Medication users call for respect from psych med critics

Editors note: We recently got challenged by one of our supporters who is a medication user and wants people to stop invalidating medication users. We are going to intersperse our challenger with data to make sure people can weigh both sides of the story.

Our challenger:

Psych med critics who practically say all psychiatric medications are bad for everyone all the time –dismiss the experiences of apparently millions of people, who take psych meds, as merely personal anecdotes. Psychiatric survivors talk about their negative personal experiences with psych meds all the time.

So, yes, there is another side of the

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My Experience of the Three Phases of Internal Stigma Reduction

By Ken Braiterman, Wellness Wordworks Board Chair

I came out to my family and trusted friends right away, when I was diagnosed in 1977, not with people who only knew me a short time, or at work. I didn’t want them to think about my mental health history if I got angry, tired, or frustrated like everybody else.

What I told myself determined what I told other people. That evolved in stages.

I thought in 1977 that I had a chemical imbalance in the brain, a no-fault disease controllable with medication. That was a new idea then. If enough people

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Bonnie Castro – People, Not Treatment Models, Change Lives

Editor’s note: This came from a discussion in an email group for all the peer support centers in Missouri. Bonnie Castro is a peer support specialist.

Some Peers Change Lives

So many folks in the system right now still remain in the “life is limited” stage despite consumer-run programs or clinical services that are offered to them. It’s not the services destroying the system so much. It’s the people delivering those services that change lives.

Recovery Rocks 2011 – Conference with many peer specialists where Bonnie was a speaker

I have met case managers that are really good

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What to Say When Peers Are Asked to Work for Free

Editor’s Note: As a mental health consultant with lived experience, I identify with this piece by Corinna West. More often than not, invitations from mental health providers to keynote conferences, advise on projects, and serve on committees do not include payment for our time, expertise, and experience. It’s as if they think we have nothing else to do, and the honor of having them listen to us should be all the reward we need. I was once asked to keynote a conference out of state, and pay my own air fare and hotel bill. “We don’t have funding to pay

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Why We Insist on Documenting Medication Claims and Opinions

The one thing we know for sure about psych meds is that nobody knows anything for sure about psych meds. Everyone reacts differently to every difference drug, and most of what people say is based on their own experience, good or bad, or their personal ideology. Scientific experts and studies disagree as much as advocates and lay people do. That’s why this website requires documenting medication claims and opinions.

Citing authority won’t resolve any conflicts, but documenting medication claims will at least show that the blogger did some research, bases his opinion on something, is not shooting from

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Talking Back to The Language Police

Language police control ideas as well as words

Recently, I got “beat up” by the language police in a bloody Facebook fight. I was charged with:

1. Using the term “SMI” to refer to the “Seriously Mentally Ill” population.

2. Asserting that conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were “organic brain disorders,” different than situational issues such as trauma-based depression or stress-related anxiety.

The “language police,” aware of my personal history with traumas from hospitalizations and misdiagnoses, blasted me for my “hypocrisy,” and “holier than thou” attitude. Many people shared stories of having been traumatized by narrow-minded or inaccurate

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By Shirazeh Tabibi – Forced Medication and Eating Disorders

 

The eating disorer “bulimia” is binge eating followe by forced purging

It could be my sister, niece, or best friend slowly trying to kill herself with an eating disorder It is a quiet, unintelligent cry for help/suicide attempt. But no treatment works unless the person with the eating disorder wants it to.

Trust me. I’ve had eating disorders..

When I was coming off of my first eating disorder (compulsive eating), and losing weight, everyone on earth said, “Wow! You’re really looking great!” Our society encourages eating disorders in a huge way. Even people who spent 24/7 with me

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Having Your Own Website, Part 1: Learning to Speak “Website”

It’s best, before you start your own website, to state in one or two simple sentences what it will be for. You can always change, add, or subtract from that, or have more than one purpose, but starting a big, ongoing project without some goal or direction is a good way to drift or get lost.

Hosting your own website amplifies your presence

People are more likely to become regular visitors to your site if they can identify its purpose(s).

