Monday, August 2, 2021

Comments by Daiphanous Weeping

Showing 100 of 234 comments. Show all.

  • Dear Jack,

    I use the word illness as meaning anything from an ill feeling of foreboding about climate change to an ill feeling of being traumatized to an ill feeling of merely feeling fed up to an ill feeling of having nightmare hallucinatons for twenty years whether they are caused by supernatural entities or not. I also use illness to include any other way a person may choose to describe their sense of feeling ill like in anorexia or bipolar or schizophrenia. Yes some people on this site do not feel any ill feelings at all. They are maybe just angry and like feeling angry.
    I do not think trauma is a well feeling. It is not how one wants to feels on a birthday. And I do not think many people with real schizophrenia want to experience schizophrenia. What one does not want to experience invariably makes one feel ill. Many things make one person feel ill but not another person. That is just life. This website should be welcoming of all diverse people who just want to talk about feeling ill without have rules about how and when and why and why not and what correct words they should use.

    Now, as for your remark “who are you to say others have an illness, you dont know them or their lived experience”

    I say….

    “Who are you to tell me who are you?”

    “Yeah, who are you to tell me I cannot generalize or be grandiose or be all-knowing or be clairvoyant or be plugged in to supernatural schizophrenic global universal wisdom that knows exactly what the president and everyone on this website had for breakfast last monday. Who are you to berate me when you do not know if I am a deity or a sea sponge with psychic xray vision and an ability to discern everyones lived experience. Who are you to tell me I cannot judge anyone I wish to if I choose to without even knowing anything about them. Who are you to say I cannot be thick or stupid or biased or messed up or mad, mad, mad?”

    I am a child of the universe. I can be who I be. As all children freely can.

    And by the way there are a great many people who read the comments section who are not always going to align with “the norm” in the comments sections, people who may applaud every comment I have made. Not that I care one way or the other. This website is for inclusion, that means of a diversity of opinions and feelings and thoughts. So “who” I am, is just not some other person. I do not “have to” be another person.

    And I am no fan of the term “lived experience”. Surely every person has experiences. Surely “every” experience is “lived”. Perhaps people say it like it means “authority”, like being an authority on an experience. Well surely a person must be free to be an authority on an authority, otherwise we live in a totalitarian state. There is a respectful aspect to authority, in freely choosing to value someones welcome knowledge but there is a dark side to authority when it is used to bicker and control. The term “lived experience” has increasingly been used to control or hush anyone with a different opinon.

    Hushing the different is where psychiatry went so wrong. Psychiatric survivors are at risk of following that example.

    Let me save you the bother of replying. I really must press on with my other concerns now. I shall not be reading any ripostes. I get too easily sucked back in….

    Taraah!

  • Dear Jack,

    A fluffy pink bunny is a delightful name. I prefer to call myself a schizophrenic because this illness of schizophrenia is what I know myself to have. I am an adult and I can call myself anything I wish to and there is nothing anyone can do to change that. If I want to call my disease blue orb illness, or green bicycle diagnosis or scvyhtrwaustrizipitoch disease I shall do so. You are quite right not to care what I call myself. This is the whole theme of my message in all of my comments. Nobody should poke their nose into what other people want to call themselves. If that was a new constitution you could call yourself whatever you want to call yourself too.
    I believe that if you read my comments and not the thrilling noise surrounding them you will see that I have never judged what anyone else chooses to call themselves. If anyone has dropped their diagnosis I have not done anything to coerce them to pick it up again. I have no need for anyone else on the planet Earth to ever say they too have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. I actually prefer to be the only person in the world who has ever had it diagnosed. It makes me wonder why I ever left MIA comments section, where everyone seems okay to let me be the only schizophrenic. Just like why would I want there to be two fluffy pink bunnies? As you can see, I have absolutely no assumptions about anyone else and no agenda to reform anyone away from what makes them contented. How you yourself “assume” that I assume things about others is a bit intriguing, as if maybe you have astounding gifts to be able to be inside my private mind, but I can assure you I do not have much curiosity about others to be so preoccupied with their views or opinions. Life is too hectic with other demands on my time for me to sit all day and fathom out the inner workings of anyone. So no, I do not assume everyone else here has my diagnosis of schizophrenia. You claim to have had eight days of hallucinations. Someone doing party drugs can clock up that many days. I have had hallucinations for twenty years, every hour of the day. Even right now as I am typing. Gonna call it something! Schizophrenia is beautiful to me, as a word, and as a spiritual endurance. And Im not going to put tricksy little speech marks around what I do choose to call it. And nor shall I ever call what I choose to call my lovely wisdom bestowing illness “a label”. I am not able to take away peoples autonomy. I do not have Marvel Comic Superpowers like that. And why would I want to? What would I do with a load of obedient zombies who are not able to choose things for themselves. I have never liked zombies. They bore me. I prefer everyone to be themselves, whoever they like to be. I have never given people pedantic labels as you said. I am busy writing all day. By the time I stop I am not interested in applying any more words anywhere to anything. My descriptive inspiration is drained and I am wont to gaze into space completely blissfully speechless. The only labels I can marshal any focus on are the ones on the rear of my readymeal micowave packages. I am not your psychiatrist. I am not anyones anything. I am just me. Is it possible I can just be me and you can just be you?

    I leave you with this to make sense of or make no sense of. I am not invested in “proving”. I only champion everyone to have their “free choice”, including you.

    I am glad I found your comment today. I have pretty much got a ton of stuff to do in my life just now so took myself away, away, away….goodbye my friend.

  • Dear Kindred Spirit,

    You said this…

    “DW, the problem here is that you continue to confuse your own right to use whatever words you wish to use to describe your own experience with the widespread use of these diagnostic labels by the medical system.”

    Let me respond to this Kindred Spirit…

    A person of colour really likes to have the “freedom of choice” to define themselves in their own words, even if ten other people, or the population of the planet disagree, and want to call them something they do not ask to be called, nor want to be called, nor choose to be called. By that distinction the same person freely chooses to use DIFFERENT words to describe themselves that they personally do like. That too should be RESPECTED It is really that simple. There is no “fight” about. If everyone kept that in mind, the importance of respecting each and every individuals right to define themselves as they wish the world would be pleasant. I would have thought that most activist sites would agree. That is WHY the INDIVIDUALS right to this is of PARAMOUNT importance, MORE than the ten people, or group, or regime. What I think you maybe ALSO want to see in the world is this “freedom of choice” being RESPECTED. So actually my position in this regard IS IDENTICAL to yours. Where we may not match is over the word RESPECT. I have NEVER insinuated or blatantly told ANYONE on this site that they hold FAKE views of themselves. If I ever played with that tendency it was only once or twice and only to turn the tables to let others see how it feels to be having their personhood mocked, in order to put a stop to “mockery”, which goes against the grain of any of the world’s INDIVIDUAL “freedom of choice”. What many here do not like is the VERY same thing, which is when the medical system repeatedly refuses to RESPECT “freedom of choice”. So you see my championing individual freedom of choice for all, for each individual to be called what they prefer without mockery… IS what is FUNDAMENTAL to your ultimate goal. Or at least I think it is. You have an illness that you prefer gets called what you wish it to get called. Now suppose there is a person who believes they have an illness caused by quartz crystals. A person with it does not want it to be called FAKE. They just want their own understanding of it to be RESPECTED. If ten people mocked their “freedom of choice” within their hearing, and by the way that is what mockery most often does because it is too cowardly to bully directly, then that person who may have an illness such as yours is having their INDIVIDUAL “freedom of choice” cruelly berated in favour of the ten people. Or group. Or collective. Or elite. Or medical system. Or political system. Or masses. When the masses come before the right of the INDIVIDUALS “within” the masses to have their godgiven birthright which is INDIVIDUAL “freedom of choice” there stops being a thing called FREEDOM. So I dont know what exactly that “fight” by “the masses” would be for, if NOTfor the FREEDOM of everyone, including me and including you, to call their illness what they wish to without fear of mass bullying. My tireless assertion of my INDIVIDUAL “freedom of choice” IS your campaign. I am doing exactly what your campaign ultimately seeks which is emancipation from mockery and mass bullying. But it is not easy. I can see that. It requires simply believing and honouring your own free self more than focusing on how bullies in the past undermined your free choice.

    Let me respond to another quote if I may…You said..

    “I dont know whether you don’t care that there is a difference”

    I would say YES yes yes you do not know me AT ALL. You dont know if I have terminal cancer. You dont know if I am about to spiral into a profound depression. You dont know if I have just lost my baby daughter of five months. You dont know if I work in a field hospital in Syria. You dont know if I pilot a rescue boat for refugees to come to Europe. You dont know if I go around whistleblowing on corrupt medical authorities. You dont know if my last hope for survival was in getting a friendly outstretched comment here asking me who I am, eager to know all about me. But I forgive it, because everyone here is in some kind of pain.
    So we are ALL IN PAIN HERE.

    That should be a source of bonding. But I suspect bonding is not wanted. I suspect retribution is only what is wanted here. And the irrate are in too much pain to want to know who other people are unless they too want retribution. But this may be what makes being on any site where only that is occurring, where only the masses matter, where nobody bothers to want to foster the sort of ambience where you feel treasured for your “different” freedom of choice and deliciously known, a somewhat lonely experience. And that loneliness will only delay healing, and therefore lead to more PAIN. Which then gets shouted out in the comments section, as if coming from somewhere oblique, like general trauma.

    Let me respond to this next quote…

    “So let me repeat: it ain’t about you, honey.”

    Actually it really is. And it is about you. And it is about him. And it is about her. And so on and so forth. For ALL the above reasons connected to an INDIVIDUALS “freedom of choice” as informed by their INDIVIDUAL “feelings”.

    The “honey” bit is unnecessary. I do get lonely but not that lonely.

    I am chuckling here because you are fighting me over something you want.

    That’s maybe a little obscure and existential.

    Lastly, I do not repeatedly take things people say out of context, I float above “context” to study higher universal truths. I am spiritual not political. That is my interest, which again is so much MY INDIVIDUAL “freedom of choice” and is so dear and enjoyable to me that I celebrate it…in me….and in you….when your choice is to study politics and context. Isnt it lovely we are BOTH free to be so MUCH MORE of who we are not less?

    I look forward to more of this freedom for everyone in our SHARED world, which is your world….and is my world. Because we are ALL different and we ALL live on this world, we need to stop WORLD WAR THREE arriving by tolerating each others differentness. Which is another reason why I am anxious to be objectionable enough to confront people with my differentness. Tolerating difference spreads harmony. Even if that difference seems loathesome to an individual. You can tolerate the different without changing their “freedom of choice”.

    I am going to bless what I imagine may be the favourite “freedom of choice” amongst some in the MIA comments section. I imagine that choice is that I should stop “speaking” as you said…I imagine that choice is that I should shut up and not express my own “freedom of choice”. I imagine it is a choice that I should take my schizophrenia and my long experience of withdrawing from antipsychotics and leave.

    It is my birthday tomorrow. I will give you this gift.

    I shall block tempting email notifications and unsubscribe from MIA immediately after this comment. No need to respond. Forget me.

  • This is not to Emily or anyone specifically okay. Just while making myself a casserole at this riduculous hour and I want to add a parting shot.

    For over a decade I “knew” I did not have schizophrenia. What I had was Monet then Beethoven then numerous dead poets and then various extraterrestial telepathic aliens and then jesus and dozens of spirits in the realm celestial and a tyrant and a beautiful high angel and hundreds of wonderful talking animals ALL living with me and ALL telling me extraordinary things and some telling me I HAD TO write using THEIR WORDS and some telling me I had to have sex with strangers to save those strangers or save the planet or a dizzy mix of both even though I wept and cried and screamed that I did not want to. But I “knew” this was not “a disease”. I “knew” this was destiny, or my finest hour, or the only hope for the planet. I “knew” this was not “illness” even though I was ordered to run into the traffic to get run over. I “knew” what was going on for me was MUCH MUCH worse than a silly illness called schizophrenia. I “knew” I was being tortured night and day, year after year FOR REAL. And I “knew” nobody could help me, not even a stupid psychiatrist. So I felt utterly ALONE in my “knowing” that I did not have schizophrenia. And even though I “knew” it was not schizophrenia..

    woweee

    It DID NOT make all those people like Leonardo and Vivaldi and the poets and the tyrant go away.

    And now that I DO KNOW I definitely have schizophrenia….

    woweee

    All those people like Leonardo and Vivaldi and did I mention the Elephant Man and Shakespeare? none of em went away.

    Every spooky spook is STILL here.

    So whether “I do not know” I have schizophrenia or whether ” I know” I have schizophrenia makes NO FUCKING difference to my feeling ILL from it and it makes no difference to the intensity of my symptoms of schizophrenia. This is because like Mr V. Van Gogh, schizophrenia has NO EARS to hear what the hell I call it.

    So either it is a cruel tyranny by a crowd of discarnate nightmare beings….

    or

    it is just a dumb ass disease I dont HAVE TO communicate with anymore or drop my knickers for.

    I totally appreciate both sides of the acceptance coin. I totally appreciate that having doubts in one’s sanity comes as an unwelcome shock and burden. I totally undertstand that there are some schizophrenics who feel the diagnosis is like a final indignity engineered from perhaps a hallucination of the CIA who are conspiring to discredit their sanity. I also understand many people are misdiagnosed and suffer the indignation of a definition of they dont want. I understand how it feels to scream so loud the back of your throat hurts…with the words…everyone else uses here (even though most of them have NEVER had schizophrenia) those words being..

    “I am not schizophrenic!”

    I shouted, screamed, hollered those words for years and years and years…

    But I also KNOW how CRUELLY USELESS that is for MY ILLNESS.

    MY SCHIZOPHRENIA.

    Its like people who can walk quite fine ordering a person with permanently damaged legs to get up and run in the hope it will prove an ego saturated arguement “right”.

    My “knowing” there is no cure for my schizophrenia is not my just sitting down to it, it is a LIBERATION from the torture of endlessly fighting against something beyond my control. And in my liberation comes a peaceful acceptance that REALLY DOES help me endure it all. I am not saying I go about all day chanting to myself I am schizophrenic, my life is meant to be OTHER STUFF…..such as birds and clouds and art and singing and playing and having fun and knowing friends and discovering the mysteries of the universe….because whether my life is broken or whole….my life is short. I intend to find love in every moment of it…not despair…not rage…not bitterness….nor poor me….not self-pity…but lovely love love love.

    And a lovely casserole.

    Dinners ready…can I interest anyone in a bowlful? Smells good….

  • Dear Emily,

    I wrote my long comment before glimpsing that you have done responses to other’s comments. What a lovely balanced person you are. I see that you do see a reason for enabling people of different views to access the care they feel is right for them. This did not come over in your blog and that is why I took it as an opportunity to show another perspective. You want to come off clozapine. I have been med free for years. First three months cancel everything and treat it like heroin withdrawal. Love your poor brain. Give it all the time it needs to recover. You had schizophrenia before you went on drugs and likewise you may have schizophrenia afterwards. Many allude to the way the psychotropics can “cause” a chemical imbalance that mimics schizophrenia, which kind of proves a chemical imbalance “can” affect the brain, but I dont have a wish to debate it all anymore. Let everyone believe whatever they want to about themselves. Just know that withrawal can be intolerable. But for me it also a joy ride. Often one hour bears no comparison to the next. It was worth persisting. After six months I felt reborn. Schizophrenia was then easier to deal with, even though it is a considerable opponent in my own life.

    Please do NOT think I was criticising your blog. I was not. It wasnt personal at all. I was just stepping out of reading some things you said in order to address general prevallent concerns I feel get overlooked here. Trying to be a nugget in one cup in the scales of balance. That’s all. I just want for lots of schizophrenic childen to not be shy of coming to this site if they too want to consider reducing or discontinuing meds that they feel are not healing them. I want those schizophrenic children who are scared witless by their ghastly hideous REAL hallucinations to not have to suffer the slap in the face insult that says their illness is FAKE. Because if that’s their welcome whilst they are going through hell from their REAL illness then they wont stay here. Insults close a door to healing.

    Anyway.

    Im off to play elsewhere.

    Your art is outstanding. I believe schizophrenia is a disease but it can be the making of an original genius. As such I always feel schizophrenics are on a whole other level, spiritually, philosphically, psychologically, creatively, practically.

  • Madmom, I love what you say alot of the time but I have to say that I myself have a high tolerance for the mystery that my disease of schizophrenia is one for which no cause has yet been located. There are millions of illnesses like that. All illnesses start as mysteries and all certainties about diseases go through refinements in the evolution of our understanding about them. I take no “comfort” in my illnese, my dis-ease, my disease. For over a decade I laughed uproariously at anyone who told me it is a disease, but doing so did not make the symptoms vanish. Most definitely getting free of antipsychotics got rid of the illness of side effects, and this helped me cope with my disease. It was wrong medicine. I am not in a huŕry to have anyone repeat that mistake by giving me new medicine. My psychiatrist has been honourable enough to let me steer the ship. In my view the scandal lies not with psychiatrists or the daft DSM book but with the pharmaceuticals, and our collective irresponsible queuing up for a miracle. Heroin and alchohol and cigarette dealers dont have to persuade people to be desperate enough to come try some.

    These are just “my” opinions which are no jeopardy to what you feel is your truth and what marvellous good ideas and healing you are bestowing on your daughter. My illness is not your daughter’s illness. We are all “different”. We ALL need our own truth to be taken seriously as REAL to each of us and not dismissed.

