Sunday, February 25, 2018

Comments by Stephen Gilbert

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Lavender Sage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • I too use the word sad when others would say that I’m talking about my depression. For me the word depression is associated with the medical model, which is totally deficit based and does not point out strengths and abilities. So, the word sad doesn’t carry the same negative context for me when I use it to apply to what I’m feeling, when others would use depression.

  • I don’t believe that most psychiatrists have the slightest idea how to taper anyone off of the neurotoxins. In my experience they’re pretty clueless because I’ve seen them rip someone off of the drug cold turkey that they’ve been on for years and then slam them onto a large dose of another toxic drug. It’s pretty horrendous. And we all know when the new baby doctors have arrived on our teaching unit because the entire unit goes ballistic. This is usually because the baby doctors start playing around with the drugs that everyone is on. I once made the observation in morning report that I thought that the Geneva Convention forbid experimenting on humans, especially without their knowledge.

    Anyway, I’ve gotten on my soap box and need to get off and stop while I can. Essentially I don’t think many of the psychs know much about tapering.

  • He is in a documentary called Healing Voices. They show at one point where he runs into difficulties after giving a presentation at a large gathering. From what I remember his friends drove him home and stayed with him in hotels when they had to stop along the way. It was difficult for me to watch at that point. As far as I know he’s ok now. At least he was at the end of the documentary. Healing Voices shows that we can move ourselves forward no matter how we’ve been labeled and told that we’ll be ill forever because of our “chemical imbalances”. It’s worth watching if you have the chance.

  • I see mass screening for ACE’s to be just another excuse for the drug companies and the system to capture more people in their nets, people that can be a lucrative source of money for both groups.

    If you’re going to go around asking people about these kinds of childhood experiences you’ve got to have something good and appropriate in place to deal with the aftermath of such screenings, and it ain’t going to be pretty. We all know that such a system would never be adequate if they even bothered to create anything in the first place. You’d end up being dragged off to some “hospital” and drugged to the gills, for your own good and the good of others, of course.

    Although I think that the ACE Study is a useful tool in looking at the effects of trauma I don’t support any kind of mass screenings, especially not in schools. There would be mass hysteria because it’s the rare person who doesn’t have at least one ACE and a score of 4 or more ACES is considered serious. How would they deal with all fall out that would take place? I think it’s important to give people a chance to deal with their trauma if they so desire, and it’s easier to deal with your trauma issues at the age of four than it is the age of forty, but I can see this ending up in sheer pandemonium.

  • Right, trauma can happen to a baby when she/he is not a good fit personality wise with her/his mother. The mother doesn’t have to have any malicious intent to cause harm, it just results because mother and child are not a good fit. This is all caught up with attachment stuff that babies and mothers must achieve for the child to mature properly. So, it has nothing to do with any kind of abuse directed at the baby. It just happens, unfortunately. And if a mother doesn’t have good guidance about how to mother her child things can go haywire and the baby and mother don’t attach properly. All this trauma stuff is not as simple as it’s sometimes made out to be.

    There’s someone who posts on MIA who uses attachment theory in walking with his wife on her journey of dealing with many persons within one. I think his moniker is Sam Ruck.

  • What was done to you is pretty crazy. ACE’s don’t predict whether people are a danger to others or not. And ACE’s are not carved in stone. People can change their lives by doing trauma work so that they can counteract the physical effects of the trauma experienced. ACE’s are red flags that can alert people to the fact that they need to do some things for themselves to improve their health in later years. What was done to you was a total misuse of the ACE study. The system is always looking for new ways to drag people in so that they can be drugged to the gills.

    In my experience, working in a state “hospital”, very few psychiatrists that I deal with even know about the ACE study. And if they know about it they don’t consider it important because, as the experts on the lives of other people they know exactly what the problem is. The problem is a broken brain and a chemical imbalance and will be corrected by the use of neurotoxins. When every tool in your tool box is a hammer everything looks like a nail. No trauma work is ever done where I work because they don’t believe it to be important to the task at hand.

