Sunday, June 25, 2017

Comments by Julie Greene, MFA

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  • Oh my god, me too! I was a member of a group of women (I actually started the group) and their thing was “we gained weight from meds.” So the whole thing was about losing the weight we had gained. I’d say this was around 2006 that we started.

    So this was a tight group of women. They kicked me out one day. Of course, what was happening was that I was “questioning.” Questioning everything, all the decades of lies.

    Questioning will lead to bullying, and I mean on both ends. I got it from my pals first, they kicked me out and started posting horrible stuff about me. Then, I ended up with a new therapist who was narcissistic in her ways of doing therapy. So I was really in a rough spot then.

    Sadly, these exfriends made up their minds I was borderline. I saw they posted this on there, saying I should be put away and that my dog should be taken from me because I was incompetent and dangerous. Oh, they went on and on and I hated reading it but kept reading. My exfriend denied the borderline bit but she was the one who wrote it. She also called the cops on me. It was actually swatting! Unnecessary police call.

    So anyway, yeah, it’s a wake-up call all right!!!!! You become the instant bad guy!!! Oh well……..I think the experience is so common we might as well say it’s almost universal. Leave the cult and they claim you’ve married the Devil. You’re possessed….contaminated.

    I have trauma reaction from it, too. I’ll never forget the day one person posted that I was “no longer human.” I copied the post, all their hateful words, and kept it all.


  • I would agree. When I was in the questioning phase (questioning psychiatry) I went through a lot of grieving. Those who used to talk to me just plain stopped (out of reasons you state above) and that left me with two years of no spoken conversation in my life. I feel very fortunate that this period ended. Becoming an activist was what did it for me. I have real friends now, supportive people in my life. Not just people who push others away assuming all sorts of bogus diagnoses.

  • No, I use color reversal and I make the type real big. Some people use screen readers which are narrators that read the screen. I think a braille way to read off a screen is in the works.

    Okay, now we need a vending machine for so-called “meds” so people can bypass a psych. Auto-pusher…….

  • I think things have changed since Judi’s time. Those I would call anti-psych are either survivors, ex-providers, or providers-turned-patients and either way, we all got utterly disgusted. Sometimes patients become providers but they are USUALLY not abolitioninsts, since look who pays them! Or it’s tough road to be on due to the irony they must have to face daily.

  • I love that, Bonnie. What is a democratic psychiatry? Or how can we get there? I don’t think any democracy can come out of locking people up, taking away their rights and using coercion, deceiving them, doing tortures such as electroshock, and shooting them up with dangerous drugs. I thought democracy was participatory where all people had rights to the decision-making process. I would say psych is anti-democracy, the pinnacle of it.

  • There are those out there that only want “better care.” They don’t realize that the entire “help” concept is wrong. I used to think the exact same thing. All I needed was a “better doctor.”

    I didn’t realize that doctor-dependency keeps many people sick and perpetuates the cult of neediness, the “help” mentality!

    All I can say is that I would wish for anyone Freedom from Doctors. It’s better than anything having my life back from slavery.

  • I love this discussion! I appreciate what you are saying, Frank that we must be realistic here. If we are going to dismantle something we know is wrong, but we’re up against what looks like an impossible goal, maybe it needs to be done incrementally.

    I also think strengthening communities and family will mean going to a psychiatrist is unnecessary. I think we need to make bit-by-bit changes in our communities, end labeling, be more open to discussion of what are now taboo topics, tell our stories any way we can, and encourage community activism based on embracing all humans.

    Many are already skeptical of the DSM. This runs across the board economically and across many disciplines. People working in in other fields. such as IT, the arts, other sciences, and legal fields to name a few are well aware of the harms caused by diagnosis (diagnonsense) alone.


  • You have to remember that back in the day, psychiatry wasn’t the same as it is now. Now it’s all the drugs. But even back then, incarceration was the main thing they did to known nutcases, and they still do. So psychiatrists put people iin nuthouses, mainly, and did “treatment” on the prisoners. i think we agree, do we not, that locking up people and doing “treatments” on them that largely are unsuccessful, if not, disasters, for sure needs to be abolished. Wish I could do it in an instant.

  • the accusations of being a Scientologist just have to be met with denial and a statement that we aren’t aligned with them. Yes, doesn’t look great on a resume, but a lot of groups hate psych and aren’t aligned with our goals.

    As I see it, psych is a cult, as is sci. So there are groups out there that use coercion, isolation, etc, and what I see is that people run from one cult right into the hands of another.

    Just lilke people go from one doctor to another, thinking they need a new doc. No, you need NO DOC. That’s how to not be sick.

    Run to freedom!

  • Yes but didn’t Szasz turn away from Scientology? I am well familiar with the CCHR and I know they’re a Sci front, but I know they do some good work, great films, too. I’m reading a book on Hitler and it seems the book is backed by Sci. Still I’m sure it’s all true. The book is darned scary, since it COULD happen again!

  • If the FDA can be convinced to make psych drugs, or most of them, unavailable because of the dangers and multiple lawsuits, the drugs will be sold as street drugs. Buying street drugs is far safer than going to a psychiatrist, anyway.

    I notice most “therapists” can’t seem to commit to abolition since clearly they still want to control people and run their lives. Dear Therapists, get off your high horses and just give up the fight. You DON”T know better!

  • Bonnie my original thing was that I noticed inhumane treatment in eating disorders. Immediately, just for pointing it out, kids (mostly) in ED treatment spoke out against me claiming I was “Pro Ana” or “Against Recovery.”

    There was really no point in arguing. I tried, though. I tried to say, “No, I’m not against getting better nor against “treatment,” only against inhumane treatment.”

    I have since noticed that in younger, less experienced patients, they tend to “split” over treatment. A good doctor, a bad one, a good hospital, a bad one. And that’s kinda a natural response here, you have a terrible experience and you end up RATIONALIZING it away by telling yourself, “They were the exception.” Because you don’t want to believe otherwise. You’re hoping it was only a bad apple and you keep coming back for more.

  • Frank I think the reason adolescents and young college age adults get roped in is because of the natural risk-taking in that age group. Plus we learn quickly, and are more open to new ideas. This makes a person prime target. We aren’t tied down in a marriage yet, still in many ways “seekers.” We may be going through ordinary teenage experiences yet we might more quickly fall for their lies, maybe simply because of a young person’s openness to try something new.

