Friday, July 21, 2017

Comments by Deena Hoblit

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  • First. you seem to have combined BTK and the Green River Killer in your description. But you ask if I have the capacity? I certainly do. I am skilled in reading people, physically able, and my education allows me the unique skills and knowledge to be quite successful at it. So what is the motivating factor? If my child was starving I would steal any way I could to make sure they were fed. Coercive tactics… I would kill someone if I found there was no other option. You hurt the ones I love or attempt to hold me against my will, and I will most certainly kill you or force you to kill me. It”s a question of what your breaking point is. I know what a victim’s soul and out of politeness and to avoid the fallacy of debating the existence of God, I am going to refrain from answering that question. I am quite familiar with “harrowing” along with “depraved” “heinous ” and dehumanization. All of the were perpetrated by people and not the bogeyman. Good AMD EVIL… this is nothing but social identity theory at work.

  • Good and evil are nothing but social constructs. They are the way we create an us v them mentality in this society. They are a means to maintain the status quo. Just because you do not approve or do not understand a person’s motivation or actions doesn’t mean they ate mentally ill, and simply labeling those people as monsters or personality disorders… that is just as just as misinformed and irresponsible as the reckless way psychiatrists label their patients. People, not animals or monsters or personality disorders or evil incarnate… people commit depraved and senseless acts, and we all have the capacity.

  • I would not have been able to contain myself. It is almost a life goal at this point to call them out on those magical statistics and the research they keep referring as the gods gospel even though it has repeatedly failed to establish the outcome they want. I suppose fabricating some statistics and getting in a few cheap shots to make sure you can’t make any real argument in your own defense is preferred to admitting that psychiatry was packaged to look like and sound like science, but the truth is, they have no more understanding or power than they did a hundred years ago, and those lofty tones of condescension are not going hold up much longer.

  • Why does this seem to come back to party politics? The only thing both parties have managed to agree on in years is the way they are nearly tripping over each other to build their own ovens to toss all of us in after they settle on just how much of a profit they can manage from us first. Wasn’t it just a month ago that they were at each other’s throats over whether they should completely dehumanize us to further gun control or so they could keep their guns?

  • I need them to drop this pretense that suicide prevention is their noble cause. After all what their solution seems to want most is simply to not see us. It must be so terrifying… to need so badly to protect yourself from seeing us as human… relating or empathizing. I wonder if they are ever bothered by the humanity of the mentally ill…. and the gaping absence in sanity…

  • For four years, I somehow maintained a forty hour work week while going to law school and juggling twelve to fifteen credit hours a semester, being a ta, and interning for the DA followed by the Juvenile Justice Department followed by the ME…. while taking 8 to 10 MG of attivan a day (on a good day. 12 to 14 on a bad day) along with Valium at night and Xanax (when needed)… all prescribed . One day I read the original study from the sixties on Valium. They did establish a much publicized decrease in anxiety and panic with Valium…. for the first eight weeks. After that, panic attacks steadily increased with the drug. These drugs don’t fix anything; they merely numb you to the experience by suppressing parts of your brain, but the brain was never meant to be suppressed so it kicks into fight or flight constantly building in intensity until it can overcome that suppression. So now you aren’t prepared to deal with it, and you feel blindsided by what seems like overwhelming anxiety and emotion for no reason. The reality is that part of living with anxiety or depression or bereavement (which now requires drugs too) is learning to live with it…. you have to establish triggers and what works for you. I get thirty attivan a month nowith for emergencies, but I rarely take anything near that now. I cut out the other two entirely and started asking more questions. I’m a much more obnoxious patient now (with a different doctor).and imagine that… facing my problems was much better for me than taking all those drugs to avoid them…

  • There was a time when I would not have believed this type of legislation possible… I was 14, and honestly fell asleep that first night in an institution believing that the worst possible outcome for me would be not having time to find the absolute perfect dress for homecoming. It would be almost four years before I was even allowed to choose what I wore again, and by then, homecoming had been long forgotten. It would be nearly another year of being randomly re institutionalized and released over and over again before I finally saw a courtroom. The first three years, every new subjugation… every new level of dehumanization was utterly unimaginable to me. “God punishes us for what we can’t imagine.” And somehow I couldn’t imagine this, but I’m also not surprised.
    Additionally, are we seriously still attempting to toe the party line? When everyone gets paid by the same groups no matter what stance they mimed for the public, I think the illusion of a two party system is almost naive. Republican… democrat… I don’t see either of them being for us so their political agendas are rather moot. I’m not sure anyone won this election, but I am sure that we lose either way. Once these measures are in place, we are basically silenced by a system that is designed to keep us silent and compliant. I’m starting to wonder if we really can afford to maintain this quiet, unassuming presence or we need to start considering an organized and forceful stance…

  • Freedom of (and from) Religion is encompassed in our 1st Amendment rights of the Constitution, and while it does protect your right to believe, attest to follow etc any religion or lack there of that you so choose, it doesn’t promise absolute freedom to exercise those beliefs. In fact, it’s main focus is to limit the ability to establish a religion and to protect the state from religious bias and to protect religion from the corruptive powers of the state. Religious freedom is just the state taking advantage of a claim of religion to okay laws that would otherwise be found to be discriminatory. Because religion cannot be unduly burdened, a claim of doing just about anything for the sake of religion allows the state to go virtually unquestioned.

