Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Comments by Julie Greene, MFA

Showing 100 of 1218 comments. Show all.

  • Lawrence, you are writing about psychiatry from psychiatry’s point of view. If you focus on the patient’s experience, psychiatry and all of mental health isn’t just a religion, it’s a brainwashing religious CULT. I have been writing on this topic for years in my blog. I did a two-hour radio broadcast on the topic of brainwashing, cults, and the similarities between psych and cults. My station is at and if you scroll down the list of shows you will find the one on brainwashing.

    My suggestion has been that psychiatry and often, psychotherapy as well, both brainwash its clientele as a way of keeping them from leaving the cult and continuing to adhere to its illogical practices.

    The essence of brainwashing is to strip a person of his/he current identity and ideology, and then, replace these with a brand new identity and way of thinking.

    Thus, wherever you were at when you came into psych (such as, “I’m a college student and I just want a little help) gets knocked down and replaced with, perhaps, “I am a mental patient, I have a permanent disorder, I’m disabled, I smoke Kools, and I go to a day program and live in a halfway house.”

    It is written that if the brainwashing is successful, the subject will fully embrace the new identity.

  • Don,I would love to get involved with any of the projects you mentioned. I will contact you offline.

    I am amazed at how widespread this procedure is, and yet, most people assume it is no longer done. Also, most who are unfamiliar with how psychiatry works assume that shock is somehow “modernized” and therefore, couldn’t possibly be as bad as witnesses are saying. Survivor accounts are discredited or we’re told, “But you must have been an exception!” I’m never quite sure what the best response is when people say that.

    I think the year was 1995 or 1996 when I witnessed a 96-year-old man, fellow inmate, receive electroshock at Newton-Wellesley Hospital’s inpatient psych unit.

  • Sam, I want to know, after all the effort you have made to understand your SO, is she “better”? That is,”better” according to how she, not you, might define it?

    When I got better, and this is just speaking for me, “better” meant I started making my own decisions and taking control of my life. It meant having confidence, plenty of energy, and ability to do things on my own without relying on the demeaning “services” of the Mental System. The only way I could get to this point was to leave the Mental System far behind. I am not married and very happy to be single.

    When I wasn’t “better,” I called the therapist every time things went wrong. I didn’t decide for myself. I blindly obeyed the the doctor and the therapist. The therapist blamed me every time things went wrong, or blamed some vague thing called my “symptoms.” I was frequently “sectioned.”

  • This is in response to Sa’s comment, but again, I don’t have the ability to sort through the posts so I am sorry for misplacing this comment. SO’s and anyone interested might want to know about the Maudsley method of treating eating disorders. This is done at home. Hospitalization is discouraged or just not done. The family apparently helps the child eat again. I know a few who have been through this method. From what I know, the success rate is much, much higher than the usual force method. There are a few families that aren’t a good fit for this method. I have read about instances where it goes horribly wrong. But overall it sounds like when it works, it works extremely well. The force method turns kids into Revolving Door Syndromes and encourages bad habits. More people die from anorexia than from Depressoin or from Schizophrenia, according to statistics. it really can kill.

  • This is about my seventh attempt to post a response. Forgve me for putting it on the bottom but after all those attempts I just can’t scroll around to try to find the “right” place to put this.

    Say there really are EVIL People in the world. Then, doesn’t that mean some are NOT EVIL. It does. Some, according to this assumption are surely EVIL, while others, maybe the rest of us, are OKAY.

    What do you propose we do, since “some are EVIL.”? Say, lock them up? How about a concentratioon camp for Evil People? If they really suck that badly, why even bother? Just kill these inferior sub-humans.

    See, by calling some people evil, that’s re-creating the split society, with some “okay,” and some deranged. This is what the System taught us.

    how about holding the fully human people , which I would like to suggest we all are, totally accountable? Some commit horrible crimes. Many psychiatrists are criminals. They’ve committed some of the worst crimes in history. The crimes they committed were, and continue to be, based on the principle that some folks just aren’t good enough.

    Let’s not duplicate what they are doing.

  • Or, how about this? You ask for help with X but they help you with Y, which you may, or may not have. Example: You go to the college health center saying you were raped. You get pills for depression..You go to them with a career question, you get diagnosed with a phobia. And me…I went to them with an eating disorder, asked for rhelp with it, they declared me schizophrenic. looks like I MIGHT be able to get hold of the records precisely when this was done….

  • no no no! Frances that is waaaaay too much. With the Orotate you take very little! Not the euivalent of the toxic Carbonate. I tried it myself I got the size of tablets that are the lowest dose, which will give you roughly 5 mgs Elemental Lithium. I started with 1/2 pill, gradually went up. No more than two, that is 10 mg of Elemental Lithium (the rest of the mg is the Orotate, a B Vitamin).If you have the 10 size, only one pill at most, or two 5 pills. No more! Less is better and you will still notice better sleep. I also take magnesium and potassium along with this. It is very helpful but must take a low dose or you get toxic, you don’t want that. Go read up on it.

  • From what I have heard stress contributes to most diseases out there, certainly to one’s susceptibility to infection.

    Of course, how one reduces stress, or whether one does, is a choice. And for some of us, stopping psychiatric “care” has been a great way to reduce stress. Sadly, people with Alzheimer’s are often sent to psychiatrists, and even worse, locked units. Many of them spend their final days locked up.

  • Thanks for clarifying, Joanna. So that three-hour test rules out the possibility of, say, stroke being the culprit. This DOES make sense.

    My friend’s mother was misdiagnosed and that killed her. She has Lewy Body and the great McLean Hospital said it was Alz. Sadly, they gave my friend’s mother Risperdal. That did her in. I believe my friend was able to hire an attorney, but that will not bring her mother back, sadly.

    The test that the wealthy writer had was $10,000 out of his own pocket, he said. It did not diagnose Alz. Rather, it told him he didn’t have it. He ended the article saying the test showed he actually had something else, something that was less of a death sentence as far as he was concerned. He said very few can afford the test and it’s brand new, but you’re right, it’s not a positive, but negative indicator.

    If I recall correctly this was in something like The Atlantic, not in a scientific journal. It was an interesting read.

    I could relate as a person coerced onto disability and unemployment for over three decades and then, slowly realizing it was fraud. I have to correct people. I didn’t recover from schizoaffective. I never had it, never had the signs nor symptoms. I have to say this over and over because very few believe me. It is hard looking back knowing that for three decades, you were duped.

  • You guys missed the FOX news article on Kelley. He was drugged from sixth grade on. And this was apparently instigated by his parents. As a child, he spoke out against the drugging. FOX interviewed friends from junior high who described it as “he was heavily medicated.” This suggests a cocktail. As a child. It was psych drugs, the article said so. This information was suppressed and the nuthouse escape made central.

    By the end of high school he had already been mass unfriended by his peers. He had chosen atheism, but he lived in a community that frowned upon atheists. He was socially othered and even then, seen in a very bad way.

    Mass unfriending gives you a pessimistic view on the world. It makes you suspicious and for a while you truly hate your life. You feel like you can never, ever trust again.

    I am lucky that after I was also mass unfriended, some very kind people out there decided, even though it was the unpopular view, to give me a chance. So it turned around and I was never violent nor resorted to suicide.

    Yes he got the bad end of the stick. It didn’t get any better for him, and it looks like his capture in the nuthouse, escape of not, only furthered his feelings of distrust and fear, and other people;s distrust in him. I suspect that by the time he married he was way out of control, and something other than marriage was needed to help him trust others again.

    This happens to people and I feel for anyone in such a situation.

    And thanks for the humor on Murphy!!! Hypocrite!!

  • Thanks for this article. I was following along and nodding my head in an emphatic YES until I got to the part about Alzheimers. I believe the Alzheimer’s Foundation (or whatever the major charity may be called) states that to properly diagnose Alz, the patient has to go to a NEURO, not to a psych. The Alz Foundation has articles on “Preparing for your neuro exam” and talks about how grueling this three-hour exam is. There are also instructions for caregivers of the elder, telling about the exam and how tiring it could be for the elder.

