Sunday, December 8, 2019

Comments by Stephen Gilbert

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

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

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

  • Just a little history lesson.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Exactly. There were a lot of angry, young, African American men in the early 1970’s. I would say that they had more than a good reason to be angry about one hell of a lot of things going on, or not going on in this country.

    I can remember when the two young, African American men who won gold and silver medals in the Mexico City Olympics for a field and track event raised their black gloved fists during the playing of the United States National Anthem. I was watching it on television in a large room of Southern college students. I can still remember how the room became totally silent and what felt to me to be very sullen.

    All of a sudden in the early ’70’s the mental institutions (prisons) across the country became filled with angry, young, African American men. And they were mostly labeled as “paranoid schizophrenic” by the wonderful shrinks. I don’t think that this all happened by accident.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Annita

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    These screenings are a joke.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Very well put.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Don

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Julie

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

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

  • I believe that you’ve got the right idea. I believe that a diverse group with clear ground rules and a common goal, no matter what it’s purpose, is probably much more productive than group therapy. I believe that people profit more from getting together to rescue cats and dogs or recycling than ever happens in a therapy group. It’s good just to get together and do things rather than rehash all the terrible things going on in our lives. The rehashing gets us nowhere and we accomplish nothing.

  • One thing that I’ve always hated is the fact that people who’ve been labeled as “mentally ill” are always expected to be doing therapy in everything that they do. I’ve never been able to express this adequately but will try to explain. Why is it that if I, labeled as mentally ill am seen at the movies it’s interpreted as me doing something therapeutic. I can’t go to watch a movie simply because I am interested in what it deals with. If I garden someone wants to call what I’m doing therapy. I can’t just dig in the earth simply because I enjoy the experience of smelling the moist earth and the texture of the soil on my hands. No, I’m gardening for therapy. And if I walk my cat in the neighborhood in his harness and leash I’m doing therapy for myself. Unlabeled people, I guess what you refer to as neurotypicals, are never seen as doing therapy when they go to the movies or dig in the garden or walk their dog. They are just doing things that they enjoy. But we who’re labeled are doing it for therapeutic reasons. I am tired of this bull shit.

    I also have never been in group therapy that was ever beneficial. One of the few groups that I’ve ever found helpful was something called a process group. This is not a therapy group. I work in a state “hospital”. A number of staff from different departments in the “hospital” decided to use our lunch hour to come together and talk, to process ideas and feelings and emotions. It was extremely productive for all of us involved and helped us do better work in each of our areas. It gave us a chance to talk about the toxic atmosphere that permeates this place and how we might go about doing something about the toxicity. We talked about how the “patients” were the last people considered in any discussion. And then the gossip started about the group among the staff in general. Discussing ideas and philosophy was much too radical for the staff in general. They wondered what we were doing and what we talked about during that hour. Rather than come and find out, the group was always open to anyone in the “hospital” who desired to attend, they preferred to gossip and cause trouble for those of us who went regularly. In the end it died an untimely death.

  • Hey, no problem. I don’t really have problems with being triggered by these kinds of things. It was just amazing to me that I’d blocked this experience out so well that I’d not thought about it in ten years. I am grateful to you for stirring my memory here. That cop was one sick dude and it’s frightening that he was allowed to carry a gun and have control over people. I now wonder if he’s still on the force in that city.

  • Teachers need to stay out of the business of insisting that the disruptive students in their classes need “treatment”.

    I was once a high school teacher in the years before my enlightenment about the wonderful “mental health” system. I’d not yet gone down the rabbit hole of my own “treatment” and thought that the system was there to actually help people. One day before class one of my sophomore students approached me quietly and told me that while he was in the stall in the bathroom that he heard voices telling him things. Being a believer who’s swilled the Kool-Aid I immediately took him to the school’s sophomore counselor and turned him over to the person that I thought could help him. The boy disappeared for three weeks and then quietly appeared in my class once again. I never asked him what happened but suspect that he was sent to some psychiatric institution for a little visit and probably a little drugging with the toxic drugs. I was quite pleased with myself for doing what I thought at the time was a very good thing for that student.

    There are nights that I now lie awake wondering if I was responsible for sending that young man down his own rabbit hole of “treatment”. I sincerely hope not.

    Instead of demanding that “problem students” be put on drugs and “treatment” teachers need to spend more time with the students that have issues. A listening ear is a great help to younger people. And as a teacher you know who the students are who are experiencing issues, it’s not difficult to see and tell. And our classrooms are filled with students experiencing issues of major proportions. But most teachers are content to ignore those in need who sit in their classes and instead begin insisting that these students need drugs and “treatment”.

  • The so-called “antidepressants” do not work any better than placebo. This is proven. So they are useless and are many times dangerous, often inducing the very thing that they’re supposed to protect people from, wanting to take their own lives or the lives of others. “Treatment resistant” is just psychiatry’s response when their so-called treatment proves to be totally useless. People should stay away from benzos and “antidepressants”.

  • Thank you for speaking the truth and explaining exactly how the cow eats the cabbage. You are absolutely correct. There is absolutely no point in pouring more money into a broken system that has no intention of ever reforming itself or doing anything near constructive and helpful. CPS is great at grabbing children and sending them down the rabbit hole of psychiatric drugging so that these kids will become permanent “patients” in the broken and horrible “mental health” system. They will be placed in foster homes where all too often the abuse continues in different forms.

  • The exact same thing happened to me with the exception that they were determined to take me to the ER. This one cop got on top of me, pulled my arms back, and tightly handcuffed me. He kept his knee in my back and wouldn’t get up and finally the EMT’s told him to let up and get off me so that they could do their work. While they took me downstairs to the ambulance he stayed in my apartment going through things. He eventually came down to the ambulance before they drove me off and harassed me by telling me how he’d gone through all my private things. It was at that point that I began to wonder who truly had the issues that needed huge amounts of “medication”. The guy was totally unstable and had pulled his gun on me when they all first came in. I’d kind of blocked all that out until just now when I read your response here. All of the police were dismissive and disrespectful and all I can say is thank goodness for the EMT’s. They were actually concerned about saving my life after my suicide attempt. They were also glad to get away from the police.

  • Sadly, I expected as much to happen. The system’s narrative is so entrenched that it seems impossible to cut in two. It reminds me of a conversation that I have periodically with my supervisor about the chemical imbalance myth and how it’s still invoked, if not in name directly at least in the way that the drugs are forced on people. My supervisor states that he hasn’t heard the myth invoked in years where the two of us work. And then I remind him of how that doesn’t stop the psychiatrists from forcing people to take the neuroleptics and the so-called “antidepressants”. Even if the psychiatrists may not believe it anymore the staff are true believers and know nothing of your work or your books. And I’m not convinced that the psychiatrists don’t still believe it.

  • It’s not a name change, it’s a total destruction of psychiatry as a specialty of medicine. What is true is that the system, and its supposed “treatment” is harming people to the point of killing us. I wonder why it is that you embrace the idea so strongly that you are ill? What is so disturbing to you for you to think of yourself as a person who just has issues, which were caused probably by a multitude of things that you experienced?

  • Yes. I had a roommate who went into four, horrible days of hallucinating because his psychiatrist convinced him to take Abilify along with his “antidepressant” to make it work better. First of all, the Abilify didn’t make one damned thing work better so that was a lie on the part of the psychiatrist. And secondly, he made him hallucinate over a four day period. If I could have gotten my hands on that psychiatrist’s neck he would have been a goner!

  • And we must rise up against the medical system itself and not just psychiatry because most doctors of all the specialties are too big for their britches and feel that they can force people to do whatever it is that they want them to do, whether it’s taking a drug or having a procedure. You’re not supposed to say the word “no” these days to any doctor. It’s the entire medical establishment that we must rise up against.

  • Father John has done a nice job here of revealing the stupidity the drives, as he refers to it, “modern western psychiatry”. Thank you for this.

    I can do the same thing for people that shock does by taking a baseball bat and smacking them a couple of times in the back of their heads. Of course people sit quietly with smiles on their faces after being given a shock “treatment”, they now have a nice, big brain injury. They have a traumatic brain injury, more commonly referred to as a TBI!

  • Yes, I’ve seen a staff person in Admissions go out of their way to bother, harass, incite people who come in with the label of “BPD”. The staff person gets this look of disgust and disdain as she does this. The object of her behavior is to set the labeled person off because the staff person gets some kind of pleasure out of this. The rest of the staff put her in her place and eventually she was fired. People with this label get treated horribly before they even get to the unit they’re assigned to.

  • You never harmed anyone intentionally but how many times did you participate in harm because you’re part of the system which continually harms people all the time. I wonder how much you’re willing to look at that honestly. I know that I’m participating in harm because I work in the system. I don’t like it but don’t know what to do about it at this point. I could go work at something else but then what little I am able to give to people won’t get done. I don’t understand why you’re so prickly about this. Just because someone doesn’t automatically agree with you, you decide to quit and leave. You can’t be thin skinned here at MIA. Why did you take this so personally? If the shoe doesn’t fit let it be and move on.

  • This is very close to what I try to do with people on the units where I work. It shocks almost every one of them to no end and some even get angry with me for even mentioning something like this. “What if you were not confirmed as defective and sick but instead looked at and accepted as someone having gifts, talents, and abilities that the world truly needs?” Many don’t seem to be able to even think about those possibilities. The system has trained people so well that they’re defective that it’s frightening to them when you try to get them to look at themselves as someone that isn’t defective. Some of them wonder if I’m trying to trick them so that I can report them to the “treatment team” for being noncompliant!

  • There is one psychiatrist who did have the realization that he’d been harming people with the “treatment” he’d given them. He began calling or writing as many of his former and present “patients” as he could get in touch with so that he could apologize to them for the damage he’d inflicted. I’ve not been able to keep an eye on his progress but I suspect that he’s no longer a practicing psychiatrist.

    I have deep respect for this man because of the courage it took to do this. Too bad that there aren’t more psychiatrists like him out there in the world. And by the way, any psychiatrist out there makes more money than I do as I work in the hospital where I was once held as a “mentally ill patient”. Thanks for responding.

  • Most people with lived experience have known for a long time that the neuroleptics and the so-called “antidepressants” cause the very things that they’re supposed to be “treating”. This is not news to us by any means. I’m just surprised that more clinical people don’t know this. The information is out there and I hold everyone accountable for finding out about it if they work with the supposedly “mentally ill”. There are no excuses in my book for not knowing about this.

    I believe that many psychiatrists actually know this but to acknowledge it would mean that they’d come under the scrutiny of their psychiatry colleagues and would be ostracized. It would also then lead to a reduction of the fatness of their billfolds and pocketbooks, it would lead to their children not being able to attend the wonderful private schools, it would lead to having to drive a smaller vehicle rather than the nice, big SUV’s. Call me cynical but I believe that many who prescribe these drugs and those who force people to take them know what the drugs do and yet they continue to use them on people.

  • We never fully know the complexities of the lives of others. But I believe that kindredspirit is right. Those of us who work in the system and who truly care about those in our care must begin bucking our masters and unlocking the doors to free those who are held captive within, given “treatment” that harms rather than helps. We must begin civil disobedience against those who control the system, which are the psychiatrists. “Mental health workers are complicit in harm if they aren’t actively helping the patients escape the system.” The first rule of the battlefield is that you don’t leave your wounded behind so those of us with lived experience who work in the system must begin finding ways to make it change because it will never do so on its own.

  • Effexor is absolutely the devil’s tic tacs when it comes to trying to get off it, but it can be done. You just have to do it over a very long period of time and do it little bit by little bit. I was on huge doses of the damned stuff for about five years and then had to go off it cold turkey. I would never recommend that at all. But….I did survive it. To answer your question about what would be left if you did get off it? I get the feeling that there’s a pretty interesting individual sitting there inside of you, a person who deserves to find out what the Journey holds for you if you plant your feet in the middle of the road and decide to go find out what is out there for you.

  • I want to echo what kindredspirit says here. You are not alone. It is difficult to keep going and none of us will deny that.

    But I would also say that we can’t turn loose of our lives because then it means that the system won. We can’t allow them to win, not at any cost. I almost cried when I read the part about your departed cat. But I suggest that perhaps it’s time to get another cat, not one to take your cat’s place for they are such individuals and one of a kind when it comes to personalities. But I encourage you to create a new friendship with another wonderful cat. You deserve the support and love that another cat will give you, unconditional love that never ends.

  • I also am a person with lived experience who tries to work on the inside of the system to try to change things. I don’t think this approach works since the psychiatrists always have the upper hand and the last say about everything that goes on in the “hospital” were I was held and where I now work.

  • It’s almost impossible for peer workers to function within the traditional institutions in the system. You’re not really allowed to carry out the mandates of peer work such as furthering choice for people who are detained in these “hospitals”. You’re not allowed to promote collaboration and many times you can’t be transparent and honest. If you do so you immediately run afoul of the clinical staff. And they certainly don’t want any transformative things going on. They opt for the status quo. It doesn’t surprise me that this has happened in New York.

  • None of this is simple or easy. Parents like you are better informed than staff about all this. Staff don’t keep up with the latest about any of this stuff. I’ve found them to be badly informed. Most of them have drank the Kool-Aid and are true believers. I’ve run into a few staff who know what’s going on but they don’t say so publicly. They feel me out first to see where I stand on issues before they make any commitments one way or the other. Speaking out against the drugs as a staff person is the kiss of death. People have been fired for working with peoples’ voices to see if that might be helpful for them. The drugs are supreme and are the only treatment, period. To suggest anything else is a quick death for those saying it.

  • Thanks for helping me to see this. Yes, I am very heavy hearted for those families who struggle to do the best thing for their loved one held in the “hospital”. They immediately become suspect in the eyes of the staff and in many cases the staff work to make sure that the loved one is not sent back to the family but to an RCF or a group home to live. They claim to know better than the family about what needs to be done. I’ve even heard these families referred to as the “truly crazy ones”! It’s infuriating.

  • Thank you for responding and I truly do feel some of the pain that you have about all this. I am a former “patient” who now works among the people held on the units. You are so perceptive and Tama is blessed to have you as his mother. So many families just bow down to the psychiatrists and accept everything as the gospel truth. You actually have his best interests at heart.

    I walk among many people each and every day who are like your son Tama. I wish that I could do more for them than I accomplish.

  • I thought that was what you were asking but just wanted to check. I apologize for sounding so testy these days.

    Yes, the cards are certainly stacked against the public. Trials for new drugs that don’t work and that often cause harm are ignored when they show the true results as being negative. It only takes two positive trials or studies to get a drug approved even though it might have ten negative trials or studies. So, the drug companies really do cherry pick very carefully and then they bury the negative trials as deep in their vaults as they can. The FDA is not protecting the American public and instead protects the interests of the drug companies.

  • Although I agree with you that the quickest way to get away from the buggers is to tell them what they want to hear, this is often very difficult for people who are locked on the units to do. I don’t know whether this is out of sheer stubbornness and wanting to be proven correct about their situation or what. I’ve come to believe that for many people it’s a matter of integrity and trying to hang on to their true self and personhood against the onslaught of aggression on the part of the psychiatrists and staff. To bring themselves to say that they are “ill” and the psychiatrists are “right” is just too much to even imagine. I’ve not found a way to help people who are mired up to their necks in this crap. I’ve tried telling them what you counsel but they refuse to hear any of it and often won’t speak with me for days or weeks after such a suggestion on my part.

  • Because he promised to get the diagnosis attached to children if the drug company would pay him a million dollars. Which drug company was it? Johnson and Johnson comes to mind but that might not be the correct one. Johnson and Johnson is responsible for so many crimes against humanity that it’s the first one that pops into my mind these days no matter what it is.

  • I’ve also run into this deafness in psychiatrists. I have come to the conclusion that they know that what they’re doing is causing harm but they don’t want to upset the lucrative apple cart that they’re pushing along in front of them. If they admit that there are huge problems with what they’re doing to people, especially kids, they’d have to find another source of income for themselves. I understand that this is difficult to look at but they have ethical and moral obligations to stop doing what they’re doing. They’re the ones who want to be known as real doctors. Even though the Hippocratic oath doesn’t contain the line, “First do no harm”, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t good medicine to practice it anyway.

  • Even if they let your son go free at some point, they most likely will make sure that he doesn’t return to your care because they know that you won’t support him continuing on the toxic drugs. They will send him to an RCF or a group “home” where they can continue to control him. I’ve sat in morning reports where such things are discussed about the “patients” on the unit. During one such meeting the staff were going on and on about how one “patient’s” mother always took him off the drugs when he came back to live with here. At one point a nurse asked who the truly “crazy” person was in a very self-righteous tone of voice. At that point I spoke up and pointed out that not everyone believed in the paradigm of “care” that is promoted. It was totally silent in the room and then the psychiatrist spoke up and affirmed me statement.

  • dj

    My injection of fentanyl was given in the hospital after surgery and it almost killed me. It depressed my oxygen level in my blood and started lowering my blood pressure at an alarming rate. A young nurse caught what was happening and called the doctor on call for the hospital. He asked me if I knew what had been given to me and when I said no he said it was fentanyl and that I should never ever take it again as long as I lived. All the nurse told me who originally gave the shot to me was that it was a painkiller.

  • Ok oldhead, it was Kennedy who gave the speech at the APA meeting that suddenly no longer exists. Bruce points out the article that Jay Joseph wrote about the debate concerning the killing of the feeble minded that appeared in 1942. I still can’t find my copy but this article presents everything that needs to be known.

    By the way, I don’t have internet at this point.

    I just did some research on google and what it said is that the article pretty much gives Kennedy’s opinions about the topic that he expressed at the meeting in 1941. Of course, when you google Kennedy’s keynote address what you find is that it can’t be found! So, the article that Bruce points out is all that we will have.

  • This new “treatment” is only going to bring more people into the system. I suspect that many women using this “treatment” will end up experiencing psychosis and wham bam thank you mam will be on their way to the psych “hospital” with all kinds of wonderful diagnoses to deal with. Frankly, this is disgusting. As I’ve stated elsewhere, hopefully many women will be spared this because the price is so high that not many will be able to afford it.

  • Thank you for this information. It just proves that this is going to be another disaster for “patients”. And isn’t it interesting that a drug that supposedly helps with “depression” can actually cause suicidal problems for the women taking it?!!

    I so hope that women stop and think very hard before they fall into this trap. I wonder if it will end up causing problems so that women end up being diagnosed as schizophrenic or bi-polar. If it does the psychiatrists will say that it “unmasked their underlying illness”.

  • My experience was similar. I dealt with five psychiatrists while dealing with my issues. Only one was truly a doctor in any sense of the word. He not only listened to me he actually asked me what I wanted and needed and when I told him he did exactly as I stated. He was young and not totally jaded yet. But he was helpful and I don’t really see him as a psychiatrist at all.

    The other four were fools of one sort or another. And as you stated, you can get them to eat out of your hand if you stroke their egos and tell them what they want to hear and are listening for. Two were actually emotionally and psychologically abusive. One of them actually told me that I was stupid for being overwhelmed by the murder of my sister and year to the day of my mother’s burial. I came very close to planting my fist directly between his eyes and I tried to get him fired from the community mental health center where he was employed. They actually did fire him a few months later. The second jerk was screaming at me and shouting so badly that saliva was flying from his mouth. He needed a ten and two and seclusion and restraint!

  • I think that I got it but haven’t had time to sit down and go through it. Will do so this evening or tomorrow. Busy with treatments and setting up two new recovery programs where I work, which require that I work more hours. Anyway, I went through my desk yesterday and didn’t run across the copy of the address that you referred to. Am beginning to think that APA has magic powers that made every copy disappear when they took it off their site. Still have a few more things to go through because this is bugging me now and I really want to find it. But I have massive amounts of articles and studies in my desk drawers.

  • To answer your question….no, med students are not taught to think critically. We have med students rotating through where I work all the time and they are about the most clueless people I’ve ever met. Many of them are not bad people but they’ve swallowed the bait…..hook, line, and sinker when it comes to psychiatric stuff. They couldn’t sniff their way out of a brown paper bag when it comes to smelling out corruption. Medical schools need a huge overhaul and most of them end up turning out arrogant twits rather than real critical thinking and empathic people.

    I lived in a neighborhood where I was the only non med student resident and I could tell you some stories about how so many of them feel that they’re entitled and special, so special that they can’t even respond back to you when you wish them good morning on the street. I got tired of them very quickly and was very glad that none of them lived in my apartment building.

  • Yes, I saw on the news last night where a psychiatrists was promoting a new drug for post-partum depression in new mothers. They’ve got to get their hands in everything. And she was even promoting “antidepressants” along with the new “treatment”. Of course, perhaps a lot of women will be saved from this trap because the cost is so horrendous that none but the most wealthy will be able to pay for it. The psychiatrists was saying that they hope that insurance will pay for it. Also, you must spend 60 hr. in treatment. Who can afford that kind of time in a hospital at the rates that they charge.