  • The republican party has spent the last eight years creating suspicions and unrest. For eight years, they promised they had more than enough evidence to impeach Obama… they insinuated that someone was stopping them… No one bothered to point out that the only people who could define an impeachable offense and begin proceedings were the very same people who had been talking about it for eight years. This seems like no big deal, but it makes people feel trapped and anxious.. insecure. Do you recall what led to the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich? The treaty of Versailles. When people feel small, persecuted. and afraid, finding someone who they can blame, marginalize, or oppress seems to be the first thing they look for. This country was founded by those seeking to escape persecution and oppression. Instead, they brought it with them and made it a national past time. I don’t agree with them, but I do see how we got here. All the times that we have gotten here.

  • When everyone is getting paid by the same people regardless of supposed political agendas or party politics, I find the idea of two parties laughable. It’s just basic Western Political Propaganda and slight of hand. Think of Trump as a mixture of used cars salesman and P.T. Barnum. It doesn’t matter whether he fulfills his promises or not. In fact, most people didn’t even bother to find out that a large number of campaign promises from both parties throughout this election were never within even the power of the president. Most people don’t care. It’s this endless sniping and hate fueled atmosphere… This country is never more united than when it has someone to hate, and Trump sold the people exactly what they were looking for.

  • I was being facetious, but as you said it directly, it isn’t taboo or difficult to get away with. At least it has not been historically. Generally, society just looks away. Sanism is rampant in the US (particularly within the justice system). The general public believes in mental illness; they just also believe that mental illness deserves to be punished. These people will argue that mental illness is an illness or a brain defect, but you don’t see them punishing people for having cancer, do you?

  • It is ethically absent and professionally irresponsible to diagnose a person you have never met or interviewed, particularly a person who is, on the surface, a character. I do not care for Trump or his ideology, but his name, that ridiculous hairpiece that looks like a varmint mummified on his head, the orange skin, etc.. all of that is a logo. His politics… I believe they are just part of the ad campaign… Diagnosing him would be almost as helpful as diagnosing Sir Patrick Stewart as he performs Hamlet. Narcissistic, selfish, lacking empathy, grandiose, attention seeking, impulsive, self serving… I ground my teeth through years of psych courses. These are the terms that I am discussed in. This is the caricature of my experiences that psychiatry has created, and these are the pleasant terms used for a very broad definition.

  • In this country, we lavish funding on monuments such as the Unknown soldier. We are happy to throw money at cold, marble structures because they don’t inconvenience us by asking for change on corners or force us to see the lasting effects of their service. We fund the dead, and overt our eyes from the living. In the same manner, we are not looking to cure mental illness or to fund a better quality of life for those effected by it…. We are funding a place to store an inconvenience so that we don’t have to look at it. So we don’t have to get our hands dirty and because the general public largely believes that those people deserve it not to mention the profit it offers the polity as a whole and as individuals. In fact, the only group that doesn’t seem to be biased by a personal agenda are the people who will have to live with those decisions.

  • I was institutionalized at 14 and kept until so many days before my 18th birthday. After that, I would be admitted off and on until a judge ordered my mother out of my life. She had told me to leave her house, and I did. She reported me as a runaway, but I was so sheltered that I went to school the next day…I was sent to a runaway shelter, and upon hearing what medication I had been taking, I was moved to a psychiatric facility. I was smart enough to claim to be a drug addict even though I had never even seen a drug, and that kept me off the more unsettling wards for 90 days. I took the MAPPI, IQ tests. etc. No one ever talked to me. They accepted the original diagnose and shoved me to the next facility, and they got more and more dangerous as the years progressed. I caught a treatment doctor giving nonsense focuses in group… quotes from Alice in Wonderland, and I called him on it in group. Being smart in an institutional setting is not encouraged. They told me that now that I was “fixed” everything else in my life would be. I didn’t even know what year it was or how to balance a bank account. I didn’t even really figure out how to be with people…

  • I tell people that sane people are like Muggles. They will do anything to keep from admitting that “we all go a little mad sometimes.” Joan of Arc was certainly not centered. In fact, there’s a list of saints that were certainly not quite aware of reality or heavily under the influence. Society seems to define mental illness as behaviors that they are uncomfortable with. You can hear the voice of God, but any other voices are simply improper. Currently, most of the populace seems to think that any behavior that they can’t understand is insanity…

  • Actually, it does in some ways. Elvis grew up poor. As such, he grew up listening to the blues… He didn’t just usher in the first embracing of female sexuality, he also shook the country’s view of race. Mentally ill, I don’t know… But Elvis created a persona that he just couldn’t live up to leading to his death. Everything he did, he did to excess… A drug induced coma from an overdose occurred only days before his death… He took roughly 25 pills a day by then. and the script written the day before included 680 pills Dilaudid. Valium, Placidyl, Valmid, Morphine, pentobarbital, quaalude, and codeine were all in his system at time of death. He needed to be “Elvis” and that became his fatal flaw. Boys had blatantly chased girls for eons, but for the first time, girls could openly chase boys. Maybe not real boys, but Elvis and the Beatles were safe and too mythical to be obtained. Elvis was certainly not stable, but the girls were the result of years of being told that sex was dirty and good girls didn’t like it. Most were still too afraid to act on it, and this constant suppression… forced to be the good girls who didn’t have opinions or dirty minds or dreams of their own finally culminated in a sort of mob hysteria which allowed the behavior to be acceptable.

