I do not think our state should be recruiting people into the mental health system. The system is destructive, destroys lives and kills people. I was inside the system for over 25 years, after seeking help in college, for depression/low self-esteem stemming from a childhood lived with an abusive father.
Instead of help, I was given a nearly instant diagnosis of schizophrenia and propelled into the county mental health system. My life as I knew it ended. Many more labels were added over the years. I was often on 8 or 9 different drugs, with contradicting effects and dangerous side effects. I saw a case manager once weekly and a county shrink every few months for a few minutes. Other than that, I lived in a low income hotel isolated, lonely, without purpose or reason to get up in the morning, like so many others I knew in the system.
The drugs, sometimes forced on me, caused extreme symptoms and nearly killed me several times. The hopelessness of such a life bore down on me heavily. I was in and out of psyche hospitals, received electro shock and more abuse by staff at OSH, endured the suicide deaths of nine friends, all within the mental health system, most of whom left the earth because they could no longer endure such a meaningless existences.
In 1998, a few days before Christmas, I was severely beaten on a psyche ward by staff in Portland, then discharged, without shoes or coat or transportation, out into a snow and ice storm. I didn't even know Portland. I wandered to Mall 205, freezing. A stranger talked to me a few moments ,then disappeared. when he returned, he brought two pair of socks he had just bought, and put one pair on my freezing feet himself. He told me "you're not the crazy one." I left the system.
But the beating ruptured a neck disk into my spinal cord. I could not get surgery for that horrendous injury, because doctors stated my symptoms, which included severe pain, were the result of mental illness. I finally got surgery. I never got justice for being beaten. I left the mental health system after that. I knew by this time finally, there was nothing mentally or physically healthy about it. I thought people would want to know then, that I immediately improved, that they had been so wrong, knowing others too have gone through this, and about the abuses I had endured in a system that is supposed to help people. I was further ostracized when I attempted to speak up about the abuses and misdiagnoses that stole most of my life. This system must be fixed before young people are recruited into it. The labels and being committed have limited my chance at gainful employment, as has the spinal cord injury incurred in that beating. In addition to these other atrocious consequences of subjective diagnoses, I lived my life in utmost poverty, on SSI.
Please understand the truth of this system, before advocating that children be thrown to the wolves, as I was.
Thanks for posting. I would love to hear more about the transition you made out of the mental health system. How did you do it - logistically, emotionally, financially? What kind of help did you need? Where did you find it? What's your situation now?
I lived along the river, in Corvallis, with a colony of feral cats, that is how I got what I needed. They became my family, my support system, gave me love. And slowly, self-esteem. When the river project came along in Corvallis, about the same time I had been so badly beaten, I became involved in trying to stop that project, for the sole reason of saving my river cat family. It was great trauma, actually. Many died. But I became strong, with an ability to believe in myself and not believe the shrinks.
I still live on disability income, may be kicked off. I am in my mid fifties and am not sure what I will do if I lose disability. Be kind of difficult to bear, after all I've been through, the lies, the abuses, within the system for so many decades.
What do I do now? I help the cats, of course. The cats saved me. I trap feral cats for spay/neuter, in high volume. Unpaid. My real life began in the year 2001--the year I just said no to psyche drugs and shrinks.
I can tell you stories, all right, of despair, abuse, how I tried to kill myself over and over, not because I was mentally ill, although that is what the shrinks called it, but because I lacked anything in that new horrible life, of being stuffed away, living totally isolated without anything to do, no purpose, patronized, made fun of, relegated to the status of societal slug, stomped on, and enduring the endless hate of society, for those on any sort of public assistance, which still causes me guilt and angst. And may be one reason I work my butt off, more than 40 hours a week, sometimes 60 or 80 hours, helping people solve feline overpopulation issues humanely. Secretly, of course, I'm really helping the cats, who saved me. REturning the favor.
The mental health system recognizes only drugs as treatment. Lots of them. The system fails to understand basic principles of mental ill health and what people really need: people need community, love, acceptance, work, meaning, exercise, good food, human contact and fun--the ingredients to real mental health.
Thank you so much for sharing your profound and painful story. The type of criminal victimization requires justice and should never be allowed to occur. Have you told Oregon Advocacy Center and/or the state human rights people about the abuse?
Unfortunately through our skewed funding and our concerns about civil rights we have constructed a mental health system based on disability and/or coercion in response to imminent. It was my experience of that and seeing its life-robbing impact on my loved one that led me to search for other ways. I knew that neither he, nor I, could cope alone, and that we needed people who had integrity, who could see him for the unique and beautiful person he was, who were willing to be creative and resourceful, and who he could trust. We've come close to finding that a few times.
I got involved with EAST because I had met the folks at Mid-Valley Behavioral Care Network and I believed in their vision and integrity. When I first met them the first words I heard them say were that we needed to re-conceptualize the whole mental health system with the understanding that the people it serves are the owners. So I view EAST as an "Owners-in-Training" program. But more importantly, if we are recruiting, we're recruiting people to stay in school, maintain employment, and stay involved with friends, family and community. You said it so well- people need community, love, acceptance, work, meaning, exercise, good food, human contact and fun. I am glad to say that those things are central to what we do in EAST. We don't assume anyone will continue with the public mental health system, although some do. We don't assume much, except that every person will has a tremendous amount to contribute and deserves our full belief and support.
I would value further correspondence with you about your experiences. You are clearly a very articulate, intelligent and concerned person. And a cat lover like myself (I only have four, though).
This story is hard to believe. Discharged from an unnamed hospital into the ice storm without shoes, but with a major spinal injury? The time line is off too. He was living by the river trying to save his cat colony while at the same time sequestered at a psyche hospital?
However, if this person is not pulling our leg, I don't doubt that he/she is mentally ill. Living by the river with "my river cat family"?
Schizophrenics often don't recognize their own illness...
