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Dear Dr Farber. I had a breakdown three years ago.. After coming out of hospital, I (like a switch) came down with terrible depression and anxiety, my heart started beating fast and loud, and everything just went very strange, like being in a Salvador Dali painting. I could not sleep or eat and nearly killed myself..it was horrendous. I held out for three weeks, than resorted to anti depressants which (helped). I still do not understand what happened, or why. I am still on medication and still suffer from depression, from mild to semi severe. Do you perhaps have any suggestions?
Dear Seth Farber,
The excerpt below on the nature of “so-called hallucinations” is from a book written by Franklin Merrell-Wolff, an American philosopher-mathematician-scientist who achieved mystical or spiritual Enlightenment (or Illumination, or Awareness, or Whatever) in 1937. I believe he offers here an astute, edifying and challenging perspective that reframes the entire discussion regarding pathology versus normality, particularly in relation to the field of medical psychiatry. His words below also have major ramifications for the notion of ‘treatment’ and therapeutic intervention. Having recently read your complelling book "The Spiritual Gift of Madness" I thought it might interest you. Make of it as you will and feel free to share with others.
Merrell-Wolff, F. (1973) The Philosophy of Consciousness Without an Object: Reflections on the Nature of Transcendental Consciousness. New York: The Julian Press, Inc., pp.143-145.
Modern psychology distinguishes between objects that it calls real and objects that it calls hallucinations. From the standpoint of Consciousness-without-an-object there is no important difference between these two sets of objects. The so-called real objects are experienced by groups of men in common, while the hallucinations are generally private. This is merely a social criterion of reality and has no logical force. Essentially it is as meaningless as determining physical laws by popular vote (p.143)...[T]he fact that objects exist for a given individual privately is not sufficient either to credit them with reality or to discredit them by calling them unreal hallucinations. The problem of reality is not to be handled in any such simple offhand manner. In fact, such a method is sheer intellectual tyranny. It is entirely possible that society, and not the individual man, is the greater fool. I am inclined to think so.
Objects, whether of the common social type or the so-called hallucinations, exist for the powers of experience and thinking, and thus both are derivative. If by ‘Reality’ we mean the nonderivative, then both types of objects are unreal. In the narrower or pragmatic sense, the one type of object may be more real than the other, when taken in relation to a given purpose. It may well be that in the narrow sense of the purpose of western physical science, the social object is more real, but from the religious standpoint, in certain instances at any rate, the reverse valuation is far more likely to be true. But here we have no more than valuation with respect to specific purpose.
Some mystical states, probably the greater number, involve the experiencing of subtle objects of the type that the psychologist calls hallucination. Practically, this has the effect of classifying the mystic with the psychotic, apparently with the intent of common depreciation. Such a course involves both intellectual laziness and a failure in discrimination. Since a ‘hallucination’ merely means private experience as opposed to social experience, it constitutes no true judgement or value. There is often a world of difference between one and another so-called hallucination. The difference between the state of consciousness of a drunkard, enjoying delirium tremens, and that of a seer like Swedenborg, is as far apart as the poles. All too (p.144) often the psychologist calls both merely states of hallucination, and acts as though he thought that by giving a name he had solved the whole problem. As a matter of fact, the real problem here is one of valuation, just as it is with the social objects. The vital question in either case is: How far and on what level do the objects arouse the realization of Meaning? The objects that do this in higher degree and on a higher level may properly be regarded as possessing the greater relative reality. Thus, in a given case, the so-called hallucination may far outreach any social object in the relative reality. In any case, the type of the object, whether social or private, is not by itself, any measure of its value or reality. Neither type has nonderivative Reality or Meaning (p.145).
I am studying to becoming a comedian. Standup, especially open mic standup, is much like a therapy session -- and far cheaper. My suggestion would be for patients, especially patients under medication, to begin a regimen of standup. When you can share the humor of your so-called "illness" with other depressives, you're on your way to healing.
Ooh, Dr. Farber. I have AT&T but I can't use it 'cause there are no towers here in Maine. I'll get another phone soon. My number that I can't use is 207 922- 7288. Looks like you are censored too. CaptainProMe: FACEBOOK/YOUTUBE
Dr. Farber, I heard you on Coast to Coast with George Noori. Thank you for speaking for all of us with mental issues. I was kidnapped as a child and developed PTSD since then. I head a voice during the kidnapped that helped me scape. I also saw my life review flashing in front of my eyes as I thought this man was going to kill me. Then in 2000 went to visit a Psychiatrist who put me on anti-psychotic drugs making me more psychotic, fat and stupid. I came out of it and then in 2005 had a nervous breakdown where I had an amazing spiritual awakening, I was in Nirvana and Unity, I came to understand things one can only do in such states. I then went to meditate for year what lead me to communicate with the Platonic solids and then eventually with Metatron, He has always been there for me, warning me if something wrong is going to happen. Thanks for your work. Celeste from Vancouver, Canada.
8.1.2012 - Dear Seth et al. I've just read through the complete list of 'discussion' comments, and have come away realizing that all of us are but typically hungry for open minds ready to receive and perhaps emphathize with our own... and perhaps even finally begin truly understanding the sincereties that all of our words seek to convey. Thus, nothing very mad or even unusual is to be found here; we're just another collective of humans being humans. My wife and I loved everything you said during the course of your interview w/George at C2C on 7.30.2012. It's been good to meet you, and I wish us all well at figuring out how to become fully one with that which has given us our existence. Once we all elevate, expand, grow, mature and thereby heal our minds to that place, I'm quite certain that we'll then realize that all that we've ever 'suffered' from has merely been the profound & inevitable ignorance that was but part-&-parcel of this cosmic process that is bringing us into such wondrous light as is beginning to stream into us. Love to all, R&D
He doesn't have any credibility! He knows Psychology. Most Psychologists don't have a clue and Psychiatrists just lie. Take a glass of wine and call me in the morning, otherwise there is no reason for a Psych to be lobotomizing with short-term and stealing souls through long-term use of anti-psychotic meds for person relationship and mental take-over issues.
