Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Comments by Surviving and Thriving

Showing 68 of 68 comments.

  • Lawrence writes, ” I’m not saying this applies to MOST psychiatric clients…” So then why do you write with such hyperbole implying this DOES apply to most psychiatric patients? That is the biggest problem I have with your articles, which like others, I find incredibly insulting. You probably should be thinking about your audience and how your blogs come off to the readers at MIA- something tells me the readers here are not looking to avoid responsibility or to cheat the system.

    Also, as someone who has accommodations- I am bothered by your repeated assertions that accommodations mean doing less work. I am expected to do the same work as everyone else, I just have flexibility in terms of being able to work at home and being able to work outside of a 9-5 schedule.

  • Artanis12- thanks for your comments and the book suggestion! Your story resonates so much with me, as a woman living with undiagnosed chronic pain. I have some symptoms that are suggestive of a specific autoimmune condition, but I do not meet full diagnostic criteria, therefore they will probably never be officially diagnosed or taken seriously. I definitely agree, that sexism and the bias that women’s pain symptoms are mere “hysteria” is very real. In fact, the last rheumatologist I tried to work with told me he didn’t think anything was wrong with me because I was “tall, thin female” (?!). I wish had the nerve to say something to him then, but I did at least strike back with a few reviews exposing his sexist comments. 🙂 I also had an internist who I had been working with for several years before I had health problems who disappointed me by eventually trying to push antidepressants. Initially, she was very good about referring to other specialists and trying to get to the bottom of my symptoms, but at the end, I was getting the talk about SNRIs at a visit where I was visibly frustrated with the docs like the sexist rheumatologist. She actually wound up moving out of state after that final visit, but I would not have been motivated to go back to her even if she had stayed. I later caved and took drugs from a psychiatrist, since I was getting distressed by the lack of support I got at work and my family. Not surprisingly, that turned out to be a disaster that has taken me years to get out of.

    I am also glad to see others speak out against Lawrence’s ill-informed opinions about the legitimacy of chronic pain (that are clearly not based on any personal experience living with or professional experience treating chronic pain). FYI if you haven’t read them and don’t mind your blood pressure going up, there are two others that also do a disservice to people with chronic pain, but for whatever reason, MIA seems to think he should continue to be given his (badly informed) platform. What probably bothers me the most is that he (and some others here, unfortunately) do not see that complex chronic pain which is not taken seriously is a major route to getting psychiatrized. And thank you for bringing up the very important point that many chronic pain conditions disproportionately affect women (who are disproportionately less likely to be taken seriously) which makes the chronic pain –> psych drug gateway especially a problem for women.

  • The real issue is whether you consider chronic disabling pain that significantly impedes normal functioning (e.g., ability to work) a disability worthy of help/accommodation. Or do you think it is appropriate to suggest that people with chronic pain are just lazy, gluttonous individuals as Lawrence has done multiple times?

  • Please read his previous blog (and the comments, especially towards the end). He is in fact quite dismissive of the severity of chronic pain symptoms and the idea that they can be severely disabling. He was telling people that chronic pain is something that 84% of the population has and gives general cookie cutter advice in his responses (e.g., I just needed to do some walking and that fixed my minor back pain episode) that suggests he thinks everyone’s pain is on the same (managable) level. He also said in response to what he would say to someone dealing with chronic pain and coming off opioids, “..and you will realize that most (but not all) of your emotional and physical incessant pain was caused by your opioid dependence rather than some newly-invented MTD, and what you are left with is tolerable” As another poster commented, he actually has no idea whether that is true and is resistant to the concept to the idea that the person went on opioids in the first place because they already had pain they couldn’t tolerate!

    When you say “Lawrence is ours” you do not speak for me, and I suspect several other commenters on the last post who have lived experience with chronic pain. It would be helpful if you would actually listen to us, and not just give general platitudes about chronic pain, especially if you have not experienced this yourself (BTW- I am not complacent with doctors. I have long ago given up expecting them to help me and really don’t care about whether my pain is described in terms of a disease, as I really just care about how I am functioning. And no, I have never taken opioids and i know several others who are seeking alternative approaches).

