Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fun for a long week-end

From the it's about time department.

Ursus Wehrli tidies up art.

Ursus Wehrli shares his vision for a cleaner, more organized, tidier form of art -- by deconstructing the paintings of modern masters into their component pieces, sorted by color and size.

Comedian and cabaret artist Ursus Wehrli is on a crusade to tidy up art.

The Mindstorm: Fear and Misinformation and Throwing Away 50%

The Mindstorm: Fear and Misinformation and Throwing Away 50%: DJ Jaffe and Dr. Fuller Torrey are two leading figures in the cause for forced treatment of persons with severe mental illness. Their argume...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sign petition to release Adam Lanza's medical and toxicology records

March 25, 2013

Dear Ablechild Member,

We have a nationwide problem that is growing by the minute.....Massive amounts of pending mental health bills in response to the recent school shooting in Newtown, CT. These bills do not address the root cause of this violent act and the many others that are taking place throughout our country. On top of this, these mental health bills, if voted in as law will strip our parental rights away and leave our children at risk for mental health abuse. The Newtown, Sandy Hook mass murder suicide has placed Ablechild’s work into the national spotlight. We need to be ready to further our efforts, spread our critical information far and wide and need your help in this endeavor.

Ablechild has written to the Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner requesting the toxicology report of the school shooter and we have launched a national campaign to educate lawmakers to ask the one question that has yet to be answered: “Was this incident yet another linking psychiatric drug use to our nations school shootings?” Our national campaign needs your voice by signing ourpetition to compel a release of Adam Lanza’s medical and toxicology records and we are asking you to send this petition to everyone you know and ask these people to spread it even further. We need to have a huge impact!!!!

WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT A NEW ABLECHILD WEBSITE is on the way which will make it much easier for parents to navigate, access information and discuss various issues. We are building a new, simpler to use, virtual home, to ensure our message is not lost in the misinformation that is permeating todays media. Our goal is not only to be in today’s fleeting spotlight; but for us to remain a critical force on the national level. WE CANNOT ACCOMPLISH THIS WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT!

Our message, work, and overall efforts go to ensuring informed consent and the right to refuse mental health screening and drug “treatment” for all our children. With your financial support, Ablechild can continue this important work which has directly impacted individual rights and helps us move mountains.Please support us so that we continue to grow, further parental rights and ultimately protect our children. Hey, don't forget to check us out on our facebook page. Join the conversation, like, and share us.


Sheila Matthews and Patricia Weathers, Cofounders

Copyright 2001- 2007 Ablechild (Parents for Label and Drug Free Education). All rights reserved. Ablechild is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, Section 501(c) (3) charitable organization, and donations are deductible under the provisions of the IRS Tax Code. Ablechild and the Ablechild logo is a Trademark of Ablechild, Inc.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

NPR host needs stigma rehab and training

I like social worker Jack Carney's exhortation to the mental health community: "Don't mourn, organize!" We can all do our part to raise our objections and concerns when we feel that our rights and human dignity and those of others have been infringed upon. A very simple thing to do is to write letters and submit comments through the social media. The aim isn't necessarily to change the mind of the author, the idea is to get the opinion and information out there for others, perhaps for the first time, to read and contemplate.

Here's my contribution to changing the world, for today. National Public Radio has a show called "Fresh Air," in which Terry Gross interviews all kinds of major and minor celebrities. In the show I listened to, Ms Gross interviews Mike White, creator and co-star of the Home Box Office series Enlightened, in which Laura Dern stars as corporate executive Amy Jellicoe, recently returned from rehab and wanting to change the world.

Rossa Forbes comment #24
Good interview, as I expect of Terry Gross, but I would like to point out how Ms Gross is perpetuating stigma of the mentally ill. I was horrified to hear her say to Mike White, that he couldn't possibly be the same as those people he ended up with in the mental hospital, since his was a case of anxiety. "It's not like you were schizophrenic or mentally ill," she added. STIGMA alert! Since a discussion of the gay rights movement and discrimination informed a large part of this interview, it's ironic that Ms Gross tripped up over perpetuating the same stigma that Mr. White's father rose up against. Remember when non-gays were judged on how "gay positive" they were, and appropriately pilloried if they weren't? Well, I would like to know how "schizopositive" Ms Gross is and what her beliefs are about "mental illness." She appears to believe that anxiety, especially among talented writers, is not associated with mental illness. In his response, Mr. White talks about reading Buddhist texts for the first time and learning how to strive towards enlightenment. Mr. White would have been in good company in the mental hospital, where no doubt many of the "inmates routinely read these texts and others as a necessary part of their spiritual journey. So, how about a Fresh Air interview with Paris Williams, author of Rethinking Madness, PsychCentral's most recent book of the month. From the review: "Another major point Williams makes is that the core issues in madness are not a struggle with an “illness” experienced only by some, but rather a struggle with the existential issues that we all face, such as being caught between a fear of being separate and a fear of being overwhelmed or engulfed by connection."

