Saturday, July 20, 2019

Comments by plebtocracy

Showing 44 of 44 comments.

  • Wow! I’m not sure which blows me away more, your courage to tell this story as you have, or the courage in your having lived it? But I’m pretty sure you’re living the hero’s life from here on out, from which a most fortuitous fate not possible before your first psychiatric encounter, will find you a most deserving representation. You Rock! And your story only grows in leaps and bounds from here.

  • Tipping points, however tragically overdue, usually don’t result from any single qualitative event, as in even the most devastatingly honest and thorough New Yorker article-that didn’t happen. My point here is what is psychiatry’s tipping point? My guess… long after the most damage possible has been achieved. Is there any mystery that psychiatry and the mental health professions are making the world sicker, exponentially so? I imagine, for a moment, psychiatry having to answer to Congress, perhaps four or so committees. I imagine class action law suits. I imagine a spin-off branch of psychiatry and governing body (as in headed by Dr. Bregin-like minded doctors) from which conventional-historical psychiatry starves to death. I imagine institutions working as the health of its denizens their defacto raison d’etre. But, then, maybe these are a few of the reasons why psychiatry (seems) to have no tipping point?

  • Ron…I’m not assuming my MLK-Dr. King reference has anything to do with your comment here! But it is a good segue to revise my rather frivolous commentary above-of which oldhead got me thinking about my comments here (my philosophy being, to date, giving the arrational a place at the table; now requiring closer attention to my language!). But with regard to my comments days earlier, what I should have said was that the middle ground can be progressive or regressive; the bigger issue, to my mind, the manner in which real attributions come out the the middle ground, regardless of the political acrobatics. Progressive and or regressive attributions aren’t ambiguous. But with regard to the middle ground and psychiatry: There is no middle ground! In order to claim legitimate middle ground-or fake it, there has to be substantive legitimacy from which to proceed (historically, epistemologically.etc., etc.) If psychiatry proceeds from this ground, or it’s willing adherents-fair weather or otherwise, then smelling salts might be warranted.

  • Another gem from Bruce. Not unlike Sera’s last post, this tackles a trans-psychiatric issue, the middle ground phenomena an indiscriminate historical wrecking ball-as Bruce illustrates with the Malcolm X and Dr King reference. Maybe the middle ground is as much a “political bunker” mitigating institutional failings and contradictions than any actual position or philosophy. Run to the middle ground and claim your PR-political high ground, if for no other reason than to silence historical contradictions, and control those pesky complexities to the right and left. Do it long enough and the middle ground sinks, and with it, far too many of its bewildered subjects. Bravo to Bruce for seamlessly working-in the nap, pants-down-dump reference too!

  • Beautiful post Laura. And I think your idea for a community-based free space children can come to for support and, well…”community,” is a long overdue idea! It’s kind of-to my mind-something of a counter-psych ward, maybe an anti-psych ward! Not that it needs that moniker of course. All of those states you mentioned struggling with when you were young are nothing short of human feelings, feelings children have to juggle while “learning to fit into a very complex and not a little sick world. Subjecting children to a psychiatrist (and, in my opinion, most mental health experts) who struggle with these states is nothing short of criminal. I sure wish something like your community idea existed for me 40 years ago! Best of luck with all your work in these areas moving forward!

  • This article is so full of holes that It’d take a books-length critique to adequately address, just like its predecessor. But I’ll just say this: “Multi-Lens Therapy”? Why does this sound and read like gestalt redux? Secondly-with regard to reason #1 of the above four: Why is the DSM anywhere near a psychotherapist office? (Rhetorical question). Next: when did critical consciousness become so threatening to the psychotherapist profession? (this question is wider and deeper than might appear, and deeply troubling in my psychotherapeutic experience). Lastly-because this is all the hopelessness I can invest in today, when is the psychotherapy profession writ large going to offer a metaphysical critique that acknowledges-even honors!-the human psyche for it’s authority, and in the process-by extension, that human psychological symptoms may be (trauma notwithstanding!) less pathology than the Cosmos (and, of course, all levels of the social!) speaking through the therapist client (back to critical consciousness for the record).

  • Great piece as usual Sera. I, too, caught that White revisionist part in Hidden Figures, as well as the scene when the three woman broke down on the Virgina road and the State Cop stopped to offer assistance and reverent words: you know, classic 1960’s Virginia. What I loathe worse than recovery porn is Victim porn! When victim status reaches dictators and legions of people in positions of power and privilege-save the rigging that ushered their continued ascent, then…Not to go off the cliff here, but I thought the other day everything is beginning to look pornish (shallow, exploitive, etc.). For example, I see my doctor next week for my annual physical. He’ll use my labs, etc., as the basis of my health, whereby no discourse of my thoughts and concerns will see remotely reflective or complex responses from him. A nice, clean, algorithmic transaction in (well) under 30 minutes. Sorry for the last part here.. just trying to show you may be on to something bigger than the recovery angle.

