Monday, March 27, 2017

Comments by Julie Greene, MFA

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  • We are at varying stages of leaving that old world behind. This mean varying degrees of safety from it. As I left that old world behind, I got safer and safer from it, breathing a sigh of relief at last, and I must say, the fear does fade. i know I still feel the effects of trauma. I still have a lot of trouble trusting people. I flinch upon hearing a siren. Still. But now, I laugh a lot, and the nightmares stopped. I can safely do many things I couldn’t do before. I can use my real name. My name is EASY because everyone has it anyway. Five of me in every USA city!

    I cannot state my location. That I keep to myself. Others can. We are at varying degrees of how private we must remain, because for some, we have other demons to face that may be linked to the System somehow. It is a matter of common sense, not a matter of how committed we are to a cause. We must remain vigilant.

    I feel much safer now. Last night I did a Toastmasters speech about antipsychiatry. I do not see well anymore, but I was thrilled to see jaws dropping, eyes wide open, heads nodding, almost in unison along with what I was saying, especially when I said, “No one should be locked up.”

    That felt very good.

  • The good news is that kidneys do restore, despite what the “experts” claim. The key, believe it or not, is to leave them alone and stay away from Lithium and other harmful chemicals. Take good care of yourself, stay far away from the doctor’s office, and you might be surprised one day to find yourself a lot better.

  • I was taken off in 1996. I can’t say I had any change in my moods as they were already human enough. I was already on Tegretol anyway. I actually did not want to get off the Lithium at the time. Either way, the damage was already done, as I found out. The DI turned out to be permanent. The kidney failure happened many years after I got off lithium, but definitely was from that drug. My kidneys were slowly failing over the years. Oh, don’t expect your docs to be honest about it, either. Mine were not.

  • Hi cat, I was also PRESCRIBED three antipsychotic drugs, all at the highest doses. These simultaneously, and at the same time, three anticonvulsants. I was not violent nor manic nor psychotic. Looking back, I think they noted that I wasn’t “responding to treatment” (because they never addressed the problem to begin with!) and so, they kept piling on the drugs.

    I am lucky because getting off that “cocktail” wasn’t too hard. What is harder, in my opinion, is shaking off overall reliance on physicians and others (including alternative practitioners) to boss us around, in other words, appointment addiction. If you are very hooked on appointments your entire outside social life (if you had one) erodes and disappears, so in throwing off the appointments you’re left with zero for a while. it’s very hard to find truly decent friends, people who accept you and aren’t users. Some communities and groups are extremely hostile and closed-minded. You just have to keep looking. Finding friends and a decent and affordable place to live, for me, was so much harder than anything to do with drugs, although it’s possible that economics (not having enough money) certainly made all those challenges ten times harder. I stay far from doctors’ offices and that, I think, is key to staying healthy.

  • Force is larger than tying a person to a bed, although that is an example of force. Also is forcing a person to attend AA or any forced therapy. Or invading the person’s privacy, such as forcing a bathroom door open and forcibly watching the person while he or she is doing whatever people do in bathrooms. Forcing a person to disclose private matters is also force. “Where have you been? What have you been doing? Who are you with?” Threats can also be force. “If you do not comply, I will send the police to take you to the hospital.” Contacting family members against one’s will could also be force. And just plain ole bossing a person around, “You MUST give up your bathroom scale and to prove you’re not lying, you have to bring it to me.” The forced weigh-in, whether done blindly or not, is force. Tube-feeding is rape, if it is inserted and kept in against the person’s will and done via force (security, or threat of use of Security if patient refuses to comply). Using force, and then calling it “care” is extremely confusing, contradictory, traumatizing and invalidating for those who have it done to them.

  • I am not sure what I said was clear. I am more against incarceration than I am against anything that psychiatry does to people. This includes drugging. Psych incarceration in the #1 worst thing a person can endure, because it is not a hospital, it is imprisonment. Not only that, the patient is tricked into thinking it is a hospital, but is locked in. This is a horrible thing to do to a person who gets no trial, no jury, no judge, doesn’t get an informed choice (isn’t told ahead of time) isn’t told the real consequences nor how long the stay will be, gets his rights taken away, can’t communicate with the outside, and often, loses his job, loses housing on the outside, and his entire reputation as well as a result of the incarceration. Upon returning to the community he may find his life is never the same.

    This is a crime, and should never be done to a person. Never. It has nothing to do with “medical care.” it has no relation to “stigma” and no relation to an “illness.” It is a crime done to a person as an act of power. If I had my way I would do everything I could to stop it now.

  • Liz I agree that many times psych professionals see violence in kids and conclude it comes from dysfunction in the family. I can’t understand why they automatically jump to this conclusion since temper tantrums are extremely violent and can reoccur at any time. When a kid’s hormones hit the roof during adolescence (science doesn’t really understand this too well) then it’s very possible for teens to have tantrums, too. Who hasn’t seen someone throw a cell phone at a wall, or honk their horn in utter rage? I doubt that means a darned thing about “dysfunction” in the family. Frankly I am very sick of the knee-jerk blaming, too. My shrinks did it without even meeting my parents! They even had them all diagnosed!

  • I am so glad I have read this article. Thanks, Sandra. You have given me perspective on what happened to me in September 2011 when I was forced into a “hospital” and then, nearly forced into State. I can only say what I am about to say with much hindsight on it all…..

    First of all, I was in some sense, committed, not via court, but by all means, against my will. I had just been horribly abused in Massachusetts General Hospital, a human rights abuse (deprived of drinking water for days, and I have diabtetes insipidus – DI, you can’t do that to folks with this kidney condition). As it turned out, I wasn’t being silent about it. I can see now, with the hindsight I have, that the MGH et al were extremely frustrated that they had been unable to convince me that it had been all “for the patient’s own good.” Nor had they been able to convince me that water deprivation was “necessary care.” What now? Obviously, the answer was forced silencing, because the patient wasn’t shutting up! What to do? While they were deciding, they forcefully locked me up in Hospital/Prison B. Meanwhile, they took measures to have me transferred to State. She ain’t shutting up yet! All that took time, due to “paperwork.” What I was told, meanwhile, was that I was being “held” at Hospital B and “cared for.”

    I knew I had no choice. Again, I recall the thoughts that went through my mind. It was early September. “I’m here. What can I do? I might as well make the best of things.” These thoughts, exactly. “Why fight it?” So there I was, rail thin, really only wanting answers, something other than being bashed by people I thought were my friends, but had turned out to be not on my side after all.

    I cried a lot. Some of the staff were wicked nice. I had no clue who was for me, and who was against me. Did anyone even care anymore? I was in this place to heal from what the other hospital did. But I was being kept at hospital B against my will. So I rationalized all that, telling myself that Hospital B was the Good Hospital, and MGH was the Bad Hospital. Only I knew it didn’t work that way.

    In the world of the nuthouse, since it is a cruel and terrible place, the only way we inmates can make sense of the fake world we live in is in terms of the Good Fairy and the Bad Fairy. We know this isn’t real, but we must force ourselves into believing it so. We make it so, to survive it all. So I did. Hospital B would erase what MGH did. Hospital B would fix it all. So I forced myself to believe that what Hospital B was doing was actually healing. I forced myself to love them. I forced myself to worship them. And that is actually how, to my utter surprise, I got better! or at least on paper…. However, unfortunately for them, they now had no provable grounds to send me to State, nothing that a judge would buy. Now they would have to silence me in some other way. They let me out on September 26, 2011.

  • Thanks for sharing your story, and thanks to MIA for sharing a story written by an older adult (even older than me I admit, as I was born in 1958). I, too, suffered from binge eating. I am surprised they tried drugs on you at such a young age back then since usually they tried therapy and drugs were not used unless you showed up inpatient. I first went to therapy for an eating disorder and was refused drugs and had to beg for them.

    I was also given the “you are competing with your mother” line. That is a stock cookie-cutter phrase they try out on female patients. You can find that one in most of the popular women’s mags these days. I found the theory definitely didn’t fit, although I considered it. They also tried the theory about the “cold and emotionless parents” but that line did not fit, either. They tried in every way they could to blame my parents since that was the only way they knew how to do therapy, which I frankly find sad. I also found that the decades-long strain between my mother and myself was CAUSED by therapy, since the therapists were the ones who originally accused me of having a “bad mother” because they couldn’t think of anything original to say. I also felt that some therapists tended to see their own mothers faults in their patients’ mothers. I think that is called projecting. A few sessions satisfied the therapists’ needs plenty. Hmm… Thanks for sharing your story. It is an interesting journey to read about.