  • I have rampant, rampaging, unending, unendurable, unlivable with, horrific, merciless, relentless paranoid schizophrenia every minute of every day and I have been this way for twenty years. What I suffer from is REAL and is a REAL ILLNESS. It was NOT iatrogenically caused. I had the SAME SYMPTOMS long before I took antipsychotics. It is NOT trauma caused. I have been over and over and over my boring ordinary little childhood with dozens of searchers of a trauma truffle and none has been found. Both my parents were loving and funny and kind and attentive. The DSM book is just a book. Psychiatrists are just human beings. Some human beings are shitty and some human beings are full of integrity, even if that integrity is flawed by false beliefs in what they are doing to be helpful. I have met plenty of sweet, caring and kind psychiatrists. And psychiatric nurses. Yes, there were one or two who should have been sacked. That does not mean everyone here’s experience is not ALSO TRUE and ALSO VALID. But I would say to them your truth AND my truth are NOT the ONLY truths. Everyones truth is vital and important in collectively creating a new paradigm of care FOR EVERYONE and not just those who hate all their psychiatrists. MIA has a big readership but if there is to be a hope of building a new form of caring with the severely unwell, whatever words and definitions are chosen around that, there has to be a reaching out to those who are more than happy with the old way of care being offered to them. Merely spitting tacks and hissing at what those happy people feel supports them is never going to endear a new vision of care. Fine if all any activist wants to do is commiserate with other haters of psychiatry. Commiseration can be very important on the path to one’s own healing. It is “a medicine” of sorts. But in order to then extend offering that commisration medicine to the billions who are quite happy with the treatment and care they get from psychiatry, one needs to proceed with gentle persuasion and not barely contained hostility to anyone and everyone who thinks differently. Hostility does not sell beauty. And I do hope the next paradigm of care will be beautiful for absolutely EVERYONE and not just the chosen few.

    I have been on clozapine because my schizophrenia is abysmal. Clozapine was not my answer. I am on no drugs now. I totally get this blogger is coming from in the sense of rebirth from weaning off toxic drugs. But coming off drugs may do nothing for stopping schizophrenia symptoms. You may feel much happier without hellish side effects, it may even be life saving for you if those side effects were appalling. But THAT rennaissance off pharmaceuticals is often NOT a cure of schizophrenia. It just means their symptoms may be better managed off drugs.
    And for many schizophrenics neither is looking for a precipitating trauma. Loads of ordinary people will inevitably say their existence is dotted with abject trauma, probably EVERY childhood can be described as traumatic given enough poetic license. BUT the WHOLE WORLD is TRAUMA. LIFE IS TRAUMA. But at some stage it is like saying LIFE HAS MORTALITY IN IT. And what about the sliding scale of trauma, by that I mean is someone with an owned home and a smartphone more traumatized than someone homeless? I have legitimately been homeless for five years, needing food handouts and a bed bug infested bed in a homeless shelter. FIVE YEARS and with raging SCHIZOPHRENIA at the same time! Am I angry? NO!!! I AM NOT ANGRY. I DO NOT HATE PEOPLE. I DO NOT HATE ALL PSYCHIATRISTS.

    Was I somewhere on the sliding scale of trauma when I was homeless for five years? Or how about a young man or young woman trafficked in a country where there is nowhere to shelter? Is his trauma worse? Is her trauma worse? Of course. My point is there is not just a glib word “trauma” that covers a bored privaledged college student and a little girl dying in Senegal of genital mutilation. When a bored college student with enough money to buy a Ferrari says they are traumatized and they look at the really traumatized Uigur peoples or dirt poor indiginous peoples or Yazidi peoples or Palestinian peoples or people with severe mental illness and they then try to suggest that their own bored college trauma is as bad as the gruelling insufferable trauma of real victims of trauma, it looks ludicrous and when that wont wash they then try to make out that the those other genuine victims are JUST suffering from THE SAME trauma. They victimize those authentic victims by trying to silence their specific words for what is wrong with them, like a cuckoo bird chucks eggs out of a nest to make room for its own trauma, until the college cuckoo can feather its nest with the garments of the bloodied children in Senegal. And if you then point out that those childen have it worse because their trauma IS CAUSED BY SOMETHING REAL, they then say that they are helping all the world’s traumatized by getting everyone to regard to everyone’s trauma as THE SAME BIG TRAUMA. Well I am sorry but a child being gang raped in a brothel in South East Asia has a trauma that is REAL. It is not frivilous. And while the bored privaleged college student may feel life is unendurable and traumatic, it is NOT the trauma of ACTUAL REAL CHILD RAPE.

    Someone who honestly has no experience of that trauma has no business deleting the words such a traumatized child has of describing what has happened to them.

    Just because a bored college student feels traumatized by not being understood by their human fallible idiotic psychiatrist does not grant them permission to downplay or talk about MY ILLNESS.

    THE ILL HAVE A RIGHT TO BE ILL.

    I

  • Ps. Dr E. Baden…I made a comment way at the start about the future increase in child abuse. I just found an obscure website that has an essay in it explaining why any therapist might not be able to help those children. Political correctness is ending up in poisoned children. The essay is on the website “Critical Therapy Antidote”.

    I am still so pleased you liked my comments.

    My irreverence found a happy home in Gestalt Therapy. Gestalt is bonkers! That’s why I love it. Gestalt uses alot of bodywork, role play, paying attention to authentic awareness in the here and now. It is a “What’s really going on in this moment?” kind of therapy. It is both earnest and playful. Very client led. As a client in a training group I once went around the whole group of twelve would-be therapists kicking their chairs and shouting at them and saying they all let me down because they all spoke to each other at coffee break and not one of them spoke to me. The supervisor then encouraged me to go around the room again but shout more vehemently and louder at them. It all ended beautifully. Best book on Gestalt is the old classic text “Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality” by Fritz Perls, Paul Goodman, and Ralph Hefferline.

    Lastly, you might like some of the earlier youtube videos of Posie Parker (aka Kelly-Jay Keen) merely for the booster jag of feistiness, whether you agree or not. She’s gone a bit hysterical these days but her billboard was interesting. Her and Magdalene Burn’s vids. For the humour in these crazy word war times. I myself am pro everyone having the right to be who they want to be, including trans people. Everyone should love each other. Simple. There is no “them”. What people get confused about is “bullying”. There definitely IS bullying, but that is “a behaviour” coming from upset “thems”. Go after “bullying” with a vengeance. Never go after “them”.

  • Dear Steve,

    My brain is affected by a sugar rush just now…something that happens to the cognition in our brains. Thus my comment may be drivel.

    Your comprehensive reply, which I cheerfully thank you for, contains more than one use of the word “attack”. I am not criticising you for what may have been a very understandable world weary impulsive word choice. I simply wonder about the possible popular unconscious use of such a word on a site visited by the emotionally vulnerable. Do ideas really need to be “attacked”? I never saw gracious Peter Goztche “attack” an idea, nor equinanomous Robert Whitaker. They may have felt like doing so but like most people of an inquiring and pioneering spirit, they seem to uphold the sanctity of debate by “discussion”. A discussion is the “antidote” and “remedy” to the chaos of an “attack”. A discussion is a polite and open “dialogue” involving and even cherishing “two” sides, that is not are couple of shouted attacking monologues.
    When various people forgoe discussion in preference to “attack” it may be because they feel insecure and vulnerable themselves. But when the emotionally vulnerable “attack” the ideas of the visiting emotionally vulnerable, rather than welcome those ideas for interesting mature debate, I see no remedy but only grievance and tension coming from it. Peter and Robert know all about the pain of not getting their ideas maturely and calmly debated.

    There are more ways to “attack” than hurling abuse. The toxicity on the internet is built upon the apparently “logical” arguementaton streaming from teen trolls in garages with no interest in discussing anything but their greatness. Anyone can discredit anyone’s viewpoint. It is not clever. A toddler can do it. The point of adult discussion is not to discredit for discredits sake. This website welcomes the “different”. The ideas of the “different” may not be abolitionist. The abolitionist should be eager to have the chance to persuade the “different”, more than just pummel them with a requirement that they should “convert”. It is like having a shop window of a coffee shop, it is best to “welcome” any customer by having an attitude of “the customer is always right”, if there is any hope of getting them to stick around long enough to buy an irresistible brick of banoffee pie. Selling the pie is the desire, not helping the customer feel “wrong” and “attacked”. The customer might go home to twenty friends and neighbours and tell them not to visit the “debate”. Those twenty may each have known twenty more, my brain’s to stupified just now to handle the math. But that works out at alot of loss of potential customers or converts to abolition.

    The internet is great for freedom of speech, but quite separately it is awash with brazen hostility that everyone is shrugging about in unwholesome acceptance. The thing about “attacking” ideas is nobody likes it when their own ideas are being shamed. Everyone feels their ideas are fundamental to the very survival of the planet. So ideas are “emotive” no matter how “logical” we all like to prèen and polish them up as. The very fine line between a persons favourite world saving ideas and their personhood is next to invisible in a discussion, never mind an overt “attack”. And like I said of trolls, or racists, an exhausting barrage of recruitment style “logic” with no welcome or love in it becomes subtly evokative of micro-aggression. What I am driving at is not the notion of “attack” per se, but…intimdation. What I like about MIA is it seems to strive to give breathing space to folks to debate an article. But the excitement of finding “a community” in the comments section is as irresistable as looking through a window at banoffee pie. But on other sites of a similar arrangement, the newcomer experiences “emotive” confusion about how to join the festives of the community at the same time as only focus on the elegant ideas sharing aspects of the article, an article enticing polite discussion. The community begs a “personal” heartfelt connection but if there is a “difference” in the debating of thè article it seems to get met as if a “betrayal” of the community, or even an “attack” on the community, who then “attack” the “ideas” of the “different” almost simply because they are just “different”.

    I had thought maybe there should be a comments section wholy for the community of abolitionists and a comments section wholy for a community of those into critical psychiatry. Each discussing the same article. I think that would be clearer and more gratifying to the composers of their articles. Maybe it could be innovated. After all I believe platforms like facebook have such helpful dedicated communities. A world is made up of millions of tribes. To squash Tahitians in with Aborigines does a mischeif to both. “Oneness” is made up of “differences” that like staying “different”. Psychiatry’s error was in squashing everyone of “difference” into the same hospital pyjamas.

    Anyway. Dont respond. I am feeling like MIA has become a part time job. And I need to do my laundry.

    I am hoping MIA will sack me for insuborddination and free me to stare into space picking my nose.

  • Dear Linda,

    I just bought your glorious book! I am glad you cheerfully hawked it here or I would never have seen it. Phew!

    Robert Whitaker’s website is apparently??? for anyone and everyone who wishes to “Rethink Psychiatry”. I dont believe that means…

    “think Robert’s way” or…
    “think their way” or…
    “think our way” or…
    “think in the opposite way” or..
    “think in the same way” or…
    “think in a traditional way” or…
    “think in an alternative way”…
    unless you freely want to…

    and I dont believe it means “think critically” or “think politically” or “think spiritually” or “think rigidly” or “think flexibly”…I believe their are NO DEMANDS here on Robert’s wonderful website. So I believe when it mentions “Rethinking Psychiatry” it means you can…”Rethink Psychiatry”….

    ***Your Way***

  • Dear Linda,

    I just bought your glorious book! I am glad you cheerfully hawked it here or I would never have seen it. Phew!

    Robert Whitaker’s website is apparently??? for anyone and everyone who wishes to “Rethink Psychiatry”. I dont believe that means…

    “think Robert’s way” or…
    “think their way” or…
    “think our way” or…
    “think in the opposite way” or..
    “think in the same way” or…
    “think in traditional way” or…
    “think in an alternative way”…
    unless you freely want to…

    and I dont believe it means “think critically” or “think politically” or “think spiritually” or “think rigidly” or “think flexibly”…I believe their are NO DEMANDS here on Robert’s wonderful website. So I believe when it mentions “Rethinking Psychiatry” it means you can…”Rethink Psychiatry”….

    ***Your Way***

    (Duplicate Comment)

  • I am a schizophrenia sufferer. I like all you are doing and saying.

    However, *and forgive me as I am writing in rush here* I do want to say that the “spiritual” can be a way to tumble into a hellish abyss of nightmare hallucinations. When that occurs a schizophrenic craves dull, ordinary, practical, solid, predictable, normal reality.

    Too many people think spirituality is all fluffy and charming and then say that wicked fairytale “demons” are preventing them from flouncing on unicorns and wearing stardust in their hair. I join you in feeling that society loses out on silencing the giftedness of the spiritual. I just do not relish the further adoption of a stance that sees everything spiritual as healing. I do not think humans are meant to be overly spiritual all the time….lots of the time yes…all of the time probably not. We need to occasionally scrub the u-bend of the toilet.

  • Dear Luc de Bry,

    I love the quote you quoted. I agree, there is way too much fighting and not enough creating.

    I think what is happening in Finland is truly fantastic. And Open Dialogue. I am not sure it is entirely new. I think it probably has its roots in what human societies have always done with the very unwell, which is listen to what they themselves need and nurture their potential.

    As somene with schizophrenia myself, I know I could not write a sentence as I am doing now if I were on my old antipsychotics. What people often regard as the overt signs of schizophrenia are the drug effects, and once off these drugs those iatrogenic effects dramatically may sweep aside, and this can feel like getting your loved one back all one hundred percent “cured”. For many schizophrenics who are miserable on their drugs this reduction or cease of drugs is like ceasing heroin addiction, in as much as quite obviously there is going to be an amazing “before and after” transformation once off drugs. But a transformation may not be a “cure” to some schizophrenics. It has not been for me. My hallucinations, delusions, paranoia is still here. It is easier to cope with without the appalling side effects but it is STILL my schizophrenia. Some could argue that my symptoms are the long lasting damage from antipsychotics. But again, for me this is not how my reality is. I had all of my symptoms long before I took psychiatric medication. That is not to say antipsychotics have not left their mark. They almost certainly have damaged me. Some may argue that my schiziohrenia is not an illness but is from something, like trauma or poverty or environmental pollution, but I would say that I really dont care what anyone says might be the “cause” of my schizophrenia, any of these causes can have a deliterious enough effect on the brain as to upset it in some temporary or permanent way, enough to result in that which the world currently chooses to call schizophrenia. I dare say in cavemen times it was not called schizophrenia but something like “scary mammoth disease”. It matters little to me what anyone dresses up schizophrenia to be, as a sufferer of it I think mostly only fellow sufferers should chip in with helpful remarks about their notions of it, not any ignorant spectators of it.

    I am so pleased you have found the answer to your prayers in your son’s transformation through coming off antipsychotics and embracing an outlook that works for him. I wish you and he good fortune as you both venture forth in life.

    There are different sorts of severity of schizophrenia, as Robert Whitaker acknowledges in his caution to proponents of Open Dialogue, when he suggests not bolting a door against conventional treatment like antipsychotics, used sparingly as a short term “cure” for emergencies. I do not fully understand why he might have said that if he ever believed the hellishness of hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, illness, were not REAL, or were, as some in the comments section like to argue are FAKE.

    As for the DSM I own a medical book full of diagnoses. A diagnosis of myocarditis helps a physician quickly understand what specific issues are going on for that patient. It is a neutral explanatory time saver. We can get rid of the DSM but I suspect we may need replacements for it of some sort, even a “trauma paradigm of care” will probably want to train healers in how to specialise (get good at) or (focus their energies on) looking after the “extreemly traumatized” rather than the “moderately traumatized”. These already are sounding like diagnoses. And to prepare someone to leave a Soteria house we may have to “diagnose” them as “not ill anymore”. A society can still bully someone who has been in a Soteria house who was once ill with trauma. Especially if there comes a backlash from economically devastated and fed up society, at what they could wrongly but easily perceive as all the moaning or weak “traumatized” self-indulgent. Not that the traumatized are ever, ever, ever such things. But society can be mean to the suffering regardless of what they call their suffering.

    For all of the above reasons, I think that for myself, I want to just retain my diagnosis of schizophrenia but I do not want drugs, or treatment of it. Time is my healer. Though I do need support for my severe mental illness. I am excited by all that is going on in Finland. It seems the way to go. But I do not think it is a “cure” of schizophrenia, not my severity if chronic schizophrenia. Giving up my pills has been a rebirth back to pre-pill health, but that “health” was a decade of suffering hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. Yes, I do cope better with those without medication, but everyone is very different. And I cannot say I wont need emergency pills tomorrow if I attack a town centre with a loaded cheese baguette or worse. For that reason I do not want to replace one snake oil simplistic attitude about “how to fix schizophrenia with gallons of pills” with a new snake oil simplistic attitude that says new paradigms of care will be sprinkled with a Disney charm of rose petals. I think human anguish, in all its manifestations, what ever its causes, is a stubborn problem to heal, however we try to heal it. That is why I vote for having all different alternative AND traditional options of care. But I stress that traditional forms of care have to be reformed radically.

    Anyway, I am so glad your boy is doing brilliantly. Now he is pill free I imagine he should find it easier to deal with his symptoms without awful side effects.

    So wonderful he is going to be a peer. I do think that only peers who have actual lived experience of schizophrenia should be allowed near anyone with schizophrenia.

    This is an unintentionally long reply. So no nèed to respond to it.

    Thankyou for sharing your son’s story. Have every confidence in his healing.

