Sunday, November 18, 2018

Comments by hearsbirds

Showing 11 of 11 comments.

  • The headline on this article is problematic. I cannot share it on Facebook because many people just read the headline and don’t read the full article. For them, the take away would be “Researcher: Antidepressants Protect Against Brain Shrinkage.” They would not get the irony of “despite our findings” because they wouldn’t read the article.

    Since I don’t want to spread this disinformation further I can’t share the article. Please ask your headline writer to consider this in the future!

    Otherwise, thanks for the great work. I really appreciate the news stories you find and summarize for us.

  • Just before reading this article I read the Op-Ed “The Blinding of Gloria X” https://www.madinamerica.com/2014/10/blinding-gloria-x-new-jersey-state-hospital-just-mental-patient/

    My question for both Richard & Jon is: What would you do with the woman who assaulted and blinded Gloria X? Putting aside for the moment the criminal negligence of the hospital where this occurred, what would a “good” hospital or treatment program or “someplace else we don’t have yet” have done with her to prevent this from happening? If this should not be treated as a criminal case where the assailant is tried and, presumably, imprisoned, where should she be housed and under what conditions could others be protected from further violence? If it should be treated as a criminal case, should there be places for the “criminally insane” where they are held and protected and treated humanely? If so, how should they be treated there?

  • In addition, I believe most if not all of what manifests in life as “psychosis” stems from early childhood trauma. We will need very skilled healers to help people address these issues. This is not easy, and withdrawing from neuroleptics will almost inevitably bring these issues to the fore, as well as the countervailing resistance and denial that was a necessary survival response to unbearable pain at a very young age. When these things come up, they threaten to overwhelm, and the desire to retreat back into the deadness of psychiatric drugs can be strong. This will require a lot of support, patience, and skill … and human wisdom.

    Finding the right “team” to staff this will be crucial, and must be made up of people with a passion for healing and caring and loving other people in trouble.

  • Thank you, Daniel, for this excellent article. And thanks to the comments, as well. Coming to this discussion late, after looking for and not finding any program anywhere that could help my daughter, I’m desperate for someone to set this up NOW. Or as soon as possible. Who here would like to form a feasibility study team?

    I think the two main obstacles will be (1) funding — because this needs to be free or as close to it as possible, and (2) the time it takes to SAFELY taper off neuroleptics — especially when there is poly-pharmacy involved and the need to get off several debilitating drugs sequentially.

    Funding: Grants, endowments from wealthy donors, possible low fees for housing based o % of income. Government funding seems improbable, but perhaps not.

    Time: People need to be able to stay for as long as it takes. This will vary individually, but most will need at least several months to a year to taper their drugs, maybe more. And that much time will also be needed for therapy to help with the psychological issues that were repressed/deadened by the drugs and still there, as well as to develop new healthy routines and social skills.

    I think that this needs to be residential. Many people who have been on these drugs have little or no social/family supports, and doing this alone on an “outpatient” basis is the luck of the draw whether they can find supportive therapy and doctors, much less help with diets, cooking, and finding their way back into engagement with life.

    I like the idea of a “health spa” type approach. But also feel it is important to involve people in their own care and healing through responsibilities of various kinds that contribute to a “community” atmosphere — as they are able. Ability will wax and wane.

    Altostrata’s comments about the effects of the neurotoxins on the Central Nervous System, and therefore, avoiding withdrawal syndrome as much as possible through slow tapering are very well taken. There are also underlying psychological issues for many if not most that require a lot of care and empathy and therapy.

    Again, is there anyone who would like to be involved in a feasibility task force? I have some professional background with grassroots fundraising, though not grant writing, and would gladly put a lot of time and energy into supporting this project in any way I can.

  • Stephen — If you have had any new thoughts on how to walk with people who have no hopes or dreams, please share them. This is what has become of my daughter in the past few years. I’m struggling to help her as she lives with me, but I don’t really know how, and I don’t know if I’m doing the right things. I’m desperate to find a program that can help her find her way back to life — that will give her the time it takes to get off these drugs safely, whether it is months or years — and stay with her when she cannot talk or think or feel very much. However long it takes.

  • Daniel — You say “There are programs that are better set up to work with people who have been in the system longer.” What programs? Where? I’m looking and haven’t found them yet.

    Thanks for your work. May there be many more Soterias, and many more alternatives for the thousands of people who have been trapped in the system with few alternatives for decades as well.

  • Sherri — I am so touched by your words and your vision. I believe there MUST be a way for people who have been damaged by neuroleptic drugs and polypharmacy to recover their lives. Perhaps some of them may never be “normal” — whatever that is — may not get jobs to support themselves or return to school.

    But is that the be-all and end-all of “recovery?” I imagine it is possible to live a life the person finds meaningful and worth living, even if occasionally touched by “extreme states,” and that there could be safe communities for such people to live together, support and care for one another through the good and the not so good times. I imagine it to be a place where careful and supported drug tapering could take place over a period of months, or years, as needed, where there was enough structure to help ease people into daily life in healthy, healing ways — like gardening, cooking, carpentry, making useful things, making art, music.

    How can we create this? What is needed? Staff that is paid to gently assist in creating stability and calm? Are there others here who would like to discuss this and how to make this vision real?

  • Thanks for the references to your great blogs here, all of which I have read. However, I would like to be able to give a succinct summary to my daughter’s treating psychiatrist, and a letter limited by word count would be very helpful. Unfortunately I can’t seem to get it at Psychiatric Times. It requires membership, which is free, but the website is not permitting me to register.

    Would you be able to post a copy of that letter here?