Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Comments by Julie Greene, MFA

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  • Gabi, That is a funny question. I am proud to be alive in spite of psychiatry. I am alive because I refused it. I am alive because of noncompliance.

    My mom taught me something when I was a little kid. She said if you ever have a difficult problem to solve, you can solve it! Just put on your Thinking Cap. She said everyone has a Thinking Cap. But we have to remember, she said, to put it on.

    Psychiatry tells us we do not have Thinking Caps. Psychiatry tells us we have to rely on Them for all our needs. However, if we rely on them, we will fail, over and over and over. This is because they are unreliable. What happens is that we end up terribly disillusioned by psychiatry, and subsequently we might feel disappointed in humanity in general. But the beautiful thing is that we then might fall back on what is left–ourselves. Lo and behold, we might dust off our Thinking Caps.

    We all have one, and we can put it on and use it anytime. My mom was right! It costs nothing to use it. It is magical and amazing. Put it on and you can do just about anything.

  • The worst example of narcissistic behavior that I have seen recently was my therapist that I had between November 2010 and around March of 2012. I was total hell having her for a therapist. She had a Savior complex and was very controlling and manipulative. She regularly threatened me and falsely accused me of all kinds of things, whatever she felt like accusing me of. I am horrified that she still practices therapy.

    Still, on principle, I don’t call people narcissists. I say, “narcissistic behavior.” I don’t label others. Much as I hated Maria’s behavior I will not label her. I know in my heart that what she did was criminal. It was abuse. It was not a disease and I will not excuse her abuse by claiming it was a symptom of a disorder. She should not practice therapy until she can work out her control issues. I hope she reads this and wises up.

  • That’s why the CV sheet we have to sign when we are admitted is colored differently. Ever notice that? It’s not for OUR benefit. It’s for the junior staff to ensure they know which paper is the essential one we have to sign No Matter What. We have to be coerced into it No Matter What. So because they can’t be trusted to memorize “conditional voluntary” written on top of the page, the paper is colored differently. After all, cumulatively speaking, the staff are far less educated and less intelligent and far less insightful than the patients.

  • Gabi I recall when my late boyfriend believed he was a “federal agent” I went along with it. I listened to his entire fantasy about his work as an “agent” and all that that his “assignments” entailed. I kept on listening and if something sounded scary to me, I said so and asked him if he also felt scared or threatened. He said he did. We talked through all of it and I never said “That is not true.” I never tried to prove him wrong nor rationalize nor minimize anything he told me. ALL of what he said was based in reality, and actually much of it I never realized until years or even decades later. For instance, a lot sprung from his anger over my ECT. I was barely aware that I’d been damaged by it, but he was painfully aware that the person he had known may not come back from ECT fog (I did!).

    Another thing I perceived at the time as being unrealistic was his claim that the drugs were “poison.” He insisted they were “bad for him” and he did not want to take them. He spat them out and hid the spat-out pills from the staff. One day, he handed me a wad of them that he had spat out, saying, “These are poison and I will not take them!” I didn’t know what to do except walk away and toss them out in my trash.

    Now, well over a decade has passed and in my heart I know he knew exactly what he was talking about. He knew. Even after he finally agreed to take them, which he agreed under much pressure, he knew deep down they were killing him.

  • I just read about people who are trauma survivors feeling like their lives are going to be cut short, having a feeling of imminent death that isn’t a suicidal urge but just a feeling like you do not have much time left or a feeling of urgency? Does anyone else have that, too? I have had that myself and I thought it was a “new life philosophy” that I developed after I was deprived of water in a hospital. But I am beginning to wonder if maybe it’s a result of the trauma. I always feel like I have to rush, and that started after MGH deprived me of water. After that I had a lot of trouble getting people to believe me or take me seriously. I hope someone reads this.

  • What is mentally healthy in one culture is considered out of the norm in another. For instance, my parents were like other WWII parents and did not share emotionally with us kids. This was the way that parenting was done back then. By the time I got to therapy, my therapists came from the next generation, so they claimed my parents were “emotionally distant.” This was not true. They were most likely warmer emotionally than most parents of that generation. Therapists compared our parents to theirs, and any variation was by definition “abuse.”

  • I know here in the USA the FBI keeps records called NICS, this is a record of people who cannot own firearms and one of the parts of this is MI, but it’s only those who have been court-committed and I suspect this would only contain some of us who have been court-committed on certain types of sections. Apparently you can write to the FBI to see if you are on this list. You can even ask to be taken off. I wonder if you could state that being on the list affects your employment and housing status (and possibly all sorts of other things, education, ability to get a loan, etc) and this is why you want to be taken off.

  • Chaya, just one little point. If a person is truly starving then you’d better not give that person candy. This, sadly, was a misunderstanding when the American soldiers came upon some starving Holocaust survivors. In their zeal to get them fed, they gave the starving survivors chocolate. The survivors died.

    What happened? When you overwhelm a starving person’s system with candy or chocolate after prolonged starvation, sometimes a condition called “refeeding syndrome” can develop. Usually, once it starts, the condition worsens and the person dies. It is very complex and serious, involving edema, heart failure, diarrhea, and physical lethargy. It is very hard to reverse refeeding syndrome. But the soldiers didn’t know that this would occur.

    Nowadays, refeeding syndrome almost exclusively occurs in ED treatment facilities when patients are tube fed too rapidly. This is a huge liability risk for these facilities and they are truly scared that patients will develop it.

    All I am saying is that candy is not an answer to starvation. It isn’t that it is unhealthy food, it really can kill a starving person fairly quickly. As for helping for weight gain for a non-diabetic person who isn’t starving, it might help, but you might get a stomach ache.

  • We have all seen the same thing. Victims complain of aftereffects of ECT, such as cognitive confusion or memory loss. We got the same response. “It’s an underlying mental illness.” I happen to recall these doctors even had the nerve to try to convince me I had been confused all my life! If we don’t improve they lock us up in State. “Severe Mental Illness.”

    However, I see Atty Karen’s point here. Will they be able to get away with making these bogus claims in court under oath? They may have lied to us knowing we were confused. They could get away with it while we were in a vulnerable state (and while there were no witnesses to challenge them). But in front of a judge is another matter.

  • Auntie and Fiaschra, I would think that the fact that such a list exists is a human rights abuse in itself. Some countries do have lists of people who have committed certain crimes. In USA there is a list of people who cannot work in health care (I found it!) and a list of those who cannot work around children, I imagine. But different countries do things differently. What have the so-called SMI actually done? Where is the evidence? What crimes?

  • Dang, Fiaschra , I gotta laugh at their “guesswork.” When I went to Gould Farm in 1984 and told them as plainly as I could, “Eating Disorder,” they said that wasn’t on their “list” so they arbitrarily told me they’d treat me for “depression.” Of course, treating a broken arm with broken leg treatment isn’t going to be too relevant. I complained that their “treatment” wasn’t working. They said, “How about disability?” Again, ED wasn’t on their “List” of possible “severe” disorders so I got stuck with “schizophrenia.” That got put on my disability form and I never saw the form, never filled it out nor was I interviewed by a third, neutral party nor was allowed a second opinion. Stamped and sealed by the end of summer. Funny, in September I started nursing school where I got straight A’s and I kept wondering, “What brain disease?” but was afraid to ask.

  • Exactly, Auntie. I would think your ultimate goal would be to get the hell off their list. You don’t know. Future employers, landlords, banks that are going to say yes or no, people that are going to matter down the road might have access, and if they don’t now, they may in the future. Never mind the gov’t. Plus I imagine you get far worse medical care if you are perceived as SMI. Even, say, if you show up and are having a legitimate heart attack. “You’re just anxious. Go home and do coping skills and come back on Monday and we’ll take your blood pressure.” I have seen people die that way.

  • Another thing I hear is effective is if you absolutely have to go to Western Med, bring a trusted friend or relative. Make sure that person stays right in the room with you the entire time and if the doc demands that the person leave, insist yourself that the person stays put. You can even say you want a witness, or say that this person should be a part of your aftercare or at least informed. Perhaps this person provided transportation and “needs to know information,” you can say. Really, though, the person is there to make sure they don’t pull any shit on you.

