Showing 74 of 74 comments.
Thank you Rebel, and I totally agree with you.
And later, if ever these people are given SSRIs for depression, they are risking LSD flashback syndrome, and chances are the doctor giving them the SSRIs will have no clue what is happening to them. It happened to me (many years ago), and thankfully I made the connection and stopped taking the SSRIs, and got far away from the drug pushing doctor who I was going to at the time. But never in my life have I ever heard anyone talk about this.
Are you familiar with the book “Natural Healing For Scizophrenia & Other Mental Disorders” by Eva Edelman? If not, it’s an excellent book. It gets into what medical / nutritional things to look for & rule out when it comes to “diagnoses”. (things like heavy metal poisoning and Celiac’s for symptoms of “schizophrenia”, for example). The allopathic/ conventional medicine approach often misses ruling certain things out. I highly recommend this book, as well as Craig Wagner’s “Onward Mental Health” website. Good luck to you & your son.
My friend had a good therapist who understood it and was helping her with integration, but this was back in the 90s/ early 2000s. It’s seems to me the diagnosis now is being exploited and sensationalized; much of the info I’ve seen on it lately makes me cringe, and it makes me sad. It seems to me all they are doing is misrepresenting it and making it even harder to understand.
I’m not surprised that most the trauma specialists don’t understand it, either. I worked in human services for almost 20 years and found that in general, the specialists/ experts who truly understood the human condition were few and far between. Your wife is very fortunate to have you. Having someone walking side by side with us in life, and understanding and accepting who we are, is a precious thing indeed. 🙂
That’s good, Sam. Once you know what it is, it’s probably easier to understand what’s happening when you see it again. I found it to be much different than one would think based on the info that’s out there. I think you’re right, it’s not very well understood, generally speaking.
Sam- years ago I had a friend diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, as a result of repeated severe physical, sexual and emotional abuse that she experienced as a child at the hands of various caregivers. The way I understand dissociation is it’s on a spectrum. There’s the daydreaming or “spacing out” that many of us are familiar with, depersonalization/ derealization (lower end), dissociative amnesia (moderate), dissociative identity disorder (severe).
Providing dissociation isn’t the result of drugs or a medical problem, I believe complex PTSD can be at the heart of many of the issues people who experienced trauma in childhood have. I really liked the book The Angry Heart, which lists all of the various things that can be traumatic to children (physical and sexual abuse being at the top, death of a parent, emotional/ verbal abuse, watching someone else be abused, moving around a lot, being raised by alcoholic/ substance abusing parents, poverty, neglect, natural disasters, all kinds of things). Also Pete Walker has a great website and some books on the topic.
I wish I was a little more knowledgeable on the topic back when I was in contact with my friend. Sometimes she’d dissociate and fly into verbal tirades/ rages, and not remember her behavior afterwards. Unfortunately I eventually cut ties with her, but I always wondered if maybe I had better info at the time, maybe I could have handled things better/differently, without having to remove myself completely. Good luck with your wife, I do understand the behaviors are not easy to deal with.
Psychiatry and Mental Health “Treatments”- when the “solution” becomes the trap :/
Thank you so much for this article, and for your extremely helpful website. You’ve really captured the complexities of the issue, and presented it in a way that’s organized, and understandable.
Regarding psychiatric drugs and the medical/ disease model, I just wanted to comment on that. Psychiatry and drug companies have been so successful, I believe, because they’ve nailed how the art of advertising works- take a complex issue (your web of causation illustration), over simplify it (you have a chemical imbalance) and offer and a simple solution (these drugs). Their advertising works.
And when you are dealing with people who are struggling, or who have a friend or family member who is, from what I’ve seen going on out there, they don’t really want to hear it about how mental illness doesn’t exist, or about the evils of psychiatry. They want a solution.
All of the truth telling and exposes in world, and much as I do see the value in that, aren’t necessarily going to help a person in the moment, in crisis, when there is no solution in its place, and people don’t know where else to turn to or what to do.
Thank you for your very thorough explanations, and for offering solutions. Very helpful!
I think there’s some great info here:
That’s terrible :(. That’s the kind of thing I see happening too.
Hey we must have posted around the same time, when I was responding to Oldhead. Yeah I don’t know, from talking to people who are struggling, or who have a loved one who is, it seems like people just want relief. When things like the the flaws of the mental health system get brought up, when you are taking to a desperate person, that’s not really where the person is at, and the last thing they are going to want to do is take on a flawed mental heath system, when they perhaps don’t see it as flawed in the first place. You see this on message boards, for example, when you have people who have loved ones who are struggling with substance abuse, and someone pipes up about the flaws of the Rehab industry, and the response is basically, oh shut up. They are desperate and just want help :/.
Yes I see the power and control thing. What I took away from working in Human & Social Services is avoid these organizations for myself, personally. I also avoid conventional doctors, unless there’s an acute emergency, or there’s a test I need that my Naturopathic physician can’t do, after having more than a few negative experiences, where things really could have gone south for me health wise if I had listened to them, and not my instincts. I pay out of pocket for my alternative health care, but I’d rather do that than get tangled up our health care system. I wouldn’t go anywhere near NAMI either. I hear you, about trying to change things, for people might take that route. That’s why I mentioned how much I like that Onward Mental Health website, I think people need alternatives. A lot to think about, for sure.
I don’t disagree with you, but this is going to happen, how? And what’s going to be there in it’s place? Some other message boards that I’m a part of, and just out there in general, it seems like until someone, or a loved one, personally experiences a problem (or maybe once you work in the system and start to see he flaws) it seems to me that people are okay with, and believe in, the mental health system and also it’s drugs?
Hi Sera- just wanted to make a comment about what you said regarding walking into places like NAMI and making statements regarding suicide, or about hearing voices. Places like this, or your doctor, or mental heath professional, etc take things like this seriously and follow protocol because if they don’t, they might get hit was a malpractice suit.
