Showing 61 of 61 comments.
The ship is sinking. Incredible article. Spreading it over social media like wildfire.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply Robert. When this illness hits you you lose everything: your coherency, your ability to communicate the way you did, I lost my ability to make art too. I am sorry to have become aggressive. It comes from a place of bitterness. You are the last person I should be criticizing. You are doing what most of psychiatry has failed to do.
I was hoping for some kind of response. It’s ok to reply to the crazies on this website. I’m assuming that is something you are unfamiliar with?
My problem with the insanity defense is that it officially robs those of us with major mental illness of human responsibility. Most of us are victims of violence and have every reason to lash out. We have every reason to punish a society that did not hear our screams, but still, most of us are very gentle people. I do not believe in the death penalty but I do believe that James Holmes should face the full penalty of the law. He knew what he did was wrong. He destroyed hundreds of lives in a few short minutes of carnage.
The insanity defense paints every one of us with a major mental illness as ready to go for blood and mayhem at any moment.
It steals our humanity and our free will.
It makes us look like bloodthirsty and deranged children.
This is incredibly effective for me. Along with DBT, ASMR and valerian or chamomile tea. These kinds of non-invasive coping mechanisms directly activate the parasympathetic nervous system and are enough to get me through the most vicious anxiety and panic attacks. In the same way that exercise is napalm for depression. The longer you practice these types of coping mechanisms the more powerful, automatic and versatile they become. And they are simple. Anyone can learn them.
And yet, here you are, providing invaluable updates about that excruciating process. Here you are standing up for your rights and those of the vast silent majority who are unable to do so.
You inspire me to continue doing the same.
This struck me to my core:
” I have some clients/patients with “old fashioned manic depression” (not DSM bipolar) who are on NO regular medications, and use ACT psychological flexibility strategies daily (mindfulness skills, orientation to valued actions, acceptance skills, exercise, sleep diet etc) AND occasionally with stress / seasons have manic episodes. We step back stressors IF possible, increase health strategies, AND use short term LOW dose diazepam/temazepam and chlorpromazine (more flexible, lower dose than quetiapine also less appetite/weight issues but functionally very similar) short term – and they’ve settled and OFF medication in about a month, max 6 weeks. ”
This is nearly identical to what I follow minus the phamaceutical elements. If I had ever met a doctor I trusted I would be willing to try them. My diagnosis is schizoaffective. Your patients are very lucky. This is the kind of science that Psychiatry would be paying attention to if she were not possessed by profit.
Thank you for your honesty and loyalty to the hippocratic oath.
I would like very much to hear more from you and I think this community would too.
Thank you for this.
We need a system that rewards great science and scholarship. Not great profit margins.
Thank you for this post Mr. Whitaker.
Psychiatric medication is a
That is unacceptable.
I will add that you have advertised the same three books in all three of your comments on this website.
Please don’t use the comments section for advertising. It smells like spam.
What do you feel has given you the patience and strength…
Strong as steel
To continue to walk through this, year after year? I’m sorry that so many members of my generation don’t appreciate the great value of long experience. Please know that some of value it beyond price.
It’s not so much chewing as crunching. But yes, a large proportion of ASMR videos involve eating of some sort. I had no idea that was a topic in autistic circles.
It’s the kind of thing I’d like to see a bunch of idealistic young minds chew on. Anecdotal experience can only take it so far.
A lot of info about there on it,
Here is the Wikipedia:
But really it’s hard to say what it is. Your guess is as good as mine. I just know certain sounds and other sensory inputs help me feel able to better exist in my skin at moments of my highest panic, distress or anxiety.
The best way to explore it is to go to YouTube. Type ASMR in and dive in. It seems to be more popular in Europe so you could probably find a bunch of German speaking videos. That would help because a lot of it is language oriented. I think the reason it is so popular on YouTube is that the best videos get watched over and over. This is my favorite. I ‘be probably watched/listened to her over 1,000 times.
I ‘m not advertising anything. I hate that shit. I’m a very poor person with no health insurance. I love that these are free. Free is a magical word in my world.