  • Maybe these are not random spam comments as they appear to be, but directly from the “opposition,” as we occasionally call it, having noticed that this article and subsequent comments are clearly indicative of our insight into THEIR despicable condition. So they are trying to get the mods to close the comment section off. Nyah nyah.

    So they said we were psychotic, eh?

  • Anne, I would ask those who have been there, those who have convened together, who have actually been through this. There are two online forums I know of, one called Benzo Buddies and the other called Surviving Antidepressants (which also covers benzodiazapines). These are actual patients and ex-patients who have been through it, not just doctors who have never experienced it who are reading stuff from textbooks. So they would know. I have spoken to these folks myself and I think you can trust them because they’ve convened and seem to have developed some good strategies. The problem seems to be that when these drugs were developed, the drug developers and doctors did not plan on taking people off the drugs, ever. They only planned on putting people on…for life. Obviously, this was poor planning! This is not the first time in history technology has gotten ahead of itself, and not the last time it ever will.

    There were certainly those of us who had the foresight to see the dangers of benzos and tried to warn the public. “Hey, the Titanic is going to sink!” But what happened? Anyone who dared say such a thing was called a heretic, a traitor.

    The government has enough of a muck right now with people addicted to opiates, and frankly I think all that stems from the medical community’s long-term gross acts of fraud and refusal to take responsibly for its actions.

  • Maradel, again i could not find your comment right away, so I am posting here. You mentioned your experience when people see behavior problems in animals. We humans define behavior problems on human terms. So if they fail to follow human rules we define that as problematic. But is it? No, many of these problems are human problems, since we are intolerant!

  • Yeah, Stephen. What can be said of PTS__ that was caused solely by abuse done by medical personnel while inpatient? What a joke.

    None of the friends I had prior to 2011 are my friends anymore due to to social othering. I went through a drastic personality change due to the trauma, but who will vouch for me?


  • Frank that’s an awesome assessment of the situation. Might I add, also, that the advent of the Internet took the APA by surprise. I know for one thing, they were concerned about their own “online presence.” Why? Because they’re corrupt, and they don’t want anyone knowing! Also, they didn’t expect the inmate population to have the wherewithal to take interest in computers and online activities. But we did! They did not want us to become educated nor have freedom of access to information, for obvious reasons. Even worse, for them, that is, we began to freely communicate between each other and communicate outside the ghettos they had made for us. All this presented serious problems for the establishment, due to their corrupt nature. As soon as they realized this, they took measures to limit us. They confiscated gadgets. They physically separated us, ending smoking rooms on wards, for instance, anything they can do to limits friendships and gathering. They tried even harder to disable us as a way to silence us with drugs and increased ECT and court-ordered methods, as well as offering token jobs just to look nice, and I believe this will continue.

  • Yes! Same here, 1983-1984. This was on a much smaller scale, but the results were the same. I was refused disability payments. I was confused about the whole thing since the doc who evaluated me did not ask about my eating disorder, which was truly disabling me, but instead, asked rather boring routine questions about where I lived and who my family was. So since I was refused I decided to go straight to work. I was hired but ended up incarcerated soon after, for a few days. After I got out, I went back to work. I discovered they’d “found out” where I’d been. Also, I no longer had a job! I’d been replaced already.

    I went to see my psychologist and tried to confront him. He seemed to think everything was peachy keen and wonderful. I told myself he was a liar and a faker who knew nothing about eating disorders and had been deceiving me for an entire year and not helping me at all. I went home and took a bunch of pills. I lived.

    I suppose, doing so was a “statement.” Whether my intention was to die or not, that “statement” was costly to me and to my family. That’s the important part. The consequences. The fact that you are considered an subhuman animal afterward, and your friends stop speaking to you, too, which is pretty much standard. It’s odd how many are more suicidal afterward due to horrible treatment than they ever were before the “act.” And meanwhile, the confidentiality betrayal was all “justified.” In fact, they were glad to be rid of me, I suppose patting themselves on their backs for a job well done.

  • Stephen G, If I were working that job, I would be tempted, on a daily basis, to be seriously sneaky. I hope your coworkers and the CEO of your prison (oops!) I mean fake hospital are not reading this. I’d be super “nice” one day and throw a pizza party for the staff. Lace the pizza with a whopping dose of Zyprexa, and it better be whopping. Better yet, lace it with one of those illegal horse tranquilizers. Once the staff are comatose, open the doors and let all the patients out. Run for your lives. Get everyone the hell out, and keep running. Then, the next day, when you go back to work and realize you haven’t quite done that yet, today, resolve to do it for real.

    The best escape job I ever witnessed, by the way, was a guy who did it naked. 🙂

  • “I didn’t know you were intelligent enough…” Yeah, same deal here. I was told by several “doctors” that they didn’t think I was intelligent enough to 1. operate a computer, 2. get my degree, 3. Hmm…Was that a real degree? They ask…Oh, you had special help, didn’t you? When I tell them I didn’t, they insist that an MFA in Creative Writing isn’t a real degree, that it has no meaning, no usefulness, no practical application at all. Why don’t you bag groceries, they say, do some “supported work,” all that patients are good for. Then, I am threatened after I WRITE about my experiences, and told I must stop, or else! So the uselessness of writing (so they claimed) was enough to scare them a bit and ruffle their feathers…..As we continue to do here on MIA. Keep it up, folks.

  • Maradel, I cannot locate your last comment on here but you mentioned gossip. Yes, true! Academic circles are very tight, so that is why gossip can spread so fast. Likewise, medical circles are like the academic circles. It’s amazing how they talk, talk, talk. And YES, they do “blacklist” patients! You bet! They “red flag” patients, of course they do! Yes they break HIPAA in doing so, all the time. Back room talk, behind the scenes. They HAVE to, or think they do, to protect their financial interests. So if a patient is a known troublemaker (i.e. let’s say, knows too much, or saw something…) you bet they “flag” that patient, to keep him/her from talking, or to keep her/him from writing or, as of late, posting on social media. In fact they were taken by surprise when they found patients were actually savvy enough to learn to use computers (like they’re the only ones with brains enough?). You bet they pass information between them. HIPAA or none. I am witness to this, I was subject to it, it was the whole reason why I was abused….and I will stand by what I am saying, even say so in court if I have to.

  • I don’t know what NDE has to do with it. I had one. After that, the “hospital” that held me deliberately kept the vital information from me that I had “coded” while in the ER. I only found out because they accidentally gave me some of my records upon my leaving. I was livid.

    Because of what had happened, I was scapegoated. I was scapegoated in the hospital where I was medically compromised and abused there, then hated in my community upon my return, where I cried and cried alone because no one cared.I don’t think anyone gave a fuck that I had an NDE, nor cared, nor wanted me back, nor loved me at that moment. I had never in 55 years seen a worse case of societal hatred and neglect until it happened to me and nearly killed me, and they still did not give a f*ck.

    Why? Because people do not care about a mental patient. We’re worthless in the eyes of society. Great scapegoats, and if we die, big f*cking deal.

  • No insight? It’s a basic human rights principle that no human lacks insight into their own condition. We are each the primary authorities on ourselves. However, it is my personal observation that mental health professionals sorely lack insight into the condition of their patients, and increasingly so when they assert the authority by diagnosing them with psych labels.

    This is not to say there’s no value in medicine. There is. A person can feel pain in a foot and not realize it is broken. The person may go to a doctor and tell the doctor about the foot pain, describing what he feels, which then, hopefully, gets properly diagnosed as a fracture.

    The important thing in so-called mental illness is not pain. It is not even unusual experience. It is that a person came into contact with a mental health professional. Truthfully, many of us do come into contact with those dreaded professionals due to pain or unusual experience, but not always. Then what happens? We were flat out misunderstood. We were not heard. The illness, this so-called mental illness, is that act of misunderstanding.

  • Wow does the medicalization of spirituality sound familiar! It is so commonly done. As a kid from a Jewish family I was told I had a Jewish problem! Of course, they defaulted to that, since being who you are is a disease since your patient status means you can’t be called “normal” or they’d look like fools.

    An example of such medicalization, my most abusive therapist decided to do “psychodrama” (really, psycho-drama) and told me to imagine God was in a chair, and to put a stuffed animal in the chair to represent God. Then she said, “Talk to God.” I told her to go screw.