Goytrain, make fun of me all you want. The story is true. The hospital is not unnamed. It's Portland Adventist. The year was 1998, just before Christmas. You didn't read it very carefully. I don't know who you are, but making fun of someone's story, that you don't even know, is really not very nice. The state investigated the abuse only after I ran into then state mental health director Barry Kast, who is still a friend of mine. He initiated an investigation. The only justice I got was that Portland Adventist had to go through isolation room and restraint training. No real justice. It's very typical that people diagnosed as mentally ill are not believed, which is why abuse of such people seems so popular.
It is interesting how pervasive the fear of being labeled with a mental illness is. I hadn't thought about how much my own fears play into it until I was waiting for the registration email for this "alterego" I created to post about this topic. When I was thinking about it, I had to admit that I am always worried that people will disregard my thoughts and opinions on other issues if I talk about my mental illness history, even 13 years later. For the record, what I am going to share happened 14 years ago, and I have been "in remission" for the last 13.
I started having seizures out of the blue. I was hospitalized and had a full neuro work-up. (Thank goodness we had good, employer-based insurance at the time.) When it was determined that my seizures were non-epileptic and some form of mental illness, the treatment that I received became less desireable. I was shunted from one doctor to another, almost every one changed the prescriptions I was on. No one seemed to specialize in treatment, jsut management of the symptoms. I did finally find a therapist who was on our insurance plan and had some experience dealing with somataform seizures. Through all of this I was in a wheelchair, wearing a helmet, have up to 20 grand mal seizures a day. I was literally locked into my room at night when my husband would go to work, because we never knew where the next seizure would come from, and if I was out of the room, which had padding on all the floors and walls, I might break another bone.
I gradually started recovering the memories of being molested by my father. At first they were only the memories of the fear I felt while it was happening, and then the things my eyes had seen as I "floated" over my body. The memories are still not completely coherent, and it is only with ongoing therapy that I have been able to integrate them into my life, and help myself make sense of my childhood memories, or lack thereof.
Even as I was having fewer seizures, because of the processing I was doing in therapy, the doctors kept increasing my medication dosages and "tweaking" with the cocktail of meds. Their theory was that they could get them to completely stop if they just found the right combination. I still regret that I didn't question it more, but mentally the meds made me so sluggish, I began to have a hard time even thinking in my therapy sessions. I quit going to therapy, because it seemed that it wasn't helping anymore.
I have to say, the best thing that ever happened to me was having my gall bladder need to be removed. While I was in for the surgery, I had to come off all the medications I had been on. I didn't have a single seizure while I was off the meds in the hospital, and when my doctor wanted to put me back on them, I refused. I was labeled "noncompliant" and warned over and over that I would regret not following their advice. I have never regretted it. I switched doctors, went back to therapy, and while I had a few seizures after coming off the meds, three months later I was seizure free and haven't had one since.
Too often I think that we have doctor's who do not understand the psych meds they are prescribing, or psychiatrists who don't see their patients long enough to really evaluate the effects of the medications and other factors in the lives of their patients. I think the entire system is focused on how to medicate a problem better, rather than figuring out how to create a life worth living for the person with mental illness.
I still have nights where I hide in a corner when the memories overwhelm me, but they are fairly rare. I still go to therapy once a week, but those sessions tend to focus on coping skills, how to help my children deal with my divorce, or how I am going to solve a situation with my new husband. I am not "cured" but my mental illness is in remission, and I make sure I am getting the mental tune-ups I need.
Thank God for my bad gall bladder.
Last week I gave a sermon at my church about mental illness. It was harder for me to tell them about my own experience with dysthymia than it was to talk about a lifetime of experience with my relatives' mental illness. But I do think it's important for us all to get used to talking in a matter-of-fact way about our experiences, because at some level they are so common, and if it's viewed as common, then the doubts start to fade. It sounds like you have a good life and I'm glad. Thanks for sharing!
I think awareness of mental illness is crucial. My younger brother suffered from a mental illness for 11 years before taking his own life. He was only 27.
It started when he was 16. Out of the blue, he had delusions, hallucinations, that were completely out of his character. Shortly after, my parents committed him. He was diagnosed as schizophrenic.
Later, it was found he was bipolar. But, the medicines had horrible effects as well. He wanted to live a normal life, but that wasn't possible. When he died, he was working towards a Master in Cognitive Psychology to better understand his disease.
I now have two small boys and receive mixed messages on if mental illness on that scale can be passed on. They're only 1 and 4 years old.
Ari was bright, driven, a talented poet, and his life was horribley taken off track due to mental illness. I've attached one of his poems.
Every year, I walk the National Alliance Mental Illness (NAMI) walk as a team with my family, Remember Ari. It's a great organization that supports and informs.
Your guest touched on one of the biggest challenges for the families of loved ones whom they suspect have a mental illness: not being ill enough to force them to get help. I am the sister of an individual who shows all the classic symptoms of bipolar disorder, including risky behavior, extreme highs that have gotten her into debt, and extreme lows that have worried us and ruined her personal relationships, yet she is not so ill that she can't hold a job or keep an apartment. As a result, it's very difficult to get her to understand our concerns. Additionally, there is a history of mental illness in our family, and the stigma is even more acute because of that. We are at a loss.
You might get some ideas from Xavier Amador's book "I'm Not Ill, I Don't Need Help". Sometimes the NAMI Family-to-Family Support groups can also be helpful. It's probably more important to listen for her concerns and respond to those than to focus on her understanding yours. That's what will motivate her to act, along with the accompaniment of someone who cares. Keeping a regular relationship no matter what where she knows you really care will go a long way.
There was no help. My son had his first breakdown as a High School Junior in 1997....but, now he tells me he heard voices at a very early age.
He has paranoid schizophrenia.....
In Benton County....there was not much help at all. The main psych.
doctor was the only one who took the time and effort to really look for a diagnosis. Then Benton County cut services....so, we moved my child over to Bend to live with his mom....he had continuing breakdowns and there were only 14 beds in all of Deschutes Country....for mentally ill folks.
We have been, with my son, to Eastern Oregon Psych Hospital, the Oregon State Hospital in Salem, the Heeran Center in Eugene and another center down in Klamath Falls.....THERE IS NO COORDINATION between agencies! NOTHING!
