you try to hold onto it, the tighter you grip, the more you lose it. It is like that moment in meditating, when you realise, “I am meditating!” and in having the thought, lose the flow.

    Consciousness (as you discuss in your other post) is actually quite well defined and demarcated by Buddhist meditational practices. These same states of being can be achieved in other ways. And there is a difference between meditation and trance for accessing “subconscious” and “unconscious” experiences.

    But it takes someone more advanced than I to describe these states with any clarity. Jack Kornfield is pretty good – but he’s a Westerner, and the Asian Buddhists often consider American Buddhism to be Buddhism-lite. But for Westerners, he helps greatly to delineate the observer from the observed, the Self from the thought, feeling, or experience.

    And sadly, psychiatry doesn’t really have much clue about any of this. (my p-doc was a zen/buddhist type, even though she didn’t push it on me, it influenced her practice – but not so much that she wouldn’t prescribe drugs!)

  • Dr. Kelmenson –

    A COUPLE OF WEEKS?

    …”a couple of weeks” tells me that you do not understand about the adjustment of neurotransmitters. It takes at least 3 weeks for the neurotransmitters to adjust. This is why, when someones starts taking the drugs, they are told by physicians (and pharma) that it might take at least 3 weeks to work. See Anomie’s comment, above.

    In my work with Surviving Antidepressants, I have seen Cold Turkey withdrawal that went fine – until a stressor hit – then the compromised neurotransmitter system collapses. This is a COMMON occurrance that can happen 3, 6, 9 months or even 2 years out from “withdrawal”

    These drugs *change* and *alter* the pathways of normal, natural firing. They may never go back to baseline.

    In my opinion you are not qualified to do anything with these drugs, (in spite of your expensive degrees) as you do not understand how they work. See works here at MIA by Stuart Shipko, who postulates that it’s often impossible to “heal” from these drugs. He’s a doctor, perhaps you will listen to him, if you are unable to hear what survivors are saying: https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/08/ssri-discontinuation-is-even-more-problematic-than-acknowledged/

    and: https://www.madinamerica.com/2014/07/shooting-odds-revisited/

    and: https://www.madinamerica.com/2015/09/shooting-the-odds-part-iii/

    Unlike Shipko, I like to believe that there is improvement – but – there is also the mitigation of damage, and the change in baseline to deal with. My cardio health is better, other symptoms are not.

    Your “clinical experience” may be achieved because the patient is too afraid to tell you what you’ve already explained to them is not possible.

  • Thanks for replying, but you’ve only angered me. Yes, swallowing glass causes problems. The “reverse placebo” effect has nothing to do with the damage and disruption caused by these drugs.

    Your statement about “Medicalising withdrawal” tells me that you are out of touch with what really happens:
    1. when people take the drugs
    2. when the drugs are continued for longer than 5 years (and systems start to break down), and
    3. when the drugs are discontinued (especially after long term use).

    “Medicalising withdrawal” means you still think that the “patient/client/sufferer” is crazy and “making things up.”

    It’s my understanding that when you take that first SSRI/SNRI/ Neuroleptic drug, they alter – possibly permanently – the neurotransmitter cascade in the brain. From the FIRST PILL. https://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/09/19/one-dose-of-ssri-antidepressant-changes-brain-connectivity-in-3-hours/

    https://drmicozzi.com/popular-antidepressant-drugs-cause-organ-damage talks about liver DAMAGE. (that’s not a placebo, or a “reverse placebo” effect, that’s medical, bodily damage).

    These are just two quick examples I can find off the top of my head on a lazy Sunday morning.

    If you are talking about the psych difficulties of withdrawal (I was not) – that is caused by the antidepressants, as well – since your neurotransmitters are changed, it makes it much more challenging – if not impossible – to return to “baseline.” Hence, Whitaker’s “Anatomy” points out the way use of these drugs increases the chronicity of the disturbances. The baseline is gone.

    I stand by my statement (elsewhere) that doctors should take these drugs for 3 months, then cold turkey – it’s the only way you will understand what really happens with them. And they should try not only “antidepressants” but also neuroleptics, like the experiment David Healy did. To find out what akathisia is. You know we had a suicide here at MIA recently – due to extreme akathisia? Is that “medicalising withdrawal?” or “medicalising drug sfx?”

