Check out this article! Brain allergies…I think I am allergic to dairy.

Remember I used to get VERTIGO every time I drank that glass of milk in the morning?  And yet I kept drinking it.  Why?  I insisted on doing my food a certain way.  People with eating disorders are peculiar that way.  Well, I buy yogurt now and then, not very often.  I got yogurt on Monday.  A whole quart of it.  And in creeps this paranoia.  I bought a quart of it and had the last of it this morning before my run.  Eeeks!  When I introduced the dairy to my diet on Monday evening, I had a bit of loose stools.  And I’ve been developing this paranoia.  So from now on, no more cow’s milk for me.

Here’s the article:

I also had an ear of corn Monday night.

Extra pill just now

Well, gee, I recognized some negative thinking creeping in, some of the old paranoia, and I decided to put a stop to it right away.  It got scary.  Recognizing it is half the battle because if you don’t, it accelerates and gets worse.  Then once you do stop yourself, you’re okay.

See, it kind of centered around this person that I thought was badmouthing me.  Is it true or not?  Does it matter?  Who cares what this person says or doesn’t say about me?  I hold my head high.  I am cute and funny no matter what she says.  How can you argue with my dog’s fuzzy face?  Who is really going to believe her, anyway?  What these people are finding is that what she says simply isn’t true.  Not that I really know what it is that she’s spreading around, but she is spreading something around, I know that.  Or so I thought.  So I ended up rather paranoid, obsessing about what people thought about me and thinking that people were giving me “looks.”  Well, maybe they were and maybe they weren’t.  Let them look at me cross-eyed for all I care.

I took half an Abilify extra just now.  I plan to see Dr. P next week and hopefully this will be gone by then.  I want this bit out of my head.

Yeah, I know, it all sounds like normal gossip shit to you, but it goes a lot deeper.  I don’t like bawling over humans and feeling persecuted.   I hope this goes away in a few hours and that I’m back to normal.  Guess I just woke up funny.

Life is great, so why should I see a therapist and muck it up? Life doesn't have to suck, even if you get the bad end of the stick.

I learned the hard way that therapy can royally muck up your life.  Very badly.  I learned a number of times and didn’t learn my lesson.  I learned that some therapists get into the business because they have the inner desire to be controlling, and take over other people’s lives.  Folks like this, controlling people, don’t only get into the therapy business.  They get into other occupations as well, such as dog training.  Sorry to say, I’ve known one heck of a lot of arrogant dog trainers.  Thankfully, I’ve known some kind ones, too.  Of course, a lot of controlling people have babies and control the babies for eighteen years or so until the babies grow up and are old enough to legally tell the parents to fuck off.  Or maybe the babies never get up the guts to do this, and live their whole lives as puppets or slaves.  You and I have seen subtle versions of this all over the place, haven’t we?  Or we’ve seen controlling husbands or wives.  This can be very subtle.

So picture this in the therapy office.  Yes, it does happen quite often, more often than not.  It happens in day treatment, in some programs.  When I was in day treatment, I’d say the first two experiences, they made darned sure the patients were wrapped around their fingers.  The therapists were quite controlling.  In one day treatment experience I had, the therapists divulged their own personal information to the “community,” such as telling the “community” that they were lesbians.  Then a staff person married a client.  These “groups” became more like “True Confession” for staff and patients than anything else.  It was quite well known that I had a crush on one of the staff.  Anyone who didn’t know must have had their eyes shut.  That staff person should have put an end to it but instead, she encouraged me.  Why?  She loved it.  Let’s face it.  She was manipulative and controlling and loved the power she had over me.  Heck, she could get me to do anything she wanted, because I loved her.  Everyone knew this.  What a pathetic situation.  What a waste of over three years of my life.

So this is what happened: Every day, I went home, and said to myself, “Huh?  What just happened?  Wast that worth it?”  I would call Joe.  We would have our moment of awkwardness, and then we’d launch into our usual funny conversation.  He’d ask me about my male pals, S and J.

“Did they smell?” Joe would ask.

“They always smell,” I would say.  “I told my T to tell them to bathe, but she never says anything!  It’s so frustrating!”

“Why don’t you call them ‘Smelly,'” said Joe.  From then on, Joe always asked, “How’s Smelly?” when referring to these guys.  This would always get me laughing.  So I had my afternoons to look forward to.

Of course, I’ve talked about my last manipulative therapist enough, the one who immediately assumed I was a liar and a cheater, and that I did behaviors I have never, ever done.  She always threatened to put me in the state hospital, every time I showed up for a therapy appointment.  She did not like that I was a runner.  She did everything she could do to stop me from running or try to discourage me.  She was very happy that this doctor had told me I couldn’t run again and supported his verdict even though she herself has no medical knowledge.  She did not encourage me to seek a second opinion.  She supported medical decisions, such as the decision to limit my water, that had no medical basis.  She repeatedly threatened to “fire” me and held this over my head.  When I fired her, she refused to refer me to someone else and said I had to come back to her or no one else.  She made claims that had no medical basis, ridiculous claims that are so numerous I don’t know if I should even bother to list them here.  Probably the most ridiculous was that I had ruined my kidneys with my water drinking.  The truth was that my kidneys were damaged long ago because a DOCTOR who was practicing without a licence whom I saw between  1984 and 1986 gave me lithium and I think he took the level, during that time, once or twice, just in the beginning and that’s it.  My parents begged him to get a level done but he flat out refused.  This man was practicing without a licence.  In 1986, I moved.  In 1987 it was discovered that my thyroid had shut down from the lithium.    It was my parents who noticed the lump in my throat.  They also noticed I drank lots of water.  They didn’t know why.   A  lot of people drank a lot of water back then and some guy talked about “diabetes” from lithium and I thought he was nuts.  He wasn’t nuts, of course, it’s just that diabetes is a misnomer.  I really wish it was called something besides diabetes insipidus because it has nothing to do with blood sugar.  It took all the way until 2012 for the DI to be discovered.  Meanwhile, my manipulative, controlling therapist, who should have been asking why I was so thirsty, who should have looked into it all, instead made claim that I was using my water drinking as self harm?  Huh?  See?  Therapy can definitely be detrimental to ones health.  I was drinking water because my body required it.

You know something?  I think my former T was jealous me and my running.  She herself was overweight.  She wasn’t in the greatest health, either.  I’ve had therapists like that.

Dr. P loves that I’m running again.  She has always supported going to the gym and she knows that I thrive on it.