    I am asking MIA to consider having people with actual lived experience with chronic pain write blogs rather than someone who has shown to have a very poor understanding/empathy towards the realities and disability that goes along with chronic pain. I thought one of the goals of MIA was to give voices to people with lived experience. Having one blogger (Lawrence) without any experience (who doesn’t seem to listen to the those who have experience) dominate this conversation doesn’t agree with this goal, IMHO.

  • Dear MIA editors,

    Please consider having another blogger besides Lawrence write about chronic pain. His hypothesis that chronic pain is merely an “invented” diagnosis (the second recent blog perpetuating this idea) ignores the realities and disability that goes along with chronic pain. See the multiple commenters expressing the need for a more nuanced perspective, the concerns about the misinformation being spread, and his lack of consideration of our first hand perspectives in his replies in to the last post. It is also a slap in the face to imply to those of us whose chronic pain was caused or exacerbated by psychotropic drugs that our pain is not real. I tried to not get too involved last time, but I do not understand why someone who has no experience with chronic pain either as a treatment provider or individual who has dealt with disabling chronic pain (no, his minor back pain incident doesn’t qualify) is being given this kind of platform.

  • Well said, Rosalee. I am also a chronic pain sufferer who knows first hand the complexities involved in managing chronic pain. It also concerns me that this blog asserts chronic pain is an “invented diagnosis” and comes across as rather dismissive of the intense suffering that frequently goes along with it.

  • Great post, Chaya. I went on psychiatric drugs after having difficulty coping with an illness (most likely autoimmune, but it doesn’t fit into a clear diagnostic category and therefore will probably never be officially diagnosed). All I ever heard was that psych drugs wouldn’t do anything to worsen my health issues. BS, it was a total disaster which has taken me 5 years to have a semi-recovery from using alternative therapies (and I do have to give a therapist credit too). It should be recognized that individuals with physical health conditions or suspected conditions are even more at risk of having long term adverse reactions, but that isn’t convenient for the psychiatrist or the other physicians who just want to get rid of the chronic pain patients that don’t fit into neat diagnostic categories.

  • Well, smoking very well might mediate the effect. In other words, childhood trauma may cause someone to be a smoker (I know there are studies showing those with childhood trauma are more likely to be smokers), which then causes epigenetic changes. In that case, then I think it is valid to say that childhood trauma causes epigenetic changes via increased likelihood of smoking.

  • Very sad to hear about Matt. I wish we knew this was going on and could have tried to help him.

    Does anyone know which studies he is referring to? (he refers to “certain psychiatric studies” that made him terrified and lose hope)

  • Great series, Dr. Breggin.

    As much as the DA contributed to the witch hunt, I think there still would be one regardless of who prosecuted the case. Just read the comments section to any news article about the trial. These people make all kinds assumptions and overwhelmingly think that she is just “making excuses” with regard to the effects of psychotropic drugs. These people have no clue how these drugs can change ones behavior. Some representative comments, ” What’s the next excuse going to be? It’s not her fault: it’s the fault of the doctor that prescribed the medication for her?”, “There are medications that do that BUT still no excuse. She probably liked how she was able to make someone kill themselves.” “Celexa does not prohibit someone from feeling empathy. She is a Narcissistic Sociopath” (Hmm, why don’t you try it to confirm your hypothesis). And my favorite, “If that was true, the drug shouldn’t be on the market.” Exactly, but it still is because of our corrupt FDA!!!!

    Sadly, this makes me generally not too optimistic about our movement and think that only those of us who have been harmed by psychotropic drugs will have any understanding of the horrors of our “mental health” system.

  • Hot spices aren’t going to help us this week…we have a different kind of fire to put out…THE REPACKAGED MURPHY BILL IS EXPECTED TO GO FOR A VOTE IN THE HOUSE ON WEDNESDAY. CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND TELL THEM YOU OPPOSE the 21st Century Cures Act (part of House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 34), OPPOSE the inclusion of HR4626 in this “cures” package, and in particular OPPOSE Section 14002 (AOT).


  • Newsflash, women are more than baby vessels. When you are capable of becoming pregnant, you can make your own decisions regarding abortion. Until then, it isn’t your decision. I find it very ironic that when it comes to psych drugs, you believe that you should get to dictate what happens to your body, but when it comes to PERSONAL beliefs on when a fetus (that has no has concept of its own existence ) has the same rights as a living person, you feel it is okay to let others make decisions for an individual woman’s body.

