Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lizard with a new skin

I haven't posted for a while because (a) there hasn't been much to say and (b) I am in writer's slump re the sugggested edits on my book. The edits are going very, very slowly. I have completely dismantled some of the chapters, but don't know how to put them back together again. So, I joined a gym yesterday in an attempt to shake away the lethargy.

Chris is like a lizard with a new skin. He's really excited about the job with the artist. He takes a two hour train ride there and back and stays overnight. (Journeying is good for growth.) When he's not helping the artist with his projects he helps the artist's wife with her garden and communes with the animals on the farm next door. He is beginning to talk about plans for his future. I just let him talk. I don't get caught up in it. When he's ready, he'll jump.

It's going so well, I wonder why I doubted this kind of outcome in the past. Well, it's easy enough to see why the doubts set in. The big culprit is the so-called "diseased brain." There is absolutely nothing you can do with a diseased brain, is there? It's like settled concrete.

Coincidentally, into my mail box seconds ago came the following epistle from Will Meecham, MD, MA, entitled The Death of Mental Illness.

Only during the past few years, as I took up meditation and began exploring holistic methods of healing, did I begin to feel well. In fact, the change occurred rather quickly once I started meditating, tapered off the cocktail of psychiatric drugs, and quit hanging out at the mental health clinic. My once rock-solid conviction that my mind was ill gradually dissolved, and I began to wonder if I’m perhaps one of the healthier persons around, simply because I’ve worked so hard to achieve balance and peace. And if my ‘symptoms’ forced me into this growth, shouldn’t I be glad they afflicted me? Should I still consider my mental health issues as diseases, or were they gifts?

I’ve already sketched how psychiatrists diagnosed as mania an experience that in another time and place would have been viewed as a divinely granted spiritual awakening. My epiphany landed battered and defamed in the charnel grounds of mental illness, when it could have been an elegant container of grace.

Although the biomedical doctrine of ‘mental illness’ caters nicely to pharmaceutical interests, it serves patients poorly. Let’s give the skullcap a nice burial, and start over with some more elegant and uplifting concepts.


  1. Rossa,

    The 'Death of Mental Illness' by Dr. Will Meecham was great!

    It would be nice to see more doctors join in a 'recovery' (or 'thriving', etc) approach toward finding more health, wellness... rather than the conventional approach.

    Sometimes, I feel hopeful... and other times, I wonder how much longer conventional psychiatrists will try to hold on to the myth.

    I read a post put up by a doctor the other day... Acknowlegement that antidepressants don't work for mild, moderate depression... but still have a place with severe depression.

    Let me get this straight.

    Antidepressants are no better than placebo when it comes to mild, moderate forms, but somehow work wonders for major depressive disorder (MDD)?

    Is that what we are supposed to believe.

    I found that void of any common sense.

    You say you joined a gym.

    The next time you see someone who can lift 100 pounds, ask them if they can lift 20 pounds, or fifty pounds.

    In the event you find someone who can lift 100, but tells you, "No way." when you ask them if they can lift 20 lbs, or 50 lbs... Put up a post on the subject.

    We can all shake our heads, and tell ourselves, "This makes no sense."

    Antidepressants "work" for major depression?

    Could it be that people with major depression find the feeling of numbness helpful with the severe pain?

    Could it be that this numbness helps them to get through the day?

    Maybe so.

    But it's a stretch to say they "work."

    As it is with each of these drugs, all of these drugs. Again, I'm not down on people who find it necessary to take them.... My anger is focused on the group of men and women who do not tell people of their risks, and who offer nothing else.

    I see a pattern among psychiatrist who blog... They are holding on tight to the last bit of myth... They continue to say that "severe forms of mental illness" need their treatment.

    Says who?

    "Don't try this at home" is the mantra.

    Says who?

    If psychiatry had been successful, since the introduction of their drugs... There would be proof. There is not.

    If psychiatry had been able to "save lifes" we would see it in the suicide rates over the past five or six decades.

    Does psychiatry "save lifes" by improving the quality of life for people with "severe mental illness?"

    There seem to be a few who swear by the drugs, and a vast-majority whose lifes were turned upside-down.

    Are there better ways to "treat?"... ways that are safer and more effective?

    Is the Pope Catholic?

    Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)... The message seems to be "don't question whether they work"... Just take them.

    As it is with any/all forms of "severe mental illness".... Don't try to find ways that are safer and more effective on your own.... "Dont' try this at home."

    Fat and asexual.

    It seems like we Americans are too lazy to read the package inserts on psychiatric drugs... We want to believe in magic.

    I say, when it comes to antidpressants, simply put on the side of each bottle, "This product will likely make you fat and asexual" and let people decide on their own!

    That outta get the job done.

    Duane Sherry, M.S.

  2. Rossa,

    The questionable sanity of conventional psychiatry -

    If a psychiatric drug causes severe "side effects"... increase the dose.

    If the increase in dosage produces even worse "side effects"... add another drug.

    If the second drug makes things worse... add a third to the mix.

    If someone asks for "proof" that they have a "severe mental illness"... tell them that there are a host of illnesses that can't be seen in a microscope, by MRI, C-T Scan, brain imaging.

    If someone wants further "proof"... tell them that "severe mental illness" is like diabetes... tell them that it's important that they take their drugs... it's like "taking insulin"

    If someone lacks trust based upon past trauma, and begins to show signs of unresolved trauma... lock them up with strangers.

    If they are further traumatized, assure them that it is another "symptom" of their "illness"... if "necessary"... lock them up again.

    If they exhibit signs of healing... having dream-like states with images and sounds with their eyes open... drug down the thoughts/feelings until they all go away.

    If they want to work, assure them they are "not ready" until they have "more control".... and then take that control away, with higher dosages, with more drugs.

    If they object to being labeled, being druged, call them "non-compliant".

    If the "non-compliant" label doesn't work, insist that they have a "personality disorder".

    Once they are no longer able to function, call them "treatment resistant."

    ... And the list goes on, and on, and on.


    The largest "dysfunctional" medical family on earth...

    What do psychiatrists call people like me?
    People who stand-up and speak out?
    Zealots, or worse.

    A message to any parent who reads your blog -

    When is it time to turn the keys to your son or daughter's brain over to a psychiatrist?


    If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck... Quack, quack!

    Duane Sherry, M.S.

  3. Rossa,

    All of this reminds me of one of my favorite movies -

    “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…. The great and powerful Oz has spoken”

    The Problem with Drug Related Studies, Timothy Scott, Ph.D. -

    Be well,

    Duane Sherry, M.S.

  4. Rossa,

    Thank you for letting me rant.

    I'd like to leave a quick-note to your readers.
    Psychiatric drug withdrawal can be dangerous.

    The Alternative to Meds Center has improved their website, and now has information on how to abate withdrawal effects, for each of the psychiatric drug classes, articles in each category, even by specific drug (see links on left-hand side of their site) -

    There is more information on this link, including a warning by Peter Breggin, M.D. -

    I apologize to you and your readers for the back-to-back comments.

    Duane Sherry

  5. Rant away, Duane. Your message is important.


I am no longer approving comments. All I ask is that you be respectful of others and refrain from using profanity.