    A neuro exam tests reflexes, EEG, balance, tests for stroke, seizure disorder, head trauma, etc. These would reflect physical changes in the brain. Am I right?

    A recent article came out written by a man dxed with Alzheimer’s. What happened was that he was diagnosed and then, he prepared for gradual decline and death. This was life-changing for him. (Yes it does change your life!)

    Oddly, as time went on, he found he wasn’t deteriorating. Then, he spent a huge fortune, (as he was wealthy) on a complex test that proved he never had Alz at all. The dx confirmed his suspicions, but he expressed in the article that knowing he had lived with a false death-sentence type dx was certainly almost like years had been stolen from him. Does this sound familiar to us?

  • Skylar that was so brilliant. I have witnessed similar things. I agree, in ANY situation, you simply cannot fully know what another person is experiencing. You don’t have their past behind you, you cannot live in their body, nor feel the same things they feel.

    Empathy can only go so far. Perhaps you have read Rilke’s beautiful discussion of “inseeing.” It is transformative, intuitive, and far too sacred to ever happen in a shrink’s office where one party pays another.

    I am thinking that in a really close relationship, such as marriage would be ideally, inseeing would be part of that relationship. I can’t see it projected elsewhere in the artificial sense, such as onto an online discussion, onto a “case study,” or newspaper article.

    Maybe such expressions of deep love should be encapsulated in creative arts, poetry, and music, where the sacred can be safely preserved.

  • Uprising, this writing class would not have been a general writing class, but specifically a class in memoir so people such as survivors (if you call yourself that) or ex-inmates can effectively write their stories. Good writing sells, less effective writing won’t sell. Imagine if we could get more stories out there, well-written stories that illustrated our credibility. People need to cultivate ideas on where to start their story, how to frame it, issues regarding point of view (this can get VERY complex), and many many more difficult questions.

    This would have been a very relevant class to our mission. Sadly, the editors didn’t want it. Part of me says, “They didn’t want the class because I was the one proposing it.” I know I’m not a big name, and it wouldn’t turn into a CEU, it would be helpful to survivors. What if an MD proposed it (even though an MD has no creative writing training typically)? It won’t be because an MD isn’t qualified.

    We know that if more stories came out, in either traditional publication, or online, or even as book-turned-movie, more would join the fight and those fortresses will crumble.

    For years people have asked me writing questions and I try my best to answer. All kinds of questions, some related to writer’s block.

    The goal of the establishment is to silence us, ensure our stories are not heard. Many feel too exhausted or are discouraged from writing, or are told they are incapable.

    MIA still upholds the authority of so-called professionals. I can’t even stand calling them professionals after what I saw on the wards.

  • Julia, yes, I, too, found that “professionals” that I myself consulted were not helpful. Some harmed me deeply.

    I have strongly disagreed with MIA’s favoritism of MH degreed bloggers. As I stated in my forum post, something like 61% of blog posts (not including comments, but the posts themselves) were written by MH degreed people. I tallied all these up, and somehow broke it down into categories. At the time, all MIA radio broadcasts were by MH degreed people with the exception of Eleanor Longdon. All classes were geared toward MH degreed people and taught by MH degreed people. I offered to teach a writing class (I have a masters) but that idea was killed by the editors.

    I concluded that by far, not enough articles were written from the legal perspective. I wish more law students, attorneys, and paralegals would submit, especially since these cases often come up in the courtroom. I very much appreciated Breggin’s recent reports on a particular court case that has been in the media spotlight.

    I think there are some who don’t believe much can be done to turn the tide. And yet others who feel we can. I see friction between these groups, the Yes We Cans and the Don’t Even Bothers. As I see it these squabbles play out on here.

  • I have somehow lost track of the ordering of comments here. Julia, I can’t speak for others but I don’t personally encourage people to “stay that way forever” or stay any way forever simply because this doesn’t happen, time changes us. We get older, we change, we grow, we die, and people and things and even climate all change.

    We cannot even state nor promise “recovery forever” as some programs actually do (if you obey them and keep on paying them money). These programs and their sweeping promises ultimately fail.

    I don’t suggest a passive approach such as waiting for some authority (parent, doctor, spouse, clergy, God, Jesus, magic pill) to somehow come out of nowhere, sweep down and “fix” our lives. In literature this is actually considered a cop-out method of ending a story, a bad plot method. A classic example (if you recall) is the ending of The Poseidon Adventure. At the end, they couldn’t leave the capsized boat. Stuck. Lo and behold someone had found them and cut through the boat. This plot twist was heavily criticized because all the way through, the protagonists had done for themselves, had taken responsibility instead of passively hoping for divine intervention, which was the preacher’s original message, way back in his sermon in the beginning, right? Whether you are religious or not, responsibility is the key here.

    Taking responsibility might mean taking back your right to decide for yourself, instead of passively allowing parents or doctor or therapist to decide for you. This takes a lot of practice since what people do (and I’ve seen this…) is that even after getting rid of the shrink, they then grab the nearest substitute. This won’t work.

    The System lied to us, forced us into relinquishing our control over our lives. Take it back. Take back your body, your mind, your life.

  • Samruck, if that is the case, I hate to disappoint you but I concur with the MIA editors. As you know I am a professional writer AND ex-patient who has also done editorial work and I know the field very well. I was published here at MIA many times but then was told that my limit had been reached by default.

    (I admit I recently blew my top at the editors over “the small stuff,” but I do hope they read this and forgive brief little acting out that was in fact a reflection of decades of silencing and unfounded discrediting. Yes I displaced my anger onto MIA editors, which was not cool. But this is not relevant to the issue of spouse writing about the person in question.)

    Now in your case, as I see it, from point of view of patient, IF a former doc, or former therapist submitted an article about me in a publication, without my consent and complete concurrence…YIKES! I would feel violated. Even when I was doped up I would have felt the same way.

    While I happen to be a total ham and love being in the limelight, love to perform for an audience (if I can find one) which is part of my nature (I was a trained musician), I would NOT want to be illustrated as a disease by a therapist. Especially if the therapist (and even supervisor) writes the whole thing.

    To throw off one’s patient identity and become the main subject in your life means you must stop acting as object, cast that role aside, and take on the role of protagonist.

    If I am the subject, then kindly pass me the pen. Or, perhaps, Nothing about us without us.

  • I don’t see MIA as silencing specifically SO (which I assume is “spouse” or whatever. I do see MIA as publishing more degreed people (mental health degrees) that non-degreed people. You can see my comment of my own tally I did in the forum unless it was taken down. I see this trend as elitism.

    However, this is reflective of the elitist society we live in, where such degreed people have far too much power and authority over our lives. I would like to even argue that we are living in a tiered society, that divide ever-widening, made more divided by mental diagnoses, the tier between the “needy sick” and those that supposedly serve them as “treators” and hold financial, judicial, economic, and political power over them/us.

    The divide needs knocked down. We need to attack it at all fronts, in any way we can. One way is to discredit psych diagnosis, and not use diagnoses nor pseudo diagnoses ourselves.

    If a spouse or family member submits to MIA I imagine it would be treated about the same as any other submission. They do peek at who wrote it, and this means they do note the letters after your name.

    Many publications have a “blind submissions” policy, that is, all identifiers such as the cover letter that includes the author’s name are stripped off, and then, the submission is sent to another editor who makes the decision. They might also have a policy that you cannot put identifiers within the body of the submission.

    Let’s put it this way. If you write to your local paper and with or without “blind submission,” you write, “I have a mental illness and I was kept in restraints for five days….” This will be sent to the trash can as “just another psychotic….why do we get so many of these?” Sad but usually true.

  • Hi Julia, That is a great question. I think dysfunction is perhaps in the eye of the beholder. So who am I to judge if another is “dysfunctional”? My goodness, how can I if I have never lived even one minute in that person’s shoes? I can, in my best judgment, state that the person is psychotic, occasionally, but dysfunctional, no. And when it comes to psychosis so often there’s a gray area.

    My boyfriend went through a period of bizarre beliefs and yes, that scared me. Twenty years have passed since that time. I can look back now and say that everything he said and did back then makes absolutely perfect sense to me now.

