Want some peace? Turn off your facebook notifications.

I got so sick of the “groups” that I turned most of them off.  Sure, I’m still a member but getting the beeps and buzzes every time someone posted was getting annoying.

No, I told myself, I didn’t really have to go running to every cause out there and give every last bit of energy I had left.  I could save some of my energy to stay alive.

Of course, I turned off all electronics for lengthy periods, only to be bombarded again and again with multiple notifications from the “groups” once I turned them back on.  One person arguing one thing, another person making another point I felt I could not ignore.

It was turning into one big hate machine.  I didn’t feel okay with it.  Sure, we’re all in this together, but why all this backbiting?  I always suspected that Facebook turned mature adults into a bunch of bullying junior high school kids.  Now, I really believe it.  I think it’s sad.

I was a “guinea pig” for a mock psychiatry board exam in 1997

I really should put this one in my next book.

The year: 1997. All us mental patients were offered $10 so that we could be “interviewed” by budding young shrinks about to take their board exams. This was their practice run.  Guess what they were practicing doing?

Diagnosing. That’s right, folks, they were practicing doing GUESSWORK.

For about 20 minutes, the student shrink would sit there and converse with each of us individually, a one-to-one interview, and then decide what our “diagnosis” was, while other hotshot shrinks watched the whole proceedings via camera. The nervous student shrink, or resident I should say, would hope he or she did well and GUESSED correctly.

In other words, “What’s my line?” Remember that TV game show?  Some dude would come on and others would ask questions.  It all about guessing the person’s job, or occupation.

“Depression.”  “Bipolar.” “Schiz.” What’s my line?  Oh, I can laugh now.

I wanted that $10. It was going to be cash, too.  This was going to be a laugh and a half. They didn’t know a writer was in their midst.

All I know was that this was 1997. I’d had shock treatments in 1996, far too many, and spent the next year recovering from them. There didn’t seem to be permanent brain injury, however, what happened was that I was repeatedly told I was “mentally sick” and there wasn’t any acknowledgement of the temporary damage caused by the “treatments.” I’m relieved that I’m okay from all that now. The trauma of the repeated insults  and neglect by mental health professionals during those two years was probably even more damaging and long-lasting than the shock treatments.

So they had some multiple “diagnoses” pinned on me.  These diagnoses mysteriously disappeared after I walked away from McLean a few months later, interestingly enough.

So the resident interviewed me.  Was there a scientific test? X-rays?  A blood test? Even ink blots?  Nope. He “talked” to me. Asked questions. This wasn’t even a neuro test, cuz he wasn’t a neurologist.

I ran into the guy maybe a month later.  He was a pleasant and polite guy. He told me he hadn’t done well on the mock test, but that I was certainly a likeable person, and he enjoyed my sense of humor.

So there.  I certainly felt sorry for him.  And I do now. I believe he passed the boards just fine.

Gurus with no qualifications that charge a fortune

What’s with these gurus? Especially the ones that charge an arm and a leg. The ones that have all the answers. The hocus pocus and their marketing and their large following and of course, “testimonials.” What the fuck?

If you go to one that says they are a “therapist” and clearly, the person isn’t a therapist, that is, the person isn’t clear about  what their training is, then please, walk out.

If the person says they are a therapist, then what kind? Physical therapists have very specific degrees and have specific qualifications.  Massage therapists have specific training, and there are different types of training, so ask what they are trained to do.  People who mow your lawn should know how to work the lawnmower that they are operating.

All of these folks should show up on time. You should do likewise.

Beyond that, what’s with the gurus?  I think if people are offering “services,” then they need to state, “I am not professionally trained” if they have no college degree or job training in their field. Some folks learned a trade because the skill was passed on through the generations over hundreds of years.  Well, then, the person needs to tell you this, and then, fine.  If it’s not believable, then don’t hire the person.  If they have no qualifications, you choose. Do you want to pay a fortune for guesswork?

Now maybe the gurus are poking fun at shrinks. Cuz what do shrinks do? Sure, they go to school, but what they do isn’t science. It’s guesswork.  Maybe the fake gurus are playing the game and saying, “Hey, if shrinks can do guesswork, so can I and get away with it.”

I will tell you a story to prove it.  In my next post.

What is it with these lyme disease people and why is it so trendy?

So I’m told to go get tested.  The same people tell absolutely everyone they’ve got lyme. They’d tell Obama. They’d tell their mailman, too. Really? Why?  Why does everyone have the same disease YOU have?