    Also, last week there was a psychiatrist promoting the new esketamine nose spray for depression. They’re bombarding us from all sides with their new “treatments” for our supposed problems.

  • But all this business playing around with genes and genetic causes is a blind alley and has been for decades. This is never going to be a viable answer to the difficulties caused by what people call depression. Depression, as Rachel observed above, is not an illness but an indication that points to the fact that something is not quite right in your life, that there’s something that needs to be changed by you. This is not something caused by genetics and genes and all this mumbo-jumbo. And I do have a problem with anyone wanting to call me “mentally ill”. They can do so but it had better be behind my back.

    At least I’m glad that MIA didn’t retract anything that they said about this dubious study.

  • And how many of these young people are on any kind of psychiatric drug?????? The drugs used for the various things that kids supposedly have like ADHD and depression can cause the very things that they’re supposed to be taking care of.

    And on top of that I don’t think that we’re raising our children with realistic expectations about life, we’re not giving them the tools that they need to move through life in ways useful to themselves. For instance, kids in any kind of competition whether it’s sports or anything else all get trophies these days because “everyone is a winner.” This doesn’t teach a realistic outlook on life and doesn’t teach kids how to deal with adversity and not always being the winner. Look at how Millennials are turning out these days; they can’t seem to deal with anything that they don’t like or which doesn’t benefit them in some way.

    And life has become a lot more difficult these days with a lot of things to be sad about.

  • I wonder if the people doing the study looked at the work and studies done by a psychological anthropologist by the name of Tanya Luhrman. She points out that hearing voices is looked upon in different ways in different cultures and it’s only in the West that hearing voices is looked at in such a negative light. She’s studied hearing voices in Africa, India, and the United States. She’s also written books about evangelicals who say that God talks to them and this raises interesting questions to think about. No one seems to pathologize them due to their claim of hearing God. I think the title of one of them is When God Talks Back.

    Where I work I’m not allowed to ask people anything about their voices because to do so would supposedly show that there is something more to them than just being symptoms of their “illness”. The psychiatrists and staff approach voice hearing as being totally devoid of any positive value at all and we’re not to encourage people to think that there is anything useful or positive about them. I do not agree with this approach to hearing voices, at all. I believe that if you can work with a person’s voices you may just be able to help them deal with their issues. But of course, this would go against the paradigm of “care” that predominates everything. And this is why we have a revolving door where I work so that people keep coming back and coming back, over and over again. So much for the good “care” huh?

  • You point out some valid points. The certification required of anyone wanting to be a peer worker in the state where I live is so oriented towards lots of paperwork and hours worked under a supervisor (who aren’t people with lived experience) and educational hours galore that it’s ridiculous. A social worker that I know looked at all the requirements and said that the peer certification required more than what social workers were required to submit for their certification. And then in the end they stick you with a nice hefty fee to pay for your certification.

    One of the sole reasons that any certification was created at all was so that any work done by a peer could be billed for Medicare funds. And billing for Medicare funds demands that you must chart and write notes. This goes against all peer standards since if you get to write about people you have power over them. If you can enter notes in their charts you have power over them. Peers are supposed to form mutual relationships with people so that both parties can learn from one another. If you have the power of the pen you are above those you’re writing about and there is no mutual relationship. Of course, the relationship is not totally mutual because one has keys and a badge that the people being “treated” don’t have. You get to go home at the end of your shift, the people on the units are held against their wills.

  • You are absolutely right about how important eating good foods is to the ongoing health of people labeled as “mentally ill”. The problem is that when people are discharged from the “hospital” to RCF’s, the food is usually horrible and people spend what little money they have left after paying their monthly bill to the RCF on junk foods. They drink lots of caffeinated coffee and smoke lots of cigarettes. Very few “hospitals” have groups that teach good nutrition and since so many people have been in the system since they were teenagers they have no idea how to spend their little amount of money wisely on good food if they are allowed to have their own place.

    Seven hundred dollars a month is not enough money to live on in the first place so we have lots of people sent out of the “hospitals” either to RCF’s or to small apartments in bad areas and they don’t know how to provide for themselves or cook nutritious meals.

  • And the minute that I got out of the homeless shelter that I’d been discharged to (where I was forced to take the benzos and “antidepressants” because I was discharged with them and the policy of the shelter was that you’d take your drugs no matter what) I took those damned things and threw them in the trash in my new apartment. I’ve never touched a psych drug of any kind since and I don’t plan to do so. But I do understand what they do to people, the harm that they cause.

  • So well put. If you don’t write you really should start. You have such a way of going to the heart of the matter with such an interesting touch and a way with words.

    “That researchers ever seriously thought they could pinpoint a gene to finger as the culprit of human distress while the world literally burns around us was hubris on a grand scale.”

    This is so well put. I’m going to post this on my office door with due credit to you, of course.

  • The only thing that I was forced to take while in the “hospital” were the devil’s tic tacs known as antidepressants and benzos. I’ve never been forced to take anything else but as I stated above I was lucky in that I had an advocate in the “hospital” where I now work and this person guided my treatment through my psychiatrist because he admired and respected this person very much. No ethical boundaries were broken but the psychiatrist consulted this person and asked for advice since he didn’t know what to do with me because I was so damned contrary and non-compliant. I’d known this person for 25 years before I ended up in the very “hospital” where the person worked. The person who was consulted thought that I’d died a few years before because we lost touch and I disappeared off the grid for a while. It was all by chance but I’m lucky that the psychiatrist was a wiser man than most psychiatrists I’ve met or have to deal with at work. He consulted and took the person’s advice about how to deal with me, which was to let me find my way back to a balanced life at my own pace and doing what I needed to do for myself. This is not usual practice. I created art every day and painted my way back to health and well-being and they eventually released me.

    This is not the typical experience of the people I now deal with on the units. I was a very atypical “patient” in every way and am very lucky that things fell into place the way that they did. Very few are that lucky.

  • Yes, I was hospitalized but not forced to take the neuroleptics. I was very lucky in that I had an advocate within the hospital who my psychiatrist admired and respected.

    Also, I’ve experienced psychosis for a period of only two days. I was held in the ICU in a medical hospital for four days. On the fourth day there I had a conversation with my spirit guide. It happened when I was on the edge of sleep and my unconscious was beginning to surface and take over my thoughts. I am a follower of Robert Johnson’s active imagination work as well as Jung’s spiritual guide ideas. Don’t laugh, but my spirit guide is a miniature, lime green Triceratops dinosaur. Long story but understandable if you follow Johnson’s and Jung’s work. For part of one early evening my spirit guide sat on my bed and we held a long conversation. I think that the nursing staff must have thought that I was delirious. I don’t remember one thing that we talked about but I am sure that it was important and useful. The next day I was sent to a regular room, where I was caught talking with my spirit guide by a nurse passing in the hall. She came in and asked who I was talking to and I told her she must have been mistaken since she could see that there was no one in my room but me. That was a close all. But that was the only time I’ve ever hallucinated in my entire life. I was lucky because if they’d pursued the “talking” incident I’d probably have been on my way to a good dose of neuroleptics when I arrived at the psych facility. Luckily they missed all of that.

    During my wonderful stay in the psych “hospitals” I was always lucid and rational and in what they love to refer to as “consensus reality”. This was why I was able to advocate for myself against the staff.

    However, not taking the neuroleptics doesn’t keep me from understanding how damaging they are to people in every way possible. My office window looks out into the cement courtyard shared by two units of the “hospital” where I work. I watch people come into Admissions being full of life (and often saying things that staff find offensive) and then I watch them deteriorate over the months that they are held there. I watch it on a daily basis. It is heart rending and heart breaking and what little power I do wield is not enough to stop it from happening, at least not for now.

    I work from the first rule of the battlefield, which is that you never leave your wounded behind. As far as I’m concerned everyone that I work with and for are people that I must work to carry off this battlefield, even if it’s only one person at a time every once in a while.

  • Ok. Finally a post where you and I can agree on a lot of things. I agree that a lot of people choose to end their lives, not because they are “mentally ill” but because of what is going on in their lives. Just because I tried to kill myself doesn’t mean that my attempts had one, blessed thing to do with being “ill”. It had everything to do with the fact that I was overwhelmed, isolated, and that I was in the very depths of grieving for the deaths of my mother and my sister within the period of one year. And the stupid psychiatrists dismissed my grieving as being totally unimportant! They were absolutely no help to me at all. I had to find balance and well-being and health on my own and through the care and concern of very good friends.

  • Yea!!!!!!!….I can hardly wait for all the people that will be brought to the “hospital” where I work and they will be labeled as schizophrenic because they will be psychotic on this junk. Who would allow a drug to be used on them that was derived from a large animal tranquilizer? Who in their right mind would allow themselves to be dosed with this junk? The studies prove that this is junk science and snake oil medicine but I bet that Jansen will make tons of profit off of it all and people will be flocking to their doctors to get a prescription for it. What is wrong with this picture?

  • I base my statement on studies done on animals, in which the drugs cause shrinkage. But of course those studies don’t deal with the human brain.

    There are studies of the effects of the drugs on the human brain done by the Godmother and Grand Dame of biobiobio psychiatry. Her name is Nancy Andreasen. She wanted to refute the claim that the drugs shrink peoples’ brains so she carried out a study to prove that there were no such effects by the drugs.

    What she found was that brain size was affected. She didn’t believe the results and thought she must have made a mistake in the study. So….she repeated the study a second time and got the same result. According to her she was so disturbed by her findings so she sat on the results for two years but then finally published them. On the internet you can find an interview that she did where she describes what she did and her response to the results. It’s interesting that at the end she states that people should continue taking the drugs despite her findings.

    I’m glad that you don’t feel any of the effects and you’re doing great work despite everything that you experienced. I’m just putting this out there for people to look at and investigate if they so desire.

  • “I believe people sometimes never recover. People given the right help do and can.”

    You are correct that some people, for reasons that no one understand, can’t seem to achieve recovery. This was seen in the old days before the advent of the neuroleptics. Over 60% of people experiencing what the system likes to call schizophrenia had one or two episodes where they were “hospitalized” and then they went on with their lives, never to be seen by the mental health system ever again. About 35% never were able to achieve this.

    My problem with your statement is that I have the feeling that you’re going to say that the “right help” is the drugs. You seem so very determined not to see anything outside of your acceptable view of all this, which is your right. But you don’t seem to even want to entertain the thought that there might be other things out there besides the drugs which might help people get their lives back. No matter what people post you just restate, in one form or another, your adamant response that the drugs are the answer.

  • Yes, we need treatment, but not the kind that you’re advocating. At least people should be given a choice about whether or not they’re going to ingest poisons for a supposed “illness” labeled as “mental illness”.

  • I hope that you realize that medicine is the third largest killer of Americans at this time. With medicine people also die. And I hope that you realize that the neuroleptics cause the human brain to shrink, they affect the frontal lobes of the brain (which makes us who we are as thinking and unique beings), they cause heart problems and weight gain and any number of other health problems. Young veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan campaigns are dying in their sleep because of the psych drugs they’ve been put on. I have the feeling that you trust doctors and “medicines” more than they should be trusted.

    Drug companies are controlling the masses to the tune of billions of dollars in profit from their sale of psychiatric drugs alone. And the price of these drugs is ridiculously high. What’s wrong with that picture when these expensive drugs are supposed to be paid for and taken by some of the poorest people in our society?

    And could you please explain what you mean when you refer to the “walking wounded”?

  • I can’t answer your question. It’s one that I keep mulling over and over in my mind. Either these guys are totally clueless and don’t keep up with their education, or they are really terrible people who’re are hurting people and destroying their lives for their own gain and benefit. I watch them on a daily basis and they seem to be ok people, but they keep forcing people to take these harmful drugs. I don’t know.

  • What the psychiatrists are doing when they expose people to shock is literally causing a seizure to happen. Seizures are detrimental to the human brain. This is why every other medical specialty strives to keep people from having seizures. These are not treatments. You can get the same effect by hitting someone in the head with a baseball bat and inducing a traumatic brain injury. Older women are the prime targets for shock, especially those who are grieving about the death of a husband or other loved one. It is not treatment.

    I’ve encountered five psychiatrists. Out of the five two were outright abusive, one was totally ineffective as a healer, one was very patronizing, and one was truly helpful. The truly helpful listened to me rather than drugging me and turning me into a zombie. Those who shock people like to act like they know what’s going on but they don’t have a clue. And they get paid very well for what they’re doing to people.

  • A few years ago I attended a meeting where I work. It was devoted to singing the praises of shock. I refuse to call it ECT since it’s not a treatment at all but a barbaric torture. Anyway, at the end of the talk when people could ask questions I posed this very one. Why is it that all other medical specialties try to keep people from having seizures while psychiatry induces them in the name of treatment. The young psychiatrist smugly looked at me, smiled, and then said, “But the seizures that we induce are different from regular seizures!” I looked at him with my mouth open since I couldn’t believe that someone would blatantly lie in front of an entire crowd of people. He claimed that no harm is done when you send electricity through a person’s brain!

    At that point I began stating some criticisms of shock and the entire room broke out in shouts and yelling against me. One psychiatrist was so angry that he was actually spitting saliva when he talked. One person even yelled out, “Does that guy work here?”, since we were at the “hospital” where I work. It was unbelievable to say the least.

  • But I also think that many of the people being exploited by the cancer industry believe that death must be averted at all costs so that they can go on existing indefinitely. There is a great fear of death, it’s probably the biggest fear that most people have. They can’t imagine not existing, even though they know that it’s unrealistic to expect to do so. There was a famous book written about this in the 70’s, the name of which I cannot recall at the moment. Ah…I got it….The Denial of Death. So the cancer industry knows this and plays up to peoples’ fears. And people go along with it. It’s a very complicated thing where both parties play at the game. As a Buddhist I struggle with this very thing at the moment. Just how far do you go to believe what they tell you about what they want to do to you? Where do you draw the line and say no more.

    This is not to deny that the cancer industry is everything that you expressed about it.

  • I agree.

    It’s interesting that doctors in general are seen as being well-educated and aware and up to date. I don’t think that a lot of them keep up with what’s going on. Perhaps this is because they accept too many patients so that they can make lots of money and people end up being herded through their offices like cattle. Many of my doctors and surgeons get put out with me because I ask questions about what they want to do to me and act as if I’m the one in the wrong. Their attitude is that you’re just supposed to comply with their wishes and you’re not supposed to raise a fuss of any kind. They’re not necessarily kind to people who do strive to take care of their own selves.

    Doctors don’t deserve the pedestal that society gives them and they’re not necessarily smart just because they’re doctors.

  • When I sought out a therapist I was lucky in that I got paired with a young man just starting out in the profession. He was open, thoughtful, but never did he ever want me to turn my life over to him. He said that he enjoyed our work together because I was so motivated to look into my own experiences in my life so that I could straighten things out for myself. He said that he never had to do anything since I did all of the work myself.

    The trouble came when I was told by the clinic that I’d have to see a psychiatrist so that I could get a “diagnosis” so that I could continue to do therapy with the young man. I didn’t have a whole lot of money at the time and they wanted more money out of me. The only way to achieve this was to be “diagnosed”. This was the beginning of trials and tribulations and it was at this point that I realized that psychiatrists did not help people. If anything they added to peoples’ misery.

    But I’d been under the impression that psychiatrists sat down and listened to people and helped them work through things. If I’d known it was otherwise I’d never have gone to that first appointment that was made for me with the psychiatrist. The label he stuck me with haunts me to this very day and there’s no way to get rid of it.

    I agree. I don’t think that most people would stick their necks in the noose of psychiatry if they knew the truth. They’ve also believed the lies about the psychiatric drugs because there’s almost no place where they can find the truth. Just go on Google and try to find some real help with all this. You’re referred to drug company websites that gush with the propaganda that most Americans believe. I didn’t truly wake up until I began working with my first supervisor at the “hospital” where I work. She took the Kool-Aid away from me and began piling my desk with articles telling the truth. The articles are there but not many people know how to access them. She’d spent years gathering them from all over the place.

  • The Navajo Nation in Arizona and New Mexico have gone back to traditional medicine to help their veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq who have been labeled with PTSD. They are having much greater success in helping their people than the approach taken by White medicine, which is to drug people to the gills with neuroleptics and those damned “antidepressants”. I suspect that anything would be better than what the wonderful “mental health system” does, which is to drug people without even asking people what they think is happening and what is wrong.

  • I predict that this is going to be a done deal and that there will be nasal spray galore out there. They’re talking about this on news reports and they’re acting as if it’s some kind of miracle drug. It supposedly takes away the desire that people are experiencing to kill themselves. I guess so, if you’re sedated with something that originally comes from a horse tranquilizer! You’re going to be numbed up really great and won’t be worrying about much of anything. People were breaking into veterinary clinics in New Orleans in the mid to late 70’s to steal the ketamine that the vets used to tranquilize large animals like horses.

    How are they even going to attempt to regulate this???? People get addicted to over the counter nose sprays like Afrin so I’m wondering if this eskatamine is addictive in any way?

  • I watch this happen all the time where I work. Someone is brought in who had problems with the police etc. while they were on drugs. They get sent to us and without any time devoted to actually looking into what is going on with the person they get put on nice, big doses of some neuroleptic, which then causes more problems for them and away we go in the merry-go-round known as the wonderful “mental health system”!

  • It doesn’t surprise me that more and more Americans are lonely. Just look at the rate that we isolate ourselves from one another on a daily basis and we do this with our technology. I see people on the bus with their ear bud in, not wanting to have any interaction with the people next to them. I watch tables of five and six people at a restaurant and all of them have their phones out, texting or facebooking or whatever but certainly not visiting with one another. I was always under the impression that you went out to eat with people so that you could interact with them. Just call me stupid I guess! Kids are on Xbox playing games, adults are on the computer Facebooking rather than really interacting with others, people are shut up in their apartments or houses with the blinds closed and their doors locked. Why wouldn’t we be lonely.

    Somehow I just don’t think that taking pills are going to help with this situation or problem. But the drug companies will certainly make lots and lots of profit at our expense if this is allowed to go to market. How stupid and gullible can we become?

  • I don’t understand your problem with this woman raising the issues about ketamine since what she stated is absolutely true and has been true for at least the late 1970’s when I lived in New Orleans and heard people in the bars talking about Special K and how fun it was to take. Why would anyone in their right mind take a tranquilizer that’s made to be used for horses????????

    I believe that Bradford makes some really valid points about all this. I can’t imagine letting people loose with this stuff. I suspect that if it’s allowed to go to market that we’re going to see a lot more drug induced psychosis crop up on the scene and a lot more people making their way into the wonderful “mental hospitals” where they will be “diagnosed” as schizophrenic. This is absolutely stupid as hell. But it doesn’t surprise me one little bit as the drug companies continue to look for more and more avenues to increase their insane profits margin as they rape the people of this country in so many ways.

    Once again I will state that I do not see the FDA being the friend and protector of the American people.

    Thanks, but not thanks, I don’t want ketamine used on me if I end up in the hospital. Just because hospitals do something doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good or safe. I was given a nice, big, whopping shot of fentanyl when I was last in the hospital. The nurse didn’t tell me what it was and I stupidly consented to take it without asking and the damned stuff depressed my oxygen levels and sent my blood pressure plummeting. An emergency doctor was summoned to Recovery where I was to attend to me. Just because hospitals do something doesn’t mean that it’s safe nor right. Remember, medicine is the third largest killer of Americans today.

  • Forgive me if I’m wrong but the problem that I see with the group talked about in the video is that it still talks about everything in terms of “illness” and it seems like the purpose of the group is to get people to accept that they are “ill” and to be compliant with the “treatment”, which still seems to be the drugs. Perhaps I just didn’t listen and watch carefully enough. You need to quit talking about “illness” and what is wrong and begin talking about the fact that recovery and healing and well-being are possible, without the drugs for many people. It also sounds like this group is what would be called a Recovery Dialog in some ways because people supposedly leave their hats at the door and do not come as “patients”, doctors, nurses, social workers etc.

    Granted, staff in this particular “hospital” are doing something different, and it seems innovative, but I do not appreciate the emphasis on people accepting their “illness”. It’s good that the group does provide for some social support and it’s interesting that they don’t want to have anything to do with “peer support” at all. She quickly moved around that question and seemed to make it sound like everyone in the group is equal. I’d like to see how that all works out because I just find that a little difficult to believe.

  • You know, where I work we don’t break people’s arms anymore and we lock them up in seclusion a lot less than we used to do. But what we continue to do is to dismiss them as people. We still treat them as if they don’t have good sense and as if they have no intelligence. We discount anything and everything that they say, no matter what. We ignore them when they truly need someone to listen and make a human connection with them. I remarked one morning about how cold it was outside and yet so many people were out in the courtyard. Another staff person said, “Those people don’t feel the cold or the heat the same way that normal people do”. This person was serious and I just stood there with my mouth open. This is a person who is responsible for “good treatment” of the very people she claimed didn’t feel heat or cold normally in the way that we do, the we meaning the staff.

