Monday, April 23, 2018

Comments by Stephen Gilbert

Showing 100 of 2759 comments. Show all.

  • 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.

  • In one of your post above you stated that you feel that SSRI’s are the cause of your stomach problems. This is interesting since the place in our bodies that we have the most serotonin is the stomach. It makes perfect sense that something that affects serotonin levels would affect the working of your stomach. And psychiatrists know this but deny any connection at all.

  • After reading the responses of the parents in this article all I can say is that I’m really glad that none of them were my parents. I suspect that the therapist who talked about relational problems was the closest to pinpointing the problem behaviors of the children. Perhaps the parents need to read up on attachment theory and how mother and baby not being able to connect properly, for many reasons, leads to great problems of trauma. This trauma from not being able to attach to one’s mother properly leads to trauma, which then leads to the high anxiety.

    And then we can talk about how so many babies end up in daycare just weeks after they’re born because both of their parents have to work to make ends meet, or because they want big cars and huge houses and the prestige that comes with such things. I don’t believe that being taken care of by strangers five days a week is a very healthy thing for our children. Sorry, but that’s what I believe. Babies need to be able to stay in their own homes with their own mothers as they grow and develop. Being taken care of by strangers who want to dose children with things like melatonin and Benadryl is not conducive to anxiety free lives. I support Women’s Liberation and always have but our children are paying the price with growing up in daycare centers.

  • You know, we already know that these toxic drugs are deadly dangerous to adults so it’s a no brainer that they are going to be destructive to the lives of children who are forced on them. And then you have the real problem of giving these drugs to children who cannot give truly informed consent. I’m glad that someone is investigating this but we don’t really need articles to convince us that these drugs should never be given to kids, ever. Kids have been put on the so-called antidepressants” and a few days later go and hang themselves in the closet. Young men and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria are put on the “antipsychotics”, often more than one, and go to sleep, never to wake up. And we put children on these damned things?

    When are Americans going to say that enough is enough and refuse to allow their kids to be dosed with these drugs? You can never convince me that two year old children are bi-polar. Two year olds are meant to stomp their foot as they say no, and they’re supposed to throw tantrums when they don’t get their own way. This does not prove that they’re bi-polar. And teenagers are put on the so-called “antipsychotics” because they’re defiant of adult authority. Well, I think it’s the job of teenagers to be defiant towards adults, this is how they learn to grow up and become their own persons. But we drug them into submission.

    I don’t need any more studies or articles to know that these drugs should never, ever be given to children, period.

  • My problem is that I always expect things to make sense, to be reasonable. What I’ve come to realize is that psychiatry never promotes the reasonable, nor does it care to make good sense. It only promotes itself and it only promotes the toxic drugs as treatment. I’ve finally quit trying to make sense out of it all.

  • I believe that the medical field, including all medical specialties and not just psychiatry, have allowed themselves to be poisoned by the drug companies to the extent that we must be very careful what we accept as gospel truth these days. Just because a doctor says something is true doesn’t mean that it is true. I believe that we must investigate things on our own. A lot of times doctors only know what drug reps have told them about a particular drug. If I want to find out reliable information about a drug, how to use it and how to get off of it, I go to my pharmacist and have her or him explain things to me. I’ve found them to be much more reliable than doctors in this regard. And in fact, when I decided to get off the “antidepressant” I was put on when held in the “hospital” I went to my pharmacist to find out how to do that safely.

  • Granted, they didn’t kill six million mentally ill but they did get rid of them by the thousands, all for their own good of course. They did clear out a number of their asylums. They designated six cities as collection and gassing points. Then they set up a system whereby your case was evaluated by two psychiatrists. If one of the two gave you a thumbs down you were tagged for the gas chamber. They collected people from their asylums in trucks and carted them off to one of the six cities, where they were gassed using the exhaust from diesel engines. Later on they used the zyklon B or whatever it was called. Then, they gave a death certificate to the family stating that the person died suddenly from something that they’d pull out of their hats as the reason.

