By Sarah Knutson – Treating Trauma is an Urgent Public, Not Personal, Need

Treating trauma is a community problem, not personal.,

A woman is beaten in the United States every 15 seconds. Society pays the cost in mental health budgets. courts , cops, corrections, substance abuse, and children’ services. The real social cost of trauma has been well known to people who work in those systems for years, but there is no consensus about what to do, or how to build political support, for treating trauma.

treating trauma is essential. People like Cheryl Sharp and Shery Mead are bringing the role of treating trauma in mental health to the forefront,

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Psychiatric survivor stories saved our lives

Psychiatric survivors are people who have survived mental health treatment. We did not survive our illness, we survived psychiatry. The difference between people with “consumer” stories and psychiatric survivor stories are just how you self-identify. If you feel comfortable saying that you survived the treatment instead of the “illness”, then you are in the group that has psychiatric survivor stories. That is all the more complex the distinction is. Some people identify in multiple different ways, according to a survey I did of 54 mental health advocates:

Who has their own psychiatric survivor stories?

Psychiatric survivor stories

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Ann Burgess – Why Only Some Emotional Distress is Called a Disease

We are one as humans, all infinitely interconnected. Therefore, we are certainly responsible for ourselves, and need to reduce the normal, human emotional distress people have created and can solve. Our true voice would never leave us if we were all treated as worthy, not “sufferers,” or victims, who have been labeled, ridiculed, or violently squashed in forced treatment — who currently can’t hear their true voices.

We want the healer within us, that others have available.

Elegant, almost scientific, evidence that there is no real separation between you and me, that we are interconnected infinitely with all humans (and

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How Psych Meds and Hospitals Messed Me Up

About a year and a half ago, I was placed on an involuntary hold for being suicidally distraught. A friend had called 911. I was “released” to my house once hospital authorities deemed me “safe.”

A few weeks later, however, I chose to go to partial hospitalization at the same institution. Though my depression was circumstantial, I had no strength left with which to heal myself. It seemed the only option was to try again a scary proposal — psychotropic meds and hospitals.

Psychiatric meds and hosptials damaged me

I’d had nightmarish experiences on two common anti-depressants

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Do some people really need meds?

Do some people need psych meds?

I know someone who had a seemingly bona fide diagnosis of schizophrenia, including psychotic symptoms, which was caused by trauma. He evidently needs to do more to deal with the trauma, yet has also apparently needs psych meds to quit experiencing psychosis.

In another case, I worked as a home health aide with a man with schizophrenia whose cause for schizophrenia I did not know. But it was clear to everyone around him that he needs psych meds to quit talking about bizarre stuff (like us supposedly trying to poison his

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Maria Mangicaro – Check for Physical Causes of Psychiatric Symptoms First

Editors note: Much of this post came from a comment previously published on The comment was by Maria Mangicaro. Because comment copyright ownership is still a matter of debate in the internet era, we’ll be glad to pull this if anyone objects.

Sticker found in Kansas City. What really defines psychiatric symptoms?

I am concerned with the “Chinese menu” approach, or using the DSM just to match people up with psychiatric symptoms:

1. Are certain individuals in our mental health care system. suffering from underlying medical conditions misdiagnosed as schizophrenia or bipolar? Are they being forced

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JRA – The myth of Biological Mental Illness

One of my bicycle mechanic friends told me that every single person who brings their bicycle into the bike shop talks about JRA. I was “Just Ridin’ Along…. and my brakes suddenly stopped working.” OR I was “Just Ridin’ Along, and my tire just went flat….” Out of the blue. The mechanics hear it so often that they just use the acronym JRA. Never mind, for instance, the brakes needed maintenance, or the tire had 1500 miles on it and was so thin that flats started being very predictable.

So the disease model, or biological mental illness, says the illness

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FAQ about the Distress Model

These are questions that came up from one of our most thorough critics. We thought we’d reproduce them as a blog for anyone who has questions about our approach.

