Butler Area School District on Lockdown…watch for the news, folks!

Butler Area School District (Western Pennyslvania) is on lockdown. Apparently a kid presented a significant threat to the schools. He’s been taken into custody. Hey, where is Dr Breggin when we need him? Betcha anything this kid has flipped on on psych drugs. Watch the news!

…History of “mental health issues,” has been incarcerated in mental hospital…”Oh we recently put him on Prozac to help him but I guess it wasn’t enough…..”

Just listen and someone will say something like that. It’ll likely be the only bit of news we hear about his drug history. Off-handed. Never outright reported, god forbid harm the pharmaceutical companies!

The story will come out. Just watch. I don’t know what on earth we can do except point out, as we do every time, that maybe the drugs are the problem. Yes, I know, we get silenced, we get discredited since people do not like to hear the message, but we gotta keep at it. The more voices the better, because of course, there’s safety in numbers, as they say.

Book worthy of checking out: Bare Minimum Parenting

Here is the link to the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bare-Minimum-Parenting-Ultimate-Ruining/dp/1946885320/

I find the title a turnoff! However, as I read the description I realize that this book is probably overdue. I have seen parents who dote too much over their kids. Of course, given that I grew up with WWII parents who wouldn’t have dared become “my kid’s best friend.” This was simply not done back then! A generation (or two) later I was seeing overly involved parenting as more of the norm.

It was very hard for me to accept that there is no real right and wrong when it comes to parenting style. I was disgusted when I saw parents becoming their kids’ best friend. I thought, at the time, it was unnatural and likely was harming the kid. However, my viewpoint was colored by my own upbringing.

When we are brought up a certain way we tend to believe that our way is the normal way. Why? We have nothing to compare to. I know this narrow-mindedness tends to extend to later on when we parent our own children, and then, look upon other parenting styles with disdain.

I know also a small handful of children grow up knowing they are being parented well outside of the norm. Some children grow up in alcoholic families where one or both parents drinks. I wonder at what age these kids suddenly realize that not all parents drink like that.

I have known kids who grew up in violent families also. I have the same question here: When do you figure out that not all families are violent?

Or, on the other hand, does the child end up assuming all parents are bad, or abusive by default? What happens when the child grows up? I’m thinking here of some of my ex-therapists who worked very hard to convince us patients that we had been either abused or neglected. They were pushing their idea on us that parents are the root of all evil (oh no, it couldn’t possibly be the therapy, drugs, and incarceration!). When the patient reports any minor thing that may have happened during their childhood, the therapist suddenly says, “See? See? Your parents abused you.” And yet if we mention the horrific things that happen in the lockup joints, these very same therapists will justify the abuse. “It was treatment,” they will say.

Still other therapists aren’t emotionally capable of handling a patient’s horror story. Perhaps it it too painful to hear and people do not like pain. They will smooth over anything the patient says. They will excuse a parent’s or spouse’s bad behavior. Mainly they do this to soothe themselves and to support their own ingrained belief that all people behave well, that the person in front of them only perceives certain people as cruel.

This also extends to patient stories about past providers and treatment centers. Therapists do not like to hear your horror stories and will often excuse the other providers’ unethical or illegal behavior. They want to uphold their own profession, because they can’t handle the emotional turmoil they would feel knowing that their profession isn’t so stellar. It’s too painful for them to realize that they, themselves could possibly be doing any harm. They’d rather call the patient sick and wrong than accept reality.

I have not read this book but it does look like an interesting read. I’ve seen parents that pushed therapy on their kids by default and I think that falls under the category of “overparenting,” but then again, times have changed…sadly.

In the news

I read that Elizabeth Warren might run for president. I can’t say I support her. The PAC-like behavior of MoveOn, who supports her, really turns me off. I guess that is my main objection is the MoveOn association. They seem to push their agenda constantly and never stop asking for money.  I had to get off their mailing list, just got sick of it.

I have been reading about Libertarian principles and I’m not sure I agree with them, either. While I support less government interference I am not sure I agree with everything the libertarians say. I dislike the way the gov’t tries to tell citizens how to act, how to feel, and…what next? How to pee? They insist they know better, and I am not sure they do, especially when you consider that a lot of these rulings are influenced by big companies like pharmaceutical giants and other influential groups.

