Friday, June 22, 2018

Comments by Stephen Gilbert

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  • 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.

  • Thank you for writing this. I taught high school boys for fifteen years and never, ever ran across a student that I’d have labeled as having this. I quit teaching in 1988 when ADD was miraculously discovered out of the clear blue. Did I have difficult and challenging students in my classes? Absolutely. But I never had one student that I’d have tried to label like this. Many American classrooms are amazingly boring to say the least. Many American classrooms are not challenging. And now, in way too many classrooms across this country teachers are only teaching to the standardized tests that are given at the end of the year. I feel that this is a total waste of valuable classroom time. But we must keep students on task from bell to bell, even little kindergarteners and pre-school children. The things that we demand from students are often totally unrealistic based on their age and realistic abilities.

    I believe that this ADD and ADHD bologna was created by an American classroom system that desperately needs revamping and by drug companies and psychiatry, both of which saw a great opportunity to make lots and lots of money. The really sad thing is that our children are paying for this in more ways than one and we’re doing nothing to stop it.

    I will also state that although there are lazy teachers who really don’t won’t to really teach, most teachers are people caught in a system that cares very little for the students in the classroom, or about the teachers themselves. Many teachers buy classroom supplies out of their own pay checks and many struggle to enrich the lives of the people placed in their care. But they are struggling against a system that is chopping budgets and raising impossible demands of both teachers and students. Politics has wormed it’s way into too many school boards and too many of those boards are headed by superintendents who are toadies to the legislature at the state capitol. Why is it that when states want to cut the amount of spending that takes place in their states that they immediately go for the school system? Tell me how much sense that makes?

  • I agree. It’s only going to get worse. Former drug reps have given interviews in which they tell how they were sent by their supervisors into nursing homes to find new victims to drug so that they could make more money. Not only their paychecks but their bonuses depended on how many new victims they could get prescriptions written for. I’m frustrated because I have no idea what one solitary person can do about this. How do we go about combating the spread of power by the drug companies and the mental health system? It’s not enough to come here to MIA and post things to one another. We’ve got to develop greater impact on a larger audience but I have no idea how to accomplish this.

  • I also find it interesting that an article like this generates so little interest here on MIA. I am assuming that there isn’t much interest due to the fact that there are so few responses here. Perhaps more people actually have read it; I certainly hope so. Everyone gets angry about how children are drugged and everyone is angry about people getting drugged in the “hospitals”(warehouses), but not a lot of people seem to get angry about old people being drugged.

  • Drugging residents of nursing home/retirement centers is a normal procedure, especially if the resident in question is outspoken or feels that the care that they’re receiving is not what it should be. The job of the resident is to be quiet and not cause any problems and problems are defined as anything that staff doesn’t like or approve of. If you don’t cooperate with what the staff demands of you, you will find yourself reported to the medical director with a recommendation from the nursing director that you should be prescribed Haldol for your “problems”. Medical directors of nursing homes usually sign off on these kinds of things without much thought, at least that’s the way it worked at the retirement center/nursing home complex that I worked at and it is considered to be one of the best in the entire city. So, if this is what is happening in the best of places what’s going on in the really bad places where older people are held, usually against their will? I was the chaplain for this center and witnessed people who were vibrant one week turning up drooling on themselves and locked in a gerichair the next. The more vocal you are the more you lay yourself open for being drugged. The worst thing is if they determine that you need to be sent to a geripsych unit due to your “problems”. These units are just a way to make money off of people. They are truly madhouses, very much similar to what went on in the asylums of earlier decades. I know because as the chaplain I went to visit any of my residents from the nursing home that ended up in these places. Visiting was like sitting smack dab in the middle of a true mad house!

  • I don’t think that being reasonable and appealing to the better side of psychiatrists who prescribe these drugs is going to work. It hasn’t worked so far. Dialoging and being reasonable and saying things so that these people will listen doesn’t work. The public doesn’t seem to be listening either.

    You realize that the slave owners here in the United States were not open to dialoging and having rational discussions about how it was wrong to own human beings. Dialoging and being rational led nowhere with those slave owners. They had to be forced to free the slaves through a horrific war, a war which killed more Americans than in all the wars that we’ve fought, before or since. They had to be forced to do the right thing. Psychiatrists are not going to quit giving these damned drugs to people just because we are rational with them. The public is not going to quit taking them simply because we lay out a rational explanation for why they shouldn’t take them or allow their children to be forced to take them. Being rational isn’t going to work!

