Here’s why they should allow dental floss on psych wards

Check this out:

19 Uses for Dental Floss (Besides Flossing Your Teeth)

That’s right! One piece of dental floss will not even hold ten pounds! Even braiding three strands together won’t hold you should you try to hang yourself with it. What were those idiots thinking when they confiscated our dental floss?

When I was at Walden Behavioral Care they told me I couldn’t have a mechanical pencil because “you might eat the lead and poison yourself.” What decade were they living in?

The reason why I thought of this was because when I was flossing my teeth just a bit ago, the dental floss broke on me three times.

Addendum: Why don’t we just stop imprisoning people who have not committed crimes? No one should have to endure being locked up!

Breaking news: Timberline Knolls, eating disorders “treatment” facility…

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/ct-met-timberline-knolls-assaults-20190212-story.html

I am not at all surprised, are you? Many thanks to those on Twitter who are sharing this story and also to the #metoo movement. I feel that #metoo has been good for antipsychiatry. There’s been minimal push to “get treated” and mostly the emphasis is on speaking out.

Have you been to Timberline Knolls? Know anyone? Share your story here.

Sometimes, the influence of the withdrawal community might not be so helpful

Some folks in the withdrawal community love to talk on and on about
withdrawal from psych drugs causing permanent damage. I totally refute this and here’s why:

Let’s face it, the drugs themselves caused most of the damage already! I know withdrawal is hard, harder for some than for others. However, I think it’s more like cigarette withdrawal. Yes, stopping smoking is very difficult for some people. What is the alternative? Continuing to smoke and continuing to harm  your body? If you can quit cigarettes your body will thank you for the rest of your life!

Does withdrawal hurt? YES! For many, it’s like torture. I do not believe the torturous part of it has to be forever. This kind of attitude creates permanency. That is, if you have total faith that you’ll be miserable forever, you are more likely to be miserable.

The withdrawal community pisses me off tremendously. Not all of them, but some of them. Science, or shall I say, pseudoscience (that is, psychiatry and others) tend to avoid doing any research on withdrawal because the assumption was that we’d be drugged forever. Some of the folks in the withdrawal community get very touchy about the subject. They feel threatened by anyone who says they’re going off drugs cold turkey. They’ll try to tell you it won’t work, or that you’ll die. I do know a few who did get off cold turkey and they’re not dead. They are off drugs! Some are dead, but more are dead who continued to stay on the drugs.

Is going cold turkey a form of Russian Roulette? Well, yeah. So was seeing a psychiatrist! So was going to an ER! Come to think of it I know a number of people who get sickeningly drunk every weekend which is also Russian Roulette. Life itself is Russian Roulette. Do you sell drugs? You’re taking a risk. If you’re alive right now you might be dead tomorrow.

The withdrawal community loves to blame anything at all that goes wrong on “withdrawal.” It is totally disgusting to me that people will blame normal life on withdrawal! Everything from getting periods to sunburning in the sun is blamed. Nothing is spared….Sound familiar?

Part of the withdrawal community loves to boast about how sick they are. Sick and (of course) still disabled, so that way they have an excuse to stay home and act sick, thereby extending their disability benefits forever without having to see a shrink or get MH “services” to justify it. This also sounds very familiar to me. After all, didn’t we sit around the ward and boast about our diagnonsenses as if they were our college majors?

People who make the INFORMED choice to go cold turkey are somehow terrible sinners who need to be prayed for. Maybe instead we need to pray for those still trapped in the System, and for those on insane “cocktails.” Pray for the elderly who are imprisoned in nursing homes and those who live every day of their lives terrified that their own families will have them locked up.

This is what I would suggest….Not that I have any authority on the subject…Just live your life. I think if you make a gigantic stink over withdrawal, then withdrawal is going to stink. I suspect the “preparations” for withdrawal only increase people’s already elevated sense of self-absorption they were taught in the System. Self-absorption needs to go way, way out the window, and if that means tossing out Self-Absorption’s twin sister, Mindfulness, please do. If you look for symptoms you will find them. If you call them symptoms then they likely will become symptoms.

Now I do know that there are certain effects we got from the drugs that seem to stick around. Please get “permanent” out of your vocabulary! While I know that some effects (organ damage, TD, sexual effects, insomnia, etc) seem to be permanent, just stop calling it that. Permanent means no hope. We need hope to survive, don’t we?

