Friday, March 24, 2023

Comments by Stephen Gilbert

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  • I want to make it clear that I never tell people that they must take the drugs. I say absolutely nothing about the drugs, period. I do advocate for people but most of it is in indirect ways. I am successful in the small things that I attempt and most of the staff, outside of the psychiatrists, don’t oppose me. There are more and more staff who don’t believe the lies that psychiatry pushes but they can’t do as much for people as they’d like because their jobs become the bargaining chip. But it is heartening to know that the numbers who don’t believe the lies is growing bit by bit.

  • Yes, but I decided that I just didn’t have the energy to get into this. The authors are basically correct in their assessment that they made here. Peers cannot do peer work in institutional settings. Your job if you were in these places is to emphasize to people that they must take the drugs, no questions asked. You cannot advocate for people directly.

    These institutions are basically run by the psychiatrists and even if you have a good administration, as I’m lucky to have, they refuse to go up against the psychiatrists or to call them into question. As a peer, if your truly believe in real peer work (because there are peers and then there are “peers”) you watch fairly helplessly, as people are doomed to the ongoing destruction of their lives and you can’t do much about it, if you want to keep your job. So, you know that you’re part of the system that carries out this ongoing destruction. It doesn’t make you go home in the evening with a happy attitude. I can mitigate some of the destruction but I can never stand up and say that if people truly want to find their lives and begin making their own decisions they’ll probably have to get off the drugs they’ve either been forced to take or convinced to take. I seldom use the word depressing because it’s a term used by what I consider the opposition or enemy camp, but it is terribly depressing.

  • Just a little history lesson.

    There was a movement in Germany to make sure that the volk, remained pure. Volk is a difficult term for me to explain since I don’t speak German nor do I completely understand the philosophical background. In essence I think that it means that they wanted Germany to be totally Aryan(sp ?) in makeup. They didn’t want any “bad blood” nor did they want any weaknesses as they perceived things. Anyone who didn’t find themselves in this special group began finding themselves referred to as useless eaters and troublemakers. There was also a eugenics movement afoot, which was also afoot here in the United States. Germany praised us because of our sterilization of certain groups, particularly the “mentally ill”. There was a campaign carried out against “useless eaters” with posters and all kinds of other propaganda. The “mentally ill”, the Jewish people, gay people, Roma people, Russians etc. were all included in this group.

    But the group that they began killing off with impunity were the “mentally ill”. Everyone in an asylum had to have their cases reviewed by two psychiatrists. If you got one negative vote you were loaded up and taken to one of six cities in Germany. In each of these six cities the psychiatric community built gas chambers and crematoriums. The “mentally ill” were shoved into the gas chambers and murdered by exposing them to the exhaust from diesel engines. Later on they converted over to the zyklon (sp) gas that because the norm. When everyone was finally dead they’d drag the dead bodies of to the ovens for burning. Thousands of the so-called “mentally ill” met their untimely deaths like this. Later, the Nazis decided to use what the psychiatrists created to carry out their pogrom against the Jews and everyone else.

    This murdering of the “mentally ill in this manner continued on into WWII. Eventually it was stopped but this didn’t mean that the people in the asylums were safe. The psychiatrists in many of these places continued the murdering by starving people. There were American G.I.’s who reported going into the asylums in German cities and finding people dying of starvation, and they were starved on purpose.

  • Once again all this goes to show that the FDA is not working to protect the people of the United States but to protect the profit interests of the large drug companies that are running our country today.

    At least someone is finally speaking out against the damned stuff and calling the FDA out on their flagrant decision to put American citizens at risk.

  • I absolutely know that and accept that. But my question remains as to why you fight so hard against anyone offering you another way of seeing your difficulties. And how do you know that you’re not like me? We might be a whole lot more alike than we are different from one another. I suspect that one big difference between us is that I never believed the system when it told me that I was “mentally ill” because I tried to kill myself because I was so miserable from the huge and terrible losses that I suffered in such a short time. I believe that my desire to die had absolutely nothing to do with any “chemical imbalance” in my brain and everything to do with the fact that I was grieving so many great and profound losses in a very short period of time. I was overwhelmed with grief and sadness; I didn’t have any “chemical imbalance” in my brain. And I was never “mentally ill”. Actually, the psychiatrists I was forced to deal with were the ones who seemed to be out of touch with reality. One year to the day of my mother’s burial I was told that my sister had been murdered in New York City. In one fell swoop the two most important people in my life were gone out of my life. By chance, I had an appointment the next day to see a psychiatrist for a diagnosis so that I could apply for therapy concerning my mother’s death. He never once looked at me, scribbled on his little pad of paper as he looked at my chart, and pretty much ignored me completely. He finally asked me, without even looking at me, how I was doing. I said I felt terrible because I’d just learned of my sister’s murder and it felt like my entire world was crashing down around me. He jumped up out of his chair and screamed at me, “That stupid!”. At least he’d finally looked at me. I decided than that if this was the kind of help I was going to receive to help me deal with my grief, that I was not the one with the true problem.