    Yes, I too am surprised at this offering here on MIA.

  • Yes, the Jewish people refused to leave Germany because they were Germans and surely the government wouldn’t even think of doing anything to them. And if there were any hints of such activity then surely they could sit down and dialogue, they would apply reason to the situation and things would be just fine.

    Unfortunately, they were terribly wrong and ended up in the gas chambers and the ovens. You are correct. In our battle with psychiatry and the drug companies trying to reason with them is not going to get us anywhere, except worse off than we were before. I am not going to sit in a circle and hold hands with my oppressors and sing Kumbaya in the hopes that they will see reason and set us free. It isn’t going to happen. As I’ve stated before, many people who opposed slavery thought that they could bring about change by reasoning with the slave owners. And we all know where that got them. Slave owners had to be forced to free the people they’d held in slavery and it took a horrendous war to accomplish this.

  • I once worked in a large retirement center/nursing home complex. I watched as Haldol was introduced to “help” the poor older people who were “upset” settle down. What actually was happening was that anyone who spoke up for themselves, called out staff for not doing their jobs, didn’t cooperate with the staff completely (like going to bed at 6:30 pm as the staff wished so that they wouldn’t have anything to do for the rest of the evening) were singled out by the nursing staff for the medical director’s attention. Their suggestion to him for what should be done for these “poor, disturbed older people who needed to calm down for their own good” was a good shot of Haldol! A week later I’d find Mrs. So and so, who was once vital and alive, sitting locked in a Geri chair. This is a reclining chair that has a table across the arms which can be locked to keep the person in the chair. Mrs. So and so would be drooling on herself and not able to carry on a simple conversation.

    Nursing homes have become very lucrative business for the drug companies. So, it doesn’t surprise me at all that they’d try this on people who’d suffered a stroke. The question is who is safe from being drugged at this point? We’re drugging kids, adolescents, older people, people with disabilities. You’re right; eventually it will be a real life scenario of the Body Snatchers.

  • The so-called antidepressants should be outlawed as any other drug which harms or kills people is outlawed. Instead they keep prescribing the damned things as helpful treatment for depression. If something doesn’t work any better than placebo and if something harms people to the point of making them suicidal or homicidal then they are not “medicine” and should be taken off the market. We shouldn’t even have to be having this discussion at all. They should be removed from the market, period. They should be taken away from GP’s and psychiatrists since they masquerade as “good treatment”.

    Instead the drug companies are allowed to continue producing them and psychiatrists and real doctors are allowed to keep prescribing them to unsuspecting or gullible people. This is a crime of epic proportions and yet nothing is done about it.

  • madmom

    Thank you for stating this. Being a former chaplain who became a chaplain to approach the work in the manner that you talk about here I totally support your views. Even though I no longer function as a chaplain this is very much part of what I try to bring to the people on the units where I work. As a former Roman Catholic/Episcopalian I can support what you say about how so much of the ministry of presence is outsourced to psychiatry, rather than ministers and others taking back their rightful ministry from the pseudo doctors. When it comes to “mental illness” they wash their hands of most everyone with issues and refer them to those who have no business dealing with people who are in the existential despair and pain that you referenced here.

  • I have the feeling that a lot of people don’t really know what they’re getting into when they seek the help of psychiatrists. When I got caught up in the system I was under the mistaken impression that psychiatrists actually took the time to listen to people so that they could find out how to go about walking with them to find better health and well-being. I guess I expected them to actually know how to do therapy and all that good stuff, rather than just forcing poisonous drugs on people. I was badly uninformed.

    I was quickly disabused of my faulty thinking and expectations upon dealing with the very first psychiatrist I dealt with. The day after I was informed about the murder of my sister in New York City I had my little meeting with the psychiatrist so that I could continue to have real talk therapy from a really great young man. I needed a “diagnosis”. That damned psychiatrist never looked at me one time and when he finally did ask me how I was doing I told him I was doing terribly. When he asked why I told him abut my sister and then I said that I felt like the whole world was coming down around me. He jumped across his desk, stabbed his finger in my face, and shouted that my response was stupid! I wanted to plant my fist between his stupid eyes!

    I thought he was just an aberration but upon meeting the second psychiatrist I realized that they were not therapists and that they didn’t give a fat damn about me or about how my life was going. I think that many people are under the wrong and misguided impressions about what psychiatrists are and by the time that they figure it out, if they do figure it out, it’s too late.

  • Rachel777

    I don’t believe that you’re too old to start over. With your wit and intelligence I think that you would do just fine starting over. Maybe it isn’t starting over but finding your place that you were originally supposed to have in life before you got tangled up with the damned system. It just may be in how we go about looking at and thinking about things. You took the first step when you decided to quit taking those damned poisons. I suspect that it may take a little time but that you could probably begin slowly doing something physical, like taking a walk outside once a day, perhaps a very short walk in the beginning but you could lengthen the time and distance once you got your stamina. I suspect that you already know all of this and I believe that there will come a day when you find better health and well-being. It just takes a little time with all of this. You taken the most important steps in the process.

  • I’m not so sure that it’s all that easy. I never told my GP that I’d been in the “hospital”, never once mentioned it and the other day she piped up and asked how my “depression” was and did I want an “antidepressant”? There seems to be some kind of special communication available to the medical community that gives all of them access to all your records.

    Some people don’t have the option of relocating.

  • Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate your honesty. It’s good to know that you’ve found healing and well-being in your life. You also have a very extraordinary psychiatrist. We all struggle in one way or another with life but we keep on keeping on, putting one foot in front of the other as we walk on down the road.

  • Marie

    Every White child born in this country has a nice, big backpack of power and privilege on their backs. They don’t notice it because it’s just an accepted fact. And most of them don’t like that backpack to be pointed out to them and the fact that they did absolutely nothing to deserve that backpack. It was granted to them simply because they are White. Every other group in this country that’s not White must struggle to get that backpack.

    I was given that backpack simply because of assumptions that White people made about me, thinking that I was White like them. I am not. I am a Native American or First Nations which is what many of us prefer to call ourselves today. But I don’t look like the typical stereotype that many White people have of First Nations peoples so they just assumed I was one of them. My grandfather wanted us to “pass” because we were living in New Mexico where the indigenous peoples were low people on the totem pole (excuse the pun but I couldn’t help it) with Hispanic people on top of them and with White people at the very top, where all the good stuff was to be found. It benefited us to pass both economically and socially. Not all of us have our hair braided and with feathers stuck in it. So, I was given my power and privilege backpack, which I didn’t earn. It was gifted to me because of faulty assumptions.

    This power and privilege thing seems to be a very difficult concept for White people to understand and accept. It’s not their fault that it’s given to them like it is, but they need to realize that it’s there on their backs and that it’s gotten them many, many things that are denied to people who aren’t White.

  • Talking about your Mom reminded me of a conversation I had with my Mom. At one time I was a great believer in the SSRI’s and became like a fanatical preacher trying to make converts of everyone so that they could get on the damned devil’s tic tacs too. I’m ashamed of that now. Anyway, I went to visit my Mother one weekend and convinced her to ask her doctor about taking them. She did and her wonderful doctor gave her a nice, big prescription of wonderful Zoloft. I was so happy to know that her great sadness, which she seldom shared with anyone else, would finally be taken care of. Two months later I was visiting her and she seemed so much happier and I observed that the wonderful Zoloft must be working for her. She looked at me and laughed and I asked her what was so funny. She told me that she’d thrown that bottle of pills away and never planned on ever taking another one. I asked her why she’d do something like that and she said that after taking them for a month she was sitting in the kitchen one day doing absolutely nothing and upon looking at the floor wondered why it was so dirty. If you’d known my mother you’d have known that she was never just sitting doing nothing. And she was a meticulous housekeeper, even though she worked 8 hour shifts in a plant doing hard labor. She said she looked around and realized that she was allowing the house to fall apart and she knew it was those damned pills. She felt numb and zombified and wasn’t going to put up with that. So out went the pills! It was the first thing that started chipping away at my great faith in the SSRI’s.

    I think it’s great that you’re doing one on one education with your parents. There’s a victory with every individual who is educated about the realities of the battle we’re fighting.

  • Only this morning I saw an ad for a “medical study”. They are looking for people whose “antidepressant” isn’t working as well as it should and they want people to take part in a study for their new “antidepressant”. They want people to take their drug as a supplement to their original devil’s tic tacs because they’re sure that their drug will jumpstart the one people were on originally and make everything work better. Then everyone and everything will be just hunky dory wonderful. I’d love to see the numbers of people who beat down the doors to sign up!

  • And no matter how much that you demand that the falsehoods that were written into your chart be changed and rectified it will never happen. They are set in stone forever.

    I got a copy of my chart four years after I was discharged from the “hospital” and only read 20 pages of it. I was so enraged by the false statements that I read that I took the entire chart and dumped it in the shred barrel outside of my office. I knew that if I read one page more that I’d leave my office and search out all the people that had written all the bull crap and at least give them a huge piece of my mind about how they manipulated the facts. I couldn’t afford to do that as I work at the very “hospital” that I was held in. I would have been fired for being unprofessional.

    You are correct. They dismiss the important things as having no value and they take what you say and twist it all around to suit their narrative about how “mentally ill” you are. As “patients” we have absolutely no voice about what it written and said about us.

  • This is often the case in medical hospitals also. I was a hospital chaplain and more than once ran into situations where some of the nurses on certain shifts on certain units would deny pain medications to people labeled as alcoholics. One case in particular sticks in my mind. I had a man on one of my units who was dying because his liver was disintegrating due to his heavy alcohol consumption. On the 11 to 7 shift the nurses would “forget” to give him his pain meds because they were judgmental concerning his alcoholism, even though he was literally screaming in pain. They never expected to see me on their shift and I caught them in their hypocritical, judgmental behavior and reported their behinds to the units nurse manager. A hospital is only as good as your nursing staff. Personal judgments have no place on hospital units.

  • But they sure can market all kinds of drugs for supposed illnesses. Dry eye is now an illness according to the advertisements that want you to buy these drops for your eyes. I counted at least nine commercials for drugs in about an hour and a half. “Ask your doctor………..”

    Americans are like sheep when it comes to this stuff. We believe it simply because we see it on television. It’s amazing that people don’t seem to realize that they’re being manipulated by drug companies each and every day as they sit in front of their televisions.

  • I think that we do know what is causing a lot if not most of human suffering. It’s the problems in our social fabric where the rich are getting even richer and the poor and the middle class and drowning. It’s the problems with our dear government; just look at what’s not been happening for the last 27 days, to the detriment of 800,000 people and their family members. It’s the not caring and the go to hell attitudes that are so apparent from so many people from so many sides. It’s the misery of those who live on the streets or in their cars, the misery of school children who come to school hungry. It’s the racism and bigotry and hatred of those not like me that’s on the rise in a nation that thought it had put all of this behind it. It’s the old who sit in their rundown apartments without food or heat. Or, it’s the old who’ve been shuttled off to live in not so wonderful nursing homes. I think we do know what causes the suffering and we don’t do a whole lot about any of it. It’s the suffering of all the children in this country who must struggle to survive the sexual abuse perpetrated on them by those who are the very people who should be protecting them from such abuse. I think we know very well what is causing the suffering.

  • The brains of people who’ve been labeled as “schizophrenic” are no different from those not so labeled……until they are given the neuroleptics. Psychiatrists stated that peoples’ brains were shrinking because of the “illness” and this is why you had to get people on the drugs as soon as you could. But one of their very own did a study which proved that it was the neuroleptics that were doing the shrinking. Her name is Nancy Andreasen and she is the godmother of biopsychiatry. She did a study and the results said the culprit is the drugs. She thought she’d messed up the study so she did it all over again and got the same results. She then sat on the results for two years before finally publishing them. So….people with “schizophrenia” don’t have shrinking brains because of the “illness” but because of the very “treatment” that supposedly heals the “illness”, but of course we all know that this doesn’t happen. They don’t heal anything but they do cause a great deal of damage and they ruin peoples’ lives. There are also animal studies that show that the drugs shrink brains. These drugs are not useful for anything else except controlling behavior. They have always been and will always be tranquilizers that control behavior but do not cure a supposed “illness”.

  • They probably found out who gave you the pen because they most likely had cameras and audio 24/7. Someone spent a lot of time going back through the films until they nailed the frame where the pen was given to you. Staff where I work would also be fired for giving you a pen. And you are absolutely correct about the HIPPA violation. You would at least get a very hefty fine if not jail time.

    Everything that you state here is correct from what I experienced as a “patient” on the unit and now as a staff of that “hospital”. My place has so many cameras it’s unbelievable and the audio is good enough to hear a pin drop, literally. The one good thing that’s come out of having the surveillance is that we’ve been able to catch staff who were abusive to people. We don’t have much physical abuse, almost none that I can ferret out, but the verbal abuse is much more difficult to catch and the system pins that down perfectly now. The staff who were once predatory on the people in the units has dropped significantly. Such staff are prosecuted and many end up in jail. You can’t catch everyone right away but we do catch them.

    One other thing that I find interesting is that our police force, and we have a real police force trained for the “hospital” itself are often the most loved and appreciated staff in the entire hospital because of their attitudes and training. Most of the people on the units really appreciate them. I can remember late one night when I was a “patient” and ready to go off when they called one of the policemen on duty and had him to sit down and talk with me about why I was angry. He was very appropriate and helpful to me. Some of the best “treatment” comes from the police women and men and certainly not from the psychiatrists.

    I also agree that there should be an outside party to watch the video cameras.

  • I once asked some psychiatrists why it was so important for them to make people give up their delusions when those delusions were not harmful to the person or to anyone else. Their only answer, over and over, was that it was important to move the person into consensus reality. When I asked why it was so important for them to be in consensus reality concerning all things they couldn’t give me an answer. I suspect that its exactly all about social control. And the psychiatrists want to be the ones doing the controlling. It’s a power struggle. There’s a famous story that circulates where I work about a certain psychiatrist who was infamous for holding 1 to 2 hour long master treatment plan meetings with certain “patients” so that he could make them admit or believe certain things. The average treatment plan meeting averages 15 minutes, which is also a scandal for other reasons since this means that nothing of real importance is ever discussed. It’s just a chance to have the “patient” rubber stamp the treatment plan. Both methods are abusive. Anyway, that psychiatrist no longer works at the “hospital”.

  • It won’t do any good to sneak a phone in to someone on the units because they do periodic room checks where they go through everyone’s things and search for contraband. And even if the person was able to keep the phone on them all the time they would eventually be reported to the staff by one of the other patients. There is no privacy on the units; anything you try do is eventually seen by other patients, or everyone hears about it. There are no such things as secrets on the units.

  • Your post made me think about a lot of things concerning the state “hospital” where I work. At one time it was not a locked facility except for the forensic units. People were allowed to continue going to work or school and they came back at night. People could go to the bench overlooking a main street and smoke and some even went down to the bar not far from the “hospital” and drank a couple of beers in the afternoon. The interesting thing is that people didn’t try to escape or run off like they constantly do now. Then, an unfortunate accident happened involving a “mental patient” and the place became a lock down facility. It’s interesting that, in many ways, the “hospital” was a much better place back then than it is now even though there’s all this talk of “evidence based treatment” and the like. Now it is much like you describe and the powers that be will state that “treatment” is so much better now than it was in the old days!

  • Sounds like a great plan in theory but in practice when you come to visit people where I work in a state “hospital” you must leave everything in your pockets and your purse in a locker before you’re allowed to go back to visitation. So, unless you’re hiding a tiny camera on yourself there’s no way to get any photos for documentation. You must even walk through a metal detector.

  • Yes, he was responsible for a reforming of the Church with the creation of his new order of religious men and women. But of course, over time it went right back to its corrupt ways and shunning the whole idea of poverty as a way of life. And of course, the Franciscans eventually carried on a huge battle against orders like the Dominicans.

  • Something is really wrong with the medical system when you go to the ER and get charged $800 for a bag of saline solution that they gave me intravenously for rehydration. Something is greatly wrong with the system when I was given two fizzy potassium pills in a glass of water and was charged $400 for them. Medicare takes one look at bills like that and reduce the price that they’ll pay the hospital and the hospital takes it with no problem. This tells me that they could be giving these services for lower prices in the first place but they do this because they can gouge insurance companies.

  • I have to disagree about Medicare. I’ve had some very expensive surgeries this past year and underwent other expensive procedures as well as trips to the Emergency Room. All of these things amounted to tens of thousands of dollars in bills, bills that I’d never be able to pay on my own. Medicare has taken care of almost everything for me. I’ve ended up having to pay about four thousand dollars of my own money, which is a tiny fraction of what the bills actually were. The problem is not with Medicare but with the hospitals and doctors who charge outrageous prices for their services. There’s something badly wrong with the medical system when you end up being billed ten dollars for a Band-Aid. And the interesting thing is that Medicare refuses to pay certain parts of the bills and the hospitals and doctors accept whatever Medicare gives them without any flap at all, which tells me that they’re still probably getting paid more than what they should be.

    I have only great things to say about Medicare. Without it I’d never be able to have any medical care at all.

  • With the flu vaccine it’s almost like taking a dart and throwing it at a bunch of names of flu strains. Which one they hit with the dart is the one that make the vaccine for. They are predicting which flu strain will be the predominant one for that season and then they make the vaccine for it. So, in all actuality they are doing nothing more than making a SWAG, or what is more commonly known as making a scientific wild-assed guess!

  • Roberta

    Thank goodness you realized what was happening and you researched things. Glad that you were able to do this for your father.

    The experience that Roberta recounts here is just one of thousands taking place all across the country. I’m not minimizing her and her father’s experiences but just want to emphasize that they are not alone by any means. What more do we need to push for the removal of psychiatry as a specialty of medicine? And of course, there are many other doctors who aren’t psychiatrists who are failing in their calling as healers because they’ve allied themselves with the drug companies and are satisfied with their positions as pushers and shills for the drug companies.

    This problem is not confined to psychiatry. It’s time to begin talking back to doctors rather than just meekly bowing down to their instructions, and what often seem like absolute commands. Recently I was scheduled for a procedure and I told the doctor that we weren’t going to do anything until she answered each and every one of my questions about what was going to happen. She looked at me as if she couldn’t believe that I didn’t meekly accept things as they’d been laid out for me. And she tried to hold information back from me but I could tell from her actions and the way she didn’t look at me so I confronted her again and forced her to tell me everything. They are not going to tell you any more than they think that they can get away with so you have to keep pushing them until you feel satisfied that they’ve been as honest with you as you can make them be. I’m disgusted with doctors in general and don’t put up with much from them. Consequently I’m described as “prickly”, uncooperative, noncompliant, etc. Too damned bad. I now realize why my family didn’t go to doctors while I was growing up. My grandmother and mother were indigenous Wise Women who treated our ills at home with native remedies. They did their best to keep us out of the clutches of “medicine” carried out by the White medical system.

  • Isn’t that why they went into the field of psychiatry in the first place????? All they want to do is spend fifteen minutes doing “med” checks and then shove the person out of their office so that they can run another person in for the same purpose. I’ve met only two psychiatrists in my entire life who were willing to sit down and listen to people and then embrace the struggle to find some good answers to the person’s issues, rather than prescribe the convenient pills. And I’ve dealt with quite a few psychiatrists in the past fifteen years, both as a “patient” and as a co-worker (although most of them do not accept me as on an equal par with them as a staff person).

  • Could her name be Nancy Andreasen by some chance? She is the Godmother of Biological psychiatry par excellence and did a study that she originally thought would show that it was the “schizophrenia” that causes the brain shrinkage and damage but in the end her study proved that it’s the neuroleptics that cause said damage. She was so shocked with the results that she did the study a second time and ended up getting the same results. Then she sat on the results for two years before she finally ended up publishing them. Then she stated that people still needed to stay on the drugs, even though her results show otherwise!

  • Pinnel was an interesting man. He worked together with another doctor who was the director of another asylum. I think this doctor’s name was Jean Baptist Pinot, or something like that. This man hired former inmates of the asylum to work in the asylum because they were more compassionate to the people in their care. And in fact, he had once been an inmate in the very asylum that he became director of. The concept of peer workers goes back much further than what most people think.

  • Oh, the drugs work all right, they just don’t have any affect on “depression”. They numb you to your feelings and emotions, they ruin your sex life, they make you into a zombie, they make many people consider suicide or homicide and the list of the things they do goes on and on. But they don’t help people with “depression”.

    This is why we need to get rid of the medical specialty of psychiatry. All it does it come up with new ways to destroy peoples’ lives. Name one thing positive that psychiatry does for people in distress, name one thing.

