Sunday, November 28, 2021

Comments by Deena Hoblit

Showing 292 of 292 comments.

  • You keep talking about aspects of the law that only apply in criminal law. The simple fact is that only by virtue of their criminality are mentally ill people afforded those luxuries. However, Oldhead, you may find this illuminating:–3fAhXhT98KHXPXCP4QFjAAegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw0n7dqEboy3nXajYRoK3S5Y&cshid=1547492983320

  • In all honesty, I have always had a problem with the tendency of psychiatrists to label or diagnose posthumously, based entirely on public image, or to diagnose having never interviewed or even seen a case file for someone. I think it not only stigmatizes but spreads misinformation and is often used to manipulate the public.
    However, the APA shouldn’t be allowed to write standards to fit its agenda or to punish others for entertaining an opinion that is not shared by the APA.
    Also, does Lieberman ever respond within anything vaguely resembling a logical argument? It seems like all he offers is a condescending air and add hominem attacks, and even those are never supported.

  • I understand the dilemma here. The system is broken, but eliminating the system in totality creates room for more dangerous practices, limits the freedom of others to choose their own methods of treatment (just as many want the right to refuse all methods), it closes doors to better practices that could lead to well informed understanding, it would create devastation to unknown numbers of human lives…
    The DSM and it’s labels are more dangerous than they are beneficial. At the least, it can only be recognized as opinion. The APA must be dismantled because it is a corrupt and corrosive regime that serves only to make itself money at all costs. Forced treatment of any kind must end, and those once deemed mentally ill must be afforded the same rights and protections as everyone else. Research and treatment findings must be made transparent. Medications, if any, must comply with the same standards as those of other branches of medicine.

  • I understand what you’re saying, Sera, and I also know how painful it can be. Successful arguments are arguments that adapt to their audience, and sometimes that means a crushing amount of diplomacy on your part and keeping silent.
    I write a lot about my experiences and am often invited to do readings for creative writing guilds or workshops. Over the years, I’ve learned to carefully edit my reality for the masses… It’s the only way they can hear me. The reality is so beyond what most of them can conceive of. I even once overheard one student tell another that my ability to illustrate emotion was uncanny. The other responded with, it’s still clearly fictional. Things like that don’t happen here… Oh, but they do.
    Still, I can remember when I couldn’t fathom such a possibility. The first night in an institution, i laid there worrying about having the perfect dress for homecoming court. It would be four years before I was free again, and all the homecomings and proms would be over.
    Often times, I feel myself wanting to drown them in the totality of my story just to say it out loud once…
    But I need them to hear me… To see me… So, I push that down and compromise…

  • 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.

  • My problem with the most outspoken “advocates” is more complicated. First, mentally ill doesn’t automatically mean stupid. I do not need someone to speak for me. More importantly, I don’t need someone to speak for me only when it serves their purpose or doesn’t rock the boat. Where were these advocates when the news media invented “serious mental illness” and began randomly insinuating mental illness (never specific or any medical history of note) as the cause for acts of senseless violence? Where were the advocates speaking out to have our voices heard? oh yes, drowning those voices out with their own. There seems to be an assumption now that we are unable to speak for ourselves, and no one seems to be correcting that.

  • I have a lot of theories about that decision, but I try not to be critical. Her father tried to have her committed, but the doctors who assessed her said there was no cause. However, they did find cause to contact DHS about her father’s violent tendencies. She requested to be sent to a facility in Orlando, and the first thing they did was take her off the Zoloft.

  • We are talking about warehousing people. Treatment facilities just allow the public to maintain a false sense of moral superiority. While I completely agree with you regarding time served, in fact, so much so that I publicly denounce the Adam Walsh act. It’s amazing how quickly a room of strangers can unite in their hatred of you after such a pronouncement. However, a person found mentally ill doesn’t even have three strikes. The criminalization of mental illness is so absolute that the general public doesn’t even question that the mentally ill be treated like felons regardless of the fact that they have no criminal history. If prisons worked, we wouldn’t be leading the world in number of incarcerated citizens, and we didn’t need to keep testing the same theory to be sure of its failure. Problems aren’t solved by shoving them under the bed. It just means other people don’t have to look at them, and that distancing and indifference leads to horrific levels of injustice as time passes.

  • Like most people classified as Bipolar 1 (lol), my history with SSRIs is a bit scary. However, it was your mention of toxicity that caught my attention. My daughter has a history of self destructive behavior (she lives in Florida with her father) but I was still shocked when my ex called to tell me she had run away in the middle of the night, taking her grandparents cell phones but not hers, her grandmother’s laptop (no charger etx), their debit card, and a handful of cash in her pajamas and slippers. She called five hours later crying and asking her dad to pick her up. He was… he blames her. When I spoke to her, her speech was erratic. She admitted to have the debit card and to having the 200$ taken from her grandparents account, but she couldn’t tell the story in order and didn’t seem to know how she got the money out… only that she had. She had no idea what she did with it. They had just upped her zoloft several days before, and she kept saying that someone was chasing her which is why she left the house.

  • It must be reassuring to have the luxury of being so cavalier about the stigma of mental illness… To be so distanced from the reality of stigma that you clearly have no concept of the weight or dehumanization associated with it.

    Stigma: Paying three hundred dollars a month out of pocket for a prescription that you stopped taking three years ago because you are terrified of the possible repercussions if your doctor finds out you stopped taking it, and even after twenty years, just that idea causes such panic that your conscious refusal to run actually causes your muscles and chest to ache.

  • “The present situation, whereby individuals with serious mental illnesses are being put into jails and prisons rather than into hospitals, is a disgrace to American medicine and to common decency and fairness.” E. Fuller Torrey

    This never ceases to amaze me. By virtue of their criminal behavior alone, jails and prisons provide the mentally ill with rights, legal protections, recourse, representation, labor, an hourly wage… The fact that medicine deprives the mentally ill of all of them AND doesn’t see the harm in doing so… that is the disgrace to common decency and fairness.
    Mental illness has become America’s leprosy with people like Torrey using every heinous crime as a warning bell. It’s hard to believe that I can be considered so disposable, and yet, so profitable at the same time…
    I will never forget my husband’s response when I first told him about my institutionalization. “Why did you stay there? Why didn’t you just leave?”
    Just like sanism has taught jurors to assume that a person in a state hospital did something to deserve to be there and likewise taught the general public that an involuntary commitment isn’t the same as a prison sentence, but it is guaranteed the rights anyway. (?)
    I was 14, from an affluent and educated family, privileged, sheltered, and American with American ideals. It took me a year to realize that I had no rights, no protection, and no one to turn to. After the first month, I stopped fighting. After the third, I stopped asking questions. Then, I stopped being a person at all. No matter the accusation, I agreed that I was at fault. No matter how humiliating or shameful the experience, I passively agreed. It took almost five years before I saw a courtroom. I never saw a lawyer.

  • When I told my husband the truth about my experience, he abruptly asked, Why didn’t you just walk out? Why didn’t you leave? People in this country can define dehumanization, but generally, they can’t conceive of it in practice. The closest comparison I can make is the Holocaust, but what is this but a socially accepted genocide? And that is precisely the definition of abuse I was thinking of. It tends to have the same effect on people that some of Sylvia Plath’s odd Nazi imagery did, but how many people have to die, denied human and civil rights, “tortured”, be used as lab rats, before we can use the word genocide?

  • Dred Scott had that extra bonus of being the only time I have seen the 5th amendment used to guarantee your right to own a person. The Supreme Court has been hesitant for years to make decisions on mental health that don’t also include criminality. As the rights and protections aren’t the same, it’s difficult to support an argument that isn’t going to be struck down in the first five minutes.

  • Dred Scott had that extra bonus of being the only time I have seen the 5th amendment used to guarantee your right to own a person. The Supreme Court has been hesitant for years to make decisions on mental health that don’t also include criminality. As the rights and protections aren’t the same, it’s difficult to support an argument that isn’t going to be struck down in the first five minutes.

  • I am not a psychiatrist or psychologist, but it often seems like I took enough psych courses to qualify. The general public learns most of what they know about psychiatry from Hollywood and the news. Those that go into the profession listen to the same repeated key words and phrases I suffered through but with none (usually) of the personal experience I have, and they go forth to practice it the why psychiatry trains them. After all those years and the cost of education, I don’t blame them for wanting to believe the rhetoric. I also don’t blame them for hanging on to it because it’s pretty earth shattering to process the reality of psychiatry in this country. However, if it weren’t for those mental health professionals who realized their “mistakes” and chose to speak out against it, we would have no voice. The public doesn’t hear us.

  • Although this seems like a loaded questions, I’ll be candid: We didn’t choose or rather, I didn’t. I was born here and quickly realized that supporting a life here coupled with the fact that no other country actually wants us makes leaving difficult. Now, I agree that following September 11th, a show of force was necessary. I do think a handful of men have kept that war going, and a bipartisan Congressional decision doesn’t mean anything. When everyone is getting paid, it doesn’t matter what side you debate. As for American exceptionalism, that is just part of the American myth. We stopped being exceptional years ago. Check the statistics.. we lead in imports into this country, incarcerated persons, and weapon spending. That’s it. We redefine freedom as we see fit, when the truth is… if we are all free, why am i not as free as you? The Bill of Rights was a last effort to impress upon this country’s history those things that the people held most sacred. But any lawyer will tell you that a contract is simply too insubstantial to protect something as weighty as the rights of a country. And what you call hatred, that is freedom. One of the few I can enjoy.
    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.

    It isn’t hatred of a country to condemn the corrupt men and women behind the curtain. In fact, it’s exactly why we aren’t currently flying a British flag, but why should I settle for being a political scapegoat with the least number of rights and protections of any group of citizens in this country? It isn’t America bashing to want to leave this nation a better place for my children.

  • My father was a chemical engineer/media figure/OSHA go between for astra zeneca for 27 years. I used to think he was ethically beyond reproach. Now, I realize that people just became numbers and side effects became statistics, and when you can reduce the overall mortality rate to a percentage, it’s a lot easier than knowing their names and favorite colors. Sanism is also a rampant problem, most noticeably in the justice system, but you can see it in the general public in their sheer lack of concern. Five people are killed by one shooter, and they are perfectly willing to sacrifice a few million people to the same system Geraldo Rivera showed them not to long ago on the seven o’clock news. Even then, they compared it to the holocaust repeatedly, but it still took another fifteen years to close it. People believe, if you got there, you deserve to be there. An insanity plea is more likely to get you a harshest sentence than to be accepted as a legal excuse even if you are found incompetent to stand, you can just be medicated for a month, and then, be found guilty.

  • I went through “treatment” during the privatization of psychiatric facilities. I was fourteen at the start. I am the only one of my own group of survivors that is still alive. Suicide and addiction was the cause of death, but I think we all know that both are heavily influenced by trauma, desperation, suffering, and no expectation of hope. You could argue causation, but surely years of institutionalization and psychiatry should have, if nothing else, offered them a glimmer of hope, right? It didn’t. In fact, the only people that don’t view psychiatry as a hopeful answer are those patients who have already experienced what psychiatry has to offer. It’s not a research study, but what does it say that about the benefit of a treatment that the patients would rather do anything, and I mean anything, other than utilize that treatment?

  • I’m not sure that opiates are actually better. They are more addictive and easier to overdose on, but there’s also a public awareness. With anti depressants, everyone takes those. It’s assumed to be no big deal.
    However, since you mentioned heroin … Heroin is the drug you take when you are trying to outrun your own reality. Granted, as a painkiller it is certainly effective, but half of addiction is always mental. We’ve been told what feelings are okay to have and given drugs to numb any feelings we might have that step outside of those lines. We are a nation of people who don’t want to feel anything so we practice Mob mentality and gather to film gang rapes passively from the sidelines because we’ve limited ourselves from any emotions other than shock and horror. I can certainly see a connection between heroin use and psych drugs.

  • Wait… Are you saying that the UK believes the mentally ill are running out to join ISIS?
    This is where I thought America was headed after the Charleston shooting, but they country diverged into a group they want to hate more apparently. …

    However, why do people think that just because they can’t fathom a person’s reasoning that they must be “insane”? As vulnerable people have less access to funds and power, not to mention the public view that they are disposable, they are hardly the people that ISIS would see as driving home their agenda. A few people have tried to make a connection between the shooters racist views and mental illness, but I’m old enough to recall that, in this country, you don’t need a diagnosis. You only need a bed sheet. Plus, the KKK would fight back against being called mentally ill repeatedly by the media. It’s a little sad when the KKK is ashamed to be mistaken as one of you. That also illustrates the problem. In the Connecticut shooting, the news media was quick to refer to the shooter as autistic, but in less than an hour, a spokesperson for autism was there to correct them. That was the last time “autism” was mentioned. There should be someone speaking up for us in that regard. Why isn’t there?

  • Neoliberalism, as an American, will always harken back to the Lochner Era and accusation of laissez faire constitutionalism described by the dissent of Justice Holmes. I am not sure that this same association would carry weight across the pond though. If so, Holmes dissent is still applicable, but it is made more dangerous by a demand for social justice, and western political psychology. Here’s my simplistic and idealistic view: Democracy and Freedom, contrary to popular opinion, are not actually the same thing. They are intended to exist in balance much like the substantive and procedural aspects of American law. The problem with extreme right wing or left wing agendas is that one sacrifices freedom in the name of democracy while the other sacrifices democracy in the name of freedom. Although neither exist successfully alone. Currently, the liberal demand for social justice is actually feeding the right wing’s demand for individual rights (but only those that they deem important) and conveniently, it’s also profitable when your chief lobbyists and contributors are Pharmaceutical companies. The reality is that neither side of the population is getting what they want. They are just to caught up in the momentum to notice. The public also tends to suffer from a mixture of willful ignorance and sanism.

  • My father is a chemical engineer by education, but for 27 years he was employed as a media/safety/disaster management agent for ICI which became Zeneca which became AstraZeneca. Yes, that Astrazeneca. He dealt with OSHA, courts, media, government, and the long term effects of a company producing dangerous chemicals and less than ethical manners of disposal. I always thought of my father as ethical. A self made man, he was devoted to his job, careful of judgment, and wary of any behavior that might be biased or unjustified. This is the same man who buried the new neighbors dog when it was hit on the road because he didn’t want the child to see it there. However, when people become numbers they seem to lose both their humanity and their value. For example: I have heard so many people my age quibble about the number of deaths from the Holocaust. Just in my lifetime the number has gone from 10 million to 6 million and now to just over 4 million. What stays with me is the way Justice Jackson (who headed the prosecution) repeatedly told the court at Nuremberg that the numbers were clearly incorrect… a misprint… a misunderstanding. You see, they were still people then, and even with all the evidence before him, he was not able to imagine that level of lost life. Now, they are a number, and it’s about statistics, verification, causation, and the effect the number might have, but it’s still just a number without breath or suffering or hopes or fear. While I no longer think of my father as ethically absolute, I also believe that the majority of employees of pharmaceutical companies have made the same mistake, and by reducing human beings to cold, exact numbers, they have also become somewhat willfully ignorant. There are no names. No pictures. No humanity. Deaths become a percentage, permanent damage becomes a statistic, and they learn to let it go when they go home for the night. The one glaring problem I keep coming back to is simply this: I couldn’t do it. Perhaps it’s a result of a diagnosis or naivety or ignorance, but no matter how I try to present it, I could not do this. I could not even view it safely from the sidelines and do nothing. I can’t overcome the humanity I see pleading with me from those cold, dead equations.

  • It isn’t my intention to argue especially as both of us are making assumptions about Robin’s mental state and perception anyway . however, you noted in your last paragraph that the industry was defining us through the overuse of dsm labels and over medicating. My main problem was that it was exactly what you seemed to be doing. Narcissism is the first thing you think of, but to me, the simpler answer is that, considering history of drug use, the stage and characters presented an escape from your own life. That wouldn’t support narcissism, but it would support poor coping skils and trauma. Psychiatry had got to start allowing patients to define themselves. After all, people rarely fold neatly into labeled drawers.

  • I don’t want to seem contrary, but do we really want to deduce the end of a life down to DSM Axis 1 Diagnosis? Durkheim’s study of suicide presented them as unique… A totality of life experiences culminating in a final act. It bothers me that society feels the need to generalize them down to a handful of diagnosis and words like selfish, coward, and narcissist. This is where psychiatry fails its patients. This is how it loses its humanity. He spent his life making others laugh. What is narcissistic about that? And once event, does not make a suicide. That would diminish the totality of experiences leading to these deaths to simple over reaction.

