Monday, June 17, 2019

Comments by Julie Greene, MFA

Showing 100 of 2154 comments. Show all.

  • I have been through “crappy boss.” This wasn’t my disorder, but a workplace disorder. I never figured out why they made that woman a supervisor.

    There was nothing “inner” I could have done to fix the situation except to quit. No matter how good my nutrition was, no matter how much I exercised, it wasn’t going to fix the crappy boss situation. I could have decided it was all due to my own mental illness and then, therapized the problem away, still wondering why I hated my job, why every day there sucked, why the therapy hadn’t exactly solved anything. What then? Time for pills? Oh I know! Shock treatments…..

  • Hi Elizabeth, There’s a group for gifted and talented here in the USA called SENG. I am a member. I learned from this group that kids who are very talented and show this at a young age are often given psychiatric diagnoses. Many of them are given ADHD diagnoses and more.

    Also, I learned that often, kids end up developing unevenly. So while the child may be very good at one thing, he may struggle in other areas.

    To give myself as an example, I was talented in music and math, but mostly, I loved to compose music. I tried to get a job at 16, serving ice cream. I was a total flop at it. I’m a little clumsy and I came to realize way too late that this isn’t a psych disorder!

  • Yes, KS, it actually does hurt. If I hold onto anything that cold I get blisters. I never used the technique myself because it’s idiotic and a waste, but I saw it used on other patients. The pt would ask for something like Klonopin and if the nurses had run out of pill ideas they’d just say, “How about a frozen orange?”

    Now one time I was talking to the nurses about human rights and they tried to hand me an orange. I told them this was a way to silence and discredit me. Along with the frozen orange was the command to “go into your room and be quiet so it’ll work.” It’s a total myth that pills work better if you’re in your room, total bullshit about the orange also.

  • KateL, I tried DBT and found it silly and irrelevant. It didn’t help at all, whatever the heck “help” meant. In my case, the one thing I wanted was to stop the abuse and prevent it from happening to others. This, to me, is common sense. Why on earth should I sit and hold a frozen orange when everything in my being tells me I need to stop this from happening? If I don’t speak out…who will? Apparently people are so brainwashed they think if psych abuse happens it’s THEIR disorder. No it isn’t. Coping within, to me, means I have a voice and you bet I’m going to use it. I think meditating my life away would be a huge waste of time. Some do find value in the “here and now” mentality. It’s just not for me and it’s not the universal cure-all.

  • KateL, your experience resonates with me. In my opinion, the MH system does not offer anything of value, not from mainstream MH, anyway. When it comes to trauma you might find value in one of those “kooky” therapists that is totally outside-the-box.

    I found value in a tapping therapist who understood totally that I had been abused in a hospital. Most therapists did not understand and assumed I was paranoid. Of course there’s no sense even trying to reason with them. Just move on.

    I would not even bother telling them about the kratom. Just keep it to yourself. I also broke my ankle, three weeks ago. Not badly, though. It is healed but I also sprained my foot and that is taking longer to heal.

  • It’s the same with any prison system, Stephen. They don’t prepare the inmates at all. One week of workshop of some sort but it’s never enough. Times change. My friends who were on the inside said that they would have appreciated some very simple how-tos. In a decade, finding a rental has changed drastically. Technology has changed. They do background checks for housing and employment worse than ever now, but I think that is going to change.

  • Anyone out there who has ever experienced verbal abuse from docs, nurses, aids, sitters, specialists, whatever….This abuse stays with you. Trauma from verbal abuse can hit harder than any other type. It’s been over five years and I am still affected by it. I still get overly defensive, feel like I have to “prove” myself all the time, can’t get along with other people, and can’t stand physical proximity of other people. I am scared even when the bus drives by a mental health clinic. Sirens make me flinch.

  • Yes! As more and more patients wake up to the reality and join us, and pull themselves out of the wreckage caused by psychiatry, we will prevail and put an end to it. We are the ones, not those working in the system, but those of us who were put on the bottom and squashed nearly to our deaths, we are the ones who will see psychiatry fall. I would love to see that in my lifetime.

  • I don’t think religion is supposed to be false or true. It’s a belief. Some of these beliefs work very well for some people, and we’ve got a variety of them, none true, none false. Some religions are harmful to society as a whole. Cults tend to be outside of the norm and also the harmful ones live segregated from the rest of society.

    Psychiatry is a cult. Psychiatry has to capture its subjects and brainwashes them. It has its own dogma that’s at heart, illogical. Psychiatry forces its members into ghetto-like situations such as halfway houses and HUD. Psychiatry takes its subjects out of the mainstream workforce.