    Please.

    I understand you do not prescribe – but you are still falling into a pit of denial about just how much damage these “placebos” cause.

    I’ve been off the drugs for 3 years. I went through most of the symptoms that Rachel describes below – the arrhythmias (which were medically charted) have cleared, the IBS (I refuse to call it “disease”) is improved, and I am leading an amazing, fulfilling life. Yes, I still fall into a depressive pit – but that’s not “medicalising withdrawal” My withdrawal is DONE, and has been for years. That’s the “new baseline” that my brain set after 20 years on the drugs.

    Read the case studies at http://www.survivingantidepressants.org. There will be a large amount of noise to pick up the signal – that these drugs are damaging, harmful. Dare I say – that pharma wants to make more patients? It’s not such a long bow to draw – I think it was Peter Gotzsche who pointed out the irony of the metabolic disorder induced by olanzapine – and the metformin to help diabetics = both from Eli Lilly.

    And please, when you are talking to survivors, take care not to imply that we are “making things up” or “focusing only on problems,” or “medicalising our suffering” that was INDUCED by medicine, medical practice, and “standard of care.”

  • Excellent post Dr. Kelmenson – I see the marketing of illnesses oozing out of all kinds of medicine, not just psychiatry. Such as the statin rort. (also not a fake drug, see below)

    The only thing I struggle with is the 4th one: “fake drugs.” Where you say: “Fake diseases go with fake medicines, of which three types exist: If your ‘meds’ were proven to only be placebos, as were antidepressants,”

    I know you quote Kirsch here, but you are missing the point of antidepressants.

    They are ****NOT*** placebos, they are merely as ineffective as placebo. They do have action and effect.

    If they were merely fake drugs or placebos, then people wouldn’t have so much trouble withdrawing from them, reference the cases at http://www.survivingantidepressants.org.

    They are real, and dangerous drugs that disrupt digestion, sexuality, endocrine, metabolism, nervous system, brain – and other effects which are harder to quantify.

    Please don’t fall into the trap of calling these “fake drugs” or placebo. They are dangerous.

  • Daniel Amen claims that these things which you call disorders (“bipolar” and “attention”) are neurological in origin and can be balanced with brain treatments, like neurofeedback (there are others, too). There is an excellent clinic in Melbourne doing this kind of work.

    Orthomolecular doctors will correct a lot of these “disorders” with diet and supplements such as high dose niacin.

    Will Hall frequently speaks of the need to modulate sleep cycles in order to keep from “flipping.”

    Some might even claim that these “disorders” are rampant in our society due to epigenetic insults – re-engineered wheat (dwarf wheat which has high yields, also has more chromosomes than heritage wheat), pesticides, herbicides, even chlorine and fluoride, as well as food additives and processed food.

    Then there’s the role of trauma, relationships, and what strategies you learned as a child that are less effective as an adult.

    The truth is probably a combination of the above, and a “true” “bipolar 1” might still struggle, even after these things are corrected. Thing is – if you read Robert Whitaker’s “Anatomy of an Epidemic,” you will learn that “bipolar I” was never a chronic illness, it was episodic. If you could only treat your behaviour problems when they get out of line. But these drugs are not designed for going on and off, and this would be further destabilising.

    Ex-Bipolar, here (yes, there is such a thing). What I’ve learned over the course of my life (57 yo) is that if *I* can’t manage my behaviours, then nothing else will. Lithium poisoned my kidneys, flattened my brain – it’s coming back, but I’m a lot less intelligent, flexible, and capable than I was before. Antidepressants (combined with surgeries that happen in the course of a life) ruined my gut, challenged my endocrine system in a way that looks like chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

    I know how to be depressed, and I know how to prevent my “manias” (sleep is my key, as well as nutrition, and light cycles). And I found that the drugs actually ramped up my symptoms over time. So if I “get out of line,” it’s up to me to choose the things which help. Drugs are no longer among those things.

    I’m not saying that nobody ever finds use for the drugs. I am saying that there are many roads up that mountain.

  • Hey Vanilla – I’m not McCrea – but nearly all of my psychiatrists have been well educated, compassionate people, who thought they were doing the best for me with the knowledge that they had.

