Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Comments by Julie Greene, MFA

Showing 100 of 1843 comments. Show all.

  • Stephen did you ever take lithium? That WILL cause what you are experiencing. It can happen long after you are not taking the drug anymore. Even decades later, people’s kidneys fail. Muscle cramping (Charlie horses in any muscle including toes and fingers) are a sign that you could be headed for trouble. Get a renal panel done and READ IT, ask about creatinine level specifically. Oh, read my upcoming book, too. I talk a lot about that, discuss potassium at length.

  • My degree in Creative Writing never got me a U job. I don’t even begin to fit the qualifications. They want a full work history, including teaching career, and list of publications.

    I have written ten books, published two of them. The second barely sold any copies in four years due to unfriending over psych abuse. I couldn’t twist arms anymore so I took it off the market and now give it away for free.

    I even find it hard to get a speaking engagement. They want fingerprints practically. I can’t even get an offer to do a reading, even though I have tried. The best I can get is to sit at a desk selling hard copies of my book at a bookstore. I didn’t want to do that. I did not want the embarrassment of leaving with a the same full stack of books I arrived with.

    You really have to sell yourself. I don’t like doing that. I’m finishing up a book right now and to ensure sales and availability to all I am selling it for a dollar a copy.

    Some of my fellow grads are saying the exact same thing. Book didn’t sell, couldn’t get a job, etc. Many went back to their former careers. I didn’t have a former career to return to so I ended up staying poor and got poorer.

  • I do have some lithium orotate at home. I tried a very low dose of it for insomnia. It didn’t work, had no effect on sleep so I have not taken it since. I can’t believe anyone would recommend 60 whopping mgs of that stuff, either. I think anything more than 10mgs a day is unsafe for the kidneys. For some, such as elderly, people already damaged by lithium, or anyone with a physical health condition should take less than 10. Yes it is available in some drugstores, online vitamin suppliers, and in some health food stores.

    Just because it is a supplement does not mean it’s safe. As another example of a widely-distributed supplement is potassium ascorbate. This comes in 99mg size tablets and can be found in any drugstore. However, it is soooooo easy to overdose on potassium and then end up in the ER with a heart attack. For some people, though, they lose potassium or their levels are low, so for that population, potassium supplementation is medically necessary.

    I DO lose potassium due to damage from pharmaceuticals, but an entire pill of that stuff is too much for me. I rarely take it, but if I do I have to cut the pills in half.

  • I also wonder about people who comment on here constantly. I wonder if they have lives outside of MIA. I wonder if maybe they need to gain some perspective on this. MIA is only a website. It may be a social hub, but folks on here aren’t real friends, they are people in cyberspace you interact with via cyberspace only (for the most part).

    I would encourage anyone to go out into your community. Talk to real people in real-life conversations, pick up the phone, and get a life outside of fake socializing.

  • Sera you are far more likely to get your story into the media than most of us are.

    If you are going to use your own story as illustration, as you did in the workshop, I’d suggest putting it in third person: “This happened to someone I know.” Don’t say it was you. Just for future reference.

    In a recent job interview I was asked if I ever had a conflict with a coworker. I haven’t. I did have a conflict with a supervisor. She had deliberately picked on me and did what might qualify as workplace bullying. Instead of saying that happened to me, which would have made me look bad in the job interview, I stated that I witnessed her doing unethical things including belittling another worker. Here, of course, I put it in third person.

    All of life IS like a job interview. People constantly criticize and constantly seek out ways that we are faulty, abnormal, or diseased. We are all actors. We play roles, some of us many roles. Acting is lying, whether we realize it or are simply fooling ourselves.

  • Screen time means different things. Blind people and people with other disabilities use so-called “screen time” to access assistive technology. Many kinds of assistive technology help folks who are disabled work their jobs and do other necessary things to sustain themselves.

    When I had cataracts I could not read a print book. The entire time I continued to read and write by using a screen. I enlarged the print and used color reversal. If I really believed “screen time” was harmful, I would have stopped reading and writing.

    Right now, in my work, I spend all day in front a “screen.” I have had no harmful effects. Why? I do not watch TV, I do not play video games, and I do not participate in fake socializing such as Facebook.

    I do believe that violent video games, television, and fake socializing are all very harmful to children and to just about anyone. Television is extremely violent, even the commercials involve violence. TV is noise pollution which harms our well-being. TV also involves a flickering screen (you won’t notice this unless you stop watching it for a while). The flickering light that constantly bombards people likely induces seizures and behavior problems.

    I do not have kids. If I did, I would raise them without a TV in the home. I would certainly not ban “screen time.” I would encourage my kid to learn to use various computer applications, to learn to type, and to learn to read the news with skepticism. I would teach my kid to question what they are told instead of blindly accepting it. I would also encourage time spent outdoors and encourage enjoyment of physical exercise.

  • Getting more and more people to realize the truth will lead to fewer people acting as profit-generating “patients.” Without clientele psych will fail. In the process, while we warn others we need to make it very clear that this is a bogus science that doesn’t act in the best interest of the patient, but in their own best interest, and in the interest of the DSM, the drug companies, the medical device companies, and from the looks of it, the government also.

  • Stephen, my guess is that your doc located old records. This will happen if the doc is affiliated with a hospital you were in, or any hospital connected to that one. Nowadays large hospitals are expanding and buying up smaller ones. This means increased record-sharing between these sister institutions. In order to escape you need to stop going to any doc or institution within that range of communication.

    Here’s an example: I could have relocated from Boston to Western Massachusetts, where I once lived, and been relatively safe. However, instinct told me not to move there. Shortly after I made this decision, Massachusetts General Hospital expanded into Western MA. So now, anyone affiliated with Cooley Dickinson hospital in Western MA would have access to my Boston records. Some of these huge hospitals expand into other states, usually adjacent states. For instance, the UPMC empire, which is centered in Pittsburgh, purchased most of the Pittsburgh hospitals and expanded not only outside the county but into neighboring Ohio.

    I know very few people who managed to escape the clutches of psychiatry without relocation. A lot depends on local laws and what the institutions can get away with. Years ago, you could simply go to another doctor across town but this is no longer a safe option. They WILL share. Count on it.

  • I do not say “I overcame MI.’ That is not even accurate. I never fit their description of an MI person and was never disabled. What I did have to overcome was what psychiatry caused. Trauma, kidney disease, and low expectations of myself. All those were treatment-induced.

    I did have to “overcome” my eating disorder but that was ignored by my doctors for 30 years, so it was not “treated.”

    I do not tell doctors anything. I do not see doctors. I might tell my friends, but you have to be very careful whom you tell.

  • This is making me sick. Maybe the MIA editors should have explained a few things to the author here. We don’t validate DSM diagnoses here. Any. And that includes so-called personality disorders. The basis of such labeling is based in eugenics, the assumption that some people just don’t make the grade.

    I’d like to point out that HIPAA, which by the way, is not spelled HIPPA, doesn’t oblige the patients to do anything! HIPAA only applies to medical providers and any personnel who work in a hospital or treatment setting. So your shrink’s secretary is bound by HIPAA laws not to go leaking out who sees the shrink. The janitors also cannot tattle about who they saw on the psych ward. Patients are not legally bound. They are highly pressured to not squeal, not say a word when they witness abuse. Sadly, many patients actually believe this is covered by HIPAA law. It isn’t.

    You won’t have to pay a fine or do prison times if you name the names. It is helpful to others if you warn them about a particular abusive clinician, or name the hospitals that treated you badly. What no one should do is exaggerate, lie, or reveal very intimate details about ANY person, on social media, publicly viewable articles, or on a website.

    As a writer I am very careful about revealing anything about other patients. This isn’t because of HIPAA, though. It’s because if you use a name and say you saw that person in a nuthouse, you could be wrecking their reputation. When I have mentioned specific incidents or specific people I sometimes get around the libel issue by fictionalizing the characters, or creating conglomerate characters. You have to disguise their identity in that case.

    I am not subscribing to subsequent commentary on this article mainly because I don’t want any hateful, disgusting talk about “personality disorders” showing up in my inbox.

  • I agree only partially, Steve. Not all FFs had rotten childhoods. FFs are entirely created by the System. If we conclude they had rotten childhoods, this puts blame on the parents (and of course it couldn’t be the therapist!).

    I was a frequent flyer and my childhood, though not perfect, was not terrible either. I became an FF because it was encouraged by therapists, by these crisis teams, by the community, and mostly, peer pressure within the System.

    I have witnessed patients boasting about how many times they had been hospitalized. This was a status symbol! It was a status symbol to have many suicide attempts on record. In the ED world, if you had been tubed, you’re a notch above the rest. “Almost dying,” this, too, is a status symbol. It is subtle but if you listen closely to the dialogue, that is the implication. Many of these patients that I personally knew who were FFs did not have abusive childhoods. You cannot blame the parents because the majority of blame falls on the System.

