Friday, April 26, 2019

Comments by Julie Greene, MFA

Showing 100 of 1994 comments. Show all.

  • The biggest, most obvious problem with psychiatry is that they lock people up and take away their rights. The create dependency, not only on drugs, but on therapy. They create disability with their drugs and “side effects” and also simply by labeling and calling a person “disabled.” Putting a person on disability, effectively ending their careers, will seal this into further permanence. Thus, an “illness” is born. Yes, it is becoming an epidemic. Shouldn’t our growing anger over their gross human rights violations be enough?

    Phil, I want to also ask about psych’s new tactic: Calling us “mental illness deniers.” Aligning us via this terminology with climate change deniers and Holocaust deniers. It sounds like a new disease to me that might show up in the DSM-6.

    They did not expect us to make widespread use of the internet, mainly because they assumed we had no interest or we lacked the capacity to use it. Surprise, surprise! We can now gather, compare stories, and make tactical decisions on how to push our cause. Where to go from here?

  • As I said Steve, they had their textbook ideas, and I suppose what mattered was which textbook stereotype they were using. They had no clue what my upbringing was like. I would love to write about antisemitism in psych because I heard “typical Jewish upbringing” a lot, or “Jewish mother,” or even telling me I was a “spoiled Jewish girl.” Because they were authority figures (and through schooling, I’d been taught not to doubt them), I would just nod my head and say nothing. Even the Jewish therapists would make remarks like that.

  • I certainly agree, Alex. I had 35 years of my life stolen from me, which is very hard to face. I think I’m over it now, but I’m not over water deprivation, which left me confused, angry, hurt, and terrified. I’m not over being called psychotic and dangerous when by all means, I wasn’t. I am not over being put on suicide watch (which was abusive) when they knew I wasn’t suicidal. I am still having a hard time with the fact that they didn’t just not apologize, didn’t just totally deny that they’d done anything wrong, didn’t just call me psychotic and try to drug me to silence me, but even afterward continued to harass me online (thought I do not have direct evidence of this, only deduced evidence) and they did everything they could to wreck my reputation.

    I am still afraid. After water deprivation trauma I’ve been prone to get traumatized very easily. It’s like every memory of anything that ever happened to me haunts me all the time. (This is a blessing, too, if you write memoir!)

    As far as holding resentment over the lost 35 years, naw, I can’t bemoan that forever. People lose years of their lives to bad marriages, unsuccessful business attempts, and natural disasters. It’s not like I’m the only one. Knowing this certainly softens the blow.

  • Sam, I don’t doubt that dissociation exits. Running is a meditation for me, but also, running, if you do enough of it, could be called dissociation. You stop thinking running thoughts, such as, “I really should be running faster,” or, “Maybe I should have tied my left shoe tighter.” You stop that kind of thought and you go into another zone altogether. It is like you don’t have legs anymore. Sometimes, I whisper a silly mantra to myself, such as, “Nyah nyah,” or I say swear words at my former therapist who forbade me to run, but that, also, ceases to have any real meaning after a while.

    A long time ago, when I was about 16, I was babysitting and the kids had gone to bed. They had a gray cat. The cat came up to me and started getting affectionate. As I stroked the cat, stroked her nose, that is, I recall feeling like we were totally glued together like that, me and the cat. It was like we were totally one. I must have sat there, mesmerized, for at least an hour. Was this due to adolescence, or because petting an animal is powerful and healing? It never happened again. By all means, it was not an unpleasant experience.

    Later, after ECT caused me to become very spaced out, my doctor claimed the confusion I was experiencing was dissociation. I went and looked it up. I remember shaking my head and saying to myself, “Huh?” It didn’t describe what I was going through, not at all. Years later I knew he and the others had been way, way off base. I wonder if he knows now.

  • We aren’t immune to errors in judgement. Making a mistake isn’t a mental illness, either. I made a mistake when I posted what I said about Matt. I didn’t do it because of some kind of character disorder, but because of some leftover anger.

    One day, about a month ago, I made an error at work. It wasn’t a mistake in judgement, but from working too quickly and overlooking something. The supervisor asked me why I did it (it wasn’t a huge offense or anything!) and I said, “Human error.” I think she was shocked at that.

    It was a mistake for me to go on a crash diet in 1980, and also, it was a mistake to think that what happened afterward was due to a mental defect worthy of “therapy.” I had no clue, and honestly, I was really, really scared, mostly scared that binge eating would totally incapacitate me. It can! Try eating 10,000 calories in a sitting. You will be lying in bed moaning and holding your stomach for a very long time!

  • Sam, Of course, brains change. Anorexia harmed my ability to think straight and I was scared I would never be able to think properly again. What I learned was that food will remedy this, and your brain can recover. I also read The Body Keeps the Score. I was okay with it until I got to the part that started showing vague pictures of brain scans that were supposed to prove something. The book took a turn down the deep end for me when it started saying the changes are permanent and can only be remedied by a therapist.

    People can be stuck in a certain mode, for sure. Therapy and labeling can cause the stuckness, promote it and even thrive on it. Spend a week in day treatment and you’ll see therapists encouraging undesirable behaviors such as cutting or sulking. It can even be lethal.

  • There are a lot of factors. We have a media that is still running pharma ads, even though these ads have been banned in other countries. The pharma industry is the most powerful lobbying agency in Washington. We put people in prisons, call them “hospitals,” and wonder why they only leave angry, confused, dismayed, or even suicidal. We have a media that only portrays one side of the story. Meanwhile, there’s an undercurrent of distrust of the medical profession. I believe the distrust is growing as more and more are harmed or their loved ones are harmed. Something is brewing. Maybe a revolution!

    The Industrial Revolution wasn’t a battle, there was no warfare. There was just a radical change. We can hope that as more and more start to question, we will start to see some positive changes around us. Isn’t it inevitable? As psychiatry gets more pervasive in society, they could very well push it so far that the entire field implodes.

  • Samruck, I don’t see your comment here, but when you say one sixth are drugged, wherever that statistic comes from, isn’t that kinda shocking?

    I would say the statistic is much higher among the elderly. How many elders are on cocktails of blood pressure drugs, etc…AND a psych drug or two? This alone is so alarming that maybe we need to take some action! When women are pathologized just for being women, isn’t that a problem? If foster kids are given antipsychotics for the explicit purpose of control, aren’t we, as a society, in huge trouble? When whistleblowers get diagnosed just to silence them…well?

  • Little Turtle, I can’t find your question here about what I think about critical psychiatry vs antipsychiatry….