    These were the circumstances. First of all, loss. He was a witness to my ECT and as far as anyone was concerned my brain was fried and I’d never come back. We’d been dating over a decade and now, I was suddenly dependent and couldn’t do anything on my own. Prior to that I’d been employed.

    Secondly, he was experiencing devastating effects from pills and he feared the effects would not go away even after stopping the drugs.

    Thirdly, just when I urged him to talk to his doc, he went to his regular doc appointment to discover this doc he’d been seeing for about a decade completely disappeared. This is how he found out. He showed up and they told him, “He’s not here and you have a new doctor.” We tried to find out but came up empty-handed.

    Unfortunately I was very out of it back then and unable to put the pieces together when he totally and very understandably flipped out.

    I remember Joe as a very gentle person, a lover of music and children, and very much cherished by his family. He died at 45. I know the drugs, which were not his choice, were partly responsible.

  • Frank can I ask why you jeered at my show? Was that truly necessary? I am not aiming this just at you but pretty much everyone so don’t take it personally. My purpose is to bash psychiatry any way I can. I put a lot of work into what I write, went to school to become a better writer, have published and studied widely, continue to do research on my own, and pay money to keep my show on air. So don’t jeer at it.

    Are we not allies here? Don’t we all want to see the end of locking people up and taking away their rights?

    I ask why on earth, why do we spend so much precious energy, energy that we seem to have so, so little left, on fighting against each other and putting each other down, instead of fighting psychiatry and its discrediting diagnoses. Why are we hurting each other and weakening ourselves instead of fighting the laws, policies. and principles that created this mess? Why are we continuing to act in a hateful, and even vengeful manner toward each other instead of organizing and really doing some good in the world?

    I suggest we begin by taking down the walls that divide us, quitting the over-the-top boundary-setting, continuing to maintain dialogue (spoken conversation preferred) and above all, reach out to our neighbors. We need to cultivate trust, not the distrustful culture they imposed upon us in the nuthouses.

    If we continue to act in a hostile manner to each other then we’re only reflecting psychiatry. We’re not going anywhere. That has to change.

    I’m asking for your support. And maybe we need to each support each other’s efforts, causes, concerns, and look out for each other’s well-being for a change.


  • Tomorrow I am having Dog Pride Day on my radio station! All in good fun. Screw their diagnoses, especially BPD, may that demeaning label get totally mauled! Please call in! This will be a themed party. The theme, being “The More I see of Psychiatry, the More I Love My Dog.” Call in with your dog stories, dog barks, meows, any dog jokes, cat stories, tell me how about your parakeet, anything goes. 11am Eastern, 323-443-7210.

    PS: It will be Puzzle’s birthday.

  • Yeah, Steve, that’s EXACTLY why I quit Crisis Text Line. I politely left not saying a word about why I was really leaving. I told them I had a job opportunity and I had a time conflict. I just didn’t want to burn bridges. Actually, the real reason was this: I was in it about two weeks and they had us “practice text.” Well guess who was “grading” the practice texts? A computer. And they said the computer was spot on. So a computer was just as good as us. That about did it. Plus their stupid rules. No more than x number of questions, x number of certain types of questions, you had to “paraphrase” a lot, that is, parrot back what the texter said, only use slightly different words so you don’t reveal you’re doing that…..rewording basically….and there were rules about mandatory reporting, too.

    I was hoping I could slide around that mandatory reporting but there was simply no way around it. The program was rigid beyond belief. There was no room for this thing called creativity. This wasn’t helping. This was a human being a bot. That is, robotic responses. Quitting felt very good. Freeing.

    The experience made me question ALL crisis lines. I remember the robotic answers, the deadpan voices, the way they repeated stuff back to me, and the way they had no response to me when I asked eating disorders questions. They would say, “Sorry, we don’t do that….” Because it wasn’t in their fucking manual.

    Many of them gave a warning at eight minutes and then, ten minutes, cut me off. So I learned. Ask in the beginning if they do a ten-minute cut-off and if they did, it wasn’t even worth it, because they were going by a formula. I guess I had them second-guessed. The Crisis Text Line was no different, if anything, worse. I finally learned: DO NOT CALL.

  • Steve, the only “oversharing” done by therapists that truly bugged me (and I would tell them so) was when I had to be THEIR therapist. And that did happen, but not often. I hated having to pay a therapist only to end up having that therapist bawl during the session, or dump on me about THEIR problems, or tell me about THEIR rotten childhood. Yes I did have one or two like that. I felt extremely embarrassed about it, so much so I felt at a loss and didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to turn with this problematic “therapist” nor whom to tell. I finally ended the relationship, much to my relief. What happened? My psychiatrist yelled at me over the phone, claiming I was “delusional.” Wow….I wasn’t.

  • Hi Frances, You asked about Lithium Orotate, I have been looking around. As far as I can tell, the mainstream research has little to verify one way or another about this stuff but that doesn’t mean it isn’t of value. I mean, it’s one of those products that cannot be patented so…..Apparently there have been very few documented cases of actual deaths due to overdoses, and these were probably deliberately done. Keep in mind that children have overdosed on Total Cereal, iron pills, and chewable vitamins. I see conflicts over who can, and who cannot take LO. My guess is that it’s dose-dependent. My guess is that there’s a small amount of lithium in some of the water supply out there in some locales, and we don’t even know about it. I can see that some people had trouble with it who perhaps overdid it, that is, used too high a dose. They then had a negative reaction and either quit using it, or lowered the dose and then found it more useful. I didn’t read of any ER trips or horror stories from the orotate. I did read of people’s horror stories with Pharma prior to trying lithium orotate and much relief upon switching to what is in fact less “toxic.” I noted the number of people who tried LO and found it useful for trauma. People reported fewer anger outbursts and many stated they had improved sleep. Some said they felt more motivated almost immediately or within days. No one reported anything I recall from my days on lithium carbonate, such as vomiting, pimples, weight gain, the shakes, etc. Many said they wished they’d known about it sooner.

  • Steve, one of the most helpful things ever said to me while I was inpatient was said to me by a lower-paid “counselor.” God bless this guy who I am sure is not reading this. I won’t say what he said. He literally broke “unit policy” by sharing with me extremely intimate and rather beautiful details from his life. He helped me more than the ones that insisted I follow “protocol” and go to “group.”

    This happened numerous times. The “nice” one that gave us a break. The one that reached out and whispered to me that she knew I was being treated unfairly. The one that risked her job to let me have a cup of “staff” coffee (that one very well may be reading here). As former prisoner I sure have not forgotten these selfless acts of love. I learned that many that reached out, risking their jobs, were later fired, but we never learned why.

  • Well, Julia, for one thing, I talk to people on the bus. I do public speaking and often I am approached afterward by someone who tells me I made a deep impression on them. I also regularly write to politicians and I DO get a personal response sometimes. Or I call them. I also met with politicians and have had personal discussions with them. I persuaded a pol to cosponsor a bill, which I cannot discuss on here but it is of interest for sure. I have written to the gov of my state and other states numerous times. I have my own radio station where I have guests on periodically, or, sometimes, I just talk about whatever I want. And I’ve been blogging 18 years because I believe in Freedom of Speech. And yes I have been threatened many times, by psychiatry, and even by the police (they had no warrant). Readers from as far away as Romania have read my blog. And many have been positively influenced, or so they tell me, though some are pissed off. I don’t mean to make myself look like anything fancy, only to say that if only you stay alive for six decades as I have, most likely you’ll accumulate a decent-sized footprint, although possibly a controversial one. Let it speak loud and clear.

  • No not you specifically Julia a lot of others here, too. That is common here on MIA. I honestly wish we’d spend more time writing to politicians and less time on useless debating. I wish we could inform people in power just how horrible the nuthouses are, just how illogical the DSM is, just how dangerous the drugs are, and that suicide increases because of “hospitalization.” I wish we could urge communities to be compassionate instead of claiming people are disordered and then sending them to therapy clinics. We really need to get the word out there. As much as we can. It is so frustrating. We must be persistent.