  • This is very true. This was across the board with all institutions where a patient was a known frequent flyer. In fact, FFs figure this out. So eventually they show up at a new ER where they are not known. Why? They know they’ll get better care. Problem is, a lot of FFs will then overuse that new ER and then start to get worse care there. And it only goes on. Most FFs get that way because their outpatient providers catastrophize every misfortune the patient encounters. Mental patients are trained very well to show up at an ER even for a hangnail! After a while you wear out your welcome at any hospital in your local area. I have known people who did that. Finally, after years of this nonsense, they developed a problem that was an actual emergency. Often, FFs die due to neglectful or abusive medical care.

    Whether a person is an FF or not, no one deserves neglectful or abusive medical care. Yes they do cop an attitude. That’s gotta stop.

  • I feel saddened that the comments are hidden. The survivor voice is squelched because of this.
    That said, I witnessed a wrongful death on a psych ward once. I don’t know, to this day, if the family sued. They did a half-assed job of examining the guy in the ER. He was a known frequent flyer. Do they ever give known frequent flyers adequate medical care? NO! We were shuffled to psych by default. He made it up to the ward. He died (supposed heart attack) during the admissions process. Who the hell failed to notice he was having a cardiac event?

  • Speaking of Yelp reviews, mine were not removed. I was upvoted to a higher position Yelper so now whatever I write carries more weight.

    My recommendation would be to write other reviews, too. Review a new business that just started up in town, like a restaurant or crafts shop. Make sure every single review is based on your own experience with the business. Use very specific terms explaining why it was great or why it sucked. Stick to your own story and be careful of sensationalism.

    So for a restaurant, you wouldn’t want to write, “I heard the food sucks there.” Where is the indication you really tried it out? Also, “sucks” is vague. A better review might state, “I arrived at 6pm with my family and we had to wait 30 minutes to be seated.” Or, “My wife ordered steak and we had to send it back because it was undercooked.”

    If you are to review a hospital, use very specific terms also. You might want to avoid generalizations and stick to specific events and use colorful description. “The emergency department was so crowded I was forced to sleep in the hallway on a hard plastic chair.” And so on.

  • That’s funny. My comment that I put here was quietly removed and I wasn’t even told. Of course this makes me even more convinced of what I am saying. I think MIA is great for helping people realize the truth about the mental health system. People learn here that they are not alone.

    MIA needs to honor the survivor voice more, and quit upholding MH professionals as the only experts. Sadly, the notion of their expertise is the underlying assumption here. It’s almost like the editors speaking out of both sides of their mouths. “Yes, MH treatment sucks, but their professionals STILL know better!” A lot of us are pissed off. I have reduced my participation at MIA for this reason.

  • Fibro is an excuse diagnosis. “I don’t know what is wrong so I am going to call it Fibro so I don’t have to pay any attention to your complaints anymore.” Basically that is all it is. I also believe IBS is a similar excuse diagnosis. “I don’t want to deal with your complaints anymore, so I’ll call it an incurable disease so I can safely ignore what you’re saying.”

    I actually know someone who was misdiagnosed with Fibro. The diagnosis itself caused the person to fall into the looping effect, suddenly developing the entire “symptom-set” of Fibro AFTER the diagnosis. This caused long-term disability, drugging, and down the downward spiral.

    Turned out it was not Fibro, which is by default a misdiagnosis, but something else causing pain, which was overlooked for years until finally it was detected. Treatable and curable.

    Now I am asking myself if this person is going to cling to the Fibro diagnosis as a way of staying on disability, or leap back into employment and enjoying life once cured. I have noticed that a lot of people, an overwhelming number, are really scared to go back to work, which is understandable because the MH System creates this fear. The result of being so scared is to revert to any kind of disease possible, even look for diseases, just to remain a drop-out. Those invisible diseases are likely the best disease of choice, as they’re vaguely defined and difficult to detect, many based on patient report of symptoms…easy way to stay on disability, in my opinion. But many just don’t see the forest through the trees.

    Maybe I have this disease? Or that one? If you keep asking yourself this, you are sure to find something, some new label to put on yourself. It is like finding dust in your home. Look hard enough and you will find something to get picky over.

  • I agree. I once talked to a teacher who said she never read any reports about students passed onto her by former teachers. I asked her why. She explained that whether these reports are accurate or not is up for debate, first of all. Secondly, should she read them, this would cause her to view us with bias, with pre-formed assumptions.

    I never realized quite how valuable this commentary was until I left the MH system. I recall I put a bit of this “passing down” tendency by teachers in my memoir, but it shows up only briefly. I entered a classroom in the 9th grade, my first day of high school. Immediately, the teacher said, as she read my name on the attendance list, “Oh, I hear you are sometimes late for class because you stay behind at the last class talking to the teachers!”

    This she said right in front of the entire class. The kids burst out laughing. This was not a good way for me to start off 9th grade, sadly.

    While it was true that in 8th grade I enjoyed lengthy, extracurricular discussions with my teachers, what was not passed on was the deep, intellectual content of these discussions.

    I learned a lot from my junior high social studies teacher, Mr Egbert, who taught me all sorts of stuff about social theories, rebellion, and the importance of being my own person. He explained all this in terms of political theory. Mr Egbert inspired me, more than any other teacher. That was sadly left out of the narrative. What got put there instead? “Attention-seeking.”

  • Roberta, Thanks so much for sharing this story. I am increasingly appalled that elders are drugged so much and so heavily. The plight of elders is of particular interest to me as I am not that much younger than your father. This story so very clearly illustrates the harm that those drugs can do, even drugs for physical conditions such as statins, which are given to elders like candy.

    Much of this is due to the Medicare system. Medicare is not a benefit to elders. It is a benefit to the doctors who treat the elders. Medicare doesn’t pay elders a penny, but is paying billions to doctors and pharma companies. They use elders’ bodies and lives as objects, so they can get paid and enjoy a bit of power in the process. Old people are gonna die no matter what, so who will notice if a few guinea pigs get killed?

    Thing is, we’re human beings, humans with decades of history, culture, memory, and tradition behind us. We are each unique and complex. We are not useless waste just because we are older. The medical profession needs to stop treating us like we’re emotionless, ugly things who lack intellect and perception.

    As for the depression your father feels, my guess is that this will improve, perhaps very slowly, though. Alcohol and drugs (of any sort) will dampen a person’s ability to feel passionate. You end up with an “I don’t care” attitude which is truly a downer. You feel a lack of passion and direction in one’s life. The passion does come back, though. To live–this means you are striving for something. We need to have something we want, whether it is to run 5k faster, to get a better job, to earn enough money to feel secure, to find a mate, to raise kids, or to help a charitable cause.

  • Wow, Ekaterina, this is really an awesome and enlightening article. If I recall correctly, in my study of music during my early college years I learned about the lives of many famous composers. I enjoyed reading biographies of them, especially those books that wrote about the compositional process.

    I also read a lot of music theory books. Composition is an odd combo of mathematics and creativity. Sometimes it like putting together a puzzle. Some composers believed that a person could compose out of nothing, but I disagreed. Behind whatever we wrote was a backbone of music history, culture, esthetics, and music theory. By all means it wasn’t going to hurt us to study it and learn it well, then, go break the rules!

    An amazing book that I would recommend to anyone interested in the arts would be “Break Every Rule” by Carole Maso. Maso is a writer and the essay within this book, “Break Every Rule,” was extracted from a talk she gave to LGBT writers.

    Rules are good to learn, but as artists we must go beyond blindly following instructions. The greatest art breaks the traditional mold, sets a new path, and shows the reader/audience something they have never seen before. It will make you think in a new way, bringing you from where you are to a new understanding. If you piss people off in the process, make them laugh or cry, this is likely a good sign because you have moved them. You’re not boring. Which is the point, is it not?

  • I believe a lot of false positives show up due to poor nutrition. Elders may very well not be able to afford food, not be able to get out shopping, or aren’t being fed properly if they rely on someone else to provide for them. Also, it’s harder for an older person to digest food, some do not have teeth anymore, or they might develop constipation from lack of exercise…this can cause a person to reduce their intake. Still other elders actually deliberately restrict intake to the point that they could be classified as eating disordered (usually age will prevent this from being detected). I know as a fact that malnutrition can look just like dementia. Having been through it as an older person I recall I was forgetful, esp short term memory, had balance problems, and felt vertigo almost constantly. It was almost like post-ECT. I couldn’t figure out how to put on my clothes or how to braid my hair. Or whether I was wearing clothes at all….had I forgotten and was now walking around naked? I knew something was wrong but couldn’t quite put a finger on it.

  • Dragon Slayer, I have studied brainwashing. It is most effectively done not by cruelty, but by kindness, or shall I say under the guise of kindness. You are right that they deliver a double-punch. People are enticed into psych not due to cruelty, which is of course a turnoff, but by the appearance of kindness and air of expertise. This brainwashing technique has been used by many, usually with underlying evil intent. I am not certain all psychiatrists are fully aware of what they are really doing, though. You would think they could see the long-term effects of putting people on drugs and incarceration, and of coerced unemployment….They cannot see it though! They can’t even fathom that they’ve created a horrible mess. Either that or, unable to face the truth, they bury themselves in denial.

