Comments by seltz6912

Showing 32 of 32 comments.

  • People become addicted for a number of reasons. One is that, quite frankly, the abuse of these medications feels REALLY really good (I’m a recovery addict, I can vouch for this.) So bad information and bad practices put these medications out there but the side effect of euphoria keeps things moving. I use non-narcotic pain meds now and they don’t give you a buzz, and they aren’t habit forming. The “good stuff” that relieves pain the most effectively always gets you high if abused, or if you are just sensitive Don’t even tell me meditation and Advil work like Demerol. It’s a messy situation all around.

  • Agreed. Some people argue that no amount of informed consent is informed enough because the “truth” is buried in bias and corruption and money and certainly some of it is. But I’ll save my tin foil hat for another day and keep my treatment options open, thank you very much 🙂

  • “One of the lessons I have had to learn is that not all people who have letters after their names are actually “gods,” or even people who have special powers to know things about us that is more important than we can learn about ourselves, about our own bodies, and our own minds.” I agree 100%. A caveat? Not every person with lived experience has special insight either. “Expert” is a cheap label.

  • I agree there are MANY individuals who would rather fend for themselves that attempt to spend a night in any of the local shelters for fear of the conditions. I think the challenge I had in speaking with my friend was thinking to myself, “who in his right mind wouldn’t want to live indoors given the means an support?” Well, he doesn’t! And I suppose one could suggest he isn’t seeing things clearly (it could be spun on individual choice, but bottom line is most people in the first world live indoors, especially in the northeastern US) and his choice to live outside leaves him open to all sorts of consequences that would bother many people but he doesn’t seem to mind.

    I agree there is an appalling lack of resources for those who seek them. But for those who may “need” them and don’t want them, is there a recourse that isn’t coercive? I worry about him on cold nights, but what’s the alternative? Take away his choices and drag him to a shelter (or worse a hospital?) It’s a tough spot all around.

  • I worked at a drop-in center briefly where most of the individuals did not have stable housing or access or regular meals or hygiene products. Many individuals voiced jumping at the chance to access these resources. Others were simply not interested in any sort of assistance, for reasons known only to them. I have one friend who is quite content to live outdoors, eat at the soup kitchen and bath every few weeks. He doesn’t complain, except to the television (loudly) when watching the news, looks after himself in unsafe situations and never asks for a thing. He’s had his basic needs met before, has an extended family who is waiting to offer support. He doesn’t want it. Not how I would live my life, but it’s not mine to live!

  • I’m a certified peer specialist. I don’t provide direct services as I don’t care to. I find the balance between support and coercion to be too fine for me, even leaving labels and “treatment” aside. I certainly behaved in all the ways that met the criteria for what they labeled me, and found of level of functioning acceptable to me by initially going through the motions they recommended and then tailoring them to the lifestyle I prefer. I do probably two of the things “professionals” recommend and the rest I just figured out by trial and error. Years in treatment I’ve had 3,000 worksheets with 20,000 suggestions for self-care. Of course I had no idea that the lowest ones on the list (fresh air, food, sleep, friends) would be more important than the pills or therapy but that came with lived experience and growing up. My life’s circumstances and my reactions to them create the most issues in my life. Did I need to be drugged initially to get me off the ceiling? I’m not certain, but I’ll never know now because I was. I had plenty of fresh air when I was talking to myself for the years prior and it didn’t seem to help then, but now it does, so who knows.

    Either way, for a system that needs changed (or abolished) those of us with lived experience AND have worked in the system I believe have a unique experience as well and one that can allow us to be part of the discussion of change.

  • I’m arguably part of the establishment. That said, I took mental health first aid. 8 hours of my life I will never get back. And I was appalled at the lack of understanding of even the misinformation (if that makes sense?) that is generally available. Nobody understood the 10,000 plus ways people cope (which I expected), but nobody understood traditional old school treatments either. More than a few people offered the “hold them down” answers, as though a person experiencing some form of non-consensus reality should be treated like they are having a seizure or something.