  • Thank you Megan for courage to speak to your direct betrayal by your pastor, and passive betrayal by significant others. Also…thank you for that beautiful metaphor of emotional, spiritual, and relational homelessness-I could have used that one a couple years back! I, too, recently experienced a betrayal by someone I thought was more than what he presented and was; so I know how difficult it can be to open up the nature of the betrayal, save face a sense of abandonment from it’s exposure. One thing I learned from my betrayal from my “supposed’ new friend, was that I acted out of unconscious cues and their attendant losses. In the end, I came to understand that my “friend” was one sad dude, and that I more felt like a victim, rather than a student to my own repressed needs. My point here is…I had to come to forgive myself because said friend wasn’t worth my time or friendship. This is a difficult process, of course, but one I feel blessed to have gone through. I hope your betrayal finds the same outcome, whatever it’s process.

  • Thank you for sharing your story Anders. I really enjoyed and appreciate your articulation of the nuanced contradictions between diagnosis and ones evolving life at the various intersections. You point out so well the various failure between diagnosis and ones developmental life, and in the process-rather nicely, put a spotlight on the utility of diagnosis: for whom does it best serve? You seem to have taken and the diagnosis of autism, wrestled with it personally and socially, and turned it into your own creation. Bravo!

  • First off thank you Manuela for your honest and courageous writing of this necessary post. I personally appreciate the simplicity of clarity throughout. I am, however, a little torn on the issue of unionization in a mental health profession. As a lifelong union supporter-originally from Detroit, there’s something troubling about it’s reach to the profession of mental health. More troubling than I care to unpack here. Unionization for the purpose of job securities is good thing, me thinks. But unionization that bleeds into praxis or informs formative or operational processes, not so much. And who holds firm that Chinese wall?

  • I couldn’t agree more with Sylvian. But I will add what Wittgenstein had to say on the matter of his (“elite”) education: “I’ll spend the rest of my life untangling myself from the moras of my education”. My guess is that the “serious problem the world over” is the canary in the coal mine-incubator, and that the 5% to 28% of the kids who don’t want to be in school are the best, brightest, and healthiest among us. I also believe. as a rule, that they desperately want to learn. likely, more than their subdued peers. But critical, creative learning isn’t available, and the lifeless, atomized banking information in it’s place, generally in highly alienated spaces, is more than their young psyches can process.

  • I’m sure this is another excellent article by Dr. Breggin, but the title swore me off. Love is a made up word I’ve disabused myself from, both from my end and that of others. Power and wealth are the only two things that are real in this world, love the means to achieve both, save position one’s self to its future procurements. But it is a wonderful illusion (or was it delusion? while it lasted.

  • Thank you for your reply! And I totally agree with your rationail with regard to a therapist input, or more disconcerting, output. I responded to you because I do this work in the vacuum of my intellect; and that ain’t going to work very well because it was created in relationship (duh). I guess I was just taking a first step away from that vacuum. There really is no substitute for integrity grounded, mindfully centered relationship(s). Looks to me like you know that considerably better than my two therapist (in the 90″s). Continued success! BTW: what is SO?

  • I agree Frank. But the question I have is, where does all the failure to assimilate within the acceptable terms (i.e. corrupt mythic condensations, etc.) go? I mean…that’s a lot of suffering, symbolic deviance, and tons of desperate attempts to negate from the inside (institutional power). Looks to me like we’ve crossed a tipping point with regard to old mythic power in every last institution. It’s going to get very interesting these next few years, etc.

  • Well I’d be that someone if I could be samruck! I’ve come to understand just how damaging my own attachment stage had been. The problem there, as I suspect you understand very well. once the attachment stage has been miscarried or otherwise botched, a heightened developmental vulnerability (or to be more blunt, compromised!) is at work, from which, given one poor or another less favorable caretaker environment, results in exponentially challenged developmental stages. Without a skilled therapist or group relationship, it’s almost impossible to address the compromised foundational sense (unconscious wiring) of ontological relatedness. I guess what I’m trying to say is, without addressing attachment, ones work to heal trauma will never be fully realized.

