Thursday, December 13, 2018

Comments by JanCarol

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  • MedLawPsych – before you go praising ECT as a valid “treatment” consider these:

    http://www.ectresources.org/
    http://www.ectstories.com/

    Especially: http://www.ectresources.org/Shock_treatment_brochure_June_8.pdf

    ECT is widely used for social control. The poor, the elderly, the disabled, and women are the most common victims (and I don’t use that word lightly) of this “treatment.”

    ECT is traumatic brain injury. I came to this article because I know people who have also been damaged by TMS and this is one of the rare times that I’ve seen the two “treatments” put in the same basket.

  • Fibro, Autoimmune, CFS/ME, POTS, dysautonomia, chronic pain – can all be caused by drug withdrawal.

    Rachel, I did the CFS thing, too. Or Fibro. “Oh, I’m sorry” folks would say. Much easier than explaining how doctors ruined me. I’m healed, but not nearly as functional as “normals.”

    And how often I bite my tongue when I see my friends, family, community subjecting themselves to “treatment” (of any kind).

  • It’s easy to say that if you have no experience with this drug.

    There is a black box warning on Cymbalta – it is there for a reason, and it was quite a battle to get this small concession from Lilly.

    It is criminal to prescribe this to young people for any reason. Google the phrase “Cymbalta Hell” to see why this study is representative of greater problems with this drug.

    Sometimes even a small sample reflects the wider problems quite well. “Only” one suicide? Isn’t that enough?

  • I know a number of people who have “chronic fatigue” or “fibromyalgia” and don’t think to look at the drugs they’ve been given.

    Just last weekend I was talking to a woman with horrible chronic pain – supposedly “fibro” but also Hashimoto’s. It didn’t occur to her that the amitryptaline they gave her 30 years ago (that she still takes) could have messed her endocrine system….

    When I hear of ***children*** with fibromyalgia, I am shocked, and believe there must be some trauma (if not drugging) involved.

    And Cymbalta – I agree with Cochrane – 100% side effects. None of these drugs are effective and now that the “opioid” (really, that’s not a word) crisis is forcing GP’s to look at alternatives for pain. Sadly, these alternatives are worse than the opioids.

  • Hey George – I am so sorry for your loss of the beautiful Martha.

    I think you are onto something when you say her love of Alexei was pointing to God. Sometimes in the path to God, we need to make it personal in order to connect to Something which is Beyond us, unfathomable, unknowable.

    When I listen to love songs, I often listen for the You. “You make me feel” “I see You in the Stars” etc. etc. and I find that when I substitute the Divine for You, these silly love songs become Worship of the Divine.

    In learning to love Alexei, she was in training for loving God. And, eventually, in training for a real relationship with a manifest Human Being. But she needed to learn to love Herself first – and Alexei was the key to that. Perhaps a representation of her Animus?

    There is also the untouchable nature of Alexei. He cannot hurt her, he cannot betray her, he is always there for her. So in loving the impossible – she is safe to love.

    Thank you for sharing her story.

  • Julie – this is shocking!

    One of the first “Unitarian Universalist songs” I learned was this.

    “Oh we’re Unitarians and we don’t believe in sin
    We won’t chastise or criticise – we’ll only let you in!”

    So – they may not believe in sin, but they sure do believe in the sin of “broken brain!”

    I’m sorry for what you went through.

  • Hey Oldhead – the vultures are important.

    The people who want power and control – as said by comedian Lee Camp – are the ones with the plans.

    The rest of us muddle along as best we can while the power hungry are making plans for what they want next…

    The prophecy of Eagle and Condor comes to mind. At first I was offended that the scavengers would reign – but that will be what it comes to. To the vultures go the spoils.

  • Thank you Monica for an excellent article – it’s good to hear from you.

    Another thing to consider (which we’ve heard bits of here in the comments) are people who are traumatised further by the effing “mindfulness programs.” Not myself, but I’ve witnessed it in others. And “meditation” in general – especially for those with trauma in their story – is a minefield. If it’s not my trauma, it might be the teacher (I have been messed up by meditation teachers).

    When working with folks, whether it’ well folks, traumatised folks, or folks who walk with feet in many worlds – I do encourage “a daily practice.”

    But it may not be “mindfulness” even if it is mindful. It might be balancing a rubber ball on the end of your nose, or a walk around the block. This daily thing helps to build well being. And it doesn’t have to be Eastern, and it doesn’t have to be patented, and it doesn’t have to cost any money at all.

    Examples include writing, drawing, singing, cooking (I love the arts), or walking, lifting, yoga, breathing, making tea, tai chi, or something completely unique to you. You can be mindful of whatever you are doing – and the healing will still take place. The traumas and sticky stuff will still bubble up whether you are sitting in lotus or knitting. It’s that dedicated time to one’s self which is the foundation.

  • I just read an (Atlantic?) article about Thomas Insel who was with Google (don’t be evil) in a sub group focusing on providing mental health services. He’s since broken off and formed a smaller group with the same purpose.

    The thing he described scared the holy hell out of me. Using our metadata – how we use the phone, how we speak, text, engage, disengage – whether we left the house or posted on Facebook – the metadata used to determine if we were in a diagnostic category – and a danger to ourselves and others.

    The development of such a tool is an invitation to have Corporate and Government Big Brother watching our behaviour via metadata to see if we are fomenting thought crime.

    This article is about using these e-tools in collaboration with a therapist – and honestly, the young folks love this kind of stuff.

    But it’s a slippery slippery slope.

  • It does seem that on your blog post: https://porcupineswisdom.blogspot.com/2018/11/exiting-psychiatry-by-engaging-alchemy.html?m=1

    – that you are advocating for use of psych drugs. That you are actually telling someone (the reader) that *you* (the reader? yourself?) need Seroquel.

    Perhaps you choose to use quetiapine to function in a working world. But I question the word “need,” and definitely would not advocate anyone else to choose that path without knowing more. The long term cost of “antipsychotics” (called “Neuroleptics” on this website because they are anti-brain) may be more dear than you know. (finding your sleep again may be one of them)

    (I tried to comment on your blog, but my security suite doesn’t like the log in)

    And honestly, to call psychiatry witchcraft is to insult the witch. Diabolical, evil, mind control, behaviour control, social control – totalitarianism disguised as “helping profession.” The witches I know tend to like sex, trees, herb tea, rocks and walks in the forest or on the beach.

    I’ll take it one step further and state (opinion alert) that “biology” and “medicine” are inherently corrupted by the corporate model of research and reporting of that research. The entire profession is suspicious to me – the diagnostic tools (MRI’s, blood tests, bone scans, etc.) are useful, but the “treatments” fall under suspicion of corporate pharmaceutical and medical devices being pushed.

    If you are interested in alchemy, try Carl Jung, who says,

    “Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life…If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature…Be glad that you can recognize it, for you will thus avoid becoming its victim. Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law. What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.” ― C.G. Jung, The Red Book

    Consider: http://www.carl-jung.net/alchemy.html

    For the old timers here – she is on the cusp of undiagnosing, and on the verge of discovering the Inner Life that was squelched so thoroughly by psychiatry. Can we cut her some slack (I hope you don’t mind my use of 3rd person here)? I think that’s what Oldhead meant when he said, “get back to me in a year or so…” but I would hesitate to claim to truly know “what Oldhead meant…”

  • I agree with Auntie – “idiot” is not a word I would use.

    And perhaps my first description of your video wasn’t very accurate, either.

    One of the things which I learned in undiagnosing myself was how to appear calm, rational, even when I was excitable or agitated. It is vital to “present well” around professionals (I still have to use doctors, and they ***still*** want to address my mood, even though it’s none of their business). Unfortunately, the people who are diagnosed look through similar lenses as the professionals – because they’ve been taught and conditioned that way.

    When I looked at your video, I could see the diagnostics flying, as you were so enthusiastic, and your repeated use of the word “psychosis” caused problems for me. My “psychosis” was not pleasurable at all – so my reflection of your video was that it was “off the wall” or not very credible – TO ME. As Auntie pointed out – it has appeal.

    Please do not think “idiot” about yourself. Ever.

  • I’m sorry Ekaterina, but I watched your video – and it did not present you well. You sounded like crazy person saying “Psychosis is good, psychosis is fun!”

    There are many many people who do not find the intrusions of alternate views as pleasant (even without the drug psychosis). There are many people who suffer under the pain of trauma and their intrusive realities are punishing, torturous. The trauma is so intense, and the Voices and HyperReality is so pressing that it is literally punishing.

    Use clarity and describe – what you are calling “psychosis?”

    “Today the faeries told me not to take the train, and a man jumped onto the tracks.” “When I was Buddha, I knew that humanity had hope and purpose.” These are connections, communications with deeper realities – but they are NOT PSYCHOSIS. (regardless of what doctors have told you)

    I’m all for reclaiming words like fag and witch, even Mad – but when the power of the corporate, government, and society at large are behind a word like “psychosis” then the tide is too great to turn. You are punishing yourself with use of words like this. And – it will be harder to reach the audience you want to reach – while you are saying “Psychosis is pleasurable” I know hundreds of people who are saying “I cannot, the pressure in my head is too painful.”

    I got labelled “bipolar” in the 90’s. When I was “manic” it was dramatic and energising – but it was not creative, it was horrible. It was indeed “spiritual emergence” but it took me 20 years to process the information that came through. But it was painful, not pleasurable. Saying “psychosis is great” diminishes my own experience, which was that “psychosis is intense, it is valuable – but it is also hard work.”