I agree that in the moment, when a person is feeling this way, that’s probably the last thing they want is to be committed. From personal experience, I can say that recently, when I was distraught over the death of a friend, it was a couple of friends who didn’t have “mental health” experience who ended up being the most helpful. Having worked in the field for many years, I have friends who I used to work with, who started in on me with the leading questions and the “mental heath assessment” type talk. It’s just so ingrained in people from this profession, and sometimes now even in people who don’t work in the field, because everyone and their brother seems to be loaded with an arsenal of psychobabble, and seems to be a self appointed mental health expert, and there’s this fear that if you don’t get a person professional “help”, you will be held responsible if something happens to them. And if you are a doctor or mental health professional, or an organization that people turn to, and you don’t handle protocol, you *will* be held responsible. And possibility even if you aren’t a professional, and someone turned to you for help, and friends or family think you said or did the wrong thing.
I agree about the disease model being false, but the reality is, people do experience mental distress, or don’t feel well, and that’s how they end up “seeking help” to begin with. I really like Craig Wagner’s article the other week, and his visual photo of the “web of causation” of mental distress, and the info on his onward mental heath website. I think it gave some great info on what can happen to a person biochemically, socially, behaviorally, etc that leads them to not feel well- physically or emotionally- in the first place, and what to do about it. I’ve spread that info around here and there since I saw that, it’s the most comprehensive website that I’ve ever seen.
IDK, it just seems to me that when there is an initial problem (a person is feeling depressed or anxious, has substance abuse, is having trouble coping with life events, etc), they end up “getting help”, not really knowing what could happen to them in the mental health system, and not knowing what their alternatives are? So they turn to NAMI (or their doctor, or a psychiatrist, etc)- having no clue what is really going on behind the scenes, or how they are funded, or any of that? They just want to feel better? I think helping people to find alternative is key, but it gets tricky, because does your average person out there really know that these places are potential problems in the first place?
Clay- I agree, I think men are less likely to seek help, and deal with problems themselves, falling into substance abuse, etc. Then there’s places like CAAIR that are basically using men as slave labor, that you don’t really hear about. The social justice movement tends to focus on other groups, which reaches the mainstream media, but things like this fall under the radar. So yeah, basically I just think people are affected in different ways:
This makes zero sense to me how the do this, too.
This is how I believe the Rehab doctors helped kill my best friend, and how some these “accidental” deaths are happening. Putting a newly recovering person on psychiatric drugs that aren’t supposed to be mixed..the person is new to recovery and relapses..now they are hooked on a psych med that isn’t supposed to be mixed with illicit drugs/ alcohol…but they are off the wagon and do mix..recipe for disaster. Then it gets blamed on accidental OD or suicide. It’s maddening :/
Hi Julie- just wondering, what’s your opinion on early childhood attachments/ bonding and “addictions” later in life? Early childhood trauma was brought up, and I personally do believe child abuse (sexual, physical, neglect, poor attachments with caregivers in infancy/ early childhood) can be a factor in addictions/ addictive behaviors later in life, and was wondering what your take on that is?
Also I do think with binge eating specifically, it can be medical. Food allergies and intolerances, for example, can really mess you up in so many ways. Gut health was mentioned earlier, and leaky gut syndrome / lack of vitamin and mineral absorption can lead to malnutrition and make you feel hungry all the time. Also dysregulated insulin levels can do that to you. Thyroid problems, etc. You end up craving and over eating the very foods that are making you feel horrible, it’s a vicious cycle. I’ve had some weight gain myself for those very reasons, and once the medical stuff was straightened out, the weight regulated itself. I do like a product called Swedish Bitters, it helps regulate your taste buds and helps with digestion. It’s been around since the 1500s, apparently the “bitter” taste isn’t really part of the average diet anymore, and once you get accustomed to it again, sugary food are a turn off. I personally have found it does help.
mik- that’s okay, the comments are set up funny sometimes, but I thought it was clear you were agreeing with Steve.
Steve- I think what you are referring to is the concept of a kyriarchy. The article was referring to a patriarchy, which by definition is about men having the power. Check out the latest stats from 2015- psychology, human services, social work..over 80% female as of that time, psychiatry residents 57% female as of that year, and female APRNs outnumber men 10:1, and I also don’t agree with our society being a patriarchy anymore either, so I was disagreeing with what the article is saying. I agree with many articles that get posted here, but that wasn’t one of them and I wanted to share my 2 cents.
I’d suggest any books by Christina Hoff Sommers, and following her on social media or watching some of her videos on YouTube. Also following the “Girl Writes What” blog by Karen Straughan that I mentioned earlier. Also Youtuber Candance Owens/ Red Pill Black, who is also on FB.
As far as Social Work/ Psychology/ Human Services, I would say that in today’s world, women aren’t required to follow the rules made up by men.. they *are* the ones making up the rules and they *are* the superiors. Perhaps the idea of the patriarchy was true in the 60s and 70s, but I believe there was shift, the tide has turned, and today’s (Western) world is different.
I understand all too well sexual harassment, and I know what happens to women. Just from personal experience, I can tell you in my time in the field, I knew of 1 psychiatrist who was kind of a creep and told perverted jokes to the female staff. I also knew at least 3 female staff who got sexually involved with male clients, and I knew of at least 3 male staff who were were sexually harassed by female staff. The females with the male clients were fired or quit, the the females harassing the male staff got away with it. This kind of thing happens more often than people who like to think, and I don’t believe that’s the patriarchy, I believe women are just as capable of wrong doing, abuse, and taking advantage of people in subordinate positions as men are. It’s also scary to see how quickly people will jump to tar and feather and ostracize someone without proof, or due process. Check out the Girls Writes What interview on YouTube with the guy from CA who had his life ruined and lost his ranch over false rape allegations. I don’t know if it’s this attention seeking social media culture we live in now or what, but this kind of thing also happens more often than we’d like to admit (check out the Black Mirror episode “Most Hated In The Nation” for more on that theme).
As far as ObGyns, that’s conventional medicine for you, and I see that more of an issue of doctors holding power over patients in the conventional medical field in general, I don’t think that’s necessarily a male/ female issue.