  • Interesting word ‘belongingness’. I wonder how it might relate to attachment, be it secure, insecure, or (whatever’s the) middle one? Seems to me secure attachment followed up with attentive, responsive, and empathic familial relationships, just might be the ultimate ‘belongingness? Maybe I’m shadow boxing with semantics here, but I just see belongingness originating and continuing with good, secure attachment, followed by a reasonably empathic and responsive parental or caretaker environment.

  • The penultimate sentence resonated for me in an otherwise excellent blog: “They are labels affixed to a troublesome child or a child in trouble”. I can’t help but wonder if the latter is the more common problem: a child in one dreadful situation or another from which the situation is treated through the child (as pediatric psychiatric medicalization statistics bear out in foster care/homes, for instance).

    Two years ago my new neighbor informed me that the 12 year old boy I’d come to know (her nephew) was bipolar and had aspergers (of one kind or another?). Funny thing was, I found the kid to be highly attentive, curious and smart, and emotionally resonate, and stable as a rock-upon reflection. My neighbor then informed me that her mother had taken custody of this boy and his sister due to some “pretty bad stuff”, later confirmed as sickening abuse and trauma from my prying. Turns out the shrink had him on lithium. When I told the aunt of the long-term issues with the kidneys,’ etc., she told me the shrink was going to switch him to something new when he turned 18 (his future already settled here, apparently.) I tried to get her to see that whatever might be going on with him wasn’t (at least automatically) biological, and likely due to the glaring prolonged trauma several years earlier. She would have none of it. Though she agreed he was usually a great, easy going kid, etc., he had (occasional) tantrums that were very disruptive. My only thought here was…I wonder what unconscious trigger was going on from that earlier, traumatized, miscarried developmental stage? The kid haunts me: and so, too, the thought of all the kids in these situations.

  • Excellent article as always from Dr. Breggin. Ditto the ensuing discussion. My own thought with regard to “healing’ from one emotional or psychological problem (However otherwise colonized linguistically by psychiatry, et.al) is that if or when one “heals (perhaps especially when said problem is trauma based), does one return to ones pre dis-at-ease psyche-self or life, or, for that matter, their relationships, etc., as they would have been sans problem’? If not, what has changed, what is brought back, what was lost, maybe gained, and maybe…even extrinsically essential? To truly heal seems to me, however profoundly personal, something radical, something radically essential.

  • Excellent and important article on the dynamic of guilt in the mental health industry; one I’ve never given much thought to-but will now! My only comment here is on the ubiquity of CB therapies, et. al. I just can’t get past the troubling fact (as experienced in my own psychotherapy and it’s ‘organized forgetting’) that the sine qua non objective of these therapies is to de-historicize the psychotherapy subject and any counter-narrative unfavorable to power, doxa, and the indelibility’s of lived experience (i.e., trauma, betrayal, etc.).

  • Welcome aboard Steve 🙂 I’ve always enjoyed your comments and insights, but perhaps even more so the respect and compassion at the core of them (sometimes obvious, sometimes between the lines). Me thinks your the person for this role.

    Best of luck!

  • I was utterly surprised to discover readers, generally speaking, wanted more personal stories. I never would have known given the manner my personal story was rejected, save woefully responded to ( I had to email it three times, make several inquiries to its status and, in the end-weeks later, given a one sentence explanation for its rejection. Moreover, the reason given (too long-3500 words) seemed a bit arbitrary per-several other personal stories. The fact that I wrote such a difficult and still painful story that bespoke of my eight year childhood on psychiatric drugs and two institutions-with the second institution removing me from all drugs and my parental home, seemed a relevant story for this site; however clinically written (done to avert some of the dialectical sand traps, etc. ) . So… my point is that, maybe when it comes to personal stories, a more robust (by which I man rigorously honest!) relationship between the editor and the writer might foster good personal story’s which need space and literary license to convey the very complexity psychiatry (especially childhood psychiatry!) dumps upon its subjects.

    Just saying…

  • Shaun,
    In my own experience the generic psychotherapy you refer to (mostly variations of CBT, etc.) is, in my opinion, the (structural) ‘organized forgetting’ than Henry Giroux and others write about. The psychotherapy administered in these ‘like’ facilities is not only designed to negate critical consciousness (ones biography to its historical and dialectical formational process’s, etc.,) but reinforces the very herd mentality that delivered the patient there in the first place. Moreover, the faux medical model fetishization is used like a hammer from which little to no ‘real; psychological (read consciousness as social and political unconscious) growth is possible, save not undermined. Yet…

  • I was thinking along these lines too Oldhead. My term here was cumulative depression, in the more pernicious cases, beginning in early childhood ( your#2) before a child has suitable developmental consciousness to differentiate their (external) trauma from ego self, etc. If childhood trauma is ongoing (developmental trauma) the likelihood of your other factors is exponentially likely, save compounded. Suffice to say…the discussion (long, hard, and honest!) for the safe space and treatment of healthy depression is overdue.

