Sunday, September 23, 2018

Comments by msmonique

Showing 53 of 53 comments.

  • Hi Rachel –

    I relate to so much of your post, especially as follows.

    The “Richard Kimball” part because I recently “ran away” to a new area where I knew no one. I’m sure people wonder what’s up with that but I have a feeling I’m not the only one around here in that situation.

    The lonely part, but I also believe it’s better to be cautious about who I allow in my life than letting in the wrong (for me) people.

    Staying in the shadows – but I do hope both of us can find our way out of them.

  • Michelle:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate it so much in so many ways. I, too, have been skeptical of the Louise Hay book, but now I want to take another look at it and see what I can get out of it (without having to agree with all of it!).

    There’s more I might like to say, but sometimes, even without using my real name, I feel too vulnerable to write much. Maybe later.

  • Steve – This is a beautiful post. Thank you. And I’m so glad to see your are taking on the moderator job, as I have often thought your comments to be especially well thought out and compassionate.

    I HAVE had a hard time commenting here for fear of “attacks.” I think the issue is understandable considering that many of us “psychiatric survivors” (choose your label) are sensitive, having likely been traumatized in a major way one or more times in our lives. At the same time, in large part because of the active moderation (now by you!), I find the comments to be for the most part kinder and more respectful than on other websites.

    An additional issue of mine is that I often find it very difficult to read entire articles. I don’t know if this is a result of the psych drugs or other trauma or other factors, but my reading comprehension is not great – it used to be a lot better – and so it takes a lot of effort to read even one article. Anyway, after reading your post, I feel encouraged to keep trying.

  • Congrats to you both, Emily, and Steve.

    Emily: I don’t know a lot about your work (yet), but from what I do know, I think you will be a force to be reckoned with in the movement against our society’s current “mental health” model.

    Steve: I always appreciate your comments that are so well thought out and written, as well as full of compassion, and I’m glad to see you are taking on a bigger role here at MIA.

  • Rachel – well put. Frankly, I often feel stigmatized when I state my anti-“med” beliefs. As if I’m shaming someone who is taking the drugs. I totally understand why someone would want to – I was that desperate once, too. I’m not against the person, I’m against the drugs! I wasted many years before accepting that the “meds” weren’t going to fix me and that I needed to do the difficult work instead.

  • Thank you Steve. You are spreading a great message! I am fortunate to have figured it out, but it took me way longer than it needed to. Some people never figure it out and often die way younger than they should have because of this.

    I’m also suggesting that maybe there is a more specific message in a person’s struggle, be it with “psychosis,” depression, anxiety, or whatever. For instance, I think the main message of my depression was that I was trying to live my life the way other people wanted me to instead of what is right for me.

    Anyway, that’s what I was trying to get at in my original post. I do think it’s probably obvious to some, but then again, others still insist that the “meds” are the solution. *sigh*

  • Thank you Rossa. I apologize for not reading your first comment more closely.

    I once had a terrible doctor who had me on 10 or 11 drugs a day. It was probably more pills than that, because I most likely took some of them more than once a day. I was so zombified that I didn’t realize the extent of the problem. I moved to another state (with lots of help from a good friend because I was such a mess) and my next doctor brought the total down to 3 drugs a day. Well, yay… Not. You know what’s good for me? Zero “meds” a day. But in the midst of it, those of us who want to – who were brought up to – believe in the honor and authority of doctors, have a hard time seeing how often they can indeed do harm.

  • despondent –

    Thank you for your reply. However, I’m not sure what you are saying seems naive? Taking the psychedelic drugs? It’s confusing to me, too, but I am hearing more and more people saying that it was a good (mystical, even!) experience for them. (And occasionally someone saying “Meh, not so much” or even that they got addicted to the drugs.) I hope my first post doesn’t imply that I think someone should or should not take those drugs, as I’m totally on the fence about that.