    Every bad idea out there has its redeeming qualities. Otherwise, the idea would be immediately struck down. Drawing here from my experience in the Moonies when I was 21 (before my ED started), I can recall I got sucked in by the good things about the Moonies. They talked a lot about love, compassion, and hope for a better future. This looked very appealing to me in 1979. Others were also sucked into it. While we were brainwashed, we did not recognize the bad things that were happening. We barely noticed that they used sleep deprivation (five hours a night) and added sugar to the food they gave us. They used songs and catchy slogans. The songs were beautiful, all of us singing together. Then they introduced concepts that I couldn’t tolerate. Jesus, heaven and hell, and even devils and angels. These concepts were foreign to me. I knew by my Jewish upbringing to reject these ideas. Now what? They pleaded with me to have an open mind, that “Father loves you,” etc. Do you see how this worked? They used kindness to get me to give them my money. They tried to coerce me to give up college and my job, too.

    Psychiatry and the entire industry uses the same techniques to draw people in. When I first went to the hospital, they were nice to me. They said stuff like “You did the right thing to ask for help.” “You’re in the right place.” Some of the therapists in day treatment were also very nice…or seemed so. One of them even warned me not to start day treatment. She had been around long enough to know what would happen.

    If the hospital, therapy, and psychiatrists were outwardly abusive from the start, I would have left sooner. One of them was, called me a spoiled rich Jewish girl, but I dismissed him as an “exception.” I believe most at least thought they had good intentions. The Moonies with whom I had contact certainly had good intentions, having no clue what they were really doing. Good intentions don’t make it morally okay. Many people who work for corrupt industries have good intentions when they do bad things. They are cogs in a destructive wheel.

    Looking back in the historical sense, many of my former shrinks and therapists left the profession in disgust. Some got in trouble with the law for very serious offenses. One that I know of got burnt out, then, returned. Some retired. I think most of them are scared to admit, even to themselves, that they caused great harm to me and to many of their patients, justifying it by claiming it was “necessary.” It wasn’t.

    Do I wish to abolish psychiatry? Yes, because it is harmful to people and to human society. It is a practice based in eugenics.

    I do think that having another person you can talk to is very important. I do believe people suffer immensely. I do not call these things mental illnesses. If I am having a hard time, it means I need to take action. The hard part is figuring out what the appropriate action is. Talking to a therapist or doing avoidant “coping skills” and calling the problem MY disease, only delays or even halts that action. I have to figure out how much power I have to change things, and how much patience I have to tolerate the things I have no power to change. Interestingly, a lot changes on its own….if we let it.

  • Pacific Dawn, I had a lot to get better from. Ninety-nine percent of it was caused by “treatment.” One percent was due to my own foolishness, including the bad choice to go on a diet in the first place (an uninformed choice, as I was clueless about the consequences), and the bad choice to try therapy. Drugs were also my choice. I literally begged for them back in 1982 because I hoped they would “fix” my eating disorder (therapy wasn’t helping), but this also wasn’t an informed choice, and the drugs I got weren’t what I wanted anyway. By then, it was too late.

  • Yes, we see more and more people realizing that the mental health industry is unhelpful. Getting away won’t necessarily lead to good results immediately. People go through grieving and we all grieve differently. Inevitably, many are angry. This is understandable, and often very necessary. If only we could channel all that rage into some action to end the psych regime! We aren’t channeling it very efficiently if we continue to attack each other, instead of bringing it where it belongs.

  • For me, the only way that I could have regained my ability to think independently was to end therapy. I do not wish to think the way my therapists demanded. Therapy taught me self-absorption and self-blame, reflective of an entire cultural era in the USA of scrupulous examination of the self. It was addictive and harmful. Turning inward is not the answer. Maybe it’s okay occasionally, but I wouldn’t make a habit of it now.

    I’m trying to make up for all the years I lost to therapy. Trying to teach myself as much as I can, trying to help other people, reaching out, doing good things as much as possible to make the world a better place.

  • In journalism, writing, music, public speaking, anytime you have an audience you must consider who is in that audience. You can tell the same story or deliver the same message but you have to do it in a way that the audience can relate.

    In journalism, you must know the publication’s target audience. An article might do well in one publication, but not another. If I have written something and want to get it published I can send anywhere at random and hope that the magazine accepts it. However, I would be better off looking for a magazine that had an audience that matched the article.

    Nowadays, writing prostitution is quite common to the point where it has become the norm. Write something because it’ll sell, that’s the main mentality.

    I think writers should maintain their own integrity and write what they truly believe in, even if they know their ideas are going to be unpopular. Still, it is a choice. Kiss butt, or be yourself. I fear that too much butt-kissing can be habit-forming.

    Writers are also expected to sell their stuff. Pitching. Ugh. I don’t think selling has much to do with writing. It was truly liberating for me to realize that I could hire someone to do all that nasty selling stuff, so I wouldn’t have to waste writing energy on the marketing rat-race.

    I have hated selling since high school, when our high school band got coerced by a traveling salesman to sell burlap bags as a way of making money for the band. I sold many, walked around various neighborhoods going door-to-door asking for a dollar for each bag, which we would deliver to them sometime in the future. This was something like 1974. A dollar was worth more then. Finally, our bags arrived and we had to distribute them to those who had paid the dollar. The bags were poor quality, pretty much useless items. I was so embarrassed to have to have sold them so aggressively. It has left a bitter taste in my mouth.

    What’s worse, writers have to market themselves these days, not just their writing. This is not the same as self-promotion, but way too close for comfort for me. Too many writers cross the line, getting on Facebook and kissing butt to the masses. No thanks.

  • Oldhead, I believe some prisons are worse than others. Still, the fact that I liked it early on doesn’t mean it was a good place or even humane.

    The fact that I actually liked the hospital for a while was what sucked me in. I kept going back thinking, “They’re so nice.” I hoped they would actually help me, kept hoping and hoping until it was obvious they weren’t there to help people at all!

    In the beginning, I did not hate it, and didn’t mind going there. The best brainwashing isn’t done by cruelty, but by kindness.

  • I think it was the field of philosophy or logic that determined that while a person can easily be declared insane, it is not possible to then declare a known insane person sane.

    Thinking back, it was very easy to fake a psych diagnosis but it is not so easy to convince them you’re normal. No matter how normal you act, they can always claim you’re weaseling out of a hospitalization or drugs.

    Even most “invisible illnesses” can be detected by a test. Those that can’t…well, I doubt the validity of many of them.