  • A lot of people don’t know this but pregnant women who took Effexor often birth babies who go into respiratory arrest soon after being born. In hospitals that are well informed they have a team of respiratory therapists waiting along with all the other staff who help with birthing. But I’m sure that the doctors who put pregnant women on this stuff have no idea about the problems that they’re causing for not only the woman but for her child too.

  • No, we don’t need to “move the profession towards a more rational, less drug based approach”. What we need to do is remove psychiatry as a branch of medicine, period. What else are psychiatrists good for, with the exception of Breggin and Dan Fisher and a few more, other than forcing drugs on people? In all the dealings that I’ve had with psychiatrists, both as a “patient” and as a fellow staff member, only one even came close to knowing how to do any real talk therapy! If their lives depended on being able to do therapy they’d all be dead. They don’t even teach psychiatrists how to do therapy in med school and none of them are required to undergo any kind of psychotherapy to discover their own issues that drive them without their knowledge. They are some of the least self-aware people that I’ve ever had to deal with. Many of the “patients” that I deal with on a daily basis have much more insight into themselves and the world around them than the people forcing them into “treatment”.

  • There is all kinds of feedback given from people that have been brutalized by shock, but psychiatry won’t listen! I’ve listened to “patients” pleading with their psychiatrist not to send them for the next shock “treatment” and the psychiatrist just sat there with a blank face and told the staff to send the young man on his way for “treatment”. It was awful and disgusting and I agree that psychiatrists who insist on doing this to people need to be sent to jail…….or they need to get a nice dose of their own “medicine” by receiving a few shock “treatments” themselves.

  • To stop working implies that they worked in the first place and we all know that they do not balance brain chemicals nor do they deal with the “depression” people are dealing with. In fact, the damned things can cause you to become suicidal or homicidal, they make you into a zombie separated from feelings and emotions, and you go into withdrawal when you try to quit taking them. The emperor is naked!!!

  • I wouldn’t call the damage done to my grandmother in the late 50’s as “alleged”. Shock turned a vibrant woman who was an artist, gardener, and Wise Woman among her Native American people into an empty husk of a woman. After the shock all she did was sit at the kitchen table staring at the floor and drinking coffee and chain smoking cigarettes. She didn’t even recognize me as her grandson. No more art, no more gardening, no more anything. This was a woman who could go out into her yard and call hummingbirds down to sit in the upturned palms of her hands, before the shock. Please don’t tell me that this was “alleged” damage.

    I’m interested in the fact that you became a psychiatrist when you are a person with lived experience. There are other psychiatrists out there with lived experience but the ones I’m thinking about don’t take part in the drugging or the shocking of people. Why are you a psychiatrist?

  • So, it sounds like you’re thinking more about yourself than the true and real welfare of the older gentleman you described. So, you would give shock to save your behind at all costs? Maybe it would be better to get out of psychiatry period and do something else.

    So why don’t you just take a baseball bat and hit the man in the head with it? You’ll get the same kind of results as you would from giving him shock and I guess you’d save your butt at the same time.

  • “Lets call it what it is, psycho-pharmaceutical colonialism.”

    Exactly. The Japanese culture never had a word in their language for “depression”. They did appreciate sadness and the things in life that can cause us to be sad. This is why they have an entire historical period in which there was a large emphasis for the appreciation of even the smallest things in life because life is oftentimes difficult and short. I may be wrong but I want to say it was the Edo period. This period and its philosophy was responsible for some of the greatest art and literature ever produced ty the Japanese people.

    And then the Western drug companies and Western psychiatry saw a lucrative new place to, as you call it so aptly, colonize and they sent their front men into Japan. In the end they were very successful in convincing the Japanese people that depression was real and that it’s an illness that you need to be drugged for. So, psychiatry and the drug companies are not only destroying countless lives, they are responsible for the destruction of a culture, society, and philosophy. The philosophy worked very well for Japanese society until the system got its hands on everything. It’s disgusting.

  • The Cat

    Your comment about the war on drugs reminded me of something. In the Nixon administration they created a program that was going to use psychiatric drugs on the children of the inner cities. The man who was the mastermind of this program stated that Black people were no better than monkeys who only lived to war with each other and have numerous children. His program was going to stop this.

    Somehow Dr. Peter Breggin found out about it and marshalled forces to counteract it. He was successful, thank goodness. So, here we are in the present time when they’re trying to drug everyone’s kids and they’re getting away with it.

  • Great point! You can try to explain to them why you ended up in their wonderful “care” and they sit there looking at their watch and being very impatient, if they even let you talk at all in the first place. But of course, they’re great experts on everyone else’s life and they know it and who are you to try to dissuade them from this fact??? How dare you tell them that you know your own body and mind better than they do!! What blasphemy!

  • I agree madmom, you really have to wonder why they offer things like this. I’ve had two major surgeries this past year and was approached with all kinds of pain meds that I did not want nor did I need them. I have a bottle of hydrocodone that I never needed setting in my medicine cabinet. Don’t know why I’m even keeping it and need to take it down to one of those places where they collect prescription drugs that aren’t used.

  • This is the thing that interests me a lot. She knows the truth after proving it twice with her studies. She stated her findings and said that you couldn’t dispute them. And then she chooses to spout the same old line that psychiatrists always use about “having to take your medicines”. How do they live in such a conflicted world without becoming mad themselves? Is money and power so important to them that they can lie to themselves even after seeing the truth right there in front of them? I just don’t understand it at all.

  • Thank you for writing this and for your honesty. I practice mindfulness and do not find it an easy process at all. I am sickened by the way it’s been turned into another money making commodity. Unfortunately too many people will take the bait hook, line, and sinker and will most likely find themselves in problems. It’s just another thing in our great and frenetic search for constant happiness.

  • Nancy Andreasen proved in her 2007 study that so-called schizophrenia is not the cause of brain shrinkage. She is the god mother of biopsychiatry and yet she had enough guts and moral fortitude to admit that it’s the neuroleptics that cause human brains to shrink. She even carried out her study twice because she thought she’d made a mistake when the study showed that the drugs were the cause of the problem and not the supposed “disease”. Then she sat on the results for two years because she didn’t want to publicize them. And then she finally published the study. But then she said that it is important for people to continue to take the damned drugs! Go figure.

  • We can talk all we want about informed consent and how important it is but this is not going to accomplish a thing. How are you going to force the psychiatrists in places like where I work, a state “hospital”, to truly inform people about the effects of the drugs that they’re forced to take? If they truly informed people of such effects there would be a huge rebellion on every unit where people are held because the truth is that these drugs are harmful. Some people might choose to take the drugs anyway rather than deal with the voices or visions, but my suspicion is that most would push back about taking them. One of the big reasons that informed consent is nonexistent in such institutions is to keep people from fighting back. Informed consent would change the entire paradigm of how these institutions would be forced to run and this would be problematical for clinicians. So, how are you going to force psychiatrists to truly inform people about the drugs that they force people to take? You can work with social workers and psychologists and the like but they’re not the ones making people take the drugs.

  • If I understand correctly, trauma informed care doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything for the trauma survivor. It is raising the consciousness of the staff so that they don’t do things that continue to traumatize trauma survivors. It isn’t the actual doing of trauma work to help people transcend the terrible things that they’ve experienced. As Noel mentioned, trauma work is long and difficult, something that the system doesn’t want to indulge in. So, institutions can proudly call themselves trauma informed but this doesn’t mean that they’re doing trauma work with people to help them resolve their issues. Granted, trying to not re-traumatize people is important but that’s only the beginning of the real work. Most institutions are not going to do that.

  • A very important point. I often wondered when reading about John Weir Perry (I hope that I got the names in the right order) whether he ever realized that not every person he dealt with was having a spiritual experience. It seemed like that was his big explanation for a lot of experiences but I may not be totally accurate about this. He did seem to have a lot of success with helping people to get their lives back.

  • The community mental health clinics are a joke. They do more damage to people than they ever help. And I believe that the day treatment programs are just a way for them to make money because everyone who is discharged from the state “hospital” where I work are assigned to such treatment programs. Everyone is assigned. These programs meet five days a week from 8 am to 3 pm and are totally useless. And they want to keep you in said programs for months. They just string people along. The only good thing is that they can’t make you attend them unless you are in trouble with the law. Unfortunately, almost everyone these days is in trouble with the law because of the way that the system has arranged things.

  • I wouldn’t be so hard on yourself if I were you. There were numbers of us who took the bait; hook, line, and sinker. How were we to know any different from what the drug companies and psychiatrists and GP’s were claiming that they did for people? They were all so convincing in their pushing of these dangerous drugs. I can remember how I got snookered onto them. A person I really respected, whom I thought was well informed, suggested that I ask my doctor for an SSRI. He said that they were so much better than the old “antidepressants” that they first came up with. Trazadone is dangerous enough that you can overdose on it and die. I’d never had any contact at all with the system, I still thought that psychiatrists actually sat down and listened to you and did real therapy! So I went to my GP and asked for an SSRI and he was more than happy to give me a script to fill. Good ol’ Zoloft! Of course it didn’t do a damned thing, except mess up all kinds of things that I never knew that it affected. I wonder how much of a bonus the drug rep for my GP was getting for pushing these damned things. Then we went on the great search for the “antidepressant” that would work better than the one that I was on at the time. I eventually ended up on 250 mg. of Effexor XR and that helped send me over the edge. I think I’m really lucky to be alive after my bout with “antidepressants”.

    The problem today is how do we go about making sure that more people don’t get snookered onto the damned things?

  • Why can’t someone just bring themselves to state very clearly that the reason for quitting these devil’s tic tacs is that the damned things don’t work and that they’re dangerous to your health and well-being? The damned things don’t work any better than a placebo! Kirsch showed this years ago and yet we’re still standing out there in the crowd oowing and awing over how wonderful the emperor’s new set of clothes are! You hear the little kids honestly point out, every once in a while, that the emperor is buck assed naked, but then someone hushes the kid up and hustles them off into the crowd. I’m sick to death of it; the damned things almost caused my death ten years ago.

  • Oh yeah! You never want to tell a psychiatrist that you’re Jesus! You will definitely find yourself locked up for quite a while. I don’t know why this is because few of the psychiatrists I’ve dealt with ever seem to be much interested in religion but you’ll get yourself in very hot water for telling them that you’re Jesus.

  • Actually, all the mystical traditions of all the world religions, including Christianity, teach that we are all divine because we all have the One, Transcendent, and Eternal Consciousness. All sentient beings are divine. But to say this out loud in public usually sets off some repercussions. There is a theory that psychosis in early adulthood is an awakening realization of this but most people find it difficult to compute and so they fracture. Who knows? I believe that each person should be allowed to believe what they want about their spirituality, no matter what. Thanks for writing.

  • Interesting point about psychiatrists’ fears about who that might become if they allowed themselves to deal with such things. I don’t think that most of them would even come close to recognizing a spiritual awakening if it slapped them in the face.

  • Ekaterina

    According to the teaching of the Buddha you have always been a Buddha. No one can ever take that away from you. Buddha said that a sleeping buddha lives within each person, waiting to awaken through enlightenment. This is why people who practice Buddhism keep statues of Buddha, not to worship since Buddha is not God, but to remind us when we look at the statues that we too contain a buddha. And if the Dalai Lama can be the fourteenth incarnation of the historical Buddha than why can’t you be too? Or maybe I’m getting mixed up a bit. The Dalai Lama may be the incarnation of the Buddha of Compassion, Aveloketishvara. But you get my point. I hope that you don’t let your enlightenment be stymied by the likes of the ignorant psychiatrist that dealt with you.

  • Ohwhatisthatlight

    And who are you to decide what a correct belief is? Just because Ekaterina doesn’t believe the same way that you do does not make her beliefs any less meaningful and important. Who died and made you the great judge of belief systems. In one fell swoop you just did away with the belief systems of Hinduism and Buddhism. Who are you to decide such things?

  • So, once again we placate the people driving the system rather than tell the accurate and literal truth about what their agenda is actually doing to people? Are we to be more worried about offending people driving the system than working to free ourselves from the debilitating system by speaking the truth?

    This sounds very much, once again, like the ongoing conversation about wanting to have a dialog with psychiatrists and people driving the system in order to get them to listen to us. And to this I will once again say that dialoging with slave owners in the South didn’t get them to change their minds about owning people whose skin was a darker color than theirs. We had to experience a civil war that almost destroyed this country in order to stop slavery. And even that didn’t really stop the slavery itself, it just went underground and took on different forms like share cropping and Jim Crow crap.

    Sorry, I’m not going to try to sooth the feelings of the people driving the system. It’s time to speak the truth as best as we can rather than mincing around and being worried if we’re going to offend anyone.

  • Someone mentioned that some of these new “diagnoses” were proposed as men washed their hands at the sink of the men’s room. And the person wasn’t kidding, they were serious. The DSM is just a pile of bull shit. Also, Paula pointed out that the committees that create new editions of the DSM are composed of white, upper class men, with very few exceptions.

  • Thank you for posting her name here. She was on one of the DSM committees and was so disgusted by the lack of true science informing any of the new diagnoses being proposed that she quit in protest. She said that it all depended on who yelled and screamed the loudest in the arguments that ensued and that they took votes and that’s how things made it into the DSM. Really scientific!!!!!

    Yes, she did a great number on Francis, exposing how he was paid by a drug company to promote their product. And now he has the gall to sit there as if he’s the most squeaky clean psychiatrist ever! If there is a hell there will be a special place there for psychiatrists, especially unethical, lying, dishonest psychiatrists.

  • I want to see the psychiatric institution that actually does real trauma work with the people in it’s grasp. Can anyone give me the name of such an institution? I don’t think that there is one. If you did true trauma work you wouldn’t hold people against their will, nor would you force neuroleptic drugs on them. The “mental health system” does not practice trauma care. Some institutions can claim to be trauma-informed but this doesn’t mean that they do actual trauma work. What it does mean is that they try to inform staff and raise their consciousness to the point that the staff understands that the people they’re supposedly caring for are trauma survivors. The intent in this consciousness raising attempt is to keep staff from triggering and re-traumatizing people all over again. all over again in the name of “good treatment”.

  • I believe that survivor came first and now we’re “consumers”. I suspect that we ourselves chose the word survivor and I know for sure that the system chose “consumer”; I don’t think that they liked the idea that when you survive it’s usually something awful or horrible or difficult. “Consumer” is so much more bland and acceptable and it makes it seem as if we’re truly participating in the system out of free choice. I’m not a “consumer” when I’m forced to buy or use something. I never have used the word and never intend to. I’m a survivor, plain and simple.

  • I didn’t see anything listed in the comments about how this psychiatrist rigged things so that a particular neuroleptic would be used more often, obviously benefiting a drug company. This is the same thing that Beiderman did to benefit Johnson and Johnson so that their drug would be used to treat “bi-polar” in children. He is not as squeaky clean as he’d like to present himself. I can’t remember her name but a woman who is an author, activist, and I think a psychologist wrote about this and has lectured about it.

  • I never could figure that out when I was a “patient” on the unit where I was held. I’m a severe introvert and can’t stand lots of noise all the time. On the unit where I was once held they now have two televisions and most of the time one of them is blaring the usual stuff and the other is playing a movie, which almost no one is watching. I don’t understand this at all.

  • I’m hesitantly willing to agree with the cat and don’t think it’s too cynical at all. I am not happy at all with the direction this country is taking and I’m appalled at the murders that took place in the past week here in the United States. We are leaderless at this point since neither political party is of much use at this point in time and good ol’ 45 thinks only of himself. Pipe bombs, murdering people in houses of worship, killing people simply because of their race……and there is no one to lead us……It’s time for an antiauthoritarian to step forth to lead us…..

  • According to studies that have been done on stigma and the various groups that practice it against the so-called “mentally ill” guess what groups is right at the top of the list for the biggest offenders? DOCTORS!!! I listened to Grand Rounds at the University Medical Center where I live and the big expert on stigma and the “mentally ill” was talking and he wasn’t very popular all of a sudden with most of the doctors in the audience, especially the psychiatrists. I could barely keep from laughing out loud. They all puffed up like a bunch of angry toads!

  • I have no problem with people suffering from real chronic pain getting disability or accommodation. However, after working for more than fifteen years in medical and psychiatric hospitals I’ve seen a lot of interesting things happen surrounding the treatment of pain and not all of them are necessarily good. That’s my humble opinion. I also suspect that it’s easier for doctors to put people on opioids or other addictive pain killers than it is for them to work to help their patients find alternatives that may work as well or almost as well. The day of the country doctor who sat down with people and actually investigated what was going on in their lives is long gone. You have doctors rushing in for a person’s appointment, entering information on her or his computer, dashing off a script and telling them to fill it as they rush out the door. And of course you have the drug companies sending out their reps to the doctors’ offices pushing all of the drugs that they can. The well being of the drug reps relies on how many drugs that they can push and on how many scripts the doctors write for their drugs. They can lose their jobs if they don’t make quotas set by management. So they push and the doctors prescribe like crazy.

    Last year I had two major surgeries. I didn’t have any pain at all, surprisingly. I took absolutely no pain meds while in the hospital, none. But when both of the surgeons got ready to send me home they gave me a big fat prescription for opioids and demanded that I agree to fill them before they’d let me go home. I don’t know how they were going to enforce such a demand since they certainly didn’t go home with me. But both of them pushed the opioids on me. I filled the first prescription and lied and said that I’d fill the second one. I was amazed at how quickly both of them pushed the drugs without even asking me if I was experiencing any pain.

    When I awoke in Recovery after the second surgery I was feeling fine, no pain and able to function well. The nurse asked me if I wanted a pain shot and I told her that I didn’t have any pain. She kept pushing the shot and finally told me that she knew that the surgeons used pain blocks on people and then when the block wore off the person writhed in pain in their beds. Well, I certainly didn’t want to writhe so I accepted the shot even though I had no pain. Stupid me. In less than two minutes I began feeling very badly. The nurse sent me to the second recovery room for One Day Surgery where the young nurse noticed that I was obviously very uncomfortable and immediately took my blood pressure and my blood oxygen level. My blood pressure was plummeting and my oxygen levels were in the low 80’s. She informed me that I wasn’t going home and she was calling a doctor. When he arrived he asked me if I’d been given a shot and I said yes and he asked me if I knew what it was. When I said no he said that I’d been given fentanyl! Granted, it was my fault for letting that nurse talk me into taking the shot in the first place, I should have listened to my gut. My point is that I think that too many people are too quick to jump to the drugs when it comes to pain.

  • How do you know that John Jr. is obviously on neuroleptics? How do you know that Nash Sr. was happy to leave his son in misery? It is unusual that Nash Sr. didn’t know that his son had visual and auditory hallucinations but I don’t see what that has to do with his son being on neuroleptics.

  • Agreed. The entire medical establishment needs to be regulated so that they can’t widen the nets of “illness” to catch more people for themselves and the drug companies. Doctors of all specialties are being led by the nose by drug reps and drug companies and it’s disgusting. We are becoming an ill society at the creation of the drug companies and their shills that we call doctors.

  • I’m sorry, but childhood bi-polar is a bunch of bull feces. This specious “diagnosis” was created by Joseph Beddermin (sp) for a drug company, for which he was paid one million dollars. Children are not bi-polar. So I wonder how many children have had their brains altered by neuroleptics because of this man’s greed. It’s disgusting and yet parents are letting their children be given these drugs because they believe it when they’re told that their children are “bi-polar”.

  • Good point.

    I’ve been battling with medical doctors for almost ten years. I’m fine with the GP that I have now but it took us a while for her to understand how our relationship was going to function. I told her during our first meeting that her job was to inform and advise and that my job was to make the decisions and that if she thought it was going to work in the reverse then we couldn’t form a patient-doctor relationship. She does well. I can’t say the same for one who told me during my first meeting with him that I was going to take statins whether I liked it or not. Needless to say, that was our first and our last meeting. I told him that I had some choice in the matter and when he asked how I figured that I pointed to my feet, got up, and walked out of the office. I did not pay the bill even though they handed it over to a collection agency.

    I believe that a lot of this attitude is set by their education in med school. However, one of the problems is that doctors usually are the best students in school from grade school through college and are always given preferential treatment. They come to expect this. Many of them come from privileged families where their parents are doctors or lawyers themselves and so they haven’t experienced many people saying no to them. It’s interesting how many med students and baby doctors feel that it’s not necessary for them to recognize anyone else, like passing people in the hall and saying good morning. We have a teaching unit in the “hospital” where I work and we have med students and interns who rotate through during the year. Many of them have to be forced to say hello as they pass staff in the hallways or on the unit. I’m not sure whether it’s a matter of arrogance or fear of where they’re at since most of them are never going to choose psychiatry as their specialty but they’re forced to do a psych rotation.