    Cults can grow and become more mainstream. Christianity was originally cult-like, a seemingly far-out-there band of kooks, but centuries later, became mainstream. Most denominations of Christianity are not cults. Some are. And the lines are certainly blurred.

  • Me: “If you don’t mind, I’d rather not go to Bingo today.”
    Them: “You have to go. It’ s time for Group.”
    Me: “I just finished graduate school. This is truly insulting to me and I suspect others think the same thing.”
    Them: “So you’re too anxious to go to group, eh? How about a PRN?”
    Me: “I didn’t say that. I do not want to go to group. I think I’m better off spending my time writing.”
    Them: “It is for your own good. If you refuse to participate we can only conclude you aren’t ready to leave.”
    Me: “No, it’s for YOUR own good, so you can tell the insurance company I showed up for a psychoeducational group, and bill it as such.”

  • Little Turtle, bio has its place. Depression is not a biological “illness,” in fact, there’s no disease process happening there. If the person has hypothyroidism, that is a biological issue and not psychiatric. In fact, a so-called MI is diagnosed (supposedly) AFTER bio is ruled out. Psychiatry states “no biological basis” and then, invents one (chemical imbalance) just to sound medical, and to convince people to take drugs.

    When I was a patient I truly believed that since the drugs “worked” (kinda) then that meant I had a chemical imbalance. This was faulty reasoning. Drugs aren’t some kind of litmus papers that diagnose diseases. If we’re to take the diabetes comparison seriously, that would be like saying, “I was given a shot of insulin which made me feel great, therefore, I must be diabetic.” Huh?

  • Of course we can help the psychs after they’ve been put out of work. We already do that for people. It’s called Unemployment benefits. Any of them that still need “help” after that can apply for disability and enjoy their “benefits” and forced poverty. Oh we can also make them take drugs to keep their benefits. Make them live in HUD and pay for their groceries with food stamps. That’s the help we got, so they deserve it, too.

  • It IS a religion. They have their bible, their dogma, their slogans, their own gods they worship called Pharmaceutical companies. Dear God, please send us more money so we can capture more converts. You are brainwashed until you believe, “I have a mental illness, a real illness just like diabetes. It can’t be cured but it can be managed if I blindly obey my treatment team even if it’s very illogical and might kill me.”

  • People criticize Szasz for associating with Scientology without really knowing what Scientology stands for in terms of psychiatry. The CCHR, which is a branch of Scientology, aims to end ECT worldwide, aims to stop the drugging of children, and they work by pressuring the legislators just the same as we do. Only they have huge money behind them. You can’t argue with the high quality of their videos. They may want to end psychiatry for different reasons than survivors and witnesses do. But no matter their reasons, their aims are the same as ours. Their understanding of why ECT is harmful to people is completely in alignment with our own thinking. It is brain damage. And the drugs? Harmful to children, harmful to society. Their book and video on how the Nazis used psychiatry and how the Nazi thinking is so similar to the DSM is exemplary. It is all a great way to get this info out to the public. They are doing wonderful things to end these harmful atrocities. Why shouldn’t Szasz have associated with them? Was that so terrible?

  • Yes, Steve Spiegel, I would agree. Psychiatry is a branch of medicine because it is taught in medical schools and the AMA and other organizations claim it is medical. Whether psych is legitimate or not depends on how you define legitimate, because legitimate might mean “what is generally accepted.” It is by all means based on false premises, which Szasz most eloquently and clearly points out. He does this by examining psych as a profession and a medical science by examining its claims on a scientific and moral basis. In my opinion, he successfully shreds it to bits! After you read Szasz you won’t have any doubts anymore! Which is why, when I have recommended Szasz to my friends who are still in the System, they refuse to read him. It’s scary to lose your identity, whether it had any basis in truth or not!

  • Larry, many of these therapists take away our independence and self-reliance. They take away our trust in ourselves and foster a heavy reliance on the therapist to make our decisions for us.

    To find a therapist who doesn’t do this is not an easy task and the average therapy-seeker with average insurance coverage or even worse, public insurance, isn’t going to be able to shop around. Nowadays, even in the areas where cost of living is low, out-of-pocket therapy will cost you at least $120 a session. Who can afford that? I hear that in some urban areas the cost can be $300 or more per session.

  • If a person is handed drugs by a pharmacist who is mistaken about what is included, then, if the unsuspecting drug-taker goes and commits a crime, my guess is that the customer would not be held responsible and the pharmacist would have hell to pay.

    I believe there have been plenty of cases where a person was not told about the sedating effects of drugs. The doc failed to tell the patient not to drive. When there are consequences, wouldn’t the doc be responsible?