  • Ps. In a fiercely radical website I have been enjoying the recent gratifying uptick and mention of the word “love”. LOVE IS RADICAL. It may interest some to know that as a word it can be hijacked by bullies. Think of Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot. “Love” of ones country can be used to decimate other populations. “Love” of ones religion and deity can be used to wipe out innocent populations of other faiths. Many founders of faiths, such as Jesus saw this bullying coming, which is why he extolled everyone to not only love their neighbour but moreso to…

    “LOVE YOUR ENEMY”.

    I guess on this website that might mean radically loving people you loathe with a passion, possibly psychologists, psychotherapists, peer workers, psychiatrists.

    Hmm, maybe LOVE is TOO RADICAL.

  • Someone muttered something somewhere about environmental toxins. I am not sure specifically why. But let me add a bit of what I have always known. Certain creatures ARE changing sex due to environmental toxins. And the human sperm count IS lowering. Environmental toxins ARE making creatures change on a BIOLOGICAL level.
    So, potentially on a long term GENETIC level and therefore a BRAIN level life is drastically and irrevocably altered. Microplastics have already been found in the human body. Some cross over the placenta to the developing infant, and presumably its BRAIN. We may never know where the ill symptoms of schizophrenia are coming from. If they are not coming from chemical imbalance, or the disturbance in the brain’s electrical waves, they may be coming from environmental toxins that have been affecting the BRAIN for aeons, such as radon or mercury or lead or solar flares or fungi or encephalitis bacteria or viruses or who knows what, environmental toxins that have affected our brain and genes just like certain environmentally caused cancers can. Cancer is a REAL illness, and for most cancers we simlly DO NOT KNOW what exact biological mechanism or toxin causes them. Just because we do not know much about cancer does not mean cancer is not a disease that causes ILLNESS. We just dont know HOW and WHY cancer exists, but EXIST it does. Schizophrenia is like cancer in this regard.

    Depression also EXISTS and makes people very ill indeed. There are many theories about HOW and WHY depression is what it is. New theories are looking at gut inflammation, which is a very BIOLOGICAL idea. Inflammation anywhere in the body sloshes chemical and hormonal changes, some of these DO involve the brain. It would be arrogant, insulting or cruel to a depressed person as to say to them that their illness of depression does not exist or that their depression is FAKE or is not REAL. That would be foolish and even dangerous. Some critics might say depression is not an illness and it is just “normal”, well then so is suicide. Try telling that to the call handlers of a million suicide hotlines.

    I am done listening to this.

  • Dear Steve the moderator, In response to something Sam Plover brought up I would like you to clarify for all new visitors to MIA who it is welcoming of. Who does MIA “accept”? It is just that I was under the impression that MIA welcomes everyone who is interested in “rethinking psychiatry”. It seems to me a visitor may struggle to discuss their ideas about psychiatry without using words like psychiatry or psychiatrist.

  • Oh, and Dear Oldhead, in addition to my last comment involving a mention of narcissistic tendencies, I just want to say how disappointed I am that whilst many people seem comfortable declaring that they were given a borderline personality disorder, nobody dares to admit to the current societal taboo of having been given a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. Why this is the case is a bit of a mystery. I should have thought a steady queue of those people would have been anxious to confess to having been given that snub and overturn that particular diagnosis. Why are they not filling up the comments section to refute their specific diagnosis? Perhaps it is because nobody who has it wants to be seen with it, nor wants that mud to stick. Perhaps it is that whereas a dismissable slur of a diagnosìs needs to be sensational enough to derive comforting outrage from a party of fellow believers, it cannot sound so heinous as to cause anyone to wonder. This is amusing, since by openly declaring oneself to be a tad narcissistic at times, as we all are, and as I certainly am, this nullifies one of the central diagnosable features of narcissistic personality disorder, which is the feature of feeling such embarrassment at having the narcissistic wound to begin with that there is almost complete denial of being anything other than a paragon of perfection who isn’t narcissistic. Apparently since a very narcissisticly inclined person cannot possibly entertain ever ever ever having ordinary human tawdry thoughts of oneupmanship, they would prefer not to own ever ever ever having a narcissitic thought cross their congenial mind.

    Therefore the easiest way to demonstrate not being a narcissist is to shout from the rooftops that one loves being a narcissist.

    I do not have to be “right”. So I do not need others to feel shamefully “wrong”. So I am going to let everyone see me as “wrong” all the live long day, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

    Like a school punishment excercise might have me endlessly scribbling..

    “I am wrong” “I am wrong” “I am wrong” “I am wrong” “I am wrong”.

    I must away now. Things to do.

  • Dear Oldhead,

    You say a fact is something that is true.

    As with the virgin birth, you are at liberty to believe what you want to.

    I prefer to keep a paranoid schizophrenic’s suspiscious gaze turned on the notion of conventional “truth”.

    Einstein’s son was schizophrenic. It seems he should have maybe listened to that genius schizophrenic questioner, with respect to Einstein’s own sacred fact or truth of The General Theory of Relativity, being as it is now being thrown into a maelstrom of doubt. It now seems that the “true” “facts” that Einstein outlined are already evolving into quite different “true” “facts” that make his original “true” “facts” seem infantile. This would imply that neither “facts” nor “truth” are ever “fixed states” that guarantee absolute certainty. “Facts” and “thruth” are merely knowledge that is limited by the vagaries and inaccuracies of our sense perceptions and the way in which the phenomema pointed to by the claim of “fact” and “truth” may be phenomena that are evolving and changing. The way our pursuit of clarity finds new things out about “facts” or “truth”, often necessitates certianty to flip and reverse back to previously mocked standpoints. Hospitals now use leeches and maggots for wound healing, for instance. Both “facts” and “truth” are slippery sand castles upon which to base an overly confident sense of “rightness”. But belief is easier. Any person is free to say they “believe” something feels “right” “to them”. But the downside side of merely using their belief in an arguement is they cannot make someone feel “wrong” for choosing not to hold their belief. And often in an arguement the ego gets hurt and needs to think itself “right” by making the other feel “wrong”. Such a tit for tat “right” versus “wrong” focus on “logic” with its “facts” and “truth”, in order to make the other feel “wrong”, rather than honour their freedom to have a different “belief” is a favourite tool used in an arguement gone toxic with narcissism.

    I went to a famous holiday retreat once and was impressed by a flyer they handed out. It was about to cope with falling out with anyone on the retreat. It had about twenty recommendations. Mostly they were recommendations to go directly to whomever had hurt you and say that their behaviour had hurt you. It saves time and effort. Because to sit and simmer and bicker in resentment is bad for you and bad for the whole group. What I particularly recall is that there was an instruction not to sideswipe at the other, by that it meant avoiding the tendency to talk over the other, or talk about things they hold dear with a cabal within the group, like a separate threesome, all within the hearing of the holder of “different” beliefs. Rather the recommendation is to come clean, talk directly and cleanly to the opponent about an undercurrent of hurtfulness and hostility. But, the flyer suggested, people who feel a need to be quite narcissistic may never want to admit feeling hurt, since that exposes vulnerability. And they may have had alot of trauma in their childhood that taught them to equate being easily hurt and vulneranle as “wrong”. And “wrongness” may have caused a sense of shame. Thus the need to be “right” all the time to rectify the shame. But by having to be “right” all the time they may need others to be “wrong” all the time and this can spiral into a bickering shamefest.

    Anyway, it is a fascinating discussion. Truth, facts, logic, beliefs, feelings, mockery, narcissism, shaming, bickering.

    But to be honest, I am going to put it out of my mind now, since the reports hint it may be a sunny day and I am eager to pack a picnic and enjoy the puzzles of nature that fascinated Einstein and his beloved schizophrenic son. Both of them might say bickering is fun but a waste of lovely weather.

    https://youtu.be/A36FqMSEMVM

  • Sam, before I go on holiday I just want to say that maybe its not a case of finding a perfect solution that suits everyone in society but honouring the many ways we are all “different” and need entirely “different” care plans. There is absolutely no problem with finding a way where the people who deserve your compassionate kind of care can access it, and those who want a more old style psychiatric care can access it, and those who want Soteria can access it, and those who want open dialogue can access it. There has to be care as oppossed to no care at all. Abolisionists may feel well enough to blithely walk off into a sunny utopia. If that is their care then they can go there. Nobody is stopping them. Nobody is stopping anyone from cherishing the practical care each unique person prefers. I think the comments section often develops a bickering sense that it all has to be “one” way.
    That is nonsense! The world is big enough for a million ways.

    Sam, check out Gestalt therapy if you like. It’s not for everyone but it may help your wife, since it deals creatively with the idea of bodily trapped trauma and ego splitting.
    I am sorry life gets dismal. No life does not know pain. But when it is your own pain or that of your beloved you cannot see beyond it. Don’t let pain stop tiny stolen sips of pleasure.

    I must go now.

  • Someone Else,

    You say….

    “Meaning that the the two “most serious” DSM disorders are iatrogenic illnesses, created with the psychiatric drugs, not “genetic” illnesses”.

    I have the serious mental illness called schizophrenia, as by now I am sure everyone knows. I do not understand everyones wish to cancel my illness with what to me feels like “fake news” that tries to broadcast that my illness is “fake”…so everyone seems to be chanting “fake news about fake illness”, Mine is an illness everyone does not have. They are not an expert on my illness. They are not an authority on my illness. I will have you know my illness came on TEN YEARS BEFORE I took antipsychotics. I have no trauma history. Your theories are not a healing for me at all.

    I shall leave you with two quotes from me…

    “Only LOVE can set you free”

    “THE ILL HAVE A RIGHT TO BE ILL”

  • In response to something perhaps Someone Else has said, I guess any person can become addicted to anything if they are out of balance. Even the MIA comments section can be an addiction if posting a smart comment makes the person feel high. One person may become addicted to sugar, another person gambling, another person self harm, another person gaming, another person child abuse. Too much smoking may harm children if you are a chain smoker working in a kindergarten. Too much alcohol may be harmful to children if it causes you to batter their decent mother. Too much sugar may destroy you with diabetes and obesity and require alot of money to put right. Addictions impact “other innocent people”, like abused children for instance, in a way that maybe makes them feel iller than the addict. And there are addictions that may seem trifling to the onlooker, even to the medical professionals, but might be devastating to the sufferer of it. Nobody likes to be controlled by addiction. Feeling controlled by external stuff or external people can cause a sense of mental illness to that person. This is something you may agree upon since I gather you have felt controlled by psychiatry. Ideally nobody should have to face the misery of their addiction on their own if they want help. I get what you are saying when you try to imply that you feel that professionals rubber stamp a person with a label of addict when they may not want that. It is in the nature of addiction to feel remorse about how low one has fallen, and so nobody wants to regard themselves as an addict or an alcoholic at an Al Anon meeting. But the first step in getting free of addiction is to face being someone who indeed IS addicted. I feel the subject is way more complicated. Just sayin…

    And like Hana says, many people derive comfort from their real diagnosis. Those who do not are perfectly frèe to call their own diagnosis “fake”, but I think calling what gives other people comfort “fake” is probably as simplistic as an atheist calling God “fake”.

  • Dear Ayurdhui Dhar thankyou so much for bringing this delicious philosopher’s work to my notice.

    Dear Hana Pickford, what can I say? I love what you say. Click on my name and you might like some of the comments I have said recently. I find my schizophrenia diagnosis helpfull alot of the time. Not all of the time. But on balance it feels right for what I have. If I went to a herbal medicine shop to consult a herbalist diagnoser they may say my feelings of illness were due to an illness caused by lack of marigold pollen. I probably would not run screaming like a victim from the appointment but would consider whether it made sense “to me”. The huge topic of whether I’d be stigmatized for my pollen condition by a crazy society hellbent on controlling those of “difference” would be my secondary consideration as to how I felt about the pollen diagnosis.

    But being as you court controversy let me match your courage by saying that in all honesty I see nothing wrong with stigma. It is found in ALL human tribes. I get my routine tiresome fair share of stigma. I am a woman. Someone diagnosed me as female on the happy occasion of my birth. I find myself stigmatized for it. Yet I find knowing I am a woman is very healing to me.
    There is not just the word stigma but degrees of stigma that bother a person, some more bothered than others.
    I think stigma is anthropologically inevitable. It starts as the healthy stigmatizing of behaviours that are destructive to children such as bullying, cruelty, sexual abuse. I think it is healthy to ban such gross misconduct. Stigma forms part of that ethos. But when in the day to day running of a tribe stigma flips over into becoming a barracade that excludes anyone who is merely and innocuously “different” that is when stigma itself becomes bullying, cruel and abusive. Then what can occur is those so bullied for being “different” rally to eachother to defend themselves against such collective stigma, and as a splinter group they may become a “oneness group” that challenges the apparent “slur” of “differentness” by refuting their supposed “individual differentness”. Pressure to be cohesive and loyal to the group bond is a powerful source of security, And when that sense of belonging in the spliter tribe occurs some may defend themselves by becoming stigmatizers of the “different” who are merely “not” in the splinter tribe, rather than returning to the healthy stigmatizing of the bullying, the cruel, and the abusive. The “different” should not be stigmatized. And to complicate matters, that tendency to stigmatize the “different” or the “radical” or the “pacivist” or the “theatrical” or the “philosophical” is a tendency that becomes the most used stick of any bully, throughout the whole world. The bully tends to manipulate others by claiming their own liberty to be an agressive bully is a human right cruelly snatched away from them. For a bully is often lamenting the injustice of their “right” to control the “different”, who are invariably described as “him over there” or “her over there” or “them”.

    I think most bullies are miserable people who need help and our compassion. But the bullying behaviour itself cannot be excused. Bullies often take exception to that and see in the intollerance to bullying and cruelty and abuse their own petty persecution.

    I have seen this in psychiatry. I have seen this in psychology.
    Sadly, I see it EVERYWHERE.

    It is everywhere because people think that by their own example of behaving nicely this will tell a bully to stop being bullying and cruel and abusive.

    When will that ever work with child abusers?

    If child abuse NEEDS to be stigmatized then so do other forms of abuse.

    What I see increasing in these times is a legitimacy of bullyingly stigmatizing the “different” just because those individuals are excercising their freedom of choice to be next to or near whatever the bully deems “a system”. When the merely “different” are deemed a “them” who are part of “a system”, the “different” get deemed oppressive merely for being “pacivist” or “theatrical” or “philosophical” or “radical”, and when that occurs everyone on the planet becomes afraid to be those things. A huge blanket of stigma is draped over the whole world by a few actually elite vocal bullies. When that spread of unhealthy stigmatizing of anyone “different” goes unchecked nobody with a “different” voice will come to anyones rescue.

    I am clairvoyant. I see the future. Global bullying is going to make everyones lives unliveable. Even the bully’s.

    Bullying bad behaviour needs to be stigmatized.

    Difference must never be stigmatized.

  • Dear Linda,

    What a pitiful thing it is for a “oneness group” to fail to hear the deep grief of a mother who will ALWAYS feel like she has just lost her baby. First the hospital you were in did this wilful deafness about your anguish but there are plenty of other “oneness groups” who will also dismiss your grief as less important than their inconvenienced chummy underground agenda.

    But please keep being the difference that makes up actual genuine biodiverse natural “oneness” as seen in nature, that is formed of multitudinous “differences” all treasured by the gentle, unaggressive welcome espoused by “freedom of choice”.

    Let me know the title of your book again. I feel it offers an unusual and interesting “different” perspective.

    Luckily the video link I sent shows that we are all free to make up our own minds about the truth of our own pain without heckling from know-alls.

  • Dear Robert,

    I can’t call you Bob, it’s too quick.

    This may seem like a frivilous footnote here but it is coming from a heart of wholesome sincerity…it is of something only an eagle eyed schizophrenic or bipolar sufferer might spot…but I just want to say I keep feeling that the visual design on your graph….the one depicting the extraordinary upward curve of recoverers who came off antipsychotics…is a thing of beauty. I feel it would make a very fine interstellar looking silver necklace. An award, or an incentivizer to those who want a talisman to help them make it past the initial arduous two years.

    The two comparative lines, if formed of delicate silver bands, could even have gems in them.

    Jewelers forge a crucifix, an ank, what’s that polynesian pendant? Signs of hope.

    Your necklace would be…

    “A Symbol of “Life”.

  • Good morning, Javier.

    May I thank you for your astute article?

    If you will permit me to play with it, in the spirit of congenial discussion with you, I should like to say that this quote gave me a tickle.

    “At its core, the psychiatric survivor movement is about fighting for human rights in the mental health system led by those who have experienced abuse and/or oppression within it. The movement is characterized by a radical stance of liberation from psychiatry”.

    I am cooking a Spanish omelete so will not dwell. But I am a psychiatric survivor in terms of being a psychiatric medication survivor. I am as yet unsure if I am a critical psychiatry buff or an abolitionist or what the heck I am. One day I am this, the next day that. One day I am leftist, the next day I am quite the opposite. I like the freeness at the heart of schizophrenia that hold that you can be left in peace to passionately and fervently believe what the dickens you wish to believe. I have for instance met schizophrenics who are very anti-American and schizophrenics who are very pro-American. And part of that may have been due to their paranoia. But to patronizingly and paternalistically say all of it was simply due to those peoples “paranoia” does a disservice to the championing of human rights FOR ALL so venerated by psychiatric survivor groups.

    Not that you were saying that. I am merely discening a prevallent ethos in the psychiatric survivor movement that biases one set of human rights against another set of human rights.