  • But they are placebos with deadly effects. There are not only the physical effects that we all know about but they affect thinking and decision making. When I was on huge doses of Effexor I began doing crazy things. I’d be walking down the sidewalk next to a busy street filled with traffic when all of a sudden I’d wonder how “lucky” I was that day and bang a right turn out into the street. Thank goodness the drivers in the cars on those days were alert and paying attention or I’d be dead. I made a lot of people upset with my behavior and they had a right to be angry at me. I was a zombie separated from my emotions and feelings.

    I will never take those damned devil’s tic tacks ever again.

  • People seeking help should not be lied to, plain and simple.

    The system lies to people. I work in a state “hospital” where people are treated for “chemical imbalances” with the toxic drugs. When I voiced the fact that there aren’t any such chemical imbalances (in a small meeting of administrators) one of the administrators told me that he didn’t think that any of the psychiatrists at the “hospital” believed in “chemical imbalances” anymore. I then asked that, if this was true why was the only treatment for people on the units the psychiatric drugs that are given for supposed “chemical imbalances”? I received no verbal reply but a lot of blank stares. Then the meeting continued as if I’d asked nothing at all.

    People seeking help should not be controlled by the system that they seek help from. Even people who sign themselves into the “hospital” voluntarily end up not being able to leave when they become disillusioned with the so-called “help” that they receive. They supposedly had insight when they signed themselves in voluntarily but all of a sudden, when they don’t agree with what is done to them they no longer have any such insight and become a “danger to themselves and others”. At that point they are not going anywhere. And they will be drugged against their will, all for their own good of course!

  • Perhaps when a “mentally ill” young person claims that they are God, they are absolutely correct. And if this is the case, how truly maddening it must be when no one, absolutely no one believes you. And then the psychiatrists start in on you about your “religiosity” and how it shows how “mentally ill” you are!

    We like to think that we know so much and yet we probably know so very little about any of this.

  • There is also the belief among the mystical movements of all the world religions, and among Buddhism that we are all one and the same and that we are all God because we contain the one, transcendent, and eternal consciousness. In other words we all contain the Universe inside of us. This is why Namaste is given to people by Hindus and many Buddhists.

    Anyway, there is a theory that if and when young adults come to this conclusion in their lives that it is very overwhelming, ego-shattering, and yet gives one a feeling of being in union with the Universe itself. This shattering is the psychotic experience, the experience of trying to incorporate this as well as the attempt to pull together the shattering that’s taken place. People like John Weir Perry and Alan Watts and many other famous people believe that young people who have this realization of what truly is can move through this difficult time with support and help and that they can re-integrate their lives. They can move through the psychosis and come out the other side even stronger than they were before the breaking.

    But of course, psychiatrists believe none of this and drug people to the gills stating that the longer that these young people go without being drugged the worse their schizophrenia will be. The problem is that if these young people are drugged it stops the re-integration and what would have probably been an episodic experience becomes something that is chronic. All the better for psychiatry and the “mental health” system!

  • A few years ago I went to a talk given by a pre-eminent psychiatrist who was supposedly an expert in the United States in the treatment of pregnant “mentally ill” women. He stood at the front of this large group gathered to hear what he had to say and stated that it was perfectly all right to use the psychiatric drugs on pregnant women because the drugs had absolutely no detrimental effects on the fetus! And the arrogant quack then stated that even if there were effects you couldn’t let a “mentally ill” woman run around untreated, even if she was pregnant. I got up in the middle of his talk and left the room.

  • Notice that until recent years most obstetrical care was done by men. I wonder if that accounts for much of the bizarre stuff that used to happen to women when birthing children. And notice that in this country it was men who led the battle to keep midwives from working with pregnant women. And I also notice that there are huge numbers of men in the Pro-life movement, men who demand that they should be able to tell women what to do with their own bodies and lives.

  • I was sitting here asking myself the very same question. I suspect that the general public doesn’t see most of these studies and instead get their information from those damned web sites that the drug companies control. I was in a small meeting with some of the administration people where I work and made the statement that there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance. One of the administrators stated that they didn’t think any of the doctors in the “hospital” believed that anymore. I then asked that if this is true, if the doctors no longer believe in chemical imbalances, why do all of the so-called doctors still keep drugging people with the drugs that supposedly correct chemical imbalances? All I got was stares and no reply. So they know the truth but they do nothing to change anything.

