Showing 100 of 572 comments.
Thank you so much Rosalee!
Thank you again Bippyone. I think Steve’s suggestion sounds good too. I hope they stop messing with your meds as you say, and that you are released soon. Best of wishes,
You’re welcome Dannytheworld- thanks for reading it and for your comment!
Thank you kindredspirit for the book on empathy recommendation- it sounds very interesting!
Thank you for writing Bradford! I agree with your important point about broadening our view about the complex dynamics we’re discussing.
Thank you for writing JanCarol!
Come to think of it from what you wrote, maybe when empathy occurs and “the whole person he was sensing” happens- “but there was cruelty not compassion in response,” it sheds light on how multi-functional empathy may actually be for humans. Maybe because the capacity for empathy doesn’t restrict empathy to be limited to only being followed by compassion, there has been even a human evolutionary value to having been able to quite quickly sense where “the whole person” right in front of us “lives inside.” Are they dangerous? Do they come in peace? Are they hiding something?
Tuning into the full person right in front of us empathically- their emotional micro-expressions, eyes, body language, voice and the meanings being expressed via their uttered words, all are registering and being weighed.
How we respond to all we empathically learn is not narrowly limited just to compassion.
Maybe that’s not unfortunate as I said in my article, because at times empathically sensing where a person may “live inside” may give us the knowledge we need to run for cover!
Thanks for your comment Rosalee! I remember now that I actually wrote an article here on MIA in 2014 that’s titled- “What’s wrong with you? Nothing. What’s happened to you? Something.”
mik, I’m very sorry your shrink was not there for you in the caring, related and compassionate way that he should have been.
Thank you Bippyone, and for your important comments below.
Thank you for your comment Danzig666.
Thank you again BigPictureAwareness for your wonderful comment. I’m glad you shared about how valuable the Polyvagal Theory can be in understanding and heightening the processs of inner knowing and empathy.
Hi Judi. Thank you for your powerful comment.
So many times over the decades I’ve had people describe their initial immersion into the psychiatric disease model gulag and how the deepest core of their naive and innocent selves was veritably transformed. They described a gradual indoctrination into a new form of social and self-identification being systematically created around them in their transformed world as a “mental patient” and also intensley inside them as the almost seamless and inescapable “grooming process” as you say, begins, advances and succeeds.
I tried to shed some light on this insidious and ritualistic process in my MIA article- “Does the psychiatric disgnosis process act as a degradation ceremony?” Another article focuses there too- “Does a psychiatric diagnosis have the impact of a medical curse?”
I agree Steve! Thanks for your comment.
I tried to describe part of the dynamic you’re importantly highlighting when I gave examples of how psychiatric dogma-bound mental health professionals use their empathy skills to get insight into a person’s emotinal experiences, so that they can then diagnose/label and “treat” that person according to the clinician’s distorted psychiatric disease model belief system. In that closed echo chamber trap as you say, the clinician can not have real caring and compassion because treatment compliance is demanded based on the clinicians self-anointed superior status of professional, unquestionable authority to diagnose and insist on drug treatment, or other potentially invasive or forced treatment.
Hi Rachel777, thanks for your comment!
Since empathy is defined as “Having the ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s situation,” then feeling empathy can be both the necessary prerequisite for then feeling caring and compassion, but empathy also can be used to tune into another person’s inner experience in order to gain knowledge about them that can be used to manipulate or exploit them without feeling caring or compassion for them.
Thank you again BigPictureAwareness for your wonderful comment contribution and for the great info on the new Peter Kingsley book on Jung!
Thank you too Alex! Yes, as you say so importantly, the multiplying, cumulative trauma that’s fueled by the clinician’s own emotion avoidant projections and projective identifications, plus the whole monolithic presence of the psychiatric disease model “treatment” system of denying and silencing emotion with medications- can easily crush the life and spirit of anyone-
Until they are almost against all odds able to escape the trap.