    Then, the doors behind us clicked shut. That sound, which would become all too familiar, again and again. We were slaves…..

  • bc harris, I have known neuros who will curse psychiatry under their breath! They see the damages!

    Also, look into the work of Grace jackson, MD. She is a psych but what she does is amazing in her observations of the harms. And she has seen many harmed people, especially the elderly who were on these substances for decades.

    As the Prozac generation gets older we’re now seeing the consequences. It’s not pretty.

  • If force was abolished, then psychiatry would rename Force. Didn’t they rename prisons as hospitals, and rename drugs as “meds”?

    When segregation was abolished in 1964, immediately Mississippi didn’t like it, so they found a loophole.

    You don’t want to pay taxes? Ah, loopholes, loopholes, till they become the norm…..

  • The increase in numbers who are turning against psychiatry is evidence that we’re getting somewhere. Plus look at all those out there who are “coming out,” or “questioning.” In ten years’ time, those folks will be staunch anti-psych or even becoming leaders in the Movement. Then, I suspect the walls will come down. Maybe it’s selfish of me to hope it all happens when I ‘m still alive.

  • Any practice is going to have its quacks. Cancer docs, auto mechanics, too.

    If there’s one thing I know about quackery, no quack out there is going to make a penny without redeeming qualities mixed in. So, say, a quack preacher is going to mix in some truth into his sermons. A quack car salesman gives out free coffee that’s the best coffee in town (before he rips you off).

    It’s a basic marketing rule. If you want to convince them you’re the nicest guy in town, put on a great front and give stuff away.

  • Ron, your logic is off here. I concede that Nazi Germany had redeeming qualities. After all, many followers gained self-confidence from joining the Nazi military. So that means it did SOME good for SOME people so of course we can’t abolish it, nor ever speak badly about the senseless killing of 11,000,000 people. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water…….As my shrink used to say over and over. Their favorite line.

  • Kindred I am not keen on euphemisms! I don’t know when it was, sometime after I got my MFA in creative writing that I suddenly realized I DON’T OWE IT TO ANYONE TO WRITE NICE!

    I do feel a sacred obligation to write what is true. I must be true to myself and write what is real even and especially if it stings. I am not obliged to write perfectly. That’s not the goal of art. We’re human, not perfect machines. That is the beauty of memory and how we experience life. Storytelling is vital. No one gonna stop me, though they tried.

  • Thanks for the overview of the conference and your summary of the presenters. I know of many of them but some I hadn’t heard of or wasn’t too familiar.

    Might I point out that the work of Issa Ibrahim is so vital. I have “The Hospital always wins” on my reading list. I’ve only had a chance to skim over it but am so much looking forward to digging into the book.

    We have to keep telling these stories, so that the atrocities will not repeat themselves. Never let them silence you. And never bow down.


  • A lot of non-mh care is coerced. You find out when you are older and they push the unnecessary screenings and such. Coercion is highest in psych of all sorts, but also it’s there in other branches of medicine.

    For example, I tried suggesting to people to take fish oil, or at least try, but the usual response is, “I’d have to ask my doctor.” Ah, they don’t even know they are slaves. They won’t even exercise claiming they have to get “doc permission.” It is frustrating for me to deal with this outright brainwashing, and the media goes along with it, too, product of the medical profession’s claim of false authority.

    What if drugs could be obtained without a prescription? Wouldn’t this weaken the authority and financial power of the med profession overall, especially drug-centered shrinks? In Uruguay you can get anything except psych drugs. But if you speak to the Farmacia people they’ll give them to you, or some will.

  • Last time i mentioned gut bacteria to a psychiatrist she tried to use that as “proof” that I was delusional. Good luck finding a psych that actually knows a few things. Except the antipsych psychs that are in fact abolitionists. isn’t the most famous Breggin quote something about seeing a psych being the riskiest thing you can do?

    I think one of the issues that some of the practicing therapists on here have is that they feel slighted by us abolitionists and are having a career identity crisis. Well? Listen.. complete turnaround isn’t cozy! It hurts and you grieve like crazy. Go ahead and take the plunge. Ditch those bogus therapy careers and get a real job! Please do not go on psych disability if you’re frustrated with being jobless. What a damn cop-out that was (on my part, too).

  • Bonnie, My thinking is that we need to subdivide since one of the management problems in the Movement is that overall we’re too large in number.

    I’m thinking of this: There is a solid anti-drug contingency. Many of these folks have super convincing arguments or research capability that can be used by the anti-drug sector of the Movement. Some folks target certain pills they really hate. This could help bring down certain pharm companies, like suing the underwear off of them.

    There is an anti-shock component of the movement, many of us shock survivors. This segment is really solid and we saw much wonderful work in the 2016 write-in to the FDA and 2015 protests.

    We have people talking about stopping seclusion and restraints and that’s been going on for a while. Some are also targeting forced injections.

    We have seen great work in those that learned to accept hearing voices or learned to embrace them. This is truly revolutionary and I have seen rather convincing work done by these folks completely outside of psychiatry and nuthouses.

    There are areas wide open that don’t seem to be pursued as I’d like to see them. Incarceration, discreditation of patients is done in the legal and social sense, and wrecking careers by putting us out of work, sexual abuse within the System, or of severe boundary violations by irresponsible therapists. This is not as rare as people think and I have seen lawsuits over this in the news.

    Maybe if we have 100 people attacking these aspects, which as I see it all fall under something like FORCE or something that well describes the Nazi concentration camps.

    If I had my way i’d organize a contingency of folks attacking the “care” of eating disorders since nowadays it is done outside the realm of regular psych facilities. A lot of people aren’t even aware of these “specialized” and secluded facilities. The abuse is ten times worse in those places and there is big money at stake, many fatalities, too. Many people have quietly told me that going to ED “care” ruined their lives. i think if only we can organize.

    So bit by bit, we’d knock the whole thing down.

  • In my opinion many people, especially those on Medicare are simply cash cows. Recently I was “admitted” in haste from an emergency room when it seemed they were fishing for reasons to fill beds. You could tell they needed to get their numbers up. I refused and walked out AMA. I am disgusted that when I tell them I’m “retired” they think I do nothing all day and would rather be in a doc’s office. NO! I have rarely seen doctors at all in the years since I left psych in the dust. I am so, so much healthier. I did NOT go to Uruguay to milk their healthcare system, either! I did not want “better healthcare.” i wanted NO HEALTHCARE. Healthcare doesn’t lead to health. It leads to early death.