  • None of this surprises me. The corruption and ousting does not surprise me. Anyone who speaks the truth and is persistent about it is going to be targeted by these corrupt organizations that are desperate to silence us. They will silence a person any way they can, legally or illegally.

    I had a speaking engagement in 2017 at an eating disorders conference. I had applied for this and was chosen, as I heard, from among 200 applicants. Months later, the organization (NEDA/BEDA) wrote to me and told me they were trashing my presentation. Basically I was told that an informant had let on that I was somehow too mentally ill (psychotic) to do this presentation. The one way to totally discredit a person is to call that person psychotic. You’ll never be believed or seen as credible again.

    To this day I do not know who made the call to NEDA/BEDA. Undoubtedly a former provider saw me there on the roster and phoned them telling them I’m incompetent or whatever. Only a former provider, or someone claiming to be, would have the clout to do this effectively. I would love to find out. It is only another underhanded way they have retaliated.

  • I read the FDA’s statement. They ignored all statements written by individual survivors. All. They threw them out stating that it was “anecdotal evidence” and discredited us. Every story sent in about a person whose life was wrecked or who ended up with something other than what they were promised…..all these stories were tossed out. The only survivor comments they kept were those that quoted “studies.” So now, what are we? We aren’t human beings with real stories. We are numbers, statistics only, to be crunched, stacked, compared, and then what?

    Statistics and studies are dangerous because anyone can find a valid study to back what they are saying. The earth is flat? There’s a study that shows that, I’m sure. Trees can talk? I’m sure a real scientific study you can find in the literature backing your claim to make you look credible. I could, if I wished, stick a bunch of references into my writing but doing so would add unnecessary clutter. Memoir is an art form and because the main source of information is ones memory (or saved diaries), footnotes are rarely needed or desirable. In memoir, the writer is generally trusted as a reliable source, but at the same time it’s a given that ALL human memory is imperfect. So if I tell my readers that 20 years ago I was talking to a doctor whose hair was “disheveled,” it’s a given that this is what I happen to recall. Does it really matter what his hair looked like (I mean, how disheveled is disheveled?) or does it matter what he said, what he proclaimed, what he did, and those words that damaged most deeply? The reader WILL trust the memoirist to write honestly, which is what matters.

    There were a lot of things I noticed in the FDA statement, a lot of excuse-making and reasons not to hear us, to throw us under the bus, to pretend we do not exist.

    ECT is now approved not only for tx-resistant depression but for BPD, so watch out, folks. More and more will be diagnosed (based on what?) and fast-tracked. It’ll be such an easy way to get rid of women and elders….THINK ABOUT IT!

  • Drugs should be a choice, not something a doctor imposes on a person via a prescription or via force. In an ideal world, drugs would be available for purchase freely, without the magic gateway called a doctor. Doctors have far too much power! As soon as you have a prescription, the doc controls the amount, the supply, and also, you have to go back and go back to that particular doctor for refills, so now you are stuck married to that doctor, hooked on the appointments just so you can get your fix.

    In some countries, doctors do not prescribe and people just go to farmacias to purchase whatever they CHOOSE to take. Interestingly, in these countries, the doc-patient relationship is different because the prescription isn’t part of the equation. Doctors have more patient contact and play a different role, interestingly, obviously because they don’t have the instant ties to the drug companies. They are also paid less, that I know of.

    As for reinstating, I made the CHOICE to reinstate. I did this without a doctor’s blessing and without having to go and get diagnosed by any sort of doctor. I knew after five years that I was not sleeping due to damage from drugs, and I was nonfunctional due to insomnia. I thought my life was over because I was so tired, but finally I figured out that I was going to have to reinstate.

    It was common sense. If I wanted to sleep and be functional again, I was going to have to reinstate and then taper at a slower rate than I had previously done. I knew I had to do this without seeing a doctor. Had I seen a doctor I would have been put through a sleep lab test, more misdiagnoses, a shrink, ended up psych diagnosed all over again, and….the diagnoses would have defeated the purpose of leaving the MH system.

  • I have a knapsack for taking Puzzle on the bus. She’s a dog, not a cat. She loves the bus! She is 12 now and snores when she sleeps. When I am working at home I hear her snoring loudly while I am on the phone talking to my customers. When I have a training at work (we do these on video calls) I sometimes use my computer speakers instead of a headset which freaks her out so she comes and stands right by me. I am surprised she can hear it because she is mostly deaf. Maybe she wants to be “trained” in her old age. Hey, Puzzle, want some Salesforce, or some chicken liver?

  • Hi Kate, I had to do a search for the word, “Silence” to find your post. Sadly, the silent treatment you are getting from Yale is typical. We do not get the apologies and compensation we justly deserve. We almost always cannot get legal representation, although I am hoping that this changes.

    What remains? An ugly, rotten, hole of emptiness. A vast cauldron of nothing where once we had doctors and other people we truly trust. They’re gone now and that trust we held for them, and for humanity is general, will not return. Instead, what will replace it? Actually, the truth replaces it! Enlightenment that we were deprived of before! We are now bearers of this truth, and we have a responsibility, should we choose to take that responsibility, to pass the word on to others that THIS IS WRONG. What a blessing it is to be the bearers of this truth. Who else can tell this amazing story? Who else has witnessed it? Who else has seen such injustice first-hand? It is like having the Ring that the Hobbits had or having the responsibility of the Ruby Slippers…or The Force….choose whatever metaphor you’d like that suits you….But we must take this responsibility seriously. It is a mission, a new mission, a brilliant and joyful one when you think about it. It will become a passion, a driving force in your life. a reason to go on living.

  • Samruck, people who are single by choice are NOT deficient and are not lacking and are not limited and are not people who should be somehow pitied. Personally, I pity a lot of married people and can’t fathom being tied down. The thought of it is repulsive to me, although I did enjoy a relationship very much a long time ago. I am a different person now. I am older and my priorities are not the same.

    We cannot judge others according to our standards of what is normal and according to what WE think “happy” or “secure” means. I am very happy the way I am and feel secure just as I am. I’m not lacking, I’m not deficient, and I don’t feel the need to go out on the prowl for yet one more “partner.”

    It is a very narrow view indeed to assume that everyone needs, or doesn’t need, a partner. As soon as we say “everyone,” we are in for a lot of trouble!

    We are social creatures, true, but we humans have a vast variety of ways to be social. Having a single partner is only one way, there are many, many ways. I agree that some people are lonely and some desire more social contact than what they have. Still others would like to have more alone time than they currently have, and more privacy.

  • Hey Steve, Remembering the doc who shocked me and the McLean docs who covered up the damages, that is, Dr. Michael Henry, shock doc, and the all the others, all of whom I name in my documentation to the FDA, I bet hardly any of them could make chocolate chip cookies from scratch! They don’t teach that in medical school. Too complicated for their simplistic mentality. Are you kidding? They buy one of those boxed mixes from the supermarket. I bet you anything. Or buy them from Whole Foods, snob bakery section.

    Because of their drugs I can’t eat salt now. Last night I enjoyed salt-free pizza. From scratch, my own recipe. I’m getting good at making it. Okay, from now on, it’ll be called Screw Psychiatry Pizza. Or some such thing.

  • I have no desire to date. None. I’m not asexual. I just have other, more pressing priorities. Activism is more important. Writing is more important. Career is more important.

    I dated a guy last summer and really did not like it. He insisted on taking me out to eat which meant unhealthy eating all the time. It was hard to find anything healthy on these menus that my body could tolerate. To him, eating well meant “You eat out all the time.” I couldn’t get it through his head that I really wanted to cook my own sensible food, save money and didn’t want all the extravagance and unnecessary flattery. I couldn’t imagine spending much more time going out to eat in expensive restaurants several nights a week like that. Did he have any paycheck left to pay the utility bills? Well, he must have sensed my discomfort and broke up with me, telling me the usual “other woman” lie because he didn’t want to hurt me by telling me the truth. I knew, though. He was uncomfortable around me.

    I’m just too independent to date anyone. I value my freedom. I have Puzzle. That’s enough for me. I don’t need some human hanging around….clinginess? Ick. I have friends but a sig other, naw, not for me.

  • Hi Everyone, I have not been able to keep up with the comments because I have had work obligations and I have also been working hard on my book manuscript. I assume everyone has heard about the new FDA ruling that took effect yesterday. Peter Breggin announced it yesterday during his broadcast and discussed it. I announced it in my own blog as soon as I heard about it, which I believe was the day before Christmas when the FDA quietly announced it. I notice they announced it when they KNEW people were likely to be absorbed in the holiday rush and unlikely to check their email or keep up with the news. Did they think those of us activists wouldn’t notice? We did, however…..They have downgraded (or upgraded, whatever…) the ECT machine for certain diagnoses, claiming it’s “safe and effective” for severe BPD, treatment-resistant depression, and a few other diagnoses involving catatonia.

    Watch for increased diagnosis of severe BPD and depression, and widening of the umbrella of what is considered “treatment-resistant.” Schiz is a little harder to demonstrate but could be done with a few drugs inside the system or if the patient has dementia. This is going to prove quite profitable for elderly. More and more elders are going to be declared depressed because it’s easy to get the ECT paid for with the insurance they have, courtesy of taxpayers, Medicare. Better yet, get them on Medicaid also and milk it fast….ECT is great for that.