    And those that they didn’t gas they allowed to starve to death. When the Allied soldiers went into many German towns and cities when they got to the mental institutions they found people dead or dying from starvation.

  • Am glad that you survived.

    The idiots with their shock machines destroyed my grandmother. They didn’t physically kill her but it would have been kinder of them if they had. She didn’t even recognize her grandchildren and sat and smoked cigarettes all day long as she looked at the floor. This was a woman who was an artist and an avid gardener who created over a ten year period of time, a veritable jungle in the New Mexico desert. Once they got through with her all she did was sit and smoke. And they called that “good treatment”.

  • I agree with you.

    It frightens me to see how many people that I know and deal with are so willing to drink the Kool-Aid and bow down to anything that the damned psychiatrists say. As I’ve mentioned before, this is the same attitude that the German public had in the 1930’s, which allowed them to begin gassing thousands of the “mentally ill”, all for their own good of course.

    And the frightening thing is that Americans were very supportive of German psychiatry. Psychiatrists stood up and advocated for doing the same thing in the United States at the yearly meeting of the APA in 1941 or ’42, I forget which year exactly. They’d already carried out mass sterilizations on thousands of American “mentally ill”.

  • Stephen Gilbert March 1, 2018 at 9:49 am

    I was a teacher in a large boy’s school at the end of the 1980’s. One week I was assigned to duty in the large room that students used for study during their off period. The restroom had a large entrance into this room and didn’t have a door on it because of the way the bathroom was constructed and I guess because it was all boys. One morning I had a very unusual and unnerving experience. I was talking quietly with a student who’d asked me a question when all of a sudden there was a humongous boom followed by a huge cloud of dust that came billowing out into the large room.

    Come to find out, a ninth grader who was upset because upper classmen were bullying him went to a sophomore whom he knew, who went to his father, who gave his son a half stick of dynamite to sell to the ninth grader. I am not kidding you, you can’t make this kind of stuff up. A parent gave his son a half stick of dynamite to sell to another student!!!! The ninth grader took his half stick of dynamite and blew a commode out of the floor in the bathroom. It blew a hole down through the cement floor! There were three hundred students out in the resource room at the time and we were very lucky that the ninth grader decided to only blow a commode up. This was right before the school mass shootings began, along with the advent of this fake ADHD crap and the SSRI’s that they started giving kids. I often wonder now if that ninth grader was drugged with any of these drugs? These days the student would throw it out into the room with the 300 kids

  • I was a teacher in a large boy’s school at the end of the 1980’s. One week I was assigned to duty in the large room that students used for study during their off period. The restroom had a large entrance into this room and didn’t have a door on it because of the way the bathroom was constructed and I guess because it was all boys. One morning I had a very unusual and unnerving experience. I was talking quietly with a student who’d asked me a question when all of a sudden there was a humongous boom followed by a huge cloud of dust that came billowing out into the large room.

    Come to find out, a ninth grader who was upset because upper classmen were bullying him went to a sophomore whom he knew, who went to his father, who gave his son a half stick of dynamite to sell to the ninth grader. I am not kidding you, you can’t make this kind of stuff up. A parent gave his son a half stick of dynamite to sell to another student!!!! The ninth grader took his half stick of dynamite and blew a commode out of the floor in the bathroom. It blew a hole down through the cement floor! There were three hundred students out in the resource room at the time and we were very lucky that the ninth grader decided to only blow a commode up. This was right before the school mass shootings began, along with the advent of this fake ADHD crap and the SSRI’s that they started giving kids. I often wonder now if that ninth grader was drugged with any of these drugs? These days the student would throw it out into the room with the 300 kids.

  • I appreciate your quote from Isaiah. I used to spend a lot of time in Christian churches, of different denominations. What I’ve come to realize is that I never heard any sermons on things like this. I find that rather strange since Jesus, the very person that Christians say that they follow, seemed to have a preference for the oppressed and the poor. Thanks again for the scripture.