Way, way back, before I ever thought I’d go into therapy, back before 1980, I thought therapy made people feel sorry for themselves.  I thought therapy made people self-centered and selfish.  It made people blame their problems on their upbringing and their parents.  That’s what I thought therapy was for.  I thought that was just plain dumb, and I still do.

Then folks said to  me, “This is the ME GENERATION!  You should feel sorry for yourself, after all!  Life sucks!”  I went along with this, and I shouldn’t have.  Life doesn’t have to suck, even if you get the bad end of the stick.

New offer for therapy on Thursday…but should I really be in therapy at all?

I’m just wondering….I’ve gone all these months without it and resolved all this stuff on my own.  It seems like therapy does more harm than good, overall, doesn’t it??  Let’s consider things.  I’ve had how many therapists now?  Eighteen or so?  How many of them were any good?  One or two?  Did I benefit from working with any of them?

Someone once told me her therapist saved her life.  I’m not one to say, but no, no, no I say you saved your own life.  It was ultimately your choice to show up and your choice to listen to this lady.

Same thing with the hospital.  You know you’re ultimately going to get sectioned.  You’re the one that gives into it and goes along with the shit.  Forced treatment might look like it saved someone’s life, but if you examine it all under a microscope, the person ultimately cooperated, or knew that the sectioning was going to happen.  The long and short of it is that your life is in your hands unless you end up getting shot by someone else.

I’ve heard stories of folks who take overdoses that they assume will be fatal, and then what happens?  Their bodies take over.  They go on automatic pilot.  They become delirious, and cease to be able to control their behavior.  Though their awake minds want to die, their drugged minds are so confused that they end up on the streets, wandering in traffic.  They are quickly picked up by police, and ultimately, saved.  These folks took extremely toxic drugs but they survived.  So who saved their life?  A smart policeman, true, recognized this was not some drunk that only needed sobering up.  But also, it is biology and gut instinct that saves these folks.

Anyway, I’m supposed to start with a new therapist Thursday.  Should I?  All I remember is bad therapists.   Ones that make you worse, not better.

I’m going to take a nap.  I see a new acupuncturist today.  Maybe I’ll ask her opinion on this.

Most mental illness is caused the "treatment" that is meant to "cure" it!

That’s right!  Now I know the title of this blog entry sounds like a sweeping generalization and it sounds nuts, but it’s not.  I’d need an entire book to prove that this statement is true and in fact I couldn’t prove it but only give a zillion examples.  I’m not going to write the entire book in just a few minutes here (obviously) but I’ll make the following statement:

I’ve thought good and hard about what caused my anorexia relapse, now that it’s over.  Yes, over.  I have a happy life now and I’m completely free of it.  I experienced eating disorders on and off during my life but it all hit very hard in 2008, got wicked bad in 2009, and finished itself off in 2012.  I’m done with it all now and I hope it never comes back.  I’d say it was never, ever so bad in my whole life.

But….in my fifties?  I mean……….really.  I’ve thought about it real hard, and now I know.  It wasn’t the rape.  It wasn’t the move.  I still live here, and I’m fine.  I’ve been raped before, and it’s funny cuz as far as trauma was concerned, I went through some claustrophobia afterward and I did suppress the memory for a few months but I did not have flashbacks.  I don’t recall any sleep issues besides wondering why being covered entirely by the blanket caused me to feel extremely uncomfortable, like I was being smothered.  This is no longer the case.  I like having my head covered because I am warmer.  I had the same clothes issues everyone else has after they are raped.  You don’t want to wear anything with an elastic waistband.  You don’t want to wear anything that shows breasts in any way.  For me, this meant huge shirts that did not touch my body.  They were button-up shirts that puffed out and I tied them at my waist to make sure they puffed out.  Eventually, I got rid of these shirts.  I got over it.   Not everyone who is raped develops anorexia.  Most don’t.

Now, my psychiatrist claimed that my anorexia happened because of graduation.  She said I didn’t want to leave school and didn’t want to grow up.  She said my anorexia was my way of staying little and not graduating.  Oh, bullshit.  I think this theory just doesn’t hold water.  I graduated in 2009 and you’d think it all would have stopped by 2010 or early on in 2011, but heck, it just kept on going.

You know what I think it was?  The Seroquel.  I am totally not kidding you.  In 1999 I started on a low dose of Seroquel.  It was the latest antipsychotic and supposedly it didn’t have many side effects.  If you remember correctly, it was 1998 that I had turned 40 an basically told the mental health system to fuck off, went back to school, and was writing away.  In 2000 I had a bit of a relapse, just a tiny one.  They had me on Seroquel and I was hospitalized.  I was taking the semester off.  My weight was low and they did this “control” thing in the hospital, deciding to “treat” my low weight with a “meal plan” and Ensure.  Of course, they upped the Seroquel knowing full well it would cause weight gain.  They raised it to 600 mgs daily.  My weight jumped up ten pounds almost instantly and they decided I was cured.  But after the hospital, my weight continued to creep up.  This bewildered me.  I didn’t put two and two together.  In the hospital, my weight had dropped to 90.  Agreeably, that’s too low for me, but they knew that the Seroquel would likely do this to me and I was not in there for anorexia.  I was in there for psychosis.  They should have left well enough alone, because meal plan or not, I was gaining, fast.  I’d say when I started seeing Dr. P in 2001 I was easily 120 pounds and completely clueless that the Seroquel was the cause.  By the time I graduated in 2003 I may have been 135 or so but I can’t really recall.  The top weight for my height is 132.  Trust me, I was quite unhappy with my weight at graduation.  When I came to Goddard that winter in 2004, I recall wearing size XXL  and “plus” sizes already.  The next July, I was 150, and between that July and the following January when I showed up at Goddard again, I gained 50 pounds.  Why?  A doctor raised my Seroquel to 900 mgs a day, an unheard-of dose.

So I was then nearly 200 pounds.  I don’t care what they say about loving your body at any weight….When  a pill does something like that to you, let’s face it, IT SUCKS ROYALLY.  It feels like someone else has taken control of your body entirely.  I mean, I have feelings!  These feelings about my weight were like the feelings anyone has about any side effect.  It sucked!  Like the feelings you get about having shaky hands, or the feelings you have about getting insomnia from a medication…..It sucks!  Say it out loud!

So I demanded to get off the Seroquel.  Yeah, I finally put two and two together.  The Seroquel had done this to me.  I wanted to undo what the Seroquel had done and I did it with a vengeance.  I undid the Seroquel, and this was my anorexia.  I took control.  I was not going to be anyone’s puppet.