That’s nice you do half the housework! I have to admit I do most of ours, but my husband and I have worked out a deal. He does all the yardwork and snow removal, which I abhor, and I do the inside work, though he does clean up after himself. While he was out in 5 degree weather yesterday several times removing snow, I was all warm next to the wood burning stove with my cat, enjoying my female privilege :’).
Yes, I’m quite familiar and have studied feminism since the late 80s/ early 90s..have studied both sides of the issue for a very long time and it’s something I’ve thought long and hard about. And yes, that’s exactly what I’m suggesting.
I suggest reading up on the arguments against the idea of Western cultures being a patriarchy, particularly feminist Christina Hoff Sommers and the blogger from “Girl Writes What”, Karen Staughan. I used to agree with a lot of what you are saying until I read up on the other side of issue.
p.s. If we are going by the dictionary definition of “patriarchy” that it’s a system where men hold the power and women are excluded from it; a society or community organized on patriarchal lines..I stand by what I say that the fields of Psychology / Human Services/ Social Work are *not* patriarchies. In today’s world in Western cultures, one can make the argument that those fields are actually now matriarchies.
From the article:
“During a workshop at a women’s gathering I attended this summer in France, Sheila Jeffreys argued that psychology individualizes the effects of patriarchy and separates women from each other. This once common feminist analysis was completely new to me, and I realized, as I discussed it with other young women (most of us in our 20s), that I had been living in a bubble wherein psychology was never questioned.
I’m not the only one. In response to our friends’ struggles, women are quick to suggest therapy to deal with issues like lack of self-esteem, distress in social situations, habits of self-harming, relationship problems, or difficulty accepting their female body — all issues that are impacted by living under patriarchy, as can be inferred from the sex discrepancy in, for example, self-mutilation and anxiety. “Seek therapy” has become a standard piece of advice. The words, “You need help” are accepted as well-meaning and sound, when directed at friend and foe alike. What “help” refers to is understood by all, since alternatives are generally not offered.”
I worked the field of Social Work for 15 years but thankfully, got out. I don’t believe we live in a patriarchy in Western Culture in today’s world, nor do I think psychology “individualizes the effects of patriarchy” as the article states. The opening piece with the link to the article is also saying the we aren’t addressing the “patriarchy”.
I believe the issues are psychiatric diagnosing and drugging (big money..and advertising works), and people are being disempowered. But like I explained in my first post, I don’t think it’s “the patriarchy” that’s the issue (it’s the belief in the diagnoses, mental health system and the belief that drugs= medicine), and I think anyone who is unfortunate enough to get locked into the system (a field in today’s world that’s dominated by women, not “the patriarchy” or men) is at risk (men, women, children etc).
Okay I’m just going to come out and say it.. that article was a big crock of you-know-what. There are countries and cultures in this world that still have a patriarchy, but Western cultures, and the field psychology, are not under the patriarchal umbrella. I’m sorry, but no. Just no.
The author was quoting a book from 1975 (!) , and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but this is a field that at is *dominated* overwhelmingly by women. Also a higher than average (compared to other fields) amount of minorities and LBGTQ. So if there is systemic oppression against women going on, you can look to those groups. We do it to each other. Also a field completed dominated by democrats, so we can all stop blaming and vilifying the white patriarchal republican male. We can also spend all day talking about what happens to men and boys in this system (vets for example, the elderly, what’s happening to boys with the ADHD diagnosing…and all of the psychiatric drugging that go hand in hand with that), so let’s not cherry pick who has it worse when getting sucked into the system. This is not a competition, and it’s intellectually dishonest to pick and choose who this field affects. No one is immune under the right (unfortunate) circumstances, or when under someone else’s “authority”.
Until we’re honest about where the issues are.. all who participate in this field and the power that drug companies and the “chemical imbalance” propaganda has..including the undermining and blocking of holistic approaches from going mainstream or being covered by insurance, and what a crappy job this field does of helping people to truly heal and be free, we really are just going to be spinning our wheels.
Frank, I really wish they would shut down his Twitter account, he’s unprofessional and unpresidential in some of the things he says, yes. I do think this article that was posted was unbecoming of MIA and not helping matters at all.
Wow, that’s terrible yet not unusual or surprising, sadly. We had one nurse who made mistakes like that constantly. One time she forgot to set up someone’s lithium bloodwork and she was going into lithium toxicity, and by the time they caught it the patient almost died. The nurse blamed someone else and didn’t even feel bad, just hostile and concerned about covering her own butt. So many incidents like that, though, that’s just one drop in the bucket. 🙁
Julie, they were probably smoking cigarettes and doobies in the back of the building, and blaming medical things the patients were reporting on “psych symptoms”. And let me guess, no one was held responsible for the negligence that led to the heart attack?
I agree with you, I just don’t see how posting an inflammatory, divisive article is helpful. If that was a Breitbart or Fox News article I’d bet there would be outrage. I’m personally not bothered by people not liking him (neither do I), and I’m personally not a fan of over the top language policing and don’t really care if people call him crazy or whatever. But that article (!) I don’t understand how getting people going with the inflammatory, polarizing, political bating is helping anything. It’s just making everything worse from what I’m seeing.
Dr. Kelmenson & deeeo42-
I can see what both of you are saying, with the societal forces that influenced the success of these marketing campaigns. From what I understand, Naturopathic medicine and holistic approaches really got kicked to the curb (slowly making a comeback, thankfully) when modern/ conventional medicine and pharmaceuticals came along in the 40s and 50s, and psychiatry fell in step with their antipsychotics at this time too. Each decade has had their drugs and their methods, but boy did things explode in the 90s.
