Sunday, July 23, 2017

Comments by Stephen Gilbert

Showing 100 of 2466 comments. Show all.

  • Until CEO’s and upper managerial staff of drug companies start going to prison for this kind of crime against humanity nothing is going to change. The drug companies make so many billions in profit from their off label promotions of their poisons that monetary awards mandated by the courts will remain only the cost of doing business. They build money into their budgets for taking care of the fines imposed on them by the courts. Most of this would stop if people started going to prison.

    Drug companies do not care about how their products harm the lives of countless individuals.

  • It’s just good to have you back and to know that you and your son are doing well. No, I wouldn’t ever expect the system to admit that they ever did anything wrong. That just ain’t going to ever happen. I wish only good for your and yours..

  • In my state they would never even consider creating a commission for overseeing all this. The governor and legislature have one message and one message only and that is that we all need more drugs.

    And as far as community mental health clinics are concerned the two in the city where I live do all they can to keep from helping people in any way shape or form. They are uncooperative and put roadblocks in the way of providing anyone with services. You have to know the phone number of someone high up in the system to make a complaint to before they will do anything for you. I waited six weeks for them to call me and every time I went in and asked when they were going to call they made me sit and wait for half an hour and then someone would come to the door leading into the inner sanctum and say, “Wait for our call.” It was at that point that I made my decision to never have anything to do with the system ever again.

  • I think that the ultimate concern of this activity or training exercise was to give the residents a chance to interact with a transgendered person under the guise of blood pressure and high potassium. Many people are uncomfortable when transgendered people show up. Sometimes this stems from prejudice but a lot of times it stems from just being uncomfortable with something that you are not familiar with. Transgendered people are not going to go away and they are not going to hide so doctors need to learn how to deal with their own uncomfortable feelings in order that the feelings do not get in the way of providing the best medical care possible.

    An equally interesting training exercise would be if they used “mental patients” as the subjects. As most of us know, many doctors treat us terribly if they find out that we have a lived history.

    These programs not only teach young doctors and medical students how to look for and treat specific health problems, they also try to help the trainees grow as human beings who are more open to the modern world.

  • These kinds of training programs are quite interesting if you are the actor playing the role of a certain kind of patient. I’ve done this with second year medical students at the university medical center in the city where I live. You as the actor critique the medical student or doctor’s performance so it gives them a chance to see the areas where they need to improve the way that they interact with patients.

    I remember one time where I was an actor playing a patient. These actors have a particular name but I don’t remember it now. Anyway, I was playing a farmer in his 50’s who was becoming very accident prone. My “sprained ankle” that I got from jumping off a running tractor was the third accident in two months. One of the objectives was to get the student to talk with me about prevention and being more careful and aware of what I was doing. Things went just fine for ten students and then with the eleventh I ran into a terrible snag. The young medical student listened to my explanation for why I got injured and then broke down crying. He began pleading with me to be more careful as he cried his eyes out. Then he explained to me that his beloved grandfather was killed in an accident with farm equipment. It was obvious that he was still grieving. As the actor you can’t go out of character at any time, no matter what the student says. Finally I said screw it and proceeded to remind the young man that this was only a training but this it obviously stirred up a lot of grief for him. And being the chaplain that I was I worked him through things so that he pulled himself together and we went on. I was not asked to be an actor again after that but as far as I’m concerned people come before all other things.

  • But I don’t think that their conclusions are correct. When I see someone jerked off one neuroleptic and put on another the person usually gets totally out of control, which the psychiatrists interpret as the person getting worse. No, they’re not getting worse, they are responding to being quickly removed from one drug and placed on another. One of our units has has resident psychiatrists and you can always tell when we get a new batch of them on the unit because people get out of control due to the switching of the drugs that these residents like to fiddle with. No one has ever told them that the Geneva Convention forbids experimenting on human beings without their permission.

  • Hemingway took his own life after having shock treatments because they took away his ability to write. I guess in his mind there was no use living if he couldn’t do what he did best. So much for shock treatment being a great “therapy”. At least it didn’t help him any.

  • Talk about what you are offended about. We can’t discuss or walk with you in your Journey when you won’t share what is bothering you. Obviously something is going on since this is the third post you’ve made and yet you won’t talk about what the problem is. We can’t be supportive if you refuse to inform us.

  • Frances

    These are the same people who stole Henrietta Lacks’s cells before she died of cancer and then made a killing off of them as they sold them to researchers. And of course, her family members do not receive one penny of compensation for the sale worldwide of their mother’s cells that are used for research.

  • Yes, I fired a new GP after my initial visit with him because of multiple problems I caught him in. There is no doubt that something is not right in the education of doctors. The big question is what can lay people like us do about it? I’ve taken to noncompliance when it comes to dealing with my doctor. If she presses the issue I explain the facts to her as I know them. We’ve developed a working relationship where it’s her job to advise and my job to make the decisions.

  • Steve

    Exactly. It always amazes me that I know more about the valid studies done in the area of drugs and psychiatry than the psychiatrists who work in the hospital where I am employed. I will ask them if they’ve heard of this study or that particular person writing papers and I always get blank looks as they shake their heads no. What’s wrong with this picture, that a former “patient” knows more about the current literature and studies concerning “mental illness” than the people responsible for the supposed “treatment” of “patients”?

    Doctors in other medical specialties must keep up with what’s going on in their area of medicine so why are psychiatrists so lacking in knowledge about what’s going on in theirs?

    I think that they’re willfully stupid and do not want to know anything about anything because then they’d have to begin looking within themselves to discover their true objectives for the things that they do. And if they did this, in true humility and honesty, they would have to admit that they’re wrong and that they are harming people. They can’t allow themselves to know this.