    You will heal better when you let go of the “psychosis” word and all of the baggage attached to it.

  • Ekaterina – there are shamanic techniques, and there are teachers and experienced persons to help teach without $$$$ outlay. What is shamanism? It is deep communication with these very things, and the methods for grounding them in reality and serving your community.

    The first technique that comes to mind is developing the ability to choose when you are in an altered state or not. Most people who experience altered states are concerned about the intrusion of these states – finding yourself in an altered state of consciousness while driving in traffic is very intrusive.

    The clearest method for developing this ability is to – every day – devote a time where you say – for 10 minutes, allow all of the altered state information to come through. Then, when the 10 minutes is over – it is over, and you spend the rest of your day – as a discipline – **not** in that altered state. After about 6 months of practising this, you will be able to choose when you can go in and out of these states.

    The next method is gratitude for what you experience while you are there – whether it is faeries, or Jesus or Buddha, or your Ancestors, or Nature, or just the Inner State – be thankful, give thanks, express gratitude to whatever those experiences are.

    There are many methods for cultivating support for yourself, often defined by your Ancestors – but there are post-tribal techniques as well.

    If you cannot learn from a teacher, you can – from your altered states – contact your Ancestors and receive guidance as to how best to develop your talent. As your talent develops – the purpose of this talent is to help others – you will better see how you can utilise it for more than your own pleasure – to use it to help others, which you are already driven to do.

    I humbly submit my small website (though there are many other teachers Greater than I): https://shamanexplorations.com If I am not a good fit for you, there are others I can refer you to. The truth of Shamanism is that you are your OWN Shaman, someone like myself can only point, suggest, help navigate your own experiences.

    Jungian analysis tends to work on these premises, too, that what lies underneath your conscious mind is valuable information. “Psychosis” gives greater access to this subconscious and Collective information – but for many people it is too frightening to access.

  • Ekaterina – I appreciate your bravery, but I question your insistence upon calling altered consciousness = “psychosis.”

    Altered consciousness has been a human state of growth and learning for as long as there have been humans. Experience in non-ordinary reality gives depth to a person, and integrating this experience in ordinary reality infuses passion and meaning to life as a human.

    Some would say “walking with a foot in each World” = the world of Spirit, and the world of consensuality.

    I watched your video – but “psychosis is amazing” – when psychosis is brought on by life crises, difficulty reconciling the Inner and Outer Realities – it is not “amazing.” A Great Teacher, yes – but often (if you read many of the stories here) quite painful, too.

    Please lose the diagnostic language – and if, as you say in your video, you are trained in Shamanic methods of alternate states of consciousness – then please call them what they are, not what psychiatrists have named them.

  • I reckon the “Hero gene” is just being a Leader – you naturally want to protect the tribe at great risk to yourself. That serves a genetic purpose, as well.

    Thank you for all you do. When I saw you speak in Australia a few years back, I wondered how it was possible that you were employed, prestigious, and that the Cochrane Collaboration was the last bastion of objective science in medicine.

    Sadly, that is past tense now. I trust your work, but Cochrane no longer. You will always find a place to fully utilise your great gifts of diligent, clear thinking, precise language, and passion for humanity.

  • Bonnie, I agree. When I heard Dr. Gotzsche speak here in Australia (2015?) – I was stunned at what I was hearing.

    How did this guy have a job? How was he able to speak so freely these things which so angered the psychiatrists in the room? TO THEIR FACES! With his keen mind and rigorous application of scientific principles – well, I was stunned. And in awe. He was really doing this!

    This man was working, and his Collaboration gained the utmost of my respect. I learned to study their work before making any medical decisions.

    Sadly, the Collaboration has fallen away, but Dr. Gotzsche’s clear mind shines like a star.

    Hopefully he will transcend any other challenges put in his path.

  • Which makes a wonderful marketing opportunity for Scientology. (though oddly, their numbers are down, while psychiatry’s are way way up)

    Jung used to say that Satan was Jesus’ brother – that you couldn’t have one without the other.

    I would say the same is true of Scientology and Psychiatry. Different approaches to control.

  • Hey phoenix, watched another Robot movie last night (he even looked a bit like Wall-e, but predated him) from the 1980’s called “Short Circuit” – where Number Five’s “malfunction” was that he was ALIVE. This made the military and his creators extremely upset…and they tried to destroy and repair him “accordingly.” It wasn’t until you just made this Wall-e comment that I linked it to spiritual emergence…which is frequently perceived as “malfunction” by society in general, and psychiatry specifically.

  • OK, oldhead, I’ll bite:

    Scientology does indeed produce some good documentaries.

    It is for the purpose of getting you into one of their programs like the Purif (Purification Rundown) where they try to sweat the drugs out of you like toxins. Or the Narcanon cover group. CCHR used to be a cover group – which is why folks here expressed surprise that this doco was in the name of Scientology instead of CCHR.

    There are some valuable concepts in Scientology, but you will be a lot poorer to learn them. It is a scam designed to make L. Ron Hubbard a God and very very rich, copying techniques borrowed from various (including occult) sources. It can cost $100k to a $million $ to go through all their programs “up the bridge,” and however “clear” or free you may believe yourself to be, there is always another level to pay for.

    The reason it is a religion is so that Hubbard would owe no tax (though the IRS was beginning to wonder…). He started it out as Dianetics, but realised that if it was a “psychological process” it would be taxable – so he made it a religion.

    When one is caught in the cult, his/her free labour goes to the organisation. Your time, your money, your family are no longer your own. You are separated from “non-believers” (one of the definitions of a cult) and encourage to only affiliate with believers. There is Thought Crime in Scientology. You will be minding your words (and looking them up in the dictionary) with great care and precision, lest you be considered an SP (or Suppressive Person).

    I encourage you to read Jenna Miscavage’s autobiography. There are other excellent books, such as “Going Clear” – which was also made into a film (much against Scientology’s protests).

    It is a tyranny of its own, with survivors much like the psych movement.

    If I were given a choice to be trapped in Psychiatry, or trapped in Scientology, it would be a rough choice. I think I would prefer the cult, because of the community support available there (which you would lose as soon as the wool falls off your eyes and you had to leave, but at least you would know what that support would be like).

    But it is dangerous, too. Take care, do not engage with any of their “free personality tests” or “information evenings.” It will seem so innocent at first. Like psychiatry…

  • rasselus redux: “But often, people with psychosis, particularly those labelled schizophrenic, are unbudgeable magical thinkers. ”

    Story time.

    Once, she came to believe she was pregnant. Less than a week later, she came to believe that she had miscarried. There was no proof of either. When confronted with the possibility that this was symbolic, she insisted that she had lost a baby and now she must grieve. It may be possible that the belief helped her grieve whatever it was representing – the loss of innocence, trust, fear of betrayal – whatever it was. But there was no way she was going to see that pregnancy as a symbol of anything other than a literal lost baby.

    Once, he was told that he needed to strip naked and swim in the ocean. When I suggested that this might be a symbol for being vulnerable in relationships and exploring his emotions – nope. It was a literal command. He got arrested for stripping naked at a public place and swimming in the ocean. (He was on a “Community Treatment Order” at the time, so this didn’t go well.)

    There are example after example of these sorts of beliefs – many of which are not harmful until you get “caught.” My goal with my friends is to help them to “not get caught.” Waving a giant flag in a public place, standing on a box and preaching, stripping naked in a shopping mall, or hiding in the shelves of the grocery – are ways to “get caught.”

    Once you are caught you surrender all control of your life. The police come, the ambulance comes, you are shot up with something and taken away in a very involuntary fashion.

    As for surveillance, I am stunned at how readily people under age 30 just forfeit their privacy, and – as a 50-something, how challenging it is to maintain my privacy while trying to function in the world. Apps & devices know everything about the users, more and more all the time.

  • See my post at bottom as to how many people can, in the afterlife, be influenced by great souls such as Jesus Christ, Buddha, Joan of Arc, and Anne Frank.

    Regardless of the factuality of the belief – here’s the thing. It’s valuable. If my resonance with Joan of Arc leads me to learn something about how to function in my present incarnation – then – whether she is a Guardian Spirit, an archetype, a past life, an Ancestor – or just a symbol for my personal healing – the belief about it doesn’t matter.

    What matters is that it is valuable information which informs the present from the realm of the Collective.

  • This may not be the correct forum for this discussion of belief – but let me share with you the belief I hold about reincarnation – because it is fun.

    Imagine the Source as a Well of Souls. For visualisation purposes – I imagine it as a barrel. When we die, our light merges in with the other souls in the Well, all the Spirit becomes one great light. Sometimes, there are individual souls – like Cleopatra, Jesus, Buddha, and yes, Anne Frank – who, when they return to the Well of Souls, make a “big splash” and light up the entire Well as they re-enter.

    With the laws of physics, each contact that is made continues to be influenced by that contact. The constitution of a Soul as it leaves the Well will be slightly different to the last time it experienced incarnation. And many many many souls have been influenced by The Buddha (for example). That light filled the entire barrel as it re-entered the Well of Souls – so many many many “souls” will be influenced by that light.

    So you could have been Buddha – and so could I – because we each “touched” the Spirit of Buddha in the Well of Souls.

    Tasty, eh?

  • Hey Sera –

    At least a content warning is about the content, what you are writing. “This content is graphic”

    As opposed to “trigger warnings” which are about the reader – “You will be triggered when you read this.” This can become self-fulfilling prophecy, too.

    “you triggered me” – is about victimisation, while “That content was disturbing” is more accurately facing what you just experienced.