  • As I saw it, the stays were far less unpleasant back then. It did make a difference when they took away the pool and ping pong tables, took away the smoking room, took away decent quality art supplies, our rights to keep our shoelaces and dental floss…the list is endless. The units weren’t locked and were run differently. With the old units, there was an advantage to having a chance for them to get to know you. Any of this could (and should) have happened at the outpatient level, but rarely did, which was the sad reality of why some of us kept going back. I even liked some of the staff at those places. I wouldn’t have kept going back if I hadn’t. Gradually, as more and more units became locked, the quality of staff got worse and worse. Patients stopped liking the hospitals and started dreading having to go back. Many staff were completely untrained and didn’t know what they were doing. The decent ones quit in disgust, or if they stayed they had to break rules just to be kind. Some were fired for being too nice.

  • Hi Sandy, I have an MFA in creative writing with a concentration in memoir, Goddard College, 2009. I am also a survivor. I have written about ten books and I hear what you are saying about not being able to change an old text. My thesis, which I published, is a piece of history. Published writing is personal history even if it is not memoir. The work represents where I was at that time, ten years ago. I used the term “mental illness” as part of the secondary title. I will not take that back. That is what I believed in then. Now, I know better.

    When I wrote the book I had no clue, for instance, that the year and a half I spent “very ill” in 1997 or so was actually not an illness, but brain damage from ECT. It took me a long time to realize this, and now, I can go back and look on that chapter and realize just how misunderstood I was during that time.

    I am caught in the middle a lot when I write. My friend, whose intentions are certainly good, tells me that if I call a mental hospital a prison people are going to be turned off. But what else could it have been? I am caught between trying to sell a book and feeling driven to tell the truth.

  • One of the prisons had “Tea and Toast.” Huge insult. Their idea of “challenging” was to play Group Bingo and get to be the one who put the pieces on the huge board. Geez. Every time I went to college I had no qualms about writing long papers, reading tons of books, and giving presentations. Go to the nuthouse and I got insulted by Bingo, and finally, told that even that was “too challenging” for little ole me. It was challenging because it was very hard to put up with the lowest expectations imaginable.

  • AA worked for my late boyfriend. He got sober through AA and then, later on, was a role model for many younger people who were newly sober. He and I did not share much about AA because it was his turf, but it was my understanding that many picked him as a sponsor or mentor. He was what others would say “solid in his sobriety.” He also liked that the group is faith-based. AA helped him get back to his spiritual roots and gave him a lot of confidence and pride. But as I said, it was not my turf and I didn’t pry into his business.

  • Many people have told me that OA didn’t work for them. It will work for overeaters sometimes, but not usually. I am not sure of the exact track record but from what I can tell, it’s not very good.

    We have a very strong, powerful diet industry in the US. These folks will sell you anything and make you think it will help you. There is the addictive nature of dieting to take into consideration also. I have known many to take the first step and then, end up trapped. The diet industry has many potential candidates!

    OA isn’t a for-profit institution, and there aren’t any particular leaders. It tends to be run in a democratic, though somewhat haphazard way.

    In OA, they have different factions with different beliefs. Perhaps you have heard of “Gray Sheet.” I don’t know if this still exists, but those that follow ‘Gray sheet” follow a very restrictive regimen. The problem with any of these restrictive programs is that the rigid mentality often harms people, making them worse.

    There are looser-run groups but these often consist of people who never quite get over overeating.

    Groups have formed based on OA or based on other 12-step groups such as GA. Some spin-offs focus on anorexia or bulimia. I imagine that by now, there’s one for binge eating also. There are a number of these. Some meet by telephone. I have not been too impressed with any of them, but some people derive benefit.

    When my friend was married to an alcoholic she used Weight Watchers as her escape from him. She told me that many of the women who went there were also escaping bad marriages temporarily. She tells me that the WW group was like a lifeline for her, her safe time away from her husband. I think this is quite valid since the husbands aren’t likely to suspect anything.

  • John, If people can relate to your situation they will be more likely to support you. I think there’s a certain amount of snobbery in the movement…I wish this wasn’t the case but I think it’s the case everywhere. First of all, we don’t have to all like each other. Secondly, some folks still uphold the idea that some are superior to others.

    For example, when I was at a conference in 2017, I was excited to meet other activists. What happened, though, was that some did not even speak to me, even though I made effort to speak to them. I was a little unnerved when an activist that I assumed would at least say hello did not even acknowledge my presence. It was like I was invisible. After that I realized that the idea of eugenics is alive everywhere. Even in the movement, you will find some that feel that others are beneath them. This is a sad reality about humanity that I wish was not true. If we are to end psych diagnoses, that is, the idea that some people are of superior character and others inferior, then we also need to end elitism and snobbery.

  • John, it was indeed like mob mentality for me back in Boston. My friends were paranoid about me and thought I would kill them. My minister (whom I assumed was an ally, wow was I wrong) also thought I would kill him. That sounds like psychosis to me, doesn’t it sound that way to you? Mass paranoia against someone who never harmed anyone. I did nto threaten either, but the psychs threatened me plenty. They are the danger to society. I sure wasn’t.

  • Very true, John. I have had police raids in the past. They searched my home without my permission or knowledge and without a warrant. They came to “arrest” me based on speculation, no evidence, no warrant. I had done nothing wrong. They hauled me off by ambulance countless times. Still, this is a fraction of what they do, not all of it. Most of the time they are trying to get drivers to obey traffic rules. Psychs are always aiming to diagnose us, which is a hate crime.

  • They are worse than the police. The cops sometimes do good things. If there’s a car accident they’ll help summon an ambulance and help get you out of the car. I met a cop who helped get a cat out of a tree when the animal officer was not on duty. Psychs do much less good in the world, except for those that turned against their own profession. What cop turns against his profession and then, blasts it to the rooftops like Szasz or Breggin? I have heard of none. There is plenty of anti-cop sentiment but that’s not because people see the entirety of the police as invalid, only some of it. I know one ex-drug cop who teaches people how to pass a drug test, but that is about the only cop I have heard of to turn against the cops as a profession. I do not doubt the validity of the cops. Their training and profession are valid and a lot of it teaches them good things, such as CPR or finding lost people. Around here, mostly cops stop drunk drivers. I bet that is 90% of their job right there. Some act like bullies but that’s not because what they are taught is totally invalid. Home raids on so-called MI are only a tiny fraction of their job, even though that is the most we ourselves see of them.

    Almost all of psychiatry is eugenics based. The very principles that guide diagnosis are steeped in condescending hatred toward those they see as inferior. I would not say that about cops, though I must admit I still fear them.

