Today’s radio show features Goddess Shift contributors

The editor and several chapter writers of Goddess Shift: Women Leading for a Change, will be featured on blogtalkradio Online with Andrea, Tuesday, October 19, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. (If you click on the link, the orange banner at the top gives the start time according to the time zone where you live.)

Author and Editor Stephanie Marohn and other extraordinary women go onlinewithandrea to discuss their views and their contribution to the book Goddess Shift – Women Leading For A Change as well as the significance of the female energy in creating a balanced and a better world. Hosted by Andrea R. Garrison.

The following authors will be interviewed:
Pamela Wible, MD at 4:55 pm PST. Physician and founder of unusual health care clinic in Eugene, Oregon
Susan Kolb, MD – 5:35 pm PST. Plastic surgeon and healer from Atlanta, Georgia
Rayona Sharpnack – 5:15 pm PST. Founder of Institute for Women’s  Leadership 
Frances M. Green – 5:55 pm PST. Employment lawyer and ex-Maryknoll nun

Chapter 34 (me!) will be home in bed asleep as it will be 1:30 a.m. my time.

Call-in Number: (347) 426-3895 from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time)

A backdoor way of getting at the family dynamics

I am posting this article from today’s New York Times. The subject is anorexia, not schizophrenia, but the article brings up some interesting points that are relevant in handling schizophrenia. The Maudsley method, which I have heard about before, claims a better success rate than one-on-one therapy for anorexia.

The Maudsley Method is considered family based treatment, but claims it does not go into the family dynamics that may have led to the behavior on the first place. According to a parent: “The family method gave her the skills and confidence to approach her daughter’s anorexia the same way she would approach any other disease, whether flu or cancer. If you had medicine for your child, you wouldn’t let your child take half a dose,” Ms. Ranalli said. “I would say to her: ‘This is your food — this is your medicine. You’re not leaving the table before you eat it. We will get through this together. I will hold your hand and support you through this.’ ”

Unlike traditional approaches, the Maudsley method “says we don’t think the parents are to blame for the problem,” Dr. Le Grange said. “We think they’re part of the solution, and should be center stage.” Their job is to be calm, supportive and consistent. . . .Caregivers need to speak with one voice, he said; one parent cannot be telling the child to eat while the other says, “Just give her a break tonight. The parents need to be on the same page — not just the same page, but the same line and the same word and the same letter,” Dr. Le Grange said.

This all has a familiar ring to me because of tired assertion that anorexia is like a disease. It takes the same “parents are not to blame” assertion that you hear from drug companies, NAMI, and most psychiatrists.  But when you look at what it is actually doing, it is sneaking in the idea that the parents are not on the same wavelength and it introduces the idea of low Expressed Emotion. It seems to work because the parents are not allowed to disagree about the approach and are forced to present a consistent, calm front to the person with anorexia.

Psychiatry could be as clever as the Maudsley method when it comes to schizophrenia if it really wanted to do something useful (I’ve been doubting this for years) and would be willing to drop the force feeding of drugs.  If the truth is too unpalatable for most parents to swallow, it appears that they would be willing to buy the back door approach.

Mental illness and dissent

If there are still people around who don’t believe that the mental illness label is a tool used by the State to quash dissent, here is a rather blatant example brought to you by none other than Veterans Affairs Canada.

OTTAWA — Weeks after an Ottawa man appeared before a parliamentary committee to criticize Veterans Affairs’ handling of benefits for retired soldiers, department bureaucrats concluded he was “clearly unwell” and worked to have him sent to a hospital for a psychiatric assessment.  ….

…. But Stoddart said Ste. Anne’s had no right to see the considerable amount of Bruyea’s medical information that Veterans Affairs Canada shipped to the facility.She noted the hospital was not involved in Bruyea’s treatment, nor did he express any willingness to be treated by doctors at the facility.

(Editor’s note: Hmmm. Looks like he refuses to admit that he’s ill. That’s another sign of mental illness (in technical jargon it’s called “anosognosia”).

Sean Bruyea’s confidential financial and medical files, held in Veterans Affairs computers, were looked at more than 4,000 times by 850 individuals over a nine-year period.

The story can be found at the Ottawa Citizen.