  • In the 1924 Sweets trial, Clarence Darrow talks about how, as long as one of us still harbors a single prejudice, discrimination will persist. We nurture those hatreds and feed them… What he was doing, defending eleven black men accused of the murder of one white man after he and a mob had broken all the windows of of their home invaded it… Was revolutionary, and he didn’t even realize. He told the all white, male, and prejudiced jury that we are all guilty of prejudice, but in this one moment, they could make history. All they had to do was be just… I brought up this case because imagine being so afraid to protect yourself that you allow a mob to threaten you and your family, brandish weapons, threaten your lives, and invade your home to get to you… That is marginalization and discrimination allowed to go unchecked. The gray rights movement created some upheaval… Good upheaval, but i think we are seeing a lot of violent or poorly considered actions as the balance of power is shifted. The first step is to stop acting like certain acts of discrimination are okay or acceptable.

  • You know, one of the reasons the mental health system may be failing so completely is that everyone seems more concerned about empathizing with those people forced to experience people experiencing life with mental illness than those people experiencing mental illness. “Empathy”, “moral imperative”, “only humane answer”, “easily accessible care”. These are the terms they use to validate the horrific lengths that they will go to so that they don’t have to be inconvenienced or forced to witness the long lasting damage their very profitable mental health system has had on people.
    It’s bad enough that this is an example of the majority of voices speaking out about mental illness in the media right now, but it is somehow worse the way that America is happy to swallow it no matter how ridiculous the claims. At some point, Torrey’s statistics magically doubled in the space of six months, and the original ones were ridiculous to begin with. No one blinked. For clarity, we are talking about the number of lives we could save by accounting for lives already lost. If ten people died yesterday and seven died today, we didn’t actually save three lives. Most importantly, a person secure in their convictions has nothing to fear from a differing opinion because they can be assured that logic will eventually triumph. Why is everyone so afraid to allow us to be heard?

  • Actually, we can speak for ourselves, and I think I should decide what my civil liberties are worth. The only correlation between mental illness and violence is the one the media uses to up their profits. The mentally ill are more likely to be victims of violent crime, but they are not more likely to be violent. You have cherry picked a specific type of violence glorified by the media and decided it is representative of all violent crime in America. I suggest you run those numbers yourself, and perhaps consider treating the sane. They pose a real threat to society. There is no way to substantiate a claim that lives already lost would have been saved if….. By that thinking, those lives could have been saved by peanut butter fudge or wool socks or anything else… There are no facts there. It’s just another attempt by TAC and its like to step over the bodies of victims to further their own agenda…

  • Some people have to die a little I think to really feel alive. After a while, you know it’s not a question of if.. it’s a question of when, and you just don’t want to do it alone. Like calls to like. I survived. I spent twenty years slowly killing myself with notable moments of deliberation. It wasn’t courage though or passion. It’s a roll of the dice. Broken people aren’t something that can be fixed. They have to rebuild… And I think that other broken people, they still see the cracks, and they are drawn to you, some people I wanted to save, and sometimes it’s just you and poor timing and ambulances take too long.
    I think guilt is subjective. I made decisions that I honestly thought were in the person’s best interest. Doubt and regret followed. There was also a selfish aspect, and a understanding of just how much pain he had to be in to take his life in that specific situation.
    The plus side to surviving years of traumatic, horrible experiences is that you have to become strong to survive. He had never been strong and hard like I became. That’s a good thing.

  • It can be very crushing. I remember, a few years ago, I was at the walmart pharmacy which is always overcrowded… and the pharmacist asked me what I took this medication. I told her Bipolar 1, and I saw this woman dramatically pull her child to her. She didn’t even drop her voice, and I could hear her saying that the child should stay close, and people like me should not be allowed out without someone to watch them. The child was looking at me like I was a serial killer… The line of people seemed to backup as I walked out… Like I had some highly communicable disease.

  • I don’t believe in forcing a person to live if they truly don’t want to. For some reason though, I am the person that people, even strangers, turn to in crisis. I will not tell someone how to successfully end their life, but I will point out all the holes in their current plans. I do not contact authorities or emergency services, and I cannot give someone a reason to live. They have to find that for themselves. I do a lot of listening. I do a lot of relating, and when things finally quiet, I point out that they would not have contacted me if they didn’t already know they had something to live for.. if they didn’t question their current decision. Sometimes this only buys some time before the inevitable outcome plays out, and while I compartmentalize disturbingly well, the last one rocked me to my very core. I felt guilty. I had to check and recheck the internet to make sure they were truly dead, looking up their obituary. At the urging of a professor and friend, I wrote a dialogue between him and myself turning the problem over with the sort of cruel honesty that I can’t use in real conversations, and I finally came to terms with what guilt I truly owned. My own repeated suicide attempts have made me uniquely qualified to listen. However, it also means I have been in a lot of horrible situations, and I have lost people… People who were far more talented and promising than myself…

  • In the nearly five consecutive years I spent involuntarily committed, I went before a judge once. That was when I was released and my mother was ordered out of my life until such a time that I allowed her back in it. I never saw and attorney or advocate. I wrote a letter that I don’t even know who read or if it was read regarding my situation. I was not provided with other options, and I didn’t know that I had any. Maybe I didn’t. Without any contact with the outside world, this included television broadcasts, newspapers, or even calendars, there was no one to turn to. You either took your medication or faced five point restraints and a hefty dose of haloperidol coupled with the shameful punishment of not being allowed to sleep it off or to use the bathroom when the vomiting started. You were given a trashcan and forced to stand so that you were visible to the entire group. In the end, “asylums” don’t need walls. You never really escape them.
    It was never intended to be easy to strip a person of their liberty, but if American Criminal Law truly is about who we hate the most, it’s mental illness that we use to strip a person of any protection or recourse that even a murderer is provided with. That seems to send a very clear message.