  • That is not what Bob said, Oldhead. Psych was cruel and immoral back then, say, in the 1950’s, but now a huge portion of the population is diagnosed and drugged. I think I am around Bob’s age and I also do not remember anyone being diagnosed when I was in high school. Kids were said to have “problems.” Mostly, we solved our “problems” totally on our own. Life has indeed changed. At my workplace where there were younger people, many were diagnosed and many talked about it, too. Wow what culture shock this is.

  • I am a writer, too. All writers have to change their stories a wee bit to satisfy their editors. It is ideally a cooperative venture. Still, think of it…to be published in the New Yorker is not an easy feat. It is a very prestigious publication and if anyone gets picked by them it’s their Big Break. I can see why Aviv might have had to concede. They might not have published Laura’s story at all if she had not.

    I have prostituted myself many times as a writer. It just depends on how much you do it. One time I had a piece published that for whatever reason, they butchered when they put it to print. There were spelling and punctuation errors that happened when they copied it over. I was furious and demanded that they re-do it, saying that the piece, as it was, embarrassed me.

    I have been published in CCHR publications and I am not ashamed of that. They appreciate my work, have thanked me, and honor me as a writer and you can’t ask for more than that.

  • I have read all those books, most of them while I was in graduate school. I recall what Styron said of Dr. Gold, that he liked the man well enough, but that the doctor had failed to help him.

    I remember Andrew Solomon’s head trip with “agitated depression” which was clearly drug-induced. He does say so.

    As for inability to write, that’s about the worst thing that can happen to a writer. Or…being told you aren’t allowed to write and threatened with drugs if you do. I remember when I went into the nuthouses, I asked for a pencil and paper and that was all I needed to feel okay.

    To work through trauma from hospital abuse I wrote in my blog, told the story over and over until I was done with it. Writing is not only a comfort for me, but it is a means for activism and communication. I believe the one thing I want to do more than anything is to tell my story so that others will be forewarned, and also to bring hope to people. Yes, there is life after psychiatry.

  • Treatment-resistant, in my case, meant they missed the boat entirely for 30 years. I would walk into their offices and say, “I am very depressed because I binged again.” They would say, “Never mind that. How is your bipolar?” Their bipolar-type treatments sure did not help my eating disorder. When they increased the meds, it didn’t help my ED any, so they called me “treatment-resistant” because I continued to complain.

  • How is regression to the mean any different from peer pressure? I was in a day treatment program where all the other patients were much worse off than I was. They were suffering from TD, multiple incarcerations, and were overall very depressed. I didn’t even know what I was getting myself into, thinking it was going to be like college. I was definitely peer-pressured to become more disabled, more depressed, more incapable. Why? Because the rest of them were. I started smoking, too.

    In eating disorders prisons, kids are under immense peer pressure. “Almost dying” becomes the new “in” thing. If two are tubed, they all stop eating so they, too, can have the tube status symbol. When passing out becomes popular, well, you can guess.

  • The subjects I hated most in school were lunch, recess, and gym. The reason was that I got teased the most during those times. I remember outside of school loving to ride my bike, to do gymnastics in the yard, or to stand on my head just for the heck of it. I’m fairly sure that if I tried I could still do that.

    I’m not sure how they could re-do gym class to avoid the social tiers that result. The tallest, or best coordinated always win. Someone else always loses.

  • We can all be open about our vulnerabilities to an extent. The degree of this is different for everyone. At times, I may admit to someone that I am very afraid of doctors because I was harmed by one. Then they understand why I work so hard to be healthy. I might also explain why I hate being interrupted or being accused of interrupting. I will say that a long time ago I was in an abusive situation where I was not allowed to get a word in and constantly cut off by other people.

    If you bring your story to a point where others can relate, it isn’t just your story anymore. It is reflective of a universal struggle. Who does not want to be understood, loved, or included? Fear is fear for all of us, we feel it similarly, though we may fear different things.

  • Schools need to teach relevant material. They need to get the kids fascinated and passionate about learning. Some schools succeed in doing that for some children. Most fail.

    Kids should be allowed (or required) to design a curriculum for themselves that works for them. They should be able to voice their opinion, and be heard, on school policies.

    I have noticed with all the children I meet with, they all seem to have peripheral interests that could be further explored at school, but aren’t. For some, these interests are so strong that they shouldn’t be peripheral, but in the foreground of their education. Schools have become career-oriented. For the most part this does not include careers in the arts. Some of these kids would love more art, music, sports, dance, or drama and they’re not getting it.

  • Sylvain, I totally agree. I work in a school system with supposedly “disabled” students. I have read their IEP documents and I have spoken to the students and their parents. The IEP might say ADHD but doesn’t say anything about why the student has no interest in school. The IEP might say “refuses to participate” but that, too, is happening for a reason. I have noticed that these same supposedly ADHD students can concentrate just fine if the circumstances change, or the topic is to their interest.

    When I was a kid I had very little interest in studying anything but music. I even failed some classes. Now I realize that since I was very good at music, I ended up being one-sided in my interests. Music was fascinating to me and everything else was irrelevant.

    Sometimes kids act up due to bad experiences in the past or present, and this, too, is omitted from the “everything that’s wrong with me” IEP statement. I see this as doing the students a disservice.

    If a student is deaf, or needs help ambulating from class to class, that’s very different from perceived mental illness. If you are perceived as MI, then it’s those around you that see you as disabled who are causing the disability.

    There is another thing to consider. Money. Sometimes it is profitable to put a kid into the disabled category. Medicaid now picks up the tab, meaning that the schools can exploit the student as a funnel for Medicaid money all they want.

  • Stephen, Workplace process groups are likely a good idea, because from my observation, almost all workplaces lack effective communication. I find it especially true that communication is shunned when it goes from the bottom up, that is, the lowest caste workers have very little say in the workplace rules and policies and how they are enforced. Communication from the top down is usually bossing around and that, too, is ineffective.

  • I agree about group therapy. It is largely ineffective and mostly harmful. I was part of a day treatment program where the therapists were overly involved in the patients’ affairs. I believe this was the reason why one patient there committed suicide. I have written some funny pieces about Group Therapy that are in my book This Hunger Is Secret. There are several scenes in there. I also replicated Family Therapy, which in my opinion was the most comical chapter of the book.

    Group therapy is unnatural. Even now, I hate sitting in a circle. If I were teaching I would not demand this of the students.

    In Group, there was so much pressure to bear your soul to these folks, and if you did not, it was a disorder. Too much self-disclosure becomes a habit. I believe my group-induced “talent” for self-disclosure is what made me a better memoir writer. The downside of therapy is that you invariably become far too self-absorbed…which in turn, will worsen depression.