    It’s easy to get an elder depressed! Put the elder on blood pressure (or other) drugs, separate the elder from family in a “hospital,” (five or six days is enough to “prove” the elder is depressed, right?), do unnecessary surgery courtesy of Medicare since it’s “covered,” or tell the elder he/she has a terminal and hopeless medical condition. Poof! Instant dependency on doctors, multiple unnecessary and harmful appointments (they’re retired, so it’s justified, right?), resulting depression, reason to medicate and subsequent ECT.

    What else are they going to do with elders? Elders are a drain on the system, a waste of societal resources…….right? Just like those “mentally ill,” a blight on society!

    Except there’s one problem. We all get old…….But never mind that……..Folks in their 20s and, to an extent, 30s, can’t see too far into the future…and psychiatry takes full advantage of this little tendency when they prescribe their pills, of course…….

  • I went through a period of loneliness. For certain, isolation was the cause. I am very outgoing and not shy. Shyness was not a cause of the isolation. Fact was, barely anyone spoke to me for a period of about two years. Psych had wrecked my reputation, causing others to shy away. I was thought of by others as violent, paranoid, psychotic, whatever. Yes I saw this in their social media posts. They also called me “toxic.” One ex-friend wrote that I was “no longer a person.” I DID notice the way others who considered me “mentally ill” pushed me away by insisting on “email only” or “Facebook only” relationships. If I dared point this out to the person and suggested talking on the phone or maybe even getting together, the person would refuse or make excuses. The excuse-making was very noticeable.

    Later, when people started talking to me, with much hesitation, some of my over-therapized friends were methodical in their methods of deliberately distancing themselves. When I finally twisted their arms tightly enough I might get a phone call, but many routinely cut phone conversations off after ten minutes or some other set time, often the same amount of time per conversation. That was noticeable in the way they insisted on ending conversations no matter what the content was. I had other friends who cut a conversation off if I ever strayed onto the topic of psych abuse.

    It was ironic that I had been through this awful experience and not one person was willing to let me talk about it. I was silenced as soon as I brought it up. My natural tendency was to continue to do so. This is what trauma will do to you. You will continue to pull the conversation toward the subject of the harm because you NEED to talk about it!

    Thankfully, that period of extreme social isolation is over now. I have friends at work and other places as well where I have been able to find really nice people, and I have been communicating with my family, too. Because my life is now enriched by real friendships, I don’t at all mind spending my holidays alone. I get the day off so I celebrate by working on the book I am writing. This makes me very happy indeed!

  • JanCarol, By all means, YES to increased healthy fats! I don’t know when the “low fat” trend started but it has been in part to blame for many dietary disasters, including being the primary cause of ED for SOME people.

    Although I hesitate to make any recommendations online (or to anyone at this point) because people tend to grossly misinterpret whatever they read or otherwise pick up from such sources, I might make a general statement about healthy fats! Increasing my use of healthy fats (no, “vegetable oil” isn’t one of them) helped me cure my ED. This was likely the #1 change in my diet that stopped binge eating in its tracks for me. I learned this not from a doctor, not even from reading “studies” or from medically-derived material, but actually by intensive self-experimentation that started as soon as I began to depart from the System.

    First of all, common dieting knowledge told me that consuming fat will lower my appetite. Generally, restaurants know this. Look at the appetizers restaurants freely give to customers. Rarely do they give out nuts or anything fatty. They want you hungry, not satiated! More likely, they’ll whet the customers’ appetites by serving salty chips with a mustardy dip or salsa.

    Eating nuts will satiate a person. I don’t know why, but this was one of my little anorexic “tricks” I knew for decades. This is due to the fat content. The diet industry was revisiting this idea and marketing new products to people around 2010-2013 at the time in the form of pine nut oil. I was desperate to try anything to stop binge eating so I tried it and found it helpful.

    While pine nut oil WILL help SOME people (I tended to use 1/2 tsp before each meal, knowing that after the meal was my primary binge risk time) it’s also true that less expensive healthy fats will “work” just as well. You bet people figured that out! At that point, expensive pine nut oil lost its appeal.

    I believe it was Dave Ausprey who came out with his own brand of Bulletproof oil. People rave over that stuff. I believe, though, that any decent quality MHT oil is equally valuable for less money.

    I consume an array of healthy fats each day, which may include various types of nuts (unsalted, unprocessed, often those I take out of the shell myself), good quality olive oil (for certain sauces and general use), lots of ghee, MHT oil, pure sesame oil for flavoring, sometimes coconut oil (for sauteing), red palm oil (for baking), and likely others.

    I’m a little fussy over which types of nuts I buy since some are more recommended than others when one has kidney disease, which I have from lithium. I usually buy these in bulk, in large bags I store in the fridge. They DO have a shelf life. Now and then I purchase about $50 worth of them (again, unsalted, uncoated, not glazed or seasoned, not roasted because often these companies often roast the nuts in unhealthy oils and chemicals) and have them delivered.

    I should also add that I don’t hesitate to eat “carbs.” I eat a LOT of carbs now. I make my own no-salt bread and I spread ghee on it. I eat plain pasta and I put no-salt homemade sauce and olive oil on it, lots of veggies (these are mostly water and carbs with some nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, too!) and also many whole grains (again, carbs!) including buckwheat, millet, even popcorn with healthy oil dribbled over it. I try to reduce protein considerably since my kidneys can’t clear it easily and consuming too much of it will raise my creatinine. I sure didn’t learn that from a doctor. I studied like mad, experimented, and figured out on my own what I need.

  • Hi JanCarol,

    I am sure you speak from experience, being a leader on the surviving antidepressants board. Can I add one thing? Mainly because these are public message boards and I fear that any dietary recommendation might be misinterpreted by someone randomly stopping by, hoping for answers.

    While intermittent fasting and “keto” is great for some, both of these are disastrous for anyone who has been through an eating disorder. My eating disorder was started because I went on a diet similar to the “keto” diet, 1980 version. I had no history of ED, and wasn’t depressed and didn’t even know what a fashion magazine was. One thing, though, my mother had survived anorexia when she was a teen and had fully recovered. There was also nothing in my family history such as sexual abuse that might have been a stereotypical predictor of ED.

    It has been years and I have come to realize (as many of us have!) that the diet itself caused the ED. This has in fact been proven to happen to SOME people who go on drastic diets. I would also include any type of fasting (except whatever people do for their religious duties) as causative for ED. The diet literally causes a cycle that is very hard to break, and sometimes lasts for years or even decades.

    If anyone is recovering from psychiatry and recovering from drugging, I would avoid mucking around with restrictive diets if you have any history of ED, because doing so could rekindle your ED. You do not want that nightmare back into your life.

  • I am saddened to read this. I note in your comments, Neesa, that you started off suicidal and then got put on drugs and it was all downhill from then on. This is not an uncommon story. I know others who are afraid to get off the drugs because of a return of voices or whatever. I think JanCarol’s observations are very important. I have read that very serious dependency on drugs requires an extremely slow taper, possibly at a rate of 2% instead of the 10% many people try.

    I am concerned about your health. I suppose because my boyfriend, whom I dated 17 years, was on Clozaril, took it as prescribed, was “stabilized” on it, kept his appointments faithfully, and died at the age of 45. No, not suicide. His heart couldn’t take it anymore. It was sudden.

    I had heard him struggling to breathe at night, coughing from congestion, rolling over as if doing so would somehow ease the strain on his heart just to keep pumping. The drug had caused weight gain, made it impossible to quit smoking, lowered his resistance to infection, and was combined with Prolisec and Ditropan, which I hear cause additional risks. He was given Trilafon and Prozac on top of all that, and the thyroid pill (since he was a lithium survivor like me). We both had diabetes insipidus from past lithium use.

    After he died, I asked why he was taken. Why was I not taken? He was the better one, the wiser one, the one that the kids loved so much (he had about 38 nieces and nephews). Why Joe? Why? Can’t we just trade places?

    Nothing would bring him back. It was 2003. The next year, the Sox won the Series and I remember I cried over that, too. Why couldn’t he be alive to see this?

    We knew so little back then. I shudder to recall my own ignorance and naivete.

    We walk a tightrope, and sometimes, we don’t even know we’re on it.

  • Hello, I couldn’t help but giggle over this article. I went to med school, too. Went to Harvard Medical School, “residency” at McLean. I’d love to say that, now that I’m not even in the MH system anymore, with a bit of a smirk on my face knowing I was smart enough for med school all along so that statement might actually be taken literally.

    I was an experimentee, used at McLean Grand Rounds several times, right after ECT, learned on, and no, they don’t give a hoot about confidentiality, HIPAA or not. I remember afterward they’d leave those meetings with smug looks on their faces like they’d finally solved the puzzle, only to tell me one more concocted lie after another. “Of course there’s nothing wrong with your brain and it’s all in your head!” Was it going to be more ECT to “cure” the increasing confusion I felt from the shock? What now, doc?