  • If you’ve met Oryx you’d know why people drove him across the country and were willing to hold his hand or do anything else to help him find balance and well-being once again. He’s a good and decent man.

    You keep promising not to come back to MIA but you’re always here. What is that all about?

  • PatH80

    Peers can be as damaging as any thoughtless and lazy psychiatrist. In fact, I feel that peers who perpetuate the harm done to them onto those they’re supposedly walking with on the Journey need to be held even more accountable than the clinicians since we should know better. I suspect that in some institutions and organizations that peers work in the people hired as peers have been chosen with great care to make sure that they will never rock the boat or stand up and state anything contrary to what the system wants.

    I believe that any of us who work as peers must constantly evaluate whether we are enabling the system or whether we’re helping people to speak their truth as they want to state it.

  • I believe that picketing places would be a good beginning. I’m not advocating anything like blowing up places; I’m for peaceful activism where people who up in numbers to let the public know what we think about all this. This was beginning to happen in the 70’s with the leadership of people like Judy Chamberlin but then things just fell apart all of a sudden.

  • Rational

    And where do you get your information from to substantiate your claim? And if your are correct the fact remains that if it’s done by brief electrical pulses they still produce seizures, which are extremely detrimental to the brain receiving the wonderful “treatment”. Remember, all other medical specialties other than psychiatry try their hardest to keep people from having seizures. Why? Because the seizures are harmful, period. And yet, psychiatry claims that shock is a valuable treatment.

  • You know the answer to your own question. Most people are just afraid to state the obvious here on MIA. There are still some people who believe that we can achieve freedom from psychiatry and the “mental health” system by sitting down and dialoging with the other side. Remember, the slave holders in the South of the United States did not give up ownership of slaves voluntarily. A lot of dialoging went on and the slaves were not freed. Slave owners had to be forced to give up slavery as the basis of their economy. It took a war of epic proportions to achieve this. More people died in the Civil War than in all the wars combined that this country has fought. I suspect that it’s going to take an “aggressive revolution”, whatever we come to mean by this.

  • I’m not sure about things that have wrongly been referred to as “antipsychotics”, but I know that general practitioners hand out prescriptions for “antidepressants” as if they’re candy. So, I suspect that they give out neurotoxins too. It’s not just psychiatrists that we must confront about these drugs.

  • Tireless

    The one therapist that I’ve ever dealt with and whom I found to be very helpful during a very difficult time in my life when everything was out of balance did not do one of the things that you mentioned above. I did not have to share one thing that I didn’t want to share. He never had any expectations of me and said that what was important were the expectations that I had for myself, much as Steve stated to you in an earlier post.

    It seems to me that you paint all therapists with a very broad brush and I don’t think that this works very well. Granted, there are a lot of very bad therapists out there who obviously work from a position of power, but not every therapist approaches people in this manner. You seem to attribute lots of motives to therapists that I never once experienced from my therapist. Call me lucky but my therapist let me work on what I wanted at the speed that I wanted.

  • What I’ve read about modern day shock is that it’s actually much more dangerous than in the old days because of the anesthetic that they use now. Supposedly it raises the threshold that is required for the actual seizure to take place, meaning that it takes more electricity to get beyond the threshold. So, when I hear them claim that it’s safer today all I can do is laugh.

  • Can you imagine what direct to consumer advertisements for shock would be like on television?

    I guess that watching a person being shocked jerking and twitching due to the convulsions induced probably wouldn’t sell the public on their wonderful product. Maybe they could include the two lines that I heard psychiatrists use about shock. One said that the convulsions that they induce with shock are beneficial and good.This was his answer to me when I asked him why psychiatry likes to induce convulsions while every other medical specialty tries to keep people from having convulsions. A second psychiatrist stated that the electricity knew how to differentiate between good brain cells and bad brain cells and only affected the bad cells! I nearly fell off my seat to try and keep from laughing as all his psychiatrist colleagues nodded sagely to one another in agreement. Yes, these would be great lines for a shock commercial. And the problem is that the American television audience would probably fall for it, hook, line and sinker!