The pain of healing

My feet are painful right now. Normally, the pain goes away after I wear proper shoes, but this time it seems to be taking forever. I try not to stand on them too long. Both feet now feel like I am stepping on a hose. However, today the pain was less than it was yesterday and yesterday the pain was less than the day before. Last night while lying in bed, I practiced reminding myself that the small tingles and twitches I was experiencing were actually what healing feels like. Each small bit of feeling is a knitting together of the past pain in a healing way. Today, my feet felt even better.

I am reminded of this with Chris. This morning he was slightly spooky and just not himself. He missed choir yesterday by oversleeping. I called him when I got to work to remind him that he was to see the sound therapist this morning and to be on time for his train.  He had forgotten he had an appointment, and so he missed it. He missed the last one, too.

I drove home at lunch, brimming with optimism, empathy and a bottle of vitamin D drops just in case he was feeling SAD (seasonally affected.) From what he was telling me he feels quite bored, restless, and overwhelmed with where he is versus where he wants to be, without really knowing where he wants to be. The gap to him seems large.

Healing is taking place and it feels like pain. This is the time where it is absolutely essential to not add to the pain by feeling pain as a punishment. The pain is telling me that what I am feeling is growth.

Please read and circulate

The following is an excellent critique of Dr. Thomas Insel, head of the National Institute of Mental Health. It is taken in its entirety from the blog Involuntary Transformation.

Becky Murphy writes:

My intent when I started this blog was to talk about my family’s experiences with the mental health system. I find that it has for me become a way to share my experiences, observations and opinions about mental health issues in general, and how my son’s treatment more often than not, caused further harm. Mental Health Transformation is happening–for some individuals and groups, it is too slow in occurring; and for others it appears to be an Involuntary Transformation.

For All Of Us…Support and Appreciate Our Diversity We Will Achieve Our Individual And Collective Full Potential.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Head of NIMH Has Not Heard About “Nothing About Us Without Us?”

Thank you Gina DeLuca for sharing this link:

The following link contains the Highlander Call to Action from 2000 and The Bastille 2010 document that leaders in the consumer/survivor movement wrote.

Thomas Insel, M.D.: “We’re in the middle of a revolution. We have the chance to change the world—not tomorrow, but by staying on course.”

Credit: David Hathcox

Apparently, Thomas Insel is not aware of the Consumer/survivor movement. How this can be the case is not easily explainable. It is most disturbing that this man is the head of the National Institutes of Mental Health. This statement flies in the face of the Mental Health Transformation that is being implemented in this country. It is a statement I can relate to applied to my advocacy for myself and my family and fellow consumer/survivors; but not in the context to which Dr. Insel applies it. The context he applies it is indicative to me he is perhaps ignorant of the grave harm done by the bio-psychiatric model of defining and treating those with what are identified as trauma-induced maladaptive interpersonal and sociological behavior patterns; labeling these people as having “mental Illness” and “brain diseases” has in fact been determined to be the cause of the stigma attached to such labeling! As reported in the Science Daily and The American Journal of Psychiatry Online:

The abstract in the American Journal of Psychiatry acknowledges the theory that “Mental Illness is like any other illness,” was a strategy developed to fight stigma and gain the support for and acceptance of those who have been labeled as “mentally ill” by the general public. The reality is as reported, in the same journal Dr. Insel’s article: that the general public were supportive of more treatment, but those labeled were rejected more! So it is this lie which became a strategy to decrease the stigma of “mental illness” did not and worse it increased the discrimination the very people this fraud was perpetrated to “serve!”

Very telling is The PACT Advocacy guide that is distributed as part of NAMI’s PACT across America campaign. It is plain that NAMI is in fact advocating for a pharmaceutical industry funded agenda; not the people who have what they are labeling as “mental illness” or their families.

Bio-psychiatry devotees medicate into disability and early or sudden death those whom they treat in “traditionally” with medication, wanted or not, informed consent or not. It is common for coercion and manipulation to be tools used, in “treatment.” An example of this is the Assertive Community Treatment, or Program of Assertive Community Treatment, as it is known in Washington State. people these people purport to feel a clinical psychiatry.

The consumer/survivor movement has stayed the course for decades now, as has the NIMH. Why we have stayed the course is obvious. Our recovery and survival depend upon our staying the course and standing up against the tyrannical practices to which we have been subjected. which has forged among us a firm resolve to transform the current system to one which is grounded in science, morality, compassionate care leading to recovery.