  • One group was even trying to convince people that babies in the womb were already Bi-Polar! So, let’s start drugging people before they are even born into the world!!! One wonders how much more disgusting all of this can become but psychiatry and the drug companies never cease to amaze. This is all morally, ethically, and professionally wrong.

  • IMHO, psychiatry is not capable of reforming itself. It will never happen if left up to them; just like abolition of slavery would never have happened in this country if it had been left up to slave owners. They have too much invested and at stake to change now and insurance companies are not going to pay for any kind of real therapy so what incentive do they have to reform and change themselves?

    And as to the claim that the neurotoxins do not harm people over the long term, Dr. Nancy Andreasen put the lie to that when she did studies to find out what was shrinking the brains of people being dosed with the neurotoxins. Her studies, and she’s a very methodical person when it comes to studies and she is the matriarch of the Bio-Bio-Bio group of psychiatry, showed that people’s brains are shrinking because of the drugs and not because of the “schizophrenia”. She even redid her study because she didn’t believe the results of the first but after the second came up with the same results she finally decided to publish.

  • What recent research are you pointing to that states that depression is genetic in families? We could say that the social experience in some families causes problems and it can be perpetuated down through generations. I’ve not heard of any valid research that states that depression is genetic. And depression is not a disease or an illness, by the way.

  • And for doing this he brought down on himself the anger and disapproval of all of Viennese Victorian society! How dare anyone suggest that the wonderful Victorians sexually abused their children!!!!! His paper on hysteria is still a very good understanding of how trauma can affect people in very bad ways. He ended up having to take back much of what he said about the abuse of children.

  • Helen,

    I want to say thank you for your efforts to get clinical staff to see and value the reality of what is really happening in the lives of the people that they say they are providing “good treatment” for. It’s an almost impossible effort. I know because I see the same things happening that you describe here in your writing.

    I work in a state hospital where the clinical staff know that the problem is the chemically imbalanced brains of the people under their “care”. Therefore, trauma has no part to play in the problems that people experience. This is what the staff tell me on a daily basis. Trauma is never considered, talked about, or appreciated as the driving force of the behavior of many people in psychiatric facilities.

    I gave a presentation to clinical staff about trauma and the effects it has on peoples’ lives. Almost no clinical staff came to the presentation and one of the few psychiatrists who did attend stated quite casually that “they didn’t have time to fool with trauma, they had more important work to do!”

    So, I know for a fact that what you state here is absolutely true, unfortunately. It’s almost impossible to get anyone to consider how dealing with peoples’ trauma issues just might set them on their Journey of well-being. Thanks again for sharing.

  • Have you ever been put in a psychiatric facility against your will? You don’t get out of places like that until you comply with taking the drugs, plain and simple. Forced treatment without proper informed consent takes place in the United States each and every day of the year.

  • Well, this is just gross! These doctors should be in prison but I suspect that they’ll get off with a slap on their wrists. This is exactly like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. And I thought that treatment here in the United States was bad. Thank goodness that I wasn’t in Canada when I experienced the issues that got me into the wonderful “mental health system”.

  • Agreed. Thanks for sharing. I believe that you ought to be appointed as head of “services for the mentally ill” in the area where you live because you obviously understand what the wonderful “doctors” have absolutely no understanding of. It’s good to know that your daughter is making progress in taking control of her own life. She could never had made it this far without your support and huge understanding. You get it, unlike so many others who sit there thinking that they actually do get it.

  • As I’m sure you know already because of your research into the topic, court jesters were the only ones at court who were allowed to state the truth about the king and his thoughts and actions. They were the only one who could call him into question and get away with it. It seems as if they were an attempt to keep kings and rulers in touch with the reality of their humanity and an attempt to keep them somewhat humble. And they told these truths under the guise of being “crazy” or mad.

    It strikes me that much of what your daughter does and says may come swirling up out of mythological themes and backgrounds. Jung’s work on archetypes as well as Joseph Campbell’s work concerning mythology might also be helpful for your family to understand some of what your daughter is trying to share. I’ve always believed that much of what psychiatry likes to call psychosis is very symbolic and symbolic language is not always easy for modern humans to understand. But there is a richness and depth to be discovered in the world of symbols, which dreams use constantly.

    I was almost ordained as a Roman Catholic priest. I taught Religion in Catholic schools, specifically Hebrew Scriptures and the Gospels, both of which are filled with such deep and important symbolism used to try to express truths that can’t always be captured in mere worlds. After teaching I went on to do chaplaincy work in hospitals and nursing homes. It’s obvious that I’ve always gravitated towards work that deals with spiritual things. Well, I had this dream over and over. I’m in a building that’s kind of like a barn that has two stories. I’m alone on the bottom floor and I have a fishing rod with a lure at the end of the line. On the second floor there are people sitting on benches that go around all four walls. The room is packed with people along the walls. There is a hole in the floor of the room above me and I flick the lure through the hole and onto the floor of the upper room. I slowly reel the lure back to me, hoping that one of the people will pick it up so that I can reel them down to me on the first floor. At the time I kept having this dream I had a spiritual director who was an Episcopal woman priest. She was Jungian. I finally brought the dream to her and after listening to me describe it she laughed and said, “you really can’t figure this one out on your own?” It’s all about the “fisher of people” idea that Jesus talked about and some of my unresolved issues about not getting ordained those many years ago. I’ve never had the dream since the morning that we unraveled its meaning for me. The unconscious only has symbols with which to communicate with us.

    I suspect that your daughter lives in a very symbolic world, a world that’s probably very rich and full of depth in many ways. I suspect that you may even be able to find some recurring themes in the things that she shares with you. I also suspect that your daughter is a very complex and interesting person in many, many ways.