The Klamath County Mental Health and Judge wanted to release my son.....they had no records, they were not forwarded...he made his own diagnosis in ten minutes.....and this is the problem....there IS NO COORDINATION!
I have had to fight, tooth and nail, with every part of this system since day one....including Social Security and every single health care provider....the outcomes of schizophrenia? No socialization, isolation, continual committment, huge weight swings due to medications, NO LONG TERM PLAN WHATSOEVER FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN MEDS....IT's all MEDS, MEDS and more MEDS.
Educate the community? In Corvallis? You would think a higher educated community would have a better social net for this kind of thing...no way....it was a revolving door to the hospital, and case workers who really ought to retire.....back and forth....no plan, no system, no caring.....KAIROS was a great idea.....and lost the funding....
What positive, long term view of the future, can a schizophrenic have?
How are the days spent in the hospital? MEDS, MEDS and more MEDS.
There is no hope.....have you been to the Heeran center in Eugene?
There is no hope until there is a cure. Get real.
Jamison, if your son was diagnosed with diabetes, I doubt you would question the need for insulin. Why do you find drug treatment for schizophrenia any less responsible?
I find such naivety about treating mental health one of the main detriments to our societies backward response to the problem.
And I find your condescending attitude towards people who question the appropriateness of meds tiresome. Besides the ever-cited chemical imbalance, there are so many factors that can contribute to, exacerbate, or flatout cause mental illness. Here are a few of them: physical or emotional trauma, chronic pain, constant loud noise, loneliness. Likewise, there are many ways to build mental health that can help limit, or eliminate altogether the need for drugs. Here are a few of those: hiking in quiet and beautiful areas, getting involved and connected in your community, choosing a quieter place to reside, getting regular exercise, eating healthier.
I believe those are ways to "build mental health", but trying to solve true mental illness with homeopathic methods is dangerous and ignorant.
If you find my requirement for scientific methods to prove theory, then I'm not surprised that you perceive me as condescending.
The evidence/studies, at least regarding depression, seem to show that with each subsequent episode of depression it becomes easier to relapse. So curbing it at its roots would be a great way to go.
It seems hard to pinpoint, from anecdotal evidence, such as your earlier caller stating that he was given medications at a young age. Perhaps these medications did there job and allowed him to recover, so by the time he stopped, he was indeed cured. There is no easy way to know this.
I wasn't diagnosed with ADHD until I was 28 and it changed my life (I'm in my 30's now). Looking back at my childhood and young adult life I can see how an earlier diagnosis would have made a huge difference in my school and social early development success. Yet, even with all my obvious symptoms, no one recognized the issue. Sadly, my school and community did not afford resources to mental illness. Yet, an investment in children's mental health will reimburse the community ten-fold. Bravo for having this program.
Once more, OPB is running a show without a guest officially representing organizations of mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors.
There are certainly more than a dozen groups that could be asked. For instance, there is a new network called Oregon Consumer/Survivor Coalition that unites 14 groups.
There's also our group, MindFreedom Oregon, based on Oregon that works on mental health. I am guessing the show feels that "experts" ought to be put on -- but in this case actually being on the receiving end of mental health care does not make our constituency "experts."
Can you imagine a show on disability... immigrant rights... people of color.... gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender... with no guests representing groups of such constituencies??????
I myself experienced bipolar label as a teen. I've been a human rights activist in this field for 32 years. We shall see if I ever get on the show... I was the first one to call in and I've been waiting... and waiting....
We hear on today's show how supposedly the program EAST is a new paradigm with a "shared explanatory model." Meanwhile, on the EAST web site it clearly says under "cause of psychosis" that: "Psychosis is basically an imbalance in the brain?s neurochemistry." This is the same dominant paradigm that has been large and in charge for decades, and is hardly a "shared explanation."
I encourage people to check out our website http://www.mindfreedom.org. In the 'internal search engine' in upper right hand corner, put in OCSC to find information about the state-wide coalition.
But clearly a bigger issue is mainstream media bias. For my more than three decades of this work, I've seen mainstream media constantly promote the current, dominant, corporate paradigm of the mental health system... and the result is massive drugging, even of two year olds. Please understand that I and our nonprofit MindFreedom are pro-choice about personal health care decisions, including people's decision to take psychiatric drugs.
But Oregonians in the mental health system, and taxpayers who are fronting the bill for the massively expensive psychiatric drugs (especially 'atypical neuroleptics') are at risk from providing more, more, more of the same. It is outrageous that young people are increasingly being put at risk of more and more and more powerful psychiatric drugs.
Well, I've been on hold for 37 minutes....
I am not debating the validity of your comment but your comparison of: gay..., immigrant rights and others, to a discussion on mental health is absurd. Last time I checked being gay was not an illness so there would be no reason to have on air a medical expert discussing it. I think if we discuss heart surgery, we listen to doctors and researchers, not people with heart disease. Don't ruin perhaps other valid points you might have with apples and oranges.
Actually homosexuality was classed a mental illness and included in the psychiatric diagnostic manuel until a group of psychiatrists led a drive to vote it out of the manuel's classification of mental illnesses.
And Scott, the horrendous abuses and destruction I experienced in the mental health system are valid experiences that shed light onto what really goes on inside this system, besides the tragic consequences they had on my own life. They're not apples and oranges. When diagnoses with heart disease, your rights are not removed. There are medical tests that prove or disprove whether or not you have heart disease. Mental illness diagnostics are subjective. The variables involved are innummerable.
A quick example: I watched a CNN news story about a woman who had escaped the abuses going on at the Fundamentalist Mormon commmunity of Colorado City. Talking back to her husband led at least twice to her being carted off by a Colorado City Mormon police officer and committed to a Utah state mental hospital. The CNN story did not react to this with an investigation as to why a woman would be admitted to a state hospital for talking back to her husband. This small little story tells mountains about the mental health system and how it is used.
Your personal unfortunate misdiagnoses is unfortunate, but can and does happen for all types of illnesses. Yet, it would be idiocracy to advocate against treatment because physicians can make mistakes.