    And despite what you state all the time, I still believe that you’re capable of more than just being mentally ill. I believe, for some reason that I can’t put my finger on, that you have talents and abilities that others can benefit from. But I will never try to force you to believe something that you say you can’t believe in.

  • And by the way…..after spending millions of dollars and taking up many years in their search for neurological causes of so-called “mental illness” they’ve not found one gene….nada….nothing… prove their hypotheses. They waste time and good money on something that isn’t true and never will be true. It’s useless.

  • I usually don’t say anything to anyone that might be seen as coercion or pressure because I believe in free choice to believe what one wants. This is why I dislike psychiatry to vehemently, the system doesn’t allow any true freedom of thought or any dissent. It’s either the system’s way or no way.

    But I sense something in you that says to me that you have more to you than you even begin to realize. It’s a shame to me to think that all that might go to waste.

  • It strikes me that when anyone shares something with you to think about you have a tendency to pull back and immediately go to the “I have a mental illness” line. What is so scary about just thinking that perhaps you aren’t mentally ill because you’re sad and unhappy? Why not just try for once, sitting with your discomfort and embracing it, and then allow yourself to think about what was shared without any judgments. Just sit there and quietly look at what the person has shared in an objective manner. You’re not obligated to change your thinking but just try embracing your discomfort and then looking at things objectively.

  • I always wonder when I see you post something like this why you believe this? What proves to you that you have a “mental illness”, other than what you’ve been told by the so-called professionals. I too was very sad and unhappy about what was going on in my life, but I never believed that I had some kind of an illness that I couldn’t do anything about. I still experience ups and downs in my life, but I’m no longer sad and unhappy because I decided to do something about my life situation. And in fact, once I began taking some responsibility for my life by deciding that I wasn’t going to remain where I found myself, my life began changing in many ways. If you could find the courage to empower yourself about what you want to do with your own life and in how you want to think and believe, you just might find that you aren’t so depressed and saddled with a “mental illness”. Just a thought.

  • It’s always amazing to me how many psychiatrists have little to no idea at all about any of the drugs that they constantly foist onto other people. What is truly shocking is the fact that they think that people can taper off these devil’s tic tacs in ten days with no problems! I knew a long time ago that getting off the so-called “antidepressants” would take a long, long taper. The only chemical imbalance in a person’s brain is the one caused by the “antidepressants” themselves! It’s past time that these psychiatrists get informed about what they’re doing to people because it’s truly criminal.

  • I must make a confession. In the late 90’s I became a disciple of the “mental health” system in that I believed the lies of my GP when I went to him for help about feeling down and unhappy. He immediately gave me a prescription for Zoloft. I got it filled and faithfully took the devil’s tic tacs. I went home to visit my mom one weekend and she seemed down and low so I suggested that she ask her doctor for some good old Zoloft. She did so and began taking it. A few months later I went back to visit and she was much better, back to her old self. I stated that the Zoloft must have helped her. She laughed and said that she threw the damned pills down the commode and flushed them and never filled the prescription again. When I asked why she said that she realized what a crock of bull the so-called “antidepressants” were when she looked at her kitchen floor one day and realized that it was a filthy mess. She said that she sat there wondering how she’d ever let her floor get like that because she was a meticulous housekeeper, even though she worked ten hours a day in a plant. She said that she realized that the pills did nothing but make her numb to everything going on around her. My mother had only a third grade education but was brilliant in so many ways! It took me many more years and numerous “antidepressants” to finally understand how wise she truly was that day that she threw the damned pills in the commode. I ended up on the Devil’s Tic Tacs of devil’s tic tacs , good ol’ Effexor XR. I tried killing myself while taking those pills.

  • I’ve never heard that we gave Nazis asylum to come and show us how to manipulate our population. We knew how to do that well enough on our own and didn’t need any help with that. We gave asylum to Nazi scientists and made them come to the United States to work on rockets and such.

    Most of the Nazis were smuggled out of Europe, many by the Catholic Church, to South America, particularly Brazil and Argentina.

  • I want true informed consent. Since they will never give up the drugs what I want to see is a judicious use of the damned things in small amounts until people are more balanced. Then I want to see them tapered off if that’s what the individual wants for themselves. I want people to have real and valid input into their treatment plans. I want to see staff sitting down and listening to people in caring and healing ways. I want to see the reduction of seclusion and restraint. I want a council of people from the units that would meet on a regular basis to discuss developments in the “hospital” and to advise the administration. I want a peer representative to sit on the administrative team at which said peer has a true and equal voice and vote with all the other members.

  • And you have to have people that talk the language of the people I’m trying to convince to do the giving of the information. Radical people get absolutely nowhere in my “hospital” other than to get themselves banned from ever speaking or showing up there. This has happened before with our police force told to look out for these “radicals” coming onto our property. So, you bring in people like Robert, who are credible and logical and rational in appearance and in message. You find a crack and then exploit it and then you drive a wedge into it until you can split off a chunk of this huge edifice that we’re going up against. We have to be sappers in a siege.