  • Auntie, if the internet service means avoiding actual office visits, then that’s a good thing. Try for telephone doctor service. You can quietly slip into telephone only and no office. I use a Voip phone to be on the safe side. However, I never give them a reason to call the cops on me in the first place. Don’t give out your relatives’ phone numbers, either, as “nearest family member.” Not unless you want your cover blown to bits if you are ever taken to the ER unconscious. Think about it…If you are hit by a car, they will call your family. If you are worried about family members ratting on you in a moment of panic, maybe it’s time to invent fake family members. Yes, it says on the forms you’ll be booted out of the clinic for falsifying info, but they’ll deal with that after you’ve croaked someday and they have a mess on their hands because they can’t figure out whom to contact.

  • Mental health professionals are in the business of covering up the abuse of other mental health professionals. They will never admit the faults of the other ones. They will cover for each other no matter how bad the abuse, even cover for sexual abuse done in mental health settings, claiming the patient must have been “attention-seeking” or must have a “persecution complex.” Mental health professionals are obliged like anyone else to report abuse of patients done by other professionals or staff or abuse that happens in facilities (such as physical abuse and neglect) because they are mandatory reporters. They are obliged to report these abuses by law. Do they ever? No, instead, they claim the patient needs more drugs and more therapy, and they insist that the patient is drugged into silence. Rarely does a professional encourage a patient to report abuse to the police, or file a report to the proper authority as required by law.

    These really are laws in all states. If you see abuse on the job you have to contact police. They sign papers saying this, even if you are a volunteer. This is true even if you aren’t a mandatory reporter by profession. I swear the janitors and those bringing around jars of flowers were more ethical than the nurses.

  • Oh the media has been going on about a “blood test” lately but I checked up on that one. It looks like more misleading propaganda since what the actual blood tests are that they refer to are the ones you get that rule out “other causes” such as checking your thyroid, checking for diabetes or low blood sugar, checking liver and kidneys and for cushing’s disease and maybe making sure you don’t have anemia or Vitamin D deficiency. Funny when I went to therapy back in 1981 I sure wasn’t given a blood test at all. I was never asked to see a primary care doc that I recall. Finally my parents insisted I see one.

  • My ex-shrink came out with a PPD book. I saw him in Bennington, VT. The book is out of print now. His name is Carl Burak, MD. I suppose he took advantage of the woman he wrote about and exploited the hell out of her. Anyway, I bet you can get it used on Amazon. I can tell you more in private about “Carl.” I saw his associate, a psychologist, Dr. Alkoff, and I never really directly saw Dr. Burak, who was prescribing, which wasn’t even legal (Alkoff relayed the info to Burak, who then prescribed, which was their way of doing things) but they claimed it was Kosher. Alkoff insisted he “knew all about the drugs.” He didn’t. He didn’t know much about anything…but that’s besides the point. I learned about Burak’s book when I saw it on Amazon. They had a racket going and I guess were rather wealthy. I suspect the trio (Burak, Burak’s wife, and Alkoff) skipped town after too many scandals. Alkoff fled to Florida, then, to Seattle. Always looked very fishy to me to have multiple licenses like that.

  • In the USA you can get psych off your local records without getting off the federal disability payments if you can’t find employment right away. You used to be able to simply go from one clinic to another, but now, with electronic records, this is less simple than it sounds. Now you will likely need to relocate. I am shocked at how many people immediately then “share” their medical records. This is exactly what not to do. Tell them “Oh yes, I’m working on it,” but don’t.

    Then, assure them you have already done it. Tell them the records have already been sent a month ago, if they happen to ask. So surely, they have them, but they are likely filed incorrectly, right? No one is going to know. They won’t pry any longer. Don’t complain about “depression,” “anxiety,” or anything even remotely resembling it. Don’t use their clinical language for mental distress and put on a happy face. Fake out the screenings. If you spent enough years on the nuthouses, you definitely know how to answer the questions. No, no one in your family ever had an addiction nor ever attempted suicide and there’s no known mental disorder in your family, either, that you ever heard of. Prozac? Doesn’t some movie star take that?

  • Oh, another thing….If you get a paper script, SOMETIMES you can drop it off, they’ll fill it, but you can just leave the script there, and if you never pick it up it’ll just sit there and you won’t have to pay. Eventually if they’re super busy they’ll either forget about it, you can ignore the auto-reminders and they’ll eventually toss it. Maybe they’ll just think you’re on “vacation.”

  • Yeah, oddly, I remember they pushed anxiety pills on me for minor procedures when I told them these pills were both not necessary and had no effect on me. Also I was offered various pain pills which oddly never do much. Most don’t work on pain nor have any effect except a few make me nauseous. I’d end up saying, “It doesn’t really hurt that much, ” and they’d say, “That’s good, the pills must be working” but I never took them.

  • Oldhead it varies from locale to locale since some folks have limited access as far as where they go to pick up drugs. Besides, in my opinion, a lot depends on who works there and the “other” circumstances.

    In my old pharmacy, I almost quit because they wouldn’t stop announcing my name on the loudspeaker when my drugs were ready. I kept telling them not to, and they would not stop. Also, buying at the self-register meant whatever I bought was announced out loud. The register didn’t name drugs but did name vitamins and other items. This was a privacy concern. People consider all sorts of things such as timeliness, maybe a certain employee who works there (and there’s turnover), knowing the pharmacist by name, or, in some cases, going someplace where they do not know you, or going out of town where you might not feel self-conscious. I knew people who felt less embarrassed going to a pharmacy where there was a drive-in, so they never had to walk in to the place. Nowadays some people get theirs mailed, but that involves risk of theft for some people.

  • Auntie, is relocating an option? What if you left the UK for over a year? Would that possibly get you off their radar? If you can’t, what if you could get off NHS? Of course this would leave you without any medical services at all. A few can do this. Depending on your needs this could work out. Unless you have something very serious or complex you likely don’t need doctors at all. Many problems are caused by seeing them, actually. When you stop seeing them, these problems go away, or become minimal. I see an optometrist (not MD) for glasses only. I avoid contact with Western Medicine as much as possible. It is a gateway to labeling.

  • Stephen, That’s what I was told, exactly. By a specialist trained in eating disorders. “I know you told me that, but I can’t trust anything you said because all anorexics are sneaky liars. Therefore, you must be lying.”

    First of all, I wasn’t lying.
    Secondly, there is indeed an origin of that stereotype. I do know some were affected at a young age, as young as six, who were forced into habitual lying because they were terrorized by multiple doctors, constantly hounded over their weight, forced to fake out the scale and fib about what they have eaten lest they be taken out of school and from their homes by force an locked up, possibly tied into bed and raped via the feeding tube.

  • Steve, I heard from other kids when I was growing up in the 1960’s that in the Catholic schools the teachers were like that all the time. The stories were so consistent that sadly, we accepted abuse of students as “normal.” We knew it wasn’t right but we were just little kids. There were stories about our school and Hebrew school, too. I never got hit by a teacher but one of them took it upon herself to jeer at me repeatedly, some of the teachers’ aides, too. I was terrified at lunch time because a lunch lady picked on me every time I returned my used tray to the return window. In remembrance of her and those times I wrote a piece called “Lunch Lady Communist.” It was one of my best blog entries from back then. You can probably find it in my blog, likely dated ages ago.

  • Are we really born disordered? Seriously? Okay, it’s “latent” and it grows and festers inside us, and then, suddenly, out it comes at some opportune time, like, say, around late adolescence or while in college. Like it was a seed already inside us, waiting to explode and wreak havoc. It does sound handy, this fake disease model, but we know it is false. No disease. Then what? Oh, these adolescent conditions which are truly a nuisance, such as, perhaps, a bit too much partying, are now suddenly deemed permanent diseases. Bipolar for life.