Thank you again Alex, for your great comment! I’ve long believed that the whole edifice of the psychiatric disease model of human emotional suffering was and is a massive cultural creation constructed to defend against the truthful emotional expression of individuals of every age in our society. Our culture fears emotional truth so much that we’ve tasked, co-created and funded the psychiatritric disease model to legitimize the control of every citizen’s subjective truth. That control is always exerted in the name of doing what’s best for the “deviating” emotion expressing person in our midst.
In this light, all those clinical assessments, diagnoses and forced or imposed “treatments” are as you say, fueled by the objectifying projections that places pathology “out there”- residing in the person suffering emotional pain.
The same unacknoledged unconscious inner fear that prompts a politician to induce fear in others via projective identification, also prompts the diagnosing “mental health” clinician to need to have the emotionally suffering person in front of them to embody the clinician’s fear of their own emotional suffering, so the clinician can safely go on telling themselves that they are beyond ever feeling the emotional pain that they diagnose in others.
I remember in grad school when a professor defensively responded to me in front of the class after I’d suggested that I believed that any one could end up in an extreme state if a threshold of trauma and loss occurred to them. The professor declared- “Michael, I could never become psychotic no matter what ever happened to me! I have completed a rigorous training analysis and my ego strength is now developed to the point where I’m impervious to ever becoming overwhelmed as you are claiming is possible for anyone!”
The whole class turned and looked at me, waiting for my answer.
I said- “ For your sake, I hope that’s true.”
Thank you for your comment Julie! It’s wonderful to hear about the empathy and patience you have with your customers.
Best wishes, Michael
Thanks for your comment BigPicture Awareness! Your great included quotes about perception and reality remind me of one by Orwell- “To see what is in front of one’s nose requires a constant struggle.”
Thank you for writing boans. It does feel to me like the soundtrack to our lives these days is made up of a whole chorus of both manipulative unconscious projective identifications as I noted, plus a constant stream of very conscious and intentionally produced political propaganda aimed our way from every part of the political spectrum imaginable.
Thank you for writing John. It’s very sad in my experience when people in our families and personal lives burn the bridges with us through their continued traumatizing cruelty that they won’t or can’t stop doing.
Thank you Fiachra!
Thank you for your comment Alex. Yes, “speaking the truth of our heart” is so important!
Thank you ParaPatty!
Thank you RightsRNotWrong for your hugely needed civil rights work for people in the mental health system in California and for your clarifying comment here about Laura’s Law AOT in California. The various Sf Bay Area counties that have chosen the Laura’s Law court ordered out-patient treatment option have gone through lengthy struggles between NAMI led activists and opponents like my friend Jay Mahler who you might know, and the very large group of people in Alameda County that includes Berkeley and Oakland for example, who fought against AOT.
In my MIA article called- “Why Invountary Out-Patient Treatment Isn’t Necessary: A First Person Account”- I cite a N.Y. Times article on Kendra’s Law that Laura’s Law was fashioned after. In the N.Y. times article a relative of a person in the mental health system AOT program is quoted- “Now with Kendra’s Law, the police take him to get his monthly shot of Haldol and he’s pretty stable.”
I understand that the Laura’s Law AOT treatment plans that I assume would always incude medications as part of the plan, are also drawn up as part of the AOT court order.
Would it require a Riese hearing or a community conservatorship process of the person under the AOT court order to allow the court to have the police involved as in the New York example?
I think that the “black robe” effect, and being under a court order that includes the AOT treatment plan can also be a form of pressure and coercion on a vulnerable person in the MH system.
Complying with an AOT treatment plan that includes new digital Abilify will no doubt be something that will be expected if not forced on people to avoid hospitalization in the future.
Thanks for your comment Richard.
Under President Obama, the FDA rejected the original digital Abilify approval application based on safety concerns. But in May, 2017 the drug makers reapplied- and now have received FDA approval.
