Victims of psychiatry, mock statistics

I dislike statistics. In that light, here’s how it all stacks up, as I see it:

1) A small portion of psychiatry’s victims go into psychiatry and then leave, saying they are glad they did it and now say they are better and no longer need it. They call themselves “recovered.” They say they are “cured.”

2) A small portion of psychiatry’s victims go into psychiatry and stay there, getting progressively worse as they age. This is called “managed.”

3) A small portion of psychiatry’s victims go into psychiatry and then leave, and are now angry as hell due to the damages, feeling that they will never recover what was and wish they never took that fateful step. These are “survivors.”

4) A small portion of psychiatry’s victims go into psychiatry and then leave AMA, and are now just fine anyway. These are also “survivors.”

What’s the difference between 1 and 4? If mental illness is supposedly lifelong, a permanent brain defect, then no one recovers, right? Weren’t we all a bunch of chronics? Am I manic? Schizo, like they said in 1984 for convenience even though I told them over and over I had ED? How can you misspell ED as schiz on a form? I know my doctor was absent-minded, but I didn’t think he was that bad.

A long time ago, I overheard a bunch of LPN’s diagnose a male patient they hadn’t even spoken to in about 30 seconds as “paranoid schiz” in one of their huddles. Wow, talk about sending someone to gas chamber. I figure after that, all the doctor had to do was to add his John Hancock. Seeing as the attending physician was the local drunk dude, I believe that’s what happened. Most likely, the patient was having a street drug reaction.

What’s the difference between 3 and 4? I think maybe how long you were in, money, money, money, money, how much damage they did, family support, where you live and the various legal supports you have for staying free of psychiatry, and you overall state of health. Especially how much damage. Too much damage….I dunno. Sometimes I think they are so ashamed of what they did that they just kill people and don’t say a word.

6) Need I say? I’ve only scratched the surface. I’ve only spoken of a small portion of psychiatry’s victims. For certain, psychiatry has already killed the vast majority of those it was supposedly “treating.”

Open letter to all those who assigned phony psych diagnoses to me and to those who abused me in “treatment”

This one goes out to the worst of you…..

To those of you who abused,

I am trying to go on with my life. I am trying to tackle the insomnia that has gone on without a break  now for four years as a result of psych abuse that occurred at MGH in 2011 and subsequently denied by not only all my providers but by many of those whom I assumed were my friends and family as well.

I am trying to get some kind of remedy for this insomnia. If it is costly, I am asking you to pay out of pocket, that is, not via your “malpractice insurance” but for you to sacrifice tonight’s golf game, sacrifice that game of tennis at the club, sacrifice those drinks, fly economy on that vacation instead of First Class just like the rest of those that fly, and just think about me for a minute.

Did you sleep last night, knowing the long-term effect that your abuse has caused?

I am tired. I want my life back, that life that YOU stole from me. I want my family back. You lied to my family with your phony diagnoses and hocus-pocus baloney nonsense about dangerousness. Compensation means paying for actual treatment to help me with insomnia that YOU CAUSED by abusing me repeatedly over a long period.

Next time you poke fun at a patient, laugh at her, or belittle her, you can think of me. You can think that for each time you roll you eyes at a patient, or twirl your fingers around, or whistle, “She’s nuts!” or, you claim she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, or claim, “Human rights are trivial,” or, “You have no rights,” or, “You aren’t human,” or, “You don’t matter,” then realize that this means you are committing a crime against that patient, against humanity, against us all.

I am asking you to repay for the wrongs that you did. You, collectively, owe me at least that. I want to rebuild my life. I don’t want to be tired anymore. I don’t like snapping at people due to constant fatigue. I want to forget  about all of you that committed abuse, and forget that the bad stuff ever happened to me.

PS: If I ever need a kidney transplant (because of your drug, lithium), you are paying for that out of pocket, too.

Is a “cortisol fix” the answer to trauma?