And what happened since then has been this great equalizer. They’ve gotten a hold of people from all socioeconomic and demographic backgrounds, diagnosing them and get to them to take their drugs. Psychiatry is still a male majority, but the mental health/ social work and human services fields are dominated by women (almost 84%?) in the US, and ethnically diverse too, so you’ve got a whole different demographic of players doling out the “treatments” and making sure the patients are going to pay for the sins of the father, or whatever it is that they are doing. Men and boys aren’t immune, and I agree with what you said earlier, Dr, Kelmenson, about what they are doing to boys and young men with the ADHD diagnosing. Funny about the One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest reference earlier, because I’ve worked with plenty of modern day Nurse Ratcheds, and had that movie on my mind quite often when I worked in Human Services. No one escaped their wrath. I learned a lot about what types of personalities are drawn to those professions, and though you get some nice people peppered in there, you also get a lot of dysfunctional/ controlling types. “Wack jobs”, if you will..
And these companies, they are doing a great job blocking alternative remedies and treatments from going mainstream, and even getting people to campaign against their own rights and creating more stigma (as in, let’s get more people diagnosed to lessen the stigma of mental illness…when all it does is create more fear and stigma). Gotta hand it to them, they are good at what they do :/
Totally agree, uprising.
So alternet.org, which is as extreme liberal left bias as you can get:
…puts out an extremely biased article full of logical fallacies, lies and manipulative language, about how 27 psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health experts (who based on profession are most likely all democrats, and as we know their slogan should probably be “we’re ruining lives”, so let’s get real here, democrats aren’t doing people any favors either), are basically weaponizing their psycho babble and diagnosing against someone they don’t like, and it gets printed here of all places? And people are on board with this?
When the SSRIs & ADHD meds came on the scene, I was in college (90s), and I remember the whole “chemical imbalance” idea spreading like wildfire. Crazy how deeply and insidiously it has established roots in our culture. One thing’s for sure, marketing and advertising works. :/
There’s a quote from Ethan Watters, from the book “Crazy Like Us, The Globalization of the American Psyche” that struck me back when I read the book, and has stayed with me ever since, that basically says “once you start looking at someone through the lens of a Western Psychiatric Diagnosis, it’s very hard to stop”. That’s basically what has happened, our society has put on Western Psychiatric diagnoses glasses at some point (started earlier, but mainstreamed in the 90s?) and has left them on.
It’s not just doctors or mental health professionals who do it, either. Your average Jane and Joe are doing it now too, everyone’s become this “expert” on diagnosing all of a sudden. Looking at people as walking clusters of symptoms rather than people.
Although I do understand the history of psych hospitals and their barbaric practices, and when the psychiatric drugs came on the scene, this jump to diagnose people as really been mainstreamed in recent years. I remember even 15, 20 years ago there were clinicians who wouldn’t diagnose someone with a personality disorder until they were at least 30, since people oftentimes outgrown certain behaviors, and the idea was to work on those behaviors without giving a person a diagnosis that would stigmatize them for life. Or giving substance abusers at least a year before even thinking about diagnosing them with something else, since substance abuse causes changes in behaviors and personality, and you’d want to give them time to get the drugs out of their system, and get things in order with nutrition/ sleep/ social supports, employment etc. Now substance abusers are labeled “dual diagnosis” right off the bat, getting them diagnosed and on those psych meds from the get go. WTH
And what’s happening to children, I agree, is beyond horrifying. The first groups home I worked in were DCF homes (1998/ 1999). Even at the time, these children, who came from backgrounds of physical, emotion, sexual abuse and neglect, where being drugged out of their minds. In what bizarro world does this make any sense? It’s funny people can see how lobotomies of the 40s and 50s were barbaric and cruel (and people listened to their doctors then too), but chemical lobotomies (which is what is going on), they are somehow okay with? And why is everyone off the hook on this? Everyone plays their part. Parents , psychiatrists, school systems, medical doctors, Pharma companies, our corrupt government (which I really wish we would stop giving so much power to), yet everyone is somehow off the hook when it comes to taking responsibility for this? Why?
I agree with you guys who say the whole system is corrupt and they should toss out the DSM, but I personally believe it should start with stopping with the diagnosing/ labeling and drugging of children. Work on the behaviors and figure out what’s going on in the child’s life, medically perhaps, if something is seriously “wrong”, but this diagnosing/ drugging business has got to stop. There are alternative practitioners who can help (Naturopathic Physicians, Orthomolecular Psychiatrists), unfortunately probably not covered by insurance (at least not anymore with what’s happened to insurance in the US the past 8 years unless you are lucky), but a better path to take than getting caught up in this poisonous/ toxic mental health system web that’s very difficult to break free of, if at all, once you’re caught up in it.
Let’s hope that some people are being reached before starting their kids on these drugs. It seems like the audience on these websites are people who have either been harmed themselves or have had a loved one harmed, maybe a few people who have worked in the system here and there. I certainly hope some people are getting the info on what harm these drugs do in the early stages, before they even start.
It’s just disheartening to read these statistics on how more and more people are being prescribed psychiatric drugs every year, and how we are spreading these toxic poisons over seas, and how the number of both adults and children being prescribed increases every year. And what happens to those kids in foster care and group homes…yikes.
Legal or illegal, drugs are drugs and I don’t see how a doctor prescribing them somehow negates “being on drugs”. Yes to knowing about adhd drugs basically being legal speed..and how your body/ mind/ physiology doesn’t know the difference between illegal/ legal drugs that basically act the same way.
Unfortunately, many people do listen to their doctors, and it doesn’t seem like psychiatric drugging is going anywhere. I’d love to to see some heavy duty changes made at least in how they are being prescribed to children (as in basically, outlawing it so they not be), but it seems like they keep finding new and creative ways to keep on doing it. :/
The other week I was reading an article about a young woman who committed a crime, killing someone, and the article was explaining how the aggression was out of character for her. My first thought was, “what was she on?” There were pictures of her too, and clearly something was different / wrong in the mug shot photo. However, in the commentary, the reactions of the public were mostly of people wondering what “mental illness” she must have. Turns out she was on crystal meth, but it got me thinking how even in my lifetime (and I was born in the 70s, so a Generation Xer, but already I find myself thinking “well in *my* day..”), how successful Big Pharma advertising and “mental illness” propaganda has been in getting people to believe that when something happens, mental illness is the cause and psychiatric drugs are the answer. This type of thinking had spread through our society like some sort of mental parasite and it’s very, very difficult to get through to people.