  • I agree with Steve. Therapists run the gamut. Some are obviously boundary-paranoid. I can always tell! I had one who cried in front of me. She was crying over another patient. whom I did not know, who had died of cancer. What was I to do? She constantly violated HIPAA by revealing personal details about other patients. This was annoying to say the least! She made me be her therapist countless times. Why didn’t she pay me?

    I had at least 20 therapists over the years. I always wondered why it wasn’t “working.” I have realized that their definition of “normal” is culturally-driven. Also, from one generation to another, “normal” changes. From one part of the country to another, from one neighborhood to another, and so on.

    They would talk about “baseline.” After I’d been only a few years in the System they were clueless about what “baseline” really was for me. Also, one’s baseline can’t possibly exist, since it’s not this fixed entity, but always changing and evolving. Even so, they wildly underestimated me for decades.

  • I LOVE your art! Wow, absolutely amazing! Thank goodness you aren’t on those drugs anymore!

    I was also called bipolar, only for convenience. The shrinks’ convenience.

    What if you dropped all contact with your parents? While I realize it’s a sacrifice, they aren’t helping, are they?

    By the way, I know Dr. Joffe. My doctor, Dr. Kimberly Pearson, worked with her. Pearson would have said the same thing, told you to stay on the drugs. Or given you more.

  • It is genocide!

    Here are some suggestions for kids who won’t sit still:

    Play outside
    No more video games
    Toss out the television
    Bicycling, basketball, and baseball (okay, fútbol for those of you outside the US)
    Pets, pets, pets!
    Plant a garden
    Go to a park
    Stop assuming and start listening (to the kids, not the shrinks!)
    Toss out the boring school subjects and insist that schools teach something useful and interesting
    End standardized testing
    End ADHD diagnosis
    Healthy food
    Stay away from psychiatry

    And if the kids really want electricity, peek out the window during a thunderstorm and take a stunning photo. See how scary electricity is? Bring your photo to Show and Tell.

  • UPDATE: Please donate to Marci’s legal fund. The courts and “hospital” put her legal team through hoops and they’re making her witnesses come back again. The facility has been lying just to keep her in there. This means more funding is desperately needed!

    Here is the legal fund link again:
    https://fundly.com/marci-webber-legal-fund

    Every donation counts! If you are unable to donate, please share the link.

    I think each of us needs to remember when we, ourselves, were locked up. Freedom for Marci is a victory for all of us, especially for those of us who know what it’s like to be locked up and abused.

  • Ron, my experience with even the best of therapists (or ones that claim they’re great) is the nearsightedness of most of these professionals. Not all, but many. Many have no clue just how bad therapy can be. Maybe Eugene is an exception. In Boston, I could not find a suitable therapist at all. I looked for about two years after I fired the one who was narcissistic. I did find one who did not believe in diagnosis, but I ran away very fast when he asked me out on a date. I met one who was unlicensed and also had no training. She had a business degree. I think she would have been better than average. However, she handed me a paper that I had to sign saying if I got into bad shape she would ditch me. She never told me she was unlicensed, either. I found out and never saw her again. I figured my all-holy psychiatrist wouldn’t approve.

    In two years of calling around, placing about 200 calls at least, I found no one at all! Most refused me when they found out I had ED, or when they found out I was so-called “disabled” and did not have enough money to pay them. A few offered a sliding scale but the lowest they could go was $60. I would say that 200 calls is plenty enough to know that such therapists are rare indeed. My so-called “health plan” had no therapists on staff who had any knowledge of ED. I called and complained and they claimed they would find someone for me. A month later they called said they were having trouble getting anyone on board. Then, I guess they forgot. By then, I was sure I would never see one again.

    I have, since then, had sample sessions with therapists. I did not say my prior diagnoses unless I was sure the therapist didn’t take diagnoses seriously. I was stupid enough to tell one life coach (a trauma one) about my abuse experiences while inpatient. She insisted on knowing my diagnoses and I was doubly stupid to tell her. She immediately refused to see me and said I needed “therapy” three times a week. For that, she got a bad Yelp review.

    Of the others, three of these told me I didn’t need therapy at all. One told me I needed an attorney. One told me I might benefit from career coaching, not therapy. Of course, I hang onto these lovely statements even though I really do not validate the expertise of “therapists.”

    The last one was the best. He spent a long time with me, questioned everything I said (not in a condescending manner at all!) and then, very clearly stated that I was doing fine and again, really do not need “therapy.” Interestingly, back when I was a patient years ago, I was desperate to talk to some nice, understanding person. Now, that desperation is simply not there.

  • Catalyzt,

    Electronic records give people the illusion of privacy. Who the hell cares about how private those electronic records are when doctors talk about patients in the elevator, lunch room, hallways (the “huddle”) and also in their spas and on golf courses.