  • I ask why, after Emily has so beautifully written here about her life, and sacrificed her privacy, and given to us a gift, shared with us so openly, I ask then why are people now character-bashing her? I ask because as a writer of memoir and longtime blogger, I got the exact same reaction from people who frankly, didn’t even know me and had never met me. They came by the hundreds to tell me what a piece of crap I was. They compared me to their shitty relatives or exes. They even told me they hoped I would die and that I had dug my own grave. Why bash a person who is honestly and openly giving us a slice of her life? People aren’t perfect. I ask why we expect a writer to be that pinnacle of perfection when we ourselves are not? Why throw stones?

  • oh wow, here is my perspective on “oversharing.” As a writer of memoir and blogger of personal experience, I pride myself on my ABILITY to share and write on anything at all. I pride myself on honing down that skill and writing without any inhibitions. I pride myself on pissing people off by outing the shrinks and therapists that harmed me and others. I am super proud that I still have a great memory of events and conversations and I don’t hesitate to reproduce them in text. I am thrilled to “overshare,” if you want to call it that, the harms I saw in the nuthouses and institutions. I’m mighty proud that they can’t stop me from telling the truth. So keep telling it, let’s all do that.

  • knowledge, Your description would be ideal IF it were true, however, it isn’t. BPD is given overwhelmingly to young females who may, OR may not fit that description. I am one who did not fit that description. That wasn’t what my family was like, nor was it what I was like. I was given it because they needed to quickly excuse ECT damages. I had not been a chronic cutter nor had I had multiple suicide attempts nor chronic self injury. I wasn’t a drunk nor did that above family description fit mine at all. What happened, then, was tragic and I’ve told this story so many times I really don’t want to anymore. I rose to fit the occasion. Since I wasn’t improving from ECT, the doctors told my family (completely lying) that they should “disengage for their own good”). This is why, now some 20 years later I am spending my Thanksgiving alone. Screw the doctors that did this to my non-abusive family. Screw them. Screw the malpractice and screw the label and screw the DBT that didn’t do a darned thing to heal my brain from the damages from ECT. It only made me feel like a child and I found it completely insulting. Wise mind? Screw that.

  • Julia, yes, true, but why pay a psychiatrist for a fix? Fixes are great! I have a few up my sleeve, such as a warm pair of boots I bought last year. This “fix” solved a lot, it solved the problem of freezing cold blistered toes and an aversion to going outdoors in cold weather. Now I could have gone to a psychiatrist who would have dxed me with agoraphobia, seasonal affective disorder, and pills. Instead, I obtained the “fix” by putting on my thinking cap, going online, researching which type of boots were best, then, comparing prices and making a decision on which boots I could afford.

    I would highly recommend finding one’s “fix” by putting on the thinking cap one already has, and using common sense. These are free. This will safely avoid the expensive psychiatrist and his lofty office, years of life gone to waste, his diagnoses, his pills, the huge bill, possible lockup, broken families, terrible effects, and early death.

  • Little Turtle, not all antipsych is alike. I personally do not believe all psychiatrists are “evil” or “bad.” And that, frankly, is a misinterpretation of what antipsych is about. I do see some as feeling this way, but others do not. It is a blanket generalization.

    I do see the field as corrupt. However, most that enter into it are naive young medical students hoping to do good in the world. They assume they’re going to help people when they become full-fledged psychiatrists. During medical school they go through sleep deprivation and heavy duty bullying and brainwashing. They’re told that some people are inferior and to get over it. They’re told to shape up. They’re treated with misogyny. Many medical students turn to drugs to stay up 30 hours straight, drugs such as heavy-duty stimulants, and they end up hooked. Sleep deprivation means these medical students are open to suggestion and further brainwashing. The field is very corrupt, money-driven, pressured, hierarchical, and dishonest. I don’t think they became doctors for this, to worry constantly about threats of losing their licenses, to worry about being sued all the time, to be bullied by supervisors and limited by policies and bribed by pharma companies. But that’s reality for many of them.

    No, psychiatrists aren’t bad people but look at the conditions they’re working under. How can they possibly be decent to their patients? Those that dare to do so get out of it. Honestly I don’t think we should call them bad people. Is there such a thing? To call them evil is like saying they’re inferior, which is like another form of eugenics. I don’t think antipsych believes that at all. It would be contradictory.

    Psychiatry and most of therapy that believes the lie that some people are inferior and need “treatment” forever, the belief in a tiered, divided society and any justification for further division and killing off of supposed inferiors is the root of it all.

    Any belief in inferior humans, such as “narcissists,” “psychpaths,” etc, is eugenics at the very root. Although a person can behave in that manner, and I have witnessed this, I am careful not to call a person a permanent narc.

  • John Hodgett, I am not sure whose comment you are replying to. I studied voice with Frank Baker as part of my music study and a few others and I also am currently going through the Toastmasters program. I know what you mean about the dreaded “mumbling” and “trailing off at the end of a sentence” that so many people do.

    I also did teaching as part of my masters degree in creative writing. The philosophy we were taught, which I feel is a good one and also aligns well with what I was taught in Frank Baker’s classes, is to find that part of a student’s work that is truly magnificent, whatever it is, and ask that student to do more of it.

    So if a writing student, for instance, does a really good job of depicting dialogue, stress this in feedback. If there’s a passage of brilliant description, but only a paragraph of that, tell the student that more could be added. That way, students don’t leave feeling bad, they are instead encouraged.

    I wish therapists did the same, but I don’t remember their doing that much at all. I recall insults, their telling me how stupid I am, that I did stuff wrong and moral put-downs, telling me how disordered I am, insults to my family that these therapists had never met, gross assumptions, even calling me alcoholic or violent, threats, or telling me if I didn’t follow their instructions and treat them like gods I’d be locked up or I’d die, or the dreaded vague threat of relapse.

    According to Szasz, and I think he was right, is that most will fall into the predicted path that the diagnosis carves for them. Some, however, will rebel and reject the diagnosis. Given that I was a rebellious kid who admired the hippies as role models I am surprised that I didn’t end up the latter, but along with rebelliousness I also enjoyed being a stellar student (almost part of the defiance), so sadly, I enjoyed playing stellar patient (probably defying the student role) for far too many years. I admit it was a huge waste. That isn’t easy.

  • I agree, Emily, but I also see using help from others as a form of self-reliance. For instance, I can become very dependent due to a broken furnace. Or, I can hire a professional to fix my furnace. I am not competent to fix furnaces and in fact, in some regions it isn’t even legal for an unlicensed person to fiddle with furnaces (this varies by region I believe). Another example is the paratransit, which allows people who use certain types of mobility devices to get around. Some types of devices can’t be used on the public bus system. So while the paratransit might to me, if I were to use it, be totally illogical, and like dependency, since for me, it would be overkill, but for others, it allows for self-reliance.

    This type of overkill is rampant in the mental system. There’s no reason for someone to come and do the laundry for us when we can do it ourselves. Why do they drive patients to appointments in mental health vans or take them to parks or to movies supervised by “staff” when patients can get around themselves? This actually creates fears such as agoraphobia that wasn’t there to begin with. Why repeatedly tell patients that they’ll fall apart on the weekend because the staff won’t be around? Why repeatedly tell patients to arm themselves with “weekend coping skills” like the weekend without staff will be their biggest enemy?

    Back in 1981 when I first heard these scare tactics on a Friday afternoon I was so shocked. I thought, “Gee, I thought weekends meant I had more hours to practice and more hours to get all my assignments done. What on earth are they talking about?” Sadly, it didn’t take long for me to fall right into the trap.

  • Emily, Changing your major isn’t a disorder. If I recall correctly a majority of students did just that. Nowadays many colleges are aware that students who begin college at 18 are too young to be able to conceive of life in ten years. There’s actually a word for this: Longevity Disconnect. Longevity Disconnect is of course exploited by the student loan sharks! They are well aware that students cannot imagine being in their 30’s. They aren’t cognitively developed yet to understand aging. Of course this also explains rampant ageism among those of that age. AND this explains why a doctor can give young people pills and say, “There’s a chance you’ll get Tardive Dyskinesia in your 50’s.” And guess what? A 19-year-old is not going to even be able to conceive of being 50. They take the drugs with the mentality of…”I feel good now and I do not care how I feel in 20 years.” The pharma companies LOVE longevity disconnect, they are making huge profits on it. You can lecture, scream, show videos, show them books, photos of dying people…nothing will convince them.