  • Thank you for sharing your painful story Kelli. I hope it brings a measure of continued healing no matter how small or incremental. I will say, however, that I suspect your story more deserving than the word count telling it. I know these blogs. MIA as culpable as the others, tend to shrink and or flatten these personal stories into blurb-like narratives; something I find troubling given the biographical nature of these stories, save the complexity of the psychiatric dialectical in general. I hope you follow up with more of your personal story.

    Also, I’d like to see psychotherapist who specialize in psychiatric abuse and or failure (this can’t be a nominal demographic!). Seems to me you got a post-graduate education for other adult children with similar experiences, and can provide rare and invaluable healing as a result?

  • I really appreciate your saying ‘thanks for sharing your story”! I spent several months writing about it for this website (personal stories, of course) and it was rejected last July. I felt devastated-and shocked- by both its rejection and indifference to it by editor-person. I am pleasantly surprised by the sense of being heard by you, despite only using my experience to illustrate my point. Maybe I’ll try again (fail better!) by taking another tract?

    Best.

  • Steve…I am one of those former kids, so let me add my two-cents to your excellent, prescient point:

    Being psychiatrically labeled-and drugged- in a good (enough) home as opposed to an abusive and unstable home have entirely different, even counter-psychosocial- consequences. Moreover, putting a child on psychiatric drugs (with their attendant labels) while leaving them in (that) environment, is tantamount to covert violence. In my own experience (even though I was removed from all psychiatric drugs by the psychiatrist at the State Hospital my parents dumped me, as well as legally removed from my violent kidhood home-by the hospital), it wasn’t until I began writing about that period of my life a decade ago, that I realized how invisibly insidious the psychiatric dynamic had been. I had to untangle the unconscious conflations of violent home from identified patient, save the repressed memories and what had been lost as a result. In fact… I had to do it twenty years after leaving psychotherapy, where my therapist never brought up my psychiatric kidhood (after its initial disclosure), nor it’s clear disjuncture to that of my adult life. So… my point here is, these ‘kids’ are angry because the betrayal is never broken, honored, or reified through a skilled, repairing relationship(s) I’m guessing the psychotherapy profession writ-large is dropping the ball big time in this area.

  • Excellent blog as always. But I couldn’t but notice the omission of the Rosenhan experiment-being sane in insane place’s I believe it was called? I’m inclined to believe this study was more impactful to the profession of psychiatry than One Flew over the cuckoo’s Nest; though I’m equally inclined to believe the movie more of an impact on the social and cultural consciousness than the study was.

    I hope I’m not nit-picking here, and apologize if I’ve done so.

  • Actually the “ADHD scam’ you refer to is at least fifty years running: I was put on Ritalin in 1967 by way of our family physician. I was told that my ‘brain was different than the other kids’ and that Ritalin would make it ‘normal (because you know…science understood the brain so well in 1967!). Back in 67, ADHD was referred to as hyperkinesis-or one being hyperkinetic. It also carried the moniker of minimal brain damage (MBD). Whatever. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

  • Great post Michael.

    When I think of your use of the term, ‘omission’, I thought of Winnicott’s maxim about those ‘things that should happen and don’t happen. And when the things that are happening are ‘fast food’ psychological development process, so to meet the demands of a Darwinian, It society, people end up never having the very nurturing qualities-you so succinctly wrote about- they need to fully develop.

  • Great blog as always Bruce.
    I have one observation as it relates to the politicization of the psychiatric institution writ large:
    It seems to me (and if I’ve missed this in your essay I apologize: it was a quick read today) that the psychotherapeutic profession at large has been colonized by much, if not most of the psychiatric industry’s diagnostic and treatment praxis (DSM5 for starters), save whatever philosophical agencies are at work in both. Of course, how this works and what it looks like, is complex and extensive. But I just wanted to broach to topic for now. It just seems to me that the if the psychotherapeutic profession were a bit less invested in the political reterritorialization (per-Deleuze) of it clients/patients, and instead worked to restore the depoliticized of their charge as an intrinsic feature of whatever therapy is going on, I suspect we’d be looking at a slightly different social landscape.