I think that one of the problems with concepts like ASMR is that they are not easily defined. So much that is useful to the traumatized mind and body are not easily quantified or defined. The medical model is uncomfortable with ambiguity, like the DSM. I have the classic “brain spasm” with certain specific triggers. One of the strongest is, randomly and oddly enough, the sound of a person eating cornflakes or frosted flakes. I have a much larger number of lesser “triggers” that aren’t as dramatic, but absolutely calm me down in predictable and consistent ways. I think that defining ASMR in a too rigid fashion has created an artificial division between those who might have strong and acute triggers vs those who don’t. At bottom, isn’t any activity or sensory space that we can control and deliberately inhabit therapeutic? I’d love to see more discussion of this on MIA.
Your cat is adorable, I think cats know a lot about ASMR, starting with the purr.
Incredible article Monica. Thank you also for the many links to study. It makes me think of ASMR. When I am at my highest level of mental and physical distress it works better than anything. I’ve been thinking of starting a thread on the forums where people can discuss it. I love how non-invasive it is. I would be curious to know what you think of it if you have run across it?
No travel necessary. The thread / group just exists right here on the website. I think we are spread between at least 3 continents. I’m located in rural Wyoming so an online community is a lifeline for me.
Just go to the community section of the forums. Boans started it and named it “the bridge.” It is very appropriate as we are all from different places. You will have to put up with my long and emo poetry. You are most welcome. I just wanted to extend an olive branch to you and anyone else who would benefit from a place to rant, rave, and reach out to others who are isolated. I think the concept of digital support groups is very powerful. This one has saved my life a few times.
Just know that you have a place to be yourself if you need it. I filter a lot of my expression on the main page here at mad in america. The forums are a great place to just be yourself.
Anyone reading this is invited. I spent my entire young adulthood as the weird kid no one wanted to talk to. I despise exclusivity and cliques.
Finding a safe space where I can be my strange self has meant the world to me. I just wanted you to know you are not alone.
You had me at Woozle.
Drawing from the last century of artistic and literary richness is very needed. There is so much wisdom there. So many messages in bottles thrown out by those who were ground to splinters by modernity.
I seek refuge in Rilke, in Dr. Seuss, and in a thousand other bright lights who came before. Whose shoulders we stand upon.
This is a great post. I’m so pleased to see that the internet traffic to this site has increased. It is badly needed.
Please keep writing.
Please keep fighting the good fight.
“Negative symptoms of schizophrenia is the greatest scam there is. Is it so difficult to imagine why a person who is experiencing this kind of emotional turmoil and cognitive confusion plus societal rejection combined with psychiatric abuse is not the happiest, most motivated and sparkling person in the room?”
You just summed up the last 10 years of my life.
There are no words to express how much that means.
Thank you again for your comments and thought provoking statements. I like your constructive anger and I like the way you think. We have a thread/support group on the community forums called “the bridge” if you would like to come by. It formed organically and has pretty much gotten me through this winter.
Hugs to you and please stay confident and lively!
I will do whatever it takes to keep away from both psych meds and the docs who want to shove them down my throat. The meaning of the word meditation in has gotten so watered down by new age dilettantes it’s almost meaningless. I think it is just like any discipline. You practice with whatever works until you get it. Because we have no choice. Because our lives and our agency depend on it.
Hi MadinCanada and Emmeline, I would love to compile a list of what has worked for me in a blog post. What helps me most with my psychosis is the meditation practice I learned before my first psychotic break. It’s simple, but powerful. Your thoughts are not you, and they are not real. They don’t have to define your present or your future if you do not allow them to. Psychosis can be like a siren song, beautiful, compelling, transcendent, terrifying and deadly. When I become psychotic I do the most mundane and physically grounding things I can until they are more manageable. It’s like riding out high waves in a storm. It’s very hard to do but the more you practice it the easier it gets. I know this is probably abstract and useless. Best wishes to you both!
A long distance hug
Whoops! I meant Dr. Cornwall. Thank you very much Dr. Cornwall.