    Part of what I was trying to say, though, is that maybe reframing the experience of “psychosis” (not drug induced) to something more informative (to be learned from) and less medicalized might be helpful. For instance, in my struggles with depression, I think it’d have been much more useful for me if someone told me “yes, this is very painful, but you can get through it. You need to find your own path” rather than what I was told:”this is a chemical imbalance for which medications are the answer.” Or do you think that is naive as well?

  • According to Wikipedia, she is still alive. Not to correct you, because of course the site probably does have a lot of incorrect or out of date information. The reason I bring it up is that they also say she is taking “31 pills a day for her schizophrenia to keep her symptoms to a minimum.” (If that part is true:) Really? Is that the best you can do “psychiatry”? Is it even possible that the benefits even come close to the costs in that situation? Absolutely shocking.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Schiller

    P.S. Oops should have read Rossa’s comment first. Oh well, it bears repeating.

  • I’m curious about something. Is there an inherent difference between “psychosis” as caused by unclear sources, as in what is labeled as “schizophrenia,” and hallucinations (or visions – choose your word) caused intentionally in people taking drugs such as DMT or ayahuasca? Or is the difference more a matter of attitude, i.e. the latter experiences are more often seen as “positive” and the former as “negative”? It seems strange to me that I am hearing about increasing numbers of people seeking the drug experience while people are being encouraged or even forced to medicate the “psychosis” experience away.

    A bit of a tangent, but if anyone has any insight, I’d like to know. Thanks!

  • Eric:

    What is true, anyway? This is something I happen to be pondering in my own life.

    And who are we to decide if a false belief is delusional or not?

    And maybe it isn’t even a false belief. Hemingway was thought to be paranoid because he said he was being followed by the FBI – turns out he really was.

    I was listening to a youtube about “gang stalking” recently. Seemed farfetched to me, but who am I to say it isn’t a real thing?

    A man I met recently thought he had been abducted by aliens. He even wrote a book about it. He didn’t seem to be psychotic. He didn’t seem to be lying. He seemed like a nice person, and I was glad to have met him. But I didn’t believe him, either.

    Another thing – conspiracy theorists are often thought to be delusional, but what if some of what they believe is actually true? Isn’t discrediting them as “crazy” across the board a very convenient way of covering that up?

    Oh, and something I just learned today – people are starting to have themselves implanted with these chips called NFCs. I can’t figure out what it means or why they are doing it, but I thought it was interesting.

    This is my long-winded way of saying, thank you for your post. I appreciate it very much and it’s got me considering all sorts of things. Looking forward to future writings by you.

  • ConcernedCarer: Thank you for your response, and I’m sorry to keep going on about this, but I feel the need to add that I actually have a master’s degree in a science field (not a biological/medical/life science) and my thesis was about statistics. So, ugh, I understand stuff and yet there are areas that I still can’t “get my head around.” Very frustrating, and I do appreciate your encouragement.

  • It took me a long time to get that the psychiatric drugs were interfering with the part of my brain that I needed to explain (or, at first, even realize) how they were affecting me badly. I still struggle with how to explain that. Anecdotal? Yes. (And yet, quite significant to me personally.) However, I do think it points to what Frank said and one way that the adverse effects can be understated.

  • I don’t think heard of the Rosenhan experiments until very recently. (Why not?) I know there are criticisms, and yet, I think the studies are very telling, and significant to my own experience as well.

    Abilify (possibly in combination with other “medications”) caused me to hear voices. When I told my then psychiatrist about it, instead of correctly blaming the drug, I was given an additional incorrect diagnosis of “schizoaffective.” Of course, once I went off Abilify, the voices ceased entirely (although it took some time). I was further vindicated by finding another person who had the same “side-effect” from Abilify and from another psychiatrist who believed me and listed the drug as an “allergy” – probably not quite correct, but the best she could do in their computer system.

    And I also very much appreciate your comparison between psychiatry and the Blackstone quote.