  • ehh. Correlation and causation is tricky. Still, very interesting and provocative. I like the above mention about antipsychotics, and my own experience would be more telling with THAT link. Still, for all the quackery around these medications, Seroquel is not a high calorie food. It did however give me the munchies beyond any, well, “herbal” refreshment that I had dabbled with in college. And my baseline weight moved up by about 40lbs. Good bit of discussion to open. Impacts a lot of people.

  • This is not a judgment call. I apologize if it came off as such. Just offering my perspective that in some circles (D/A), there may be more access to the needed information that these drugs are habit forming and if a person is on them (whether by choice, by abuse or because they were lead to believe it was of no consequence to be on them for a long period) there are long term consequences when coming off them. My circumstance was that I knew they were habit forming, and not a real solution to my problems, but they worked in 30 minutes or so. I drew a quick line between emotional distress and quick, temporary relief and went for it. Despite access to information that it could be/was causing brain damage, I continued to use them because it was convenient. I wonder if others, maybe even those who were not “addicts” have had similar experiences.

  • I used to be an addict, dependent on alcohol and other things and once upon a time, benzos. They were prescribed by my psychiatrist at the time and I was given directions as to how to take them. I did not take them as prescribed because I did not want to. Not every victim of a lie is a victim once the prescription is filled, at least in a voluntary outpatient setting. That said, before I start on a self righteous, unhelpful rant, it’s possible I received more of a warning about the habit forming nature and more education on this possibility because I had extensive addiction treatment, and it’s hardly news in D/A circled that benzos are tantamount to solid alcohol….I was detoxed off a fifth of vodka a day with Librium and Xanax.. My own gut said anything that felt that good would probably be something I would go to too easily.

    It’s worth noting they were not forced on me as part of an inpatient hospitalization, nor as part of AOD and I don’t think I was misled as to their habituating potential. My two cents.

  • So, acknowledgement of the complaints filed with the OCR would give them merit, but the dismissal of the complaints gives them merit as well? Well that’s a convenient bit of evidence. I love it when an organization not returning a letter becomes proof of a conspiracy or a confirmation of guilt/liability. Not arguing against informed consent or for commitments of any kind. And I don’t believe we need to necessarily add a “spoonful of sugar” to any of the efforts to ensure human dignity. That, if anything sent to the APA or OCR was as self important or as condescending as the above piece, laced with more agenda than fact I can see why they gave it one look and rubber stamped it.

  • I think its perhaps unkind to families to suggest that people who experience ” mental health” concerns may be deluded about the quality of their upbringing. If, as an adult, a person is experiencing any “mental health” concerns and didn’t report any of the above, should the person be encouraged to think harder to try to reframe those experiences as traumatic, even if they weren’t? I’m not a parent, but I did have parents and I certainly passed on responsibility for my challenges to them…when I was 14.

  • “I spent about 2 years taking patients off of medication, developing first-hand insight into the dependency-forming character of these drugs. It wasn’t until I realized that I needed to enhance their resiliency first, before beginning a taper, that I developed my program of nutrition based, root-cause resolution of symptoms.”

    I’m glad the outcomes were ultimately good. I’m also glad I wasn’t a patient in those first two years while the good doctor figured it out. Taking patients off medication, and directing the care of every patient in a practice after reading a SINGLE book? I’m not arguing that medication is better by any means, but I would hope that making any healthcare decision (an MD, however non-conventional is inescapably a healthcare provider) would be collaborative and informed my many resources.

  • This is among the better pieces I’ve seen on MIA. I have some academic background in communication and have been on the receiving end of mental health services since the womb it seems. My concern for folks struggling the most (whatever the cause of the struggle, or whatever one cares to argue the cause) is who is approaching me, what is their motive and what is their method? I’m well at the moment, and I imagine I will stay somewhere on that end of the continuum, but when I was under the impression that the CIA was after me, I’m not sure I would have been receptive to a discussion of yoga, no matter how helpful it is (it is part of my life now, but it became so later, once I was more in the category of “worried well” rather than three outbursts from incarceration of the criminal sort, not civil.) Not to say drugging me into a stupor was a better alternative, as it had it’s own consequences. But I was marginally dangerous, which is not the case of all.