Agreeably, most people are not in this boat.  They take these weight-gainers, gain weight, and they are more or less stuck with the weight unless they really work at it.  Most people have to get off the weight-gainers to lose weight at all.  Everyone’s body is different.  Some people don’t gain from the drugs.  Some people find the opposite effect.  You can’t say, “This happened to me, there’fore the same thing will happen to you,” because everyone’s different.

So it was 2009, spring hit, I admitted to my T that I had this problem, I ended up graduating and into the fall and I ended up in the hospital in 2010 which didn’t work out.  Later in 2010 my friends dumped me.  But it started to look like I was on the mend.  Unfortunately, I ended up with the wrong T at the wrong time, and all hell breaks loose because of her own personal control issues.  (This T, by the way, has her own video testimonial up on a site about this macrobiotic diet she follows….trust me, she’s quite the hypocrite.)  I am at fault for not recognizing what was going on.  Revenge?  It is my wellness that is my revenge on this woman.  I have never once named her in this blog and I don’t intend to.  Dumping her was the right move and that helped me get well.

I don’t need controlling people in my life.  I don’t need substances that make my body unhealthy.  I don’t need mind control.  It is unhealthy to be a puppet.

Well, I guess you know the rest.  I do feel that I was really quite floored by the Seroquel weight gain experience.  I plan to look up old journals and make a You-tube about the blood sugar problems I had with Seroquel and the weight gain.  I don’t blame my doctor for this but the drug company did lie to doctors about the drug’s tendency to cause weight gain.  I do blame my T at the time (Dr. R) who supposedly was an ED specialist because she knew absolutely nothing about ED.  She had no understanding of my feelings about the weight gain.  We could not resolve any of this.  She kept told me to love my body.  I feel that she was incompetent as a therapist and that she could have prevented all this by telling me to tell Dr. P to get me off the Seroquel instead of telling me to love my body and sit by and watch it grow like it was a house plant.   And Dr. P always wondered why I was happy to see her go.

How awesome can you get?

Puzzle and I have a truly awesome, busy life nowadays.  It’s no surprise to me that our country chooses to start its week with Sunday.  They tell us in writing school that whatever happens in the beginning of a piece is what gives the reader his first impression of what is to follow.  So what happens on Sunday is the first impression for our week.

This puts a lot of pressure on churches (those that have services on Sundays) to make their services a certain way for their congregations.  I guess some churches want to teach.  Some churches want to be moral.  Some want to be scary and tell you you won’t go to Heaven, or that you will go to Hell if you don’t follow them.  Some want to guide.  Some want to influence or point the way.  Some want to comfort.  Some offer an afterlife.  Some offer social justice.   Many give answers or tell folks how to live their lives.  Many do charity or feed the poor.  Some heal or help sick folks.  Some offer forgiveness.  Some offer meditation and calm the mind.  Some offer help with specific problems such as addiction.  Many have a Messiah or have a god or many gods.  Lots of churches have rules or guidelines to follow or principles or morals or ways they suggest you should live your life.  In our country, this tends to happen on the weekend.  Our American solar calendar starts on Sunday and this is interesting to me.  No, the week doesn’t start on Manic Monday when we wake up with a rushed cup of coffee.  It starts off when many of us wake up slowly, the day many of us spend leisurely.

I’m told that most folks in this country nowadays don’t affiliate with any religious organization at all.  I don’t blame them. We get mixed impressions of religion and mixed messages from adults when we are little, don’t we?

What do we hear from TV?  From the department stores at Christmastime?  From politicians? From Facebook and other social media?  From our parents?  From religious organizations themselves?  From the clergy? From the schools?  From the government?

Here’s what my parents told me: “You can have friends, but they must only be Jewish friends.  You may not speak the name Jesus in the house.  Jesus did not exist.  You may not give a Christmas gift.  You are not allowed to sing a Christmas    Carol in the house.  You are not allowed to acknowledge that Christmas or Santa exist.  If you marry, he must be Jewish.  We are superior to other people.”

I learned early on that our family was purely Ashkinazi Jew, back zillions of generations.  I wondered if this was a “race.”  I wonder now just how much inbreeding gets done among the Ashkinazis.  I ended up accusing my dad of being racist one day.  I’ve really never seen him so furious.

For a while, I lived in a small town in Vermont.  I was 21.  I had just had quite an experience that not too many folks have and it doesn’t happen to people nowadays cuz this group no longer exists as such.  I’m talking about what’s known as the Moonies.  They were a brainwashing cult that was in its peek in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  I got brainwashed.  I’m talking Japanese techniques (Moon was Korean) used in prisoner of war camps.  They did it all and kids that got recruited didn’t come out for years.  The parents, when they finally found out what happened to their kids, sent in “deprogrammers” who charged an arm and a leg (maybe) and rebrainwashed (I know, that’s not a word) the poor kid and got the kid out.  That was the story.

I don’t know what happened exactly.  Just about everyone fell prey to this brainwashing.  Strength of prior religious belief didn’t matter nor did assertiveness and it didn’t matter how strong-willed you were.  In fact, if you were strong-willed, you might have latched onto them very strongly.  If you fell for them, it didn’t mean you were weak.  Actually, the  folks that traveled back with me seemed very tired.  That was the only common denominator.  They either asked to leave, or, like me, were being kicked out.  I was kicked out for being a rebel, for passing secret notes to others letting them know that we were being brainwashed and that it was in their best interest to GET OUT.  I got caught at this and they  took me aside and I was outa there.  These Moonies were suddenly hostile to me.  These folks who had previously claimed they loved me suddenly didn’t.

Do I see parallels with my last inpatient experience?  You bet I do.  I tried to communicate the truth with other patients.  “Don’t take this pill until you get a full list of side effects,” I said to another patient.”

“The nurse gave me a list,” said the patient. (Note: this is paraphrased and not an actual conversation.  Yes, I do keep confidentiality.)

“No,” I said, “that’s a partial list from their computer.  “Ask your visitor to look up that med on the Internet at drugs dot com.  Or webmd dot com.  And look up information for doctors.  Get a full list of how the med interacts with all your other meds and vitamins and any med you might be thinking of taking.  See what it is doing to the organs and systems of your body.  If you have a problem with binge eating, see if the med will cause out-of-control appetite.  Many do.  See also what it does to blood sugar levels, because these can affect your eating habits and sense of control once you get out of here and are on your own.”