    All in all, it was a huge waste of time for me. I should have been in school or working. After all, isn’t showing up 99% of the battle? We showed up. We could have been doing something more fulfilling. Later, I was denied the privilege of the more meaningful groups and told I was only good for Bingo. This was so insulting to both my intellect and my emotional intelligence that I refused to go to groups.

  • Only occasionally should it be medical, and then, it’s never a psych issue anyway. For instance, thyroid levels being off can mimic depression or bipolar. Anemia resembles depression. Malnutrition will appear to be an eating disorder or can even psychosis. Electrolyte imbalances or dehydration often appear to be psychosis. Psychs love to bring problems that aren’t their turf into their turf. If they had their way, they’d psychiatrize everything, including heart attacks, stroke, natural disasters, and this commonplace thing called a death in the family.

  • I am seeing also that the message that one has to recover from psychiatry is not very clear in the article. Of all of life’s challenges, most of us have the hardest time recovering from drugging, labeling, incarceration, and marginalization. Many of us find these challenges to be much harder than whatever struggles we were having that brought us to the MH system. I, for one, am still struggling to get over it, and still have many fears that were caused by the system. Examples are fear of human touch, fear of the cops, fear anything medical, etc.

  • Mental, After you are first tricked, it’s hard to make an informed decision. You may choose to go to a mental hospital for “help,” but after you’re there, and drugged, how on earth can you make a good decision for yourself?

    ECT, for instance, is rarely done by physical force. I have witnessed patients being told they’ll be refused all MH services if they do not comply with shock. I have also seen patients told they can leave sooner if they agree to shock. Meanwhile, we’re held there, drugged and brainwashed until we comply.

    After you walk in, you’re under their spell. After the first agreement, there is no valid agreement, since after the start of coercion or drugging, you lose you ability to choose responsibly.

  • RW, I am glad you wrote this. A relative of mine alerted me to the New Yorker article. We both agreed that the article rambled too much. I found it confusing after a while, not knowing what the message was. Was it that mentally ill people, dangerous as we are, might be able to get off drugs at some point? Or was it that getting off drugs was tough but mentally ill people might be able to do it? Neither, to me, says what I’d like to have seen in the New Yorker. I agree that the main point was lost. I suspect this was an editorial move and not the doing of the writer.

    I have seen plenty of people reduce their drugs or even get off of them, but if they are still acting and thinking like mental patients, they are less likely to succeed. You can actually change the way you frame your life and that, to me, is the most important step.

  • Kumin, What happened to your book? It sounds like there was some fiddling on the part of our adversaries into the distribution and marketing of your book, from what you are saying.

    I wrote a book as part of my masters degree program and it did not sell. Partly, this was because I do not know how to sell anything. I should have hired someone. The other part involved some interference by the adversary. They did everything imaginable to discredit me, wreck my reputation, and made selling the book next to impossible. I still have copies and there’s a copy available for download on my website. For free.

    As I approach the time when I will be publishing another book (I’ve written about ten), I plan to do a better job of marketing. My reputation has been partially restored. I am hoping I will not have as much angst over this book than I did with This Hunger Is Secret.

  • Bloodletting is still practiced. Kidney dialysis is bloodletting. They gradually remove your blood, send it through a filter, then, put it back in, supposedly clear of the toxins your kidneys can’t get rid of. I keep thinking a transfusion might work just as well. I imagine very wealthy people opt for this, paying out of pocket. People with kidney disease typically are anemic and often the red blood cells swell in attempt to get oxygen.

    Dialysis is big business, a huge profit-maker for the dialysis companies. I believe it can be safely avoided by taking simple (not expensive) dietary measures. Kidneys normally are very good at eliminating toxic waste (by-products). When your kidneys don’t work well, toxins accumulate in the body. It is not that hard to follow a healthy diet, except it’s inconvenient sometimes to find something edible at a restaurant. Avoiding certain foods, you can be assured that the toxins (some from food, some created by food synthesis) don’t accumulate to begin with. These toxins include sodium, phosporus, calcium, and protein, and for many, also potassium, unless you took lithium, because many lithium survivors lose potassium and have to replenish it. Some people have to reduce fluids, but if you took lithium, chances are this restriction is also not applicable. There are herbs you can take that help, also, and a few vitamins. While creatinine is a by-product of exercise, in my the benefits of cardio-type exercise outweigh the risks. The increase in creatinine following exercise is temporary.

  • Also, I should say that in theory, life coaches don’t push their ideas on their clients. This is very clear in the training. I’m sure many break this rule. You’re supposed to let the client figure out stuff herself, use her own morals, logic, intuition, etc, to form conclusions.

    Life coaches do not have to follow any laws, except they are mandatory reporters. I’m not sure if this is true in all states. Mandatory reporting laws vary from state to state.

    I recently called a life coach in another state and city (just to ask for info, not for life coaching) and found him to be an abusive bully. I wonder if he saw my scathing Yelp review?

  • Actually, PacificDawn, what constitutes a “life coach” varies widely. There is no certification requirement. Many people set up businesses as life coaches with no formal training at all, and that is legal so long as you don’t lie about your credentials.

    It IS true that many life coaches won’t take on patients they perceive to be mentally ill. In fact, we were told to refuse services unless the person saw a psychiatrist concurrently. I found out that to see a life coach I would have to lie (by omission) my past diagnosis, which means I cannot discuss 35 years of my life, and omit any diagnoses I had been given. Many will also refuse unless you see a therapist. And some will even insist that you see a Western doc if you have any chronic disease at all. But life coaches vary and not all of them follow this.

  • Varun, I was a college student also when I started therapy. This was during the summer. My choice to go outside the campus counseling center was driven by my desire for privacy. I was so scared that anyone might find out I was going to counseling. I was scared that someone might find out I had an eating disorder. I also personally knew the college counselor from another situation. So I chose to go to the local counseling center in town.

    This was one of the worst decisions of my life. Therapy caused me to become self-absorbed, thinking there MUST be something wrong with me, that is, fundamentally wrong with my character that caused me to have an eating disorder. What I did not realize was that the diet itself, that I had gotten out of a popular diet book, had caused the entire problem. People do not realize the serious consequences of drastic restrictive diets. You end up stuck in it, and further weight loss and low caloric intake only worsens a person’s distorted ideas about losing yet more weight. It is an endless cycle. A trap.