    Okay…But it’s my understanding that many personality traits change over one’s lifetime. None are set in stone. I read somewhere here in MIA that people’s personalities are even totally unrecognizable decades later. How many politicians and people in high places are now rather embarrassed over how they behaved in their younger years, and would not want the public to see their adolescent escapades as permanent character defects?

    Held accountable for crimes? Of course. But just playing your stereo up loud….big deal.

    Many people I know personally have gone through changes over the years. I knew people who acted reckless and now are not. I knew some who were shy and now are much less shy. I know a few that were predicted would never marry, but then married happily, are quite outgoing and had many children.

    “I didn’t inhale,” said the the President. Sadly, our overly critical public eye actually was going to judge whether or not Clinton smoked pot when he was a kid. Let the man without sin throw the first stone. I remember how my college dorm smelled back in the 1970’s. Like…um…incense, right? And now many states are legalizing it…..

  • About time MIA addressed the trauma we experience as a result of treatment other than “drugs.” Such as imprisonment where we are treated like a nonhuman “thing.”

    Friedman is right that most therapists and trauma centers assume “abuse” means parental abuse but when I talk about I mean abuse I got from while inpatient and from some of my doctors and therapists. There is nowhere for us to go with this, nowhere to talk about it. No forums. No support group. No place. You only hope someone will listen, but if you try to talk about that effectively ends the conversation.

  • My experience with CVS was the following, not in order of occurrence:
    2013: While I was inpatient at Mount Auburn Hospital, I was asked by the attending physicians which drugs I was on. To be totally clear about this, I wrote them down on paper. I also said the names and doses aloud. I also stated that I had picked up two prescriptions in person at my local CVS on August 11, 2013, a day prior to my hospitalization. I was on the medical floor for kidney failure.

    The psychiatrist came back into my room later, pointed his finger straight at me, and said, “You are a LIAR!” Then he said, “I called CVS myself! They said you were not in there on Sunday. They said those are not the drugs you take!”

    For the next two days I was given drugs I never took, some cocktail that didn’t make sense that I refused.

    It took those bozos two days to figure it all out. They had misspelled my name and between them and CVS they had not even verified spelling, date of birth, address, etc. Mental patients aren’t worth it.

    The inpatient doctor did not apologize and the entire staff there continued to abuse me until the day I left. About six months later I walked into CVS and the head pharmacist apologized but I don’t think she fully understood the potential implications of a name mix-up like that.

    Earlier in 2013: A pharmacy assistant “advised” me not to take a drug my psych had prescribed for sleep. This was an antipsychotic drug Latuda. He said it was too new to be safe, and there was no evidence that it would help with sleep. I never filled the script.

    All the years I went to CVS, I know in my heart they cringed seeing me on those massive amounts of drugs. I know they saw me get really sick in the end. They saw people die. They knew, and I bet they hated having to fill scripts for elders knowing that filling them wasn’t really curative after all. They were taking part in a lie.

    I have hesitated to apply for jobs like that, where I have serious ethical concerns about what I am doing. I remember I questioned working for McDonald’s, which I was forced to do when I could find nothing else. I know some people can’t find work elsewhere. I’m speaking as a daughter of an engineer who worked many years for Raytheon. I know my dad struggled with that sometimes, too.

  • Peter, Your work here is so amazing. This post should be up on MIA as a permanent page right up next to “The Case Against Antipsychotics. And I ask why on earth you’re going into “counseling” (as I see in your bio) when we need someone like you to fight these folks at the level of the courts or the FDA. Get your voice out there in mainstream media.

    And everyone else, share this article. I wonder what would happen if it were quietly passed around in pamphlet form at a large teaching hospital outpatient psych clinic. (Of course, on the outside of the pamphlet it can say something harmless like “free patient resources”)

  • Interestingly, there are no rehabs, that I know of, for people damaged by ECT. Unless, of course, you count state “hospitals” where they hide damaged people. Or nursing homes. Or we don’t see them or know of them because families are invariably advised to “disengage” due to the patient’s “grave mental illness.” The rest are rehabbed only in our memories. They are gone.

    There will never be rehab until there is public acknowledgement that ECT causes brain damage. What they often claim, post-ECT, is that some new underlying, latent mental illness suddenly and mysteriously appears out of the blue. Rehab for a fake mental illness won’t address the real harm that has been done. Until the truth is acknowledged and faced head on, and confessed by these criminals, I fear we will lose many more precious lives.

  • I plan to post a review of my own at some point.

    Anyone who publicly posts a review should be careful to comment on the book itself. A review is not a debate about electroshock, though a reviewer might describe the book’s emotional impact (which in effect reveals the reviewer’s position).

    I should add that my observation of product review sites in general has been that they’ve been co-opted, and I don’t even know if that is the right word for what has happened. Vendors are realizing that consumers rely on these sites to make purchasing decisions. Some review sites are better than others at deleting fraudulent reviews, whether positive glowing ones, or negative ones that are untruthful or defaming.

    Amazon, in turn, has tightened up and is making sure reviewers actually purchased the product. I believe Amazon requires a login to post a review. Still, I am finding that Amazon reviews are now far less reliable than they were only a few years ago. I receive far too many emails from vendors literally bribing me to post a review, offering me a free product, etc.

  • Registered, that would be nice if those principles were consistently practiced. They are not. I, for one, as patient, not as any hired person, was threatened because I told the truth in my blog about things that happened to me inside a mental hospital. I told the truth that I was deprived of water at Massachusetts General Hospital. They found out. Am I allowed to be human? Is it natural and perhaps, understandable to be traumatized after life-threatening water deprivation and subsequent denial that it ever happened?

    Yet these doctors told me I had no Freedom of Speech, no human rights, no rights at all. No right to write. They told me I should take drugs so that I would be totally blocked from my ability to write, from then on. Silenced. That didn’t work, so then they attempted to incarcerate me long-term and abused me again, and denied me medical care and denied me knowledge of my own medical condition.

    So they have the natural tendency to occasionally blow their tops, and that’s okay, but if we do…or even come close…in person or online…guess what happens? Hey, Facebook!!! Yoo hoo! Cute little “report” button kinda conspicuous there. Do I see a double standard here?

  • Registered, I had to do a search for your comment. I think it is excellent. I hope my response posts properly underneath your comment. This is an old blog by Dr. Berezin (I don’t know if my spelling here is correct even). There are a lot of psychiatrists’ blogs out there and many are seriously scary.

    If we read in *their* literature about how threatened they are about patients getting online and writing blogs and using social media in general, what about doctors using social media? Many psychs use pseudonyms but some do not. I keep wondering what would happen if their employers discovered their blogs.

    Some write very well but many do not write well at all. There are some that clearly are pissed off at their workplaces and rant in their blogs about how terribly their workplaces treat them, how boring their jobs are, how they hate treating patients who are nothing but addicts, on and on. Do their employers see these posts? Some I’d say break HIPAA! What if their patients saw these posts, HIPAA violation or not? What then?

    How would I feel, as patient, if a doctor I trusted posted that she hated her job? I remember my doc told me once how much she loved being a psych. But then, I read online that she hates her job and hates the patients. Gee.

    I do believe in honesty and transparency, but I also believe that in professionalism and tact. If you are being paid to be polite, be polite. These docs are being paid to have manners and ethics and this includes online ethics. Don’t call your patients, or anyone, a “cretin.” That’s just plain rude and unprofessional. If you truly hate your job, please just quit. Isn’t there a psych shortage? I see psych job postings all over the place. Take your pick. Even overseas, if you’re in trouble.

    Years ago, I was online and browsing at random when I saw a comment cross-posted to Facebook, that is, this was not a comment on Facebook but cross-posted. The post was about maternal abuse. Some kind of article by a woman whose mother was controlling. Right underneath was a comment, about a paragraph long saying, “My mother was controlling and abusive, too.” Roughly those words. This was written by a former therapist who had abused me, with her professional photo, and set to public.