Is a cortisol fix the answer to trauma. I wish it were, but I don’t think so. If one exists, I have yet to find it.  Thousands of vets from wars and even between wars are suffering trauma, even from wars decades ago. Still.  We know what it is. I call it “having one’s rabbit’s ears stuck in the up position.” I was well aware that this was what was happening to me the very minute I left MGH in August 2011. I felt just like that, like I was so terrified I would startle at anything or run away. To this day, I tell the same stories over and over and drive myself nuts. The stories and images replay in my head. I see their faces and hear their words. Because what happened to me was denied over and over, because I was told again and again, “That couldn’t be true,” the trauma response never resolved. To this day, I repeat those stories, I still hear their voices, I still see the faces and feel the same terror.

I call it “rabbit ears” since I see my own dogs’ ears go up when they are startled or more alert to danger, or surprised. A dog’s ears will in fact face what they are listening to. You have to look closely depending on what type of ears your dog has. My first dog, Hoofy, had the type of ears that showed this characteristic readily. But Puzzle’s ears are sloppy-looking and also flop down a bit, so she doesn’t show her ear focus so clearly. But she does the same thing. A dog’s ears will relax when calm or asleep. If startled during sleep, those ears will pop up. It’s funny to see Puzzle fast asleep and then, during momentary interruption, pop one ear up, and just as quickly, decide it’s “nothing,” and that ear gradually slides down again. A rabbit’s ears are always pictured as up.

I hear that the permanent “up” position is what keeps a person from sleeping. This is. I hear, a glandular response and they’ve known about this for decades. I don’t believe the research is new. How could it be, since they’ve known about trauma since (most likely) WWI or even before? I’m sure you find it throughout literature, including in Shakespeare. We, as a human race, have been intelligent for a long time. Technology hasn’t influenced our IQ nor increased our insight into our bodies. If anything, it has distanced ourselves from nature and decreased our self-awareness. Oddly, many endocrinologists don’t even seem to know about this trauma response. Why is that?

So if a safe and effective cortisol fix exists, why isn’t it readily available to help the thousands of vets stuck in the up position? Why instead is “therapy and meds” offered, which doesn’t work, or psych imprisonment, which doesn’t work, or disability and unemployment, which clearly makes a person miserable. Instead, vets turn to alcohol or weed since these are things that might work better than therapy and psych pills. For many, they are safer and cheaper. For others, these things are decidedly ineffective or destructive.

Let’s say this cortisol fix is indeed known about. Why is it that big secret and why is that secret not out of the bag? Is it really true that they have NO REAL CURE after all these years? They’ve tried denying that trauma exists, but the vets won’t allow for this government lie. The vet population is a powerful and respected voice all over the world. Not only that, it is one that can be unified on this. Or could be. They didn’t go to war already traumatized. They wouldn’t have been accepted into the armed forces if they were already “mentally ill.” So if PTSD were indeed a permanent, congenital brain disease, then how come so many vets seem to have it now?  If they had it to begin with, how did they slip by the admissions process? Or, how did they suddenly develop said “brain disease” in combat if it weren’t for trauma? On the civilian end, why do people develop similar “on position” type problems following scary events? Medicine cannot deny it and vets won’t stand for this.

Not Waving But Drowning by Stevie Smith and my commentary

This poem is most likely still under copyright of some sort, meaning I cannot copy and  paste, so here’s a link, and also, an accompanying audiofile:

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learning/poem/175778

I have always loved this poem. I found it many years ago, and managed to type up a copy (with a typewriter) and save it folded up inside a book for a long time. My guess is that it ended up among the many bits and pieces I had to leave behind in the USA.

What does it mean? Who is the drowning man? Do you know anyone like that? Do you know anyone you wish you reached out to, but couldn’t, or didn’t know you could have, until it was too late?

Dang, I sure do. This poem is a reminder to all of us. Don’t let one more person drown. It doesn’t mean we need more lifeguards. It means we, all of us, need to recognize suffering, and stop assuming it’s up to lifeguards to save the drowning. It’s a tough world out there. Telling kids to hold hands when it gets scary might be a good start.

Anyone who assumes poor people have an attitude/gratitude problem need to look in the mirror

I was also thinking today that so many people are quick to jump on the “your problem is within” bandwagon simply because they don’t want to face the poverty issue. Take one look at who it is that usually makes these “you have an attitude problem” statements. These folks have no clue we afford that fancy spa they go to, cannot afford decent housing, cannot afford that terrific vacation they just came back from, in fact, I don’t have the money for new glasses and can barely see the words I am writing right now.

