Sunday, May 31, 2020

Comments by Caroline Colwill

Showing 36 of 36 comments.

  • That sounds fine. Community, love, friendship–these are important things, and the kind of things that everyone should be able to find in a church. The fact that some people can only find these things in group therapy under the umbrella of mental illness, speaks to larger cultural and social problems within our country, like that some people become so marginalized that they’re only offered community through the mental health industry. It would be nice if even neighbors were more loving and friendlier. I guess we could all stand to be more loving and friendlier.

    My parish only offers community for successful married people with children, or young single people. I am a leper there. I’m kind of glad that I am officially under no obligation to go there now since I only went once in a while before, anyway.

    I once had the misfortune of going to Church on a Mother’s Day when they were passing out books. I said to the woman, “Oh, I’m not a mother.”

    She said, “No, it’s for all women.” So, I went home and read it. It was for married women with children with instructions on how you should put God first, your husband second, and your children third.

  • I have tried to convince some of my friends who take psychiatric drugs about their possible dangers without any luck. I have a friend who even started her son on “ADHD” drugs, which turned out to be a gateway drug and diagnosis which led to further drugs and diagnosis, much like my own story. In all this, it’s good to remember that even drug addicts still have a human spirit that can overcome a lot of harm.

    One of the things that I hope to address in the book I am working on is the widespread, mainstream deception in the Western world by the mental health industry–how it works and counter arguments. I bought into it myself for so long and deeply, so I have a pretty good understanding of these things. So many people have so much invested in being mentally ill, calling other people mentally ill, and being mental health providers that it can be nearly impossible to break through those ideologies. Popular opinion needs to change.

    Maybe you could think of it as trying to convince someone to quit smoking. However, the dangers of smoking are widely known, and quitting abruptly doesn’t cause potentially disastrous withdrawal effect. Educate, inform, encourage, but support the friend for their innate value, regardless of their choices.

    To sum up, I’m sorry, I really don’t have any helpful advice for you regarding how to warn your friends of the dangers of psychiatric drugs. I haven’t had any success in doing it. Maybe you could give them a copy of Anatomy of an Epidemic and hope for the best. Good luck!

  • Obviously, a business decision. If we can convince enough people that they are sick, in need of lifelong psychiatric drugs, therapy, mental hospitalization, institutionalization, group homes, the lives of the sane, normal mental health professionals can only get better and better by comparison.

  • Thank you so much for this article. It would be interesting to know who and by what measure people are labeled with schizophrenia and other “serious mental illnesses.” So often, a diagnosis of mental illness is made because of someone’s perceived social ineptitude, which is so often bound up with a lower socioeconomic status. I have read articles that state that there is a much higher incidence of “mental illness” among the poor. Greater poverty=greater mortality. So, there may be factors other than “mental illness” that account for the increase in all-cause mortality among the “seriously mentally ill,” even if they never took medication. But as you point out, it is highly unlikely to find anyone with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who has never been exposed to antipsychotics.

  • I congratulate you on being able to function so well despite having difficult experiences and being labeled and treated by psychiatry. I didn’t fare as well after my experiences with the mental health industry.

    I explain somewhat some of my own experiences of being labeled with mental illness in a piece that I have submitted to this website. At first, I was labeled with “depression.” Like you, I took some comfort in the label, because it seemed to validate some of my deep pain. Also, like you, I didn’t really want anyone to know that I was “mentally ill,” because, what would they think of me then? This is the inner stigma and turmoil that psychiatry puts in those they label and “treat.”

    I would suggest that if you are labeling your clients “mentally ill,” you are doing them a disservice. You are separating them from the rest of humanity as somehow bad or inferior.

    You are not bad or inferior either, as long as you are doing your best to be a good person.

    Personally, I no longer believe in psychiatric labels. I find them dehumanizing and meaningless. And who gave psychiatrists, or anyone this authority to label other people because their inner worlds (which no one but God can know for sure) aren’t quite like everyone else’s? It isn’t based in science.