Would you encourage the disuse of antibiotics, knowing it to save lives? Why then do you think it's appropriate to dismiss the lifesaving abilities of drugs that treat any other illness, including brain chemistry? Such ignorance isn't bliss, it's deadly.
My child became withdrawn, suspicious, very unhappy, and started believing almost everyone was out to hurt him. Also, messages were coming to him from outside sources. EAST saved his life and our family. They allowed us very slowly to accept that he had psychosis, which we thought was a fate worse than death, and after more than a year we slowly started low dose medicines. Imperceptibly he improved and continues to improve in every way. He has friends again, continues in sports, and is excelling in college. The whole process continues, and has gone on for aver five years.
EAST works because it is intensive. People need constant support. Twice weekly is not too much at first. It is much less costly than having people disabled, not working and producing and constantly sucking up public resources. An ounce of prevention. Also psychosis is terribly common. At least !%
I grew up surrounded by mental illness. I have illness on both sides of my family going back a couple of generations on my father's side. My grandmother killed herself at 40. My mother was also very ill with bipolar, as well as another relative who took his life two years ago at age 40. My sister, age 41, also has mental illness and has been in and out of hospitals since she was a teen. Her behaviour has wrecked havoc on my family. As a result, I've been torn about the prospect of having children and carrying on the genes. My idea of family has been colored by my experiences. There are no grandchildren on either side of the family. I also wonder if it is a moral responsibility to not reproduce and carry on these genes.
I hope someone addresses issues of access and health insurance coverage for mental health problems. Prevention of any kind requires access to the care system, which is terribly underfunded. Mental health coverage is frequently limited by most major insurance carriers and so many folks have no coverage at all. We need to change this as a society and recognize how many dollars are expended AFTER a full blown mental health crisis has occurred.
The Oregon Legislature passed a comprehensive parity bill a couple of years ago which is in the process of being fully implemented as insurance contracts are renewed. It says that for group insurance (not individual, unfortunately), coverage for mental illness must be equal to other physical conditions. The federal government also passed legislation previously, but with a giant loophole (companies can limit days). Congress is debating legislation again. We should probably watch to make sure it doesn't weaken what Oregon did. And of course, Medicare is quite discriminatory when it comes to mental illness so that should get some attention.
I am 49 years old and bipolar. I have a friend, who is married to a medical professional, whose daughter is young and living outside the home. It is clear to us that the daughter has exhibited symptoms of bipolar illness. She resisted treatment for sometime but finally consented to see someone and found a counselor on her own, not a psychologist or psychiatrist, who within 3 visits said she is not bipolar and that she wouldn't want to have this illness anyway because it is so difficult. What do the parents do?
Why isn't there a Mom with a child with mental on the show taking calls? I don't believe anyone should be allowed to diagnos or treat a child without living in a home with a child with mental illness for a rotation of medical school. There is no way anyone can understand the complexity and urgency of a family life without experiencing first hand. No researcher, no social worker, no policy maker or pharmaceutical company can truly be a responsible professional with adequate know to construct a diagnositic tool and treatment plan without putting themselves in the position of the parent. It simply isn't possible.
I am a mom of a 14 year old with mental illness. I absolutely know what you mean, and agree completely. Most people, mental health care providers as well, have no idea what happens in a home with a child with these needs. More often than not,if this child is at school, thechild uses all of his or her strength and energy to survive the day, and then completely collapses at home.
I'm wondering if either of your guests are familiar with the emerging field of Pre and Perinatal Psychology. In talking about prevention, this would be an important place to start.
I'm hearing many of the callers who could greatly benefit from working in this direction.
Not familiar with this- sorry.
Hello. Thank you for the show.
I'd just like to share my recent experience.
I have major depressive disorder, and despite a significant family history, I had a hard time believing that this was an actual physiological condition. I recently got a working drug combination, and the difference is remarkable. I'm glad I don't need to take any more harsh drugs with significant side-effects, but I'd urge people to give medications a chance.
My question is regarding early intervention. I understand that a lot of illnesses present when people go through adolescence or even later. Are you advocating prophylactic intervention, or just immediate intervention when symptoms appear?
I think early intervention in mental health is a great idea; however, early intervention in any health condition would be great. The lack of effective, timely intervention is a symptom of our healthcare system, in my opinion. Universal healthcare and an evidence-based approach to public health would be a great idea.
I have a 14 year old son, who prior to one and a half years ago, was a straight A, happy, but anxious, athletically involved kid with a lot of friends. He also was diagnosed with very mild OCD. Then two summers ago, his social group completely dropped him and starting making fun of him and excluding him. It was brutal and heartbreaking. This led to him not being able to get dressed for school(physically), not being able to write and a disassociation with his name and family. After a few months of deterioration, and his refusal to participate in therapy or receive medication, he was involuntarily hospitalized, and then sent to a residential school. This was the first time we heard of anything about a thought disorder or psychosis. We were desperate to do whatever we could to save this boy, and to try to restore his mental health.
At this point he is in high school here in Portland at an alternative school, in therapy and on medications (Clomipramine, risperadol and Geodon..with the latter two being phased out and phased in respectively). He is doing fairly well, and is involved in martial arts and some sports. But his 'former' happy full life is gone.
I have a comment and a question. First of all, his entire peer group has dropped him, as though he were the proverbial leper. Even though he is doing quite well, has a sense of humor, and remains the kind, considerte kid he was, they no longer include him, even when he is proactive about engaging. It is shameful. And I guess I especially want to address the parents of these teens and ask them if they have ever had a conversation with their kids, and encouraged them to extend their friendship once again? I absolutely believe that my son's social world and the cruelty he experienced, which I have not outlined, is what led to his complete falling apart and inability to function.
But I am also curious about a comment Tamara Sale made about Omega 3 Fatty Acid. We have approached the psychiatrist my son works with about nutritinal supplements, including Omega Fatty Aids. But she is not familiar with dosing and results and safety. How do we find out about something like this, as in, how do we get this on board for our son and in what dose?
Thank you for today's program. It was much too limited in time.