  • That depends on how you apply “personal is political.” If it is used to silence people, as “think positive” very well can be used, then yes, by all means. Slogans are often used by religious cults and totalitarian regimes such as psychiatry, and are one of the hallmarks of the nuthouses. How many times did we hear various slogans there that were only used as excuses for further torture and encourage our passive acceptance of that torture?

    However, we can use their slogans and slap them in their lying, cheating faces with them. I’ve seen the same done with their HIPAA laws. The administrations love to exploit HIPAA and say, “Oh, we cannot disclose due to HIPAA.” We see that every day in the papers. Wow what baloney. I have known many savvy ex-patients who have used HIPAA to turn the tables on their ex-providers and win lawsuits, or at least get their rights and freedom reinstated.

    Likewise, the same slogans they threw at us to silence us we can now use to slap them in their lying faces. “Just like diabetes, eh?” Etc.

    As for the personal being political, I do see value in being a good person rather than being a shitty one. Simply because I was raised to be a good one, and I do want somehow to be a decent human being. It’s inconvenient to do stuff like park illegally, because you’ll end up with ticket, or towed. However, you can still be noncompliant and raise hell otherwise, because without our noncompliance, without having realized somehow that we had to say NO MORE, most of us would be alive today, right? Be beautifully rebellious, and don’t lose that.

  • Oldhead, exactly my point. If we set good examples of living well, then isn’t personal political? Just by being decent human beings. Just by being generous and kind. Just by being alive despite all they did to us. Just by creating wonderful works of writing such as Katie has done, even under anonymity out of necessity. Because it helps us all.

    Every day, I walk my dog past a yard where apparently the homeowner had a toilet he didn’t know what to do with, so there, he placed his old toilet and it sits there as a birdbath. To amuse myself, each time I walk past, which is twice every time Puzzle and I go walking, I invent a new use for the toilet. Is it really a bird bath? Is it a Friday night can for the drunks? is it a place for forlorn squirrels to drown themselves in an act of suicide because biting the telephone wires didn’t work? Is it really a budget clothes washer?

    By the time I get home, I am laughing and joking around with Puzzle, having a good time on our walk, even though some days I feel like shit, and yes, I pick up after her. The personal is political. I’m not a nutcase anymore. I don’t look like one, I do not act like one, and no one calls me one. Nuts are for nutcrackers. Keep them in the bag or chow down on them.

  • AntiP, My current solution is this: Live well. Wherever you are. Live well. Don’t be a label. Don’t live as if you are a mental disease, because you aren’t one, and you never were one. If you don’t want to be called a nut, don’t act like a nut. If you spill milk, good for you. Rejoice that you are human. You may very well make mistakes, and you have the right to change your mind anytime, but that does not make you anything less than human. It is your choice to cry or laugh over spilt milk, but please clean up the milk fast or it might stink very soon.

  • That is, discrimination based on perceived disability. Because if you were doing the job, and were shut out of that job because you employer didn’t like that you had a label, then it was perceived disability, was it not? Or, if you were doing your job just fine, but missed some time from work, took sick days due to ___ but your employer “found out” that you actually were locked up in a nuthouse (who squealed, I wonder?) then if otherwise, taking time off is okay (when another would take time off, say, for the flu), it’s perceived disability, or outright loathing, or fear of a person they don’t understand, or shunning becausue they just plain hate, is it not?

  • I personally do not define this stuff as “painful” and I am tired of hearing these TRUE FACTS described as subjective or some type of opinion or again, as our disease we have to go to yet more treatment for. NO! We do not. This is not OUR disease, nor are we somehow obligated to ourselves nor to society nor to our friends and family nor to our communities to “get over it.” I think our communities owe us an apology. I think our doctors and the institutions that backed them and called us liars or paranoid or delusional need to stop that NOW, and acknowledge that they were flat out wrong. They need to acknowledge that they made grave errors. Have we not done so ourselves? Have we not acknowledged taht it was a mistake to trust them, if we ever did? Wasn’t it a mistake to believe them? Wasn’t it a mistake to trust them, even a sliver? We have admitted our mistakes. We know how painful it is to say, “I was wrong.” Look at the lost years of our lives and at our broken families. How can they tell us to get more “treatment” when what is truly needed for us all is for them, the providers that harmed us, to face us, look us squarely in the face and say, “I’M SORRY.”

  • Ah, but life’s a stage and we are but actors upon that stage. I used to think, “Oh, I wish my life was like that person’s life. He/she seems to be so together and happy.” But you know something? We’re all acting on that stage. We are in this together. Act. Listen: What did we do on the wards? We acted our diagnoses and got rewarded for that. Acting well got us brownie points. Now what? No staff, no fucking brownies, right? We still have a stage, we still gotta act. Some play-act happy. Do we believe these smiling faces? You can if you want.

    Just live. Don’t even think about it. Get up on that stage and sing like hell.

  • Not only the workplace, but the workplace-to-be. As in the case of children taken before they even have a chance to finish high school. Or kids taken while still in college, prior to having a chance to start their careers. Potential employment that never ever happened. And as Katie brilliantly has stated, the government is now offering us Peer Support positions as tokenism, I suppose trying to make the genocide look just peachy keen, and also, to trap us into further silence.

    Needless to say I have applied for such positions but because I have stated plainly on all applications, “I do not believe in force nor coercion and cannot support these practices,” I am always turned down. I suppose I have been lucky in that regard.

    As I have said in other forums, Jim Gottstein has eloquently pointed out that the field of malpractice or personal injury law is not equipped to handle psych cases. This is so specialized that there needs to be a separate legal specialty for psych. I am hoping that law schools develop specialty training for future attorneys, just like they train tax attorneys, property attorneys, and elder law attorneys.

    My guess would be that these attorneys would need excellent medical knowledge, anatomy and physiology basics, knowledge of drugs, have strong ability to see different angles of situations, must have creative ability to empathetically understand a person’s motives, ability to understand coercion, be human rights oriented not “right to treatment” oriented, have full understanding of the United Nations definition of torture and of a person’s right to refuse treatment, and of every person’s innate competence. And have good ability to mediate.

  • Yes, I have heard very sad stories about people who have been subject to cruelties who have worked in the sciences. It is indeed money-driven and power-driven. Ah, who has published papers, who has been favorited, who works for which prestigious companies and who gets the grant money and holds that precious tenure? Yes it’s a cruel world and I have heard stories told to me by those on the top who have it easy and are clueless about those who have it rough, and those kicked into the gutter who are wondering why so few “get it” and why so few can conceive of a non-career that slaps you in the face over and over.

    Source: Stories I heard from others.

  • Very true. I am reminded of Rabbi Kushner’s work When Bad Things Happen To Good People which reminds us that the Just World Hypothesis is a false construct. We don’t deserve rose gardens.

    I wonder what would happen if we were all alike? How on earth would we, as a society, choose which one of us to pick on? Of course such uniformity only happens in science fiction. Even killing people senselessly won’t get us complete uniformity unless only one person remains.

    Is it not true that human society needs the scapegoat figure? But what if the scapegoat is not an actual person, but an idea or concept? Or perhaps something deep within each of us? I recall when I was scapegoated a long time ago, realizing that the reason was because the others hated the part of me they recognized in themselves. They didn’t hate me because I was different, but because we were painfully alike. They hated that I reflected that unsightly part of themselves right back, like a mirror.

  • Not all of us who years ago went to therapists for advice had “narcissistic families” (whatever the heck that means). My own family was fine and I hate what MH (especially the therapists) did to us. The therapists were bigoted, they stereotyped my family, they were antisemitic, they didn’t understand, they tried to fit us into a cookie cutter when surely my parents were a cut above the rest, to be honest. They took us into the mountains, took us hiking and taught us appreciation for nature when the other parents plopped their kids in front of the TV and ignored them all day. My parents were not abusive, nor manipulative, nor addicted to anything, nor emotionally unstable. They wanted the best for us kids, and no way do I see what happened as “scapegoating” as I voluntarily took myself to therapy in the first place. It was my choice, in fact I insisted on it in an act of defiance. I thought it was the right thing to do and told my folks they were “old fashioned.” The accusations of those therapists tore my family apart, turned my brothers against me. I am heartbroken over what happened. Of course, what is the norm in malpractice? People do not like to hear that a DOCTOR or THERAPIST could do harm. OH NO! It’s so much easier to blame the victim. “It must have been an underlying family condition.” Listen real hard to this, listen to just how typical it is to excuse these therapists. Underlying condition, eh….. No, I myself was not scapegoated by my own family, though I was certainly scapegoated in other circles. Speaking for myself only.