    You mention a “radical stance of liberation from psychiatry”.

    That is fine. It is just that we are all so “different” and I would like the “movement” to not fear that “difference”. I myself am today not inclined to want to liberate myself from psychiatry, since my schizophrenia needs it in the utter abscence of any other practical alternative that can be rolled out tomorrow in my town. I am not impressed by psychiatry. But I want to see it like a religious option for some. The free world must have many, many, many free options. Can a religion have too much power? ANYTHING CAN. I support the “movements” endeavour to curb the wonton excesses of that power.

    I dont believe hatred of people is how curb power.

  • The brain is not the mind, you say, Oldhead. I like your opinions. I like everyones opinions. It is good to have a variety of opinions.
    I salute anyone’s bold statement as coming from their “freedom of choice” to blissfully be left in peace to their know their own knowing. Like I know I have schizophrenia. It is nice when people can cherish their “own” gnosis.

    Although Nobel Prize man Penrose is here on record as saying we have no idea what the relationship to brain and mind (consciousness) is. He would say there are a numer of theories but mostly these are “tentative”.

    https://youtu.be/hXgqik6HXc0

  • Oldhead, in answer to your quizzing me and asking why I would object to someone examining nuances in my word choices…

    I suppose it is an interesting question. For me “logic” often uses the exuse of needing to know “why” a person’s feeling exists….as if it is the “wrong” feeling, to which the peson on the receiving end of such “logic” has to fight fire with fire and justify their feeling, as if it has been externally “judged”. The receiver maybe scurries to provide a “right” feeling if they accept living in a judgemental bullying world replete with the current focus on word wars. But I can see through much of that hook luring use of “logic”. I tend to say to people if you cannot understand me without picking at my words, after all words to me are like freely chosen daubs of paint a unique artist chooses to create a painting with, I say just don’t bother. If what a spectator in a gallery sees makes no sense or they keep having to examine it with “logic” then maybe they cannot really open to what my painting is.

    That is okay.

    Thankyou for the compliments.

    I think many folks just like you could examine a great many things I create and do so brilliantly.

    That does not mean my painting is not lovely to “some”.

  • You mention Sertraline. I have a friend stuck on it. Horrendous indeed. But Sertraline is NOT an antipsychotic. And this is why it is important never to get drugs muddled up in the attempt to acertain which drugs cause what.

    It is a cheating disservice to all SSRI withdrawing people to conflate antipsychotic side effects with their SSRI withdrawal experiences, which may be FAR MORE HELLISH than antipsychotic induced true akasthesia.

    There are some people who seem to itch to claim to know what schizophrenics have suffered but this does not mean SSRI’s are not WORSE.

    I wish you great healing from your unimaginably dreadful Sertraline withdrawal.

    Please do not reply. I am too busy just now to respond.

  • Dear Paul, and LC johnstone.

    I really like my schizophrenia diagnosis. It heals me of my nightmare. Just knowing that the montrous hallucinations I suffer are just a mental illness comforts my distress.

    I am aware of the sometimes bullying push to get schizophrenics to say their mental illness is “caused” by distress. To the extent where they should say their distress causes their distressing hallucinations. Like telling an epilleptic their feelings “cause” the seizures that give them weird feelings. Try telling that one to a million seizure sufferers. Or, like telling a child her distress is causing her distressing, tormenting, hellishly horrific screaming. I just do not buy that. I have had two decades of screaming. Of those seven thousand and three hundred days I have had one or two wonderful days of deep joy and yet my hallucinations are always there. Even moreso on the joyful days. I have sat i
    well over ten years of talk therapy and had my childhood gone over with a fine tooth comb. I have had every antipsychotic at maximum doses. I have been rich. I have been poor. I have a keen interest in a hundred other things besides my schizophrenia. I have no distress in my life. No distress whatsoever. No trauma. And yet my awful schizophrenia is still utterly destroying me.

    I like all the alternatives that therapy is ingeniously coming up with. ERNI and the frameworks. I have the highest regard for therapy. It can fix just about everything. But it cannot fix schiziphrenia. That does not mean that it cannot vastly increase the stamina of long suffering schizphrenic. Nutrutious soup is given to cancer sufferers in the hope it will strengthen their resilience to cope with cancer, but cancer is not lack of soup, cancer is cancer. Schizophrenia is schizophrenia.

  • Yes, I echo you. I agree too. I think ERNI sound fabulous. I just want better recognition for the fact that severe mental illness like schizophrenia, whether one calls it “caused” by trauma or “caused” by lemons, IS a severe mental illness that needs alot more care and support than just therapy. I do not want to see a billion schizophrenic people made homeless because some fat cat in government says they “only” have trauma like a fed up teen has depression.

  • Dear Peter, I am responding to Streetphotobeing, but want you to freely listen, since it may intrigue you too.

    First, Streetphotobeing, you make an excellent point. Everyone is unique. Yes, yes indeed.
    Politely, I would enquire, interestedly, if you yourself have experienced being on antipsychotics, and had or did not have true akasthesis on them. I need no answer. But I shall say that philosophically that would maybe be more illuminating to me than watching a video.

    I have friends who are on antipsychotics and I have friends on antidepressants. Those on antidepressants can invariably sit in a chair for a whole hour.

    I long for a proper study to be conducted to explore if there is a distinction between antipsychotic induced akathesia and the jumpy sensations of panic that all withdrawers experience. I think that would be really fascinating and may give us all more info on what all of these different drugs are differently doing to us. But I think that in the haste to find ALL drugs harmful there is a slapdash rush to lump every drug together as if it is ALL one monster of a drug with the same effects. Like when people used to say ALL colestorol is bad. The moral panic in the ALLness way of thinking belongs to tabloid scoops. It is the enemy of nuance, and the enemy of nuance is the muffler of truth.

    Secondly, Peter, I say something about this in the comments on the MIA article titled…

    The ERNI Declaration: Making Sense of Distress Without “Disease”.

  • Dear Sir, Paul.

    What happens is a nomads tent gathering of outcasts come together and describe that they are all suffering as one. The tent leaders feel no interest since they are too busy being outstanding. The middle men think this is shocking and inexcusable and so they feel inspired to create a new paradigm of care for the outcasts who are romantically blended into a “oneness” grouping, who are “the victims”, by virtue of being largely overlooked by society. That homogenized category who are “the victims” are easy to generalize about and this makes decisions about their needs and their treatment simpler to chalk up. They are a bunch, a gang, a flock, a congregation, a movement, a worthy cause. A one.

    The fact the “one” is formed from many is all to the good, since the more “victim” voices there are the louder they will shout and “change will come quicker”. So in order for change to occur it is essential to preserve the integrity of “oneness” in the “victim” group. Deviating away from that, by for instance allowing someone with a contrary voice to be an “outspoken difference” means the “oneness” is no longer “one” but is disintegrating. This dissolving of the “united” shout feels disempowering to those in the “one” grouping who identify as “victims”. And so they may “fear” unending victimization from society if they cannot be united and big and populous and “oneness”. And so in a state of unbridled fear they see the person who was contrary as being a huge disappointment to their ambition and vision of a new paradigm. The “different” then may come to be synonymous with that which causes “fear”. And the original oppressor who caused the “victims” to feel unjustly treated also causes “fear”. So what you now have is the original oppressor being equated with something “frightful” that is not the “oneness” ANd you have anyone “different” who is within the “oneness” also being equated with “frightfulness”. And often these two sources of “fear” get regarded as being the same huge lump of fear that threatens the “oneness”. The oneness grouping calls itself “us” and the original oppressor ANd the “different” are deemed to be the horrible arch nemesis called “them”.

    So in the evolution of a “oneness” group as it grows in power there is an ever tightening boundary that stifles flexible creative listening to the “different” who threaten to dissolve the “oneness” or the “us”. Indeed the “different” are deemed a far worse “them” than the original oppressor who victimized the victims because the sense of betrayal and disloyalty to the “oneness” of “us” is Earth shatteringly intimate, almost like an incorrigible act of family abuse. At least the original oppressor was just a distant professional.

    So in any “oneness” group of “victims” there may be a few “different” voices who if they speak of their “differentness” may be responded to as if their very difference is an obscenity. The “different” get to be so “different” because they are ruled by their own freedom of choice, as informed by their authentic feelings. They are not ruled by anything else. They are certainly not ruled by an authoritarian allegiance to the “oneness” group, even though they may agree on much of what it srands for, and even though the “different” are victims too.

    The “oneness” group may huddle tight to silence the “different”, and they may victimize the “different” who is already a victim.

    But by taking this stance, the “oneness” group are victimizing the notion of their own “freedom of choice to be different”.

    And when any group enshrines its own death of “freedom of choice to be different” it utterly victimizes itself.

    That’s not healthy!

    Many, many, many activist groups, and you can see em all on YouTube, can stray in that direction. The direction of mistaking “oneness” for a grouping of apparently powerful “sameness”.
    Oneness, like in the garden of Eden, is a biodiverse gathering of “differences” that are freely allowed to remain “different”. And proudly so. As the orchid is “different” from the moss, and the rainbow is “different” from the beautiful boulder. All of these “differences” stay different to form “oneness”. You dont want a garden of Eden with only primulas.

    The early proto Guild of Psychiatry undoubtledly did not come out of the backsides of the Emminent or the Leaders of the nomads tent, but came from the middle men who were “appalled” at the Leaders of their day doing nothing for the romantically bundled together “victim” group who were encouraged by the middle men to bond tighter into a vocal, protesting, seamless, formidable “oneness”. A force to be reckoned with. But those circus ring masters who were the middle men, full of passion for a new paradigm, which is only all to the good, ceased listening to the “different” within the “oneness” group also.

    Oh never mind about that. Lets build a lovely community for the “oneness”. A place where they call all get better as a unified one lump if victimhood, maybe by doing occupational therapy innovations like making macrami or bunny stuffing. Cures can be tried. Ice baths. Insulin. Card games. Those unified victims can be an “us” that can be recorded on ward notes as “them”. No need for individuals or those with a “different” voice. Even the unified group agree that those paradigm-soup refusers are troublemakers who are obviously really wicked and insane. For who is not insane to dismantle the powerful “oneness” by being recklessly ruled by “freedom of choice?”.

    Psychiatry is a long slow dinosaur of an establishment that started off by responding to the needs of the nomads tent “oneness” gathering of victims. It build a lovely hotel called an asylum with free food and nightdresses and sums and mirrors and felt it was doing alright by that lump of “oneness” otherwise known as “them”. But soon more are more “different” voices hollered in the long corridors and some said they had nightmare hallucinations, and some said they felt manic, and some said they felt gut wrenchingly sad. And all raised their “free choice” voices asking to be seen as “different” and needing “different” kinds of care. An orchid is not a pillow of moss. There is nothing wrong with being “different”. Madness fantastically celebrates being “different”. As the garden of Eden is a riot of mad “differences”, none of whom are victimized. Well…sigh…dont get me started on very “different” lovely Eve…

    Psychiatry started with the same “oneness” zeal as all the new frameworks are starting with. They see a romanticized grouping of “them” who are all unified in “victimhood” as if they represent each other and can speak authoritatively for each other, as if “we are all the same”. But borderline personality disorder is not the same as anorexia or bipolar. The needs are “different”. And whether the new paradigm does away with those old terms is meaningless in regard of how the tree of mental illness or mental disturbance shatters off into various branches like very very bone thin girls who never eat, or insomniacs up all night seeing photons in their hairbrush, or distraught women who feel beaten by a relationship. There are “differences” just like there are tree branches. The later problem of psychiatry lay in gathering all the similar people of each branch and making them into a “oneness” lump without their consent and within that lump of samey anorexics or bipolar people, never allowing for the “freedom of choice” of the “different” therein.

    I can see why historically the DSM became a response to recognizing a tree of victimhood or illness with its many branches springing out of a homogenized lump of “oneness” of victims. From “oneness” springs the seedlings of “difference” because the kernel of “oneness” becomes death to “freedom of choice”. But “difference” will often want to merge into “oneness”, like in soccer stadiums.

    I think all of this has always been in the human tribe. That is why I think it is wise to see the recognition of “difference” coming, before a new paradigm says to “oneness” lets pretend we are all the same and only suffering from trauma and there is no such thing as that “different” person who keeps saying they have schizophrenia.

  • Dear E. Baden,

    My oration is melting! And its not simply because I left it to go bone dry on anger’s radiator. And not because I have just had my covid vaccine this day. It is because it and I am warmed by your lovely compassion. Thankyou for whispering your appreciation into my wilderness.

    Last night one of my more clairvoyant voices stunned me en route to my bathroom when they said you are like my older sister. My late older sister is a horse lover who could boldly walk up to a freaky bog gone stallion and pacify it in a heartbeat. And mysteriously and impressively she could do that with people.

    Sometimes my voices are amazing.

  • Dear Rebel, great points. However, I would not like to live in a world where my support structure is gotten rid of as if it is rubbish. I would suffer enormously if it was. I do believe there should be alternatives, lots and lots. But that the rubbish in the ambition of many humans that tells them they are “right” without qualms is tendency I would want to call rubbish and get rid of. Core symbols if healing, that reside in religions and politics and philosphy and new paradigms of care are innocuous healing ideas. Even in the religion of scientific psychiatry. The symbol of healing is marvellous in all these fruits on offer. But it is the human muddle in the leadership that turns those fruits into poison. I do not think you will ever get rid of that tendency in humans, no matter what new paradigm of care comes into ascendency. It will ALWAYS be behind oppression of “free choice”. So I prefer not to have a Polyanna attitude that any human innovation will be harmless and untoxic. I prefer to keep vigilant to the notion that humans will always fail at being your “expert”. BUT they can be your friend. Though this requires equality, and external “expertize” likes to trump that. So what I welcome is the “friend frameworks” rather than the “expertize” frameworks. But to be my friend they would probably ironically need to chime with the theatre piece of old school psychiatry and call my awful illness schizophrenia and not big sad.

    I see it all as like a dressing up box of the sort children used to enjoy. The more costumes that are in the box to try on the better. I like romping around in my schizophrenia. Someone else may not want to be seen dead in it. The more “choices” we offer people as to how they understand their predicaments the better. I love this ERNI whatsit paradigm. It is the birth of another “religion” with a different set of devils and angels in the form of traumas and catharsis. Psychiatry saw other factors as the devil that bedeveils the human. And it saw other sorts of angels, like miracle wonder drugs. But all religions grow and improve on past mistakes. There used to be a black line in Cathedrals to corrall woman in the rear of the narthex. Things can improve.

    Anyway, must go get covid vaccine now.

  • Dear E. Baden, have you ever thought of becoming an unhealer? That’s what I am. I am ridiculously spiritual, to my own great cost. But I now believe we are not supposed to be like pristine spiritual people who have conquered our Earthly grubby appetites. If you suppose that the soul is eternal and we come from spirit and when we die we return to spirit, what then is the point of leaving that realm or dimension of love and perfection and bliss, if we are to recreate it here? Like a lunar module of “goodness”. I suspect we are here to mess it up for some of the time and be unspiritual and unhealed, since paradoxically this sensory incarnation IS an expression of spirit love. By virtue of us feeling free to feel whatever we feel. This may be so we can experience the full spectrum of feelings. If some dork at a subway does not make you grumpy then how will you later experience the feeling of relief after you relax with a coffee and chuckle? So you almost depend on the grump to bring you to the euphoria of relief. If the grump were a paragon of spiritual perfection you would feel nothing. Along comes a therapist to heal the grump, and so he feels relief, but because he is now all sorted, you wont get your subway squabble and so you wont get upset by that and so then later you wont reach your feeling of relief. I think it is okay to not heal everyone. The unhealed are so important! They heal everyone by giving them top ups of intense feelings. Provided they are not suffering. Grumpiness is not suffering. It is natural. Feelings are natural. I have always espoused this. So I am pleased the innovations for new care paradigms and frameworks and emotion focused plans put feelings top and centre. I feel this despite also feeling there should be better structured and practical care for people with harder mental illnesses.

    So, I believe we are here not to always be healed of feelings. This can confuse some therapists who still see feelings as oddities that need fussed over by healers. I think some therapists are like pure spirit beings who do heal the desperate, to give them respite from a tornado of feelings, for a while. They are like guardian angels. But there are other therapists who mimic being pure spiritual beings but who think the whole of grubby humanity should pack in their appetites and also become trained and invested in being pure and pristine and spiritually healed, possibly by a magical framework that will handle feelings like feelings are grenades to be detonated by experts, to stop people feeling grumpy or any feeling of relief or any feeling at all. Instead they will live in the perfection of a stripped bare “logical” mind that makes sense of history but engages no more with current emotions, nor makes contact with the filthy messy gorgeous turbulent disturbing world of lively feelings.

    I leave everyone hopelessly unhealed. They never thank me.

  • Armadillo,

    I used to use my professional knowledge to damn people who hurt me.

    Now I do not need to cite “logic” to box them into analytical corners.

    I do not even have to tell them they are horrid and hurt me.

    I just have to cry and love who I am.

    I am sorry if I hurt you and caused you to feel less love about you or doubt your giftedness.

  • Oldhead, I too am busy with stuff going in my life. I need to attend to that. Much as I have enjoyed sporting with your comments.

    I feel it is not our friends we learn about ourselves from but our detractors. Those sparkling, sharp, grains of salt in our wounds.

    But we are not meant to be endlessly wounded. Calm must arrive to put old pain to bed.