One of the promises President Trump made in his campaign was to loosen federal regulatory oversight at the EPA and other agencies.
I believe that the institution of Psychiatry evolved, exists and is tasked to control personal and societal deviance while making a handsome living for the 25,000 MD’s who are psychiatrists.
Abilify has been the most profitable drug on the market for it’s makers and company shareholders.
In the coming days we will see Big Brother and Big Business become even more tightly joined at the hip.
Thank you very much Fiachra, for sharing this extensive documentation about the harmful effects that Abilify causes for many people.
Thank you for your important comment YetAnotherAccount. I’m very sorry for all you’ve been through, and glad to hear you’re finding your way forward.
Thank you Patrice for giving your invaluable, compassionate advice to loved ones and family members who struggle and are impacted as they are also enveloped, as you say, by the psychiatric curse that greatly is harming their beloved ones as happened to your brother. Sending prayers and condolences for you and your family. I’m so sorry you lost your dear brother.
I hope many people read your comment.
In solidarity dear friend,
Thank you Welton for sharing some of your very powerful personal story!
Thank you Welton for sharing the great Thomas Szasz quote.
Thank you for writing Steve- Matt surely was a uniquely passionate and brave voice. He will be greatly missed as you say.
Thank you CatNight for your moving and very important comment.
Hi Slaying the Dragon of Psychistry, Thank you for sharing that powerful CS Lewis quote.
Thank you for your important comment streetphotobeing and for the 2 video links. The first video was awful as the psychiatrist compared his “patients” to pigs!
Hi Chrys, thank you for your comment. I’m so happy to hear from you and to learn of your news and of your family!
You’ve always been one of the bravest of advocates and I’m always inspired by you.
Best of wishes my friend,
Lawrence, the 40 plus psychiatrists that I knew and worked along side as a dissident therapist at several different clinical locations within a large public sector mental health system for 28 years, were not in it for the money. They were not motivated by greed as you have suggested. They all could have made probably double their civil service salaries in private practice or other private psychiatric settings. Many of them had gone to some of the best medical schools in the country. They weren’t slouches. Many had been in the Peace Corps or served as Doctors Without Borders physicians on their vacation times. But all of them but one, had totally bought the psychiatric disease model of human emotional suffering, which was reinforced constantly for decades by the neuroscience stance of the APA and NIMH. But those psychiatrists did, with the best of intentions as altruistic civil servants, harm their patients as I describe in this article by indelibly labeling/medically cursing and harmfully treating their patients based on the true believer ideology of the psychiatric disease model.
Olga I’m very sorry to say it, but I learned yesterday that Matt took his life on Thursday.
There will be a memorial here on madinamerica tomorrow I’m told. There is a large group of people who knew Matt on the Facebook group- “Drop the Disorder” who are supporting each other and sending messages to Matt’s family.
amnesia, I’m very sorry all those psychiatric labels were forced on you. I see you bravely fighting off the impact of them.
Thank you for your comments Fiachra.
Lawrence I believe the self interest factor is very big, but the dozens of psychiatrists I worked alongside everyday for almost 30 years also really believed in the disease model of human emotinal suffering they had been taught and that’s daily reinforced by the APA, NIMH and drug companies.
That HMO child psychiatrist who recently held up the plastic brain model to show the child and mother where the child’s so-called ADHD brain was malfunctioning actually believed that lie!
It’s more than cognitive dissonance at work that creates that false self serving narrative that psychiatrists tell themselves. I believe it is a form of stupidity as it’s defined- “behavior based on a lack of good sense and judgement.”
Psychiatrists have been trained and brainwashed to believe that it’s actually possible that an 2-3 year old toddler’s brain is diseased without any medical test to prove it, and so they diagnose them with ADHD or bipolar and give them psych meds.
That big lie about brain disease is at the heart of neuro-biological psychiatry’s Orwellian existence, and is the supportive foundation for the self interest that follows from it in my view.