  • The general public seems to define “mental illness” as any behavior or choice that they don’t understand. Us v. them. Good v. Evil. Normal v. Crazy. Attribution at its finest. I don’t understand why my neighbors have a small carnival in their yard every Christmas. That doesn’t make them mentally ill. I don’t understand why politicians are willing to sacrifice people like myself to further their agendas, but they aren’t labeled mentally ill either. Sanism is also rampant in this country: particularly within the courts. It is widely accepted that if you are in a state hospital, you deserve to be there.
    The thing is… they say they want to talk about mental illness, but that simply isn’t true. They want to talk about their version of mental illness. No matter how ridiculous the statistics, no one will question them because (in my opinion) it widens the gap between “us” and “them”. It also gives them someone to blame, and nothing unites this country the way having someone to hate together does. Mental illness is the new “evil”. Personally, I don’t want a gun. I don’t need a gun. However, I do want to stop being referred to as though I am not there… Like I am a piece of litter attached to the bottom of society’s shoe.

  • This is exactly why I hate the word “stigma”. Call it what it is. It’s discrimination and prejudice. “stigma” just seems like a word that glosses over that. It also seems to reassign blame from public ignorance, bigotry, and misinformation to blaming “mental illness” and thus, heaping the responsibility on us.

  • I wasn’t sure exactly how to respond to this comment at first. I started out defending myself point by point, but you know… It doesn’t really matter. I’ve been seeing psychiatrists since I was six. Imagine the money I could have saved had I simply adopted a turtle instead.

  • You almost make it sound like they are knowledgeable… That the subjugation etc was born from intellect… Lol what they do is criminal though. It’s very reminiscent to the former USSR’s methods to force prisoners to comply… They also used halperidol… However, the UN (most notably us) were outspoken about the way their methods violated sanctions against torture…

  • Rape coupled with a loss of self…. Most of the Psychiatrists were men, but our main tormentors were women (Staff) only a few years older than we were. Subjugation, shame, dehumanization, gas lighting… it’s surreal how quickly they become a norm. You learn to admit guilt for anything you are accused of even when both you and the staff member know it’s a lie. You learn to be meek, to be absent of opinion, to not fight back… Forced treatment, outpatient or inpatient, not only create a breeding ground for widespread and repetitious cruelty, but it has already been established that neither had been historically effective. more over, after the dehumanization, the loss of any aspect of who you were, being trained to be ashamed, subservient, to not be noticed, to keep your head down so no one notices that something is wrong with you…. What’s left of you when they finally release you? You have no means to protect yourself. No way to communicate on a basic social level.

  • I can commit a truly heinous crime and be found painted in the blood of my victims, but I’m still presumed innocent, have a right to counsel, to plead the fifth, strict limitations exist on methods and time periods that I can be questioned by the police, and a ruling requires a beyond a reasonable doubt standard to restrict my liberty.
    Involuntary civil commitment requires a 72 hour observation period where there are no limitations to the questioning or methods employed for my evaluation which will be used against me in court that only requires clear and convincing evidence (a fact is more likely true than not), but not just in acts I have committed… It’s applied to the possibility that, in the future, I will. That standard, BTW, is used because the state was concerned that psychiatry, lacking established proof, would make any other standard impossible for the state to overcome. However, psychiatry still makes the doctor an expert witness and the diagnosis automatically makes me less credible. Ooh, and it can curtail my liberty for the rest of my life. It’s truly frightening when you consider that dancing in the blood of your victims actually promises you more chance to fair treatment and legal recourse than merely being diagnosed with a disorder that can’t be medically substantiated.

  • It’s funny, isn’t it? If I had known at the time what I was committing myself to, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have done it. It would have seemed so overwhelming. I guess it’s one of those things that we only do when we don’t stop to think too much about it. We don’t have time to think about what’s in it for me… Maybe it’s because we don’t do those things or have any expectations that these actions have so much impact on who we are. I’m glad you survived.

  • It’s rather amazing that you recalled that. I always feel a little weird telling people about my relationship with my turtles. I think so many people see pets more like property than an actual relationship that is built over time, but it’s really so much more. Pets are the ones we tell when we’re too afraid to tell anyone else because we know they won’t judge us.

  • That photo is actually the work of the photographer, Wagner Abercrombie.
    Turtlez is still here with me. A few years back, we took in a female Eastern box turtle hatchling from a construction sight. In a few years, the hope is that they can be mated, and their hatchlings released into the wild. P

  • Turtlez was the first of our four permanent turtles here even though I continue to take in “guests” every spring and summer. He will probably outlive me.

  • While I think we do create a atmosphere of bullying in this country, I think mental illness is more a scapegoat… Particularly for Western politial psychology or propaganda. You need a group that can’t defend itself, that is disliked or distrusted by the majority, and your want to keep them that way. If they become liked or accepted, someone will want to protect them. The mentally ill, LGBT, for years people of color have been used this way.

  • You know how people talk about a rise in suicides at Christmas? In actuality, the month with the highest rate of suicide is April. At Christmas, these people get really miserable and depressed, but depression and the winter landscape also make you sluggish and unmotivated, but it’s always in the back of your mind. Anti depressants (just like April) frequently treat your sluggishness and lack of motivation before or instead of the depression. So, you’re still suicidal, but now, you also have energy and motivation.