Sure, gluten is the cause of all Evil in the world, too. It used to be sugar. Oh, for a while it was alcohol. Or sex.  Now, ticks?

Remember Y2K?

Oh, so it’s great to get “diagnosed” and now, it’s

NOT MY FAULT, FOLKS. BLAME THE TICK.

So what now?  Will all the haters then come back to me and apologize?
“Gee, Julie, I’M SORRY, I blamed you all this time and I had no clue a tiny tick was the Evil one.”

Well, gee. How much does it cost to shift the blame, to get some “tick” on record?  It sure would be nice to undo all the hate-type baloney that’s been heaped on me lately.

Only kidding.  I’m outa here.

I was at the protest for Justina Pelletier yesterday…mixed feelings

My feelings are mixed right now.  Ambiguous.

1. Of course, I support the cause. This is a no-brainer.  No kid should be locked in a psych ward and denied medical care.  Justina needs lifesaving medical treatment so she will stay alive.

2. Justina will need help, lots of loving care, to help her recover from severe trauma that I’m sure she’s now suffering resulting from abuse that she endured from A YEAR IN A PSYCH WARD AND FOSTER “CARE.” She’s not even living with a family. She’s in some “group home.” This place is not providing the medical care she needs.

3. I myself know how traumatizing it is to spend a week in one of these psych wards.  Imagine spending whole year in such a place.  You don’t just leave a place like this, go home, and suddenly, poof! You’re just fine.  Get real, folks.

4.. Many folks have been abused by this system that has gone awry. Parents wrongly accused and many people locked up against their will and called “sick.”  Why do we lock up sick people and punish them? What kind of sense does that make? It only causes further illness and trauma.

5. And why are we putting down the folks that are angry about this?  If your kid was taken from you or killed by the System, wouldn’t you be pissed off?  If a parent’s kid got stolen by these medical criminals, and the parent then behaved perfectly, I’d be kinda worried, wouldn’t you?  I’d wonder what sort of brainwashing cult had gotten hold of them, or had they been shooting themselves up with needles or smoking something stinky, wouldn’t you?  If you’d been locked up and abused, you’d be pissed off just like I am.  The trauma doesn’t go away for a long, long time. 

6. I think people need to stop backbiting.  It really makes this movement look bad, and it turns people away.

7. I don’t make any links to religion here.  I don’t see it as a “Christian cause.”  Hardly. I do think it’s horrible that any human being is denied the right to worship as they choose. Likewise, the fact that Justina was not allowed to go to Mass even on Christmas is despicable.

I recall in recent years, I believe it was 2012, I when I was incarcerated on a “unit” and while there, I forced the staff to allow patients to celebrate Ash Wednesday. The staff weren’t going to allow it, but I argued that it was the patients’ rights to worship and this was an American right above hospital policy.  Patients got their way.  I won. I’m not Catholic but I knew this is important to Catholic people.  I remember this from my youth when I had Catholic friends.

Likewise, I have the right to not bring Jesus into the picture.  I showed up at Monday’s protest not because of anything to do with Jesus. I am a Jew and I was taught since I was a small child not to believe in such things, that it’s just another story like any other.  I’m a writer.  I write all kinds of stories and you can believe them, or not.

And I’m not done saying what I want to say.

Being raped, abused, or bullied is not your “attitude problem” and it’s not your “mental illness.” Tell those attititude touters to go screw.

So now I hear stories about young girls getting raped and then they try to report the rape and they are told (of course) that it was “nothing.” Try to complain? They get kicked out.  It’s an “attitude problem.”

Sure.  You’re “negative” and we don’t want you here.   “Negative energy,” some newfangled baloney like that.

Gimme a break.

Statistical conflict

I’m quoting this from a website, successfulschizophrenia dot org:

“Nancy C. Andreason, editor of the Journal of Psychiatry, and administrators with National Institute for Mental Health say that one out of every ten people with schizophrenia commits suicide. They say this even though there is no research to support their declaration.

Since one percent of the population in the United States is said to have schizophrenia (over 2.9 million cases), if psychiatrists are right, the national suicide statistics for people with schizophrenia would be over 290,000 a year. The US rate of all suicides for all causes, however, is about 30,000 a year, with most suicides being older people with physical problems. Where are all the missing bodies (over a quarter million) of suicides from schizophrenia that psychiatrists claim are taking place?”

Hmmm…yeah, this Andreason was sorta fudging statistics in the Journal of Psychiatry.