What is motivating the NIMH? It seems to me from this article, it is being driven by the same flawed thinking that drives the pharmaceutical industry and the media machine funded by Big-Pharma, cosigned by the American Psychiatric Association and so called grassroots movement of “Advocates of the Seriously Mentally Ill.” Altruism is not the only thing missing from this type of advocacy; it also lacks the valid science upon which any and all efforts to treat human beings for any condition, no matter what the cause or how it is manifested should be grounded in.

Shame on you Dr. Insel!

Mark Vonnegut Comes to Harvard Bookstore

Thanks to Google Alert, I found the following article from the Harvard Crimson. No, I’m not stalking Mark Vonnegut. My alert is for “holistic” and “schizophrenia.” You’ll find these two words buried in the article.

Vonnegut, the son of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Kurt Vonnegut, sat for a book-signing for his most recent work, “Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir.”

Holistic day in bed

I woke up several times last night, first to shoot up my stuffed nasal passages with a salt water solution, then later to take two Tylenols to get rid of an emerging sore throat. I was already feeling under the weather and sorry for myself because of foot pain in my right leg. I lay in bed trying to work out the holistic reason for my foot pain, which has been plaguing me since I got back from vacation at the end of August.

Here’s the holistic approach for foot pain. Common expressions involving feet are to “put your best foot forward,” to “put your foot down,” or to “be constantly underfoot.” There are many more. I wondered about what was bothering me that I felt it in my foot. The bottom of my foot felt like it was stepping on a tubular pipe, so I settled on, as a best guess, having something constantly underfoot. I don’t have to look far in our tiny apartment to see Chris and Alex living at home while Ian and I  shuffle around at the start of our declining years.

So, what does a holistic person do? I did an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) focusing on the pain in my foot and asking for forgiveness all around for Alex and Chris lodged underfoot. I also took the day off, figuring that keeping my foot elevated would speed the healing. Sometimes a pain is actually physical, not psychological, I remind myself.

Parental behavior as a contributing factor

Thanks to Beyond Meds for sending me this bang on article about examining your own parenting skills when trying to help your child. This mother is courageous. I am embarrassed about my own shortcomings as a parent. I haven’t laid it all out for the reader and don’t know if I can bring myself to do it. You would think less of me . . . I think less of me. Is it okay if I just point you in the direction of self-examination and you can trust me that I’ve been there, too?

ADD book by Katherine Ellison focuses on parent

Ellison questions whether it’s “maternal sacrilege” to point to parental behavior as contributing to ADD. Whereas mothers in the 1960s were customarily blamed for a whole range of mental illnesses, including autism and schizophrenia, the psychiatric pendulum swung in the ’80s and ’90s to targeting brain chemistry – freeing mothers from guilt but leading to an uptick in pharmaceutical treatment…..

What sets Ellison’s personal story apart from the countless ADD books is the degree to which she implicates her own parenting behavior – and her own ADD – as contributing to her son’s behavior issues. She writes that “kids like Buzz do best with parents who aren’t having tantrums right back at them.”

Read more:

TED talk on sound therapy

Editor’s note: TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “Ideas worth spreading,” which it makes available through talks posted on its website.

Julian Treasure, the author of “Sound Business,” is chairman of UK-based audio branding specialist The Sound Agency and an international speaker on sound’s effects on people, on business and on society.

His full presentation is found here.

“Less mainstream, though intellectually no more difficult to accept, is sound therapy: the use of tones or sounds to improve health through entrainment (affecting one oscillator with a stronger one). This is long-established: shamanic and community chant and the use of various resonators like bells and gongs, date back thousands of years and are still in use in many cultures around the world.”

Half of 1.3 billion

I was speaking with a Chinese national the other day who  expressed great surprise when I told her how widely admired and emulated Traditional Chinese Medicine is. “Really? In China most people prefer medications,” she said. “Maybe 5% of Chinese go in for TCM.”

Well, 5% of the Chinese population is still a lot of people. China is a huge marketing opportunity, not just for manufacturers and raw materials, but for Western holistic practitioners and psychoanalysts. 

According to the Washington Post:

Chinese doctors – whose training has been limited to drug prescription – are hungry for new theories and techniques to treat patients. Meanwhile, Freudian psychoanalysts in the United States — often seen as outdated, even irrelevant – are equally keen to gain new ground in China. Connecting the two sides is Skype – an Internet video conferencing technology that didn’t even exist until seven years ago.