  • Well, you have to begin somewhere in the battle and I’m willing to look at everything before I dismiss it. We’re not going to be putting the perpetrators in jail or prison any time soon and in the meantime we just might begin to change the direction of the huge ocean liner by laying some good groundwork and foundations for eventually holding them all accountable. But we are not strong enough to do that right now. That will come later.

  • Agreed. But I’m frantic to find anything that I can take to the administration that just might further the dialogue concerning giving people more freedom over their own lives. My administration is beginning to make some small moves forward in changing the way they think about everything. But the psychiatrists rule generally so I have to have some really good things that will stand up against an all out assault when I take them up front for consideration. This is the only web site that even comes close to giving me some ammunition to use in the fight for human dignity and freedom for the people on the units.

  • My major question, which is one that the administrators of the state hospital where I work will ask me, is the cost for such a program. We don’t have a lot of money to allocate for extra resources. Do you have an estimate at this point in time or is this calculated by how many organizations sign up for the webinars? I am certainly interested by the price would have to be right for it to be used by the hospital.

  • The author was absolutely correct in his prediction that there would be new calls for more and better “treatment” for people suffering from depression after the death of the young woman from the Kennedy family. I was watching coverage about her death on the PBS Newshour and sure enough, they were saying how important it is for more people to get the help that they needed for their terrible depression. And of course by “help” they mean drugs.

    Depression is not an illness but an awareness that something in one’s life needs changing. Is the experience a lot of fun? Absolutely not, but one can get through it. What psychiatry has done is to take something that was episodic and self-limiting and have turned it into a chronic problem with their wonderful “antidepressants”, which often cause the thing they’re supposed to treat, as well as often making one suicidal. It’s disgusting.

  • Annita

    Your experiences remind me very much of a book titled Dante’s Cure which describes the experiences of a young woman labeled as “schizophrenic”. Have you read the book. It’s the true story of a young woman who became totally silent and would seldom eat. They eventually assigned her to a young psychiatrist who would spend an hour a day with her, whether she talked or not. He cared about her and this caring created the space for her to find herself once again. She later went on to be a psychiatric nurse and she started an organization for people with lived experience. I’m sure that you’re familiar with it already.

    You are a shining example for everyone and I truly appreciate your willingness to share your experiences with us.

  • What they’re really talking about is behavioral modification for this is what is behind so much of what goes on in psychiatric institutions these days in the so-called quest for “behavioral health”.

    Pavlov and Skinner would be proud of what happens to people in these places. This form of “treatment” infantilizes the people receiving it. And the clinical staff never even come close to realizing why people hate it so badly. It’s demeaning and disrespectful and puts one at the level of Pavlovian dogs taught to salivate at the ringing of a bell. Even people who are in other realities know that something is wrong with this. And, after you’ve been in these places enough times you’ve seen and experienced everything that they can do to you and the “rewards” you’re supposed to earn lose their power over you, if they ever had any power in the first place.

    I had to laugh one day when I heard a psychiatrist ask a “patient” why they weren’t compliant with the “program of treatment” based on getting “rewards”. Didn’t the “patient” like the rewards? Talk about talking down to someone. Actually I laughed when the “patient” responded and said, “I’m not here for all of that. I’m here to find some balance again in my life so that I can get the hell out of here and get back to doing what needs to be done outside!” Obviously this wasn’t the correct response and the “patient” ended up spending a long, long time with us because they refused to lower themselves to salivating upon command.

  • Yes, there are very few women and People of Color on the DSM committees that pull strange and ludicrous “diagnoses” from out of their lily White hats. But of course the DSM is oh so scientific, especially when new “diagnoses are proposed by White men as they’re washing their hands in the men’s bathroom, and as they vote on these ridiculous things by a show of hands. So scientific. It’s disgusting.

  • It is the rare staff person who actually sits down and talks with a person on the units where I work. It’s so unusual that everyone stops to look at what’s happening when it does take place. Most of the staff are not genuinely interested in what people on the units think about anything. This is the huge problem and is one of the reasons that no real treatment ever happens for people. They’re never asked about anything; they’re just supposed to follow orders and do what they’re told. If they don’t they get point freezes and their band level dropped, and then they can’t participate in anything that they might enjoy. It’s so totally frustrating to me that I want to scream when I leave the units; I just want to stand out in the main hallway and scream at the top of my lungs but then I’d end up in one of the beds on one of the units since I am a former “patient” after all. When staff ask me what my job is I tell them that my job is to listen and to actually hear what people are saying, and to respond in ways that let the people know that I’ve actually heard them. They act very dismissive as if this had absolutely no value at all concerning what is going on in the “hospital”.

    I know that you were being sarcastic but you are absolutely right when you point out that the system does not want people to think for themselves and they certainly don’t want them to become empowered. They fear these two things worse than just about anything else and will do just about anything to keep it from happening. And if people don’t conform and comply they get drugged to the gills till they drool on themselves. And this is why they should remove the word “recovery” from every mission statement in all of these institutions because what they do negates any kind of recovery and keeps people helpless and childish.

  • Mental health screenings create “patients”, they don’t help people keep themselves out of the system. They are the perfect tool to use against groups of people that are considered to be less desirable than WASPS. This is the perfect tool to use against any group that the system fears.