    I wanted to stay as far away from doctors of any kind as I could. Unfortunately many of the “studies” assume “not seeing doctors” means poor health. Huh? From what I can tell, those that spend three days a week in appointments are far less healthy than those of us who avoid the medics like the plague. An apple a day, right?

    The last time I spoke to them over at the ER, which of course I ran away from as fast as i could, was that they were insistent that I be “followed” by a kidney doctor. I asked why, and they couldn’t quite answer that one. Nephrology is a cult of hopelessness and almost all of them believe kidneys cannot be restored. Yet i hear amazing first-hand stories of those that defied this, didn’t see the assigned nephrologist, and then, lo and behold, they did restore their kidneys. I keep wondering if instilling a hopelessness mentality is what kills people.

    Likewise, seeing a mental health professional instills the notion of permanence, tells you you’re difficult to treat, or that you need long-term “care.” Or even that you’ll be stuck on drugs forever. This alone kills many, and that recent JAMA study showing that being hospitalized increases suicide rate 100-fold is certainly aligned with this notion.

  • MH “experts” claim to be life’s sages. It’ s bullshit according to the UN, because we are each the expert on our own experience. According to the CRPD there’s no such thing as lacking competence, no lesser humans. I love that. But when will the mainstream see the light? The UN declaration regarding depression not being a viable medical illness is amazing, one of the highlights of 2017 in my opinion. If this were put into action, into the laws of each country, it would be a landslide victory for our Movement.

  • How is it even possible to “reform” forced treatment? Oh I know, locked doors that are not really locked but held by velcro. And how about restraints that don’t exist! Lie in this bed and stay there in total agony imagining we tied you here. Do I see an upcoming Vonnegut novel? After all, dead white guys are the writers that matter, so……

  • I’m scared about it too. Thinking the best route will be UNINSURED. Because right away they milk your Medicare and assume because you’re retired you have nothing better to do than sit in a doc’s office or do time getting unnecessary “treatment” in a “hospital.” I’m considering going totally uninsured so that milking doesn’t happen. They NEED to fill beds, remember? Elderly are targeted and we’re called stupid or worse if we refuse.

  • Oddly, I took the pills for my eating disorder which was never acknowledged, so THEY thought they were giving me pills for bipolar…but if I said, the pills were “working” I really meant, in secret, that they were improving my eating disorder.

    I think for most of them, they’d assume the pills “worked” if I complained less. But sadly, they had no clue all those years of what i was suffering from. I laugh now, I think it’s hilarious how stupid they were.

  • The ONLY helpful psychiatrists are ones that tell you psych diagnosis is bogus and actually help people LEAVE the system, get off the pill cycle, stop that ridiculous dependency on therapists, and all of the quackery far far behind. It couldn’t possibly mean getting hooked on yet one more “healer,” thereby transferring addictions. Yikes! Ideally, such shrinks should exist, but in practice I don’t see that type of medicine much, actually, since it means as a doctor, your job is to fire yourself.

  • Agreed, Bonnie. Within the profession and the larger MH profession we do see listening, caring, and community. They very well may be psychiatrists, but the positive effect on a patient is a result NOT of psychiatry, but of the simple yet rare phenomena called caring. Where to they learn that? Well before their college years. As do most of us.

  • Yes I agree. I’m not against caring and listening. I’m against categorizing, use of standardized protocol, lockup and any force and coercion. My experience with therapists was that most were so, so clueless and textbooky that I used to leave in total disbelief. They have this idea of who/what you are, and they don’t budge from that misconception. Ever.

  • Psychiatrists and many mental health workers force “treatment” based on the psychic prediction of “future dangerousness.” In many societies, locking up and taking rights away based on psychic nonsense is condemned as torture and not allowed. But since they LIE and say it’s beneficial and call it “care,” they’re getting away with it.

  • I agree. The word antipsychiatry has been twisted around a lot. Others that have been misused or misconstrued end up falling out of use, overused and then died, or replaced for clarity’s sake.

    The F word was extremely popular among some comics in the 1980s. However, overuse of the word obliterated its shock value. We agreed that even now, it can be used but should be done sparingly.

    Think of the use of certain musical instruments. Too many cymbal crashes will weaken the power that a single crash would otherwise have.

    There’s the other issue of occasionally being asked if I’m a scientologist, just because now and then I use the antip word.

  • Furthermore, the way I see the Movement currently, which I have stated before, is that we are so large that organizing and even communicating between us has become extremely difficult. We don’t have a head count. Also, many are in the “coming out” stage.

    What I highly dislike, and this, too, I’ve stated before, is the “ranking” of members according to how long we’ve been off the drugs. To me, this isn’t even relevant! I don’t care what someone else puts in their body and I’m not one to judge. What I think is truly sad, and representative of oppression and slavery is that I see many, including those that claim to be in the Movement, going to three or four appointments per week with a “counselor” and as addicted as ever to appointments! What kind of hypocrisy is that? Dependency, neediness for so called professionals…And they claim to be out of psychiatry, but barely functioning due to therapy addiction! If anything, for a few, getting off the drugs has made them miserable so they cling more tightly than ever to their beloved therapists like three-year-olds. That reeks of being a nutcase all over again.

    Ditch it all and learn to live on your own. That to me is recovery from the System. I guarantee if anyone out there learns to make their own decisions, to stop relying on these prostitutes in offices, you’re gonna have much better quality of life. Live!

  • I would agree wholeheartedly. Listening and caring isn’t a skill you get a degree in, nor a specialty. Most people learn empathy in childhood, far earlier than they might attend college.

    I recall in my high school we had sort of a “losers’ club.” it wasn’t called that, but in so many ways we nerdy kids had been rejected, just for being smart. We were the kids who’d been teased for our brains, or who felt out of place somehow. Our heads were more into calculus and Dungeons and Dragons than into learning Textbook Fake Empathy that lasts 45 minutes and then, Time’s Up.

    I can say that every single one of those kids were people I could identify with, people with whom i shared a common bond. I didn’t like all of them, but loved them all. Not one was a trained counselor and most of us had barely heard of social work. Mental illness was not a common household word. I know we gave to each other so much more than any of the adults around us. I recall I even talked a couple of my buddies out of suicide every now and then. Oh, I didn’t charge for that, either.