  • “It produces a sedating and calming effect”. And so do head injuries. I can take a baseball bat and smack someone in the head with it and produce a “sedating and calming” effect. How can they not see that this is a brutal and primitive assault on the lives of people? I think that they don’t really care about the people that they shock and it’s a very lucrative business besides.

    Shocking peoples’ brains is not a treatment so much as it is a form of torture. My grandmother was destroyed by this most wonderful of treatments and I will never forgive the system for her destruction. They didn’t kill her but it would have been kinder to her and to us her family if they had killed her. She want from being a talented artist, gardener, and wildlife advocate to someone who sat and smoked cigarettes, looking at the floor as she drooled on herself. So much for their wonderful “treatment”.

  • This is why I actively support Open Dialogue, which no one in the “hospital” where I work has ever heard about. Can you believe this? I mention it in meetings with various staff and everyone sits there with blank looks on their faces. However, I must admit that the state in which I live is well known for being ten years behind everyone else when it comes to things like this.

  • I dealt with five psychiatrists in my journey through the “mental health” system, from beginning to end.

    Out of the five two were verbally and emotionally abusive, one was a good man who didn’t have any idea how to help me because I didn’t want the drugs, one was very patronizing and paternalistic. Only the last one, the youngest one of all, was willing to listen to me as I explained why I ended up in the system in the first place.

    The other four didn’t give a damn about what catapulted me into misery and difficulties; as far as they were concerned this had absolutely nothing to do with why I experienced problems. It was obvious that I had a broken brain and needed the drugs to balance my “chemical imbalance” in that broken brain. I would ask the first four why it was that my broken brain only showed up in my 60’s. I told them that if I had a chemical imbalance it should have shown up a lot earlier than it supposedly did. They didn’t like my questions.

    I agree totally that it’s the relationship between two people that makes the difference as to whether a person may move herself/himself forward to search for health and well-being. The most helpful person to me was a young therapist who was just beginning his practice. I appreciated him, not so much because he was a “therapist” (I don’t have much respect for titles in my old age) but because he cared about me as a person. It’s the human connection that makes the real difference for me. If I know that someone actually cares about me then I can begin the work of trying to make things better for myself. Then I can admit that I am worth all that hard work; I can admit that I’m worth saving because someone else believes in me. There came a point in my journey through the system that I believed that I wasn’t worth saving and that all was lost and at that time I ran upon this young “therapist”. I credit him and the young psychiatrist with helping me decide that I wanted to take up my life and live, rather than walking out into traffic on a busy city street.

  • Where I live everyone drank the Kool-Aid and took the bait hook line and sinker. They’re total believers. Often people that the system has harmed even believe the lies told about themselves by the system. I’ve run into very few people who are willing to state that the system is lying and who are willing to do anything about it. It’s absolutely amazing to me that the situation is the way it is. I can’t find anyone who doesn’t believe the lies.

  • I don’t think that it’s needless to talk about what the Nazis did to their own troops, but agree that he also needs to point out that the U.S. government is not lily white when it comes to things like this.

    Americans like to believe that our government is so much different than totalitarian regimes but I hate to tell them that all governments do these kinds of things and they do it with no qualms of conscience. They invoke the old line about the “lives of a few being sacrificed for the need of the many”. They try to make it sound like this “sacrifice’ is some grand thing that these soldiers embraced on their own when the reality is that they didn’t know at all about what was done to them. And then when they are discharged from the armed services and turn up with all kinds of gross and terrible health problems we deny them benefits for treatment. We deny and tap dance around claiming that these people have no claims to health care. It’s obscene really.

    Governments are ruthless behind closed doors and officials only allow us to see what they want us to see. And I will state that this takes place whether liberals or conservatives are in control of the government. I had a family member who spent a career in the armed services carrying out the behind the doors orders of our government. He told me way too much when he would drink too much and get loose lips.

  • Bradford

    I have no doubt, knowing what I know now, that many of my students had probably been sexually abused by family. Good ol’ “family secrets”. I believe you totally about your friends and what happened to them.