    Now, of course, I knew exactly why she had felt the need to be so insanely controlling of her patients, and why she had very clear narcissistic tendencies. She had never resolved this ghost from her past. She transferred it onto vulnerable people, and claimed it was “life-saving care.” This is therapy? This is a professional? God help us.

  • Ah…my paternal grandma introduced me to Chagall. She had a collection of his work, and I am not sure of the format, but my memories of her showing these works to me date from very early on. I believe she also had a Chagall hung on her wall. Undoubtedly not an original but it was worth something. All the Kramer sisters were artistic and one was a professional artist. They all lived to be very old, if I recall correctly. Some of their kids are still living.

  • I know a few people who refuse to read nonfiction because they see it as too technical, too difficult to understand, or perhaps even too academic. Many associate nonfiction with their negative memories of “school” and therefore, fear it. They prefer a chance to escape into something totally make-believe. And yet, a fiction writer is more obliged to write “believably,” while the public demands that a nonfiction book “reads like a great novel.”

    The best fiction slips shining gems of truth within its covers. I remember when I was a student composer (before psychiatry) I learned about composers who wrote brilliant music under terrible regimes, under the pressures of Nazi Germany and behind the Iron Curtain. You do hear the message, sometimes even in pauses between notes. They say prisoners write on toilet paper when they have nothing else.

    I believe this is what we, as a group, are doing. We are scratching out poetry on whatever we have. We are living in times of incredible silencing. Toss it to the wind. It may fly far.

  • I think those tests are bullshit. I have taken Myers-Briggs and I don’t see that answering it one way or another makes a person “abnormal” or anything else anyone should worry about. I have been putting in several applications each week. If the employer asks me to do an online personality test I immediately end the application. I refuse to do those as basis for hiring. Then, right away, invariably, in my email or even text message I get something like “You forgot to complete our application!” Yep, privacy invasion! I have to “unsubscribe” from these bozos.

    Just today I had to “flag” a job offer. Again. There are scams out there. This one was a job that paid, but paid people to do illegal, unethical work. Sorry to say, taking a job like the one I saw would put me in on shaky ground to say the least, as I would be knowingly partaking in illegal behavior. This was more than selling products that were inferior, it was far worse than that!

    As a person who has been working hard to secure a job I have run into more scams in the past few months than I have in my entire 60 years of life. If I were to total percentages, I’d say I have to wade though these offers and postings and of what I see perhaps 75% are ripoffs, bad jobs, and scams. You can’t even trust Glassdoor and Indeed anymore as the bad employers *sometimes* oversee the postings there and pay to get fake positive ratings posted. Likewise, I’m seeing some companies with overwhelming, over-the-top bad ratings, and yet I’m asking if those, too, are legitimate.

    Now given all this….If I were looking for a job in earnest and had a great deal of schooling behind me and now I were asked to outright lie to customers, what would I do? The lie, to snag them, would be that they had a permanent, invisible and unprovable illness. My job, as employee, would be to lie to them, and lie to their families. Another part would be to sign legal papers attesting to the fallacy. The papers would imprison the victims, but I’d have to play-act as part of my job that the prisons were actually hospitals. “Treatment centers.” A lot of my job would involve brainwashing, but this would be called therapy. I would prescribe dangerous drugs, and have to lie and call them “lifesaving medications.”

    Now today I flagged a job because as a writer I believed the job was asking me to do something illegal, that a writer and human being would get into a lot of trouble knowingly breaking the law. As a doctor, knowingly being told to deceive people, I say, FLAG PSYCHIATRY.

  • Yes, Olga R, blame on the companies that have produced the drugs and have been well aware of the risks and have understated them, and also, the doctors like David’s who fail, time and time again, to warn patients of the risks, or, like mine, outright deny or ignore when patients point out warning signs.

    I did not generally get such strikingly terrible effects from these drugs. However, when my weight doubled, this was ignored. When I got ataxia, this was ignored. When my bones thinned, this was ignored. When my kidney levels were so low I nearly died, this was ignored. The only drug that caused me to feel like I was going to explode inside was a tricyclate antidepressant, imipramine. When I reported the effect, along with rapid heartbeat and raised blood pressure (up 30bpm higher and 30 points systolic and diastolic both) I was ignored. I told the doc I felt “racy” and “angry” like I had a “bass drum inside me all the time.” She told me this was “nothing” and to keep taking the drug. I couldn’t take it much longer so I asked an inpatient doc to take me off. She did. She did so in three days! That was some taper!!!

    So now it was March 2012. That horrible bass drum beat never stopped and I was truly wondering what the heck was going on. June 2012 I made plans to kill myself. I flunked that one. Screwed up my plans and didn’t tell a soul.

    When I ended up in the “hospital” due to something unrelated, I found the “staff” did not listen to me nor wanted to understand. They walked away from me in the middle of a sentence! They didn’t want to know. They didn’t care. They didn’t even want to help. I left, totally disgusted, and never told them about the little suicide plan I had just narrowly escaped. Weren’t they supposed to help with that stuff? How ironic! In fact, I never told a soul for another six months. By then, it was a moot point. No one gave a shit anyway.

  • Sandra, I have an MFA in Creative Writing and precisely what I am professionally trained to do, and love to do, is to look over book-length manuscripts, and I was specifically trained in memoir, to write memoir and personal essay and teach writing. I vowed when I finished my master’s training in 2009 that if anyone wrote a “madness memoir” I would happily look it over for free. Then of course I walked out of psych and all hell broke loose in many ways. I guess some folks got used to me being a “patient.”

    I would love to look over your manuscript! I cannot believe anyone would refuse such a thing. Get in touch via my blog and we’ll figure something out. I do rough reads and closer reads both or whatever a person needs.

  • Yes I was using Wine and running a number of programs but Wine does not always work and I ran into incompatibility with my devices and also, difficulty trying to see the computer screen. With Windows I have less trouble all around with accessibility. I am using as many open source programs as I can. Actually I have not purchased any programs since I purchased this unit. Also, with Linux, many programs had this terrible keyboard lag and I type very fast. I could never resolve that. Now that I have switched back I am realizing just how annoying the keyboard lag was, and how much it hampered my writing. It was in all my programs, not just in the browser, and I use a wired keyboard. I am sad I had to switch back, but I learned so, so much from using Linux, including how to install an OS and many other useful skills.

  • Uprising, that’s fine, but a few people get help from the pills, too, and they don’t experience negative “effects.” They might argue the same, or they might say…

    I had bad pills but I also had some that helped.

    Does this mean we should ignore that the drugs wreck some people’s lives? They don’t wreck everyone’s life, only some people’s. Therapy ruins more lives than is reported, and therapy abuse goes unreported and abusive therapists keep on practicing. Just because there might be a few good ones, should we discredit the massive numbers of patients that were harmed and call them nuts?

  • Sandra they don’t even think I’m worth it. I doubt I am even worth that in their eyes. I don’t have any money for them to take, no assets, no property, no car. No paycheck to garnish. No spouse and kids to kill. They could put me in a hospital and torture me again (it is worse on the medical wards) which is why I do not go to doctors and I am scared of therapy.

  • Sandra, The CIA doesn’t even care about most of us. They can’t follow every single person on earth nor even every human in the USA in detail, nor want to. They don’t care about little ole me. I am sure of that. I’m nobody of interest. I’m not a suspected terrorist. I doubt you are.

    The reason why I say this is because to follow and track every single person would require a large database. Their computers cannot handle such a database. Ever notice how often the post office screws up mail forwarding? That is because their computers cannot handle the sheer number of people in the US. More often than not, right? They screw up that yellow sticker, or assume you don’t live where you live and you have to sort it out or the census mixes you up with someone else. Now I have had two postal screwups, one that caused me to nearly have my bank account closed. Another cost me money because I was assumed for six years to live at the wrong address and I was barred from opening certain accounts, such as one with UPS for about ten years.

    The good part is that they really do not care. I’m nobody. Just an old lady, not a suspected terrorist nor crook. And more I cannot post here. I don’t care if websites track me via cookies. They track other people too, millions of people all over the world, and it only matters if I get arrested and accused of certain types of crimes.