    P.S. How many unwanted children have you personally adopted? There are half a million in the foster care system in the US. If you/some other man wants one so badly (when someone you impregnated doesn’t), there are plenty of children already in the world who need loving homes.

  • Sera, thanks for an (as always) great read. I don’t know what is going to convince the Globe/other media that articles like those in the spotlight series are a major contributor to the further marginalization of an already oppressed group. Maybe matching their need to write about violence and showing them that the much more common perpetrator of violence and destroyed lives is the system itself is the way to go. I hope your articles at least get others outside MIA/survivor movements to think more critically about the fear mongering articles that are so pervasive.

  • The two who voted no appear to be more libertarian republicans. I think the only republicans who would vote against will fit into this category (the rest will be happy to pass the bill as a means to avoid doing anything about gun control), and these are only a minority of republicans. I’m curious about the “not voted” group- did they abstain or were they absent? (there are Dems in that group)

    What I see as a more fundamental problem than what you mentioned is that there is no visible presence to this movement. The pro-forced treatment group has crowds of people going to the capital when there is a vote, people actually engaged and much more visible on social media, the news (I realize there’s going to be a publication bias, but are people trying to send in op eds to mainstream publications?), etc. I don’t think many people even realize that there IS an opposition. Like you, I am perplexed at how most people here have been engaged in lengthy discussions about other things, but seemingly oblivious or disinterested in the vote the last few days. Even MIA is not making this coverage a priority- I had to go to Tim Murphy and DJ Jaffe’s pages to find out what happened.

    If we want an actual presence, I think we need to be as united as possible . Not everyone here identifies as anti-psychiatry, but except for those who come to crash this site, but I don’t think there’s anyone else here who is actually for this bill. There are other groups against this too (e.g., I’ve seen elder abuse advocates express opposition) that could be good allies.

  • It was a total blow out 400-2.

    Looking through DJ Jaffe’s page and seeing how organized and committed to action he and his supporters are makes me frustrated that we have no real resistance movement. I have no idea what kind of difference it would make with other factors working against us, but surely the lack of any structured movement isn’t helping.

  • Well, we may be doomed either way, so I thought I’d trying to wager a guess (can someone from please MIA advise soon, I am busy Tuesday PM and plan to try calling the AM).

    Your analysis is what I would have originally thought, but the bulk of the cosponsors are from the GOP, not Democrats. In the hearing in the fall, the original vote was cast along party lines pretty evenly (GOP for and Democrats against).

  • Oldhead, who are you going to try to call tomorrow? I forgot my congressman is not only a cosponsor, but he is also a psychologist (apparently another Murphy even though he’s a Democrat), so that’s probably a lost cause. I’m thinking the ones who explicitly have civil rights as part of their platform are the best targets. My quick and dirty internet search yields John Lewis, Emanuel Cleaver, Donald Norcross, Bobby Scott, Elijah Cummings, Chris Van Hollen, and Jim Himes as congressmen to hit (and none of them are bill cosponsors). I have no idea how good or bad this strategy is, wish someone who actually knows about these things would chime in soon.

  • Reposting since I put comment in the wrong place.

    I wouldn’t even bother with the ones who are putting out the propaganda. But my fear is that the more reasonable ones may be swept up in that propaganda since we had a recent mass shooting and feel compelled to vote for it because they think they are doing something about violence (so it may help if we remind them that “mental illness” is not associated with violence).

  • Oh yeah, I wouldn’t even bother with the ones who are putting out the propaganda. But my fear is that the more reasonable ones may be swept up in that propaganda since we had a recent mass shooting and feel compelled to vote for it because they think they are doing something about violence (so it may help if we remind them that “mental illness” is not associated with violence).

  • Oldhead, per wikipedia, suspension under the rules is used to quickly pass “non-controversial” bills. Doesn’t bode good. I know it passed 53-0 (immediately post-Orlando shooting), whereas the markup in the fall had most Democrats voting against it.