  • When a Congressional Hearing was convened, in part, to consider the the public benefit and the over 500 accusations of abuse regarding an institution I spent two years in, I thought, “They can’t deny this anymore. Once these things are said out loud, they can’t take it back. Finally, we will be validated.” I did not give testimony, but the girl who did had been just a few months behind me, and her poise and clarity were striking. Then, the representative said, “And how did you find yourself there?” She was candid about her past, but she was met with accusations about her character. They were goading and repetitive, but she didn’t become defensive. The TN representative then said, “And yet, you are now able to address a Congressional Hearing. I think that is more than enough evidence to show the benefits this facility brings to the state of Tennessee.” In a single sentence, he had belittled and discounted not just her experience, but all of our experiences and the accounts of abuse including several suicides within the facility. That was when I realized that they didn’t want to hear us. It didn’t matter how severe the accusations or what methods were used under the guise of treatment. The whole hearing had just been a way to play to the public. They had never intended to take us seriously.

  • The problem with the Vox study, according to the Wall Street Journal which had a pretty detailed story, was obviously the money that inadvertantly changed hands, more importantly was evidence that seems to support that at least the editor was aware of or suspicious thst an issue with safety existed. He was certainly aware before the drug was pulled, and even then, it was over a year before an article was published by the journal to make people aware that a serious danger might exist. When asked why they waited, they said it was the writer of the study’s responsibility to correct or retract any information. A lot of times, studies are deliberately skewed, and the general public finds it hard to track down all the pieces, but imagine if medical professionals took to heart their obligation to truth.: all the stigma, stereotypes, and blatantly false information that the public could be aware of. They suspect that vox resulted in around, 55,000 deaths. I find it particularly difficult to see the editor and the journal as innocent if they could have stopped even just a handful of those deaths.

  • I clearly recall his suicide and the ones that followed. I even remember MTV showing Courtney as they gathered to remember him. I think Kurt had a way of touching people. He was a star that didn’t seem to know how to be a star. Instead, he was very real, and I think part of you wanted to take care of this slightly disheveled man. It seemed like such a think shell to hide so much talent.
    I watched the documentary, and I found that even after all these years, I came like Courtney. She’s quite abrasive, but I think that might have been one of the reasons that Kurt needed her.
    The one difference is that I’ve lived more now, and I got to thinking the most destructive relationship I had. It was many years ago, but we started friends on some level as I watched him spin out of control. It ended in his suicide just a few years ago, and I thought a lot about how on earth I had gotten there. I realized that some people get to the point what’s there life is more like a slow suicide than living. It was just a matter of time, and you’ve felt so alone for so long, you just don’t want to do this by yourself. The relationships are always explosive and dangerous and codependant. Much like I view Kurt and Courtney. I think in situations like that, those involved never really learned how to love or be loved. I had to leave the state to break free. I don’t think that Kurt could, and I don’t think he could trust the love and admiration he received from his fans anymore than he could the destructive one he had with Courtney.

  • It’s very unlikely to stand without a clearly established connection between the two. Since psychiatric treatments are not really understand and don’t work in everyone, it would be extremely hard to hold psychiatry liable.

  • I tend to adopt a similar stance as far as headings. Antipsychiatry as a term seems to imply a willful refusal without a valid point or contribution of our own. My motivation reaches beyond just undermining or dismantling psychiatry. My motivation is about hundred of years of injustice and greed. It is about legal protections and the refusal to grant suspected class status to a group that Congress felt compelled to lie and hide their findings of prejudice in order to deny any rights that might endanger their money machine. We aren’t talking about thousands. We are talking about hundreds of thousands many times over. We are looking at a socially sanctioned and silent genocide and cycle of abuse that has such a long history that society has accepted it as a norm.

  • I disagree. As long as no recourse exists, there are very real victims. As long as they are ignored, the general public believes that it is acceptable. Most people today would balk at the idea of a racial slur being used on prime time television. However, a psychiatric diagnosis is a perfectly acceptable punchline. The usage isn’t that dissimilar in either case. This level of marginalization creates a cycle of prejudice that is prevalent. It also creates a vacuum to which untold numbers of mentally ill live their entire lives… under the shadow of misinformation, medical quackery, and greed.

  • I agree. Carefully chosen terms like “diagnosis” and “diagnostic”, the repeated but completely unsupported claim that the mentally ill could only be safely managed bya psychiatrist, and the steady stream of misinformation and fear mongering did more to establish psychiatry as a supposed medicine that any contributions they have made to medicine over the years.

  • It is a convenient way to overcome objections to forced commitment though…

    Do they really think that I have ever been anything but aware that I was “different” than the other kids? Do they seriously believe every doctor that has read my diagnosis off hasn’t made me painfully aware of just how different I was? Do they think my mother, armed with this diagnosis and it’s key generalizations, didn’t also go out of her way to make this clear? If I ever forgot for a moment, I could just choose someone to share my diagnosis with and watch as their faces expression shifts to suspicion and then shame… as though they are ashamed for me because I clearly don’t know well enough to be ashamed for myself. Over the years, you become painfully aware in group settings because someone might realize how different you are. Like magic, this theory was established (also conveniently supporting the medical model and the assumption that mental illness is the result of damage to the brain.) More importantly, it turns any attempt to rebuke an accusation of a mental illness into a fallacy because the denial in itself is a symptom. I am extremely curious about these studies as well because Torrey has become increasingly blatant about creating research to support his claims out of thin air and depending on his air of condescension and his title to be enough to shut down any serious questions regarding his claims.

  • This is rather brilliant. I would be very interested in making this a reality. I still remember, when I first told my husband the story behind my institutionalization. He looked at me suspiciously before asking, “But why didn’t you just walk out? Why didn’t you just leave the treatment center if it was so horrible?” He couldn’t concede to the idea of ever not having the right to simply walk out. He couldn’t imagine having no protection or recourse.

  • The thing is, the general public don’t benefit from the pharmaceutical companies. They aren’t having their campaigns financed or being given kickbacks. They really have nothing to lose. However, I would caution against acts of directly volatile or “unreasonable” acts to raise awareness. We need the public to see us as people. We need them to relate to us.

  • Does it seem so “insane” that a person abandoned to an insane situation would have to adapt to survive? I have always been fascinated by how a simple question of what to wear can cause me to panic in indecision, but if you drop me into a situation where all the “sane” people have lost any grasp of control and chaos reigns supreme, and I become decisive, self assured, and a natural leader. There’s no science to support my theory, but I believe the idea that mental illness is a means for a person to deal with an insane and traumatic situation makes a lot more sense than the idea that it is sometimes genetic, sometimes completely unknown to the patient, and always a brain defect although never able to be established with any consistency. While I completely deny any actual medicine in the medical model, I will say… sane thinking never can grasp “insane” thinking. I do believe the difference exists. I also do not believe I would have survived my life with “sane” thinking. It’s funny to come to a point in your life where you are thankful for the same diagnosis that has taken so much from you.

  • Lieberman rubbed me the wrong way when he claimed he had suffered under the stigma of psychiatry (simply by practicing it.) However, that just makes him rather self involved and unaware. I can’t say that it makes him a liar. Torrey, on the other hand, is blatantly dishonest. His statistics are habitually so biased that there’s no way he can have just got the numbers wrong. Both of them are so invested in the medical model at this point though that they would happily sacrifice all delusions of professional ethics in the name of brain disorders. I suppose it’s handy that Sanz is dead, and this supposed quote fully supports Torrey and Lieberman’s agenda.

  • Years ago, the prosecution of rape was widely considered the second victimization of the person who had been traumatized because, at that time, the victim’s character was on trial for no other reason than that they had had the gall to both be raped and report it. After 32 years of psychiatric treatment, I have yet to meet a person considered “seriously mentally ill” who has not, in some way, been traumatized. Whether that trauma is real or perceived doesn’t really matter, because even imagined trauma is trauma to the person who went through it. The question is no longer if the medical model works; the question is how long can they continue to support it when it has failed so completely? Certainly, the numbers of reported mentally ill are not dropping. They aren’t even at a standstill. If “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results,” psychiatry in it’s current state is quite insane.

  • Interestingly enough, I took Chantix., and I have a small curiosity as far as whether it effects those deemed mentally ill differently than those deemed otherwise. My experience was that the drug worked as a far as smoking cessation provided you continued to take the drug. Once you quit, all bets were off. I didn’t experience suicidal thoughts or violent tendencies. I had some of the most bizarre lucid dreams I have heard of though. At one point I woke early having set my clock because I had to put my phone back together. I recall with absolute clarity getting wet and taking it apart down to sorting the screws the way you would a laptop to make sure everything goes back in the way it came out. That never happened. However, at some point, I did set the alarm for precisely that reason. When I stopped taking it, I developed sleep paralysis. That was a new concept for me. I suppose the concept of sleep had seemed safe enough up until then. I would have these nightmares where I was attempting to hide, usually under a bed, and I would know I was asleep, but I couldn’t move or make any sound. Eventually, this bizarre whistling in my throat would wake me fully as I attempted to scream myself awake. I cannot say with any certainty that the Chantix was responsible for that, but that weirdly lucid feeling was both alien and prevalent in both series of experiences. The reason I wonder if it effects the group differently is another weird theory of mine… I am indecisive, largely incompetent, and given to moments of anxiety when dealing with things as normal as getting dressed. Give me an atmosphere of absolute chaos. Normal people seem to break down entirely. Introduce me to absolute chaos, and I am suddenly in my element. I’ve watched this phenomenon on several occasions and from several different perspectives. My current working theory is that sane people really can’t process even the slightest introduction of “crazy” so I wondered if the studies took mental state into account, whether the conducted separate studies, or they chose the most likely option to create skewed results and simply didn’t note it as a factor.

  • Okay… seriously? In this country, in order to keep the mentally ill from being established as a suspect class protected under the law, Congress formed the APA, you know, because they were so concerned that falsifying their findings on abuse and discrimination and labeling them as disabled seemed like the best way to assure their rights were respected? Has this journalist been covering her eyes all this time?

  • You know, these guns and mental illness things always amuse me.Do people seriously believe that we have just been in lying in wait all these years for them to be distracted so we could have legally purchased weapons? First, if you want a gun, I promise you won’t struggle to find one. Second, just because the sane people in America are gun happy, doesn’t mean it haunts the dreams of the rest of us. I believe it is illegal for me to own a handgun in this state. I could really care less outside of the fact that it criminalizes the mentally ill.

  • This is horrendous. He should have been disbarred. Also, where are the defense attorneys in this? Plea deals are often misrepresented to the accused, but if her mental illness was so apparent as to move the attorney to sterilization, then she was clearly unfit to be tried for the death of her child. . I assume no one bothered to explain that to her when they threatened her with this.

  • I want to start by telling you my mathmatical aren’t just questionable. They are nearly nonexistent due to a complete and absolute fear of all things mathmatics. However, my first day of statistics, following the professor’s explanation of what statistics is, was so using this method to track the number of whales in the world. I could tag and track a population study, go back and again count the tracked whales and let this represent the number of whales in the world? But we live in Gerogia…. does that mean there are no whales?The one thing I retained from that course is simply that any detail, no matter how seemingly innocuous, effectively stacks the deck. When the public began to believe there was an notable spike in mass shootings, I ran the numbers. My version is extremely over complicated because I take the legal equality view of statistics meaning these two are exactly alike or they don’t count. I’m sure you know what I uncovered. Completely bogus. I use a similar method when I evaluated the published findings for Xanex. That was when statistics became a word game because, yes, the majority of patients did experience a notable decrease in panic attacks and anxiety FOR THE FIRST two months. After that, the majority experienced as much as 8 times as many instances with what appeared to be no end in sight. This is more than unethical. It’s a dangerous standard when you are dealing with a group that is already troubled and misunderstood. I don’t understand why they bothered to even to conduct a study. Their patients don’t have the luxury of saying no most of the time, and then it clicked. As a branch of “medicine” with extremely limited actual established science, the falsified data serves to establish psychiatry as medicine instead of what it is…. legal drug dealing with notably more established profit margins. I think medical research, in order to be established should be tested by completely unbiased team who know as little as possible going in and have nothing to gain. I also think that psychiatrists deliberately found to skew statistics even as a means to fear monger should be very publically be questioned by ethical review board.

  • Let’s be realistic here. Ernest Hemingway suffered from a family history of poor coping skills. while I frown on diagnosing someone from their public image with no actual contact or conversation, poor coping skills are certainly learned behaviors. There is no way to access whether his writer’s block was caused by the ECT or simply a fear he worried into fact. Having said that, there is absolutely no responsible medical argument to treat anything without an understanding of how it works. If ECT was the great white light of cures, it would have been overcome growing public unease on any of the countless prior attempts. As far as treating children, perhaps we should also start sewing twins together and any other number of atrocities visited on children under the curious eye of Dr. Mengele. In my mind, this and lobotomies and other such horrific theories are the equivalent of a child deciding to torture the family pet to death so they can see what happens. If you want to practice medicine, I expect something bordering on ethics and medical research. Not this, we think… we believe. it has been effective before…

  • I just read an article claiming new research has shown the ECT may offer a complete cure for depression. How very convenient. I wonder how they missed this magical cure during all the other times they decided to trot ECT back out. Of course. this time it can be used on children as young as six. Somehow I don’t see six year olds offering new information on long term debilitating depression. Is there some sort of medical study guide for how best to recreate the works of Josef Mengele or is this just that profitable? What would have even compelled a person to even try something like this in the first place? I also hear we are reconsidering lobotomy. Human beings are these wonderfully individual beings. What is it about that uniqueness that makes a person thing, I can fix them by scrambling part of their frontal lobe/

  • I sometimes wish they would ship us all off to an island where we can be resort to just being people amongst other people. The simple truth is the mentally ill are the most reliable scapegoat in a country who’s political propaganda depends on a fear mongering and having someone to oppress. Our inability to fight back has made us a perfect target, creating a profitable and politically motivated distraction (albeit distasteful). I don’t know when I stopped being a person, but I am tired of it. I don’t want to be ashamed of a system that should be more concerned with how morally repugnant profiting and demeaning a group they have deliberately robbed of protection and less concerned with the fact that my thinking is a bit more sideways than theirs. They go on and on about their invented levels of violence, but while I fit their definition of seriously mentally ill, I couldn’t live with myself and make the choices they have made. Also, You should consider a creative option like survival discussions or presentations. Psychiatric survivors know exactly what it’s like to live with mental illness, and we are particularly adept at offering solutions to living with and learning to understand the way mental illness works.

  • While I respect and admire your commitment, I don’t think persuasion is an option. While politicians and psychiatrists have malicious or selfish reasons for the way they treat us, the general public just doesn’t see us. They are not compassionate because they have been distanced so effectively that they don’t see us as people in the normal sense. It doesn’t help that we haven’t been willing to speak for ourselves, and the news media Has happily profited from their all shooters must be mentally ill media. That’s what they see., and they’re happy being lied to. we have got to start putting a real face on mental illness, and we’re going to have to start clearly objecting when they lie or misrepresent the mentally Ill.

  • I am glad that you have been both successful at fulfilling your dreams, and that you find some pleasure in helping others through your own experience. I’m sorry you view me as a person stuck in their situation. I have lost a lot to my diagnosis, but I do not feel stuck. Every day I am learning to live with who I am. This is the first time in 37 years that I have felt grateful and lucky in just being myself. I am learning to like myself regardless of all the breaks and damage. However, I don’t intend to defend where I am as far as recovery. My only intention when I responded was to try to give you an answer because it seemed important to you.

  • I apologize for my assumption. It was merely a common observation.
    When I say “people like us”, I am referring to anyone directly involved in the psychiatric system.
    What I don’t understand is, seeing as you are now completely healed, what are your questions so insistent?
    You are asking for what can’t be anything more than opinion, and I prefaced the statement to reflect that, but you reject, demean, and criticize any “answer” that is provided. This site is about healing, opinions, individuality, and each person is at a different place in their healing. It can’t be expected that any idea would be universal or absolute. However, I am glad that you have found security and healing in your own path towards coming to terms with what you have been through. I wish you the best.

  • I’m also frighteningly familiar with gas lighting. In fact, it and I still have a rather personal and extensive relationship… but that’s a tangent for another day. I think you seem very motivated, but I think, like most people who have survived the system, you are looking for a reason this happened to you. You are looking for accountability… I’m going to tell you something I learned the hard way… even with a congressional hearing, I never found those. something about people like us, coping skills, connections with others, stress management… whatever. Something about people like us make us different. Psychiatry is generally uncomfortable with that differentness so they tried to stuff us back into a neatly labeled box and likely broke us more than we already were. However, I think we have to be like this… one absolute that I can give you is that above all else, the underlying programming of humanity is survival. Fight or flight will always your last breath trying to save you. I think that that’s what we are. I think mental illness was the option between destruction and saving ourselves.

