Saturday, August 18, 2018

Comments by Stephen Gilbert

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  • Out

    I think that you bring up a very important point. Just because a person has lived experience and has training doesn’t mean that they won’t carry out against others the very same things that were done to them while they were “patients”. I believe that way too many peers don’t have an inkling as to what their issues are, and if they do know they’ve not really done any work on those issues. It’s not always fun to work on one’s issues and can even be painful, but it’s absolutely necessary if you’re going to work with other people.

  • Agreed.

    It’s pretty arrogant if you are a clinician and claim that you’re going to heal people and you haven’t even dealt with your own issues at all. So many doctors of every specialty and clinicians of all kinds have never dealt with their own “historical crap”. This is dangerous for the people that they supposedly want to care for and to help heal. I would use the very wise words of a very intelligent man who once said, “Physician, heal thyself”.

    I’ve witnessed peer workers abusing “patients” because they’ve not really dealt with their own stuff and keep working it out on the very people that they say they want to walk with in recovery.

  • Even many Christians can be pushed by life to the point that suicide looks like a viable option. I don’t know if you’ve ever been tempted to kill yourself but there comes a time in many people’s lives, that they just want the pain and the crap to stop and they don’t really care how that stopping happens. When you lose hope you lose pretty much everything. And you’re right, the system does nothing at all to really help people who’ve lost all hope, other than to destroy what little hope may remain. Just because I tried to kill myself doesn’t mean that I was or am “mentally ill”.

  • It never ceases to amaze me that one of the largest contributors to early death in people labeled as being severely “mentally ill” is never mentioned, the drugs given to people. It’s not just that they cause people to put on weight that’s a problem, they in themselves cause a myriad of physical problems but no one is allowed to discuss this out loud. I’ve tried it before and learned my lesson very quickly.

  • As a former teacher and being a twelve year product of the American educational system I will say this. I never experienced a fellow student during my school days that I would ever say had ADHD. I never taught a student in my fifteen year teaching history that I would label as a person who supposedly had ADHD. I saw the beginnings of this movement to create problems for kids by labeling them as having this fake issue called ADHD. There were always kids who created problems of one sort or another but I would say that this is the nature of being a kid.

    I will also state this. The American classroom, for the most part, is one of the most boring places you’d ever want to experience. What kid wouldn’t be bored to tears and moved to do things he or she probably shouldn’t do? And another problem is that we’re sending kids to school at earlier ages and expecting them to achieve things that their age group isn’t capable of. Our demands on their time and their abilities are unrealistic and this creates problems for them.

  • Dr. Bessel van der Kolk believes that this lack of connection for infants is part of their original trauma that will drive the entire rest of their lives. He and his group tried to get the APA to develop a new diagnosis, since they just love developing stuff for their new DSM, but he said that the APA rebuffed them and stated that trauma, and particularly the inability to connect with the caregiver had no bearing on anything. van der Kolk is no great lover of the DSM from what I can understand but thought that at least having it in the great Bible might move the discussion forward to that professionals would be better informed.

  • Thank you for writing this. I’ve never thought for even one moment that I was “mentally ill” because I tried to kill myself. I am one of those “bad suicide attempters” that you talk about here. Your writing is one of the very few things that’s made sense to me when looking at my experience.

  • What they are supposedly researching does not exist. ADHD was something trumped up by the drug companies and psychiatry in the mid-80’s and they created it to make a lot of money, at the expense of kids’ lives. Why are they wasting money and time on something like this when there are more important things to work on; things like helping people learn how to make quality relationships with other, things like working to lower the number of people suffering from poverty through no fault of their own, things like working to achieve affordable and safe housing for people who need it, things like creating respite houses in place of warehouse prisons known as “hospitals” where people are drugged to the gills. I am so tired of all this. Studies like this are a waste of good money and valuable time.

  • Yes, wonderful Sen. Joseph McCarthy carried out his attacks with impunity and was finally stopped by a woman senator from Maine (I think) who finally told him to shut up and sit down. And by the way, many don’t know that Richard Nixon was McCarthy’s hatchet man who carried out a lot of attacks against people.

  • I have never been afraid to post any comments that I wanted to here on MIA even though not everyone agrees with me. And I certainly don’t agree with everyone who posts. And I must admit that at times I’m taken aback by something that someone’s told me about my post and it makes me think about things more deeply. I’m not sure that I like this “new and better MIA”. I can’t quite put my finger on why I’m not comfortable with it but my gut says that something is not right about all this.

    And I certainly don’t want to “dialogue” with more professionals here since I get to do that all day long where I work and it gets me absolutely nowhere. They always win no matter what.

  • Littleturtle

    Why would you even consider exposing children to “mental health” and all the snake oil shenanigans of the “mental health” system? If anything we must keep our children free from the “mental health” system at all costs. It has nothing of value to give to children, period. To willingly take your children and hand them over to “mental health” is the same as selling them into slavery for the rest of their lives.

  • Brett

    I hear you. I’m in exactly the same position as a peer worker in the state “hospital” where I work. You’d better never be caught talking with people on the units about the drugs that they’re forced to take nor are you ever to listen to them about being unhappy or angry about having to take the drugs. Psychiatrists reign supreme, no matter what; even though many people on one of the units are forced to take drug cocktails that include at least two so-called “antidepressants” and two and sometimes three neuroleptics. I’m surprised that we haven’t had people drop dead on that unit. It’s disgusting. Alarms have been raised at the higher levels but absolutely nothing is done because the psychiatrists reign supreme and trump everything.