  • I eventually got to know so much information that I could no longer stay in the system and teach. It was disheartening.

    Teachers who really want to guide their students into being able to think for themselves are not allowed to do this. It might cause problems since the students will then begin asking questions, perhaps embarrassing questions or questions that seem to have no real answer at that time.

    Teachers who are willing to allow students to talk about what’s bothering them, because no one else seems to want to listen to them, are not allowed to do this. It might cause problems for the administration or the school system. And consequently students never get heard and they get into problems. And then they do cause problems for the administration and the school system when it all comes out in the papers, or in the case of Cruz, leads to the deaths of students and teachers.

    Teachers are supposed to spout the party line, whatever that happens to be according to the administration. And if you refuse to just stand in front of your students spouting the party line you won’t be part of the party for much longer!

  • School administrators have become politicians in many respects, rather than people who are supposed to oversee the well-being and education of those in their care. The same principal that I talked about above would not allow undercover police who were searching out drug dealers to come into our school and investigate who was handing over the drugs to students who peddled them in the school. He refused the undercover officers posing as students entrance into the school. His reasoning was that if he allowed them in it would jeopardize the reputation of the school, which was in competition with two other large Catholic boys’ schools in the city. The police threatened to pull up information on teachers in the school, trying to force him to allow them in. He told them that he’d have the school’s lawyers on them if he even suspected them being within one block of the school’s campus.

    And how do I know this? One of my former students who’d graduated two years before came to see me one afternoon after school. He wanted to talk about the death of one of his classmates, whose death happened because of drugs. This young man who came to talk was one of the undercover police who went into schools to find the drugs. He cried about his classmates death and then related how the principal of my school and his school wouldn’t allow the police to find the student drug pushers so that they could find the adult who was the head of the whole operation.

    Oh the things that I can tell about teaching and school administrations. I am not surprised that they are acting as if they have sticks up their asses.

  • The citizens of other western countries that have restricted the ownership of guns get along quite well and with no mass shootings. They don’t seem to feel totally helpless without guns. I suspect that guns are an ingrained part of United States culture, unlike other countries where individual gun ownership isn’t such a big deal to people. Our Wild West history kind of colored everything.

    I’m not sure that I would characterize our government as the most violent in history. I would call it the most willing government to push its agenda above all other things, which is not always the best of things in my estimation. I would call it sneaky, underhanded, deceitful, a purveyor of deception but this means that it’s just like every other government of most other countries. No government ever allows its citizens to really know what’s going on. Our government has done many of the same things that we call other governments out on. But I would not call our government the most violent in history.

    How do you see the NRA as a scapegoat? When I was a kid the NRA didn’t seem to preach its present agenda of Second Amendment stuff or if it did I just didn’t notice it. My family members belonged to the NRA and we got their magazine in my home. From what I remember they started out fairly benign before they started preaching that the government was going to strip us of our guns and make us march lockstep and saluting the dictator. But of course I might be wrong because my seventy year old brain doesn’t always remember things exactly these days.

  • And the supreme irony is that he was given drugs, which most likely added to his problems. Why are we drugging our “problem kids” rather than sitting down and talking with them? It’s difficult work to sit down and talk with kids, especially teenagers, but it’s the only way to help them find what they need to deal with their issues. Drugs which cause violent actions are obviously not the answer and yet he was probably stuffed to the gills, as probably Adam Lanza was stuffed to the gills with these toxic drugs.

  • What bothers me most, besides the terrible loss of life, is the way that Cruz screamed at the top of his lungs for attention and help and he got zilch, nada, nothing. He was just another “problem kid” causing trouble. It’s very easy to vilify these school shooters and make them into terrible monsters; the spokeswoman for the NRA refers to Cruz as “that crazy animal”, and of course she has to refer to him this way to whip up a frenzy against him so that people fail to look at what was happening with him in his life. How could a kid get in so much trouble, and scream out for help in so many ways, and still be allowed to fall through the cracks? I would have to say that the system has failed him in so many ways and many of us do not want to look within his life and see how he got to this point.