    Changing your mind is a human right.

    I changed my mind about psych when I was over 50 and had been a brainwashed mental patient over three decades. changing my mind saved my life.

    At around 19 I changed my academic concentration from music education to music composition. I transferred to a different college and wasn’t called disordered for that. I was called smart. At 26 I went to nursing school.

    At 40 I started my first novel and then, went to writing school. How old was I when I took up public speaking? 58. And started my radio station? 59. I think now I have been blogging 18 or 19 years and counting. And I am starting a job training and new career now at 60. If anyone wants to stop me from using my Freedom of Speech they’ll have to do something very drastic.

  • I have re-embraced the value of self-reliance, a value I held dearly in my youth since reading Emerson and Thoreau (I come from New England). I am aware that self-reliance is not a universal value but I feel that we, as patients or formerly patients were robbed of our autonomy and ability to do things for ourselves. Women are especially coerced into this dependent role. Therefore, our assertion of self-reliance is work done in exact direction against our roles we were forced to cling to as patients. Everything we do ourselves today is a move against that old diagnosis. Self-reliance will strip ourselves of that mental patient identity.

  • Ally that sounds like something people go through in life that’s very temporary UNLESS they fall into the BPD trap. The diagnosis seals these behaviors and emotions, crystallizes them as permanent, like putting them on display in a museum forever and ever. So now speculators ooh and ahh at what they see before them. But it isn’t you. It’s a fake. It doesn’t move, it doesn’t change nor budge on its pedestal. It’s their fictional account of you, an impression, a caricature.

  • Frances I have been trying for years to gather support here and elsewhere for a group action against doctors who drug people irresponsibly with massive doses of sedating drugs causing permanent (or apparently so) inability to initiate or sustain the sleep state. I am in that position also. I am not asking for an action regarding a specific drug, but action against irresponsible overdrugging. Unfortunately, people affected by this have been too exhausted to agree to commit to anything and any effort on my part has run into a brick wall. This has gone on and on for years.

    Some, in attempt to avoid more doctor appointments, have resorted to street drugs. I am tempted to commend these folks. Home remedies are many and varied. I am amazed at the number of remedies coming out of aryurveda. Lithium Ororate can be obtained without a prescription as can many remedies. Some people swear by it. That one I have yet to try. I personally would recommend trying ANYTHING out there within the realm of common sense.Think about it…Do we actually know anyone who has been harmed by vitamins, fresh air, education,and common sense? But we know many harmed by pharma and medical “care.”

    Many times doctors prescribe outside of the realm of common sense. The so-called “trade-off” wasn’t logical at all. was it?

    “You feel okay now, but you’ll die 25 years younger, who cares? You don’t work and you’re a burden to society.” Some tradeoff. That’s literally what we were told, the rationale.

    Frances will you join me in ending irresponsible drugging?

  • Yes, Bonnie, I agree. As example, right after my ECT damage, after I was told by supposed EXPERT (and I love to blow the whistle here) McLean Hospital gave me the ECT and then, re-diagnosed me as “underlying borderline” by their borderline joke of a doctor, John Gunderson claimed I was “incapable of sitting in a room full of people” which were his exact words, I went back to college at Emerson College in Boston. I also started and completed my first novel. Emerson is not a slacker school and wasn’t exactly inexpensive. As it turned out, I got straight A’s. This wasn’t a disorder. I happen to be both studious and smart, and I like school. I thrive in academia. I never claimed accommodations. I never saw any reason to do so. After all, I am fully capable of sitting in a room full of people! And I don’t need to take tests in a separate room, I don’t see any sense in singling people out like that, nor need for it. I never had an anxiety disorder.

    I recall the reaction of the folks at McLean who had claimed I was incapable. Absolute shock. Pardon the pun. I graduated summa cum laude.

    Meanwhile, a wonderful adjunct prof at Emerson had assigned a project to our class which I loved doing and she told me, “Why don’t you turn this into a book-length project?” I did just that. She loved the book. I published it with a self-publisher. This was way back in 2001. I published the book in 2002 when self-publishing wasn’t as easy as it is now via Kindle and other ebook methods.

    Then the Emerson writing and literature department put out a notice asking if anyone had had a book published among the students, faculty, and staff. I responded as student. Sadly, they claimed my book “didn’t count.” The adult degree program pushed for me, but the WLP program dismissed my book.

    I have no clue what went on behind closed doors.

    After that, I was treated like I didn’t matter anymore. I was nearing the end of school and it wasn’t that perceptible, but I noticed the instructors that had previously highly praised my work now walked by me without waving hello. Unfortunately I signed up with a lazy thesis prof who didn’t show up for our meetings half the time.

    Speaking out is important but timing is everything.

    After I graduated it was the same. I was only asked for money by young student volunteers and I tell them I’m on welfare, and no one ever contacted me for any other reason. I have tried to contact my former profs but I never get a response.

    I get treated better in adult ed and junior colleges. The junior colleges accept seniors, people on welfare, and folks coming out of prisons.

  • From what I recall, I did not have emotional problems when I first approached mental health professionals. I was experiencing eating issues and was eating erratically. I binged every few days and fasted in between. What happened was that my belly was so full that I was extremely uncomfortable and this caused me to become severely depressed and unable to get out of bed or do much. Over the next few days, when I didn’t eat, I gradually felt better. Finally, my blood sugar was so low I felt lightheaded and high. I was afraid to eat again for fear that it would turn into yet one more binge. I was afraid of food, scared that it would only go on and on, hated my life like that. This wasn’t a mental disorder, nor a personality disorder, it was a nutritional issue, and I certainly didn’t need dangerous amounts of antipsychotics. Therapy wasn’t helping, mindfulness was a joke, my family wasn’t to blame, and none of these incompetent professionals ever asked about my eating for about 30 years. When I tried to tell them, they jeered at me and told me it was “trivial.” They never even questioned when my weight dropped dangerously low. Who were the psychotic ones?

    I am left with permanent insomnia from dangerously high doses of antipsychotic drugs that were given to me over a period of decades. This has nothing to do with withdrawal and everything to do with the ridiculous doses I was given all those years. I notice that most psych victims fall for the “underlying condition” lie they are fed by the time they reach their 50’s. The fancy sleep study places seem to be linked to device manufacturers (hmm…scammy I suspect) and even the Sleepio app does not even acknowledge damage from prescribed drugs (I wrote to Sleepio and they do not acknowledge this exists even though it’s $300, don’t waste your money!)

    I truly believe that these drugs cause the body/brain to lose its ability to initiate and sustain the sleep state. And as far as I can tell it is permanent. I have met people who have had insomnia ten or more years from having been given high doses of sedating drugs. Can we get a lawsuit going…PLEASE…. Don’t cave in to “underlying condition”! Let’s hold the doctors that do this accountable!

    My doctor had me on three antipsychotics at highest possible dose simultaneously and I was not psychotic nor manic. My complaint was my eating disorder, which didn’t need antipsychotics.

    “What you gave me isn’t working.”

    “Okay, I’ll give you more.”

    “That didn’t help.”

    “Okay, we’ll double the dose and add another drug.”

    Folks, we live in a society where we trust these people. I’m asking anyone out there….Let’s take action.

  • Emily, This is why this happened. For one reason only. You were told you had a terrible disease called Borderline. Then, without even realizing it, you found your identity as that. So you stepped into that role that psych created for you for a while. You fit yourself into that mask. You became that person. It was your job, it was you, you did it well of course, it was who you were. But that’s over now. Mental Health has done the harm, so the gig’s over now. Hear the applause? The world is all clapping. Bow and step off the stage. Step way, way off.