  • And most of the community mental health centers have no real desire to actually help these under-resourced people find what they need to live decent lives. At least this was my experience with the mental health clinic in the city where I live. They are absolutely useless to people other than to hand out the drugs and to make sure that people are taking the drugs. They have no counselors or therapists who work with people. There is one social worker that you can see for fifteen minutes every three months!

  • I’ve dealt with only two community mental health centers. The first one was absolutely excellent and seemed to truly care about helping people resolve their issues and move on with their lives.

    The second center is one of the most abusive collections of people I’ve ever dealt with. This place works to keep from helping people and puts all kinds of roadblocks in the way of providing people with what they need to find recovery for themselves. They lie to people when you seek help. All they want to do is hand out the drugs. I had to call someone in the highest level of state government to intercede with this center to force them to provide talk therapy for me. I was lucky that I knew someone who knew the number of the person I needed to call. Many people seeking help from this clinic do not have access to these kinds of things and so can’t demand better treatment for themselves. The financial officer of the center who interviewed me to see if I could qualify for a scholarship to pay for the therapy quietly told me at the end of our session that the center would do all kinds of things to dissuade me from pursuing my quest for help and that I had to be ready for it and to fight them tooth and nail. It’s got to be pretty damned bad when an employee of the center warns people to be ready for terrible behavior on the part of staff in the center. And in the end, the person that they eventually found for me to see for therapy was a student. This sounds arrogant to say, but I knew more about therapy than she did and helped her understand how to go about dealing with people in a helpful manner. That was kind of weird in that I was the one helping her and I was the one seeking help. What’s wrong with that picture?

  • One of the people who helped me the most in bringing balance back to my life was a young man just starting out as a therapist. He was one of the most compassionate and empathetic people I’ve ever dealt with in my entire life. He allowed and encourage me to do my own work at the pace I was comfortable doing it. I was lucky to be matched with him when I went to the community mental health center for help. The screener who matched us together knew exactly what she was doing.

    I agree that there are a number of good therapists. However, I don’t find any of them to be working in institutions like the state “hospital” where I work. They all seem to be out in private practice and not involved with the “mental health system”. After he finished up his internship the young therapist I mentioned above got out of the mental health center and went into private practice on his own. He said that he wouldn’t have been able to work any longer for the center and still feel like he was ethical and truly helping people.

    The best therapist working where I do doesn’t work as a therapist but is employed doing paperwork, which is a grand waste of her talents. Very little true therapy goes on where I work because if therapy was truly going on people would find their voices and would begin speaking out about what they needed and about what they were not getting in terms of “good treatment”.

  • They didn’t get their hands on me until I was in my sixties and by that time I wasn’t going to be convinced by anything that they told me. I was lucky that I was so old and so set in my ways. And when it is all said and done, the staff of the unit where I was held told me when I became a staff member that they never accepted the diagnosis that came with me from the private hospital where I was held. I found that very interesting. But the damned label is still on my records, no matter what I do or say.

    I was diagnosed by a shrink who never looked at me during the fifteen minutes I was with him. He sat and scribbled on his little pad of paper, taking notes from the notes that my therapist had to give him. Finally, without looking up he asked me how I was doing. I said I wasn’t doing very well because I’d just been told the day before that my beloved and only sister had been murdered in New York City. I stated that it felt like the world was coming down around me. At that he finally looked up at me, lunged towards me across his desk with his finger pointing in my face and screamed “That’s stupid!”. This was the very first psychiatrist I’d dealt with in my entire life and at that point I decided he and the people running the system were the crazy ones.

    Kids don’t have a chance against these idiots and we’ve got to start doing something to protect them from the system and from the drug companies.

  • Ambien is totally useless. I was forced to take it while held in the “hospital” because I couldn’t sleep due to the noise made by the night staff. It did absolutely nothing to help my sleeplessness but I was still forced to take it even though I didn’t want it. It did cause me to feel restless. I agree that it’s as bad and as dangerous as benzos.

  • Not me. I think I get what he’s saying and I often feel the same about becoming a peer worker. I too think this to be a cool article. I admire and envy him moving to Japan, moving out of his comfort zone and yet discovering himself more fully.

    So many peers state that they are “in recovery” rather than “recovered”. For me, “in recovery” means that you need a lot of external things to keep you on the path while “recovered” makes use of internal gifts, talents, and abilities so that you can put the “illness” behind you. “In recovery” seems like the “illness” is always hovering around in the background, just waiting to take advantage of you if you make a false step.

    I hope that he writes more things here on MIA. It feels to me like we’re talking about the same old same old and just going around in circles but not accomplishing very much here. We don’t seem to attract too many new readers either.

  • I am very interested in hearing your story about the lack of any kind of therapy and the over drugging of people in inpatient “hospitals’. I work in a state hospital where this is the standard treatment for people no matter what their issue is. It’s totally disgusting and destructive of people’s lives. Nothing is actually done to really help people and we end up warehousing them for the financial benefit of the system, the psychiatrists, and the drug companies.

  • Not really. Despite all the hoopla about how great the economy is and about how many jobs are out there for people to apply for, it’s all just a bunch of bunk. Most of those jobs are part-time positions and not anything that you can actually live on. The Trump group won’t admit this but just keep touting the numbers.