  • Yes, and don’t be tempted to go back!! Be careful, too! Anything that looks like a shrink called by another name IS a shrink. Even coaches, faith healers, even some that call themselves alternative, beware! Do not trust! I wish it were otherwise, but sadly, it ain’t. Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Recently (for reasons I truly wonder now) I contacted a “coach.” I actually was figuring “career advice” but wow, I wish i had not. Right away she asked me if I had ever consulted anyone else and asked over and over about “prior diagnosis.” I happen to know that if she had a real coaching license her coach ethics would demand that she did not use DSM diagnoses. Apparently she either disregarded this or didn’t care. BEWARE!!! Of course, I used a throwaway telephone number when I contacted her, gave her no physical address, and a fake IP, just to be sure. I ended the phone conversation as soon as felt uncomfortable with her questioning, and told her I had no interest in pursuing “services.” I am reminded….Do not go back, do not be tempted. I could kick myself, even though I was playing it safe.

  • mlk, here’s a suggestion. Being over 60, unfortunately, means the chances run high of seeking assistance from medical professionals unfortunately. We tend to accumulate miscellaneous issues by the time we’re 50 or so that may require the dreaded office visit. Given you have a “record,” here’s what I would suggest.

    End all association with psychiatrists and any mental health professionals. End all association with any medical professionals who are aware that you ever saw a mental health professional or are aware of your MH history. Now, you need to learn to be an excellent liar and an excellent actress. Never admit it to any future medical professional again. Never admit you ever saw one, nor ever say, “I was wrongly prescribed x,” because sadly, they NEVER buy that one and defer to the prescriber. Never admit you were ever in therapy. Never admit to depression, feeling blue, having insomnia, any mental history in your family, or any social problems, being addicted or having alcoholism in the family, or ever being fired or ever being sad. Or at all “disabled,” ever. Don’t let them raise eyebrows. Flat out lie. Get what you need (such as emergency help for a bee sting or poison ivy or a cast on your arm or eyeglasses) and then, get the hell out of there and breathe a sigh of relief that they did not capture you and keep you like you’re a dangerous criminal! Then, once you’re out of their clutches, laugh your butt off.

  • Thanks, Sera. It’s my understanding that DID is not too common, as it is considered an uncommon reaction to a sort of trauma that is uncommon to begin with. So I’d assume a slim minority. I also know for sure there was a period, if memory serves me correctly, the late 1990’s, early 2000’s, when the DID diagnosis was popping up so frequently that it seemed as suspicious as “childhood bipolar.” I wondered if it was the fashion in the medical schools or something, or even becoming a default diagnosis when all else failed. In my own personal experience I have not known a person that I knew for sure was not misdiagnosed. However, I am not saying that to invalidate another’s experience. In fact, the overdiagnosis of ANYTHING discredits those that are genuine! This confuses the public totally! And it gets to the point where folks don’t know what to think.

    Let me give an example. We know that squirmy kids are given the diagnosis ADHD far too often. We are certain that this is overdiagnosed. Is it possible that a very slim minority of these kids, I mean like 1% of ADHD diagnosees have “attention issues” that might be serious enough to cause them to suffer if not heeded to? (this has nothing to do with pills) And isn’t it true the the overdiagnosis of this is harming the very few, if they exist, from being taken seriously, down the road? At the same time, those that have been misdiagnosed and given wrong treatment are also being gravely harmed. To quote my former shrinks, which honestly I hate doing, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

    Diagnosis hurts those who suffer by minimizing suffering or belittling what genuine sufferers go through by calling it a disease. Misdiagnosis causes suffering or prolongs it.

    I didn’t throw my former shrinks out completely because I kept that stupid little quote around. Otherwise, the bathwater is happily thrown out.

  • What we must do, if we can, is to tell these stories in a way that is understood universally. This is not as difficult as it may seem. When we think about it, we can explain this in more universal terms by explaining how it felt and leaving out the qualifying judgment, since that can be extracted by the listener or reader. Of course very few have ever been in restraints, but many can relate to being misunderstood. While most have not been locked up, many can relate to feeling disempowered or trapped in a situation or knowing there’s no way out. One life story is a metaphor, which is why our stories can be so powerful, speaking to many. This is why anecdotal evidence should not be dismissed the way it often is by providers. Of course it’s just another way they love to discredit us and assert themselves as gods.

  • Best of luck to you! I earned my MFA in creative writing and have written about ten books. I took my two published books off the market because I found out that publishing is a sham. Should you choose to publish it may work IF you can find buyers prior to book launch who swear up and down they WILL buy your book, and guarantee 200 sales or so. This means 200 friends, or 200 sales via someone rich. I’d say advertise like hell, get the sales, or hire someone who likes sales if you dislike being a salesperson.

    This is what happened to me. Due to social othering at the time the book came out, my fake friends flat out refused to buy the book. They wouldn’t even open the cover. And there it sat, gathering virtual dust. I took it off the market in disgust. I hated shoving it in their fake friend faces.

    So now i offer it for free. Because I believe it is more important to get the word out than to “sell” anything. I only want to communicate. This is vital to me. Writing is sacred. I do it because to me it is so important to tell this story and get people to hear what we have to say.

    My master’s thesis is not a book about abuse and never was. It was the culmination of a LOT OF WORK. It was so sad that it only sold, in lifetime sales, about four copies, about one copy per year. You’d at least expect my classmates to be supportive. Not. My heart was broken over that.

    so overall if anyone out there plans to write a book, remember you have to sell the damn thing, too. And if you don’t like to be a salesperson, just don’t bother. Why make a publisher rich? Even self-publishing makes the self-publishing venue rich. Do the joyful thing I am doing now. Give it away. Make people happy, and get the message across to everyone.

    My opinion based on my education and experience.


  • Unfortunately, many birds who are let out of their cages are frightened, and, seeing how wide the walls of the world are, run back into their cages.

    The seductive world of MH is always calling. Leaving an abusive relationship is like leaving a burning house. To go back means to die. But it was your home and inside are things you owned, many memories, and even comfort. Many are drawn back and are sucked right back in, choke on the smoke or burn in the fire. The analogy is not mine, but one I heard in a talk on domestic violence years ago.

    Sometimes I see working in the profession as taking a sneak peek back into that world because it was your life, and yes, it’s darned hard to leave that fake world behind. Even though it was cruel, it was the world we knew for many years. This is why many of us yearn to become nurses or social workers, wanting to help other people because being helpers was so highly valued. We want to be like those we admired, those god-like people we worshiped for so long and held in such esteem.

    Some indeed are suited to it, many are not. I learned the very hard way that my originally chosen field, the creative arts, is where I belonged to begin with. I also know I work best by myself, independently, boss-free, which means the traditional helping fields are most likely not the best match for me. Needless to say, a person can feel fulfilled and know they are helping other people without directly interacting with them. Doing art can fill other people’s lives with joy and wonder. (If anyone says doing creative art isn’t giving to society, and that the only legitimate work means a paycheck, or volunteering in a soup kitchen or stuffing envelopes for a charity, they can go screw. Where are people’s values? And frankly, I don’t care anymore.)

  • Katie, that happened to an acquaintance, same thing, she was turned away prior to a heart attack. She lived.

    I also witnessed a wrongful death. The guy was sent to the psych unit when he was on the verge of a heart attack, instead of having his impending heart attack tended to. He literally collapsed during his intake interview!!! How stupid can they be? I saw the whole thing. I was not in the room at the time but I saw enough. I knew what had happened because I had been in the System, as compliant, three decades. Compliant, well, not much longer I must say! They told us he was a “regular.” Uh huh, that’s why he got profiled. Since I no longer live in the area (safe from retaliation) I have been trying to publicize this one as “witness” hoping that if there has been a lawsuit I can at least chime in, but probably the statute of limitations has passed.

  • Yes to the supposed “dangerousness” of those of us who tell the truth. Because we’re a threat to those who can’t, or won’t, hear the whole story. Because they’re afraid that knowledge will set them free, which might be scary and painful after all. Maybe living in a slave society is easier.

  • Yes to the denial. That it didn’t happen. Not possible. Must be some exception. Which is flat out denial, almost delusional on the part of these true believers. However, I think they’re forced into psychosis themselves, even (and especially) the providers, since their premise of our being hopelessly diseased, and nothing but burdens to society is contradictory and false.

  • Oh wow this is so, so good. You’ve summed up the tokenism so brilliantly. The damned attitude. Yeah, that’s exactly it. The way we’re treated as soon as they know we’re diagnosees. I want to share this widely but I fear, in a way, blowing your confidentiality. I have a saying that I’ve been using lately….