    I have had the cops come to my home many years ago and accuse me of future dangerousness, even ask me where my weapons were. However, they came with no warrant, no paperwork, and when they accused me of posting on a site, they had no evidence that I had done so. I hadn’t posted what they accused me of! I explained the email I had sent, which they had no copy of, and in fact they had never even read it, nor realized that the contents contained no threats of violence.

    Someone had pushed the panic/paranoia button, clearly.

  • Well, then, I, for one, do not endorse therapy. I cannot agree with those who claim therapy is great when I do not see therapy doing great things simply because therapy might not use drugs.

    I see therapy causing dependency, addiction to therapy, abuse, outright unethical practices, complete ineffectiveness (this is hard to prove, in fact), loss of life functioning, unemployment, disability due to chronic unemployment, encouragement to use drugs, coerced diagnosis, forced diagnosis, forced higher level of care, very bad habits including self-disclosure, threats, bribery, accusations, gaslighting, sexual abuse and seduction, and more.

    MIA rarely takes a stance on this due to the proliferation of therapists on this site…therapists provide an income…they more often publish a therapist than take a stance.

    I say NO MORE. Therapy addiction is harmful, causes disability, is literally killing people, and needs to stop.

  • Frank, I can’t find your other comment and I know I should be posting under that one. While it is obvious that drugging causes earlier deaths, causes disabling effects such as diabetes and more, we cannot ignore the rampant corruption in the therapy and “help” industry. I know this from my brief stint as “life coach.” While my training was genuine and did teach good principles, in real life I’d say for sure, ethics go out the window. From what I observed in over three decades as insider/patient, therapists totally love to get people hooked on therapy! This is how they make a buck, and about the only way they make a buck. Get clients, get customers, keep your customers. Get your numbers up, which is another way of saying ensure they show up for appointments otherwise you lose your job. Bribe, threaten, lie if you have to. I have seen them charging insurance for appointments that never happened, or making claims that dubious therapy methods are actually effective, then, when these methods don’t work, blaming the patient for their “attitude problem” or claiming the patient “isn’t ready for therapy.” And sexual abuse is so under-reported it is a joke. The patient is psychotic or has a personality disorder or looking for attention.

    The harms of therapy alone are undestated here on MIA. They kinda have to be since so many MIA subscribers practice therapy themselves. I have talked to a few. They claim therapy is great since therapy does not use drugs. Some are clueless and have never heard of therapy addiction. They don’t even realize that therapy causes dependency on therapy, that is, they are teaching terrible habits without usiing a single drug.

    I know a few patients who actually think it’s great they got off drugs, but they never learned to make their own decisions because they’re hooked on therapy. They turn to case managers to make any decisions for them, or to drive them around like they need chauffeurs (because they never learned to take public transit) or do their cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping for them when they need to learn to do this themselves. Hey, Now We Are Six….But the mental health professionals didn’t like it when we reminded them we’re legally adults and have adult human rights. Because if we were allowed to do for ourselves and end the insulting handouts they’d be out of a job.

  • Steve, if incarceration is “BAD” then why are they pushing for more “hospitals” and why do so many people call it “care” when it’s not?

    I talk to a lot of people who have never known what it’s like inside one of those places. When I reveal to them the very basics, that the wards are locked, that people stay for months at a time never seeing daylight, that people are deprived of human rights, treated like animals and the therapy consists of Bingo games, they are shocked and they tell me this is an outrage. “Why is this still going on?” they ask me. “You mean our taxes pay for this?”

  • Of course they use cookies! All sites do. They have to to run a site. It’s not malicious “spying.” It’s just how websites work. Anyone can clear their cookies anytime they want. Some people have their browsers set to clear cookies and cache every time they close their browser. The disadvantage to this is that IF you do online banking your bank will not recognize you and will ask you to re-identify yourself all over again. In the case of online banking, for instance, the cookies are used to make sure it’s you, and actually protect you from fraud. While MIA doesn’t collect data by maintaining actual lists, websites that have users and visitors, especially ones that sign in cannot function without cookies. This is to protect the users, too.

  • I distrust most psychotherapies (that is, “talk” therapy) having been badly harmed by an abusive one, actually several that were abusive or just outright incompetent. Therapy promotes dependency, if not on anything else, the therapist. Therapy is extremely addictive. You get addicted to self-disclosure, which is a horrible bad habit, a habit you need to button up in many social situation and find, suddenly, you can’t due to years of that terrible habit. Talk therapy induces helplessness, sometimes far worse than psychiatry does. My psychiatrist only met with me once a month, while the therapist insisted on twice a week and insisted on forced weigh-ins, threatened me constantly, and coerced me to play with children’s toys, claiming it was “role-playing.” She made me change chairs, and talk to the stuffed animals in baby-talk. If she could get me to cry, that, she claimed, was “healing.” No it wasn’t, it was satisfying her intense and very sick desire to control her vulnerable patients. I suspect she had a controlling mother and was just transferring the abuse. This she did with no drugs whatsoever, just with threats and manipulation. It was pretty bad narcissism, but I do not use such labels, it was a behavior. I refuse to excuse her unethical and illegal behavior by claiming she had a disease that caused it. I cannot submit myself to therapy again.

  • LittleTurtle, i can’t find the comment of yours that ended up in my email, but I agree that there is a biological component. We cannot deny our biology. I can’t deny that I am short in stature and this of course led to my being teased a lot in elementary school. Wearing glasses at a young age also led to further teasing. Having dark skin causes many people to be discriminated against, and has for ages. If you have Middle Eastern appearance you might worry about flying because you could be suspected as a terrorist by TSA. All of these social reactions to people’s appearance alone shapes how we interact and view the world. If a person has had a stroke, injury, or heart attack, that, too, is biology, and cannot be ignored, either. I don’t think the Movement ignores these biological realities. In fact, we know psychiatry fails to recognize when a person’s biology caused discrimination, exclusion, or alienation, but gets called a mental disorder by mistake.

  • Sandra I feel the same way. I am free of them but I don’t talk about it with anyone in the clinical sense. I stay away from doctors. I have a lot of friends now that I just tell, though. I can even say it in public. “I escaped my psychiatric diagnosis.” I don’t know why. I’m not afraid of saying that anymore. I don’t say it to a doc though. No way. That is the route to lockup. The express route.

  • But Emily you DO delete spam. That is a far cry from the “data collecting” implied in the post above, that I was trying to clarify. I was trying to say that you really have to take the spam down, which people appreciate. It is part of the the common sense of keeping up a website, which to a large extent happens automatically anyway via a spam filter.

  • Lawrence I am laughing because you said during medical training you snuck into the “meds” drawer and took one of the pills! Ha ha! And then, slept a few days. Really, you should have rented a bed in the nuthouse. I don’t think they charge much per night if you stay there. You could have billed taxpayers, no one would have noticed. They must have had room service and a nonsmoking room for you, no? Or were you …ahem…SMOKING back then? Smoking what? You know they restrain you for that, do you not?

    Either way, if it made you sleep a few days, imagine taking several of those per day, building up a “tolerance,” then, having to take a higher dose since you were “tolerating” the drug, or, because the drug made you pace. They needed to “medicate” the pacing, after all. They do that. Then what? Suppose then, you “tolerated” those drugs. Then, they’d add another drug, then, you’d spend a few weeks in a nuthouse “stabilizing.” By then, I think your medical career would have been long gone out the window.

    Then, some three decades later, this is what will happen. You’ll notice that no matter what, you can never, ever sleep. Never. Pills or none, you can’t. Your body cannot initiate nor sustain sleep no matter how tired you are, because your body completely forgot how, in all the years those drugs did it for you.

    You are now 65 years old. You are constantly exhausted. Your marriage is hardly worth it since you lose your temper all the time. You have alienated your neighbors and friends. You and your wife decide to separate. You can’t get a thing done during the day. You keep nodding off, and yet, you can never ever sleep.