1. Our system is broken and people are dying: and veterans are dying: I know this too. This is why I feel like we need a whole new system, not just fixing the old system. But getting a very clear handle on what is broken and what works is useful. Also, I don’t think I’m leaving people in the lurch by building an alternative, because I’m not tearing down or working

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Karen Young: All Natural Lupus Recovery

Editors note: This story is written by Ken Braiterman’s neighbor, Karen, about her natural lupus recovery. She uses and sells homeopathic and nutrient products to manage her own natural lupus recovery and her son’s alleged ADHD. Both refuse prescription medicine, which their doctors say is impossible.

If you have ever felt chronic pain and or fatigue in your life, it masters its way into becoming a full time job in your life to defeat it. You keep your ears open to those around you who have been experiencing the same JUST IN CASE you might catch them talking about

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How I Overcame Frozen Emotions, and Re-Connected With Myself

Words can hurt. Words can heal. Words can create profound and lasting changes, or humiliate and destroy us. But they only have that power if we can feel.

A person with frozen emotions is not moved by language. She hears the words, but they float around somewhere “out there”. Syllables strung together, hardly meaningful. Syllables like stones bouncing off a lake.

The closed self is like a lake covered in hardened steel. Below the cold metal, nothing is alive, because nothing can breathe. The deep soul within becomes static. Locked in a cavern of darkness, unmoved, unmovable.

I have been

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Where is the Frank Discussion of the Effects of Psych Meds?

Questioning psych meds

If you believe the public education campaigns, the only problem facing people with “mental illness” is the “stigma” which stops them from seeking help.

The answer, apparently, is to get as many people as possible to believe the brain disease theory. Treatment “works”, we are told.

People Believe in Their Psych Meds

The people that are held up as examples, a shining light for everyone labeled with “mental illness,” all support this model. They proclaim that they “got sick,” found the right medications and psychotherapy, and are now in “recovery.” And the system

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An Unbalanced Life Led to Isolation, Stagnation, Despair, and a Diagnosis

Computers became the focus of my unbalanced life

My unbalanced life led to isolation, despair, and what some might call classic signs of “clinical depression.” But it wasn’t until years later that I had any contact with the mental health system – after I’d become desperate enough to crack in a highly visible way. I went on a journey to try to renew my spirit, ended up considered “manic” and “psychotic,” and was thrown into the hospital. At that point, doctors and nurses tried to sell me on the idea that I had a biological illness.

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Emotional Distress is Temporary

Recently I got an email from Jennifer Maurer from the Mother Bear Community Action Network. I met her at the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care Conference in North Carolina last September. She says, “I would love for you to write a page on ‘How Emotional Distress is Temporary.’ ”

Emotional distress is temporary and it comes when our personal resources are overwhelmed. We begin to get a bit separated from reality. Here is the biochemical mechanism for how this emotional distress is temporary and reversible. It may be super happy or super sad moods, it may be seeing

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Psych Meds Hurt Me, But Helped Others, Part 2 of 2

Psych Meds Hurt Some, Help Others

Anti-psychotic medication made me psychotic, but I met several people during my journey through the mental health system that psych meds helped, at least during the time I knew them. Each individual reacts differently to every medication, and psych meds can help or hurt, at least in the short term.

I finally ripped myself off anti-psychotics, despite my bullying father’s unfair threat that he wouldn’t have a relationship with me if I didn’t take them. But when I stopped, the psychotic symptoms stopped. I was never really psychotic in the first

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My Alternative to the Disease Model, Part 1 of 2


Label and Medicate: The Disease Model of Emotional Distress

The Disease Model of emotional distress victimized and traumatized me inexcusably several times in the past. Eighteen months ago, in the hospital, my clearly situational, trauma-based depression was inappropriately framed as a disease.

I’d previously been carelessly and crassly misdiagnosed — then, mistreated — twice. Part of my real problem was my dysfunctional family: my parents “bullied” me, choosing a lackluster counselor, unhealed from her own family problems. I was especially angry at a seemingly negative system by the time I was labeled unfairly in the hospital.

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