  • Yes, it would be interesting to find out just exactly what happened to him to get him to make a 180 degree turnabout like he did. I wonder if it was at this point that he began running around with pails of cat brains to conventions, trying to convince people that toxoplasmosis was responsible for schizophrenia? I wonder if anyone has ever asked him about why he made such an abrupt change in his views?

  • We all know who has a clear lack of objectivity and it isn’t Peter Gotzsche. It’s good ol’ E. Fuller Torrey. Wasn’t he the one who went around to conventions with buckets of cats’ brains because he had some far fetched theory about schizophrenia?

    Why is it that psychiatry keeps winning against anyone and everyone who speaks out against it? At least they don’t burn heretics at the stake these days!

  • Gandi is no different than any other person. We are all full of these contradictions. He was a born Hindu, with many of the prejudices of his religion, although he was greatly enlightened in other areas. Claiming he was terrible because of his views on caste paints him as a very black and white individual, stripping him of his humanity and making him into a paper caricature of a person.

    You can find the very same thing with Jesus of Nazareth. He was born and raised a good Jew, although the Jews of Judea didn’t recognize anyone from Galilee, or Northern Palestine, or Israel, to be a good Jew. They thought that the Jews of Galilee were not true Jews because they had contact and relations with Gentiles. Anyway, both the Jews of Galilee (Northern Palestine) and of Judea all looked down on anyone who came from Samaria, which was the middle province of Palestine. The reason for this was that the Samaritans had polluted the Jewish religion with pagan beliefs, creating a syncretized religion that wasn’t Jewish. Everyone hated Samaritans. Usually, people traveling from Judea to Galilee and from Galilee to Judea traveled out of their way to avoid going through Samaria because to travel through there would pollute them, making them unfit to worship in the Temple in Jerusalem until they’d gone through lots of purification rites. Jesus is very unusual because he travels through Samaria with little concern for propriety and custom.

    So, we have the story of the Samaritan (or Canaanite) woman who asked Jesus to heal her sick child. Jesus’ first response to her was not very nice at all because he essentially asked her what she was doing, a Samaritan, asking him, a good Jew, for anything. It was like he said, “How dare you even speak to me!” And then she zinged him with the line about even the dogs get to eat the crumbs from under the master’s table This is a play on words since Jews referred to Samaritans as sychars, or dogs. And as we know from the story, Jesus is taken aback and has to rethink things and then responds in a truly human and kindly manner. Jesus was a product of his times and society and had the very same prejudices as all the rest of his culture. This is one of the most interesting stories in all of the four gospels that we have and yet you never hear it preached about from the pulpit on Sundays, probably because it shows a very prejudiced and human Jesus. This story is important because it shows why Jesus was truly a great person. He could rethink things, even things that he’d always held as gospel truth. This is the mark of an amazing person, at least in my humble opinion.

    All this business with the Samaritans is why Jesus used a Samaritan as the hero of one of his best known parables. Up to the time of his telling of this parable he had lots of followers but after he told it all but the twelve left him. Everyone thought he was crazy because he even told such a story. In one gospel version even his family thought he was crazy and they went to get him. It was an affront to their religious dignity. This is why, in the gospel, that Jesus turned at this point and asked the twelve whether they were going to leave him also. There was no way in the world that there could ever be a good Samaritan! I believe that this is one of his greatest parables and, in my own belief I think that he was only able to tell such a remarkable story after his encounter with the woman about her sick child.

    Well, I digress but my point is this; all of us have our issues and our inconsistencies in thinking, even Gandhi and even Jesus of Nazareth.

  • There are no such things as side effects of a drug. Drugs cause effects, some beneficial and some not so beneficial. To call the not so beneficial effects “side effects” I believe to be a word game to minimize what the drugs truly do to people. I feel it’s much more honest to say “the effects of the drug” period.

  • I can’t find my copy of the keynote address. It’s missing in action. It’s probably way at the back of one of the drawers in my desk. However, I did find another interesting article. It’s an article entitled The 1942 ‘euthanasia debate in the American Journal of Psychiatry written by Jay Joseph. It can be found in History of Psychiatry 2005; 16; 171. The online version of this article can be found at: http//hpy.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/16/2/171

  • I tried going to the APA archives to find the keynote address of 1941. Guess what? The keynote address for the APA’s annual meeting for 1941 is missing! When you Google it you can see the line drawn through it and the word missing. I find this interesting and certainly not working to promote the truth. I guess that the APA doesn’t want it to be bandied about that they allowed a speaker to give such an address.

  • They said that the “useless eaters” should not be allowed to live and pass on their genes that would affect the dear and wonderful volk. The volk is like the spirit and body of the German nation. It’s a particularly German way of describing who they were; the best and most wonderful of all the peoples of Europe, according to them. This is where the idea of the master race came from, the perfect people. This idea goes back a long ways in German thinking and is not something that came about just because of the Nazi rise to power. Of course, the Nazis fanned this idea of the volk to the extreme and used it to incite the German people.

  • Glad you mentioned the editorial. In 1941 at the annual meeting of the APA the keynote speaker spoke in favor of killing the mentally ill. People still don’t believe this when I tell them but I’ve got a copy of the speech. The only two responses against the speaker’s address were against his proposal, not because of the idea of killing innocent people, but because the two people wondered who would do the manual labor of garbage collection etc. carried on by the “feeble minded” and the “mentally ill”?

  • Psychiatry most certainly was linked to eugenics in the 1930’s during the rise of the Nazis in Germany. I’ve written about how they did it on numerous occasions here so won’t go into it again. They not only sterilized “mental patients” they murdered them in great numbers. Hitler and the Nazis took over the program to further the destruction of the Jewish nation, and everyone else who opposed their power. The “mentally ill” were referred to as “useless eaters” and there was an entire campaign with posters and speeches and all that to incite the common German family person and worker to rise up against the injustice of allowing these “useless eaters” to take the food out of the mouths of their more deserving children. It’s scary how quickly a society can be turned so easily to accomplish the ends of a particular group.

  • Suicide was also my default setting for quite a while. And, like you, a cat taught me how to create new and different default settings. And like your cat, my cat is one cantankerous individual. His name is Sweeney Todd so that should tell you something.

    I also agree with you in that I feel that most of us deal with these feelings by ourselves. Thank you for your post.

  • The real drug effect has to do with ruining your sex life, making you into a zombie by distancing you from your feelings and emotions, and oftentimes making you suicidal or homicidal. There is very little to no effect on the depression that people take these damned things for in the first place. Frankly, these things are the devil’s tic tacs and nothing else. Many people find that they can’t get off them or have a very difficult time getting off them when there’s no benefit and they want to quit them. There are many real drug effects but they have absolutely nothing to do with helping depression. But GP’s and psychiatrists are prescribing the things like candy to everyone.

  • I believe you’ve pointed out one of the major issues that results with drugging kids to the gills for everything. It keeps them from developing vital skills that they need to learn in order to live in society in a productive manner for themselves. As a parent you already know that kids are tricky personalities to deal with. They often tend to want to use excuses for themselves so you have to challenge them to rise to their very best rather than learning helplessness. It’s a challenge for the parent and for the kid. I believe that drugged and labeled kids don’t get the challenging that they need. It makes me wonder what’s going to happen to our society and country when so many people of the next generation have had this done to them. You are right, there’s lots of psychological damage being done, which may be the more difficult of the two kinds of damage to deal with.

  • Exactly. Law enforcement and the medical field state that stimulant use, amphetamines, is dangerous and therefore this is why people must be put in jail when they sell the stuff on the streets and when people buy it on the streets.

    But then they turn right around and state that it’s perfectly fine to give stimulants, amphetamines, to kids because they supposedly have some problem when they can’t sit still. And yet you don’t hear any outcry about this like you do about street use of stimulants. It’s destroying our kids and everyone goes right along with it. As I stated before, when are parents going to stand up for their own children and deny the drugging of their kids?

  • For the place where I work it would mean putting the money into buying things for the Point Store on each unit. Many of the people forced to come here have little to no money and many don’t have family that might give them money. Things like cokes and snacks become very important when you don’t have access to the outside, or if you have no money. I was brought here with 72 cents in my pocket.

    So, there’s a token or barter system that was set up so that people could get points that they could then use to buy themselves things like cokes, snacks, shampoo of their choice and not that provided by the “hospital”, notebooks to keep journals in, etc. People who wouldn’t be able to have these little things have access to them. The “hospital” provides the money to buy the stock for the Point Stores.

    However, our wonderful state legislature has decided that we need to save more money to give to the rich One Percenters in the state and have demanded that we cut spending. The organization that oversees the “hospital’ was recently taken over by accountants and not people in behavioral health. They are demanding that we give justifications for why we have the Point Store on the units and are doing their best to destroy it. This would mean even more restricted lives for many people on our units if they’re allowed to accomplish this. The “hospital” is truly committed to Point Store and to giving people the opportunity to have access to things they wouldn’t have otherwise. And get this, the staff is forbidden to donate money to supply the stores!

  • I have never met a volunteer peer worker up to this point in time. I was trained to only accept payment for my work since my expertise by experience, as opposed to the clinical staff’s expertise by theory, is valuable and should be compensated.

    Yes, it is difficult to challenge the system, especially the psychiatrists. I’ve tried it twice in meetings and was severely attacked. One psychiatrist was so angry at me that he was spitting saliva as he was yelling at me. They would have tarred and feathered me if they’d had their way. I am very lucky in that I’m actually supported by two important members of the administration. I am fairly safe as long as I don’t outright challenge the psychiatrists publicly. Not even the administrators are brave enough or stupid enough to challenge the psychiatrists.

    What I’ve attempted to do is affect the beliefs of staff through my contact with them on a daily basis. I’ve tried to build a rapport with the people working the units, from the environmental services people to the psychiatrists. My credibility is always in question because I’m a former patient, and a former patient who doesn’t take any of the drugs. So it’s a slow process of them getting to know me and I must always be knowledgeable and open. I have to know what I’m talking about when I choose to state something publicly or to another staff person privately. And since there are no secrets in this institution, and since information travels quickly, I must always assume that I’m never speaking privately.

  • When are parents going to stop believing psychiatry and the drug companies and begin protecting their children? We’re allowing generation after generation of kids to be drugged adversely during a time that their brains are still developing. The only chemical imbalance is the one caused by the stimulants forced onto the poor kids, whose parents won’t even step up to speak for them and protect them.

    Parents need to tell psychiatrists that they are full of bull feces and be done with it. Instead, they allow their kids to be led to the slaughter just like lambs. It’s disgusting.

  • Although I was never in the military I do practice one of the first laws of the battlefield. You never leave your wounded behind. I was able to free myself from the system and get my life back. I will not turn my back on the countless sisters and brothers who still lie there on the battlefield, casualties of the system and the wonderful “treatment” that it dispenses. I can only carry one at a time off that field and I will continue to try and do so for as long as I’m able.

  • You paint all peer workers with a mighty broad brush, which I feel is unfortunate since not all peer workers are as you describe above in you post.

    I’m a peer worker but I’m not a spy for the clinicians nor am I constantly on the look out for relapses and I never try to get people to take the toxic neurotoxins and the “antidepressants”. I was trained to support people in their decision making process, with no input from me as to what I think they should do. I am to support their decisions, even when I disagree with them. I hate the damned drugs but if people choose to take them then so be it and I will work with them in whatever way that they want me to. I was trained to never talk about a “patient” with other staff unless that “patient” is present or has given me permission to talk about them. I don’t report on “patients” to the psychiatrists since I believe that said psychiatrists need to do their own work and talk to people on their own if they want to know anything about them. They get paid a lot more money than I do and need to earn their money by doing their job as they should. After eight years they don’t even try to go there and accept that I will not talk about the people that they’re supposedly caring for. At least I’ve made that much progress.

    Again, peer workers are only as good as the training programs that they come out of, and in my opinion most of the programs are terrible. I will not have anything to do with the program created by my state. But we are not all horrible people duped by the system to be its flunkies.

  • And let’s also be very clear about the fact that Trump is certainly no moral leader either. Any man who grabs women by their privates and who lies at the drop of a hat about everything (I think that they’ve certified almost four thousand lies so far is less than two years in office), who claims that there are good people among the KKK, White Nationalists, and racists is not a moral leader.

    I hear people stating how terrible it is that the two sides in all of this can no longer sit down and hash things out in a compromise. This didn’t start with Trump’s move into the White House. It began the day of President Obama’s first inauguration when prominent Republican congressmen met for lunch to plot out how they could obstruct each and every last thing that President Obama proposed during his presidency. It started with the rise of the Tea Party, not in opposition to federal government taking over from the states but in opposition to an African American president. The unwillingness to be civil to one another has gone on for almost ten years now when Congress has been able to accomplish nothing except gridlock in everything. And in this I would agree that neither party is the true friend of the average person just trying to make a living and provide for her or his family. All Trump has done is inherit this situation, which he capitalizes on each and every day. He’s not stupid when it comes to knowing how to manipulate the fears and feelings of people in his base.

    Democracy is strong but ours may be much more fragile than we think it to be. How many times can the rule of law be assaulted, and Democrats and journalists be labeled as the “enemy of the people” before it begins to crack and splinter. How many elections are we going to allow the Russians to attempt to influence before we say enough is enough. Instead of pulling the different factions in our country together Trump has performed only to his base. Pulling the country together is one of the things that presidents do; offering the hand to those who didn’t vote for you so that all may move forward together.

  • Okay. The road that they took was closed at both ends. They had access to all the information concerning barriers and closed roads. They know that the waters were causing huge problems. And yet they put the women in the van and took off into the unknown (or in this case most everything was known). If the picture of the road in the article is correct you can see a great deal of water covering the road. Why would these deputies endanger the lives of the two women and their own lives when they could have waited before trying to take them where they wanted to go. This just doesn’t make much sense at all.

  • This is one of the most concerning things for me about Trump. How his base, many of whom were probably very anti-communist when the communists were around can ignore this is very interesting to me. Also, the Republican party was the most hawkish about the Russians and now they don’t even blink an eye when Trump proclaims his great admiration for Putin. Only a very few Republican congressmen spoke out about the debacle in Helsinki this summer. I don’t understand the people who make up Trump’s base at all.

  • One of her books is entitled When God Speaks Back, about evangelicals and their experience of speaking with God. She has some interesting things to say about psychiatrists and how they take away peoples’ chances to become truly moral people. Again, I think she has some very interesting things to say about what we deal with. She is what is called a psychological anthropologist.

  • It’s interesting to me that people who hear voices comprise quite a large number when you look at things on a world wide basis. It is part of the continuum of what it means to be human. And when you look at other cultures you begin to find that it’s mainly Western culture that denies voice hearing and seems to be totally afraid of it. It’s mainly in Western cultures that we try to stamp it out at all costs, no matter what the person wants.

    There is an anthropologist named Tanya Lurhman who has done research about voice hearing across different cultures and how those cultures respond to it. I find her work interesting. And she’s done work concerning Christians who claim that they receive messages from God. She can be found on Youtube

  • I once read a novel about a modern day nun in a religious order who had visions from God. Of course this caused a lot of commotion for everyone. Eventually she is told by a medical doctor that her visions are a sign of a physical problem that needed to be taken care of with surgery on her brain. She found herself in a very difficult position almost impossible to resolve. She wanted to believe that her visions were truly from God and yet everyone was telling her that they were the product of a broken brain. Her situation gave me a lot to think about as I was a hospital chaplain at the time and it caused a lot of questions for me that I found very difficult to answer.

  • Exactly!

    But even the mystical saints had their problems with their mystical experiences in the Middle Ages. St. Theresa of Avila saw visions of Jesus and heard messages from him. When she told her confessor the priest told her that she was absolutely wrong, Jesus wasn’t appearing to her and that she had to stop the nonsense before she really got herself in trouble with the Church authorities. She asked him what she was supposed to do when Jesus appeared to her and he told her to essentially give him the Middle Ages equivalent of the finger, which she did. She stated that Jesus wasn’t impressed nor bothered and went on with his message to her!

  • When all is said and done I must support Lawrence in what he writes here. I grew up in a family that didn’t take any kind of medicine at all. My grandmother and mother took care of us with their own version of “medicine” that medical doctors would never have approved of. My mother married a man who didn’t believe in going to doctors so we didn’t. I didn’t take any kind of medicine at all until I was in my forties and then it was for high blood pressure. My original GP was not in favor of putting me on the bp medicine so I quit him and got another doctor who was willing to put me on the meds. Now, some 30 years later I’m beginning to question the intelligence of my decision. After the bp meds I let myself be convinced that I needed to go on “antidepressants” and rue ever going on them. Today I’m free of those devil’s tic tacs.

    I believe that Americans take way too much medicine and doctors are the gateway to all of these drugs. We have a drug for everything these days and all kinds of invented diseases. Just watch the commercial television stations and count the number of commercials there are for drugs and for diseases that must be treated with drugs. It’s amazing. The pharmaceutical companies, combined with doctors, with the addition of direct to consumer advertising is wrecking havoc on Americans. I believe that Lawrence has it absolute correct.

  • Let us be perfectly honest. This supposed diagnosis is pure bull feces, plain and simple. It’s just another attempt by the system and unscrupulous psychiatrists, which includes a great number of them, to profit off of something that is normal in human beings. The DSM 5 is filled with supposed diagnoses that are nothing but attempts to pathologize normal human behaviors. It’s so blatant that I’m surprised that they aren’t totally ashamed of themselves. How do these people get up each and every morning and look themselves in the eye in the mirror? They are lacking in ethics and have little morality. And this kind of snake oil chicanery is supposed to convince us that psychiatry is a valid specialty in medicine?

  • It’s not just some doctors who are causing problems with all of this. Two years ago I ivied in a section of the city where people peddled hydrocodone pills door to door. One woman would take her brother’s three month prescription that he got from the VA and go door to door trying to sell the pills. I told her in no uncertain terms to never come back to my door with her pills. What have we come to in this country when people sell pain killers door to door? I don’t think that her buyers were buying them for pain relief.

    I didn’t get the idea that Lawrence was saying that people who experience great pain should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and go on as if nothing was happening. What I got from what he wrote, and I do agree with this, is the idea that the medical community has tried to capitalize financially from all kinds of things without always having our true safety and benefit at heart. I left my old doctor and went to a new one because the new one was closer to where I lived. He immediately decided during our first visit that I was going to take statins. I believe that statins are dangerous and that they’re prescribed far too often to people. I stated that I would not take them and he stated to my face that I would do what I was told. I walked out of that office and never returned and I didn’t pay the bill either. The medical community in many instances bullies people into doing, not what is good for us, but what is financially good for the medical community.

  • And Buddhism is not a religion since it has no god and does not worry about things like how Creation happened. Buddha taught that he was not a god at all and in fact all of us contain a sleeping Buddha. This is why Buddhists have statues of the Buddha (in many forms others than just the historical Buddha); they are there to remind us that we are the Buddha. It is not a faith as such. Technically, Buddhism is a practice for living. Mindfulness is not about religion or faith or any other thing other than being in touch with what is happening in your life right here right now in this very moment. It is a matter of being aware and awake in that sense. There is nothing dangerous about mindfulness.

  • I’ve had two major surgeries in the past year. I don’t know why, but I didn’t have pain with either surgery. Of course I had some discomfort and I couldn’t lift or do the least thing that was strenuous, but I did not have any pain. Both surgeons insisted on sending me home from the hospital with a nice big bottle of hydrocodone! I told each of them that I didn’t want the pain meds and they insisted that I get them filled. So, I got the first prescription filled just in case the surgeon knew something that I didn’t, but I never had to take one pill of the prescription. The second surgeon told me that the only way he’d let me leave the hospital was if I filled the prescription of hydrocodone. I don’t know how he was going to enforce his edict since he didn’t go home with me but that’s what he said. So, I lied and said that I’d do it knowing that I had an already full bottle of the very same stuff that he wanted me to get. I’ve not touched one pill out of the bottle.

    It does seem to me from just my two experiences that the doctors give out opioids much too easily. I guess that they didn’t want me to get home, have pain, and then bother them in the middle of the night or during their vacation for a prescription so maybe this is why they forced the issue. I still can’t believe that I didn’t have any pain from the surgeries either in the hospital or at home.

  • Didn’t Hemingway end up taking his own life because he’d been subjected to shock “treatments” and it destroyed his ability to write? So much for the “good treatment” that was perpetrated on him.

    I’m driven to write each and every morning from 3-5AM in my Journal but I know that this is nothing compared to what true writers experience. I suspect that true writers are totally driven to write and to not be able to do so is horrendous. It’s like torture to not be able to write.

  • Psychiatry and the “mental health” system may not be the cause of all psychological and emotional distress in the world and not every person who experiences such distress is or has been in the system. But you sure as hell don’t want most psychiatrists nor the system to get their hands on you because you can lay money on it that your issues will only become worse to deal with once they get hold of you.