    We who were incarcerated have all heard them do this. They aren’t fooling me! There was a story ages ago about a cabbie on a golf course who was so shocked at the doctors’ gossiping that he reported them.

    I wish I could find the story now.

  • Yes, I would recommend the same thing. Take him out of the country. Not to the USA, either. I am not sure in Canada if relocating to a different province will work.

    After you move, do not ever use medical terms to describe emotional experiences. Don’t get drunk if it causes you to act crazy, and if you ever act crazy, do it alone.

  • Nancy99, a patient needs to decide for herself whether the concepts of mindfulness are useful. I do not agree that a therapist should impose these, but most do. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been pushed to meditate, or blamed because I don’t meditate, that is, I CHOOSE not to.

    The concept of mindfulness is likely useful to some people, but it’s just not for me. I wish people would respect that.

  • Kindredspirit, I can’t agree more. I, too, was subjected to the fake Buddhism done by hospital clinicians and therapists. I hated it! We even had watered-down yoga. Ugh.

    I am actually triggered when anyone says to me, “Take a deep breath.” No, I will not! No one is going to tell me how to breathe! I’ve been breathing fine for 61 years now, and at 61 I can run four miles at least. Since when do I have breathing deficits? What is really funny is when the person saying that is a smoker. The only time I’ll do this is if a doctor is listening to my lungs with a stethoscope. I don’t even remember the last time that happened, either.

  • ferkane, I like what you said, and agree with many of your statements, especially when you said that a CBT therapist should not impose “correct” cognition. Or what they assume is correct.

    Here is where I cannot agree at all: “Well this may be taught on some CBT training, but it was not on mine. In fact, in my training, we were specifically taught that behavioural change was generally necessary for stable cognitive and emotional change.”

    Sadly, this is used on school children and it isn’t working. In fact, it’s totally missing the point. I am disgusted that school employees are now using behavior correction and they even think it’s helpful. I am terrified that as a school employee I’m going to have to praise kids for sitting quietly and be obedient. Ugh.

  • Ron, I have found, as a so-called consumer of MH services, that a very good therapist is so hard to find that for most, it’s nearly impossible. Those who are on a low income or on dis-ability who are forced into poverty usually have no choice in therapists or do not get one at all. I found, as did others, that finding one that had any clue of what they were doing with ED patients was next to impossible. Your chances of finding one at an agency that takes public assistance insurance is next to nil.

    In some states, the combination of Medicaid AND Medicare will cause a worsening of all sorts of care. Providers find the paperwork exhausting and many will not do it. Even after filling out the forms, they are often refused. This isn’t true in all states. Do you, as a provider, take Welfare-type insurances? I assume you have a sliding scale…but when I was on dis-ability, even $60 a session was much, much more than I could afford. I’m surprised at the providers that do not even realize this! Welfare recipients struggle to pay a $5 copay!

    I have confronted therapists on their insanely high fees, and guess what invariably happens? They do not want to talk to me anymore. I’m dismissed as yet one more poor person they do not want to deal with. Even now, when I see something that, in my opinion, is way overpriced, even if I can afford it now, I will not buy the product or service. Let that be the complaint statement.

    When I finished life coach training, I convened with other grads of the program who scoffed at me for lowering my fees. The message was very clear. “We don’t even want to serve those poor people.” There you have it. I was so disgusted with their attitude that I closed my business.

    How many therapists in the USA are not in the business of insulting people with a diagnosis? Very few. You may not, but most therapists, sadly, do. Most therapists will insult you further by telling you you have some inner problem, such as “poor coping,” when really, the problem is totally external or physical.

  • I was having a hard time getting through the comments, for some reason….

    Anyway, I am very glad this book came out. I just had a really negative experience with CBT. I purchased a self-help CBT book that focused on trauma. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. The book talked down to readers. It was so insulting I just had to put it down.

    Not only that, the so-called coping methods were just plain idiotic, or just so obvious it was common sense. Most reminded me so much of the “hospitals” that caused the trauma in the first place. Why on earth would I ever want to hold onto ice cubes? Oh please! I couldn’t read any further. What next? Stuffed animals?

    Finally, I confronted the real question: Why would I want to obliterate my emotions? What’s to “cope with” if I am coping just fine? I do not find certain emotions uncomfortable at all. The book totally missed the mark for me.

  • I was certainly in total agreement with this article for quite some time, when we got to the “therapy” part I started flinching.

    There is therapy for the rich, and therapy for the rest of us. Ninety percent of so-called therapists will immediately send a voice-hearer to a psychiatrist. Most therapists will tell a voice-hearer that he or she has an “illness” or a “defective brain.”