  • Well…actually, what these statistics do is completely destroy any premise of ADD or ADHD of having any scientific validity. It is statistically impossible for an increase of an (allegedly) epigenetic ‘brain-disease’ to take these kind of drastic leaps within a single generation, especially as disproportionately represented by race and gender. There is an epidemic to be sure, but one falsely carried on the back of the most vulnerable-and likely to the most essential of the lesser represented aggregates: i.e., introspective, sensitive, artistic children, etc. The ‘epidemic’ is structural, not quasi personal.

  • Hi Elizabeth,
    A tragic story told beautifully and courageously, and one that needs to be heard by all. Thank you for sharing. May your writing here , and the book to follow, bring opportunities that continue to give meaning and enrichment to your experience.

  • Big thanks for the great information I haven’t been able to get anywhere! I mean…I guess the cause of why I was having all the symptoms I was after quitting imipramine and beer-over a seven year stretch, ending in 94, weren’t understood in the proper/correct context: protracted psych med withdrawal!. I knew, instinctively, it was a big part of the sudden appearance of new symptoms, but nobody, and I mean nobody I paid good money to, thought so. Though I’ve regained much of my original health, there’s still a few residual issues. Maybe with your info, much of it new to me, I can push this process to new levels of health. Thank you so much Monica!
    Kevin

  • Thanks Maria for an excellent article, and perhaps prolonging my life.

    I was instructed by my ENT doctor to rinse my sinus’s with their J&J baby shampoo during times of acute symptoms (I have a chronic sinus condition) I had no idea-nor I suspect, did my doc-that I was, essentially recruiting cancer, save ‘brain edema! Thanks again.

  • Daniel, thank you for this excellent and essential essay. I found it,, like so many articles here on MIA, to be a breath of fresh air, thought provoking, and not a little self-identifying. To wit:

    I can so relate to the farce that therapy often descends into. One funny experience I had came fifteen years ago, for example, when, after an horrific experience triggered some untended and unresolved trauma (unbeknownst to me then). I was referred to a male therapist by a lawyer friend who had attended the same grad school some twenty year earlier. Upon entering his office I noticed a fire hydrant at the far end of a rather large office. I couldn’t look away, glancing at I every few minutes or so. I found it both ‘cool’ in one sense, as I find dissonance in general to be appealing. But after a few more glances the therapist asked me, ‘do you know why that fire hydrant is in here? I said no; where he then replied that ‘We’ put out fires in here’! And there it was, what it was that gnawed at me. Fire! I asked him if all fires were attempted to be put out. He said, unequivocally, ‘yes’. I then mentioned that fire was symbolic of transformation-trying to get some, perhaps, greater clarity than I had coming in; than my Jungian tendencies might otherwise lend. He shut me down pretty quick, and then we went to another topic when, then, I found his very next comment (I can’t recall now what it was) to be rather sophist or, in the least, shaky, and called him on it. He then erupted in- to this statement-and I mean was loud and angry: ‘do you have to intellectualize everything!” At the end of the session, he wanted me to take so psychological test ( don’t recall which one) that cost $300. He said it would help him to better understand me and assist his treatment. I told him, ‘if you take it too, and we’ll compare the two and see how they line up for an optimal treatment praxis. He then told me he couldn’t work with me. Duh!!! I bit my lip and left before it could get any worse.

    I haven’t met a therapist yet-and I stopped looking over a decade ago-that’s worth my time. I know there are good and some very good enlightened Soul’s out there, and I would be blessed to have some time with them. I mean…sometimes it just a privilege to speak with someone who’s been down a similar road, and has gained some hard earned wisdom and intelligence because of it. I thought that’s what was at the core of therapy.

  • Love your work here Laura!

    BTW: How does one submit an article for Op Ed consideration? I’ve contacted MIA 3 times with this question and have, thus far, been ignored. I’ve also posted this question on two different forums to no avail. I’m feeling about as powerless as I did-in this process of trying to get a simple answer to this question-as I did when drugged and institutionalized as an adolescent! Kind of ironic given the nature of who I’m reaching out to: MIA!

    Thank you for considering my question

  • Gavanshir,

    Though there are, for me, several points of concern in your post, I’ll limit myself to your last sentence: ‘Psychiatry is our only hope and needs a united front’.

    I know of nothing that is not informed (often for the betterment of it’s own agency or optimal potential) from external signification. No body of function, from the microscopic-or smaller!- to entire nations or people, politics, etc., throughout history, are exempt. I personally am troubled by the mere suggestion that a ‘united front’ is critical to the advancement of psychiatry. In fact, however flawed opposition may seem to be-and is likewise framed to be; it has historically proved to be the single most constructive, evolutionary human endeavor.

    I wish you best in your choice of careers.