    Anyway, working at a state hospital is not going to make you rich, nor will you make your first million. People are holding onto and guarding their jobs. This is not to say that what we do doesn’t contribute to the misery of those who’ve been labeled as the “mentally ill”. This is something that constantly bothers me.

    However, I genuinely believe that most of the staff are true believers and will always drink the Kool-Aid. Those of us who know the truth are far and few between and are always in jeopardy. I also know that these are the people who truly minister to the people on the units. These, for the most part, are the staff who deal with people respectfully and honor people’s dignity. They are the ones who make a difference. And sometimes we gather in twos or threes and discuss the situation in the hospital. We’re stuck between looking like we support the status quo and trying to make a real difference in the system. I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re not going to make a dent in the system because we don’t have the numbers like those who run the system and those who keep it running in supporting roles.

  • Your question is a very important one that I myself struggle with on a daily basis now since I work under the psychiatrists in a state hospital. I watch the indiscriminate drugging going on and I raise issues with my supervisor and I get no response. No one wants to talk about what the drugs are doing to people and everyone just follows orders. However, where I live I’m convinced that most people have no clue about what’s going on and believe the propaganda with no doubts at all. Everyone drinks the Kool-Aid and just mosies on down the road without any thought about what’s really happening.

    So, most of us are totally revolted by what Hitler and his Nazis did to people in Europe. And yet, is there any real difference between those of us working in “mental health settings’ and the people who carried out Hitler’s orders?

  • Right! They have to keep those fifteen minute drug maintenance checks rolling through their office so that they can make that good money at the end of the day. Psychiatrists can do four med checks in one hour as opposed to one hour of talk therapy. They know what side of the bread the butter is on.

    Even psychiatrists who didn’t want to do drug maintenance as a profession when psychiatry changed ended up doing it anyway because they realized that they were not going to make any money doing talk therapy. I suspect that this is one reason that talk therapy is so expensive if you can even find a psychiatrist who knows how to do any actual therapy. They’ve got to charge you an arm and a leg in order to pay the bills.

    And then you have to talk about the psychiatrists who are too lazy to actually do any real work at all.

  • I was at a five day training last week where I had an interesting discussion with a young man. He made the observation that he finds it interesting that psychiatrists claim that their wonderful drugs target very specific sections or parts of the brain in order to bring about a difference in the behavior of those labeled with diagnoses. But…..it’s a proven fact that all the drugs used are nothing but general tranquilizers. There is no proof that any of the neuroleptics actually target small and specific areas of the brain. And if anyone tries to state that there are studies to prove that the drugs do this then you have to trace things back to the source of the study and you will most likely find that there’s a drug company behind the lies.

    Most of the people at this training were drinkers of the Kool-Aid and claimed that they owed their lives to the drugs. It’s not my job to convince anyone of anything nor to force anyone to believe the way that I do. However, there were a few individuals there, besides myself, who no longer believe the lies. I met the young man mentioned above and I met a gentleman who took himself off the drugs and no longer uses them at all. There were a few other people at the training who I suspect were not Kool-Aid drinkers. However, all of them were silent about this in the general training. Only in the small, private discussions that took place at lunch did you find anyone willing to stand against the drugs. But there were some people who did and I find this hopeful. Not all of us there at the training were Kool-Aid lovers.

  • In 2007, Nancy Andreasen, the Grand Dame of biological psychiatry, wanted to disprove the idea that antipsychotics made people’s brains shrink. She set up her study and ran it to its conclusion and the end results proved that antipsychotics were shrinking people’s brains. Thinking that she must have made a mistake she ran the entire study over again and got the same result. Confounded by her results she sat on them for two years and then, being the scientist that she is, she published her results and stated that the drugs were the cause for the differences in the brains of people labeled with schizophrenia as compared to people who’d never been on the drugs and who supposedly had normal brains. I have to admire her for this, for having the courage to go against established psychiatric thought. But, then she ran back to her brethren and hid among them by stating that even though this is the truth, that people on the drugs should continue to take them. This is a crazy, crazy world.

  • Myself, I’d try creating and promoting a video game of some sort that attacked these problems. It could be a free game that you download from a website that we would set up. This is the going thing these days, you create a new video game and rather than sell it you give it away free to anyone who wants to download it. You make your money by selling costumes and weapons etc. for real money and people use these things to customize their character that they create for the role playing game. You could reach thousands of Americans both adolescent and young adult. Of course, then we’d be accused of not taking the video game diagnosis as seriously as we should.

  • Don’t expect any great metanoias or ground shaking conversions even though you show them the proof by your own experience. I’ve come to believe that there is nothing rational about the way that people hand onto their drugs that they call “medicines”. I haven’t taken a psychiatric drug since the day I walked out of the “hospital” and people who are friends and on the drugs try to fight with me concerning my choice or they try to convince me that I should go back on them, “just in case”. It’s amazing to me that people refuse to see the light even with the proof staring them in the face.

    Congratulations on your getting off Effexor since I found it to be the very devil’s tic tacs. Horrible stuff that separated me from my feelings and emotions and caused me to do some very dangerous things.

  • There is truth to this article.

    When dealing with clinical staff where I work the expectation is that I will not raise my voice or get upset when discussing anything. They are incredulous that I’m upset and then blame my being upset on the fact that I’m a former “patient”. The lower echelon staff, not clinical, understand perfectly why I express anger and am upset about many things.