  • I’ve about given up on doctors period, no matter what their specialty is supposed to be. An entire generation of children is being drugged with toxic drugs posing as “medicines”. What effect is this going to have on our society and country when they become adults? I know that it’s not easy to be a parent, but I feel that it’s time for parents to stand up for their kids instead of listening to doctors who seem to be out to drug them regardless. We knew that you couldn’t trust psychiatrists to know anything about what they said and now we have to worry about GP’s. I’m very careful about letting any doctor do anything to me today.

  • I experienced something interesting concerning drugs prescribed by my surgeon. When he was getting ready to release me from the hospital he said he was giving me a prescription for hydrocodone for pain. I told him that I didn’t want any pain meds and he stated he wasn’t letting me leave the hospital until and unless I promised to get the damned prescription filled. I filled it and then never used it.

    I recently had another surgery by different surgeon and he played the very same game with me. I lied and said that I had it filled, since I already had a full bottle of the very same thing setting in my medicine cabinet. It’s not just psych drugs that they’re pushing on people, pain meds are a big thing too. Of course, maybe it’s just my surgeons.

    I agree; it’s better to just pick up the damned things. But then you have to waste the money on them and that’s a shame.

  • Oldhead

    In the state where I live all it takes for you to receive a summons to our little mental health court, right down the street from our state “hospital”, is for two people to go down to the sheriff’s office and swear out a petition stating that you are a danger to yourself or to others, or both. And if you don’t appear in court on the day assigned you will find deputies standing on your doorstep that very afternoon and you will be escorted to our Admissions Dept. of our wonderful state “hospital” where you will experience at least a seven day stay against your will. And if you don’t convince the psychiatrist assigned to you when you get on the unit that you are not a danger, you will be spending a much longer visit with us, until said psychiatrist decides you should be freed. I agree with Auntie Psychiatry. The smart thing is to lay low and stay off the radar.

  • Where do the medical schools find these people????? Psychiatry must have the highest level of totally inept medical people possible. Why would any rational and aware person want to DOUBLE a dose of something when a person tells them it’s harming them? Ah….wait a minute…..I forget that those of us who’ve been diagnosed always lie so you can’t believe anything that we say so obviously the answer is to double the toxic drugs!!!

  • It’s not just the micro organisms in the sewer that are affected by flushing these damned drugs down the commode. Birth control, SSRI’s, and all kinds of other drugs are now found in the streams and rivers of this country in levels that can be detected in fish and amphibians. Waste water systems cannot filter these chemicals from the water, which then often gets pumped into rivers and streams. Tadpoles are changing their sex in attempts to deal with all the birth control chemicals in the water and fish are filled to the gills with SSRI’s. Obviously this is not meant to happen so we’re affecting large portions of the ecosystem, portions that are woven intricately into the great web of life. What happens when this web of life, in which we are certainly included, starts changing in the attempt to protect itself from what’s being done to it?

  • From what I remember the man who developed Linux is an upstanding and ethical person. I’ve come to the point that I have no use for either party in Congress at this point in time. Very few people are actually representing the interests of the people back home who elected them to Congress. Very few seem to have any backbones.

  • Yes, the internet has been a great thing for us. Unfortunately, where I work “patients” are still not allowed to access the internet. However, I think this will change because we are instituting a committee made up of program staff and people elected from the units to talk about and plan making things like this available to people. It’s taken almost eight years to get to this point but you don’t turn an ocean liner all of a sudden, but must plan for the turn long before the need to do so.

    I’ve gotten a few psychiatrists to admit that the drugs do harm to people but none of them will speak up and take a stand about this.

  • Your experience with groups in the “hospital” is almost exactly like mine. I was assigned to groups, with no participation from me as to which groups I thought might be beneficial to me. No consultation, I was just assigned because the staff and the psychiatrist knew more about me and my own life than I obviously did! So, I told the psychiatrist that I’d go to each group one time to see what each was like. If, at the end of that one time I believed that I could do a better job leading the group than the person leading the group then I would not attend said group again. I didn’t get to leave the unit because you had to attend 80% of your assigned groups to be able to go to “treatment mall”. Groups were even worse in the private “hospital” where I was held before being sent to the state “hospital”. Staff group leaders didn’t know much of anything and they didn’t really care that they didn’t know anything. After all, they were staff.