My son also has this diagnosis. We are fortunate that he withdrew and was only bullied by a few people. By now, years later, we have noticed that his improvement continues to be gradual and constant. Your son's brain has to repair itself connection by connection. Be consistent and patient with medication. Your support and love is helping him to heal. People ostracize all different people which is an ugly side to human nature. My son is still gentle and loving and understanding of underdogs, even tho he is now successful, even socially. One and a half grams of fish oil capsule daily. It is hard to find, so we use two grams a day (all of us!) Get it at a health food store so that it is free of mercury.
We are hoping that with continued loving support at home, his new school environment, therapy and meds? that he will continue to heal, and have the opportunity for his brain to develop in a way that enables him to live a happy, fulfilling life. It is just so heartbreaking, as you must know. And yes, I see my guy as someone who will always have an open heart for the underdog. He even stood up to a bully on one of his teams the other day that was harrassing someone else. It is the first time he has really been able to do that.
Was your son able to go to school or be successful at a job? What about relationships?
And finally...when you say fish oil, you are referring to Omega 3 fatty Oil? I am headed to a health food store soon.
Thank you for your reply.
Dear Barbarars please get my email through the EAST program, I'll tell them who I am. ( Yana can help you. ) I don't want to be so public. Anyway, I know the meds are crucial in our case. Everything has come back including the sharp wit, and laughter. I never would have believed it four years ago.
This is what I mean by dangerous.
Omega 3 has not been proven to mitigate, much less cure, any mental illness!
It's a valuable supplement for overall health, and it is being researched for its effectivity on mental health because there is a suggestion that it has an effect. However, the research is in it's very early stages. Dosage has not been established, or is even suggestive. Do your homework! Here is a summary of the studies from the Department of Health http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/epcsums/o3mentsum.htm
Anyone advocating this as anything more than a supplement to hedge your bets is unconscionable and a charlatan and banking on a placebo effect.
As a follow-up to my earlier post...
As I mentioned I was the first to phone in, and I had been on hold for 37 minutes. So I phoned back in to the OPB program and pleaded that as a representative of an organization of mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors, it would be good to have me on. Scot, the individual taking the call, replied that I hadn't been listening, there had been a psychiatric survivor on the show early on as a caller.
I replied that Scott hadn't been listening to my point: That there was no representative if an ORGANIZATION of mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors. The earlier caller was great, but called in as an individual.
Yes, we folks with psychiatric diagnoses have our own organization. More than a dozen of them.
I was told to keep my question very brief, and I was finally allowed on.
Thank you OPB for letting me have that moment.
I quickly mentioned the importance of including the voice of consumer/survivor ORGANIZATIONS on these shows....
And then I quickly gave a quote on the EAST web site, "Psychosis is basically an imbalance in the brain?s neurochemistry."
That sure would seem to promote one particular (unproven) point of view over others, and tend to lead to a chemical bias.
After all, Ms. Sale had said on the show that, "EAST is different, a paradigm shift" - clients "define their own illness," there's supposed to be a "shared explanatory model."
After I was able to get a sentence back on and ask... Ms. Sale of EAST promised to remove that sentence, she said removing it had been on her to do list for a while. Hopefuly, this dialogue will help make this modification a much higher priority at EAST.
OPB -- if anyone is listening -- why the bias against the voice of mental health consumer and psychiatric survivor groups?
For instance, you have done a bunch of shows lately... but without such representatives.
Your web site on mental health lists a bunch of groups... but OPB's web site area on mental health doesn't list the MindFreedom web site, and we've been here for more than two decades! We're also one of the few totally independent groups, with zero funding from any mental health organization, drug company, religions, or government.
Not that such funding is inherently bad, but it's interesting that one of the few totally independent groups isn't listed on the web site, when I know a bunch of OPB folks are familiar with us?
We're at http://www.mindfreedom.org
You can use the internal search engine in upper right hand corner to search for OREGON news and OCSC news.
Or go directly to:
There you'll find Oregon news, and also the folder about the Oregon Consumer/Survivor Coalition.
There's a wonderful book on the history of the mental health system called "Masters of Bedlam." A lesson I take from the book is that the history of the mental health system is a history of "reform." Constantly the media and decision-makers lament about what a horrible mess the mental health system is, how there is an enormous need for change... and this reform leads to more and more and more and more money, for more of the same.
I appreciate that EAST leaders are saying they will use low dose, or no dose approaches. But I also note that when Emily the host ask Tamara the guest about the number of clients in EAST who are *not* on psychiatric drugs at all, there was no answer. Reform is not enough. We need to get into the details, and look for what amounts to a nonviolent revolution in the mental health system.
It is this call for very deep change that I think raises warning flags with mainstream media. Over at KBOO radio, here at KLCC radio, etc., they have no problems with such deeper calls for change, and we have no problem getting the voice of consumer/survivor groups on those radio shows.
I am glad to know OPB may run some interviews with myself and other consumer/survivors on their news program on mental health, that's a great start and I look for more of the same.
I also look forward to Thinking Out Loud agreeing to even CONSIDER doing a show from the consumer/survivor group perspective. It's only fair.
Clearly, we need to relearn lessons from historic leaders of extremely marginalized constituencies, such as Martin Luther King. He endorsed nonviolent civil disobedience, and I encourage more and more people to consider the importance of this path.
If you want to reach me, or MindFreedom, you can call toll free at 1-877-MAD-PRIDE or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David W. Oaks, Executive Director
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office phone: (541) 345-9106
fax: (541) 345-3737
member services toll free in USA: 1-877-MAD-PRID[e] or 1-877-623-7743
United Independent Action for Human Rights in Mental Health!
MindFreedom International is an non-profit coalition with a vision of a non-violent revolution in mental health. Accredited by the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with Consultative Roster Status.
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"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Our docs don't automatically recommend meds, and when they do there's not an assumption the person will be on them forever. Many choose to go off, and many also choose to go back on because they find them to be helpful tools. I don't have specific numbers but will check it out with our doc. If a person has an acute psychosis the consequences can be rapid and severe, so it is probably more likely in that situation that medications will be prescribed.