    If we hope to transcend psychiatric labels and stigma, perhaps we need to abolish psychiatric labels and the concept of mental illness, as those things do separate some people from the rest of humanity. Saying that someone experiences depression, or anxiety, or hallucinations is just an experience, perhaps one that falls within the full spectrum of human experiences. And let us never forget that psychiatric drugs themselves can cause some of the most distressing emotional experiences.

    We’re all at different places in our life journeys, and I appreciate that we may just have to agree to disagree on some issues.

  • That may be true of most psychiatrists, but what about activist psychiatrists like Dr. Peter Breggin and Joanna Moncrieff who use their platforms to presents alternative views about mental health and psychiatric treatments? Their credentials and standing in the psychiatric community give them a public voice that otherwise would be drowned out. A publication like the NY Times won’t give voice to minority opinions to anyone, unless it is someone of “importance.” “Mental illness” has been used as a political weapon before, but it has always been against dissidents, never mainstream, powerful political figures. The FBI had diagnosed Malcolm X with “pre-psychotic paranoid schizophrenia.” Why not allow for some psychiatrists who do not believe in the DSM to weigh in on powerful political figures.

  • Great points! The President of the United States should probably be the most scrutinized person on the face of the earth. Everyone should be entitled to their opinions, including psychiatrists. And I am definitely in favor of getting alternative views about mental health into the mainstream media.

  • All that most psychiatrists care about is their profit, power, and prestige. This is a big part of the problem. I recently read an op-ed in the NY Times where a psychiatrist did make an armchair diagnosis of a mass murderer as having schizophrenia. So, far from there being any ethical motivation behind not making armchair diagnoses about public figures, they most certainly do, when it suits their interests. Psychiatry has always been about the more powerful damning the less powerful.

  • Thank you for sharing your story. I had not known about TMS before this. I fear that like you, me, and so many others, we only find out about the potentially devastating consequences of psychiatric treatments once our lives have been severely damaged or ruined by them. I am so glad that you are able to offer support to other survivors of TMS. I hope that helps you to find meaning in what you have experienced, and I hope that in coming forward, you will help to effect change.

  • Awesome article! I have sometimes been criticized for my “negative thinking,” and I guess that’s how I wound up in the mental health system. Pope Francis has recently been talking about the “selfish indifference” that so many have–that “as long as life is good for me, life is good.” I think he’s totally right. Although the Pope is sometimes “positive,” he also isn’t afraid to fight back against the many horrible things that exist in the world. He doesn’t pretend that all is well with the world, when it clearly isn’t.

  • Exactly! This is how “advocacy” groups like the drug-funded NAMI sprang up. Parents who had been blamed for their imperfect children clung to psychiatry’s biochemical imbalance theories of “mental illness” and the drug treatments along with them. Humanity is so much more complex than all of that. No parents are literally perfect, but people can encounter so many difficulties throughout life that have nothing to do with bad parents or a fundamentally defective child.

  • Hi Magdalene,

    Some of this article and your comments offer some valuable insights, but some of it seems like victim blaming. Blaming the “me too” movement on bad parenting, rather than predatory men. Blaming victims of socioeconomic and political injustice, of which the mental health industry is so often a part, on bad parents, rather than the people who perpetrate these injustices. Why not, instead, at least acknowledge the very real pain and hardship caused by these injustices, and to the extent possible work to help people and bring an end to such injustices? Was the Holocaust or slavery caused by bad parents?

  • Good news for the very poor in the US! I just found out that I had gotten some bad information, or someone changed the rules. In any case, people on SSI Disability, and the homeless CAN get the $1,200 stimulus check. Here’s the link: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here Unfortunately, it is likely that many of the homeless and very poor will not have the resources to file for and receive the payments, but for the some of us, it is indeed a great blessing.

  • Let’s hope that will eventually be the case. I read a story about a pharmacist who was filling many prescriptions for opiods (spelling?), who became fed up, and eventually refused to fill anymore, because he or she knew that they were simply killing people. He or she either quit, or was fired because of it. That kind of willingness to make personal sacrifices for the sake of people’s genuine well being can have a real impact.