Friday, March 1, 2013

Learning from the voices in your head

Live from TED2013

Living with voices in your head: Eleanor Longden at TED2013

I don't think that the video is available yet, but here's what Eleanor wrote in Facebook.
"Woop woop! Standing ovation at TED 2013 from a lovely audience that included Bill Gates, Ben Affleck, Cameron Diaz, Bono & Goldie Hawn. See kids...hearing voices is actually a good career move. *Lots* of interest in the work of Intervoice - you guys were all with me in spirit! x"

Here's the write-up on TED Blog. Well done Eleanor!

Eleanor Longden did well at school, and gleefully entered student life at university in England. By all appearances, she was a happy, typical student … but it wasn’t true. Underneath it all, Longden was “fundamentally frightened,” and while she did a good job of concealing her fear, she was about to come undone. She started to hear the voice in the second term of that first year, a narrator in her head calmly describing everything she did in the third person. The voice was neutral, impassive, even reassuring, though it would sound frustrated were Longden to hide her anger. “It was clear that it had something to communicate to me about my emotions, particularly emotions that were remote and inaccessible,” she says.

Longden’s first fatal mistake was to tell a friend about the voice. That didn’t go so well–the implication was that normal people don’t hear voices–and she was persuaded to go to a doctor, her next mistake. ”She is digging her own grave,” the voice said at the appointment. Doctors don’t like voices in heads, and things began to unravel. Hospital admissions followed, then a diagnosis of schizophrenia, and then a “psychic civil war.” The voices increased and grew menacing, and Longden retreated into a nightmarish world. It’s hard to listen. “A vicious cycle of fear, avoidance, mistrust, misunderstanding had been established.”

Two years later, her deterioration had been dramatic. The voices had turned terrifying, and her mental health status was a catalyst for verbal, even sexual assault. A doctor told her, “Eleanor, you’d be better off with cancer; it’s easier to cure than schizophrenia.” She even attempted to drill a hole in her head to get rid of the voices.

Yet Longden is a survivor: “Many people have harmed me, and I remember them all, but the memories grow pale in comparison to the people who helped me.” With a group of supporters around her, she began a long journey back to health. She first had to understand that the voices were a reaction to traumatic childhood events. “Each voice was closely related to aspects of myself, sexual trauma, anger, shame, guilt, low self-worth,” she says. Crucially, “the most hostile and aggressive voices represented the parts that had been hurt most profoundly. These had to be shown the most compassion and care.”

Eventually, she came off medication, and returned to psychiatry … as a professional. To this day, she argues the relevance of a particular approach. The important question in psychiatry isn’t “what’s wrong with you?” but “what happened to you?”
Now Longden lives with her voices with peace, respect, compassion and acceptance. She is a part of Intervoice, the organizational body for the hearing voices movement. The group has networks in 26 countries on five continents, and it promotes a sense of dignity, solidarity and empowerment for individuals in mental distress. “We don’t have to live our lives forever defined by the damaging things that have happened to us,” she concludes. “My psychiatrist said: ‘Don’t tell me what other people have told you about yourself. Tell me about you.’”

It's cheaper to kick somebody's ass

From the erudite lips of SRK, author of Refusing Psychiatry Without Pissing Off the Neighbors.

"I think the distinction between sociopath and a psychopath boils down to this: If you're a sociopath, the rest of us will sooner or later gang up to kick your ass; if you're a psychopath, the rest of us will sooner or later gang up to "treat" you."

Read the rest here

SRK's blogger profile: "I became an attorney late in life primarily to advocate for the universal human right to refuse psychiatry."

Follow him (He's surely a him based on his taste in movies) on Twitter: @mentalhealthlaw