  • Thanks Sera – I thought I was the only one who objected to using the word “trigger.”

    Even when people are talking about symptoms, “That triggered me,” I’m like: you had no choice but to REACT?

    What about RESPONSE?

    And how long can we tip-toe around the ever changing fences of “PC”?

    Thank you.

  • Yes, use of “antipsychotics” can induce hallucinations, self harm behaviour, increase impulsiveness, increase apathy, produce flat affect, and – create addiction to the chemicals which may be the most challenging to get off of because an “antipsychotics” efficacy seems to be related to how many receptors it hits.

    Abilify hits 11, Saphris hits 17, Clozaril hits 23, Zyprexa hits 16, Seroquel = 22. These are just the known actions, or the recorded ones in the report I have in front of me (http://cdn.neiglobal.com/content/practiceres/posters/50188_nei_009_bindings.pdf)

    These are just a few of the mental and emotional effects of neuroleptics – it also doesn’t count “feeling like a zombie” or stigma, or the challenge of being socially interactive when your mind is slowed to a crawl.

    THEN there are the neurological effects, which are further stigmatising.

  • I’m torn. The meat industry is cruel. It’s true, true, true that gluten (especially wheat) and processed food contribute to inflammation and mood dysfunction. But Kelly Brogan insists that her patients eat red meat for aminos, cell repair & recovery. The times I was most unwell was on a vegan / veggie diet.

    I find it difficult to fight metabolic disorder (caused by psych drugs) with a vegan / pure veggie diet, as it is high carb, low protein. No, sir, legumes are not protein, they are carbs, and inflammatory ones at that (many of them high histamine). Complex carbohydrates are still carbs, even if they are (slightly) slower. And eating carbs begets cravings for more carbs.

    Any diet which requires supplementation (B12, D, Omega3’s & digestive enzymes) is not a whole human diet. Non-dairy milks (such as almond) are little better than sugar water, unless you make your own. Almond milk in particular contains less than 5 almonds per package.

    “Acts like an egg” but is not an egg – again – not nutritious, only a “binding agent.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXlVfwJ6RQU&index=12&list=PLABdHCdls7_QSAXF9VUfRGSZ2t-lsO3d2&t=10s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4VRp5ZFFRU&index=13&list=PLABdHCdls7_QSAXF9VUfRGSZ2t-lsO3d2&t=11s

    And Umami may have satisfaction, but it is not protein or fats (my doctor leans towards ketogenic), nor does it help with amino profile. There are essential aminos, essential fats – there are no essential carbs. There is nattokinase which is umami, but not very much to western tastes (and it’s still probably a carb, albeit a very dense one).

    This woman is probably healthy because the first half of her life she ate lots of seafood. Her recipes convert to sugar – and contain sugars. Carbs. Carbs are my problem with vegan / vegetarian diet, always have been. High carbs = sugar spikes (see Chris Kesser for more on sugar spikes). Sugar spikes = mood problems.

    As always Will, thanks for all that you do.

  • Hey streetphotobeing – as someone who was also poisoned by the stuff (and lied to: “it does help with “bipolar depression” = what? by causing severe anhedonia?), it was hard to give up. Not because tapering was challenging or withdrawal was a problem – but because – it does have elements of neuroprotectivity (Alzheimer’s studies) and supposedly (though not in my case) it aids with biological clock regulation.

    Because of this, I take 1.67 mg of Lithium Orotate daily (which is equivalent of 0.06 mg elemental). I’ll let it go when I run out, but I do believe that tiny (tiny! tiny!) amounts of it can be helpful. Much smaller than listed in the article, however.

  • Lithium poisoned me, very subtly over 10 years.

    My blood tests read “normal,” but I developed diabetes insipidus.

    I have good times and bad times – it is reversible with ketogenic, but I’ve yet to adhere to that protocol 100%. I also have to stay very hydrated, or I get into trouble, and am prone to UTI’s.

    Doctor – said, “tests are normal” I said, “diabetes insipidus.” She said, “not associated with lithium.” I said, “check again, please” and she said, “Oh, so you are right! Yes, it is a side effect.”

    Egads. Toxic. If you are taking more than 5 mg per day please get blood tests at least 2x a year. More if you are on over 100 mg per day.

    And oh yes, I had a goitre when she prescribed it. I lost my thyroid to surgery while on it, as the goitre was choking me.

    Essential nutrient? Maybe – but I take water as my guide. Lithium in natural levels in water is no more than 1 mg per day (San Pellegrino = 0.2 mg / litre). With the dose I was on, to reach the levels of natural lithium in water, I would have had to drink 846 litres of water per day (using San Pellegrino as a measure). Um, no – that’s not a nutrient, that’s a toxin.

  • Hey Rachel I finally found a doctor who is addressing the malabsorption issue via my gut biome.

    According to my biome tests, I am low in e-Coli which hampers my nutrient absorption (especially aminos and B-vitamins), and high in streptococcus and enterococcus which causes me to store lactic acid (mood and pain issues) as well as hampering my metabolism of fats.

    All of these point to why my thyroid medicine is less effective, and why my hair and nails are so horribly thin and brittle, and – ye olde metabolic disorder which I have thought I might carry to my deathbed.

    Her solution is a clean out (detox) and probiotics. I’m still in the clean out phase and – can it be that my nails are just a little firmer? My hair is not falling out quite so badly?

    Unlike you, my B12 and magnesium are fine. I am eager to see what happens when I start taking those gut bugs in a week’s time.

    However – like you say – she is unaware of what the psych drugs do to the gut. She is just looking at what the labs report, and prescribing to fix.

  • Hey bcharris – I reckon Niacin helps with the “psychotic” symptoms, puts a bit of a damper on them. I can’t say that it “gives clarity” because that’s about insight, and is easy to produce with chemicals. But it probably levels out the spikiness of those symptoms, making them easier to deal with. I doubt it does much for the akathisia, dystonia, dyskinesia, insomnia, etc. But it might address some of the wackiness that coming off the drugs can cause. I’d be adding in magnesium for smooth firing, and fish oil to bathe the neurons, as well.

    But – as yet – I have failed to get any of my friends off the neuroleptics. They “need their drugs,” and are terrified of the symptoms that arise (even though the symptoms arise ON the drugs, too).

  • Nobody’s answered this. “Marihuana” was the term used during “reefer madness” to turn the middle class against the jazz listening Negros and the scary immigrant Mexicans. (please these are not my terms, it is historical.)

    Thank Harry Anslinger and Randolph Hearst for the spread of the term:

    https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/where-did-the-word-marijuana-come-from-anyway-01fb

    https://www.salon.com/2013/08/06/weed_and_words_the_growth_of_dank_vocabulary_partner/

    I can no longer find the PDF where I learned about this – it’s possible that it is Abel – “Marihuana the First 12,000 Years”

  • out – my story is similar. When I was 7, we moved to the wheat fields of Kansas. Of course, I was fed wheat bread daily, sometimes twice daily. As a result, I became a severely allergic child. “Allergic to everything” said the tests. So – shots and antihistamines all my life – and the antihistamines of the 60’s and 70’s were closer to neuroleptics.

    And I question that: 1. Celiac susceptibility – especially to wheat (see Dr. William Davis) + 2. Fed fresh wheat bread all my life + 3. Fed heavy antihistamines all my life = “mood instability” + antidepressants = “bipolar”

    This doesn’t even take into consideration toxins such as PCB’s and glyphosates, or trauma (which is there, too).

  • Overlooking the substance, there is more to this “cure” than the wine or brandy.

    There is the love of mother, the comforting blanket, the safe space to let go in.

    And honestly, short of addiction – it is a much safer treatment than the drugs.

    Before they came up with neuroleptics, they would knock out the distressed people with barbiturates or benzos. I’d rather have a benzo than a neuroleptic any day (except for the addictive part). Letting people sleep off the distress is a known treatment, and one which has been forgotten.

    The main difficulty I see, is that upon awakening, the emergent person may not remember or understand what the crisis was about – thus facilitating return of said crisis. Resolution and integration is a much better “cure” than sedation.

  • Thank you Melothrien – there are too many people who get no relief from pain because of the abuse of others. In Australia, there have been very few opioid deaths, but the MSM is reporting “opioid crisis” and following lock-step with the CDC’s restrictive policy.

    I have friends who suffer, and who are treated as criminals for asking for help with their pain, have had their pain meds cut in half, and one by 75% (with CRPS, a “suicide disease” because the pain is so awful), and she’s just supposed to knuckle down and face the fact that she won’t be able to walk or perform the simplest tasks of daily existence.

    Compared to them, my chronic pain condition is simple – but I, too, am grateful for the relief that an intermittent opiate provides.

    You wrote: “I do agree with you, however, that CPS and Fibromyalgia were invented…to justify the doctors not being able to find an answer. They’ve done it to me out of laziness. ”

    I believe that this is an invented illness – not because they aren’t finding the answers and are lazy – but because it’s iatrogenically induced. Most of the people I know with ME/CFS have been on psych drugs. And that doesn’t count the other madnesses – like statins, fluoridated water (one dose fits all), glyphosate in the food (a hormonal disruptor).

    For doctors to look into these illnesses, they would have to admit that they’ve been doing it wrong. They’d have to take on Big Food and Big Pharma, and the government (fluoridation). It’s in what Australians call, “The Too Hard Basket.”

    Thank you for the articles, I will be sharing them with my friends.

  • Thank you for this Carlene.

