Sunday, April 30, 2017

Comments by Julie Greene, MFA

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  • 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.

  • This is PRECISELY what I do! I don’t go to loud places. I live in the quietest apartment imaginable and I do not have loud neighbors. I managed to find a low-rent place that actually isn’t near screaming kids nor near a loud bar, nor near a loud TV. I am so, so blessed, I can’t believe it. I don’t go to bars. And if I am on a bus and people start screaming into their cell phones, I move! I really do, I change seats and move from their noise. This sometimes works and sometimes does not, and it MIGHT even give them a hint. I’ve been trying to reach this one bus company to tell them to please enforce the rules but they have not been answering at their administrative offices. My plan is not to say, “I have a disability and…” But simply to say, “If this is the rule, then it should be enforced,” emphasizing respect for all, quiet for the sake of bus driver safety, and for the sake of those that enjoy a reading a good book.

    As for TV, I am sure the noise, not the violent shows, causes seizures in kids and adolescents, never mind the flickering light, also too much noise will probably cause headaches, migraines, and a host of other problems. Toss it out and you’ll solve a lot of problems and save on the cable bill.

  • From what I recall of Massachusetts, the police existed to protect the relatively wealthy against the poor. If you were out of work or an immigrant, the cops were not there to serve you, but to protect the Citizens who Belonged there against you. So those of us who were seen as leeches didn’t dare call the cops. Ever. For any reason, not to report a crime, nor to call if we ourselves had a medical emergency.

    I recall one day in Public Housing we saw some kid doing vandalism across the street. We looked at each other. Not one of us dared call the cops on the kid. We knew if we did, the cops would come and insist WE had called because we ourselves were criminals. We’d get our apartment searched, or the cop would come and ask, “Is everything okay,” and we’d get a “wellness check.” Yes, it sucked bad. Forget reporting a rape, you had no credibility with them. You were called dangerous or a drug addict no matter what. If you were a foreigner, you were a criminal and a drug addict. i saw them refuse to take an old woman to the hospital because in a panic she was having trouble speaking in English. I happen to know you will forget all your other languages when you are frightened and those cops knew that, they just hated foreigners. I called them once because I passed out, and they threatened me repeatedly so I sent them away.

    I also had my apartment illegally searched, no warrant, and I wasn’t even informed. I have since spoken to the state legislature about that. They told me it was certainly illegal, cops or no cops, no matter what income level I was, and whether or not I was “psych” does not matter. Although you can’t exactly call the cops on the cops.

  • AA I do believe you. I just KNOW I do not have it. I am so afraid of going to this lung doctor knowing I don’t have sleep apnea, and getting yet one more incorrect dx. I am so frustrated being unable to get a direct appointment with a sleep doc. I recall at McLean, the entire sleep clinic was run by incompetent shrinks. 1999. Now that was a total joke. I went there once but didn’t need to. I had insomnia caused by a drug, Effexor, and they never figured it out and claimed it was “bad sleep hygiene.” They made me so messed up I ended up inpatient. Then I got out, fired my doc and the next doc figured out the drug caused it all.

  • I heard the machine is ADDICTING, and once you start using it you become dependent, so dependent you cannot live without it. Anyway I am skinny so I highly doubt I have sleep apnea. Besides, back in 2013 those abusive 1:1 people would have complained if I had snored (if I even slept while they sat there next to me breathing down my neck….) i don’t wake up out of breath, I am not gasping, etc. Definitely not! That would be a sign of it. I don’t gasp. I run 5k regularly and I have no lung problems, so……At 59, I should be darned proud of myself.

  • Oh it’s just as well, Sera, I got a good sampling of incompetency. I found it inspiring enough to get me to leave, so……

    I’d love to talk Massachusetts with you anytime. As I told you, I was raised there, graduated high school, and lived there for decades, plus I am a McLean grad, so I know tons of dirt on the place. I grew up down the street from McLean and the Met. Those and Fernald, that was there, too, the three of them, the trio. I was in the Met, too. Not long. I wrote a lot about it, tons. The duck pond, too. Oh, I also went to UMass/Amherst and lived in Northampton for a while. My dog was born on Hampton Ave. I even grew a pot plant in my apartment that ended up taller than me (not a big deal since I’m short) but I wasn’t a druggie at all so when I moved I left it there. Hmm…maybe you can go get it since it’s probably 20 feet tall by now.

  • Sera, you did it again! I LOVE love love this. I wrote to the writers of the latest article and actually got a kinda lame response. Apparently they have indeed been getting “feedback.” I’d like to point out that other major papers are doing the same thing, writing hateful stereotypical stuff about so-called mental patients and about how dangerous and violent we are, or how we have terrible hygiene, or how we are slobs who are a nuisance to landlords, communities, and families. Looks like a joint and planned media effort, government and pharma backed to scare the poop out of the public.

    As for CBFS, count me as one of the dropouts. I didn’t die. I fired them. I fired them late in 2013. I did this realizing this was a voluntary “service” that I could choose to end. By all means they had not been a help to me. I didn’t want monitoring by these state people who didn’t care, didn’t show up most of the time, didn’t know what they were doing, and frankly, I found those visits an insult. They sent mostly people who knew nothing about eating disorders, so I had to educate them. We all did. One of them sat there playing with her cell phone so I had to tell her to stop. It was just plain insulting. Another never showed, and apparently had logged in her work log that she had, so finally I told the supervisor that she hadn’t been to see me nor had she contacted me for months. I didn’t like squealing like that. Apparently the state workers do stuff like that. It’s our word against theirs, after all, and who are we but a bunch of crazies?

    At one point, I wrote an email to the supervisor, saying if he didn’t shape up I’d report him to the DMH. Within a week or two he came over with my CBFS worker saying if I didn’t go to an ER he would “section” me. My poor CBFS worker was caught in the middle. There was no valid reason for the supervisor’s actions except retaliation. Then I’m sure he called the ER and saw to it that they had me put in no matter what. He got fired after that. A bunch of them did.

  • I just wanted to add that “oversensitivity disorder” (which goes by a couple other names, too) does not exist, nor by any of the other names, either. This is a crime in the pop psychology world, mostly done by coaches and the like. I know a few who were taken in by this so badly that upon learning of this “disorder” they then became more “oversensitive.” Oh no! Then, they began “monitoring” their “oversensitivities.” The problem was this made them almost completely unemployable and unable to handle most social situations. It’s very sad. While it’s great to be sensitive, these pop psychology articles and life coaches who call it a disorder are really harming people. All they do is suggest it, then, suddenly, people get hooked on it, monitoring their overreactions and they’ll nearly strangle anyone who triggers them. “I’m special” becomes a label. Ditch the label and you’re recovered and ditch the life coaches, too. And stop acting like people who trigger you are criminals. This article reminds me of that, yeah, how it can all go overboard.

  • Yeah I can’t really talk about it but I have tried making calls. Most sleep centers ONLY treat apnea. This is because most severe cases are apnea. They say people have it and don’t realize it. They’re very closed-minded and will hear nothing else. I am positive I do not have it. Also, they’ll insist if you keep telling them you don’t sleep, they’ll say it is “paradoxical.” Many do have that, but that’s easy to tell with a sleep tracker. I tried that, used several, and found I really was not sleeping. Barely at all, nor during the day except nodding off into mini-sleeps, only momentarily, not actual sleep, but for a few seconds here and there. I now control the mini-sleeps with caffeine but I found other things such as cacao (plain, not chocolate) work better. This concentrates it all so you’ll only sleep at night. So now I actually get projects done. Now I can read!!! I can read a book and not fall asleep while reading. I can enjoy a bus ride and not nod off on the bus, and to me, after five years of very bad zombie-like suffering, I am overjoyed. I loved studying and taking classes and not being able to read stopped all that, and now I have that back and love reading again. Plus not nodding off is really a blessing.