“The staff want me to shut up and follow my meal plan and take my drugs  They don’t want me to know my weight.  I feel full.  I feel bloated and awful and I hate eating this junk food.  Why do they give it to us?  It’s not even healthy food.  Why did we have to eat Doritos?”

“To fatten us up, of course.  They don’t care that it’s unhealthy.”

“I can’t afford Doritos.  The dietician wants me to buy them when I get out of here and I told her no way.”

“Buy apples.  At least those you can give to your kids and feel okay about it.”

“I wouldn’t give my dog Doritos.  I feel terrible about eating meat and I feel awful every time I drink milk.  They said I should never look in the mirror anymore.  That I should never step on the scale anymore.  That I should throw my scale away.”

I said, “That’s a waste of a bathroom scale.  The scale is nothing but a measuring instrument and the mirror is there for a reason, so you can do your hair and whatever.  My publisher says you should look into the mirror daily, smile at yourself and be proud.  You know something?  It’s my apartment.  I’ll keep a scale there if I want to.  It’s not going to bite me.  I’ll weigh myself if I feel like it and otherwise the thing is going to collect dust.  It’s a tool like any other and it has its place.  Why should I give it power by throwing it out?  Why should I be that damned scared of it?”

“They won’t let me exercise.”

“That’s bullshit, too.  While we’re in here, there’s not much we can do.  Bedrest is bullshit unless you have refeeding syndrome.  What can happen is that you will lose your muscle tone if you are on bedrest and not exercising.  This happens to various degrees.  You can lose all muscle tone after a few weeks on bedrest and find that you are completely unable to stand or walk.  I have seen this with my own two eyes.  Bedrest is bullshit.  There is no medical reason for it.  It is INSURANCE that demands it because insurance controls these places and funds these places and our doctors are not reading any part of our charts except our weight.  They are not reading the lab results.  As soon as you get out of here, exercise away.  Just don’t be a fanatic and you’ll be fine.”

And so on.  Our conversations were always overheard and broken up by staff.  Yeah, I see parallels.  These places brainwash people and I was obnoxious as hell last time I was in.  I’m proud that I was obnoxious.  Very proud.

So I had an awesome Sunday.  It started out yesterday with my morning run.  I did five laps for the first time.  I decided that maybe I shouldn’t do the AIDS 5k run if I’m also going to do the NEDA walk because doing two things for charity the sane spring is obnoxious and it bugs people.  No one has that kind of money.  There are a lot of folks that are going to pledge and then not pay up, sorry to say, or pledge and then be a pain in the butt about paying up.  Never mind that I’m also selling books.  Just too much.  So I won’t do the AIDS 5k, I’ll do a 5k that’s for charity but not pledges and not an entrance fee that kills my bank account.  Something around here and something on a level course.  I want a race that will be well established and the route will be approved by whatever organization checks out routes and declares them safe, no cracks, no big rocks or pebbles or sand on the street or potholes, traffic is stopped, and so on.

I came home and walked Puzzle.  We had an awesome walk, then I had time for a hour nap before church.  Puzzle fell asleep in church.  We came home briefly, ate, then went to the library.  It was freezing there!  I got some writing done.  Puzzle hung out on my lap, but still, I was so damn cold that I couldn’t stay long.  I wore a jacket and a hat and gloves the whole time, then still had “caught a chill” and had to keep the hat and jacket on all the way home even though it was summer weather out.  Next time, I will choose a different seat in the library.

Then, I went to Alcott, the eating disorders unit at Walden Behavioral Care, where I was a patient, to see my friend.  Why? It’s her birthday tomorrow.  I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to visit.  But I wanted to bring Puzzle and bring my friend’s gift.  I figured it depended on who was on as to whether they’d even let us say hello at the door.  They did.  M was incredibly happy to see me and Puzzle.  It meant so much to her.  She petted Puzzle and Puzzle kissed her.

The staff were being assholes, though.  Real assholes.  I sensed such real bad hostility.  You know, I’m Welfare shit in their eyes.  I got better in spite of them.  I still have this human rights claim paperwork in over at DMH and maybe they know about it, maybe they don’t.  Heck, it’s out of their control.  DMH has the upper hand.  The law is the law and DMH gets to decide if those phones are legal.  I think it’s damn obvious that phones sitting in the hall are not “private.”

You know something?  Just cuz you’re a mental patient does not mean you”need” to have your rights taken away.  And yet a lot of mental patients think they did something wrong and are getting what they “deserve.”  This is freaking brainwashing at its highest form.

Drugs, anyone?



Every day is fun day for Puzzle

It’s bone time!  I went into the freezer to get out a new bag of dog food to defrost and suddenly realized that Puzzle is way overdue for a new bone.  She’s still got two beef marrow bones left in the freezer.  Whoopie!  Whoopie!

Bones provide gum stimulation, clean the teeth, and add calcium and phosphorus into the diet.  The marrow in the bones also provides many nutrients.  Always supervise your dog while your dog chews on a bone.  Some dogs are tough chewers and will split bones, causing potential problems.  Other dogs are more gentle with bones.  Dogs stomachs are designed to digest bone material.  A vet told me this.  However, their stomachs are not equipped to handle large quantities of bones or very sharp objects.

My advice is that when it comes to bones, get to know what your dog can handle and what he or she can’t.  You can acclimate a dog to bones, but think reasonably.  Some dogs should never be given bones under any circumstances.  You don’t want your dog to have a tummy ache or get sick and have to have a bone or any object surgically removed.  Once, I went to bring Puzzle in for routine whatever, and the vet said they had just finished removing a lapel pin from inside a dog.  What’s more, the dog had a funky name to go along with this unusual situation.  Does anyone hazard a guess?  The vet said the dog was fine in the end and the owner very relieved.

Back to bones.  In Puzzle’s case, I don’t worry too much about the bone.  It’s the marrow I try to limit a bit.  She can’t have it for more than a few hours or it gets to be overkill and she’ll have a stomach ache.  So I take her bone away from her and put it into the refrigerator.  She’ll have the rest tomorrow.

Here she is, smacking her lips.

It’s bone time!

Save the date! National Eating Disorders Association Walk in Boston April 7, 2013

Yes, Puzzle and I will be walking!  I need to register both of us for this walk.  Of course, we will be carrying all sorts of signs.  Don’t expect anything wimpy out of me!  They send you a t-shirt, which I suppose I could decorate…with what?  I’ll think of something about as radical as it gets.