    I’m similar. It seems to be like a default switch that I always fall back to when anything (and I mean anything) goes wrong. The yogurt is spoiled, I’m done. My nails and hair are getting worse (and the doctors can’t help) – I quit. Nobody came to my event, nobody will miss me (my thoughts are more graphic than this, but you get the idea).

    I’ll add one more strategy that kept me going when nothing else would. Get a pet. Not a warm fuzzy cuddly pet – but a cantankerous rascal of a pet that “only a mother could love.” One that lives awhile.

    Mine was a cat. Nobody loved that cat but me. That cat loved nobody but me. I couldn’t quit, couldn’t succumb – because – nobody would be able to take her. She would have to be put to sleep. And that’s unfair. If it’s unfair to her – it was unfair to me, too (but I only learned that in retrospect). She kept me alive for 20 years, and by then I had learned how to do it.

    Thanks for normalising thoughts that – I believe all of us have – but that expressing aloud causes “freak outs” in other people. It’s like a giant Shadow that we all have that if anybody mentions it, it gets bigger and scarier and must be squelched.

    Whereas really, it’s usually a frightened, insecure person, even a child inside, that just needs connection and comfort – not “treatment.” And definitely not a big fuss.

    One of the questions I dread the most is, “Are you alright?”

    Short answer is always yes – because I’ve walked with this suicidal companion for 33 years now, and I will continue to walk without heeding these – urges? voices? default settings? – but I always cringe, because – often something is not right, but I can’t say it, can’t ease it out into safety, and so must process it alone.

    It would be much better if we could speak, normalise, and let these things go.

  • Hey Mike – while the beautiful biography you’ve written helps look at Williams life and contributing factors, and the drugs surely contributed to something of his distress (maybe a factor, if not the whole story) – I think that one factor which amazes me that I don’t hear more often is that of iatrogenesis.

    Would he have had Parkinson’s if he had never used drugs (have to include the recreational in there, too)? And has anyone studied neuroleptic induced dementia? Yeah, no, they haven’t. I watch the neuroleptics eating the brain of my family & friends, one lost about 30 points of IQ. While this is only a case, not a study – nobody looks at that, or the connections between psych drugs and:
    Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Restless Legs, IBS, Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes (oh they look at this a little, and then they say, “well, you’ll just have to manage the diabetes or go mad…..”), cardiovascular issues, strange nerve issues, kidney failure, chronic insomnia….

    You know the banter – all of these mysterious iatrogeneses are rarely connected to the drugs of origin. That’s what I wonder about Robin Williams, is – in the complex story of his life and death – was his final, deteriorated condition – iatrogenically induced?

  • Paul Keith at what point did I attack you? Yes I paraphrased – but egads you use a lot of words. It was not meant to “dis” you, just talking about what worked (or hasn’t) for me. I have not name called you or attacked you, and if you perceive that I have, I’m sorry. I’ve been on forums for nearly 30 years and do make an effort to discuss ideas, not people.

    I felt that what I discussed (especially in light of the excellent Alice Miller article) was in *addition* to those who are fortuitous enough to have that excellent witness, compassionate shoulder, etc. For many people, this is an impossibility, and even for those who are aware of the possibility may not have access to such a person. I know I didn’t.

    I also know that in the throes of withdrawal, a compassionate shoulder is nice, but does not serve the function of time to adjust neurotransmitters back to balance. Akathisia, anyone? There is such thing as “inner akathisia” or “emotional akathisia” as well.

  • shaun f – I continue to be amazed at how people who recognise the problems with chemically fiddling neurotransmitters (psych drugs) think that our use of the devices is purely voluntary and “we can control it,” when it is zapping the dopamine – especially in our children who are being raised with this protocol – and interrupting our attention. It is the *job* of the device to zap dopamine and interrupt attention. This device has permission to interrupt anytime.

    I’m sure there are a few who put chains and keep it in a lead lined box and only use it when they choose – but there are too many who are falling into the dopamine trap as easily as a psych drug.

    Just because you have a choice doesn’t mean that it’s not a dangerous drug. Especially for children who are becoming hard wired to this. A choice? Corporate programming, which is still totalitarian.

  • Rachel777 this sounds like withdrawal, so the answer is time.

    If you went off the drug too quickly, for whatever reason, then the delayed withdrawal is more intense – it all hits at once, instead of the (usually) more gradual symptoms of tapering.

    At Surviving Antidepressants, we call this negativity, “Neuroemotion” – as in – chemically induced emotions. And they seem to be one of the last things to go.

    Personally, I still have dips into major “depressive” thoughts and feelings, but I battle them one moment at a time. Feel suicidal? Make a cup of tea. Sounds trite, but those moments I was making the tea were moments I wasn’t thinking about suicide. Little steps out of the abyss may not seem like much when all is total darkness – but the best way out of the dark forest is to keep going.

    There’s also gotta be some anger at what happened to you. My acupuncturist speaks of “right application of spleen,” as in – finding good ways to use your anger. Writing, telling your story, helping others are just a couple of good applications for your spleen. I don’t think I would have succeeded in escaping the system if it weren’t for a LOT of anger.

    Paul Keith’s comment that “nobody has achieved the right level of compassion” – still places the expectations on others. I haven’t found that to be a successful strategy. Others always let me down. It’s hard to rely on connection when – even in the face of deep caring and compassion – others don’t grasp what you have experienced.

    I was listening to a talk last night about emotions – even the negative ones – as opportunities. Neuro-emotions are harder because they are amplified by withdrawal, but even they have a seed of truth in them. Finding the opportunity – interviewing your emotion as if it were a person sitting in front of you: why do you feel that way? Where are you in my body? What happens when I focus on that part of my body? What else is there? How can you be expressed or soothed?

    E-motion is the movement of feeling, and really the only way to be healthy with feelings: experience them, explore them, and let them move – on and out. They will. In the case of withdrawal, it may take a few years before you start to experience positive ones. Focus on the 2% positive emotions, as tiny as that is, and feed that wolf.

  • I remember a game that someone in my party circles used to play. In the moment, it was basically harmless – he was doing it to “mess wit’ you.”

    But he could sense exactly what someone’s buttons were, and there, before the bonfire, partying out of our gourds, he would “mess wit’ you,” pushing your buttons to see if you snapped, and then laughing like a coyote when he succeeded. “Gotcha!” The game always ended when you saw that it was just a game. And the party continued.

    (This also reminds me of a strategy my older brother would use – anything he could use to see if he could get me in a state. Typical brother stuff – but in the same vein. Years later, my brother has exhibited great use of emotional intelligence and compassion in helping my parents achieve a good death – so his empathy has been used with compassion)

    In retrospect it was great training in “not taking things personally,” as well as turning a mirror onto my buttons, and why they got triggered – but I do wonder about the forces that drove him to “mess wit’ us,” – like it was a protective function to keep *us* from messing with *him.*

    I think this was a clear case of empathy – it wasn’t just the head, but the whole person he was sensing (I usually think of empathy as a heart quality) – but there was cruelty, not compassion in response.

  • shaun f but that journey to totalitarianism is a slippery slope. I’ve learned this by observing the differences between America and Australia. Much more of our lives are regulated here, and Australians generally (despite their convict origins) colour between the lines.

    In China, the social pressure of “fitting in” becomes greater and greater, and many Westerners are also slaves to those social media devices, and many of our young people do not know what privacy is, nor do they find it desirable.

    So – for the pleasure of belonging, the ball and chain of devices is welcomed, and minds are controlled so much more easily than with Soma. And the telescreens – people clamber to get the newest hottest portable telescreen devices.

    The old “totalitarianism” is unnecessary. The bread and circuses of the telescreen is all that is needed (coupled with the soma of psych drugs) to control the masses.

    it is a slippery slope.

  • Oldhead – you think I formed my opinion from reading AMA articles on the interwebs? Uh, no. Remember, I considered chiropractic as a possible profession in the 90’s.

    Your definition of “subluxation” is more clear than anything I’ve ever heard from a chiropractor, or any chiropractic literature (which makes me think you’ve simplified their thing somewhat).

    If you are being helped by these techniques then remember that placebo has great power to cause your body to heal itself. Sometimes the laying on of hands is all that is needed.

    Sometimes, too, taking charge of your own health is the key, and I’ll give that to Chiro’s, they do tend in that direction. That’s why I love John Bergman’s YouTube channel.

  • Hey Catnight, I went to a similar drugstore, now museum here in Queensland. It was interesting to note that some of the women had mounds of buried hoards of laudanum bottles.

    But I reckon laudanum – which is closer to the plant – is far less destructive than the current pharma formulations.

    My great grandfather ran a patent medicine company, which included laudanum, codeine, cannabis, and other common formulas. He was an MD, and believed in his formulations.

    I reckon what happened historically is the same thing that happened to hemp. Corporate interests became threatened, and wanted to monopolise a market (nylon rope) (patent medicine) – and the big guys smashed over the little guys with “regulations” and “laws”

    Why did the patent medicine trend (including snake oil – which there is still plenty of snake oil about – try looking at the variability in quality of CBD out there) get smashed?

    I reckon you will find DuPont, and Lilly, Bristol Meyers, Roche and Squibb somewhere in the story.

  • Yar, I’ve been looking for a clear definition of subluxation since 1992. It’s harder to nail down than “borderline personality.”

    I’m still not satisfied.