    I get the feeling this more universal support is due to the Orlando shootings, so it seems to me one of the talking points needs to be that studies show “mental illness” is not associated with violence. I don’t know if we will just be dismissed for talking about how many of these mass killings are linked to the psychtropics they want to force, but that would be an important point if they actually listened to it.

  • No problem, it’s good to be sure. Boston Globe actually didn’t announce the vote. I read about it yesterday morning from a commenter discussing the two terrible articles and decided to do some digging to see if it was actually true (like you). But I wouldn’t at all be surprised if their articles (especially the second one) were deliberately put out to coincide with the vote . If you go on Murphy’s FB page, there’s an article from Monday about how the vote was likely to occur next week. Wish MIA had the heads up…

  • I am no lobbying expert either, but I too am hoping our dialogue will at least get some attention from others and move them to start thinking. I agree with you that Tuesday is really too late to start, so I am hoping that others who see this thread are not waiting for something from MIA to start thinking about their talking points, who else they know that would be willing to call, etc.

    I really, really hope everyone will come out and make some calls on Tuesday.

  • Yes, but who would advocate for a debate before a vote? While I can see who the cosponsors are, my googling has not yielded any congressmen who have expressed opposition to the bill. My guess is you’d have to find someone who is already opposed to it to get that kind of action, not someone who needs to be convinced the bill is bad in the first place.

    Agree, the timing is very suspect. I also think they are taking advantage of the Orlando shooting/gun control sit-ins by the Democrats to make it seem like they are doing something about violence (An important talking point for phone calls should be that data show the “mentally ill” are not more likely to be violent).

  • Some talking points and tips for calling your congressmen at the top of the page here: http://www.ncmhr.org/

    Also, I’m wondering if it would be better to target our calls . Ideally we would be contacting everyone, but wondering if on this short notice it may make sense to especially focus on reaching congressmen who are NOT cosponsors of the bills (which unfortunately is a lot of them, including my own congressman). We may have more influence with them.

  • “Where did the rapist get the idea it was even possible to treat someone like property, like an object they could do with as they like? From slavery.”

    No, the rapist most likely got the idea from his misogynistic father, who taught him whatever he did in a mere “20 minutes of action” doesn’t matter, and that he can use alcohol as a scapegoat for his behavior. He may have also gotten the idea from from his peers at the party who didn’t stop him from making advances on an unconscious woman. These are the relevant issues to the discussion, not some tangent about slavery and racism.

    “If you talk of rape, you should expect the subject of slavery to come up.”

    As someone who has been sexually abused and talked to other abuse/assault victims, my only experience of talking about abuse and slavery together has been in a historical context, or when talking about places where rape is being currently used as a political tool like Syria, not a college party. This blog is about women’s psychological responses to abuse/assault and how that instills a sense of doubt which primes them for other kinds of abuse/assault down the line.

  • Thanks, Sera, this is a moving piece.

    I’ve been following this story and am glad it is getting a lot of attention and the rapist’s father and friend are getting publicly shamed. There is just no excuse calling Brock’s actions anything other than rape. Their weasel words are at the core of the problem. I noticed that the rapist has a sister. While I’d like to think that the father would feel differently if his daughter were the victim, I have the feeling he’d probably victim blame her too.

    I am a victim of incest, by my older (by three years) brother. It took me years to even see it as sexual abuse, since I was not physically forced. The coercion was more subtle…he basically convinced me that this was something normal that siblings did (he was telling me about how he read it was very common for siblings to do some sexual things , but what he manipulated me into doing was far more invasive than “playing doctor” types of activities he was actually referencing) and would prepare us for dating. I blamed myself for not acting differently, even though I was just an eleven year old kid. Like you, I have had a tendency to get into other situations where I let doubt creep in and others take advantage of me. I don’t think sexual abuse is the only reason for this, but if I’m being honest with myself, it is a contributor. My family doesn’t know because my mom is the kind of person who would say, “Well you were younger, but you were more mature than your brother and should have known better”.

    I really wish we would do a better job of sending the message that sexual abusers are usually not attackers hiding behind bushes, weird creepy teachers at school, etc. They are individuals you encounter everyday and many of them even seem like nice, upstanding people.