    And yet – I was prescribed lithium – by a very compassionate, zen, earth-mama psychiatrist – when I had a visible goitre. Subsequently, within 5 years lost my thyroid.

    And yet, this same psychiatrist became very sad when I said I wanted to go off. She said, “I’ve seen others do this, and there’s not a good success rate.” I had to give her an ultimatum: If you won’t help me, I’ll find someone else who will. So – she supported my taper (sort of).

    It’s the education of these caring people which is at fault. They are told lies, and so they tell lies. Some of them know they are lies, and keep telling them – but most of them really believe in what they are doing.

    My other “good psychiatrist” whom I got 12 minute “med check” visits with – just cut a friend’s dose of neuroleptic by 25%. She is having Tardive Dyskinesia, and so the cut is warranted – however – it really shows that they don’t understand how these drugs work.

    Psychiatrists-in-training, since they are primarily prescribers, should do more than just study the drugs on paper. They should put them in their bodies for 6 weeks, and then Cold Turkey to see what that does. After all, most psychiatrists think nothing of a “cold switch” (Oh, this drug isn’t working, let’s take that out and put this one in).

    It’s the education of them that is lacking, and as Steve says, it goes all the way to the source – the Journals are corrupt, the drug trials are corrupt.

    Have a read of Whitaker’s excellent, “Psychiatry Under The Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury, and Prescriptions for Reform”

    To better understand what’s happening in psychiatry.

    Also – Peter Gotzsche’s superb, “Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime.”

    It’s like with any mob – the individuals might be awesome, beautiful people, but the overall effect of them in concert can be devastating.

  • jnicholas – #2 – “loudest and most persistent”

    When actually – in order to overcome a “negative” thought, you need to replace it with THREE positive ones, because the “negatives” – the stress-based thoughts – are vital for our survival as a species.

    “Must watch for tigers” is embedded more deeply in our survival than “cheer up.”

    Therefore the “negative ruminations” (as they might be called in therapy) have been developed as a coping strategy, and are more deeply embedded. You might say the limbic ones are more concerned with survival, while the neocortex is more concerned with executive functions (which, as you say, “short out” when under stress & duress).

    So – in order to overcome a survival “tape” – it takes 3x as much effort as it would to overcome a less emotional one.

    I feel like I’m not quite expressing myself well…I know that in relationships, because survival is so linked to the “negative” statements – that if you criticise your partner once, make sure you compliment them 3 times.

    It’s like I’m oversimplifying, but maybe it really is that simple?

  • Ross – have you ever received CBT – as it is presented in today’s “Mental health system” – when you were in a state of distress?

    You say that people here are misrepresenting CBT.

    But from a state of depression, a 6 week program to “cheer up” or “think better” doesn’t seem relevant in a situation which may be isolating, or feel quite futile. You might say that I’m “misrepresenting CBT” with this description, but I assure you, from the standpoint of the sufferer, it does feel quite like that.

    I’m all for adjusting coping strategies which no longer work (behavioural therapy). For example, when I was a child, I might have found it quite effective to throw temper tantrums in order to get what I wanted. This strategy might carry over into adulthood, where it is a poor adaptation to issues of being an adult. Many of the strategies learned in childhood to get through a difficult situation are carried into adulthood, where they are then considered “maladaptive.”

    Addressing these at the WHY level, is, however, more effective than just instructing “how to change behaviours.” WHY was this a successful strategy in childhood? HOW is that not working in adulthood? HOW can we address the emotions that cause the strategy to manifest, and find a better way of expressing them? So – it’s not really “behavioural” even though the behaviour is what is sparking the need to address it.

    My temper tantrums might have started when I felt helpless as a child, and that my opinions and voice was unheard. Perhaps they started in response to neglect. In adulthood, it may be that when I don’t feel heard, that’s when I’m likely to “go off” into a temper tantrum. What needs to be addressed is not the CBT of the tantrum – but the feelings of neglect, or feeling unheard.

    CBT is like a bandaid for a broken arm in this kind of situation. The end result may be similar: to redirect a maladaptive strategy. But to just look at the strategy and say “No, don’t do that,” and learn to catch it when it is happening, is not nearly as effective as understanding why the strategy is there in the first place, and addressing the feelings that spark the recurrence of the strategic behaviour.