Hope IS the placebo effect. Why? Because no one can predict the future anyway. We rely on hope every day when we drive. We assume that we’ll get to our destination and that we won’t crash. If we drove constantly afraid of crashing, driving would be a nightmare! Most do not drive that way. Our faith in auto safety keeps us driving pretty much mindlessly, almost subconsciously, which is probably a good thing. You might be on auto-pilot but that’s so you can concentrate instead on not making a wrong turn or on actually noticing a stop light. Our auto-pilot attitude during driving is actually a form of faith that so long as we drive safely, chances are we won’t get into an accident. This, in fact, protects us and helps us drive more safely.

You might have some damage that sticks around five or six years. Still, keep having hope. Live life as if you’re driving and leave that brain space for the stuff that matters. You do not need wildly unrealistic hope, but steadfast hope. Keep it in your heart all the time and please, don’t give up.

Shout-out to San Francisco!

Does anyone here live in San Franciso or near there? Did you know that there’s going to be an APA protest there?  Do you want to help out?

The organizers are seeking a person/people who live in the Bay Area who can help secure a protest permit, and who might help out with “local knowledge.”

I personally have not been to San Francisco since 1979, when I got abducted by the Moonies.  It’s a cool city! It can be surprisingly chilly there, but not as freezing cold as Minneapolis, Montpelier, or Juneau, AK. San Francisco also has a lot of hills, even in the city. It is right on the ocean.

Does anyone know anyone currently there? Are you interesting in attending the APA Protest? That I know of, a contingency is already organizing. It’s time that the public learned the real truth about what happens in those (ahem) “hospitals,” right?

Please contact me and I can get you in touch with those folks.

Badges

Did you know that killing a cop is more likely to get you the death sentence (or life imprisonment) than killing anyone else? Cops get huge funerals, even processions that block traffic and  delay a huge portion of the buses in any major city. Why is that? It makes no sense to me.

Just because a person is a cop, they aren’t a more worthy human being than anyone else. Know how long it takes to train to be a cop? Some departments require an associates degree, while others only require a high school diploma. The application process can be lengthy. You get six months of full-time training. Now, suddenly, you’re handed a gun and a uniform and that means higher social status.

A doctor trains for much longer. I don’t think they get the gigantic funerals that cops get. If you are wearing a lab coat you’ll have more authority over others. This is proven. Weird, eh?

If a homeless person dies, they might not even get a funeral. They might get cremated by the state and then tossed out. If you kill a homeless person, you’ll be seen as a hero if you can manage to get people to believe the person was a “danger.” What if you kill a cop who threatens you by pointing a gun at you (definitely dangerous!)? You go to prison. Or you get the death sentence, even.

If you kill a “foreigner” during an act of war, again, you’re a hero. What kind of sense does this make?

We need to get rid of this kind of thinking. No one person is more valuable than another. A degree, or a uniform, or one’s nationality shouldn’t determine one’s worthiness. What has this world come to?

Every time I see a cop funeral, or hear of one, I remember all my fellow patients who are now dead. I feel disgust in my heart knowing they were forgotten, lost to us, buried in time.

This is why telling our stories is vital. Your story will be remembered long after you die. Your story, ultimately, is what you did on this earth, how you impacted others, and what you accomplished, uniform, or none.

Check it out!

https://www.fiverr.com/juliemadblogger/help-to-get-out-of-the-mental-health-system-for-good

I would do it for free if Fiverr would let me. Why? I believe in sharing. Isn’t that what we were told to do in kindergarten? What happened to that? Destroyed by capitalism.

This is my way of giving capitalism a good swift kick the butt. Oh, psychiatry, too!

My kickstarter page is pending because they have to prove that I’m a real human being. So long as they do not contact my ex-shrinks, who treated me like I was subhuman and likely thought I was.

I hope to get very few donations and lots of chances to share information!

Anything to piss off the establishment is likely a step in the right direction. Let’s keep it up, folks. We’re meant to live!

What to do with those “low credit” credit cards if you’re not using them

I have 11 credit cards. Most of these I obtained while my credit score was very low after it crashed while I was in Uruguay. The funny thing is that they’re all paid down now with money to spare. I didn’t realize how frugal I am. I asked myself if there was anything I wanted and I couldn’t come up with anything.