Hmm…shall I run the walk instead of walking it, just to make my point?  In other words, I’m not sitting around doing coping skills and doing deep breathing all day long. I move my body, ya know?  I’m strong and healthy and eat enough and I got new running shoes, too.  Maybe I’ll wear my racing bib from the 5k I ran in 2010.  There’s nothing illegal about that.

Like I said to my friend in a letter, next time we get a 9/11 attack, the last thing on my mind is going to be “meal plan,” “coping skills,” and “where are the staff?”  I said that most likely a First Aid kit would come in handy.

Actually, I never think “meal plan.”  I don’t have one.  “Meal plan” means diet to me.  I don’t want another diet.  I can always invent a new diet.  There are plenty of websites, ones you pay for and free ones, that have templates of sorts that help you do just that.  Or you can use insurance and see a nutritionist.  My insurance only pays for the conservative ones that follow the food pyramid.  The other ones, the decent ones, refused to take me on in the long run.  I must have asked six or seven.  By the time one gave me an offer, I turned her down cuz I felt I no longer needed it. It sure would have been nice if she’d written back, come to think of it.

So I’ll be walking in the NEDA walk.  Maybe carrying a sign, “Forced care doesn’t work,” or something like that.  Or something about informed care, or equal access to care.  We shall see.

I have some news on the insomnia front, but I am going to bed right now and will report more on this in the morning or tomorrow sometime.




My second review of Walden Behavioral Care

I did another review of Walden Behavioral Care on the ED Referral Site.  What I did was to amend the first review.  Unfortunately, the site would not allow me to do italics, so I had to do the additions in CAPS.  The Webmaster wrote to me and asked me to change them to italics (for reasons you can guess).  I made this conversion and sent a Word document.  Wordpress doesn’t like it when you copy and paste from Word….they have a wizard for this, but then the italics disappear.  I will attempt to post the whole thing here.




Hi everyone, this is my second review.  I am amending my first review.  I am using italics to differentiate between my amendments to my first review, and what I originally wrote about Walden following my February 2012 experience.


I have now been on Alcott twice in 2010, and twice in 2012.  The two 2012 experiences were February and jolly, both times “sectioned.”  I was also on the Thoreau unit in 2011, as I have stated here.  So everything you see in italics is…well, you’ll see.  Please read my whole thing before passing judgment.


When were you there:  I was on the inpatient unit only, called Alcott, because I am on Medicare and Medicaid and none of their other programs take public insurance.  My stays were in January 2010 for maybe a week, March 2010 for 16 days, and from February 8 until February 24, 2012.  I was also on the Thoreau unit (often referred to as “the other side”) which is a purely psych unit, from September 1 (actually the 2nd, by the time I got there) until September 26, 2011.  Despite what the Admissions people tell you, patients do get treated for ED on the psych side.  Your care is a little different, though, and while I was there, most of the other patients were being treated for alcoholism, some for drug addiction as well, and a few who had psychiatric problems without a substance problem.  Both Alcott and Thoreau are locked units.  When you get there, you have to sign a paper called a “conditional voluntary” meaning that you are there willingly.  If you don’t sign, they can commit you legally…or not, depending.  To get out, you either get discharged or you can choose to put in a “three day,” a legal document requesting discharge within three days. This is standard for all locked units in Massachusetts.  If your petition is turned down, you will be legally committed for the next ten days and possibly more, up to six months.  This is all still the case.  No Massachusetts laws have changed.


How many patients on average?  On the inpatient unit I think there are 22 beds.  Not all the people who sleep on the unit are actual Alcott patients. Some are Thoreau patients who commute over to “the other side” during the day and sleep at Alcott at night.  There were one or two patients who actually were patients at their residential program (nicknamed “Rezzie”) but there were no beds available there. This program, the “commuting” program I’m referring to, is called by three letters, just can’t recall right now which letters…at any rate, they’ve ironed out the bugs in the program.  If you are an Alcott patient, you needn’t really think about these patients.  They are not around during the day.  They do not eat with Alcott patients.  They just sleep on the unit.


Does it treat both males and females? If so, is treatment separate or combined.  If you are a guy, you are pretty much out of luck in any treatment center because in general, there are only one or two guys at a time and the rest are women. So if you’re a guy you might as well get used to having women around and talking to them and relating to them, because there’s no one else to talk to.  If there was only one guy, he got a single room.  The guys seemed to like this.  They also showered at separate times, usually at night, while the women showered before breakfast.  I don’t recall any separate men’s groups or any discussion of men’s issues.  Every time that I was on Alcott, there would be a guy or two that stuck to themselves, either sitting in a corner, burying themselves in books or coloring, or just not speaking much, and no one even tried to talk to them.  This was still the case.  In July, there was one guy.  A lot depends on the one guy and the rest of the population and how they treat him.  I do feel sorry for the guys.



How often do you see a medical doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist (therapist), nutritionist, etc?   Patients are admitted during the morning hours, and by the time they are brought up to the unit, it is afternoon and many of the “team,” that is, social worker, doctor or nurse practitioner, nutrition staff, or any other professional like that is generally too busy to see you or has left for the day.  If you arrive on a Friday, you will have to wait till Monday to meet your “team,” or longer if Monday is one of those Monday holidays. But finally, you meet them. The medical doctor or nurse practitioner (it can be either) will see you daily and is supposed to be looking after your medical needs, blood tests, what you weigh, and if you have psychiatric issues such as depression or suicidality.  There is only one of these doctors/nurse practitioners, no separate psychiatric specialist.  The social worker will meet with you every other day and is supposed to be the liaison between you and your family and between you and your outside treatment team.  The social worker is supposed to set up discharge plans as well.  If you have any questions about your care, the social worker is supposed to answer them and will most likely be the team person to spend the most time with you.  Nutrition will generally meet with you every other day or whenever there is an issue.  The nutritionists are generally not available for counseling during the weekends or evenings.  If you have an issue with your meal plan on a Friday evening, you will have to wait until after the weekend.  On the weekend, the “team” isn’t there in general. Patients get lined up to see what’s known as the DOC, or, “doctor on call.”  These doctors are usually farmed in from one of the many local medical schools.  They spend all day there and will see you for a minute or two.  The only issues that the DOC’s can solve are things like needing a Tylenol for a headache.  Otherwise, they defer to the regular team.  On Thoreau, though, the DOC system works a little differently because these docs are often responding to some psychiatric crisis, including everything from an allergic medication reaction to someone getting loud and violent, so they are at a bit more liberty to take action than the Alcott DOC’s.  The psychiatrists do not read patient charts.  I have evidence that they ask the same questions to every patient on the unit and the only thing they seem to read in the charts is the patient’s weight.  If you are not gaining as fast as the insurance company wants, they stick a tube in.  They will give you a line, “this is for extra nutritional support” or something like that.  It’s only because they’re not going to get paid otherwise.  I also have evidence that there have been cases of refeeding syndrome on the unit.  This has been covered up.  I’m sure they lie about the wrongful deaths.  They also give the patients antipsychotic drugs such as Seroquel (this one they give quite a bit) and Olanzapine (zyprexa), which have the side effect of rapid and extreme weight gain and also associated diabetes.  They lie to the patients and tell them they are giving them these drugs for the purpose of easing anxiety and insomnia.  The nurses even admitted this to me.