  • I don’t accept the validity of what most psychiatrists say as it is so why would I even waste my time in paying attention to a bot? The creator of this bot doesn’t seem to have much understanding about what he says he’s trying to do for people, nor does he seem to understand much of what affected his friend so that he ended up taking his own life. And then he has the gall to ask for payment for the bot’s services, such as they are.

  • True, not all childhood trauma comes from horrible or abusive parents and both of you give great examples to support your point. But I do believe that NAMI gives truly abusive parents a way to escape from having to take responsibility for the damage they did to their children. NAMI could be a much more effective organization that could create much good if it dealt with the realities of real life in ways that promoted healing and well being.

    My main interest in my comment was pointed more to how our society responds to trauma and how many times the trauma survivor is vilified for what happened to them. It’s sort of like “how dare you bring up this terrible topic that we don’t want to deal with or talk about!” Most of the time we stuff these terrible things down under the rug and we don’t want people talking about their experiences or issues. But we have to talk about them when thousands of armed services people come home and can’t function due to the trauma they endured in the places that they were posted to.

  • I am definitely looking forward to all that you plan to share with us here at MIA. I am really glad that you found your way here. I too believe that dreams are the key to so many things that we struggle with in our lives.

  • Trauma usually only surfaces as a topic of discussion during and right after times of war. All the rest of the time trauma is pushed under the rug and trauma survivors are even pushed to the side and treated as if they were the cause of their problems. This is discussed in Dr. Judith Herman’s book Trauma and Recovery: The aftermath of violence–from domestic abuse to political terror.

    Freud’s classical paper on Hysteria, about women sexual abuse survivors, was one of the first things to be written on trauma. It’s still valuable to read but it enraged the Victorians, especially in Vienna, because it stated that the women’s behavior was a direct result of the sexual abuse the women suffered at the hands of family members. The Victorians were having none of that, much like so many NAMI Mommies of today, and they attacked Freud to the point that he retracted almost every thing that he’d written on this particular subject; and then to placate the Victorians he came up with those strange ideas about how sons are attracted to their mothers and daughters to their fathers. Again, it’s not the fault of the parents that children have trauma, the kids are at fault. Isn’t it interesting that when we refuse to look at our history that we are bound to repeat it?

    Trauma is not a popular topic of discussion.

  • Yes, I am glad that you keep raising this issue for people to think about. The first gas chambers in Germany were not used by the Nazis but by German psychiatrists. They gassed the “mentally ill” by the thousands, referring to them as “useless eaters”. And of course, The German Volk did not want the genes of these sub humans infecting the body general of the German people, so they had to be murdered off at the permission of the German government. They were loaded up in trucks and bussed to six different cities in Germany, where the gas chambers were located. The families of these people were told that they died of natural causes.

    Americans say that this could never happen here in America, but as you point out a euthanasia debate was carried out at the American Psychiatric Association’s yearly meeting in 1941 and the debate was continued in their Journal in 1942. We were sterilizing the “mentally ill” at this time by the thousands and German psychiatrists chided their government for letting the United States get ahead of them in this pursuit. I worry about the climate that is developing in our country over the past few months and where this might lead for those of us who are labeled as the “mentally ill”.

  • In the late 1700’s there was a doctor named Philippe Pinel who struck the shackles from the inmates of the insane asylums in Paris. He was helped and supported by another doctor named Jean Baptiste Pussin. Pussin employed former inmates in the asylum that he ran because he felt that they were kinder and more compassionate in their care of the inmates. This is probably the first example of peer workers. He himself was a former patient of the very asylum that he was head over. He and his staff were examples that contradict the lie that people are “mentally ill” for life!

    We’ve been trying to overhaul and reform the system for a long time.

  • Epthe

    Yes, before the advent of the drugs about 60% of people recovered from what the system likes to refer to as “mental illness”. About 30-35% of people didn’t seem to be able to make this move. But the amazing thing is that many people had only one more occurrence while many never experienced anything after the first episode.

    Of course the system doesn’t like to talk about these statistics since it’s very embarrassing that today’s recovery rate is only about 16%. If the drugs are so good and the treatment is so wonderful, why isn’t there a better recovery rate?

  • My bill for two and a half months as a “guest” of the state “hospital” where I was held was $62,400! All I could do was laugh when I opened it up and saw it. I could have spent the same amount of time at Cooper-Riis in North Carolina (a private facility that does use alternative treatment) for a lot less money, and I would have had my own private room with bath to boot.

    I could not pay this bill, to say the least.

  • It’s not just the system. The American public is indoctrinated to take pills for absolutely everything. Remember the last statement in drug commercials on television; “Ask your doctor….” Look into the typical American’s bathroom medicine cabinet and see what you find. When we experience the least little problem with anything to the medicine cabinet we run. We need to educate people to be more discriminating about what they accept as gospel truth about all this. It’s a fact that more GP’s are writing scripts for psych drugs than psychiatrists themselves. We have let this run amok and the system takes advantage of it.

  • Yes, they are absolutely wrong. Trauma can be transcended if people care enough to value your story with honor and dignity, as you do for your wife. The experts never see people transcend trauma because they are not willing to invest the time, effort, and pain in people. This is damned difficult work and few experts know much about difficult work at all.

  • I work in a state hospital where we have medical students and psych interns who rotate through one of the units. These people come from the university medical center in the city. I would have to say that in my dealings with these students and interns that your students are the exception. What Steve describes is the reality with most of the people who come from that medical center. They are totally immersed in the Bio-Bio-bio business and have fallen completely for the lies put out by the drug companies and psychiatry that people have chemical imbalances in their brains. Many of our “patients” can lecture the students in the gaping holes of their education pertaining to so-called “mental illness”. Most of them are also terribly afraid of us and go around the halls in huddled groups with their arms clamped about their upper bodies and constantly looking from side to side as if they’re going to be attacked at any moment.