Know what I heard one of those prestigious people say to me once? That he was poor because he had only one car.

I said nothing. Absolutely nothing, just cataloged that one for future use. Okay, only one car means dire poverty to this person. To me, at that time, from what I recall, I’d pay rent, pay off as much as I could of the other bills, and then be broke for the rest of the month. I’d hear this stuff about how stupid a person was who didn’t “save for retirement” but to me, that was absolutely meaningless. To me, if you didn’t pay at least part of your bills, of if you deliberately bounced a check, that was stupid, but to not save was inevitable. No one was saving or getting wealthier except the super rich.

 

It is so, so expensive to own even one car. I cannot imagine it. You lose money on a shitbox, so why own one?  I cannot imagine renting a sunny apartment with windows that has its own yard. I can’t afford that, not in any country, so I put up with noisy places like this one that I have had this past year.

I cannot imagine this: FAMILY. Yes, family. It’s beyond my imagination. It’s been that long. And folks have no fucking clue what it’s like to live without that year after year after year.

No Thanksgiving. No Christmas. No birthday. Not for ages.  I have no choice about this. I was denied because of the mental health system.  Nonetheless, I am told that I did this, I am told my insomnia comes from an attitude problem, that it couldn’t possibly come from abuse.

It looks like not only MGH abused me, but multiple abuses were done since so many told me “that’s impossible.” I am still to this day in shock of how my own family treated me. “You must be exaggerating about how bad it was.”

All I know is that I was abused at MGH, left there in utter shock and fear, and after that, couldn’t sleep. I got blamed by my own family and friends. No one believed me for ages. And I still get nothing but blame. Even today, looking back, when I recall how I was treated in my own community like a fucking sinner, I shudder in fear. Like I was a criminal, when I had committed no crime nor dreamed of committing one.

I think folks need to think real hard on whom they are accusing. I think they need to look within themselves and ask a big economic question about haves and have nots. Considering all I don’t have, and was denied for years, I fare rather well for myself.

This is what I hope for the next year.

1) Stay alive.

2) Fall in love.

Or maybe #2 is too much to ask for. If I fall, it could be in love or hell, right?

If you are “flagged”: how to detect this and what to do about it

What do I mean by “flagged”?

If an organization, for its own convenience, needs to label certain of its clientele as problematic for some reason, it might flag those clientele, just as you and I might flag email so that it stands out for our attention in the future, or star something so that we notice it, or “favorite” a recipe.

Likewise, a company might flag its higher volume customers, or top sellers, or best potential buyers.

Your local college loves those donors that donate over $1,000 and targets them. Actually, I heard this from a college person who dealt ONLY with those donors. This was a former college of mine.  I said to myself, “Wow, I really know I mean a lot to them now.”

You, as clientele, have an account number, or at least a name and date of birth. To this company or organization you might be identified by your phone number or address or “last four of your social.” Or username. Or you have a secret question on file. Mother’s maiden name or favorite food. In fact, they know everything about you, which is a bit scary when  they start quizzing you. On you.

Let’s say this is your local gym. Let’s say you are behind on dues by four months. This may get you flagged. So say you are calling to ask about their exercise classes. You aren’t asking about overdue payment methods, you’re asking about classes. But when you call, the first question is,

“Please dial your account number….”

after which you will be routed to the appropriate operator.

My experience tells me that a flagged account won’t make it past this point. You’ll be routed to a loop, or to the billing department, or disconnected, or to “please wait,” and the worst muzak you ever heard.  The solution?  Please forget your account number, or goof it by a digit to bypass these automated idiots so you can ask your question.

Likewise with your local “help” organization. If they don’t like you, they REALLY don’t like you.  Not only do they NOT want to help those of us who are flagged, but they will deliberately lie and put us off or even hang up on us just to get us off the phone.

I’ve had that happen with the National Eating Disorders Association recently. I phoned their office in New York a few months ago to ask about a legal matter. This was on behalf of a group of patients I was concerned about. I know something is happening to do with funding that I found out about and I am trying to stop it. I wanted to make NEDA aware of it. It looked like they were already well aware, but didn’t give a shit. Who cares about poor people? NEDA never has.  Apparently, they didn’t want anyone talking. They didn’t want to deal with it and didn’t want me pestering them pointing out that people with ED aren’t all rich and don’t come from families that can afford to send their kids to horse farms.