    You have decision to make. Is life really worth it, living in constant exhaustion, constant nether-world? You are alone now. You suddenly realize that taking all those drugs, all those years, somehow did this to you. You feel deeply enraged, that you were cheated, duped, and that you were robbed of everything decent any person could ever have.

  • Well there are indeed self-righteous folks out there that claim you can heal and get very blameful and claim you didn’t “taper” right and if only you listen to some know-it-all young person who claims to know exactly what it’s like to be an older person…I gotta laugh. They are clueless and sometimes arrogant, too, and I am tired of hearing about how there’s some “right” and “wrong” way to taper. I honestly do not want any further lectures from someone 30 years younger than me about how to breathe, when to breathe in and out, how the fuck to cut a pill, how to buy a pill-splitter, when I was alive decades before they were and breathing just find before their egg and sperm ever met. I was in a nuthouse before they ever took a pill, well before Prozac was even invented. I begged for the stuff, too, fell for the hype just like we all did in there. For most of us, those capsules did not do a damned thing anyway, and the SSRI idea was abandoned early on. It did about as much as snapping an elastic band on your wrist. Nothing. Not for me. I felt it was over-advertised, overpriced junk. What a disappointment.

  • That I know of, Steve McCrea, they’ve proven the drug damage to brains in autopsies. I am saddened that people have to die to prove it. We may only suspect or guess brain damage and it may slowly still be happening undetected, as we lose small pieces of our lives. We might not be able to add figures in our heads anymore. We can’t do calculus but who cares? We lose at chess when we used to be able to beat a computer at it. We used to have 200 digits of Pi memorized and now…it is all gone. Or we had all the species of North American birds, even the extinct ones, memorized, and now, we cannot remember the meanings of simple vocabulary words. We could knit with our eyes closed. Now, nada. We cannot cry anymore. No one gives a shit. It didn’t matter, did it? It doesn’t. Years and years go by, but then we know for sure when a person is irreparably damaged as still living people, as TD, seizures, or dementia. And then it’s too late. AND STILL called mental illness. AND DRUGGED.

  • I can’t find the comment about brain damage by dragon slayer. It is hard to prove brain damage on a living person, easier on a cadaver. Either way, psych drugs damage the heart, damage the thyroid, damage the kidneys and pituitary, cause diabetes mellitus, cause massive weight gain, and more. Oh and can cause seizures, double vision, other eye disorders, possibly blindness, hormone disorders, bone thinning, sexual dysfunctions of all sorts, reproductive harm, poison breast milk, harm during pregnancy and during nursing, and outright kill an elderly person or very young person. I personally have damaged kidneys, damaged thyroid, diabetes insipidus, permanently poor quality blood that is always anemic, scary low GFR (and I plan to refuse dialysis), and according to my naturopath, the reason I can’t sleep is due to damage to my pituitary. As far as I know, the massive amount of “antipsychotics” I was given that I dutifully took for years caused permanent rebound insomnia and there has been no improvement in that for 7 years. Apparently I am not the only one! This runs rampant!

    Just last night a very kind and sympathetic “professional” with whom I spoke over the phone suggested I try to obtain medical marijuana, which I have not yet tried, and since this person is local I very well may enlist this person’s assistance in finding a physician who will prescribe a strain that will sedate but will not cause me to restart binge eating. This is the first time someone has listened to me, believed me, was concerned, and suggested a workable, reasonable and soon-to-be legal solution to this, considering my age and circumstances.

  • Steve Mc, that, is precisely what I was saying in my Eating Disorders piece (which Dr. K says he does not agree with but I think he and a few others just did not understand!). If you starve, I mean very very seriously starve, you will then get “stuck” into a very bad dieting cycle that is hard to get out of and can last a long time. This was proven in the Minnesota Starvation experiment. Starvation causes a diet cycle. This, of course, is why people are stuck on yo-yo diets for decades. They can’t stop, can’t lose weight, can’t seem to control themselves, and this isn’t gluttony nor perfectionism nor a mental disorder, it is a dieting disorder. It happened due to a diet, due to starvation, which kicked off a bad cycle. Unfortunately, you will appear to have a mental disorder if it gets really bad. You might act depressed or even racy or hyper, or lethargic. In elders, anorexia will be misinterpreted as Alzheimer’s and this happens frequently I imagine. You cannot think straight if you are eating 300 calories a day, nor can you tell a doctor really what is going on, and next thing you know, you’re in a nursing home called incompetent and unable to care for yourself.

    This IS biological, misunderstood as mentally caused, but it is caused by a diet, by poor nutrition, erratic nutrition, gross nutritional imbalance, electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, no nutrition at all, diabetes, organ failure, or being massively overweight or so underweight you can’t think straight anymore. When I almost died and wasn’t eating I was unable to dress myself and unable to braid my hair anymore. I let it hang loose and I could barely stand up. Then my kidneys failed and they called THAT a mental disorder. I had no potassium left in my body. They were very stupid.

  • Is it more productive to say “antipsychiatry movement” or “psychiatric survivor movement”? Both get bashed by pro-psych groups but there’s a difference.

    I am confused over what is “neurodiversity” because some of them talk about “I’m bipolar so please don’t stigmatize me.” I cannot align with this line of thinking, but I feel obliged to respect it because right alongside it is “I’m an artist so please bug off.” or, “I’m a little different and that is okay.” Which I do agree with. Or, “I hear voices, let me do this.” Which is fine by me. I don’t align with “bipolar” since that is a disease proclamation, unless of course the word is intended otherwise. But then, of course, we are getting very confusing here.

    Plus I am starting to get involved with other groups, too. Such as anti-bullying groups.

  • Steve I agree, it IS criminal. I have heard “patients” insist that they do not want to know the side effects and they are perfectly happy with the limited information given to them by their doctors, even knowing that information is only a “partial list” of effects. I have challenged this over and over, asked why they do not want to know, why they insist on being blinded like that. They say to me, “Oh my god, YOU are not a doctor! How dare you!” But why NOT know? Why should a patient not be informed, and doesn’t a patient have a right to all information and to transparency and to the real risks, so he/she can make an informed choice? It’s like they don’t want to know because they know if they were informed, they would make the RESPONSIBLE choice not to take the drugs, but they want to absolve themselves of adult responsibility and instead, keep the doctor as babysitter. I think deep down some realize this and want to stay dependent children. And this is why they get so accusatory at me. However, by all means, David would not even have had a clue, never having taken these drugs before, and having had no prior exposure.

  • Slayer, I am thinking specifically of when I was harmed, though temporarily, by ECT in 1996, I did not admit it, even to myself, for over a decade. I assumed it was mental illness but I never agreed with their BPD claim. When I published my memoir in 2009 I still thought it was “illness” but I left it as undefined. It took a while. Then, I figured it out. That is a very long time.

  • Slayer, you make a good point that many who are victims of the drugs resort to using psych’s terminology instead of properly identifying the drug’s effect. Misplaced blame is common in tragedy as it is. We default to what is easier or more comfortable to admit, even if it means fooling ourselves at first. Grieving is not easy, and I know so, so many that delay it for decades.

  • Dee, my experience likewise. I think due to budgetary concerns the “groups” got considerably worse after the early 80’s. The therapists were not very well trained, if at all, after that. They started those “worksheet”-style groups that pretty much anyone who had as much as a junior high school education could lead. The worksheets were ready-made groups and I recall seeing the group leaders shuffling through the worksheets and saying, “Which one this time?” “Did they do this one last time?” “Shall I do this worksheet, or that one?” “Will they know if I do this one again?” “Shall I just play music and have them do ‘relaxation’? They like that, right?”

    I always knew when these programs got paid by the head, because we either had to sign a paper saying we’d attended, and we were pushed into going (so they’d get paid more), or, someone would stand outside and write down who had shown up. Medicare paid for each of us. I cannot believe playing music for us was a group.