I will be posting a password-protected post, mainly because I don’t want certain stuff found in a Google search. You can use my dog’s name as the password. I figure if anyone has read this far, you are likely a regular reader and would have seen this slipped in under the guise of political bullshit. My dog would make a great pres, let’s all vote for our dogs! That said, politics has really gone to the doghouse as it is.

What do you guys think of this?

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/12/31/state-highest-court-hear-case-former-umass-student-convicted-fellow-student-fatal-overdose/AOqHXbo7p4YixNtPow64eJ/story.html

I don’t think the friend should even spend one night in jail. It was the person who took too much of the heroin who actually overdosed. It wasn’t like the friend forced him to take too much. The friend did not “prescribe” the heroin. He supplied it, an act of compassion, actually, when you think about it. He was helping out his fellow addict. Both of them NEEDED the stuff.

Now if a doctor prescribes something and you are harmed, does that doctor end up in jail for a year?  When we add the element of the prescription, it’s like you have doc permission. It feels “okay” to take the drug, even though it very well may be harmful to you. The prescription gives us the illusion of safety, and also fools us into thinking we aren’t taking drugs at all. We’re taking “meds,” right?

Don’t be fooled. If you are taking prescribed Klonopin, you very well can be addicted. The stuff is no less addicting if it is prescribed. A prescription doesn’t alter it or make it safer, but a lot of people are fooled into thinking this, aren’t they?

If I recall correctly, the doc who put Rebecca Riley on all those drugs was never faulted and is still practicing. Wow, that is sad.

Welcome to 2019. Happy New Year.

How to tell if a workplace is toxic

In my book I am inserting a chapter on employment for those returning after a long time being out of work. One thing we are not good at is detecting whether a place of employment is toxic. I do not like to apply that word, toxic, to a human being, and I will not, but for sure a workplace can get that way.

There’s a major difference between calling a single human toxic, which really means you’re calling that person mentally  ill (think about it!), and calling a workplace toxic, which usually means badly managed in some fashion. I studied this in a management class. There are reasons why a workplace gets toxic, ranging from the management being too lax to the management being too controlling, and various in-between combinations.

The group being managed may be too large for the management team to handle. Or they’ve allowed cliques to form, subgroups that they did not plan on that ultimately harm some of the workers and undermine the leadership. The top brass may have bad ethics or fail to follow the ethical guidelines they supposedly eschew.

Corruption can happen at any level but usually is handed down from the top. If the top brass are corrupt (bad morals, stealing from the company, dishonest practices, etc) then this will then pass on to all the employees under that management.

Outright mutiny is possible, but when is this likely to happen? Is it really that probable that all employees are crooks or rebellious to that extent, for no reason? One example of mutiny is a work strike. But strikes happen when workers get together and decide, “Hey, this is wrong.” If workers were happy and treated well there would be no need for a strike.

How can you tell if a workplace is toxic? Are the only toxic workplaces those shit jobs you end up with that pay $8 an hour?

Go look up Seattle Symphony. Check out around 2007. These folks are renowned musicians. Look what happened there! This is a prime example of a toxic workplace.  Clearly poorly run, poorly managed, leaders playing favorites, rampant retaliation, gossip, backbiting, etc. It looks worse than junior high and Facebook combined!

This is a toxic workplace, an example of one that has employees (orchestra members) with long contracts who know each other very well, maybe too well. Reading about what happened makes me glad I got out of the music business….leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Now looking back at my brief stint at a toxic workplace last January, I realize now I did not see the signs. I missed the obvious because of my inexperience with workplaces in general. I should have quit after my first day on the floor (my 60th birthday!) when my supervisor, Marquita, deliberately singled me out and bullied me, and would not stop even after I asked her to. Nicely. The fact that the other management made excuses for Marquita, repeatedly ignored or diminished the seriousness of her bad behavior. This was a sign of a toxic workplace. Since I was sitting so close to her all shift I overheard all the gossip between her and the other supervisors. They were such idiots that they assumed I couldn’t hear (well, she can’t see, so likely she’s deaf and brainless, too….people really do think like that!). They were constantly yapping. I did not appreciate having to hear it all.