Great article Lawrence, thank you! You show clearly how heroin and opiate use and abuse/deaths is increased by our child rearing culture that’s been hijacked by the psychiatric disease model of human behavior.
In my recent madinamerica.com article titled- “Why do parents give amphetamines and other risky psychiatric drugs to the children they love?” I recount a parent telling me of a child psychiatrist at a large HMO pulling out a plastic model of a brain to show her and her 5 year old child, by pointing to where the child’s “brain isn’t working right” and then saying Adderal would correct that brain defect.
I do therapy with such parents and children and teens to address emotional distress that psychiatry views as evidence of disease.
My other recent MIA article- “Do Psychiatrists harm their patents out of stupidity?” addresses the underlying problem of psychiatry as a human rights abusing, failed medical specialty that’s based on false premises that have no basis in scientific fact.
Michael Cornwall PhD
This is so sad- for researchers with a huge budget who fail to even do a comprehensive literature review. Because the northern California Agnews state hospital project that they overlooked was a NIMH funded gold standard, randomly assigned, double blind first episode psychosis study that is still the largest ever study of its kind. The randomly assigned group that got placebo had a 70 percent lower re-hospitslization rate than the group that got antipsychotic meds. See my MIA article- “Remembering a Medicatuon Free Madness Sanctuary” for a report on Agnews and on the publicly funded IWard 20 bed program that I worked in that used the Agnews results to get funded and stay open for 8 years! We had similar efficacy results.
Loren Mosher of Soteria House founded yet another NIMH funded first episode, medication free psychosis program that had remarkable published research results that equaled Agnews. John Bolla did follow up research on Soteria a few years ago that showed the huge unmet need for such programs.
It’s simple- the majority of people who receive a med free residential place to be during their first experience of extreme states/psychosis are diverted from having the 6 month duration of so called symptoms and miss getting the bogus label of schizophrenia. They are diverted from being in the mental health system for possibly the rest of their lives. My doctoral research was on another California med free first episode program called Diabasis House that got similar results.
Michael Cornwall PhD
Many thanks to everyone who commented and contributed to the lively and very valuable discussion here!
Dozens of people on my Facebook page and in Facebook groups who read my article also shared about the harm and human rights abuses done to them by psychiatry, and about the great need for receiving true compassion during times of suffering and when in need of helpful caring from others.
The article was picked up and featured in the Human Rights section of Evonews.com with a commentary by Dr. Harold Mandel.
Thank you again to everyone here on MIA for the powerful activism that is present here everyday.
Ron I’m surprised old friend, that you would imply that some writers, readers and commenters here are coming across as “fanatics making irrational attacks” as you stated in one of your comments above. Isn’t using that kind of name- calling and inflammatory language about critics of psychiatry who may disagree with your positions, much like what we’ve come to expect in some of the rhetoric that Jaffe, Torrey and especially Lieberman used when he publicly called Bob Whitaker a- “Menace to society!”
Great Arjuna! The site is GnosisRetreatCenter.org
Hi Ron, thanks again for writing. I believe that when our society tasked and bankrolled and gave psychiatry the legal authority to be the medical specialty to respond to people in emotional distress, that a grave responsibility was accepted by psychiatry- especially in light of every psychiatrist’s solemn physician’s Hippocratic oath to “first do no harm.”
Because of the logical fallacy that the disease model of psychiatry is based on- that there are underlying “physical and organic” disease processes causing the emotional distress that is wrongly described by diagnoses like so-called schizophrenia, then deaths of psychiatric patients treated with that diagnosis are wrongful deaths in my view. Wrongful deaths because the physicians lied about the true causation of distress and because they knowingly prescribed medications that are proven to possibly have health ravaging side effects and meds that even increase the incidence of suicide.
Podiatrists, Opthomalogists, Orthopedists and other medical specialties like psychiatry, don’t treat patients with “physical and “organic” diseases that are potentially fatal. But those medical specialist’s patients don’t die dramatically earlier under those medical specialists care like the patients of their fellow MDs who are psychiatrists do.
