Friday, December 2, 2022

Comments by howardjmiller

Showing 16 of 16 comments.

  • You have been told by a person or persons with the highest social status and the whitest coats, that you are ill, that you will never get well and that, in order to remain in mainstream society you must take medications for the balance of your life which have rendered you impotent, make you feel as if your skin was crawling, disturbed your sleep every night and leave you feeling hopeless. When you try to stop your medications your family/wife/staff/loved one sends you to the ER. If you’re a ward of the state you must take the medication. Now, what is your escape? Madness doesn’t make you commit suicide but a treatment which leaves you desolate and makes it difficult to resist, just might. I believe that people must have control of their own bodies including their minds.

  • The most serious effect of mental illness, especially ‘mood disorders,’ must be suicide. While we devote a lot of discussion to extra-pyramidal side effects of psych meds, little attention seems to be devoted to the significant increase in suicides and the apparent contribution which medications appear to make to them (or to their inability to reduce the incidence of them). Is this a topic too hot to handle?

  • Please don’t think this comment is flip or that I’m making light of your situation but I couldn’t help but wonder what might have happened when you were unable to get out of bed, if your mom had gently told you that you needed to go to school, perhaps giving you a couple of tips to gird your psyche. We assume pathology anytime we experience real fear or other strong emotion when those emotions are adaptive; i.e. they are there to challenge a response which in turn strengthens our ability to deal with future catastrophes.

    The beauty of CBT/DBT is that they are really common sense techniques which have served people well for centuries prior to their being organized and identified as therapeutic. I’m so glad that you came out in a good place but wonder if you had to endure years of ‘Ned Flanders’ and his ilk! Okey, dokey?

  • Polonius was clearly written as a fool, made more humorous by blathering out ‘wisdom.’ He pushes the notion of Hamlet’s madness (not malingering) on Claudius. Szasz depicts madness not as malingering, but as rational, nay even productive behavior. Perhaps I missed something seminal in both Hamlet and in several of Szasz’s works; I’d welcome cites of works and locations which support your contention.

  • This use of antipsychotics is made more insidious by the fact that it is often court ordered (kids in foster care have typically become state or county wards via juvenile court) and even if they are living with their natural parent(s) failure to comply with court-ordered treatment is categorically medical neglect. In Minnesota mental health treatment is one of five or six required areas which protective services must include in their plans for the impacted family so treatment is almost a given. This is how Minnesota, an otherwise fairly liberal state, has one of the most egregious records of excessively
    medicating kids on Medicaid (which includes all foster children).

  • How does one even begin to ascertain genetic or other causes of schizophrenia when the definition of the condition is itself so slippery (is it catatonia, disordered thinking or hallucinations to which researchers are referring? have they ruled out multiple physical conditions which can lead to these conditions?)? Perhaps research has led to accurate diagnostic (reliable and valid) criteria but I missed it. This factor left me shaking my head while reading Mukherjee’s New Yorker article.

  • Jack, you seem to live in a very dark world indeed; where you must buy sympathy or forego it completely. I’ve never lived in that world and imagine most people wouldn’t recognize it. Most of us have families and friends who freely share compassion with us and expect nothing in return but for us to return the same. This does not cost money. This behavior is reflected in almost all of the species who share our world with us. Watch and you’ll see that this is the case. One could say that this is socio-biological determinism and it is, but regardless it is quid pro quo behavior which makes the world go, even ones that call themselves communist.

    If one can get past the need to ingest indiscriminately and stop being a biological black hole one would discover that this is reality, not the cold capitalist fantasy which surrounds you. Your choice.

  • Jack,
    Your repeated assertions that “these people (??)(are) productive and working instead of drawing entitlements or welfare, alcoholics, or illegal drug addicts who also present a danger to society and with greater risk at that” are never substantiated. Please let us know the sources supporting your beliefs. The number of people on anti-depressants has risen astronomically; CDC, the FDA and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (part of DHHS) clearly establish this (the latter documents that pscyh medications kill more Americans than heroin in Behavioral Health, 1/5/16) . The number of people on SSDI is skyrocketing and the number of people on it due to MI is growing exponentially as well. There’s ample data that suicides are higher than they’ve been in 30 years and we’ve never ‘enjoyed’ such a high rate of mass shootings in recorded history. That’s substantiation, Jack. Where are your sources?