    (remember I considered becoming a Chiro until I learned about the low entrance requirements – easier to become a chiro than a Bachelor Arts in Medieval European History….fwiw)

  • Rachel777 good point. Thing is, while I’ve always had some methylation issues all my life – my 20-30 years on psych drugs ruined my gut, endocrine and metabolism of nutrients. So – it is malabsorption (though I have a much better diet than “Standard American”) *and* iatrogenesis.

    As for Dr. K’s claim (in another article) that “institutionalisation” is causing more brain damage than neuroleptics, it’s hard to parse, because most institutionalised “clients” are on neuroleptics. I’ve watched people decay over the decades, and I blame the drugs. That someone cannot escape their anxiety, and fear of intrusive emergent challenges = institutionalisation (“I need my doc, I need my drugs”) That they suffered an IQ loss of 40 points (and suffer blurred vision) – I’m afraid I blame the drugs for that.

  • I can’t say as I trust the Chiro’s either.

    In the 90’s, I was going back to school to study medicine. What form of medicine would it be?

    Here was the hierarchy of how difficult medicine is to study (entrance requirements):
    1. Pharmacists
    2. Physiotherapists (in the US – I think it is easier in Australia)
    3. MD’s (including dentists & other specialities)
    4. Veterinarians
    5. Osteopaths
    6. Psychologists (PhD)
    7. MSW
    8-15. Any other number of Allied Health professionals – X-ray techs, blood techs, etc.
    somewhere down below my accounting degree was Chiropractic.

    I only needed a high school education with a 2.5 GPA to get accepted into Chiropractic school.

    Now I know, these are “systems” schools – how much you can adhere to the established system.

    But I also know that chiropractic is harmful for my particular condition – it inflames the ligaments and increases my pain. There were other things that they counselled me on – diet, lifestyle, etc. – that were valuable, and I’m a big fan of Dr. John Bergman’s YouTube Channel (but I think he is exceptional).

    I chose Osteopathy as the level I wanted to try and get into – and started doing the undergrad work required. Then I had a divorce, “manic episode” and my ambitions were derailed.

    I would send people to a DO long before I would consider a Chiro. I do think that adjustments are a valuable part of health – just not the way that the chiros do. I also believe that a practice of yoga, tai chi, meditation – something that addresses body alignment – is an essential piece of overall health.

  • Hey Oldhead – try living here. I never believed in Nanny State until I experienced just how intrusive Aussie government is.

    I’m not suggesting that they equalize income like a true socialist system would, but there are many instances where the needs of the many obliterate the needs of the few – and the PC of “minority speak” trumps it all.

    Socialised medicine is – socialised medicine, and that’s just one way that the Gov’t wants to run your life here. It’s one of the reasons that people in distress get locked away so quickly and thoroughly.

    There is a difference between this and the free wheeling way that the USA does things. “Socialist Democracy” is the best word I have for it.

  • Thinking about this overnight – I don’t know anyone who has “gotten better” from back surgery, either. Again, the procedures and interventions often seemed designed at creating long term management situations instead of healing. So I’m pretty suspicious of “medicine” in general, especially the profit driven model. (and my previous comments about socialised medicine – it is more and more about profit and cost efficiency, too.)

  • Strewth, Dr Lawrence.

    There are also addictions such as PPI’s and statins (which cause all kinds of health problems) that have also come out of this massive pharmaceutical push since the 1980s.

    I’m even suspicious of hypertension drugs, if they can possibly be avoided. It seems that everyone I know, whose health declined – started with statins or blood pressure drugs. And after that point, they never really get better – they just get “managed.”

  • Richard – just for information, I moved from the freewheeling US of A where none of my friends could afford medical care (one just died of heart attack because he didn’t want to run up a doctor bill…) to Australia where the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Medicare take care of our medical needs.

    While it is a delight to go to a doctor and have only a co-pay (for the private, expensive ones) or no payment at all (for the “bulk bill” doc-in-a-box) – and our pharmaceuticals are negotiated for price (like the US Medicare/Medicaid will not do) and subsidised, there is a stronger element of social control.

    If the Government (socialist democracy, it’s called) decides that a supplement is Dangerous because some kids got ahold of some and took astronomical amounts and got sick, it is banned the next day. No waiting around for Congressional approvals or studies. Banned, done.

    If the Government decides that opiates are the devil (as they have done, in lock step with the social disasters in the USA – which are not happening here) – then poof. No longer can you get them.

    At that magic moment of the “poof,” then, Doctors offer you all kinds of other, more evil things – such as the Lyrica, Neurontin, Amitryptaline, spinal implants, cortisol shots, thus effecting social control in a top down manner that has a similar effect to what the free market does to the “proles,” which get ground under the wheels of capitalism.

    So in my belief the shift to socialism is not a solution to the pharmaceutical problems of psych drugs, or biomedical “mental illness.” In fact, Australia has a horrible record for forced treatment – CTO’s, incarceration, all in the name of “community policing.”

  • OK and for those of us who practice tai chi, yoga, qi gong, meditate, and even practice karate and have a rich spiritual life – and who still have chronic pain due to structural abnormalities (this is not the “bulging disc” MRI, either, that all of us over 45 supposedly have) – are now being tormented as the drugs which make it possible to lead an active life, to get through a night (maybe once a week) without pain.

    I do not place chronic pain in the same category as “mental illness.” I would love to not have to beg my doctor and get judged as an “addict” or get read the riot act by my pharmacist, or put through any number of humiliating procedures, like steroid injections or implants which cause more problems than they solve.

    I am not eager to be placed on Neurontin or Lyrica, which is a psych drug in disguise, or amitryptaline – which are the drugs of choice to replace opiates. Old opiates are known drugs with known side effects, and can be managed.

    I am aware that people have died. People have died who were close to me, and junkies were made who maybe would’ve “just” turned to alcoholism before.

    I’m not saying that everyone does manage wisely – but I am angry that those of us who do (I beg for 20 pills every 3 months) are punished because of the drug company lies (“oxy isn’t addictive,” said Purdue Pharma) and the excesses of pain in the poverty stricken, unemployed swathes of the USA. There is a reason that the addictions and deaths happened in the poorest areas of the country – it was another exercise in social control.

    And now, as a result of the media storm – people with legitimate complaints are now treated like criminals. In the “old days” when opiates were “only for cancer” I remember family doctors who had bandoliers of codeine and hydrocodone samples and passed them out to “trusted patients.” So – history is being rewritten a bit here.

    The Australian government lists statistics of something like 700k deaths from “drug overdose,” but fail to note how many of those events were caused by the overdose of the paracetamol/acetaminophen or NSAID contained in the pain product. Paracetamol is the #2 poison control call every year, but now “opiates” are “the devil,” and no effort is made to control these other substances.

    It is this fact which tells me that the “opiate crisis” (especially in Australia) is a media storm, and a Nanny State intervention, rather than a real “concern for the well being of our citizens.”

  • Except that in Yoga, the goal is not to “release” the prana, but to channel it up the spine. And in Yoga, the blockages as you move the energy are still responsible for illnesses (which has some ties to Chinese Medicine meridians as well).

    Reich differed from yoga in that he wants all that lovely orgone to be released – considering how sexuality was so repressed in Victorian and post-Victorian times, it was a start, I’m sure.

  • Thinking about a Private Message system – would clean up these threads because a discussion between two could be taken to PM.

    Moderators would have the ability to say – hey – this is OT, take it to PM. There are advantages for the MIA site as well as the participants.

  • Oldhead is not playing, but I’ll play. How about this?

    Dissociation comes when the inner and the outer worlds don’t match, are out of balance. Some could call this “cognitive dissonance,” and the variance can be so extreme that it leads to disruptions in “normal” functioning and extreme states. (these things you call “disorder,” but are really healthy ways of surviving trauma, stress, imbalance, conflict.)

    You can drug the extreme state, or you can try and resolve the variance by connecting the inner world to the outer. First, as samruck so aptly described, this requires a safe space. Then, when a caring helper listens, and listens and listens and doesn’t judge – pieces will start to make sense and begin to link to the outer world. Olga Runciman describes this process well, as building a bridge between the individual and the community.

    “Medicine” and “Corporate Psych” are rarely interested in the intense care this requires; it’s hard to see the profit motive in non-drug safe places in the system. But that is what is needed in order to work through the distress, instead of repressing it.

    I am guessing that this is why the success of MDMA in PTS (I refuse to call it “disorder”), as it speeds the process of opening the inner to facilitate building these bridges.

  • Affirmed oldhead! You’re one of the ones I’d like to add to my private correspondence list. I posted an email somewhere deep in the forum – and you can find me at http://www.survivingantidepressants.org – but you have to sign up there to private message me there. You can also find me on the contact page at my website https://shamanexplorations.com
    and we can exchange emails there.

    It’s a brutal world where we can’t just post contact details on a public forum lest we be bombarded by corporate messages, spam, or offensive materials. So yeah. PM’s here – yes.

  • Thank you for this.

    If it wasn’t my bipolar, it was my BMI.

    I went to an endocrinologist to discuss thyroid (I had a total thyroidectomy) and he got out the humiliating tape measure to tell me that my waist was the problem. Might I be so fat because my endocrine system is out of balance? Might that be why I am sitting in an endocrinologist’s office to begin with?

    Now, my orthopedic pain (ACL tear from skiing accident) is blamed on how big I am, and they don’t want to help me with that either, because – 1. They don’t know what to do with pain anyways, and 2. If I weren’t so big it wouldn’t hurt so much….

    ?????

    It is yet another way that healthy people are marginalised, and it makes it difficult and challenging.

  • LavenderSage – strewth! There is economic truth there.