    In the 1970’s, when the riots were taking place in the large cities of this country, more young African American men ended up in psychiatric institutions with labels of paranoid schizophrenic than you could shake a stick at. African American men are still the group that gets this label more than any other. When the country watched the Olympics held in Mexico City in real time and watched those two, young, African American sprinters (I think that they were track and field athletes) stand on the winners’ podium and slowly raise their black gloved fists in the air during the national anthem you could feel a collective wave of shock go through the room you were watching this in.

    When First Nations children (Native Americans) refused to give up their language and culture in the boarding schools (many of them run by Christian organizations) they were beaten and humiliated. When and if this didn’t work walla, they were sent to the asylums just especially created for the First Nations peoples through the wonderful generosity of the United States government and they were labeled as insane. They were often held for years there and guess what? They got to do work for the institution, without pay, just like they were expected to work at the boarding schools without pay.

    Do I think that these screenings are a good thing for children? Absolutely not. They are just one more example of the drug companies and psychiatry widening their net in order to trap as many people as possible. If they were really serious about helping children with high ACE scores they’d do something about the trauma being done all through this country on so many levels to children. They would pay attention to children when these kids tell someone that they’re being sexually abused by a family member or friend of the family. They will do something about the abusive foster child system that tends to drug the kids in their care rather than actually trying to understand what causes “bad” behavior. They will actually begin admitting that trauma is widespread against children in our society and then they’ll go about doing something about it.

    These screenings are a joke.

  • Much as I’d like to see this happen tomorrow I believe that we can’t just shut it down all of a sudden. There are too many people locked up inside of too many institutions across this country and we owe them the help they will need to make the transition so that the damned system can be closed once and for all. In Western Finland where Open Dialogue originated they were able to clear most of their “patients” out of their institutions but there are a few people who were incarcerated for so long that they don’t know the outside world at all. They allow these “patients” to remain in the only home that many of them have ever had.

    I have “patients” where I work who’ve been held there for thirty years and they know nothing really about how to get along in the world beyond the walls that we hold them behind. Setting them free, if they ever do get to be free, will have to be a very well-coordinated process whereby they are prepared well ahead of time about what to expect and how to go about living “out there”. Some of them that I work with who’ve been here for most of their adult lives and who are approaching freedom are absolutely scared to death of the day they will be marched out the door from Admissions. My fear is that none of this preparation will be given them. We’ll just turn them over to some RCF and say, “Take care of them” and that will be that. This kind of stuff is hard and long drawn out work and very few people want to do it. But we can’t just throw people out of the institutions where they’ve lived and say “Good-by and good luck!” That’s what Reagan did in the 80’s and look at how well that worked. I hope that when the time comes where we have enough strength and power to close the system down that we won’t repeat history.

  • The reason that the numbers of people in the “mental health system” are increasing is due in large part to the fact that people are being forced into it against their wills. School kids are forced to take drugs because they’r supposedly people with ADHD. Their parents are often threatened with having their children taken away from them if they refuse to drug their kids. More people are ending up in jails and prisons, especially in the United States which has more prisoners than any other country. Being in jail or prison is enough to make you have emotional and psychological issues and when this happens you get a free trip into the “mental health system”. We are labeling two year olds as people who are bi-polar and we label teenagers for being “oppositionally defiant” when the job of teenagers is to be defiant in the first place. The “mental health system” is pulling things out of their hats that have no basis in science or good health.

    I’m glad that someone is pointing out that there are problems with this ever expanding net that the drug companies and psychiatry have created, to the detriment of everyone. As Whitaker has pointed out, this epidemic of “mental health problems” is a manufactured epidemic having no basis in science or fact. Eventually the only ones who won’t be medicated and in “treatment” will be the people running the drug companies and psychiatrists. You do know that psychiatrists don’t allow their own children to be put on drugs so this should tell you something about the wonderful “treatment”.

    And then the system has the gall to export this all over the world. Colonization of other cultures didn’t quit with the destruction of the British, French, Italian, and Dutch empires. Colonization just took a different and more insidious approach to trap people against their wills.

  • The way to improve mental health care is most likely to dismantle it and be done with it. I once read a report that dealt with how a psychiatric hospital that was closing helped their long-term patients adjust to moving into the real world. They began preparing well ahead of the planned closing date and were able to move almost all of their people out of their system and into the real world without much upheaval to the people involved. It wasn’t fun and it was hard work but they were able to responsibly integrate people back into life. It wasn’t totally successful but there was a high rate of success, even over time. The same needs to be done with the mental health system; slowly but surely teaching people how to stand on their own two feet as much as possible and moving out into the community so that the system can be shut down. Period.

  • And these are the words and the thoughts and the work of a psychologist who supposedly chose his education in order to be of help to people in distress! And now the media is pushing the idea that all these mass murders that are taking place each and every week just about in our country are perpetrated by “people who are severely disturbed and mentally ill”. The cure for these mass murders is to make sure that all of us “crazy” people get the treatment that we justly need and deserve, all for our own good of course. This is not headed in a good direction at all. We’re becoming the scapegoat so that people won’t have to actually confront the real problem.