  • There is remarkably little research re long-term use that I know of other than the studies done recently of groups of people with psycho-diagnoses over a seven year period which found that those who recovered were those who stopped using medications. I think it was called the RISER study. Whitaker and others have written bunches about it.

  • Michael, with this really grueling piece I think you’ve answered a question that’s been on my mind and probably on the minds of others; why is it that ‘school/mall shooters’ are so frequently either on prescribed antidepressants or anti-psychotics? The explanation that we feel like zombies on medications or lack self control doesn’t quite answer the question logically. What you just describe, having to shock yourself enough to experience human feeling DOES seem to explain such behavior very succinctly. I hope others pick up on this and use this hypothesis to guide further research.

  • Triumph of the Will (Leni Riefenstahl) was great art but no one (or few viewers anyway) would feel compelled to become a Nazi after viewing it. This is one enormously sad video. There has to be a back story to many of the lukewarm or contrary responses you’ve been getting to this blog. For some reason it seems that many people have a profound investment in being diseased. Although the stigma can be annoying at times, the fact that our disease brings our friends, brothers and sisters rushing to our aid when we ‘decompensate,’ hell, the fact that we decompensate at all, our political and social identities as ‘mentally ill’ and our ability to insist that society give way for us; all these give us substance that we might feel lost without. This misunderstanding of our varying mentalities and insisting that those mentalities are pathological is what we must all be fighting. We cannot have it both ways!

  • Chronic or clinical depression may be the result of repeatedly failing to respond to the adaptive emotional prompt of pain we all experience when we face great loss or trauma. Like the feeling of pain when we touch a flame, the prompt compels us to do something about the loss; talk to other people, get a job, clean the house, walk the dog, confront an antagonist or sometimes just doing something, the anticipation of which causes us extreme stress. Experiences earlier in life which reduce our sense of agency can greatly increase our inability to respond and thus increase the pain and helplessness which lead downward to a deeper enduring depression. Unfortunately, the drugs we take to ward off the negative symptoms of depression also seem to increase this lack of agency, reducing our ability to act, leaving the pain intact.

  • Madmom, what a sweeping and yet precise description of systemic trauma perpetrated by the psychiatric community on those it seeks to serve. That this goes on without a hint of malice (“this is for your own good”) and with the imprimatur of society and the medical establishment multiplies the traumatic impact of the ‘interventions’ exponentially. Sadly, the truth so evident in your reply will be too easily ignored by practitioners.

  • Timothy, you are as correct as members of the American Rifle Association who claim that guns don’t kill. Of course antipsychotics don’t cause mental illness (although they clearly cause akithisia, tardive dyskinisia, sleep disorders, suicidal ideation etc ad nauseum).

    People held in high esteem (physicians) who tell people experiencing extreme but oftentimes reasonable reactions to life events or experiencing physical illness or brain damage, who then inform their patients that they have a neurological condition (without even the scantest biomarker) which they will experience for the rest of their lives and for which they must take one and usually more antipsychotic medications which will in turn cause psycho-symptoms (whew) cause mental illness.

    You have kicked off what has been an illuminating and exhausting discussion for which you must be commended. But all the psychobabble and educanto in the world will alter this basic fact. That fact that it is so basic explains the anger and frustration of the army of nay-sayers who’ve taken part in it.

  • Do we not have choices? Are there no alternatives to focusing on illness or suicide when a person first mentions depression? What if depression is our brains way of saying it feels out of step with the world around it? What if that feeling is the way our brain tells us we really should be focusing on health; watching the chickadees at the feeder, or noting the brilliant patterns of snow on the icy river, walking, preparing wonderful food? We have not been close to a clearer understanding of our mental selves in centuries as we are right now. That’s what MIA says to me. That’s what research in so many areas is finally saying. Should we really choose to ignore these new perspectives and continue to focus on our infirmities? They are not nearly as imposing as we think. Turn off the TV. ISIS is a world away. The cat is at our feet. The birds are outside. People, good people, surround us. Choose them.