    I have friends who are terrified to quit their drugs, because they will lose – exactly that – housing, income, and go from being “drugged but surviving” to “stressed and homeless” which can’t be good for mental health.

    This is true in Australia as well as the US (I have a friend in each with this pressing issue). If you are no longer “bipolar,” or, if you are a “bipolar” but refusing treatment – it is a dangerous place to be in.

    You may still be “disabled,” as in, unable to work or function in “normal” society – but those benefits get ripped out, and you’re stuffed.

  • ShaunF “voluntary treatment” is illusory. It looks like volunteering, because the person walks into a clinic on their own two feet.

    The involuntary part is the now socially acceptable pressure to “seek help from your doctor,” or maybe work performance is putting pressure on you to seek help, or perhaps your parent, teacher, boss, spouse, even child is pushing you towards the door of that clinic.

    It is, somehow easier and encouraged in our society to push someone towards a professional, than it is for a friend to admit to a friend, “I can’t get up off the floor,” or “I’m afraid to leave the house” or (insert whatever difficulty / challenge is being faced here). Or, for a friend to say, “I’ll stay with you for the next 48, 72 hours – or a week, if needed, and help you work this thing out.”

    The entire society makes certain that the feet walking up the path to the clinic has plenty of pressure behind it (I might lose my job, my spouse, custody, again, insert stressor here).

    We don’t have safe places to go to let the madness take us, and just be mad until the madness passes. It will pass, especially if it is faced instead of buried.

    We don’t have space in our society to just “freak out” and shake and dance and move out the anxiety, trauma, stress. We’re not allowed to take a month off work or school to cry, scream, rant, rave, draw, paint, write, dance, shake & express that which is troubling us.

    So – I see the pressure to go to a clinic/therapist/psych-anything as actually “pulling the bootstraps up.”

    “I have to function, so I’d better see a professional who will ensure that I do.” That’s the bootstraps, and it’s actually the “easier” path based on our societal norms.

  • Julie – many “orthomolecular” or “functional” medicine folks find these labels useful to decide what of their natural protocols they want to apply.

    My last one also used the term “bipolar,” and I heard other labels from her to (though not applied to me) of ADHD, Depression. Her focus was on B vitamins, methylation, and minerals. She got me in pretty good shape, and my thyroid situation much better. Then she closed her practice!

    This one is focusing on gut biome, which can be responsible for a lot of mood (but I’m not complaining of mood, I just want to manage my thyroid in the absence of this other one (without thyroid I will wind down like a clock). Our first visit was quite scary, I could see her latching onto my bizarre delayed cycle sleep and IBS.

    But it’s reasonable to look at gut biome, and I”m getting something that I’ve wanted for years, which is a profile of my gut bugs, and an attempt to square them around.

    I probably could do it myself with weeks of bone broth, but I like to live, too. (that means eat food, and share it with my husband)

    So – I agree – scary – to go among medical professionals. Much of my health problems were caused by drugs and surgeries. Were the surgeries necessary? Don’t know. I was in a lithium fog at the time. But came out 10 years later with no thyroid, no ovaries, and a wrecked bowel. I will do anything to avoid anyone with “surgeon” in their title!

    I will not share my mood as a medical event. Ever.

    And Rachel777 – I reckon many of them DO diagnose us with Stupid, Ugly, Lazy, Slowpoke, Weirdo, Freak – they just don’t write those in our charts….it tends to go along with the other labels they dish out!

  • Rachel777, I was at my “natural” doctor this week, sorting out my biome.

    She said she wanted a Sam-e/Methionone metabolism profile, and started to say, “All of my bipolar patients….”

    and I said, “Doctor, I am not bipolar, that was medication errors.” (she is a new doctor, and is making assumptions)

    And she said, “But you’re anxious aren’t you?”

    I said, “No, I am on coffee!”

    If I’d been super clever (you know the things you say in hindsight) I would’ve said, “I refuse to medicalise normal human emotions.”

  • Richard, you claim that people are not getting alternatives before opiates – I say that opiates (regardless of the OD factors, which seem to be about co-morbid use of opiates and benzos much of the time) are minor in comparison to psych drugs.

    And – because of the media hyped “opiate crises” – people like myself with chronic pain conditions – I practice yoga, meditation, tai chi, am CBT initiated, positive thinking – I get denied the drugs that help me to be able to do activity.

    Google CRPS and suicide, and Trigeminal neuralgia and suicide (both called “the suicide disease”). There are plenty of pain patients who are killing themselves BECAUSE of the “opioid crisis” and cannot control their pain without opiates.

    I reckon the “opioid crisis” is being used to drive people to psych drugs (like Steve was saying), where they will be stuck forever unless they understand how to come off them. I’m sure this “crisis” drives sales of Lyrica and Neurontin (which were offered to me, but I refused) and makes Pfizer very happy.

    (Yes, I know that people are dying from opiates, I don’t dismiss that at all; I personally have friends and acquaintances who died this way – I’m not saying that addiction isn’t a problem – I just think that the authoritarian solution is unhelpful.)

  • Trauma. Crisis. Cognitive dissonance – when you cannot reconcile inner and outer worlds. When you cannot match your inner world to the society around you (what RD Laing called, “Sane in a Crazy World”). When wrongness needs balancing. When your habits or conditioning are taking you towards destructiveness and your brain/body tries to correct your path. Many many many causes of “dissociation” or “dissolution” or personality, or “spiritual emergency” or “crisis” or any of the names for it (which I refuse to call “psychosis” or “mania” because really, these are symptoms of a deeper emergence).

    NOTE: where I say “you” or “your” above, I could as easily say, “me” or, “my.”

  • despondent – I am the shaman. I help myself. If I am called to help others (or they call to me) I don’t put anything into them. I offer them the space & the tools to develop personal insight. After all, I don’t know what insight it will take, and their inner process is really none of my business.

    If you look at Moni K’s videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFk2GA4mnv5BVb4aA5nSB5csOYAMtFjgD

    You will see that her insights are her own. Sean didn’t put any of these into her head – he did what shamans call “Holding Space” – creating the space, the environment, and the stimulus (breathing) for an individual to access their own inner space, conflicts, demons, talents, support (whether you call it Guides, Spirits, Ancestors, Medicine, whatever) – in order to develop their own plan for how to advance.

    I’ve only ever used a drum to hold this space for people, and very simple techniques. I do not know how the breathwork works, and I am concerned about the vulnerability that may be inherent in that space. I’ve heard equally nightmarish stories like at Findhorn and rebirthing, and amazing transformative unfoldments as well. With the drum, the individual is completely in charge of their own experience. After my post-cultic experiences, I like to ensure that no programming comes from me to the individual during that suggestible time/space.

    If I were to do such a thing for myself, I would have to establish a trusting relationship with the practitioner – like Sean (I have no reason not to trust him) to ensure that he would give me safety for my own Inner Space to develop a plan. Again, from Moni’s videos, it seems like he does this.

    I actually have concerns about Gabor Mate’s Ayahuasca experiences, as I wonder if he may use them to “shape and mold” the people he takes to Costa Rica and other places to take this transformative Medicine. Can he step back, and let their Inner Experience unfold and Teach? Again, I would have to know him better before I would trust him with my Inner Truth. When I watch his videos, he does seem compassionate – but also very passionate about his structures around trauma and addiction, and I have concerns that he could not resist putting them into suggestion in order to “force” a healing. A rose cannot be forced open.

    Jules Malleus, thank you for your post. I appreciate your insight into this kind of work, perhaps the breathwork / rebirthing did this for you?

  • despondent – as I practice it, the shaman helps you to find your own insights, as my insights might not be valid for you. The best shamanic work opens you to your own personal power and intuitive skill. Then the shaman can step aside, and let you choose your power.

    a shaman who inserts their insights into your psyche might be practising a darker (or pushier) form of the art.

  • Danzig666 – I’ve traditionally thought of the dichotomy as between Apollo / Dionysus. Order / Chaos, Rationality / Emotion, Service to Others / Service to Self. Or even Right hand / Left Hand.

    It’s interesting that you use Hades – the Underworld – as opposition to the “world of light and order” (Apollo, the Sun).

    New way of thinking of things. I do agree that “psych” in any form tends to idolise the Apollonian view, and demonises – ALL others – whether Hades, Demeter, Dionysus, Pan (panic), Artemis, Eris…

  • LoganCW:
    “. It is becoming increasingly common for mentally ill youth, especially those with personality disorders such as borderline, to respond to the suggestion of treatment as if it were an insult”

    Here’s the thing – “treatment” by psychiatry is ***more*** likely to induce suicide, so these “disordered” youths would be better off without it.

    The drugs induce numbing and akathisia, which, in combination put people of all ages at risk for suicide and other desperate acts.

    “Treating” also includes labelling (which you do so readily) and that has stigma and trauma associated with it, too.

    Further, since you are fond of the DSM, there is no “treatment” for “borderline” and many of the people I know diagnosed with “Borderline” have been rejected by hospitals and doctors for that very reason.

    Steve writes: “The reason this was the most popular Netflix original ever is not because people want to watch someone commit suicide. People watched because it felt REAL to them”

    This bothers me. The trend since “streaming” channels with exclusive programming is not regulated by FTC or otherwise. And I’ve noticed that the violence is about 5x greater than normal, about 2x what I might find in a R rated movie.

    The movies cannot show sexy stuff, but they sure do show the violence, and it seems to me like a trend towards “snuff films.” Everybody strives to catch that moment of snuff. Ask the Coen brothers how many different ways you can portray death (and they are particularly artful about it – not all are, and it is proliferating). It’s not gladiators in the arena, but it’s darned close, and it seems to me that this series hyped a self-snuff (even though it was acting, not real) to attract audience!