    Ok. “nuff therapy stuff. There are folks here who think all therapy is evil (get used to it). I’ve found it helpful many times during my life – and I’ve found that the cold, clinical CBT approach is very denigrating, condescending, and overall ineffective for me.

  • KateL – that rash could be exacerbated by Cymbalta withdrawal.

    It seems that Effexor (in particular) invokes mass quantities of itchy skin issues – so I don’t see why Cymbalta wouldn’t have similar issues.

    Yeah, I see docs as little as possible…I told one doc (a “natural medicine orthomolecular doc”) that I didn’t think that my mood was any of her business, and she said, “What a thing to say!” I said, “It’s not medical, it’s my responsibility…”

    Of course, she launched into a lecture about how to improve sleep, blah blah blah, and – yep. I’d grown 2 heads again.

    But until we educate them (this is helped by developing LONG TERM relationships with doctors, so that they learn you don’t have two heads, after all), they will continue “standard of care” practice as usual.

  • Ah, Altostrata – I was just talking with someone who – in hospital – was prescribed drugs in DIRECT MAJOR CONFLICT with each other, and then wondered why they felt so much worse.

    If doctors and pharmacists can’t handle major drug interactions, how are they going to handle tapering safely?

    There is so much arrogance in the profession. Heaven forbid we should find that Peer Specialist information is more accurate, scientific, and effective than “medical advice.”

    Sigh. It feels like yelling into the wind, sometimes. But thank you for all that you do in Doctor education, case study collection, and helping people off the drugs. You helped me, and for that I am eternally grateful.

  • Here is the main problem with lawsuits: Doctors were following “Standard of Care” and as long as they follow “Standard of Care,” they are not liable for negligence, malpractice, or any other criminal action.

    THe HARD PART is getting lawyers / lawsuit to address that the “Standard of Care” is wrong. Usually the only way to prove that is is through FDA, which is now wholly an arm of pharmaceutical interests. Like Vioxx. That wouldn’t happen now.

    MORE PEOPLE DIE from these drugs, their effects, and withdrawal from them, than die in “opioid” events, or “vaping accidents” – and yet, all the outrage is there. Additionally, if you look into the opioid events, there is in a huge percentage of them (80%? 90%) a psych drug component, whether a benzo or a seizure drug like pregabalin (which is widely abused in the UK) or gabapentin.

  • hey Sam, I’ve been appreciating your comments.

    However, “appeal to authorities” is going to achieve nil result. “Lobbying” against the $,$$$,$$$ that pharma has to offer is like trying to stop the ocean rising with popsicle sticks.

    As I see it, the best way to approach this is word of mouth. Being a light of recovery that shines so that other people can see it. “How did you do it?”

    We each need to rebel within, because – lobbying the government is not going to heal someone from these drugs. It requires radical responsibility – for your moods and behaviours, and your own dosing schedule for tapering.

    Whether that tapering advice comes from BB or SA – or just from your own work with Will Hall’s Icarus Project “Harm Reduction Guide.” (how I started, then I went to SA for moral and social support) – doesn’t matter. But we need to get the word out: DOCTOR TAPERING SCHEDULES ARE UNSAFE.

    I need to review my “dear doctor” letter and put it somewhere like “Googledocs” so that others can use it. I don’t use Googledocs, so perhaps someone who has an account can help me with that.

    Because Doctors need education, too. They need to know that there is another way. It’s hard to present to doctors, because their education was expensive and tedious, and it’s hard for them to accept that what the drug companies have taught them about the drugs might be wrong.

    It would help to have DOCTORS teaching DOCTORS about harm reduction protocols for reducing psych drugs.

    I have a friend whose Tardive Dyskinesia is getting out of hand (they have had this condition for over 20 years) and what does her p-doc do? Cuts the neuroleptic by 25% right up. And they lose sleep and struggle with intrusions while waiting for the neurotransmitters to adjust…

    We can’t just go around smacking GP’s and p-docs (like I would like to) – but if we can distribute educational materials that are science-y enough, and short enough for a busy doctor to comprehend in short order, it might help.