  • Well, a woman on staff where I work has an interesting story to tell about her mother and brother. Her brother was “diagnosed” at a young age as being bi-polar. Their mother, who happens to be a nurse, was told that he needed to be put immediately on “medication” since he would be “ill” for life. His mother took him home and said that was all a lot of bull manure. She never applied the label of “bi-polar” to him and never used it at home when he experienced issues. She never told everyone she could about how her son was “bi-polar”. She never did put him on anything and he is now grown and owns and runs his own plumbing business. In fact, it’s a very profitable business that provides for him and his family. Encouraged by his mother he dated and got married and has children. Does he experience difficulties at times in his life? Yes, but he knows how to deal with those difficulties without resorting to the drugs that would disrupt his life and his business for good. I know that this is only one story about all of this but it’s an uplifting piece of information. One man who is productive and seemingly happy with his life was saved by his mother who refused to put him on the drugs as the wonderful psychiatrist instructed her to do.

    If there is one story out there like this there have to be more.

  • The fact that German psychiatry was responsible for the murder of thousands of the so-called “mentally ill” in the 1930’s is not alternative facts. To say something like this is to show a lack of historical knowledge.

    There were six cities chosen across Germany to function as disposal centers for the “useless eaters” as the “mentally ill” were called. This was a term applied to any group in Germany that the elite felt were detrimental to the volk of German society. The volk is like the sacred body of the German people and had to be maintained in its purity at all costs. Any group who didn’t fit the requirements for belonging to the volk were to be gotten rid of at all costs. So the “mentally ill” and Jewish people and Gypsies and Gay people and many other groups were ostracized and referred to as useless eaters. This was also a way to pathologize these groups with the German people. There are posters from the 1930’s that present this idea. The German working man was told that he was being weighed down economically by having to provide not only for himself and family but for these useless eaters as well. He was told how unfair this was to him.

    So, German psychiatry decided that they needed to purge the “mentally ill” and got the backing and permission of the government to carry out this purge. Every “mentally ill” person had to go through the review by two psychiatrists. If one of the two psychiatrists gave a thumbs down to you, you were bundled up and carted off to one of these six cities. You were then forced to go into a “shower” room where you would be packed with many others till there was standing room only. Originally these people were gassed by using diesel exhaust from large engines. Later the Nazis, who would take over this plan, would use zyklon B I think it was called. There were ovens built at these disposal centers where the bodies would be burned. Then, a death certificate was sent to the person’s family stating that you died of a sudden illness. Later on the gas chambers and ovens were taken over by the Nazis as part of the Final Solution.

    During the war the program was discontinued against the “mentally ill” only because of the difficulty of the logistics. However, American soldiers told of going into “mental hospitals” and asylums for the insane and finding dead bodies of patients who’d been starved to death and they found people in the process of starving. They may not have been able to transport and gas them so they just starved them to death. You’ve go to be pretty damned cold hearted to watch people starve to death over a number of days. But this is what American soldiers found from one asylum to the next.

    This is not a matter of alternative facts. It happened and you can’t erase it or wish it had never happened. This is one of the reasons that the Nazi doctors, the wonderful psychiatrists, were hung at the Nuremburg trials after the war.

    And the interesting fact is that many American psychiatrists supported the things done by German psychiatry! This is attested to by the keynote address at the 1941 annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. Of course I’m sure that the APA doesn’t want to have a big discussion about this at all.

  • kindredspirit

    Since I was older when I was dragged into the system, I think I was 61, I was already set in my ways and didn’t believe in the bologna that the psychiatrists tried to foist on me. I learned to take up for myself and to stand up to the psychiatrists on my case. It didn’t get me anywhere with them but sure did make me feel better about myself. Nothing of what they said made any sense and I just kept telling them that I was never ill, no matter what they said or what they labeled me with.

    But, that label is stuck to me and I can’t get rid of it no matter what I do. You are right about having to fight to defend your sanity. But I was lucky and came out fairly unscathed when they set me loose.

    I’m not trying to minimize the harm you’ve endured nor do I try to make you feel better by trying to take your righteous anger away, but you saw the light and quit drinking the Kool-Aid and you’re free from the lies and quackery of psychiatry! I know that it’s easy for me to say, but better later than never at all!

    It’s amazing that psychiatry is the only medical specialty (and I don’t think that it should be a specialty at all) that can force its treatment on people, against their will and better judgment. It’s criminal and someday I hope that we can prosecute them for the harm that they’ve caused for countless numbers of people. I see the harm that they do on a daily basis.

  • Mindfulness is not a therapy but a practice of being aware and living in the Present Moment. If it helps people deal with the issues that they struggle with in their lives, and if it is beneficial that’s great. But it is not a therapy. However, like so many other things it can be therapeutic for individuals who practice it. But therapy is not its primary function.

  • Actually, before the advent of the drugs in the mid to late ’50’s there was about a 60% recovery rate out of the asylums, it just took people a while to accomplish the recovery. Once they left most never returned for a second visit. There were some who might return for a second visit and then never came back. Unfortunately, there were always about 30% of people who didn’t seem to have the capacity to recovery and get out of the system. Once the drugs made it on the scene what was once episodic became chronic and the supposed recovery rate is now about 15% of I remember correctly.

    You’re right about them not letting people go.