What is the staff ratio to patients?  Compared to other psych units I’ve been on, I’d say there are an unusually high number of staff.  I have not been on another unit that was specified for ED except Alcott, ever.  (I have been in psych units maybe 50 times including a state hospital, BTW.)

What sort of therapies are used? (DBT, CBT, EMDR) etc? They had some very basic DBT and CBT groups.  They also had art therapy, which nowadays is called expressive therapies if you want to be politically correct.  They have nutrition education groups as well.  Sometimes, the addictions guy would come in from “the other side” and give a presentation or discussion group and relate addiction to ED.  On Sundays some volunteers would come from AA and give a talk.  The person who organized these was an “old timer” and many of the speakers had been through the wringer with alcoholism.  This was not an AA meeting per se, just a presentation, though I think the session would end with the Serenity Prayer.  I did not see one AA meeting there in July.  I don’t think they have this anymore.  Or at least they didn’t have Alcott patients going to these.


Describe the average day:  The average day was very packed with activity.  I never ran out of things to do and was never bored.  They wake you up at 6am and do your vitals, and then you have to go get weighed out in the hall by the nurses’ station.  Some chose to go back to bed but most stayed up and showered and got ready for the day.  In the morning you also have to have meds (whatever you take, and vitamins) and also this was when they did blood work.  You are only allowed 10 minutes in the shower women are no longer allowed to shower at night without a dr’s order, otherwise staff will get on your case or the other patients will hound you.  Breakfast is at 8 or 8:30, can’t recall which, but often the trays would come up late anyway.  Then groups…we had a morning meeting of sorts where they had announcements and we stated our “goals for the day.”  Then a group or two and around 11 I think they had us fill out menus, which we all had to do together in the dining room.  Anyone who had morning snack had to eat it at this time.  Then more groups and at noonish, lunch.  More groups came after lunch, and I believe the afternoon snack was at 3…then more groups and dinner.  Occasionally, there was a half-hour break.  There were also “fresh air” breaks but I never bothered to go, just didn’t want to, so I have no clue what those were like. In the evening there was a very short visiting hour, maybe an hour and a half (IT’S AN HOUR AND A QUARTER) each evening and that plus 2 till 5 on weekends.  Then more groups. There was a snack at 8:30pm I think.  Late night was generally free time for an hour if you were still awake, and then they made you go to bed.  The schedule is pretty much still the same.


What were meals like? You sat in silence or played children’s games such as 20 questions, Outburst, Trivia, etc.  These silly activities were supposed to keep our minds off the food.  Meaningful discussion on any topic was immediately shut down by staff.  You could only talk about…well, nothing of substance.  Two staff people sit on either side of the room.  Some of them sit and glare at you and some make friendly conversation so long as it’s on some mundane topic.  Some joke around a little.  I joked back and tried to make the best of things.  This is the same but they have tightened it up.  After meals, you have to sit and they inspect your tray.  You raise your hand if you are finished and they see if you are indeed telling the truth.  So the assumption is that you are lying until proven otherwise.  Then, they excuse you.


What sorts of food were available or served? Standard hospital food, no frills.  If I recall correctly, caffeine is allowed in the morning but at no other meal.  Still true.  There is no skim milk.  NOW THEY HAVE SKIM MILK.  You are required to drink whole milk or chocolate milk or soy milk if you ask very nicely.  They also have that Lactaid stuff.  There were very few vegetarian options and they were quite biased about turning you into a meat-eater. This is because the “food pyramid” and all those nutritionist people are monetarily backed by the meat and dairy racket.  For snacks, anything fattening and junky they could get hold of for cheap they would make you eat. These included Nutri-grain bars, all sorts of sugary granola bars, Oreos, Lorna Doones, every kind of chip you can imagine, trail mix with chocolate and sweetened dried fruit, peanut butter, mozzarella cheese sticks, all kinds of crackers including Ritz Bitz, animal crackers, Cheese-Its, every kind of junk food you can imagine.  You had to drink juice, milk, or sometimes a supplement with your snack.  Note that they really don’t want the outside world knowing they feed their patients this stuff. But they make all kinds of justifications for it.  They’ll tell you, “there is no ‘bad’ food, etc, and then turn around and tell you about ‘bad’ cholesterol, etc.


Did they supplement? How did that system work?  Yes, they supplemented, usually with Ensure.  They had a few flavors to choose from.  When I was there in Feb 2012 they had changed the system a little.  If you finished 100% of your meal, you could leave at the end of the meal.  If you left anything, your tray was taken away and you were given a supplement and you had to stay an extra ten minutes to finish the supplement.  This was the case for snacks as well.


What is the policy of not complying with meals?  Again, if you didn’t finish it all, you were required to stay late.  In practice, I’d say about 5% of patients actually drank the supplement.  Most sat with it in front of them untouched, then the staff would have them pour it down the sink.  Even if you say you don’t want the supplement, they will open it, stick it in front of you, and then have it go to waste.  I finally told them that this gross waste of food was against my religion, so when I wasn’t going to drink the sugary fake food, I told them so, and they didn’t waste it.  This time, they told me I was setting a bad example for everyone, so i complied, with a big toothy smile, what teeth I have left.


Are you able to be a vegetarian?  Anything that goes against the American Dietetic Association’s all holy Food Pyramid, or whatever they have now that is based on corporate funding (Big Agriculture, drug companies, etc) is socially unacceptable in their eyes. So if you are a vegetarian they really push meat.  If you are a vegan you are considered a sinner, and veganism is considered to be an eating disorder.