  • While I do believe I was harmed, I honestly think we are more than just the totality of our trauma. I think we are also, in some respects, people who are either equipped with poor coping skills, or worse, what we have encountered was beyond any preparation that we could have been equipped for. When I am asked to give readings, I often hear question that amount to, “Well, do you think that was the best possible way to have handled that situation?” However, I still haven’t found anyone who could propose a better option. Alex, you seem to be searching for an absolute here, and I think, as all of our experiences are unique, that’s going to be hard to find.

  • If you read the actual statistics, you will find that we peaked as far as number of mass killings in 1914. Since then, we have averaged roughly 34 mass killings a year. The only notable change was that in 2012, we did have a peak in number of victims, but it has since settled back to the normal average. What that means is that this could only be the real cause if it had been for over a hundred years. The difference is that social media and the news media new niche in creating stigma towards mental illness with its all-shootings-all-day take on reporting just creates an illusion that they have become more common place just like they have created the illusion that they are largely committed by the mentally ill. In fact, we represent less than 20%. The majority of mass killings are still committed by white, middle age, white collar, middle class men with no history of psychiatric problems.

  • I find it hard to believe that most people didn’t see this as the logical result. Money can’t buy happiness, but it certainly can present you with a bevy of distraction options. Also, you are talking about ending a life. I don’t know why so many people think this decision is just a roll of the dice. No matter what, ending your life is still final… That means that the most likely people to attempt suicide are people who feel trapped. There’s no way forward, and no way back. They just see an endless series of days and nights merely attempting to survive and never getting ahead. The only surprise for me was that women have finally surpassed men.

  • I have a unusual and completely overlooked option to suggest: Why don’t we award people with equal rights to the furthest extent of the law, stop labeling people under social constructs like disabled, unemployed, mentally ill, black, white… And we allow people to decide for themselves how they want to label themselves, and if people would rather live in prison than in an institution (which is really nothing more than the same concept with a different social structure), then let them. We have tons of prisoners who choose to spend most of their lives going back there. The ADA is nothing more than an obstacle Congress volunteered to put in place in order to avoid the mentally ill being labeled a suspect class which would have awarded them rights and protections… Protections from things like pharmaceuticals and coercive treatment…. Those should have been in place ages ago. The thing is… we are always in search of a new label that we can blame, fearmonger, and scapegoat in this country, and by keeping the rights and freedoms disproportionate in certain groups, we create groups that can’t fight back. Historically, we are that group. There are more than enough rights to go around and if that means people have the right to end their lives, the right to refuse treatment, the right to marry anyone they want (age restrictions and species still apply) It doesn’t really hurt the rest of us. In fact, it might make us more understanding and more human than what we have become. The problem with psychiatric drugs is simple… the cure is a lie. It’s not a cure…. it’s not even a treatment that can be proven… It is a way to subjugate and produce profit. My aunt recently died of cirosis of the liver… She was a wealthy, organized, functional alcoholic. If you had asked her what would cure her, she would have told you alcohol, and in the short term, she would have seemed right. No more withdrawals, social anxiety, panic, insomnia… all of those symptoms would have been gone, and she was “happy” being an alcoholic. In the end though, it was just as effective as most psychiatric drugs…. As long as you only looked at the right now, it seems like an effective answer. Treatment, or rather, effective treatment is about learning to live with things the way they are with the realization that they may never get better. You learn to live with yourself with all of your insecurities. You don’t look for a substance that might make you into someone else long enough to forget your insecurities.

  • You know, we came to this country fleeing persecution and oppression, and discovering that freedom was an actual option, we embraced oppressing and persecuting like a national pastime. It’s curious and disturbing the way that it has become a way of uniting the majority in the hatred of someone else… A few years ago, it was the LGBT community until they proved themselves determined, outspoken, and legally involved. Race wars used to be big, but we now hide that under different terms. Women are a random choice… but mental illness…. There’s nothing like a scapegoat that can’t defend itself and due to society’s view of the mentally ill as disposable, no one is going to take up the fight for us. There’s not threat of revolution, and the general public is not likely to defend us. After all, we are violent, we are selfish, we are dangerous… As long as they perpetuate the myth, the majority will be happy to see us locked up and forgotten because these terms… unreasonable, dangerous, criminal, selfish,… these terms have slowly defined us as something other than “human” in the way that they understand humanity. The same thing happened to the Indians. Savage, ignorant, violent.. we used these words and in our minds it vindicated us from the horrific acts we perpetrated against them. It didn’t matter than we were more savage, more violent, and moI re ignorant. The Indians even studied law in an attempt to fight us by our own rules… we just changed the rules. I may never understand why this need to oppress and divide is part of our nature.

  • When I first discovered Foucault it was in his speeches on psychiatric power, and I didn’t like him. It took me quite a while to discover that part of the problem was in translation. The other part was, though he sometimes seemed disgusted with the treatment of the mentally ill, he didn’t seem motivated to change anything. I know that Western politics and propaganda limited his view as far as the system in the US. He was very aware that it it part of American politics to subjugate and oppress one group to unite the rest. What I did learn from Foucault oddly enough is that Sociology is different in America than any other country, and I loved the foreign version. If you haven’t, pick up Emile Durkheim’s study on suicide which is oddly still rather relevant, but especially his Division of Labor.

  • While writing a research paper on stigma in mental illness coinciding with certain political and historical events, I read somewhere that the diagnosis of feeblemindedness was also motivated by the fear of interracial relationships becoming prevalent. It was already assumed that black people were less intelligent, and the diagnosis of feeble along with the popularization of eugenic theories was meant to discourage this along with profiting from the new diagnosis.

  • They say, Bring back the asylums, and untold numbers nod in agreement. Asylum is such a sanitary word. It promises safety and care. I wonder if they decided to clarify, how many people would still be nodding mindlessly in agreement. How about, Let’s bring back numerous, unexplained, neglectful, and violent deaths… rampant instances of sexual and physical abuse, deplorable conditions that mirror those of auschwitz at the height of Mengele’s reign.. Let bring back over medicating to the point that patients are unable to finish single sentences… Because that is what the asylum brought with it.

  • I experienced a more alarming version of this just before Thanksgiving. I was 14 when I was first institutionalized, and here I am at 37 watching the pumpkin goo drip onto the floor while I talked to my hysterical 14 year old daughter. She was in the car with her step mother on her way to be institutionalized for the first time. I had only a matter of minutes to impart what might be the most important lesson of her life. After I had her attention, I rushed forward with, “Do not fight them. Be amiable. Be candid. If you don’t, they can make this harder on you. You don’t have to believe everything they say to you or about you,. You don’t need to defend yourself to someone who barely knows you. You know who you are. I love you as you are at this very moment. I will love you at your very worst moment. Just this once, trust me.” She chose to sign herself in at the door, and I knew she had been listening. I don’t know if the world of psychiatry she has been exposed to is the same as the one I survived, but I couldn’t just hope things had changed that much. She was home before Christmas, and I won’t say she is better than she was. After all, there’s a level of manipulation to group treatment, and my daughter is a fast learner. I suspect she will get worse before she gets better, but those time travel moments were enough to assure me that no matter how bad things did get, she would always have someone to go to. I may have done the whole thing wrong, but unlike myself, she wasn’t alone, abandoned, and completely lost in a system that she isn’t old enough to understand, and I’m not cruel enough. (This might not have been the best example of what you were trying to convey, but it was that moment when I thought, I’ve been here before. I can change this.)

  • When a congressional hearing was convened to examine the rampant reports of abuse at one of the institutions I was held in, I honestly thought, This is it. They can’t ignore us anymore. 500 separate reports of abuse, the death of a counselor who was high and walking on the roof, and several suicides and escapes from a secure treatment center. I couldn’t have talked about it. In fact, it’s been 27 years. In all that time, I have never once spoken to my family about my experience. They did find a girl to give testimony… Those records are of course, not available to the public any longer, but I know the gist of it. Most of what I went through I wouldn’t ever be able to say while looking someone in the eye, much less addressing a room full of politicians. I know she was brave to keep eye contact, because the Representative of TN never bothered to consider her account. Instead, he brought up the reasons she had been institutionalized. He joked. He belittled. She didn’t rise to the bait. I would have thought that alone might be cause for consideration. His response? “And after all that, you were still able to so clearly and eloquently testify in a congressional hearing? That alone is enough to establish that the institution is a successful one.”
    I was still a little naive at that time, but I got his message loud and clear. I was insignificant. We all were, and the only reason they were even humoring the hearing was so that he could soothe the areas concerns about the big, bad teenagers locked up in the woods. Today, I’m still not there kind of better. Of course, if that was what they considered normal human reaction, I don’t want to be their kind of better.

  • It very much is the benzos, not you. Due to chronic anxiety and panic attacks, I took 6 to 8 mg of attivan. That was a good day. On bad days, I might take as much as 10 mg. I food this for four years. I worked, I drove, I went to school like that. The anxiety seemed to get worse. It wasn’t until I read a study about the actual findings in the initial research on benzos (that they caused more panic attacks over time) that it occurred to me: the anxiety is just building up. I’m not dealing with it so it’s just drowning me. I took myself off the meds (I don’t recommend my method lol), and after several months, I began associating my anxiety with specific causes. I couldn’t make these designs on the medication because the medication dulls everything. I was dealing with between four and six full fledged panic attacks a day. Now, I might have one a month. I have taught myself ways of managing the places and the things that cause this anxiety, and I’m honestly a happier person.

  • And it largely is. There are points in your life when you consciously choose to love a person because you’re stronger than they are, and they need you, and you do rationalize because it gets you through the worst parts. It is never okay to cause trauma or be abusive to those around you. I made the decision as a well informed and capable adult. In the end, I began to fear that the role I played in his life was causing him more harm than good, and I was forced to walkway. He never forgive me.
    You seem determined to read a lot of psychological confusion into my decision, and it is your right to do so, but you don’t go into a situation where a person is trying to withdraw from years of heroin use and don’t expect top get hurt. What you do do is learn to rationalize and compartmentalize because ur allows you to focus on that person and separate from their situation. There are probably better ways, but having not seen him in fifteen years, and to suddenly find myself in the middle of that, I played it by ear.

  • Just reading between the lines, but I assume he actually loved her. It is devastating to love someone and watch them not only destroy themselves, but also to punish you for wanting to love them. It usually means you stuck around for quite a while knowing that you were going to be hurt, but you weren’t willing to give up on the other person until your relationship became one long, string of abuses. It is generalization, but we all generalize our pain in an attempt to protect ourselves.

  • I think that some people are traumatized that it leaves everyone that comes into their life suspect for further abuse. That outrage and anger becomes a comforting constant in the chaos, and the one thing we can always depend on. The sad thing is that it envelopes all of their relationships because that is the one response they can fully relate emotionally to. So they pick fights and create situations that are resigned to end in further trauma for both parties.

  • I have a rather lengthy experience with dissasociation both first hand, and I watched as my mother was hospitalized for months with disassociative seizures. I will say that dissassociation is a pretty broad diagnosis because it is so closely related to trauma, and being that trauma is purely individual I assume it must be completely unique to each person who experiences it, and it’s sneaky the way the brain attempts to save you when you can’t save yourself. “We fool ourselves so much we could do it for a living.”

  • I think the idea of the refrigerator mother was to specific and all inclusive. I don’t doubt our parents played a significant roll, but then, I consider my totality of social life experience and I wonder if we aren’t seeing the rise of behaviors like mass bullying etc because society as a whole is getting worse.

  • You know, it’s funny… I spent so many years internalizing (or being defined by) my diagnosis of Bipolar 1, that I haven’t even bothered to look up the detailed analysis of my new diagnosis of Borderline. Of course, I should have know my new doctor would lean towards it the moment that he pointed out how loud my voice is…It seems to be the universal label for characteristics the observer finds unappealing in a woman. Oddly enough, I am no longer interested in being universally liked.

  • My use of the us vs. them paradigm is less a result of binary thinking, and more accumulated observation. For example: I have an unreasonable fear of the dark and closets. My world can be completely shaken by my inability to escape a small space with people in it. However, give me a situation of absolute chaos, a situation where all the logical people fall apart, and I am suddenly calm and decisive. Chaos is my natural element. and I don’t think that the rational mind can fully grasp the reality of that. While studying law, I had the privilege of listening to a series of very logical prosecutors explain the motivations of the mentally ill, and it took me a while to realize they weren’t being purposely obtuse. My theory is that the rational mind looks for the simplest series of connections, the same way an uninjured brain uses the most direct paths to access information or communicate with the rest of the body. However, people, particularly children, who experience brain trauma will slowly adapt to create new less simplistic paths to the same information to compensate for the damaged portions of the brain.

    I also agree entirely with your view that trauma is more the totality of experiences than a single moment when your world fell apart. One of the most interesting experiences I had with trauma was due to some unconscious but strategic disassociation. I lived most of my adult life with only a basic outline of my experiences, no emotional connections and only scattered actual memories. I was completely willfully ignorant of this fact, until my sister died suddenly and I experienced a handful of glimpses at my past. I spent the eight years prior to that in front of an audience. I was outgoing and social. Even though the events I remembered had happened fifteen years before or more, just experiencing those memories had a lasting impact on my personality that was immediate that I struggled to identify with my own emotional responses. In a matter of a year, the outgoing girl disappeared. I began having panic attacks, simple and social phobias, and anxiety. I stopped leaving the house. The best explanation I have is that my mind had stored the memories and the trauma. It was like I was experiencing it for the first time.

  • When I first began to study law, I was afraid that it would also change my personal beliefs. I am not religious, but I rather enjoy my almost childlike view of the world, and I won’t lie to you,,,, it did. I had to choose to place my own idealist views of the law up on a shelf and learn to accept the more limited and realistic views of American Law. I refuse to give them up though. I think it says something about a person to imagine an idealistic view of the law for everyone and not just themselves.

  • At some point, we all get to a point when we can no longer simply be the victim of our past experiences. We have a responsibility to try to shape what ever part of you is still together into something. However, I don’t believe in the defective brain theory. That’s been being tossed around since psychiatrists realized there was money in the medical model. It has never had enough actual evidence to support it, but the APA is never going to let it go because they need it to secure the future of pharmaceutical sales. Give it a few years, and the general public will believe that brain defects are absolute fact and only psych drugs can be used to treat it.

  • “And then I felt sad because I realized that once people are broken in certain ways, they can’t ever be fixed, and this is something nobody ever tells you when you are young and it never fails to surprise you as you grow older as you see the people in your life break one by one. You wonder when your turn is going to be, or if it’s already happened.”
    ― Douglas Coupland, Life After God

    You know, I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who wasn’t broken regardless of their psychiatric status. My experience has been that it’s part of the human condition. Trying to assess the weight of that destruction is a lot like trying to judge the clarity of another person’s mourning. The simple fact is, it doesn’t matter if people have suffered through far worse, when it’s the worst moment in YOUR life it is still the WORST POINT. Also, the only perspective of a disorder from a psychiatrist is going to be neat, sanitized and emotionless. The reality is, they can spend twenty years in that therapy room with people like us, and they’ll never define a disorder the way we do. Of course, you also have to remember that eye witness statistics report that 86% of eye witness accounts are false. I have a theory that psychiatry is a lot like eye witness accounts. Truth simply isn’t absolute. I mean, I was diagnosed as Bipolar 1 when I was 13. I am not 37 and being told that I am Borderline. No matter what you call it, the effect on my life has still been devastating. I am the product of the totality of my experiences and most of the experiences were pretty traumatic. Being broken is what allowed me to survive. To me, that’s what being crazy is… It’s your mind’s last ditch effort to save itself from an unreasonable and unrelenting situation.

  • I do not call the authorities. The last girl I spoke to, and I spoke with her for hours, I eventually had to tell her that while I wanted her to live, I also understood that it had to be her choice. It’s not really living if you don’t have options, is it? I also had to tell her that while I respected her decision, I was not going to tell her the best way to end her life. She decided to live, but I don’t take any credit in her decision. Over time and a lot of heartache that my words tends to only buy a temporary reprieve. The truth is that every day is a conscious choice because, eventually, you always find yourself back pondering that haunting question. Some days, the only reason I get up is because I know someone has to feed the turtles., and that may be the best summary of the question of suicide ever. I have no many things in my life at this moment that I should be thankful for, but on the hard mornings, they don’t make up for what I have lost. What gets me past it is these tiny, obsessive, easily depressed, little creatures that don’t want me, but do need me. I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but I don’t need and don’t want the lifetime movie script. I just need something simple to get me past the first step.