    I didn’t realize this, though. I wondered if a character flaw caused it. Those therapist said, “You have an eating disorder so you must have an enmeshed mother.” This was a stereotype they had back then, and it is so false in my case that it is laughable. Then they said, “You have an eating disorder because of perfectionism.” This, too, didn’t fit me at all. They even tried, “We can’t help you, so your eating disorder is trivial and you’re probably faking it.” I latched onto “chemical imbalance” because I wanted to find some cause of the ED. That must be it! Then, drugs might fix it, right? I started asking for drugs. They claimed I was nothing but a spoiled Jewish girl.

    They did indeed violate my confidentiality, and they also violated other patients’ confidentiality. I went to an emergency room on advice from my roommate. She had told me that “If you go to the ER then they will give you drugs. They HAVE to,” she said. I was hoping they would hear me, finally, and give me the magic pill that would stop my ED.

    Instead, those idiots called my parents and I had not authorized for them to do so. I was 25 years old at the time and not a minor.

    They never heard me. They continued to drug me and couldn’t figure out why I didn’t “respond.” They gave me more. They diagnosed me with schiz but I did not have any schiz characteristics such as the ability to hear voices. It was so unfounded….and I was stuck on disability payments for the next 35 years.

    I regret the decision to start therapy. I regret continuing the therapy and my own failure to recognize that it was addicting. I regret believing them and seeing them as authority figures for as long as i did. I was 23 when I started therapy. I was 56 when I finally left that world. I am 61 now, employed at last, and finally ending disability payments.

    It is so quick and easy to fall into that trap. It will take a long, long time to get out of it.

  • An example of editorial middle-grounding can easily be seen in Psychology Today. Eric Maisel, who writes about children here for MIA, tells me he has to tone it down when writing for Psychology Today. Or…he is toned down by the editors there. If you meet him in person you get a different story entirely.

    As a writer, I sometimes call this kind of behavior prostitution, that is, sacrificing ones beliefs just to get published. However, I, too, am guilty of writing prostitution. Sometimes you will do anything to have your voice heard. Why? We have to decide. We have a need to say something, and sometimes, bowing down just a little bit is not that terrible a price to pay.

    I have to decide how much to bow down. While I would love to teach creative writing at a local college, I stopped my application when I saw the college’s horrible policies against gays. I then took pen to paper and wrote, right in the application, that I refused to continue due to their discriminatory policies. I am not sure if they read my half-finished application, but I got to say what I wanted to say.

  • Thank you, Bruce, for this article. I also saw the New Yorker article on Laura and felt that something was missing. I also felt that the article was rambling and way, way too long. There was too much repetition and the article itself lacked a cohesive central theme. Still, it was great seeing Laura’s story in the major news media.

    I am wondering about your terminology regarding “middle grounders.” I am wondering if this constitutes a bit of classification and possibly, stereotyping this perceived classification. It’s like some who classify “liberals” or “conservatives” somehow as groups where all think alike. You can’t actually say that in all accuracy about us “fanatics” who understand the truth about psychiatry, and yet, we get lumped together by the media. We’re “mental illness deniers” or just plain lack insight. The truth is, though, we are not all alike. Our stories differ greatly, as do our opinions.

  • I attended life coaching school. In that class we were told we should refuse to take on anyone we perceive as “mentally ill” and refer them to a psychiatrist. We were also told that if a person is diagnosed we have to make sure they “take their meds.” However, when I came out in class as a survivor, many approached me and said, in private, that they felt the DSM was hogwash, but they didn’t want to say anything. Our teacher even spoke of chemical imbalances! EEEKs!

    Interestingly, it was the classmate who drugs her kid who bullied me after class was all over. She was so unreasonable…I have to laugh…If the kid had her for mom, well…….

  • Father John, you are totally awesome and I thank you a bunch for all you have done for us.

    Human behavior also is not rocket science. Anyone can have insight into it, including prisoners, janitors, cafeteria workers, students, and anyone who has contact with other humans. Children have amazing insight. There’s no need for a degree to understand lying, dishonesty, and corruption, and to recognize when a worker for the oppressors is breaking the rules, risking their jobs, and actually being kind. There were a few, but most said nothing and complied.

  • And why should the person have a degree in psychology? We need more clergy writing in as this is an underrepresented population on MIA. We need more scientists from other sciences as well. The discussion in the article is about electricity. What does a psychologist know anything at all about electricity’s effect on the brain? If your loved one has been through ECT you know better than anyone else the effect of ECT on a person’s life, regardless of your profession. I agree with the author that those who have been through ECT may not immediately be aware of the damage. My boyfriend did not have a college degree and he had majored in business. He understood more than any of those idiots at the mental hospital that the ECT was damaging to me. I was even seeing an esteemed psychologist for “therapy.” She was totally uninterested in me and even nodded off during our sessions. She was one of the most clueless individuals involved in the whole fiasco. Since when are psychologists the experts on life? I really hope you reconsider your position, Oldhead. You know better than that!

  • Thanks so much for this very logical explanation. None of these things are an opinion, they are facts. We can choose to refuse to believe the facts, or misinterpret them, as most, in fact, will do. We can choose to remember only what we want to remember. In the case of ECT survivors, often we cannot remember.

    I am going to share this article with a relative who is a physicist. Much thanks for this!

    Julie

  • “Our culture would rather scapegoat angry people than deal with what they’re very often legitimately angry about.”

    What a breath of fresh air. I admit I have done my share of displaced blaming. But still, that doesn’t mean every single bit of blaming I’ve done has been transferred to the wrong party.

    I still DO blame Massachusetts General Hospital for willfully, deliberately, and cruelly depriving me of water. I blame them for failing to apologize when they had obviously harmed me. I blame them for denying that it was abuse. I blame them for not admitting fault when it was quite clear I had diabetes insipidus and what they had done could have killed me. I blame them for all their illegal attempts to silence me after it all happened. I blame them for trying to diagnose me with mania and paranoia to discredit me. I blame them for failure to recognize that I was enduring a traumatic reaction from water deprivation. I also blame them for spreading around lies to the general community that I am a dangerous person.

    I credit myself for getting away when I did. I blame myself for acting like a bitch at times and blowing my cool at people who didn’t do anything wrong, simply because I was experiencing traumatic memories. I regret the loss of friendships that happened during those years. Most will not respond when I try to contact them, so I am not able to apologize in a way that will be taken seriously.

  • Kate, Using our words is about the most powerful thing we can do. I started writing most of my Yelp reviews when I was safely out of Massachusetts. I wrote so many that I moved up the Yelp ranks (I’m a premier Yelper or some such thing) because people liked my reviews so much. I have even been contacted by people who read my reviews. I have successfully turned people away from facilities that harmed me. People read what I have written and then are concerned that the same thing will happen to them. I so much feel the need to tell the truth, even if it is the bitter truth. It is my duty to warn other people so they won’t have to go through the same shit I went through.