I believe there should be an informed consent notice given to every patient that is about to receive psychiatric care- “Warning! You are receiving potentially life threatening treatment by the medical specialty of psychiatry. Our patients routinely die 20-25 years earlier than the national average. We can not prove the existence of any underlying physical or organic disease process that itself causes these deaths except in the instance of Alzheimer’s disease. Please know that former NIMH director Thomas Insel affirmed that there are no blood tests, X-rays, MRI tests or genetic tests that can confirm the DSM diagnosis and prognosis that you may be receiving today from your licensed Psychiatrist.”
Thanks Sally- I’m not predicting the disease model of psychiatry will drop into the dust bin of history anytime soon, but because I see so many people coming to see me in therapy the past few years who are really burnt out on it- that’s what gives me the most hope. Most of them have never heard of madinamerica.
Hi Seth, in private conversations Perry never really strongly emphasized that there are 2 categories of extreme state experiences in the way Grof more pointedly did- that is, you’re either in a spiritual emergency or you’ve got a psychiatric disease. John really focused with Diabasis House on first and early episode extreme state processes because the Esalen inspired Agnew’s Project study he was part of confirmed for him what he’d written about in “The Self in Psychotic Process” that Jung wrote the forward to in the 1950’s.
John saw how Diabasis like Agnew’s and Iward and Soteria,(not Laing’s Kingsley Hall) could divert 60-70 percent of first breaks from being in the system if they went through madness without meds in a loving setting.
But what about the 30-40 percent Diabasis couldn’t reach or help? He said he believed they were somehow unable to avail themselves but he wasn’t sure why- just that folks who had the flattest affect and tended towards paranoia instead of florrid super active imagery and emotion charged mythic narratives would somehow need to have their emotional psyches recharged, because he knew without that they were in a barren inner wasteland. Turns out they really were and are. But that’s not because they aren’t in an archetypal process as I found out and shared with him.
After the Diabasis and Iward(where I’d worked for years)med free madness sanctuaries were shut down, I worked for the next 25 years with many folks who had been on Iward and hadn’t been among the fortunate 60 percent who exited the system after being there. So against my job site clinical supervisor’s direction, but with Perry’s off site anxious blessing. I decided I would ask these so-called flat affect hebephrenic schizophrenics to please share their dreams with me.
Then out it poured, dream after archetypal dream, full of emotion and amazing imagery, mythic themes along with psychic phenomenon too.
When he saw what was happening, Perry strongly urged me to write my work up from this period with so-called “chronics” because it had reversed his belief that people who don’t get through madness on the first or second try are pretty much lost.
I am currently writing a long journal article or possibly a book on it, so stay tuned for the details. Bottom line, because of going through my own un-medicted underworld journey of madness, I never questioned whether anyone else could be reached and helped out of the spiritually barren and often terror fueled darkness filled wasteland too, if true merciful love was offered to them.o, I always believed that by definition, if you are experiencing extreme states your’e in an archetypal/spiritual. polytheistic deity inhabited process. So because the elevator in the psyche/soul goes down as well as up, hell is a spiritual zone too and the denizens of the wasteland are with the wasteland gods and ghosts when we pass them on the street, and if we only see their tragic outer condition, we just don’t know the whole story.
Thank you arjuna- I went to CIIS too and am happy to be working with some young grad students from there on developing a Laignian style residential haven for folks in extreme states, that also draws on transpersonal and Jungian psychology. It’s going to be called Gnosis Retreat Center. Michael Guy Thompson, who blogs here on MIA is the point person. The new paradigm, as you say- ever evolving.
Thank you Someone Else, I’d been thinking about fitting that great Lewis quote into this article somewhere, but didn’t manage to do it. I’m very glad you brought it!
Thank you for joining this conversation Igor, and sharing news about psychiatry in Russia.