    I used my “Dear Doctor” letter for a friend. Her doc was going to cut in half for 2 weeks, cut in half again, and then discontinue. A typical doctor response (and recipe for disaster). I wrote my “Dear Doctor” letter, and at least the doctor reduced that to 25% per month. Slower, not without consequences, but not a disaster.

    It’s so sad to have lost Zel, when there might have been another way. But he chose what he chose, and a light went out in this world.

    But “lobbying” Pollys who are getting their pockets lined from pharma, is a waste of effort. I think the solutions are grass roots. Revolution doesn’t happen by lobbying politicians. It happens when the little guy decides: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  • I know, my first thought was: did he know about Surviving Antidepressants? We’ve dealt with a good deal of polypharmacy. There are things about his situation that might have made that challenging, however. In an institution, it is harder to taper and reduce doses. We haven’t done much with the MAOI’s, which are horrific drugs to deal with.

    RIP Zel, I’m glad you got the dignity. I think about that diginity almost daily in my own life.

  • Ah, the “Whole Plant” Medicine thing.

    it’s true. While it’s legal all around the USA (and now in Australia) to have CBD only extracts – if you want the REAL healing, it involves the whole plant. Marinol, a pharma extract of THC, is really hard to use – the people I’ve spoken with about it, use it only in the direst of circumstances – and now that CBD is legal – they supplement it with CBD so that they can feel better, not worse. Marinol alone “feels horrible.”

    LSD is an example of this – I was reading how Albert Hoffman tried playing with the molecule, adding, subtracting (it is an ergotomine) – but NO OTHER related molecules produced the effects of LSD.

    Something ghastly happened with MDMA, which was, by itself, a useful drug (and I call it a drug, there is no natural equivalent). When the US Gov’t (and I assume Aussie too) made it illegal – then chemists started tweaking it to get similar effects, so that “Molly” is not exactly the same, maybe never exactly the same. Hence the popularity of MDMA test kits – one molecule off can be a brain disaster.

    Another example of whole plant medicine is the coca leaf, which is nutritious, containing vitamins, minerals, and even proteins, which make it an excellent Medicine Plant.

    But when Europeans extracted the cocaine from it – different animal entirely.

    But here’s the thing – when pharmaceuticals are “engineered” they may not be as specific as you’d like to think. Take SSRI’s for example, which are supposed to work on the brain – but they also work on the digestive system (which is where 90% of the body’s serotonin is found). Many of these psychotropics – like Ayahuasca – flood the body with serotonin, which can cause muscle tremors, definitely digestive disturbances (called “purging” by afficionados) –

    Our body’s systems do not work in isolation. And it is a myth that pharmaceutical drugs (of any kind, psychotropic or not) are specific to one system.

    The myth is pervasive, as the ads tell us that diabetes drugs soothe your pancreas, or heart drugs affect only your heart…but statins also starve your brain of cholesterol. They don’t tell you that.

    But the “specific action” is a myth. So – I don’t really have high hopes for the “engineered” psychotropics (evidenced by the failure of Marinol to actually HELP people).

    And the Frankenstein drugs that might happen in the exploration process are frankly, quite frightening.

  • After sleeping on it, I feel compelled to add: if you are going to do ayahuasca, seek out an American centre which offers aftercare to help with integration. You may not have any issues with integration, but it is always nice to have a community “in the know” to talk to as you rejoin society after such a venture.

    There are several reasons for this. First – there is no language barrier for English speaking peoples. I don’t say this to be a snob, but because – with my hearing impairment, it was good to get my questions answered in a language I understand.

    Second, South American Shamanism doesn’t play by the same rules as Fluffy Bunny New Age Shamanism. There are battles between shamans, and wars, and shamanic weapons. Having gringos caught up as fodder isn’t really a moral issue under these conditions.

    There are many beautiful Central & South American centres for “aya tourism” like Rhythmia, in Costa Rica. There are other authentic experiences which are deep in the jungle (Three, unless you are an adventurer – this form of travel may not be for most). The hard part is seeking out the practitioners who care what happens to you, who want to facilitate your healing (and aren’t just interested in your money).

    And Four – once you leave the Central or South American Centre, and go home, they are done with you. You don’t have anyone to talk to as you try an navigate the changes and shifts that have been made in your brain.