What privileges are allowed?  I was only on inpatient. You are behind locked doors and have no rights.  You have no privacy.  All conversations are monitored, including those between patients, phone conversations made by patients to the outside world (the phones are out in the open and anyone can hear, though to my knowledge the phones aren’t tapped), and conversations with visitors during visiting hours. Some people are always, always monitored in the bathroom.  You can shower alone.  I was not monitored in the bathroom but they checked afterward to make sure I was peeing yellow and not something else.  You have to get a doctor’s order for “fresh air break” but I don’t think that’s hard to get.  There is no smoking.  Patients got the patch often.  When visitors came, they were given the nth degree and their things were taken away, including cell phones, pocketbooks, everything, while they were visiting you.  Your shoelaces were taken out so it was best to have shoes with you that didn’t have laces.  Also belts, any kind of drawstring, etc was taken away.  Dental floss was not allowed nor were nailclippers.  All this is now standard on any locked unit.  Also, they no longer allow any yarn or any kind of knitting type thing.  This was a huge change from 2010, when the whole unit was having a knitting craze.


Does it work on a level system?  That I know of, all they had was the “band” system.  You had to eat 100% for I think 48 hours and then when you went to the bathroom, they didn’t go look at your piss afterward.  All bathrooms were always locked during the day but they did have them open from 6am until breakfast, and then after 9:30 at night.  You were not allowed to brush your teeth after meals. We were told that thus taking care of dental hygiene was “eating disorders behavior.”Okay, the band system, in July, got to be this huge deal.  I decided that it was actually a decent system, although it has no relevance whatsoever unless you do this “throwing up” behavior.  So i do not throw up, therefore the band system did not apply to me.  It did not provide incentive for me to eat or comply in any way.  Nice idea, though.  I have anorexia with binge eating and no throwing up (I have never been able) and their whole system went out the window in my case.


How do you earn privileges? Eat.


What sort of groups do they have?  Besides the therapy groups I mentioned, there were goals groups, nutrition and other educational groups, etc.  Every psych unit I’ve ever been on has called their last group “Wrap up,” and Alcott is no exception.


What was your favorite group?  I’d say I liked most to sit and write by myself.  They did encourage writing, lots of writing, but for the groups I’d say I liked being with adults only, when the younger people had their own group in another room.


What did you like the most? The other patients were the best part of being there.  I was rather closed-minded about being stuck in there with kids, but as it turned out, the kids were awesome.  People with ED’s rock!


What did you like the least?  That’s hard to say.  I guess after a while it seemed like I saw through the BS and the lies, and when I pointed out their inconsistencies and rights violations, they (the staff, that is) started treating me with disrespect.  They began to deny that certain conversations had taken place, or that certain privileges were granted to me.  I’d say the really good, quality staff who cared about the patients and didn’t see the place as just a paycheck really did treat me with respect, but that was only one or two of them. The head nurse is really the only one there who knows anything about ED.  There are some staff who do not give a you-know-what.  Also, they cannot handle serious psychiatric conditions there.  I did not exhibit severe behaviors but I was suffering from severe psychotic paranoia while I was there.  They did not recognize the paranoia.   They didn’t know I was delusional. 


I went to see my psychiatrist as soon as i got out, and she gave me a pill that cleared up the psychosis entirely.  I had entirely quit taking meds and do not like taking pills, but I conceded, and sadly, agree that it is necessary.  Paranoia is one of those things you can’t cure otherwise.


However, I did put in a human rights complaint based on fact that is, to date, at the state level.  It is a follow-up to what I describe below, what happened in February:



The rest of them saw me as a crazed mental patient and just shook their heads at me and snickered or made faces, or ignored me. There was no communication between shifts.  I haven’t a clue what was actually “passed on” in report except gossip about nail polish and hair styles.  I had spoken to the Human Rights office a number of times and put in complaints these were about telephone rights, that is, right to a private telephone conversation, granted to us by the state of Massachusetts, and for some reason the staff always denied knowing anything about this and that these conversations hadn’t taken place and that the Human Rights person I spoke with didn’t exist, the room I was legally entitled to use didn’t exist, etc.  Kinda funny cuz we had groups in that room.


Would you recommend this program?  This is my opinion: if you have a choice as to where to go, get treatment in a state that has a Mental Health Bill of Rights.  Some states do and some don’t.  In Massachusetts, where Walden is, we have what’s called the Five Fundamental Rights and a strong patient rights legal influence.  In other states, it is legal to stare you down while you poop or brush your teeth or shower, and listen on to your phone conversations or flat out refuse to let you use the phone.  In Massachusetts, phone and privacy are rights, not privileges.  I didn’t want these rights so that I could do any kind of eating disorders behavior, but so that I would be treated with respect and dignity, and feel like a human being and not an animal fattened up for slaughter. Also, you are entitled to speak with an attorney or clergy person at any time.  In Massachusetts, they have to allow you a visitor at any reasonable time (they don’t tell you this, but it’s the law).  So if your family can’t come during the extremely narrow visiting hours offered, just ask and legally they have to make arrangements for you. Some patients didn’t know this and were isolated from their families for weeks.  I’d say that compared to other places I’ve heard about, Walden is about the same…they all take your life away.


In July, they tightened up their rules about the phones and made it worse and even more illegal.  I put in another human rights complaint.  The director of nursing, Celeste Cook, flat out refused to budge.  I appealed and it was turned down.  I was told back in feb that the phones were “inspected by the department of mental health and they are compliant with the law.”  Well, this sounded fishy to me.  Turns out DMH was never in there and this was a lie.  I have been in touch with DMH myself.   I have now taken this to the state level.  I am determined to get this done, to have little sound-proofing walls built around these phones so patients can have private phone conversations, as granted by Massachusetts law.  It is my mission, my gift to folks with eating disorders.  I love you all.



What level of activity or exercise was allowed?  Occasionally, yoga if the instructor wasn’t out sick or on holiday. But it’s very pared-down yoga with very little exertion, mostly breathing exercises.  According to these so-called experts, exercise is “bad” for any ED automatically, even though it is proven to be more effective than drugs to help depression and sleep.  Any exercise is reframed by these people as “overexercise.”


What did people do on weekends? About the same as weekdays except no “team” staff and more visiting hours. Some patients said they were bored.  I just sat and worked on my writing all day long and was rather relieved to be left alone.


Do you get to know your weight?  I pretty much could guess what I weighed, so I didn’t bother asking. It was rare for a patient to find out.  I was a little vague on whether parents could find out their kids’ weight or if spouses could find out.  I’m not sure about what the law says about spouses and parents having access to such medical information that the patient doesn’t even know.


How fast is the weight gain process?  If you cooperated, 2-3 pounds per week.  When I was in there in 2010 I gained 10 pounds in 16 days on the tube.  Whether or not you get a tube depends on insurance and money.  They don’t give a hoot about feelings.