  • Brilliant observation and article. I can’t see how the “experts” can dispute this, but being as cynical as I am, I fear they will find a way, and it’s terribly unfortunate.

    Learning to employ the concept of cost vs. benefits in my life has been extremely helpful and I’m glad to see it employed here. If the antidepressants were presented in the way you suggested, I doubt I would have ever taken them. The first one I took (Zoloft) did appear to “work” – but not completely – and I was suspicious even at that time that I would have improved just as much without it. As it was, several years later when I was struggling again, the Zoloft didn’t “work”and I thus spiraled down the “polypharmacy rabbit hole.” And I am still finding my way out, even after nearly 4 years off the drugs. (I was on the drugs for a total of about 14 years, I think.)

    I want to say that even a stronger stance should be taken. I don’t know – maybe those one out of eight (or less, I know) really are “helped” enough to outweigh the costs. Are they? Or is it really the placebo effect, which of course isn’t that because of the negative effects that are also occurring from the very start?

    Although I respect everyone’s right and responsibility to decide for themselves, I don’t believe the benefits ever outweigh the costs, and I hate hate hate these drugs and only wonder how long it will take for our society to look back in retrospect and see how horrendous “treatment” was (is) in our times. I am confident that this will happen more quickly due to this site and others like it, so I’m very grateful to you, Robert, and all who contribute here.

  • ‘I could not frankly believe how poor the NNT’s were for psychiatric drugs, particulary the antipsychotics actually, which really are not very good for the harm they always cause.’

    Makes me wonder what the NNT is for antipsychotics being prescribed as “adjunct treatment” for depression, for which they are now often touted.

    ‘Dr Cipriani et al said recently, that “there was an undue focus on the binary and polarising question of clinical significance.” ‘

    Apparently one of the perks of becoming an “expert” is that you are allowed to selectively ignore the scientific evidence.

  • JanCarol –

    I appreciate your comment, but I’ll be honest – the semantics don’t bother me in this case.

    I’m not too fond of the focus on consumerism or economic growth either. I tend to cringe when I hear the latter being used as a determinant in how well we are doing as a country. Personal growth seems different to me – more about quality than quantity – but I do agree that “letting go” can be a part of it, so the term is contradictory in that respect.

    I’d like to add to my previous comment that I don’t think it’s the grades in themselves that matter, but good grades as related to a higher goal/purpose in life. And of course, goals don’t necessarily have to be related to higher grades. So, if “they” feel they must study something (and I agree with Frank’s comment that this could just be more “ridiculous research,” so maybe not), then in my opinion “they” are asking the wrong question.

  • Kindred:

    Thank you again. I have a wee confession – I think I do sometimes present as an incessantly cheerful person. It’s a hard habit to break. But also it’s partly because I am so reclusive and am grateful for most any human contact. Unless of course the person is being an arse, which is sometimes the case.

    My interpretation was that my instructor was playing the part of “enlightened” which to her meant only displaying “positive” emotions. And that is a common enough thing among meditation instructors, gurus and wannabes, etc. because that is what a lot of people think meditation is and are seeking from it. But I did know enough by that point not to buy into it. And there was another “student” in the class who was in the Vietnam War and suffered PTSD and who could relate at least to some extent to what I was going through. That meant a lot to me. Still working on “feeling the feelings,” though.

    Thanks for understanding.

  • kindredspirit:

    Thanks for the clarification. Much appreciated.

    I still don’t think I agree with what you or the author wrote about this particular area 100%. Because I think that people do have the right to choose who they want to be around. And if someone doesn’t want to be around me because I’m not happy all the time, do I really want to be around them? But also because I’d think that people who only want to be around positive, happy people are not all that healthy, maybe less healthy even than the people expressing negativity. Probably.

    Anyway, maybe I’m just being contrary and picky and overthinking this. And maybe I’m not even presenting your or the author’s viewpoint correctly. I apologize if that is so. I do absolutely agree that suppression of negative emotions is very harmful for us as a culture and individuals.