  • Stigma for suicide is different that stigma in mental illness…I always think about Durkheim’s study on suicide. Suicide is completely individual. The motivations, emotions, perspective of that person build a road map to this final outcome that is constructed of a life time of memories and experiences. It takes society less than five minutes to generalize the entirety of this person’s experience down to , “they were selfish.” or “they were looking for an easy way out.” or “they just wanted attention.” In my own suicide attempts, I never experienced any of those, and I have tried to explain that because part of the problem is that we don’t understand suicide. The thing is, people don’t want to understand. They want to be angry. I think they are afraid that understanding might mean taking the blame, and in order to avoid that, they turn the victim into a perpetrator, and the only thing left of him is, “he was selfish.”

    I’m including my recent blog post from an exercise where I was trying to come to terms with a friend’s suicide. In case you are interested.

  • My mother had moved to have me permanently committed before I finally saw a judge. I don’t know what that judge saw, but in that brief hearing, I was ordered to be released, and my mother was ordered out of my life until whatever time I invited her back into it. By that time, I had lost five years of my life. The experience was so traumatic that I retain very little emotional memory of the first nineteen years of my life. What little I do have still wakes me up at night. I wish I could adequately describe the feeling that accompanies my memories… It’s almost not human at all… I imagine it’s what deer must feel like when they turn towards the noise on the highway and find themselves trapped in the light from headlights… so afraid that even though they see and hear the care getting closer, they just can’t make any attempt to save themselves. After the last time, I promised myself I would never go back… outpatient, inpatient… I don’t care. I will either succeed without it or, if faced with no other choice, I will end things, but I will never be forced to place my safety, decisions, and well being in the hands of psychiatry again. Of note, It has been nearly twenty years since I was released. I’m still afraid of going back .

  • Well, of course not. We would fall into the same trap that the Dsm started in, before they got creative, by trying to assume that people fit into these niches. Whatever works for you should be the way you approach your mental health unless it’s harming you….

  • Personally, I’d like to see the APA dismantled from the ground up, but the APA isn’t necessarily psychiatry and voice versa. The Dsm should be abandoned, and dishonest, biased, and otherwise tampered with research should be abandoned. I don’t think I could settle for less.

  • I just noticed this attempt to write speculation into science when I read the DSM-V definition of mental illness. I was really surprised that they are now openly aligning themselves with psychobiology regardless of lacking evidence. I a lso read an article about psychiatry, genetics, and the law as though the author felt that genetics should be permissible as evidence that a person was more apt to have committed a crime.

  • What am I for? I’m for human rights. I’m for those rights always being available and not just when they’ve been violated so horribly that other people become aware that those rights are necessary. I am for equal rights for all because strengthening the rights of others doesn’t detract from my rights. It actually helps to strengthen them. The reason the problem hasn’t been solved already is because social standing, stigma, misinformation, and fear have kept the mentally ill from being heard. In fact, if you have a diagnosis, your best bet to secure basic human rights for yourself is to commit a crime. I am not antipsychiatry, I am anti anything that forces me to live in fear and be ashamed. As for meeting Doctor Frances in the middle, the problem with that is we have been doing that for years. If you don’t commit yourself willingly, then it will looked down on by the court. If you disagree with your treatment plan, you will be viewed as oppositional and lose your privileges. If you don’t take your medications, you will be placed in five point restraints. I have spent thee majority of my life compromising and accepting things like clothes and shower curtains and bathroom doors as privileges. I am not willing to be reduced to violence, but I’ve compromised enough. This doesn’t mean that you’re wrong or that we aren’t fighting for the same end result. It just means that I don’t think Doctor Frances and his like have the same motivations.

  • I don’t currently get a paycheck from the government, but one day, I probably will. You see, I have a thirty thousand dollar college loan for an education that I can never use because of a diagnosis I originally got when I was thirteen. Would I feel badly about accepting that check? No, I would not. I don’t think people are happily accepting a diagnosis for social security. I certainly hope they aren’t because there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think, what could I have been… I do know that the job market makes life uncomfortable for people like us. My last job decided that the three weeks of FMLA my doctor required to sort out my meds was too much so they accidentally leaked my diagnosis. Pretty soon, it was common knowledge that talking to me would label you a troublemaker. When I stood up for myself when they refused to allow me missed training (per the law) and instead, wanted to punish me for not having it, I was publicly humiliated so horribly that the next day, just trying to start my car to go to work sent me into a panic attack. I would trade any so called entitlements for the opportunity to be treated like a person.

  • It’s not that we don’t exist; it’s that we are not what the media and the politicians have advertised. We are not what psych 101 or Abnormal Psych prepares people for. In fact, I didn’t realize how different we were to the public’s expectations until, three years into a Bachelor’s in Criminology and Law, I found out I would never be allowed to sit the BAR. It was crushing to me, and I mentioned it without thinking in a class I was TA’ing. The other students couldn’t grasp it. I was a TA, but I was also the one who read everyone’s opinions, arguments, and briefs. I even had one guy ask if maybe I was just “a little Bipolar” instead of “really Bipolar”.

  • I appreciate the thought, but it wasn’t my intention to sound like I doubted it these things. Doctor Francis description of the mentally ill he speaks for was demeaning and dehumanizing. More importantly, the way everyone but us get to chime in on what treatment we require makes us seem unimportant. The diagnosed doesn’t mean we stop being incredibly bright and creative people, it means, over time, all that is still there, our minds ate making the connections, but the medications just trap is in our own heads with all those thoughts and the inability to live any of them. Quality of life shouldn’t be judged on the fact that the patient is currently compliant. I also want to remind people considering mandated outpatient and impatient treatment, I know its easy to forget those patients are people with dreams and aspirations. Commitment, forced driving, monitoring… that’s not living.

  • I was first diagnosed with bipolar 1 when I was thirteen. I’m now 37. Maybe it’s get better is some people, but it certainly hasn’t helped me. I have always struggled with fall and winter. My husband used to have multiple watch movies set up during the late fall because he was afraid that I could pose a significant threat to myself. This all ended last year, and I’m going to tell you what I did, and you’re going to laugh at me… I would get where everything was so overwhelming. It was almost like a physical force suffocating me, and I was so deep under the depressn … anyway, at some point I realized I was either going to have to end my life Or I had to find a safe harbor for myself. The first time I did this I felt really stupid. I made tea, but not just tea. I turned on music, Tom down the China that you always get got your wedding but you’re never allowed to eat off of, I lit candles, I even got dressed.. and by that time, I had been living in pajamas for going on three months. I made a spread of disturbing treats and’s when I was surrounded by simple but moment things, I have myself fifteen minutes. I can control fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes to enjoy how little things make me happy. I didn’t even begrudge have to wash all the China by hand. Tea is my thing, but find that simple thing that makes you happy and give yourself fifteen minutes. I honestly think the trick to surviving bipolar disorder is to choose to wallow in the depression (it’s easier) or decide to make steps to make your life better. Last fall was the best one I’ve ever had.

  • There are two things I’m currently doing. First, I’m writing my experiences. It’s blunt, horrible, and sarcastic, but it’s very real. The other thing I do is really hard. When a friend says something like; my ex is so psychotic, she must be bipolar. I correct them by informing them where everyone can see that I am bipolar. Most people don’t openly use Taoism slurs anymore because they are frowned upon by society. They referred to generalizations made about peopleand based on something that couldn’t change: the color of their skin. Using a mental illness as the butt of a joke is no different in my opinion.

  • Thank you so much for writing this. Your story is the closest to my own that I’ve ever heard. I guess it’s odd, but as I’m still working through I, if there’s ever an end to that, I found myself feeling so alone. I’ve never even told my husband the whole story because the little bit I shared… he looked horrified. In twenty some of years, my family and I have never discussed it at all. Most people can’t grasp the concept because top them dehumanization is just a word that they sometimes use when they aren’t getting the attention they desire. They can’t imagine the reality. Most people in this country today can’t really grasp the concept. All those rights they daily take for granted, but they can’t understand why I didn’t just walk out, why I was never allowed a lawyer, or why my extremely wealthy parents turned me over to the state…. I often thought of myself as the my mother’s sacrifice. I took the blame for her terrible actions, and my sickness and behavior was discussed in such detail most of the family is still openly rude to me now. They never noticed that our animals continued to suddenly die even after I was locked up and all those behaviors that made my reputation and gained my mother sympathy… I was gone for five straight years. It’s hard to be rebellious in a hospital gown and if you were caught looking at a male staff member… fifty pyramid pushups on your knuckles. We couldn’t even speak, see the news, or know what day it was. Anyway, I don’t want to overwhelm with my babble. I just wanted to thank you. I’m sorry you had to go through it, but I’m just so happy to not feel so alone.

  • No you are not alone in your opinion. And yes, 98% of treatment is voluntary because they sit you down while they fill out the paperwork and tell you that if you sign yourself in, you can always leave, but if you don’t you will have to go before the judge who will see your refusal as a sign that you needed help. From personal experience, that isn’t peace. That’s fear. Example: dinner is over and silverware counted by six, but at one, a fog horn is sounded and all the lights come on, everyone is ordered out of the beds, and to take off their clothes. One staff member says she hot so they open all the blinds and the doors, and the staff that walk by outside can see us. (ages 14-17) We are told a fork was missing at six, beds are stripped, we are all forced to assume the position for a full strip search, while the staff make comments about our bodies, followed by showers without shower curtains just like we use the toilets without doors and have to have someone approve it before we can flush. we aren’t allowed to put our clothes back or keep our towels on because someone might hide the fork again.. We sit in silence for hours. Finally, I got called up to the staff desk. They really didn’t like me in the beginning because I wouldn’t tell them what they wanted me to. I had nice things so they said I was a hooker or that I was in love with my dad… fun. I don’t remember what she said to me anymore, but when I walked away I heard them talking about the new shift coming in. The one girl asked about the fork, but the one who loved to torment me, I heard her say, oh, I never lost it. I just wanted to kill a few hours until shift change.

  • I think it was pretty clear when homosexuality was added to the DSM that it had less to do with treating a patient and more to do with keeping people who were gay from coming out openly. I wish I remember who had said it, but a psychiatrist was quoted in saying that Homosexuality would never be accepted until it was removed from the DSM. That label as a mental illness allowed certain groups to feel validated in their blatant prejudices. I truly hope you have come out stronger because of this.

  • You know, I’m not even fighting for good medicine anymore. At this point, I just want to be seen as a person. I want people to understand that just because a diagnosis was made, that didn’t automatically rob me of my intellect and my individual goals. How can someone claim that he is speaking in the best interest of people he easily dismisses to something much less than human? I can’t imagine that we view the quality of my life on similar grounds.

  • I was 13 when I was diagnosed as Bipolar. When my new psychiatrist argued that I didn’t fit the requirements, I was elated for half a second. Then he told me he thought I was Borderline instead. What’s really odd about all this is I’ve been so defined by the Bipolar label for so long that even I don’t know what to do now. It’s also not helpful to attempt to explain the new diagnosis with a joke about being “borderline psychotic”.

  • Dr. Francis,
    Personally, I would appreciate it if you stopped speaking for us at all. I’m not even sure you know who it is you claim to represent. Your description is insulting and demeaning, but more so, it shows more of an interest in selling a generalization than in the people you have thoughtlessly described as disposable. In all this talk about the moral obligations to the mentally ill and the medical treatment we deserve and the the bills that need to be written for our well being, I find it interesting that no one seems to have talked to use about how we see our well being. What is the point of deprisoning the mentally ill if you only plan to lock them back up again? I also wonder who it really benefits because, as convicted criminals, those people have rights and courses of action to consider if their rights are trampled. However, there’s nothing like a civil commitment to strip a person of any rights or protection. Isn’t that how the Adam Walsh Act works? Even though treatment is a requirement for them to be released as there is no real mental illness there is also no treatment. They can be held indefinitely. The problem in the US isn’t that we are “a small, very easily ignored, relatively unattractive, silent minority.” The problem is that people in your position have already classified us as less than human, a necessary sacrifice for the good of the many (or the profit of the few or the political podium of the couple).

  • The definition of delusional seems to be more defined by the outsider than the person experiencing the delusion. (And while I do not mean to spark a religious debate in saying this) If I talk to a person who no one can see, and I can’t prove to exist, I’m hallucinating. However, if I talk to God, it’s suddenly okay. It is not delusional to think that your morals are so superior to others that you should be able to dictate them into law, but it is delusional for me to think that I can live with this disorder without psychiatry and medications. In fact, I think the presence of a label of mental illness actually leads people to assume I’m delusional rather than making a thorough inquiry. Don’t get me wrong. I’m quirky, but I think that’s part of my charm.

  • I would be happy to do all of those things if he could just take a moment and explain how his medications work (treat) the disorders they are prescribed for, and also explain for me, how does one design a drug to treat a disorder if one doesn’t know the cause of that disorder? We don’t give patients chemo simply because their cough might be lung cancer, right? Also, if there is no alliance between Big PHARM and the APA, why do we keep trotting out the same disproved theories every few years or so instead of considering a different school of thought and making advancements? I know anything but the medical model would hurt the pharmaceutical companies, but as a doctor, surely, a cure would be better suited to the well being of your patients? In fact, if your patients are so very important, why is it we are the only people no one ever hears from?

  • I really want mine due to a rumor that seems to substantiate my belief that one institution had me drugged beyond any reasonable or beneficial level, but for just the records from that place, it’ll be around four to five hundred dollars. They can’t quote you specifically because they haven’t printed them out yet…. yes, the Secretary told me that. No, I didn’t bother taking her that word documents have page numbers. I find it seriously troubling that they can charge such a ridiculous fee, btw. Aren’t I just passing for something that is already technically mine?

  • You know. I’m always slightly shocked when people go to the trouble of uncovering the exact reasons to support a theory that electroshock is bad. They’re randomly shocking your brain (and no, I don’t want to hear the psychiatric argument of why they claim to know what they’re doing). You wouldn’t pump a person full of chemo simply because you thought they might have cancer somewhere in their lungs… psychiatry seems to enjoy all the benefits of being “medicine” and none of the responsibility.

  • So, after this has been brought to light, wouldn’t it be plausible to consider the possibility that psychiatry (in the form of his doctor) could have failed Adam? I say this not as an actual accusation, but considering that the mentally ill of this country are about to pay for crimes we did not commit, isn’t it fair to consider that instead of the repetitive argument and insinuations that the mentally ill have become increasingly violent, perhaps what should be considered is that psychiatry has become more disillusioned and nihilistic. In that case, is it really the best plan to turn the rest of the mentally ill back to the mercy of the APA?

  • The only way to increase the profit margin is through commitment and treating children. The actual law is of little to no consequence to most of them. (Torrey has his own benefits riding on that part.) They pulled a similar stunt in the nineties. It never ends well, but it certainly is monetarily successful, and the fact that people simply don’t see us allows the APA to continue to seem to have done something.

  • I felt the same inspiration when I began studying law. For the first time since my commitment over twenty years ago, I felt safe because I thought the law offered a way to protect myself. Several years later I discovered the truth… It doesn’t. The Bill of Rights, in my opinion, was a last ditch effort to preserve an ideal. The truth is, nothing so complex as rights ever had any hope of being secured by something so simplistic as a contract, and the concept of rights long ago was ill suited to define something as complex as human rights. Instead, I have to ask a simple and pointed question, why does your Constitutional Rights depend on the sacrifice of mine? Why is the general public so sure that I can’t have rights without denying you the same? I don’t want to sacrifice the 2nd Amendment, but you have to understand, you have legal remedies and protections in the case that you are denied your rights. I don’t. There was a time when I was a person. I had possibility. Now, I’m a diagnosis and a series of skewed statistics. Everyone keeps talking about violence even in the lights of biased or obscured research, but Violence denotes power and force. In stark contrast, I’ve been filling a prescription (and paying for it) even though I stopped taking it two years ago. I am too afraid of being hospitalized. After getting lost while out of town, I stopped to ask an officer for directions. His reaction to my obvious anxiety was so threatening that I no longer drive further than the ten minute drive to the store. My life is governed by fear established under the guise of medicine, and the reality is that the law doesn’t want to protect me. It simply doesn’t see me.