  • I think that your caution about respecting and asking permission of the older traditions is very important. We don’t want to be “colonizers” once again. First we took their land and almost destroyed their cultures so we have no right to just up and appropriate their healing traditions and sacred stories. These traditions work within their own cultural context and shouldn’t just be lifted out of their culture and plopped down onto ours; it just won’t work. This was done with mindfulness from Buddhism and Hinduism which was wrong. Some things will transfer and many things won’t because of the cultural context.

    I also don’t know how well this has worked with the Maori peoples. They have shared their haka tradition with everyone so that most New Zealanders seem to know how to participate in it whether they are White or Maori. But I don’t know how much of a spiritual context haka has for them. It seems to be used for all kinds of things. It seems to me that participating in a haka places things in the context of a group and it seemed to give New Zealanders a chance to grieve the loss of the people murdered in the mosques in their country as a group, society, nation. It was a vehicle for community grieving and shock. Americans don’t seem to have anything that compares to it. I guess our candlelight vigils perform the same thing for us.

  • This guy isn’t a critical psychiatrist. He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a dyed in the wool (excuse the pun) bio psychiatrist masquerading as a critical psychiatrist. I wouldn’t trust this guy if my life depended on it. If I remember correctly he wrote something for a drug company so that their drug would be used rather than their competitors’ products. I think he got paid for it. I believe that he has very large conflict of interests all over the place.

  • Well, this article lost me when it stated that ECT is not a forced treatment and that it works for depression. The article disparaged the Scientologists for claiming that it’s a barbaric tactic used against people. Didn’t read another word from there on.

  • Navajo (a First Nations tribe, what White people want to call Native Americans) veterans coming back from the numerous wars that this country has involved itself in found that what little help that they got from the Veterans’ Affairs Dept. was actually not helping at all but was detrimental to their recovery of health and well-being. Their PTSD was not helped at all and this was and still is leading to many suicides of Veterans who’ve returned to the United States.

    So, being the intelligent people that they are many of them have returned to their indigenous medicine practiced for them by their traditional medicine men. They’ve found this to be much more beneficial than anything that they received through the colonial “mental health” system at the hands of Western psychiatrists and the Western drug companies.

    The thing about indigenous medicine is that it’s a communal approach rather than just dealing with the afflicted individual. It shows the individual that the community actually cares about them. The Western colonial “mental health” system clearly doesn’t give a damn about anyone as it works to keep people in thrall to the drugs and psychiatry itself.

  • Why would you ask this question? Why does anyone have to be depressed? It doesn’t sound to me like either of them were depressed, they were just living out their normal roles as an introvert and an extrovert, according to the information given us. The problem that often results is that many introverts don’t understand where extroverts are coming from and vice versa. Then you begin having unrealistic expectations about people around you. This is why it behooves one to understand where you fall on the continuum of introversion/extroversion and where your family members and friends fall on that same continuum.

  • Very well put.

    I’ve struggled all my life with society because I’m an introvert on the far edge of extreme introversion. I’ve been told that I should have been a Desert Father living in a cave as far from everyone else as possible. This isn’t true. It’s just that my idea or interpretation of “community” is not what everyone else thinks of as community. I shop for groceries every Saturday at the same time and at the same store because it often gives me the chance to see the same people every week who do their shopping at the time I do. I don’t have the need to talk to or with any of them but I do really enjoy seeing them. Others would call them strangers but I call them part of my community.

    Extroverts drive me crazy with their constant need to know what I’m thinking about anything and everything. Introverts process internally and have very little to no need to verbalize what we process. Extroverts think that they’ve never had a thought that shouldn’t be shared with the entire world. But if you’re an introvert in the mental institution your need for alone time and for peace and quiet is always interpreted as a sign of your “mental illness”.

  • He strikes me as a young man who may not have a lot of experience out in the world of supposed “mental health”. We have an opportunity to educate people here that post on MIA. I am usually willing to give a person a couple of chances for the light bulb to come on before I begin my slash and burn campaigne against them. It takes time for people to get their heads around thinking about things in a new way, if they truly are open. And at least he’s writing about Open Dialogue, which gives me some hope that he’s open to better ways of dealing with people who experience emotional and psychological pain and issues.

  • Oh my goodness, we can’t have this going on! Whatever will happen to all the jobs held by people who are responsible for diagnosing and locking people up in the system. If people start getting well and not coming back for “services” this could lead to horrible problems for psychiatry, the “mental health” system, and the drug companies! We’ve got to do our part to make sure that all these jobs aren’t done away with because of those pesky people who believe that they can get well. How dare they think that they can run their lives better than psychiatrists and drug reps, they don’t have M.D. behind their names.

  • Your reply got me to thinking……this is probably not something that just popped up in modern times, this feeling dissatisfied and unhappy with one’s life situation. If you were working on building the Great Pyramid in Egypt 4,000 years ago you probably weren’t real happy about where you were at and what you were being forced to do. From what archeologists can figure out the people who built the Pyramid didn’t get to choose whether or not they were going to do the work; they were forced into working pretty much like chain gangs. They were allowed to construct huts to sleep in and they were given bread to eat, and yes….they were given an allowance of beer!

