Maria Mangicaro – ISEPP is My Type of Mental Health Advocacy

Volunteering for International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) is my way of giving back. I feel I have been very blessed. It was very difficult for me to find providers who offered alternatives to mainstream psychiatry, and it was even more difficult to find a psychiatrist who would work with me s to try to taper off psych meds. ISEPP helps people connect with alternatives to mainstream psychiatry and psych meds.

ISEPP supports alternatives to conventional psychiatry and medication.

Volunteering for ISEPP gives me an opportunity to help provide support to mental health professionals who

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Maria Mangicaro – Can Mental Health Advocates Advocates Agree on a Message?

This is a comment originally posted on http://MadinAmerica.com that deserved some further attention.

If we consider the broad spectrum of issues regarding mental/behavioral/emotional health care, we start to realize there are many shades of grey in the “mental illness” epidemic and debate. But what if mental health advocates could identify certain issues that are purely black and white, right or wrong, and focus on just a few we agree on?

Mental health advocates should unite around a few issues they agree on.

We could start to create transparency among advocates. For example, I am sure you are

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My Experience of the Three Phases of Internal Stigma Reduction

By Ken Braiterman, Wellness Wordworks Board Chair

I came out to my family and trusted friends right away, when I was diagnosed in 1977, not with people who only knew me a short time, or at work. I didn’t want them to think about my mental health history if I got angry, tired, or frustrated like everybody else.

What I told myself determined what I told other people. That evolved in stages.

I thought in 1977 that I had a chemical imbalance in the brain, a no-fault disease controllable with medication. That was a new idea then. If enough people

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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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Bonnie Castro – People, Not Treatment Models, Change Lives

Editor’s note: This came from a discussion in an email group for all the peer support centers in Missouri. Bonnie Castro is a peer support specialist.

Some Peers Change Lives

So many folks in the system right now still remain in the “life is limited” stage despite consumer-run programs or clinical services that are offered to them. It’s not the services destroying the system so much. It’s the people delivering those services that change lives.

Recovery Rocks 2011 – Conference with many peer specialists where Bonnie was a speaker

I have met case managers that are

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Some Non-Demonimational Tools for Removing Spiritual Beings

Editor’s note: This information came from a person in Kansas who works with spiritual emergencies and gave me some advice about removing spiritual beings. She also says to check out the STAR center resources, and the Spiritual Emergency blog. She emailed me throughout my recent spiritual emergency and gave me permission to share her suggestions without identifying information.

You can read about my story here and how I went about removing spiritual beings: http://corinnawest.com/spiritual-emergency/. It was tough to coordinate both a Christian and a non-denominational approach, but I found it both useful and essential. Unfortunately, the Christians weren’t supportive of

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Christian Tools for Handling Spiritual Emergency

Recently I went through a Chrisitan spiritual crisis and was helped in a big way by my church. I was also helped by a non-denonimational perspective through my Christian spiritual crisis, and that blog is coming next. I wanted to post both points of view because I don’t think that they are in conflict. This both / and is one of the most valuable things I figured out. Both views can be true at the same, exact time, and not necessarily contradictory. This blog is reproductions with permission of emails from my church Intercessory team who helped me through it.

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Advocacy victory – Public health care communicators

Recently I got an email from the National Public Health Information Coalition asking me to take their survey about creating a certification process for health care communicators. I didn’t like their survey so I sent the following email: I just took your survey about public health communicators and I think you totally overlooked the role of patient advocates. There are many reasons people in recovery might know more about health care than professionals. Also, one of the biggest risks in health care is iatrogenic harm, and patient advocates prevent that. Also, patient advocates are often much better at promoting prevention

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Why I Stay Home on New Year’s Eve

It’s a good idea for people who deal with emotional distress to be extra careful with alcohol, tranquilizers, and amphetamines, whether they take psychiatric medication or not. Roughly half the people with mental health diagnoses have co-occurring substance addiction. It can make a temporary, transformative problem much harder to get through, because you must also deal with the addiction.

The pros and cons of psychiatric labels and medication are not the subject of this blog.

The assumption in psychiatry has always been that people “self-medicate” their moods with addictive alcohol or unprescribed drugs before they seek psychiatric help. In sickness

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How Can Day Treatment Graduation Become Possible?

Though most adult day treatment programs in mental health centers have adopted recovery language, they are still, at their roots, mostly day care. They often discourage, and create barriers to day treatment graduation.

The people themselves are often unwilling to risk reducing or weaning off their medication, losing their benefits, or re-entering the work force, and their providers don’t want to help them, don’t know how, or don’t want their clients to risk having setbacks the clients clinicians will have trouble dealing with..

But many studies have shown that supported employment programs move people toward recovery, jobs, and day treatment

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Where is our honest discussion of psychiatric medications?

We did a post earlier asking for an honest discussion of psychiatric medication effectiveness, and now that mental health is back on the public forum due to yet another school shooting, it’s time to ask again. How about asking how many medications cause violence instead of reducing it?

Many medication users talk about psychiatric medication effectiveness they see. We don’t say their experience isn’t valid. It often comes back to the question, “How you would explain the root cause of your experiences? Some kind of physical deficit?” These theories about what the “root causes” are tend to lead people into

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An open letter to Jabulani Leffal and KCUR Central Standard Time

An open letter to Jabulani Leffal and KCUR Central Standard Time in Kansas City,

We met at the Kauffman Foundation after the Global Women’s Entrepreneur’s summit. I’m building a business to help people learn accurate information about the psychiatric system, namely that mental health treatments are not evidence based, and psychiatric labeling often does more harm than good. I thought you knew some of this research based on our conversation.

I thought you understood that psychiatric survivors have a different approach than disease marketers.

Peggy Swarbick and Laura Ostrow are psychiatric survivors, here at the Carter Center

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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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Discussion: What Does “Psychiatrized” Mean?

Editor’s note: This is a discussion that came from our UnDiagnosing Emotional Distress Facebook group.

Ken Braiterman: I think psychiatrized is when mental health professionals turn normal human feelings and behaviors that they would have themselves into symptoms of a psychiatric disease. It’s their way of not dealing with WHY you’re angry or depressed, and calling the anger and depression your “sickness.” It’s thinking all your problems come from a “chemical imbalance,” and psychiatric chemicals will make you well.

JF: The use of the medical profession to deal with non-medical problems of life. Denying women’s issues and instead applying derogatory

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By Ann Burgess, Tina Minkowitz, and Pat Risser – We must go beyond alternative treatments

We need to keep creating and developing options beyond alternative treatments, an “underground railroad” of peer respites for crisis opportunities, instead of the same old warehousing, involving hopelessly long and deep interruptions that just lead people to decay and death.

What’s amazing is that we are doing much of this in some places on a shoestring. It is remarkable that people and organizations are stepping forward for a hand up, rather than a hand out. That is the neighborly, paying-it-forward thing to do, not wasting our human resources, which costs everybody.

Combat Arts KC – Beyond Alternative

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