Proposal: Survivors only site, and my reasoning behind it

I have been torn over this for a while. Much as I love MIA, I feel that we survivors need our own site. This would be written and managed by survivors but with content that a variety of readers, including nonsurvivors, might find interesting.

My reasoning is as follows: Perhaps you have heard the term, “Nothing about us without us.” This makes sense to me. I look at all the books written “about” people who are diagnosed, but how many of these are written by a person who has been through it?

The D$M is a compilation of arbitrary insurance classifications written by people who have no clue what it feels like to be psych diagnosed. This expensive and weighty book is full of insulting nonsense that doesn’t shed light on our experience, but ensures our lives become more uninformed and darker. I don’t see any credibility to references to this book that assume it is at all factual.

When you read a book by a survivor, you understand the human state as changeable and in constant flux. You understand that this is true for all humans, not just “mentally ill” humans. To change means to grow. A psych diagnosis stops all growth. Ditching the diagnosis altogether allows for growth to resume. Any human can get caught in this bind.

Psych is different from other branches of medicine. Psych is based on coercion and force. Did a podiatrist force you to wear a certain type of shoe, and then, threaten police action if you disobeyed? Did the dentist send the cops to your home if you missed an appointment? No. You will get charged maybe, but you won’t hear that stretcher rolling in your direction. Psychs regularly call the cops on their patients or threaten to do so, based on rather arbitrary and unsound reasoning.

Survivors know the fear resulting from repeated threats. Many of us have endured days, weeks, years of scare tactics. We really do know what it’s like. We have been there. Doctors, except those who have been labeled themselves, don’t have a clue.

I’ve been told that survivors aren’t submitting very much to MIA, and that this is the reason for our lack of visibility. However, I feel it’s high time that these antipsychiatry doctors, some of whom charge insane fees, get off their high horses, step aside, and allow those who have been silenced in. I am wondering when this is going to happen. These doctors aren’t in need of more of a voice, more respect and recognition. We, on the other hand, certainly are.

When I was a young college student at Bennington, we were often debating the split between the Black Music Division and the Music Division.  It made sense, but it didn’t. The Black Music Division was formed by the late Bill Dixon.  His argument was in part to elevate the status of music by black people, since in traditional schools, this music was ignored. I can vouch for that since the music department at UMass/Amherst treated jazz students like outcasts. Jazz was considered “not serious.”

Do you see an analogy here? Formation of the Black Music Division helped give jazz a legitimacy in the eyes of the community. In other college communities I never saw that. I believe after a while, the Division was dissolved, but I am not sure.

The voices of ex-patients are also considered “not serious,” that is, “not legitimate.” We are lowered in status due to society’s glorification of science. Science earns money, poetry doesn’t. Most of us were deprived of an education by the System, as well as a career and what many consider a normal life. However, our art and works stand, and will stand, if we continue to speak out and express ourselves. We need a venue for this that will place highest value in the voices of survivors.

I, for one, am rather fed up with working my butt off only to find out my efforts are ignored and cast aside. I am tired of fighting to gain the voice I rightfully should have had in the first place. I am grateful to those of you who are reading this right now, simply because it means I am not speaking to empty space.

For those of you who are reading this, what do you think?

Article by Phil Hickey regarding newer neuroleptic use…and my commentary

Here’s the link to the article in Mad in America by Phil Hickey:

Second Generation Neuroleptics and Acute Kidney Injury in Older Adults

Here’s my comment, as it is now, up on the site:

More fuel for the argument, Phil! Thank you!

I entered the tween stage, that is, 55-65, when we get to be halfway elderly and occasionally can take advantage of “senior discounts,” with a bang. I decided to use a slogan to describe my age: “55 and Alive!” Some seven months later, I experienced acute kidney failure. I am lucky to be alive today.

The psychiatric profession appears to be desperate to deceive patients and keep them in the dark about consequences, even if it means hiding important information regarding medical conditions from patients so that they will continue to comply. For years, my kidneys were running low, and I wasn’t told. When I arrived at an ER and I went into full code last August, a nurse blurted out to me that I was in kidney failure. I believe they hoped I wouldn’t recall this blunder. However, for whatever reason, I remember well. My electrolytes were so off at that point that it didn’t even register in my mind that I was near death. I was merely curious as to what would occur next. For over a month I’d been feeling like I was on a moving ship, or was the world just tilting back and forth the whole time?

I was up on the floor and I asked flat out what had happened. I repeated what I’d heard and they said, accusingly, “Who told you that?” as if it were a lie or my imagination. I was in the hospital 11 days. Every day, each morning, i was offered Abilify and I refused it. The doctor in charge finally told me if I didn’t take Zyrexa, he wouldn’t allow me to leave the hospital even if I was medically stable enough to leave. He’d pushed many antipsychotics on me, including Haldol, and i’d refused all of them. Their main goal, as far as I know, was to transfer me to a psych ward where I’d be started on the deconate, and court ordered to stay on it. I’m sure, had I refused, I would have been transferred to a state facility.

I told the doctor that I didn’t think Zyprexa was an appropriate medication for a person with anorexia nervosa. It had already been proven to be unhelpful for anorexia, and it’s not approved, either, as off-label use. I’d taken it before with disastrous results.

I learned that I’d gone into renal failure because the the day I went home free the discharge doc accidentally gave me papers I shouldn’t have had access to. I was alone late on Friday night when I found out I’d nearly died, and they never bothered to tell me.

I have a new slogan, “56 and Free.” I am lucky to be alive. My kidneys are roughly at 1/3 functioning. I know now that they were desperate to keep me from writing or speaking out about what happened.

Sorry, docs. I am a writer and my weapon is my pen. They were desperate to stop me even if they had to tell huge lies. You can stab yourself with a pen. But why do that, when you can put it to far more powerful use?

I love ya’ll, Julie Greene and her little dog, Puzzle