    I, too, used the “relocation” method and it worked fantastically. There’s a huge difference between revealing to people who are complete strangers online and revealing in person. Also, there’s a difference between people who are clinicians or mandatory reporters and those who aren’t. Those working in the field are ten times more bigoted. Even those who claim to be “different.” They rarely are, especially if they’re duplicating the System and refusing to admit it.

    I have rarely had trouble since relocating. I know all it would take would be one slip and I’d be forced to relocate again. Once I met a guy for a “date” and after that I figured he was “cool” so I revealed in an offhand way. After that he told me he never wanted to associate with me again since he feared an “untreated mentally ill person.” To be safe, I changed my phone number, but I am not at all worried. All other times I have mentioned it there have been no problems. I have actually gotten the “I left the System too,” response. BTW, I’d suggest not using Facebook at all, but I’d say by all means you were extremely wise to get that guy out of your life!

    More power to you! Wow this was so, so damn good. I always knew we were all much smarter than the people seated across from us in those offices. Keep it up.

  • Sera, thanks for the laugh. I don’t watch movies. But I truly loved reading this. It is affirming to me, a good reason to stay away from all that nonsense.

    Those I knew who were DIAGNOSED with DID were sometimes taking it on as temporary false diagnosis. So while they were diagnosed, they temporarily became their diagnoses, whatever the DOD (diagnosis of the day) happened to be. DID isn’t very safe for the diagnosee, from what I understand, due to problems with memory loss or complications should one get behind the wheel of a car. I have never heard of a DID diagnosee being a danger to others.

    The DID as misdiagnosis is a serious danger to patients and their families, however, possibly lethal. I have known people to take on this role for many years. Sadly, the docs and therapists have a heyday with it. It supposedly requires extensive, intensive, and expensive treatment, so that makes such patients excellent commodities. The last time I saw a patient in such a predicament, a fellow inmate, it was a very very sad situation indeed. I feared she would be institutionalized for life. I wondered if she knew who she was anymore.

  • I did look into it, Chaya, and from what I have learned when the dogs used for psych are trained the tasks are as varied as human variation in the needs that handlers may have. For instance you might have a person who is fearful but feels much less fearful if the dog “checks” an environment and there are ways that they train dogs to signal handlers that everything’s okay. It is not that hard to teach your own dog. even if it’s not a service dog to “remind” you to follow a schedule as needed, for instance, to “take pills” (ahem) or to wake up in the morning. Many people who have psych service animals also have physical challenges so when they are matched with the dog this means many tasks related to the physical challenges also. I admit I knew one or two people who have had “fake service animals” but I heard somehow they were cracking down on that. My feelings are that if a restaurant allows dogs, they let the dogs in, pets too, ultimately, and if anyone wants to complain, they will most likely do so. If everyone just gets along, cleans up, is considerate of others, and everyone is okay with everyone else, uses common sense, then we’ll all be happy.

  • The last time I looked into peer support (I can’t even mention with whom) I was shocked to look around at the pool of applicants. How many had actual lived experience? I think me, the supervisor of volunteers, and one other. Did these other applicants not even understand what peer support is? I hope they were turned down. I saw college students looking for something nice to add to their resumes but no lived experience. One social work intern. No lived experience, again seeking stripes on the uniform. I couldn’t believe these folks were not immediately informed that they can’t even apply! Sadly, I think they were hired. I have extensive experience but was turned down from any work for them due to my Human Rights Self Empowerment approach. I am pissed off that this precious lived experience you will not find anywhere else but from a real mental case (an alive one) has repeatedly been shoved away like it is useless trash.

  • Sometimes I wonder, too, since we matter so little, since the reality is that it doesn’t even pay to represent us legally in court, which means we are truly unwanted and devoiced, my guess is that thinking in broader terms these mass shootings represent a desperate attempt of those who were formerly forced into silence to be heard. Drugs do a good job of silencing. Diagnosing discredits a person, weakening or disempowering everything they say. Incarceration or forced appointments (keep the person busy with play-doh) also silence people. Many of us are angry over the the denial and overall refusal to believe us. Many are desperate to to be heard and believed, desperate enough to get very loud I’ll bet, if pushed to the limit.

  • Aria, This is my guess. Those of us who have been force-disabled by drug-induced insomnia were generally long-term users of psych drugs. My guess is that most long-term cocktail-users were on the disability rolls to begin with. So who will care? So what if we’re made worse disabled? We weren’t making big paychecks. They aren’t anticipating many lawsuits from those whose lives were already wrecked to begin with. What was the monetary loss? In court, nothing. They don’t give a shit about a mental patient’s quality of life. Now you take a father of four who makes 80,000 a year and give him the exact same drug-induced narcolepsy, that will make it to the courtrooms. Especially if he blows his his head off and takes a few kids in a convenience store with him. And leaves a suicide note saying he can’t sleep and is too exhausted to work because of the drugs he was given and his life us ruined. Maybe then someone will care but no one cares about nutcases. There’s no money in it.

  • A retriever can pick up a credit card with his mouth. Imagine that. I would like Puzzle to get me a credit card with very large balance on it…and please hand it to me. And all paid off. Instead, though, she went and swiped someone else’s discarded old birthday cake from the side of the road this morning and she gobbled up half of it. Ewww…..

  • That I know of many service dogs are yellow labs, or cross between yellow lab and golden, they were talking about that mix being a good one to work with. Neither is hypoallergenic although some people report being less allergic to yellow labs than the black ones. Black labs and German Shepherds are also used. Not one of these breeds is generally known to be hypoallergenic. You usually find only the ones with hair rather than fur, such as the Poodles and one other type (I recall one of the terriers) to be a good choice for a pet a family with an allergic child. I do not recall any laws about that in the ADA, actually. That I know of, the main concern is that they want to use a good breed that can be trained to do the service animal tasks, and some are better suited. Size is a consideration for some tasks and handler matching as well. Many are used for balance so for that I think they need a larger dog. I think I read that the retrievers do so well with their mouths, like it’s used as a hand, that they were a natural first choice.

  • Chaya she is a Schnoodle, half Poodle and half Schnauzer. Most Schnoodles are hypoallergenic. I am not allergic myself. But this is what I was told, that people who are VERY allergic are amazed….they tell me they cannot believe they aren’t allergic to Puzzle! And I can tell you she looks “dirty” because her color is “not quite white” so no matter how clean she is she ain’t white. Because it’s not a disorder, she’s supposed to be “cream colored.” I love making that analogy just to make a joke. Maybe it’s the “cream” that makes her hypoallergenic, I dunno. Oh, she needs a haircut, too. Thus breed does not shed and for whatever reason her fur isn’t very thick. And she is extremely cuddly (which might annoy a non-dog person).

  • I think if I had a kid and my kid was having problems in school, my first course of action would NOT be to take my kid to a psychotherapist. In fact, this would most likely be one of my last choices. Number one might be to examine the direct complaint of the child. What is bothering you? The class? The instruction? The other kids? I might also look at the home environment. I would not have a TV at home, but I’d ask if the child has been exposed to a lot of TV at another location, say, at his day care center (if he attends one) and if so, that would need to be changed. is the child exposed to too much noise? What about nutrition and what are the kids eating at school? Sometimes a good solution for some children is an older child to act as mentor, especially for those who do not have an older sibling. I’d try new activities such as new types of sports, crafts, new social outings, maybe a church group, new play group, drama club, skating, computer club, math team, taking up a musical instrument or singing, art lessons, a job working as apprentice at a lab, and basically whatever the child is good at and feels he would like to pursue further. What do you dream of and what do your really want to do? A therapist would be a last resort, unless the child specifically wanted one, and a few sometimes do. You mean you really want to be a shrink? Well, okay, but the profession is kinda crooked…..Why don’t you run for president instead?