  • One thing that DOES help is sleeping with my dog. Anyone else find that this helps? My friend obliterated her nightmares that way. I laugh and tell myself if I ever had a sleep study, my dog’s snoring would get picked up on the monitor and i’d get diagnosed with apnea. Then, who would go on the machine, me or her? Or would i use the machine for a coat hanger or sell it for a price on ebay?

  • I have delayed trying marijuana because I am afraid it will rekindle the binge eating aspect of my eating disorder. I am considering various other things still. I find yoga tedious and meaningless and it actually reminds me too much of therapy abuse. Even vigorous exercise does not seem to improve my sleep, although I enjoy running very much. I run both outdoors and on a treadmill and I love pretending to be competitive.

  • Yeah AA, a lot of us ended up with narcolepsy from the drugs. Long term use leads to inability to sleep. And none of the pat answers help. Please be very careful that the doc doesn’t just send you back to a psych. I tried to get in wiht a doc but I had a feeling he was going to default to a sleep apnea diagnosis, and then put me on a machine I know I don’t need. So I canceled the appointment. I want to try to get directly to a sleep specialist but seems you cannot. You can’t seem to bypass the shrink.

  • Yep, a lot of my friends who survived cancer are now facing “unexplained” auto-immune problems, or fibro, which as far as I’m concerned means “the doctor doesn’t know or is lazy or doesn’t care, so he’s calling it that just to make you happy you have a diagnosis.”

  • Well the cool thing is, JanCarol, while I did indeed comply, and in fact I was known for being excellent at my compliance, I also now have a huge library in my memory that I can use any time I want. I have an endless supply of writing material. Oh they hate that!!! They hate that i keep coming up with more stories from the nuthouse……..

  • Tabita when I was a kid my parents, like just about all parents then, had their copy of Dr. Spock they kept in the kitchen on an upper shelf just high enough so I had to stand on a chair to reach up and grab it and take it down so I could have a peek. One day, I did. I leafed through it, trying to find out their “secrets.” I wanted to know EVERYTHING. I figured that and the Torah held those secrets adults had that they didn’t want children to know. Very little of Dr. Spock has anything about so-called childhood disorders, interestingly. Much is on how children lose their baby teeth, learn how to use toilets, and learn to use something besides a breast. Likewise, when I was a kid growing up in the 1960’s we didn’t even think of childhood disorders. We wanted our baseball team to win, I remember that. They lost.

  • Tabita, I think also parents should know about these “rehabs” where kids are being sent to where they are getting this therapy from abusive therapists. Sadly, these therapists have an agenda. The going stereotype is that anyone who goes to therapy must have “bad parents.” I know for one thing i did not. Many who go to therapy did not have bad parents, but these therapists drill it into young people’s heads that they were abused as children, inducing either entirely false memories, or the vague notion that somehow they must have been abused.

    I did not get a specific false memory of childhood abuse by my parents, but for decades I truly felt like the “oddball” in therapy since I had not been child abused and most other patients were victims of childhood parental abuse. Many of the therapists were pushy, constantly saying, “There must have been something,” or pushing me to admit to abuse that never happened. The pressure is high in these centers, especially at the residential, intensive, and day treatment levels. People need to be warned of this, since the pressure on young and vulnerable patients can literally break families apart.

    I did not have abusive parents, period. I was abused by a childhood friend in high school. These idiot therapists, many of whom (I later found out) were only playing out their own fantasies and abuse trauma themselves, refused to listen to me all those years. Parents should be warned that these abusive therapists are out there. Families can be destroyed by therapy. I went to therapy at age 23 and i’m 59 now. My family was fine before, not divorced, certainly. Now, the ones still alive barely speaking to me, and I have relatives I have never met. This is so heartbreaking. It’s because of therapy, and the one thing I want is my family back.

  • In regards to spiritual abuse, I learned about this when I joined anti-cult organizations. Then, years later, people were saying they’d been abused this way in mainstream churches, too. So these actually were streamlined to call it spiritual abuse. This is not the same as the bizarre sexual abuse you hear about that isn’t too common (I hope) that might happen in a church situation. The abuse done via “You are a sinner” is far more common, and it’s done in a religious context in churches, particularly the stricter kind, usually to very young and impressionable kids, OR, it can happen in rather deviant (that is the word used) religious cults that use a lot of coercion. They take these impressionable people, use isolation, and knock down their former beliefs by calling them sinners. Then, replace these former beliefs with new ones. The emphasis on sin and use of “God” and concept of punishment by whatever the idea of the person’s deity is can be terrifying to a young or impressionable person.

    By the way, this is done in mental hospitals but not usually done using the deity concept. To do so in the USA would not be legal, given separation of church and state. But it’s done, if you read what I wrote about Ed. You bet.

    In the MI context, whoever you were before, college student or whatever, is destroyed. Who am I now? Whatever they tell you. You aren’t a student. You aren’t a law student, you aren’t a salesperson. You aren’t a mother. Go ahead, cry, But we can give you a new role. Here is your wonderful gift from us. We can save you. You are bipolar, you have a very serious illness, and you will need medication and therapy for the rest of your life. This is the new person, the new role this person now takes on. Most do, sadly.

  • I personally do not use the word “narcissist” to describe one of my former therapists even though the abuse she did was certainly along those lines. I won’t describe a certain person in my life as a narcissist because I do not use psych disease labels. I refuse to do so. No matter how pissed off I was, I just don’t do it. No matter how bad the abuse was, I will not excuse an abuser’s abuse by saying it was due to a hopeless brain disease! I’m actually not even pissed anymore anyway. Listen to TalkWithTenney where she had Dr. Paula Joan Caplan on there, talking about how important it is not to disease-label Trump no matter where we may stand politically. We cannot disease-label political figures, not Hitler, not anyone. If we didn’t like being called mentally ill, then we need to not call anyone else mentally ill, either, not even those that harmed us. They weren’t sick, they were cruel. These shrinks didn’t have a brain disease that caused their cruelty, right? If they knew what they were doing, and did it anyway, they were using bad science and bad policies and were dishonest and illegal and nothing they did is at all excusable by a nonexistent brain disease or chemical imbalance we all know is nonexistent. “Oh, you poor doc, take some tylenol….” Agreeably, some may have simply been naive, or totally ignorant, but you wonder how long were they oblivious to that big giant obvious lie they were living? We can only hope they come to their senses and stop doing what they are doing.

  • Hey, Auntie, I wish I had been terrified much, much sooner. I was finally scared sh*tless after decades of their “safe and effective treatment,” straight out of the USA. Funny, my exodus away from them, and my tossing out of the lies they had taught me ended up curing me.

    However, that is often how it works, I have since learned.

  • As far as terminology goes, I don’t use “distress” and I have never liked that. I find it’s just a substitute word for mental illness and much of the time it’s used that way, too much of the time. Same with “spiritual emergency.” Just a substitute word. Or used that way too much.

    Sometimes I think I could go through news articles about people perceived as mentally ill, or even go through various textbook articles and re-write them leaving out that terminology. I could substitute “perceived mental illness” or “misunderstood” or “medicated as if mentally ill” “treated as if dangerous” or some such thing, and iron out awkward sentences that result, and I wonder how different the articles would then seem.