    I guess each and every person must define what is actually helpful for them. My tendency is to wonder if they truly do believe that they’ve been helped and are being helped, or if they’re too afraid to not believe this. It’s scary for some people to even try to contemplate that things might not be the way that they’ve been convinced that they are. I know people who are afraid to even think about trying to get off the drugs psychiatrists put them on, even though those drugs cause them great and significant physical health problems. They may even lead to their deaths. But they won’t even think about living a life without the drugs. I don’t know; I often struggle with this and force myself to accept their explanations without trying to analyze them. But I must admit that secretly I don’t really believe them. Shame on me.

  • littleturtle

    I believe that you spoke volumes with your last line. “my psychiatrist is not rich…” says it all. I think that this is one of two driving factors driving the majority of psychiatrists today. They want the nice big cars, the fat bank accounts, the private schools for their kids, their nice big houses in gated communities. Actually sitting down and interacting with people to see where the Journey might take the two of them would get in the way of all these things because the insurance will pay for nothing but the drugging of people.

    The second big reason driving psychiatrists to do what they do today is that they need their egos stroked so that they can think of themselves as being real doctors. They were never accepted in the medical community as real doctors until the advent of the damned toxic drugs.

    I’m glad that you’ve found a true treasure in your psychiatrist. There are a few out there but they’re not the majority.

  • “No one in their right mind would ever take their own life.”

    Well, I will say that this is bull feces. I believe that most people who take their own lives are in their right minds. I have always stated that “mental illness” did not cause me to try and take my life. I tried three times and came very close to accomplishing my objective one of those times. But I was very much in my right mind. I was tired of dealing with overwhelming losses that came one right after another, week after week and month after month. I wanted the pain that I experienced from so many losses to stop and the one sure way of stopping it was to kill myself.

    I agree with the author that the two responses about why people kill themselves are bologna (the “nobody understands” excuse and the one that the person is “mentally ill” excuse). It may take some time to do so, but if you truly look at what was going on in the life of the person before they killed themselves you probably might just put together some pretty good ideas why they did what they did.

    What I did find very interesting in dealing with the clinicians, therapists, and staff in the places where I was “treated” for my supposed “mental illness” was that they absolutely refused to listen to my explanation as to why I tried to kill myself. It made them very uncomfortable and they would stop me from trying to explain. It was not of any great importance to them and they refused to hear me out. After all, they had all the answers. I had a chemical imbalance which made me want to take my life and I obviously needed “antidepressants”, which they quickly forced me to take. And in fact, taking “antidepressants” was one of the very big things that sent me over the edge in the first place.

  • The people on the units of the “hospital” where I work who know that there are no chemical imbalances get drugged the worst of anyone if they try to state this in public. I’ve watched it done to people. Many so-called “patients” are quite aware that none of the psych drugs work, neither neuroleptics or so-called antidepressants. But if they’re smart they won’t stand up and say anything because then they become the target of the drugging and the staff say that what they’re saying shows just how ill they truly are.

    How does anyone look at themselves in the mirror each and every morning and then go to work and state that these drugs work and that they take care of chemical imbalances? Just explain that to me!

  • What I’ve found is that the peers who come back into the system who want to actually help people regain their lives and move forward leave their positions because traditional institutions like the one where I work are not about to let them do real peer work.

    As Steve stated these places see peers as another way to bolster the message that “patients” need to take their drugs (without ever telling them how damaging the drugs truly are to them, and forget informed consent…LOL. ) We’re never supposed to truly listen to those who are non-compliant and we’re never to agree with them, even though they are often correct and right on target about what’s being done to them. I must always be very careful the words I choose to use and how I structure those words so that the person I’m being with understands that I’ve really heard them and yet I can never be accused of inciting the “patient” to do something the staff disagrees with.

    I feel like Sir Thomas Moore when Henry VIII tried to get him to say anything that could be used against him to bring him to trial for treason against the Crown because he didn’t agree with what Henry was doing. There are cameras and microphones everywhere where I work and the people monitoring the audio say that you can truly hear a pin drop. It’s a very tight line that I walk because if I’m fired I’m of no help to the people on the units. And yet they must know that I stand with them without being able to state that plainly.

    The peer workers that you’re talking about have no problem staying and becoming quite popular with the staff because they are willing to take part in the coercion that’s perpetrated against the “patients” on a daily basis. They have no problems parroting the mantra about “always take your meds” and are true believers because they themselves are on the meds. That’s fine by me but I was trained as a peer work that you were never to push your agenda or ideas on any of the people you are working with and for. So, I find this to be a real problem. Going shopping with people and taking them to their doctor’s appointments is fine but I wasn’t cut out for that kind of peer work. My frustration is that you can’t really do true peer work in most traditional institutions or settings.

  • I couldn’t respond below your statement where you stated that you don’t think that many people from the armed services are coming back traumatized enough to get the great label of PTSD. If this is the case, why did so many veterans who came back from their experiences in WWII and the Korean conflict and Viet Nam hardly ever want to talk about what they experienced? The only people they seemed to be willing to talk with about their experiences were other veterans and I think this was because they felt that only others who’d gone through the same terrible things would ever understand. I believe that many more veterans are affected than you begin to imagine and you won’t see them wherever you work because they’re not going to show up there.

    I not only work on units in the “hospital” I also work in Admissions. I meet numbers of people brought from jail and prison who are veterans. The number keeps growing as the months go by. I remember one young man, a truly impressive young guy who was brought to us from prison. He was a veteran and had spent six months in solitary confinement, not because of anything he’d done but because he couldn’t stand being around anyone. He was so traumatized that he couldn’t stand human interaction. Those of us in the department knew his situation so we didn’t talk to him and there were only two of us in the room with him. He asked if he could use the restroom which of course we had no objections to. He went in and after ten minutes he still wasn’t out. finally the nurse knocked on the door and opened it and the young man was curled up in a fetal position in one of the far corners of the bathroom and was sobbing quietly. It was heartbreaking and heartrending. The presence of two people was more than he could deal with.

    I don’t have a car and use the city bus to get to and from. I’ve met a number of vets at the bus stops. Many have lost limbs or have TBI’s. One of them sticks in my mind. He limped across the street towards where I was at and sat down next to me on the bench. He used a cane and had a prosthetic leg, one arm was stiff and fairly useless, and he’d lost one of his eyes. We sat there together in silence for a few minutes and then, without looking at him I said, “How many tours of duty?” He told me three, two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. We didn’t talk about his experiences in those far flung places but did discuss the struggle he was going through with the VA to get ongoing treatment and his benefits. I have deep respect for this man whose name I don’t even know. And near the end of our discussion I asked him if what the United States was doing in those two countries was really accomplishing anything of merit. He laughed quietly and then stated that the US government doesn’t even have a clue about what’s happening or what they’re really doing in foreign lands. He felt that things would return fairly quickly to the way they were before American intervention the moment the last of our troops boarded the transport planes to leave. How do you deal with that probability when you’ve sacrificed an arm, a leg, and an eye for something that was most likely useless?

    So here is my last contention. Not only do our women and men in the armed services get traumatized dramatically in numbers far greater than I believe you realize, there is one last further indignity that they must endure. They must fight the VA tooth and nail to get any real help and no one will employ them. It is no wonder to me why they are ending up where I work to be warehoused and drugged with neuroleptics and to be told that they are faulty and broken because they were not resilient enough to withstand the trauma that they endured because our government sent them to these places. They sacrificed themselves and what their future lives were going to be like because our government just couldn’t resist the temptation to step in and try to run countries and entire cultures of people that we don’t even have any understanding of.

    Enough, I will get down from my soap box.

  • Thank you CatNight for your support. You present a novel idea when you talk about units managed by peers and the professionals. I’ve tried passing the idea of having an advisory council for the hospital made up of peers but the administration acts like I didn’t say anything at all. I will pass your idea past them today and it will be interesting as to how badly that gets them stirred up.

  • Thanks for your support and I agree with what you state about the system making sure that no real peer support takes place outside of its control. The thing that I like about Sera Davidow is that she keeps pointing out that peers may be in the system but they are not of the system. She was one of the people who inspired me to begin working on the inside of things.

  • By the way, when you responded to Frank about peer workers it sounded to me like you were saying that peer workers go back into the system to work because they liked their treatment and think that the mental health system is a great thing. Perhaps I am not understanding you correctly.

    I must state that I became a peer worker, not because I like the system or that I liked my so-called “treatment” that I received while held in the very hospital where I now work. I became a peer worker to battle from the inside against what I experienced as no “treatment” at all but a sham of treatment. I work within the system like some of the French people in the French Underground. I never liked the system and do not like the system now. The reason that I work within it is to endeavor to get people to realize that they don’t have to look to the professionals in the system to think for them and to make decisions for them and to learn helplessness from them. I work to walk with people so that I might encourage them to empower themselves for one person can never empower another person. Each person can only learn to empower themselves. I work within the system but am not part of the system for to do that I would only be parroting the disempowering message of the system itself. I work within the system but not as a part of it to share with people that they have gifts and talents and abilities and are not the helpless individuals that the system believes them to be. I am not a peer worker because I loved my “treatment” and because I love the system. I work in the system because it’s time to take it down and all I can do is my insignificant little part by showing people that they can do for themselves rather than depending on the useless “mental health” system.

    I don’t think that I’m very successful at achieving my goal. All I can do is to work with one person at a time to get them to believe that this is not all there is in the world for them. Not all peer workers are in the system because they love it.

  • He actually goes out and talks with people which is more than most psychiatrists do. Having been trained as a hospital chaplain in clinical pastoral training I suspect that his chaplaincy training gives him a lot of insights into not only the people who he works with but insights into himself too. I suspect that his training for chaplaincy work is a plus since one of the major things that chaplains do is to actually LISTEN to people when they need to tell their stories.

  • And people with PTSD have no business being put on neuroleptics, as is happening to many of them in the armed services who’ve served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Neuroleptics do not help people with trauma, it only masks the problems and tries to put a lid on everything.

  • But here is the problem with making PTSD a diagnosis, imho. PTSD is the normal response on the part of a person who has experienced something that totally overwhelmed them emotionally and psychologically. Notice the operative word here is Normal, it’s a normal human response.

    It should not be pathologized by making it into something that is bad or wrong, which is exactly what making it into a diagnosis does. Why are we allowing something that is normal to be pathologized? This has absolutely no place in the DSM and the DSM has no basis for existing in the first place.

  • It’s not just being corrupt. There are so many who discredit anything of value about the people that they’re supposedly giving “good treatment” to. They call them liars and manipulators and many other things. Their first response to anything that the “patients” say is to discredit it right off the bat. There was an older woman admitted to one of the units where I work. When they asked her about her educational level she told them that she had a doctorate. When they came out of the meeting they were all talking about what a liar she was. One of the social workers decided to verify what the woman said and low and behold…….she had a doctorate in political science! All of a sudden all discussion of her educational level and about how much of a liar she was and how her delusions were rampant ceased, not another word. Since I knew one of the psychiatrists on her case fairly well I asked said psychiatrist one morning if he’d like a little salt and pepper with his crow. He sat there and gave me the big stare and then halfheartedly admitted that she certainly had fooled them. She was never trying to fool them. All she did was answer their question truthfully. Now she is addressed on the unit as Dr. So and So.

    Yes, there are some good psychiatrists but I don’t know any these days. All the good ones left the “hospital” where I work. They went to jobs where they had more freedom to treat people as human beings with talents and abilities.

  • True. The people destroying any programs that benefit the poor are people who will never have to ever worry about money in their entire lives. It’s amazing how determined they are in their destruction. And now you have to work to be able to receive what pitiful little benefits people were getting in the first place. Never mind that if you’re a mother of three that you can’t afford child care so you can meet the mandate. They’ve fixed everything so that the poor cannot get what they justly deserve. And now everything is being dismantled by the stooges of a certain person in Washington, D.C.

  • Therapists have been a hit and miss proposition for me. I think that I’ve dealt with one truly good therapist who worked out of his own humanity and who truly cared about the people who came to him for guidance. One therapist was useless and never knew what I was talking about because he never listened. I had one good woman therapist while I was in the “hospital”; she listened intently, heard what I said, and made observations and asked appropriate questions. One therapist didn’t know what she was doing and I walked her through our sessions together. Another ended up using me as his therapist as he sat with his legs drawn up in the seat of his chair crying. They are truly a mixed bag and you never know what you’re getting until you sit down across from them and begin talking. Not everyone who thinks that they should be a therapist should actually be a therapist.

    Personally, I’ve got Wise Women friends that I can go to. I got pretty good help from fellow “patients” on the same unit that I was on in the “hospital”.

  • It’s interesting to me that other specialties of medicine are so supportive of psychiatry these days. This wasn’t the case a number of years ago when psychiatrists were seen as wannabe doctors. Other specialties made fun of them and refused to accept them. A former supervisor of mine told a story that reflects this. Her father was a surgeon. On Saturdays he would take her with him to make hospital rounds. One day they went into the doctors’ lounge and there was a man sitting at the table reading the newspaper. Her father laughed, pointed to the man and said, “He’s a psychiatrist who thinks he’s a real doctor. All the rest of us let him pretend but we all know that he’s no doctor at all!”

    I wonder what worked the change so that no GP will say anything against them. I’ve expressed my disdain and dislike for psychiatrists to my doctor but she never will look at me or act as if she’s heard anything that I’ve said. I want to shake some sense into her.

    I also believe that they’ve all drank the Kool-Aid and actually believe what they’re told. They don’t read enough on their own to really know what’s going on.

  • When I was held in the “hospital” there was a young woman on the unit with me who was pregnant. Because of this the psychiatrist refused to give her any neuroleptics for her “schizophrenia”. The amazing thing that many of us, her fellow “patients” began to realize was that, as the weeks went on she began to get better! We began talking about this among ourselves and continued to watch her. Granted, she still had difficulties but as time went on she became progressively better in her approach to things around her. She seemed to have fewer and fewer hallucinations and she was able to interact with the rest of us better than when she was first admitted to the unit.

  • Binra

    This is as beautifully written as what Eric shared. Words are not enough but I am sorry about your daughter. Thank you for sharing this.

    This is one of the things that I truly appreciate about MIA. I get to receive so many wonderful, powerful, and profound ideas through reading the comments. Often peoples’ comments are even better than the original piece of writing that inspired them. Thank you again for sharing this.

  • But to me the lack of clarity is what I appreciated. I feel that this is one of Eric’s best pieces of writing here at MIA but that’s just mho. Yes, it was haunting but it’s also beautiful.

  • Eric

    I really like what you’ve written here. I felt connected to it the minute I began reading and I could picture everything that you talked about in my head. The older I get the more I believe that I’ve got more questions than I do answers and this is kind of what your writing felt like. But I’ve come to believe that it’s just fine to be in this quandary filled with more questions. I am less certain about everything the older I get. Thanks for sharing this. Perhaps we are all a lot more like Ann than we ever realize.

  • So how do we go about combating this? I’ve dealt with my GP concerning this and made it very clear to her that it was junk science and I’d have nothing to do with her if she ever tried to push antidepressants or any of that stuff. But it must go farther than just dealing with your own personal doctor. We’ve got to begin combating all of this on a larger scale.

  • Don’t even get me started on how useless and damaging I’ve found community mental health centers to be. I can’t believe that so much money is poured into places that work against helping people as much as they can. When I got my first taste of dealing with them it took me over six weeks fighting them tooth and nail just to get an appointment with them. And then they wanted all kinds of money and I didn’t have any money but got a scholarship because their financial person took an interest in my plight. As I was leaving her office after signing all the papers she said to me, “They will do everything that they can to keep from helping you and giving you what you’re entitled to. Don’t let them get away with it. Fight them and stand toe to toe with them and don’t budge an inch!” I couldn’t believe that a person that worked for them was giving advice about how to counteract their shenanigans.

    The money would be better spent setting up respite houses where people could go to get real help in time of need. These places are horrible and they’re harmful to people.

  • I was born in New Mexico and am of First Nations background although I’m not from any of the tribes found in New Mexico. My grandmother was a Wise Woman who used plants and herbs to heal. I remember as a small child watching her in the garden jungle that she spent years creating in the arid section of the country between Albuquerque and Gallup, not far from Mt. Taylor, and having humming birds land on the palms of her outstretched and uplifted hands. It was nothing short of miraculous.

    And then she became “ill” and the mental health system got its hand on her. After almost sixty shock treatments she was returned to us as a shell of her former self. She didn’t even remember me, her first grandson whom she took care of in my infancy and early childhood. They took a vibrant and talented woman who created art and healed people and animals and turned her into a zombie who looked at the floor and smoked cigarettes one after another. The stupid doctors congratulated themselves and told us how much better she was after their good “treatment”.

    So, thank you for what you are doing in New Mexico. Perhaps it will work to counteract all of the horrible things that have been done to people in that area in the name of “good mental health” treatment. I believe that true healing and well being can be found in the old ways that were once practiced there by the native peoples and by people like my grandmother.

  • So, how do these guys get away with publishing stuff that’s obviously wrong? Why are they not held accountable for publishing an article that is not only misleading but pushes faulty information? It seems like they have no qualms about just outright lying. And why didn’t Stat catch all of this?

    I’m so glad that your background in journalism is in science because you dismantle things so well by going to the heart of the matter. You do it with the scientific facts. Thank you for caring enough to research for the truth all those years ago when you began looking at all this through the lens of true science rather than listening to the great and mighty voice of Oz.

  • I had to go for my three month check up with my GP this week. She’s always trying to get me to take statins and have colonoscopies and get a cardiologist and I always tell her no to all of that. This week she added in something new. Are you depressed and do you want an antidepressant. I just sat there staring at her until she looked up from her computer and actually looked at me. Then I started laughing and said that antidepressants would be the very last thing I’d ever consent to take since they were the very thing that caused all of my problems and got me into the “hospital” in the first place! I told her it would be a cold day in hell before I took those devil’s tic tacks. I think my imagery was lost on her since she’s a Hindu but it made me feel better anyway. She and I have never talked about my “diagnosis” since she’s the third doctor I’ve had since going to the clinic. The first one knew about it but it’s never been mentioned since. But all of a sudden out pops the question, “Are you depressed and do you want antidepressants?” I laughed and told her to never ask me those questions again. Case closed.

  • Psychiatry has been claiming for the last fifty years that they were going to discover the causation of “mental illness” in the brain but they’ve never, ever been able to come up with anything at all. I suspect that mental anguish and psychological and emotional distress have more to do with the mind and our thinking than anything to do with the brain.

  • Recovery puts the lie to the story that they tell everyone that they’re ill for life and need to take the drugs forever. Recovery is a buzz word in the system which really means nothing. It’s there to make people think that the system cares and is with the program. In reality, the system has no interest at all in people getting their lives back and living fulfilling lives.

    What the system likes to do is talk about being “in recovery” as opposed to being recovered. What I think this implies is that you’ll always be ill but you accommodate your life as best as you can. It’s that old idea of once an alcoholic always an alcoholic but I don’t hold to this kind of thinking at all, especially when dealing with “mental health” issues.

    Every damned meeting that I’ve gone to lately for peer workers all they want to talk about is being in recovery. When they introduce themselves they give their name and state that they’re “in recovery”. When I introduce myself I state that I’m recovered and there’s a lot of silence in response.

  • But how do you know the good ones from the bad ones? Even the decent ones where I work refuse to quit forcing the drugs on people and refuse to let them free until they conform to the thinking of the psychiatrist. These seem to be good people but they continue to participate in doing harm to the people that they’re supposedly “caring” for. The only ones I might even begin to trust would be the ones who refuse to force the drugs on people. So far, I’ve only met one of those out of all the ones I’ve work with and around.

  • I think that keeping people on the drugs has a great deal to do with the egos of the people forcing the drugs on others. It legitimates them as real “doctors”, which has always been the problem of people who opt for psychiatry; none of the other medical specialties accepted them as real doctors when all they did was psychotherapy. I don’t know how they see them today since I’ve never asked any doctor outside of psychiatry.

    And I think that a lot of it is money. Look at the nice SUV’s they drive and the nice big houses they own in gated communities, and the nice big bank accounts. It’s very lucrative for them and they couldn’t make nearly as much money by doing talk therapy. They can do four “med” checks in one hour as opposed to one person with talk therapy. But in the end they are essentially snake oil peddlers, plain and simple.

  • Learned helplessness is probably the thing that the “mental health system” promotes the most. If you get people when they’re kids or teens then you can form them just about any way that you want and this is exactly what the system does to people. It also teaches people to never trust their own feelings or ideas or opinions and they must always look to professionals in the system to figure out how they should feel and think. It’s disgusting. It’s criminal. It’s inhuman.