    Find testimonies, and read all the articles about the deaths (tobacco juice ceremonies seem to be involved in many fatalities) the nightmares (adding toe, or datura, to the brew ENSURES visions, but they are not pleasant, and someone having nightmares might give the shaman more weapons for battle with other shamans).

    There are reputable places in Central and South America. But IF (and only if) you are called, I recommend finding an American centre which offers aftercare – you can call on the phone and talk to someone after your experience.

  • Anytime you base your esteem on peer opinion, you are at the mercy of peer opinion.

    Unfortunately, many children are being raised by Facebook and YouTube, and don’t have anyone to model centred self-esteem for them.

    Children’s brains are also at the mercy of the dopamine hit offered by the device. Adults have better executive function, and can (somewhat) resist this mindfark. But children fail to develop this executive function when they are getting 50-100 dopamine hits per day via their device.

  • Anomie, you covered the antidepressant washout, thank you. I tell my friends to expect symptoms (often of the autonomic dysregulation or mood-based variety) for up to ***TWO YEARS*** after ceasing the drug.

    I have tried to convey this information to American practitioners of Ayahuasca Medicine, but like the psychiatrists, they dismiss my concerns as irrelevant. “The Medicine will heal that.” they say. Uh yah.

    So – as someone who has experienced ayahuasca, there are a couple of things to address:
    1. Placebo ayahuasca? REALLY? No vomiting, no visions, what a boring 8 hours sitting on the couch listening to music. Just because it “looks and tastes” like the brew, doesn’t mean that the trial is effectively blinded. Even the psilocybin trials got a placebo drug with some effects, and even then, it was clear who got the psilocybin, early on.

    2. Fiddling neurotransmitters. Since my ayahuasca experience, I have wondered whether I have destabilised my neurotransmitters after psych drug withdrawal. My experience was over 2 years after discontinuation of psych drugs, and I thought I’d stabilised. This past 2 years of “integration” have been exceptionally challenging on mood, which gets to . . .

    3. LONG TERM EFFECTS. It might be awesome the month after, or even 3 months after – but what about 2 years, 5 years? What about repetition of the Medicine? The Ayahuasca culture seems to demand return to the Medicine, which makes me question whether the practice of losing your mind in this way is addicting. I admit to craving that feeling – even though I have no desire to go through what I went through before (days of Medicine, purging, before that release was felt).

    Effectively, ayahuasca serves as a massive flooding of the brain with serotonin. The Medicine People say that it is adaptogenic, that after the experience has passed, your brain “resets” to what it should be.

    However, if your brain has been altered by antidepressants, does that “switch” get “sticky?”

    I’m all for the freedom to alter consciousness at will. I do not like these “Medicines” falling into the hands of psych practitioners. There are dozens, if not hundreds of stories of “bad practitioners” of this Medicine and abuse and neglect during and following the experience. So – how would Psych people be any different from the Shamans for whom this is native practice?

    I advocate great caution and respect. Like “mindfulness” being removed from the Spiritual Practice of Buddhism – use of this as a “drug” and not as a Spiritual Based Medicine – is dangerous.

  • Wow, Doc. You are in my neck of the woods! I thought you were up in NT somewhere, or I would’ve referred folks to you when they want to come off their drugs. Unfortunately, the only ones I have in this neighborhood are docs who go too quickly, and throw people into crisis, and then indicate that their “coping skills aren’t handling the consequences of the withdrawal from chemical assault. . .

    So – that cuppa and cake which Boans offered, goes for me, too – I’d happily shout you to compare notes about tapering. And I’m “in the ‘hood” so to speak.

    Good to know that someone on the inside see psychiatry’s crock of yhit for what it is. (I notice your “Rate a Doctor” ratings include what a grumpy bugger you can be – likely you didn’t give out the scripts they wanted!)

  • Oh JW this is a vital point.

    Can we take up a collection to see that her writing and videos remain?

    YouTube will likely keep them indefinitely – but her hosted blog may not. Is there some way we can check on this?

    It is likely her main Legacy, and needs to be “out there!”

  • Hear! Hear!

    As a lithium survivor, I really really really want to read what Julie has to say about “Life After Lithium”

    Is there any hope of getting the manuscript and moving it forward to the next stage of development?