  • I think from the outside in, the measures BP mentioned (quality of life, harm reduction) show that AA is more successful than 1-5%. But having spent years (too many?) in AA before departing, AA doesn’t measure it’s own success as a program by those measures. It’s an abstinence-based program, which is fine for those who have that goal and choose that path to reach it. When I went to my first D/A “professional” and told them I’d like to cut back on my drinking but that I was having trouble, BAM! I was in rehab. Anosognosia was the claim. If I said it wasn’t that bad, I was in denial and therefore sick. If I said it was sick, I was…well…sick. I was told that if I really wanted to quit drinking (I didn’t, I wanted to drink less but why should my goals matter) that I would have to give up my job (I hadn’t lost it) give up my relationship (which wasn’t bad,) move (for reasons unclear,) and get a God in my life (mmhmm.)

  • This is my brand of medicine. It considers the science (as fluid and evolving) and looks at all treatments as options. My experience with psychosis/iatrogenic illness was unsavory to say the least, but my life came back into alignment with a combination of talk therapy, and medication, and sunlight, and food and sleep and an open mind to solutions. I don’t discount the research that points to trauma/life events as a cause for psychosis (or non-consensus reality as part of the spectrum of human experience) because I’ve seen it play out. But for me, endless talk therapy and soul searching turned up no trauma, and the onset of my psychosis appeared before stressful life events, substance use or psychiatric medication. None of us should shoehorn our experiences into any model or theory, but if that model or theory offers a tool that helps, I’m going for it.

  • Working with young adults, the treatment is often mortifying even in the popular “sanctuary” model facilities I’ve visited. The children are drugged for their behaviors, not any diagnosed mental health concern (and most of them are situational…”adjustment disorder” tends to be a popular label.) The tough part is that many of the children thrive in these communities because they are away from their families who are not willing to address all the issues listed in the article that contribute to the situation. The families have issues, but push the child into treatment and say HERE! Fix him/her and WE’LL be fine. The kid does well apart from the family because they family is a nightmare, doesn’t see itself as needing any improvements and when the child returns, he/she falls apart again and the treatment loop starts over (more involuntary treatment, more drugs, etc…) If the child isn’t resilient, they age into the adult system with a record as thick as a phone book and have spent more time in hospital than in school.

  • I think I see where you are going. While it’s true that many, many people who experience psychosis have suffered trauma, to assume that ALL have would not explain the phenomenon in its entirely. (I have not, personally experienced anything I would consider traumatic but I have certainly departed from consensus reality. I didn’t consider these to be learning experiences, though I understand they can be.) If I had to shoehorn myself into the model in the article, I suppose putting “trauma” on a spectrum, maybe my threshold for being traumatized was extremely low given my basic personality and temperament, and my rather average childhood (which produced siblings that are well adjusted) was somehow devastating to me subconsciously? Then again, trying to fit the details of my life into models that don’t apply is how I got stuck in psychiatry in the first place.

  • I’ve worked as a peer specialist (certified by my state) for several years. Per the standards here, my direct supervisor must be also be a certified peer specialist with supervisor training (which in my state amount to two days,) but his/her supervisor is a LCSW. Other states have more strict, less strict, or no formalized criteria The primary reason I needed a supervisor was not for how to work alongside an individual (you either know how to do that or you don’t) but how to navigate the ungodly amount of paperwork. Some organizations in my area are free standing and are entirely peer run and operated. BUT in order to be reimbursed by Medicaid, the ENDLESS documentation has to have certain key words all over it…lots of recovery language, tons of stuff about WRAP (which I think is a poorly evidenced waste of time…could be a whole other post) and the like and has to be signed off by someone with initials other than CPS after their name.

    But that’s just billing and whatnot. The actual connection with another individual who is trying to navigate life’s challenges has value. The bulk of the interactions I have with other individuals are geared toward connecting them with services like housing, vocational support, social opportunities and less to do with diagnosis, doctors, etc… Of course, that assumes the person cares to discuss any of these things and wants them. Coercion is still coercion, even if it doesn’t involve medication or hospitalization so forcing goals that “I” think are best is still manipulative. Meeting them where they are at is the best start.