    @AVoiceRaised- completely agree that the rest of the people trying to hijack this thread are being very disrespectful. If you, as Steven said, just don’t want to talk about realities of sexual abuse, then fine, but please stop silencing our perspectives.

  • She’s far from perfect, though that article the_cat pulled was from 2000. Also, Hillary is at least a big supporter of women’s reproductive rights. With the current situation (the GOPs incessant attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and state level laws that are limiting access to abortion), I am concerned that we could wind up with more unwanted pregnancies in this country. This has already happened in places like Texas. Definitely this is a big concern if we have someone like Trump appointing Supreme Court nominees willing to over turn Roe v. Wade

    I think this is an important point for all of us here, because unwanted kids ultimately leads to more child abuse and adversity. Which then leads to more kids thrust into the mental health system…

  • Very much agree, Steve. Such an absurd waste of money. Just imagine if those funds could be spent on programs for prevention of child abuse, investigation of child abuse cases (many of which aren’t investigated ), support for at risk families, our foster care system, etc. That kind of spending may actually do something to stop eating disorders.

    I thought it was very common knowledge, even outside of psychiatry, that eating disorders are due to environmental causes. So I don’t know why anyone buys this genetic bs.

  • Wow, Naas, sorry for this horrific experience. It makes me in some ways feel grateful for my bad student health counseling experience..at least that didn’t involve drugs or hospitalization, though it did involve incompetence. I had a therapist who attempted to do couples therapy on me and my roommate for a conflict (the two sessions we had for the actual conflict solved the problem, so I have no idea why this “therapy” was continued and wish I had refused to return). We were even told to go out to dinner and pretend it was a date?! Of course, that went badly since we weren’t a couple, and ended in a very awful living environment.

    Is it just Yale, or do other Ivy League schools make it just as difficult to gain readmission after a leave of absense (especially for mental health issues)?

  • good points. I am starting to think that perhaps we should be more worried about primary care than psychiatry. this is the new trend, for clueless primary care physicians to act as mental health providers and this recommendation is likely to further the trend towards dangerous medicalization of depression.

    I went through the whole list and there are ZERO psychiatrists on that task force. As much as we criticize psychiatry, my suspicion is that psychiatrists would raise more concerns about screening the entire population.

  • Something rather interesting about this “task force”. There are VERY few people with a mental health background on it…I didn’t google all the names, but of the 10 i did, they were all in primary care. Maybe there’s a psychiatrist or two on there, but it’s definitely a minority. I looked at their bios and the ones I looked at didn’t even have interests in mental health. I only see one psychologist. If anyone wants to look through the names/directly criticize them, heres the list (the guy in charge has a background in Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine…let’s see if his next article is justifying the use of Haldol in nursing homes):
    Corresponding Author: Albert L. Siu, MD, MSPH ([email protected]).
    Authors/US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) members include the following individuals: Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS; David C. Grossman, MD, MPH; Linda Ciofu Baumann, PhD, RN, APRN; Karina W. Davidson, PhD, MASc; Mark Ebell, MD, MS; Francisco A. R. GarcĂ­a, MD, MPH; Matthew Gillman, MD, SM; Jessica Herzstein, MD, MPH; Alex R. Kemper, MD, MPH, MS; Alex H. Krist, MD, MPH; Ann E. Kurth, PhD, RN, MSN, MPH; Douglas K. Owens, MD, MS; William R. Phillips, MD, MPH; Maureen G. Phipps, MD, MPH; Michael P. Pignone, MD, MPH.

    Some are probably going to disagree with this, but I think if they had more psychologists and even more psychiatrists (especially if they had someone like Vivek), they wouldn’t be recommending screening everyone. Primary care physicians probably don’t see what happens to someone who has a bad reaction to antidepressants. If they become manic, they likely are shipped off to a psychiatrist. Or if their life crumbles and they lose health insurance/become poor, they might not be able to afford a trip back to the doctor. If they had psychologists/therapists on this panel, they might have some idea that psychotherapy isn’t financially feasible for a lot people, so the poor will probably get pushed on to antidepressants right off the bat. Especially those on Medicare/Medicaid, since there aren’t many providers who even accept it (often only the crappy ones), and someone poor can’t afford to pay out of pocket for the many therapists who don’t take insurance.