Hi Someone Else,
Good luck with your book! You bring up a really important point and possibly one of the biggest points of “largely friendly” contention on this website. I believe that Robert Whitaker changed the world when he wrote his books. You know that Dr. Suess book, The Speaker For The Trees? Robert did that for us. He is not “crazy” but he spoke for the crazy folk in a way we could not because we would not be taken seriously. He patiently, brutally and calmly devastated the prevailing paradigm with logic, evidence and scholarship. The fact remains that my brain pumps out psychotic thoughts like my stomach secretes acid. I know this wasn’t caused by meds because I have never taken them. I do believe it was caused by a combination of psychiatric disorders on both sides of my family and a childhood saturated with severe sexual abuse. We need a big tent for this movement, one we can all shelter underneath. Those of us with psychiatric problems that medication does not help and almost universally worsens. Those of us whose disorders were caused by these horrific drugs. Those of us suspended somewhere in between. And last but not least, those of you who took the Hippocratic oath seriously, and refuse to trade it in for some bullshit Faustian Bargain. We are all in this together.
PS I forgot to thank Duane for his excellent post. Thank you Duane!
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? How did Humpty Dumpty fall from the wall? How can we put him back together again an hoist him back up again? These questions are endless. They are very important and well worth asking. My parents, friends and family saw me transform from a hardworking girl, brimming with talent, intelligence and promise into a broken ruin almost overnight. They want the magic bullet. They want so FUCKING BADLY for some glue to put me back together again.
I want that too. Too badly to even allow myself to think about. What we want and what we need are two different things. What I NEED is not help to return to what I was. What I need is a way to move through each day, as a broken and ruined person. With less misery. With not being constantly reminded about what I lost. I don’t need dreams I need those around me to get a reality check. There are dozens of things that would make the hell I exist in more bearable. I could list a hundred small but helpful adaptations that would reduce the misery of my day to day life by even a glorious 10%.
I need help living with being broken, not the impossible pressure of those who have spent the last 10 years trying to fix me.
Thank you! I really hope it helps. I think our biggest problem is not a lack of treatment methods. I think there are a wealth of effective treatments for mental illness. I think we also have a rich legacy of traditions that gave it both context and value. Before our technology outpaced our good sense. Our problem now is not a lack of answers but a lack of will and faith. Our society firmly believes that psychosis is both evil and valueless. Ipso facto so are those of us who experience it. Will does a great job of addressing that here I think.
Incredible piece. Thank you so much for it. It is possible to grapple with psychosis. Not to get rid of it, but to get on with it.
Simple but powerful methods are best. The most powerful thing that will help someone floundering in psychosis is to learn that their thoughts don’t run the show. They are just thoughts. No matter how true, important, numinous, celestial, demonic or compelling, they are not physical objects. Not a raven or a writing desk. They are under your control and cannot harm you if you do not allow them to. What they can and will do is drown you if you don’t learn to swim. This is hard to learn. So is everything worthwhile. He could learn it if given half a chance. He could also be of tremendous use to a sick world if he could help others do the same. A world full of folks dying slowly, like Robin Williams.
“People use drugs, legal and illegal, because their lives are intolerably painful or dull. They hate their work and find no rest in their leisure. They are estranged from their families and their neighbors. It should tell us something that in healthy societies drug use is celebrative, convivial, and occasional, whereas among us it is lonely, shameful, and addictive. We need drugs, apparently, because we have lost each other.”
– Wendell Berry
I’ll just leave this here.
With my onset of schizophrenia
12 years ago
Everything I was, had been and could be,
Got sucked down a drain.
People self medicate not because they are
But because they want to live
If you can’t find a reason to live
You can find plenty of ways to sabotage the delicate
The best thing about
Is that they have been through it
This is what is
From the psychiatric profession.
I never once had a therapist that understood
What it is like to live with a mind
Full of twisting snakes.
They were all privileged rich
Every last one.
This comment was written in rage. It triggered decades of memories around so many “supernatural”, “magical” and non-ordinary states of reality. I would like to apologize for it. My current life is a sad, sodden ruin, despite being steeped in “magical insanity”. Our culture has no context for it.