David W. Oaks, Executive Director
MindFreedom International, Charlatan and Snakeoil Salesman
You're not very nice, mister.
Thank you for your show.
I am writing in reply to a caller who characterized himself as mid thirties, highly functioning, great schooling record, who had not been diagnosed early enough due to the fact that his life seemed great from the outside. I am in a similar situation, same age range, considered "highly functioning," though have struggled through severe bouts of depression for most of my life. Would this caller be able to tell me what eventually helped him?
That is the question I was hoping to answer before the end of the program, so thanks for asking. After all, wouldn't depressed people be too depressed to do anything about depression?
I obviously didn't have parents and/or siblings who wondered why I was behaving the way I was, which is one reason I suffered in silence so long. In my case, it took a very patient and loving wife who observed me for many years wondering why I had so little motivation to do activities important to both of us (e.g. music, exercise) or proactively doing things to support both of our careers, and such. One day, she realized that depression was a strong possibility, and she took me to a couple of doctors. As I said, the first few had the "what do you have to be depressed about?" attitude (my brother, a doctor, said the exact same thing). Eventually I found someone who thought meds made sense for the depression (with the other diagnoses to follow over the course of the next few years), and it took years to find a therapist who could get over the pedigree to realize I needed a lot of help. But all this would not have been possible without someone leading me by the hand, and in my case, this was my wife.
I wish I had more advice than to suggest you spill all the beans to the one local person who could care enough to help you on a regular basis, but that is exactly what I needed. I hope you have that person.
I have a question for Dr. Knight-Richardson, please. Is there help available for a young person who has no insurance or means to pay? My daughter, now 21, was diagnosed with bulimia, ADD, anxiety and depression, and has been, in our opinion, greatly overmedicated. She was covered under my husband's insurance for OHSU employees until she became too unfocused to be a student (insurance requirement is full time student). She is not successful holding a job. She is struggling with debt, is in collection, is too overwhelmed and avoidant to fill out forms necessary to applying for, e.g., the Oregon Health Plan. I want to help in her behalf, but HIPPA restrictions impede my efforts. Do you know if OHSU might offer treatment/counseling for someone in her situation? I so want her to lead a happy and healthy life. Thank you.
Thank you for this show. I will hopefully catch the re-broadcast tonight.
My brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia during his first year or so of college at UofO. The reaction of my family, treatment option and consequences of his illness have left me terrified that my sons (now 10 and 13) may show signs of this disease. My older son particularly shows many of the same behaviors my brother did when he was in grade school and middle school, i.e. slow to learn to read, difficulty with spelling, handwriting, executive function to the point that he is benefiting from an IEP in school.
I heard on the program that Ms. Sales said EAST looks for a marked difference in behavior for the onset of psychosis, but I'm wondering: Is there a connection between LD and schizophrenia?
Ms. Sales can explain it better than I can, but schizophrenia IS a learning disability because the thoughts are disorganized. This can be reversed with effective treatment. I'm not saying that is your son's problem. Fish oil couldn't hurt.
I appreciate the idea of mental illness as a continuum from normal behaviors to disruptive and ineffective, all the way to illness. I also believe in the behaviors as coping mechanisms in response to stress (most mental illness comes to the forefront in times of stress). I think this model allows us to look more frequently at primary and secondary prevention prior to onset of illness. I have a sense that the circuitry of mental illness may be similar to that of migraines, a "learned circuitry" that can be mitigated through medications and stress reduction. I see many kids that are coping with absent ineffective parents, often due to their own drug or alcohol problems and poor coping skills, inattention to the need for positive reinforcement for helpful skill accomplishment. The resources in our current medical system are not present for coverage of counseling for significant life stressors which may give children the skills needed to cope in more effective ways. What do you think about stress as initiator and perpetuator of illness?
I really appreciate the preventitive models presented by Norwood and Tamara. I was glad to hear that social support can be as effective as medications. I simply find, as a primary care provider, that there is little coverage for such care.
Stress is explicitly incorporated into our illness model, and recognizing/ managing stress is a core component of what we do. Although social support may sound nebulous, in the mental health field there is a growing body of "evidence-based treatment" research which includes psychosocial models such as multi-family psychoeducation. We are able to bill for this to the Oregon Health Plan and have had some limited success billing insurance. Many of the vocational/educational supports also have potential for tapping into a vocational funding stream. Some services such as occupational therapy and mentoring don't have an established place yet so we have to subsidize them heavily. So basically we have to build a diverse funding base to make it work.
Re; defining mental illness. Do you include all diagnoses in DMS 4 as a mental illness??? If so parity for mental illness will never float through congress. As long as there is no active objective test for severe mental illness i.e. schizophrenia and bipolar disease, these diagnoses will be over-used in order to bill for treament, counseling, palliation, inappropriate institulization and/or co-morbidity labels. What do you think??
Where is the evidence that early childhood intervention can prevent severe mental illness?? The incidence of these disorders does not relate to socio-economic status and the onset is usually without early life markers.
I am representing both the peoples' Antipsychiatry Movement, as well as the suppressed Orthomolecular Integrative treatment wing of medical psychiatric treatment.
Mother Jones Magazine
International Association Against Psychiatric Assault www.iaapa.ch
Robert Whitaker www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vkRt46QMms
Don Weitz Antipsychiatry www.radpsynet.org/journal/vol3-1/don.html
The Flexner Report in 1910 was the move by The Robber Barons, The Captains of Industry, to secure control of Medicine in the USA. After this, to practice medicine, one needed to stay close to the system established by the manipulators; and that equated to selling prescription pharmaceutical items (this nearly synonymous with Medicine in the USA of the 1900s), selling surgerys, immunization shots, and, in Psychiatry, selling electoshock treatment (ECT) and psychoacive neurologic drugging agents,
By 1910 Midwives and Herbal Medicine were crushed. Obstetric medicine by male M.D.s was part of the progression towards medical monopoly and away from medical democracy and scientific medicine.