    The two groups I did attend I was not assigned to. One was a Peer Recovery group and one was Anger Management. I attended the Recovery group because the person leading it was a former “patient” and had some interesting insights on everything. She also let us function as a real group. I went to the Anger Management group because the woman leading it was wonderful. She was perhaps the best group leader I’ve ever experienced and her group often had twenty to twenty-five people in it, most of who were not assigned. People attended because she was wonderful and affirmed our humanity and dignity. I went to observe how she worked with people.

  • As far as relearning life skills is concerned, I don’t think that it’s necessarily as simple as this sounds. Most of the people who I deal with on a daily basis at a state “hospital” never were allowed to learn the basic skills of living and taking care of oneself because they were dragged into the system as children. Many of these people get a check of some sort but are not their own payee, someone else administrates their money and gives them monthly allowances here and there from their own money. They do not know how to go out and find an apartment, how to get the utilities turned on, how to pay the bills to make sure the utilities stay on, and the list goes on and on. Many times, the system sets them up in an apartment and provides “sitters” for them but much of the time they know nothing about paying bills and cooking supper. And even with all this they end up back in the state “hospital” where they started out from in the beginning.

    Certainly the system teaches learned helplessness without a doubt. But, I also believe that the drugs have chemical effects on people’s bodies and brains that also affect their ability to make life decisions. I’ve seen people put on fifty pounds due to the effects of Seroquel.

  • What you point out about the way First Nations people(Native Americans) respond to psychiatry is true, although many of the veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have turned their backs on the Veterans’ hospitals and the psychiatric treatment handed out to them for PTSD. They are seeking out the medicine peoples of their tribes and going back to their traditional medicine paradigm. This is especially true among the Navajo Nation on their reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. I believe that they realize that what they’re experiencing is not an illness due to a broken brain but a struggle within their spirits to find healing after experiencing horrible things.

  • I think you’ve made an important point here. When a “patient” on a unit asks for written information about the drug, or drugs, that they’re on the “treatment team” gives them something from a website that is totally pro-drugging and gives the “you’ll always be ill and must always take our drugs for life” mantra. Usually it’s from Wikipedia, and the information just spouts the party line. I suspect that the “treatment team” doesn’t even know about sites like Mad in America nor about these kinds of studies. Actually, I don’t think that they really want to know or they just believe that their take on things is the only take on things. Most don’t even realize that there’s another side of the story.

    I was sitting in on morning report on a unit one day when everyone was carrying on about how some people didn’t believe in taking the drugs. They were irate and upset because many people didn’t freely down the pills given to them. I finally stopped them and stated that not everyone believes in that paradigm of “care”. They all turned and looked at me as if I had a horn growing out of my forehead and finally the psychiatrist quietly backed me up. They just sat there as if they’d heard a heresy uttered in their presence.

  • I agree. I see it every day that I go to work and even though I speak out against the drugs they just keep on drugging people to the gills on the units. Nothing ever changes. I’ve talked privately with some of the psychiatrists and of those some will admit that they know what the drugs do and are not doing and yet they refuse to stop using them. Most don’t even want to discuss anything about the drugs and some accuse me of trying to destroy the system when I ask such questions.

  • But then who would be the rational voice crying out in the wilderness? Someone must stand as a witness to what is done to people and someone must be willing to speak out. Thank goodness your family has you, even then they don’t listen to you. We must witness to what is done to people and we must speak out. There were Jewish people in the death camps who managed to survive because they knew that someone had to witness to the atrocities. We must witness to the atrocities that the system carries out against people.

  • At last…someone actually gets it! As a former high school teacher of fifteen years I feel that you’ve pointed out one of the real problems in our educational system and in our society. My heart aches for all these school shooters as most people turn to demonizing them rather than looking at and into their lives to try and understand what drove them to do what they did. So many teachers and adults never stop and sit down to talk with those kids that they see as the “problem kids”. Truly listening, rather than lecturing to, is a great gift that can be easily given to so many, and yet it seldom happens.