  • I think I was always that way. I was not scared of loud noises as a child out of the ordinary, but I am certainly bothered by them. When I was small I complained to my dad about my baby brothers’ screeching voices. He promised me that I was lucky that they were boys because they would grow up and their voices would change. This came true, but I had to wait many years. I recall this story with much amusement. If either of my brothers ever read these words I hope they have a good chuckle.

  • You have to realize that dieting causes physical problems, very severe ones. Crash dieting causes a cycle that people get caught up in. Look it up. It causes binge eating and that is a cycle that can last many years. Crash dieting affects one’s resistance to insulin and how insulin acts in the body.

    Look up the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, for one.

    I know that after anorexia, the body acts as if the person is going to starve again, so it braces itself for another famine again for many years. What happens is that the body may store fat, or, it may not fail to feel hunger for many years, or it may cause the person to binge eat in effort to forage for more food, or it may cause irregularities in eating regardless of “discipline” or “will power.” After a crash diet this is what happens, and it’s a physical reaction that nature gave us.

    After repeated binge eating, likewise. The body is used to binge eating, so it braces itself for the next onslaught of extreme food intake. This means at the next suggestion that a binge is coming, the body will shoot itself up with insulin. What happens now? The person wants food! Badly. This cycle is very hard to break.

    The entire original reason for the crash diet….well, that very well may have to do with poor self-image, or social stuff going on, but we’re dealing with serious dieting stuff here.

    The cycle has to be recognized. By the person him/herself, not by some outsider imposing their idea of “YOU ARE” onto that person. This is why force generally doesn’t work. To me, allowing a ‘safe space” would mean allowing freedom to find out, freedom to experiment and explore the reasons why the cycle might have started. To me, “safe space” means not imposing ideas, but being safe to ask questions and share ideas. Safe to say, “me too,” or safe to say, “this is how it feels for me.” To me, “safe space” means safe to try new foods you have never tried before, or what you might be afraid to try, and safe to find out what you like or do what works for you.

  • Matt, Can I suggest a pill for these delusions? I can suggest a budget version (since folks are concerned about price of vitamins). You can even buy these on food stamps. M&Ms. Only certain colors, though. And avoid generics. The dosing isn’t right on those. I can write you a script. Be careful, these can be habit-forming, and might have side effects. Let me know if the delusions go away.

  • Richard and others,

    Yes, very true, to assume that anyone who walks into a therapist’s office has been child-abused is a reductionist attitude. It is so wrong, so harmful. I can tell you many people have approached me privately and told me, “Me too.” They, too, were harmed because they were told they had abusive parents and they didn’t. Their therapists assumed and never even asked! Geez! And this takes years to undo. Look what happened to Justina. Automatically, they assumed. Even now, I have had people come up to me and say, “But you MUST have had abusive parents.” But I did not. You simply cannot assume. I know it is hard given the world we live in to imagine a mental patient who comes from an okay family. We are brainwashed to believe that all people who end up in the System must have had horrible parents. The media teaches us this. Sadly, this is untrue. The reason for people ending up in the System is CONTACT WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL and nothing else. This is why in countries where they don’t have mental health professionals, there are fewer people with diagnoses, not that this says anything about suffering.

    I remember about ten years ago, I went to a reputable therapist. She immediately tried to put words into my mouth, trying to find things wrong with my upbringing. Trust me, they all did this. All of them. Fishing for problems, when there were NONE that were that so serious as to be any justification (in their eyes) to warrant a cocktail and years and years of disability and incarceration. None. These were invented nonsense.

  • Tabita, I read your book, mostly because I survived an ED, too. I voluntarily took myself to therapy when I was living away from home at age 23. The year was 1981. So I was not a child then. Like Rebeka, I tried to tell them, but my ED was ignored. My only choice at that point, to get “seen” at all, was to tell these doctors I had other problems since they were ignoring the ones I had. Sadly, they finally accepted me. The result was 34 years of false diagnoses, and they continued to ignore my ED the entire time. The solution was to get away entirely, ditch my multiple drugs and diagnoses, and solve the ED on my own, finally, as a senior.

    I love your book, especially the part where you describe Rebekah taking on the various diagnoses AFTER she is assigned them. Or, at times, she finds diagnoses for herself, then, gets these characteristics. I saw this so much in nutshouses over the years. A person is called bipolar, then, becomes bipolar. A person is called schiz, then, becomes that. Or…sometimes, rejects the diagnosis, but this didn’t happen much, and it was called noncompliance and frowned upon. Peer pressure kept us compliant.

    In extreme cases, a therapist can produce a diagnosis in a person. I call this diagnosis abuse. I have seen patients jerked around by therapists who change the diagnosis this way. I love the way you illustrate this in the beginning chapters of your book, where you show how Rebekah changes as she takes on different roles, almost as if she were taking on acting roles.

    This was so much like what the mental hospital was like. I wish so much that people understood this.


  • While I do not ever agree with reductionism, I also feel that nutrition is usually ignored or downplayed. When it comes to ED, guess what is done in the ED treatment centers? You are forbidden to discuss food! Yep, forbidden. You are told that discussing food will trigger other patients. You are also told that “owning a scale is a disorder.” It isn’t. Then, many people get this extreme fear of scales and fear of weighing themselves or knowing their weight. Or even fear of all numbers. So now, you are forbidden ever to mention any numbers. You can’t say, “I am twenty-seven years old.” That’s a no-no, since you said a number. Yes it goes to very bad extremes.

    They also tell you that if you disobey them, this Devil named “Ed” will get you. This Devil person is named Ed as acronym for “Eating Disorder.” This ploy is a scare tactic to keep patients obedient. So if you question them, they’ll say, “Don’t question, that doubt in you is Ed talking.” They’ll even tell the parents of patients that “Your daughter has another person inside named Ed who is telling her what to do.” In other words, they tell parents their daughter is POSSESSED by a devil. Yep, young girls now possessed by devils named Ed. And this is a standard of care, this Ed business. “Don’t do that, Ed will get you!” They’ll tell you you’re married to Ed, and to “Get Ed out.”

    Go to ED treatment sites and you’ll see this, they’ll tell you they do psychodrama and have people “talk to their eating disorder” as if it is this Ed person. If the patient is male sometimes they’ll say he’s married to Ana or Mia. “Talk to Ana,” they’ll say. And they’ll have these stuffed animals you have to talk to.

    That is what I walked away from. And people are still there, being harmed by this, wondering why these kids have grown into adults and are still not getting better. Many die.

  • Richard and anyone else,
    If a person goes to a therapist, why is the initial assumption “early childhood abuse”? What if this assumption is incorrect? Man I am so tired of this!!!! I am not the only one who has been seriously harmed. Why not listen instead! I have had so many people come to me and tell me they were so badly harmed by these ED treatment centers or ED therapists, and they are still traumatized by this abuse.

    I am not one of those who was convinced or had inserted memories of ritual abuse. However, I can recall “group therapy” where many others had been genuinely child abused. I had not. So I was supposed to tell some similar story, and I didn’t have one. What now? They tried to get me to tell one! “Oh, you must have something….” They would find anything, anything at all to nitpick.

    One day they got my parents into group therapy and said my dad was “disordered” because my dad had taken out a pocket-sized notebook and his usual mechanical pencil (he was an electronics engineer) and the therapist told him to put the notebook away.

    They told me being Jewish was a disorder by default. Being a good student must be a disorder. Going to a liberal arts college was a disorder, and being a music major, that, too, was a disorder. You have a wrong brain, a musical brain that by default isn’t right. And being female, that was disorder, being born at the wrong time.

    They might as well have killed me. So in response, I sacrificed 34 years of my life. This did nothing to help my ED.