So I was dumb enough to say my name. I have spoken to them before and told her so.

Immediately, the person on the phone said. “Can you hold on a second?” There was a long pause. She came back to the phone. She stated apologetically that her supervisor had interrupted her momentarily and she was back. That, of course, was a lie. She had gone to CHECK with her supervisor to see if I was flagged, and found that I was. Her supervisor had told her to immediately end the conversation.

She said to me, “I’m sorry, we don’t handle that kind of case.” Within ten seconds, she hung up.

If you are just plain a nuisance you might be flagged. You might be flagged if you call too frequently just to ask tech support questions. They’ll tell you, “Call whenever you need us,” but when you do, don’t call too much or you’ll find out that all the sudden the wait times are like two hours unless you change your originating phone number or punch in a different account number as an experiment. Or call the sales department instead of tech support. That works every time.

Never mind the big banks. Don’t even call them.

Call up the sales department of that piggish place that flagged you for the heck of it and ask for one of their packages. Ask for something you know only a big business, high volume customer would want. Tell them you will think about it, then hang up. If they don’t hate you and don’t know you’re really an activist, they might actually believe you. For a minute.

Of course, if you are calling a suicide hotline, I wouldn’t phone order 1,000 suicides or you might be in trouble.

Only one more week of annoying faucet-squeaking

I been here a year. After a few days, I learned that every single cold water faucet in the building makes a loud squeak every single time it is turned on or off. It doesn’t matter how quickly or slowly you turn it on or off nor how careful you are. You cannot get around that loud, obnoxious squeak. Flushing the toilet does not produce the squeak that I know of, however, I could be wrong about that since my own toilet has never worked so I have always used the “bucket method” (pouring a bucket of water into it, which works just as well). The hot water faucets do not squeak at all.

All the other apartments also have the same loud cold water faucet squeak. So whenever another person turns on their cold water, you bet I hear that obnoxious squeak. I usually only use the hot side during the night since I don’t want to disturb the neighbors. I’ve been considerate enough to be aware enough to do this for the past year. In fact, for the longest time, I didn’t even bucket-flush the toilet in the night so as to not disturb anyone.  Then, I realized that was dumb, since loud obnoxious “boyfriend” was yelling all night upstairs, why was I worrying about things such as my own footsteps?  For the past two weeks, someone’s been turning their cold water on and off at around midnight. I’d say at around ten or 15 second intervals, not quite regular though, on and off, on and off, for well over a half hour. That damned loud obnoxious squeak. If you heard it like I have the past few nights, you would immediately wish you were deaf.

Only one more week or two, then I am out.

If there are two things on my mind right now, these are “quiet” and “privacy.”  For sure, these have been sorely lacking here.  Thirdly, light, that is, natural daylight, hopefully sunlight.  However, it’s highly possible that the new situation I’m moving into won’t even be habitable so I am not keeping my fingers crossed. I’ll be on the lookout for “backup situation” just in case. Such is the life of “living on very little  money.” You can’t afford a place to live anywhere on the planet. Such is the life of  being a person no one really wants nor cares about.

Only a week more of annoying hollering

I knew it would be bad here when I got roped into the 12 month lease here. I heard eventually that you can’t really get anything else but a year’s lease unless you are lucky and get a month-to-month deal. Many are lucky that way. Many apartments are furnished. It doesn’t matter to me either way. I make do.

But this place is cheap. I thought the location would be good. It is and it isn’t. People asked me if I liked being near the beach. Yes and no. It’s not that essential. Some folks insist that living near a body of water is a life necessity but I am telling you one thing that’s far more important: daylight. I have absolutely no window nor door that is facing into sky. Nothing. I have a door that faces a walled courtyard and the other door faces into a walled front patio governed and ruled with the iron hand of my landlady. This front entrance is the only entrance and she insists on overseeing who enters and exists via this governed turf of hers. A tiny frosted bathroom window faces the courtyard into a wall.  I have only one other window and it’s tiny. It faces into a courtyard wall about three feet away. The courtyard only gets a couple of hours of sun but only during January and February and not at all during other times of year. So I have no sunlight here for hanging laundry except during those months.  So the only light I get in here is from artificial light or reflected light from either entrance. Thankfully, since moving here, I’d say I spend a lot of time walking and far more time outdoors. This is the way of life here, we are more outdoors oriented. But still, inside here, it’s dreary as can be, quite discouraging, dark, and dismal. The floor is the ugliest black stone tile I have ever seen, I sure wish i could have replaced the whole thing with something more light and cheerful.