Midwives' Suppression: http://tmh.floonet.net/articles/witches.html
Herbal Medicine along with Supplement Medicine should, scientifically speaking, be a major component of medicine. Herbal Medicine in reality is equivalent to drug medince in the sence that an active dosage of chemical molecules are eaten by the patient to affect the body's chemistry. Herbal extracts are now able to be standardized and the constituents are becoming biochemically identified. Throughout the 1900's up to present, Herbalism, and all bussiness competitors to Standard treatment, have been treated as alternative, untrue, unscientific and fraudulent. Because of the media influence of these big money rackeeters propaganda in various guises is rife.
The fraud of the ascendent medicine covers their other crimes. When they declare people sick with this and that labeled disease, or psychiatric pseudo-diagnosis, and proceed to relate that to their genes, the medical-profiteers are covering the cumulative impact their of industrial polution, farms, and over-processed food by "blaming the victim" and offer "treatments" guarenteed to further enrich them while not addressing the source of the troubles in any way that would hamper or implicate their activities. (Or cure the patient.)
Industrial farming, erosion, over-processed foods and polution have pushed peoples health downward -- and this has been a multigenerational decline. As people broke down mentally and physically they were labeled diseased and defective and offered drug treatments from the chemical factories of the industrialists. (Now as a further PR move they suggest they are studying the genetic nature of these breakdowns -- this propaganda gambit "shows" how "scientific" they are).
This decline due to western diet and polution was reported in the 1920s in an astounding book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Andrew Price, and is also covered by followers of his such as Stephen Byrnes and Sally Fallon.
Psychiatric drugging is the mainstay of modern A.P.A. psychiatry. A sort of 'instant psychiatry' - drug the nervous system and the behavior and psyche are changed -- just need to maintain that drugging.
"Psychopharmacology" can be used as basically a synonym for USA psychiatry. Modern psychiatry is Asylum Medicine for all. Drugs and Shock are major wings and treatment specialties of USA psychiatry which is not biochemical in approach whatsoever. The drugs used are typically neurological drugging agents of a fully foreign nature to body biochemistry and toxic to the brain and liver.
As Heally writes of the psychopharmaceutical trade
"It is well known that adding a halogen to an organic molecule usually increases its potency and toxicity."
Thorazine and Zoloft have Chlorine in their molecules, Paxil and Prozac have Florine.
Giving florinated S.S.R.I.(serotonin reuptake clogging) drug agents is heavily implicted in the school shootings. Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock has written on this.
Drug agent based psychiatry which replaced 1950's style psychiatry with the publication of the DSM3 has its little pills. These are viewed as serious medicine, real medicine by John Q Public. That is the idea. So as not to muck up this racket, vitamin pills and other supplements have been swept under the rug, have been out-cast from any use or consideration.
History of the Fraud of Biopsychiatry
Psychiatrists do not prescribe B-vitamin complex, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, DMAE, DHEA, phosphatidyl serine, CDC choline, DHEA, antioxidants nor aminoacid neurotransmitter-precursor supplements like tyrosine and tryptophan.
Trytophan a precursor agent of serotonin is off the table, not discussed, let alone used. Only patented neuroactive drugging agents are granted validity. Biochemical related supplements (vitamins, aminoacids etc.) are treated like herbalism was treated, unscientific, unproven, too weak. Expensive urine, ha ha. Best to get nutrients from food, safer that way. Ha Ha.
Their bussiness has been to not allow any item that is not a select patented drug to be used. (This applies in other branches of medicine as well.) They will not use nutrients to protect from the harms of drugs, nor in concert with drugs.
In USA Psychiatry there is another report simular to the Flexner Report in intent. It is the infamous 54 page, 1973, Task Force #7 Report. This was a hatchet job which in effect proclamed that biochemicals as psychiatric treatment was officially untue, for all time. Non patent drug items as therapies were officially found unscientific, not peer reviewed and not replicated in independent tests by this one time report.
Task Force #7 Report to the A.P.A. 1973
Linus Pauling http://www.orthomed.org/pauling.html
Abram Hoffer and Humprey Osmond
In a nutshell, that is the situation at hand. Propagandizing big industry medicine which looks to the profits and the sales pitch ahead of any other considation such as truth or human wellfare keeps the fraud alive in the form of 50 years of Ritalin, 50 years of new-improved "antipsychotic" drugs (thorazine spin-offs all) and supportive legislation and rhetoric.
All is not nutrients, of course, and psychotherapy and social treatment are swept under the rug too by this "asylum medicine for all."
For instance Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz's work: www.iscid.org/jeffrey-schwartz.php
For more infomation on biochemical and combined drug and biochemical(supplement) treatment in Psychiatry see such sites as:
Autism Research Institute
Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.
DHEA Augmentation Improves Schizophrenic Symptoms
Laurie Barclay, MD
Extract of Ginkgo biloba added to haloperidol was effective for positive symptoms in refractory schizophrenia
Zhang XY, Zhou DF, Zhang PY, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
Dr. Vincent Bellonzi Video
Dan Burdick, I.A.A.P.A.
Eugene Oregon, U.S.A.
I like listening to the "thinking out loud" program. Lately there have been a couple of shows about mental health. I'd like to hear more input from consumers of mental health services as I think this not only enriches the discussion but is crucial to the discussion. Such discussions WITHOUT the voice of people who use the services are akin to discussing women's issues without the voice of women. I am reminded of a story I heard about a breastfeeding manual which was developed by an UN agency focused on health that I will not name. The breastfeeding manual was developed by a group of male doctors. Obviously not a single one of them had had first hand breast feeding experience.
Just as I would ask these doctor's 'who's breasts are we talking about here?' I would ask you, 'who's mental health experiences are we talking about here'?
I work for an international disability and development agency. One of my prime concerns as we strengthen our support in the mental health field is that we actively involve the voice of consumers at each stage of our planning and development process. Only by making it both policy and practice to listen to clients and their families can we ever hope to achieve services which address the felt needs of the people we aim to support.
I have a 12 yr. old child who has a mental illness. I have been engaged in the process of finding out what was different about him for the last 10 years. He is currently on a good mix of medications and doing well.