    Just because I had an eating disorder, they assumed incorrectly all along, and this did much harm. Don’t assume. Many who have ED were NOT abused in early childhood, and to automatically assume does very bad harm to individuals and their families. I will do anything at all to get my family back, to undo that harm that was done.

  • Salt is a different product around the world. In some countries, table salt is not sodium chloride alone. It has potassium chloride in it, and also, fluoride salts. They do this instead of fluoridating the water. When you buy imported products you should be aware of this. It may, or may not list “salt” among the ingredients. It could be loaded with salt and still not list the salt. And also, the salt may or may not be sodium chloride alone. It might be any number of salts including the fluoride. We cannot control this between countries and we don’t really know when it says “salt” what type of salt.

    I survived the drug lithium. My kidneys got badly damaged. To ensure that I stay alive I made the decision to stay away from sodium such as salty food. Normal functioning kidneys should be able to handle salt but mine can’t. Yes it was a crap shoot for me, since unlike most damaged kidneys, mine need extra fluids, not fluid restriction, but by trial and error I figured it all out. I also discovered 99% of nutritionists do not know a thing about handling lithium survivors since we tend not to survive!

  • Elizabeth, I agree with the others here.Some may find their lives regular and boring but that is a rather subjective statement. If a person is unemployed vs employed is that person’s life “regular”? I thought “regular” referred to the bowels. Or maybe it refers to the workplace shifts. Or when a person has sex.

    I don’t think depression or any other struggle comes from “regular and boring lives,” on the whole. I honestly never met anyone in the nuthouse who showed up because their life was “too easy.” I saw people who lacked passion and motivation, people who “felt dead inside,” but often that was because their passion had been stolen by some sort of harm, often drugs or repeated psych incarceration. I saw an awful lot over the decades.

  • Also let’s not forget the “jargon” that doctors use, their little code I am sure Dee knows well from her days as nurse. Frequent Flyers we were called or, what was that? Get out of My Emergency Room, GOMERs, It is so degrading, the slang they use to tell each other, “I think this gal is nuts.” And they don’t even admit it.

    They treat people so much more like criminals now.

  • Richard, Often the diet comes first, then, the person’s presentation as disturbed increases as a result of the diet. The reasons for dieting are the same as anyone else’s. Many wish to diet for many reasons, and many wish to disappear, too. All this worsens if you are starving.

    I am highly skeptical of “leaky gut.” But I do believe that if you are starving, the cycle will continue for a long, long time, and it’s a very hard one to break. It’s so hard that anything that LOOKS like psych will likely be called a psych disorder even though it comes from malnutrition. I have seen it happen first hand, and unfortunately kids are literally so starved they cannot fight back nor argue.

    Here’s a straight-forward example. When you aren’t eating enough, you also cannot possibly take in enough fluids. You are inevitably dehydrated even if you drink enough. This means no matter what, you are at risk for electrolyte imbalance. If you have ever known anyone with low sodium or electrolytes that were not right (say, at a sporting event, which happens sometimes) they can barely stand up, they might faint, or even lash out, or talk nonsense. This is the condition many kids are in. Now…Do these kids need shrinks, or immediate medical attention? What happens is that in that state the get diagnoses. All kinds. Obsessive compulsive. Depressed, psychotic, you name it. It’s easy to talk these kids into it, and their unfortunate parents, too. These diagnoses stay on record, too. The drugs do so much harm, it’s unbelievable while in medically compromised state. A person my age with ED risks being locked up forever mistaken for having dementia.

    Many people have trauma in their lives. But ED is a very serious medical condition. I can tell you the physical effects of starvation will kill a person no matter what the reason.

  • It is so funny, i hear people telling me how great their therapists are, how they have “even increased the frequency of sessions to twice a week” and will praise this therapist and say how helpful he/she has been and add, “She/he is a lifesaver, I would be dead without her…” As soon as I hear that, I know it is a red flag. I start to wonder about therapy abuse. It might be ten years later, the person will tell me about abuse, how hard it was to get away and break the dependency, but more often, the patient dies. These dependencies rarely get caught, and the therapists keep doing this, always under the radar of the law. I have known a few.

  • Dee, passion is free. I think we need to focus on what won’t take money since of course the Establishment has so much more! Yeah, the paid ads, and those that do the testimonials….ugh, yeah and they’re even doing “training sessions” for patients, telling them how to present themselves for the media.

    I can only say to that, “Hey, I think my 34 years as prisoner was enough, I need no more training.” I recall a recent response to that was, “Well we want a unified voice.” This sure sounds like a red flag right there.

    I applied to blog for an organization but they turned me down, saying “we know you are telling the truth, but we hire you, young people will decide against going to treatment.”

    I guess they put their feet right into their mouths there.

  • What I happen to be doing, RIGHT NOW, pretty much because I don’t know anything else to do, is to tell my story many times (I do not reblog, I write original posts afresh, just about daily) and just let that stand for itself. People get curious. At first, nothing happened. That I know of, folks expected me to fail. They expected me to return to psychiatry. I did not. They have been waiting. I believe they got tired of waiting and have realized that it’s fruitless and it’s not going to happen. Sometimes people follow blogs hoping the blogger will die, because readers love the sensationalism. People love the riskiness. So they follow anorexia blogs and want to read about what the person weighs, etc. Yeah it is dumb but that happens. They want skinny pics, too.

    I got followers back around 2010 for that raason, but I didn’t post pics and I didn’t want people following a disease. I pissed them off when I started saying I am not mentally ill, a few years later. Lots of my followers said, “Oh yes you are!” and I suppose sensationalist followers want miserable failure. They didn’t get that.

    I just keep going. Some still get pissed. I learned in writing school that when you get a reaction like that, it’s probably a good sign. If I didn’t, then I’m not really saying much.

    My object is to tell folks maybe there’s another way. there are so many dimensions, unexplored ways to see the story. I can say I have the right to change my mind. I changed my mind about many things. I am thrilled that I have the capacity and ability to remember and write down tons of that story, too. Not only that, I find it enjoyable, and my duty to continue to do so.

  • After I left psychiatry I knew by gut instinct that ED was not a psych disorder (not that anything is!) and that it was in a classification on its own. I felt that we ED’s (as we sometimes called ourselves) were barking up the wrong tree by going to therapists and psychiatrists in the first place. Why were these folks heading up our “teams”? Why were the nutritionists not the forerunners of the teams? Why did the usual ED “treatment” make very little sense,and yet, this was the standard protocol, endorsed by these big businesses, claims to work, and obviously makes kids very sick, turning them into permanent patients? Outcomes are very poor, AN has very poor “recovery rate.” Suicide is high for AN, very high for BN as well. BED, they don’t even have data on! I can’t believe after all these years they’ve finally figured out BED is a problem! They’re in the dark ages and very few activists even care about ED and human rights. The rights violations are so bad, so few get out and so few alive to talk about it right now……

  • Human being, I tried everything I could think of. Not one of the “pat answers” worked and it certainly is not due to anxiety. Not sleeping is rather consistent for me, I could go to a doc right now, leave out the psych drug history and for sure it would be dxed as narcolepsy, which is a sleep disorder, not a psych disorder, and they say it can be from chemicals such as drugs you are given. Also they say it’s incurable, but I don’t believe it. Also, caffeine helps! I used caffeine pills and it was like a miracle, coffee too, even cacao. And they say to avoid it. But stopping it wasn’t a good idea for me. I needed to end the mini-sleeps I was getting. I am amazed that I sleep better at night. Yeah it is a crap shoot figuring this stuff out.

  • Well I have a couple of questions after reading this.