Thank you for your powerful comment, benzosurvivor.
Thank you Slaying the Dragon of Psychiatry for bringing your truth.
Thank you BigPictureAwareness! I love you comment. maybe next time I’ll ask Hermes or another even more tricksterish magician to help me write so humor disarms where holding feet to fire may fail.
Thanks for writing Cognomen. It always amazes me too!
Thanks for writing Seth. I haven’t read Bruce’s article yet but it sounds great. Yes, the way the Emperor’s New Clothes story ends is very telling isn’t it- when held up against the stance of psychiatry?
Thanks for writing Ron. I don’t believe that certain DSM diagnoses like so-called schizophrenia have been proven to be “physical or organic” brain diseases. That’s why I wrote that such DSM diagnoses wouldn’t be potentially lethal, as the proven “physical and organic” disease processes such as cancer and heart disease are, which are treated as such by the medical specialties of oncology and cardiology.
I don’t believe it should matter why oldhead. If someone injures others even unwittingly they should be held responsible. I guess I’m trying to tip the scales a bit in the court of public opinion to hasten that day when justice is done, by hopefully undermining the publicly perceived legitimacy of psychiatry.
Thanks for writing John. Yes, they so often bristle and are appalled at the slightest challenge. I focus on that arrogant behavior in my MIA article- “Are Some Psychiatrists Addicted to Deference?”
At the end of the article I share about a psychiatrist telling Bob Whitaker after Bob had done a group presentation something like- “I’m not interested in talking about the questions you raised Mr. Whitaker, I just want you to know that I don’t like your attitude!”
Thank you registeredforthissite! You are an absolute asset too.
Thank you knowledgeispower. That was my experience too- bringing solid research and information to psychiatrists about humane alternatives almost always was rejected or ignored. The self-interest you describe that keeps psychiatrists locked into their belief system and treatment practices also can’t be underestimated.
Thank you for writing Fred Abbe. I deeply believe what you’re saying that only those who have felt the terrible harm done by psychiatry can understand “the terror that psychiatry represents..”
Thank you for writing mepat. I’ve always respected another person’s inherent right to choose to do what’s right for them- as I want that respect for my choices extended to me too.
foglight, if I may say so, you are serving as a light in the darkness where you work. It’s so sad to see the light go out of someone as you describe, when they receive what I believe is a form of medical curse from a psychiatrist-
The hope destroying message given that they must always be heavily medicated feels like a life sentence.
Thank you Jane42. I’m very glad you didn’t continue their recommendations- and very sorry they robbed you as you say.
Hi Steve, maybe arrogance and stupidity multiply each other.
Thank you Feelindiscouraged. Justice is going to happen someday. I may not live to see it, but I believe a day will come when psychiatrists who harm their patients will be going to jail for doing it.
Thank you truth. It surely is thousands harmed or dead every day.
Thank you for your comment registeredforthissite!
Thank you Aria, for sharing the awful and very frequent example of a doctor who would blindly keeps increasing meds without questioning if they were causing harm.
I’m very glad you found your way forward despite his harmful treatment.
Thank you for your comment Erin- yes, how can a carpenter not know how a hammer works, a chef how an oven works, a doctor who took an oath to first do no harm not know when they are doing harm?
Thank you George!
That’s so telling that psychiatrists didn’t ask the great many people in your study about their personal experiences.
I remember reading that Jung had said that- “Psychiatry has turned the gods into diseases.” Seems like our inherent human birthright for having profound and meaningful mythic, spiritual, archetypal, psychic, soul and mystical experiences- and even our dream experiences have been pushed out of sight and devalued by the psychiatric vision of what it means to be human.
Hi George, it’s really great to see a fellow Jungian writer here on MIA, writing on dreams who also was friends with John Perry!
I look toward to your continued posts on dreams!