    One in four girls and one in every six boys are sexually abused, usually by a family member or someone that they know well. And it takes them telling, on the average, seven adults about the abuse before someone finally believes them. Often, if the abuse was done by the father the mother is the first one to say that the child is lying. Too many seem to choose the men in their lives over the well-being of their very own children.

    I know a woman in the city where I live who told me that the life of her entire family was destroyed due to her unwillingness to accept the fact that her two daughters and one son were telling her the truth about being molested and raped by their father. The situation went to trial and became infamous in the city. Now, the woman’s three children still don’t speak to her even though they’re adults. She lost everything because she supported her husband over her children and now she’s miserable as she enters her old age.

  • FeelingDiscouraged

    I’ve been talking about this very thing for months now at the state “hospital” where I work. I deal with numbers of people who don’t know how to do things that they should have learned as children, like how to delay gratification to be able to achieve more important things. They came out of families where these things were never taught or the system got its nasty and disgusting hands on them as kids and inculcated the “you’re not capable of doing things for yourself and making decisions for yourself because you’re mentally ill” at a time when they were vulnerable and believed such bull shit. I heard a young man talk about “normal people” as opposed to himself and I stopped him and stated that he was as normal as anyone else running around loose outside the walls of the “hospital”.

    Yes, the system locks people into the role of childish dependence, for life.

  • After teaching for fifteen years I came to believe that half of all people who had children probably shouldn’t have. I taught in rich Catholic schools and found that even in rich households kids could be abused and neglected. They might have all of the material things a person could ever want but they often didn’t have what counted, the love and support of their parents. I didn’t pick up on physical abuse so much as I did verbal and emotional abuse. I also ran into numerous parents who were trying to re-live their lives through their children. Of course this was just my personal opinion but it was striking how many times I ran into this.

  • And then you have the situation in this country where huge numbers of kids come to school hungry because there is nothing at home to eat or parents are too damned lazy to get up and fix a simple breakfast for them. And of course, a certain political party that will remain unnamed, wants to do away with any program that they see as “welfare”, within which the free school breakfast and lunch programs fall under.

  • I’m not taking up for parents here by any means. I was a teacher for fifteen years and no longer teach in great part due to parents, who were either too lenient or too hard on their kids. But I will say that often times, in the city where I live parents who are unwilling to take the advice of the “school psychologist” that their kids have ADHD or are “bi-polar” and drug their kids are threatened by authorities. If they won’t bow down they run the chance of having their kids taken away by authorities. They then get caught in a Catch-22 situation and usually end up drugging the kids in order to keep them at home, and not in some terrible foster care system where the chances of being traumatized are quite high.

    I’m of the opinion that it’s not such a good thing to have “school psychologists” because they end up having way too much power. Also, it’s often the case that teachers are the ones who want students labeled as ADHD, as if they’re some kind of authority about all of this. There are some very fine teachers in the public schools and then there are some very lazy teachers who would rather label kids as try to help them deal with what have become very complicated lives for kids these days.

  • I know about this because I worked in a produce department for a very large company that will remain anonymous. If things aren’t setting on the shelves losing nutrients they are sitting in the cold storage area on shelves. Plus, when you go to buy things in the produce department the freshest and newest things are at the back of the shelf or at the bottom of the container that you’re picking things from. No one really knows how old produce really is these days because of the shipping from foreign countries and from what I’ve described here. If you don’t get your produce from your own garden or a community garden then you’re eating old stuff, plain and simple.

  • Agreed. In the city where I live there are numerous food deserts because many of the stores have pulled out of certain neighborhoods. They claim that they suffer too much theft and that the neighborhoods are dangerous. It’s no wonder then that the populations in these areas eat junk food since that’s all that’s available to them. Many don’t have access to cars to travel to other areas of the city that contain numerous stores. And some would say that these people can take the bus. Well, the bus company has rules that allow people to take only two small bags onto the bus with them. While some of the bus drivers turn a blind eye to how many bags you carry on many of them are sticklers and will not let you board.