    #1. Just for myself. I have what seems to be permanent inability to sleep, at all, as a result of long term use of psych drugs. Any solutions? I believe this was damage to my brain. I have been hoping my brain, being plastic, would repair by now. I hasn’t. I see no evidence of improvement. I am unable to sleep at all, nor sustain sleep, nor sleep during any time of day at all. Not without external intervention, which I finally caved in to without having to see a doctor.

    #2. This has not been mentioned yet in comments. Elizabeth, do you have any answers to eating disorders, or, as it is sometimes called, “disordered eating”? I voluntarily took myself to therapy in 1981 due to this problem. I had anorexia and binge eating both. These were ignored for the next 30 years. In order to be seen at all, i had to claim I was suffering from other maladies, so I ended up falsely labeled with these for life. I left psychiatry behind in 2014, much to my benefit. I know many who are hoping for a real answer to ED, not this hocus pocus they hear from the specialists, who don’t know very much. The kids generally don’t listen to me, though they find me an interesting novelty, I suppose.

  • Oldhead, Let’s look at a demand that was narrowed down well enough and worked well.

    The problem was segregation. Well this was the idea. The idea is clear and simple. Easy to understand why it is something to object to. But how to tackle it?

    Segregation had to be dismantled, but couldn’t be dismantled in one blow. So it was taken down as a house might be taken down beam by beam. “We object to segregation on the bus.” This was then narrowed down to “Segregation on the bus system in Montgomery, Alabama.” This was now a focused effort. A set number of people could now do this, organize, and plan a strike in Montgomery.

    Furthermore, at this time, the SCLC was set up, and amazingly fast, too. The organization was ready-made. Amazing that the churches were already there, already organized, already had trained leaders, too. A church community is a perfect number of people, so the number of people were subdivided to ensure the numbers were not too large so as to be unmanageable.

    To get folks motivated, within each church community, this, too, was a ready-made situation. The churches had their passion already within the gospel, which….and is relevant to us all…this had been the music of the slaves. Directly passed on and passed on through the genrations, now motivating folks to fight segregation and fight for human rights.

    So can we use this motivation, this passion we had within us when we were slaves, locked up in nuthouses years ago, to fight right now what we rightfully deserve?

    We were slaves…We cannot let this go on. May no more be locked up as we were. We know that locking people up is wrong. Can we do this? Can we end this imprisonment once and for all?

  • Same thing, I have no tolerance for noise. Boom boxes, television especially, loud stereos, loud Muzak that plays in the mall (so I really can’t stand malls), and if I am on the bus I can’t stand the loud conversations. I wish I could tell people the effect their loud cellular telephones have on me. “Please turn off Walkie-Talkie mode!” Why do they do that if they’re not hard of hearing? I have gotten off buses early and gotten on the next bus just to get away! If I live in a home the footsteps up above sound like CRASH CRASH CRASH. That sounds to me like torture. I am grateful forever for insulation. God bless whoever invented it. If the bus engine is loud since that causes the passengers to shout. Screaming kids, especially squealing teenage girls, they are capable of screaming louder than than any human being should ever tolerate. Ear plugs do nothing, unfortunately.

    The solution? I never say anything. I have tried, and it only gets me labeled with a disorder. I have found the the best thing is to get away from the noise, saying nothing. Just quietly leave. I don’t even bother with lengthy explanations that no one will ever understand.

  • AntiP anyone can call themselves “Human Rights.” Who is paying them? Whom do they work for? On behalf of whom? Whose rights are they really protecting? If they claim to be protecting rights, look into whose rights, or the rights of whose money, and then, you’ll see if they are protecting your rights or working in your interest, or not.

    If you want someone truly interested in human rights then look to an outside source or one who is not paid to remain partial or biased. Unfortunately these folks are hard to find.

  • Looking back on history, people who assisted people in escaping the Nazis were called Holocaust Rescuers. They were breaking the law (the Nazi law) and risking their lives and safety. They were later thought of as heroes. Many later wrote books on their experiences. I remember one I read. This was written by a woman who stated that she did this out of common sense, feeling that she had to do what she knew was right. This speaks to the fact that human rights are self-evident.

  • I believe that if we examine other groups that were extremely effective, we see that they used nonviolent means to get what they wanted. They were persistent, and consistent with their message. Being well-organized is also important. I think one of the things we need to do on the ideological side is to simplify the backbone argument so that it is easily explained. We shouldn’t have to get out charts and graphs and academic textbooks. We should be able to explain this to taxpayers, laypeople, and even those who have had no exposure to the system. Why should the layperson (person with no prior exposure) care deeply about this issue?

    Secondly, we need to make very specific and practical demands. These, I believe, and each demand could even be locally focused. The demands would be backed by our clear and simple and self-evident ideology. Then, I think we would increase in numbers, so many the structure and powers that currently exist would lose money, lose power, lose all public and taxpayer support, and be forced to give in.

  • BetterLIfe, It seems like it completely depends on the individual situation. In general undoubtedly the position of “advocate” had best stay silent. However, there is a clear difference between “advocate” and “activist.” An advocate can range from “access to treatment” folks, or “patient advocates” such as folks who help you choose the “right” doctor. An activist in the antipsychiatry realm focuses on human rights, and might speak out against force. . You might be working with attorneys, or making a lot of calls to your legislators. Then, identifying as past patient won’t ruin your credibility.

    You might be both, too, but there can be conflicts between roles. It would present many difficulties.

  • Stephen, I remember seeing others discharged, watching the whole thing happen to fellow inmate, watching the reaction of staff as the prisoner walked out the door. Big to-do. Then, just as the door was closing behind the person now freed, the staff, rather audibly, said,

    “He’ll be back.”

    This had an impression on us. It was so grossly disrespectful. They’d even shake their heads so dismissively. Sometimes not even caring, or use these gestures of disrespect. Yeah it did rub off on us. The level of hopelessness was high. And upon return of us criminals, we were told,

    “Back already?”

  • The metaphor, illustrated in literature is the caged bird who is freed, then flies back into the cage. Is it habit? Is it a feeling of safety or familiarity? Or the only world the bird knows? Is it where the food and water are? Is it where the bird feels nurtured? Does he call the cage home?

  • Matt, Sometimes what I explain to people is that if it were possible at all for me, now, at age 59, to go back, and speak to me, at age 23, who was a talented music student under the impression that a few WEEKS of therapy during the summer break between college semesters would cure an eating disorder, I would have somehow stopped that girl from going to therapy.

    I would have challenged her. I don’t mean to say I want to take back anything that happened, because I can’t. But I like to imagine this scene, just for my own amusement. I imagine young me, locking my bike at the Counseling Center, and getting off, and older me approaching her, trying to tell her “Don’t go.” I was naive enough to listen back then, and possibly even take this stranger seriously.

    “You might think therapy is only going to be a few sessions. For most people, it drags on for many years and is ineffective. It can make you worse. Do you realize that therapy is highly addicting? Do you realize there are serious risks involved?”

    That, in fact, the advice of a complete stranger (me) would have been enough to get 23-year-old me to change my mind, and the course of my entire life would not have been the same.

  • Fiaschra, Good to see you, too. Back in the day I remember seeing all sorts of things being called symptoms of mental illness. These included pimples, shaking (both gross and fine tremors, as they seemed to be), also various types of pacing, leg-bouncing, this for sure was a “symptom,” on and on.

    I recall these doctors treating us had stacks and stacks of degrees, lengthy “resumes,” as a “CV” was then called, three-digit “contact hours” stacked up to add to that, and yet were so lacking in insight as to call all of the above “Your Symptoms.”