What I have learned most during these years is that there is no greater or more powerful “magic” than kindness. It has the power to blast through walls no level 12 sorcerer or shaman could manage for a moment.
Please accept my apologies Natalie. My tirade is about my own past and bitterness. Your words are very needed, and important.
This website was built on a foundation of kindness, compassion, curiosity and clarity. That is the kind of practical magic I have come to trust.
Ketamine is nothing like most psychedelics. It is both reckless and naive for you to dismiss the therapeutic value of hallucinogens. It also shows how sheltered you and most of the psychiatric profession are to the experience of altered states. Many of my friends tripped and went on to great success as adults. Those of us who did not uniformly came from the most broken and abusive homes. The psychedelics I did helped me, much like meditation, in coping with my onset of schizophrenia.
When will you people
By a family
10 years of my life
Not any substance
In my adolescence
In a futile
To escape my past
And a fear
To face my future.
This shit isn’t rocket science.
I love this
Reading your previous
Before my break years ago, and before the years it took to finally accept my diagnosis of schizophrenia/schizoaffective I had some encounters with floridly borderline women. They tore me to pieces, like a wildcat would if you tried to hold it.
In my mind once I stumbled across the label “borderline” I was eager to have a label to shove that intensity away. Years later, after my own onset, which lacks borders in similar and
I see how much these women taught me now, years later, about
I discovered DBT through one of these women. It saved my life.
We need to get rid of the toxic vocabulary that the DSM is based on. It’s not useful to anyone but
I think it’s time the crushing
A final thought.
As someone with a major mental illness.
You bet I need help.
I want so badly to return to
The person I used to be
Or even some
Give us real treatments
Not a scary gauntlet
I would seek the
If it was real help
Your article here, not to mention your massive body of work, comprises an embarrassment of riches for me. I will try hard to digest fully your thought and references, as long as it takes.
For now, I just have to say, we are so lucky to have you on our side. I spent so many years thinking no one understood. But you do!!
What a relief and what a long unlooked for blessing.
Thank you so very much, from the bottom of our crazy hearts. You and so many authors here steal from me the sense of isolation. You have stolen from me my loneliness.
Please keep stealing more!
I hope that you can feel the groundswell of gratitude your writing invites.
It is beyond price.
It punctures time and space
I don’t think we can ever
Maybe the best
We can say
again and again
The dark places we
You give us hope
You give us light.
It’s cold here,
I’ll never be able to say
How much warmth
Your words bring.
I know I’m
I don’t care
Is worth repeating.
Thank you for yet another incredible article. Your scholarship and attention to detail takes my breath away. May I speak for so many of us under the the thumb of this system and say:
We are so lucky to have you on our side.
Your integrity is very moving, and does not go unnoticed for one moment.
I wish there was some medal we could hang around your neck.
Thank you so much for your tireless advocacy.
The same is true for meditation, in my case, formal Zen practice and training. Part of the problem stems from the demographic of most folks who have the means, time and privilege to engage in such practices, teachers and students alike. They don’t come from the kind of backgrounds that breed trauma like a petri dish. I was drawn to the practice for many reasons, many of them genuine Bodhichitta. At the heart of my seeking was also a way to find the lost parts of myself, lost in incest and deeply buried. Much of the “Great Matter of Birth and Death” I was trying to resolve was just that fracture between mind, body and soul that trauma causes. I did great for almost a decade, but these practices are very very effective in bringing up whatever is hidden. This is also why they can be so dangerous for those of us who carry such fault lines. Authentic contemplative practices are a tool, like a shovel or ice pick. They do what they were designed to do, bit by bit, the small self is eroded. For most people that is a source of liberation and enlightenment, and I had those experiences too. The danger comes when a person, like myself is eroding much that is crucial to wholeness at the same time. We need our egos, and a healthy sense of self to have boundaries, agency and protection. The consciousness raising tools we use can be blind to the need to go slow, to titrate, be gentle, and to beware of flooding. Zen practice in particular can be violent, it does what we ask it to very quickly, and in my case, all too well. In 2003, smack in the middle of my 37th sesshin, 10 years of trauma came up into consciousness like a hurricane. Ripping my sanity away like a tarp in a high wind. My sangha did not understand, and were terrified to see someone who had been so strong, crumple like a dead plant. I don’t think it was just my trauma though, it was also the onset of schizophrenia. But what happens when someone who has spent their entire young adult life engaged in a practice that teaches that your thoughts are not real except in their consequence, develops schizophrenia? What happens is amazing, and I am so grateful for the same practices that seemingly “drove me mad.” That same practice gave me the tools to sort out reality from delusion. The tools to confront my psychosis head on, and decipher the very real healing and insight it offers. They gave me the sense to stay away from both facilities and antipsychotics until I had sorted myself out. I realized it wasn’t ever my practice, it was those many years of the violation of self, and a hefty genetic predisposition, that caused the condition I live with each moment.