What was the average length of stay? I’d say inpatient folks stayed about ten days, some stayed well over a month.  Afterward, many went to “step down” programs.  I did not have this opportunity due to the fact that I am on public insurance (i.e. I am poor).


What was the average age range? Teens and twenties mostly.  At isolated times you might go there and find a bunch of people in their 40’s, 50’s, and up, though.


How do visits/phone calls work? None of these units follow the law unless you insist that they do.  Know your rights!  Otherwise, all your phone conversations will be overheard in the open hallway. I insisted that they allow my minister to visit at a time that was convenient to him and they said he could call them and make the arrangements.  I insisted that they find a private place for me to meet with him.  I believe the law grants this right.  Telephone is a right, not a privilege in Massachusetts.  Phones are on the wall and you can usually find a free one.  Calls are free in the US and probably Canada as well on these phones.  It is nearly impossible for anyone to get through to the patients on these phones, though, because either there is a group going on or no one can find you (or bothers looking). So if someone wants to talk to you and can’t get through, have them call the nurses’ station and work it out so that the call comes in while you’re standing right there to pick up. Another thing is that if someone calls, staff by law cannot even say that you are a patient there unless you give written permission for staff to acknowledge your existence on the ward.  It gets very complicated and tough to deal with the phone situation.  See above.


Are you able to go out on passes?  You could get a pass to visit with your visitors in the hall under certain circumstances.  Babies were not allowed on the ward and often this privilege was used for baby visiting.  They now grant off-grounds passes sometimes.


What kind of aftercare do they provide? Do they help you set up an OP treatment team?  If you leave ama like i did expect no aftercare arrangements.  They are supposed to do this, and say they do, but don’t always.  I saw people discharged with no aftercare, not even a therapist.  In general, in Massachusetts if you have no place to live, they just give you a list of shelters and tell you to start making phone calls.  My friend left with no place to live.  Same with therapists. On public assistance, finding a therapist usually takes waiting on waiting lists for months.  I have had no therapist since March.  It is now September.  I will finally have an appointment September 20.  I have Medicaid and Medicare.  The hospital did not help or make a single phone call.  Once, they had a group lined up for me, and when I got out, the group fell through.  Also, if you call them after you leave to ask a question, generally your call won’t be returned.  They are no longer legally responsible for you.  That’s reality.  But if you have good insurance you can go to their residential, nicknamed the babyish name “Rezzie,” never quite got that, or you can go to IOP.  They have just set up a new Binge Eating outpatient treatment program, some sort of IOP, that my insurance doesn’t cover.


I should also add that there was absolutely no treatment for binge eating while I was there.  Of course, the food is locked up and you don’t do that behavior while you’re there, but they have no way of treating it and seemed to know nothing about binge eating.  This is still trueNo treatment for this behavior.  I begged for help with it but all I got was about two minutes of advice from the nutritionist which was pretty much useless to me.  They know nothing about medications for binge eating.  I had to beg for one.  It took six days of wasted inpatient stay to get started on the med.  Only one nurse, the head nurse, knew this med existed.  They would not give my friend meds for binge eating either.  The nutritionists didn’t seem to understand the behavior and why people do it.  I think they assume people binge because they are hungry, but we all know that it’s much more complicated and often, people binge eat when they are far from hungry.  They really didn’t seem to care about how I felt about this behavior, and some didn’t understand and thought it was good to binge cuz then I’d gain weight.


I have asked about going back in and they said they had some kind of group for binge eating at night, but I had no clue if this was once a week or every night and if the group was any good.  I don’t want to waste my time and show up only to find out there is still no treatment for it.  I couldn’t get a straight answer from Admissions and every time I called, they told me something different.  You really have to needle the Admissions people for answers because they won’t tell you stuff otherwise. Remember, all these people at these places are trying to sell their product and will often give vague answers to your questions.  They do have some group but they did not take me to the group.  It is not held on the inpatient unit.  The staff knew nothing about binge eating.  The doctors knew nothing.  They only care about weight there.  Only one nurse knows anything, the head nurse.  Go to her for information.  Unfortunately, it would take me days to get a conversation with her.  In the end, the med they gave me bombed out anyway.  I now take a low dose of a different med.  I consulted my own shrink.



The doctor I had, who was a nurse practitioner, never, ever read my chart except one thing, my weight.  She came in and asked the same stock questions every time.  The doc i saw in july also did not read my chart ever. I challenged her and everyone on this and made a stink, but because she never read my chart she never found out that I complained about her.  I could tell by her questions.  She never read my blood test results, either.  I put up a stink about having headaches and suffering from really bad thirst and insisted that she examine my blood work, and sure enough, I was dehydrated, and finally they allowed me as much water as I needed to keep my thirst quenched.  I left kinda before planned because I was so fed up about the disrespectful attitude they had.  I figured I was only getting worse being treated like a child.  I was in dreadful physical shape the day I left and barely made it home on the bus.


This time, they ended up doing some tests on me and discovered some medical issues…can’t get into it without boring you.  But I continue to deal with dehydration and kidney issues.


I have been in bad shape since leaving, and it has been months now with no hope.  I haven’t had a therapist all this time, nothing, no family support either.  I’m glad I have my church.  See below for update.


Are there any resources for people who come from out of state/country?  As I said above, get treatment in states that have patient rights laws.  Know the law…it pays.  Speak up for yourself and demand getting what you need.  They do have a few good people at Walden so seek them out.


As I said, I was also treated on Thoreau for ED but this isn’t done too often.  They will deny that they do this, but they do, they just don’t want it officially known.  If you want to know more about that, please post and I’ll try to answer.  Thoreau was a very positive experience for me, about the best psych unit I’ve been to in my opinion. Good luck and I wish everyone the best.


Update: I don’t know exactly step-by-step what happened, but now, my dog isn’t my “pet” anymore, she’s my service dog, and my life has changed around.  I can say the following:


I got better in spite of treatment.


My life is now joyful.  I am no longer engaging in behaviors at all.  I am against forced care of any kind.  I am against “the tube.”  I believe these places are out to take your money and nothing else.  If you get something out of it, great.  If you are forced to go, make the best of it.  Get better one way or the other.   Eating disorders are not a good way to live.  Joy is just around the corner.  I would never have believed it.  I’ll tell my story to anyone who wants to listen.  I hope I never grow out of wanting to change the world.  I was even in the local paper today.






Hey, guys, these places are ALL like this…I am against forced care of any kind.