    These people are clueless.

  • To clarify my earlier comments, I completely agree that the VALIDITY of depression as some sort of medical illness is bunk. I also agree reliability is a secondary point, and validity is the main thing to be concerned about Just wanted to bring this up because reliability seems to be mentioned a lot here and it really isn’t the best way to criticize the use of these assessments. Because you can be reliable, but reliably wrong, as I like to think of it.

  • I know you often cite the poor interrater reliability of DSM 5, but just wanted to point out that when using several other commonly used measures of depression, the interrater reliability of the construct of depression is overall pretty good. My impression is that these are what clinicians tend to use, instead of whatever is in the latest version of the DSM. Here’s a review (read about the Hamilton and the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology). https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjG-ISU9tHKAhUENT4KHQoZBUgQFgggMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.springer.com%2Fcda%2Fcontent%2Fdocument%2Fcda_downloaddocument%2F9781588299666-c1.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHBUBb0QURFFcx3clXuUmVnfRKueQ&sig2=P7nNuHFMW54au4OVWEyiKA

    As you noted, in DSM 5 the kappa for depression is considerably lower than in previous editions. Not sure why that is, though I do have some stats training and know that Kappa is influenced heavily by things like how common depression (or whatever it is you are assessing) is in the study population. In other words, it can be difficult to make comparisons across studies and I know some people choose to use other statistics for that very reason. Maybe that’s not the reason for the difference, but just thought I’d mention it.

    I agree with your other points (and Vivek, great post, this is a terrible idea). Of course its important to remember that reliability is not the same thing as validity. Just because we can reliably measure the construct of depression, doesn’t mean that it is a disease just like diabetes, blah, blah, blah.

  • True, but if the question is simply whether antipsychotics extend lives, then wouldn’t it still be answering that question accurately? If the question is whether APs extend lives among those labeled as schizophrenic, then yeah, I see how it becomes problematic since schizophrenia lacks validity/reliability. Not that a randomized trial for a multi-year period is feasible anyway (unless those taking APs were court ordered to stay on them, the drop out rates would be huge)…

  • the problem with most of these studies is that they are observational. you’d really need a randomized trial to get to the truth about what is happening. those who take medication or are given prescriptions might be fundamentally different than those who don’t. for example, it is possible that medication use could be a marker for having other supportive factors like housing. perhaps that is what is what makes medication use look like it is extending lives, when in fact it is these other factors.

  • BPD Transformation- I find your comments generally insightful, and they often they give me a lot to think about, but there’s one here that bothers me a lot. I don’t write much and this is a pretty good example of why sometimes I feel intimidated to do so, should my perspective be different from yours or one of the other frequent commenters.

    Before you said you were glad for Kyrstyn, you said, “You asked where I was when you were worried about the supermarket food. There’s about a 30% chance I was sleeping, a 45% chance I was at work, or a 25% chance I was watching a movie, hanging out with friends, or with a girlfriend. I hope that answer satisfies you”? To me that kind of smartass is no different than the cold smartass attitude many people here complain about in their experiences with psychiatry. I thought we were here to get away from that…

    She’s a new poster, and not everyone feels the same way you do about “so-called” mental illness. Those who “rethink psychiatry” (mission of this website) but are not necessarily staunchly antipsychiatry like yourself, may be offended. (for the record, I’ve said “so-called” too, so it doesn’t bother me) But if someone got offended, and even if you don’t feel you should apologize, I still don’t understand why you needed to kick back with snark as you did above.

    Kyrstyn- post on the nutrition threads and you’ll probably get more of a discussion.

  • You can twist arguments as you like to support pretty much any cause you like. Regardless if they are being misused, people with mental health issues deserve and often need community support. Though many manage to bounce back on their own, many also don’t get to a good level of functionality.

    In other cultures, family and community support during difficult emotional times is more of a norm. For example, in some cultures, a new mom is expected to rest and her family takes care of a baby in the period immediately after giving birth for about a month or so- they recognize that is a difficult time (baby blues) and family/community is generally expected to be more involved in helping raise the child.