    That bothers me.

  • I think the key piece here, is “triggers.”

    I don’t believe in triggers, I believe that I can choose the response to the input – though I may find the input disturbing. I do find the trend of greater graphic violence (this seems to be pushed by streaming-based series) disturbing, my response is my choice.

    However, when people are in grave distress, a “trigger” is sometimes the thing that throws them over the cliff. It takes slowing down and learning to be able to turn that reaction into a response.

    The Powers That Be do not care if our young people are killing themselves, as long as they sell enough soda, chips, shoes and fast food (and pharmaceuticals) to support their bottom line.

    LoganCW, many people here at MIA have thrown out the DSM categories of “mental illness.” The diag-nonsense was designed to sell drugs, to legitimize the psychiatric profession and make it sound more scientific – offering codes for insurance purposes.

    Certainly, when someone like Hannah gets bullied, raped, traumatized, she maybe wasn’t thriving before that happened – but why she wasn’t thriving isn’t necessarily a disease or illness. It is, instead, a series of events and strategies to deal with those events. Our lives are filled with trauma, and we’re not given a manual for “how to survive and move on.”

    Some of us are better at that than others of us. That does not make us “ill” or “diseased,” just needing help, adjustment, and learning the ability to slow down and respond instead of reacting.

    Emotions never killed anyone. Reaction to those emotions has.

  • Rachel777 this is a really excellent post. I know we’re not supposed to back pat – but you’ve really hit the nail on the head – that bad behaviour is drugged too.

    And then the medical model tells the person-behaving-badly that it’s not their fault, their brain is broken, so no effort is made to improve bad behaviour.

    Ostracizing, community reactions (Sven is beating puppies again, we need to teach him that is not done), taking care of each other – these help with bad behaviour. If your community mirrors back to you that you are not cooperating, not flowing – then if you care, if you love your community, you might make an effort to please.

    But we are so lacking in community, tribe, and this kind of mirroring, and instead, biological psychiatry gives the opposite message: “Sven is beating puppies, so his brain is imbalanced and we must drug him.”

    The effect is that the drugs calm Sven, and he has no energy or inclination to beat puppies anymore – so – the perception in the community at large is that the drugs work. But Sven has no opportunity to become a better Human.

  • Brill. And you have to add: devices.

    The attention span has gotten shorter because the devices interrupt every facet of daily life, and a thought can’t get to the end before “bing!” someone likes your post on Facebook or some such rot.

    It’s the Economy of Attention, and in breaking up attention with devices, the Powers that Be can easily prevent a revolution.

  • Hey msmonique – I actually have a problem with the “growth” mindset – “growth” – of economy & consumerism – bigger, more faster (better grades) – it’s semantics, but I think it’s important.

    In my own recovery I’ve learned to call that flexibility, “resilience,” or even flexibility. That seems a more accurate description – because, in my recovery it wasn’t always ***more*** (growth) that was better, but sometimes it was actually ***less*** that was better.

    Quality rather than quantity – and “growth” implies an increase in quantity.

  • The_cat, I agree. My first thought was – oh, they have to tie it to academic performance, otherwise it will go the way of art, music and drama…(out the door).

    Lord knows, art, music and drama have an effect on academic performance – and mindset – but it’s not the mindset they really care about.

    Thanks for the link to John Dewey.

  • Sadly Pristiq is even harder to come off of than Effexor, due to the time release formulation of it. If you want to come off, I know of some people who have had success with compounding pharmacies for this one (though some compounding pharmacies say “it can’t be done” due to the formulation of the drug – but keep trying until you find a “can do” compounding pharmacy).

    I hope it holds for you, but in my experience, “healthy and happy” don’t really go hand in hand with these drugs, and especially not in the long term.

  • Actually, the website was founded as a reference tool for doctors – since the clinical evidence was being so broadly ignored.

    Niall McLaren did a study of his own patient base, which is here: https://www.madinamerica.com/2018/05/questioning-integrity-psychiatry/ But he is a rare bird.

    Talk to most doctors and they say “but they helped patient,” which basically means that patient did not return (for whatever reason), or patient then returned again and again for refills of script (now physically addicted).

  • Hey Mike –

    If you want to talk to me further, join http://www.survivingantidepressants.org, where I am a moderator, send me a PM to let me know it’s you, and we can continue to talk there.

    I wouldn’t spend too much money on gene tests, and I would be very nervous about a naturopath. As soon as they say the word “detox,” RUN AWAY!!!! Seriously, many people have been harmed by naturopathic regimens. It is better if you do the research yourself, and get support from a naturopath who is willing to work as a partner.

    I AM NOT A THERAPIST but it seems to me like her “connections with outside people” voices – seem to be talking about how she feels held hostage, blackmailed and threatened by her life.

    There are theories which talk about how “psychosis” or extreme states can allow the veils of our minds to thin and rend the veil between “normal thought” and “paranormal thought.” I don’t know what to call these extreme thoughts – but I do know that they can be accurate in their own way.

    Example. A friend of mine was sitting at a bus stop. A homeless woman was seated at the end of the bench, with all her stuff in a state of disarray. My friend was thinking, “I wonder what I’ll have for dinner,” when the other woman exclaimed, “Dinner! Dinner!” Okay, maybe coincidence, and she thought, “That must be coincidence or very strange timing.” “COINCIDENCE TIME!” exclaimed the woman! For the next 5 minutes, a weird echolalia of my friends thoughts came out of the mouth of this stranger. The words may vary from what I have said here – just examples of how it worked.

    Usually these experiences are not so literal (but it can happen).

    So – your mother may be feeling connection with strangers – and there may be some truth in the thoughts. Or these thoughts may be mirrors of her own situation. Like I said, I AM NOT A THERAPIST, and a good Jungian or Voice Hearing Sensitive therapist would be able to do much better.

    I am slightly concerned by this comment: “I asked her wouldn’t it be great if she would stop hearing the voices and become thin again ? ”

    Do you really want to burden her further with the pressure to be beautiful for you? Isn’t she burdened enough?

    This is focusing on what is “wrong” with her, when her state of mind may be exactly what she needs to do to survive.

    I was listening to a talk today with Dr. Terry Lynch (James Moore “Let’s Talk Withdrawal”) and he was describing what needs to change with medical treatment in psychiatry. It was this: Too often we focus on what is wrong, and we never consider that this behaviour might be right and appropriate for what is happening to and around the distressed person.

    What is wrong – she’s hearing voices and the drugs are making her worse & gaining weight.

    What is normal and good – she’s escaping her traumatic situation & history into a place where she has company, people to talk to, interactions and support.

    In looking at what is normal and good, allowing it to happen and learning from it – (and only she can do this; you can support her, you can help) – then she can heal and choose her mental and emotional states with more clarity.

    The more you read, hopefully the less you will need to use words like “schizophrenia” and “psychosis” and can more focus on content, experience, emotions, and descriptive words.

    Oh YEAH – I saw another great talk on TED, about how group drumming improves coherence in mental health. These ladies took their drums to nursing homes, and she said it gave them the power to express the unexpressable. That’s a great tool for recovery!

    Dr. Terry Lynch offers courses and support for people in distress (looks like he focuses more on depression, anxiety & bipolar – but the things he said can apply to extreme states like “psychosis” as well) http://doctorterrylynch.com/

    Another great resource: http://www.beyondmeds.com

    I hope to see you over at http://www.survivingantidepressants.org (don’t be fooled by the name, we support all kinds of psych drug withdrawal).

  • I agree with Phoenix – I can feel the love you have for your Mom.

    If she is in no danger, does she need the drugs at all?

    Can you encourage her to write, paint, sing about what she’s being told?

    I always ask for labs on B12 and D3 for 2 reasons. 1. It determines whether there really is a deficiency, and 2. The doctors tend to accept labs, and will support B12 and D3. You can go ahead and supplement (I supplement personally, even though my labs are more than fine), but the labs are very helpful in knowing how much, how important they are in the scheme of things. (I would love to ask for labs on Niacin, Magnesium, Zinc and Copper as well, but doctors are reluctant to run those. Don’t underestimate the role that Zinc and Magnesium play in mood management as well)

    Wheat does things to the brain that rice does not. They are both carbs and will contribute to metabolic disorder & fatty liver. This is not a time to worry about her weight, it’s a time to be concerned about getting her off the damaging neuroleptic (“antipsychotic”). The drugs are what makes her lay in bed all day. The weight is not what she is eating, it is the drugs. Dr. David Perlmutter has written a book called “Grain Brain,” that talks about the mood and mind altering processes that wheat can cause. Dr. William Davis has given some great YouTube talks about the damaging properties of today’s hybridized wheat. (and that doesn’t count the GMO processes or pesticides, which make it even worse).

    Please reconsider your use of diagnosis words. Your Mom is upset, she’s traumatised, she’s hearing voices and may be “outside of herself” with passion and pain. “Schizophrenia” is a junk label to throw onto people that doctors don’t understand. There’s even debate here as to whether or not “psychosis” is an accurate description, also.