    I do not think that children start out as bad individuals nor do they have the goal to become school shooters. Things happen to them along the way to mold and shape them so that the role of school shooter eventually appeals to them. I believe that these school shooters are some of the “canaries in the mine” who are indicating with these violent deeds that something is very badly wrong within our society. But rather than look at what needs to be looked at we turn these kids into monsters so that it’s easier to attack them. We’ve become a society that does almost anything it can rather than have to take a long, honest, searching look at what is happening in this country.

  • This doesn’t shock me at all. I was a high school teacher for fifteen years. This has become the way that school administrations do not deal with difficult things. They don’t want students to be taught how to think for themselves. Students are supposed to sit there and accept whatever drivel comes out of the mouths of the adult at the front of the class. They are not supposed to raise objections nor cause what the administration interprets as problems.

    Teachers are not really allowed these days to carry on honest discussions with their students. I was fired from the last school I ever taught at because I would not reveal names of students to the principal of the school.

    I taught Religion in Catholic schools. My weekly homework assignment was for students to write and turn in a half page Journal entry in which they could talk about anything that they wanted to write about. What ever they wrote about was confidential. I believed that there were very few attempts to help students deal with the issues they were experiencing in their lives so this was my attempt to give them a sounding board. I was known as the teacher who would listen to the weird kids, the kids that no one else wanted to have anything to do with. This was an all boys school.

    Eventually, when the kids realized that I was truthful about the confidentiality business a number of them shared with me that they thought they were gay. To this day I do not know how the principal found out but he called me down to his office one afternoon and told me how he wanted to help the students in his care. Then he told me that he wanted me to tell him the names of the kids who were homosexuals because they needed help and he was going to help them. In my head I was thinking, “Oh yea….you’re going to help them all right!” This was in the ’80’s when the gay community had made many strides forward but it still was not always safe to be known as gay, especially in a Catholic school run by an religious order of brothers.

    I told him I’d think on it and left. Of course I was called to his office a few days later and at that point told him that I was not going to give him any names. He then told me that I would not be teaching at his school the following year because my philosophy of education didn’t fit at all with the philosophy of the school.

    I have no problems believing what was done to this teacher.

  • I myself had guns as a kid. I was taught to hunt at an early age. My family members were part of the NRA in its infancy. It’s changed it’s message and direction over the years from what it once was.

    I was bullied at school. But I never once considered getting my rifle and taking it to school so that I could massacre my classmates and teachers. These mass school shootings cropped up after the advent of Prosac and the other SSRI’s.

  • And I think that all of this support and supposed protection of the Second Amendment is generated by a lot of conspiracy stuff being churned out by right wing organizations over the past few years.

    I can remember when the NRA was nothing, hardly anyone even gave it a second look. It’s amazing to me how it’s been able to attain such power and prominence that it has at this point in time. But with the rise of the internet and the ability for conspiracy loonies to spread their fantasy ideas about how the government is going to completely take over our lives in a socialist coup the NRA reared its head and gained dominance.

    And, the NRA really came into its own when we elected our first African American president. That’s all it took to give added strength to all of this lunacy. Why are White people so damned scared of Black people? I can’t count the times that I heard White people stating that President Obama was going to confiscate our guns and drive us into submission as he proclaimed a totalitarian state that he was going to rule. I believe that was all pretty damned sick and it was perpetuated by people on the internet and social media.

  • But you don’t see many massacres carried out by someone wielding a knife; although sometimes someone does try to use a machete but even that is rare. All of the mass school shootings were done with semi-automatic rifles, although some shooters carried pistols as well.

    Doesn’t the United States have more guns than there are individuals? I think that I saw that statistic somewhere. I think we have more guns than any other country in the world. Why is it that other western countries have been able to bring their mass shootings to zero simply by having limitations on guns?