    Finally, they’d messed with me tooooo badly, and they needed to get rid of me, embarrassed or maybe they’d possibly damaged me beyond all hope, certainly beyond recognition. “State hospital is just the thing for you!” they said. Lies, lies, lies.

    I didn’t think of it as lies. I never did. I always assumed they had best of intentions. Cover up damages from shock? That, of course, was the last thing on my mind. I only wanted to know why I couldn’t think straight. Why, doc? Why?

    Just as they were about to shuttle me off to State I told them to go screw. Told them I would kill myself rather than go to State.

    That did it. That prompted my instant GRADUATION from McLean. With honors, of course. Oh, and a scholarship to a community hospital and another 15 years of coerced (but paid for by taxpayers) mental health care until I got myself out.

    When I read “Grand Rounds” wow that brought back memories………What bullshit. What do they do with lab rats after they kill them, anyway?

  • Most of these studies serve as last-ditch attempt to legitimize “therapy” as okay while so many people are damning psychiatry. Therapy is psychiatry’s little sister. For many patients, if not almost all, therapy is the Gateway to the Endless Pit of the Mental Illness System, never to return. You want a diagnosis, drugs, more diagnoses, increased level of care needed, repeat offender, chronicity? Please go to a therapist. It might be a slower, more insidious route than showing up at an ER, but it’ll work just as well to silence you, put you out of work, ghettoize you, and kill you off early.

  • Dear Madmom, I was once a member of a UU church. One day, I got totally fed up and decided to write to a higher-up about my own minister’s unfair treatment of diagnosees at our church. I was writing on behalf of all diagnosees, and not only us, but on behalf of others he had treated in bigoted fashion. I really thought the email had gone nowhere, as the higher-up wrote to me saying that she could do nothing and that if anything were to be done it would have to be solved in-house. I assumed it had stopped right there. However, it must have gotten straight back to the church. This was over New Year’s, the beginning of 2014.

    On January 10th, I was coming home from a protest in Boston. It was around 3pm when I was dropped off by my friends. Ten minutes after my arrival home, I heard a loud knock on my apartment door. There was a lady cop, who was the cop social worker, and two church people who were committee members. They accused me of planning to kill the minister! Where did they get that insane idea?

    I told them I had no such plans! I told them I was shocked and didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Where was the evidence of this, I said. No warrant, no paperwork, just standing there accusing me of future dangerousness, and seeming to try to get a confession out of me, or try to get me to fork up some weapons, which I clearly stated I did not have! I am five foot one, and couldn’t see too well. Why were they accusing little ole me?

    They claimed I had written something on a public website. I said this was a false accusation and told them I had not written anything on a public church website. Maybe they had the wrong person. I was so, so scared. What right did they have to terrorize me like that?

    They told me I could come back to church, SO LONG AS I DID NOT WRITE ANYMORE. I told them no thanks, I would like to retain my Freedom of Speech and Expression, which is rightfully mine and always was. Conditional church membership? Never heard of that in the UU Principles, I said. Then they said this little visit was “off the record,” that they weren’t telling anyone else at church. Oh great, now I’ll be called crazy if I ever mention it to anyone else. Was it also off the police record, too? Was this cop threatening me on the side? Maybe paid by them to do this? I never found out.

  • Exactly, Oldhead. People have a right to put anything they want into their bodies. It might be downright poison such as gasoline, but they still have the right to do it, in my opinion. How many people choose street drugs? Some. How many are coerced via the prescription pad and assume that means “safe and effective”? Prescribed pills include opiates, blood that is transfused, antibiotics, many drugs for things like blood pressure, birth control pills, and all kinds of stuff that’s downright dangerous. Do people choose to exercise, have a healthy lifestyle, eat right and avoid mental health care? If you do you might feel a ton better.

  • Hey, Oldhead. It’s been done. It’s called street drugs. Been around a looooonnnnng time and they ain’t going away just yet. I hope not because shouldn’t people have the right to choose? Choice via prescribed drugs can’t possibly be choice at all. The prescription adds authority and illusion of safety to the pills that shouldn’t even be there. I’m all for free choice. You wanna take drugs? Take drugs. Leave the MD and his power and institutions and diagnoses out of the equation so that way you really choose it.

  • I agree with bcharris here. People who do their own research and take control of their health, understanding why they take each supplement (instead of blindly following doctor’s advice) know what they’re getting themselves into. Those of us who have taken our bodies back will stop taking a supplement if it makes us feel sick or worsens our health. We don’t need doctor permission to make our health decisions for us.

    I think this above research and publicity is a move by Pharma to scare people into believing drugs are safer than OTC supplements simply because a doctor prescribes them. This is a move likely pushed by the AMA and other physician interests pushing for more power and authority for physicians, in hopes of bringing back their exclusive prescribing power, strengthening their elite position in society. This kind of hype reminds me of when L-Tryptophan was taken off the market for a while due to one contaminated batch….only because Western Medicine is very threatened by people being able to take supplements and improve their health. They are afraid of losing their power…it is a move of desperation here.

  • When I was abused in a hospital I lost a lot of my friends. They claimed it was ‘impossible” that such a thing could have happened. They claimed I was “delusional.” My therapist claimed the unit I was on did not exist. Even now, people outside of MIA claim it couldn’t possibly have occurred. However, it did occur. This kind of thing is not “the exception.” I was not psychotic. These were just people doing their job, apparently. These were nurses scared to speak out against the ones that had abused, scared of losing their jobs, nurses that knew I was right but afraid that if they sided with me they’d get fired. They were right. They would have! Still, when I said abuse, I meant abuse. I stand by my words. I know I am telling the truth. It’s hard to forgive when you were deprived of water. It’s hard to forgive when they defended their actions that nearly killed me, and then, to keep me quiet, tried to get me committed in a state hospital to ensure I didn’t pursue the case legally. Seven years have passed and I am still called psychotic to this day. I hate it.

  • Someone left a disrespectful comment about there being no such thing as reincarnation. To that, I say the following:

    I am a Jew. As a Jew, I choose to tolerate other people’s belief that Jesus was the Messiah. To me, the concept of Messiah does not compute, and when I hear “Jesus” I cringe inside. When I hear Christmas music I also cringe, but am I going to swear out loud at the Muzak when I head out to Walmart in a bit? No! Why? Because it’s not polite.

    As a Jew I am also agnostic. It is my right to have this belief, which for the most part I do not share with others. As a Jew, I choose to tolerate people’s belief in God. I also choose to tolerate people’s belief that there is no God, that is, Atheism. I choose not to choose.

    As a Jew I also feel obligated to tolerate beliefs I do not hold myself but I know are a deeply held part of nonwestern cultures, such as reincarnation. I think it is hugely disrespectful and narrow-minded to say that reincarnation doesn’t exist, is a delusion, or is impossible. What if I said the Christmas story was a mass delusion and anyone who believes it should be incarcerated? Maybe the entirety of Vatican City should be locked up and drugged.

    Is life even real? Please poke me. I must be dreaming. This dog is so cute, she couldn’t be real.

  • Oh wow, this is so funny and sad. That was about my attitude, too. I could predict their actions because I had been there so many times. I agree that one’s thoughts are private and are no one’s business! I can think anything I want! I can walk past a store and think of breaking in a stealing everything inside. Have I committed a crime? No! I honestly don’t care whom another person believes they are reincarnated from! That’s private business and should stay private. In fact, locking a person up for any belief regarding reincarnation is treading on incarceration based on religious beliefs. You did not do any deed to cause this. I’m glad you’re out. Stay out. Don’t go back to them and don’t tell them your thoughts anymore. They don’t help. They hurt.

  • I witnessed a library cop reprimanding a young student for holding his head down appearing to be asleep at the library. I was shocked. In fact, he was not asleep. He was holding his head like that because he was watching a video on his cellular telephone and wanted to shield his phone from the bright lights. So he was hovering over the phone and looking down into it, certainly not napping. I was so appalled at this cop’s behavior (and the fact that she reprimanded me for quietly eating at the library when I was a regular patron and I was truly starving) that I plan to write to the library administration and complain. While it’s a rule you can’t eat there, I was then stuck eating outside in the cold. At that point someone mistook me for a homeless person because I was so starving after a two-hour, freezing cold bus ride. Libraries shouldn’t be run like penitentiaries. They used to be sanctuaries for people. Sad.

  • They use Ed as a way to control patients. Those of us who have been in this sort of “care” see this technique used regularly on patients. If you question the rules, that is Ed speaking. If you ask to be released, that’s Ed speaking. If you dislike your therapist, that’s Ed again. If you ever dare speak of human rights, it’s surely Ed. They demand that you banish Ed from your head immediately by holding onto a frozen orange or they might hand you some pills or make you do very gentle yoga or color-by-number. Yes, it’s abuse, but as soon as you point that out they’ll let you know your eating disorder is surely to blame. Being human is a symptom, speaking out a disease, asking for fair, humane treatment is pathological. Your best bet is to vandalize the place, maybe write terrible swear word on the walls in permanent crayon. They’ll have to kick you out if you do that. Then you are free and you’ll get your rights back.