Also, drainage here is a problem. There’s this drainage thing threatening to overflow immediately outside my bathroom and bedroom. Within about a foot from the wall. And that water gets quite high, almost to the surface sometimes.  So if that darned thing full of local sludge and sewage overflows again (yes, again) guess what? All the local town shit and piss is all over my floor and in my life and making me sick. This can happen in a flash. I saw that just around the corner a couple of months ago. A huge puddle they were trying to push off the street and to god-knows-where. So living near water, if you think that’s romantic, so is shit. You pay for it.

I’m mostly looking forward to no longer hearing the hollering from  upstairs. This has ended up intolerable. I mentioned this before. I have no particular solution to “hollering boyfriend.” I keep hoping she will kick him out. No such luck. That means I leave. I can’t stand listening to that guy night and day.

For months, actually since I moved in, I’ve reminded myself I’m not married to this place. Now, I figure, one more week or two more weeks at most. I don’t have an actual date set yet. If so, I’d be counting down the days. I won’t be far from here. No, not telling.

PS: Just in case, I’m getting  a “backup” in case the next place is clearly not working out. There’s no lease with that one. All I want is a home. A real one for me and Puzzle. Not a place where I gotta tiptoe around.

I can’t even cry here, cuz I’ll be overheard. I hate that. Not that I’ve even wanted to. The one time I did cry all year, I did it at the beach. And once or twice on the bus. Yes, it has sucked in this specific apartment. But I love the country, and the freedom here otherwise.

I support Bree Newsome, AND Deborah Schwartzkopf

I believe in social activism. I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of expression. I believe in peaceful protests and walk-outs and sit-ins and gatherings. And parades. And occupying anything. And strikes and boycotts. Why not? Be radical. Be yourself. Don’t conform. Don’t comply. Break every rule. Escape from jail and give away those two hundred dollars as soon as you pass GO.

Never mind that, hand me everyone’s $200 and the drugs too. What suckers!  Let’s make a run for it. Time’s a wasting here. I could use a good vacation, couldn’t you?

Some questions are better off not asked

Sometimes  you are better off not asking for advice. My adventures in asking OTHER PEOPLE for advice on how to get a good night’s sleep have sure fallen flat.

I get entirely different advice from everyone I ask, including medical people. No two people tell me the same thing. Not only that, most insist that their way is the ONE WAY that works and I am absolutely at fault for not following their one only way. How about that?

So while a lot of folks swear by essential oils, they cannot agree of which oils work. Seriously! I was told one group of oils by one person, and one entirely other group of oils by another. Both insisted on this.

Oh, the person who insisted on one set of oils also first said she swore by these oils. Then, she changed her tune, and insisted that the only thing that worked was chanting. Then, immediately told me I was “closed minded” and a very unwise. Here was another person telling me my master’s degree was worthless. Oy! I was wishing I hadn’t asked for advice. In fact, the original reason I had contacted this person was regarding another issue entirely.  Then, the topic came up and suddenly I went from a friend to an asshole in her eyes in an instant because I turned down her pushy “advice.”

I wished I had never asked. In fact, I’m stopping this advice thing right now. I’m stopping contacting people and asking. It’s so damn pointless. With everyone having a different solution, there’s obviously NOT one universal one. If there were, there wouldn’t be so many self-help articles on sleep. Do you see self-help articles on “How to buy a lottery ticket?” No. You go to a convenience store and buy one. You can ask for advice but I think you’ll hear the same thing from everyone: “Good luck.” You might see an article on how to win the lottery or how to steal from the lottery, though.  Good luck seeing reality when it comes your way.  I don’t steal.

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