  • Well, psychiatry as we know it would have to be entirely demolished. It’s not effective, its extremely biased, morally repugnant, and their refusal to expand their options for treatment to anything that doesn’t give huge kick back to them along the way has made them more than greedy and dangerous, I would say they have set back possible options for people with mental illness fifty years. Psychology, while heavily dependent on some of the same schools of thought lacks the bias and is considerably more willing to branch out their studies. While I would still encourage therapy and certain medications of the mentally ill, I would say it was also important to embrace a stand that if the disorder is not a problem in your or other’s lives, the options of choosing to like yourself and do everything that everyone else does would be a A PLUS. Another important step I think we could consider is a very public campaign making people aware of dishonesty regarding mental illness in politics and the media, and work towards being established as a suspect class which we should’ve been years ago instead of allowing more power through the establishment of the ADA. If you remember, Adam Lanza was repeatedly called autistic in the media at the beginning, but a brief discussion with representation for a group of representatives for one of the autism volunteer groups, shut that up immediately. The same could and should have been done for mental illness ages ago.

  • While I agree that some of these terms have lost their meaning with the cavalier way we tend to associate them more, I have found that Americans can define dehumanization, most of them just can’t fathom the reality of it. The closest comparison I could make was the concentration camps when I set out to explain the difference between the definition and the experience. I’ll try to convey what brought the comparison to mind to me, but I’m not sure I have the eloquence to describe it the way I saw it. When Willard hospital was shut down following years of tumor of abuse and cruelty, the main hall was crowded with suitcases. The patients had long ago left, but the suitcases were still unopened. Everything was carefully and lovingly packed because there was the Radisson that being committed meant you’d likely never leave the institution unless they didn’t have a cemetery onthe grounds, but most usually did. So, patients brought everything they considered valuable in any way, but even though Willard had been operating at nearly twice it’s capacity and with a skeleton staff, the suitcases has never been opened. Patients sat across the hall largely unsupervised, but to afraid to even sneak a last look at their family pictures. Dehumanization is more than just the capacity to view people as nothing more than objects. It’s more than the deliberate and cruel murder of many… because the patient no longer sees themselves as human either. The power of the mental institutions is that they don’t require walls to keep you inside after a while. The fear stays with you no matter how far away you get. It’s this feeling of being trapped inside a box three sixes to small for a human being… like you need to stretch, but the feeling is so deep you feel it in your stomach and your crest and not just your muscles, and there’s a perpetual feeling of being on the edge of hysteria, but even now, and I still dream about it twenty years after the fact, even now that fear is so powerful I can’t let myself call out. Always, when I dream I’m back inside, they end with sleep paralysis, and eventually, it feels forever, this quaking sound wakes me up. The whistling is caused by trying to scream oe move, and finding that while I’m mostly awake, I can’t do either.

  • I have often felt like I was drowning in my diagnosis. It’s hard to feel comfortable in groups without the sinking suspicion that they know you don’t belong. A few years ago, I really didn’t think I was going to live through that fall… My husband brought home a box turtle to amuse me and show the cats. It was meant to be a fifteen minute visit, but having no experience with reptiles, I soon discovered he was a very sick creature. Half starved, eyes swollen shut, larvae in his skin, a respiratory infection, and the people who had last held him hostage had laquered his shell in nailpolish. (which would have allowed it to be absorbed into his bloodstream.) I called every group I knew, and no one would take him, but I also knew he would die if I set him free. We survived that fall together, and what I realized (and the reason for my comment) that if a turtle, an animal given to OCD’s, panic attacks, stress, anxiety , and one of the few animals that will commit suicide in the wild, could survive to be as ancient as they are, maybe I could too. I now take in turtle rescues, and this winter has been the best I’ve had in fifteen years. The funny thing about volunteer work and depression is that it takes the focus off the emotions that you are drowning in and gives you purpose. There were days when I slept with the turtle in my bed, and I only could continue to get out of bed by reminding myself that lights had to be turned on, food put out, skin treated… etc My mother is fond of telling me that I have always been difficult to love, but the turtles allowed me to feel like I was actively making a difference with my life while feeling loved without judgment. It’s been the best treatment I have found for my disorder so far.

  • You say uprising, and I nod sitting here while I read it, but I also know that I couldn’t participate. I want to, but even though it’s been twenty years, I”m afraid of being noticed or speaking too loudly. It’s been that long, and sometimes, somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, I think I’m back in the institution again and dreaming I’m in my own bed. All that time, and when that happens, those first fifteen seconds or so, I feel like an animal that has been caught in a trap..hysterical. I think they count on people who feel like i do. I know the high court questioned if our general disuse of the court system showed that a lack of access to the courts existed for the mentally ill in 94 when the APA was conceived. The truth of it is, we are enacting mental health courts to provide commitment options for those in prison, but the insanity defense is only argued successfuly in 0.1 of the proposed cases. In fact, a claim of insanity is liable to bias the jury against you in a criminal trial. I guess I’m crazy enough to be heard by a mental health court (where the ruling can always be biased by my diagnosis) but not crazy enough to not be found guilty. I have a similar argument with the APA. I was crazy enough to have five years of my life stolen without ever seeing a courtroom, but I’m not crazy enough to be considered disabled. And my psychiatrist who knows that, in order to work, I have to go back to my 6-8 mg of attivan plus another six or seven random prescriptions a day, but the same prescriptions I would have to take resulted in a chemically induced brain trauma last time. In short, it’s funny to me how my quality of life seems to be determined most frequently by the additional benefits it may provide to others, than by the actual quality of my life.

  • And ten years from now, I will be stunned by the shock claimed by the government and the general public when we watch another Geraldo expose. Of course, that was 1972 (at Willowbrooks, and even though it was reminiscent to watching America’s own Holocaust on the evening news, it must not have been that shocking. You see, that was the end result of what they called a “moral imperative” promising access to the best possible help too. I wonder how many empty pairs of shoes those facilities would account for if we really sat down and ran the numbers. Though it won’t be a popular consideration, I sometimes think how the (roughly estimated) 12 mass shootings since the 1970’s seem to capture the public’s disgust when compared to the 100’s of thousands that died in the “care” of institutions, the 100,000 of forced lobotomies, the over 60,000 that were forcibly sterilized… I know that loss is loss, regardless of the number of casualties… but there’s never been a knee jerk legislation by congress in response to those numbers.

  • As a person who weaned herself off attivan ( 6-8mg a day on a good day. Bad days were higher, every day for three consecutive years.) That was when I realized that they do know. In fact, the original study for xanex shows they absolutely know. It’s been quoted in pieces to advertise the drug, but if you read the actual results, you find that people only improved for the first several weeks. After that, the number of panic attacks rose as much as 7 times the number when the drug was started. Somewhere along the line, I think psychiatry in general began assessing the quality of patient’s lives from a very removed position. In fact, I think they stopped noticing that they reviewed our lives as good but only in the sense that they never had to live that way.

  • A few years ago, there was a Congressional Hearing regarding an institution that I spent time in. The complaint features over a hundred separate accusations of abuse and included a suicide that happened at the facility even though their should have been five members of staff on that open ward at the time. A girl who was there in the latter part of my visit was allowed to give testimony, and I thought, this is it. After all these years, someone is going to say outloud what I have kept silent for twenty years. See, i thought that, even if they found against our accusations, that we would have been heard, and there was no way to rob us of that. When she finished speaking, a Congressman for our state first made a series of insinuations about her character and how she had come to be there. I think he was hoping for a reaction, but she was honest, and completely calm. When he failed with his attempt to paint all of the accuser’s as drug addicts and morally vacant, he closed with how considering her beginnings, that she had managed to give testimony in front of Congress in this way served as a testimony that the facility was, regardless of their “mistakes” making a considerable contribution to the state… They never even bothered to discuss the accusations or documentation in front of them. You see, I could never understand how people could know what went on in these places, and allow it… That was when I realized that they were at least casually aware of how bad things were, and more importantly, they were willing to allow them to continue as long as they didn’t have to look at us. They were just humoring us by treating us like we had the same rights and capacity as everyone else in their minds…

  • So, let’s just be honest here? What this bill says to me is that Congress doesn’t so much want to cure mental illness, provide better life options, or a better quality of life. If they were concerned with those things, they might have bothered simply reading the statistics on violence and the mentally ill. In fact, if they were really worried that the mentally ill posed a real threat, they might have looked up those numbers on their own for peace of mind. That leaves me with only two other options for the motivation behind this bill. It supports their claims against the “violent” mentally ill while creating the illusion that they are doing something, and congress likes the mentally ill where they don’t have to look at or acknowledge them. It also helps that involuntary commitment is one of the few things that always raises the overall profit for the pharmaceutical companies. ( a more complicated legal aspect is that any time they “criminalize” the mentally ill and make involuntary commitment easier, that later serves to support things like the Adam Walsh Act and the ridiculous claim that sexual predators are mentally ill and must be institutionalized after serving most of their sentence and held until they can be properly treated for that “illness.” See, criminals, by fortune of their criminals acts, are promised certain rights and legal protections like the 8th amendment. Congress quickly discovered that the best way to rob someone of those legal protections was to have them found mentally ill when they argued for the Walsh Act, the problem is that the general public are also happy to ignore our situation if it gives them even the illusion of security. See, no matter how you sugar coat it, involuntary commitment equates to someone being robbed of their freedoms and rights. When this argument first resurfaced, Representatives kept arguing that it should be easier to have a person committed… but what I can’t help but wonder is should ever be “easy” to strip someone of their rights and freedom? In my mind, that should always be something we approach carefully and with real understanding of exactly what that means.

  • The representatives who argue for these laws always use the same tired slogan for these laws. They are making sure the “mentally ill have access to the help they deserve” or it’s their “moral imperative.” I disliked these types of laws to begin with because it’s all based on a lie. There is no way to predict what crimes could have been stopped had this law been in place, but they insist on rattling off some arbitrary number anyway. If they are so set on us having access to the help we deserve, maybe they should bother to inquire as to what we feel is helpful. This is somewhat like my psychiatrist assessing my quality of life… As far as a moral imperative, have you ever noticed this phrase only comes up when the people involved intend to stray as far from anything considered “moral” as humanly possible? I was first institutionalized in the mid nineties. I was fourteen, my family was wealthy, and my mother had no urge to ever see me again. This was a magical combination back then. It would be five years before I was free again. As a minor, I would never see a lawyer or a judge. I won’t tell you what I went through because it’s horrific and because it tends to overshadow my point.. See, the one thing I learned very well in the years that followed was that treatment cannot and does not prepare you for the reality of the outside world. The only effective aspect of these programs was their ability to instill fear. It has been nearly twenty years since I won my freedom in a court, but that fear has never left me. In my mind, laws like this one, mental health courts, and the like are nothing more than political propaganda, and our Western version of political psychology is very dependent on having a scapegoat. Having said all that, if you find yourself in a position where you need help, you should seek it in any program that offers you the help you need, but let’s face it, we already tested this method of treatment for effectiveness… starting with Bedlam. It has never worked, and the few good things it has delivered are always outweighed by the damages it leaves in its wake.

  • I don’t know if I was mentally ill during my first diagnosis. I actually don’t even remember it. I was six, and my mother likes to regale me with the story. The words sound like she should be embarrassed of me, but like all of her best remarks they are said in a sugary sweet voice like she’s telling me some well kept secret. I guess she didn’t like that diagnosis because I was with a different doctor six years later. I still don’t know if there was anything mentally wrong with me then, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that if there weren’t a few things sideways in my head then, by the time they were all done (and they’re never done because she can call or drive over even now) there was quite a lot wrong. Some of it even I wouldn’t know about for another twenty years. One thing that has always stayed with me though is the way that diagnosis began to define me, and the way they used the label like a weapon. “It’s not our fault. See! There’s something wrong with you!” However, I have to wonder, do people with serious mental illnesses ever come from a family where there isn’t something notably wrong with them too?

  • I apologize because I’m going by memory, but the last major case I recall the High Court hearing on mental illness (without criminality) was Buck v Bell. Because of that, I can understand wanting to choose your argument carefully. and I wonder if it might end up hinging entirely on what the officer claims to have brought him to hospital for. However, having been through this process I also understand that it isn’t a lack of access to the courts that keeps us from being heard; It’s fear. I can’t even describe to you the things I’ve endured because I knew what a court would see me as. That’s the other complication: How do you get a Supreme Court Justice to understand that the system cannot work for you. Even if the doctor has never seen you before in his life, a judge will accept his diagnosis on some odd theory of osmosis, and when the standard is clear and convincing, who would you believe? The bigger problem is that Congress stacked the deck when they formed the ADA to avoid making the mentally ill a suspect class, and while it may sound paranoid, I do believe that was their intention. If we cannot get a fair trial for commitment, but we can’t be established as a group that should be protected, what choices do we have? Even with a Congressional Hearing (to close a facility), even though they allowed us to speak, they followed it with baiting the girl with her reason for being hospitalized, and ended with saying, “Since you were able to give evidence in front of a Congressional Hearing, that tells me the facility is making a contribution to the state..”
    Even though it was a while ago, is it possible to argue that due to Congress willful misrepresentation of their findings regarding prejudice, and the 2007 Congressional Hearing on bias in Psychiatry, the recent study showing that research was not being reported, a study establishing bias as a key factor in the new DSM labels, and the recent admittance of dishonesty from the APA in medications and with the public, shouldn’t a less biased remedy be considered?

  • What bothers me is that I believe coping mechanisms exist for a reason. We use them (healthy or otherwise) until we can find our footing and continue. The most basic problem with the medical model is that drugs don’t allow for any natural coping. How can a board of doctors not see the problem here? If you don’t cope or learn to cope the problem is never addressed so of course you would relapse once you stop taking the medication. The best thing I ever did was stop taking 6-8mg of attivan a day (a good day) and start looking for the cause for my panic attacks. They had never gone away. In fact, the longer I took the attivan, the more frequent they became, but without it, I was able to learn some of what caused them and to make allowances in my life. Sometimes those are big allowances. Sometimes I can’t, just physically can’t, leave the house, but I feel like I have a measure of control.

  • I want to be excited about this. I want to find it comforting. The problem is several things: 1st one of the few memories I do still have from the nearly five years I spent hospitalized as a child is that, within the first week, we all learned to sit very carefully. We weren’t allowed to speak, but it didn’t take long for you to learn to tuck your feet under you at all times and sit in the center of the bed. If one foot got too close to the edge, an alarm would sound, staff would come from all over the complex, we would be placed in a five point hold, and shot full of halparadol. I mention this because the UN (with us included) found that the halaparadol administered in order to gain compliance equated to torture in 197’0’s. Of course, that was Russia using it on prisoners and not a group of mentally ill girls. Then, I get to the bigger question: How does such a modern society willfully ignore this sort of abuse for so long without questioning it’s own humanity? It isn’t a secret, but we have to wait for a UN delegate to point out what should be painfully obvious. That’s why I can’t be happy to hear the UN’s demands. You see, in my mind, that means that the general public is more comfortable with the idea of the mentally ill being tortured than they are with the possibility that we think, feel, and respond just like they do.

  • I really enjoyed the 1984 comparison. My psychiatrist often takes the time to advertise the newest and greatest medications to me. For two years, I have responded with exactly the same answer: I will take it if you will tell me how it works. The first year was met with opposition. I had to constantly remind him that I am mentally ill; not stupid. Chemical imbalances aren’t real. The Fda does not recognize a class of drugs called mood stabilizers. No research currently exists to show that this new medication (which is frequently a renamed old medication will be of any benefit to me. I don’t mind repeating myself. The last medical regime left me with some trauma, and my main initiative at this point is my own quality of life. I learned the hard way that even with his nice diploma, he is not suited to make that decision for me. Sadly, that makes me a rarity. Most people just want to be normal so badly that anything their clinician offers seems like the answer. I talk to them while I wait in his office. People who can’t remember the most basic information. They shake randomly. They struggle to complete sentences. They look at the floor when they enter a public area because this is the cost of their “normality”. I wonder if they ever question why it is they still feel so out of place.

  • Ted, I worked in the death business in one capacity or another for years, and the first thing you learn is that everyone grieves differently. As long as they aren’t burdened by misplaced guilt or considering self harm, their grief is it’s own coping mechanism and it will continue until they are prepared to cope with the future… without the person they have lost… It’s not a disease, and dumbing down the natural process of mourning does not alleviate the need for it. Do you know what happens when people lack coping mechanisms? The Hemingways. Generation after generation of people who have no idea how to cope and generations of lives that were thrown away. Sometimes you have to be sad. It’s the reality of the human condition, and without enduring the sadness, there’s no way to gauge our happiness.