    Ten years from now it won’t be like this. Being emotional is a normal part of being young. Going from one partner to another is normal for a young adult of mating age. Getting straight A’s isn’t a disease, it means you are smart and good at academia…I was, too. In my opinion, the world around you needs to get over it. They are jealous and shouldn’t be calling you disordered just because they can’t seem to do as well as you do. Don’t cave in to their envy.

    Awkwardness? Hah! I beat you at that one. Yesterday I tripped and fell on a crack in the sidewalk, smashed to the ground, and in the process, BOTH lenses popped out of my glasses onto the pavement. The frames stayed on my face. I put my glasses back together. I walked home laughing, totally okay, telling myself I was lucky no passersby stopped to forcibly yank me up. (I love the metaphor here.)

    There’s no such thing as perfectionism. There IS such thing as being talented. Envious people love to put down talented people by calling them perfectionists. I recall one of my past therapists insulted me when I was getting straight A’s. She called it a disorder. Now I question this when certainly my college instructors did not see it as such.

    We live in a world that knocks down excellence in favor of mediocrity, medicating intelligent people, calling them schiz, locking them up, calling them criminals or dissidents, and giving them ECT to lower their IQ. ESPECIALLY WOMEN. We aren’t allowed to use our intelligence, as I have written here:

    In a few years, maybe ten, maybe twenty, you’ll look back and laugh over all this, definitely not cry anymore, simply because of getting older. Don’t use labels nor pseudolabels on yourself and don’t use them on others, even celebs. Being young is a blessing, not a mental disorder. Live well. If you are alive you are a winner.

  • Madmom, I would suggest not saying a word about mental history. If your daughter wants to pursue an academic program AND…AND can do the classroom work…then by all means she should. Just NO NO NO mention of any contact with the system. And talking to oneself, that, by the way, is a trait most professional writers can’t get rid of. You can look this one up. It’s called Inner Speech. Seriously. We talk to ourselves constantly. It is the inner writer in us. We write in our heads. Now this is how you COVER UP that you’re actually talking to yourself if you don’t want anyone giving you looks. Nowadays it’s a snap. Either walk a dog and make like you’re talking to the dog, OR, make like you’re yapping into a cell phone, so, have a bluetooth in your ear all the time. Or…Honestly, Madmom, I really truly do this sometimes…When I catch myself muttering while walking along the street and Puzzle isn’t with me, I grab my totally dead cell out of my pocket and hold it to my ear so I can safely mutter to myself. No one ever knows.

    Trust me, most writers have this problem. Writers of memoir have it the worst. We write in our heads and it comes out as talking out loud. This is extremely embarrassing. It’s like we are writing our lives as they happen. And sometimes, we wish the writer in us would just shut up. I think, though, I am cursed because I don’t think mine will stop till I die. But…..since i’m sitting here with year after year with no writers block yet, and I can write on any topic at all (pick one out of a hat, please), I suppose it is a blessing.

    Perhaps your daughter would enjoy a writing class? Some are more structured, which are most likely better to start with, rather than the looser “workshop” types where you run the risk of ending up with people in the class attacking each other, which isn’t supposed to happen but sometimes does. In one of my summer classes, a super dedicated teacher had written her own textbook and even took the time to meet with each of us individually numerous times to discuss our projects.

  • When it comes to drugged or undrugged, I can tell a drugged patient a mile away by the twitching or shaking. In the example I gave before of nursing school, they actually cited the shaking as “symptom” of mental illness, but the shaking was from lithium, not from MI, interestingly. If a student gains 50 pounds in six months from Zyprexa, yes, it’s going to be noticed or questioned. I can see concern over diabetes or bone thinning from drugs, or serious heart trouble or seizures, all of which are liability problems for the colleges. These aren’t reasons to kick students out, but maybe reasons to question the drugging, or give extra support to the students. I remember a fellow student had breast cancer. They didn’t kick her out. They supported her. She took a semester off so she could get cancer treatment. (It’s kind of one of those jokes that women with breast cancer end up with more friends while we end up losing all of ours….)

  • YES! I wish, more than anything, that back in the day…I’m talking 1980 here, I had spoken frankly with other students about my eating disorder. I would have gotten the help I needed by sharing with them. Instead, my own sense of pride and need to keep it secret took over. I wish, above all, that I had never ever gone to mental health where they knew nothing about what I was going through. It was summer and school wasn’t in session. I made the choice to go entirely on my own.

    If I could turn back time, and I cannot, I’d actually go back and talk to that 23-year-old me, who had now been suffering ED a year, and tell that 23-year-old girl to turn her bicycle around and head home. I’d tell her that mental health had nothing to offer her but lies.

    I am saddened that the affluent and progressive college I went to, where I excelled in everything I did, where I was bound for success, where I was in high demand as a performer and composer, that college where I did so well (and paid tuition) now doesn’t even want me back to speak about eating disorders. I have inquired many times and they have told me over and over they don’t want me, they don’t remember me, that ED isn’t relevant to their mission. I keep telling them that maybe some of the students will be helped by what I have to say. I have now contacted their new radio station hoping they might take me as interviewee.

    Ah, the silencing………..

  • My friend was urged to take a semester off due to “instability” but really, a prof had made advances on her repeatedly. Can we bring this one out into the open as well? Can we point out how many times campus rape is the REAL cause, and can we point out how many times women and people of color or minority religions are asked to leave?

    Can’t anyone be called crazy without any proof? Just send ’em to the counseling center and instantly get rid of them! Inconvenient major? The U isn’t fond of the gay club getting too much support? Is that performance or art project too expensive for the U? Student discovers something about prof that U doesn’t want leaked out? Send ’em to the shrinks to get rid of ’em!

  • Another thing I thought of: Instances where students were kicked out and then, their lives were made much worse as a result. Look up Sascha Menu Courey, U of Missouri. Student from Canada. I happen to remember that one and i blogged on it. She was raped and went to the U’s health services, was told it was all in her head, and then, if I recall correctly, was put into the mental system, drugs involved, kicked off the swim team, was devastated and killed herself. Big story. Happened a few years back and in my view, the U, the guy that raped her, and psychiatry were all responsible for killing her. Yet somehow that one got all twisted around.

  • Come to think of it, it wasn’t ME per se that they loathed so much, it was what I symbolized to them. I was Jewish. I had attended Bennington College as a music student. There was so much hatred by the local people toward the college students, who were mostly Jews from New York, practically foreigners to them, invaders, unwanted intruders in that small town. You could see the social split, and I bet it’s still there. From what I could tell, the students hated those they called the “townies” and were just as guilty of bigotry as the “locals” were of antisemitism. So what this school did was a result of that hatred. I was a misfit, and I got the boot.

  • This happened to me. More than once. In 1984 I went to LPN school, beginning in September of that year. This was mostly a schooling that involved tedious rote memorization. Those of us who were older and had more education behind us wondered why we were there, yet we dutifully did the memorization simply because we figured it would lead to a career in Practical Nursing if we did the slave work. A month or two into the schooling it was very clear that I was the leading student in the class. I was getting the top marks. I felt embarrassed every time the tests were handed back and I had the highest mark. I can’t help it. I’m a good student and I always did well. I told myself I needed to slack off because it sucked being smart and getting nasty looks from the others. I never told anyone I saw a psychiatrist, nor mentioned I took drugs.

    One day, I revealed that little fact to a teacher. Big mistake, but I didn’t know that at the time.

    It took about a month. I continued to excel. Meanwhile, the teacher, who herself had nothing against me, had informed the director of my so-called “condition.” She told me she was going to do this and I saw no harm in it. After all, mental illness was sort of an identity for me at that time. It was 1984. I mean, back then, it made me special and unique. I liked that. Artsy.

    December came. I hadn’t done anything wrong. My grades were still stellar. The director pulled me aside and that teacher and another were in the room. The director demanded that I take a semester off.

    I convened with my friends. We realized it was a convenient way for the school to get rid of me. I got paperwork from the school that indicated it was pretty much impossible for me to return and also, I was being charged a lot of money should I ever do so. The school disposed of all of my records.