    I apologize if I did not restrain my need to find salt flabberghasting. I aim to be a vessel of love but often launch loveless tirades at others in pursuit of that aim. This is my undoing.

    I may have said nippy things today yet to filter through the comments machine that might rile you. Humans invariably cause others to feel how they themselves feel deep down.

    And of course who I am at dawn, with no coffee, reading a harvest of anti-psychiatry vitriol, is not who I am in the affable, playful evening reading the same.

    Enough.

    My eyes are like organ stops from typing on this miniature keypad. Must go.

    I am going.

    I go.

  • Oldhead, I am meaning who is anyone to nitpick my choice of words. It is like a settler arriving at the camp of the First Peoples who have a fair enough grasp of english language but during the conversation they then find their basic words are endlessly inteŕrogated. My words are my words. If someone is just going to say they do not like my words and they try to tell me to exanine my words and they examine my words rather than on balance accept that these are my words there is perhaps no point in communicating with that person. When two nations meet, hearing words matters more than examining words. If examining words is all that is going on there is no authentic heart to heart meeting.

  • Ps. Dear Sir article writer, I say what I say because whilst I totally believe the travesty of pharmaceuticals must stop and ect, and forced treatment, I regard psychiatry as like “a religion”. And all religions can be disatrous and in need of complete reform and reigning in. But many derive the type of help for their helplessness that they like from even the most absurdly old fashioned authoritarian faith. Where I live there are still buildings called cathedrals that people do not want to bulldoze. I am not at the moment a cathedral goer but that does not give me any right to tell others they shouldnt get married in one or call themselves Catholic….or schizophrenic.

    Plenty of wise people revile religious leaders and mostly with good reason. But the arrogant fallen “humans” that run religions are the ones that go awry and not the core healing symbol of religion itself. You want to tear down the Notre Dam of Psychiatry. Good on you. I am not kicking you. I am with you on much of your endevour. But maybe mad, happy, healed, schizophrenic Quazimodo loves it there.

  • Dear kind Sir,

    Please, please allow my silly wit and take no umbrage from my mad observations.

    I have schizophrenia. I know my schizophrenia is a real disease. Forgive me kind Sir for suggesting that you have never personally experienced my schizophrenia. Nor have your 400 “experts” with their years of experience in the “field”, a “field” all of you flag up as meaningful yet seem to equally disregard as poppycock. So why allude to “the field” in your bios at all? Why not let it go?

    The problem seems to be the want of professionals to claim gnosis of mental illness enough to debunk it. But why can’t gardeners debunk it with their gnosis of nature? Even better, my dear, why can’t “I” debunk it? I who have not a “field”. And why can’t I enshrine it rather than debunk it? Why can I not debunk mental illness on Wednesday, then glorify mental illness on Thursday, then debunk it on Friday? Why can I not change my preferences according my whims. Why can I not be such an “expert” in my own “field” that there is no need for “the field”? And if I can freely be my own expert what do I need the new Frameworks for? I already know it all, all of what I feel and think and experience, and I am telling your 400 that I HAVE AN ILLNESS. I feel really very, very, very ill. Ill enough to need a cosy Soteria bed. Ill enough to be with Soteria people who will never tell me that what my raving horrific illness is is just “emotions”. I have had emotions all my life. This schizophrenia illness is NOT that, not for me. The problem seems to be one of the understandable human desire to cure someone who is dying of a terminal illness by telling them faith healing will shrink their illness to the size of an emotion. Often behind it is the healers perfectly natural feeling of impotence in the face of a formadible depth of suffering being borne by someone. But dealing with helplessness by demanding the ill one think themselves well again may have more to do with the healers inability to tolerate their own sense of powerlessness. A sense of powerless Elizabeth Kubler Ross recognized as painful. A painful helplessness that may find manifold relief in creating a delusion of “expetize” for everyone. It is a helplessness the Guild of Psychiatry could not stomach. It is a helplessness few really can.

    But the terminal schizophrenic person often copes with helplessness like a pro. The schizophrenic ingeniously makes all sorts of extra cirricular delusions for themselves, to be a buffer against the chill of their helplessness, a wadding of hope to stop the horror show of their unending hallucinations. But that is why a schizophrenic can spot the telltale signs of delusory false hope a mile away, and paradoxically it also how a schizophrenic feels the general desire for comforting delusions is somewhat sweetly human and endearing. But a in all of this mix the schizophrenic may have no patience for being told their comforting delusion about traditional medicine is “wrong” and that they must now abide by new delusory laws that say they only have “an emotion”.

    What I feel is that there IS a Heirarchy of ill feelings or illness. Having been a depressed person in the past and having been a self harmer and having been an eating disorders gal and having been lots of those mild to moderate disorders I know that back then your ideas would totally work for me. They seem not different from psychotherapy but presented clearer. However, a depressed person CAN read a self help book. A depressed person CAN make it to their therapy appointment. A depressed person person CAN have a relaxing hot bath and try self care. A depressed person CAN get political an wave a placard and feel redeemed by joining a party. A depressed schizophrenic will not be able to read because their book has whispering turning the pages. A depressed schizophrenic will not be able to make it to the appointment because their spooky nightmare voices tell them the therapist is a giant African Snail. The depressed schizophrenic will not be able to relax in a bath because their cruel, barbaric intrusive hallucinated being is in the bath telling them to hurry the fuck up and save the Arctic ice caps.

    There IS a Heirarchy of madness. I know this because if there was not there would already be a million homes opening their doors to welcome the dangerously mad to relax and read books in their conservatories. That this sentiment is not in vogue suggests people are aware there are some mad people who suffer greatly and need more than just some middle class lady in a sunlit room asking “what happened to you?”.

    I have been telling a cast of a hundreds of people in the “field” what has happened to me for over two decades yet my terminal schizophrenia wont budge. They all hate me because they felt helpless. But one or two recognized the astonishing beauty of our mutual shared helplessness and respected me as the “expert” in my helplessness and I respected them as the “expert” in their helplessness…and we embraced.

    I suspect because I do know it all, in terms of being my own expert, this is why the framework lot and indeed the world will never listen to me. It erodes their delusion of grandeur. And what if my “expertize” on “me” really “knows” my schizophrenia is a real illness on a level of disease? What if it gives me huge consolation to think of my nightmare hell this way? Who are you to deprive me of that just because you decide it does me no good to think how my intelligent brain chooses to think. You who do not know one moment of the misery of real schizophrenia? What if in my “field” of “expertize” on “me” I decide I want to see a proper shrink with a clipboard sitting disinterestedly in an old fashioned office? Will you call me mad or even bad if I do? Deluded “experts” used to force everyone to consult astrologers and apothecaries and monks who diagnosed ill humours of the body that affected mood. Then other deluded “experts” felt embarrassed at that obvious delusion and so to sweep it all under the rug in order to revamp the delusion of “expertize”, to preserve its powerful healer trope, people were then forced to debunk astrology and apothcary leeches and monkish broths and bretheren humours and those who still felt they wanted the old style “expertize” delusion were treated as freaks and New Agers and witches. Nutters. Mad people who were even madder for not realizing the new delusion of “expertize” would “cure” them. Indeed their whinging that they liked Monk soup and suction cups and herbal poultices marked them out as traitors to the very notion a new world saving “cure”. Not only were those schizo throwbacks idiots who did not know what “expert” was good for them, they were slowing down the mass delusional hope in a new magic fix for everyone else. Until those actually ill schizophrenic choosy types who wanted tradition for themselves, were deemed so rebellious they were sent to the gas chamber.

  • Maedh,

    You are probably right, my mind is a blur just now. But I probably was nitpicking back at what I concluded was nitpicking of other people.

    I have been cross examining my cross examiners to get over a message about cross examining. Cross examining can be feverish great fun, like hunting a “logic fox”. But so can sitting down peacefully making a lovely picture of the Taj Mahal out of cotton wool. I have been playing with my cross examiners because when the brain gets too serious it cannot relax into love.

    I shall bow out of this running commentary now. I need to drink a sacred glass of grapefruit juice.

  • Steve, thankyou for taking time to ponder all this. To be honest I am flagging just now from a night of no sleep. I really must rest. I cannot do justice to this phenomenally complex debate all on my own. It involves massive multilayered considerations and thinking about it is like five dimemsional chess. It sucks me in because it is all about “logic”. My old darling. But I am divorced from “logic” now. I do not live there anymore. Though I wistfully peer through the window at times. “Logic” as a midnight lover makes me ill. It is such a hit, such a narcotic buzz, it makes the impossible seem possible, but over the course of a few weeks it spirits me off into high hopes of fixing the world. And that steals my time lived in the calm simplicity of the here and now.

    I see people wanting to demolish psychiatry. I feel my way of pinpointing a bully when you discern one IS my demolishing the psychiatry you loathe. And not just bully psychiatrists but bully police and bully teachers and bully politicians and bully everyone everywhere who will not respect an individuals “freedom of choice”. But by that token I include bullies who bully a bully. This is why I cannot join people who want to be aggressive. I dont like it. Nor can I bear being untrue. There are plenty of lovely people who are psychiatrists. I agree that massive amounts of children and vulnerable adults have been poisoned by pharmaceuticals. We all went from being a smoking society to a non smoking society. I demonize any poison. I cannot hate people. I just cannot.

    As for schizophrenia not being not being a sciency thing, few scientists have a clue what much of the brain is for, or does. And what is “the brain” anyway. It has nerves in our toes. I feel schizophrenia is a disease. Those who have my sort of schizophrenia derive comfort from thinking the lizards and leopards leaping out from their bedroom walls are just a disease. It is like telling a nine year old boy he is just having “a nightmare” rather than saying he is not having a nightmare.

    And on that note, I am going to switch off the light of my “logic” and rest my weary mind.

  • Dear Sam,

    By way of my repentance I send as my ambassador of apologies the poet Keats.

    When I Have Fears.

    “When I have fears that I may cease to be
    Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
    Before high piled books, in charact’ry,
    Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
    When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
    Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
    And think that I may never live to trace
    Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
    And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
    That I shall never look upon thee more,
    Never have relish in the faery power
    Of unreflecting love!—then on the shore
    Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
    Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.”

  • Dear Sam, the lottery of the posting of comments and replies has itself gone mad…I made a gaff…I apologize unreservedly..my comment about diagnosing diagnosis was NOT you at all, you dear man. It was MEANT to be a reply to Armadillo who I suspect was trying to therip me after refering to blundering schizophrenics. Oh well, comically she is perhaps right. I did blunder.

    Sorry if I offended you Sam. Indeed anyone. I was born gummily smiling. I am determined to get back to that stock answer.

  • Lovely gracious Sam,

    I may have done a tetchy response to a comment you did elsewhere. Or not to “you” and your comment but something it brought to my notice. I steam at discrepancies like an Icelandic volcano.

    And here you are being so kind to me. I shall just go and hit my head on a convenient hard surface. Lava. Pumice stone.

    Very interesting to hear of your wife’s journey. This is all to the good to hear a diverse range of healing stories. You must write a book surely! And NEVER feel lesser just because you are the partner. Illness is able to seep into a whole family through love’s porous membrane.

    I do hope you wont mind if I shyly say I do not need my feelings “validated”. I do that myself. I do not even need my feelings accepted, or respected, or believed, or loved. I can do all of that myself. I just do not want someone, anyone, telling me I should NOT do those self-care things. And people the world over who do not know me tend to want to tell me all the time which are the feelings I “should have” or “not have”. They do not know they are doing it. I feel no ire. But critique my emotions people do. Aside from the paradigm about trauma I believe this fashion for putting others through a regime of feelings “inspection”, as a picky tendency in all humans, even in me, is a prime cause of driving people off their rocker.

    And so I do get frosty about that when it crops up. I champion people not changing. As a political principle.

    Sam, I think it is chivilrous of you to bestow me with suggestions of healing. I salute your warm heart. I suppose for me at this moment in time I am wary of the vogue people have to encourage others towards unnecessary “change” or “breakthrough” or “catharsis”. I feel I do not want to “change”. I feel I need to affirm that I am perfect as I am. I think this hurry people have to “change” themselves comes from buying into external judgements that they are not loveable as they are.

    If we do not love ourselves we are unable to make enough of it to give to everyone else.

    Not that we “have to” be loving. We are free to choose to love nothing. But we can love that about ourselves and never seek to “change” it, and by doing so.,.
    ..
    we become more loving.

  • Dear Rebel, a while ago I retorted to a comment you made about the notion of there being no such thing as mental disease. I may not have been in a cheery mood then so I apologize if I come over a bit waspish, I was in the middle of pandemic stuff, but later, now, I read this comment of yours and I find it serene. Yes, you are perhaps correct to see there is a distinction between labeling and self-definition. You cite the image of someone using labels such as “you are too slow” or “you are stupid”. These are judgements. The thing I have found with judgements is they are an attempt to take away something precious from you, which is your freedom of choice to be any way you please. So let’s look at the judgement “you are too slow”. You could “believe” that the judge has “authority” to know your inmost feelings, in his or her labelling your feelings as “lazy”. This is an absurdity if the judge is not telepathic. No one but you alone know your inmost feelings. The trouble with all judges is they purport to know you better than you know you. So that is a reality and truth you probably do want to set straight. But “if” part of you “doubts” your own ability to be your own authority and expert on your feelings then you might feel the judge resides in your very being and is “right” to describe you as “lazy”. And “if” you do absorb his or her authority about that you may then add his thought about you, a thought that requires you to wallow in self-condemnation. But that then makes you have another feeling which is being “ashamed” of feeling “lazy”. You may then spend the rest of your year defending yourself and saying that you are not “lazy” and that you are an innocent hard working person. Which may be true. But I prefer to take back the quality and sumptuous gorgeously self-indulgent feeling of “laziness” that the judge does not want me to like about myself. I do the same for “your too slow”.

    I love slow!

    Why would I want to let a horrible judgey person jealously steal my “free choice” and human right to be slow? The whole of nature loves slow. And as for “stupid”, well the stupider I feel the better I become. An elephant is quite stupid. A horse is stupid. They seem pretty okay. The judges or critics or bullies of the human race, whether they are in a profession or are your girlfriend or boyfriend, always want to humiliate a freedom you have to enjoy what they deem as shameful. They deem it! One way to deal with the imposition of shame meted out by the judge is to rigorously refute having the feeling behind what he or she judges you to be. But that is letting him or her whip you into abandoning a feeling that is rightfully your private property. Yours to revel in and enjoy if you want to. Lazy, slow, stupid, nonsensical, farcical, uproarious, mouthy, cheeky, blazè, exuberant, uncontrollable, mad, ecstatic, rebellious, schizo….all of these are “feelings” that the judge shames us into giving up, or even threatens us into abandoning. Why? Because he or she claims to “know” our interior feelings and presides in judgement over them like some grafted on unwelcome moral conscience about our unique feelings? I tend to align with the Gay Right camp and take back from that attempt to humiliate and shame my feelings of lazy, slow, stupid. And I shout from the rooftops that I am free to love being lazy, slow, stupid and schizo calypso. Being schizophrenic is not a dirty word. But I can totally understand anyone who shudders in shame at being called something seemingly not okay in the judges reckoning. And I can understand that even becoming outrage at being called anything by a judge. And I can see the impulse to return the favour and judge the judger as being the shameful likeness of evil. Sort of bullying the bully to stop bullying existing.

    For me I prefer not to engage with any bully. What is the point? They do not posess my stollen feelings…I do. My feelings are all deliciously here…my laziness, my slowness, my stupidity, my schizoness, I only have to re-love those feelings like long lost babies.

    Now some people are happy to get rid of their feelings, especially ones involved in illness. They may themselves loathe their laziness or their slowness or their schizoness and think those feelings are like dead kippers pinned to their coat tails. They may find the kipper feelings hideous because a parental judge criticized them in infancy or a school bully did. This leaves them more vulnerable to “believing” the next bully and the next until the ultimate judge mocks them so hard they go home and wash and scrub away all traces of the apparently offensive feelings. Then when a future judge says they aspy a feeling of laziness lurking deep down or a schizoness feeling, there comes an erruption of anguish and a sense that the judge is shoving the unwanted feelings back into the ashamed, like assaulting them with their own unloved feelings of laziness, slowness, any feelings, any feelings at all that can be picked at by a lifetime of control freaks. And control freaks are everywhere. We are ALL capable of being a bully and a judge and a control freak to others, the moment we say they should not feel the feelings they do.
    Feelings are not behaviour. Feelings are harmless to have. There is no harm in feeling a feeling….even a feeling of schizoness.

    That is why for myself I do not mind labels. Every smelly kippery pungent one! The labels are my feelings “shunned”.

    But fear not. Just because I choose my way does not mean you cannot choose your way. If I choose my way AND you choose your way the Earth’s crust will still be curvacious. The polar mantle will still hold a few penguins together. The forests will still scream with joyful birdsong. And the corner shop will still be half open. And the puppy will still catch the stick. And the world will still be here tomorrow morning.

  • Are you actually trying to diagnose the cause of my diagnosis? And you NOT a therapist? Is that not unethical to one who enshrines professional boundaries? So let’s lookie here…you pin me as a needy person who feels overwhelmed in the mommy department. Darn it! You got me! Aren’t you clever? I am overwhelmed, like eight billion Earthlings are overwhelmed, every one of them bawling inside, possibly you too, for the peace of the maternal uterus. That does not make them schizophrenic. Nor does it make me schizophrenic.