  • I first read this list when I finally agreed to take my son to be tested, by that time I knew something was wrong, but I also knew this wasn’t it. At that time we were seeing a child psychiatrist who was given to strong looks of disapproval (mostly for me) and that annoying smug voice they use to run over you if they suspect you might question them. I always tried so hard to be on my best behavior there, and I got all the way to “runs in inappropriate places”., .. I guess I always thought that running was a little like cussing,… part of the allure is that they aren’t appropriate. He declared my son ADHD and gave me a card for a therapist for my behavioral problems. I never used it and still run in inappropriate places, but more importantly, my son never even got the script filled. If he had listened to me he might have noticed that asperger’s was a better fit… though I’m honestly not sure how you could mistake one for the other. This led me to the conclusion that adderall must be the child version of prozac, and used to treat anything they can’t figure out or don’t want to deal with.

  • /She already had a diagnosis from a real doctor (not the two idiots it took to start this mess who are actually part of the learning annex of harvard hospital) . What I can’t grasp is where they found grounds to make her a ward of the state. That means she’s been officially removed from her parents care.. Also, I have neveer heard of a psychiatric disorder that creates phantom sensations in the child’s belly but are caused by her parents. I would sue that hospital into the ground.

  • I got to thinking about the way this was written , and it was never meant as an accusation against Robert. I just got a bit overwhelmed and angry. I’m up to my neck in surviving my birthday which is now accompanied by the first anniversary of my first love’s suicide which was loosely tied to anti depressants, and I just wanted to shake the whole dsm5 board. I do want to thank you, Robert, because it was your book that motivated me to stop taking my med, and if I can just survive this week, you’ll be able to tell the good it did me.

  • I would say the first step is for that community to see us. Most of the time we are spoken for my psychiatrists who have no idea what they are talking about or our parents or family members or worse, the media. The public needs to see us as people. Their ability to distance themselves so far from us is why it took so long to shut down old asylums, as long as that distance exists, it’s easier for them to turn a blind eye.
    As to the second, I would say you could set up websites and such, but it won’t have any effect until we can relate to them. A better idea may be to do presentations at colleges open to the public.
    Support for withdrawal can get sticky. Depending on the medication and reaction, we may have to get them medical help at some point. It might be good to be a available as a short term house guest. Especially if they have young children or are on their own. We want the transition to be as calming as possible for them, and it would give them someone to be there if they felt unsafe or needed some assistance.

    There are some serious problems in our weigh if we are seeking civil rights. In the nineties, the High Court became concerned that the mentally ill might be a suspect class. Suspect classes have an established history of prejudice and abuse by the general public and may find it difficult to be heard legally. It is my opinion that establishing us that way would have disallowed forced drugging, demanded adequAte treatment, and established proof to be committed. I think this because Congress randomly volunteered to do something, and that’s never a good sign. They did the studies on prejudice and access to the courtss, and instead of granting us rights, they formed the ADA. They also states that any feeling of prejudice was in our minds essentially. About two years later the studies were found, and they established without a doubt that a nationwide prejudice towards mental illness was rampant.

  • They government has found some neat ways to use this in their favor. For Example: The Adam Walsh Act. (The act allows permanent incarceration for anyone deemed a sexual predator and mind you this is all done through federal even though criminal has always been the state’s place.) So that you know, the criminal law is about whoever we hate the most. Howev er, just by proxy of being a criminal, you are protected by your Constiutional Rights.. and that presented a big problem because you can not be tried for a crime you might commit in the future. So, officials wait until the time is almost served , and they have them committed and later brought before a judge to establish that due to mental illness they are a serious threat to children and once they have been treated, they can represent their case. Notable: The quickest way to strip someone of thei rights is to have them committed. Also, no such mental disorder actually exists, and since no actual disorder exists, no treatment exists, so how do they expect to be cured and released. I bet Congress is still patting itself 0n the back for denying (and lying to do it) suspect classificaation .

  • So they’ve been relying on Foucault’s tactics during his Psychiatric Power stage. He referred to hid patients as subjects from the word subjugation. Including influencing the public and creating stigma and securing them more money.then you have the suicides and other drug related side effects. Tampering with research in order to use antipsychotics on children, and if you had just admitted you were wrong, people might still be alive today and I might have a future. I’m literally shaking. Oh, and Torrey could have had us all permanently locked up due to agnosia.

  • I’ve always wondered about this. Living in the States, I know that electroshock therapy requires informed consent. The problem is that one of most common reasons for its use is that the patient is in crisis and unresponsive to medication, right? How on earth can you be in crisis and unresponsive to other treatments to the point where electroshock is your best option, and yet, informed enough to give consent?

  • Jonah,
    Let’s examine it from a different perspective: the reality is, embrace it or not, I am defined and confined by it. Perhaps, saying I was embracing the label pushes the limits of even my most hopeful moments. The simple truth, it’s like living in a perpetual state of victimization. Sometimes, I think I can rob the diagnosis of some of its power if I could embrace it. Either way, there is no escaping it.
    Also, I believe the original diagnosis was called melancholia, and you’re right. It isn’t a true illness. Sometimes, I think of it more like a strategic and poorly developed coping system. I’ve always wondered if that isn’t where psychiatry went so badly wrong. They are so insistent in folding people neatly into these little boxes they’ve created for them. But people are individuals with unique pasts that have created who they are. Maybe psychiatry can’t work because you can’t treat the culmination of unique life experiences that create the unusual behaviors they label as an illness by trying to force it to conform to medical diagnosis.

  • If you commit a crime and are mentally ill, by virtue of your criminal act, you are awarded rights and privileges. Psychiatric commitment is the only absolute way to strip a person of those rights. How do you think they continue to hold sexual predators after they gave served their time? They have them committed. There isn’t even a true psychiatric diagnosis, but they don’t really need one. They just need a educated doctor to remind them of their moral imperative and that this is for the greater good.

  • Do I believe bipolar disorder exists is probably an easier question. It’s such an old concept. I think the earliest description I’ve read comes from the second century, but honestly, I think I’m more comfortable with the title of manic depression. It’s hard to deny the existence of something so old, but then again, unicorns go back quite a bit, too. More importantly, do I think it’s a mental disorder in the sense that psychiatry embraces today? I’m not sure. I mean, we are really talking about people who think differently, right? Or feel differently… then, do I think I’m bipolar? It’s hard to think of myself as being ill, if that makes sense. I think that sometimes I feel things deeper than other people which goes against the nearly sociopathic description that the apa embraces. I tend to think of it like thinking sideways, and I wonder if it’s not a learned coping mechanism more than an illness. I know that, considering I don’t like people very much, I am very in tune to their emotions and tend to read them well. But again, I can’t say that that is a sickness. It can be very difficult. Sometimes, I feel like I’m looking into an abyss of emotion I just can’t explain, but through the years, I’ve also learned to be extremely guarded about my actual feelings, and considering that I don’t have a very clear view of my own life, perhaps, those emotions are something more honest..feelings I simply haven’t faced or can’t recall. I tend to think that there is something decidedly wrong about me, but I don’t believe that psychiatry had any hope of explaining it. They simply want to dull it down so other people don’t have to accept it. It isn’t about making sure I live a better life, but instead, about making sure I live the life they think I deserve. In my case, embracing doesn’t mean to believe in. It means that the label had taken everything it can from me, and I won’t allow it to only be a source of negativity in my life. If people respect or admire things about who I am: hi, I’m bipolar. I want them to remember that moment when who I am shook the definition that they have applied to that label. I want them to question what society has accepted as truth about the term. Psychiatry has certainly rewritten their definitions for their own purposes, why can I blur that definition slightly? So, when I define embracing, I mean that I plan to make it my own. After all, we aren’t defined by the words that are used to describe us, we define those words.

  • When I say internalizing my label, it really has taken everything from me. My mention of my disorder during my divorce even thought I had actively sought and maintained my treatment automatically awarded custody of the children to my husband. When he became angry at me six months later, my diagnosis was enough to tie us up in court for six years as he claimed I was unstable. Six years and I couldn’t even talk to them on the phone. The final loss was a few years ago. I had gone back to school because my psychiatrist had said I wouldn’t be capable of making a semester. I accidentally studied law: constitutional law just seemed natural to nee. There’s no money: it, but I could protect people from living my life. For the first time in my live, I felt safe. I was respected, a ta, taught the bill of rights in my flamboyant style to several schools of kids. When my job violated hippa in order to force me to quit, humiliated me… I randomly told my advisor. The semesters to law school and forty thousand in loans, my advisor told me kindly that I would never be allowed to sit the BAR. It was crushing, but after several weeks, I settled with working in any capacity to prevent the injustice I’d been forced through. The reality is in this state, I can not be registered or licensed without a psych evaluation. I can’t work in any capacity under the state or local government. My degree would be worthless. I can’t even pay back the existing loan, so when I say I embraced my diagnosis I did two unheard of things in my last two weeks at college. I wrote a detailed account of one of my suicide attempts to establish the failure of psychiatrists predictive social behavior. It is still taught to upper level psych students as the real behaviors to like for when dealing with bipolar disorder. Then, I wrote a research paper for special research in psychology. It followed the history of every atrocity against the mentally ill while linking the necessity of that abuse to h historical state or political action. It included a psychological profile of myself starting at age seven and the impact of the state created stigma on me. Both would-be ended any hope of a career for me if it hadn’t already been so absolute, so I embraced my diagnosis because there was nothing left to lose, but by admitting my diagnosis, maybe one day one of those aspiring psych majors will see behaviors the dsm doesn’t describe and save a life. The paper was inflammatory, but true and unbiased and it challenged the way we view stigma and established clear abuses in our society and I watched a class of people who I had taught to write legal briefs correctly judge me. It was hard, but those were my Ladd chances to make a difference, even a small one. Now, also without sleep, I should stop spilling my life story. The more I ramble the more likely you are to get hopelessly overwhelmed. it happens to me all the time, and I’ve lived parts of it

  • I live in the US, and things are a bit different. Pharma is the largest contributor to every aspect of our government. It is my view that this is why the ADA was created at random rather than grant those with mental illness the protections of a suspect class. The denial of established prejudice in Congress findings later, and their general stance to ignore the mentally ill has allowed the preferred method to boost drug sales. Involuntary commitment. Every few years, fear mongering and promise of public safety (from the mentally ill) becomes a topic of discussion that leads to legislation to simplify involuntary commitment. Having been a victim of that system last time around, I want to say everyone involved is morally vacant. I think the truth is more complicated. When I watch Documentaries on the Aborigines, my failure to relate to their lifestyle and the fact that I have never actually been to that part of the world creates a distance because I can’t imagine living that way. I think the rise in involuntary commitments, the illusion of dangerousness that spurs it, and position/class differences makes the people in charge of pulling those drugs more apt to visualize a number and not human lives, and .7 looks much less dangerous than several dead teenagers. Something needs to change though, and quickly. In this country, a involuntarily committed person is only secured the right to treatment that may improve their circumstances. The established fear and prejudice means we have no rights and no voice to protect ourselves.

  • And yet, they’re trotting out two old favorites, brain defect (now with completely made up terms that allow anyone who doesn’t think they are mentally ill to be suspect and involuntary commitment. They do this with the same failed theories expecting different results, the power of psychiatry now is that they can lie blatantly about their findings, and no one will question it. What I can’t understand is their absolute refusal to note they were wrong and try something different.

  • The reality is that what psychiatry had always lacked in diagnostics, unbiased research, and procedure, they have made up with political psychology, fear mongering, and carefully worded manipulation. People are often glad to have a label they can associate with the misunderstood behaviors of those they love. Having a label makes it less unknown. It’s something that has happened to other people, and they don’t have to feel so alone. I imagine it leaves a parent feeling unsure and lacking control. The medication allowed her some assurance even though it was just an illusion, and now, she’s afraid and lacking out. I think the illusion of security meds create seems safer than trying to get real help.

  • That was actually intentional. See, it’s impossible for me, not being him and not having any formal training, to claim that last as a statement of fact or even an educated interpretation. My assessment of his actions is quite literally a opinion I formed by how I felt about his actions. I think our problem in communication may stem from a mixture of text being a poor medium, and my tendency to associate feeling along with definition to certain words. Also, having studied law, I rarely speak in absolutes unless it is deliberate and I would never use think in a statement of fact. Recently, I have discovered that a large number of people seem to view your thought statements and personal and defend-able stances. I have an unusual view of my own thoughts and opinions.

  • I know how childish this question sounds, but how can people, especially educated doctors,do these things to another person? We are back to the government flirting with the idea of involuntary treatment and forced medications, and I watch Torrey state rather flippantly, that these past side effects and disasters, that psychiatry wasn’t to blame. They had not known about the side effects. shouldn’t that be a matter of interest when advocating to drug people against their will? The lying, fear mongering, and the pompous refusal to even explain their opinion….. The sad thing is that I’m the one who is mentally ill and “dangerous” but I could never treat another living thing with this level of disregard. And honestly, I’m afraid of them.

  • I am not offended by you trying to explain my mother. I think in one way or another, my whole life has been about my inability to explain my mother. I am familiar with Munchausen’s, but I suppose I always associated it with physical illness. I even think those mother’s loved their children, even when they killed them. Or maybe they couldn’t understand love unless it was in the form of pity. I spent 27 years thinking if I could just do better, she would love me. I never told anyone, and in all this time. I have never even brought it up to her. I believed every accusation she made because I was sick and couldn’t trust my own memory. Plus, everyone adored her. Why would she treat me differently? When you doubt your own thoughts, enough you feel like you are actively losing your mind btw, and even after I was released, no matter how cruel she was, I always believed her. I think I officially checked out of my life around the third consecutive facility. I spent the next 10 years slowly killing myself. I couldn’t have told you why, but I never thought about my past. Occasionally, she would do something, and I suspected something, but it was so absurd. Like a V.C. Andrews novel with the absence of incest. Life doesn’t happen like that. Then, at my sister’s funeral, she said something so horrific in that sticky sweet voice she always uses when she is going to be cruel, and my father interrupted her. Stopped her. I realized that he knew. I changed after that. It’s been eight years, and I only have glimpses. The events of our lives shape who we are, and just those few images… they reshaped everything about me. Real dehumanization, and most people can’t grasp the scope of that word, but real loss of self, I’m not sure you ever are whole again. I am not the person I was, and I’m not sure how to explain how terrifying that is to anyone. My life now is governed my odd fears, most of which I can’t explain. I can assure you, my mother never harbored any delusions of love for me. Even now, it’s difficult to accept the truth of my life. After I started to remember, I thought I was losing my mind. I couldn’t believe the things I was seeing. I began to write the bits and pieces down. I had to… put some order to my life or I didn’t think I could live through it. A college professor of mine always asks me to read at writer’s workshops, and it’s funny… People always say how emotionally immersing my work is… they always follow that with the complete assurance that it is fiction. So, maybe not a happy path, but it was like I was telling someone finally. My diagnosis has quite literally cost me everything, but In the last 7 years, I’ve begun to get used to this person I’m becoming, but I also learned to fear psychiatry absolutely. It took me until last year to stop taking my medications, and I never told my doctor. I still go see him. I still fill his prescriptions, and I completely believe that psychiatry is no more than greed driven therapeutic nihilism, but that little label cost me more than I could have ever imagined. It robbed me of a life that I could have had. In fact, I try not to think of what I could have been. When you are defined by your failures, you don’t even realize your possibility until you have wasted it. Also, I didn’t understand how that diagnosis could close so many doors.

  • Well, you also have to remember the court works differently. A commitment hearing is a civil trial. A criminal trial requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt and it only seeks to establish a single past action. An involuntary commitment only requires the evidence be clear and convincing. In simple terms, the judge has to have a “firm belief” that you were a danger to yourself or others AND magically predict the probability that you may pose a threat to either in the near future. For that, they need a psychiatrist who is an expert witness who diagnoses you and predicts your future behavior. Who would you believe? However, you are promised the right to treatment as long as it will improve things.

  • I live in Georgia (which also requires disclosure of past hospitalization for mental illness to acquire state licensing or certifications in any job. However, I was checking out TN earlier today and noted that they have a bill up which will allow the same thing as far as assets. I believe the county covers the first month as they can hold you for a commitment trial for 30 days. Georgia has some real doozies though. It’s been a while since I read it, but I believe the state only provides representation at the first trial. If you go back to court, you are responsible for your own lawyer or lack of one. Also, the time period between when you can argue your case again is ridiculous.

  • Like most medical, they charge the insurance company more. A majority of insurance companies will pay for 30 days. Of course, it’s likely to exhaust his mental health coverage for the year. In my state, they seize your assets which are then used to pay for your commitment until they let you out. Isn’t that lovely?