    As for myself, I recall after ECT, in 1997 I went to Staples one day and picked up a few different types of graph paper and some colored markers and crayons. Then, I made charts of my “symptoms.” I filed my many “charts,” oh how scientific, into notebooks. I remember the day I so proudly showed these to my psychiatrist.

    I remember he leafed through my colorful charts, one by one. He actually looked at them, acting all scientific. I remember he even adjusted his glasses on his nose, to focus better. Then, he said…

    “I think it’s your periods.”

    So this, they said, was due to temporal lobe epilepsy, which I never had, and then being female was suddenly called a disease.

  • I often use the term incarceration. I have started saying “mental system” instead of “mental health system.”

    Another thing I have noticed is that many do now recognize the harms of pharmaceuticals but fail to realize that labeling is harmful. In fact, many who understand that these drugs do much harm also in the exact same breath validate the disease “fix me” model. So here, we have the statement, “There are very sick people in society who need fixing but not by drugs.” This is seriously warped, allowing for psychiatry to slip right back in and continue the practice of eugenics and segregation. The disease idea still validates that “there are some among us who are inferior” and that is the problem with it.

    We can indeed validate that many struggle without calling it “disease,” especially not permanent disease requiring lengthy or ongoing or lifelong treatment such as therapy. Sadly I know very few who enter therapy (or, as they call it, the therapeutic process) and then, end therapy. They may stop with one therapist, but they never truly manage to stop seeing therapists. They can’t! They’re hooked, because therapy creates dependency, dependent mentality, and the idea that one is deficient.

  • I got better by getting away from my community and all the people around me who only knew me as a diagnosed person. I relocated, then, in my new community, never told anyone about my past as inmate in psychiatric hospital, nor ever admitted I had ever seen a shrink. I invented a new past life. What I told anyone who asked was that my partner had passed away and I had moved to start anew. Since then, upon relocating I simply said I was “retired,” and if anyone asked what my previous job had been, I name old jobs I had during the years prior to my lengthy stint as professional patient. Actually, that was 34 years of “severely mentally ill.” But I just pretend none of that happened.

    What I discovered was that once I establish myself as “okay person,” and people begin to trust and like me, I can then admit a few things about my past. Then, amazing things happen.

    “Me too.”

    Yep, many have likewise done the same thing, are living without being labeled as “mentally ill,” having left their mental patient existences far, far behind. Whether their patient lives lasted one year, or six, or ten, these folks simply left it behind, and have no more wish to live as mental patients.

    I learned that if you are not seen as one, you won’t be one. Expectation alone drives many to act certain ways within communities. Sometimes, not always though, merely getting away will solve the problem. It does not always work the first time we try, either.

  • One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was “find the others.” To me, that didn’t mean finding professional help. Actually, that meant getting away from those who saw me as a sick person who was therefore, incorrect about my perceptions, and lacked insight. Actually, it was those around me that were totally wrong about me, and wrong about many things. Finding the others, to me, meant finding other people who had had similar experiences.

    So to translate into the experience of a person who had used recreational drugs to “get high,” which is beyond anything I have experienced I must admit, I would say to find others who have had that experience, and ALSO, who have been misunderstood in similar manner and perhaps stuck in the same rut your son has been in. I doubt the answer is force, even into rehab. And I also doubt the answer lies in an overpriced textbook full of technical jargon only a stuffy professional can decipher. I’ll bet this is something a fellow addict understands, because he or she has been there, and this would be where to start.

  • Dear parent, you didn’t get the answer you wanted because those of us who responded here are not parents. However, I know people around my age (since I am an older person now) who are indeed parents of younger people who have had very terrible troubles such as you have described. I have also had friends who have had kids in trouble with the law. Yes i is frustrating. Bottom line. These folks are out there. Unfortunately they are not represented here, but you will here from them a very different narrative from them than what you hear in the NAMI groups. Each story is different.

    For one thing, some parents have chosen to honor their kids’ wishes not to be called mentally ill, or, to choose the path of Freedom rather than another hospital. Recently, David Oaks, founder of MindFreedom, wrote about his late mother, named Violet Oaks, who would have turned 100. He writes that many years ago he made up his mind that he wanted to get out of the hospital at a time when he was deeply disturbed. The doctors went over his head and called his mother, begging her to intervene.

    David says that his mother insisted that David had the right to choose. She honored his choice, even though, as David says, this may have seemed kinda scary at the time or maybe “far out there.”

    I recently saw a YouTube where Robert Whitaker says he struggled with the idea, too, because for a long time, he truly believed that these were real illnesses that were permanent conditions. He believed in the chemical imbalance narrative. He says in this YouTube that when he met David Oaks he actually thought David was just another person who was fooliing himself, and really “nuts.” Wow, our own Robert Whitaker went through his own ideological crisis right then, realizing that the mental illness idea is totally wrong!

    This is EXTREMELY hard to face. It’s hard for all of us to make this switcheroo. The idea of mental illness served us well. It served a purpose. It kept us disabled. It served our doctors, our communities, even our loved ones who kept saying they wished we’d get better. But really, it was useful to have us sick like that.

    When keeping us sick, the whole notion of it, falls apart, we simply are sick no longer. The foundation crumbles. Your son will walk free then.

    I cannot name names, but there are parents out there like yourself who have been through struggles with their adult children, and many would LOVE to connect. Caring for an adult child is an isolating experience. I know there’s a “parents page” here on MIA but I believe this is for parents of children, that is, minors rather than adult children. However, there are many out there. You are not alone.

  • Distress is the new euphemism for mental illness. Some people do not understand still, they think all we have to do is substitute a few words. They don’t understand that this is conceptual, not just a vocabulary problem. We can’t use substitute disease words. We can’t just say “distress” instead of “mental illness” (which some are doing) and still use the disease model. So I think we have to ensure that there’s a true understanding.

  • So often people used to come up to me and say, “I’m sorry for your pain.” I never quite knew whose pain it was. I am NOT in pain. I feel joy to tell stories and have the ability to do so.

    I tell people, “I am not in pain. Do not accuse the storyteller. However, if my story causes you to feel sorry upon hearing it, then you need to examine YOUR pain, and whatever is going on in your life that causes you such pain. Please do not accuse me of feeling what I do not feel. Please do not project an illness on me that very well may be yours.”

    I think therapists project their own problems onto their patients and play out their own childhood abuse issues onto their subjects. On and on.

  • Stephen G, That was precisely what they said to me in various nuthouses. I used to ask for pencil and paper as pens were usually not allowed. I remember they told me that writing was “useless” and that I was “incapable” because I was “writing instead of going to group.” What did they do in group? They played bingo! I remember I told a PhD psychologist that I had an MFA in Creative Writing and his response was to say that I had a “useless master’s degree” and that I should “get a day job.” He suggested bagging groceries. I left his office not knowing whether to laugh or cry. I remember right after ECT my doctor was surprised and said to me, “You mean you REALLY used to have a PART TIME job?” I then told him I used to be a music major and I was a composer. His eyes opened wide…like kinda surprised to hear that this very spaced out patient used to be a college student..I think maybe they realized they should not have done those shock treatments…..You really wonder about “them.”………..

  • If you truly see those you treat as having these defective brains, or irretractible chemical imbalances without any wiggle room or question or possibility that maybe that’s not true, then you are doing your patients a disservice. It is a crime. Every time you tell a patient, “You will have to be in treatment for the rest of your life,” that is a crime, because as a professional, you speak to that patient and that family from a voice of authority, and the patient (and family, if present) are all suffering and vulnerable. So when speaking as God-like hero, and speaking as healer, your word has such clout, diagnosing the patient and proclaiming that patient permanently deranged, this is a terrible crime. It changes a person forever, it changes the course of that person’s life, harming that person horribly. These doctors believe they are healing, and they never realize the harms. Many see themselves as saviors of mankind. It’s so sad. They don’t realize that in a few years, or even a few months, whatever supposedly permanent condition that patient is in might simply go away on its own.