    I’ve noticed that a lot of people and organizations (like SAMSHA) talk about being “in recovery” rather than being “recovered”. I believe that there’s a big difference between the two experiences. I think that the first implies that you can’t really get your issues dealt with and behind you but that you’ll always be “ill” though you might be able to go to school or hold a job. To me recovered means that you’ve dealt with things and moved on with your life. When I bring this up in meetings of people with lived experience who are not locked in some institution most of them sidle around this and don’t really want to discuss it. They end up saying that each person has the right to think about it in the way that they want and I agree with that, but don’t turn around and try to convince me that I’m really “in recovery”.

  • And the problem with the gross cake batter made with salt instead of sugar is that we’re the ones who are forced to eat it against our better judgment. The psychiatrists and other clinical staff and the drug ceo’s don’t have to choke it down but they certainly profit off of it by leaps and bounds.

    I like your analogies and the way that you write.

  • True. Henrietta’s family would be some of the richest people in this country now if they’d received compensation for the harvesting of their mother’s cells, unbeknown to anyone but the doctor who did it and one or two of his assistants. If I understand things correctly, most of all the human cells that are used in tests and studies today come from her original cells harvested by the doctor who took her case.

    Many African Americans are afraid to go to teaching hospitals affiliated with medical schools for their treatment because they fear that they will be experimented on. Henrietta was in Johns Hopkins I think. I believe, after being trained in one of these hospitals and after reading Henrietta’s story that they have a right to be afraid.

  • And women were the main targets for the hysteria and melancholia labels. And you’re absolutely right about the wonderful “treatments” meted out to them all in the name of helping them, for their own good of course. It’s interests me how women have been the targets of so much of the quackery called psychiatry and mental health. In the thirties and forties in this country if wives of prominent men didn’t do exactly as they were told they found themselves in asylums and labeled as “mentally ill”. When women became inconvenient they ended up in the asylum.

    First the witch hunts and burnings at the stake in the Dark and Middle Ages and then the asylums if you didn’t tow the acceptable line in the 1900’s.

  • As a person who once tried to kill himself but obviously survived I just want to say thank you for a great response to everything that we’re hearing and seeing lately. I too shudder when I hear all the platitudes being spouted ad nauseam and think to myself how most people don’t even have a clue what they’re talking about concerning suicide.

    Secondly, I never believed that I was ever “mentally ill” because I wanted to kill myself. This was a huge point of contention between myself and the psychiatrists whom I had to deal with after my unsuccessful attempts. They cited their opinion that my unwillingness to embrace my “illness” was a sign that I didn’t have insight into how “ill” I truly was. When they stated this I just smiled at them because I knew without a doubt who had no insight at all into the situation. But of course, smiling got me in trouble for other reasons. You can’t win against psychiatrists.

    As a society perhaps it would suit us better to pursue contentment rather than happiness.

  • Thank you for responding. I agree that more person-centered care needs to be given but not only by psychiatrists but by all doctors in all medical specialties. Lately, I’ve run into GP’s who were as controlling as the psychiatrists I dealt with. Something has happened to the field of medicine, beginning with medical school, that is not good for our health in today’s society.

    Yes, I read your earlier statement and appreciate your willingness to deal with people properly.

  • After working seven years to change attitudes in the state “hospital” where I now work I’m beginning to think that peers would do better to leave the traditional institutions and the system and band together to create places like you refer to here. We’d have more leeway to do what we’re supposed to do with people. But this entails having money and no one in the city where I live will give money to anything like this. You can’t get the funding for this kind of work.

  • Pat, I agree that if you change the culture peers won’t be tokens.

    But it takes a very long time to change the culture of a place like a state “hospital”. It’s like turning a ship in the ocean; you have to begin planning for the turn long before you actually want to turn. These places are adamant about not changing and work to keep change at the very minimum. I’ve seen CEO’s where I work who tried to bring about change in the culture and its thinking. Three of them bit the dust in seven years and we’re working on our fourth.

  • I received more humane and understanding care from two, young behavioral health care workers who made a real human connection with me and dealt with me in compassionate ways. They led me to care about myself by showing me that they cared about what happened to me. Unlike the psychiatrists who were determined to make me do what they wanted me to do. I received more healing from them than from any of the clinical staff on the unit. I healed in spite of the clinical staff!Of course, neither of these two work at the “hospital” now.

  • Unless I didn’t read very carefully it’s surprising to me that there’s little mention made of the fact that the risk for suicide goes up after being discharged from psychiatric institutions for those who were “hospitalized”. And this is just not people who were supposedly suicidal before they were incarcerated in the “hospital” but those who showed no signs of motivation in this direction before their stay. So what does that tell you about the wonderful “treatment” that people receive? You’re more likely to kill yourself after “hospitalization” than you were before “hospitalization”.

    I was “hospitalized” for trying to kill myself. Not one of the three psychiatrists that I had on my case wanted to hear about why I wanted to kill myself. I made numerous attempts to explain what was going on and it made two of them visibly uncomfortable. As a chaplain I understood a little about body language and these two guys squirmed in their seats and looked at their watches while I tried to explain. This was not at all important to them since they knew that my actions were caused by a chemical imbalance and they certainly had the cure for that! I also had the feeling that only one of the three was concerned for my welfare. The other two were worried that if they didn’t hold me long enough and I went out and killed myself that they would be held accountable. They were worried about covering their asses and not about my issues that were causing my behavior. Such is the system where it comes to wanting to kill yourself. They will end up forcing you to take drugs that are known to drive people to kill themselves or others. Go figure. Makes you ask what’s wrong with this picture.