  • I would like to know if there are any articles out there that show the science behind why people get the most horrific insomnia from antipsychotic drugs (I was on three at once, at the highest possible doses) or pretty much from any sedating drug if taken (prescribed, ha ha) over a long period. I never needed antipsychotic drugs, at all. The insomnia I have had has been comparable to narcolepsy. I cannot describe it in any other way. This has nothing to do with “racing thoughts” nor “my mind won’t stop.” I cannot attribute it to nightmares nor “anxiety” nor does it ever change from one night to another. The only time it improves is if I am completely sleepless for a lengthy period, only then will I have improved sleep. My average, for five years, was about an hour of very light sleep, no dreams, per 24 hour period. I couldn’t believe I did not go into organ failure after that but I was going into mini-sleeps during the day, including while waiting in line at stores, while in waiting rooms, while standing or sitting on bus rides, in ticket lines, and even while walking I felt afraid I would fall asleep, nod off, and fall down. I also lost track of what i was doing and was forgetful, and couldn’t get organized, got lost in stores and lost my way frequently. I did find a solution. Caffeine. I use it to stay awake all day to avoid mini-sleeps, then, a tiny bit, subclinical sedation at night, just to get myself perhaps four hours. I can function now, but I wish I could SUE or something! And I’m wondering if the drug-induced narcolepsy is permanent or whatever. I never went to a doctor, either, I hate the whole profession and I am terrified to see an MD at all! I just figured this out by putting two and two together and doing a lot of reading. I’m very happy to be able to function at least and not worry about my safety in traffic, but it’s not ideal.

  • Yes, and I am wondering also they have KNOWN all along that SSRI’s cause sleep disturbance. Whether they knew the precise mechanism or reason doesn’t matter. They were well aware of the association and they have known this for decades. They have also known that these sleep disturbances, plus the akathesia-like agitation (similar to to the pacing from thorazine-type drugs) either one of these could cause an agitation which could drive a person to suicide. Again, knowing the exact reason wasn’t as important as the fact that they were aware of it, well aware, and LIED. DENIED that they knew the association. And people have died. Not a few, but thousands, and tens of thousands have been put out of work and even more dealing with chronic pain issues and facing issues late in life, god-knows-what, such as impending dementia issues we don’t even know of what proportions. With even more now on these high-test stimulants, the problem magnifies further.

    I am reminded of the old Star Trek, when Captain Kirk reminded us, again and again, that there were certain realms where Man simply should not go. While it may have been amazing that the Star Ship Enterprise explored where no man had gone before, he always reminded us, often around the end of many of these short TV episodes, or Spock would, that there was a limit, that there were places where they needed to lay off. I think we’ve reached some of those places right here.

  • Aria, I am always amazed at the lack of insight I hear about in the psych field! I cannot believe these are trained doctors and they fail to see the obvious that they were trained to see, time after time. I am amazed that they have degrees displayed on their walls and that they are still allowed to “treat” patients. I am also amazed at the frequency that they claim their patients are the ones with “brain deficiencies” and that patients cannot understand their own shortcomings. Your example points out quite clearly the hypocrisy so widespread in the profession.

  • So after all these years they finally pin this down. I am asking, is this the tip of the iceberg here? And now we know about one specific extremely serious genome sequencing problem that will produce results such as violence or death, could there be other genetic or drug-drug disasters yet to be uncovered? I truly believe that even if years back they couldn’t pin it down specifically, surely they knew all along there was a very serious problem, perhaps an unpredictable one. They were well aware that prescribing SSRI’s was like roulette, they knew SSRI’s COULD cause mania or psychosis and acted like they were blind to it, or lied and claimed it was rare, or claimed the usual lie of “underlying condition” since this is the Grand Malpractice Default Mode. If all else fails, Never Admit You Did It. It was Mr. Mustard in the Kitchen with the Lead Pipe.

  • Not if the funding went to a university that trained the law students to work in the field. That way, the funding would only be indirectly from the government, say, in the form of a grant. Or possibly this could all be privately funded via a grant which would be collected from contributions from private concerned citizens. Don’t the Nikkels have such a grant for worthy projects? There is such a need to train attorneys, not only to work on commitment cases (what a shortage on those!) but also on “insanity plea,” school shootings, drug-induced violence, wrongful death, and all kinds of psych-related cases that “malpractice” simply doesn’t quite cover. Or shall I say the malpractice attorneys can’t research it in as much detail as these cases require, because psych is so specialized. If I had an extra 50 years to live I’d go for paralegal training myself since I find the field fascinating, but I’m too darned old.

  • Yeah and equal access to the job market, too, that would be awesome….And how about government funding for legal assistance specifically for psych, such as commitment cases and legal representation for those abused by psych professionals or institutional abuse related to psych? We don’t need more psych professionals but we do have a serious shortage of attorneys, we need hundreds more to help get people out.

  • Thanks. I found a recent SAMSHA pamphlet (I am unsure of the date it came out) and I was glancing through it noticing the various use of buzzwords and fuzzy terminology I seriously question. I also noticed the wiggle room, vagueness about the dangers of the drugs, and no real specific benefits of them. If you water your garden the right amount, the plants will clearly benefit. We see greener, larger leaves, healthier plants, stronger stalks and roots, more fruit, etc. We do not see clear benefit like this with psych drugs. Lie to me about a healthier brain and a phony fixed imbalance and I’ll show you how many of my buddies from the wards are dead and gone now. Yes, SAMSHA is selling out. Thanks for this article and the clear and succinct explanation!!!!

  • My friend was allergic to dogs. Over time this developed into a fear of dogs as well, which is of course a logical progression. She also suffered from nightmares since childhood. In fact, she was extremely fearful of many things when I first met her. So she went to a therapist, who told her she had a mental disorder. After that, her marriage went downhill, as did her career.

    One day, she found out that she might not be allergic to Poodles. She decided to go near one and see if she was allergic. It was scary to do this, but she found she liked the dog very much. Soon enough, one day, she got her own Poodle. After a few years, she and her husband had a number of Poodles!

    She tells me that her decades-long struggle with nightmares, that therapy could never solve, are gone. She tells me her marriage is more loving and caring with dogs in the house. She tells me they are like children to her. Yet when I first met her, decades ago, a fearful and timid woman, I couldn’t imagine her ever having a dog. Today, she has a successful career, is a pioneer in her field, raised a family, and for sure is a person I look up to and admire.

    What I know about the hypoallergenic breeds is that not all hypoallergenic breeds are hypoallergenic. I lucked out, though, or, rather, those with allergies did. I’ve never known anyone to be allergic to Puzzle. That doesn’t mean everyone likes her. I don’t think she cares so long as I feed her. Judging by that look she’s giving me, it had better be soon.

  • I think this is extremely important but I don’t think should be used in everyday instances to encourage drugging or to increase use of the Medical Model. I do think, though, that for those who have already committed violent acts and are involved with the courts, who are in prison for these acts, who are awaiting trial, who are stuck forever in the mental-penal system, or the “I didn’t really do it because I am insane and now I’m locked up forever” system, yes, this could very well be crucial information that could tip a court case one way or the other. This information could also be used in cases where the victim committed suicide, and families are seeking justice. Wasn’t there a story on here recently about a woman who killed her child after taking psych drugs, and is now locked up? The story was posted by her therapist, and that was recent. Monica Casani reposted the story in her blog as well. And Reid Bertino, too, perhaps this information would be helpful. Any of these folks and their attorneys can use this information. Or even suggest the *possibility* to the courts! And if the author is available to testify, this, too, would be extremely helpful to those who are locked up.

  • That is awfully sad. I think in general many of us exploited psychiatry over the years, or decades, for many reasons. For reasons beyond what appears at first glance…..As Szasz points out….Perhaps to avoid marriage because one feels unsuited to it (many are, and have that right!), or to avoid an unwanted career, to avoid having children one does not want (some do not!), to avoid some other cookie-cutter situation that one is expected to do within one’s culture, simply because a person is stuck and doesn’t see any other options there’s that lovely 800 number, because one is married but wishes one married that old sweetheart instead, because you hate your job, because you know you are gay and ooops you are married, what now?…..on and on. I can’t count how many of my fellow high school grads were pushed into med school or law school they did not want. Psychiatry was an option, the other road, a way out of that cookie-cutter. Yes, that’s subtle exploitation, but it did serve a purpose, right? While on the conscious level, they, and their families, may have been convinced of an illness, as was anyone who was around to witness at the time, in the long run, perhaps, if they lived to tell the tale, hindsight revealed the underlying cause. And no, this is not everyone’s story, only an example.