    Therapy, which I started years later, was a huge disappointment. It continued to let me down over and over until I realized the practice was nothing but prostitution.

  • Bonnie this is just so brilliant and well-written. I know we’ve all come against brick walls here with the term and the “to what degree” issue.

    Abolishing slavery became the law but immediately we found organizations, entire regions or cities, government leaders and community members trying desperately to find loopholes so they could get around the law. Plessy was such a loophole. If we can’t quite enslave, let’s make sure the blacks are kept separately and call that equal!

    With the ADA came the loophole-seekers, employers who would not comply stating their businesses didn’t qualify for some reason.

    If there’s a law saying you have to pay more taxes, immediately some group is going to snake out every tax loophole they can find.

    Likewise, abolition, say, of psych diagnosis would lead to people finding ways to pseudo-diagnose. We already have a bunch of pop dxes out there that are harming people, such as “Oversensitivity Disorder.” Oh please! Abolition of psychiatry as a whole would lead to pseudo-psychiatrists popping up by different nomenclature. Abolition of therapy will result in an awful lot “coaches” and “healers.” Nomenclature via euphemism.

    I have heard an awful lot of conformity around “drugs are bad but therapy is great.” Listening and caring is great, but I’m convinced you don’t need fancy degrees and licensing to be a decent and kind human being, nor does such academic achievement guarantee you’re going to get kindness. If you want listening and caring, then what we need are listening and caring communities. This one very radical change, in fact, is what will totally blow all “mental health professionals” off the employment rolls.

    Nomenclature problems are a subset of the human failure to communicate properly. There will always be communication problems so long as humans communicate and we aren’t perfect. The Tower of Babel narrative in the Torah is just that story. So maybe we should have learned, eh?

    Thanks so much for starting this awesome dialogue.

  • I’m surprised the FDA approved this new candy-like drug due to the overdose potential in young children, such as toddlers who can’t read labels and usually do the exact opposite of what we tell them, anyway. And they get into everything!

    When I was growing up I recall parents objected to M&M’s because of the lookalike confusion with “medications.” Some Advil pills and many others sure look like the melt-in-your-mouth candy! Heck, Thorazine sure looked like a burnt orange M&M! I recall parents objecting to the “tiny” candy varieties as well that also resemble pharmaceuticals, such as Tic Tacs.

    I recall also parents were concerned about overdose potential of chewable vitamins, stuff like Tylenol. You even have to be careful with your dog with yummy toxins around such as the heartworm chewable.

    There have been so, so many cases of accidental poisoning with all of these. Even Total cereal can poison a young child due to the added iron.

    Looks like the FDA got bribed somehow, or heavily lobbied and pressured. Do they not care about the safety of children? Michael, was this another fast-track drug? And what about post-marketing results?

  • Oldhead, most people who are familiar with that 1982 document state that not much has changed in all these years. But there have been a few changes.

    Talk of so-called MI permeates the media now.

    The development of Prozac and it$ wild ride to popularity.

    We have the ADA and HIPAA now, but these can be twisted around or disregarded and become roadblocks.

    More diagnoses (in the UK, they say diagnonsense, I LOVE that!)

    More drugs, they keep claiming…”safER….” ha ha.

    Almost all community hospital wards are locked now.

    Thousands now in our Movement…..In the USA alone. The numbers is making it hard to stay organized at this point. You cannot organize thousands. Smaller units of 100 or fewer need to form, maybe regionally.


  • Kindred and anyone else, I found the “coping skills” to be completely irrelevant since the assumption (false) was that I “couldn’t handle my emotions.” Anyone who has these simplistic and babyish “coping skills” shoved at them and allows this to continue unfortunately also gets the very clear message: “You suck at coping and we know better and can fix this.”

    Given that many here have stated the arbitrary nature of assigning the BPD diagnosis, as Kindred mentioned, perhaps the therapist just doesn’t like the patient, as example, then this leads me to conclude that DBT addresses those that aren’t liked or have acquired bad habits from “treatment” or just aren’t as compliant, or are complaining too much. Instead of validating the complaints and truly listening and caring, the BPD diagnosis is slapped on the patient, only reducing listening, reducing caring, and of course from then on the pt isn’t taken seriously.

    In my case, I believe the BPD was an order from McLean supervisory and upper management. I know now that I was given the BPD diagnosis due to my complaints over the aftereffects of shock. The diagnosis served THEM because now, nothing I said about cognitive problems was taken seriously. Now, the very real congitive confusion I had from ECT was dismissed as a “symptom,” simply poor coping! This was nothing but blaming the patient for the doctors’ gross errors! And further malpractice. All this was 20 years ago and if I had been in a different position, I would have sued.

  • Why can’t patients just choose, buy ’em out of vending machines, perhaps.

    Throughout my three plus decades of mental health care I always knew far better than the psych what drugs I should be on. Getting them to listen and take me seriously was a big game-and-a-half.

    “Hey doc, did you remember I came to you for an eating disorder? Can we get back to my agenda, please?” But all that was useless.

  • Tina, the institutional websites (run by hospitals, by such as NAMI, etc) all make the claim of being “The Authority” and advise readers not to go to other sites…….Yes, it’s disgusting.

    I’ve been criticized in the past of writing a “bad blog” and I think whoever said it has no understanding of the difference between a research-based blog and a personal blog. Personal stories are reliable and often written completely true to the events they describe. Research blogs (“Three out of four patients responded to…”) are often fudged or biased to get readers to buy whatever they’re selling.

  • Wow, thanks Tina. Appreciated. I think certain groups who are often marginalized are more subject to psych bigotry than others. For instance, gay and trans people, or those born into poverty.

    As for poverty, I am shocked at the assumptions I see around me. I hear stuff like “Poor people are bad parents,” “Poor people are all addicted to drugs,” “They’re dirty,” stuff like that.

    What I dislike the most from the medical profession is the immediate assumption that because I am “broke” i don’t have a brain in my head. The medical people are the worst around this.

  • Jan, that’s a great article. I am a Lifton fan due to his extensive work on cults. I agree that the degree of conformity to atrocity such as torture leads to such practices being seen as normal or okay. It’s hard when I find myself all alone in certain circles speaking of mental health care as genocide, spreading fear, hatred, and loathing of a group of people for nonexistent inferiority.