  • Out

    I think that you bring up a very important point. Just because a person has lived experience and has training doesn’t mean that they won’t carry out against others the very same things that were done to them while they were “patients”. I believe that way too many peers don’t have an inkling as to what their issues are, and if they do know they’ve not really done any work on those issues. It’s not always fun to work on one’s issues and can even be painful, but it’s absolutely necessary if you’re going to work with other people.

  • Agreed.

    It’s pretty arrogant if you are a clinician and claim that you’re going to heal people and you haven’t even dealt with your own issues at all. So many doctors of every specialty and clinicians of all kinds have never dealt with their own “historical crap”. This is dangerous for the people that they supposedly want to care for and to help heal. I would use the very wise words of a very intelligent man who once said, “Physician, heal thyself”.

    I’ve witnessed peer workers abusing “patients” because they’ve not really dealt with their own stuff and keep working it out on the very people that they say they want to walk with in recovery.

  • Even many Christians can be pushed by life to the point that suicide looks like a viable option. I don’t know if you’ve ever been tempted to kill yourself but there comes a time in many people’s lives, that they just want the pain and the crap to stop and they don’t really care how that stopping happens. When you lose hope you lose pretty much everything. And you’re right, the system does nothing at all to really help people who’ve lost all hope, other than to destroy what little hope may remain. Just because I tried to kill myself doesn’t mean that I was or am “mentally ill”.

  • It never ceases to amaze me that one of the largest contributors to early death in people labeled as being severely “mentally ill” is never mentioned, the drugs given to people. It’s not just that they cause people to put on weight that’s a problem, they in themselves cause a myriad of physical problems but no one is allowed to discuss this out loud. I’ve tried it before and learned my lesson very quickly.

  • As a former teacher and being a twelve year product of the American educational system I will say this. I never experienced a fellow student during my school days that I would ever say had ADHD. I never taught a student in my fifteen year teaching history that I would label as a person who supposedly had ADHD. I saw the beginnings of this movement to create problems for kids by labeling them as having this fake issue called ADHD. There were always kids who created problems of one sort or another but I would say that this is the nature of being a kid.

    I will also state this. The American classroom, for the most part, is one of the most boring places you’d ever want to experience. What kid wouldn’t be bored to tears and moved to do things he or she probably shouldn’t do? And another problem is that we’re sending kids to school at earlier ages and expecting them to achieve things that their age group isn’t capable of. Our demands on their time and their abilities are unrealistic and this creates problems for them.

  • Dr. Bessel van der Kolk believes that this lack of connection for infants is part of their original trauma that will drive the entire rest of their lives. He and his group tried to get the APA to develop a new diagnosis, since they just love developing stuff for their new DSM, but he said that the APA rebuffed them and stated that trauma, and particularly the inability to connect with the caregiver had no bearing on anything. van der Kolk is no great lover of the DSM from what I can understand but thought that at least having it in the great Bible might move the discussion forward to that professionals would be better informed.

  • Thank you for writing this. I’ve never thought for even one moment that I was “mentally ill” because I tried to kill myself. I am one of those “bad suicide attempters” that you talk about here. Your writing is one of the very few things that’s made sense to me when looking at my experience.

  • What they are supposedly researching does not exist. ADHD was something trumped up by the drug companies and psychiatry in the mid-80’s and they created it to make a lot of money, at the expense of kids’ lives. Why are they wasting money and time on something like this when there are more important things to work on; things like helping people learn how to make quality relationships with other, things like working to lower the number of people suffering from poverty through no fault of their own, things like working to achieve affordable and safe housing for people who need it, things like creating respite houses in place of warehouse prisons known as “hospitals” where people are drugged to the gills. I am so tired of all this. Studies like this are a waste of good money and valuable time.

  • Yes, wonderful Sen. Joseph McCarthy carried out his attacks with impunity and was finally stopped by a woman senator from Maine (I think) who finally told him to shut up and sit down. And by the way, many don’t know that Richard Nixon was McCarthy’s hatchet man who carried out a lot of attacks against people.

  • I have never been afraid to post any comments that I wanted to here on MIA even though not everyone agrees with me. And I certainly don’t agree with everyone who posts. And I must admit that at times I’m taken aback by something that someone’s told me about my post and it makes me think about things more deeply. I’m not sure that I like this “new and better MIA”. I can’t quite put my finger on why I’m not comfortable with it but my gut says that something is not right about all this.

    And I certainly don’t want to “dialogue” with more professionals here since I get to do that all day long where I work and it gets me absolutely nowhere. They always win no matter what.

  • Littleturtle

    Why would you even consider exposing children to “mental health” and all the snake oil shenanigans of the “mental health” system? If anything we must keep our children free from the “mental health” system at all costs. It has nothing of value to give to children, period. To willingly take your children and hand them over to “mental health” is the same as selling them into slavery for the rest of their lives.

  • Brett

    I hear you. I’m in exactly the same position as a peer worker in the state “hospital” where I work. You’d better never be caught talking with people on the units about the drugs that they’re forced to take nor are you ever to listen to them about being unhappy or angry about having to take the drugs. Psychiatrists reign supreme, no matter what; even though many people on one of the units are forced to take drug cocktails that include at least two so-called “antidepressants” and two and sometimes three neuroleptics. I’m surprised that we haven’t had people drop dead on that unit. It’s disgusting. Alarms have been raised at the higher levels but absolutely nothing is done because the psychiatrists reign supreme and trump everything.

  • And most of the community mental health centers have no real desire to actually help these under-resourced people find what they need to live decent lives. At least this was my experience with the mental health clinic in the city where I live. They are absolutely useless to people other than to hand out the drugs and to make sure that people are taking the drugs. They have no counselors or therapists who work with people. There is one social worker that you can see for fifteen minutes every three months!

  • I’ve dealt with only two community mental health centers. The first one was absolutely excellent and seemed to truly care about helping people resolve their issues and move on with their lives.

    The second center is one of the most abusive collections of people I’ve ever dealt with. This place works to keep from helping people and puts all kinds of roadblocks in the way of providing people with what they need to find recovery for themselves. They lie to people when you seek help. All they want to do is hand out the drugs. I had to call someone in the highest level of state government to intercede with this center to force them to provide talk therapy for me. I was lucky that I knew someone who knew the number of the person I needed to call. Many people seeking help from this clinic do not have access to these kinds of things and so can’t demand better treatment for themselves. The financial officer of the center who interviewed me to see if I could qualify for a scholarship to pay for the therapy quietly told me at the end of our session that the center would do all kinds of things to dissuade me from pursuing my quest for help and that I had to be ready for it and to fight them tooth and nail. It’s got to be pretty damned bad when an employee of the center warns people to be ready for terrible behavior on the part of staff in the center. And in the end, the person that they eventually found for me to see for therapy was a student. This sounds arrogant to say, but I knew more about therapy than she did and helped her understand how to go about dealing with people in a helpful manner. That was kind of weird in that I was the one helping her and I was the one seeking help. What’s wrong with that picture?

  • One of the people who helped me the most in bringing balance back to my life was a young man just starting out as a therapist. He was one of the most compassionate and empathetic people I’ve ever dealt with in my entire life. He allowed and encourage me to do my own work at the pace I was comfortable doing it. I was lucky to be matched with him when I went to the community mental health center for help. The screener who matched us together knew exactly what she was doing.

    I agree that there are a number of good therapists. However, I don’t find any of them to be working in institutions like the state “hospital” where I work. They all seem to be out in private practice and not involved with the “mental health system”. After he finished up his internship the young therapist I mentioned above got out of the mental health center and went into private practice on his own. He said that he wouldn’t have been able to work any longer for the center and still feel like he was ethical and truly helping people.

    The best therapist working where I do doesn’t work as a therapist but is employed doing paperwork, which is a grand waste of her talents. Very little true therapy goes on where I work because if therapy was truly going on people would find their voices and would begin speaking out about what they needed and about what they were not getting in terms of “good treatment”.

  • They didn’t get their hands on me until I was in my sixties and by that time I wasn’t going to be convinced by anything that they told me. I was lucky that I was so old and so set in my ways. And when it is all said and done, the staff of the unit where I was held told me when I became a staff member that they never accepted the diagnosis that came with me from the private hospital where I was held. I found that very interesting. But the damned label is still on my records, no matter what I do or say.

    I was diagnosed by a shrink who never looked at me during the fifteen minutes I was with him. He sat and scribbled on his little pad of paper, taking notes from the notes that my therapist had to give him. Finally, without looking up he asked me how I was doing. I said I wasn’t doing very well because I’d just been told the day before that my beloved and only sister had been murdered in New York City. I stated that it felt like the world was coming down around me. At that he finally looked up at me, lunged towards me across his desk with his finger pointing in my face and screamed “That’s stupid!”. This was the very first psychiatrist I’d dealt with in my entire life and at that point I decided he and the people running the system were the crazy ones.

    Kids don’t have a chance against these idiots and we’ve got to start doing something to protect them from the system and from the drug companies.

  • Ambien is totally useless. I was forced to take it while held in the “hospital” because I couldn’t sleep due to the noise made by the night staff. It did absolutely nothing to help my sleeplessness but I was still forced to take it even though I didn’t want it. It did cause me to feel restless. I agree that it’s as bad and as dangerous as benzos.

  • Not me. I think I get what he’s saying and I often feel the same about becoming a peer worker. I too think this to be a cool article. I admire and envy him moving to Japan, moving out of his comfort zone and yet discovering himself more fully.

    So many peers state that they are “in recovery” rather than “recovered”. For me, “in recovery” means that you need a lot of external things to keep you on the path while “recovered” makes use of internal gifts, talents, and abilities so that you can put the “illness” behind you. “In recovery” seems like the “illness” is always hovering around in the background, just waiting to take advantage of you if you make a false step.

    I hope that he writes more things here on MIA. It feels to me like we’re talking about the same old same old and just going around in circles but not accomplishing very much here. We don’t seem to attract too many new readers either.

  • I am very interested in hearing your story about the lack of any kind of therapy and the over drugging of people in inpatient “hospitals’. I work in a state hospital where this is the standard treatment for people no matter what their issue is. It’s totally disgusting and destructive of people’s lives. Nothing is actually done to really help people and we end up warehousing them for the financial benefit of the system, the psychiatrists, and the drug companies.

  • Not really. Despite all the hoopla about how great the economy is and about how many jobs are out there for people to apply for, it’s all just a bunch of bunk. Most of those jobs are part-time positions and not anything that you can actually live on. The Trump group won’t admit this but just keep touting the numbers.

    Anyway, working at a state hospital is not going to make you rich, nor will you make your first million. People are holding onto and guarding their jobs. This is not to say that what we do doesn’t contribute to the misery of those who’ve been labeled as the “mentally ill”. This is something that constantly bothers me.

    However, I genuinely believe that most of the staff are true believers and will always drink the Kool-Aid. Those of us who know the truth are far and few between and are always in jeopardy. I also know that these are the people who truly minister to the people on the units. These, for the most part, are the staff who deal with people respectfully and honor people’s dignity. They are the ones who make a difference. And sometimes we gather in twos or threes and discuss the situation in the hospital. We’re stuck between looking like we support the status quo and trying to make a real difference in the system. I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re not going to make a dent in the system because we don’t have the numbers like those who run the system and those who keep it running in supporting roles.

  • Your question is a very important one that I myself struggle with on a daily basis now since I work under the psychiatrists in a state hospital. I watch the indiscriminate drugging going on and I raise issues with my supervisor and I get no response. No one wants to talk about what the drugs are doing to people and everyone just follows orders. However, where I live I’m convinced that most people have no clue about what’s going on and believe the propaganda with no doubts at all. Everyone drinks the Kool-Aid and just mosies on down the road without any thought about what’s really happening.

    So, most of us are totally revolted by what Hitler and his Nazis did to people in Europe. And yet, is there any real difference between those of us working in “mental health settings’ and the people who carried out Hitler’s orders?

  • Right! They have to keep those fifteen minute drug maintenance checks rolling through their office so that they can make that good money at the end of the day. Psychiatrists can do four med checks in one hour as opposed to one hour of talk therapy. They know what side of the bread the butter is on.

    Even psychiatrists who didn’t want to do drug maintenance as a profession when psychiatry changed ended up doing it anyway because they realized that they were not going to make any money doing talk therapy. I suspect that this is one reason that talk therapy is so expensive if you can even find a psychiatrist who knows how to do any actual therapy. They’ve got to charge you an arm and a leg in order to pay the bills.

    And then you have to talk about the psychiatrists who are too lazy to actually do any real work at all.

  • I was at a five day training last week where I had an interesting discussion with a young man. He made the observation that he finds it interesting that psychiatrists claim that their wonderful drugs target very specific sections or parts of the brain in order to bring about a difference in the behavior of those labeled with diagnoses. But…..it’s a proven fact that all the drugs used are nothing but general tranquilizers. There is no proof that any of the neuroleptics actually target small and specific areas of the brain. And if anyone tries to state that there are studies to prove that the drugs do this then you have to trace things back to the source of the study and you will most likely find that there’s a drug company behind the lies.

    Most of the people at this training were drinkers of the Kool-Aid and claimed that they owed their lives to the drugs. It’s not my job to convince anyone of anything nor to force anyone to believe the way that I do. However, there were a few individuals there, besides myself, who no longer believe the lies. I met the young man mentioned above and I met a gentleman who took himself off the drugs and no longer uses them at all. There were a few other people at the training who I suspect were not Kool-Aid drinkers. However, all of them were silent about this in the general training. Only in the small, private discussions that took place at lunch did you find anyone willing to stand against the drugs. But there were some people who did and I find this hopeful. Not all of us there at the training were Kool-Aid lovers.

  • In 2007, Nancy Andreasen, the Grand Dame of biological psychiatry, wanted to disprove the idea that antipsychotics made people’s brains shrink. She set up her study and ran it to its conclusion and the end results proved that antipsychotics were shrinking people’s brains. Thinking that she must have made a mistake she ran the entire study over again and got the same result. Confounded by her results she sat on them for two years and then, being the scientist that she is, she published her results and stated that the drugs were the cause for the differences in the brains of people labeled with schizophrenia as compared to people who’d never been on the drugs and who supposedly had normal brains. I have to admire her for this, for having the courage to go against established psychiatric thought. But, then she ran back to her brethren and hid among them by stating that even though this is the truth, that people on the drugs should continue to take them. This is a crazy, crazy world.

  • Myself, I’d try creating and promoting a video game of some sort that attacked these problems. It could be a free game that you download from a website that we would set up. This is the going thing these days, you create a new video game and rather than sell it you give it away free to anyone who wants to download it. You make your money by selling costumes and weapons etc. for real money and people use these things to customize their character that they create for the role playing game. You could reach thousands of Americans both adolescent and young adult. Of course, then we’d be accused of not taking the video game diagnosis as seriously as we should.

  • Don’t expect any great metanoias or ground shaking conversions even though you show them the proof by your own experience. I’ve come to believe that there is nothing rational about the way that people hand onto their drugs that they call “medicines”. I haven’t taken a psychiatric drug since the day I walked out of the “hospital” and people who are friends and on the drugs try to fight with me concerning my choice or they try to convince me that I should go back on them, “just in case”. It’s amazing to me that people refuse to see the light even with the proof staring them in the face.

    Congratulations on your getting off Effexor since I found it to be the very devil’s tic tacs. Horrible stuff that separated me from my feelings and emotions and caused me to do some very dangerous things.

  • There is truth to this article.

    When dealing with clinical staff where I work the expectation is that I will not raise my voice or get upset when discussing anything. They are incredulous that I’m upset and then blame my being upset on the fact that I’m a former “patient”. The lower echelon staff, not clinical, understand perfectly why I express anger and am upset about many things.

  • Well, a woman on staff where I work has an interesting story to tell about her mother and brother. Her brother was “diagnosed” at a young age as being bi-polar. Their mother, who happens to be a nurse, was told that he needed to be put immediately on “medication” since he would be “ill” for life. His mother took him home and said that was all a lot of bull manure. She never applied the label of “bi-polar” to him and never used it at home when he experienced issues. She never told everyone she could about how her son was “bi-polar”. She never did put him on anything and he is now grown and owns and runs his own plumbing business. In fact, it’s a very profitable business that provides for him and his family. Encouraged by his mother he dated and got married and has children. Does he experience difficulties at times in his life? Yes, but he knows how to deal with those difficulties without resorting to the drugs that would disrupt his life and his business for good. I know that this is only one story about all of this but it’s an uplifting piece of information. One man who is productive and seemingly happy with his life was saved by his mother who refused to put him on the drugs as the wonderful psychiatrist instructed her to do.

    If there is one story out there like this there have to be more.

  • The fact that German psychiatry was responsible for the murder of thousands of the so-called “mentally ill” in the 1930’s is not alternative facts. To say something like this is to show a lack of historical knowledge.

    There were six cities chosen across Germany to function as disposal centers for the “useless eaters” as the “mentally ill” were called. This was a term applied to any group in Germany that the elite felt were detrimental to the volk of German society. The volk is like the sacred body of the German people and had to be maintained in its purity at all costs. Any group who didn’t fit the requirements for belonging to the volk were to be gotten rid of at all costs. So the “mentally ill” and Jewish people and Gypsies and Gay people and many other groups were ostracized and referred to as useless eaters. This was also a way to pathologize these groups with the German people. There are posters from the 1930’s that present this idea. The German working man was told that he was being weighed down economically by having to provide not only for himself and family but for these useless eaters as well. He was told how unfair this was to him.

    So, German psychiatry decided that they needed to purge the “mentally ill” and got the backing and permission of the government to carry out this purge. Every “mentally ill” person had to go through the review by two psychiatrists. If one of the two psychiatrists gave a thumbs down to you, you were bundled up and carted off to one of these six cities. You were then forced to go into a “shower” room where you would be packed with many others till there was standing room only. Originally these people were gassed by using diesel exhaust from large engines. Later the Nazis, who would take over this plan, would use zyklon B I think it was called. There were ovens built at these disposal centers where the bodies would be burned. Then, a death certificate was sent to the person’s family stating that you died of a sudden illness. Later on the gas chambers and ovens were taken over by the Nazis as part of the Final Solution.

    During the war the program was discontinued against the “mentally ill” only because of the difficulty of the logistics. However, American soldiers told of going into “mental hospitals” and asylums for the insane and finding dead bodies of patients who’d been starved to death and they found people in the process of starving. They may not have been able to transport and gas them so they just starved them to death. You’ve go to be pretty damned cold hearted to watch people starve to death over a number of days. But this is what American soldiers found from one asylum to the next.

    This is not a matter of alternative facts. It happened and you can’t erase it or wish it had never happened. This is one of the reasons that the Nazi doctors, the wonderful psychiatrists, were hung at the Nuremburg trials after the war.

    And the interesting fact is that many American psychiatrists supported the things done by German psychiatry! This is attested to by the keynote address at the 1941 annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. Of course I’m sure that the APA doesn’t want to have a big discussion about this at all.

  • kindredspirit

    Since I was older when I was dragged into the system, I think I was 61, I was already set in my ways and didn’t believe in the bologna that the psychiatrists tried to foist on me. I learned to take up for myself and to stand up to the psychiatrists on my case. It didn’t get me anywhere with them but sure did make me feel better about myself. Nothing of what they said made any sense and I just kept telling them that I was never ill, no matter what they said or what they labeled me with.

    But, that label is stuck to me and I can’t get rid of it no matter what I do. You are right about having to fight to defend your sanity. But I was lucky and came out fairly unscathed when they set me loose.

    I’m not trying to minimize the harm you’ve endured nor do I try to make you feel better by trying to take your righteous anger away, but you saw the light and quit drinking the Kool-Aid and you’re free from the lies and quackery of psychiatry! I know that it’s easy for me to say, but better later than never at all!

    It’s amazing that psychiatry is the only medical specialty (and I don’t think that it should be a specialty at all) that can force its treatment on people, against their will and better judgment. It’s criminal and someday I hope that we can prosecute them for the harm that they’ve caused for countless numbers of people. I see the harm that they do on a daily basis.

  • Mindfulness is not a therapy but a practice of being aware and living in the Present Moment. If it helps people deal with the issues that they struggle with in their lives, and if it is beneficial that’s great. But it is not a therapy. However, like so many other things it can be therapeutic for individuals who practice it. But therapy is not its primary function.

  • Actually, before the advent of the drugs in the mid to late ’50’s there was about a 60% recovery rate out of the asylums, it just took people a while to accomplish the recovery. Once they left most never returned for a second visit. There were some who might return for a second visit and then never came back. Unfortunately, there were always about 30% of people who didn’t seem to have the capacity to recovery and get out of the system. Once the drugs made it on the scene what was once episodic became chronic and the supposed recovery rate is now about 15% of I remember correctly.

    You’re right about them not letting people go.