  • This was not always the case. That I know of, NAMI was taken over by Pharma. I do not believe parents get into NAMI having any clue what it is. I know my own parents were curious and wanted to help. You must remember that some 30 years ago there was no Internet so the only source of information were the public libraries. My parents did their own research and were appalled that my doctors didn’t seem to keep up with research at all. They were also appalled that my doctors rarely listened to me, and that the docs had their own agenda. They found comfort in the NAMI groups and they found community sharing with the other parents, hearing that the other parents had similar experiences. Then, Pharma took over. What I am saying is that you cannot generalize and say that “NAMI parents are abusive parents.” Because NAMI was not always the way it is now. My dad would be appalled at the changes. He was once a leader in NAMI and from what I recall, he was so impressed with Judi Chamberlin that he urged me to read her book and get interested in human rights. He worked in the human rights field, FOR NAMI. This was right before he passed away from cancer. I am sorry that it took me another 20 years to take all that up. So you see, NAMI has undergone drastic changes.

  • I didn’t say that, uprising. I said thousands, not all of us. I do not think I should have been working the entire time. I believe I would have benefited from a short break, not being permanently takenn from the workforce, nor do I believe society benefited from being protected from me.

    I found it harmful to be called “dangerous,” too.

  • Agreed, wholeheartedly, Frank. I have had a change of thinking over the past month or so. For maybe two years I felt that in my own life the absolute worst thing psych did to me was to personally abuse me. I am specifically speaking of the later events that occurred to me after age 50. This after 30 years, suddenly I had a PTSD-type reaction and I realized I had to get out.

    However, now, my thinking is that really, the bigger crime, even than that, was that all those years I was clearly not disabled, there wasn’t anything about me that definitely kept me from being unable to do the tasks necessary to do a job. My mind worked fine. I was still intelligent. I could think logically. I could walk, talk, follow directions, read, write, do math, etc. Lift things, carry stuff, all the necessary things for a job. And during that time I attended college and was a stellar student without using accommodations. Only bigotry kept me unemployed.

    And one other thing. I was kind of a klutz, one of those brainy kids who tripped over her own two feet but could do figures in her head and loved to compose music, so I was only good for some types of jobs. I needed someone to guide me to those few positions open to girl nerds, and no one was around. Bad luck.

    But that’s my change of thinking, the greater harm being the determination of “disabled” and putting thousands out of work who by all means, should not be called that, should not be seen as that, and most of all, should not experience having to see themselves as that.


  • Just be careful with “everyone” as I myself was recently bashed for making an “everyone” statement. I hated being bashed over it. It sucked. It is out of empathy that I say this, and perhaps feelings of protectiveness, along with admiration because of the excellent job you did on the video.

  • Okay, I watched it. I have a few things to add. First of all, I’d add your credentials into the film, so that way, viewers will know 1. Who you are and what gives you the authority to make these statements and 2. this should lead to a suggestion as to why you are concerned about the DSM. You speak well and with an authoritative tone, succinctly, clearly, authentically, and certainly with confidence. This of course will win the confidence of viewers as well.

    To ensure you retain their confidence, be sure to spell-check all the slides. I saw spelling errors, including psychiatrist, focusing (spelled focussing), ambiguous (spelled ambiguos) and I think another time psychiatrist spelled wrong, and I also took my eyes off the slides at times (plus I miss many of my own errors due to not seeing well).

    Toward the end you made the statement regarding “everyone” disliking seeing a person forced into ECT, or forced into a hospital, etc, but this isn’t actually true. Be careful with these “everyone” statements because I am guilty of such statements myself and I get knocked down whenever I make them!!!! Badly knocked down!!!! You don’t want that!! (I know someone who is dying to get her “sicko” relative forced into “treatment.” Oh, “for her own good.” Such “caring” types we wish understood that it’s not care…….)

    Other than those minor things I think this is an excellent instructive video. The slides move at a comfortable pace, not too fast, not too slow, and also, they are readable, even for me! The text is a readable font with readable colors and good contrast, too. This is so often a problem with videos for us old fogies who cannot see well anymore. I like the approach, I like the way you sum up, the way you return to the summary, the way you stick with the outline, and the way you also use the “review” format within the lesson. You never stray from the topic, and the entire piece is compact and accessible. Keep it up.

  • Hi, I have read this summary and am about to view the video. So far, I am in support of what I see. I am especially in support of the “whole picture” view rather than the drug-focused view. In other words, this is a societal problem, since it is an entire society that now has this “mental illness is a sickness” viewpoint. Believe it or not, back in 1981 when I first started therapy and I first heard other patients refer to themselves as “ill” or “sick” I honestly had never heard that term used for that type of experience before. I had not had a word for it nor used one in my ordinary speech, except “going crazy,” or “ending up in a mental hospital” or something similar. Imagine my surprise! Okay, on to viewing the video! Julie Greene

  • We need to keep writing more about what it is really like to be kept inside a nuthouse, from the prisoners’ point of view. Not some stock story such as, “I was sick, I went to treatment and now, I’m better” type of crap they pay people to write.

    I applied for a blogging job recently and they *said* they wanted me. Then, they said they didn’t want to hire me because they said if readers read the truth about what happened to me, they would choose not to go to mental health care. I wrote back and told them that this was my precise intention, that I aim to keep people out of nuthouses, and that I am sorry they do not like the truth. I am sorry that those places are publishing misleading stories. I do not wish to work for them in any capacity.

  • Registered, I was speaking specifically as a female. The male mental patient experience was somewhat different at least a number of decades ago. Back in the 60’s and 70’s the career options for women were limited and women were not encouraged to pursue an advanced education. Unluckily for me, I found I enjoyed academia and wanted to stay there. I disliked the workplace and didn’t find I had any work options at all in my chosen field. Not as a woman. Not at that time. I saw women marry composers, and live in the shadows of their husbands. Then they didn’t write a note of music again. They made babies. That disgusted me. So I suppose psychiatry looked like a tempting niche to slip into. Brilliant, talented, and mad. Nice partnership, especially if you are female and do not want marriage.

  • Frank, every single group out there has its elite. This isn’t degree-dependent. It’s a social thing. Who is “in” and who is not. Only no one likes to admit that. We’re all aware of some who have been kicked off of here, some who have been shamed, and some who simply do not hang around. We all know who the popular ones are. We all know who is “liked” and who is less “liked.” Every single group is like that, whether you got ten, twenty, a hundred, or more. You got the central circle, and you got the peons. Yeah, you got the favored ones, and you got the ones on the fringe. This is reality, and it does suck for a few, this will happen. Humane societies, workplaces, clubs, scouting, football teams, you name it.

  • Frank, I have been told over and over by MH professionals in every way possible, in the medical model, by my own doctors, by other professionals, in and out of clinical settings, the following…

    That my degrees, which I earned, do not matter.
    That whatever intelligence I possess is not of any use.
    That my intellect needs to be suppressed and silenced via drugs and incarceration.
    That female intellect is a disease.
    That no matter what, they are right and I am wrong.
    That no matter what, whatever I say is a reflection of a diseased state.
    on and on…….

    In 2006 I was URGED no to continue with my MFA studies. Told I did not belong in graduate school.

    In 2013 I was told I HAD to stop writing and exposing the truth in my blog and I was told I would be given psychiatric drugs to force me to stop, to incapacitate me.

    In 2013 I was told I had a “useless master’s degree.” Which I suppose is why I keep it after my name. Because they can’t do a darned thing now.

    they need to *go screw* very badly. Stick their heads in poop. And stay there.

  • I could have used some practical advice regarding my music career instead of all that talk about “emotions” back in 1981. I didn’t need emotional support. I needed someone to give me some practical assistance figuring out how on earth a young Jewish woman could break into the music composition field, which at the time, was overrun by Dead White Guys. Back then, being smart, Jewish, and female was not even allowed. You couldn’t exist.

  • Just what paisley toes said. It’s obvious. Who writes most of the columns?. People with MH degrees, people who do, or used to do treatment upon treatment receptacles, that is, patients. Doesn”t this seem contradictory?

  • Yes, this is very true, But who is upheld as “experts” here. MH professionals rule the land here as experts. We do not see enough attorneys posting here, and I really wish we had MORE posts by attorneys. Not only that, we need many many more attorneys. Hundreds, thousands!!!! I wish we could somehow develop, say, a law school that taught student lawyers to specialize in all sorts of psych, so they would come out ready to take on these cases, all specialized in drugs, abuse, threats, sectioning, force, restraints, sexual abuse, spousal related to psych, taking dx off charts, wrongful care, incorrect care, incorrect dx, shock, failure to inform, confidentiality, wrongfully putting on disability, academic matters, child welfare, suicide, homicide, on and on… about…The JIM GOTTSTEIN School of LAW? If we have the Bonnie Burstow antipsychiatry scholarship, the world of Law needs the Jim Gottstein scholarship ten times more, instigated all over world. Like, yesterday. Please donate and join up.