    The same thing happened to another one of the older students that they just didn’t like. She sued, and won the lawsuit. I was encouraged to sue also. However, as you indicate in your article, Bonnie, the emotional toll on a person is high. This student, whom I remember well, was about 36 years old when she was kicked out of the school and even at that age, suddenly developed an eating disorder, most likely in response to the trauma of being kicked out. I left town a few years later (also in response to my own loss) and didn’t hear from any of those folks but I was very concerned about her.

  • I am asking people to PLEASE STOP the default assumption of child abuse!!!! Doing so is so fucking offensive, especially this time of year when some of us have to be alone on Thanksgiving. People enter the System both voluntarily and involuntarily for a huge variety of reasons and those reasons change over time. Please STOP assuming you know other people’s reasons for entering and staying in the mental system. Really such rash assumptions are so fucking offensive. No one can read the minds of other people nor read the minds of other people’s families, for godsake, nor the minds of all the in-laws! If I recall correctly, some shrinks in my past acted like they could, but they were always way off base. I am so put off I feel like quitting MIA for good for my own sanity, or at least complaining to the mods. I am very sick of these completely unfounded accusations of past child abuse that never happened, this is just insane.

  • Tireless I am not going to argue any longer. You are making huge incorrect assumptions about people you do not even know and have never even spoken to, things that happened decades ago when life was very different. Humans tend to assume everyone else is just like them, has the same flaws and makes the same mistakes. Unfortunately that’s not true. Every family is different and not every family is just like yours.

  • Tireless, other instances of people who go to therapy who aren’t taken by their parents include people who are already adults, such as working people who go because therapy is covered on their insurance plan. I know an elder who went because she was urged by her PCP. These are examples of people who weren’t taken to therapy by their parents. In fact, in the case of the elder, her parents weren’t even alive. Tireless I’m very sorry you were taken to therapy by your parents but that’s not how it happens for everyone, and you cannot assume it does.

  • Tireless, that’s not always how it happens. Not everyone is taken to the therapist by their parents. I was older, 23, and had been living away from home for many years. I took myself to therapy and my parents didn’t even know, actually. I didn’t tell them until I’d been going for a few months. When my parents found out, they were bewildered as to why I was going to therapy! The abusive therapists blamed my parents, which is what therapists do by default. My parents were not abusive. Therapy was! I am saddened that the therapists claimed I had a bad mother when I didn’t. I am saddened that therapy so badly harmed my family that I have two nephews and a niece that were raised as if Auntie Julie doesn’t exist. Every holiday I cry over this. Especially Thanksgiving, which I spend alone. I hate hearing about the wonderful time people have with their loving families. I hate seeing the pictures, too. I spent my 50th birthday alone and it was awful, and my 60th is coming up. Our family used to be happy when I was a kid. I can only warn people not to step into the therapist’s office. These people do not unite families, they break them up.

  • People with CKD are already being told they’re gonna die no matter what they do. Nephrology is a cult of hopelessness. How about actually treating the CKD with a more hopeful attitude? I have gone to kidney forums and found the same theme over and over. The people who stop going to the doctors and start using common sense live longer and feel much, much better.

    Simple dietary changes will work wonders. I do not eat any salt, which means staying away from almost all processed foods and foregoing the restaurants and pizza, but I feel much better. I figured that one out entirely on my own without a doctor.

  • Having hung around the mental system for decades I can say I knew many battered wives who ended up on the wards. I befriended them. I found they were indeed very distraught. They were called MI along with everyone but at the time I wondered how being battered made a person sick. What sickness?

    It is a metaphorical sickness, not a real one that has germs or lesions. We live in a cruel society. Why should anyone adapt to it and accept it? Anyone who speaks out, rebels, or just doesn’t like the shit they are tossed into gets a mental label. Such was my observation from many years on the wards.

  • Exactly, AA. I don’t hang with the “withdrawal” community much as I am sick of the drug-based focus on here and of course over there. As I say in my book that’s just about finished, you can stop the drugs and be over with withdrawal but still be very much a mental patient if you don’t shake the treatment-induced dependency. What good does getting off drugs do if you can’t do anything on your own? That and trauma from the so-called treatment, especially incarceration, are the larger damages. Too much focus on the drugs distracts us from the basic human rights issues. I am saddened that MIA ignores this stuff, but that’s the way most of this community is. I suspect that’s because a lot of psychologists hang here and want to keep on doing what they’re doing. It’s a business…..

  • AA, thanks for validating. I am having trouble getting anyone to own up to being victimized by this. I suspect that this is because most people either die, give up entirely, or go back to drugs, legal or illegal, out of desperation. And they don’t want to admit to such things.

    My latest attack on this is to get a light box because as far as I can tell the problem worsened when cold weather hit and I was forced to spend more time indoors. I end up walking the dog before dawn or after sundown. I’ve never tried one of these devices before but a friend used one and swore by it. These are supposed to keep you awake during the day and asleep at night. Better than sleeping with a machine I don’t need nor want.

  • The Sleepio program is based on a book by Colin Espie. The book is much cheaper than the computerized program!

    If you want to get Sleepio for free, you can sign up for a research study or get it through your workplace (if you have one). If you sign up you’ll receive an email saying if they can’t find a study for you after 60 days you will be offered a discount on the program.

    What I end up doing, at least once or twice a week is to cancel my activities for the day because I am too sleep-deprived to function. I back out of an awful lot of commitments on pretense that I am “sick.” It is embarrassing.

  • Seeing as Sleepio doesn’t involve seeing a doctor I checked it out. I found that most of the introductory questions don’t even apply to my situation. I got a zero for sleep score which is the worst possible. I guess it doesn’t work for organ damage. I’ve called many sleep clinics anonymously and they refuse to acknowledge damage from drugs. Oh well.

    Most people I know who have ended up with drug damage affecting sleep resorted to staying on drugs long term or permanently.

  • Again, nothing here about damage to ability to sleep FROM drugs. The drugs cause physical damage, resulting in complete or partial inability to sleep. For many, the damage is permanent. I’m not convinced CBT is the answer for organ damage. And as usual, the drug companies aren’t owning up to this.

    I have known, or known of people who resorted to opiates due to inability to sleep. There are cases documented of severe insomnia that resulted in death.

  • Tireless, I don’t understand what inheritance has to do with it. Also, not all parents are abusive nor does ending up in the System make a person automatically “the family scapegoat.” I have known patients who were very loved by their families, and had not been abused by their parents.

    I wasn’t scapegoated by my parents. I have certainly been scapegoated in social situations outside of my family years later, simply because it was easy to place blame on the known nutcase in the group.

    I wish my dad was still alive because he defended me against those docs, and so did my mom. My dad kept telling me about human rights, too. I should have listened.

  • Yes but there are some religions that brainwash people. I have many times compared psychiatry to a brainwashing religious cult. I did research on that since I was a Moonie for a short while and was subject to brainwashing. The methods are exactly the same.
    Limited contact with the outside
    Slogans and repetition
    Use of confession-like sessions
    Replacing your current beliefs with their beliefs
    Threats if you dare leave
    A Devil figure, who will snatch you up outside the cult (relapse)
    Discrediting of anyone who speaks out against the cult
    Replacing your identity with new identity as cult member (patient)


  • Fear is not a habit like smoking is. It is an automatic reaction that is borne of experience. Statistics show that people who are in marginalized populations tend to fear the police more, for good reason because they’ve seen more police cruelty in their communities. So fearing the cops comes from experience, it is not something chosen. A woman who has been raped may be fearful afterward and perhaps be extra cautious to lock her door or not go to certain places. She may fear the perpetrator and avoid contact, or get a restraining order. The fear protects her to a large extent. If you are a kid and you are beaten up by another kid in the neighborhood, you may avoid that kid, and this is because your fear is protecting you. Fear keeps us from walking in the street because our fear of being hit tells us what will happen if we do.

    I recall being too confused to fear ECT while it was going on, and now I truly wish my protective instinct had kicked in because I would have stopped the shock sooner.