  • Dickson

    It’s very obvious that you’ve never been held in a psychiatric institution. You make claims that you know very little or nothing about. Why is it that statics show that you’re more likely to try to kill yourself AFTER being “hospitalized” than before?

    Knowing why a person tried to kill themselves or wants to kill themselves is the first stop in helping people deal with all of this. Locking them up in the “hospital” does very little to nothing in helping people because all they do is pump you full of drugs that zombify you; they do not get to the bottom of the issue or issues causing the feelings. You are only trying to treat the symptoms; you are not dealing with the issues.

    The attitude that you exhibit here is exactly the reason that few people approach anyone in the system for help when they’re feeling hopeless and down and out.

  • In my humble opinion I believe that it’s you who can teach the professionals many things. You seem to have a humility and a willingness to admit that you don’t know everything but you’re willing to sit there with all the girls, no matter what. I’ve not seen many professionals with these attitudes and abilities. I wish that, with all the girls’ approval you would write here on MIA about what you’ve learned in the Journey that you have all walked together over these past years. I believe that you’ve achieved something pretty phenomenal here that’s seen very little in the world of “mental health”.

  • Thank you for writing this. I taught high school for fifteen years, mainly fifteen year olds, and never would have labeled any of my students as oppositional defiant. Isn’t this what teenagers are supposed to be as they struggle to mature and grow up? Were there difficult students? Absolutely, but that’s the make-up of being a teenager. I worry about those kids who are sweet and compliant and submissive since I don’t think this is healthy or normal behavior for most kids. Why is it these days that we can’t let kids be kids without trying to poke drugs down them that are detrimental to their growth and development? Why would parents fall for any of this bull manure?

  • What is the figure? Something like 100,000 people a year die due to the “medicines” prescribed to them by their doctors. I had a doctor tell me that I was going to take the Lipitor that he was gong to prescribe to me, whether I wanted to or not! I sat there and looked at him in total surprise and then pointed to my feet and said, “I still have choice, just watch this”, and I got up and walked out of the examination room and never went back to him.

  • You know, I think that when many people write things like these blogs they do so pretty much from their own viewpoint without much thought a lot of times to the many and various groups who do not believe as they do about particular subjects. Boy……that was one long sentence. Then, these writers are shocked when things blow up all over the place. It’s like that Congressman who stated at his town hall meeting that no one ever dies because they don’t have health insurance. I suspect that he truly believes that but his audience knew that his statement was not correct.

    In my work I just assumed that all people locked in psychiatric institutions want a life beyond the walls of the institution and that they want to be recovered and have health and healing and well-being. Well, I’ve been disabused of that thought numerous times in the past seven years and it still amazes me that everyone doesn’t feel the way that I do. I used to go around asking myself the question, “What is wrong with people……..why do they want to believe that they are ill?”. What I’ve learned is that it’s their right to believe that they are ill, no matter what I believe and what I want them to believe. What this has taught me to do is to evaluate anything that I write for the “hospital” community at large and everything that I say to groups, both “patients” and staff. Many of the staff don’t even believe that recovery is possible for people of our experience.

    Although I do not agree with each and every group that I deal with at the “hospital” I have to struggle to understand where they’re coming from in their understanding. Otherwise, I will never learn how to talk with them. It aggravates the bejesus out of me to have to do so but I must do this if I’m going to be of any value to what is going on in that place. The experience has taught me a lot about me not having all the truth about everything, it’s sort of been like trying to develop some cultural competence because the groups within the “hospital” are different cultures and the people who come to MIA are kind of like different cultures.

    I believe that Dr. Steingard and Dr. Joanna Moncrief are two examples of people who have learned how to look at the total broad picture. When they blog here they bring that viewpoint and understanding and seem to rile tempers very little. When there is disagreement between them and some of us they’re able to handle the disagreements with finesse and intelligence and there is very little shedding of blood that takes place. Not all professionals who blog here have developed such an understanding as these two women have developed. We on our side are not as restrained as we could be at times and the bloggers get their defensive hackles up and the battle begins. As far as people with lived experience who blog here; I believe that when contention develops the issue most of the time seems to be the taking of the psychiatric, psychoactive drugs. This makes my hackles go up because I cannot understand why anyone would want to take the things. But what I’ve learned is that I don’t have to respond to a writer when I disagree with them. I can read what they have to say and then move on.

    This is what I am afraid will be destroyed here at MIA if you institute this new policy of yours. I don’t think the blogs are nearly as important as the discussions that are created from the blogs. It takes time and effort to change one’s thinking. I feel sometimes that the expectation is that we survivors and ex-patients are the ones who need to do this while the professionals who blog here are kind of exempt from doing so. This is a two way street.

    The thing that shocks me the most is that you seem to be giving up on this. I don’t know the situations that exist behind the scenes of MIA and I suspect that it’s a real struggle to keep everything moving forward, but I never thought that you’d consider closing comments to blogs. This is disheartening.

    I apologize for such a rambling post.

  • Well stated. I agree.

    I can’t believe that this is happening here because like you I bumbled into MIA by accident after reading Robert’s books. He’s almost like the “patron saint” of our attempts to do something here in my eyes. This place has been a respite house for me from my work in a state “hospital”. MIA has been one of the few places that the voices of people with lived experience are listened to and validated. Reading what you and others write here strengthens me in my resolve to keep fighting and pushing forward, even if it’s only in baby steps. This is extremely disappointing to me this afternoon and I leave with heavy heart.