    Not only that, well-meaning friends of mine would call me, back when I did, in fact, have friends that called, and they’d say, “Oh, how are the therapy groups, are they helping you get better?” I didn’t know what to say to that. I tried to explain, but so often the staff were near the phones. Once I recall I tried to explain to a friend, tried to say, “It’s not really therapy and all they do is–” and I tried to hold back tears, but the staff member stopped me, interrupted my phone call and insisted I get off the phone immediately. They never wanted anyone revealing what a shithole the place was.

  • Dee, after I was called schiz, my parents went to the doc and complained that I didn’t seem schiz to them. So the doc, Dr Merrifield, met with my parents and me (my two brothers were not present at the time) in a family meeting and he stated, with much to-do, that I was BIPOLAR. Well that got my poor mom cheering, actually, cheering with some relief that I was not schiz! From then on, though, I was doomed to be bipolar, for the next five years or so. I studied bipolar and acted bipolar. I was never manic but when I was happy they called it mania. I was mildly depressed because they didn’t recognize that I had an eating disorder all that time, and were incompetent at treating it, so there were times that I was in an ED-type fog, that likely resembled depression to anyone that saw me.

    Then they did ECT in 1995 and 1996 because my insurance was running out. Now I was dxed with schizoaffective and the added BPD to explain away the effects of ECT. They claimed I was “faking ED for attention” at the time. I lived with the schizoaffective, of which I had no symptoms whatsoever, until I left psychiatry altogether (escaped the country) in 2014.

    I think it is sad that the whole time, they were totally convinced I had a psychotic disorder and they were flat out wrong. Oddly, outside of the institution, such as at school or in situations where I did not reveal my dx, people didn’t seem to see me as nutso. This was what got me the idea of relocating, and got me realizing that relocating was going to work. It got me realizing that if you do not act like a nut, you are not a nut. If you are not seen as a nut, you are not a nut. And furthermore, if you do not talk like one, that is, if you do not describe yourself with THEIR language, you aren’t a nut. This involves inventing (or leaving out) a history for some of us if we are approached by a medical professional. And if you refrain from using substances that risk your sanity, such as booze or mind-bending drugs that could cause you to do or say something you might later regret (as in driving drunk) you are not a nut. It is not worth the risk. Are these things that complicated? This is how to stay out of a nuthouse.

  • That doesn’t make sense, Steve S. What does in fact make sense is if you sit and do nothing for decades, or do only very passive activity, what they call sitting on a couch (instead of reading, writing, playing chess, playing football, exercising, riding a bike, playing an interactive game, listening to music, doing art, knitting, praying, working a job, fixing computers, shooting baskets, raising kids, etc) then maybe your brain won’t work as well.

    Brains work better if they are used, and the parts of your brain that you do use will get better as you continue to use them. I have not used the math part in many ways that I used to have, and I suspect it has not stayed developed due to years of disuse.

    Should I give up reading and start to use a “screen reader,” what will happen? I suspect the part of my brain that reads text will shrink after a few years. Even though I truly struggle to see text, because my eyes do not work well, I don’t want to lose the reading/writing part of my brain! So I don’t resort to “screen reader.” I keep it very strong. Or try.

    I feel sorry for patients who are coerced into believing they are disabled. I feel sorry for those that believe they have brain diseases or fall into a place where they become unmotivated. I feel bad when they do nothing but watch TV and smoke. I did that a few years because I believed I was schizophrenic and good for nothing else. I smoked and waited for my “shows” to come on. Wow I could never live like that now.

    I smoked and waited for the doctor to call. I remember sometimes waiting all day. He didn’t call. There were days I was afraid to leave the house because I was afraid i would miss his call. I would wait five or six hours.

    Then, the moment would come. I remember hearing the phone, putting down my cigarette and rushing to pick it up. It was him.

    “Why don’t you just take a Thorazine,” he said. Then, he hung up.

    So that was it. After hours of waiting.

    That was my life when I was 27.

  • I think what MIA forgets is what their readership consists of. They remember their “regulars,” people they already have as usual readers, but they forget the “out of the blue” readership, those that come in from outer cyberspace. These are the more important readers. These are the new readers who perhaps just left a horrific experience in a hospital and are desperate for answers. They are readers who endured decades of psych and are finally, finally, waking up. They are readers who finally found MIA after years of being brainwashed. This is exactly where I was in 2013 when I first found MIA, and frankly these are our most critical people to reach. I think these are the readers who matter most. We need to think of these very fragile and frightened readers before anyone, frankly, before the seasoned readers who more fully understand the principles, because those that teeter in indecision are on the brink of returning to psych. If we can reach them, we can help bring them to sanity, bring them to make the decision not to go back to the hospitals and doctors offices. But if we do not reach them, alas, we lose them.

  • Lawrence, I haven’t given up, but how am I supposed to react when my pieces are turned down over and over? Keep trying when it’s futile? Send in a piece and somehow strip my own name sign it “MD” or “Sera Davidow” and then, see if that changes their view of it? Sign it Kelmenson?

    As a writer, I figure my job is to move the reader from point A to point B and that means stirring up the pot. That means shaking up what people already think, and making people ask questions they have not yet asked. If I only please people, I’m not doing my job. And if I see something, and I do not say something, I am not doing what I swore I would do when I got my degree. Or probably years before that. To me, writing is a sacred thing. And likely that oath that was never put to me on paper is more sacred than that Hippocratic Oath the doctors never ever follow.

  • How is eliminating psychiatry eliminating biology? That’s not logical. Psychiatry doesn’t address “biology.” Psychiatry, or, rather, its “care,” diagnoses people with mental defects according to arbitrary standards that have nothing to do with biology, then, uses these non-biological standards set by rich white guys to designate who will lose their rights. For life. Who will be declared disabled. For life. Who will be out of the workforce even though they are likely plenty capable. For life. Who will never earn an income. For life. Who will be separated from society, shunned, called “dangerous,” or predicted as “dangerous’ based on nothing biologically sound, nothing scientifically reasonable, only guesswork…for life. This, decided in a few minutes…decades ago. This, decided by a signature. This, decided because someone got paid, because someone needed an excuse, because someone decided to do it for convenience and nothing more. Because someone wasn’t willing to open their mouth and explain the whole nasty truth of the matter. Or listen. Or care. And for that reason, lives are wasted, people die, and no one ever knows.

  • Stephen, it was only very recent that “patient” learned how to use the internet due to the proliferation of the “smartphone.” Before that, “patients” were not getting online. This meant the online world was “safe” from patient infiltration. It also meant that most patients did not have access to the wealth of information accessible via the web, information about the drugs that had been kept from us for decades. Of course, we could have guessed, but the Web verified that they KNEW all along, they knew the drugs caused organ damage such as kidney failure, they knew about heart damage, they knew about QT damage, they knew about diabetes and TD, but they failed to inform us, or told us it was a “trade-off.” The web also allowed us to connect with each other despite physical distance between us, connect and communicate despite being financially unable to meet in person, even some who are locked up can get online and “talk” to others. This strengthens us and scares psychiatry, and challenges them in a way they were never challenged before.

  • Lawrence, Much of what I send in to MIA they either ignore or reply that my writing is “too basic” or “too personal.” I sincerely hope my writing is deeply personal and very basic, and I don’t want to prostitute myself by not writing basic and personal stuff. That is my point. That is what many of my blog readers appreciate, and the object of my writing and how I was trained, in my graduate studies in creative writing, to write. I worked very hard to earn my master’s degree, too. I read 60 books, wrote countless term papers, did a teaching practicum, wrote a book-length thesis (which got published) etc. I still write a ton. My writing has yet to find a home outside of my own personal blog…And apparently MIA is not going to be that “right match.” We have come to an impasse over and over and they just don’t want the kind of stuff I write, degree or no degree. Survivor or not. They want statistics instead, which I don’t want to write. It’s not my forte. I have to accept that, pissed as I am, and move on. It isn’t easy to let go and accept it.

  • I apologize that I have not kept up with all the great comments here and have in fact only been able to read some of them. So I have missed a lot.