John and I were close friends for about 20 years and I did a doctoral research follow-up study on his med-free Jungian madness sanctuary, Diabasis House. Here on MIA I’ve written a couple of articles you may enjoy about dreams, Jung, madness and Perry.
A provocative one is called- “Jung’s First Dream, The Mad God Dionysus and a Madness Sanctuary Called Diabasis.”
In my MIA article- “Dreams: Still the Royal Road to the Unconscious” I share a dream teaching that Jung personally shared with Perry in Zurich about Jung’s own dreams, that John passed on to me in the 1980’s.
Welcome aboard to MIA!
Hi Emily, thank you very much for sharing your experiences and extremely valuable message of liberation. I’m glad you escaped that terrible scene and am very sorry that it was hurtful.
I was struck by how often the wisdom of your body alerted you to mounting danger- heart racing, hands trembling, head swimming as you approached the freeing but terrifying realization that the group leaders were masterfully working to trap everyone there in the Orwellian bind that is also the dark scheme of psychiatry that says- “if you resist what you are experiencing and interpreting as coercion, then it is proof that you need more force applied against you, to increase your level of submission and compliance.” Inherent in that obscene message of control and destruction of personal freedom, is that the oppressors know what is best for those they would dominate and that the means used to gain submission are justified- everything that is being done by the leaders is in the best interest of the victim of coercion.
The end game result is masterfully plotted by the oppressors. We see it in the darkness of Orwell’s vision of “1984” when the victim is finally, totally broken down as was skillfully orchestrated. Finally the trap closes and all free will is surrendered completey to the leader as the victim crumbles inside and proclaims- “I love Big Brother.”
Thank you for your defiance of the oppressors Emily.
In friendship and solidarity,
Hi madmom, thanks for writing and sharing the good news about your daughter and your family. There’s a video on YouTube under my name where I talk about ways to possibly be encouraging and supportive without pushing, or being too irritating, as you say. That’s always a challenge. (-:
Thank you for writing kindredspirit! I know what you mean about the wonderful gift of caring that true friends bring when we’re in dire straits vs folks who end up just gawking at the train wreck.
Thank you for reading my articles and commenting J. Your encouraging words mean a lot to me.
Thank you for your comment Samruck 2. Your devotion to your wife is very moving.
You’re very welcome human being. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Thank you for your important comments Uprising. I’m glad it is timely for you.
Thank you Steve. That’s really it, what you say- that it’s the MESSAGE of psychiatry that is so destructive. The medical curse message of life long disease and doom as you describe it is a killer, not just a killer of hope but also literally a killer for countless people.
Thanks for your comment Matt. I’m glad you mentioned care of the soul and how hope is a more potent medicine than psych drugs. The disease model of psychiatry has failed to grasp such basic but crucial truths.
Hi Alex, thank you for writing. In this article I mainly focused on the value of receiving compassion from others as a way that hope may arise in us, but yes, clearly individual practices such as meditation and other soul sustaining rituals can support people greatly during those periods of emotional suffering such as you describe going through.
Thanks for your very important comment Richard! In my reply to Paris Williams (who cited the Dali Lama being unable at first to understand the western emotional experience of guilt and shame fueled self-hatred)- I refer to the “Fall” that for many Christians is held to be the beginning of human original sin and the corruption of the earth and all nature via disobedience.
70 percent of Americans are Christians and 70 percent of them believe in hell. They hold the belief that a hell awaits-
“People who have led bad lives and die without being sorry are eternally punished” according to a 2015 Pew Research study.
According to the Pew US study, 22 percent of Jews, 76 percent of Muslims, 32 percent of Buddhists and 28 percent of Hindus also believe in an afterlife hell as described above.
The person I write about in my article who was paralyzed by extreme feelings of shame and guilt, believed they deserved to burn in hell for all eternity until they finally became free of their burden of shame and guilt through self love.
Thank you Jessiebelle for your beautiful and generous comment!
Thank you Fiachra, for your comment on the value of such silence!