  • As usual, the most important factor was left out. Were these individuals in treatment for their EDs? This is so important. I believe the ED voice is treatment-induced. I have seen the believe in the ED-Devil-like character induced in treatment, coerced into patients by therapy. This is caused by exposure to ED-specific therapy. Those who have not had this type of therapy do not have an ED voice and have never heard of such a thing. All you have to do, if you want to induce an ED voice, is to pester a patient, repeatedly, “What is ED saying?” Just ask that a bunch of times, obnoxiously, expecting a response. Ask like ED is a real person that has taken possession of the vulnerable, trapped patient. Now, the patient is more trapped. By the imaginary Devil ED. Very good job. You have succeeded! Now you have a guaranteed Revolving Door Syndrome.

  • Yes, I agree, this article is brilliant. I was cracking up over Frances’ statements. Just in themselves, they are typical of a shrink…speaking out of both sides of his mouth. Passing the buck. Refusal to take responsibility. Setting a terrible example also. Even blaming patients…and as a physician he’s supposedly a person that patients look up to, a role model of sorts.

    If Allen Frances was my employee and I witnessed him acting like that I would reprimand him because I would want my work associates to take responsibility for their own actions. If I kept him on I would demand that he clean up his own spilt milk. Lying and claiming you’re “delegating” only gets you in hot water.

  • I will not call anyone toxic. I can think of a few toxins, such as psych drugs and Agent Orange, but humans are not truly poisonous. I have done multiple blog entries on this topic and also, I believe, a podcast. I feel very strongly about this. I believe everyone deserves a chance. In fact, I will make a point of befriending people that others diagnose as toxic, because loneliness and being labeled is a horrible thing to endure.

    In the name of self-care, a group of about ten friends kicked me out right at the time I needed them most. They couldn’t have timed it better. That was eight years ago and it took me a long time to get over it. I went back to their forum and they kept telling each other they’d done the right thing and “taken care of ourselves.” Okay, they may have thought so, but they hurt me badly in the process. They continued to call me horrible names such as “not a person anymore,” “toxic,” and “negative.” Those words. It hurt so badly I wanted to cry. Then they’d go congratulate each other again for “doing the right thing.” I hated it.

  • Harper that seems like an extremely formulaic and narrow viewpoint. I no longer believe that there’s one magic answer to everything that will work for everyone. I know a lot of people out there who will tell you there’s only one way, notably, Evangelical Christians, some folks in AA, some therapists, and people who hold rigid religious beliefs. Oh, including some who say they’re Buddhists. Maybe some psychiatrists, too.

  • I think the title should be, “Fewer than half…” not “Less than half…” since we’re talking about the number of studies here. Just sayin’.

    I see this all the time. Yesterday on a website I saw witch instead of which. Maybe they spelled it that way to be seasonal.

    I wish the general public had easier access to texts of medical studies. A lot of the time I try to open a pdf and they want me to pay. Of course they do not want the public to be informed, so they can maintain their power and authority over us.

  • Mental health professionals are notorious non-apologists. I believe they do feel guilty but feel that apologizing means they’ll be sued. After I was deprived of water in a facility, which traumatized me, they did not apologize even though it’s obvious they did something horribly wrong. What happened is that my doctor lied to me two years later, defending the hospital’s actions, telling me the water deprivation was medically necessary. A simple peek into my blood levels at the time, and knowledge of my own body (and the result of taking lithium) tell me otherwise.

    I’m not sure what to do with this, the knowledge that a crime was committed and nowhere to go with it. I feel this empty void where there should be communication. I hate the silence from them and the occasional retaliation they still try to pull off. I’m still scared to travel to Boston, scared of what they could do if I were recognized, scared because of the very remote chance that I would run into a previous provider. Yes I know that’s illogical, but since when does fear have to follow what the intellect tells it?

    And yet the one thing I want to do is to ask them, earnestly, for an apology. To ask if they validate that what they did was morally abhorrent and harmed me deeply. To demand that they change their policies, change the way they do things, and from now on, admit fault immediately instead of covering their butts and then waiting years to do so.

  • They very well do cut corners every chance they can, every time they think they can get away with it. They do it in nursing facilities. Cut the staff so they don’t have to pay as many people. Cut housekeeping on weekends. Cut the meals on weekends, too. McLean did this. We had only snacks on weekends, froot loops and shit. Stop the real arts and crafts. Close the fitness facility and cut the nicer staff who did recreation. Cut therapists out entirely. Just drug em. McLean cut their hairdresser, too. My boyfriend was friends with her and he was heartbroken that she was going to leave. She used to cut his hair. She told me he had the thickest head of hair you’ve ever seen. True.

  • I have a day job too. I also have a masters degree in an unrelated field. And yet all the time these MH professionals and MANY SURVIVORS too claim I have no expertise except as a former patient. This is such bullshit I am ready to throw my degree at them (along with my 3.95 GPA) and hit as hard as I can. Yes we can be competent individuals and that competency and responsibility does not necessarily mean you work in the MH field.

    No violence intended, I must add. A degree isn’t a physical thing you can really throw. The paper only represents it, represents years of hard study and work and heartache and triumph.

  • yeah I agree with Oldhead, psych has pulled the wool over society’s eyes. That IS abuse, with people running around scared they might have a disease and teens killing themselves because they know how bad it is to be locked up.

    I don’t see myself as a victim. I have moved past the trauma of being abused in a hospital, although I still feel it to a large extent. But I am thrilled that I have found a way of life that does not include doctor appointments, doesn’t include pharma, doesn’t include going to a therapist because that is assumed to be the one and only way to “self-improve.” It is bullshit. Go to the gym, join a class, learn herbal medicine, get your driver’s license, all these things are self-improvement with real rewards.

  • Yeah, Shaun, The System is great if you are scared to go into the workplace or if you can’t find a job. FREE MONEY and it’s for life! Completely invisible permanent chemical imbalances come in handy you know. Just about as handy as “back pain.” A few towns over you can see billboards all over the place, lawyers advertising to help get people on the payments so they don’t have to work. Handy here in the county where jobs are so scarce and poverty so high that dis-ability looks like riches. If you are disabled you get paid per kid, too. Useful, and profitmaking, I must say.

  • Anonymous, I took a life coaching class but very quickly gave it up when I realized how scammy the business is. I am doing just as you said, working in an unrelated field and due to be totally off disability very soon. They have already stopped SSI, and I have been using up my nine months they give you of free money assuming you will fail. I keep activism and work separate. I really like my job even though it isn’t in my field (writing). It’s a job, with its pros and cons, but it pays the bills so no more dependency on Uncle Sam and taxpayer money. Not only that, I got a certification under my belt in the process. I am looking for a second job (the backup).

  • I was refused a volunteer job working in any capacity for an eating disorders organization because of my anti-psych stance.

    All I want to do is offer something different and refreshing to these (mostly) young women. A new picture of what it means to live free of the very serious eating issues (call it what you want) that I suffered from in secret for over three decades. A new view of what it means to be autonomous, responsible, and free of the tyranny of doctors and institutions. I want them to see that not only is recovery (from ED) possible, but it’s not something that takes rocket science, either. Recovery doesn’t mean you have to obey some outside authority. In fact, the road to recovery is outside of their rules. Their rules will only keep you sick and keep you coming back. I want them to know that the answer comes from within, that it is already there, and that it’s far more attainable than the MH professionals would like them to believe. However, I’ve been banned every time I try. They find out, or, in the case of the NEDA conference I was supposed to speak at, someone from my past (who?) literally called up the conference organizer and told them I was a dangerous SMI. Very sad.

  • My eyes were recently opened about just how low we are on the totem pole when I received a somewhat rude response from Jessica from the Foundation for Excellence. This was maybe a week ago. I had asked her to help publicize my project, http://forcedpsychiatry.com. Jessica outright refused, telling me any project they publicize has to be run by “experts.”

    Excuse me? If you are compiling a literary anthology on forced psych, what degree would you need? NOT an MH degree, actually, such folks are not qualified to edit an anthology. I have a masters in creative writing which I earned in 2009. That DOES make me an expert. But us lowly exes couldn’t possibly be experts in anything but patienthood. Bullshit.

    Jessica also further insulted me by telling me I was welcome to write an article on their site on “lived experience” since I had expertise in THAT. Hey, what about all those years I studied my butt off in undergrad and graduate school? Is that NOTHING because I’m an ex-patient? Is my degree made meaningless because I’m specialized in different field, not MH? I’m also certified in customer service, by the way. Does that, too, not count, because of my CLASS?

    Yep, we are still in the lowest class, especially in the eyes of these professionals. I don’t care how different they claim to be, most still see us that way, sorry to say.

    Never mind the other publications that also REFUSED to help publicize http://forcedpsychiatry.com. Meanwhile, these same publications promote MH professionals and their projects.

    I also do “peer support” but for sure I do not call it that. I call it helping other people, reaching out to people as a friend, and doing everything I can just to set a good example of what life can be like after you leave the MH System. I blog almost daily (http://juliemadblogger.com), been doing so now since 2005. Trying to expose the industry as much as I can.