    This conversation has reminded me of a personal experience. I was at a meditation class and I was quite upset and crying. And the “happy” meditation instructor’s immediate response was to say – “Oh maybe she’s menopausal, that makes women more emotional.” Yeah, because I am not allowed just to be sad without a biological explanation. I was not impressed.

  • kindredspirit:

    Thanks for your response.

    Context is important. So is clarity.

    In the midst of abuse, I think the victim often humanizes the abuser too much, especially in narcissistic abuse where the abuser can be very covertly manipulative. I know that in my situation that was true. I know that concepts such as “Stockholm Syndrome” exist based on this idea. Perhaps after the fact with a lot of physical and emotional distance, humanizing can be beneficial.

    As for the reference to Michelle Carter, I am aware of the alternative viewpoint about her, but don’t know enough to have a firm opinion on it either way. I would hope that one wouldn’t dismiss the whole article based on that one sentence. Otherwise, I could point to hundreds, probably thousands of articles, youtubes, books,etc. that discuss narcissistic abuse without referring to her at all.

  • I just want to add that when saying “emotional abuse” I am referring especially to narcissistic abuse, which is something that I don’t think is well understood by anyone who hasn’t gone through it. This abuse was a big factor in my choosing to eliminate a person who was toxic to me from my life.

    I can’t say if this has been verified scientifically, but it’s believed that suicides do result from this form of abuse. Here’s an article I just found on it that describes it better than I can.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-survivors-of-malignant-narcissists-dont-get-the_us_59691504e4b06a2c8edb462e

  • I agree with a lot of what you say, and I do feel that the perceived need to be happy all the time contributed enormously to my depression.

    However, there are toxic people. Of course. Anyone who abuses another person (be it physically or emotionally) is toxic, at least to the person being abused, and to suggest otherwise is dangerous, in some cases even life threatening.

    But, yeah, the “suicide is selfish/cowardly” thing strikes me as the “survivor” making it all about him or her. I don’t get it. I guess whoever says that perceives it differently, though.

  • It is common sense, I guess. Unless you were raised in a family like mine where the opposite was taught. One message was that what we were good at, we’d remain good at and vice versa. Another was that making mistakes was shameful and intolerable.

    Ironically, I happened to be good at school learning and got exceptional grades and eventually an advanced degree. However, I’d hardly say this has translated to success in my life, having been on disability and unable to support myself (most likely due to psychiatric drugging, I now realize) for many years.

    There seems to be a commonality between this concept (growth vs. fixed mindset) and the current “mental health” system. The medical model says: “You can’t change. You are stuck with this disorder for life. The best you can hope for is to find the right drug cocktail.” (fixed mindset) The alternative, often post-system, model says: “Maybe I can change. Maybe there are things I can change in my life that will make a difference and lead to true healing.” (growth mindset)

    Recently, I’ve taken the growth mindset more to heart, and it’s made a huge difference in my life. It feels great to persevere and gradually get better at something that I wasn’t very good at initially. So far, it hasn’t translated into being able to support myself (my ultimate goal) but the confidence and hope that has been generated along the way has made it worthwhile.

    And so, I am really glad to see this concept mentioned at MIA, despite the less than stellar research results.

  • Well, I think responses to trauma are often diagnosed as “mental illness.” I do think they can be “treated,” too, but usually not with talk therapy and certainly not with “medications.” So, to sum it up, I’m not sure what I was asking. Ha. But, gosh I do love quotation marks these days. Thanks for your response.

  • oldhead wrote: “Others simply want to be left alone or supported in their efforts to physically recover from psychiatric assault.”

    I love this sentence so much and I think I’ve figured out why. It affirms a person’s right to be left alone if that’s what they want. Also, I do feel tremendously supported by this site. That being said, I AM interested in “creating a new narrative of mental health,” although I’d say it more like “I want to keep others from having to go through the same b*llsh*t I did for too many years.” Uh, yeah, I guess Robert phrased it better.