  • It’s all very interesting. As a client/consumer/survivor/recipient (whatever we call ourselves this week,) I absolutely can look at my periods of depression and link them to life’s events and my poor response. Sometimes I responded to SSRI’s, sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes I responded to therapy, sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes, I just got over it because there was no other choice but to get on with life. It’s always interesting to me that meds seems go off the chemical imbalance bit, which if it doesn’t exist in relation to mental health concerns, how can the meds that would in fact create a chemical imbalance then correlate to mental health concerns (i.e. the increased suicide rate?) if there is no chemical connection? Not taking away from the idea that no amount of Drano is safe (LOVE that!) but it’s just a curious thing to me.

  • I always thought it was common knowledge that benzos were addictive and it doesn’t seem surprising that a CNS depressant would lead to…depression. But, I’ve had umpteen co-occurring treatments and the warning was always that benzos are addictive. Never occurred to me that this wasn’t made clear outside of the D/A setting. I was that client who was not a victim of the benzo lie. I knew they were addictive, might cause God knows what, and didn’t care. I liked the feeling and didn’t want to deal with the issues they were numbing. Later in recovery, as a mental health “treatment” I found them to be a stay of execution. They just put off dealing with whatever unpleasant feeling I was experiencing and I didn’t find them to be a long term solution. But, as a medical treatment for detoxification from chronic alcohol dependence, I found them lifesaving, but was on a declining dose for less than a week.

  • Finally comes some common sense. As an individual who has received help from every end of the spectrum (medical, spritirual, alternative, peer support) I appreciate the idea of accountability on the part of the psychiatric “survivor.” Individuals who act surprised that they have short/long term side effects from psychiatric medication are the same sorts of folks who sue cigarette companies because “no one told me specifically” that it can cause lung cancer. What is surprising that a quick fix (a pill to get rid of an emotion?) would come with consequences? While we may not be ill, absolving ourselves of responsibility on this level could make us look a bit incompetent.

  • In recovery, I live with/in/around occasional paranoia and inpulses to abuse food and overeat. When I’ve used marijuana recreationally, it exacerbated the symptoms. I was peeking out windows and eating myself sick. Like any drug, results may vary I guess. That said I’ve known individuals who have had fantastic results with some other major health concerns and several anecdotes from friends who reported that without any other form of therapy or treatment, the voices they heard just “stopped.” (how’s that for effective! saves hours on the leather couch!!)

  • Maybe trauma isn’t the best word then. Trauma traditionally would be an emotional response to what is generally agreed to be a terrible event, not an event that can be experienced as trauma given a person’s temperment (on a bad day I can be devastated when the mail is late, but seriously..traumatic?) . I think THERE lies the diference between those of us who need more support to cope with life and those who don’t and there lies the discussion of what alleged “illness” needs attention. Why are some of us more vulnerable? I have two siblings who were fed, raised and loved the same. They are calm, sensiible, very mild individuals. I am…well…not. I function at a level acceptable to me, but why am I so different? Why when the mail is late would I be devastated and they would shrug (all things being relative?)

  • “Force” isn’t exactly a word that is person driven. Medication doesn’t have to be involved for a professional to attempt to manipulate an individual. It may be less physically damaging to approach it without medication, but no less disempowering to insist that the individual “should” look at aspects of their life that may be less than relevent. (I know when I was getting well if I had one more discussion about mindfulness I was going to take a bridge. It’s a powerful tool, but I was more suited to action and so many people were on the non-traditional bandwagon that it was all I heard about in this false either/or. Either valium or meditation. No other option.)

  • You may be joking, but I’m inclined to agree. I have the privilege of many peer relationships and have received all sorts of support. But when I was struggling, my parents were kind enough to help and I am certainly more grateful that when I was hearing voices they took me to a hospital than asked me how the voices made me feel. Perhaps it’s a more personal recovery definition or goal, but I much preferred that the things that were causing my distress be arrested, not contextualized.