I don’t know what we are supposed to do or how we stop this, every year more and more people are put on psychiatric drugs, and at younger and younger ages. How sad is it that babies under 2 are being given these drugs? How is this even legal? And it’s medical doctors who do it too, not just psychiatrists. They’ve found medical problems to prescribe these drugs for, so it doesn’t seem like they are going anywhere? How do we stop this?
Absolutely, the black market is flourishing and drug cartels have gone no where. They are targeting children under 18, doing great in places like Oregon where marijuana was legalized but pot shops were voted down, and all of the reasons you mentioned too.
I don’t think it was mentioned in your article, but since some states have legalized, the Mexican drug cartels took a hit in marijuana profits and are now pushing more heroine, crystal meth and fentanyl. It’s working out great for them, actually, beaucoup profits with our horrendous opiod epidemic.
I’m not getting this “appeal to nature” fallacy that comes up when the topic of marijuana comes up, either. Arsenic, cyanide, toxic mushrooms, cocaine and heroine (poppies) are “natural” too, natural doesn’t necessarily mean not harmful or safe. If anyone wants a mostly “safe” natural herb for relaxation, with minimal side effects, try passionflower or lemon balm.
And no, unleashing everything harmful into society because some harmful things are legal too is no solution and completely foolish. Even Portugal is telling us don’t do what they did in a small, homogenous nation in a place like the United States (and despite what people like to pretend, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows over there either). You do see more drug usage when people see substances as not being that harmful, addiction/ substance abuse rates go up (and we love our substances here in the States), and more people seek treatment when things don’t end up being as safe and harmless as they thought. And we all know what happens in “treatment”, they just churn out more people with diagnoses and put them on prescription psych meds. Seriously, be careful what you wish for.
I’m reminded of that saying, “today’s problems are a result of solutions to yesterday’s problems” (or something like that). At the very least we should just leave things alone and observe, not create more problems for the future with our “solutions”.
Interesting read on what’s been going on with the drugs coming in from Mexico in recent years. We don’t live in a pot happy, safe, utopia bubble here in the States (even if some people don’t have the negative side effects), what we do affects other countries too, and is fueling some pretty serious problems:
(And for the record I’m not over 70 or a Republican..not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
That is very sad 🙁
Eeek Julie, that too! Staff getting involved with/ sleeping with the people that are supposed to be “treating” and helping. Seen that too. Thank the universe you had good instincts and made an escape.
Definitely. Even the psychiatrists and APRNs participated in this kind of thing, as did mental health/ social worker staff who were working with not only people diagnosed with various “mental illnesses”, but also with substance abusers. Talk about the blind leading the blind :/
It would be interesting to see a study like that. From what I observed, it had a lot to do with how “high functioning” and compliant a “consumer” was from adhering to principles and “treatments” within the system. Compliance and “high functioning” would then “qualify” the person to coach others into going along with these same “treatments”. However, the whole concept of “consumers” working within a mental health system seems to be a little outdated now, so many people are on psych meds, including all kinds of staff (mental health worker, nurses, psychiatrists, etc); psychiatric drugging being so common and the go-to, it seems strange to me that the a “peer support” person is still differentiated, and somehow within the system they are thought to be on the bottom of the pecking order amongst staff.
Also something else I noticed, and not sure if there are studies on this because I haven’t looked into it too much, just a personal observation. But substance abuse is also *huge* amongst mental health staff. And I don’t just mean a drink with a coworker after work, but that heavy partying stuff. Kind of tough to be turning to people for help and wanting non drug options, when the people you are turning to are not only indoctrinated with the DSM/ Pharma business, but are also coping with life by drugging themselves.
Not sure if you were referring to Frank when you say “you don’t know anyone personally” who recovered via alternative therapies, or if you are speaking to people on here in general. Either way, how can you possibly know who other people know, or their experiences?
I personally have known close friends who were (misdiagnosed) with schizophrenia, medicated heavily and hospitalized, and later found out physical illnesses/ conditions were causing their “psych” symptoms (thyroid problem in one case and celiac’s disease in another, both of which caused motor ticks, hearing voices, “delusionals”, paranoia, depression and anxiety, etc). Luckily both of these friends didn’t buy into the “mental illness” diagnoses and were able to get themselves out of the grips of these doctors and got themselves off of the drugs, sorted out the illnesses, and are doing okay now.
I dodged a few bullets myself when I had the beginnings of some physical illnesses and post partum depression/ hormonal problems that doctors were heavily pushing drug therapies for, and luckily I didn’t listen and found myself an excellent licensed Naturopathic physician, who I have been seeing for 12 years, so I can personally attest to alternative treatments working. I also worked in community mental health/ residential facilities for over 17 years, and can say that I whole heartedly believe and agree that psychiatrists, conventional treatments/ drugs, including what they are doing to children at younger and younger ages, is an epidemic and a crisis, ruining lives and keeping people locked into a system that really is just a penal system, that isn’t helping them get better.
What causes “mental health” symptoms, is a complex topic. Trauma and abuse, stressful life events, lack of social supports, poverty, poor nutrition, all kind of other physiological causes/ illnesses, effects of drugs/ substance use (legal and illegal). We can go on and on.
You’re right, though, that the proof is in the pudding, so to speak, we can talk all we want, but bottom line, how to help people get better. Unfortunately, alternative treatments isn’t where the money is at for drug companies and psychiatrists, medical doctors, hospitals or residential facilities. People getting better and less dependent on conventional therapies equals loss of profit for them, so that’s not where you will hear about treatments that work. Psychiatric diagnoses and drug therapies is where the money is at and what keeps people locked in and coming back, so that’s what they do.