    I am wondering how many MIA contributors have had the opportunity to do a TED talk. I look forward to the day when Robert Whitaker presents his science-based results at such a talk (forgive me if you already did – I couldn’t find it), if he desires to do so.

    Oh, and quotes truly are my friend now that I understand the true nature of “psychiatry” to be something utterly different than I used to believe.

  • Steve: I agree, but I think of it a little differently. It seems they have arbitrarily grouped certain symptoms into “disorders” or “illnesses” but there are no medical tests to show whether or not someone has the supposed disorder. And they focus on treating these illnesses (i.e. give out pills) that they can’t even prove someone has instead of the root cause, which could be many things such as nutrition, childhood trauma, poor living conditions, etc, etc.

    The DSM is a monster, if I may say that about an inanimate entity.

  • Oldhead:

    Yes, it’s about the money, but I believe it’s a little more complicated than that.

    I remember when I, as a “patient,” used to frequent psychiatric offices. After a while, it became really easy to identify the pharmaceutical reps. They were generally attractive women of a certain young age (perhaps late 20s to early 30s) and always wore black suits of a stylish yet conservative cut. They tended to go a bit more wild on their shoe choice (but not too much). And they had a certain glow about them – an air of quiet, yet upbeat, confidence – that distinguished them from the “patients” in the waiting room (you know, the ones that were supposedly being “helped” so much by the “medications”).

    What I’m (hopefully) getting at, is that with the right talk to go with it, I can see how meeting a person like this could be very appealing to the doctor’s vanity. This is a powerful thing for most people. (I’m not sure how this worked for the female heterosexual doctors I had, but I’m sure the reps worked that out somehow.) This, of course, is just one small part of the strategies pharma companies have used to get doctors to prescribe their drug.

    Another observation: Perhaps most doctors do enter the field because they truly do want to help people. (However, I did have at least one doctor who, in my opinion, showed marked psychopathic tendencies.) Even so, after a while of prescribing these drugs, I have to say that it must be very difficult for many to admit they were wrong and they have been actually making matters worse. (Imagine the cognitive dissonance! A terrible blow to the ego.) Kudos to those doctors who go ahead and admit it anyway.

    I hope this is clear. I still struggle with that a bit. (Nearly 4 years off the “meds” though, so yay for me.)

    Edit: I think the above may be giving the psychiatrists a little more of an out than I intended, but I’m gonna leave it for now.)

  • Eric:

    I’ve had this image in my head for a while: Current psychiatric “treatments” are like throwing a wrench at a car engine – maybe sometimes by total chance the engine will work better for a while, but then it will fail and probably be a lot worse off. But usually, things will just get worse right away. (I know, it’s a rough analogy and that’s probably why I never shared it before.)

    Anyway, I appreciate you sharing this. I’ll admit, at first, the treatment sounded like fiction, but OMG it is a real thing. And your first treatment – wow – so scary in an ominous truth is stranger than a Twilight Zone episode kind of way. (Does “treatment” warrant quotes here? Not sure.)

    Your article has got me rethinking a lot of things, especially the true nature of being “present” (which is something I’ve been striving for in my own life) and even the spiritual concept of “enlightenment.”

    I appreciate so much that you are open about your experiences. It helps to counteract the times when I, for instance, look at a youtube about depression and the people commenting are usually dead set in their ideas of the goodness and even necessity of psychiatric “medications.” So sick of that, and I hope that things will shift for the better and SOON.

  • Kelli: Thank you for being brave enough to share your terrifying story. I appreciate so much that you did. And I’m glad it’s ultimately a story of hope as it sounds like you’ve overcome a great deal. Someday, maybe I’ll share mine, too, which to be honest is tame compared to yours but, for me, still so scary to be public about.