    I’m hoping that some of the more experienced therapy types here can recommend a better way for you & your Mom. RD Laing found that when he took people in this sort of distress – out of the home, into hospital, they got better – but then, as soon as he put them back into that situation which made them sick, they became distressed again. Maybe in a different environment – at a sister’s in the country, or a cousin’s house by the sea – she would have a chance to wake up and be more present with her situation, and might even figure out what it is about her environment that is distressing her. (and perhaps the voices are giving her these clues, as well)

    There are many “Hearing Voices Network” groups – https://www.hearing-voices.org/hearing-voices-groups/find-a-group/ – I suggest you look into that, there will be a lot of good suggestions there – for you, even if she doesn’t believe she’s “hearing voices.”

    I’m also very concerned that there is something biological happening, as Oliver Sacks talks a lot about neurological things that can go very weird. It’s always good to rule these things out, though it sounds as though in her case, there has been enough trauma on her plate to cause her distress.

    To taper her risperdal, I recommend http://www.survivingantidepressants.org, and there’s an excellent webinar on “antipsychotic” drug withdrawal, here: https://education.madinamerica.com/p/antipsychotic-withdrawal. There’s also a free webinar, here: https://education.madinamerica.com/p/antispsychotics-short-long-term-effects

    I can’t recommend enough watching as many videos and reading as many articles as possible by Olga Runciman.

    This touches me close to my heart, as I lost 20-30 years to the drugs, lost my ovaries, lost my thyroid, and I have escaped this drugs & diagnoses, but my endocrine system is damaged – I keep trying to heal (that’s how I learned all this stuff) but it gets harder to make headway the older I get. I am 55 years old.

  • Hey Mike – what about honouring the voices she is hearing? Maybe this is a response to isolation – she may be immersing herself in a dimension where she is not so lonely.

    It is extremely rare to “catch schizophrenia” in later life. Usually our personality is more firmly formed as we age, and slipping out of personality is highly unusual. Don’t her doctors think this is weird? Then fire them. Find someone who is willing to reduce her drug load, not add to it. We don’t metabolise well as we age.

    Age 52 is it also rare to need Parkinson’s pill, unless it is needed to counteract other drugs (like the “antipsychotics”). I would question whether she is on statins or blood pressure drugs, as well. I’d want to know she was getting plenty of magnesium, Omega3 fish oils, and I’d be checking her diet to remove wheat. It sounds like her whole system may be in inflammation, and that is affecting her brain function.

    I recommend you find her a Consulting Geriatric Pharmacist to evaluate her drugs.

    As for Niacin, at the levels that she may need at this point (I would also be getting labs done for Vit D3 and Vit B12), you might want to go with inositol hexanicotinate form of Niacin, as it is potent and flush free. Dr. Hoffer was using doses as high as 30g (yes, grams!) to get results. I don’t recommend that for non-medical people to try, I’m just indicating that a half gram might not do very much. And it will do nothing if you don’t address what has happened to her.

    I am older than your mother, and find all of this highly unusual, to “suddenly slip into psychosis.” There must be trauma or stressors which are pressing on her psyche.

    This drug regime will ensure that she goes to her grave early, as she is already developing metabolic disorder, and likely to quickly develop cardio and endocrine problems as well (especially since she’s already lost her ovaries, as have I, and suffering hypothyroidism, as I do also.)

    Listening to her voices is a start to trying to understand. And really – are they harming anything? Do they place her in any danger? Perhaps this is a thing that she needs to go through in order to reconcile parts of herself. Drugging her voices is squelching her very being, and places her at great risk.

  • Hey Chaya – Synchronistically I was listening to your interview on Madness Radio (June 2013) when I saw this article pop up!!!

    Wow, people pay you to do what I (and the other moderators at http://www.survivingantidepressants.org) do for free? I’m not belittling you – or me – here – because I know we can’t get very personal or do much handholding at Surviving Antidepressants. A website has limitations to support people in crisis. We need people like you to support people through this difficult process. So many people, especially who are trapped in the system, become accustomed to having people “do their thinking for them,” and we at the website cannot “tell them what to do,” but can offer options for them to choose from. Sadly, many of them are not in a state where they can make good decisions. You would be able to get personal and help them through the difficult times, while encouraging them to make better choices as they heal.

    I remember how much stress and weight was removed from my shoulders when I found an orthomolecular doctor to support me as I came off of my drugs. She didn’t make the final decisions, but her support eased my mind so much that I got better just from knowing she was there, supporting me.

    There is a deep need for what you do, and I will keep your info as support for the work that I do. Thank you!

    There is a huge need for this. All you need to do is read all the horrible misled comments on YouTube videos (for example) to see that there is a lot of suffering out there.

    I honour that you are following your passion and thank you for flowing against this monstrous tide that is psych drugs!

  • And yet they are the most effective lobbying organization: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/02/15/nras-big-spending-pays-off-clout-and-wins-washington/341257002/

    The chart halfway down the page is telling.

    I’m sure their lobbyists are professionals. As long as they are touting something that the Powers That Be agree with, they will not suffer the fate of the Unions….

    I saw a video (sorry, can’t remember who) that reminded us, if we want gun laws changed, we need to do what the NRA does, and call – all of us – many times to ensure a bill passes. Most of us call just once, but the NRA is well organized with passionate people (paid?) to keep calling and calling – and so – the Congress believes that what they say is what the people want. If each of us called our congressperson and senators 10 – 20 times a year, there’s an opportunity for change.

    Personally, I’m torn – my paranoid self tends to believe that this is all being set up to take away the people’s right to defend themselves against a growing military state. Already our rights to protest are curtailed under “protest zone” laws. On the other hand, children are dying – so if it is a ploy, it’s a very effective one.

    I’ve studied the Port Arthur “Massacre” in Tasmania, the one which caused Australians to eagerly surrender their guns for melting. It is claimed (and widely believed) that a young man with an IQ of 68 made 23 head shots (kill shots) in less than 3 minutes, when really there are only a handful of shooters in the world with that level of skill. The kid was not offered a trial, was instead tried by media, “treated” by doctors (neuroleptics), and convinced to plead guilty. He has been locked away now for over 20 years, drugged to the gills, and his story has never been heard. There are other weirdnesses, too (like the 22 bay hearse purchased prior to the event and never used since, and 2 major conferences in Hobart that weekend – one for media, one for emergency “first responders.” Hobart is a town of 220,000, these conferences would be rare.).

    I don’t put it beyond the Powers That Be to kill children to get what they want. After all, Pharma does it every day. (paranoid rant off)

  • Practice and dedication: 1,000 hours of practice and dedication, and your skill will likely surpass many who were gifted with it in the first place.

    It’s a matter of discrimination and desire – what do you give your 10,000 hours to?

    This is free will: the ability to choose what you put your attention and energy into.

  • sman that is a hollow argument.

    Happiness is not ambition, nor does the pursuit of resilience preclude the desire to provide goods and services, or travel, or anything else.

    I suggest you read “The Happiness Trap” by Dr. Russ Harris to understand where I am coming from. In pursuing Happiness, it will evade you. In understanding it, you stand a better chance of achieving it, at least in moments.

    You think I am negating “happiness,” I am not – I am suggesting that the “pursuit” of it is meaningless. There are much better things to pursue in life, and it does not change my “luxury” of dual citizenship, or the prospects of goals, challenges and ambitions.

    Note: The US government wants to tax my Australian income and assets, making a double tax on them. It is one of 2 countries in the world with this policy – and it hampers my “Pursuit of happiness” as you put it. What would the Founding Fathers say?

    There is nothing in the Australian constitution about “pursuit of Happiness,” or even “freedom of speech” and yet – the Aussies seem to do okay by these two measures of freedom.

  • My comments were not based on religion or country. I’m an American/Australian dual citizen, living in Australia.

    Happiness as a permanent state is a myth, as Oldhead said, happiness is temporal.

    The poor country “drawing in dirt on cave walls” is probably happier than people in the US who are bombarded by media and public relation messages that there is “never enough” and you are “never good enough” and that if only you had this or that, you will be “happy.” The very existence in the “First World” is based upon the deficit provided by media and advertising messages. We are all deficient, and need what is being sold. This is the modern interpretation of the Founding Fathers’ “Pursuit of Happiness,” and it is an empty pursuit. It is also the basis for the “happiness pills” that got so many of us into dire distress.

    We have no idea, really, what the Founding Fathers meant by “Pursuit of Happiness.” Wealth? Ownership? Freedom from Tyranny? It’s a vague phrase, and if you read history, it is likely to have been wealth for the wealthy, and use of the resources of the poor to obtain such.

    You have the right to pursue happiness, but I tell you it is a futile pursuit. Better to pursue the appreciation of happiness, not the thing itself. Happiness is in the eye of the beholder. Easier to shift your eye and your perception, than to change your relationship to “happiness.”

  • TM is less harmful than the drugs, but there is a cult and culture attached that can also cause them to waste decades of their lives paying for it. This could be anywhere from $360 for children to $1000 for adults – or up to $2500 (and the fees increase as “advanced courses” – which are nothing special – are added). It is a simple technique that ends up like diving down a waterfall into flat brain waves which the TM’rs call “coherence.”

    This flattened brain wave is blissful and peaceful, and can leave a person susceptible to suggestion, much as a pre-hypnotic state, and can lead to poor decision making (like buying the next course, or paying a pandit to pray for your karma), or, worse, if there is trauma, an explosion of unregulated trauma reactions and no technique to deal with it. TM, like the drugs, numbs the natural response to situations.

    Russell Brand, Jim Carrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Jackman and David Lynch have found it very helpful – and I would say, in the case of extreme addictions (like Brand) it is preferable to a medical approach.

    But it was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi himself that said, “Sometimes it takes a thorn to remove a splinter,” and TM is far less harmful than drugs.