    The best therapists will cost you money. If you’ve been put out of work by the System, you aren’t going to be able to afford a decent therapist. Those of us who were on dis-ability payments couldn’t afford even the lowest fees. Not only that, searching for a decent one is hit or miss.

  • I agree wholeheartedly, Ron, that some ways that we try to help ourselves are not productive. Some people go out drinking, which is often very unhelpful and can be destructive.

    However, not everyone deals with adversity in an unhealthy manner. A person might go out running, for instance. I found found for myself that I do better without that so-called help. Why? Because the absence of that help gives me the space to find the answer within myself. It is there, and in fact, it always was. When you have “help” in your life, you will turn to that help and then, lose your trust in yourself and your own ability to solve problems.

  • Wow, This is so, so amazing. I’m about halfway through the podcast while I am writing this. Caroline is someone I would certainly want to meet. I am Jewish and also a psych survivor. I could certainly relate to everything Caroline said here.

    I wish there was a text version of this. The absence of a text version was why I missed this.

    Will, Jews do not try to convert others. Proselytizing is either discouraged or possibly considered to against our laws. Jews do not make any effort to convert others.

  • Steve,

    I totally agree when you say, “Stop diagnosing!” I don’t think we need a new diagnostic code for various behaviors that authority figures do not like. I do not agree that a “small percentage” of so-called MI have a diagnosible physical problem. Not having enough to eat, for any reason, is physical, or sometimes, having certain hormones out of whack. Never mind the environmental problems, such as “no heat in the house” or, “patient lives in very unsafe housing.”

  • I hear what you are saying, Ron, but there is no way I’m going to agree that this person with expertise has to be a so-called mental health professional.

    The person might be a drug dealer, who sees someone who has become psychotic from street drugs. A drug dealer very well knows the bad effects of street drugs.

    The person might be an attorney, who can be very helpful in instances of child abuse or spousal abuse.

    An endocrinologist will immediately and quickly notice if a person’s depression comes from a thyroid issue.

    An optometrist will find out that disorientation and poor ability to communicate come from vision problems.

    A politician, too, can help, by raising public awareness about problems such as sexual harassment, child abuse, and more.

    All these folks are, as you say, “helpers who have to know more than the average person.” As I see it, therapy professionals are only one part of it. I find it scary and dangerous indeed when I start hearing therapists claim to be the only experts. I find it concerning when I hear the general public see mental health professionals that way, too. Some are insightful and wise, others are certainly not, and that’s true in all walks of life.

  • By the way, Peter Simons, your articles here are totally awesome. Your ability to see through the medical literature (and its lies) is astounding.

    We need to attack these fraudulent industries, such as psychiatry and its ilk, with every weapon we have. We need mathematicians to analyze their so-called studies. We need scientific experts in electricity to see through the claims about ECT. The article here (can’t find link right away) which was published recently about the high levels of electrical current used in ECT (no, it’s not therapy!) is so amazing. We need sociologists, also, to see through their lies. We need financial people of all sorts, who show their deep concern over pharmaceutical fraud.

    We need artists, writers, journalists, musicians, and dancers to tell the truth to the world.

    We have so many weapons to use to fight this. We must unite. We must stop fighting against each other, which is more fuel for THEM, and instead, embrace our differences.

  • Whether or not you see “autism” as legitimate, or any of these other behavior problems, the very fact that these drugs can affect the development of a child is extremely scary.

    The field of psychiatry and other specialists who advise pregnant and nursing mothers needs to WAKE UP for sure.

    My friend was taking anti-d drugs while pregnant. I do not know if she breast-fed the child. If she ever put two and two together and realized that the drugs had damaged her child, I doubt she ever wanted to face up to it. That would be the hardest thing to admit to oneself.

  • Not only that, now that I am on this subject, many people have approached me and told me stuff like, “I went to college and didn’t know how to handle eating at the dining commons.” “If only I had known that going on an extreme diet would do this.” “I didn’t know how to cook.” “I didn’t realize that losing ten pounds shouldn’t be done in two weeks. I wish I had known.”

    Teens so often go on extreme diets due to not knowing the potential harm in it. The reasons are varied but certainly not liking oneself is only one of them.

  • Ron, I cannot find your comment that you put on my comment. When I stated that a supposedly “bad” emotion is one that makes therapists upset, I really meant not just therapists, but the entire influence the MH industry has had on the media. Therapy contributes to it by convincing people to think everything under the sun is a mental problem.

    People think anger is bad. No, it’s not. It’s what you do with it. Due to rampant assumptions people make, people assume that anger automatically means the person feeling that anger is uncomfortable and it needs fixing.