  • I’m not saying those with a bunch of degrees should be silenced but those with lived experience should be more visible, and if we are only here as tokens, then, well, we’re not upheld as the real experts. So this is perpetuating the myth of who the real experts are. Not only that, it’s perpetuating the “brain” myth all over again. it’s continuing the false belief that all this happens due to a brain defect that only some specialized field can handle, some person with a higher degree that the sufferer and sufferer’s family cannot possibly have. Some 800 number, some “help” out there, and therefore, the dichotomy persists and is upheld. No, this needs to be knocked down, we need something else. We need strong communities, strength within, not another 800 number, not more Welfare, not more agencies, not more “services.” Strong communities, more sense of belonging, friendship, caring, and love. And that cannot come from outside expertise, because the expert is YOU.

  • A famous forensic psychiatrist once told me I was “faking my eating disorder.” This guy’s word holds up in court, that is, his damn opinion, that has the power to put people away for life. What can I do except laugh? If I could get on the witness stand I’d blast him away.

  • We need all that to change. Even in the court system, which is corrupt as we know, the word of a psychiatrist as OPINION is upheld as expert witness. That’s insanity in itself. I have personally known forensic psychiatrists and I can tell you they are just as idiotic and do not hold any more expertise nor are any wiser than bartenders or hairdressers in human nature and human frailty.

  • Dear Bob and crew, I am grateful to this site because back in 2013 I didn’t even know there were other people out there who knew the things I knew. When I discovered MIA it was like a godsend. I am happy that I made friends here and found others.

    However, I am more and more being shoved aside here. Whatever I have to give is not wanted at all. Mostly it is because of the overemphasis on psychiatric drugs and MIA’s refusal to acknowledge the whole picture. Also, MIA repeatedly upholds the authority of those with PhD’s and MD’s in MH-type fields as “experts” over those who have really lived this thing. This is totally false, and should end. I cannot participate in glorifying these non-experts any longer, nor encouraging others to do so. I cannot support MIA for continuing this lie as growing forefront in the media.

    Again, while I agree with the mission, who really has the authority to tell this story authentically and honestly? If we are to look back on the Nazi Holocaust, whom do we believe? The textbooks, the college professors, the lecturers, the politicians, the advertisers, the banks, some website, or your grandma and aunts who were imprisoned there?


  • YES!!!!!! Thanks, Frank. The yapping on and on about drug harms only serves to minimize the greater harm of being seen as MI in the first place. The drugs are only recently in the forefront, the past few decades. How can folks be so short-sighted? Therapy itself is so harmful. It causes addiction and dependency.

  • Francesca, I really love your writing. As for your “crimes,” I had to chuckle. Even trashing your apartment, which sounded to me like the most destructive and violent of them all, would be excused if only you didn’t have a psych diagnosis. Say, if you did it while drunk, most likely the event would be dismissed. Or if you did it while 13 years old. Oh, if all of that were a result of a sorority party, stuff like that would be commonplace.

    The label changes everything. It is how one is perceived.


  • Yes, if it costs a fortune, undoubtedly it’s a scam. I’ve found that just about anything that is decent out there is free or almost free.

    For instance…Extremely useful items such as…wooden clothes pins. Lemons. Common household spices. Buckets. Brooms. Rope for clothesline. A knapsack. A decent pair of boots. a tarp, Twigs, brushwood you find outside. Stones. Common household cleaners such as peroxide. A cigarette lighter. A pocketknife. Chapstick. A cup. Your housekeys. total cost most likely mostly the boots. However, our feet hold up the entire body, if we have feet and use them, help many of us travel from place to place, and connect us to the ground.

  • You know what is really funny…..I’ll be out, say, for a few hours and then get so thirsty and stop at a store and get maybe a liter bottle of water, gatorade, or whatever is cheapest, even coke if it’s on sale. If I didn’t have to drink it in public I’d get the 2 liter bottles (never mind have to carry them). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood in cash register lines and can’t wait to break into that bottle. I feel like I am going to die of thirst if I don’t. So within minutes, down goes that entire liter. Yes, I do get stared at. I’m waiting for the day someone ‘informs” me, “You can die doing that, you know…” I will laugh my butt off. Just try lithium, Dear. Yes I know what I am doing.

  • As for not receiving treatment and still getting disability I think it’s an individual matter. Let’s put it this way. They damaged my kidneys. Then, they failed to notice I had diabetes insipidus (which is kidney damage) for 27 years and instead called it “addiction to water.” No, it wasn’t. I really do need to consume six liters of water on a normal day. I cannot get by on one liter as I will become dangerously dehydrated. Secondly, they failed to inform me that my kidneys were failing. Thirdly, when I went into kidney failure and full code, and then, revived me, again, they did not inform me of this. So now I live with damaged kidneys due to their gross errors. I doubt they expect me to trust them again! What am I supposed to do, go back and let them muck it up worse?

    They gave me Risperdal which caused bone deterioration, which they never admitted even after I broke my leg. They gave me Seroquel which caused my weight to double. I got raped and they didn’t notice. When my boyfriend died, they didn’t seem to notice that, either. When I ended up with a cracked tooth, they handed me a Haldol.

    They have demonstrated such wonderful competence, I’d say…I’d recommend them in an instant…well, if you wanna get killed, but other than that, no. I think SS is embarrassed, and looking over three decades of this circus they are most likely having a good chuckle for themselves.

  • For sure! So today I turn 59. In six years I can earn as much as I want without penalty. I do not like them looking over my shoulder. It is the Biggest Fraud Ever. However, we did not commit this fraud. I say this because….

    There is a segment of the population who were falsely told they had epilepsy. This was merely a form of epilepsy that is transient. However, they were told it was permanent and advised to get sterilized. Many did, only to discover the doctors were incorrect. I have no clue if there was ever any sort of class action lawsuit. One article I read was totally sugar-coated saying that the woman involved ended up conceiving despite going through sterilization. I felt it was irresponsible of the journalist to leave out how the woman felt about having her life stolen because she had to live as “disabled” for many years. And what of the others? I knew someone, in fact. Because of this error, he came close to suicide.

    And what of us? Welfare fraud. I feel that this is the worst of psych crimes. Taking us out of society. Putting us out of work. Calling us disabled. Many of us could have worked. Some needed a break. I, certainly, did not need a three-decade break. I can’t find a job due to this lengthy gap in my work history. It has been hard enough to lie and explain it away. I think the docs should PAY UP. It was inexcusable.

    I agree, we did play some part in it, but mostly, it was the docs and therapists who continued to insist “You are….”

  • I agree. i do not think there’s such think as a psychopath nor such thing as a sociopath and I will not use those words. I will sometimes note if a person seems to present themselves as not sharing their personal possessions when they should be doing so, failing to make space for others, failing to hear when they should, turning away when they should not be turning away, but these are poor choices, not disorders of one’s character. Secondly, we observers do not, by default see the entire story. Think of a stone. We cannot see the entire stone. We see one side. The other side is not visible because it is the on the side not facing us. I can tell you that on the other side of that stone is the other side of the story we have not heard.

    When a woman passes by your house walking a dog and her dog leaves poop and you look out and possibly suggest she pick up the poop, and her reaction is to shrug and walk on, does she lack a conscience? On the visible side, perhaps.

    The other side of the stone is the side we do not see. On that side is that she has just run out of her house very fast because again, her husband has threatened both her and the dog. Much like the Jews who rushed out of Egypt with no time to allow the dough to rise, this woman didn’t have time to grab a plastic bag to pick up the poop. As her dog left a mess in her yard, she is terrified wondering were she and her dog will spend the night tonight, and neglected to apologize. Does she lack a conscience? If she did, she would have left the dog behind! We cannot judge others based on only the half we see.

    We do not know the entire stories of celebrities such as Carrie Fisher. Sure, we know Princess Leia, and we know the very public Carrie, but other than that, there’s a whole other side of that stone that we never saw, and maybe will not see for a long time.


  • I think peer support is a good thing too. Especially prior to the hijacking, as Don as described, back then, it was totally non-hijacked. It wasn’t the same as the ones paid by the government to drive patients to appointments and coerce people to “care.” Not the same at all back then. There were phone networks and meetings that the “establishment” didn’t even know about. To me, peer support, even now the terminology, sadly, is confusing. There are peers out there that help escapees stay out, help explain to potential patients why they should not become patients, why depression is part of life, why one might consider NOT going to a hospital and maybe doing some other thing, etc. Life was very different then, the networking was amazing and much of it is still there.