  • I don’t see any contraction. I’m saying that the current system to “help” people who have suffered abuse, have undiagnosed physical illness causing emotional problems, etc is rubbish and often does more harm than good. Saying they are in real pain has nothing to do with mental health “treatment” being effective in relieving that pain. What is often effective in helping them is COMMUNITY support, not medical support.

    Also, I get your frustration at the preventability of mental health “treatment” induced disability but why is your lack of compassion directed towards those who received the treatment, sometimes against their will? Seems your lack of compassion should be directed elsewhere.

    I am also saying several of the arguments made against mental health being an legitimate disability could be easily applied to physical illness. Your arguments assume physical illness is easy to prove, and the reality is that it often isn’t. Also, your mentality of The Little Engine That Could could be applied to them too. They could just “deal” with physical pain,limp around if necessary. How is that any different than telling someone suicidal to just suck it up and find a way to deal?

  • Frank, the question isn’t really about whether you think someone “needs the mental health system”. Most of us here think its BS. What I am questioning (and I think others too), is why you seem to have so little compassion for those with mental health problems that impair their ability to function.

    I am someone who has had both physical and mental disabilities and is working my tail off to get myself back to my former functioning (actually work wise, I am relatively normal, though that has required patience, understanding, and accomodation from others at several points ). Your argument that physical disability is somehow more valid really doesn’t hold water. Physical disability can be just as hard to “prove”. Some physical diseases like lupus take on average 3 years to diagnose from the first onset of symptoms. Is the person just supposed to rot until they get a diagnosis?

    I do not consider mental illness a traditional illness (because I view most of it as a normal response to abnormal environmental conditions ), but regardless, someone in those states can be just as impaired as someone with physical illness, no matter how many times they chant the Little Engine that Could. Also, you are ignoring that undiagnosed physical illness is often misdiagnosed as mental illness.

  • Not sure if this is going in the right place, but this is for Frank’s 1:32 comment. I am not understanding why you are so intent on proving who is really disabled and who is faking it. We probably never will have a way of knowing definitively, so this seems like a wasted discussion. As someone who has also had physical problems that greatly impaired my functioning at one point, where there was hard physical evidence of a problem (e.g., lab/mri abnormalities) but no readily agreed upon diagnosis (thus there was an assumption that I must be “fine”), these distinctions seems sort of absurd.

    Disability isn’t exactly a glorious lifestyle, so I don’t think you have to worry about a mass exodus of functioning people turning their lives upside down. I just think it is inhumane to ignore suffering, and there are definitely people who are “unable” who are suffering that would have a much better chance of regaining function with social support. I feel we should support them and not spend so much energy asking them to “prove” their disability.

  • Sounds about right to me. Many of these parents sound far crazier and scarier than their so called sick kids. For example, this lady, whose son wound up suddenly dying of heart failure at age 23. Oh, and somehow this bill was supposed to save him from this????


  • I know. I totally think it needs to happen. Pro2646ers have an organized presence and we need to match them. If not at the actual DC meetings, online presence would be useful too. They were calling congressmen, going on the Facebook pages of those opposed to the bill and criticizing them, while praising Murphy and others for the bill. I only saw a handful of people speaking out against the bill. Lets step up the game!

  • Has anyone thought about going to the meetings when the bill is discussed? I would if I were in DC. I watched the videos of bill markup this week, and there was a big crowd of TAC mommies in the audience. They were clapping when Murphy spoke, shaking their heads no when the Democrats proposed amendments (eventually they were told to stop with these antics). Think it would be good to have some physical organized physical presence there too.

  • So Margaret, do you ever plan to tell the readers of this website and commenters of this article that you now retract this viewpoint and are in fact very much pro-AOT? I sometimes read DJ Jaffe’s facebook page for kicks and noticed Margaret posting over there quite frequently recently, praising him, which rather surprised me given articles like this. Yesterday, someone directly asked her about this article and she confirmed she is pro-AOT and that her perspective has completely changed. She also describes her time over here as a ‘research on anti-psychiatry groups’ (whatever that means). Not just on DJs page, but I then noticed several other recent FB posts elsewhere where it was made very clear that her perspective has radically changed. Care to enlighten us why the radical change in such a short period of time? Or was this really no change, but these articles were really just some sort of “research” to determine our responses?