    I’m not at all uncomfortable with my own feelings of anger. I don’t go out hurting anyone and I don’t do self-harming behaviors. People assume I, and others, can’t handle these emotions. This is projection indeed. I’m okay with feeling angry. Yes, I can handle it and what I ultimately do with it is up to me.

    That said, I’ve made mistakes. Can I be human now and then?

    I had a job that badly sucked, and after that, I had to recover. How did I resolve it? By doing writing, but not just journal writing, but writing in a way that helps other people and contributes to activism.

    There was, indeed, a recovery period. I had to recover from the job, and that was not easy. Is it okay to feel like crap for a little while? I think it’s fine, and human. People are oh-so-quick to rush in and try to fix something that likely shouldn’t be meddled with.

  • Paula, this is true. But all women and girls have pressure on them. ED is on the rise. I think that’s because psychiatry and the ED industry realized they could make a few bucks off of us. I have seen it myself. Kids start going to those treatment centers, and then, they turn into revolving door syndromes. I think psychiatry and psychology need to butt out and quit calling it a mental disorder.

    There are plenty of environmental issues (pollution, ozone layer, drugs) that contribute to cancer. In fact, environmental issues, and especially stress and poverty, cause an awful lot of diseases out there. Just because stress and poverty cause disease does not make all those diseases mental disorders.

    I went through both binge eating and anorexia, and yes, you do suffer from these. Most of us truly wanted to be able to eat normally. I felt like I would rather have breast cancer than an ED. By the time you’ve been through years of therapy, drugging, and incarceration, the original reason why you went on that first diet gets completely lost and buried. Because psych and big money took over ED, it now perpetuates the problem, gives people more diagnoses, leading to “success” rates that are an embarrassment, though they will not admit this.

  • I see another choice out there. There is something to recover from. The mental health system!

    I have a chapter in my book on social media and mad pride. Only I titled the chapter something else. I do not think it’s a good idea for people to use social media to boast about how sick they are. There’s kind of a cult around that. If you do that, you’re going to attract followers who are morbidly fascinated with illness and death. The very presence of followers is like a reward. Get sicker, get more admirers. The formula looks lucrative until you realize they aren’t very good friends.

    This is an addictive tendency, sorry to say. It is a vicious cycle. I have seen people go down a very bad path doing that. I fear that Mad Pride is stoking the fire for this. I don’t think this was the original intent of Mad Pride.

    On the other hand, I believe our society needs to be more accepting of human variety of expression. There are no bad emotions, only ones that make therapists upset. This translates in a bunch of mythology being generated in the media, that dreams up a new disorder every day! They post a new disorder, and people immediately latch onto it and then, it’s another disaster, another new doorway to the nuthouse. Pssst…someone certainly profits from it!

  • I couldn’t agree more, Stephen. My friends all pulled away from me when times got tough and when I was homeless they refused to help at all. Such is human nature.

    One time, I got on Facebook and asked if anyone had a spare room. I got unfriended for that, or blocked. Then my same Facebook friend that had given me the cold shoulder offered a room in his place to a different friend. I was bewildered. Makes you lose faith in humanity.

    What was really the worst part of it was when people started acting scared of me. Relocating totally cured that, thankfully. Disorder of the community…..

  • I have worked in a school. Yup, absolutely. The parents are indeed opposed and generally have a more realistic view of their kids’ struggles than the school does. The schools focus on behavior only. If you are cutting class because you know how to do it, and playing video games is more fun anyway, the school will label you. Then they get Medicaid funding to hire and aide to act as policewoman, generally only to make sure the kids stay in class so the school won’t be sued.

  • Rassulus, I agree that the main concern of therapists, or shall I say, “therapists,” is that if we abolish therapy, they won’t have jobs.

    I don’t buy that at all. Too bad! How many patients and expatients on here have stated that psychiatry stole their career? And that’s okay?

    Should we feel sorry for them? I don’t. Get another job, for godsakes. We writers call it a “day job.” Bag groceries. That’s what one shrink told me to do, if I recall correctly. Okay, so they ruined my career and that’s their answer? Go work for Dunkin Donuts or McDonald’s. They’re always looking for people.

    Funny, they counsel people who are jobless, feel oh so sorry for us…fake empathy…and then they panic over their own potential joblessness.

  • I was discussing this with a family member last night. Memory was also a frequent topic of discussion in writing school.

    Most of the time, with memoir, we trust the writer. This comes not from how believable the story is, but consistency in the writer’s voice. Occasionally you have the case of the unreliable narrator, a narrator whose story you might doubt because, as a reader, you might think the drunk, dreaming, or somehow, deluded.