  • Robin, I use the slang terms such as “nuthouse” or the literal term, lockup, which is what it is.

    As for mad, I don’t use that to describe myself. I do acknowledge that I fell for therapy and pills, that I was a sucker, that I was coerced into believing I shouldn’t work, etc. Lately I have used the word, “Diagnosee.” This meaning we’ve been subject to the crime of diagnosis.

    To me, I AM different, I was blessed with an amazing experience and blessed because I recall much of it in all the minute details, cruel as it was. I feel blessed because I KNOW what it’s like to be incarcerated for a long time with NO WAY OUT. How many out there can really say they know how it feels. We were trapped in our marginalized lives.

    “We were slaves in Egypt” which we say every Passover suddenly takes on new meaning to me. I find myself relating well to felons and exfelons, to people who don’t have homes, to people who live in poverty, people who were institutionalized and disenfranchised. I consider it a gift, and yes, a difference. Because we were there, behind locked doors. I claim that as my own.

  • Kindred, I can’t locate your comment about DBT being “benign.” But didn’t you see the way the manuals do nothing but instruct people in common sense? The stuff that’s mostly valid is common sense! Much of it I question, though. For instance, the demeaning way they claim “mulitasking” is bad for you. This is so untrue and it invalidates many talented people who function better if they multitask. A relative of mine who had difficulty concentrating found that his concentration in school increased if he were allowed to chew gum, or read with headphones on. Yet these DBT folks would demean and insult him as not being “present.” I think that’s denying normal and expected human differences.

    Furthermore, DBT insists that you forget the past and only focus on the present. How many times have I heard patients complain abuot restraints, for instance, and then the idiot DBT therapist says, “That was in the past, concentrate on the here and now.” This does nothing to help the patient and furthers justifying human rights abuse by excusing the perps.

    I was demeaned as a writer by DBT “experts.” Their claim was that my exceptional ability to remember past events and recreate them in my writing was “living in the past.” Wow, if my memoir instructors from grad school heard that they’d be really pissed! Fellow students noted that I had excellent ability to self-reflect and had amazing self-insight. I can only conclude those idiot therapists, who barely let me get a sentence in, totally had me wrong. Their groups were a terrible insult.

  • I think these comments sum it up nicely. INCARCERATION is deeply harmful. It’s not care, it’s not protection, and it’s inherently wrong. After and during incarceration patients/inmates are lied to, told they “needed” it and that it was all justified. Most believe the outright lies, believe they were “ill.” A parallel is when a rape victim is told, “You needed that,” or, “You were asking for it.”

    For those of us who were wrongly accused of suicidality, the harm done in such gaslighting can result in hopelessness and despair after incarceration.

    Justin, thanks for bringing this to the public. I’ll be sharing.

  • Emily, I’ve been pushing for this for AGES, and failed to get the majority to take heed. I think there are so many here defending the therapy profession that it just makes me sick. As I see it, a lot of therapists have no clue of the harm they’re causing.

    Let’s put it this way: I USED to believe I had a mental illness and that somehow justified incarceration. It doesn’t. After three decades I trashed my old beliefs. I developed new ones (against medical advice, I must add….).

    This process, of leaving your old beliefs behind, is so difficult. Whether you’re leaving a cult, a bad relationship, or the MI System, losing those beliefs you once clung to is going to be a long grieving process. It’s not easy.

    I think many therapists, those still practicing, cling to the belief that therapy is inherently good. Or insist, “I’m the exception.” I can say that three decades of seeing some self-proclaimed “exceptions” told me that they were no different than the others, no better, and some of them were grandiose or power-hungry.

    I think many claim the “exception” status because they want to avoid the necessary grieving we’ve all had to do. I see this in the Patient community, too. “But I really do have an illness, I know I have a brain disease called bipolar, it MUST be true….” I hear these defenses all the time, and I know these unfortunate folks are simply avoiding the grieving process involved in CHANGING YOUR MIND.

  • I should add that within the Survivor community I see a lot of bigotry, too. I see and hear a lot of “you’re just imagining it” accusations, and frankly, survivors need to quit the snobby attitude. There is outright bigotry against anyone BELIEVED TO BE low-functioning, even within the Movement. That’s gotta stop!

    We aren’t perfect, but frankly, we’ve seen so much hatred and loathing toward ourselves as diagnosees, why does this hatred continue, hatred toward each other, discrimination, and especially snobbery right within the Movement itself? I see some discriminating by employment status, others by economic status. Oh, never mind “Are you off meds yet?” as defining a person, which is arbitrary, meaningless, and just one more form of bigotry.

  • Congratulations, Emily, looks like Steve just accused you of “splitting.” Thanks for setting him straight. Yes, therapists do this, accusing people of black-and-white thinking, without even realizing that the being in the System causes this via their false “us and them” dichotomy. That’s part of the brainwashing rubbing off on many patients. Even after we leave psych, if we only acknowledge drug harm and fail to see we’ve been brainwashed, we are missing a vital aspect of the psych prisoner experience that needs to be torn down.

  • Hi Emily, The coaching model does not use diagnosis, or isn’t supposed to. It is not about what is wrong with you. A word of caution: Anyone out there interested in finding a coach, find out where they got their coaching training and ensure they’re licensed in coaching. This SHOULD ensure that they’ve been trained to disregard DSM labels.

    I interviewed on the phone with a “coach” who apparently was not properly trained. Apparently it’s her standard to ask about any prior diagnoses and to assume there’s validity in them, to the point of believing the patient must be psychotic since a doctor said so. The patient’s word will be automatically disregarded. You can’t possibly get decent coaching from such a person. BEWARE!

  • I often use the same words that are used when it is done against a particular group, such as prejudice, bigotry, discrimination. (Apparently a friend of mine didn’t like my use of the word “discrimination” and bashed me for using it, rather unfairly I must say.)

    Wait till you’re over 55, I say this to anyone out there who thinks discrimination does not exist. Discrimination against “elderly” (note quotation marks) runs rampant. Just try getting a job or housing at 55.

    I’m just as guilty of judging people by age as anyone, and I’m guilty of insulting older people in the past, doubting their capability, and worse. We will all get old and for many that’s when it hits you: you know what you did was wrong. Most people do these microaggressions without realizing it. With the dementia industry booming, I see even more hatred and fear of older people. “Are you sure you aren’t just having a senior moment?” Yes, it’s gaslighting! Grrrr…..