  • Yes, you raise the primary question of all. If these damned drugs are so wonderful and helpful and work so well, why is it that what they want to call depression is worse now than it has ever been???? Why isn’t their wonderful “treatment” working? In any other branch of medicine if a drug doesn’t prove its worth in dealing with the problem it’s supposed to take care of it’s rejected as less than helpful.

    And my question is….if psychiatry never really did ever push the chemical imbalance bologna why is it that almost every one of the thirteen psychiatrists who work where I do claim that they make people take these damned drugs because they have a chemical imbalance? I know that we’re a backward state, and we’re ten years behind everywhere else in the United States, but we couldn’t be that much behind. Pies is not telling the truth. Psychiatry knew that these drugs don’t do much of anything at all for most people but they pushed them anyway. And now you have GP’s giving them out like candy to anyone and everyone. So much for people not believing in the chemical imbalance business.

  • And it must be stated that other cultures in other part of the world do not interpret nor deal with hearing voices in that say way that they’re dealt with in the United States. You can generally boil it down to about four basic approaches with the United States and Western cultures using the approach which is most punitive and judgmental of the four. It’s only in western cultures that hearing voices is interpreted as being such a negative experience.

    I can’t think of her name at the moment, but there is an American anthropologist who studies the hearing voices phenomenon in various cultures and her work is quite interesting and revealing. I wish that I could remember her name. I was alerted to her by an anthropology doctoral student who came and spent a number of weeks on our units of the state “hospital” where I work to gather facts and information for her doctoral dissertation. She promised to send a copy of said dissertation when she finished it.

  • You are stating the obvious to those of us who’ve had to deal with the conditioning that you speak about here. I don’t think it’s so obvious to the rest of society.

    Where parents are concerned I’ve always said, after fifteen years of teaching high school and working fifteen years as a hospital chaplain, that half of everyone who had children probably shouldn’t have done so. So many of my students had issues, not because they were broken or inadequate individuals, but because their parents did a number on their self-confidence and their ability to love and appreciate themselves as unique individuals.

    But it doesn’t seem to be at all apparent to the people who are doing all this conditioning of people, especially the staff of “mental health institutions”. When I raise issues with them, such as the learned helplessness that the system teaches people they look at me as if I need to be taken and put back on the unit I lived on when I was a “patient” at this “hospital”. They’ve bought into the message that they’re right and all of us are wrong so heavily that it shocks them to find anyone who doesn’t believe in their paradigm of care. It’s almost like you’re muttering heretical statements to them and they refuse to listen to what you have to say. It’s almost like the faith that people develop for their religions, an unquestioning faith that brooks no honest evaluation.

  • Doesn’t make any sense at all does it, and yet this is the way that they system goes about giving us “good, evidenced based treatment” isn’t it.

    I’ve seen the very thing that you talk about here where I work in the state “hospital”. Did they force you to take the drugs or were you lucky enough to be able to refuse them?

  • Instead of the pursuit of happiness perhaps the goal should be the pursuit of contentment.

    In my own life when I’ve achieved something or received something that I thought would bring me true happiness I found that I was fine for a while and then was off again trying to find something else that would make me happy. Happiness doesn’t seem to stay around that long before I’m trying to find something else.

    Striving to be content with where I find myself in life and with what I have in that life, meagre as it may be, seems to bring greater satisfaction. When I was younger I thought that this was stupid, striving for contentment in place of happiness, but have come to accept it as a truth in my life. This may not be true for others.

  • I tend to agree with you about the statins and the blood pressure drugs. I now wish that I’d never gone on the blood pressure drugs. My blood pressure is maintained but I’m not getting any better.

    And it’s a proven fact that the statins cause all kinds of detrimental physical problems, like affecting a person’s leg muscles causing them difficulty in walking and sometimes causing them to not be able to walk on their own at all. Who needs that?????

  • Lavender Sage

    What you wrote here about the universal connection between all things and that death is “dissolving into everything” is part of why Hinduism, Buddhism(although it doesn’t explicitly state it since they want you to come to this awareness on your own), and the mystical groups within Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all believe that we are all God, since we all contain the One, Eternal, and Transcendent Consciousness. This is what permeates and binds everything in the Universe together. Everything is the manifestation of God that is conscious, in whatever way. I believe that this is why Hindus perform Namaste to others, since each of us contains the entire Universe within us.