  • And the Roman Church “rehabilitated” him as a person in good standing with the Church just a few years ago! Give me a break. The man died under house arrest for speaking the truth about a scientific phenomenon. The Church forced him to travel to Rome on a litter because he was extremely ill and bedridden, but the dear cardinals and the pope wanted to interrogate him about his scientific views. Go figure.

  • I agree, Dr. Steingard is spectacular and I would be honored to have her as my psychiatrist, if I dealt with psychiatrists personally. And you can witness a process of growth within her about all of this and she is willing to humbly admit that she doesn’t have all the answers. This kind of open honesty and transparency is highly unusual for a psychiatrist or for just about any doctor not matter what their medical specialty. I’ve appreciated being able to witness her Journey here on MIA because she’s so forthright and honest and humble. She truly cares about human beings. She is an inspiration to me in my own work within the system.

    And she doesn’t cry and ask for special treatment of any kind just because she’s a psychiatrist posting here on MIA. She knows how to hold her own ground and can go straight to the point when she needs to do so. But she always does everything with such respect and dignity for the individual she is responding to. I remember where she once lightly “slapped” my hand about something that I commented on in one of her blogs. I took it to heart and began evaluating the way I see my own ideas and beliefs and it was a beneficial experience and an opportunity for growth. And she seems to grow in much the same way due to her interactions with us here at MIA.

  • Brett

    Joanna Moncrief does just fine as a professional here on MIA and doesn’t request any kind of special treatment. She can hold her own in any discussion since she is intelligent, articulate, educated, and very suave and dignified. She can carry on a conversation with someone who doesn’t agree with her and she smiles encouragingly the entire time as she gives them her full attention. But the biggest thing that you immediately notice about Joanna is that she obviously truly cares about people and their experiences. She never dismisses anyone and treats everyone with dignity and respect. But she never asks for special treatment and I cannot imagine her ever requesting that people not be able to respond to what she writes. She is a professional among professionals and I’d love to sit down with her as my psychiatrist any time. It would be an honor to have a psychiatrist like her working for me.

  • Exactly.
    I learn the most through the interaction that takes place between commenters and the original authors and between commenters and commenters. Let’s face the reality here that most of us already know about what is written about many times. We’re intelligent and knowledgeable people so oftentimes we know the material. It’s in the interaction among all of us, writers and commenters, that leads to a broadening of all our perspectives.

    It’s coming to the point that it seems like MIA is developing the same atmosphere that a lot of college campuses have developed where there cannot be an exchange of ideas from opposing sides because the students feel too threatened by opposing ideas. Well guess what? My response to that is that perhaps you need to consider pulling up your big girl or big boy pants and get on with things and quit being a baby about it all. If someone is going to post here they need to know that they better know what they’re talking about and then be able to defend what they write with intelligence and knowledge and wisdom. I believe that this community does control itself most of the time when responding to blogs. But we will not accept patronizing, patriarchal patting on the head that some professionals approach MIA with.

    I believe that we need to develop understanding between groups but all those groups must want to bring about better communication. I am not going to sit down at the table and sing Kumbaya as I try to hold hands with people that have no desire nor intention of holding hands with me. I’ve been lectured enough, I get it each and every day that I come to work and I come here to MIA to find some respite and rejuvenation from all that. But it seems that I might have to consider trying to find somewhere else to get that from here on out.

  • Are you sure that this new policy is a wise thing? Most of the time, I learn more from the comments that are made about something that’s posted than the post itself. The struggles that take place in the comments section often challenge me to broaden my view of many things. I don’t think that stopping comments is a good way forward with all this. It will certainly lead to me spending less time here in the hopes of learning something.

    Many professionals are so used to never being challenged about anything that they say, even the ones who lean more towards our movement, what ever movement there is. Even the good ones often don’t try to see things from our perspective and lived experience. You may broaden the range of your writers but I suspect that you will lose many people with lived experience.

    This is very disappointing to me, very disappointing.

  • Right. Finding out the “why” often gives you the key to what just may help someone find the solutions to their issues. Where I work I’m always told, “Oh, you can’t buy into patients’ delusions,” and I always respond by saying that asking someone why they feel the way they do does not mean that I buy into or believe anything. But by asking that “why” I just may find out what the problem is.

  • This, for me, was a very enlightening conversation. I don’t quite understand why Brett Deacon got in such a huff and departed. I’ve witnessed a lot more bloodletting about things posted here than what took place for this blog. I thought that everyone was fairly polite most of the time. Of course, I am getting older and I miss a lot of things so who knows.

    As I grow older and try harder to practice Buddhist teaching, especially the teaching about non-attachment, I am getting better at not wanting to defend my position or stand that I’ve taken. My ego is a hard taskmaster and always wants me to let him have total control of my interactions with people. This often causes trouble for me and for others. The more I can look at things objectively, with no attachment to my ideas or assumptions, the more things open up and reveal themselves in ways that are beneficial and enlightening for me. It’s not easy because my ego is constantly saying in my ear, “Yes, but………”. The more I work at this the more I am finding that there is value in what people say, even when I don’t agree with them. There have been exceptions here at MIA, there was a certain psychiatrist who acted abominably. I’m learning that I don’t have to agree to find things of value.

  • Richard

    James is certainly not like some professionals who’ve posted things here on MIA, professionals who seemed to think that they had the answers for everything that ailed us and if we didn’t accept their ideas then we were terrible. But, in my humble opinion he does have some blind spots in his thinking where he seems to refuse to open the door to shed some light on things. This makes me uncomfortable for reasons that I can’t explain when I read what he presents. Perhaps you’ve shed some light on my discomfort for me. We all have our blind spots I suspect. I think your explanation of the Catholic thing makes sense to me and does somewhat explain the niggling little feeling of discomfort I feel when reading his work. I can at least read and consider what he has to say though a lot of times I don’t really agree with him.