    I use discrimination or bigotry when describing what is done to a group whether the differences are real, such as chronological age (bringing along with that false assumptions of incapability), or completely perceived, such as seeing a diagnosee as having a brain defect or assuming dangerousness.

  • Emily, you bit your nails, picked at things, contemplated suicide, all because you were expected to do so, expected to fail. Diagnosis increases these behaviors. Diagnosis creates a Borderline patient. Their overly strict boundaries will also increase impulsive behavior and “acting out.”

    Interestingly, after I was changed from bipolar to borderline to explain away aftereffects of ECT (since they refused to blame the ECT) at that point, I began to act out and even start talking suicide. I did this merely to act the part of borderline. They cornered me into this. As soon as I got away from McLean the diagnosis was removed and any of that stuff that they’d created in me ended.

    Expectation will encourage violence also. You keep frisking a patient for weapons, what does that say? It says “We got one hand on the panic button.” Gee, no wonder they have revolving doors in those places.

    It will even change how your friends treat you, if they make up their minds you are borderline. Overly stupid boundaries, fear of you, keeping distance, refusal to converse due to fear, and even family disowning. Expectation ruins relationships, and therapy and diagnosis are the vehicle.

    I know this insults therapists out there but my experience tells me that most, good and bad, defend their profession like it can do no wrong and are in denial of the harms they themselves have caused. Both good and bad therapists are in denial of the crimes their profession has done.

  • Thanks so much for initiating this, Emily. You have enough clout with the MIA higherups that you have more power round here. I commend you for allowing for a discussion that speaks way, way beyond the pills. Mental patients were incarcerated, marginalized, brainwashed, and kept poor long before psych drugging became the norm. And the cult-like atmosphere makes it very easy to turn a person, anyone, into an instant mental case. Especially young people whose hormones make them easy prey. This totally explains why supposedly “severe mental illness” strikes young adults. They’re more likely to fall for the hype.

  • Furthermore, Feelin’, day treatment programs use isolation (ghettoizing the patients), they take you out of your usual environment, SOME actually are locked.

    Patients are regularly told terrible things will happen if they leave the Day Treatment cult. These threats, often empty and invalid, are just exactly the same as “If you leave, the Devil will get you,” type of threat used on cult members. In eating disorders care, patients are told, “Ed will get you,” Ed being the Devil-persona who will trick patients into the dreaded “relapse” at any moment and is waiting right around the corner.

    Day treatment often uses up 30 hours of a patient’s week. My first experience was six hours a day, five days a week of regular day treatment. That’s how I became a mental patient, well before I ever took a psych drug.

  • Oh my god yes, that forced “breaking point.” I recall that first in group therapy. The staff LOVED it when we bawled in group. “Ah, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help, you came to the right place, you did the right thing. Just cry….Okay everyone Group Hug!” Yes, it’s just another way to encourage dependency and neediness.

    Later, even after the year 2000, the most abusive therapists LOVED it when patients cried or admitted deep anger. Some had us punch punching bags or talk to empty chairs. All baloney, all only a control move by the therapist. Why? She needs dependents. Desperately. It is horrible abuse, and it takes its toll. Red flags are when you start to see Stockholm Syndrome, and remarks such as, “I can’t live without my therapist, I’ll die without her.” Often this means very bad abuse is happening behind closed doors.

  • Emily, same here. I took one look at the DBT manual and said to myself, “Wow, how insulting.” Immediately the manual talks about how “some people” don’t have good “emotional regulation” or some other nonsense that clearly demarcated those who were “sick” vs “normal emotions.” Separate, inferior, requires therapy, etc. I found DBT to be nothing but watered-down Buddhism, stolen in fact from what is supposed to be sacred. Not only that, it allows for the most uneducated, un-creative, and lazy therapists to use a guidebook (ah, those tear-out sheets) to run a group based on standardized bullshit care.

    Many therapies are like this and most can be used as power-plays for the benefit of the therapist.

    Only two months? Geez, wow…When i was in the Moonies only ten days I would say it took me years to get over it. I didn’t have a PTS__ reaction but nonetheless I really needed to hash it out with someone. Don’t even bother with therapists, they will only tell you you don’t cope well or they’ll blame the parents. They will not understand the depth of such a thing. Standard reaction. I went through all that for decades and just about all of them simply didn’t care about my cult experience. No, they wanted me to tell them abuse stories from early childhood and then, re-story my stories and tell me, “Oh no, that was actually child abuse.” Boy were they wrong, and it all took its toll.

  • Emily even though you were in this “cult” for a very brief period, it’s enough to cause severe trauma. I was only in the Moonies ten days! Yet during that time, they coerced me into giving them about $400, which was a lot back in 1979! Most importantly, the following:

    Cult involvement is traumatizing mainly because of the knocking down of the person’s beliefs. This will happen even if you’re considered a “strong person.” Brainwashing affects people of any religion and of any background. Don’t for one minute assume you temporarily fell for it due to personal weakness. You’re likely to hear this, I should warn you, but it’s baloney. That I know of, they prey on highly educated people, people likely to have sums of money to donate, people who are traveling in a locale far away from friends and relatives who would talk them out of it. Young people are more likely to take risks due to normal hormonal changes during adolescence. This is why college students are often recruited.

    What happened to you broke down a vital relationship in your life, despite the fact that your own involvement was brief. Yes, it says something for the power of these cults.

    Likewise, mental health care, including therapy, does the exact same thing, though they claim it’s curative.

  • Yes, there’s a difference between believing you’re responsible for all the random life events you didn’t actually cause, such as having your home flood due to a storm you certainly had no control over. You can only control how you respond to bad luck. Likewise, how does the surrounding community respond? Do they blame the homeowner in statements like “You must have sinned,” “You weren’t careful enough,” “You caused it by having bad Karma,” all of which are totally self-serving and defy logic.

    We do not manifest our destiny. Anyone who is totally convince they possess this capacity needs to re-examine their logic and grandiosity.

    We can, however, change our outlook, re-story past life events differently, try to understand those that harmed us, apologize ASAP when we screw up, and clean up our messes whether they were due to our own carelessness, or from random events. We can choose to turn our anger into community activism and help others. These are choices.