In conclusion, yes, these practices will unearth trauma. They also give you the best tools in existence to confront it, your mind, your madness and your promise within the walking nightmare of psychosis your life can become. I’m very grateful to my teachers, and to the zen tradition. Especially the koan “Sei and her soul are separated”. That koan took my broken life away from me, however “functional” it may have appeared. That same koan gave me the ability to forge a new life. I’m less functional now, but I found the part of me that got left behind,
I don’t run anymore, I stumble. But I stumble because she is with me now, that broken part of myself. We are tethered together by love and fate, like two sisters in a sack race. My life is very different, but I will never leave her side again. I dropped straight into hell to get her back and I will never walk until she can walk with me. I will never begin to run until she can keep up.
we will realize
we are the same Sei.
I will wait
as long as it takes.
Here is a koan for you MIA. If I can write something like this, how can schizophrenia be either unreal, or a death sentence? It is neither, I am here, in the middle of madness, speaking to you.
Are you listening?
Love your reference to
Another spin on this matter:
“I see flaws, cracks in your diamonds
CB4 when you rhyme, Simple Simon
Come and meet the pie man – a must that I flaunt it
The legend grow legs when it comes back to haunt us”
Excellent words Annie…
Oops, the first wiki link should have been:
Both, I believe, apply here.
“So when Dr. Pies asserts that these conditions are illnesses, all he’s actually saying is that: conditions whose definitions entail distress or functional impairment, are conditions that entail distress or functional impairment. And somehow in all of this, Dr. Pies seems to believe that his assertions constitute constructive dialogue.
It’s not quantum physics; it’s logic 101.”
Thank you for exposing his tautology, in excellent, thoroughly researched detail.
From wiki on tautology
“In rhetoric, a tautology (from Greek tauto, “the same” and logos, “word/idea”) is a logical argument constructed in such a way, generally by repeating the same concept or assertion using different phrasing or terminology, that the proposition as stated is logically irrefutable, while obscuring the lack of evidence or valid reasoning supporting the stated conclusion.”
Also so pertinent:
What I wrote last night
might seem incoherent
All I was trying to say
Is that I researched your
Your previous articles
Your gut wrenching honesty
About your life experiences
Is so rare
Is so appreciated
Please continue to be
Exactly who you are!
So many of us need
People like you
With sterling integrity
Please, don’t let that
You give me so much hope
Inch of this
Of the chemical walls
That hold us
I lost, 3 weeks ago, 10 years of writing.
Thousands of pages. Everything I had managed to put to words, through the maelstrom.
Out of 10 years that felt like 1,000,000
I managed to write down 2%
That 2% is gone now.
Into a digital black hole.
It doesn’t matter.
I still have memory.
The bitch of chaos rules us all.
I trust that beauty.
I learned a hard lesson.
Not to trust irreplaceable thoughts
To anything but paper.
That cannot disappear as easily.
Those writings are lost,
I cannot get them back,
Or retrace the states that created them.
I am still here.
Even in fragments,
I still remember.