  • It always amazes me when I realize that most of the money that’s spent on health care for an individual is spent at the very end of that person’s life. Heroic measures are done, costing tons of money, to prolong the person’s life, no matter what. Very few doctors are able to allow their patients to die with any dignity at all.

    I was a chaplain for fifteen years in medical hospitals and in a very large retirement/nursing home and saw this happen over and over again. And don’t think that family members aren’t complicit in all of this. I’ve seen family members keep loved ones on respirators for months although the person’s brain was dead and they were only inflating lungs and circulating the blood. We’ve come to a very nasty place in medicine where the end of life issues are concerned.

    My one big concern is that when the my “canaries” start dying that I’ll have the courage to take my own life so that I won’t be subjected to such disrespectful “medical care”, all for my own good of course.

  • Good point. The German psychiatrists used the same mode of thinking when they began the mass extermination of the “mentally ill” in the 1930’s in Germany. They wanted to put them out of their “misery” so they gassed them in the first gas chambers and then burned their thousands of bodies in the ovens. This is where the Nazis got the gas chambers and ovens from in the first place. We were also referred to as “useless eaters” who were not worthy to take up space and breathe the air.

  • I’m just full of mostly useless information. In another life I taught Religion and Church History was one of the subjects that I taught to high school students. So much of what people take for dogma in the Church developed not so much from a theological standpoint or as dogma but as practical things that Church leaders decided, often not for the greatest and best of reasons. A lot of political things were done and now are lodged in theology.

    For instance, celibacy is not a theological dogmatic development but is totally historical in nature. There is no reason at all that the Roman Church couldn’t change the rule on celibacy tomorrow since it is historical. Celibacy became a requirement for ordination to the priesthood because when they had married clergy the priests were leaving Church property to their children. Well, you can imagine how much the Church liked that little development, a loss of money to their coffers. So…out came the proclamation that all priests had to be celibate and it became a requirement to ordination. Celibacy is not a proclamation from God, and all his angels, and his saints. It was a proclamation from Church rulers, plain and simple.

  • Nursing has always been the problem department at the “hospital” where I was held and where I now work. We’ve managed to root out some of the worst of those that were here when I was held as a “patient” and we’re working to hire better quality people. It’s an uphill battle since I believe that those nurses who come to the state “hospital” to apply for jobs are probably not of the highest quality to be found in nursing. Since we’re run by the state the pay is not equal to what nurses are paid in area hospitals, of which there are three in the immediate area. We don’t pay as well and you remember the old adage, “you get what you pay for.”

    Unfortunately, nurses have almost supreme power, especially at night. When I was a “patient” the nursing staff was divided into two teams for the week. One team was tip top because the charge nurse didn’t accept less than adequate and proper work from her nurses. The second team was horrible since the charge nurse for them could care less what went on with the unit, as long as something didn’t get taken up front to administration. This nurse would sit at the nurses station with the other nurses and scream and laugh and make noise all night long. One night I went to the desk and complained about their behavior four times and it did absolutely no good. So, I wrote a complaint and all kinds of fireworks happened. The morning that she was confronted by the investigator about nurses behavior during her watch she assembled all us “patients” in the dining room and harangued us about how hard she tried to take care of us and we repaid her with turning her in to the administration. How dare us! She glared at me the entire time she was saying these thing. Finally I stood up and said that yes I was the horrible person who’d turned her in and that she knew that she was guilty so what was with all the hysterics? She shut up, glared at me, and ran off. There were no more nights of hysterical laughing from the nurses on that team.

  • Unfortunately what you mention here is absolutely true. Peers many times do the very same things that were done to them by clinical staff to the people they are supposed to be walking with. They use medical model language, write in peoples’ charts, and use coercion against people.