  • Hi J,

    Thank you for your comment. I quite agree that little things are important to everyone. I guess I am hoping to bring meaning out of my experiences and research. It’s like a story I once read about a formerly homeless woman who ended up getting a low-wage job in food service at a sports stadium. She would take the perfectly good leftovers and distribute them to the homeless. She never forgot her experiences and tried to bring good out of what she learned.

  • Hi Someone Else,

    Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes I think that creative, sensitive people, especially those of us who have experienced trauma, are more likely to get sucked into the mental health industry, as we can recognize that not all is well with the world, or even ourselves.

    I am so happy to hear that you have been able to work creatively during this pandemic. Excellent Q and A about Freud and the terrible emotional violence that has been done to survivors of abuse by those who were supposed to help them. I hadn’t really known how widespread the cover-up was.

    I am aware of the potential dangers of withdrawing form psychiatric drugs, but the alternative–taking them for life–is probably worse. I always worry a great deal about withdrawal psychosis every time I go down in dose. So far, so good. I hope I will be able to successfully come off of all drugs.

    God bless you too, and thank you for the work you are doing.

  • LaDonna,

    I am so glad that you appreciate and relate to my article. I am also happy to hear that you are building a life. Your story gives me hope, that I too may one day be able to build a life, especially once through with all of these medications.

    I had also suffered many difficulties, including sexual trauma, that probably helped me lean into the direction of the mental health industry. They present themselves as healers, and that was what I was expecting and hoping for. I hope that more psychiatric survivor stories can come out to warn people about the dangers of entering into the system.

  • Hi boans,

    I definitely agree with you about the “religion” of psychiatry, more like a cult. As it is not rooted in legitimate science, what else can it be called? If it weren’t for the use of force, intimidation, and political power, where would mainstream psychiatry be today? So many have been deceived and forced into psychiatry with sometimes disastrous results. I like to think that God can bring good even out of bad. If Jesus were alive in America today, he probably wouldn’t be crucified, but locked up and drugged for having delusions of grandeur and persecution.

  • I have been social distancing and washing my hands, as recommended, and I have begun wearing a mask, as recently recommended, in case I have it, so that I do not give it to anyone. I think you are wise to be weary of the medical profession and pharmaceutical industry as a whole. With my cocktail of psychiatric medications, I developed very high cholesterol, so my doctor put me on Lipitor, a statin. For two years, I became too afraid to drive at night. My Dad kept wanting me to get off of statins, but I wouldn’t, because I thought I wasn’t having any side effects. I finally googled it, and found out that Lipitor can impair night vision, so I quit taking it immediately. I have driven at night a few times since then, but am still very nervous about it.

    I am so sorry about all of you iatrogenic harm from psychiatric drugs. I too have many health problems that I did not have before. One of the problems that most bothers me is my lack of energy. I am hoping that once I am completely off of medication, that my energy can return.

  • Hi boans,

    I have read and enjoyed many of your comments on this website. You are quite right about how the church deals with the “mentally ill.” Churches are lacking in so many areas, and personally, I do not feel that everyone needs to believe in any kind of a God. So many people have been harmed by churches too, and “Christians.” I feel very strongly that people who feel the need to force their faith on others have some kind of a serious problem. Why isn’t it enough to believe what you believe without needing others to do the same? It can be even worse within churches where there is such strong pressure to conformity. Conformity to what, exactly? Does everyone need to be alike? Isn’t it our uniqueness and our diversity that is humanity’s strength?

    And I am so sorry for all that you have been through with the “mental health” industry.

  • Thank you so much for your kind and empathetic words. Your story is wonderful, but I am so very sorry for all that you have endured. I would most definitely like the opportunity to truly educate Christians about what a huge scam psychiatry is. Too many fall for it. I have read many Christian articles about “How should the church minister to the mentally ill?” As if we are somehow a subset of humanity. I am hoping with my book to articulate a more human approach to all people, an approach that I see as being more in line with Jesus.