  • Over the years, I’ve learned to resent the word recovery. Recovery feels like going backwards to whoever I was before. That idea that I could somehow be fixed or go back to the person other people thought I had been became this destructive force in my life… A self fulfilling series of prophecies because you can’t go back. Living with mental illness isn’t about recovering; it’s about learning to live with mental illness, but since that isn’t part of the medical model or the media characterization, actually doing it means fumbling through and pretending for all the peanut crunching crowd. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one left out of those who struggled with me, and for a long time, every day was a choice; an active decision to continue breathing for one more day… I felt like I was in this never-ending roundabout of slow self destruction punctuated by more lethal deliberation. It was like an undertow… No one can give you a reason to live. You have to find it for yourself. Until you do, try simple things. I used to tell myself I had to get out of bed to care for the turtle or he would die. I don’t know how long I did that. I didn’t notice when I stopped either. Trying to live for the big perspective was just too overwhelming… Too many emotions. Too much chaos. Too many possibilities and impending disasters. I could get out of bed for a turtle. I learned to make compromises with myself and to creatively overcome things.
    And I’ve been sitting on an open bottle of lotion on my newly cleaned sheets the whole time I’ve been writing this… Argh. Anyway, if I can help, just ask.

  • I don’t think there’s anywhere near that many. When you get people together who truly meet the old school criteria for bipolar, the response is almost electric. More dramatic hand motions, maybe a little bounce while they converse. It’s freeing… To find someone who communicates on the emotional level (experience) that you do. It’s hard to explain. I think some people who don’t understand the full cost of a bipolar diagnosis tend to romanticize the label because of how many famous people or stories are associated with it. And psychiatrists are happy to diagnose them for their romantic notions as much as for actual symptoms. Psychiatry is a for profit organization.
    Even the generic terms used to describe bipolar disorder are intended to subjugate, create discrimination through misinformation, and most of all, cause insecurity and limitations. Selfish, narcissistic, grandiose, lacking empathy, impulsive irresponsible, a burden on society… So many talents and abilities are lost to the assumption of grandiosity. Every lawyer I know is grandiose. That doesn’t mean they aren’t intelligent, skilled, and talented.
    I think the assumption of a genetic link isn’t medical at all but psychological. It’s about a lack of learned coping mechanisms that are seen in a lot of supposed psychological disorders. I just turned 39, and it is finally okay to like myself on occasion without feeling bad about it. I finally see positives in being like this… Like I am. These characteristics that seem so normal to me, but also mark me as other or abnormal to so many.
    On a side note, have you ever noticed that disappearing stigma is only ever remarked upon by those who haven’t experienced it anyway? People need to stop saying stigma. Call it what it is. Discrimination. Just because it’s socially acceptable or Sanism teaches that the mentally ill “deserve” it doesn’t mean we have to accept it. That term drives me crazy. Lol

  • While I don’t think this will change our legislators, it might change the minds of some in the general public. It could encourage more involvement or a public outcry for different legislation. The biggest obstacle I foresee is what the law refers to as, female voice. It isn’t limited to women, but jurors of both sexes respond poorly to it, and a personal account is viewed as telling a story or dishonest. Personal feelings, thoughts, and perspective are more effective when they are further illustrated by facts, theories, statistics etc. Also, legislators have made a career of being able to view people as percentages or statistics. A comparison analysis may help to put a face or real experience to those numbers.

  • We appear to have spent the nineties in basically the same cloned treatment facility. What was the first thing you learned coming in? Fake it till you make it. Once they decide they know your story, anything short of that, and they will make life hard for you. I’m just going to skip the dehumanization, abuse, subjugation, and humiliation. How do you leave a treatment facility and expect to survive in the outside world? It doesn’t just fail to prepare you, it actually moves you backwards. You now have limited of any outside social relationships, you don’t know how to form them, you aren’t sure how to manage conflict… Hell, because we were not allowed any news… I didn’t know who the president was.

  • Books line every room in my house ranging from comic books to an original first printing of Leaves of Grass. There’s also everything in between. My most prized books are pretty well used and in various states of disrepair. I inherited them when my younger sister died eleven years ago. Those books still have every bookmark, postit, and margin scribble. Every chapter she didn’t live to finish , is still marked . Every time I read those books, it’s as though I’m doing them with her. With the exception of specific books that I purchased for a collection, I believe that book should show signs of wear and tear. They should be well loved for their story and not for their leather bindings.

  • But the brain is constantly reacting to stimulI which means brain scans would result in random responses and be almost impossible to duplicate. As for the damage, we are constantly ingesting, inhaling, bathing in etc chemicals. There is absolutely no way to say with any certainty that what they’re seeing is damage due to mental illness. Plus, what mental illness? The DSM clearly separates them, they can’t all be the same damage in the same area… I really need some science in my psychiatry…

  • Nonsense doesn’t actually mean “not sense”. In a literary sense, it merely functions on the very edge of sense. Reductio ad absurdum (Candide), satire, and parody all have aspects associated with literary nonsense. They all seem to be nonsense, but underneath it all, a carefully hidden message can be found. Nonsense deliberately makes light of a story while encouraging the reader to pay attention… ask questions.. think.
    My point is, you may not be talking nonsense at all. You may just lack an intelligent audience who is willing to hear.