However, if you are genuinely interested in hearing about viable alternative treatment options that work, or for anyone who is reading who might be, I highly recommended the book “Natural Healing For Schizophrenia and Other Mental Disorders” by Eva Edelman. I have the 3rd edition with has a forward/ some good info by Abram Hoffer. One of the best books with some of the most thorough info on causes and how to treat “mental health” symptoms that I’ve read so far.
Just wanted to share an experience, and observation, that I think is relevant to the article, and particularly what Julie has been bringing up regarding community supports.
Recently I reached out to an old friend after being off the radar for a while, and basically was just looking for some support and validation. Sometimes it just helps to hear from someone who has known you throughout your life. I did not get a response, so I started reading online various reasons people give for not responding to people. There was a lot of, “the person shared something personal and I didn’t know how to respond, so I said nothing” and “the person seemed depressed and really should go see a doctor!” type comments. My god, with all of the ways we can communicate with each other now, in seconds, have we become so programmed as a society to automatically amateur diagnose and recoil from people? People are scared to offer simple validation, or don’t know how?
What’s a person to do? Fortunately I do have a few other people in my life who I can talk to. There have also been times where I was dealing with some things, and did go see a therapist, and thought paying someone to listen was a good option because I either didn’t have real life supports at the time, or I thought the things I was dealing with were too heavy, and I didn’t want to burden people in my life with it.
I guess what I am getting at is I agree with the big picture movement. Generally speaking, though, as a society, we really need to do a better job with basic empathy, community & social supports. Not sure how that is going to play out when there is this huge push to diagnose and medicate, and at younger and younger ages? And talking to people who think this is the right thing to do, and doing otherwise is negligent, is an uphill battle. Getting people to see what’s really going on is key, but not an easy thing to do. Also doing a better job as a society, supporting people and knowing how to be with them in their suffering, is important. Otherwise I’m not sure psychiatry/ therapists l will be going anywhere?
Exactly. Sounds all well and good on the surface, unless familiar with how our mental health system really works, and what would end up happening to people.
(Oh and I just noticed my “endorsements” kept getting autocorrected to “enforcement”. Lol, autocorrect has a sense of humor.)
Agreed, and just wanted to point out hate groups can endorse whoever they want, doesn’t mean the candidates accepted the enforcements. The Trump campaign denounced the KKK enforcement and said they didn’t want anything to do with hate groups. Hillary Clinton actually also had a KKK supporter for a while there. Will Quigg from the California Grand Dragon chapter. He insisted he donated $20,000 to her campaign, which the DNC denied. So who knows. But her taking money from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, countries who also fund ISIS and have some atrocious views on women’s rights, really rubbed people the wrong way. You can go on zerohedge.com and see proof of some of the financial interactions, which someone screen shot just prior to them being deleted. It was another thing that didn’t do her any favors, being in bed with them.
But anyways, here were some detailed mental health reform plans from Clinton & Trump. His are pretty vague. He mentions more community and family involvement, and gets into Obamacare and insurance reform with healthcare in general. Hers scared the crap out of me. The part about “infant mental health screening” terrified me. We already have kids as young as 4 or 5 being given benzodiazepines, adhd drugs and anti-psychotics, what’s next, infants? That wasn’t the only part I found scary..reading through it, it’s not hard to imagine how it would play out in real life:
Totally, I hear you and have been following and agree with the majority of what you said in the thread. Just wanted to clarify, though, what I meant by tolerance. I didn’t mean having tolerance for oppressive behavior. What I had in mind when I said that, was things like liberals accusing conservatives of being intolerant, and then being intolerant ten fold in return. Ripping hats off of Trump supporters heads and physically attacking people, rioting, accusing Trump and his supporters of hating women and then in the next breath tearing the women in his family apart. Things like that. It goes both ways, and from what I have seen seeing and reading is that people are just so sick and tired of it.
Human services, psychiatry, social work, mental health professionals..these are professions dominated by liberals, no? Having worked in the field myself since the 90s, I witnessed this myself. The very people you would think would be mindful of giving people stigmatizing diagnoses, and jumping the gun by putting people on medications with nasty side effects, were the ones doing this. Questioning this type of behavior was met with hostility, because the diagnosing and medicating was seen as “helping”.
It’s actually the hypocrasy of some liberals, and blindness to how similar they can be to the very people they say they despise, that actually drove many people to vote for Trump, including women, minorities and people who voted for Obama the last 2 elections, and felt let down and disappointed. Maybe people here are familiar with horseshoe theory? It’s a concept that says the extreme left and extreme right are actually closer to each other, like the ends of a horseshoe, rather than either is to the center. Makes sense to me, and I do see the similarities.
Yeah, I don’t agree with forced psychiatric treatment and punishing people who are diagnosed with mental illnesses, and using them as scapegoats for sins of the masses, either. But throwing money down the rabbit hole into “mental health care”, which seems to make sense on the surface, isn’t really the answer either, is it? We all know where that goes. If it were me or a loved one, I’d go to a Shaman before going down that hellhole path, the one I hear and see many democrats pushing for.
Anyways, I can see why people go Independent/ Libertarian. Switching over to Independent felt very freeing. Not 100% on board with all of the views of Libertarians in particular, but the “personal freedoms” / hands off stance seems quite appealing right about now. Let’s not forget, though, we live in the United States, which is *not* a fascist state. Our government, with our federal and state governments and 3 branches, is set up the way it is for a reason. Some people might not like how the election turned out (personally I was hoping one the 3rd parties would have done better to get into the debates for the 2020 election), but this is a democracy. Half the country has had enough of a democrat being the leader, and now we will have a republican this time around. Tolerance, a principle liberals say they stand for, and the mantra “love trumps hate” can be applied here, too. :/
***we’re making it so easy for them
Ragnarok- I never said “nope, nope, America is totally innocent.” I don’t even think that. What I was disagreeing with you about, is your stance that we are responsible for their tactics, and was pointing out the violent culture we are dealing with here. Maybe you are having trouble discussing this with people because you go right for person jabs and jumping to conclusions about what people think? I’ll drop it, but for the record, you know what else is considered “typical American”, is terrorist acts are carried out, various Islamic groups take credit, and they laugh at how stupid and naive we are because STILL we make excuses for them and look for other reasons. We’ve making it so easy for them, they are laughing at us. :/
Muslim “death to gays” conference in Orlando just prior to Orlando attack:
It’s not just guns. But you do realize there were 3 other Islamic terrorist incidents involving law enforcement in the US since this Orlando incident, right?