    In the training I received I am not allowed to use medical language since it only emphasizes what is wrong and never reflects the gifts, talents and abilities of those the language is used against. I cannot write in peoples’ charts since this shows that I have power and privilege over those I’m supposed to be attempting to form mutual relationships with. I am forbidden to try and make people do things that they do not choose freely to do on their own. And, I sit among the people on the unit rather than in one spot like the rest of the staff on the unit does. The staff all group together on one spot and just sit there and watch people, like they think that they need to protect one another. Oh, and I’m not allowed to talk about any of the “patients” to other staff unless the person I’d be talking about is present. The only way that I can carry information to staff is if the “patient” herself/ himself gives me permission to do so. It would be much easier to not have to strive for mutual relationships but then again it wouldn’t be peer work at that point.

  • But notice that it still supports the idea that childhood ADHD is a valid and real thing.

    ADHD and ADD are totally bogus as far as I’m concerned, for anyone. I taught fifteen years and never dealt with a student that I’d label with something like this. As a student myself I never, in my twelve years of schooling, ever ran across a fellow student who could have been labeled with this. It didn’t even exist until the late 1980’s when all of a sudden it cropped up out of nowhere. I’ve never understood why Americans are so convinced that this is a real thing. And I’ve never understood why American parents are so willing to drug their kids with legal speed. How in the hell does anyone think that giving kids speed is a good thing???? What ends up happening is that we stunt the physical and emotional and psychological growth of kids by doing this to them and in the end the drugged kids do no better in school and are no more attentive than their lucky classmates who managed to duck getting the horrible label. Teachers are one of the largest groups who advocate for labeling a child with this bull manure, along with school psychologists.

  • The reason that Christianity came out with a prohibition against a person taking their own life was due to the popularity that developed around martyrdom in the early years of the Church. Martyrdom was seen to be a good thing because it expressed the strength of your belief in this new religion. But then people began taking their own lives in an attempt to be proclaimed martyrs and the Church stepped in. They were afraid that if this idea continued that the numbers of Christians would dwindle and they’d never become the world power that the Church wanted to be. So the Church outlawed taking your own life. I that the Church had no business making such a proclamation, especially since it’s carried down to what we’re dealing with today.

    I believe that I have the absolute right to take my own life if I see fit to do so, when and how I want to accomplish this. I don’t preach this to anyone else but it’s a firm personal belief that I hold.

  • As an ex-patient/survivor trying to work as a peer in a traditional institution I would agree with you 100%. The only place where true peer work can take place and flourish is within those organizations that are run totally by peers themselves. The attitude found in traditional institutions prohibits peer work of any kind. You are essentially there to keep people quiet and compliant and any time you offer any explanation about what you feel would truly help an individual on the units to heal you are met with silence and isolation.

  • I’ve gotten the very same response from staff in the “hospital” where I now work and was once held. I am never to talk about the unpleasant or bad things, the war stories, that happened to me at the hands of the staff. And I’m never to share these stories with any of the “patients”, even if my attempt at sharing them is to give people some ideas of how you can handle such incidents as a “patient” without getting yourself a big seclusion and restraint. The recovery movement, so-called, is a big sham and a smoke screen to make people with lived experience think that they are truly important and cared about. The recovery movement exists to keep people quiet and compliant.

  • From what I’ve observed, many people who use benzos tend to lose their inhibitions very quickly and do many things that they wouldn’t do otherwise. I knew someone who used Xanax as a recreational drug. Without the Xanax this person was normally fairly uptight, rigid and very proper. When he got hold of Xanax he was a totally opposite person, doing very inappropriate things even in public. It was interesting to watch but hell to have to put up with his behavior until the damned stuff got out of his system.

    So, if you’re a person who bottles up your anger and is out of touch with your feelings I could see you doing something like this guy did upon taking benzos. It doesn’t surprise me at all.

    It’s disturbing how very little is ever said about all this. The mass shootings in schools and work places as well as other venues didn’t start happening until the damned SSRI’s showed up on the scene.