  • Yes, Rebel, my schizophrenia is everything I choose to believe it is. I believe it is a disease. Tomorrow I may call it trauma. The day after I may call it the will of God. The next day I may call it malnutrition. The following day I may call it schizophrenia again.

    IT IS ALL UP TO ME how I regard what is the matter with me. It is my “free choice”. IT IS MY BODY. IT IS MY BRAIN. NOT YOURS.

    I wonder does my free choice to know “me” disturb you? Someone can believe in the Virgin Birth and I just say nothing so as not to insult their “free choice”. I do not follow their every comment with irrefutable proof it cannot be true. That would be bullying. I feel people on this site should feel free to define the cause of their emotional troubles in any way they deem healing. If a ninety year old schizophrenic came on this site, one who had never had antipsychotics, and never would, and told you they believe they have a disease would you berate their free choice? And if so what does that honestly achieve in your life if you pressure them? Can they not be regarded as having the ability to think for themselves?

    You may be able to say that you believe there is no disease of the specific chemical or genetic sort that science initially linked to that disease and thought was the location of it in the brain, but that was evidently science getting it wrong again as science often does in its pursuit of causes. Science used to think MS was not a brain disease, and yet we now know it is. Science stuffs up routinely. It does not mean there is NOT a disease. Rickets is a disease caused by lack of vitamin D. It is a real dis-ease. Scurvey is a disease csused by lack of vitamin C. It is a real dis-ease. Both can cause depression. You could say depression is not itself a disease but is a symptom of disease. Well so is DEATH a symptom of disease. I dont much give a damn about what an individual with “free choice” chooses to call their illness. Whatever helps them cope with it is fine by me. I suspect you get muddled between the travesty that is the “treatment” and the innocuous names by which we are ALL entitled to call our soreness. My calling my illness a disease helps me understand it better. My using that word on myself does not construct a pharmaceutical industry that might want to sell me pills to treat it. I do not “cause” psychiatry. I am blameless. My saying I feel I have a speckled carpet does not mean I “cause” a vaacuum cleaner industry to suddenly fall out of the sky in to my street with its door to door vaaccum pushing salesman.

  • I am deeply suspicious of the wholesale vogue for claiming that every mental illness is caused by trauma. I think many traumatized people really do go on to develop mental illness symptoms but if trauma alone accounted for all mental illness there would be so much mental illness the world would be peopled only by florid schizophrenics since EVERYONE has trauma. I have met lively happy traumatized people and bored to death untraumatized people. I have met people with disastrous childhoods who are so super healthy they wind up helping their whole neighbourhoods and I have met people with fabulous childhoods who just want to die. There are other reasons why I am none too keen on chalking up all mental illnesses as only arising from trauma. It gives those who perhaps have a dubious claim to having had a hard life, who declare themselves to be the traumatized, carte blanche for blaming whoever they thought “gave” them the trauma. As if tauma is a vial of novichok that the “them” have used to deliberately distress the “us”. It legitimates bullying and hate speech against the supposed traumatizers who may not even be personally known by the one who deems their natural every daily discontents are from trauma. And as for a paradigm of care that endorses only ever hunting for the trauma truffle, it could all creepily develop into a quasi-religious forced conversion where you have to “confess” your mom or pappy are in league with the Devil and did you harm. A confession that is the only way you will get granted enough victimhood cudos to permit your entry into into the cathedral of survivor saintliness. Where you will finally be treated like the “good person” you always were from the outset anyways.
    A billion very sick psychotic people require support. Since in the West there is no such thing as community. All sorts of practical support is needed. If psychosis is going to be reduced to an outcrop of trauma, which is a sort of normal response to life events, all the governments tasked with funding that practical support will downgrade their having to do so. Then who do you think is going to feel traumatized for real?

    Sam, I say this not to you personally or specifically. You are a great guy and you have found a viable treatment for those who have been traumatized. I champion the implimemting of as many treatment options as possible. By having a cluster of care paradigms no one paradigm gets to lord it over another and that will lead to a healthy world. I just took this moment to air these ponders.

  • Hello Oldhead,

    You say this in response to my comment…

    “You seem to think that people are trying to denying your feelings, but I don’t see that happening. They’re examining your language. Nor do I see your right to define your feelings any way you want being challenged, even if you take your cues from the psychiatric narrative.”

    I say this….Who is anyone to examine my language? What right has anyone to “examine” me? I thought that is what this site damns psychiatry for doing. The very word e x a m i n e sounds cruel to my ears. It assumes authority to judge. I do not think my mere soundwave words are being examined, like you might birdsong. I suspect the “feelings” behind my words are what is being examined. Not all of my feelings are expressed in words but many feelings I feel only have my words to convey them. If anyone is examining my language, or words, they are examining my feelings.

    Luckily, I find this frisking of everyones feelings all too common in the human. I am partial to doing it myself. It is part of nitpicking and all unhappy people do it to eachother night and day the world over. But the world will be over…if we don’t try to fatholm why we feel so miserable that we cannot resist neurotically pick pick picking away at each others feelings, and at each others free choices, words and language and beliefs. It is not others we should examine but our own brokenness. All of us have just crawled through the worst pandemic in recent global history and the unexpressed wailing trauma from living with death on a daily basis for almost two years has brought a tidal wave of grief at the simple happy sociable silly romantic lives we should have had. Lives full of feeling. I am making up for lost time and binging on as many feelings as I can feel. The pandemic has shattered our tolerance and amplified our sense of apocalyptic threat, to the extent we now see anyone who is slightly different as hugely threatening. But this cannot be healthy! I am no threat to you or anyone. It is laughable that we all cannot leave each other alone to be more of who we each uniquely are. My only agenda is for you to be more you.

    As for mind…well I have been told by my schizophrenic voices, whether reliable or not, that we are living in a mirage. That means thst every hour of the day we are squabbling at a mirage, quaking in our boots at a mirage, wrestling with a mirage, cowtowing to a mirage, blending in with a mirage. What this means is the nature of physical material reality may not be real in the sense we think it is but may be more like a beautiful guided meditation that we all participate in, as if watching a movie in a cinema, or maybe we are like clumsy, sleepy buffoons eating onions we believe are apples in some cosmic hypnotists stage show. What I believe is that post death we do not die at all but wake up from the mirage. And have a good laugh at how stupidly seriously we took it, for some seriously enough to carpet bomb a few cities. I feel our choice is to either get swallowed up in the mirage or find playful ways to rise above it so we do not treat each other as real threats. This fosters peace. But its not easy in a gripping, engrossing, apocalyptic pandemic.

    Lastly, I apologize if I have been belabouring a point about my right to call myself anything I please. I do get the reasoning behind the use of speech marks for unpopular terms but I think of many things in my life that I have worn as a group badge but chucked after the message had served its moment in history. The sufferagettes at one point used to insist all true sufferagettes wear only green and purple. I used to perm my hair and insist everyone else do so. In my teens I used to listen to certain bands that I cringe at now. I could be wrong but I feel the speech marks observance has got its message over good enoug for people to now feel they can make up their own minds. Apart from anyhing I just think in a rushy world it is too clunky to last. A thousand psychiatric survivors probably desire to compose their harrowing memoirs of being in asylums but might be slowed down by having to be precious about punctuation. Do their experiences not count? A person with a different language should be heard even if they cannot spell. And finally, even though thousands feel rescued by slamming labels, If I have felt vaguely put off from joining MIA because of the labels battle I am sure there are probably some suicidal pill popping kids who are put off by it. For those one or two lone kids, maybe I am their stand in for a burping, disrespectful, speech mark dismissing, babysitter.

    (No need to respond. I am swamped in writing projects and need to empty my pockets to trace my way back to three dimensional existence. The lovely mirage.)

  • My schizophrenia is a real actual illness that is mostly a kind of spiritual experience and is not caused by political factors. Nor trauma. I am an expert on me. Which is as it should be for everyone.

    There are a great amount of political strifes currently that affect billions of poor, suffering people.

    I think my schizophrenia is as politically caused as are period pains.

    This is not to suggest that political injustice would not have a deliterious effect on my schizophrenia.

    I am not going to lie to myself anymore. If economic inequality were a cause of absolutely everyone’s schizophrenia how come those wealthy people who are comfortable in their homes and who lack for nothing also get schizophrenia? The mad women in the attics of nineteenth century gothic novels were indeed housed in capacious roomy attics, they were not the rushing maids in the kitchen cellars who had no time to have the luxury of an emotional breakdown. The rich also get bipolar. Why is that? Why do rich girls in Swiss finishing schools who want for nothing shrivel up with anorexia? Why do millonaires who have it all drink themselves to a standstill? Why do seemingly happy and adored husbands who have built up a successful business suddenly go off the rails with cataclysmic depression? Even more bizarre, how come rich consultant psychiatrists are statistically more likely to suicide than many other less well heeled folks?

    Doubtless an article will now dryly plop into my feed about how there is a massive link between schizophrenia and poverty. I am no fool to dispute that. If you are poor you will be susceptible to everything from the bubonic plague to the common cold. But poverty does not “cause” the common cold. Poverty is a weakener of many defenses against things that are “caused” by “other stuff”. But the poor do not have a monopoly on the “cause” of illness. Any more than the rich do. Illness is sometimes ruthlessly impartial that way. I cannot abide “us” and “them” thinking. Having been poor much of my life, I say “no”. My schizophrenia was and is “caused” by “other stuff”, whether that be mind glitches or brain disorder or preternatural hauntings or the wrong type of mushroom. My ordinary fed up distress is very likely to be poverty induced. Poverty and distress are virtually identical words. But not my schizophrenia illness. I have everything I need right now, yet my schizophrenia is still here. And just because I know this to be true does not mean I do not also see that the world is awash with manifold grotesque, gruelling, injustices. But in my view much of the injustice in the world is caused by “us” and “them” thinking, that thinks a poor person is valueless. But it is also an “us” and “them” thinking that claims that a terminally doomed cancer riddled rich child’s body is less ill than a healthy yet poor child’s body. Or a coughing emaciated poor child’s body is less ill than a healthy rich child’s body.

    There is a way to pursue a path of justice that has no “them”. A way that brings everyone together, as Dr Martin Luther King juniour did. A way that ultimately aspires to the whole world becoming “us”.

    But what do I know? I am just a crazy lady, quite driven mad by my intolerable schizophrenia. A schizophrenia that keeps making me halt in the middle of sentences because I don’t even know what I am saying. This comment had five more sentences I had to delete because my hallucination of a spectre told me to. And I am too afraid not to obey. To him I am always “them”.

  • Amy, I thoroughly enjoyed your article. It highlights the tale of a community that does not want to produce something such a bottle rattling production line of organic wine, or bales of colourful knitwear, or gardens of free range chickens, but is a community that wants to build a community. As does Soteria itself. This requires having the integrity to explore fearlessly just what makes a community and what breaks it. I do sometimes wonder what exactly a community is. Is it just a numerical gathering of disparate characters? Or is it a beautiful herd, like antelope, all peacefully grazing in the same approximate direction? Can communities destroy individuals for the sake of the community? Do communities rescue individuals? Endlessly fascinating to ponder this.

    And Grace Silvia, it is fantastic to put a name to a face. Your photo looks like you have just dared yourself to keep summoning God and this Divine has blown a honey breeze through your hair.

  • Dear Kindred Spirit,

    Knock me over with a feather!
    I am astonished at the love pouring out of your comments! I feel drenched in your love.

    That is not an obligation to bestow more. You are free to be where ever your mood takes you. I just wanted to honour you.

    As for the daughter, put her across your fiercely protective maternal knee and thrash her and send her to her room with no pockey money. The goading button pusher!

    (in jest).

  • Lots of anxious comments suggest you should try to become a different sort of healer. So before I go for a little lie down I will share that I once suggested a depressed friend should consider becoming schizophrenic? It is terribly liberating. You can speak truthfully. You don’t have to heal anybody but yourself. And because you feel healed this rubs off on others in the passing, as a perk.

  • Dear Ruby,

    Like you I am schizophrenic and although I prefer for myself not to believe people are evil, just “lost”, I certainly do believe nobody “lost”, should ever inflict medication on other people. You are a very fine and accomplished writer. That is so strong and undaunted with you even on pills. I am in awe of your creativity.

    I can only EVER talk from my OWN experience, so I will say that for me, and it may be quite the opposite for someone different, Abilify was an excruciating drug. I recognize exactly nearly all the side effects you mention and I can add more, though bodies are not made in factories and so everyone’s body will have quirky side effects. Like you I was on maximum dose of that specific drug, amongst many others, for about five years. I eventually quit and it has been really, really tough living with my schizophrenia at times but getting out of what I was dosed on has been the absolute making of me. What people do not understand is the warm, wise person you are gets utterly decimated by the side effects. This gives a false perception of “the schizophrenic” as being an idiot who cannot make their own “free choices”. Once a schizophrenic comes off their pills people are so aghast that the schizophrenic person is intelligent after all that they think it must have been a misdiagnosis, which it is not. The cruel irony is that removal of faulty treatment does not equate with a cure of schizophrenia, it only gets rid of the awful drug effects. So what can then occur is the schizophrenic person is left with little actual help AT ALL. And since they now have awakened from drugdom, and sound clever and gifted, they get told to take their still occuring hallucinations and delusions and voices and fend for themselves. I would ask any non schizophrenic person to consider how they would feel serving burgers to a table of diners if they heard voices telling them to run? Or have the delusion the diners are being controlled by invisible aliens?
    The schizophrenia sufferer must have the “free choice” of optional proper help, only if they need it, and because merely coming of a drug does not vanish away the original predicaments of symptoms, and because the schizophrenic person changes to being more alert without drugs, care folks need to know that the schizophrenic person both may at times feel they need some kind of optional asked for voluntary support AND is smart enough to design how their support should be. I believe Soteria houses understand that philosophy.

  • Dear Armadillo,
    May I respond to something you mention…? And apologies if this gets duplicated.

    Philosphically, I have always regarded the notion of “a professional” boundary rather peculiar, especially in most “talking” therapies. Just that word “professional” seems faintly creepy to me. It is often worn with pomp and ceremony by complete strangers, like overmantled heavy lace and embroidery bedecked, fetishistic priests, who need a costume to stop themselves rummaging and molesting their congregants. Why the regalia?

    It has been my observation, as a hope filled schizophrenic person, hoping for equality for ALL people, that the tightly clutched claim to “professionalism” is sometimes, though not always, a charade and a mask that a person uses to maintain a sense of “us” and “them” out of “fear” of not having enough of a natural ethical boundary. As such it is like a confession of weakness from the get go. And as such it seems the badge of a charlatain.
    But you surely must have schizophrenia yourself, to claim to know the interior of a schizophrenic person so intimately. So nice to have you join me, fellow schizophrenic person. Let me plump our cushions.

    Perhaps the notion of any “professional” who has had, or has, something as mad as schizophrenia disturbs the cosy notion that intellectual “logic”, of the stripe most relied upon by therapists, cannot be relied upon to separate the wheat from the chaff, or keep out from the staff room the “contageon” of insanity. It is not so simple as saying here are the smart “professionals” and there are the “blundering” schizophrenics. Most schizophrenics wrote the damn book on “therapy” and the many “voices” of therapy. I suspect there are plenty of far cleverer schizophrenic people than therapists. And besides Nobel Prize winners, thankfully a good few are “professionals” in the caring professions. Which just goes to prove that neither the lucky rabbit paw of “talking” nor sacred talisman of “analytical logic” does not “cure” schizophrenia, since the schizophrenic is often the superior genius in both departments. And this reveals a very ordinary, tawdry embarrassing weakness in the “power” of any professional’s thinkerly intellectual paradigm of care. It is a flaw and weakness about the magic wand of therapy that some “professionals” are too disappointed to own.

  • Flatworld. Realworld. I live increasingly in flatworld. The world within the flat smartphone screen. I feel no rain. The wind does not adjust my tresses. I DISENGAGE from my bodily self and become pure brain. But it does not feel like a life. I think it is more like a form of sleep where the body is paralysed in a chair all day. In therapy there is an environment where play is possible. You see a tuft of carpet, a flighty bird unrolls a long white streamer of shit on a window’s glazing, a book sighs as it flops over on a shelf. So many exciting sensory things to play with or about or over and under. This is lacking on a phone. I think people think there is an individual versus the world but often the best healing comes in dissolving self into the world as if marrying it.

  • Peter, I am enjoying thinking you are a listener. I liken the erasing of the reality of schizophrenia illness, whether anyone cares to call it that or not, to the current enthusiasm for erasing of the word “woman” or “man”. Erasing is nearly always done by folks who have felt nothing of the despair of real schizophrenia. I met one or two in the Hearing Voices Network who volunteered as non schizophrenic group leaders. They seemed to me like sudden armchair colonislists who have never been in the schizophrenic tribe and have never had a moment of schizophrenia in their life. How can it be that someone who has NO experience of an illness can wish to abolish the reality of it? The laughable and tragic thing is how do these people expect to draw funding into their charity boxes to fund wonderful alternative things like Soteria houses, which in my opinion are the way forward, if…there is no such thing as schizophrenia? Are we to call Sotieria houses places for the terribly upset? I would like to see that work on a charity box…The whole world will say “everyone on the planet is terribly upset and needing to keep all our charity coins for our big upset”.