    As Humanbeing states below, the word patriarch does make some sense here when dealing with James and again this makes sense what with his total acceptance of Roman Catholic teaching. Patriarchal seems to be the perfect word to describe the Roman Church and all of its mechanizations that it has going on.

  • I think that Postmodernists would argue with you about your concept of truth. I’m not an expert on Postmodernism but I think that it says that every person’s truth is valid, period. There is no absolute Truth. I suspect that Catholics are not great fans of Postmodernism nor would I expect psychiatrists to follow it. Both groups like to claim absolute Truth about a lot of things.

    If a person’s ideas don’t go along with consensus reality but don’t hurt them or others I have never understood why it’s so important for them to be forced into our consensus reality. I suspect that this forcing of people to accept consensus reality is a lot more about power than about helping them find healing and well-being in their own lives.

    I believe that all sentient beings are God. This idea certainly doesn’t fit in with consensus reality (although the mystic traditions in the major world religions, as well as Buddhism, teach this but of course the mystics don’t fit into consensus reality do they). Most of the time I keep this “delusion” to myself since most Christians and psychiatrists try to abuse me into thinking otherwise. But my unusual belief hurts no one and it doesn’t hurt me, as long as I don’t share it with the wrong people.

    So what is the big deal? Why is it so necessary to force people into believing the way that you see reality?

  • I was made to watch a session of shock, I refuse to call it ect since this is an attempt to make what happens sound better than it is, when I was doing training in a large psych hospital in 1971-72. I was doing clinical pastoral education for chaplaincy work and the powers that be decided that my classmates and I should watch someone being shocked. Don’t ask me why they thought that this was necessary but they did. I stood all by myself behind a one way mirror and observed what took place. These were the days before muscle relaxers and anesthesia were used and it was absolutely horrible. I was already against shock because they destroyed my grandmother with it in the 1950’s early 60’s. Watching them torture this person with electricity was awful and I could do nothing about it to help the person.

    How dare them call this a “good treatment”. I don’t see psychiatrists or other clinical people rushing to get shock for themselves or their families.

  • I don’t have Netflix so can’t watch this but am glad that someone is trying to address this topic of concern, especially for young people. I watched PBS News Hour where they had a pro and con presentation about this. The con person was a young woman psychologist who heads the support services for some school system that I don’t remember. She went on and on about how people should not be allowed to watch this because it would cause copy cat suicides all over the country. At the end of her presentation she stated, “After all, in the end Hannah’s suicide points to the fact that she had an underlying mental disorder that was never addressed or treated.” It still shocks me how “mental health” professionals are still spewing this tripe to the public every time that they get a chance. Excuse me!!!! Trying to kill yourself does not mean that you are “mentally ill” or have some kind of “mental disorder”. It points to the fact that you’ve lost all hope about your life where you are experiencing overwhelming distress concerning things you are experiencing or did experience or things that are done or were done to you. Here this woman is, a person in a high position of authority who coordinates services for thousands of kids and she’s spewing out this bull feces on national television on one of the most prestigious news organizations in the country.

    I know about suicide since trying to kill myself is what got me into the wonderful “mental health” system. When you have no hope and feel that you have no one to turn to who cares about you, suicide is the place you tend to end up going to. Our refusal to address suicide full on in a realistic manner is no help at all. And the most unhelpful people of all when you reach out to them in desperation are the people in the so-called “mental health” system. The one thing that they care about is liability to them if you kill yourself after dealing with them. They don’t really care about you. If they did they would sit down and ask you what was going on in your life to drive you to this point and then they would listen to what you have to say. Instead, they strip you naked, make you put a paper gown on that you can’t use to strangle yourself with, and then they cart you off to a locked ward where you will get zapped with the toxic drugs against your will. And never once will they ask you about what is going on in your life. I speak from experience. When I tried to talk with the psychiatrist in charge of my case he stated that he didn’t have time to listen to “all that” but was I taking the “antidepressant” and the mood stabilizer? The only ones who cared enough to listen to me were student nurses and I suspect the reason why they did listen is that they were new and innocent and the system hadn’t turned them to the dark side yet.

    Yes, people need to watch this program and then they need to talk about what they saw and how they feel about it. And if a majority of people are truly honest they will have to admit that they’ve considered or thought about taking their own life at difficult periods in their lives.

  • truth

    Exactly, the nurses think that the quiet smiling done by the “patient” shows how much better they are when in reality it points to traumatic brain injury. I can induce the very same behavior by smacking a person in the head a couple of times with a baseball bat but I wouldn’t call my behavior “good treatment”. Idiots without any humility who think they know absolutely everything. They need a couple of good whacks with a bat.

  • By the very fact that these toxic drugs are used to control behavior in people with dementia just goes to show that they are nothing more than major tranquilizers and nothing more. They certainly do not treat any “disease” known as “mental illness”.

    It’s not bad enough that a person is old and can’t make heads or tails of what is going on around them, confused and distressed. Now we drug them with neuroleptics so that their brains will be even more messed up than they already are. Using these drugs on the older population just goes to show that the drug companies are throwing their nets wider and wider to capture more people in an attempt to make more money.

    There are former drug reps who’ve turned whistle blowers who talk about how they were instructed by their supervisors to go into nursing homes and push the medical directors and staff to use these drugs on people who have great difficulty getting anyone to listen to them and take up for them. I listened to one interview with a former woman rep describe how she went into nursing homes and pushed these drugs. She said that in one place there was a very striking older woman who dressed well, did her own make-up, and who was very much with it. But she was opinionated and spoke out when the staff did not do their jobs. The drug rep said that the next time she saw this woman she was locked in a geri-chair and was drooling on herself because the staff took her advice and zapped this woman who once spoke out for her own needs.