  • I apologize. For me, thinking is sort of a vague imagining, not like knowing or arguing or even claiming. However, feel works just as well. It just seemed like a self destructive stance would have been to wander off with no consideration of his safety and then refuse hospitalization (which we both know they were going to take him one way or another). His refusal might have felt freeing, but it would make things more complicated later. So, I felt like he made his decisions less as a knee jerk emotional response, and more of a choice. Also, I agree with you about those places. I will never go back.

  • Mr. Torrey, It’s time to admit it. You don’t understand anymore about the way I think than when you started all those years ago, and you cling to the same failed and hopeless theories like repeating the same mistake can protect you. Admitting you are wrong means people like me are no longer safely confined to label and tucked neatly away in little drawers where you don’t have to see us. That’s the APA’s guiding star. Keep the mentally ill out of sight and compliant, and you’ve distanced yourselves so completely that it doesn’t even occur to you that that isn’t living. Its storage. It can’t prepare you for the reality of the outside world. All those carefully worded, upbeat catchphrases… But it creates a never ending cycle because the world is not going to change for us. Perhaps, your theories work if you trap us inside and never let us out again?

  • People don’t understand the weight of a diagnosis. I can only do so in retrospect even though I was diagnosed at 13, I didn’t really understand until I was in my thirties. The change in the language of the mediator during my divorce after I noted that I was bipolar. My ex “stated” things. I “claimed” them. It was enough to award full custody of our children to my husband, and when he became vengeful, to tie up the courts for six years that I was not allowed to see them. The biggest realization for me was when I was 27. That was when I realized not everyone has perfect pitch. Since I was 4, I taught myself to play music by ear on multiple instruments and could play back pieces after hearing them. You see, I was Bipolar. I was a problem. My mother thought lessons would be wasted on me so I never realized it was special. I also never did anything with it. The finale was three semesters from graduating pre-law and 40k in loans when I was advised I would never be allowed to sit the BAR. In fact, as I struggled to accept this, I found that I could not even be certified by the state in any profession due to my past. That was I realized the doors had closed all those years ago, and I was simply hearing the echo.

  • I was 14 when I was institutionalized. As an adult, commitment means you have no habeus corpus options to protect you, and a civil trial is different than a criminal one. Criminal trials means evidence, facts, what I have or haven’t done. Civil means the court must decide the possibility of my future actions and with less demand than beyond a reasonable doubt. However, as a juvenile, you have no rights anyway. four years of my life was gone, and I never even saw a courtroom.

  • When I first heard about the shooting, all I could think about was a profile I developed in college around a shooting in a daycare in Ireland. I remember the similarities I found in that and other mass shooting cases involving similar locations was that the shooter was a socially awkward person with a message. Usually, there was a history of letters or calls to newspapers, government, anyone they saw as authority, and they were repeatedly ignored. The message would become all consuming. That’s why there were never plans to escape. Their life has no meaning but being heard. They choose the location because it can’t be ignored. Daycares, Schools, Churches… Where the shock and betrayal felt by the community will assure him that his message is received. I couldn’t help but wonder if a similar motivation was involved in these.

  • Though I was diagnosed as Bipolar at 13, I do not believe in childhood mental illness. Bipolar disorder was first notably documented in the 2nd century, and what they want me to believe is that a disorder that hasn’t changed in all that time suddenly decided that it could appear in children. Here’s what I know from experience with childhood diagnosis: My mother suffered from anxiety and what I hope is psychopathy. I hope because the idea of a break in reality allows me to believe she was not aware of her actions. I was not physically abused. I was a sacrifice. My mother was a wonderful parent to my two siblings because she could blame all of the horrible things she did on me. So much so, that I still can’t differentiate between my memories and hers. This doesn’t sound traumatic, but I became her way of gaining pity from others. This meant she did more and more horrific things. She had me placed on ritalin first. When that became unnecessary, I was presented to a series of psychiatrists. By then, our pets had a habit of disappearing or turning up dead. I don’t know if I was bipolar then, but I was screwed up enough that I doubted my own memories because a mother would never do those things. After a series of dissociative seizures, she forget 15 years and thought she was twenty. That made a teenage daughter inconvenient. Though my family was wealthy, she made me a ward of the state after reporting me as a runaway (I was at school) and I was hospitalized until I was almost 18. Even after that, I kept coming back thinking, one day, I would be good enough. Even now, I have not spoken to her about any of this in twenty years. I forgot most of my childhood. I have only a basic outline and few personal connections to my past. I don’t know if I was Bipolar at 13, but I know that I was not okay. I call myself Bipolar 1, but in my own mind the one diagnosis I know for sure is disassociation. I know I didn’t belong in the hospitals or the wilderness camps. I was a virgin who had just been elected to homecoming court. The doctors never noticed anything odd, and I never told. After being repeatedly humiliated, I learn to tell them what they wanted to hear, and I lost any sense of who I was. I don’t think I was Bipolar at 13. I think the truth was my mother wanted a diagnosis, and she found one. That’s what mental illness in kids is. It’s not a true illness, but a sign that things are very, very, wrong

  • Mr. Whitaker, the truth is, that while you’re book eventually brought me a wonderful understanding and sense of control over my life, but in the beginning, I felt so lost and hopeless and angry. The reality is, that if her son has spent anything near the time in psychiatry as I have, he probably felt the same facing the reality that the people we trusted or complied with, who often waived our freedom over our heads, were using us or lying to us. The truth that the boys mother has to face is that, while the meds played a part, facing the reality of everything we have sacrificed with no hope of a better outcome is just as likely to have motivated his actions. However, you gave him a choice, and in our lives, we don’t always get many.

  • I stopped my medication three weeks ago. I have been taking some concoction of drugs for twenty some odd years. The first week was horrific. I thought I was dying. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t function. I was anxious, prone to random bouts of anger and frustration, and incredibly tired. I shook, had migraines, and experienced nausea and muscle aches. Last Saturday, the sunlight began to seep in at the edges. I was honestly surprised at how pretty the world was. I had been so angry and hopeless for so long: lost really. My idiosyncrasies are still there; I can’t sleep with the lights off or with closet doors open, and I still have moments of anxiety where I have to sit down and really examine what it is I”m so afraid of, but the constant up and down cycling of my Bipolar Disorder seems very distant to me now. I still cycle. I’m not saying I was magically cured… but the constant, daily, emotional roller coaster has slowed to something I can almost manage. Looking back, I wonder when I was just me (not manic or depressed me) in the last eight years. I don’t know if this is going to go well, but for the first time in all these years, I was happy to me while I got ready for bed on Saturday night. My house is manageable and my day is. I’m still grappling with words and things that I’ve lost over extended time medicated, and it always makes me feel ashamed, but I’m also finding methods to overcome even that. I appreciate your honesty in regards to your experience, and I appreciate this site. I feel like I finally had the guts to try something different, to want something more from myself than just walking through other people’s lives. I wanted one of my own.

  • After five years of institutionalization (in which I never say a lawyer or a judge until he granted my freedom at ordered my parents out of my life until that time in which I invited them to be part of it. It has been 22 years, and I still wake up thinking I’m still there. That feeling is like the need to stretch but so intense it turns your stomach. Then panic and despair. On other nights, I am paralyzed in my dream reliving the few memories I have until I finally can scream and wake myself up. I would rather die than live like that. Anosognosia is nothing more than an profit diagnosis. I also like the added insinuation that we are so incompetent we can’t even tell we’re incompetent. I like how Torrey notes an inability to understand how someone can be sick and not know when the symptoms are so obvious. Yes, when you make them up at your convenience I”m sure the symptoms become quite striking. I think, in order to strip someone of every aspect of their humanity, you should have to endure it yourself first. I don’t think they would make it a day.
    On a legal note, I would like to know what makes judges equipped to decide the severity of someone’s mental illness?
    And if I was their lawyer, I would demand to see clear and concrete evidence anytime a psychiatrist claims to have neurological proof of mental illness. Further, I think if they want this level of power and control, they should be held to the same standards as a criminal commitment. If I’m going to be treated like a criminal, I’d like to at least have the right they are afforded.
    I find it insulting to my intelligence that at this juncture we’re still pretending that you are motivated by the greater good. Usually, the greater good gets considerably less monetary perks. The best thing for the mentally ill at this juncture would be to rid ourselves of any and all contributions by NAMI, APA, ADA, psychiatrists, and the media. At least that way, I wouldn’t feel like I was actively participating while they further their own monetary and political agendas at my expense. I honestly think we would do less damage representing our own cause, and our complacent passive acceptance of the ADA instead of proper legal guarantees is ridiculous. I don’t want their limited protections of the rights they will allow me as long as they don’t interfere with their campaign contributions. If my complaint is constitutional, I should still be granted constitutional review. It is blatant proof of prejudice that Congress instead decides to create the ADA and hide their findings of long term stigma and prejudice. As to findings of risk and possibility of dangerousness, as heinous and cruel as these shootings have been, they don’t hold a candle to the danger presented by people in power who are willing to sacrifice so many human lives and hopes for monetary gain.

  • Thank you for this. I don’t know when I stopped being a real girl, but even though I had a basic outline of my history, I never questioned my complete lack of personal and emotion connection. What little memory I had seemed unreal or like I was watching it happen to someone else. Someone I didn’t know and couldn’t relate to. My mother is kind and honest, and I’m sick and “difficult to love”. Do you know how it feels to question your repeatedly question your reality? It’s like a constant fear of slipping into madness. The connection that my father knew a decade later gave me bits and pieces of my past I never wanted. Twenty years of silence, and when I’m with them now, I find myself going over those accusations in my head now until I revert blaming myself. Or worse, wondering what I could have been had I been anyone other than me.

  • Anosognosia goes beyond furthering just the ideology of Mr. Torrey. It creates a shield for pharmaceutical companies by claiming this damage is the cause of the disorder instead of admitting the possibility that their treatments have serious side effects. Also, anosognosia is the assumption of the thoughts and motivations of another person. This creates a legal gray area by asserting grounds for possible commitment with zero actual evidence to validate it.

  • He also fails to mention that long term exposure to psychiatric drugs result in the evidence he is trying to use to validate his opinion of cause. I suppose it does grant a respite for allegations of professional irresponsibility later on. Oh, and it secures decades of steady income.

  • Doctor Torrey certainly has all the ear marks of a person so assured by his own theories that he can’t even relate to other people well. Calling someone ignorant is a flawed argument for defending why you yourself are superior. He can’t tell me what causes mental illness, how to cure it, or how his medications actually work, in fact, he can’t even settle for actually defining it without a board and input from pharmaceutical companies, but I’m supposed to believe he understand my intent and motivation? I can assure you, we know something is wrong. People like me walk through crowds afraid other people might sense it… that wrongness. Psychiatry is about everyone but us. Profits and fear. Those labels don’t help us, they allow psychiatrists to dehumanize us. They fold us up and classify us into neat little drawers to protect them from having to relate to us. It probably also helps soothe their guilt about the way they treat us. For all his absolutes, he still can’t show me schizophrenia on a slide, and he can’t give any empirical evidence that his medication does anything but make people more compliant for his benefit. If his treatment was effective, it would have made a difference since WWII besides lining someone’s pockets.

  • I liked some of Jung’s more fanciful theories such as archetypes and shadow aspects, but I was never much for Freud. I actually liked him better after Civilization and its Discontents because I think he finally got it. It’s not that we didn’t get breast feed; Insanity, in all its forms, is reactionary. It’s part of the human condition, and the more social demands, the more insanity tends to flock around. So, your parents have you diagnosed with ADHD. You are labeled and drugged, and your parents are happy because now they can’t be blamed and a title means – normalcy on some level. They blame it. You blame it. The meds stop working, and the cycle starts again. So, you now have a drugged kid, who doesn’t have to take responsibility, and is afraid people will realize he isn’t normal. His parents did. The other kids will learn the association, create stigma, and prove that the first kid isn’t normal, and the whole process begins again. The asylum period, on this side of the pond had two reasons for sudden cures. First, we killed a lot of people. Second, there was no gain in keeping you crazy, and doctors didn’t attempt to reinforce that unacceptable behavior. Insanity was stigmatized, but it wasn’t discussed in polite company, and people learned to work around it the same way a brain injury will reroute a process. In the US, we build our own monsters.

  • As I get bits and pieces of memory, I have wondered if I was born this way, or if I am the culmination of everything I endured. We can over complicate things with different schools of thought, but it’s really quite logical. Yes, I was anxious, fearful child, but after years of blaming myself, I know my mother was and is very ill. Most of the time, I hope she is psychopathic because then I can tell myself she is unaware of the things she has done. There is some comfort in that. I can’t say that she is souly responsible, but I can say I can’t separate those early childhood fears from the few memories I have of my mother at that time, and that degree of illness has a long reach. You become “crazy” to survive, but you have to be a little crazy to stay, too.

  • I was five when my mother decided she could no longer be a mother. I was a fearful, anxious child with reoccurring nightmares. Luckily, my diagnosis of ADHD allowed her an excuse for even her more psychotic behaviors. My diagnosis at 14 with Bipolar Disorder has followed by her hospitalization for what appeared to be disassociative seizures. She wouldn’t be released for several months, but without several years of memory, and a vaguely manic belief that she was twenty, and she didn’t want to share center stage with her 14 year old daughter. Do you know what a diagnosis of Bipolar really means? It mean my institutionalization for nearly five years without ever seeing a court room till the last. My parents were affluent, but luckily for my mother, her decisions tended to be a bit more extreme, and she and my father made me a ward of the state. They didn’t even need to interview me first, but a diagnosis is more than that. I lost those years, but even in the twenty years after I (a month from my 18 birthday) was picked up by my father, I have never mentioned my experience or her illness to them or anyone else except my husband, and that was only once I remembered I forgot. Even those moments, almost twenty years of my life are vague and in frequent. For the year after my release, my mother would randomly have me institutionalized, and the look when she pronounced my diagnosis, was enough to cement the idea that I had to be wrong. My other two sisters adored my mother, and people don’t really live like that. I doubt even my own perception because I was sick, and I assumed any allegation she made had to be true. That was my childhood with Bipolar Disorder, and whether or not I was sick going in, I was very sick coming out. The kindest thing she may have done for me, at my sister’s funeral, she told me, “I prepared myself with you. It was never supposed to be Corinne” And I for the first time, I knew I wasn’t as crazy as I had believed. By then, I had been killing myself for twenty years. It’s easy to have that level of disregard when your life isn’t yours. That moment, as awful as it was, gave me my life back. And as little as I remember, I wouldn’t wish that life on any child. To do it simply for profit, seems almost inhuman.

  • His tone and clear resolve to treat you as insignificant regardless of your findings from the start. His ego won’t allow him to mask his bias, but he did contribute one thing to psychiatry, and it was probably his only contribution. He vividly outlines the methodology used in psychiatry to skew the findings, regardless of their clarity, to reflect anything he wants.

  • The ADA was Congress overstepping both their implied and enumerated powers. However, the High Court had begun to consider the possibility of prevalent discrimination in regards to mental illness which would have elevated us to a suspect class with protected rights. It would have been a substantial cut in donations from washington’s most avid supporters: Pharmaceutical companies. I have to assume it was self serving, because the ADA’s immediate actions were to deny and hide their statistical data that showed not a possibility of prejudice, but the clear and rampant abuse of people with mental illness. Then, they lied, noting that no such bigotry could possibly exist. They even alluded to it being a manifestation of our “narcissistic” tendencies (reinforcing the existing stigma) But what totally confuses me is when has it ever helped to combat oppression and persecution by creating a generalization, establishing a label, and then created special circumstances for them in society? There seems to be a general consensus of stripping us of any rights or equality ever since. If we had known then, I think we could have at least made an attempt with a 1983 pleading. Instead, Prozac became the new wonder drug, and it’s side effects made it necessary for the mentally ill to either disappear, or become disposable. At this point, the concept of rights is too simplistic to protect any one. We need to move forward with the assumption of relative equality instead of carefully formulated disparity.