    I understand that abolishing or erasing or crushing the pharma pill seems to require crushing the supposed illness it was given for, but I know my schizophrenia is real, however you care to treat it. I think those who are vociferous in wanting to erase that word, may clutch it back when needing to fund a new paradigm of care. In the meantime us schizophrenics continue to be shouted at by people who do not know anything about the hellish lived exeperience of it. And my slight concern is that in getting rid of pills and getting rid of psychiatrists and pooh poohing psychology what on Earth is going to be left for those who know full well what their torment is but dare not speak its name….

    I have schizophrenia.

  • Peter, it is my belief that akathesia I experienced on antipsychotics is NOT the same hyperarousal cortisone and adrenalin state experienced in withdrawal. Nor is it the extreme restless leg syndrome that comes after quitting antipsychotics. Both the hyperarousal state and the restless leg syndrome state could push someone to suicide. However, akasthesia is a far, far worse cause of suicidal impulse, both of which lessened dramatically AFTER I quit antipsychotics. I belabour this point because if people think ghastly akasthesia is going to occur post quitting then that untruth disincentivizes people to quit. Really there should be a new name given to the experience of riotous restlessness and hyperarousal post quitting. I can say that both of those in combination are really very unbearable and even worse than akathesia, but the good bit is that like the agony of childbirth, they do not last. Maybe six months. It was worth it to go through those six months in my case. Yes I felt I could not bear it at times, and this could lead some to throw in the life towel. But proper actual akathesia from being on antipsychotics is a whole other depth of awfulness that caused me suicidal ideation every day. The lifting of akathesia, through quitting my meds, lifted that daily toll of suicidal impulses in a blessed way for me. Within days of abruptly quitting that relentless akathesia and suicidality also abruptly ceased, but what it was replaced with was like psych withdrawal childbirth that dragged on for six months. That childbirth state was horrendous, however it was not continuously awful since it also had the brain derailed effect of ecstatic elevated mood at times, and the eupohoria from those intermittent phases of withdrawal sort of “medicated” the flipside of that hyperarousal which was an adrenalin sense of impending doom. So ironically, the curse of withdrawal symptoms can flip into a blessing, and it can flip over unendingly many many times a day, and this flipping can lead to a sense of overwhelm and pandemonium and exhaustion but also exhilaration after a decade of all feelings being squashed to a dull flat akasthesia drudgery.
    Because my experience was abrupt withdrawal I got the help of that flipping into euphoria, which became a trusty companion on my voyage, explosively showing up every two hours or so. It is not unlike the body capture that paralyses or animates you on LCD but without the visuals and is a trip of six months. However, Peter, although I am reticent of people withdrawing fast, as I feel that must be excruciating for the brain, even though people do cope with something like a motorcycle crash okay, I am not convinced that long tapering is that great either, given that akasthesia made feel suicidal every day, in a way that withdrawal did not, and given that it is possible the turbo charge rocket fuel of euphoria, something that occurs in actual childbirth, was actually really helpful to keep me on the withdrawal path, I mean I thoroughly enjoyed those reviving sips of hypermania, if a long taper squashed all of that thrilling exuberance and dragged on my akasthesia suicidality I might not be here writing this to you. I quit hard and fast and I found it helpful. But I have alot of experience in talking myself down from metaphorical panicky tall buildings. Many naive people may not know how to do that. Again it is like childbirth. So learning lots of techniques about how not to panic is best, BEFORE quitting. And I think a medium length taper may be better than a forever taper. I needed the bursts of euphoria, which also felt extremly physically “restless” but for me I KNOW that was NOT akasthesia. It was worse, it was relentless hyperarousal. But it was temporary. Although I have been left with bothersome restless leg syndrome, it is NOT akathesia. Will it develop into parkinsonism? Well that was probably on the menu anyway, on the first day of my taking an antipsychotic.
    I think alot of people on antidepressants have not experienced true akathesia of the antipsychotic induced sort. They may have felt over stimulated or panicky or anxious but NONE of these are akathesia. I think what is then happening is they are hearing all about this scary thing called akasthsia and are assuming their over stimulation or panic or anxiety is it. Then when they withdraw from antidepressants they may experience over stimulation and panic and anxiety IN the brain derailment of quitting that leads to extreme hyperarousal. The hyperarousal is like over stimulation and panic and anxiety maxed up to the hellish hilt of human endurance. They are then of a mind to call that also akasthesia, even though they may never have actually experienced true akasthesia either before, whilst on antidepressants, nor off. By true akasthesia I mean the sort I ONLY EVER got from several brands of antipsychotics and NEVER from dozens of brands of antidepressants. There may be a disservice being done to schizophrenic and bipolar sufferers who HAVE years of experience of true akasthesia. If a person on antipsychotics wants to discontinue those meds and is constantly being heckled by the antidepressant quitters that they WILL still get apparent akathesia AFTER they withdraw, believe that this will cause deaths in schizophrenic and bipolar antipsychotic takers, who maybe derive no benefit from such meds, who dread now coming off since all they hear is that quitting causes what they already have in terms of true akathesia, which in my opinion is grave error of sensationalism. Why the sensationalism wont be corrected is that is many antidepressant takers and quitters are in a hurry to debunk the reality of schizophrenia and bipolar anguish so that all mental illnesses can be squashed nearer to what is only standard depression or anxiety, possibly so those with only these kinds of illness feelings can present themselves are the epitome of abject suffering, in the absence of any competing narrative. The depressed or anxious are morphing themselves into the new schizophrenics and bipolar sufferers by claiming they suffer the same symptoms, or the symptoms dont exist, and by claiming that torments like true akathesia are what they have. All of this is murky.

  • As a sufferer of schizophrenia, which is real to me, I heartily agree, as I have done so for years now, that all antipsychotics are deeply damaging if not acutely needed. I feel that all psychiatric medications should be discontinued until their effects are properly researched. I have no doubt about articles that say antipsychotics cause brain shrinkage. I do not have a problem with finding the treatments for schizophrenia next to useless. That does NOT mean schizophrenia does not exist for some people. Getting rid of pills does not magicallly get rid of schizophrenia! The voices and hallucinations and delusions STILL continue. But there are most definitely other more natural ways to make living with those more bearable. For these views I am ostracised. For many people who do NOT have schizophrenia and therefore have no right to judge, I believe the act of ostracising other innocent schizophrenic people who they simply do not know and have never met, is an act of bullying that is THEIR medicine.

  • Yeah, it is depressing, very much so especially for the children. Luckily one recent petition against such a child abusive porn site got two million signatures. It is not enough of an outcry but most people just seem to want to look the other way and pretend this psychological and sexual genocide against children and babies is not actually occurring. There has been a surge of it during this pandemic. Who is going to help to heal these millions if not billions of emotionally obliterated youth if those people of compassion in the caring sector desert their jobs because they have a conscience about “labels”?

  • Oldhead my FEELINGS are REAL.

    And I FEEL ILL.

    SO……I AM TELLING YOU AS MY OWN AUTHORITY ON ME I AM ILL.

    You do not inhabit the interior of me so you have NO WAY of knowing if I feel ill or do not feel ill. And because you do not have access to my interior perceptions in any way, to discern where my unique to me ill feelings are coming from, you cannot say they DO NOT come from a place I like to call my mind.
    We can debate about where the ill feelings are coming from, whether brain, mind, hormones, poverty, inactivity, trauma, abuse, possession, iatrogenic damage, forever chemicals, micro plastic, oppression, having a cold mom, having once had a wicked school doctor, being sacked by a boss, schizophrenia. We talk about how silly or how relevant these “explanations” and “causes” may be. And we can search for the REAL CAUSE…but none of that has ANYTHING to do with my REAL FEELINGS which are ILL. And those ILL FEELINGS, or what may be an imbalance in my freedom to feel at all, are inextricably bound up with my nebulous amorphous infinite MIND. You may like to think you do not have a mind. I am tempted to encourage you to think along such lines, and not because I am being jokey but because I believe the nuclear war causing mind of the human species is utterly awry. To the extent we should all be happier if we could turn the damn thing off, which is what peaceful grazing horses do all day and is why a billion heroin addicts find the miserable solution to the tyrannizing mind lays a needle.

  • Peter,

    I just want to add that my best psychotherapist was a psychiatrist who left psychiatry and took me with her into private practice. She stuck with me for ten years. She came to my house warming party with her partner and we had a great laugh. She came shopping with me when I said I was out of control with my shopping and running out of food cash. When I couldnt aford to pay her she accepted my terrible oil paintings. Sometimes I gave her my woollens, which she wore respectfully. I once showed up at her door with an antique table and a china egg bowl. Which she took with good humour. I wrote epic letters to her over many years, all of which she brought into sessions for me to read out loud to her. She kept my letters without my knowing, in a bag. When she proudly gave them all back to me I cringed at reading them and later threw them all in the trash. But in many ways she was instrumental in teaching me to write true from my heart. I adored her and wanted to be her. She never pushed pills on me. Indeed she looked utterly crestfallen every time I wanted to ask my family doctor for antidepressants. I gave her lots of music. She gave me lots of music. She had a sort of sisterly boundary where her private life was like a room I was denied access to. I always respected her for that. She tended not to call herself my therapist but described it all as a relationship. It became a relationship where I could learn safely through trial and error what were the kinds of relationship with everyone else that I liked. No closet was not subject to spring cleaning. All lives have trauma. Mine were assiduously scrutinized. What I liked best about it all, the long years of psychotherapy, was the “playing”.

    In order to play you need someone who does not take themselves too seriously nor wants to be your saviour. Just your best friend.

    In a world where everyone is too stressed out to be anyone’s best friend the notion of community sometimes only replicates such a collossal lack of vital intimacy in its cosy communication famine. She kept my need for “play” and intimacy nurtured.

    My next psychotherapist liked me so much he housed me in his vast Edwardian mansion. A very platonic and chaste and witty companionship ensued for two years. He introduced me to fine wine, top restraunt dining, esoteric things like astrology, theology, luxury domestic fripperies, and eventually his work of psychotherapy, where he trained me to become one. I see it all in a medieval lens as a bit like the decadent yet solemnly monastic process of apprenticeship, where you start off needy and a decade later move into helping the needy.

    A therapeutic boundary is a necessary structure to keep both people safe from reckless abandon. But a boundary can also be an “us and them” assertion of stellar egotism that has no place in the yeilding space of feelings. I think the Guild of Psychiatry has enshrined such a boundary to devastating effect. I think psychiatry is full of ill doctors who have no one properly caring for their mental health and this is why they are woefully unable to care about anyone elses. It is all very sad.

    But there are psychotherapists who saved my life and psychiatrists who also saved my life…and I refuse to do the wokey thing of saying everyone I ever met damaged me.

    I am tired of the emotional blackmail in our current times that insists I can only be embraced if I keep banging someone else’s monotone drum and loudspeakering the agenda of strangers rather than telling what I know to be true to me.

    I have written some of my truth in the MIA comments section of the adjacent article titled “Drowning in Doubts: why I think about Leaving Psychiatry, by E. Baden”. But if you click on my name “Diaphanous Weeping” you can find my contributions.

  • You and I agree often.

    Nobody should be an authority on someone else’s perception of what besets their inner self. The person themselves must be the authority, judge, chooser of what belief and definition best describes their condition. I cannot be an authority on Steve. Neither can you be an authority on me. Nice insn’t it? Which is why I enjoy using my authority to know what feels best for me and what feels accurate for me is that my schizophrenia is a mental illmess, in as much as my mind feels ill to me in a way only someone with the exact same hallucinations and delusions and paranoia could understand. This is not to snub anyone else’s experience of what they believe they have, any more than a pregnant sixteen year old might be deemed to be snubbing the workaday muscle aches of a construction worker if she said only another pregnant sixteen year old would understand her.

    I am the authority on my illness and I know it is a mental illness and as such merely dropping a word like diagnosis will not cure it.

    I think what is going on is alot of fear about confidently coming from a position of being an authority on “you”. If any person feels anxious that other people have more authority than they themselves have and those people could muffle “your” own authority and choices then you will want to undermine their “authority to know themselves” in order to protect or assert your authority to know yourself. But that is just daft if instead we can ALL agree that NOBODY has the right to undermine our own individual authority to know ourself. If I say I feel ill and I call it my mental illness it means nothing to your authority to know that for you, you do not feel ill and you do not have a mental illness. Some folks feel they have a rash from an allergy to slippers. Others who do not have any allergy really have no right to undermine the authority of the person who experiences the allergy and is happy to pay to see an acupuncturist for it. If you think the allergy person is being duped then you may express your alternative hypothesis as an offer of your compassion, but compassion can only be “an offer”. The moment compassion gets worked up into evangelizing or preaching in order to undermine the authority an individual who is the only one who has to the “expertize” to fully know themselves, then compassion moves from a beautiful “offer” to starting to sound like coercion, which is not compassion. And is what psychiatry has been so bad at. I worry that any compassionate venture, even Open Dialogue or even Sotria houses, can change in this way from offering compassionate help to help someone with their authority to know themselves to just becoming a threatening new type of authority, often through being threatened by someone happily believing whatever they like.

    I am “FOR” all of us believing what we like.

  • A doctor can refuse to do an abortion. I have long hoped that psychiatrists could refuse to give any treatment they have a pricked ethical conscience about. In my opinion giving SSRIs is far worse handing a toddler a twenty pack of cigarrettes for life. But that is only my opinion. I am sure other people have derived comfort from them. As for creepy therapists maybe the client is driving her or him up the wall with demands for an instant fix. Maybe the client is pushing buttons that were pushed in childhood. Maybe the client is goading a retaliation from the therapist so that the client can “shamelessly” despise the therapist and get released from being a horribly logical “feelings squashed” shame carrier. Or maybe the therapist is pushing your buttons to get you to retaliate so the therapist can spew his or her build up of societally imposed shame on you. We may never know. All we may know is that the majority of psychiatric drugs are doing nobody any favours. I do not have an answer to how that vast industry is curbed or stopped without recourse to ethical lawyers, as was done with tobacco. I can see where shaming people for choosing an SSRI is comparable to shaming someone for lighting up a filter tip on a street corner. Shame is a powerful form of social control. But shaming someone for having the intolerable stress that propells them to grasp at the straws of cigarrettes is taking shame to dark level, a worthy level, a Salem’s Lot pious congregant chanting level. Stress, illness, dis-ease, disease, should never be shamed. I would even go as far as saying NOTHING should be shamed. Instead there should be “care” and “understanding” and access to the latest research findings and above all “support” to pursue less fast food, fast toke, fast fix options to the stress or illness or dis-ease or disease that decimates a persons suicidal life to the extent they hardly care anymore if the treatment annihilates them. They need to find a reason to care to live. And they need care.
    It is all very well saying shame everyone who begs help from a psychiatrist and shame psychiatrists for giving the flawed help they have no real choice but to give and lets just bulldoze all the care buildings like clinics and respite houses and hospitals tomorrow and have a nice clean slate and start all over again, kind of like turning to rubble the tobacco factories. But where in God’s name do the billions of stressed and ill and dis-eased and diseased go for care tomorrow? It is a bit like finding asbestos in a field hospital and deciding to flatten it with a digger in order to grow a field of daisies. As if flattening an exterior nightmare will magic away the real illnesses of people who have a different nightmare going on interiorily. Demolishing an exterior nightmare in order to start again does nothing for the people who are living with a worse interior nightmare 24/7. Or are they to be conveniently forgotten about and demolished into the rubble of fabric and fittings? Psychiatry has let these people down appallingly and my concern is that it may do so again by psychiatrists sort of refusing to recognize that these people are already suffering hell on Earth in the nightmare of their wounded minds. I fear that reprehensible factions of psychiatry will slip off their old medals and in haste to rid themselves of the taint of malpractice will clobber any person who genuinely is suffering. A sort of…

    “Get out of my way, I’m busy”

    becomes…

    “Get out of my way, your illness does not exist, go and talk about paranoia with a next door neighbour or a hairdresser or someone at the soup kitchen”.

    Yes, it is lovely that these may not give treatments that cause life destroying iatrogenic damage, but can you call your busy stressed out neighbour with his four kids and bills to pay “your solace”? Can you do it tomorrow? Standing triumphantly on the tatters of a defunked field hospital?

    I have been in a psychistric hospital many times. Ive seen them at their absolute worst but I have bedded down with many psychiatric patients who love being sheltered and fed and kept warm and being surrounded by a community of fellow illness sufferers to talk to and having access to lovely country parklands with fresh air and nature. I have been with many who have wept about having to leave the cocoon of hospital to face the alienating rabid shaming society, who will shame anything not called Jesus. Ideally all these shelters can be replaced by Soteria houses, but are they going to be up and running where I live tomorrow? I hope so. Long long long time overdue. Soteria should have been the answer all along. I am a big fan of it. And I am a big fan of minimizing psychiatric meds to the absolute bare minimum since we really dont know what these compounds do to each individuals unique brain. But I am sorry, I just do not see the merit in launching a “campaign” to more or less tell people to mimic Lazarus because heh ho…they have no illness anymore….its all just trauma. I can see where a bullying Guild of Psychiatry will relish what they may see as a chance to exonerate their years of cold indifference towards psychotic people by championing a new cold indifference that brushes their lapels of the cash costly needy schizophrenics by embarrassedly coughing up their business suit cuffs to say schizophrenia does not exist. All done in a stampede to be the great and good again, the worthy. Something of a morality test no psychiatrist should have to feel shamed into taking. Shame spreads shame. Greatness is often the illegitimate love child of shame. And I see alot of psychiatrists yearning to feel great again but doing so by binning what they feel has been a shambolic scandal, and doing so by binning those who for a century have acutely required some better and more compassionate form of help for their very real illness.