  • Why do we continue to say “stigma”? It’s prejudice. Are we simply afraid to say that? Just because discrimination towards the mentally ill is socially acceptable does not make it any less destructive.
    I will openly admit I am biased having experienced severe and dehumanizing stigma in my life. However, “stigma” is not a one way street. It just isn’t as simple as just perception either. Just turn on the television, and you can’t miss the steady stream of negative associations with mental illness. It’s all around us all the time, so while some “stigma” may be perceived, it’s not just simple perception. Just as much as the media’s misinformation has shaped public assumptions and fear towards those with mental illness, it also shapes the way we view ourselves and feeds the underlying fear of being mistreated.

  • Human beings were never intended to be neatly categorized and sorted into file folders. Even if we ignore how ineffective the current practice of objective realism is, failing to look for anything outside of the defining aspects of a diagnosis can be disastrous. (For example: the way Bipolar I suicides tend not to fit into the normal behavior patterns used to alert doctors and family members of the danger)..
    Also, when we view people as objects, we dehumanize making it easier to do things like prescribe medications for money even though you know they are dangerous. Psychiatry has, for at least the last 33 years, maintained this very absolute view on mental illness. Questions are met with condescension and there is a strict refusal to stray away from the same handful of theories that have been failing for the last fifty years. Perhaps, if doctors actually related to their patients, it would be easier to make changes to the system.

  • After 30+ years in the mental health system, I am well accustom to being talked about in the third person. It is extremely off putting, but more so, it’s the tone… as though your are something someone stepped on and trod through the house. This is how I feel every time the question of gun control is raised. Even in this case, where I want to see this letter as a step forward, I simply don’t trust the APA. The fact that there’s no profit behind this act makes me feel like I am being taken advantage of.

  • In the US, I believe I recall reading that the number of accepted insanity defenses was 0.1%. However, those who attempt it are frequently treated much more severely by the jury. There is an assumption in this country that mental illness is an excuse… A way to get away with murder. When the jurors were interviewed following the sentencing of notorious serial killer, John Wayne Gacy, they were asked about his attempt to plead insanity. One juror said simply, “Oh, we all knew he was crazy; we just thought he should fry anyway.”
    Our current attempt at justice is anything but just. Defendants who were found unfit to stand trial are simply shipped to an institution and medicated until they can sit quietly while they are found guilty. They are being sentenced based on their prior state of mind, and their guilt is being determined based on their state of mind after being heavily medicated. This is often a result of a public demand for justice based on a complete misunderstanding of what the word means. In the law, justice merely means to treat everyone the same.

  • The Supreme Court has consistently relied upon what it has termed the “traditional indicia of suspectedness,” considering whether the class is “saddled with such disabilities, or subjected to such a history of purposeful unequal treatment, or relegated to such a position of political powerlessness as to command extraordinary protection from the majoritarian political process.” Johnson v. Robison, 415 U.S. 361, 375 n.14 (1974) (internal quotation
    marks omitted) (quoting San Antonio Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1,
    28 (1973))
    However, the fact that mental illness is not a trait such as race or sex or even that of a physical disability, we are not considered a suspect classification. We are viewed as disposable people when the reality is that the prevalent, widespread, and historic level of prejudice and mistreatment of the mentally ill actually is the oldest prejudice in this country. It is also considered socially acceptable. You won’t hear a racial slur on prime time television but how many times do you hear people called Bipolar, Psychotic, Schizo. or even just mentally ill. How many times is it a negative generalization or the punchline of a joke? Most people don’t even notice. While I agree with so many points in this comment, the problem I see is that even the ADA has historically treated mental illness differently than other disorders. Their track record with protecting those with mental illness is equally poor along with the EEOC. I think that as long as we are classified as disabled, we will continue to run into the problem of society looking for a physical ailment. Additionally, with the historical significance of the stigma, abuse, and prejudice of the mentally ill, we may be better suited to establish ourselves as a suspect class more easily.

  • Admittedly, since everyone gets paid in the end, the concept as it applied to parties is true. However, my own tendency towards liberal ideals remains. I do view politics as a backdrop to what is more a question of profit versus human rights. I don’t believe politicians care one way or another about mental illness. as far as the impact on this country or on those diagnosed with a mental illness. I am not sure how your question about letting someone make my argument applies though.

  • I’m sorry, but really? From the creators of the War on Christmas, Fox now brings you the Clinton door to door gun raid? Check the current numbers on Sanders. There seems to be some minor discrepancies… The term Liberal is closely tied to individual rights, and the majority of survivor’s want human and civil rights. That is not an unreasonable expectation considering the 13th amendment was ratified in 1865, and Brown v. Board of Education ended segregation in 1954. The isn’t a liberal idea though… It is one of natural law, echoed by John Locke and Thomas Jefferson.

  • Fascism: By vague analogy, any system of strong autocracy or OLIGARCHY usually to the extent of bending and breaking the law, race-baiting and violence against largely unarmed populations.

    I’ll take hints of Socialism over that any day. I suggest you look at who proposed the bill on mental health and his supporters. Trolls should at least be able to present the illusion that they know about the subject they are using as bait.

  • Precisely. I can not absolutely tell you the underlying meaning or motivation in Plath’s Lady Lazarus. I can tell you my opinion, but regardless of how hard I try, I read myself into the narrative. (Which might explain a lot about Freud). I also don’t think people who find our thought process so alien as to require the distinction implied in mental illness are well suited to analyze us.