  • I doubt that it would be possible for someone to sneak a camera in to someone locked up. Where I work they make visitors take everything out of their pockets and leave them in a locker. Then they wand the person to see if they still have anything on them. Then they make them go through a metal detector. Then, in the visitation area they have guards that constantly watch everyone in the room. And if that isn’t enough they have cameras and microphones everywhere in the visitation room and if they suspect anything they immediately go to the film and play it back.

    And for the person who is the supposed “patient” they’d better be a very good actor because they give anyone that they suspect of what they call “malingering”, pretending to be “mentally ill” all kinds of oral exams to detect whether or not someone is pretending to be “mentally ill”. They supposedly have a method of detecting whether or not your hallucinations are valid or not. I’m not so sure that this has any validity. And then of course they watch you on film to see if you stay in character or not. The reason all of this developed is due to the fact that many people who’ve committed crimes like murder, often claim to be “mentally ill” so that they won’t be prosecuted and sent to prison. We have a very large forensic population at the “hospital” where I work.

    And, if anyone was successful in getting a camera onto the unit and was actually able to take pictures the federal government would probably prosecute them for violating the HIPPA regulations about “patient” privacy.

    The security procedures for visitors deal not only with keeping things from being brought in to the “patients” but because of the possibility of an active shooter situation. With the number of mass shootings that have taken place there is increased concern that someone might be motivated to carry out a mass shooting in the “hospital”. At times, when I’m very pessimistic about life, I’m surprised that no one has tried something like that yet. There is certainly enough righteous anger against the system and places like the “hospital” to motivate such an attempt.

  • Agreed. Even in 1941, there were many supporters among American psychiatry for euthanizing the so-called “mentally ill”. Just look at the keynote address for the 1941 meeting of the American Psychiatric Association for proof. And in 1942, an anonymous editorial by two authors supported this same idea in the APA’s Journal. This isn’t that long ago, all things considered. We just didn’t refer to the “mentally ill” as “useless eaters” like they did in Germany.

    There were many people in this country who supported Hitler and his proposals when he first came to power and many well-known foundations that still exist today supported eugenics. One interesting note; when Hitler’s speeches were translated on American radio they were not accurate in stating what Hitler was saying. A friend of mine had a German American grandmother (third generation American citizen who spoke and understood German) who said that it was strange to hear Hitler screaming a lot of very scary things while the translator was not reporting any of the scary things at all. Was this the beginnings of fake news?

  • By saying that slaves didn’t experience “mental illness” while free Black people did Galt was giving another example of cognitive dissonance. Slavery had to be protected in every way possible even though it was all chicanery. You had to hide the truth and the reality from yourself at all costs and therefore you had to practice cognitive dissonance.

    Thomas Jefferson, one of our revered Founding Fathers and the creator of the Declaration of Independence, also practiced cognitive dissonance big time. He wrote that slaves didn’t need as much sleep and rest as white people did. He stated this as fact. I think it’s plain why he would say something like this since slaves were driven to work from daylight to dark, usually seven days a week. And he had plenty of slaves to work his wonderful planation of Monticello. And some of those slaves were his very own children, children that he fathered by one of his women slaves. I think her last name was Hennings. I don’t think he freed his children until his death. Things that make you go hmmmmm………….!

  • Agreed. We can see where “evidence based practices” got us who are labeled as the “mentally ill”. I also agree that they need to quit worrying about assessing students and just meet the kids where their needs are. You don’t have to be a psychologist nor have lots of fancy degrees and training to be able to do this. You just have to love people and you have to care about doing your best for them.

  • LOL! At one time, at least when I was in high school, Guidance counselors were not psychologists. And you’re right, they helped you with career choices, college choices, arranging to take the ACT and things like that. You could go to them and talk if you had a big difficulty in your life but they didn’t patrol the hall, looking for people to harass. They refereed between students and teachers when said students and teachers had disagreements with one another. And if you were having a really tough time and it was seeable to them they called you in and gave you a chance to talk if you so desired. It doesn’t seem that this is what they do today. They seem to go around hunting for people to diagnose and label. They seem to spend more time these days making referrals to psychiatrists so that kids can be drugged. They need to be thrown out of schools, period.

  • I have no idea how many of the medical schools that tried this are still requiring some education in the Humanities. My suspicion is that this went by the wayside because they got so much flack from the students, our wonderful and dear future doctors that we’re having to deal with these days.

  • A number of years ago some medical schools began requiring their students to take classes in the Humanities. They were met with a great deal of resistance to this on the part of their students. I believe that everyone, no matter what your major in college, should be well-rounded in their education. Part of the problem with education in the United States today is that we specialize and narrow things down to just certain subjects. People end up being great mathematicians and chemists and scientist or whatever but can’t carry on an intelligent conversation concerning history or philosophy or anything else. They are lacking in knowledge and can’t beat their way out of a wet paper bag to hold an intelligent conversation to save their lives.

    I myself was a student in the College of Agriculture with a major in Dairy Science. Every semester when it came time to sign up for classes I had to make a twice yearly visit to the dean of my college and I had to defend my decision to take Humanities classes for my electives instead of agricultural classes. He stated that I should be choosing my elective hours in nothing but Agriculture and I strongly disagreed. He eventually would give in but was never happy about it. I’m really glad now that I stuck to my guns and got a well-rounded education.