    Men who went to sea from the European nations didn’t have such a wonderful time on those sailing ships. Many were kidnapped from pubs and the streets and were forced to climb the rigging of those ships to furl or unfurl those sails. And you were usually dead ducks if bad storms overtook you or you got caught in the doldrums. But guess what? They were given their daily ration of grog, usually rum, until the stores ran out.

    Women and children in the late 1700’s, early 1800’s, forced to work in the new factories for their overlords from daylight to dark, seven days a week. Poor working conditions, poor living conditions, poor health conditions… it any wonder that the people turned to cheap gin in England to drown their sorrows in?

    And here we are in the age of super technology! Life is easier, things are more convenient, we work forty hours a week (if you have a true full time job, many people in this time of the “great and wonderful” economy must work a number of part-time jobs to make ends meet for their families because many companies like Walmart will not employ people full time), we drive our big SUV’s pretty much anywhere we want to go. But we are not happy. We are not content.

    I believe that whatever the psychiatrists and drug companies want to call depression has always been with us, the causes may change from one age to another but it’s always been there. People just didn’t have the time to think about it, they were miserable enough due to life conditions. And I think that people from earlier ages were taught by those above them that misery and unhappiness were just the normal conditions that you had to accept and deal with. If you weren’t of the noble, priestly, warrior class then your lot in life was to live in misery and you accepted your lot without too much complaining. It didn’t get you anywhere anyway since you didn’t count in the first place.

    Wait a minute……have we made the full circle and arrived back where human societies began from in the first place? A few “Haves” tell the “Have nots” how they should feel and if they don’t approve it doesn’t matter because you don’t count anyway. The big difference is that we have to buy our own alcohol since the “Haves” are not going to provide that for us. But they will support the large drug companies that try to convince us that we need to take their devil’s tic tacs in order to find some semblance of happiness.

  • I would be ashamed to even think of publishing something like this, but of course these two neuroscientists had no trouble in stating that Leonardo had ADHD. I can’t believe that neuroscientists would stoop so low as to write this since it’s something that you’d expect from psychiatrists. The medical field has come to the point of thinking that we will accept just about anything that flows from the mouths of any kind of doctor.

  • It’s the human relationship shared with someone whom we know truly cares about us which provides the opportunity for healing and well-being. This relationship is the basis for all other things. I have two best friends who’re better therapists than most therapists I’ve dealt with either as fellow staff or as the person on the receiving end of the therapy.

  • In my earlier days, before I wised up, I thought that I would benefit from the help of a therapist after my little stay in the wonderful “hospital” where I now work. So, I went down to the community “mental health” clinic that I’d been assigned to after discharge and asked to see a therapist that I could talk with. They looked at me like I had a third eye or a horn growing out of the middle of my forehead. Then they told me that they’d get in touch with me by phone and to leave. Well….four weeks later I went back because, of course, I’d never received a phone call from them. They told me to sit and wait in the waiting room. Half an hour later someone came out from the office area, looked at me and then went back inside. Eventually someone told me to leave and they’d get in touch with me by phone. I laughed and told them that I was onto them and I knew that they were giving me the runaround. The person at the desk promptly replied that it wasn’t their problem.

    Eventually I talked to the CEO of the “hospital” and he gave me a phone number to call. It was the number of the woman who supervised all the community mental health clinics for the entire state. I got her voicemail and left a message. Thirty minutes later I received the promised phone call that I’d been told to expect weeks before. They triaged me over the phone and told me to come in and speak with their financial director. I did so and she arranged for a scholarship for me since I had no money at the time. When I was leaving she whispered to me to not let them keep me from getting what I needed and wanted. She said that they would do everything within their power to keep me from receiving any services. She was right so I called that very special phone number again and miracle of miracles I received a phone call back from the center telling me that they had a therapist for me.

    I went for two weeks to the so-called “therapist” and realized that I knew more about how to help people than that woman ever would in her entire adult life. I went through all of that just to find out that I was a better therapist than the woman that they saddled me with!

  • Exactly. It seems as if there is a concerted effort on the part of drug companies, psychiatry and the government to get as many people on these kinds of things as possible. Reminds me of a movie I saw where everyone is on government mandated drugs. If you don’t take your daily dose you’re in big trouble because everyone monitors everyone else to make sure the drugs are being taken. Parents watch children and children watch parents and if you’re caught your arrested by the authorities and are given “therapy” to convince you of your faulty thinking for not wanting your drugs like a good citizen. Forget what the name of it was but it’s a fairly recent movie. Very dark and brooding and chilling to say the least.

  • The psychiatrists where I’m at are slobering all over themselves and rubbing their hands together since they see this as another tool in their arsenal of forced drugging. They also love the long lasting shots since people can’t not take the drugs after their little appt. with the needle. They don’t really care that these drugs are so high priced and that the people that they’re forcing to take them don’t usually have a lot of money to pay for them. It’s just absolutely crazy and getting crazier all of the time. And if you don’t take your drugs your psychiatrist goes down to the sheriff’s office and swears out a petition on you so that you’re forced to show up in our little “mental health court”. Yes, we actually have our very own little court set aside just for “mental health” use. And if you don’t heed the summons to court then the deputies go out that afternoon after court and find you. Then they drag you back to the state “hospital” where I meet them in admissions.