    There. A bit of self-promotion which is okay for MH professionals to do, but not okay for me, apparently. I’m called personality-disordered if I even ask.

  • Sorry, Cassie, there is no way I am going to write, publicly or off the record, that “mental health care is valid and necessary.” Not to Ben Carey or anyone else. No way, and I will not say it publicly, either.

    Not after MH “care” coerced me onto disability which I never needed nor qualified for. It took me years to find a job after forced unemployment. Being supposedly dis-abled stole 35 years of my life, which is over half of it. Now I am 60 and feel like I have to rush to catch up and do everything I can do before lithium-induced kidney disease does me in.

    Not after I learned, at last, that the only way to cure my ED for good was to ditch the MH professionals. And I am not the only one!

  • Cassie, Where did you get “ogre” from? I would never say that. I don’t say that MH professionals are bad people. I believe that the MH profession is corrupt. That says nothing of the character of those who practice it. Have you ever worked for an unethical company? I did, a few times. For example, I was stuck in a job selling a product that was a ripoff. Now selling a ripoff product is unethical, and yet, to keep my job, I had to keep on selling it. It was a temp position and I could hardly wait for it to end. Since I worked in a position where I was coerced into doing something unethical, does that make me an “ogre”?

    There are no ogres out there. I never use that word to describe human beings. It is a label, a cruel word, and I just do not say it.

    I have known MH professionals who were “wise” and “caring.” They still harmed me! They labeled me, caused dependency, and the therapy was addicting. Continuing going to the “nice” ones kept me out of the job market for a good many years. Oh, not only that, they claimed the “treatment” was life-sustaining.

    If someone is going to be “caring” or “wise” in your life, I would hope it would be a spouse, parent, or close friend, or perhaps a caring teacher or mentor. “Wise” and “caring” are not traits limited to the MH professional world. They don’t have a patent on wisdom.

  • de facto, very good points. Mental health professionals are highly likely to harm their patients since THEIR premise is false, their ideas about us false, their stereotyping, their profiling of us, their tendency to classify us into whatever’s convenient, their claims that imprisonment is “treatment,” their repeated lies that the drugs are not addictive, that therapy couldn’t possibly also be addictive, that MH care seriously traumatizes people. The very fact that they call it “care” or “help” is a big joke.

  • Johanna, I saw your comment that mentioned “imbalances” but I cannot find it here posted in the comments section. While there is much we do not know, we do know that the “chemical imbalance” theory of so-called MI has been debunked ages ago. We do know that there’s an imbalance called hypothyroidism, one called dehydration, another involving blood sugar, etc. We also know for sure that these psych drugs cause imbalances, never mind irreparable organ damage and early death.

    When you mentioned that ‘imbalances resolve,” I wonder what the heck there was to resolve chemically in me except the imbalance caused by the drugs.

  • The usual psychobabble is that people who are suicidal cannot see the forest through the trees. Is this true? Or do they see the grim reality of the forest in a way others around them fail to see?

    I recall an article about a vet who took his own life. He left a detailed note. The Vet services all failed him. He lists them one by one in the note and states that each one of them could have helped but refused to. He was in dire financial straits and was unable to get help for physical issues or trauma trying any way he could. His note sent a very clear message to the VA.

    He also made a clear statement about the various “help” agencies out there that never provide help. I have noticed that the nonprofits have sold out. Many are funded by sources that would surely create a biased atmosphere for anyone seeking help.

    One I noticed was a rape help agency I had gone to in 2008. They did help me then, gave me advice, etc. However, when I contacted them again the only thing they seemed capable of doing was insulting me over the phone with the usual breathing instructions.

    This ain’t help, it is insulting! I find it especially insulting when someone decades younger than me thinks they know how to breathe better.

  • I have no doubt that a writer’s inability to write would cause suicide. Go sit in on a discussion between MFA in Creative Writing students. If there’s anything worse than death to a writer it is inability to write.

    When I graduated, though I was scarcely aware of it, I took on a silent oath. That I would write about everything I had seen and heard, much of which happened on the wards. For doing just that I was persecuted and forced into exile.

    Drugging and shock are great ways to silence writers. It is on par with banning their books or bullying them or threatening until they stop.

    I believe it is the week after next we celebrate Banned Books Week. I’m trying to figure out how to celebrate.

  • I am revisiting this post and read the article, as much as I had access to. I noted the wording of the article, “only 5%” had ESRD. If you realize the sampling was of those who started on lithium after 1980, and had been on it at least ten years as of 2010, this gives us a sampling of people who are likely age 30 to 50. They likely do have kidney disease, and they are not likely YET at ESRD. Patients who reach ESRD are usually put on dialysis. Death most usually occurs during the first six months of dialysis. If you survive that, you are likely to live a few more years.

  • The discrediting of people with college degrees is rampant. Your mental patient status trumps your degree. There are exceptions, people who have MH-related degrees. I have been discredited on here, on MIA frequently, discredited by other patients and survivors, and dismissed by supposed “professionals.” All this renders my degree and extensive education meaningless on the social level. I can’t be trusted, I might be violent, and if I say I am good at something, that gets scoffed at as grandiosity or just dismissed. I have far more authority and get more respect at my workplace than I do here.

  • Yes, Steve, that story about the second therapist really needs to get out there. I have spoken of her many times in my own blog, but the blog isn’t getting a lot of pageviews right now. I am trying to get the story more visible without resorting to joining Facebook again. She is still practicing. I don’t think she should be, and I don’t know where to go to report her where I will be taken seriously.

    I face the usual dilemma, the easy way out that people use. All they have to do is call me crazy and my story and anything I say is silenced.

  • Michael I am sharing this one in a blog post of my own. I just blogged about this.

    In my work in customer service most of our customers are kind, polite, and gracious. However, we do get ones we call “irate.” This is the common term in the industry. They even yell or swear at us into the phone. Some are extremely rude and blameful. I’ve had some call from their cars and then blame me for THEIR background noise. The list goes on.

    We get trained in this. As home workers we are told to empathize, or at least sound that way. We are told to force an empathetic attitude even if we do not feel it and what we are really thinking is, “I really am about to sneeze,” or some such thing. Or, as of late,”Darn I need to turn on the fan.”

    We have learned not to take these irate customers personally. They may say they’re pissed, but who are they really pissed at? Me? For an error made by UPS? They do, and they even blame us for their own errors.

    We have figured out that more often than not, these customers are projecting whatever is going on in their lives onto us, because we are there to pick on! I had one, early on, crying over the phone over a pair of flip-flops we couldn’t get to her in time for vacation. I knew something else was happening. Maybe it was a really important date, or maybe this was just the last straw for her in a long line of recent misfortunes she had experienced. I weathered the storm by realizing that, and also later on, joked to myself that my best flip-flops were from the dollar store! Of course, saying that would have gotten me fired. Maybe she will stop at a five and dime on vacation and find the perfect pair she has always wanted…..

    I don’t know how on earth I can stand being yelled and sworn at, but this is my job and it’s part of the job, for which I am paid. We learn, but it takes time and it’s only human to get upset by it every now and then. Only one time that happened, when the customer hit too low below the belt and insinuated that I am stupid, among other things. It was hard to deal with that. What makes up for it all are the wonderful customers who come next, who thank us profusely for our problem-solving skills and say we’re the best.

    I ask myself why these customers don’t bother me, but an insulting remark from a complete stranger on Facebook really ticks me off. Why is that? Possibly the content, which is often an accusation of having a mental disorder.

    These stranger bullies on Facebook are doing nothing but projecting. I’ve been accused of paranoia by someone who, I later found out, was paranoid herself. I was accused of lying by liars, accused of abuse by a person who was abusive toward me (and I had not been toward her), and so on.

    I am not sure how to deal with the know-it-alls except that such attitudes tend to soften over time. You see a lot of that on Facebook.

    I wonder if those accusing public figures of mental illness are actually worried about their own “mental status,” whatever the heck that is. According to Paula Joan Caplan, most people want to be assured they are not mentally ill, that what they are feeling and experiencing is understandable.

    As customer service rep, I know not to accuse, nor comment on a person’s character. I try to tell customers their anger is understandable. If a customer receive the wrong item, I might joke about the time I received basketball shoes instead of running shoes (me? I’m too short!). Or if their item was lost I joke about how my BICYCLE got lost by UPS. That, to me, is so funny (did it roll out of their storage area?) that the customers usually relax and know they’re not going to be accused of dishonesty.

  • One in 200 successfully get off disability. Congratulations! I am at that point myself, just waiting for the letter from Social Security telling me I no longer “qualify” as dis-abled. I plan to frame it!

    And you even make enough to support your kid and her mom. Wow, so cool. I hear you on NOT telling coworkers about your “dark past.” After all, as soon as you tell them they will never treat you the same.

    I was on it, including back pay, from age 25 on. Now I am 60 and finally back into the workplace.

    Looking back on my greatest accomplishments, I’d say getting off disability is very close to, if not at the top of that list.