Also, just curious, here is a list of world wide Islamic terrorist attacks that we know of in the last 30 days.. Is America to blame for this too?
No one is saying that, Steve. Did you even watch Raheel Raza’s video? You know being gay is against the law and punishable by death under Sharia/ Islamic law, right?
Also Ragnarok, I disagree with you and presented info as to why, but I did not take any personal jabs at you. Please do not speak that way to me.
I’m more than familiar with the various terrorist groups and with your angle. Their tactics are ones that have been used for hundreds of years, way before the US even existed. This is “the religion of peace” we are talking about here:
Well the link between mental illness (depression, bipolar, schizophrenia) and violence failed to be proven, unless alcohol is involved, but that’s also true among the general population. The chief factor influencing gun violence is also alcohol abuse. As far as taking the rights always from people, this is the United States we are talking about here. The Supreme Court did rule in 2008 that the second amendment does guarantee an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self defense within the home. It’s not without rules are restrictions, and we have our state laws we have to follow in regards to firearms, but you can’t just take people’s rights away from them just in case, “mentally ill” or not, unless they did something wrong & there’s a legal reason to do so. (at least that’s how interpreted you saying taking the rights away from people).
Regardless of what a person’s political views are, some great comments & observations on the mainstream media:
Informative book on homegrown terrorism in the US:
We’re saying the same things about the left & the right, but I completely disagree with you about everything else.
Some info on homegrown terrorism for anyone who is interested:
Oh no, I meant “shut down a conversation” :/
That is true, we can’t trust politicians or the media. However, that article itself came across as manipulative to me, because they left out the part about how the left is being manipulative and putting a spin on the situation too (Obama refusing to say Radical Islam, blaming and focusing on weapons). Honestly, in the US, I think it’s too easy to have our own confirmation biases and to just then feed ourselves media sources that confirm and validate the opinions we already have. Republicans may take the second amendment out of context (“it says “shall not be infringed!”) and you can’t even have a dialogue..but honestly, the left does it too. There are people who freak out by the mere mention of Fox News, when seriously there has been some good info presented there that the left is missing out on. It’s also common, when you bring up Sharia law, the plan to bring it to the west (Sharia Law courts already in the UK, for example) being gay being punishable by death, violence being used as a means for centuries upon centuries within the culture, we didn’t cause or create the culture..and people don’t want to hear it. There are people who will say “Islamaphobia!” and shit down a conversation, and they don’t even know what Sharia law is. Not helpful.
I think it’s a good idea to read and look at both liberal and conservative news sources in the US, then look at news sources from outside of the US to see what they have to say. BBC I hear gets bashed for being too liberal, but I find they often have more “big picture” info than any of the US ones. Rebel Media in Canada also reports on things that don’t always make it to the American Media. Here’s some info on some of the people who survived Pulse saying they thought more than one person was involved:
She went on to explain what she meant. You cherry picked a quote, but she went on to say:
“Herein lies a huge problem which must be addressed. Both Muslims and non-Muslims must understand that while all Muslims are not terrorists, most of the terrorists today are Muslims. The ideology of ISIS is the same as Hamas, al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Are they not represented in the 1.7 billion? After killing four innocent people in Tel Aviv, the Hamas operatives who celebrated the murder are also part of the 1.7 billion Muslims.
According a to Pew Poll shown in the Clarion documentary By the Numbers, there are between 40,000 to 200,00 Muslims who are ‘members’ of ISIS; up to 100,000 al-Qaeda affiliates; 7-9,000 members of Hamas, 15,000 to 100,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards and about 15,000 members of Hezbollah. All these are terrorist organizations and jihadists who should be included in the 1.7 billion Muslims making ALL Muslims not so peaceful. While these are the overtly violent groups, the mindset of millions of other Muslims (according to the poll) is also skewed towards violence and acceptance of violence against other human beings.
This is all to say that we Muslims have a huge crisis of a virus within our ranks which we are not accepting. This problem is increased by the lack of acknowledgement by Western leaders. Reform minded Muslims like us can only expose the problems. It’s up to the authorities to take corrective action.
It’s taken 15 years for the term ‘Radical’ to become accepted usage. How long more will it take to stop the Radicals from carrying out their nefarious agendas and waging a war on the West?”
More info on CAIR from Clarion Project can be found here:
I agree with you, and I get it about the links. The info is found at clarionproject.org..
Sera- I would definitely read the article and watch the video, Raheel Raza is a Muslim journalist and educator. We have a huge problem in this world, call it what you want, but in this case I agree with her it’s a matter of educating ourselves and connecting the dots.
In this particular incident, blaming mental illness or focusing on guns is barking up the wrong tree (not that we don’t have an issue with gun violence in this country). The is a (radical) Islam problem. This woman, Raheel Raza, really knows her stuff, and I think her video in the following link is one that should go viral. Very informative:
Does anyone have a link to a study that gives info on racial, ethnic, gender, age, etc. statistics among treatment providers? Searches usually lead to info on patients, but there doesn’t seem to be any on treatment providers, so we have to guess and make assumptions. Seems to me like that info would be important.
^ Oops my apologies, I meant to say 1 in 60,000 blacks and 1 in 200,000 whites, I accidentally reversed it in my above statement.