  • Why should it surprise us that the FDA has approved this snake oil product to be used on innocent children? The list of things that they’ve approved over the past few months points to the fact that their decisions have nothing to do with the safety and welfare of the American people. They have everything to do with the fact that the FDA entered into an unholy menage a trois by getting into bed with psychiatry and the drug companies. The FDA is now filled with flim flam artists as evidenced by their acceptance of the new “treatment” for postpartum depression and their approval of the esketamine for depression stupidity.

    If one didn’t know better you might think that there is some kind of conspiracy afoot what with this kind of behavior on the part of the FDA. Anyone who believes that the FDA is worried about our safety please get in touch with me so that I can sell you a plot of swampland somewhere in Florida.

  • I agree totally with your point that the professionals not dealing with your trauma was cruel and unusual punishment. I experienced the very same kind of thing. My mother was dying from emphysema. She was being physically abused by my stepfather of 42 years. So, I quit my job in one city and moved myself into their home in another city 250 miles away. I had to give up my home on a lake and a job that I liked but I had to protect my mother’s last 17 months of life. While my stepfather could bully and verbally abuse my brothers and sister into not interfering I became his worst nightmare. He retaliated in many diverse and bizarre ways during that time. She died and was buried one day after my birthday. One year to the day of my mother’s funeral I received word that my sister was dead in New York City. She’d been murdered. These to women were the two most important people in my life and all of a sudden they were dead and gone. I turned my back on my stepfather and two brothers and walked away but I couldn’t walk away from the trauma that I’d experienced. To top everything off, I was trapped in a city that I hated, with no friends or supports of any kind. This eventually led to my trying to kill myself. I almost accomplished my goal but was caught in the net of the mental health system.

    I expected psychiatrists to actually do therapy or something that might actually help people resolve their issues. Boy was I ever in for a rude awakening! I dealt with five psychiatrists in my journey to get back out of the system and only one of the five was willing to listen to my story about what was responsible for my finding myself in the system in the first place. The rest had no use for my trying to explain to them why I was experiencing deep and abiding anguish. They dismissed my story as unimportant and as having no bearing on anything of any importance. When I told one of them that I was not doing well because of my sister’s death, making me feel that my world was crumbling around me, he screamed, “That’s stupid!” And he called himself a “doctor”. I was shocked.

    I was never a great fan of any kind of doctor before all of this happened. Now I have a deep and abiding contempt for most psychiatrists that I meet. I have no use for any of them since they do nothing to actually help people and everything to keep them chained by their issues and enslaved to the drugs that are called “treatment”. They destroyed my grandmother and they tried to destroy me. I was bound and determined to beat them at their own game and I did so. They are useless and do nothing for the trauma that people have suffered. They are beyond contempt.

  • Anyone with any sense at all will refuse to take this stuff. This is the beginning of a very slippery slope and yet I don’t hear a lot of uproar about it at all. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you want, but if this trend keeps up everyone in the United States will be assigned their drugs to take so that we will all be happy with our bad situations that confront us, created and caused by the large corporations and our own government.

    Dr. Peter Breggin stopped a program to drug inner city kids in the 70’s and he had to do it not once but twice. Of course, the government was going to drug the kids all for their very own good. Unfortunately, what the government didn’t accomplish then is now being carried out by big pharma and psychiatry in the form of diagnosing children with ADHD, being bi-polar, oppositionally defiant, schizophrenic, and on and on. We need to somehow get a handle on this before it goes much farther or our entire nation will be taking pills with chips in them to monitor whether or not they’ve been taken.

  • Talk therapy is just jim dandy wonderful but I’ve found that the therapy you receive is only as good as the therapist that you’re dealing with; and it depends on how good of a fit exists between you and the therapist. I’ve come to believe that just because a person has letters behind their name that signify that they can call themselves a therapist does not mean that they can truly do therapy. I’ve dealt with a few really good therapists and then I’ve had to deal with a lot of really rotten supposed therapists who either didn’t give a fat damn about truly helping the person sitting in front of them, or they truly didn’t have a clue as to what they were doing. You can memorize the principles of particular therapies but that doesn’t mean that you can use them well. And when therapists cannot use them well or don’t know what they’re doing, or don’t give a damn they can be very dangerous and destructive.

    I’ve experienced one good therapist in my life. I’ve had two experiences where I ended up doing therapy for the therapists. That was really bizarre and I left feeling that I should have been allowed to keep my money for any sessions that I had with those two.

    I’ve found that my practice of mindfulness is much more productive in my life than chasing after someone that I’ll have to pay to sit and listen to me. I’m not claiming that mindfulness is the key for everyone. However, for me it can be very helpful to sit, and in the middle of the silence just observe without judgment what is going on that’s causing me distress. The key is to be able to observe without judgment and that can be very difficult.