Then, again, we all know these shrinks will lie like mad just to get folks to look credible. Anything for POWER. Cuz the profession is weak and not even science.  It’s all guesswork.

See ya later.

Why we need more love: My response to a post by Pamela Wible, MD

Here is the post:

http://www.idealmedicalcare.org/blog/why-i-prescribe-the-love-drug/

I found Dr. Wible’s blog a while back.  I left a comment. Guess what? She wrote me an e-mail (no, not a form letter and she wasn’t selling anything) and sent a link to a TED talk she did. We had a brief exchange of e-mails and she asked me to post on her website so that my voice may be heard.

Well, how cool is that?

The original post of hers that truly moved me, the one I originally commented on was on how doctors profile their patients.  Dr. Wible ended her entry by saying that if she had ever profiled a patient (and inevitably, we all tend to judge based on appearance now and then and form a wrong conclusion), well, she said two words that  you rarely hear from a doctor:

“I’m sorry.”

At this point, it was late at night, and I sat here at my computer reading those two words and I broke down and cried.

I am crying as we speak.  Honestly, I don’t care if my entire body turns to a river of tears as large and grand as the Charles River, and it spills out all over town and dumps into the Atlantic Ocean. How many times have I heard from a doctor those two words,

“I’m sorry.”

Or any person that’s supposed to provide this thing “help”?

“Because if we did not do this, we would have been sued,” is not a viable excuse, or a decent reason to provide or withhold care or to perform any action whatsoever in a hospital or medical setting.

“To avoid a lawsuit” is not in the Hippocratic Oath to my knowledge.

“To preserve my reputation” is also not in that Oath.

Anyway, I wanted to respond to her “Love” post by saying the following:

Our society seems backwards these days in how we “treat” illness.  I’d say it’s “non-treatment.”  People say a person commits suicide because of so-called mental illness.  Well, that, first of all, is a flat out wrong conclusion.

I should know.  I am 56 years old. When I was 26 I took a gigantic overdose. That was the time I committed suicide (oops! Freudian slip there) I meant, I TRIED to do so, and failed, and it went on record. There were plenty of other times but thankfully these ended up escaping my medical records. I have no clue why I got so lucky.  That’s a good thing, though, because once you do such a thing, you’re blacklisted in the medical community FOR LIFE.

Now that I’m over half a century old, I’ve known plenty of folks that left this world in that manner.  I can say with complete confidence that not one of them chose suicide because they were unbearably depressed.  Just about all chose suicide because they felt there was no way out of a very bad situation.  Often, the situation involved mental health professionals that weren’t doing their job. They were negligent, abusive, had boundary problems, or were irresponsible or unlawful.  I knew people who found the thought of returning to another lockup joint so horrifying that they would rather die than be forced back. So they went the route of suicide.  Sure, there were plenty of other reasons, too, that had nothing to do with “mental health.”

If you fail, then what? You are called a sinner.  Your friends immediately unfriend you.  You are blamed. Sometimes, even family turns their backs.  You are further rejected, especially by doctors.

No wonder those that try suicide once,  in terms of statistics, repeat this act.  It has nothing to do with “chronic suicidality.”  It’s chronic societal hatred.  I say it’s time for this to stop.

That’s what I mean by backwards medical care. Why does our society HATE the weak, the poor, the hungry, the needy? Why is it repeated to someone like me (I’m poor) how unworthy and lazy I am, how much I am stealing from far more worthy and beautiful people, how incapable I am, and how I don’t deserve anything except a few crumbs and a bowl of lukewarm broth?  If I dare ask for more, I’m called “uppity,” which apparently is yet another disease worthy of forced drugging and lockup, not that loving Mr. Brownlow and a happy ending out of the Charles Dickens novel I read when I was a kid.  It sounds like our country isn’t the one I was born into some fifty-odd years ago.

Julie Greene

Do you “miss Walden”? Well, then, you are perpetuating your ED.

If you miss treatment and all your pals there, then that’s why you aren’t getting better, my friend.  You need to quit the merry-go-round, the keep-coming-back machine.  That’s what’s holding you back.

That’s why I often call it “The Club.”  That place where all your friends are.  You go there when you are lonely.  Wanna talk about it in therapy?

If all your friends are there, you will ache for them.  That’s all depression is in a nutshell.  That’s loneliness.  Missing your treatment pals.  Oh so lonely on the weekends when no buddies are around.  Shall we take a pill for it?  Shall we learn new coping skills?

Let’s all get a tattoo and say we all belong to this wonderful club.