Is for you
I fell to my knees,
A sudden grief,
That cannot be put into words
Washed me away
The ‘me’ that had been obliterated by years of ego defeat
I saw this dream waking
I had a vision
Of a millennia of buried
Raisins rotting in the sun
Stacked underneath myself
Like a ladder
DNA / RNA
That reached infinitely far down
We were all standing
Feet on each others’s shoulders
At their daughters
Who would come after
With blind trust
They stood on the back of a huge
That was also full of love
They reach for you
They stand for you
I have come to
As a child of incest
Keep bringing that stack of
Feminine Buried voices
Into the phenomenal world
What you are doing is
For those of us who
I know this is a burden
My life is a constant burden
Bear it gladly.
And raw, bloody,
NEVER FOR PROphet.
Or her bad sister
Laughing too hard to reply.
We would not need more hospital beds if we did this:
“The main difference is that a holistic therapist spends quite a bit of time focused on health and well being. That means looking at diet, lifestyle habits, herbal and vitamin supplements, sleep, rest and exercise patterns as cornerstones of good mental health. At the core of the practice Jon emphasizes nourishment. A well nourished body helps regulate emotions, diminishes anxiety and depression, strengthens cognitive function and improves an overall state of well being.”
Off to make some good cheap food and sleep.
After a few golden hours spent weeding my garden and enjoying sunlight.
Health isn’t that complicated.
Thank you for being here.
I’ll be returning to cleaning houses soon.
You don’t need much money to live simply.
Even the most broken of us can do that.
If given half a chance.
Just an excellent piece of writing through and through. Your honest is very, very needed.
Thank you so much for this.
10 years since my onset of
Used to be schizophrenic
Upgraded recently to
No medication but
Just depacote, I needed it to sleep after 3 weeks when I first
I was too terrified to sleep, because I thought “knew” I needed to hold the thread of my mind, before it blew me away forever. No sleep for 3 weeks, until…
I transitioned off depacote with Valerian/chamomile tea. After 2 weeks. Sucked on those tea bags like a baby bottle.
That’s it. Since 2003 the psychosis has never stopped, I lost my ability to work recently.
I’m steadily regaining it.
It makes you
Strong if you survive it.
The world unfolds in so much beauty and meaning
It will blind you if you look
Like the fire
In repo man’s trunk
Behind the madness and
Sharks live there
In your mind…
You have to make friends with them
With every molecule of your fear
I am still here.
Do not trust anything that comes in a bottle.
If you do…
Less is More!!
Thank you depacote,
You held my hand
You made it ok to sleep that
Do what you need to do to stay alive, but please…
Trust the wide green earth.
Exercise like a madwoman.
Eat raw foods.
Get lots of sun.
Take any opportunity you can find to turn the channels in your head down.
So you can keep working.
Only fly when it is safe.
Keep your Delphi
It Gets Better.
Stay with your fear,
There is nothing in your mind that can hurt you,
If you refuse to allow it to.
Jung was right.
Sink or swim.
Chop wood and carry water
Be gentle but
Dive or drown.
The Gordian Knot
In your mind
Cannot be cut
Not for you
For what remains
Peace is possible
Even in madness
I love your butterfly.
I love your quote on fear, this one helped me more than anything that comes in a bottle!
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Frank Herbert, Dune
Thank you so much for your post!
I cannot wait to read them! A question, do you guys also use DBT? Marsha Linehan brought out that gem a few years ago. It saved my life. The three therapies that have helped me the most were CBT, DBT, and ACT. They all kind of rhyme, it makes them easy to remember!
What you guys are doing in Northern Europe is the future. It fills me with hope to think that these therapies are catching on here in the US.
an hour after posting this:
I read your post.
The irony and synchonicity take my breath away.
I seem to remember Jung had a thing or two to say about that mystery…
Keep kicking ass sister.
I wish that someday, we could meet, I would hug you so hard that it might break us both.
Keep speaking and writing,
You are so needed.
Your post is too beautiful for words…
Please, please continue to break, to reassemble, to spread healing through your own pain.
“It is to be broken. It is to be
torn open. It is not to be
reached and come to rest in
ever. I turn against you,
I break from you, I turn to you.