Steve- the stats on that are a little confusing. When looking purely at numbers, in ten years, 2151 white people died at the hands of police, and 1130 blacks, so it’s more whites that die. However, in US, 63% of the people here are white and 12% black (not factoring in Asian or Hispanic populations) so it works out to be 1 in 60,000 whites will die at the hands of police, and 1 in 200,000 blacks. So yes, if there is police involvement, the chances of you dying in that interaction go up if you are black, but whites don’t get off scot free from shootings or death like our media would lead us to believe. Not really sure what the details were of the intervention with the kind, peaceful black man, I’m sure all sorts of variables factored in, but we don’t know. If the staff were provoking him, who knows what was going on there. It’s possible they were scared of him, but it doesn’t sound like it from the way the incident was described, it sounds like the staff were just provoking him & making an example out of him, and being jerks.
^ **correction, I meant to say young men/ boys 18 and under over prescribed anti- psychotics
Is it possible this reaction could also have been because he was large in size and male? To me it seems like mental health workers in general tend to overreact with men (mobile crisis and police called), even with men who don’t have any kind of a history of violence, or over incidents that could be handled without having to do all of that. In my experience in community mental health, women were able to act out a lot more, including physically assaulting male staff members , and the male staff members were made to feel like “wimps” for speaking up for themselves, and female staff were put down for not being “strong women”, We also know statistically, young boys and men under the age of 18 are being prescribed anti- psychotics at an alarming rate, higher than girls. It’s all bad, but this idea that men/ boys, or white men/ boys are automatically “privileged”, I don’t agree. Maybe sometimes yes, but sometimes it’s no. I agree with Twilah’s above observations, that it really depends.
Interesting video I saw recently about men and boys, and how hard our society makes it for them to seek help:
I’m sorry to hear that happened to you. What I meant was, if a person has money to pay to see someone under the table, there’s the possibility that you can seek out a therapist who is willing to listen without all of that diagnosing/ medicating stuff. A person seeking “help” would still need to do their homework when trying to find someone who isn’t going to do that. They are out there, I know people who have found therapists who they pay to listen and process things with them, but who don’t mention meds or diagnoses. I do agree just because you go outside of your insurance, that in and of itself doesn’t mean you aren’t going face those kinds of things.
Diagnosing can really be a crapshoot, can’t it? I just read this article that examines bias in mental Heath:
However, to me, walking into a practitioner’s office can be this great equalizer, in the sense that no one is getting out without one. Unless you have the money to see someone under the table, and can leave insurance out of it, a diagnosis is going to be given. Maybe some are viewed as being more stigmatizing than others, and biases certainly play a hand, but you will get one none the less, it’s the nature of the beast.
Interesting, Twilah, when you were viewed as “white”, you received the “crazy white lady” diagnosis (borderline), and that when there was racial/ cultural understanding there, it reflected in the diagnosis. Age, culture, gender, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, etc do play into it, both as the person getting “treated”, and as the “professional” doing the diagnosising. I don’t think anyone is safe from getting screwed, though. There was once this psychiatrist where I worked who was male, in his 50s, of Haitian descent, and if a white American male came to see him, it was pretty much guaranteed he wouldn’t listen. Actually, the only time I personally recall him listening and taking the patient’s opinion into account, was this young Haitian woman who came to see him. It was the only time I saw him back down. Perhaps because they were of the same ethnic origin? Not sure, but that’s how it seemed. I agree there are too many variables to take into account for diagnoses to be accurate.
Do tell, what were some of the final exam questions in the armchair psychology training, and how did you answer them?
So often we hear these slogans “it’s just like taking meds for a medical condition like diabetes!”, and if something goes wrong (side effects, withdrawal, etc), it gets blamed on the “mental illness”, or that the person was on the wrong med, or the wrong dose, etc. Rarely do we hear responsibility being placed on the meds themselves, and when it gets brought up, it can be met with severe backlash. Thanks so much for sharing your story.
As far as long term medication side effects, are you familiar with Dr. Peter Breggin’s website? He has many articles on the topic, as well as books…maybe that would be a place to look if you haven’t already..
The Catholic Chirch analogy is a good one, because behind closed doors, you have people in authority covering up all sorts of mistakes and client right’s violations, similar to how things would get covered up in the Catholic Church. Each part of the system works to protect the other. It’s absolutely shocking when you first see, in action, how it works. Also, going to someone outside of the system (like the media) can be tricky, because the very HIPPA laws that protect a client’s anonymity also limit what you can reveal. Very insidious and layered, how it works in real life, when you get beyond “get help for your mental illness”.
One thing I wanted to clarify/add, is it was also shocking how many people worked in the system and went along with, and defended, the “treatments”, even after seeing how damaging they can be, including the types of supposedly civic minded folks you are describing. There’s this “those people” mentality hidden amongst the very people who you wouldn’t think would be this way. One liberal beanie wearing, yoga practicing, vegetarian who wouldn’t poison herself with a single jelly bean would get mad if by chance a doctor did educate a client/ person in the system on medication side effects. One time, she became outraged when a medical doctor told the person her losing her eyesight was due the long term psychotropic meds she was on. Not outraged that the meds did this to her, but outraged that the doctor told her this info and now she would have to deal with her coming off of those meds. Modern day poser? Probably, but it was also this hidden “those people” (with diagnoses, with problems, “I” can’t ever be that way) mentality that I saw among the very people you would think would be fighting that sort of thing…and this isn’t an anecdotal example, this is more pervasive than one would think. Sad :/
^ My apologies for misspelling your name, Sera. I noticed after I posted & I’m not sure how to edit my posts :/
Thank you for the thoughtful article, Sara. I worked in the field for 17 years, and got out recently. Spending all of those years witnessing the types of injustices and abuses that are described on these boards was very eye opening for me. When I first started working in the field, I had no idea what really happened to people once they got hooked into the system. They go in for help, but end up getting a little more than they bargained for. I wonder if some people jump in to defend the system because of lack of understanding of how the system really works?
Also, besides everything that was already mentioned, one thing that chills my spine and makes me speak up every time, is when there is a shooting or you hear about a violent act, and people cry, “the real issue is mental illness!” They mean well, yet they have no idea how damaging this is as a whole for people who are diagnosed with mental illnesses.
So much to think about..