    Leave psychiatry if that is your choice. I do not have the luxury of leaving something that makes it impossible for me to write ten sentences without wearing two masks and two hats and two pairs of sunglasses and wads of tissue paper formed into rings around the inside of my glasses and a stocking with two holes in it for vision. All this to stop the insufferable hallucinations. You go ahead and leave your ghastly career. I have every sympathy for your ethical predicament. I will never shame you for staying or leaving. I will never shame you for how bad you feel. Please try not to shame me for how bad I feel.

  • Are you going to treat my very real illness then? An illness that is definitely NOT imaginary. An illness I am free as a person with equal human rights as yours to call a disease, a word that means dis-ease, are you going to be my care or are you going to hand me a bottle of shampoo?

    No need to answer. I believe you maybe do not have one. Not a satisfactory solution anyway.

  • A good article. Timely.

    To be blunt though, I feel there is no need for an anti stigma “campaign” if the only “campaign” you tell each person on the planet to do is love who they themselves are, and love themselves dazzlingly enough to tell anyone to f**k off if they disagree with their own free choices.

    I am often suspiscious, being a paranoid schizophrenic, that any “campaign”, be it dedicated to helping the suffering earthquake survivors, or suffering victims of any natural or unnatural disaster, can occasionally be diverted into lionizing any current symbolic underdog for nefarious reasons that have little to do with actually allowing the diverse voices of those victims to speak for themselves. Even an anti stigma “campaign” can be co-opted and its highly contentious hot potatos used to construct a mount or a podium of worthiness for pundits of regional religion or politics to pontificate off. Where ever I detect worthiness in someone I often peek under their halo and find rage. Worthiness is often about trying to feel morally decent. And trying to feel morally decent is often about secretly feeling you are the complete opposite, usually through buying into someone elses narrative of shame. Thus “stigmatized” as not being decent enough, a person will inevitably find an “other” who is less decent with which to draw a comparison with. So that they can crown themselves with the tiara of worthiness. The trouble with a “campaign” against stigma is it can escalate into a self-righteous vindication against all the apparent “others” or “stigmatizers” who ever sat in a bar snacking on potato chips, the same potatos the “campaigners” see as hot potatos that must be built from a molehill into the mountain of a lectern.

    I have long seen it coming, the merry jig of Big Pharma to bill and coo into the ears of potential pill pouting punters, telling them to feel no shame about being mentally ill enough to need pills. I can see well how this delays people from coming off pills they may detest and pills that may be damaging them. But I do not believe that in whipping mental illness out of the hands of those who definitely do feel really really really ill, as if by restraining their free choice to see their illness how they want to, you miraculously and worthily “save” them from their really real actual illness feelings, even if you do manage to close the malignity of the drug cupboard hatch. I think it is a dark path that anti-psychiatry is jaunting worthily down if it aspires to “cleanse” all people of their experience of illness in their mind. Playing cosmic healer may “stigmatize” those who are not wanting to join an anti-stigma “campaign” that lionizes their victimhood at the same time as victimizing them for being like misbehaving children who do not know whats good for them and who choose to retain their right to know they feel ill in their mind, even those who see no problem in keeping their preferred diagnosis.

    Who the hell doesn’t stigmatize?

    Every man, woman, LGBTQ person, and cat and dog stigmatizes. Before I go down my street for a coffee my mad little cave woman brain has stigmatized a dozen potential latter day sabre tooth tiger threats. We are all frightened of strangers. So this is why we have amygdalas and adrenalin glands. If you look for a “stigmatizer” you will find plenty everywhere you rest your gaze.

    I am trying to say that I have often felt stigmatized by advocacy “campaigns” who do not take kindly to my “campaigning” for everyone, even the people you dont like, having freedom of choice to define themselves in any way they wish to.

    Whilst I want to see as many people as possible given support to withdraw from often odious neurotoxins, because I think the scandalous over prescribing of these drugs and injections and gadgets are killing people, what I do not want to see are people being unwelcome to knock on the door of a worthy “campaigning” advocasy just because they have not “shamed” themselves enough for keeping their identity. I dont want to see those people who are desperate to quit bad meds being ridiculed and stigmatized for not being “anti-stigmatizers” of themselves.

    To do so leaves them no place to go but back to their compassionate psychiatrist.

  • Dear cnd.md.

    With respect to your fascinating comment, and I hasten to add that I do not ask you to “be” my doctor here, you say this…

    “There are times when I tell patients that no one can say why they hear things that others can’t hear, but we can still talk together about options to respond with the humility and caution that we can easily do harm, and always with the persons autonomy front and centre.”

    I like your compassion here. But I want to throw a light on something. Since you say you do not know what causes a phenomenon like my schizophrenia symptoms it follows you cannot convince someone like me that I do not have schizophrenia, since you have now debunked your own authority and expertize to tell me I am “right” or “wrong”, no matter how much you as a psychiatrist flog yourself for misplaced guilt and shame for years of doing what we have all done, which is stupidly tout wonder drugs. It is perhaps your buying into shame that has you putting the word diagnosis in quotation marks, which as I said somewhere before, is a wandering shame that will go on to shame “others”, such as “others” who feel they do have the symptoms best described by schizophrenia. “Others” to whom, if you are now no expert you cannot prove do not have what they feel they have. So your mocking quotation marks, of their “free choice” to “tell you” they have schizophrenia, being as “they”, not you, are the true experts, is like taking “your” shame, something “you” and not they bought into, and sort of dumping it on their freedom to describe themselves as schizophrenic or traumatized or poor or abused or a good girl or a bad girl. Why do “you” get to tell me what word I can confidently use to descibe symptoms that cause “me” a level of anguish you probably would not survive?

    Society, since the time of Adam’s fig leaf, have been shaming shaming shaming. And the thing about shame is pretends to be a feeling but it is not a feeling at all. Shame is an import. Shame is a foisted “judgement” flung at you for “not” feeling what the latest version of society bullyingly insists you “should” feel. And because you do not feel how society tells you that you “must” you then do a weird internal self harm on behalf of cruel society and lacerate yourself until you feel appropriately horrible inside in order to cowtow and carry out society’s dirty work for them, in puritanically scolding yourself and flogging yourself for “not” feeling the “right” way…which in all matters of “right” and “wrong” usually involves the “logical” way. The “thinkerly” way. The cold brutally heartless reasonable rational paperwork way of border security, except it is a checkpoint you let into your own psyche by buying into the notion of the “right” way or the “wrong” way. The brainy way. Not the emotional way at all. So shame is not a feeling, there is no “right” or “wrong” feeling, it is a judgement you buy to keep your credentials sweet but in buying shame, which never does make you feel great, you need to feel better somehow or you will go into maudlin humourless humble pie eating decline, and so you hope to get rid of the judgey shame that was given to you, but oftentimes you’ll unconsciously do it by slamming shame on someone eminently “shame-able’. Maybe the shameful schizophrenics who harm nobody but just like to not “have to” defer to yet another society authority who tells them they are shameful for liking their own diagnose, or are shameful for not censoring it with the romanesque slavish brandings of speech marks. But it is “the same binge shaming” that propped up psychiatric expertize in the first place. The shaming slur of speech marks is THE SAME shaming slur of an unwanted or disputed diagnosis. I am against ALL forms of shaming of any persons innocuous “free choice”. Shaming begets more shaming. All shaming does is cause wounding and anger and emotional imbalance in the one being cruelly shamed. It makes nobody a loving human being. Shame always feeds on a reason. It says you “should” feel shame “because”….”because”….”because”…”logic”….”logic”….”logic”….you are too poor, or too mad, or too not one of us, or too black, or too religious, or too stupid, or too unacademically precise, or too left, or too right, or too lazy, or too inept, or too arrogant…on and on come the reasons why you should buy that you are the big problem, you are the monster, you are the witch, you are the deviant, you are the layabout, you are the devil, you are the oppressor, you are the whore, you are the nasty nasty nasty who can never get rid of your shamefulness unless you use speech marks. And so you grovellingly do use speech marks but Lo…here comes a scgizophrenic who innocuously chooses not to.

    In another part you then say…

    “beliefs are important, but they should not be used as surrogates for science, they are not science. Science is most often misrepresented and misunderstood. It demands humility rather than certainty. I think patients demand a clear and repeated discussion about the lack of biomarker evidence in all of psychiatry. I feel patients deserve to know that they have many options…”

    To which I say…

    when was science ever not also a belief? Science experts used to tell women their wombs wandered. Science logisticians used to say the Earth was as flat as a dinner tray. Scientists used to say there was no such thing as a black hole. Scientists used to say psychotic voices were nothing to do with their profession but were infact possession. Science has no idea if we are all living in one universe or a billion. Science has no idea of every aspect of cell division. Science has as much idea about the epiphenomenon of consciousness as an astrological birthchart and yet some who experience shame from tossing out Big Pharma’s wonder cures want to tell a schizophrenic their illness is imaginary. To me it sounds like conveniently dusting an unpleasant disturbance under a rug along with the folly that is shame so “we” can all get on with building a new paradigm of what exactly…of…..”care”?

    My how “cared” about I feel.

    Another fav amongst the shamers throughout history is bonding with a powerful group of celebs in a long list of fresh converts who have also walked the plank. Bullies unite. It is what bullies do. And what they say are things like….

    “You are no different than the rest of us”.

    Which is another way of embarrassing or shaming the “different”…the “other”. A hymn sheet of the shamers throughout history will have have the sunny side up of that ostracisation of the different, by glowingly beaming that “we” are all “united” as one. But it is not a oneness where you get left in peace to believe about yourself whatever you freely choose to…no…no…you will be coaxed and coralled and monitored and shamed if you inch so much as a toes distance out of the new paradigm of care. A care that cannot let you be different enough to be the embarrasment…the bad smell at the party…the label liking schizophrenic.

    I never want to not be different. I just want to be left in peace to love my difference with having shame shoved at me by activists of the new paradigm of care or the priests of psychiatry or the born again ex-psychiatrists who want to get rid of their imposed shame by shaming me and calling my diagnosis a Frankensteinian error that needs a spanner and a new blueprint called a framework to “correct”.

    Every shaming judgement bestowed to us by bullying societies, one after the other, since the dawn of time, have used belief to judge the “different” with their other beliefs, and even science is a belief. Well of the seven thousand beliefs in the world today, each one just as preposterous to a casual observer as the next, they all allow some freedom of choice, but detract other freedom of choice. And all of them change over time through learning of the sheer folly of damning people for their freedom. Mostly all these beliefs are wonderful “options” as you might say. There are seven thousand beliefs on our cute little mudball planet but the mean little heart of Man is too small to accept this.

    That meanie hearted logical know-all masquerades as the boss of something called “the world” and tries to repeatedly shame me for not being “just like the rest of us” even though it is not “my” world.

    I say this to “the world”…

    “Who are you to tell me what I am?”

  • Sam, I agree. I know what you mean about the foundational work that goes on in attachment. And how if you as a parent do not get your progeny’s attachment alignment “just so” then you doom your beloved to endlessly repeat ill patterns, like a lost duckling in terms of that faulty primary conditioning, regardless of how wealthy or poor you are. I suppose though some could say that if you are poor it makes providing for infantile attachment needs awkward, since you as the parent if impoverished may be exhausted or stressed or half-starved. But I think it is hard to “fix the world” first and then feed your baby. Most parents feel honour bound to feed the innocent baby first and then focus on the politics and economics of the world. Maybe those without babies do not understand that almost biological imperative. They may say it is selfishness on the part of parents to be putting the baby before the tribe.

  • Darn it…I am back because I cannot iron my tee shirt without adding this…Dear article writer,

    Feel no shame! For if you buckle to the pressure that you are shameful for being a psychistrist or an abused child or a beaten wife then you will use shame to become self righteously decent in an uptight way. The shamed become shamers. They become shamers because shame NEVER makes them feel alright again. Mindfulness yes, consideration yes, compassion yes, empathy yes, remorse yes, apology yes, but all of these do not need the toxic control freakery of shame. The shamed go on to require “others” to shame and they must shame them even more than they themselves feel shame…until the whole world is gripped in a nuclear vice of shame. The shamed go on to “other” as if it may be the death of them if they do not find someone, anyone, perfect strangers they do not know, to shame more. The Guild of Psychiatry was so grand at othering and shaming precisly because those boffins were saturated in being shamed from an excrutiating Victorian uptight morality. When a human is shamed they become a shamer sooner or later.

    If you have not been intentionally or willfully directly cruel or bullying or sexually abusive to someone then feel no shame. Shame is destructive. It mends nothing. Recognition of error and understanding of someone’s upset and asking them to forgive your oversights or idiocy is fine. But shame is just another form of the inexorable spread of bullying and as such it is the footsoldier of further bullying.

    The antidote to the exprience of shame is to regard life as a mirage and all careers in it are theatre performances and rather than feel ashamed of being in a career where you have not intentionally been cruel or bullying or abusive just enjoy that theatrical role. Be even “more” psychiatrist-ish. Maximize the psychiatrist costume. Wear the epitome of expensive clothes. Click your pen and clockwatch. Come out with innane platitudes. Do nothing without rummaging in endless computer files. Perfect a limpid handshake. Say “yes” too often in one sentence to convey distraction. Say “yes” to bits in a conversation where you should say “no”. Fetishize confidentiality. Be reckless about confidentiality. Wear sexy stilletoes to confuse the depressed. Have a boufant of a hairdo that looks like it needs magic pillows to rest itself on each night. Be utterly not like one of us. Be sublimely choosing “your” individual “free choice” to be a glorious psychiatrist. The best damn psychiatrist ever. A traditional psychiatrist or a nouveax therapy psychiatrist. Provided you are not intentionally and directly being cruel or bulling or abusive to this person or that person but are full of good intentions to heal people then FEEL NO SHAME. Because if you do, if you are weak willed and being shy of following your OWN TRUTH, your own truth that knows you are person with a pure heart, then you will implant the seeds of shame in you that will spread like Japanese knot weed in a million other “others”.
    The antidote to being “othered” and shamed is to celebrate being EVEN MORE otherish. Be even more theatrically psychiatrist. Like the Gay Rights pioneers knew to answer shame by being EVEN MORE theatrically gay. If the clothes we wear and the private feelings we have and the private thoughts we have and our outward behaviour is not intentionally and deliberately cruel or bullying or abusive then we must tell anyone who undermines our God given freedom of choice to go away. If your freedom of choice is to practice medicine and practice psychiatry then if who you are is someone not cruel or bullying or abusive then choose to deliberately love yourself for being the sort of unshame spreading free thinker who champions freedom of choice for ALL.

    Anyone can discredit anything and anyone using words, words, words. We buy that we “have to” listen because words are “logical” and feeling are not. This subservience to the God of logic, who shames our innocuous feelings, such as the feeling we know our own hearts better than anyone else, is a subservience that is going to help NOBODY feel good about themselves and who they are and how they really feel..

    And when the whole world is starting to feel bad about themselves they invariably marshal an army to blame the “others”. The “others” who should be wallowing in “shame”.

    Kick back against the God of logic and freely choose to be nonsensically “you”..

    with NO SHAME.

  • I once insisted a friend should go on antidepressants. My cousin once insisted that I go on antidepressants. My mother insisted I try sleeping pills. I was a guinea pig in an antidepressant trial that was so effective in those few weeks I told everyone I knew to try it.
    My point here is I have met many, many people who have got this checkered history of pill pushing and diagnosis pushing. I know few people who have not played at psychiatrist to a friend or family member. Everyone who has ever listened to moaner and felt helpless about what to do and then with a good intention suggested a then famous but now dubious remedy on them that they genuinely thought might help them is NOT A NAZI.

    If all psychiatrists are demons then all aunties and all grannies and all daughters and all sons and all work friends and all college buddies who EVER pressed the name of a remedy on a demanding loved one, a remedy that turned out to be a complete failure, are NAZIS and DEMONS too.

    So have a little peek at “your” healer history before you go hateful and judgemental on anyone who did as you maybe once did, a person you have never met, whom you now demonize by calling evil…so are you that demon, dear commenter? Did you ever mouth to your anxious brother or sister, the best dose of a tranquilizer? Did you purr that inpronouncible name into the receiver of a nineteen nighties prozac coloured telephone or jot the name of a slimming antidepressant on the back of a friend’s bar receipt? Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you ever offered a chemical remedy to an alcoholic friend or a fed up family member just like you were a smug all knowing, know-all psychiatrist. Because I know I have.

    “He who is amongst you who is without sin let him cast the first preachy comment” sayeth Christ.

    This is the Nazareen who went to give his love and forgiveness to the rich bastard “demons” in the tax booths, and give his warm welcome to the heroin poppy dealer pill pushers in ancient bible land saloons rather than sit in the echo chamber of his one track minded group-think fans. Is that Nazareen a Nazi for liking EVERYONE?

    Any movement that seeks to think only in terms of good people versus bad people and who never wants to listen with an open heart to any individual who visits that movement, no matter how different that individual happens to be or what their day job is just now, is a movement that is no “movement” at all but is just an oversimplified cosy stuckness. I want MIA to never be stuckness. But that involves moving out of the entrenched rhetoric of a parrotty “us and them” or “us and her” or “us and him” comfort zone.