Damn, I'm inspired. David Oaks, co-founder and former executive director of MindFreedom International, is a leader and a visionary. After experiencing forced drugging and solitary confinement in the mental health system as a young man, he's devoted his life to fighting against stigmatizing psychiatric labels, forced drugging, and human rights abuses. He led the 2003 MindFreedom Hunger Strike/Fast For Freedom where 6 psychiatric survivors fasted for weeks, challenging the American Psychiatric Association to provide solid evidence for the biological basis of mental/emotional distress. Despite an unbelievably COLD initial response from the APA, the strikers did not give up, and the APA was ultimately forced to admit that it had no scientific evidence that mental distress was a “neurobiological illness.”
The 1950s in booming, post-war America was a different time. Maybe some of you were alive then – but for me that period is one of many historical eras (the fall of the Roman Empire, the French Revolution) that I have experienced only through textbooks and Hollywood representations. And here’s the funny thing about history... Continue Reading →
So this is how the vicious social services cycle begins. Instead of directing her instinctive surge of mothering energy towards her own children, Dr. Dewar directs it – for profit – towards the children of strangers [probably using some of the profits to hire a professional caregiver to direct inferior mothering energy at her own children]. Finding themselves out-of-place and re-placed in the professional setting, the mothers of Dr. Dewar’s surrogate, hospitalized children will then be forced to redirect their own energies, starting a double-edged chain reaction: all of the mothers continuously frustrated by failed attempts to mother other things (not the children they were designed to care for) and none of the children benefiting from the highly personalized and unconditional-love-charged energy of their own mothers.
The plaque on the door of my boss’s office says “Research Scientist.” He’s a professor at a major university, a specialist in the intersection of children’s mental health and schools (special education, specifically). He’s also a national expert on a specific type of children’s mental health service system, known as a “system of care.” This... Continue Reading →
Empowerment: the new favorite buzzword of mental health policymakers. I’ve already mused a little bit about what that word might mean – both to them [certainly not having much to do with agency or self-actualization] and those of us interested in practicing true psychiatry (literally, soul healing). A few more thoughts about empowerment in the... Continue Reading →
Sorcery - the Seven Arts (Salvador Dali, 1957) You may find it remarkable that I am classifying therapists with sorcerers. There is a fine line between the Healer who heals and the one who, due to ignorance, may cause harm. In working with patients, I have found that archaic language and images are the best... Continue Reading →
Again, this means that you can’t manipulate or talk someone into self-actualizing, you cannot plant the idea to do it in someone else’s head [inception], even if you have decided (out of love, paternalism, condescension, or compassion) that it would be “for their own good.”]
In order to infuse my posts with humor, I make it a habit to read Cracked.com almost daily; it's one of the best satirical websites around (superior even to the Onion, in my humble opinion). But when I saw Item #5 in this article today, I didn't find it particularly funny. It speaks to me of a... Continue Reading →
This frame story presents undiagnosed/untreated mental illness almost as a human rights issue. From this point of view, it is a basic human right to a. be informed that you are suffering from a mental illness [this fact being objectively determined, of course] and b. be medicated, therapized, or in some other way treated for that disease [the treatments being scientifically proven to address those aforementioned objective diagnoses]....
This was the promising headline of the cover story from the APA Monitor's October 2010 issue: “Does Marriage Make Us Happy?” The APA Monitor, a monthly publication specifically for mental health professionals, is more popular magazine than scholarly journal. It presents the latest APA-endorsed psychological “research” to practitioners, aiming to improve their service delivery, making it... Continue Reading →