    I once worked in a very good nursing home and saw the very same thing happen there to people who were outspoken and who complained that staff didn’t do their jobs. If they spoke out too much they ended up being drugged to the gills so that they could do nothing more than sit in the corner and drool on themselves.

    This is criminal and people should be in prison for all this but instead they’re pulling in salaries in the millions of dollars and are making bonuses hand over fist. There is no justice in this world.

  • Shock has always been used more against women than men. In the 1950’s, important men in the community often had their wives hauled off to the local asylum if said wives were not doing and acting as their husbands wanted them to. And in the asylum they were shocked. So being a rebellious woman is reason enough to get you a good dose of electrified brain cells. Being promiscuous ranks right up there with being rebellious and would get you zapped as well. Shock has been used as a means of social control in much the same way that the neuroleptics are used to control social behavior. Nowadays it’s grieving older widows who are prime targets for this barbarous torture. Shock has absolutely nothing to do with “good treatment”.

    I was once at a meeting where the virtues of shock were being extolled to great length. I asked the young psychiatrist why it was that all other medical specialties worked their behinds off to keep people from having seizures while the specialty of psychiatry claims that it’s a treatment in good standing. I couldn’t believe it when he said that the seizures that psychiatry induces by shock are special and different from all other seizures!!!! I’ve never heard such tripe being propounded in public in my life and sat there amazed. A seizure is a seizure is a seizure, period. He then claimed that shock today is safer than it was in the 1950’s at which point I’d had enough and stood up and stated that this was not true. Using oxygen and anesthesia on people while you’re shocking them raises the bar for how much shock you must administer in order to cause the seizure so it’s actually more dangerous now than it was in earlier decades. Well, the entire room erupted in shouting and yelling, on the part of the psychiatrists there, attacking me from all directions. It was amazing. The emperor does so have a beautiful new set of clothes and no one better say otherwise. He is not naked!!!! It’s simply torture and nothing else.

  • I agree. Life has changed tremendously since I was a kid many years ago. It makes me upset to wonder where it’s all going to end up. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have the Koch brothers actually in charge of everything. They’re in charge of a lot right now; one of my dear senators is one of their flunkies and the second one might as well be. He probably is at this point.

  • I agree. He doesn’t seem to think deeply about much of anything. He also refuses to read and one article stated that the only way his aides can get him to pay attention to material in briefings is to cut the written part into snippets and then have pictures or photos next to the writing. This doesn’t surprise me considering that his favorite means of communication seems to be by 144 characters or less. His education seems to be lacking in many areas and he doesn’t pay a damned bit of attention to anything unless it somehow concerns him.

    I suspect that Trump knows nothing more about this epidemic of “mental Illness” than what he sees in drug commercials on television. I’m not being cynical or negative here, just stating what I’ve learned about him over the past months by my own personal observation and that of news articles. He will be more of a liability than a help in our struggle, even if he is interested, which I don’t think he really is.

    I don’t think that we can look to the government at all for help since all sides seem to believe that the best thing to do is drug us to the gills and make us compliant and quiet. And you know that Big Pharma is pumping money like mad into Congress to influence the attitudes there. We only have ourselves to rely on in this struggle.

  • If this woman doesn’t believe that it’s possible for people to recover from “mental illness” how does she explain the tens of thousands of us who are recovered; with no revolving door admissions to “hospitals” or drugging? This is one dangerous woman and she has no business holding any position in the government, no matter who appointed her.

    It’s time to do away with psychiatry, period. Many doctors in other medical specialties are bad enough to deal with these days, what with their arrogance and superior attitude and lacking any real concern for their individual patients. But psychiatry is the worst of the worst for its doctors having such know-it-all attitudes and their thinking that they’re the experts on everything. It’s time for us to rise up and begin the dismantling of this quackery.

  • But adult babysitting is what some people who’ve been in the system seem to want. The people responsible in my state for creating the training and certification program for peer specialists went out into many communities across the state and asked people who’d been in the system what kind of services they wanted from peers and the answers were things like, “I want someone to take me to my doctor appointments”, or “I want someone to take me shopping, or do my grocery shopping for me”. Things like this formed the majority and bulk of the information that was gathered. I didn’t find much of anything dealing with people wanting motivation towards moving out of the system and leaving it behind. There was nothing mentioned about facilitating discussion groups or things like Hearing Voices groups. Hell, almost no one in this state knows what Hearing Voices groups are to begin with.

    Granted, peer workers in the community do a lot of things like what I mentioned above but in the doing they’re supposed to form relationships where they walk with people so that these people find their own voices and strengths so they can evolve to the point of being able to stand on their own and hopefully do these things for themselves. We are not about keeping people tied to the same place and can gently challenge people to look at things in new ways so that they find what it is that they need to fulfill their own lives. I believe that peers fail in their work if all they do is continue to do what might be seen as “babysitting” work.