  • I tend to view psychotherapy to be about as precise as interpretation of imagery and allusion in poetry. Both are largely opinions that may say more about the interpreter than the person being interpreted. In addition, truth is not an absolute. It is subjective as is trauma. It also doesn’t take long for people with any real experience with psychiatry to establish the “right” things to say d while children can be easily led or accidentally influenced in their responses.

  • (1) If the entire edifice of psychiatry needs to be burned to the ground as a fraudulent enterprise, then why has nobody sued the APA out of existence in a massive class action?

    Sanism is the prevailing theory of the general population. If a person is a state hospital, they are there because they desemost irve to be. A plea of insanity is rarely accepted regardless of history, and a jury is more likely to choose a harsher punishment if you attempt it. Judges are not psychiatrists and are more likely to support their expert findings than any compelling argument made by the accused, and without the rights and protections promised in a criminal charge, mental illness is not ruled on by the High Court.

    (2) What are the appropriate elements of a way forward to better outcomes for those who need assistance in major life crises ?

    Well, we seem to have established what doesn’t work. Diagnosis should not be passed out like Halloween candy particularly in children who I honestly still don’t believe exhibit actual disorders. Psych meds should be held to the standards of any other branch of medicine. We don’t treat patients with chemo because, after a ten minute discussion, you think it might be cancer, and chemo might work, but you don’t know how or why. Misinformation, stigma, and scapegoating should be met with clear and corrective measures. Most importantly, we need to stop generalizing as though the mentally ill lack the unique and human qualities appreciated in the rest of the populace. It has not proven effective, the assumptions are largely based on language meant to persuade and influence others, and it’s demeaning. Survivors should be encouraged to share their stories with others as it is more effective than than inpatient treatment.

    Criticism of the reigning psychiatric mythology is certainly appropriate and needed. But it isn’t enough. Where’s the action plan for doing something to clean up the mess? I invite your further thoughts on both of the questions above.

    The problem is, even if you show an illustrated guide to the reality of mental illness and the fabrication of research and statistics, the polity ignores us, and the public would rather hear implausible claims from a person with an M.D or Phd (even if it’s in advertising, DJ Jaffe), then to hear it from a person with a diagnosis.

  • After my first loss and long time friend took his life the day before my birthday two years ago, I was overwhelmed by the weight of the guilt. That was after all my years grappling with my own thoughts of suicide, talking so many other through theirs, and watching as the time ran out anyway. A former professor and friend suggested that I write a dialog between me and him examining the guilt, There was so much I still didn’t understand. Suicide is unique just like each person’s experiences, but we have generalized it in an attempt, I think, to lessen the burden of those left behind. Selfish, weak, easy, vengeful… these are the words we use to simplify what we don’t understand. We tell people who are suicidal that their are people starving in some distant country and others who have it so much worse… And I have yet to meet someone who found a reason for living in an institution. I also don’t think the generalizing is any better for those who have lost someone. You can’t give someone a reason to live. They have to find that for themselves, but you can be there. You can promise not to judge, and sometimes, that’s enough.

  • I lost almost five years. Five years to five point restraints, injections of halperidol and being forced to stand up so it wouldn’t but me to sleep, and not being allowed the dignity of throwing up in a toilet afterwards because we had to be made examples of. Five years of silence, tucking your feet under you in that weird angle that caused them to ache constantly because if they draped over the edge, the alarm was sounded, and you would be placed in a “burrito. Without shower curtains, bathroom doors, being forced to wet yourself if you got up to early even though the medications caused the frequent urination along with a list of other things… After a month, I stopped defending myself, after three, I willingly admitted to any and all accusations regardless of how outlandish or implausible they might be. How does this help you to better function in society? What is the proposed outcome? Fear?

  • The FBI profiled an Irish shooter at a daycare in the nineties (you can find the profile in Anatomy of Motive by Douglas). They found that the shooters were socially inadequate, felt wronged and unheard by society and may have attempted to reach out to authority figures in the past but been ignored, and that message continued to build inside their heads. They choose crimes that CANNOT be ignored which is why they tend choose schools and daycares, and there is rarely a plan to escape. The need for validation is so all consuming that anything afterwards is of little consequence. If this profile still holds true even on a limited basis, the news media’s all tragedy -all day reporting will only cement the idea in other’s heads. However, I still see that as a societal problem more than a question of “serious mental illness”.

  • After twenty years of slowly killing myself with noted moments of deliberation, I can say that the misconceptions regarding suicide, from all angles, are staggering. Psychiatry views (and has taught society to view) suicide as an answer. We even phrase it as such when we say, They took the easy way out.. etc. Suicide is never an answer. What it is is a constantly reoccurring and haunting question that we are never taught to ask: Why does it always come back to this? Why can’t I move forward or back or see a future for myself beyond this? We are judged for the attempt, the completion, and the ideation, not just by society, but by ourselves. For me, I just wanted silence. No more judging and regretting and, more than anything, an end to the constant stream of feeling that seemed to suffocate me. I am 38 years old, and I have only just begun to like myself. In all the confusion, the one thing I know is that suicide is the totality of life experiences perceived by a person who cannot see themselves with a future and cannot continue to live in the past, and they cannot see themselves the way you do. It was not that you were not enough, that they didn’t love you, or that they wanted you to carry this burden. It was nothing you did or that you could fix. What society doesn’t realize is that this has been building and building for that person’s entire life, and they held on because of you.