Hosting your own website is fun and empowering. Many people are terrified of the idea, and see website management

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People With No Alternatives to the Disease Model Are Satisfied With It

This post was originally published on MadInAmerica.com, Robert Whitaker’s website about creating alternative approaches to mental health care.

Peer support is an alternative to the disease model

Four out of five adults, youth, and family members of community mental health centers (CMHCs) in New Hampshire told researchers they are satisfied. Three out of four said their quality of service is good, despite repeated budget cuts.

How do people who have never seen alternatives to the disease model know if they are satisfied with what they have?

Would fewer clients and families be satisfied if they were told about alternatives

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My Alternative to the Disease Model, Part 1 of 2

 

Label and Medicate: The Disease Model of Emotional Distress

The Disease Model of emotional distress victimized and traumatized me inexcusably several times in the past. Eighteen months ago, in the hospital, my clearly situational, trauma-based depression was inappropriately framed as a disease.

I’d previously been carelessly and crassly misdiagnosed — then, mistreated — twice. Part of my real problem was my dysfunctional family: my parents “bullied” me, choosing a lackluster counselor, unhealed from her own family problems. I was especially angry at a seemingly negative system by the time I was labeled unfairly in the hospital.

Was I

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At Wellness Wordworks, We Practice Collaborative Editing, Part 2 of 2

Collaborative editing

A good editor sands and polishes writers’ work, so their ideas and personal writing styles shine through. He or she does not impose his ideas or style on a writer’s work. Collaborative editing is between the writer and editor gives the best results.

All writing needs editing, whether the writers do it themselves, get help from an editor, or both. Nobody writes perfect copy the first time through.

Collaborative Editing on the Opening

Occasionally, editing involves reworking a writer’s opening to make it more likely to catch the reader’s interest, or reflect more accurately what the blog

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Maria Mangicaro – What Is Brief Reactive Psychosis?

Jason Russell, Diagnosed Wtih Brief Reactive Psychosis

All mental health advocates should learn from the recent hospitalization of “Kony 2012? creator Jason Russell. Jason’s behavior was filmed, and it seems clear that he was in a psychotic state, in urgent need of medical services to support the unique needs of someone in an acute, altered state of mind. According to news reports, Jason’s preliminary diagnosis is ”brief reactive psychosis.”

Danica Russell said she feels her husband’s “irrational” behavior stemmed from exhaustion and dehydration, not drugs or alcohol.

Symptoms and Causes of Brief Reactive Disorder

The National Institutes

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Reducing Medication Is An Adventure In Progress For Me

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, it’s a personal story. Medications help some people, but not everyone.

The hardest part of reducing medication, for me, is feeling more feelings. It’s like taking a layer of bubble wrap off my emotions. In fact, I had to reverse my second dose reduction because I was losing my temper and screaming at people too often, for no reason. So I’m taking one-third less, instead of two-thirds.

At this level, I fall asleep better, and wake up earlier and brighter. I’m more focused, happy, creative, and productive on two pills than on one, or

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David Hilton, Part 2: Good Anger, Bad Rage

David Hilton Would Not Take Care of Himself

My Mentor Was A Giant in the Mental Health Empowerment Movement

Note: David Hilton, Part 1 looks at David Hilton’s contributions to the mental health empowerment movement, and being my mentor and partner in New Hampshire.

http://wellnesswordworks.com/david-hilton-part-1-activism-friendship-anger/

David Hilton

When facts and experience contradict an ideology, rational people question their ideology. Ideologues deny the facts and cling to their ideology.

My best friend, colleague, and mentor in the mental health recovery and empowerment movement, David Hilton (1953-2003), repeatedly ignored his own experience, and followed his anti-medication ideology to repeated episodes of

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Learning Social Media for Baby Boomers, Part 2

Starting on Facebook and Twitter If You’re Over 60 Tip 1: Get a “Kid Mentor” to Teach You

My Facebook and Twitter "Kid Mentor," Corinna West, 37 (Left)

You can create free Facebook and Twitter accounts free on your computer by following directions on your screen. Get comfortable with one before you start the other. I ignore Linked-In. I don’t have time for three social media.

Many people over 60, like me, have learned the basics on Twitter and Facebook, but don’t get the full benefit. Others don’t use them at all. Many are afraid to try. Others have

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