  • In my experience with Surviving Antidepressants, NA is only about “drugs of addiction.” The 12 step model has indeed helped many of our members, but it is a challenge to find groups that put psych drugs into that category. Many of them in NA take psych drugs to overcome their primary addiction and place great faith in them, not realising that they are setting themselves up for another battle later.

    It very much depends on the group.

  • Good point Richard – and – what happens when – these women (who were sexually inexperienced when they started the drugs) – evolve and try to form relationship – which is one of the purposes to be developed in adolescence? When their sex “doesn’t work” do they beat themselves up more?

    There is a growing trend of “asexual.” I have been left asexual from psych drugs and surgery (can’t say what did what), and so I went on the Ace forums. But GOD FORBID I should talk about:

    1. Personal use of antidepressants and their effects on budding sexuality, and
    2. (even more hidden) The use of antidepressants in the mother (all too common, linked with autism and other neurological damages)

    I didn’t get banned from the site, but anytime I brought this up, it got dropped like a hot potato. They would rather talk about “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” and the myriad ways those fit together…

    It wasn’t “cool” or acceptable to consider that antidepressants might be the source problem.

    After all, if it changes the sex of frogs and fish – what is this grand experiment doing to humans?

  • Been there, done that, got the T-shirt (but maybe not at gunpoint!).

    I have learned that if I am having impulses, urges, and dangerous inner voices – that there is something underneath them. That they are valuable companions in this journey called life – and if they ramp up, it is because I have been ignoring them, shoving them down (and this repression makes me more dangerous). Only I can control my moods – the lithium only dampened them down so that I was unlikely to even know what they are – much less how they could help me (instead of harming myself and others).

    It is not a lithium deficiency.

    You feel very strongly the need to be controlled by the lithium. When the time comes, and they send you for dialysis, and you can no longer take the lithium, what will you do then?

    In this society, we are called to often behave in non-human fashions, in the name of conformity. It may be that some of us need the Soma to survive the society we have built. It’s my desire that we can all be free of this mental and emotional control, free to be the humans we were born to be. I do recognise that it may not be practical for so many (like my own loved ones, who are also controlled by drugs & psychiatry) to be free of these shackles.

    So I’m not picking on you – but just sharing that I believe there is another way besides destroying your organs with the lithium. My beliefs may or may not apply to you.

  • LOL I have a degree in accounting. I don’t think that’s the one you want. Our best assets are making sure everything balances, compiling reports and statistics.

    FINANCE degrees are about interpreting those stats. There may be some accountants who are wizards about seeing “how things fit together” and may be improved, but LOL I’m not one of them!

  • I was reading in Brave New World today. The chapter where the Savage approaches a bunch of Deltas, clamouring for their allotment of Soma. . .

    “It’s poison! You are slaves!” he cries, “Don’t you want to be free?” as he knocks the Soma out of the hands of those distributing it. He throws it out the window, scattering it to the wind –

    And chaos ensues, the people want their poison, they want their slavery, and a riot breaks out…the Savage is arrested, and the Riot Police arrive with spray guns of Soma and Tranquilisers to subdue the agitated crowd. The Synthetic Music Box runs “Anti-Riot Speech Number Two (Medium Strength)” which tells the people,

    “‘My friends, my friends!’…pathetically, with a note of infinitely tender reproach… ‘What is the meaning of this? Why aren’t you all being happy and good together? Happy and good…At peace, at peace.’ …It sank into a whisper and momentarily expired, ‘Oh, I do want you to be happy,’ it began with a yearning earnestness, ‘I do so want you to be good! Please, please be good and . . . ‘ ”

    (paraphrased).

    It’s getting close to this. The devices and phones are the box, and Soma is everywhere. . .

  • Alex speaks of the corrupt system.

    This seems to apply to military, police abuses as well.

    Where there is a pack of people “following orders” from top down to protect corporate interests.

    I know this is paranoid, but I’m beginning to wonder – when we take on the Corporate Masters – what are we in for?

  • Thank you for this anomie!

    I also wonder about the flip side of the coin: if psych drugs affect metabolism (they do), endocrine (they do), autoimmune functions (they do), the gut (they do) – then do they contribute to cancer forming?

    It’s a question which will never be answered, but enquiring minds . . .