    But what I’ve also found is that many people who’ve been in the system learned their lessons well and continue to believe that they’re not capable of taking control of their own lives, even if this takes some time to accomplish. I guess that this is to be expected since very few people have ever told them anything different. I help facilitate a recovery group where I work and when I ask people what their definition of recovery is I hear a litany of “take your meds and work your program and stay away from people that will try to lead you astray from this.” It’s like a mantra tape that is turned on immediately when they hear questions like this. When my partner in crime, the other peer worker, and I introduce ideas like becoming recovered everyone looks at us as if we have horns sprouting out of our foreheads. If I didn’t know better I’d think that they make the sign against the evil eye behind our backs when we’re not paying attention! I run into very few people like you or Oldhead or FeelingDiscouraged in my work and it’s extremely frustrating and it saddens me. How do you separate people from the learned helplessness that they learned so well when they’re frightened of even thinking about a different life for themselves? What I’ve found is that the idea of recovery is more frightening for many people than it is intriguing or positive because it requires taking responsibility for your own life. The system has deprived people of doing this at the appropriate age and it scares the bejesus out of people when they’re in their late 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. Who wants to become responsible for their own lives, especially in today’s world where so many things are in flux and so few things are certain? This is the challenge handed out to peers in the state “hospital” where I work. It is challenging to figure out how to help people wean themselves off of the learned helplessness and gradually replace this with personal responsibility. I think it can be done but it’s time consuming and you have to keep faithfully hammering away at it each and every day. But of course, all the other staff in the “hospital” give them the totally opposite message and theirs is the prevalent message. So people are faced with a choice of opting for our peer message or continue to drink the Kool-Aid and repeat their mantras.

    One thing I’ve learned from Sera in all of this is that nothing is simple or easy. Lots of times it’s a huge mess to be waded through without drowning in all of it. One thing that I do know for myself is that I don’t want to babysit people.

  • Perhaps psychedelics help people to see the world and Truth a little more clearly and big business and much of the government and the religious institutions do not want people who understand what is actually going on. The jig is up once people have true understanding and can see things clearly for what they are.

    I think you are right about this.

  • Your experience reminded me of the first night I spent at the state “hospital”. When introduced to the unit where I would stay the nurses were going through their check lists of things I needed to do. One of the things was the shot for the TB skin test. I can’t take that test because the last time I took it I reacted so strongly that my arm swelled up. Doctors told me to NEVER, EVER take the skin test again.

    Well, here came this snotty acting little nurse with the needle. When I asked her what she planned to do with it she smugly stated that I’d better put out my arm so she could give me the skin test. I explained that I could no longer take that test and she came at me with the needle anyway.

    I backed up and stated that I would not take the test since it would result in harm to me. By golly, she came at me again. So I backed up again and balled my fist up at my side. I told myself that if she didn’t stop I was going to punch her in her smug and snotty face. At about that time the charge nurse stepped in and told her to leave me alone and we’d get it straightened out in the morning. The snotty nurse stated that she was going to give me the skin test no matter what because it was the rules. The charge nurse told her to stand down and leave the area since she was being insubordinate. It was unbelievable.

    The next morning it was confirmed by my medical records that I should never be given the skin test!

  • But you are sounding mighty dogmatic right now. You may have seen people on the wards that may have experienced problems with psychedelics, true. But you didn’t see all the people who didn’t have problems with them and who found them useful in integrating their experiences so that they could move on with their lives. The problem with the psychiatric “hospitals” is that all you see are people experiencing problems. These are not the places where you find people who have dealt with their emotional and psychological issues and found healing and well-being.

    The use of psychedelics for healing trauma must be approached with seriousness and planning. It doesn’t help everyone but it seems to help many.

  • Thank you for your statement. LSD is probably not for everyone but can be extremely useful in helping some people deal with PTSD and trauma issues. It seems to allow some people to look at the trauma objectively and without fear, something that usually doesn’t happen for trauma survivors. It also seems to keep the ego from getting involved, which may lead to the increased objectivity.

  • I actually get paid a really good salary; far better than what I was paid for teaching high school for fifteen years and as a hospital chaplain for fifteen years. Of course, I suspect that this varies from state to state. If we had peer workers in the state where I live they probably wouldn’t be paid as well as I am since I get paid by the state since I work at a state institution.

  • When they drug test they do not text for psychiatric drugs to see if people are med compliant. Not every peer takes the drugs, some do but many do not. I do not take any of the drugs and have been randomly drug tested many times with no problem about whether I was taking the drugs that I left the “hospital” with when discharged. I suspect that these kinds of things would be a HIPPA problem since you’re not to reveal anything about a person’s medical records. Unless I reveal it, no one in the ‘hospital” where I work, which is the same one I was held in, no one knows my diagnosis or the drugs I was supposed to take. These would be huge HIPPA violations that I could bring suit against the “hospital” for, under federal prosecution.

  • I am not meds compliant. I threw the bag of drugs they discharged me with in the trash when I got away from the “hospital”. There are not many peers in my area so I have no way of knowing if you’re correct or not from where I’m at. I know two peer workers with one being very compliant and one who takes nothing at all, like me. I’ve wondered about this myself from time to time. But of course we’re not supposed to talk about the issue of who takes their drugs compliantly and who doesn’t, or at least this was the instruction that I received from my training. It’s made a personal choice issue.

  • One of the possible problems I see with peer workers is that if they haven’t had at least some basic training they can end up doing to others what was done to them. I’ve seen former “patients” who have been given the title of “peer specialist” simply because they are a former patient. They totally lacked any training but were turned loose on the people in the units of the “hospital”. Obviously, the Administration didn’t have any idea what peer workers are nor what we’re supposed to do. It was awful and there was more drama than you’d ever want to see. These people set staff against the “patients” and the “patients” against the staff. It was one, big pile of turmoil on the units on a daily basis. I finally went to the people up front in the Administration and told them that if they didn’t want a lawsuit brought by “patients” or family members they’d better get their “peer specialists” off the units. One such “peer worker” who hadn’t seemed to have resolved his issues about his time spent in the “hospital” seemed to be playing out his own stuff on the people in the units. It was very apparent that he liked the power he had over the “patients”. Fortunately, he no longer works at the “hospital” any longer.

    I don’t believe that we have to get a college degree in order to be people who are willing to walk with people through their issues, but I damned sure do believe in some basic training, especially about self awareness and self understanding.