  • Emily when I learned about cults back in the 1980’s, the Moonies were Christian-based but just as many gurus out there push the Eastern religions too. Their version, of course.

    Religion helps many people but like anything else it can be abused, and used as a means of control. Psychotherapy can work about the same way.

    Break down the client. Get the client to “confess.” Tell the client his ideology is all wrong. Promise salvation through therapy. Replace client ideology with desired new beliefs. “I have a mental illness. I will have to be in treatment for the rest of my life….”

    As soon as I realized it, I was amazed at the parallels. They use isolation, incarceration, and even altering diet and sleep deprivation. I’ve been meaning to write some kind of “proof” of all this, but it’s hard to get anyone to listen.

  • George, your writing interests me but I regret I have very little faith in psychotherapy. I was far more harmed by therapists than I was by psychiatry. I am sick and tired of hearing “non-drug approaches.” Frankly if therapy is still okay round here I’m out.

    And as for writer’s block, maybe try getting incarcerated in a nuthouse. If you ever leave in one piece, you’ll leave with plenty to write about.

  • Yes, all the people who now have Fibro that I know all took anti-depressants. I heard Grace Jackson, MD speak and she mentions the SSRI drugs which pass through the blood-brain barrier actually damage nerve endings in the brain. I asked her if this meant the same drugs could do similar damage to nerve endings elsewhere. She said, “Good question. Probably this is true, but we have yet to do the research to back it up.” In other words, yes, the idea is plausible, but either they haven’t looked into it, or the results of research were hidden from the public.

  • Emily, Congratulations, you’ve survived a cult! From the moment you began to describe the “training,” I told myself it was a cult. I would recommend Steven Hassan’s book on cults, and Robert J Lipton as well. I’m not sure if it’s Lipton or Lifton, but the work is classic.

    Almost all mental health “care” is cult-like and highly coercive. This includes therapy and pseudo-therapy (“healers”).

    You are right that we do not “create our own reality.” It’s totally illogical to believe this, but sadly, many people are now buying into it. We can change our outlook, re-story the past (how we tell the story) but we cannot control the random events happening around us. Anyone who thinks they can is full of themselves (grandiose). Also, this leads directly to victim-blaming. Such philosophies dominate some of the “new therapy.” I am saddened that so many buy into this false logic. “So you got raped? It was because you have bad karma.” NO!!! No no no! Many times bad things or good things happen to us by chance. We need to accept this. We are just not so powerful as these gurus claim (while they siphon your bank account, woo you in, etc).

    Therapy’s insistence that you are suffering due to “bad coping” is also victim-blaming and a cop-out on the part of the therapist. I came to therapists for an eating disorder and it seems this is the first standardized approach. “You must have bad coping skills and we know better….” It’s total bullshit. Tthe therapy helps very few people and for the majority for whom the harmful therapy is totally irrelevant end up blaming themselves as “treatment failures.”

    One word of caution. I, too, am a survivor of a religious cult called the Moonies. I was 21 years old, 1979. I barely heard of “therapy” and by all means had no mental illness label at the time. Unfortunately, I was traumatized by the cult (although you couldn’t really call my reaction “post-traumatic”). For the next year I sought out people I could talk to about my experience.

    It is so vital to find community after a cult experience. I cannot say it more strongly. Your best assets are fellow cult survivors. After a cult, the tendency to go running to yet another cult is high unless you have some way to resolve the experience.

    Sadly, this primed me to fall for therapy and subsequently buy into the cult of the mental illness community. I doubt I would have fallen for it otherwise. It took me over 30 years to walk out of that cult.

    I tell this story because I know in my heart that doing so will have value to others.


  • Wow, there is so much here. Tina, if you’re looking for anyone committed to taking our bodies back, I’m in. Leaving mental health “care” was the best move I could have made. I am disgusted with my recent experience at an ER, where I think I should not have gone but I’d had a seizure (think: post-ECT) and didn’t give myself the chance to talk myself out of it. I found that “healthcare” is in a sorry state indeed! What you say is true!

    They never examined me, nor spoke to me beyond getting my name. Apparently they went behind my back and got old opthalmology records from last August (where I refused to let the doc operate and he treated me like “foolish woman” and probably wrote that as well). So they came back to me saying the usual disgusting line, “Oh, we know all about you.” I told them off, saying that if they’d “discussed my case” they should have involved me in the discussion.

    Then, with no explanation, they gave me Benadryl via the IV, LIED to me saying it was “for your headache,” then, immediately gave me Reglan. I’ve never taken that and had not complained of stomach issues. I concluded that I was given this in error, that perhaps it was intended for another patient. Then they had to cover up what they’d done. this is a dangerous pill. Asking “Are you allergic to any meds” is NOT informed consent!

    I was outa there, very fast. I am terrified to go back to any Western practitioner. I’ve been tending to my injuries myself, and amazed at how fast I’m getting better on my own.

    Beyond that, I also found acupuncture years ago made me woozy. They told me to wait 20 minutes before walking home in traffic. They offered me tea, too, and I had no objection, since I couldn’t walk too well at first!

    I always tell people, “Take your life back from institutional ownership.” And of course, “Ditch the diagnosis.”


  • JanCarol, THANK YOU! Can I share this? I collect stuff on cults. Back when I was actually in one I learned one very valuable lesson, that both Eastern and Western practices are riddled with cults or cult-like groups that are not religious.

    I had not heard of 3HO. New ones pop up all the time. I am familiar with Robert Lipton’s landmark work. I am also an ex-Moonie (1979) but walked out on my own. I later learned it’s rare that anyone does that.

    The mental health ghetto (notably, day treatment) has many cult-like features.

    I have been on Dr. Brogan’s mailing list for a while. Though her blog entries are impressive I am not too thrilled with the constant sales pitches. There are other red flags as well. This is not to say that the information she shares has no value. I think it has great value, or much of it does, but I fear exactly as you do.

    We must be vigilant these days. Taking control of your health, making your own decisions (not overly relying on Doctor OR Guru), and Freedom of Thought are essential.


  • LavenderSage, I am noticing that in the USA if you sign on to the handouts, you compromise your privacy to a large extent. The government now owns you and “manages” your “healthcare” proportionate to the extent handouts you receive.

    “So you want more? Sign this paper. We own you now. We are the Better Parents. We tell you where to live. We give you great coping skills and great chemicals. We give you a wonderful social group, other guinea pigs.