    The power of listening was brought home to me by an experience I had in one of the last years that I taught. I had a student in one of my Junior classes that I could not and would not abide. I disliked him with a vengeance and never lost a chance to tell him so. The feeling was returned on his part. He made my life miserable in class and I returned the favor. We seemed to hate one another. I actually told him one day that if he saw me on hall duty that he’d better walk down the other side of the hallway rather than the side I was on. Not something that I’m proud to admit but I said it. I didn’t have Seniors the next year so didn’t have any classroom contact with him but we still carried on our dislike of one another outside of the classroom. Then he graduated and I didn’t see him again for two years.

    My desk in the teacher office was next to the door where students came to ask to talk with teachers so I was kind of the gate keeper. One morning a shadow appeared on my desk indicating that someone was at the door and when I looked up there he was, standing looking at me. I was so shocked to see him that the first words out of my mouth were, “What are you doing here?!!!”. He stated that he was now a Sophomore in college and asked if he could talk with me. I sat there with my mouth open, not believing that he actually wanted to talk to me. I thought it was some kind of a joke and said that if he was really serious about talking with me that he could wait until my lunch hour which was two periods from then. He said that the would be waiting for me.

    When I went to my desk for lunch there he was, standing there expectantly looking at me. I finally realized that this was serious so I took him into the small conference room and sat down with him. He talked for almost an hour about a problem he was experiencing and mostly I just listened. He didn’t seem to want advice, he just wanted me to listen. At the end I asked him why he chose me of all people to be the one to listen to what he needed to say. He stated that even though we’d never liked one another he knew that if he came to me to listen I would never refuse him because my reputation among students is that I would do that for you.

    I never saw him again and wonder how he is doing. Listening is a great gift that we can give to others, particularly those that we don’t really want to deal with. I think that all of us need to start doing a whole lot more listening.

  • All the other groups in the “hospital” parrot the party line that you speak of here, the line that you need to always take your “meds” and “work your treatment”. The problem is that the only treatment is the toxic drugs that eventually debilitate people. The people on the units where I work are drooling on themselves, literally drooling, and the staff thinks that this is a good thing; at least they aren’t causing trouble and shouting obscenities.

  • I would suggest that you call it whatever you want to call it. It’s your personal and unique experience so only you can put the title to it. It’s time that we tell our own stories in the words that we choose to use, period. If you want to call it “mental illness” that’s fine but I suggest that maybe you consider finding your own unique way of talking about and describing what you experience. We are the only experts that exist about our own lives, period.

  • Yes, and that’s frankly very frightening so it’s understandable why we’re more willing to sit here and talk among ourselves all the time rather than getting out and taking power into our own hands. I admit that it scares the absolute bejesus out of me and it shames me that I can’t seem to take that first daring step to actually do something.

  • I’m not really disagreeing with you but there were societies where everyone had a job. Remember the communist countries where everyone had a job and the results were that the products that were produced were of faulty quality compared to products from supposedly free countries. Even China doesn’t seem to be working under this principle any longer and allows some little experience of free enterprise. What do you think about the programs being tried in some places where everyone is guaranteed a basic income, no matter what and they can do whatever they want with the money?

    I no longer believe in capitalism which has become cannibalistic in many regards due to the corporate interests that drive it so fiercely these days. I seriously don’t know what to believe in at this point. Some places still carry on modified bartering, in smaller communities where I live. They’re kind of experimental at this point but are having some interesting results. But, this obviously is not practical on a national level these days.

  • I will have to agree with you here.

    I am the staff moderator of a recovery group in the state “hospital” where I was once held. There are “patient” moderators that share guiding the group with me. What I’ve found is that there are very few people within the system who truly believe that they can recover, at least where I work. The only people who resist the message of “you’ll always be ill” are forbidden to come off the units so that they could attend the group because they refuse to “get with the program”. They usually end up drugged to the gills.

    Few people want to attend the group (we can’t mandate that they come to the group because it’s a peer activity and peers are forbidden to make people do things) because we tend to ask questions about what people can do on their own to further their own recovery. All other groups in the “hospital” are mandatory. One older gentleman once called our group the most feared group in the “hospital” because it required you to actually think on your own and come up with answers for yourself rather than answers that someone else gives to you.

    I’ve started going to the units to be and talk with those who resist since they’re the ones who give me any real hope that they just might gain their freedom from the system.