  • You know… I’m just really curious… Who was staring out the window with their morning coffee, and suddenly, EurekA! They think. I know exactly how to fix this. I’ll just jab a ice pick into their orbital cavity and stir things around really good. That’s definitely the answer…. Or I’ll just run electricity through their skull… I bring this up because I’m supposed to be the one who’s unhinged and dangerous here, and I have never once thought of either of those things as an answer… To anything.

  • The problem with that specific example, outlawing the KKK, is that you can’t make a sustainable argument for civil and human rights by denying those rights to others in the same breath. I find the ideas of the KKK to be morally vacant and repugnant. However, it’s not a crime to be morally vacant. Justice Holmes said,
    While that experiment is part of our system, I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country.
    The problem of psychiatry, as it stands, is it isn’t merely an idea, it’s a practice, and a destructive one at that. I’m not sure the profession could survive the truth even if we didn’t mean to eliminate it.

  • Something that might be interesting is to bring the open discussion to the general public rather than to wait for the polity to stop ignoring us. Personal experiences, questions, proposals that directly involve the public and educate them so they feel involved instead of the chaos and misinformation used by the news media and politicians.

  • You know considering that three DSM diagnosis account for the funding, contributions, and lobbyists for the majority of our government while continuing to be the most profitable diagnosis for the Pharmaceutical industry, I’m pretty sure that we ARE American exceptional ism.

    Your proposed title amused me considering I have shared this quote only a few hours before:
    America… just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
    Hunter S. Thompson

  • How does the legalization of cannabis benefit the public at large? Without hesitation, it limits the illegal trafficking of pot by drug cartels, further limits the sale by gangs and other second and third party dealers which also limits turf and gang violence marginally, it saves the taxpayer in legal fees to defend and prosecute small time “offenders”, and it saves an average of 30k a year per prisoner who would have been incarcerated for possession, and without the limitations of a drug charge, those people can find lucrative work options instead of being confined to the swinging door created by the prison system in this country. There is nothing disingenuous, dishonest, or despicable about those claims or the benefit they would provide to the American public at large.

  • I abhor the effects, smell, and sticky residue left behind by pot… Having said that, marijuana was labeled a schedule 1 controlled substance in 1972 along with cocaine and heroine with the assumption that additional studies would quickly prove it to be just as dangerous and addictive as the other two. No such study has ever been produced. In fact, marijuana is generally less dangerous and intrusive to the public than alcohol. But let’s just get crazy here and say it does pave the way to legalization of other drugs… Strength, additives, and price would then be controlled by the government and taxed instead of allowing it to be a criminal enterprise. If you are rejecting all mind altering substances from coffee to meth, I can attempt to see this from your perspective, but as far as marijuana vs benzos, pot is certainly better for you.

  • I abhor the effects, smell, and sticky residue left behind by pot… Having said that, marijuana was labeled a schedule 1 controlled substance in 1972 along with cocaine and heroine with the assumption that additional studies would quickly prove it to be just as dangerous and addictive as the other two. No such study has ever been produced. In fact, marijuana is generally less dangerous and intrusive to the public than alcohol. But let’s just get crazy here and say it does pave the way to legalization of other drugs… Strength, additives, and price would then be controlled by the government and taxed instead of allowing it to be a criminal enterprise. If you are rejecting all mind altering substances from coffee to meth, I can attempt to see this from your perspective, but as far as marijuana vs benzos, pot is certainly better for you.

  • So that you can go in with twice the knowledge of any of the clinicians on the subject of living with suicidal thoughts, No one can give you a reason to live and commitment is just delaying the inevitable. You have to start simple apparently. My husband brought home a very sick turtle in the early fall five years ago. I knew nothing about turtles, and the only advice I could get from turtle rescue groups was to put him back outside. His eyes were swollen shut, he had a terrible respiratory infection, his shell was laquered in nail polish, and there were larvae between the scales on his legs. That winter I got out of bed because someone needed to care for the turtle. On the really bad days, I lived because, without me, no one would be there to care for him. It’s ridiculous, I know. Turtles are prone to anxiety, stress, depression, OCD’s, and even suicide, and I felt oddly … connected to the little creature. On the nights when all I thought about was the end of all the chaos in my head, I would let him burrow under my knee on the couch. It was interesting to be, for the first time, the strong one in any type of relationship. I don’t remember when I stopped getting out of bed for Turtlez or when I stopped reminding myself that I couldn’t end it until he was well. He’s been with us for five years now.

  • I’m often mesmerized by the claims made by politicians about Laura/ Kendra’s law. Torrey is fond of saying things like, Laura’s law prevented this many murders… Curiouser. You can’t actually take the number of murders from two years ago and subtract the number of murders from last year and claim that legislation prevented the difference. It’s ridiculous. Another of Torrey’s claims is, this could have been prevented by Laura’s law! Clearly, this claim has no statistics to support it, but psychiatry now comes with telepathy.

  • Recovery insinuates a return to normalcy or regaining something that was taken from you. I didn’t stumble into this mindset and it certainly isn’t a brain defect. You see, normality is a lot like being a Muggle… Sound and uniform on the outside, brittle and unyielding inside. Magic can’t exist. It must have been a freak, summer, snow storm. If they don’t think like I do, they must be sick or defective… I am not sick or defective. The pieces cannot be put back together so I can be mentally “normal” again. I adapted to survive. So no, this is not recovery. This is a becoming.