    I earned my degrees while still in the System, only I really don’t know too many others who managed to pull that one off. In spite of the doc’s recommendation that I drop out. Oops.

  • Stephen, I had one that cried in my presence and used me as her therapist, too. I had one ask me out on a date. I had two that slept during our sessions. Elsa Ronningstam would sleep for 10 minutes at a stretch while I sat there not knowing what to do. The only reason I ended up with her as a therapist was because my previous therapist insisted I see a psychologist and Ronningstam was the only one available. Since she specializes in stuff like sociopathy, she didn’t know what to do with me. She couldn’t help me with my ED at all. I saw her after ECT till I fired her. After seeing her for many months she called me up and said she had to have me come in so she could answer the questions on the disability form. I came in and she asked me “What are your symptoms?” I was shocked…oh wait, I’d already been shocked…either way, that did it for me. After eight or so months she didn’t even know why I was there.

    The abusive one insisted that I get force-weighed and regularly threatened me over my weight. I figure at that time it was her duty, or better yet, my psychiatrist’s, to inform me that I had kidney disease (functioning under 40%). The therapist knew but did not tell me. I have diabetes insipidus which means I need more water to survive. This therapist repeatedly accused me of “water-loading,” “water addiction,” and “abusing yourself with water.” Totally untrue! She even accused me of vomiting, which I have never done. I never learned how! She sent the cops to my house when I was sitting quietly, studying, at the library. She even called me and I happened to be in a location where I could pick up the phone there. I did, and she asked, “Where are you? The cops couldn’t find you at your apartment.” Huh? I was so scared to go home that day. She sectioned me another time, and then, claimed she had only sent the cops for a “wellness check” and claimed the cops mis-heard her and dragged me in anyway. I doubt it since a section involves paperwork they have to fill out w her. They HAD the papers! She regularly lied to me, then claimed I was the liar. I had to sign a seven-page contract with her, which she regularly changed to suit her whim. One time she came to the hospital where I had been imprisoned. I prepared for the meeting with “staff” and had a statement written out. My voice was not heard. The meeting was all about her! I was shocked. Of course with her narcissistic tendencies, that all makes sense. One time in “therapy” she said “bullshit” after everything I said. And more.

    I hated that she ran my life. I so badly wanted out after I realized this. I went through withdrawal after I quit her. Narcissistic abuse does that to you. You become isolated in the therapy and your other relationships weaken or end. During the abuse you might seem erratic or bizarre to others since you are being manipulated the whole time. I lost many friends that year. They never understood that the abuse caused it all. it took a long time to recover, and I was angry for a long time as part of the grieving process.

  • I was overdiagnosed with debilitating arthritis which would have been debilitating if I had believe the diagnosis. I was told I wouldn’t walk or run again. I was overdiagnosed with a “severe and disabling personality disorder,” which oddly enough, disappeared once I recovered from electroshock. I gave up my driver’s license in part because of a false diagnosis of temporal lobe epilepsy. I have never had a seizure except when they gave me shock. I was overdiagnosed with rotting teeth which caused the surgeon to remove five of my teeth that shouldn’t have been removed. I was diagnosed with mania when what I was experiencing was trauma. I was diagnosed with the common cold when the real problem was that I had been raped. Recently, a telephone doctor insisted I go to the ER for a foot that was hurting, discolored and swollen. He claimed “It could be your heart.” Bullshit! I went to a podiatrist and it was tendinitis.

    We are so much smarter about our bodies than any doctor could possibly be. It is only common sense to realize this.

  • Meghan, Something doesn’t sound right about this relationship at all. If this were a friendship, what kind of friend would this be? It isn’t helping you. It is hurting you. You need to end it and find good people in your life.

    I agree with the others. Often therapy does more harm than good. I had an abusive one I would love to write about here in an article but I don’t know if MIA would welcome that since so many subscribers are therapists…..Although I don’t see how relating a personal experience would steer anyone away from therapy…only from the abusive or harmful therapists. Sadly, there are far more out there than most people are willing to recognize. We do not know what happens behind closed doors, do we? In general I do not think going to therapy is a good idea.

  • Steve, Typically, shrinks accuse parents of ED kids of “overinvolvement” or “enmeshment.” However, I know my own parents were not like that at all, yet I still got an ED. I think the theory is total bullshit and a way to blame parents for what is simply a dieting problem. I do know helicopter parents, though. I believe this is a cultural value. As I see it, some cultures value helipcopterism, while others shun it. The tendency goes in waves. It’ll be huge with one generation, then half a generation later it will swing the other way. This also goes with parental emotional sharing. Didn’t all of us who grew up kids of WWII parents experience a certain reserved attitude? Of my young girlfriends, only one said she was “close” to her mother. The rest of us had normal parents, or, as we saw it, normal for the day.

    Changing parental attitudes affected me when I went to work as a nanny. The dad had a totally different attitude about parenting than I had ever seen. He insisted his way was the only right way, which I found offensive and actually an offense to my upbringing. I had to put up with it, though. I was being paid to do so.

    We have to be open-minded to different parenting styles. I don’t think there’s a one right way. We may see parents in another culture in a negative way, but I think we have to accept these differences instead of being overly critical.

    For instance, some parents of cultures that aren’t mine seem too rushed and pushy with their kids. I hate hearing a parent tell their kid to hurry up constantly. However, if I had been raised like that I bet I’d see it as normal and even acceptable.

    My parents used spanking. Most did that I knew of. Many used a belt. My dad insisted on not doing that. I wondered if he was weird or maybe one of those hippie pacifists. I don’t believe spanking harmed me in the least, not that I would advocate it nowadays. They did not shame us or verbally abuse us. That made the difference.

  • Me too. It is lonely because if I share I risk wrecking my social life with whomever I share with. I have, in my new life, with mixed results. I have had to end relationships with people who hear my story and then act afraid of me. I generally just cut it off. I have to constantly fight off the urge to tell my story because doing so is a natural inclination as an activist. I feel that telling it is powerful and a story communicates to others. However, the results can be disastrous if they assume you’re psychotic and won’t believe otherwise.

  • Thanks for debunking this study, Bob. You would think people would figure that one out. However, many are likely too drugged or shocked to think straight anymore. These drugs have made their way into the medicine cabinets of so many people at this point. Back in 1980 I barely knew what mental illness was and I had never heard of psych drugs, even with my college education. Is the trend beginning to turn as more and more are harmed? Or do they have more tricks up their sleeves?

    Maybe it’s about time we shouted “Bah Humbug.” If we are ever heard.

  • You might believe me, Cassie, but most people don’t, they woul+d rather call me disease-names then ever admit the therapist might have been wrong.

    As for “good therapist, bad therapist…” This is a pitfall that many fall into. They think that there are good doctors and bad ones, and sadly they are totally missing the point. You can’t divide them up that way because doing so makes it look like therapy and western medicine are really okay, and the bad apples are people we should just dismiss as deviant. Even the best therapy is based on keeping people sick, needy, and teaching them dependency. Even my very best of therapist prolonged my mental patient status. Being nice means the patient keeps coming back. Being cruel might send them away traumatized but which is really worse? If you have a bad one it might help you realize the System is not a very good place to go if you are suffering. Not unless you want to get more disabled.

    Anyone can submit to Forced Psychiatry, which is anthology I am producing and here is the website: http://forcedpsychiatry.com. Submissions are open now. Please go take a look and spread the word. This will be a published book available on Amazon and pseudonyms are allowed. Anyone affected by force, coercion, lockup, etc, can contribute, including families affected. (Yes, I will be contributing.)

  • Cassie, I will jump at any opportunity to tell my story, but in this case it’s not exactly relevant and clutters up the muck of stories that Carey will receive. Imipramine isn’t an SSRI and is rarely used anymore. I didn’t do anything violent or horrible. I only had thoughts and feelings and mostly I kept them to myself. To add to all that, I had been abused by my therapist. It wasn’t the drug alone that produced the rage. I know in my heart that her abuse made it all ten times worse. Think : narcissism and you will get the idea. It was very hard to get over it.

    We humans love to find easy answers but the truth is it wasn’t just the drug. It was her. But who will believe me?

    What I really want to do is to write a piece about what it is like to be abused by your therapist. I hope it truly offends all the therapists out there, any of them who assume all therapists are great and wonderful. She had a lot of credentials and a must have a lengthy and involved resume. Funny how that means nothing and doesn’t tell you a thing about what happened inside that office. I can still picture it, with the cushiony couches, that horrible potpourri smell, the fucking stuffed animals I hated, those scarves we were supposed to play with like they were children’s toys, the waiting room, everything.

    Sometimes on my way out of Walmart these days I see a vending machine full of stuffed animals and I feel sick seeing it. It’s so sad when I see mental patients buying them there, putting dollar after dollar of their disability check into the machine.

  • Eric, Thank you for this freaky and haunting story. I was confused all the way through. Editor of what? I finally deduced that this was some kind of college publication. On the whole I would have appreciated a little more clarity throughout the piece. Of course I realize you have to preserve Ann’s anonymity but you can do that without being vague or ambiguous.