    But as you point out, the food in stores is not always good for you either. Most of the fruits and vegetables on the shelves in the produce sections have lost at least half of their nutrient value because they’ve been in transit from all over the world and are not as fresh as the stores claim them to be. And yet you pay nice, high prices for these things. You’re often better off buying frozen fruits and vegetables which have been flash frozen and contain more valuable nutrients. I can remember the days that the produce department was only filled really during the spring and summer since we relied on things trucked in from the surrounding areas. We didn’t ship things from all over the world for our own convenience year round.

  • I couldn’t find any other place to ask this question so I’m going to ask it here. Critical psychiatry advocates want to save psychiatry and anti-psychiatry advocates want to do away with psychiatry totally, if I understand the debate that’s been going on across MIA lately.

    My question is this. If you took the pills away from psychiatrists and they couldn’t prescribe drugs, what is it that they’d be able to do that would justify keeping them around? The older ones, and I mean older, could still do psychotherapy. The younger ones, unless they’ve spent their own money for training outside of their psychiatric training, don’t know how to do any form of talk therapy. How to do therapy is not taught in medical school for the specialty of psychiatry. So, what would justify keeping them around? The majority of them do not know how to titrate people down on the drugs that they prescribe. If they knew how to titrate they could help people get off the toxic drugs. I had to go and ask my pharmacist at the drug store how to get off the damned antidepressant that I was on.

    All they seem to know about is how to shove pills at people. I once went to a psychiatrist to get talk therapy arranged for myself. She sat there and asked if I wanted the drugs and I said absolutely not. She sat there with a puzzled look on her face and said that she had no idea how to help me if I didn’t want any drugs!!!!!!! What is wrong with this picture?

    So, what is it that psychiatrists can do, other than pushing pills, that would justify keeping them around as a medical specialty? This is the reason that I find myself moving closer and closer to the anti-psychiatry group. I can’t find anything that you can use to justify keeping psychiatry around once you take the pills away.

  • At the state “hospital” where I work the psychiatrists admit that trauma is rampant among the people on the units. The response of probably the best of all the psychiatrists in the place told me to my face, after I gave a presentation on trauma and how it’s related to psychosis and so-called schizophrenia, was: “Oh Stephen, we don’t have time to fool with any of that, we’re an acute “hospital!”.

  • I would agree with you totally. Trauma is the real culprit here and of course psychiatry does absolutely nothing about a person’s trauma. They know the source of the problem and it’s biological, a broken brain and a chemical imbalance, so they don’t have to waste any time on listening to people’s trauma stories. All they have to do is force a pill down someone’s throat and that will take care of everything. Yes, put the focus on trauma where it should have been all along.

    I would never say that there isn’t real mental distress from trauma. I know for a fact in my own life that there is tremendous stress that causes great dysfunction . We are in agreement in what you state here.

  • I would agree that what is called PTSD is actually a normal human response to something horribly overwhelming both psychologically and emotionally to a person. It should not be referred to as a disease or an illness and, along with everything else in the DSM, should not be a label or diagnosis. Once it’s a diagnosis then something which is absolutely normal becomes pathologized. This is the wrong approach to all of this, which is as usual for psychiatry.

  • And what is the part that is “right” about psychiatry? I’m willing to listen to any explanation but I myself have not found anything yet that I’d label as “right” about psychiatry. I’ve known some psychiatrists who are good men but they have absolutely no idea about dealing with people in distress. I’ve even had one psychiatrists admit to me that he knows that the drugs are harmful to people but does he do anything about it? Absolutely not. He goes right on forcing the damned things on people! Even other medical specialties laugh at psychiatry and state that psychiatrists are not doctors.

  • They might as well go down to visit the neighborhood drug dealer on the corner and buy some speed. It’s exactly the same thing. I never have understood how they can justify giving what is essentially speed to a kid while stating that it’s a medication. I’ve tried to talk with some of my friends whose kids or grandkids are on this stuff and they become very uncomfortable and don’t want to discuss it at all. They don’t seem to want to hear that they’re giving their kids and grandkids a drug that harms them. One of them gave me an exasperated look and asked what I expected them to do and I said “get your kid off the damned stuff, for the love of God”. We’ve never talked again since that discussion four years ago. And I suspect that this person’s child is still on the damned speed masquerading as a medicine!