    I’ve noticed that a lot of people and organizations (like SAMSHA) talk about being “in recovery” rather than being “recovered”. I believe that there’s a big difference between the two experiences. I think that the first implies that you can’t really get your issues dealt with and behind you but that you’ll always be “ill” though you might be able to go to school or hold a job. To me recovered means that you’ve dealt with things and moved on with your life. When I bring this up in meetings of people with lived experience who are not locked in some institution most of them sidle around this and don’t really want to discuss it. They end up saying that each person has the right to think about it in the way that they want and I agree with that, but don’t turn around and try to convince me that I’m really “in recovery”.

  • And the problem with the gross cake batter made with salt instead of sugar is that we’re the ones who are forced to eat it against our better judgment. The psychiatrists and other clinical staff and the drug ceo’s don’t have to choke it down but they certainly profit off of it by leaps and bounds.

    I like your analogies and the way that you write.

  • True. Henrietta’s family would be some of the richest people in this country now if they’d received compensation for the harvesting of their mother’s cells, unbeknown to anyone but the doctor who did it and one or two of his assistants. If I understand things correctly, most of all the human cells that are used in tests and studies today come from her original cells harvested by the doctor who took her case.

    Many African Americans are afraid to go to teaching hospitals affiliated with medical schools for their treatment because they fear that they will be experimented on. Henrietta was in Johns Hopkins I think. I believe, after being trained in one of these hospitals and after reading Henrietta’s story that they have a right to be afraid.

  • And women were the main targets for the hysteria and melancholia labels. And you’re absolutely right about the wonderful “treatments” meted out to them all in the name of helping them, for their own good of course. It’s interests me how women have been the targets of so much of the quackery called psychiatry and mental health. In the thirties and forties in this country if wives of prominent men didn’t do exactly as they were told they found themselves in asylums and labeled as “mentally ill”. When women became inconvenient they ended up in the asylum.

    First the witch hunts and burnings at the stake in the Dark and Middle Ages and then the asylums if you didn’t tow the acceptable line in the 1900’s.

  • As a person who once tried to kill himself but obviously survived I just want to say thank you for a great response to everything that we’re hearing and seeing lately. I too shudder when I hear all the platitudes being spouted ad nauseam and think to myself how most people don’t even have a clue what they’re talking about concerning suicide.

    Secondly, I never believed that I was ever “mentally ill” because I wanted to kill myself. This was a huge point of contention between myself and the psychiatrists whom I had to deal with after my unsuccessful attempts. They cited their opinion that my unwillingness to embrace my “illness” was a sign that I didn’t have insight into how “ill” I truly was. When they stated this I just smiled at them because I knew without a doubt who had no insight at all into the situation. But of course, smiling got me in trouble for other reasons. You can’t win against psychiatrists.

    As a society perhaps it would suit us better to pursue contentment rather than happiness.

  • Thank you for responding. I agree that more person-centered care needs to be given but not only by psychiatrists but by all doctors in all medical specialties. Lately, I’ve run into GP’s who were as controlling as the psychiatrists I dealt with. Something has happened to the field of medicine, beginning with medical school, that is not good for our health in today’s society.

    Yes, I read your earlier statement and appreciate your willingness to deal with people properly.

  • After working seven years to change attitudes in the state “hospital” where I now work I’m beginning to think that peers would do better to leave the traditional institutions and the system and band together to create places like you refer to here. We’d have more leeway to do what we’re supposed to do with people. But this entails having money and no one in the city where I live will give money to anything like this. You can’t get the funding for this kind of work.

  • Pat, I agree that if you change the culture peers won’t be tokens.

    But it takes a very long time to change the culture of a place like a state “hospital”. It’s like turning a ship in the ocean; you have to begin planning for the turn long before you actually want to turn. These places are adamant about not changing and work to keep change at the very minimum. I’ve seen CEO’s where I work who tried to bring about change in the culture and its thinking. Three of them bit the dust in seven years and we’re working on our fourth.

  • I received more humane and understanding care from two, young behavioral health care workers who made a real human connection with me and dealt with me in compassionate ways. They led me to care about myself by showing me that they cared about what happened to me. Unlike the psychiatrists who were determined to make me do what they wanted me to do. I received more healing from them than from any of the clinical staff on the unit. I healed in spite of the clinical staff!Of course, neither of these two work at the “hospital” now.

  • Unless I didn’t read very carefully it’s surprising to me that there’s little mention made of the fact that the risk for suicide goes up after being discharged from psychiatric institutions for those who were “hospitalized”. And this is just not people who were supposedly suicidal before they were incarcerated in the “hospital” but those who showed no signs of motivation in this direction before their stay. So what does that tell you about the wonderful “treatment” that people receive? You’re more likely to kill yourself after “hospitalization” than you were before “hospitalization”.

    I was “hospitalized” for trying to kill myself. Not one of the three psychiatrists that I had on my case wanted to hear about why I wanted to kill myself. I made numerous attempts to explain what was going on and it made two of them visibly uncomfortable. As a chaplain I understood a little about body language and these two guys squirmed in their seats and looked at their watches while I tried to explain. This was not at all important to them since they knew that my actions were caused by a chemical imbalance and they certainly had the cure for that! I also had the feeling that only one of the three was concerned for my welfare. The other two were worried that if they didn’t hold me long enough and I went out and killed myself that they would be held accountable. They were worried about covering their asses and not about my issues that were causing my behavior. Such is the system where it comes to wanting to kill yourself. They will end up forcing you to take drugs that are known to drive people to kill themselves or others. Go figure. Makes you ask what’s wrong with this picture.

  • I doubt that it would be possible for someone to sneak a camera in to someone locked up. Where I work they make visitors take everything out of their pockets and leave them in a locker. Then they wand the person to see if they still have anything on them. Then they make them go through a metal detector. Then, in the visitation area they have guards that constantly watch everyone in the room. And if that isn’t enough they have cameras and microphones everywhere in the visitation room and if they suspect anything they immediately go to the film and play it back.

    And for the person who is the supposed “patient” they’d better be a very good actor because they give anyone that they suspect of what they call “malingering”, pretending to be “mentally ill” all kinds of oral exams to detect whether or not someone is pretending to be “mentally ill”. They supposedly have a method of detecting whether or not your hallucinations are valid or not. I’m not so sure that this has any validity. And then of course they watch you on film to see if you stay in character or not. The reason all of this developed is due to the fact that many people who’ve committed crimes like murder, often claim to be “mentally ill” so that they won’t be prosecuted and sent to prison. We have a very large forensic population at the “hospital” where I work.

    And, if anyone was successful in getting a camera onto the unit and was actually able to take pictures the federal government would probably prosecute them for violating the HIPPA regulations about “patient” privacy.

    The security procedures for visitors deal not only with keeping things from being brought in to the “patients” but because of the possibility of an active shooter situation. With the number of mass shootings that have taken place there is increased concern that someone might be motivated to carry out a mass shooting in the “hospital”. At times, when I’m very pessimistic about life, I’m surprised that no one has tried something like that yet. There is certainly enough righteous anger against the system and places like the “hospital” to motivate such an attempt.

  • Agreed. Even in 1941, there were many supporters among American psychiatry for euthanizing the so-called “mentally ill”. Just look at the keynote address for the 1941 meeting of the American Psychiatric Association for proof. And in 1942, an anonymous editorial by two authors supported this same idea in the APA’s Journal. This isn’t that long ago, all things considered. We just didn’t refer to the “mentally ill” as “useless eaters” like they did in Germany.

    There were many people in this country who supported Hitler and his proposals when he first came to power and many well-known foundations that still exist today supported eugenics. One interesting note; when Hitler’s speeches were translated on American radio they were not accurate in stating what Hitler was saying. A friend of mine had a German American grandmother (third generation American citizen who spoke and understood German) who said that it was strange to hear Hitler screaming a lot of very scary things while the translator was not reporting any of the scary things at all. Was this the beginnings of fake news?

  • By saying that slaves didn’t experience “mental illness” while free Black people did Galt was giving another example of cognitive dissonance. Slavery had to be protected in every way possible even though it was all chicanery. You had to hide the truth and the reality from yourself at all costs and therefore you had to practice cognitive dissonance.

    Thomas Jefferson, one of our revered Founding Fathers and the creator of the Declaration of Independence, also practiced cognitive dissonance big time. He wrote that slaves didn’t need as much sleep and rest as white people did. He stated this as fact. I think it’s plain why he would say something like this since slaves were driven to work from daylight to dark, usually seven days a week. And he had plenty of slaves to work his wonderful planation of Monticello. And some of those slaves were his very own children, children that he fathered by one of his women slaves. I think her last name was Hennings. I don’t think he freed his children until his death. Things that make you go hmmmmm………….!

  • Agreed. We can see where “evidence based practices” got us who are labeled as the “mentally ill”. I also agree that they need to quit worrying about assessing students and just meet the kids where their needs are. You don’t have to be a psychologist nor have lots of fancy degrees and training to be able to do this. You just have to love people and you have to care about doing your best for them.

  • LOL! At one time, at least when I was in high school, Guidance counselors were not psychologists. And you’re right, they helped you with career choices, college choices, arranging to take the ACT and things like that. You could go to them and talk if you had a big difficulty in your life but they didn’t patrol the hall, looking for people to harass. They refereed between students and teachers when said students and teachers had disagreements with one another. And if you were having a really tough time and it was seeable to them they called you in and gave you a chance to talk if you so desired. It doesn’t seem that this is what they do today. They seem to go around hunting for people to diagnose and label. They seem to spend more time these days making referrals to psychiatrists so that kids can be drugged. They need to be thrown out of schools, period.

  • I have no idea how many of the medical schools that tried this are still requiring some education in the Humanities. My suspicion is that this went by the wayside because they got so much flack from the students, our wonderful and dear future doctors that we’re having to deal with these days.

  • A number of years ago some medical schools began requiring their students to take classes in the Humanities. They were met with a great deal of resistance to this on the part of their students. I believe that everyone, no matter what your major in college, should be well-rounded in their education. Part of the problem with education in the United States today is that we specialize and narrow things down to just certain subjects. People end up being great mathematicians and chemists and scientist or whatever but can’t carry on an intelligent conversation concerning history or philosophy or anything else. They are lacking in knowledge and can’t beat their way out of a wet paper bag to hold an intelligent conversation to save their lives.

    I myself was a student in the College of Agriculture with a major in Dairy Science. Every semester when it came time to sign up for classes I had to make a twice yearly visit to the dean of my college and I had to defend my decision to take Humanities classes for my electives instead of agricultural classes. He stated that I should be choosing my elective hours in nothing but Agriculture and I strongly disagreed. He eventually would give in but was never happy about it. I’m really glad now that I stuck to my guns and got a well-rounded education.

  • As a former high school teacher I’m beginning to wonder if psychologists should even be part of the school situation. About all they seem to do is point out students that should be drugged for supposedly having ADHD. I wonder how often they discover students who’re are being abused at home. I don’t hear much about that at all, only this ADHD stuff. They’re supposedly part of the school system to help students but I think they’re hindering and harming students instead.

  • I agree with you. I myself will never put another one of those drugs into my body ever again but if other people feel that they are helpful to them then I say more power to them to take the damned things.

    I don’t want them but if others want to take them then I support their choice. It makes me sad but I support it. One of the huge things that the “mental health” system rips away from people is freedom of choice and self determination. I don’t want to do to others what the system always does.

  • Even though I’m one of those dreaded peer workers I’m beginning to believe that you’re onto something here.

    I’m seeing it in my own state, which just developed a training program for certified peer workers. But, get this, the people doing the training have no lived experience! And, they’ve set up parameters that are very narrow about how peers function when working with people. I sat on the original committee that began this work and the majority of the members of the committee were people with lived experience. But, we had “advisors” from SAMSHA and people from the state licensing board. We were the preliminary workers setting up what we thought the training should be like. Thrown in among us were people who ran “programs” for the “mentally ill” and people with addictions. Before it was over with many of us with the lived experience were ignored and the people without the lived experience took over and put together the curriculum for the training. Many of us removed ourselves in protest as we could see where things were being pushed by those who had no business pushing.

    All I know is that my training was nothing like the training that this group produced. One of the interesting notes is that the requirement for continuing education requires more than even social workers in the state are required to do. They’ve put so many qualifications on requirements that a person will be spending more time going to continuing ed courses and dealing with more red tape and bureaucracy than they will be actually working with people.

    Something is fishy here.

  • I feel that you make a good point about people getting off the drugs and making changes that lead to them regaining their lives, only to have push back from other people because they’ve changed. I think that this is what you are saying but correct me if it’s not.

    Many people don’t want anyone to change because then they’d have to rearrange their thinking about that person and change the way that they react to them. For many this is work that they don’t want to engage in at all. I think it’s much easier to attack people than it is to build them up and support them in their new endeavors.

    I believe that there are families that have deeply rooted emotional and psychological problems and these families often designate a member of the family to be the black sheep, the “mentally ill” family member. And God help that designated person if and when they change or try to change. The other family members refuse to look at their own issues because they conveniently have the scapegoat to point to and unload all the family issues onto. The best thing that the black sheep can do is detach from their sick family and move as far away from them as possible because the family will never change its approach to that person. They are better off with no family at all as to have to deal with the family that they have.

  • @ Frank and Oldhead

    Thanks for responding. Your explanations help me to put things in context when I get down about how things are not going where I work. I believe that you’re right when you say that the people held where I work do not truly realize that they are oppressed since for many of them this is all that they’ve ever known.

    Yes, things have changed, and not for the better when the law got involved with the system so that you’re followed everywhere, no matter what. I know that I’ve made sure to drop out of sight when I was discharged from the “hospital” where I work. I refused to go to their stupid day treatment program but of course I was not court mandated for treatment either. Not being court mandated gives you freedoms you wouldn’t have otherwise to tell the stupid asses off and that they need to mind their own businesses. Who would think to look for me in the very place where I was once held?

    Thanks for your responses.

  • I’m not so sure that all “psychiatric prisoners” would welcome being liberated. There are lots of “psychiatric prisoners” who totally believe in their “illness” and fight tooth and nail against any idea of perhaps recovering from their supposed “illness”.

    They clasp their labels fondly to their chests and become indignant when you try to discuss things that they can do to keep themselves from being imprisoned again in the psych “hospital”. I know that you have no love for peer workers and I respect your stand on things but I’ve found that many people trapped in the system and in the “hospital” don’t want to hear about living a life outside of drugs and the system. One young woman stood up last week and screamed at me that she was just a crazy person and that I needed to leave everybody alone about my stupid shit about how to escape the system.

    The only “prisoners” who seem to really care at all about leaving the system are the hard-core, die-hard, non-compliant “patients” who refuse to succumb to the demands of the wonderful treatment team (who pushes the drugs on them as the price they will pay to be able to be discharged from said “hospital”), the kind of “patient” that I have the idea that you were. These are the people that I admire the most.

    Most everyone else may not always like what the “treatment team” demands from them, but they will tell me that they are ill and always will be and that I need to quit bothering them with my “recovery” group because they have no desire to hear it. The room where I try to hold the recovery group is also the craft room, which has a radio in it. When it’s time for group to begin the radio is turned off. Well, last week I was told by two “patients” that I needed to find someplace else to hold the group because they wanted to continue listening to the radio and that I was taking away their right to do what they wanted to do. I have no control over what room is assigned for me to hold the group in and I’m not allowed to cancel the group, unless I’m ill. But this is the usual response to anything dealing with getting out of the system. I’ve battled this attitude for almost eight years now. They’ve drank the Kool-Aid and don’t want to hear anything that requires hard work and responsibility on their parts.

    So, I wonder how many “prisoners” truly want to be liberated from their “prisons”. Somehow, the system has done a much better job at convincing people to accept their message than peers have done in trying to move our agenda forward. This is probably due to the fact that the system got its hands on many of these people when they were kids, before they learned how to be responsible for themselves and about how to actually get jobs and take care of themselves. They demand that they be put on Disability if they are new to the system. The “mental health” system has destroyed tens of thousands of lives with this and people seem to accept it with little or no thought.

  • Mind you this was a preschool student! He was a baby!! What in the hell is a preschool teacher doing trying to get a small child under the age of fine on drugs????? It’s unbelievable. I was riding the city bus one morning when one of the passengers started talking about how her child as bi-polar and how she had to have all kinds of medicines. Another passenger asked her the age of her child and she sat there and said, “She’s two years old.” A two year old on the toxic drugs!

  • Exactly! So why is it illegal to go down and get your kids speed from the corner drug peddler rather than going to psychs and pharmacies? I suspect it would also be a lot cheaper from the drug peddler. I am so cynical this morning.

  • Someone else

    You are correct about schools getting more money for each “disabled” student that they have in their systems. At least that is the case in the state where I live.

    We’re not just fighting against the psychiatric system but against many other systems too. They’re all twined together in ways that are difficult to spot or pick apart but they are not working to benefit our kids or us. I’m beginning to think that the goal is to make our society into one homogenous group of zombies who will follow orders without complaint or rebellion. And now I know that I’m sounding like some conspiracy person but all of this is beginning to worry me. At the age of 70 I’m seeing things in our society that don’t look or smell very good to me.

  • Lavender

    You’re correct about this. Ordinary people don’t have the money to fight the system, which includes the schools, Department of Human Services, psychiatry, and the political hacks who stupidly back anything that the system says or pushes. But at some point all of us have to somehow make a stand against the drugging of our kids or our entire society will end up a bunch of zombies at the mercy of the large corporations who are just waiting to take over everything in this country. Since when were corporations and super pacs people too? And our wonderful Supreme Court gave us that one.

  • I agree totally. It is child abuse.

    What have we come to when you can’t trust kids with their parents nor their schools? As a teacher I always felt that I’d been given a sacred trust to do the best for my students and to watch over their welfare and well-being as best I could. Thirty years later I still wonder what happened to some of my students and I hope that things turned out well for them.

    A few years ago I watched a movie on Netflix. I can’t remember the title of the movie but it was about our society in the future when everyone had to take a daily dose of drug to keep them from feeling their emotions and feelings and to keep them from becoming dissatisfied with the government, which controlled each and every aspect of their lives. The plot revolves around one father who doesn’t take his “drugs” or “medicine” and he’s reported to the authorities by his own child. The entire thing was shot in black and white and gray and was very dark and depressing. But I feel that this is what our society is coming to if we don’t wake up and do something about it now. We’ve got to start standing up for the children.

  • You don’t have to justify yourself to anyone here. If you feel that you need it then you don’t have to make excuses to anyone here and you don’t have to defend your decision. If you feel that you need it then you need it, plain and simple. All of this should be a matter of freedom of choice to do as each person sees fit with their own lives. No one here has the right to tell you what you should be doing. If anyone here tries to shame you for doing so then they’re just as bad as the system that doesn’t give anyone any choice at all about what happens to them while in its clutches.

    As I stated somewhere else, I suspect that you’re a person with lots of strengths. You work and you go to the gym, despite dealing with the voices. I admire the determination and strength that doing such takes. It can’t be easy but you do it anyway. But you owe no explanations to anyone here about your choices concerning your own health and well-being.

  • Lately I was thinking that this was just me but I’m glad to know that someone else has noticed. Yes, MIA is a good beginning but we need something more at this point. It’s a good place to get the real facts about what’s being done to people in the name of “good treatment”. But if you want to do something, really do something to break the back of the system, we’re not going to find it here.

  • I’ve never met Will Hall but my feeling when watching and listening to him in videos is that he wants to be very careful not to upset the “mental health system”. It’s the same kind of feeling that I sometimes get from MIA. They want to dialog with the people running the system rather than just coming out and stating that it’s all a big bunch of bull shit. They want to find common ground as if there is any common ground. It’s like they feel that we’ll be looked at as crazies and we’ll be ignored if we get too adamant about all this. It’s like they tiptoe around the reality and think that the system is going to do the right and moral thing if we just talk rationally enough to them, over and over again.

  • As I stated above I’ve confronted my friends who allow their kids to be drugged with these stimulants. They act as if they’re afraid to stop the drugging and they act powerless as they shrug their shoulders and ask me what else can they do but give the drugs to their kids. It’s really crazy.

  • As a former high school teacher who now has lived experience in the wonderful psychiatric system referred to as the “mental health system” I keep asking the same question as you. “What kind of society are we if we do not put children’s well-being ahead of professional self-interest and greed?” We’d rather let entire generations of children be drugged rather than call a halt to all of this craziness. Why have doctors become so strong in our society that parents bow down to them when the first response is to drug the kids? Surely they watch the effects of these drugs on their children and yet are not willing to call a halt to any of this. I have friends who drug their kids for this fake illness and I’ve confronted them about why they allow it to go on. I’ve shared all the information with them about what a hoax this is. Their only response is to tell me, “What can we do?” I tell them that they can quit giving their kids the drugs but it does absolutely no good. It’s as if they are powerless and afraid to do the right and proper thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Oldhead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • I will have to agree with you here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Am glad that you survived.

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

  • I agree with you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Lavender Sage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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