  • As a former high school teacher I’m beginning to wonder if psychologists should even be part of the school situation. About all they seem to do is point out students that should be drugged for supposedly having ADHD. I wonder how often they discover students who’re are being abused at home. I don’t hear much about that at all, only this ADHD stuff. They’re supposedly part of the school system to help students but I think they’re hindering and harming students instead.

  • I agree with you. I myself will never put another one of those drugs into my body ever again but if other people feel that they are helpful to them then I say more power to them to take the damned things.

    I don’t want them but if others want to take them then I support their choice. It makes me sad but I support it. One of the huge things that the “mental health” system rips away from people is freedom of choice and self determination. I don’t want to do to others what the system always does.

  • Even though I’m one of those dreaded peer workers I’m beginning to believe that you’re onto something here.

    I’m seeing it in my own state, which just developed a training program for certified peer workers. But, get this, the people doing the training have no lived experience! And, they’ve set up parameters that are very narrow about how peers function when working with people. I sat on the original committee that began this work and the majority of the members of the committee were people with lived experience. But, we had “advisors” from SAMSHA and people from the state licensing board. We were the preliminary workers setting up what we thought the training should be like. Thrown in among us were people who ran “programs” for the “mentally ill” and people with addictions. Before it was over with many of us with the lived experience were ignored and the people without the lived experience took over and put together the curriculum for the training. Many of us removed ourselves in protest as we could see where things were being pushed by those who had no business pushing.

    All I know is that my training was nothing like the training that this group produced. One of the interesting notes is that the requirement for continuing education requires more than even social workers in the state are required to do. They’ve put so many qualifications on requirements that a person will be spending more time going to continuing ed courses and dealing with more red tape and bureaucracy than they will be actually working with people.

    Something is fishy here.

  • I feel that you make a good point about people getting off the drugs and making changes that lead to them regaining their lives, only to have push back from other people because they’ve changed. I think that this is what you are saying but correct me if it’s not.

    Many people don’t want anyone to change because then they’d have to rearrange their thinking about that person and change the way that they react to them. For many this is work that they don’t want to engage in at all. I think it’s much easier to attack people than it is to build them up and support them in their new endeavors.

    I believe that there are families that have deeply rooted emotional and psychological problems and these families often designate a member of the family to be the black sheep, the “mentally ill” family member. And God help that designated person if and when they change or try to change. The other family members refuse to look at their own issues because they conveniently have the scapegoat to point to and unload all the family issues onto. The best thing that the black sheep can do is detach from their sick family and move as far away from them as possible because the family will never change its approach to that person. They are better off with no family at all as to have to deal with the family that they have.

  • @ Frank and Oldhead

    Thanks for responding. Your explanations help me to put things in context when I get down about how things are not going where I work. I believe that you’re right when you say that the people held where I work do not truly realize that they are oppressed since for many of them this is all that they’ve ever known.

    Yes, things have changed, and not for the better when the law got involved with the system so that you’re followed everywhere, no matter what. I know that I’ve made sure to drop out of sight when I was discharged from the “hospital” where I work. I refused to go to their stupid day treatment program but of course I was not court mandated for treatment either. Not being court mandated gives you freedoms you wouldn’t have otherwise to tell the stupid asses off and that they need to mind their own businesses. Who would think to look for me in the very place where I was once held?

    Thanks for your responses.

  • I’m not so sure that all “psychiatric prisoners” would welcome being liberated. There are lots of “psychiatric prisoners” who totally believe in their “illness” and fight tooth and nail against any idea of perhaps recovering from their supposed “illness”.

    They clasp their labels fondly to their chests and become indignant when you try to discuss things that they can do to keep themselves from being imprisoned again in the psych “hospital”. I know that you have no love for peer workers and I respect your stand on things but I’ve found that many people trapped in the system and in the “hospital” don’t want to hear about living a life outside of drugs and the system. One young woman stood up last week and screamed at me that she was just a crazy person and that I needed to leave everybody alone about my stupid shit about how to escape the system.

    The only “prisoners” who seem to really care at all about leaving the system are the hard-core, die-hard, non-compliant “patients” who refuse to succumb to the demands of the wonderful treatment team (who pushes the drugs on them as the price they will pay to be able to be discharged from said “hospital”), the kind of “patient” that I have the idea that you were. These are the people that I admire the most.

    Most everyone else may not always like what the “treatment team” demands from them, but they will tell me that they are ill and always will be and that I need to quit bothering them with my “recovery” group because they have no desire to hear it. The room where I try to hold the recovery group is also the craft room, which has a radio in it. When it’s time for group to begin the radio is turned off. Well, last week I was told by two “patients” that I needed to find someplace else to hold the group because they wanted to continue listening to the radio and that I was taking away their right to do what they wanted to do. I have no control over what room is assigned for me to hold the group in and I’m not allowed to cancel the group, unless I’m ill. But this is the usual response to anything dealing with getting out of the system. I’ve battled this attitude for almost eight years now. They’ve drank the Kool-Aid and don’t want to hear anything that requires hard work and responsibility on their parts.