  • When you say disinheritance, do you mean disengagement? I know with ECT, if the damages are high, the offending institution calls the patient a hopeless case and often instructs the bewildered family to “disengage” from the patient, which may mean not speaking to her or refusing to include her as a member of the family.

    As for inheritance that’s another matter. I’m thinking of buying a life insurance policy so i can leave money i don’t even have for a charity. But most policies are too expensive.

  • I don’t care if a person believes a spaceship is coming down to take them away. Oddly, a lot of people have this bizarre idea that a human who lived 2000 years ago is part god, should be worshiped as one, and is actually coming back. They even have bizarre beliefs about rising from the dead. None of these folks are harming anyone by believing these oddities. In my opinion it isn’t for me to judge whether a person is “distressed” simply by their beliefs. It is their actions, whatever they may be, that may, or may not, be concerning to others. In theory anyway.

  • Human rights/patient advocate lawyers are few and far in-between. Your very existence was a threat to them and I’m sure they had vested interest in silencing you or discrediting you in some fashion. From what I can tell, silencing anyone who mentions human rights is a universal phenomena inside the System. I’ve even heard from some doctors that use of the word “rights,” no matter the context, is a sign of paranoia. False as this statement is, it is proliferated in the System, even by some patients.

  • Larry, From what I can tell, within this community many have been harmed by psychiatry. This includes many who have been accused of paranoia every time we speak out about human rights. I think by default we shouldn’t be accusing each other of paranoia, simply because it is totally hypocritical, never mind rude and offensive, to do so.

    It is rude is most any context even outside of here. If, say, you accuse a neighbor of paranoia in an argument over a lawn upkeep issue. What are you doing except discrediting that neighbor, dismissing his claims and also wrecking his reputation in the eyes of the outside community by calling him psychotic? He may very well be mistaken or misinformed, or maybe you’re mistaken, or there was a failure to communicate, but none of these has much to do with a mental disorder.

  • Yeah Larry but in my past other people have been extremely cruel and used that label to totally discredit me. So it’s a sore spot.

    My doctor claimed that human rights were “trivial” and claimed that I was paranoid a number of times.

    A male therapist asked me out on a date early in 2013 and when I reported this to my psychiatrist she claimed “That’s impossible,” and she called me paranoid and psychotic. I was telling the truth and she was obligated by law to report him since psychs are mandatory reporters.

    Brainwashed patients claim that the human rights abuses I witnessed and those that were done to me never happened and call me paranoid as a way to totally devoice me and ensure no one else believes me, either.

    Yes it is offensive. If anyone calls me paranoid, or any euphemism for it, I unfriend.

  • Dee, I saw that post and thought it was amazing. I don’t see it now, either. I didn’t see anything in there that was at all offensive, either. I found what you said touching and poignant. You made a great point, too.

    We are activists, and for many of us, the cost is high. We DO lose friends over this. For some, the financial toll is very high. Never mind working our butts off only to be silenced or ignored, or even condemned. Some run the risk of re-capture. I totally understand if a person drops out because of these immense losses. I’ve heard many wise words from activists who are older than me or who have been in it longer.

    I have not stopped nor gotten tired of it, but I am aware of the hardships others have gone through. Many have to make the decision and ask where their priorities are. Those of us still in the position to speak out and willing to keep up the fight need to fight even harder.

  • No, we can’t use the constitution as our defense because we aren’t seen as fully human nor worthy of human rights once diagnosed.

    We’re told we have occasional choices under the guise of “health choices” but it’s usually between one prison and another, one drug and another.

    You can have ECT or state hospital, after all, take your pick.

    This is funny: I was told to “choose” the “better” state hospital. Umm…….There is no good prison.

  • I have never known acupuncture to be forced on a person. I’ve never heard of anyone court ordered to get it. And in my own personal experience no one walked up to me and said “All your problems are because you are deprived of acupuncture, and you’d better go!” That’s a little different from what I actually hear, which is, “Have you tried acupuncture. I did, and found it beneficial,” Or, “I tried it and it didn’t help.” Sharing experience is useful, sure not the as coercion.

  • JanCarol, I agree. I have a hard time with religious proselytizing of any sort. I realize though that in some religions they see proselytizing as a religious duty and they believe with all their hearts that pushing religion on others is “helping” or “saving.” So keeping this in mind I politely take their pamphlets, thank them, and then, firmly end the conversation.

    However, some folks have gotten to the point of imposition. For instance, a few really pushy and imposing people claimed that any problem I have is my own fault because I choose not to meditate. This is has extended to physical drug damage, dishonest landlords, and being broke. Meditating or not, or praying, or not, is my choice and my right. I am sure that having a dishonest landlord isn’t caused by my not meditating! I cannot control other people. For me to believe I had that power would be grandiose.

    I also do not like the mindfulness pushers, therapists especially, who tell you, in essence, that “mindfulness” is universal, that it will work for anyone. They will criticize you for multitasking even! If you don’t believe in it these folks will turn the blame on you.

    Then there are the deep breathing pushers. I have to laugh. I cannot tolerate some self-righteous health nut half my age telling me to take a deep breath when I’ve been breathing just fine since well before they were born. How dare they tell me I am breathing wrong! I tell them so!

  • Oh how funny. I just read an article about how great ECT is and it was all about ECT at McLean where I had it some 20 years ago. And get this: They say the antipsych movement is fueled by One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I wrote to the “doctor” who wrote the article and told him he was incorrect about that. The wonderful Kesey play is fiction, well done fiction, but we are driven by real experience (ours) and real facts, real life stories, real studies, actual statistics, even theirs they didn’t want leaked out.

  • Bonnie, I can relate. I did NaNoWriMo a number of years. I think I finished maybe five times. I wrote some memoir (which my degree is in) but in 2010 I took on the challenge of a novel. I never edited it after I was done with the 30-day marathon. I loved the book so much that I posted it for free, as is. Yes it really is painstaking work. Bit by bit…right?

    There is a book out that i have used that’s really good (for anyone out there) to help you structure a super workable outline. It’s Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. I would get the wire-bound if you can, don’t use the Kindle version (unless you know how to file-convert the .mobi file to printable, then print out many pages!). She may have a web version by now. You do not have to do it in 30 days, this is just a workbook.

  • Oh yeah! I remember that, someone mentioning “recovery movement” to me. Is this Ellen Copeland? I saw her book and didn’t find it at relevant. I was kinda turned off by the principles of it that my friend was mentioning, but at the time I wasn’t sure quite why I was turned off. She mentioned censorship of any medical terms. Not just psych terminology, but even regular medical terms such as “I have a fever” or “I really need to drink because I get dehydrated easily.” And the whole concept of censorship based on “triggering.” I ask who on earth defines what is triggering and what isn’t! Undoubtedly, whoever is in charge, right? Yes that pisses me off. Especially after the fight of my life was over Freedom of Speech. That is a precious thing I hold onto dearly. Does the “recovery” movement still exist?

  • I agree Dr. Nash, I think that if we are going to be effective, not only do we need organized effort, but we also need to demonstrate what we believe in in our personal lives.

    Too often I see discrediting of diagnosees, even by people who should know better, such as fellow survivors. I see use of pseudodiagnoses also, such as calling a person delusional without using the word. Don’t do that. Walk the walk.

    Too often I see us bashing each other when that will only weaken us. I can’t figure out what to do about that, as it seems rampant. We need a solid plan, and solid leadership from within.

  • I don’t think cell phones and other electronics caused psychiatry. Actually our movement is allowed to flourish because of technology. Before that, they used phone conferencing, but now we have the internet to connect us. Also the smartphone was not anticipated by psych and they are kinda overwhelmed that now, patients have easy internet access via the smartphone. This is a blow to them. We can now tell the truth and many will read or listen to what we say, even though most of us have never been able to pursue through legal means.

  • In my opinion veterinarians treat their patients (and owners) very well. My vets have always petted Puzzle and played with her, calling her Sweetie, and most have treats for the dogs. As a pet owner I know most people treat their pets better than mental patients are ever treated.

    But the expression, “treated like an animal” usually isn’t comparing to the loving relationship with a pet, but perhaps to cattle being sent to slaughter.