I am fine with my barebones furniture. I love sleeping with Puzzle on an army cot. I do not mind not having a stove or oven. Buying a toaster oven felt like splurging. I still wash all my clothes by hand and drip-dry them. I am very happy to run to work every day and I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would drive a car three blocks to work….and feel helpless if their car broke down.

Yes I do have three monitors here at my desk. I have them here for work. And for writing and mucking around.

But I do not need anything. I can’t think of a darned thing. I hired a sleep coach who did not cost that much. It has turned out to be money well spent! Just reading his literature has given me much information I never knew before. Did you know that pistachios are sleep-inducing? Your doctor will never tell you that. They are more effective than melatonin pills. A bag of non-salted pistachios will cost you, but you won’t need a lot to get yourself drowsy. Even two pistachio nuts can have an effect. Almonds, too.

I think I spend a good $20 a week on vitamins and herbs. At least. Compare that to drug and appointment copays, paying for a dog sitter while in the hospital, getting behind on bills because the “unit” has your wallet locked up and they won’t let you online. Taxi rides home because you’re too messed up on drugs to get home on your own. All the money spent on ailments that turned out to be treatment-induced. Sunscreen and Thorazine hats. Nutritionists since insurance will not pay for them. All that will not be covered by your disability check anyway. You’ll be in poverty and that’ll be called a mental disorder.

What do I do? I’m saving up money. What for? What do I do with it? I was going to buy a house but right now I do not qualify, although there are certain loans I could apply for. So now what?

I realized I am paying fees for not using my credit cards! Who wants that! I pulled out my (ahem) box of junk credit cards and donated money to charity! Now that felt soooooo good.

I would like to know what charities you guys know about that help people and do not push the mental health agenda. I sent money to MFI and to MIA. I wrote to Bonnie Burstow and asked her if CAPA takes donations. I’ve been combing Kickstarter for projects. I started my own Kickstarter page for my upcoming book. Not that I need money for it. I am asking people to purchase and read the book, as this will help the most. I started using my Fiverr account. Share and share alike!

At one of my jobs we have customers calling in wanting to cancel their credit card with us because they got back on their feet financially and they do not need the card anymore. They don’t want it sitting at a zero balance unused. I have mentioned to them that it would be better for their credit report to use the card now and then for coffee or a magazine subscription, just to keep the card going. Sometimes I share my own experiences with them without getting too much into details. Customers love hearing that a person who works for a credit card company was once in the poorhouse. I’m not supposed to give credit score advice but I share with them how I got my own credit up.

So shall I tell them to use the card to donate to charity, if you don’t use it for anything else? I used to feel obligated or pressured to donate, which I hated. You get kind of a rush doing this, I admit. I will have to curb it pretty soon or I might get addicted and get forced into “treatment” for donation disorder.

On the other hand, what would such treatment look like? Would they force-stuff money into my pockets, using a court-ordered “section” to support their claims? We are talking about fattening up wallets here. This is much more preferable to fattening up people till they’re sick from being stuffed. Would I have to sign a “three-day” to get out of there? Or maybe I’ll just enjoy the brainwashing, and then, quietly deposit the dough in Swiss bank account.

See you later.

Booted off Monica Cassani’s blog!

I’m so thrilled! Another stripe for my uniform! Monica Cassani booted me off her blog because I wrote and said I wasn’t going to waste what is left of my life looking for diseases. She deleted the comment.

That is  okay. Sometimes, an emotional response to something I say often means I have hit right on the mark.

When she responded she obviously didn’t even know I was a psych survivor myself. Guess she is so self-absorbed she hasn’t quite noticed the rest of us.

Hmm…she asked for feedback, didn’t she? I gave her feedback. Guess she only wanted disease-validating feedback.

Guess what the topic is for my upcoming speech? In part, it’s about looking for imperfections and the harm that happens when you do.

Why I quit retail

I quit my retail job about a month ago. One reason was the constant use of scare tactics that I mentioned in my previous post. In that particular job we received threatening emails once a week. These were form letters that were exactly the same each time, saying that “Your business is at risk for being removed from the line,” and so on. It pissed me off that when they threatened they didn’t address us directly, but called us things. “Your business.” I was offended by this subtle depersonalization.