    “If you dare leave, or try to, we’ll abuse worse, we’ll come after you. We’ll get the law after you.

    “We’ll see to it that you fail if you leave. We will claim your failure is RELAPSE. If you talk about how we abused we will silence you with drugs, incarceration, or poverty, claiming your words trigger others.

    Then we hand you more handouts, and monitor how well you are complying.”

  • Thank you for all you do and thank you for keeping us alerted to what is happening with the CRPD. On the whole the public is not aware of the importance of the laws and the influence that laws, language, and the arts and media have on how we act and treat each other, which directly leads to these abuses, or prevents them. Yes, these torturers and liars, masquerading as “professional mental health practitioners” are truly abusive and power-hungry. They must be taken down.

    Where do we go from here?


  • Thanks for pointing out these discrepancies, some so amusing I laughed out loud, especially the little convenient part about hiding the stuff that didn’t fit. This is my Very Scientific Observation. We have skulls. This is part of the exoskeleton. They grow until we are a certain age. Then, they’re solid. Our brains, which are a bunch of mush, keep growing. It is not possible, not physically possible to have a brain that is so large that it outgrows one’s skull. This means if you have a small-sized skull, as I do, you are doomed to have a small-sized brain. I was assured as a child that even though I was doomed by heredity to be mini, this had no bearing on intelligence nor had any bearing on anything else to do with what I thought about nor my brain’s capacity to do what it had to do. It seems that now, nearly six decades later, my mini-sized brain is functioning just fine. Actually no shrink ever pinpointed a specific “abnormality” in my brain. Perhaps its very existence was offensive to them!

    I have also concluded that these MRI-based arguments that we used to hear, as the authors here have pointed out, do not have much validity. The psych establishment only uses them to make intelligent-sounding arguments when they can’t think of anything else to say. The MRI has limited usefulness, except a neurologist might use it to pick up a massive blood clot if it’s obvious enough. It might show torn cartilage in a joint when an xray does not, but I am sure it tells us nothing about the way humans think. In fact, I got a good idea if anyone’s wondering. How about asking the person? Isn’t it cheaper?

  • What was the age of the participants? I would imagine the #1 factor would be not the yoga itself, nor type of yoga, but how they were introduced to it. If they were forced to do yoga, I can’t imagine it would be helpful. If they were encouraged, or if it were offered to them and they were willing participants doing this as a choice, then I can see it might be helpful. Also, I imagine the instructor would make a difference, too.

    If you have a yoga instructor who constantly “corrects” a student’s posture, I cannot imagine students gaining benefit. However an encouraging and enthusiastic instructor in any topic, one that believes in the strength of the students as human beings can make all the difference for a student, even the most depressed ones. This might apply to any inspiring teacher, leader, or mentor, not just one who teaches yoga.

  • Chaya, i believe we, as a society, are currently over-therapized. Therapy, that is, self-examination or self-reflection didn’t happen in an office nor with a professional person to such a widespread extent that it does now. Nor was it ever part of the “healthcare” experience. You didn’t go to a doctor (your “primary”/”internist”), then, get a referral to a person with whom you had a conversation, that is, “talking.”. This simply wasn’t done.

    Such self-indulgence did happen, however. This took place in the form of journal-writing, letter-writing, relationships such as friendships and romance (apart from sexual-only relations), meetings in coffeehouses, public gatherings, clubs, church groups and the like. Postal correspondence was quite common and letter exchange was a wonderful way to get to know another person, share ideas, and help each other for the common good. Picking up the phone and having long talks would be a great way to open doors. Late at night, many of us sat and wrote in our diaries. Many of these were stored away so no one could easily find them, or locked with a key. Or kept under a pillow.

    They say even those in prisons did such a thing. They wrote on toilet paper, any scrap they could find. The writers of the Bible wrote stories as well, and much has been passed down to us in the form of chanting and song. In fact, most has not happened in an office, nor done by paying a person.

    Anne Frank kept a journal. She did not see a therapist.

    Such was life.

  • Sera, thanks for clarifying. Gee, I worked so, so hard at FAKING that I am a Genuine Mental Patient. I yellowed up my two front teeth and made them look perfectly cracked to imply poverty. I knocked down my apartment, downsizing it so as to make sure I appear poor as can be. I wear second-hand clothing since that’s what a marginalized person would wear. I post to MIA, of course, letting the whole world know just how pissed off I am. Perfect unemployment record for decades, and all those incarcerations….Never mind whether it’s true of not. i could be lying, couldn’t I? Maybe I am. I’m playing the part oh so perfectly, so convincingly, and now you’re telling me it’s for naught because some young whippersnapper just out of college can cheat through a test to get a fake degree in this? But I got a Real Degree in it! Paid a hefty tuition, Graduated with all the honors, too……

  • Yeah sometimes it really isn’t your attitude, but the attitude of all the assholes around you. I sure found that out fast. This is why a lot of people are finding out that the relocation method does indeed work. Plain and simple, if you’re not seen as nuts, you aren’t. i can’t believe the number of people I have met since my “escape” who likewise also escaped, and succeeded at it. it does not always work the first time, but it works amazingly well.

  • Actually, Oldhead, most people who really do have sleep apnea can’t breathe at night because fat in their necks blocks the airway. Or because of the neck position. Neck position causes snoring, which only partially blocks the airway. I notice that with Puzzle. If I change her neck position, she stops snoring. Simple remedies like changing your pillow can change everything. IF it’s that. Or losing weight. I hate the way 99% of doctors out there have a haughty attitude toward women. And I hate walking in there hiding my dirty little secret that I am a malpractice victim that NEVER even got justice. I can’t stand waiting rooms, I can’t stand looking at the suckers in there and I can’t stand seeing them literally worshiping the MD like the MD is god almighty. Makes me sick. Makes me think “Why don’t you think for yourself. Or can’t you? Why don’t you do your own research. Get a life.” I feel like walking out. And I never want to give the doc my money.

  • janCarol, I believe you. My friend ended up with the same thing, she had a stroke out of the blue. However, I don’t have sleep apnea, and I don’t want people who have never met me diagnosing me online. I dont’ know why people do these online scare tactics, I seriously resent it. Sometimes I think people waste energy wishing and hoping complete strangers get deathly sick when in fact they know nothing about their state of health. It is projecting. I don’t know why people do that online.