Of course I should have quit and not stuck around.  The biggest sign of Toxic Workplace is that they’re always hiring. They’ve got a permanent “Help Wanted” sign out there, always advertising, constantly sending you emails begging you to come in and interview even if you tell them you have another job, No Thanks. They’ll hire anyone! Trainings happen every two weeks or every month since hardly anyone is retained.  People come and find out how bad it is and leave, or if they look like they’re going to be trouble, like maybe they’re a little bit smart or insightful, they’re fired faster than they can quit. Even management seems to be unable to retain anyone. Many of these companies fold or morph into something else, or appear to be something else…don’t be fooled.

I was indeed fooled, though, because I had no way of knowing what a healthy workplace looks like. I was amazed when I got to my current job and found out that this is what work is supposed to be like. It’s not an ideal job but I feel that it’s reasonable…reasonably so. The pay is excellent and I very much like my supervisor…or maybe I like her on some days and not others.

I have not seen the company do anything really bad. Mistakes? Yes. But nothing that, so far, hasn’t been remedied. A goofed paycheck now and then is not the end of the world especially if they straighten it out promptly. They goofed my “stats” this month but I have the real data which I backed up and saved. I did my own calculation and told them their figures were off. I suspect they will be a little more careful before trying to pull the wool over my eyes at this point. They are less likely to criticize based on guesswork anymore, as I have informed them I keep my own records (that was a hint!).

I have experienced isolated incidents of poor management behavior, but it’s rare and not the norm. For instance, one of the trainers blew her top at me during a training. She totally lost it and started yelling! She did not use swear words, but she was definitely out of control and unprofessional. However, I am shelving this one for now. We don’t see the trainers past the training and they aren’t the “floor” managers, so seeing as I will not encounter this woman again (and there were witnesses! How embarrassing for her!)I have nothing to worry about…actually, she doesn’t either and is likely glad she won’t see any of us again.

Overall, they pick good leaders, people who are well-experienced and capable. A company that makes occasional infractions is not a toxic workplace, it is a workplace run by human beings. A company that repeatedly ignores infractions or deliberately silences or harms workers is going to be problematic to work for. The key is being able to recognize the difference as soon as possible and make a timely decision.

Yes, I have tried CBD, and this is why I don’t recommend it (or not recommend it)

I have never known an essential oil that did anything it claimed to do. NONE! Lavender oil did nothing for insomnia and actually kept me awake due to the terrible odor. Same with holy basil oil (holy basil as an herb is useful, though!).

CBD oil is so overpriced that it is a sin. I bought a bottle during the time I was absolutely desperate to get a decent night’s sleep. I tried using one of those infusers, putting it on cotton and stuffing the cotton into my nose, putting it right onto my skin under my nose, and finally, snorting it and drinking it (diluted with a little sesame oil so it wouldn’t burn me). What was the result? No effect on sleep. None. No effect on anything else. No magic, no evidence that CBD oil does anything but stink.

Here’s an article confirming my own conclusions, which I admit were based on my own self-experimentation ONLY which, I suppose, you may argue is only one person’s experience (as they say, “anecdotal evidence”)…..

Click on the pic above to get to the New York Times article.

Abuse of HIPAA law by Allegheny County Jail as reason to withhold information, possibly coverup of wrongdoing, deliberate stalling

https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2018/12/27/Family-of-Allegheny-County-Jail-inmate-who-died-push-for-answers/stories/201812270147

What is Allegheny County Jail hiding? Here we see they are yet one more institution using HIPAA as excuse to withhold information. Are they really protecting a dead person? Obviously, not. They are using/mis-using the law to protect themselves.

Hospitals, nursing homes, rehabs, therapists, outpatient doctors.  Now, jails as well. All using HIPAA to get themselves off the hook.

What needs to change? We need to see to it that the loopholes written into the HIPAA laws are changed, and the part of HIPAA that actually works, or is supposed to work, is properly followed. HIPAA is detrimental to patients and their families if these changes do not occur.