  • Kate, since that happened to me once for blowing the whistle, I am not surprised. One time I started noticing the minister at the church I was going to seemed be very bigoted and elitist. I wrote a complaint letter to a church higherup, that is, someone over his head. Next thing you know, the cops were coming knocking at my door. Believe it or not, they were accusing me of planning to kill the church minister.

    I was shocked. There’s nothing worse than being called dangerous when you are not. It was like they were afraid of me. They threatened me and demanded that I stop writing.

    I knew at that point I had to leave town, leave and go as far away as possible. I also knew I couldn’t tell anyone. Is another continent far away enough?

    Every day when I write, even as I write this, I am thankful that I got away from a place where I was threatened and told I wasn’t allowed to write. I guess whatever I wrote was powerful indeed. Maybe I should be proud of how scary I was, just by writing stuff.

  • Kate, my experience was so similar to yours. My complaints about my eating disorder were misconstrued as, “You are just a spoiled Jewish girl, so…” When I had pimples from lithium they never informed me that pimples are a side effect. They claimed it was “poor self care.” When I broke my leg because Risperdal messed with my hormones, causing osteoporosis, it was “bad luck.” When Seroquel caused me to gain 100 pounds, I was the one who was too lazy to go to the gym. When Imipramine caused racing pulse, I was told it was “nothing” even though my pulse was never under 90. BP was raised on that drug, also, again, “nothing.” Imipramine caused agitation, again, “We don’t know, maybe you need more therapy.” When my feet and legs swelled up from kidney disease caused by lithium…oh no, that is poor self-care and likely from your eating disorder. One doc even said it wasn’t edema when it obviously was. When I started getting very painful muscle cramps in my toes, fingers, feet, etc, caused by kidney disease, it was “anxiety.” Really, it was impending kidney failure. When finally my kidneys outright failed, it was “suicidality” when in fact, it was from lithium all along. Trauma from hospital abuse was mistaken for paranoia and mania. Can they ever get anything right? Best to stay away!

  • Rachel, DBT is a way of telling patients, mostly women, that they’re defective and need “therapy” to heal from something that the clinician is delusional about. Some doctors will label anyone that walks into their office as BPD. BPD is a way of discrediting you and permanently wrecking your reputation. It will work well if a person has been abused because then, the abuser is now safe because the woman’s accusation is nothing but a symptom.

    It worked very well for the doctors who knew that shock had harmed me. BPD silenced me and it was their excuse, ultimately, to threaten to put me in State. They HAD to do that to cover up ECT harm.

  • Kindred, I agree totally about DBT being blameful toward the patient. I read the first few pages of the manual and did not go any further. First sentence: Life is hard. I’m fine with that. But then it went on to show two girls, one of them shown as a sicko, and the other one, non-sicko. So the manual said this is for you sicko folks. After reading that, I was so turned off I wouldn’t read anymore of that nonsense.

    I’ve been in DBT groups. The last one, everyone was fidgeting from their anti-d drugs. That was hard to endure, seeing everyone in that room fidgeting constantly. i kept wondering how the staff could stand it. Anyway, the concepts were so basic that I was surprised that most of the patients couldn’t understand them. I ended up feeling like I was leading the group explaining these things to them. I believed at the time that the drugs caused them to have cognitive difficulties. I can’t think of any reason why they seemed so slow-minded. I felt like I was back in grade school, but these were grown women, some well-educated, too. Many also played with stuffed animals…..

    I finally left the day program after three days, realizing it just wasn’t for me. Then, not much later, I found the Movement and I have not looked back. Sept 13 was my last psychiatrist appointment. She asked me five times if I felt like killing anyone, then she threatened me and said I had to take anti-p drugs and if I didn’t, she wouldn’t treat me. The answer? You guess.

  • DBT is so invalidating. It is avoidant in its very nature. It is also silencing. Many of us were harmed and we’re supposed to “cope” with it now? No way! In other words, “We don’t want to hear your shit because we don’t want to take action to stop abuse. Here’s some therapy instead. You’re the sicko. The abuser is irrelevant now, part of the past.”

    DBT is perfect to let rapists and other abusers off the hook. “She was a sicko, right?” She was just imagining it all. Paranoid. Personality-disordered. They walk because of this nonsense.

  • Rosalee, I also read that same book on trauma, or maybe a similar one. I agreed with much of it until I got to the part about trauma causing brain changes which are permanent that only a trauma therapist can heal. I cannot believe that these changes are permanent unless you make them permanent or sustain them by going to a mental health professional. Just getting away from the source of trauma is a start to healing, even though it is true that the worst of the traumatic reaction comes later on. It isn’t logical that going to a mental health professional is going to heal what mental health treatment caused. It makes so little sense…and yet people do this all the time, without even realizing it.

  • Kate, Ditto to what Steve said. The MH system causes people to see themselves as losers. This is so hard to stop. You can’t just change out of loser mode instantly just because someone says so. In fact, telling people to change their thinking sometimes backfires.

    People can, though, change things bit by bit, in realistic-sized chunks. I think the idea of not using clinical language to describe ordinary experiences is likely a start for many people. However, you really have to distinguish between stuff that should be called by clinical language, and that which should not. Total abolition of clinical language just isn’t realistic. If I do not drink enough water I am going to be dehydrated, and that is an unarguable medical fact, not a feeling and not an opinion.

  • Kate, you can contact me anytime. Reaching out to you. Find me on my blog, juliemadblogger.com. There is a Contact Me page there and I respond as soon as I see it. I was dxed BPD right after shock to excuse away the confusion from the shock. I was lucky that the dx was taken off later on, but years after that, my ex-friends distance-diagnosed me with BPD and somehow that got spread around. I also have “paranoia” on my social record, which caused me to lose all my friends. I have not really recovered from that.

  • Dr. Moss, I agree with you on this one. While we already know these diagnoses are harmful, that is, our community here is very aware that a diagnosis will marginalize you, put you out of work, wreck your reputation, etc. As for drug harm, that’s publicly available knowledge also. There are varied reasons why people get into the rabbit hole of MH, often force or coercion or not knowing that it’s a rabbit hole.

    However, the question remains, why do people stay patients? Why do people stay even when, if they took a broader look at the situation, they see that MH world did not help, but actually caused deterioration. Why do so few doctors notice? Why do patients accept the deterioration instead of taking action?