  • This sounds very nice to say that love saves people, and to some extent that’s true, but I think this is very simplistic. Horrible things happen to you when you can’t pay the rent or the utilities or put food on the table. You may be loved by friends and family, but often those friends or family don’t help financially either because they are bogged down themselves or because they simply choose not to do so. I had wonderful friends when I became homeless and I know that they loved me, but they didn’t invite me into their houses to live until I could get back on my feet. So their love did very little to save me from my attempts to kill myself because of all the anxiety and stress that I experienced.

  • Yes, my grandmother was an artist, an avid gardener who created new strains of flowers, a Native American Wise Woman who healed with the use of plants and ancient wisdom, and a woman who could call down hummingbirds to sit on the palms of her uplifted hands. The psychiatrists “killed” my grandmother even though she wasn’t dead when they returned her to our care. She was never the same woman after coming home from their wonderful “treatments”.

  • Don

    I for one have to agree with you that change cannot be affected from the inside; it just doesn’t work. I don’t know how the French Resistance did as well as they did against the Nazis!

    Secondly, I would affirm your fear that the peer movement has been co-opted with all the certification/training requirements. In my state the requirements are not greater than those set for nursing or social work! Most peers aren’t swimming in money so that they can afford all the trainings and requirements. This is done to keep people out. And you are correct in that when we do get in an institution the expectation is that we won’t do any advocacy work for people nor will we speak out against the abuses nor the chicanery and blowing of smoke!

  • What was done to your mother was CRIMINAL. Something similar was done to my grandmother. Her issues surfaced in the late 50’s and early 60’s and the so-called “treatment” was poly drugging and shock. They destroyed my grandmother with their treatment. When they discharged her they patted her on the back and smiled and told her how much better she was doing than when they first got their slimy hands on her. I was her oldest grandson who she’d spent many hours with in her garden, teaching me about plants and flowers and birds. She didn’t recognize me! She spent most of the rest of her life sitting at the kitchen table staring at the floor and chain smoking. How I hate the “mental health establishment”!!

  • “The Lottery” is one of the most shocking and disturbing things that I’ve ever read. I hope that you’re writing so that you can eventually publish because you’ve got such a broad knowledge and understanding of so many areas.

  • I don’t think that Steve, Rachel, and Julie are being that cynical at all. How much experience have you really had with the “mental health” system? I’ve found that families that truly support their loved ones in their battles with the system are far and few between. I think you’d be very surprised how many families are the first people to run down and swear out a petition against their loved one so that that person will be dragged into court for a hearing. Many times these hearings are generated by the fact that the family doesn’t like the behavior of their family member. I remember a young transgender woman who was petitioned by her very own father because he was against her accepting her status as a woman and not as the son that he wanted. The father was embarrassed, according to the young woman and so he went down and swore out a petition against her so that she had to spend seven days in the “hospital” for an “evaluation”.

  • The original “scape-goat” came out of the Israelite experience. On a particular day a goat was chosen and everyone in the community went by the goat and touched it. What they believed that they were doing was transferring their sins from themselves onto the goat. The goat was then driven off into the desert wastes to die, or whatever. In doing this the early Israelites believed that Yahweh would punish the poor goat and not them for the sinful things that they’d done during the past year.

  • In earlier days they used to do so and even laughed at psychiatrists as wannabe “doctors”. You don’t hear that sort of thing these days because they’ve embraced psychiatrists as sisters and brothers. Of course, medicine in general these days has huge problems that need to be exposed and discussed.

  • This is what Open Dialog from Finland points out; the problem is not in the supposedly “sick” individual but in the messed up relationships that everyone is entwined in where the family is concerned. Families with very unhealthy dynamics often choose one person out of the family who is designated as the “sick” one so that everyone else can escape being responsible for all the unhealthy stuff going on.

  • Julie

    I had an experience in the hospital where I worked as a chaplain that is a prime example of what you state here. One morning the nurses of the Pulmonary unit where I was assigned called me and frantically asked me to come up to the unit right away. A middle aged woman being treated for cancer was temporarily assigned to that unit because there were no beds on the oncology units. She’d just set fire to the trash in her trash can and was trying to light her mattress and bed linens with a lighter that they didn’t know she had. She’d also cursed her husband of 35 years; sailors would’ve been proud of her because of her colorful language. She told him to get the hell out of her room because she’d never seen his blankytiblank ass in her entire life. She was going wild and they thought that perhaps I could settle her down some.

    We’d gotten the lighter away from her and she did settle down, until her husband appeared in the door again and at that point she cursed him up one side and down the other. The nurses were demanding that she be moved to the psych unit and were trying to arrange the move when her oncology doctor showed up. He squelched any ideas of sending her to the psych unit and told one of the nurses to bring him a large vial of glucose! Everyone looked at him like he was the “crazy” person at that point. He bet anyone five dollars that within one minute of getting a shot of the glucose that the woman would be fine. We all looked at each other with knowing glances waiting for him to be proven wrong. In less than a minute she turned around, saw her husband across the room and asked him where he’d been all morning! Her blood sugar was screwed up! And she was saved a trip down the rabbit hole to the psych unit!