Monday, May 10, 2021

Comments by Sonia Weaver

Showing 8 of 8 comments.

  • To the MiA team,

    Malene wrote: “it is endlessly frustrating to witness this person work so hard to undermine the questioning into his field and the experiences of survivors.

    We spend our time defending ourselves and exposing the words of Dr. Moffic, rather than focusing on positive ways to move forward. It has reached a level that is not healthy.”

    I agree. I think something needs to be done about this situation, but I have no idea what. Frankly, I find Dr. Moffic’s conduct throughout the comment threads toxic. This has nothing to do with any views he might hold and everything to do with the way he relates to others. I also believe that he has as much right to participate in the comment threads as anyone else. I realize that he blogs here at Robert Whitaker’s request.

    When I look at Steve M’s rhetoric in the comment threads it reminds me of watching an interview with a politician who evades tough questions while continually promoting himself. I do not see “great dialogue” and I am not enjoying this. I would agree that Steve’s presence is stimulating, but for me this is not in a good way.

    Kermit, I would encourage you and other MiA decision makers not to generalize from your own experiences with Dr. Moffic when thinking about this difficult situation. One of the major problems I see is that Steve responds well to those with outstanding educations and an academic writing style. He is disrespectful, dismissive, and insensitive to many others who do not express their anger or critique in forms he is comfortable with.

    I believe with my whole being that there is a place for everybody on the bus! I also think that when a passenger on the bus is behaving in a way that endangers other passengers, for example by continually trying to grab the steering wheel or harassing other passengers, someone needs to get him to sit down so that everyone can make the journey safely.

  • Steve,

    In the thread above you told Nathan that “I can’t remember the last time I played any role whatsoever in forced treatment of any sort.”

    On April 20, 2012 you told readers of the Psychiatric Times:

    “Recently, I was asked to write a request to possibly extend the outpatient commitment of a patient of mine. What for, I said to myself? This would be a waste of time because he had not exhibited any more dangerous behavior, was taking care of himself, and was compliant with his intramuscular medication. However, when as part of the ongoing monitoring of my patient’s improvement, I asked him to rate on a 0-10 (best) scale how well the medication was working, he said “0”. When I asked why, he said it was because he didn’t need the medication. Uh, oh, I thought. Could this be Anasognosia? Or, has he read or heard of Robert Whitaker’s book Anatomy of an Epidemic (2010), which discusses the potential long term risks of such medications? There’s no way he’ll be committed longer, but will he stay on the medication voluntarily? Without it he’d surely relapse into psychosis and possible dangerousness.”

    I hope interested readers will check out the whole piece in which you advocate for limited reinstitutionalization.

    How do you reconcile what you told Nathan with what you told PT readers? Please do not misinterpret this sincere question as an attack. I am genuinely curious. Do you see no elements of “forced treatment of any sort” in your description of your and your patient’s situation above? Do you see any contradictions in what you wrote in PT and what you wrote above? Do you consider outpatient commitment laws a form of forced treatment? What about involuntary hospitalization?

    I look forward to your response. As “da man in psychiatric ethics” I hope you understand that this is not quibbling over details but legitimate concern related to transparency on a critical issue.

  • Steve,

    I am intrigued by your direct “no” response to Laura’s first two questions above. To be clear, are you saying that you do not believe there is a biological basis to a person’s emotional/cognitive experience of the world and that biological pathology does not play a role in mental and emotional experiences outside the mainstream “norm”? Are you saying that your Western training as a psychiatrist is not more legitimate than other “primitive” understandings of human experience?

    If so, it seems you have undergone a significant shift since April of this year when you wrote your first MiA blog:

    In that piece when you envision “Stepping into an Integrated Future” you state the following:

    “Who has the best potential to lead this advance? By now, you should know the answer. It is still only psychiatrists that have the most comprehensive education and training in all aspects of mental health and mental illness. In the loving spirit of Shakespeare, let us count some of the many ways they can add unique value to those in need.”

    You then go on to state a number of things that seem to me to contradict what you told Laura above. (I will give one example but I hope interested folks will check out the whole piece as I don’t want to be accused of quoting out of context): “Psychiatrists are leading the way in understanding that disorders like PTSD and Major Depression may turn out to be not just brain diseases, but now whole body illnesses.”

    Based on what you told Duane regarding the quote he posted above, it also seems that you no longer believe what you originally wrote about anosognosia, i.e. “Psychiatrists know that deficits in the frontal lobes of the brain can cause a condition called Anasognosia …” This is such an authoritative statement made with great confidence!(i.e. not “some psychiatrists theorize” but “psychiatrists know”)

    Are you consciously undergoing a paradigm shift in the months since April? I am genuinely curious if you see a difference in what you are saying in this thread and what you said in your first piece. Do you agree with Nathan’s observation that you seem to have done a 180?

  • Stevie (aka Dr. Moffic),

    If you are truly sorry for conflating our movement with Scientology in the Psychiaric Times then I suggest you print a retraction in that publication in order to educate your colleagues.

    I believe that anyone who conflates these movements is either ignorant or irresponsible. When people point this out (thank you, Richard!) they are not the ones shutting down dialogue.

  • Hi Malene,

    I really appreciate your comments here and throughout the website!

    I am curious if you are aware of Steven Moffic’s Psychiatric Times blog. If not, I strongly recommend that you check it out. He has a relatively recent blog there called Psychism: Defining Discrimination of Psychiatry in which he addresses some of the important questions you raise here. In the past Steve has accused me of quoting him out of context so I won’t include exerpts. But given your interest in Scientology I would hope you don’t miss the paragraph where he mentions them! (sorry I don’t know how to post a link on this device).

    Stuart, I am sorry to be off topic on the comment section of your piece which I found engaging and helpful. My only concern is that you’re preaching to the choir here and I wish I was reading it in the Psychiatric Times!

    I know others here read both PT and MiA. PT is the most widely read psychiatric publication in the US while MiA does not (yet!) have that distinction. As a regular contributor at PT Steve Moffic has an amazing opportunity to influence his profession that most of us will never experience (many of us cannot even comment there as that privelege is restricted to healthcare professionals.) I suggest that people who are interested in Steve’s views check out how he is using that platform in addition to his contributions here.

  • As this site contiues to develop and expand in a variety of exciting ways I am increasingly curious about who the folks are who have formal roles and decision-making power in this important endeavor. I am familiar with Robert Whitaker, of course, and also Kermit and Matthew, and I am wondering if there are others who are involved not as bloggers or commenters but in administering the site.

    When I see Kermit and Matthew make comments like “this is what we’re hoping for” or “as we develop” I wonder who is included in the “we”. Who is officially on “the team”? I have read the mission statement and do not find an answer to these questions.

    I am sure that many informal advisors are involved in an undertaking like Mad in America. I understand that a community of “we” can develop among everyone who participates here in any capacity. What I am asking about is who has assumed formal roles and functions and to whom and how they are accountable.

    I hope this isn’t interpreted as being critical. I am genuinely curious.