  • I think that one of the worst things that ever happened to the public school system is the introduction of psychologists into the system.

    They don’t seem to talk much with the students about issues students are experiencing as much as they “diagnose” said students with labels that enable the students to be drugged with things kids should never ever be taking. The psychologists seem to be more on the side of teachers and administrators than they are the actual students whose welfare they’re supposed to be looking out for.

    I taught high school for fifteen years and never once dealt with a student who I would have labeled as a “mental health problem”. I dealt with difficult students and with students that I wanted to take by the scruff of the neck and shake until their teeth rattled, but never kids that I’d label as needing drugs. It didn’t enter my mind to even consider the system in relationship to the kids I taught on a daily basis. It truly shocks me to see the number of kids these days who are labeled by the system.

  • The student leaders answered to one another and to the teacher who was with their group, though the teachers were not expected to lead.

    Interestingly enough, students welcomed this program into the school and seemed to make good use of it. There were some very good discussions in the group I was attached to. I suspect that the fact that all the students were girls had something to do with the acceptance of the program and their willingness to discuss issues they were experiencing in their lives. The majority of students gave the program a thumbs up. I also wonder if this didn’t reflect the possibility that there was not a lot of discussion going on in families about the issues the students were experiencing.

    As I say, I don’t know how the program turned out in the end as I left to go to another school.

  • As a psychiatric survivor/ex-patient who works as a peer I have to say that Darby and everyone who has contributed to the discussion are correct in everything that’s been stated here. People with lived experience cannot work in traditional settings and do true peer work.

    Peer organizations outside of traditional settings have difficulty staying alive because of the expense of running programs like respite houses and the like. But it is only in organizations run totally by peers that true peer work can ever take place.

  • He is correct about these programs in schools. I taught in a school in New Orleans that developed such a program for students helping one another. I can’t say how affective it was because I took another teaching job in a different school before we could see any real results from the program. I can’t remember the exact title of the program but do remember that it had the word peer in it.

    Actually, the students didn’t react to it in a negative way since there wasn’t a whole lot of involvement from the administration of the school. The seniors mentored a certain number of underclasswomen (it was an all girl school) with a teacher attached to each group. Teachers were not the leaders, the seniors were the leaders. It was kind of like a discussion group where the girls could bring up things that they were dealing or struggling with in their daily lives.

  • Isn’t this kind of what Soteria House practiced? The staff were certainly not clinically trained people. I am not sure as to whether or not they were survivors of the system but they were not trained professionals.

    I agree. Professionals should not be let in to places where survivors seeking help can go. I think that the few respite houses that we have here in the United States work on this principle. We can take care of one another a lot better than most clinically trained people. The best “treatment” that I received while on the unit of the state “hospital” came at the hands of fellow “patients”.

  • I know that this sounds strange to say, but perhaps community gardens might be one step in the direction of creating and building viable communities again. The urban farm movement is having some really interesting results in the city where I live. People from many different backgrounds are coming together to grow good food in large gardens in the city. They’ve networked with the food banks to provide fresh produce for people to add to their diets. Small businesses have developed as offshoots from the garden movement, such as a company that collects peoples’ vegetable garbage to make compost, which people receive at the beginning of spring to do with as they wish. These gardens are raising issues about health and nutrition and wellness and creating ways for people to change their lives for the better. Just the fact that these gardens and the movement bring people together for a common goal is a good thing. Perhaps we could go on to build from there.

  • I’m all for dismantling the “mental health system”, just call me a black and white thinker. But how are we going to go about doing this when this system has gotten into bed with the legal system? That’s an unholy alliance if there ever was one. We even have a court of our very own less than a block from the “hospital” where only cases dealing with the “mentally ill” are brought before the judge. Now the courts can mandate “treatment” for people. I’ve even seen a particularly gross and arrogant judge who mandates “treatment” even though the psychiatrist doesn’t ask for it. Talk about destroying a person’s human and civil rights, and the judge gets away with it because everyone is scared of this particular judge.