    So, I wonder how many “prisoners” truly want to be liberated from their “prisons”. Somehow, the system has done a much better job at convincing people to accept their message than peers have done in trying to move our agenda forward. This is probably due to the fact that the system got its hands on many of these people when they were kids, before they learned how to be responsible for themselves and about how to actually get jobs and take care of themselves. They demand that they be put on Disability if they are new to the system. The “mental health” system has destroyed tens of thousands of lives with this and people seem to accept it with little or no thought.

  • Mind you this was a preschool student! He was a baby!! What in the hell is a preschool teacher doing trying to get a small child under the age of fine on drugs????? It’s unbelievable. I was riding the city bus one morning when one of the passengers started talking about how her child as bi-polar and how she had to have all kinds of medicines. Another passenger asked her the age of her child and she sat there and said, “She’s two years old.” A two year old on the toxic drugs!

  • Exactly! So why is it illegal to go down and get your kids speed from the corner drug peddler rather than going to psychs and pharmacies? I suspect it would also be a lot cheaper from the drug peddler. I am so cynical this morning.

  • Someone else

    You are correct about schools getting more money for each “disabled” student that they have in their systems. At least that is the case in the state where I live.

    We’re not just fighting against the psychiatric system but against many other systems too. They’re all twined together in ways that are difficult to spot or pick apart but they are not working to benefit our kids or us. I’m beginning to think that the goal is to make our society into one homogenous group of zombies who will follow orders without complaint or rebellion. And now I know that I’m sounding like some conspiracy person but all of this is beginning to worry me. At the age of 70 I’m seeing things in our society that don’t look or smell very good to me.

  • Lavender

    You’re correct about this. Ordinary people don’t have the money to fight the system, which includes the schools, Department of Human Services, psychiatry, and the political hacks who stupidly back anything that the system says or pushes. But at some point all of us have to somehow make a stand against the drugging of our kids or our entire society will end up a bunch of zombies at the mercy of the large corporations who are just waiting to take over everything in this country. Since when were corporations and super pacs people too? And our wonderful Supreme Court gave us that one.

  • I agree totally. It is child abuse.

    What have we come to when you can’t trust kids with their parents nor their schools? As a teacher I always felt that I’d been given a sacred trust to do the best for my students and to watch over their welfare and well-being as best I could. Thirty years later I still wonder what happened to some of my students and I hope that things turned out well for them.

    A few years ago I watched a movie on Netflix. I can’t remember the title of the movie but it was about our society in the future when everyone had to take a daily dose of drug to keep them from feeling their emotions and feelings and to keep them from becoming dissatisfied with the government, which controlled each and every aspect of their lives. The plot revolves around one father who doesn’t take his “drugs” or “medicine” and he’s reported to the authorities by his own child. The entire thing was shot in black and white and gray and was very dark and depressing. But I feel that this is what our society is coming to if we don’t wake up and do something about it now. We’ve got to start standing up for the children.

  • You don’t have to justify yourself to anyone here. If you feel that you need it then you don’t have to make excuses to anyone here and you don’t have to defend your decision. If you feel that you need it then you need it, plain and simple. All of this should be a matter of freedom of choice to do as each person sees fit with their own lives. No one here has the right to tell you what you should be doing. If anyone here tries to shame you for doing so then they’re just as bad as the system that doesn’t give anyone any choice at all about what happens to them while in its clutches.

    As I stated somewhere else, I suspect that you’re a person with lots of strengths. You work and you go to the gym, despite dealing with the voices. I admire the determination and strength that doing such takes. It can’t be easy but you do it anyway. But you owe no explanations to anyone here about your choices concerning your own health and well-being.

  • Lately I was thinking that this was just me but I’m glad to know that someone else has noticed. Yes, MIA is a good beginning but we need something more at this point. It’s a good place to get the real facts about what’s being done to people in the name of “good treatment”. But if you want to do something, really do something to break the back of the system, we’re not going to find it here.

  • I’ve never met Will Hall but my feeling when watching and listening to him in videos is that he wants to be very careful not to upset the “mental health system”. It’s the same kind of feeling that I sometimes get from MIA. They want to dialog with the people running the system rather than just coming out and stating that it’s all a big bunch of bull shit. They want to find common ground as if there is any common ground. It’s like they feel that we’ll be looked at as crazies and we’ll be ignored if we get too adamant about all this. It’s like they tiptoe around the reality and think that the system is going to do the right and moral thing if we just talk rationally enough to them, over and over again.

  • As I stated above I’ve confronted my friends who allow their kids to be drugged with these stimulants. They act as if they’re afraid to stop the drugging and they act powerless as they shrug their shoulders and ask me what else can they do but give the drugs to their kids. It’s really crazy.

  • As a former high school teacher who now has lived experience in the wonderful psychiatric system referred to as the “mental health system” I keep asking the same question as you. “What kind of society are we if we do not put children’s well-being ahead of professional self-interest and greed?” We’d rather let entire generations of children be drugged rather than call a halt to all of this craziness. Why have doctors become so strong in our society that parents bow down to them when the first response is to drug the kids? Surely they watch the effects of these drugs on their children and yet are not willing to call a halt to any of this. I have friends who drug their kids for this fake illness and I’ve confronted them about why they allow it to go on. I’ve shared all the information with them about what a hoax this is. Their only response is to tell me, “What can we do?” I tell them that they can quit giving their kids the drugs but it does absolutely no good. It’s as if they are powerless and afraid to do the right and proper thing.