We never received compliments. Ever. They handed out bonuses but were sparing about this. Thankfully, the pay was decent so most of us didn’t rely chiefly on the bonuses. They often dangled bonuses in front of us to get us to work harder or to obey more. You had to read between the lines. The amount of work you had to do over a period of days only to be put into a drawing to get a $35 gift certificate wasn’t even worth it.

I was already disgusted Thanksgiving weekend. They even called me begging me to work more, telling me I’d get a good bonus if I did. Many of us worked ourselves to exhaustion during the holidays, only to receive more threats and no bonus. I realized it wasn’t worth it to bust my ass for these folks. I even told my boss I wasn’t going to go overboard for them anymore since I wasn’t even thanked when I did.

The ratings system (Stats) was a joke. They only rated some things and not others. They rated how long your calls were, and threatened you if you spent too long listening to customers. I’m proud to say I consistently failed this, as did some of the other workers. I spent extra time helping out elderly customers who may have had very individualized needs. I feel strongly about not rushing a person off the phone. The reason is that I was routinely cut off or rushed off the phone by mental health professionals, including the Crisis Team, my own shrink (15-second phone calls!) and even the Samaritans (ten-minute limit!). I refuse to do it now.

I never saw a rating for using correct grammar and good enunciation. I never saw a rating for writing cohesive emails. I never saw a rating for showing compassion to customers. Wait! Can that even be rated?

We had something called CSAT. That was the survey ratings. This was another issue altogether. Customers had a chance to place their complaints in an open-ended question as part of the survey. Given that the company was cutting corners from the top down, many of us lower on the totem pole ended up the brunt of customer complaining. When I got low CSAT, most of time if was because the customer’s package had arrived late or they didn’t like the product, or because the website was down. By the way, our website was always down. You could browse just fine, but trying to get through the shopping cart invariably led to error messages and purchase failure. This was because of cutting corners. I know this. They could have expanded their available bandwidth, which would have been costly, but they didn’t. Every time we had a sale the website crashed due to too much traffic. Who ended up with bad CSAT because of this? Those of us working the phones. We didn’t even make the decision to cut corners and we got threatened because of this.

I stuck it out only for the money. Finally, at the end of January I received a CSAT written by a very nice elderly couple who said that after their package arrived (I had fixed the delivery issues for them) they took the pants to the store to have them hemmed and found the store employee incredibly rude.

My supervisor must be grossly lacking in her reading comprehension ability. She likely only skimmed. Maybe she only read the word “rude,” which had nothing to do with me, clearly. She wrote to me and said she had seen a comment where the customer complained that I had been rude. This was the last straw, my excuse to quit.

After I quit, I felt extremely relieved. The level of threatening is much lower at my other two jobs, which I am mostly enjoying. The other two jobs are run far more democratically. The workplace tone is more positive and encouraging. One of the jobs is monotonous, but I deal with that by letting my mind drift and using any spare moment I have to do productive thinking (or I read in secret). Or another thing I do is to consider it an acting job. I challenge myself to act more convincingly each time.

I found out that my coworkers have heard my efforts at dramatic performance and find it amusing and impressive. The customers don’t really notice, not consciously. Some realize my tone reflects a positive attitude. Some have even told me that it’s a relief to talk to a call center worker that sounds like she isn’t sick of her job. I take that as a major compliment. Will all this pay off? Will I even be considered for advancement?

I do want this, packaged with a raise, of course. I am waiting to see if it happens. If it doesn’t seem like it’s on the horizon for me I am likely not to stay.

I keep a modest aloofness at work, but still I make effort to be friendly. I make jokes a lot. People kinda see me as a character because I am fiercely independent, am single and child-free by choice, run to work and run home, am always cheerful (that’s not an acting job!), bring healthy food to eat during break, and am not your typical 61-year-old. When this is pointed out to me, I laugh and say, “I’m immature!” This might sound like a joke. I gotta laugh at how very true it is, not that I’m going to admit the exact reasons why. I’m supposed to winding down at 61, worn down by health problems and thinking of retiring. Instead, I’m at the prime of my life, running ahead. If I look back, it’s to assess, with much amazement, at just how far I’ve come.