    Right now my focus and main work has been on the gross fraud of coerced disability and coerced unemployment since 10+ years of being put out of the workforce, or even a few years, depending on which field of work you’re in, inevitably means you are unemployable even though you are capable of working.

    After I was called schiz, I had to go buy a book on schiz (I bought the Torrey book) to see how a “good” schiz should act. I wondered why I couldn’t hear voices. I kept listening and listening, twisting my head different ways, and still, I couldn’t hear them like a proper schiz. I even turned down the radio. Maybe that would do it. But no. Nothing. I wasn’t good enough, I figured. Why couldn’t I hear them? What should I answer when the doc asked me what the voices said? Fake it?

    Institutionalization robs us of the ordinary skills that people gain from being immersed in the workforce. Working people may hardly be aware of this. The simple gesture of the handshake is absent in the institution. After 30+ years of intermittent lockup, I had to teach myself to shake hands with people! No one taught me this gesture! You don’t go up to your boss in the workplace and ask for a frozen orange. You don’t excuse yourself because you need to put a paper bag over your head. You don’t cry and share because sharing is “letting it out.” You don’t bring a stuffed animal to work and role-play with it. You don’t go ask your supervisor for a “PRN,” because if you do, your super will ask you what the heck that is. Thankfully, I knew enough not to do these things. I laugh at how useless the “skills” were that we were taught. These were not skills, they were a way to stay mental patients.

    If you ever make it as far as a real job interview you’ll have to invent decades of work history and you’ll need to be creative about it just to get your foot into the door of this thing called “work.” Good luck.

  • I think psychiatry itself is well aware of the harms it does. It is well aware of the harms of institutionalization, and well aware of the harms of the drugs it and pharma have created (even before the drugs are released, or they are certain suspect) but as soon as they do cause harm and anyone points out the obvious (such as patient death) they shift the responsibility of their crimes onto those they harmed. It works every time. It works even if the patient is alive. It’s called Mental Illness. They lock people up for that.

  • I did, for a long time, feel like kicking myself for believing the lies. I felt like a fool. I felt embarrassed that I had been duped. I felt jealous of the younger survivors who got out so much sooner than I did. I felt like a fool for letting them walk all over me.

    Now, though, I know that each of us was in different circumstances, that some are more easily able to walk out than others. I no longer ask myself why I stayed in. I know why. I know I stayed in year after year hoping that “the right one” would show up who could cure my eating disorder (which they apparently did not know I had!). “Next year, they’ll figure it out…” I said that to myself, over and over. “This admission will be the one.” “This doctor knows, not like the others.” “This will be the pill that stops the binge eating.” Little did I know, they weren’t trying to cure my ED, they were trying to cure nonexistent bipolar and schiz I never had.

    Somewhere in Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye keeps saying, “On the other hand…” and gives in to changing cultural demands, part of the plot. But one day, he blows his top and says, “There is no other hand!”

    There was no other hand for me. Probably water deprivation was the last straw. I think people walk out when it gets to the point of there being no other hand left, and that point is not the same for everyone, just like we grow taller at different rates. While I sure wish it was sooner for me rather than 34 years down the line, I’m glad it happened and glad I’m still alive.

    I don’t blame myself anymore. I ask how I can help others get out sooner, or not go in at all.

  • Aw thanks, and thanks for writing this article. I can only hope that those who “reported” me would read what you wrote, especially the person who pushed the panic button after reading a very old blog entry I wrote which consisted of me only fantasizing.

    That day, when the cops showed up, I noticed that not one cop had read the actual blog entry my friend was referring to. My guess is that they were unable to find the entry and instead of trying to do so, just took her word for it. They ended up letting me go.

    After that, I went to my friend’s forum and read what they said. They called me a non-person. They said my dog should be taken away from me and I should be locked up for a long time! They said they wondered why I wasn’t and they said I was very very dangerous and warned each other to lock all their doors. I gotta laugh. They were thousands of miles away from me. This was a sad example of group paranoia directed and objectified at me, and I hadn’t ever threatened them. They blamed their problems on me and turned all their anger toward me. I’ve never been violent. I just wasn’t brought up that way. I had to relocate to get away from all that, and get away from the paranoid cops.

  • That I know of, MIA editors are concerned that spammers show up who post stuff marketing items that have nothing to do with MIA content. They do have to delete spam content. They also have to delete or “moderate” anything that goes against their policies, and they are transparent about these policies. I don’t see anything about their sending the cops to a user’s home. If they collect geolocation it is likely only because they have nonprofit status, and likely have to report where users are located (roughly). They may also do this for editorial purposes. They want to know which countries people live in. If many speak a certain language they may decide to expand to offer a part of MIA in that language in the future. We now have MIA in Brasil and MIA in Finland. Maybe next will be MIA in French for those who live in Quebec and other parts of the world where French is spoken. All websites do this and it’s not to “spy” on people.

  • i mean don’t you guys get it? DON’T LOCK PEOPLE UP! That’s what this blog says. Locking people up harms them. That and nothing more. It’s the elephant in the room all-too often ignored by activists who insist on adding too many spices to the soup, too many arguments and complex statistical data no one can understand but the issue is in fact very basic. Why should people who have only asked for help be locked up? Put behind locked doors? Incarceration defies logic, yet taxpayers pay for these so-called “hospitals” and actually want more built.

  • I think people are misreading this blog. I don’t see victim-blaming here. I see psychiatry-blaming and honestly, despite my differences with MIA editors I highly doubt they’d publish something that was damning of patients. Such writing won’t float here. Read it again. I believe Lawrence is right on the mark. Institutionalization causes dependency. Very basic. Very obvious. Very overlooked because it’s so obvious. He is not saying that psych takes advantage of people who are weak to begin with. He says PRECISELY what I say in my own personal blog outside of here (because MIA won’t touch my stuff) and I’ve been saying for years. Psych, particularly at the inpatient and “day treatment” level, consists of heavy-duty brainwashing that causes dependency, causes long-term reliance on “staff,” causes a person to defer to whatever the doctor says, causes a person to default to “patient mode,” and causes a person to assume without question that he/she is unable to work, incapable, and disabled for life. Is this the victim’s fault? NO! This is caused by the horror story called psychiatry. This should be a wake-up call, and not a reason to sit here and bash yet one more great article coming from MIA.

  • Carlene, I suspect that you are right. People call the police with no awareness of the possible consequences. More and more are being trained as mandatory reporters. I question their training, whoever it was that reported since you made it very clear that you were not at imminent risk.

    I have had this happen also. This happened due to misinterpretation or misunderstanding. For instance, use of a metaphor taken literally, or, a fantasy or musing taken literally, literary reference (there are certainly plenty of murders in novels!), use of the word “suicide” in a sentence taken completely out of context, a note on my fridge that contained the word “suicide” with no intent whatsoever (I question the reading comprehension ability of the cop who found the note!), blog entries that were not current (can people read dates?), Facebook posts that were misconstrued, etc.

    It has to be imminent risk, according to the law, according to any mandatory reporting law as applied to suicide. I ask if it is self-importance or lack of ego on the part of the person doing the reporting, a desire to be a hero or savior, or some kind of control issue going on.

    I did call the cops on someone a while back because it wasn’t “risk.” Someone was being beaten…domestic violence. So I had to decide very quickly. I’m not a mandatory reporter but I did call. The decision was not an easy one.

    Another separate occasion a man chased a woman with his car, out on the street in late afternoon in a bad neighboorhood on a Sunday, nearly running me over in the process, then he got out and chased her on foot while she screamed desperately that she was going to call the cops while she was running from him. He was snarling something very aggressive-sounding I couldn’t understand. I was very afraid. My phone was out of battery. I listened as I tried to get from the vicinity away myself, and from what I could hear the woman did indeed run to safety, indoors somewhere nearby. I cannot see well enough to get the license plate number, nor even guess anything about the type of car. “Sedan.”

    This is not the same as “in four months.” Jeepers. Common sense.