  • Note: Until recently, I spent most of my time incognito. Full time job, 15-17 hours prelaw, two kids, TA… I think I hit my political psychology limit though in an upper level forensic crimpsych course. It’s always difficult to listen to the same inaccurate descriptions, but the group was on about schizophrenia (as though it presents as an absolute) The overall assumption was the reason for such high levels of refusal to conform to their treatment was they were selfish, narcissistic, and in a perpetual state of delusional denial. I spent a good amount of time with different aspects of schizophrenia during my mother’s reign, and in my well known court room voice, I started making corrections. I can’t imagine living in a perpetual cycle of fear, but schizophrenia is probably fairly close. You can’t even trust yourself, and the persistent and pervasive fear that everyone knows. Most are average to bright, and they have spent around twenty years making plans, dreaming.. They acted like the act of “being” schizophrenic left them vacant. I remember a girl though, struggling against all the drugs to quote pieces of Goethe. She was in there, lost in herself. The only reason to choose to live in constant fear and alone, is that the medication is something even worse. The unspoken truth from the years of meds to cancel meds to cancel meds to treat Bipolar that the suicide rate is so high is a mixture of the meds, the insinuation, and the endless stream of assumptions. The way people look at me when I say I’m Bipolar.. Like they’re ashamed for me. Like a child who’s soiled herself in church. At it’s most basic, psychiatry is the drastic medical attempt to fix me, not for my sake, but for everyone else’s. It’s the unquestioned view that I’m something short of human, and with enough meds, I can be reduced to a Jungian shadow going unnoticed in the right light, but robbed of every unique and worthwhile aspect of my self. Quality of Life, the doctor would chime in now. This disorder didn’t really rob me of my life. The sane people and treatments did that. I start with one med,but to counteract the side effects I need about six. I fell asleep during sex. They added Nuvigil. It’s been almost two years, and I can’t sleep three days out of the week. The doctor insists it’s helping, and like my friend grasping for Faust’s question of Logos, I live on the outskirts of humanity. They simply don’t see me, and they like it that way.

  • As a law student, legalities tend to make me feel safe, but I was part of a series of nearly 500 complaints presented to a Congressional hearing in 2007. One of us even went to give testimony. We expected our histories would be called into question, though from a legal perspective, faced with so many complaints and a successful suicide on the grounds in a locked and close contact facility, it had no baring. The findings: “Well, you are doing a fine job talking to a United States Congressman.” It was his opinion that her ability to manage herself was a clear sign that it was a worthwhile program.

  • Sometimes I wonder if this isn’t what I’m supposed to be. I am often asked to give readings at some odd literary function or another, and lately, I’ve been writing my own story out of the random memories I regained over the last several years. They marvel at the emotion, in my works of “fiction”, because they can’t imagine my life as a reality. I catch myself wanting to tell them that it’s okay, and I will keep silent, which for the last 14 years I have done amazingly well. Of course, having no memory helped. Living in my head, is like I think Nietzsche said, “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” A normal person wouldn’t last an hour in there. I think about how normal must be easier. The thing is, I’ve also seen Van Gogh’s paintings, read Wolfe, Poe, heard Mozart, mused with Plath, and I don’t attest to be anything so iconic, but their suffering gave life to something so beautiful and innately human. I don’t know if I could see them “cured” if it meant never having experienced their gifts.

  • You are kinder than me because I don’t credit the lawmakers with the empathy that requires coercion. I see the same mindset as I found in cases of severe prosecutorial misconduct where they deliberately withheld evidence, prosecuted men they knew to be innocent… in higher numbers in capital cases. They chose a “disposal” person to secure their conviction rate and often, a monthly bonus. The polity feel comfortable doing that with us for lobbyist funding or merely to appear in control of sudden acts of violence. Following the 13th amendment, mental illness, with the inclusion of idiocy, was used to deter interracial relationships. Moral hysteria was the diagnosis that kept wives and daughters in line. What I have to wonder, being so sick and dangerous, is what does it take to do that?

  • Your argument assumes a standard of legal equality that simply doesn’t exist in the best of the situations because it demands that both parties can be viewed equally before the law. That’s hard to do in a diverse society.
    Most people in this country are unaware that women don’t have equal rights per the Constitution in the country though it was introduced in 1972 and remained open until 1983 when it expired. The time when rights could be trusted to secure and protect our freedoms has long past, and the establishment of new rights, like the right to privacy, are only the illusion of equality intended to manipulate the public or lull them into complacency. A right shouldn’t provide partial protection for certain people in certain situations some of the time. When I speak about the Bill of Rights, I always ask the kids, “would you let me dress you? Pick out your girlfriend? I mean, I don’t even know you, and you want to blindly trust your freedom to me?” The problem is, we trust our rights and privileges to people who have nothing to lose. Their status and immunity affords them rights we can’t even imagine. If you want to insure the status of your freedom, trust it to someone who has been oppressed and subjugated. They understand its value.

  • In this case, any attempt to reach out was probably a huge reach for the person in question. It should have demanded an immediate and compassionate response. I can only go on personal experience and insight, but it seems like you should attempt to treat the depression first, considering that adderall would only add additional momentum to suicidal thoughts. Also, my experience with both medications was severe. Why mix them and take the chance? Both can cause insomnia, which would be heightened by the adderall, and the insomnia would lead to paranoia. Again, every person who is treated by these medications has slightly different reactions, and I don’t want my own findings to encourage anyone to quit taking a medication that has thus far proven successful.

  • This was the greatest error of the ADA, the DSM, and the APA: People can not be categorized into these simplistic headings and be expected to be treated as people. We should have learned it when we thought we could classify people’s skills and capabilities by color: WE DID NOT. The first things that needs to be done is to combat the ever present media that stigmatizes mental illness. Every shooting.. every horrific act of violence and the accusation of mental illness is hinted. The numbers of actual violent acts by the mentally ill need to be used to combat this. We also need people who are not affiliated with any of those groups that are successfully living with their mental illness. People who are opening doors. They shouldn’t be famous. They should be people who could live next door to every one. The first step in overcoming this sort of stigmatized thinking is for the general populace to be able to identify with those they stigmatize. We need to make the connections they can’t. I did a research paper following the history of stigma and mental illness. It established crucial points of social decline against decisions that stigmatized or used the mental ill and why. Right now, we are disposable people. That’s what they call prostitutes, escorts, street people, in cases of violence. It’s the reason those cases aren’t investigated and tend to fall through the cracks. We can’t be disposable anymore and that means being seen. That’s a big risk.

  • 1st. I actually stopped being just a diagnosis years ago. Now, I’m the bottom line. With the blood of as many as six million on their hands, the defense at Nuremberg argued their innocence stating, “It is better for all the world. If, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offsprings for crime…or to let them starve for their imbecility,

    society can prevent their propagation…

    by medical means in the first place.

    Three generations of imbeciles

    are enough.” The last sentence echoes the words of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is Buck v. Bell. That should have demanded our consideration, but it’s easy to comfort yourself in the security of your own morality and sense of justice when faced with such an unimaginable loss of human life. But is it unimaginable? Over 60,000 patients were sterilized against their will in the US between 1921 and 1980 when it was finally retired from active use though the law remains on the books in some states. An estimated 50,000 underwent forced lobotomies mostly between 1949 and 1952. In 1849, a Dr. Bell published the American Journal of Insanity with death rates for 30 U.S. asylums as an estimated 28% of all admitted. By the 1920’s, it had increased to 33.4% and to 42.4% ten years later. By 1940, you were 15.6 times more likely to die before you reached 24. The records are bizarre and seem to have unusually high cases of third world disease and nonsense like death by manic hysteria. For stark clarity, 44 patients on average were admitted to Byberry Hospital daily. The daily death rate was six though slightly higher when children were being held. What is most striking is that this continued until it’s close… in 2003. There is no way to really factor how many patients died or how many lives were destroyed. And while I won’t say as many died as those in WWII, there is a frightening similarity. The death camps burned night and day towards the end, and no one noticed.

  • Could a writ of mandamus not be filed against the ADA for refusal to disclose findings of established and wide spread prejudice that would have established mental illness as a suspect class? Their refusal and widely quoted denial of finding “no prejudice” in this respect cost those affected money, freedoms,and denied them due process and equality before the law. Otherwise, could it not be argued as a 1983 and with a claim of qualified immunity because Congress actually established the proof of constitutional protection with their findings. Further, their repeated denial of the prejudice they knew to exist seems clear enough to establish to a room of lawyers and lawmakers that hiding the information was important actively hide and misuse their position of power to manipulate the american people causing harm and creating right stagnation. Malice could be argued due to the extremely large donations from the pharmaceutical companies but that might overstep, but the malicious and deliberate denial of rights, due process, freedom, of those who can not defend themselves, is malicious.

  • The reality is different than the legal understanding. With a 3.5 GPA, my intention was Constitutional Law. However, I found out in my third year that due to my diagnosis, I would never be allowed to practice. I love the law. I even give talks on the real bill of rights to elementary and junior high students. (They often ask if I’m talking about the same Revolution. See, mine’s exciting and not about taxes and tea.) I struggled with this and eventually came to the decision that if I could help people in any capacity of the law, I would be doing something worthwhile. With three semester remaining before law school, I have withdrawn. The state of Georgia now requires a mental health screening for any government position, certification, or license granted by the state. I can’t even be a massage therapist. They require full disclosure of your psychiatric history, and though I sacrificed my own health and have been treated and medicated for 8 years, I was hospitalized in my teens for nearly five years until a judge ordered my release and my mother out of my life. Under a 20,000 student loan, unable to practice in my field in any manner, and I am not mentally able to go back to my old job, I am now considering SSI after 34 years of refusing and feeling it meant I was giving up. Here, involuntary hospitalization works like retirement homes. The state claims your property to pay for their forced confinement. They have also adopted their own definition for mental illness. What other people can’t comprehend is that once bipolar is said out loud, you may have rights, but who do you plan to argue them with? I once called my old psychiatrist to advise I was discontinuing zoloft because it made everything “very dark”. I had called to report this problem and move my appointment up of my own free volition. I was advised to meet her at the hospital immediately or she would send an ambulance. Failure to comply would be seen as self destructive behavior and she would be forced to have me held for 72 hours.

  • Ernest Hemingway received multiple, I’ve heard as many as thirty, shock treatments in the months leading up to his suicide. Notably, it wasn’t effective then.. why are we still using it? Also, the doctors I have spoke to advise me that you don’t feel anything. Am I the only one not comforted by the assurance of someone who has never had it telling me how their patient feels?

  • After losing most of my life to the whim of others, I accidentally, began to study constitutional law. I had been a victim in one capacity or another my whole life, and for the first time, I felt secure. Of course, I think the largest contributing factor in my treatment was the adoption of two tiny turtles. However, I think anyone with a diagnosis should take a beginners Constitutional Law class. It gave me the ability to defend myself on their terms and it teaches you to control your emotions because you can’t get mad and win.

  • ran across this quote today while working on a piece. “The main advantage of depot antipsychotic medication is that it overcomes the problem of covert noncompliance.”So, you doped them into doing what YOU said they should do. I have known people with schizophrenia. It’s a horrific disease with a more horrific treatment. With just what I’ve seen, I find it ridiculous to claim that noncompliance is based on a selfish bid for personal gratification. From what I saw, these people live in perpetual anxiety and fear. You only choose that life over treatment, when the other option is too horrific to consider. Also, the idea that we lack insight is absurd. There’s a constant level of anxiety as you walk through the office that someone might know. Then, you slip up and say it.. and they look at you like they’re ashamed for you; like you don’t know enough to be ashamed of yourself. I worked in a position for four years before my medications had to be changed and I went on LOA. When I returned, they refused to train me on what I had missed passively. Then, took me out of good standing with no bonuses for not having the training. In four years, I had always kept it together, but I was told I couldn’t take my meds on the floor anymore. This led to a panic attack. I excused myself to the bathroom, and had only been gone about 5 minutes when my supervisor slammed the door open, ordered me out of the stall and gave me the choice of going back to my desk or being fired. I wasn’t even allowed to wash the mascara off my face before she marched me the long way through the office. That’s what this type of view of mental illness and treatment has gained us. I don’t pretend to be as bright or educated as Dr. Torrey, but a simple retort, ” Tell me how this medication helps to treat the cause of my disorder otherwise you’re arguing a moot point because you are avoiding tackling the the truly important question, why would you risk human lives for a medication that you can’t even show to be scientifically and medically valid.

  • The ADA was truthfully a cheap answer to deny people with mental illness to become a suspect class. Additionally, Congress lied about their findings of blatant prejudice, leaving those who are and were stigmatized to feel singled out. Of course, the recent donations from the pharmaceutical companies probably helped them sleep at night. I have also never heard of combating discrimination by placing a label on it and defining it as different. Legal equality can only view to people as being equal if they can be seen as the same. Most people don’t understand how difficult that makes it to achieve. Without status, mental illness is left under the rational basis test which means that the law is assumed Constitutional as long as it can be reasonably connected to a legitimate government concern. That means the burden is on you. To add to the complication, concepts like “reasonable” and “legitimate” are vague at best. Segregation was once considered reasonable and legitimate. The ADA represents the illusion of rights; not the actualization. It secures lots of guinea pigs for the pharm companies and allows the continued stigmatization across the country. Never trust your rights to someone who has nothing to lose, and the ADA will choose monetary personal gain over others freedom every time.
    The truth of the 14th Amendment is to protect the simple right to live in anonymity and without the abuse of stereotypes for political or personal gain. The ADA is an abuse of power for profit and should be disbanded. We have a better chance without them.

  • I just destroyed any vague hope of a career by giving a rather public presentation on Bipolar Suicide and why it continues to go unnoticed. I wrote it following the Amy Winehouse incident because the reaction from my unknowing abnormal psych class was, “We should have seen this coming. She was a drug addict and self destructive.” I couldn’t help myself.. I said, “really? She was healthier than she had ever been. She was clean. She was out in society the day before. If you apply your theory, it’s not exactly helpful.” Anne Sexton had just come from her editor. Sylvia Plath put out bread and milk quietly for her young children. We don’t add up. So, I considered my own attempt, the severity, and my actions. To present it, I had to admit some very ugly realities, including my disorder, but I hope some the future psychiatrists etc from my audience will remember it, and maybe a life can be spared.

  • Have you ever read Emile Durkheim’s study on the sociological reaction to suicide? It uncovers the way society takes a purely singular event, strips it of it’s emotion, and makes it their’s. It becomes about their view, and not about the person who was lost. Psychiatry’s biggest complication outside of monetary bias (in the US) is they have spent so much time trying to shove us into neat, little drawers with nice, confining labels, that they fail to see the simplicity. 1. People don’t fit in drawers or labels. Second, being crazy isn’t about selfishness, lack of empathy, narcissism or any of the other neat terms they use to describe me and my ilk in PSYCH 101. If you can’t figure out the cause, the treatment, the cure for my disorder, don’t presume to have foresight into my hopes and intentions. And when you let both of those go, learn to think sideways. That’s what being mentally ill is really, your mind finds new ways to see things in order to protect us. I think the lie of us being self serving sociopaths is comforting to others: to rob us of our humanity. I recently gave a presentation on suicidal thoughts and behaviors in Bipolar 1 and the reason no one noticed, and a girl was absolutely devoted to the idea that this was based on the fact that we were selfish, drama queens, incapable of loving others. I asked her, why do people read Plath, Poe, Hemingway? Why do we listen to Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison and still stare at Van Gogh? Most of them were Bipolar, (in my opinion) Because you feel something and you don’t even mean to. Being crazy isn’t about not feeling; it’s about feeling everything all the time in waves and a constant danger of being pulled down by the undertow. Our humanity, our individualism, that’s the best of us.

  • Now, I take my meds like a good girl, but I do so with no real hope due to the status of therapeutic nihilism in this country. Drugs aren’t an answer; they’re a paycheck. A 34 billion dollar one if my memory serves,(schizophrenia and bipolar diagnosis). They shouldn’t be a lifetime requirement. Additionally, there long list of side effects, (some irreversible) and the most recent study showing an average loss of life equally 32 years in those treated for long term mental illness. Drugs are either not designed for, have no medical hypothesis to support, or have questionable, if not completely biased studies associated. Two years ago, I found myself taking 4-6 mg of attivan a day (and working, going to school, and driving) Additionally, I had xanex for emergencies, and kolonopin as a back up, along with my other meds, and I happened on the original xanex research… I decided that I was really having just as many if not more (quite a bit more) panic attacks with the meds, but I was so doped up, I would never be able to identify their origin. I quit taking the benzos. I keep attivan around for emergencies, but now, I may take one once a month, but I could control one thing in the chaos. Get rid of the ADA. Remove the overwhelming payouts and bribes from the APA, and disallow the polity to create stigma in a Durkheim esque attempt to manipulate and stratify. Personally, I have to wonder about political figures that are so intent on warning about the dangers of the mentally ill, when they seem quite at home labeling an into portion of society as disposable in the name of money. Sociopathic tendencies? Perhaps, they should see someone.