I wish there was a single place to look for resources in Oregon. Dealing with a mentally ill person can be very lonely and confusing. There are no overnight answers, and no overnight cures. You never know how bad it's going to get, or how good you can expect this person to be.
Fortuneatly, and unfortunately, my son became hospitalized last spring. Because of this single event, we finally got the support we had desperately needed, not only for our son, but for us as caregivers. We have met many people, including Dr. Marcin, who are in a system where they have the children's best interests in mind, and can give some reassurance to parents that we are not alone.
The mental health racket is a Fraud.
There is no chemical test, no biochemical test, not a single test for any of psychiatry's "diagnoses" of disease or disorder.
Sales pitchs, propaganda and the stock market are what psychiatry is most professional at.
"How do you know when a young person is showing signs of mental illness? It's not always easy to pick out early symptoms from the range of normal teenager behavior. A mental health treatment professional you'll hear from this hour... is staunchly in favor of looking for signs of psychosis in youth early on, to manage illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, before they get really bad"
The show's introduction gives us to understand that the "treatment professional" is a valid expert. This is subtly juxtaposed to mention of wacky kids.
Thus her's is the adult expert opinion which we should accept.
Furthermore from a propaganda standpoint it is given that, mental illness exists, it is valid, "How do you know when a young person is showing signs of mental illness?"
And we, as adults, should try to detect it in children and get them to treatment professionals early.
"Mental illness" is immediately defined as not normal behavior. How is "not normal behavior" a disease diagnosis, especially one that is treated by drugging?
That is how the show, the supposedly objective and people-friendly Public Broadcasting show starts, though mental and illness do not belong together. As Dr. Thomas Szasz covers in his writings, the mind can't be physically sick and physical illness is not shown even by biopsy or autopsy for any D.S.M. (diagnostic manual) category.
These categories are formed by commitee and they are behavioraly defined. They are defined as deviation from normal. The MMPI "psychometric test" for instance is a long list of questions with yes/no answers which a person fills in at the doctors office. They can sort-of test for deviation from normal - according to their devised systom - but they cannot test for disease.
All of psychiatry's diagnoses are based on observation, word tests, and the professional opinion of the doctor. Yet they indoctrinate we the public to believe that our children should be given amphetamines for so-called ADHD, seritonin reuptake impairers for Depression, and chemical straitjacket drugging agents for Psychosis. As if these word-test determined deviations-from-the-norm were physical diseases, and as if these drugging agents were the state-of-the-art in treatment.
Video: Psychiatry No Science No Cures
Furthermore, should an explanatory physical medical problem be found subsequent to a psychiatric 'diagnosis.' Then that psychiatric diagnosis is deemed a mis-diagnosis by the psychiatrist. A quote "mimic" to the psychiatric diagnosis has been discovered -- a medical diagnosis which both explains abd invalidates the previous psychiatric diagnosis.
When are treatment and diagnosis both fundamentally medical and non-medical simultaneously. We have just entered the strange quantum world of propaganda. Here we have a quantum superposition. The diagnosis is non-medical psychological and behavioral, but they use the "medical model" and treat most everything with a drugging agent. Or perhaps 5 drugs... Indoctrination Propaganda has a major quality of being anti-rational, impairing human cognitive function; and dissent, rational objections are ignored and punished.
Video: Eli Lilly has paid a 1.2 Billion Dollars in court for Zyprexa damages
Bay News 9
This early diagnosis bussiness is pernicious. This show suggests to the suggestable that if we get our young children on maintenance dosing with neuro and hepato-toxic patented foriegn chemical agents, then this will benefit them, will help them "manage" these "illnesses" "before they get to bad."
Multiple foreign toxins designed to cross the blood brain barrier, (none of them curative in nature), given early, will succeed in helping the stock market and sales figures in the pharmaceutical bussiness racket.
Psychological, behavioral and social care - and Actual biochemical testing and therapies such as allergy elimination, toxin and heavy metal testing, omega 3 oils and antioxidants, mineral testing and supplementation. These may actually help children.
Alliance for Human Research Protection
Here is another *normal* sort of doctor; *sane* as it were -- i.e. not a shill or dupe ... Weeks, M.D. http://weeksmd.com
...Compare and Contrast to the Drug Company N.I.M.H., A.P.A. self proclamed authority experts and their Big Lie.
Shills and Dupes:
Rebecca Riley Diagnoses at 2 1/2 years old, given early "treatment" with neurotoxin and metabolic poision Zyprexa along with 2 other drug agents:
Subtle Propaganda Tactics Used By Drug Companies Toward Doctoars and Patients:
If these psyche doctors with their word tests proposed early treatment with Zinc, magnesium, B vitamins and Omega 3 oils and elimination of refined sugars, carbohydrates and over processed foods then they might possibly deserve these accolades of being professional and expert.
Florida News Shocking Number of Kids on "Antipsychotic" Drugs
FOX News - Big Outrage 'Antipsychotic Drugs on Kids'
Dan Burdick, I.A.A.P.A.
Mental institution should be reopen. Jails are no place for the mentally ill and most people in jail are mentally ill. Universal health care is needed. France has the best health care system in the world. My youngest sister is bipolar and if it was not for universal health care, she might now be dead or on the streets. She sees a psychiatrist twice a week, is provided with medication and the best care. Because of this, she is able to fonction in society. The very large majority of homeless in this country are mentally ill. Prevention is the key for all diseases. Also, it is a fact that french people like all europeans pay way less for their health care system than americans do. Universal health care is the best thing that can happen to the citizens of a country. No european would want it any other way. Also it is a myth to think that we can not choose our doctors and have to wait for months to be seen. I vacationed in France and I was seen by a doctor 1/2 hour after I made a call. In France, you can choose your doctor, your hospital, and there is no wait in line. Hospitals will keep you as long as necessary, until you recover. Also, everyone receive wonderful care. I cannot believe that the usa is the only industrialized country who does not provide health care to all its citizens. It is a real Shame! To me, it is a proof that american government do not care for the well being of their citizens! It is time to stop investing trillions of dollars in the military and invest in the people!
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