    Those that are court-committed clearly do not want to take the drugs and often do not agree with the diagnosis. I’m certainly not referring to those who are in MH by force. Force wouldn’t be necessary if the patient can start identifying as a mental patient. Most of us did, sadly.

    When you identify as an MP without the use of force, or if force is only used occasionally, then the establishment has what it wants. Permanent patients.

    Therapists push this, many without realizing what they’re doing. Docs invariably do also. There’s a lot of peer pressure in the system to identify as an MP, and all this serves a purpose for the establishment.

    I believe it also serves a purpose for the patients. Many are terrified of being taken off disability payments because that means a major source of income will be cut off. Many are afraid to stop therapy for a variety of reasons. Many are also afraid to stop drugs, even if they suspect they might not even need them anymore.

    The System provides security for many. It’s a place to go. It’s where your friends are. It might even be where you have an identity or social role. Many patients still believe it’s helpful, even though they aren’t sure why and can’t seem to say exactly how it has improved their lives. They’re told it’s life-saving, and many still believe this.

    There are many redeeming factors about being a patient. That nice nurse or nice mental health worker. That one doc or therapist that you can spill your guts to. Therapy, which for many, feels good. But it’s all a trap. Every trap out there, including religious cults, has redeeming qualities, which is why we get sucked in in the first place, and often, why we can’t drag ourselves away.

  • Both Sides, you gotta realize that most of us were deeply harmed either by individual carers or by institutions. Or both. I for one am proud to be opinionated and biased toward the underdog. After all, most of us weren’t even allowed to express our opinions. We were silenced or discredited. You don’t like it here on the ward? Don’t worry, it’s just a symptom of your paranoia. And so on.

  • Exactly, Kindred. In a presentation I gave I likened diagnosis to a college major. We really did boast on the wards. It was a status symbol. Especially among the “almost dying” crowd. That can even win you brownie points. Or, it was like, “What are you in here for?” Like what crime did you do? Depression, bipolar, these were the sins we committed, just by being labeled, that got us in there.

  • Daniel, I also had a negative experience with TELL. I know of another website that’s better. I also thought the TELL staff seemed to think that therapy abuse is rare and not only that, THEY own the market on it and it’s not possible, in their eyes, that anyone outside their private club has ever been abused by a therapist. Not only that, they recommended therapy to heal from therapy abuse! Makes no sense! They ended up being really rude and I gave up. No, they aren’t the only ones who have ever been abused. These are the kinds of stories that come out years, or even decades later. We’ll hear about it big time in 20 years when many of the victims and perps are already dead. Do we get an apology from the Vatican of Therapy? Do we get our day in court? Trauma IS damage, it can wreck your social life and even cause you to lose a job or lose your marriage. I had to recover from Maria and a few of the others. Not all were abusive. I had to get over therapy addiction, also. I found it was just as hard to leave an abusive therapist as it is to leave an abusive partnership.

  • Daniel, I have had my share of that sort of therapist. Typically, the initial red flag MAY be that you start to feel like the “therapy” is life-saving. You might worship the therapist thinking he/she is the greatest, or the One and Only. The therapist perpetuates this (possibly without realizing it). You feel like the ONLY one you can possibly confide in is the therapist. Yes, it is a setup.

    Another red flag is that you seem to be on a roller-coaster, that, oddly, started when you started therapy with this therapist. Or you started having thoughts of suicide around that time that have ended up ongoing.

    You may observe favoritism. The therapist sees another patient four times a week, or insists on seeing you that many times, or keeps you late a lot.

    The therapist keeps changing the rules, adds extra contracts, etc. The therapist contacts you without your contacting her/him first.

    Threats. The therapist frequently threatens to drop you, or to have you hospitalized, or to send the police.

    Accusations. The therapist accuses you of things you hadn’t dreamed of doing. Overall distrustful relationship. Fear-based, frequently punishes the patient, sulks, goes into a huff or otherwise acts unprofessionally.

    Sexual advances, sexual remarks that are out of place, etc. Contacting your family or anyone in your life without your permission.

    Refuses to take your side in any conflict. Denies that another therapist or doctor harmed you, or denies that you were treated badly in a facility. Automatically sides with the clinician.

    Calls you psychotic repeatedly, claims you are paranoid when you are telling the truth, calls you dangerous when you aren’t. Jeering, eye-rolling, gaslighting.

    Physical abuse. Or denies that another person abused you when you are telling the truth.

    Bosses you around and runs your life. Threatens to have your kids taken away or other loss of rights. Character-bashing.

  • Where is the research on what happens to a person after being given massive polydoses of antipsychotics? I was on 900 of Seroquel, 20 of Abilify, and 6 of Risperdal, simultaneously, and also concurrent with 600 of Lamictal, 300 of Topamax, and a third anticonvulsant, Trileptal. All at once.

    I believe I have permanent insomnia, eight years of resulting exhaustion now with no improvement, as a result of all those anti-p drugs. Nothing helps except to get my hands on some drugs, which gives me partial relief.

    I am scared to death to see a sleep doc because of their tendency to misdiagnose and worsen what is already a bad situation.

  • Fred, it took me decades to admit it. It is also not easy to say I faked my way into hospitals because of the backlash I could get. However, people do not realize the real reason I did it. Every time I had trouble with my eating disorder (dieting cycle, really) I had to take action. I tried, multiple times, to get my therapists and psychs to listen. They never did, and apparently even those who had known me for years had no awareness that I had ED. I went 30 years like that. During that time, if the binge eating got out of control, I would say the word “death” in my session and that got my hospitalized. I now had temporary relief from bingeing. I dreaded leaving because I knew I’d be back at it again. I lied and said I was “suicidal” just to stay in there. Every time I left I felt disappointed, let down because they failed to hear me, failed to recognize what was really bothering me. I went back over and over due to the “unfinished business” feeling. It never worked.

    To most, I appeared “bipolar” but the truth is, if you’re so stuffed with food you can barely move, you’re going to be depressed. I was called “rapid cycling,” for obvious reasons. All those years I figured I must have a brain disorder causing the eating binges. I latched onto bipolar. It took me decades to figure out (on my own) that it wasn’t a brain disorder, that the erratic eating was affecting my moods, not the other way around. I had to realize that the diet had caused the ED. Starvation will affect you for years, changes the way insulin and other chemicals act in your body, and also can change your mentality and outlook. Repeated binge eating will cause you to have insulin spiking and this can go on and on. Breaking the cycle was essential for me (I knew this, but the psychs were just plain clueless!) and the only way I could do it, back then, was to get myself locked up.