    I believe now that all writers of memoir are to some extent, unreliable. We do not remember perfectly. Readers understand this, though. We are human, and humans aren’t perfect. We also prioritize. My brother, for instance, remembers not only the makes and models of every single car we had, but even recalls the type of engine, the history of the model, and how well it performed. I, on the other hand, could care less about cars and all I remember are the various adventures we had in each one, and what my parents named them. And of course, the little songs my mom made up about a couple of them. My other brother remembers absolutely nothing, or claims this anyway. I do not remember much math. I recall I was quite good at it and aced calculus, but still, I recall very little of it. I don’t use it in my daily life, which is likely the reason. This doesn’t mean I did not, at one time, know a lot of math. And it doesn’t mean I’m delusional that I ever took calculus.

    In writing school, we talked about truth vs accuracy. We tend to remember the basic truth about an event, which is our truth. Time may alter our exact recollection of the details. In writing, the readers aren’t going to care about the accuracy of details as much as they care about the message behind the story.

    That particular workshop struck me more than any other I attended at Goddard. The instructor gave us amazing examples of how memories alter over time. We talked about the importance of telling and re-telling our stories.

    It is very true that stories change over time. My story of ECT changed as I began to put the pieces together. The
    ECT part of my memoir I wrote in 2009 (and published) did not mention the ECT. It did illustrate that for a year and a half, I was very out of it. The entire time I wrote the memoir, I did not realize that ECT was the cause. So if I were to re-tell that story, and I have indeed done so, it comes out much different, but the story’s core truth remains the same. What changed and evolved over time was my interpretation of that story.

  • Attorney Karen, YOU TOTALLY ROCK!

    Can we make a case for those who were damaged, and then, the damage was covered up? That is, we were lied to not only before, but after the fact?

    My own ECT story, which I sent to the FDA in 2016, was ignored, tossed out totally because I did not provide “studies.” I guess they are completely uneducated and do not realize that memoir, which is based on what a person went through, doesn’t need proof. In fact, unnecessarily backing up your statements likely discredits you.

    Here is a link for anyone that wants it: http://juliemadblogger.com/wp/ect-pages/my-electroshock-documentation-as-submitted-to-the-fda-in-2016/

  • Financial concerns can lead to extreme stress, especially if your credit score drops. I worked for a bank for a while. There were days, many days, when the most rewarding part was telling people not to give up. I even shared tiny parts of my own story, how I had a low credit score (it crashed) and I shared with them how I brought it back up. I can’t say how many times I was thanked. I had to be very careful because I couldn’t do anything that would be seen by the supervisors as “advice.”

    There is a point at which you might get enough money to live on, and then, all that stress totally goes away.

    Might I add, also, that the mental health system will wreck your credit score. The most common reason that people of any age failed to pay their bills and got way behind was hospitalization. As a customer service representative, I knew better than to ask these folks what got them into the hospital. They often volunteered this information. Heart attack was quite common, as was cancer. Of course, those that were in for psych were not going to say so.

    When you are in a hospital, it is very hard to pay bills. You often have no way to get to an online banking website. ECT or drugs might cause you to forget to pay or to forget your PIN, or to go into overdraft for a variety of reasons. Of course, you aren’t getting a paycheck for being in there, either, unless you have accumulated an awful lot of sick time.

    After a while, I carried a check in my wallet. I was so scared of being snatched up and not being able to pay my rent. That, to me, is sad.

  • Kumininexile, what an awesome comment!

    I, too, love this article. I am very uncomfortable about income inequity. I am finding that some people, even people who have had a lot of education (this gets paid for , too!), have no awareness of the struggles one goes through when one is underemployed, on disability, or facing huge debts.

    I remember counting pennies so that I could get the rent paid. I was walking down the street one day and this couple was getting out of their truck, arguing over whether to use the pennies they had left to pay for food or diapers.

    I have met people who have absolutely no clue. They think that homelessness is an attitude problem, that all you have to do is meditate and that makes everything hunky-dory. Please note who it is that is pushing this…..Not the poor!

  • As I said in my email to you, I do not object to word “disorder.” I do object to “mental disorder” or “mental illness.” I do feel, as said, that ED is a nutritional disorder and does not belong in the DSM (not that anything does…the book needs to be classified at a hate book, a book of eugenics). It should be taught in nutrition schools. It isn’t. Not only that, most insurance plans don’t cover nutrition, not unless you’re diabetic or have kidney disease. Maybe that’s because nutritional counseling does help, and psychiatry would lose money if people could freely access it. In fact, learning about nutrition does help a lot of people, no matter what the issue is.