  • @sanderella

    I understood what you meant about the drugs and the marijuana. I also don’t advocate for cold turkey since that usually ends up in withdrawal, which is then interpreted by psychiatrists as “relapse of the person’s severe mental illness”. And that usually leads to a nice little trip to the little state “hospital” where I work.

    Thanks for your response.

  • Well stated. I agree. Why is it so important that Little Turtle be disabused of what she feels in her own life? It’s her experience and only she can describe it. This is her right and who are we to try to take that away and make her believe something that doesn’t necessarily compute to her. She is still an ally, no matter what and we need every last one of those that we can muster up.

  • Sam

    A salute to you and may you keep fighting the good fight. What you and your wife and son are doing is producing a very credible case against the present system. Absolutely, anyone who states that people’s experiences of trauma permanently change the brain are totally full of it! Good luck in you all’s quest to find wholeness and healing.

  • I agree with you about CMHC’s. they are one of the worst things to ever happen to people labeled as “mentally ill”.

    I can only speak for the three that I’ve dealt with. One was terrific until a new head was appointed and then it turned into a complete and total disaster. The other two were the worst when it came to helping people with anything. In fact, these two CMHC’s try their hardest to absolutely KEEP from helping people with anything.

    As you stated, most of them only function to bolster up the present system of abuse and to make sure that people in forced treatment are watched with an eagle eye. They’re just another tool of the system to keep people down and “ill forever”. Anyone who becomes employed by them who is actually wanting to do some worthwhile work for people in distress give up in disgust and quit. Most of them need to be closed.

  • sanderella

    I believe that marijuana has the ability to help people deal with a multitude of things caused by trauma and the problems caused by psychiatry and the drug companies.

    I watched a former roommate begin dealing with severe sexual abuse that he experienced beginning at the age of five years old by using marijuana. It seemed to help smother the ego so that he could look at the trauma and its perpetrators in an objective manner rather then from the stand point of fear. By looking at it objectively he was able to explore ways of dealing with it in positive ways that allowed him to free himself from the effects of trauma. Interestingly, the greatest help he received for his trauma work came from using LSD. This might not work for anyone else, but it certainly worked for him and gave him the strength and courage to meet his trauma issues head on rather than running away from them.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • I don’t believe that you can lecture sanderella about how people should face “excruciating physical trials” as you put it. Each person has to deal with things according to their own abilities. If sanderella says that marijuana helped with the pain of getting off the drugs than I accept that at face value. I have no right to state otherwise about another person’s experience.

    I also disagree with you that psychological healing is a myth. And even though you can’t “recover” from trauma you can certainly transcend it and move on with your life if someone helps you to give meaning to what it was that happened to you.

    I disagree that political consciousness raising and political activism is the only way to correct negative and dangerous situations.

  • Sam

    I too believe that your wife’s brain can heal. If I’m not mistaken the book I Never Promised You a Rose Garden deals with a woman who had the same experiences as your wife. I hope that I’m not getting things messed up. I watched a video of this woman as she talked about her experiences and how she slowly was able to heal from the dissociation.

  • I was at a meeting a year or two back where a very prominent psychiatrist was speaking. He’s supposedly one of the premier experts in the United States concerning the “psychiatric care of pregnant women”. In his talk he stated that he believes that there are no adverse effects for pregnancy caused by any of the psychiatric drugs, both antidepressants and antipsychotics. In my opinion he was very arrogant and puffed up. And even if there were any effects it’s better for the women and their children to experience those than for the mothesr to be psychotic!

    I got up and left the talk at that point.

  • In the 1970’s I worked in the largest psychiatric facility on the Gulf Coast. It took people from Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It was private and owned and run by an order of Roman Catholic nuns.

    The first year I was in training there I met an entire family that was being held there, minus the father. He happened to be a colonel in the Air Force and he forced his wife and five daughters into the “hospital”. After dealing with the oldest daughter over an extended period of time I was of the firm opinion that the father was the one who should have been locked up with us and the wife and daughters freed. Talk about an abusive man.