We hurt, and are hurt,
and have each other for healing.
It is healing. It is never whole.”
― Wendell Berry, The Collected Poems, 1957-1982
This is brilliant.
This speaks to my experience of personal healong.
Thank you so much for sharing it,
I shared this a few hours ago.
Every word you have written sings.
Every word echoes my experience.
Hippocrates weeps hearing what you have to say.
Please continue to embody what he gave us.
Thank you for your reply! Sorry about my garbled DBT post. Totally off topic. It’s a rant I sent to my local NAMI email list. I somehow got roped into being a “board member at large”. That’s what they call those of us crazies who are the token “consumers” required for a quorum. Doesn’t that word “consumer” speak volumes?
Most of the folks in my local small town chapter are great. Most also don’t know about NAMI being hijacked by big pharma long ago. Before I was born I think.
Anyway, thank you again for your words.
with humor and solidarity
“She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
of her life, and weaves them gratefully
into a single cloth—
it’s she who drives the loudmouths from the hall
and clears it for a different celebration!”
Sera, making sure your message is heard over social networks. A lot of my friends are young artists and sad kids trying to find a way to live. As an artist, is there a possibility that this site can create a place for us to share our images, and music? I have not been able to make art for many years. I’d still love a place to share the art I did make. Now all I can do is write. That’s why I so appreciate great writing, and let’s say it out loud… Great Healing / Great Medicine like this.
A few thoughts
Depression costs us so much. In another way, it gives us something beyond price. Robin, in his genius, in his honesty and humor, gave us so much wth his life. In another way, he gave us more with his passing. He is saying take this seriously. Take neurological problems seriously. Understand that no drug, however subtle or effective, can “fix” all of us. I have tried so many. I am sure Robin tried many more. Some work for a time, some work for longer. What has worked for me more than any drug is DBT. Not a drug but a therapy, a therapy that teaches something so basic and simple, it seems trivial at first glance. Dialectical Behavior Therapy has a lot of complexity in certain ways, in other ways it is blindingly simple and brilliant. You learn to feel bad. You learn to feel like stinking shit. You learn to feel really, really awful, maybe all the time, and just keep going. Just keep walking, and never let feeling bad steal from you your life. I have no doubt it is why I am still here, and will remain. You learn that even great pain is better than oblivion, you learn that staying with life, however unbearable, is your deepest responsibility.
Learn to feel bad.
Learn to be ok with the reality that you may never feel better.
Learn that you, however much you might hate yourself, can do this.
I think Robin left us with a great teaching,
and a life of whistling in the dark,
I can still hear him.
Thank you Robin,
Not for the laughter
For the red hot pain behind it.
Your voice and writing empower us all. I tried to come up with the right words to express my gratitude. I’m sad right now too. All I can say is how much I appreciate your words and insight. How much hope I have every time I visit this site. The writers here deserve a place to say what isn’t being said elsewhere. I don’t know where all of you came from, I am just so happy that you are doing what you do.
From the bottom of my crazy heart
Oops! That was meant to be read as Trans Cranial Stimulation.
Your writing is so clear and so easy to understand. The breakdown you published on TMS in particular was incredibly helpful and informative. Those of us with cognitive scrambling benefit so much from translations of data like those you provide. At least I did!
Here is a quote I love that seems to echo so much of what you say here. I imagine if the two of you were to meet on a porch in Kentucky you would have a great deal of accord with one another. I wish we respected our elders more. Maybe we would if more of them were like yourself. Keep up the goid work, it is deeply appreciated.
“I would argue that it is not human fecundity that is overcrowding the world so much as the technological multipliers of the power of individual humans. The worst disease of the world now is probably the ideology of technological heroism, according to which more and more people willingly cause large-scale effects that they do not see and that they cannot control. This is the ideology of the professional class of the industrial nations—a class whose allegiance to communities and places has been dissolved by their economic motives and by their educations. These are people who will go anywhere and jeopardize anything in order to assure the success of their careers.”
– Wendell Berry