    I do not think for one minute that ED is a brain disease. I know it isn’t caused by perfectionism or poor self-esteem. All of these are myths imposed on patients, as is the use of incarceration and force, often to their detriment.

  • I have been concerned about this for a while. Even apps like Sleepio are concerning to me.

    I worked for Crisis Texting Line and quit very quickly. First of all, anyone contacting them is subject to mandatory reporting. Secondly, I did not want to be a volunteer bot. I was unimpressed with the training. Thirdly, this app collects data. In fact, they’re very proud of that, and include it in their advertising.

    There’s also some kind of therapist-for-hire that works via texting. The service is insanely expensive, $75 for a texting therapist? Huh? I tried this a long time ago and was unimpressed and asked for my money back.

  • Let me remind people that Binge Eating Disorder was not recognized by the APA until Vyvanse was determined as a drug to “fix” it. I have an MIA article on this.

    This happened in 2013. At the time, I kept wondering why the APA took that long to figure it out. I thought they were just stupid. Yes, that too….

    I kept wondering if their refusal to recognize BED as significant was why my complaints were ignored for decades.

    BED is certainly real, and you will very much suffer from it. However, it is a mistake that some people think (and I did, too!) that it comes from a “chemical imbalance of the brain.”

    It is true that it comes from a chemical imbalance, but not what people think. Malnutrition is a very real, very serious chemical imbalance!

  • Yes, Oldhead, it’s interesting that many on the left talk about “right to treatment” like it was really treatment! It’s more like “right to have your rights taken away.”

    I am seeing distrust on both sides of the fence. I am very impressed by the Health Freedom movement. Most naturopaths will steer their patients (patients?) away from psychiatry. Many will even encourage you to reject a lot of Western medicine, too. I have a chapter on how to choose a naturopath. One of the things I say is that many will send you a “disclaimer” reminding you that what you do is your choice. People think this is an attempt to get themselves out of messy legal situations. Actually, the statement is a reminder to make your own decisions! This concept is one I also discuss throughout the book.

  • Catnight, only one therapist ever said that to me. He said he does very short-term therapy that might be one or two sessions. This was a tapping therapist. He focused on trauma. I think he was the last therapist I ever saw. I had just been abused in the hospital (inpatient medical ward) and I have to give him credit for totally believing me. I saw another one for a free session only, via Skype. She told me, “You don’t need a therapist. You need a lawyer!”

    I have spoken to a few career coaches. Funny how survival with these people means omitting 35 years of my life.

  • I agree, Oldhead. I state this many times throughout the book, reminding people that there’s no validity to these diagnonsenses. As a writer, though, I have to gently bring the reader to the point of realizing it themselves. As we say, “Show, don’t tell.” It is more powerful that way.

    For instance, in various parts of the book I explain that one psychiatrist on a ward diagnosed every single patient with “bipolar.” We were baffled by this. Some had just left other wards where they were given other diagnoses. Another psychiatrist labeled all female patients with “anger problems.” We knew because we compared notes. We joked about it, too.

  • It IS child abuse to fabricate a diagnosis. We need to think about this because when it comes to the psychiatrization (hmm) of children, this could be a vehicle for nailing social workers and behavior specialists who force children into diagnoses. It would also constitute child abuse for a parent to bring a child to a psychiatrist with the intent of having the child drugged for either their convenience or to collect disability payments for the child.

    As far as adults are concerned, I am not sure where false diagnosis comes into play. I would suspect it falls under malpractice, but it would be much harder to pursue legally.

  • I remember decades ago when we were all on lithium, a guy told me lithium had given him “diabetes.” I asked him why he thought he had diabetes and he said he knew because he was always thirsty. Sad to say, I was sure he was mistaken. He really meant diabetes insipidus, which has no relation to the other diabetes, although with the other diabetes, thirst can be a sign. The guy also told me about the urine experimentation. I was sure he was nuts! It took me decades before I found out it was indeed true. I also remember being in a “group” where this one guy frequently had to rush out. Again, I figured it was his “mental illness.” This was certainly not why. He was rushing out because he had diarrhea. He also had the shakes really badly and the beginnings of TD.

  • I just want to say I was one of the patients that was paid $10 cash to be interviewed in front of the one-way mirror. It was 1997. I ran into the resident later on. I asked him if he “passed” the mock interview. He said he did not. Now that I look back, I wonder what he diagnosed me with. They thought I had BPD back then but what I was truly suffering from was aftereffects of ECT. What they did by totally mishearing me like that was a crime. After I left McLean that diagnosis mysteriously disappeared off my record, never to return. So I ask myself now what on earth he diagnosed me with that they disagreed with. Of course, if he had said, “Brain damage from shock” they would have immediately silenced him. I do not recall that guy’s name, either.