    Many times a patient shows up in terrible shape and the attending doc has no perspective on the situation. Often times, especially in crisis, these doctors have no idea of the timeline. I hear so often from people that they have felt suicidal for 20 minutes and then, go to an ER, and while there, the feelings dissipate before they are even seen, but they end up incarcerated for two months! Conversely, I know people who fall between the cracks and bypass the System altogether. They may or may not be nut cases and the professionals out there will never know, nor care. They won’t be on the books. Because they haven’t walked into a shrink’s office. They have not been “seen.” Who knows, that might be your coworker, or you. Anyone who walks into the office of an MH professional can get a dx. Standing invitation.

  • I would suggest, as starters, listening and caring instead of diagnosing. I would suggest listening and caring if a person asks for help. Right now, if a person goes to an ER as a psych patient, what happens? You get a security guard, you get your stuff taken away, you get strip searched, you get locked in a room and that’s it. Maybe ten minutes of talking to someone who has their other hand on a panic button, who treats you like you’re a subhuman “thing.” You have to sign a paper and no matter what, you lose your rights anyway. You might get a phone call, one phone call, but that gets monitored. Lower than the animals. I don’t even call that medical care, it’s an atrocity, it’s torture.

  • The MH System teaches dependency, encourages continued dependency, and wouldn’t be able to sustain itself if its subjects didn’t remain dependent and addicted to it. This is its “Guild Interest,” as R Whitaker points out. This is across the board, in psychiatry and psychology (psychiatry’s stinking armpit) both, spanning throughout the realm of psychotherapy. They call it “help.” Watch out for those “free” 800 numbers! If it’s professional mental help it is the worst four-letter word out there. It should be avoided, probably banned. It is a danger to the human species.

  • Darius, These doctors and the institutions that support them (insurances and the like) know very well that patients and their families are going to be too exhausted to sue. They have a way of delaying any lawsuits, encouraging patients to try the in-house route first, which is never fruitful since it’s a conflict of interest and “house” wins and the patient is back at square one. The “two years” was deliberate of course. They know exactly what they are doing. I belong to malpractice groups and we have seen the tendencies. These doctors have studied the malpractice statistics, too, and they back themselves with money and lawyers so it’s a win/win situation for them.

    The key to getting away with medical mal is knowing how to lie after they have knowingly harmed patients by changing the diagnosis to something new to explain away the damages, which is so commonplace, it’s a joke. If you can do this seamlessly, the patient won’t even know it has happened. Or by the time the patient (or observer, such as family or spouse) figures it out, too much time has passed. It’s so clever, it even pays. Perfect crime.

  • I object to the very first sentence here, in fact, the title. “Professionals….” Listen, they need to all go to some hellhole somewhere to discuss their eugenics and racism, and keep it there. There is only one legitimate issue that one might consider “mental.”

    “I don’t feel well.”

    And if someone does not feel well, or if a loved one does not feel well, or is out of sorts, maybe we gotta ask. Caring…how’s that? And stop all this misunderstanding. And stop locking people up. And stop excluding people and shoving away like they’re some piece of worthless dirt. There is no pathology. That’s for a laboratory. That is a disease, like the flu or cancer. Keep that word in the lab, unless you wanna keep treating people like lepers.

  • Matt, any time I hear “professional,” or anyone telling me or telling a patient especially one that had many years or decades of experience in the System that he or she is not an expert, or knows nothing, or is stupid or ignorant, or knows nothing compared to those with certain types of mental health type degrees or textbook training I cannot help but laugh. When those “pros” boast of their “contact hours,” i laugh, too, remembering our hours in the smoking room when we solved so many more problems than they possibly ever could. I can tell you I never saw such a bunch of bumbling idiots than those “staff” that lacked more insight than anyone could possibly lack. I can tell you that when I am EVER told I am not a professional after 34 years of all I went through, I think it is absurd. How much more training can one get? I paid dearly for it, too.

  • My observation was that those that saw us as “sick” or “mentally ill” or claimed that we were “incapable” or “incompetent” and all the other horrible things they said about us, these so-called doctors and therapists seriously lacked insight into our condition, into their own condition, and if they called that place a hospital, they surely lacked insight into the condition of the facility.

  • POSSIBLE? Matt, I knew so, so many, before your time undoubtedly, Discarded Wife Syndrome, Discarded Kid Syndrome, Runaway Kid Syndrome, Disobedient Kid Syndrome, Kid that Swore in Class Syndrome, Kid that Smoked One Joint Syndrome, Kid that Said I Am Gay and The Church Didn;t LIke It Syndrome, Kid that Got Pregnant Syndrome…Are these mental diseases? I don’t think so. This comprised most of the nuthouse. Oh never mind the elderly who were there because they didn’t like the nursing home. What was my sin? Being Jewish and female and smart and not wanting to get married. In 1980 that was a certainly mental disease worthy of lockup.

  • I WAS a member of ISEPP. WAS. I quit. I was a very enthusiastic member of ISEPP and then, quit in disgust. I know in my heart that “professionals,” including “psychotherapists,” are not the people who will knock the system down.No, to end any oppressive system, this system must be taken down by those who are oppressed themselves. US. Patients. Ex-patients.

    In fact, ISEPP represents those who want to continue their legitimacy as professionals and oppressors, and continue the duality of professionals who “treat” the sick. This is bogus and I decided, when I quit, that to remain a member was only validating the duality. i couldn’t keep doing this. I couldn’t say, “These therapists are different” when I knew in my heart they were not. They see us as sick and people who need to be healed. Same ole. I personally have nothing to recover from but the trauma of abuse done to me in the hospital, and all that was done to me after age 50. I also had abusive therapists, the worst of this also happened when I was an older person. I choose not to go to a trauma therapist, as this would be defeating the purpose, but to find others who were abused and just talking about it. I saw the ISEPP group as mostly complete hypocrites. Although, having met a few in the group, many were very nice people and interesting to talk to, and also, more intelligent that the average psychologist I had encountered over the decades that I was a psych slave. Other than that, no difference. Some in the group claimed they had been patients, but still, validated their status as oppressors/healers/so-called experts, which frankly, I saw as hugely contradictory (feet in both camps). The RADICAL changes and demands we are asking for is a grassroots effort here. (Still hoping to actually talk about it.)

    And I was also called “severely mentally ill” by so-called “experts” who claimed I could never live independently outside of an institution.

  • I think we need to do a grassroots nonviolent method, but this has to be unified and well-organized. We can be extremely passionate about what we do without using violence. Art, music, writing, and poetry are extremely dangerous to them, yet these are nonviolent means. Freedom of speech scares the heck out of them. Our pens are incredibly dangerous. Our stories are so powerful. I’d say far more powerful, telling the truth of our experience, than any physically violent means out there. The truth will unlock the doors. The truth can be understood by all, it is simple, it is the elephant in the room

    No one should be locked up simply for asking for help. Is that enough?

  • Oh yeah, Desire for Approval Disorder, that’s definitely a product of either the System, or a product of being in academia too long, which is yet another System, the school system. Remember who designed public schools. The government, who knows better than its constituents, that divides us according to whom it decides is okay, and who among us is not. Psychiatry has been a useful tool for a century now, to scour off the scum of society, and eliminate it, imprison it, delete it, send it into exile, torture it, experiment on it, or correct its sinful ways. Shall we continue to seek approval from such leaders who are in the business of segregating, dividing, and killing? Or shall we approve and embrace ourselves, right now?