Thank you for your comment Someone Else.
It’s beyond ironic that for several disease model caregivers I’ve known well over the decades, who themselves became very overwhelmed by traumas and losses in their own lives, did not seek out the standard psychiatric injurious treatment you describe above for themselves.
Instead, they sought out the loving care you describe. I guess that didn’t strike them as strange because they still clung to the false belief that their patients had mental illness and that their suffering was very different-
Wonderful comment Alex, thank you!
Thanks for your great comment Matt! I hope people here read it.
After 35 years of countless times watching disease model caregivers so often intentionally ignore, and be unable to respond with simple empathy and compassion, based on a shared human kinship with the subjective emotional pain of someone in pain sitting 4 feet away from them, it seems to me that the disease model of human emotional suffering has evolved to protect society and its caregivers from the intense kind of emotional intimacy that Searles and you describe- and that I suggest in this article.
The detached busy work of diagnosis, prognosis and treatment planning and so-called clinical intervention completely miss the mark of what the suffering person 4 feet away really needs.
Hi Brian, thanks for writing my friend, and for mentioning Open Dialogue and the healing work of Lewis Mehl-Madrona. All over the world most people have always practiced compassion and loving patience n the face of emotional suffering. Our waning historical era of draconian control and turning a cold shoulder to people in pain surely will not stand.
Thank you for writing PaisleyToes. Yes, how we need people who can just sit with us when we hurt.
Thank you for your important comment J!
Thank you for reading and for your comment mik!
I see that now oldhead, sorry for the confusion.
I’m glad you found the help that worked for you jordanfallis!
Hi Paris, thanks for your great comment! I think my belief that guilt and shame are not hard wired emotions, but are culture bound, learned emotional responses that we are tragically subjected to learning as children, is supported by Sharon’s description above of the Dali Lama not having any way of grasping her question about self-hatred because he hadn’t been made to feel that way, hadn’t been made to feel shamed and guilt when growing up.
Joseph Campbell pointed out that male dominant western culture is the only one on the planet with a creation myth that assigns planetary corruption to humans for our role in the ‘fall’- that fall includes not just our own shameful act of defiance that deserves punishment- but Campbell says nature itself has been contaminated by our presence on earth.
That’s not something the Dali Lama was taught.
I think the western heroic, patriarchal warrior mythic core also contributes to our heritage of learned guilt and shame, via it’s reification of glory vs disgrace in battle, and through prizing the goals of conquest and enslaving and humiliating enemies.
With these more fundamental culture defining, shame and guilt engines ever at work above, (over 50 percent of Americans believe that people who don’t live a good life will be punished for eternity in hell)-
if you then add on the power of modern social darwinism and the materialist imperatives of capitalism impinging on all of us, it looks to me like we live in a toxic shame and guilt making perfect storm.
These considerations above and the looming possible suicides of those gripped in extreme shame and guilt as I described in the article, brings me the urgency of saying no to the emotions of shame and guilt. Maybe some people can more peacefully resist them via mindfulness as you say, but for me, bluntly and unequivocally rejecting those learned emotions can’t happen quick enough.
Thank you for your succinct but very powerful comment FeelingDiscouraged!
Thank you for writing LisaO! You know I’m always beyond leery of anything claimed to be measured by fmri’s because of psychiatry’s bogus claims of brain pathology being shown via imaging. I remember feeling good about yogis and zen masters being hooked up to galvanic skin response and blood pressure cuffs in the 70’s to show they were really stress free. I need to catch up with what you know about the brain which I think doesn’t pathologize extreme states and our emotions- learned, culture bound emotions or hardwired ones!
best wishes, Michael
I never give anyone a psychiatric label oldhead. If you want to know why I don’t, please check 2 of my MIA articles- “i Don’t Believe in Mental Illness, Do You?” and “Does the Psychiatric Diagnosis Process Qualify as a Degradation Ceremony?”