  • The most harmful therapy format I ever endured was psychodrama, on the whole. They say that what matters is the therapist, not the therapy venue. that is, the method doesn’t matter very much, but the personality of the therapist matters a lot more, and the connection with the therapist. However, I can say that psychodrama when done on me was always done abusively. Two of these therapists did it. They both had terrible boundaries. One was manipulative, on a power trip, very controlling and abusive. She used the psychodrama to get what she wanted out of her patients. I cannot look at a stuffed animal now without remembering that awful experience and cringing. Therapy with adults should not be like kindergarten.

  • John I read Beware the Talking Cure which outlines the various harms that can come from therapy. The thinking is very much the same as my own. For a long time I have been concerned about the number of people who become addicted to therapy. Originally they are independent thinkers,, but after they become engaged in therapy, they are then unable to think for themselves. This process of turning to experts, and now assuming that expertise lies outside of themselves is a tough one to break, if not impossible. At this point, the duality is set, Us and Them, Treators and Those That Are Treated, caused by therapy, not by pills at all. Yes you can get this way without taking one pill. After therapy, independence is lost totally. I see people unable to make decisions, turning to parents, turning to gurus, dependent on religions, dependent on AA sponsors, turning to online advice, dependent on social workers, doctors, anything. And breaking the dependency hurts, it’s painful, like leaving a religious cult. You have to undo the worst brainwashing ever done to you. It is caused by the System, and it is harder than getting off pills.

  • Some staff in the nuthouse told me my hair looked like Cousin It. “Why don’t you get it away from your face so we can see you in group? All we see are those glasses…” But I was ashamed of the Lithium pimples, so……..

    Probably the Addams Family members all knew better than Staff anyway.

  • Until I saw this article I hadn’t even realized the class had started. I had asked Tina about the class and she said something about the “second round” and said she would be back in touch. I have been waiting to hear back. She assured me it would be mostly survivors, which is a relief to me. Finally we are honored as experts, not those haughty know-it-alls in offices who in fact, ruined so many people’s lives.

  • I don’t know how many people are reading this right now but I thought I would post this here rather than the forums (which seem kinda dead). I think this and other posts by new survivors, that is, people who were newly psychiatrized and new to the Movement indicate to me that we as a Movement need to have a strong presence on college campuses. I, too, sought “help” as a college student. I didn’t know where to go. Nowadays, all colleges have “counselors” and these are the new gateway to the System. Many refer either to the U Health Service or, if the college is small, to an outside psychiatrist. There have been so many issues with these U Health Services and the counseling services. There are confidentiality issues, kids get kicked out, parent issues, financial issues, problems to do with denial of scholarships, and more. I think colleges will welcome speakers if we can get some speakers together. If only I had known about the pitfalls of ending up labeled for life back when I was a college student, but I did not know. I was a promising music composition student at Bennington College, very close to graduation. I had managed to keep my eating disorder secret. Like Emily, I was confused, had no clue what the dangers would be. During the summer I voluntarily walked into a therapist’s office which turned out to be the worst mistake of my life.

  • Also, you can definitely trust the Freedom of Mind Center. I know who runs it. He is a cult survivor, survivor of the Moonies just like me, who is trying to warn other people about brainwashing religious cults. I actually met this man way back in 1979 when he was much younger. He is also not a fan of the DSM!!! Steven and I have discussed this at length and I am a fan of his extensive anti-cult research. My hope is to use his work and link his work on cults to compare the brainwasshing done in cults as IDENTICAL to the brainwashing done to people, drugs or no drugs, in the mental health system. This includes much of what we know as “therapy.” This brainwashing is done mainly without drugs but by breaking a person down, isolating that person, and then, handing the person a new ideology. That’s what the MH System does. That is what cults do. That is what brainwashing is. it works and it is effective. It is hard to undo.

  • Hi, I attended the workshop given by the folks from the Sunrise Center. My feelings were mixed. For one thing, the entire method was based on the “success” of the first success story, and then, built upon that success of one person. Well, this may have worked for one person, but that’s only one. I was okay with it, said nothing, and then, they said, “You have to keep coming back.” That’s where they lost me. I said nothing, but I was extremely skeptical after that. I felt that anything that “You have to keep coming back and doing it” seemed cultish to me. This DOES include many religions and pseudo-religions that rope people in and demand more and more time and money, and literally steal people’s lives. This does include therapy, day treatment, various therapy programs, yoga retreats, cults, gurus, various mediation-type stuff, and other miracles that aren’t really miracles, they only rob us in the end. I wasn’t sure. I asked these folks to contact me, or put me on their mailing list. I asked them to read back my email address to ensure they had it right, but I guess they decided to take me off of it after all. Maybe I was just too much of a skeptic. I am a survivor of a dangerous cult called the Moonies, in 1979. They still exist. Look it up. I am honestly not sure but I have resources I can check.

  • I can’t believe I missed this. David Brendel is the doctor whom I saw who tried to put me in State after I was found to be blogging about patient abuse. He is the one who made the decision that I was “dangerous.” I had no clue why they thought I was dangerous, not at the time. However, Brendel, whom I had known, in fact, for years, knew about my blogging, and didn’t see me as violent at all, He saw me as dangerous for one reason and one reason only: my pen. And for that reason, they tried, many times after I got my MFA in Creative Writing (2009) to have me either put away for good, or drugged so heavily that I could no longer write. Aw, too bad, they never managed to do it. Thanks so much. I found this article while searching for a patient review on Brendel, my old “pal,” wanting to write one up myself.

  • Thanks for sharing your story. Coming out has to be done very carefully. I think it can only be done effectively AFTER you have gained a certain amount of trust. You wouldn’t tell a complete stranger much personal information beyond your first name to begin with. Maybe the town where you live, but not your exact address. Maybe your occupation, but not exactly where you work. Later, you may mention where you eat lunch, and say, “Hey, wanna have lunch sometime?” While eating lunch, you might mention you divorced a few years back.

    You would NOT say upon meeting someone, “Hey, I miscarried three months ago.” Or, “I wear a size ___ bra.” Or, “I was adopted.” Right? So likely you wouldn’t say, “I was in a mental hospital a few years back.”

    After you and your new buddy like each other a lot, and your new buddy trusts you, and you trust your new buddy, then, you say, “You know that hospital up there? See that one? Guess what? See that window up there? Yeah, that’s a mental hospital. That was my room. Right there. I had the best view of the whole city.”

  • Darius, Your music is beautiful! I would love to incorporate it, with your permission, into my live presentation I do called Behind Locked Doors. I, too, was a music composer prior to my entering the System. I wrote frequently for cello, simply because at the peak of my composing years I was surrounded by many wonderful cello players. I would love to hear more of your music.

    As I read your piece all I could think was that this is so cut and dry, so clear what the damages are, and so clear what the cause was that you could sue and win if you could get a attorney. Lawyers often refuse cases if they are too complex since they hate paperwork. Or they refuse if they can’t pinpoint damages in dollars and cents. But the timeframe is relatively short, the damages obvious, your parents also lost a lot, you gave up your college education, you were clearly headed for success and this doctor prescribed totally inappropriately and didn’t pay attention when you reported difficulty. Is this not gross malpractice?

    Why on earth do these professionals just wash their hands clean like that? What are we? Dirt to cast aside? Nothing? Filth? Things? Have they no regard for the humanity they serve?

  • 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.