Dr. Farber, the email address does not seem to be working. Is there another one I can send my question to?
Hi Dr. Seth. I heard you speak for about 20 minutes on the Coast to Coast show and I strongly agree with your approach. I’m diagnosed Bipolar and am EXTREMELY aware of the "typical western medicine" myth. I believe I may have information from my personal experience that will be beneficial to your studies. I've been looking for doctors whom have been able to prove this in order to completely share my story with others. I am on the spiritual side of my alleged disorder and have faith that with the correct resources we can bring forth a wealth of information.
I'm studying psychology in college and would like to trade information. If at all possible will you please contact me or please provide a way for me to contact you to keep in touch with you directly?
Thank you for your knowledge and your being a educated voice for me personally and those whom are and will be subjected to this in the future.
How can you maintain any professional credibility after claiming schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are the same thing?
Nice job Seth, considering George is an atheist. You may be barking up the wrong tree with the church. Their sole purpose is to make sure people don't get too high. I was given the opportunity to work on the same work rather than the computer work which I was trained for. Always interested in psychology. The latest I've come up with is that the New England states are less religious because Philosophy is not taught in 5th grade like the rest of the states. Plato is the Father of Religion. The Alpha and the Omega are the basis for the names of blood type A & O and I'm the son of my brother which is highly unusual. Can't find another...but the dead Syd Barrett and Michael Jackson. Ya, it's been a busy 2 1/2 months since I arrived in the New England states where the feds continue to inform local municipalities that I'm schizophrenic thereby forcing trespassing on me in physical and mental capacity causing the fed psych agent gods to have reason to cause chaos on innocent persons resembling myself. They may just kill me. They don't allow EEG's to prove them wrong. I'm a Prince treated as if a terrorist. Schizophrenia is a psychological or physical hole in the brain. Whereas they desire to call it my personality type as found on friend-finders:
You are the inventor, the risk taker, and the developer of new ideas and schemes that can either plummet you into bankruptcy or catapult you to riches and glory. Dozens of ideas ricochet in your head at any given moment, and you can talk circles around anyone you know. You are the epitome of creativity
ENTP when in love
Falling in love may take a while for you because of your selective nature: You are the type of person who may pass by several “quality candidates” until you feel you have found the ideal mate. As a result, you may be single for far longer than your friends and family expected you to be. Even when you find the right person, you still want to maintain your sense of uniqueness and personal space. As a result, you need a partner who will leave you alone when you desire it - a partner who has his or her own sense of self-confidence and autonomy and doesn’t need to be around you twenty-four/seven.
ENTP where to meet
Where can you meet an Innovator? Innovators are the most eclectic of the Knowledge Seekers; their spontaneous and inquisitive nature takes them almost everywhere. They are especially delighted by social events that trigger their imaginative and logical minds. Look for Innovators anywhere their powerful intellect can be stimulated and where they can exercise their considerable communication skills
I've been censored but her goes: CaptainProMe FACEBOOK/YOUTUBE
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If this statistic is true it tells me psychiatrists have no conscience.
JR- good lord, you are the biggest whiner ever.
Seth, it would be good if you make it more of a priority to return phone messages and/or answer the phone. I wanted to talk to you about the fact that around Xmas last year it was for me the twenty-fifth anniversary of an illegal incarceration into a vile snakepit for having the nerve to ask for help from the "system" after a terrifying domestic attack. And the fact that nobody cared then...or now. I never got any justice in spite of going to hell and back trying to get some. The criminal charge leading to the illegal incarceration....in spite of it leading to an ACD, and in spite of the fact that it was made grudgingly by an incompetent shrink...is STILL on my record....and illegally so!! It should have disappeared six months after the fact.
The reason people get abused by the psychiatric system...is that they are too compliant. Period. They ask for help from the "system" and don't know enough not to do it. Clancy Siegel said it best in his satirical novel based on the Philadelphia Project and Ronnie Laing. He said that these potential inmates are too trusting.....and then that trust gets used against them..as if to say "You must be crazy for thinking anyone least of all us...would give a bleep about you!!" And then the person goes a bit ditzy from being left with nothing...and then the "system" sweeps them up through fair means or foul. The purpose is to keep the truth from ever getting out.
Also shortly after it happened to me I joined the "survivors" movement and met Judy C. at a major conference and told her my story...and she pretty much cut me off in the middle implying "So what do you want with ME for chrissake?"
Years later I found this hypocrisy was pretty typical.
If you are not extraordinarily attractive or articulate or brilliant or something...if you do not have SOME outstanding quality to belie the fact that you are STILL in the "scum-of-the-earth" category...you will still be ignored...even by the "alternative" community.
In the book "The Lourdes of Arizona" Ronnie Laing was acting the pop star after interviewing that crazy woman from the streets. Truth was she complained about (at Ronnie's prompting) the tendency to segregate invalids into "section 8" ghettos even after they have achieved that all important hurtle of getting off the streets. Her point was "What's the damn point anyway if we're still bunched together in a way we can all be ignored together?"
And Ronnie never answered her.I don't think he even heard her. He was too rapt with his own visibility and fame. And he exploited the fact that she was too "nice" to embarrass him about doing it. I personally wouldn't have let him get away with it!!
I read that that whole interview carefully and Ronnie didn't help her with anything. He really just pandered to her. He was oh so surprised that she didn't adhere to some conventional view of Jesus. It really threw him. He revealed himself as totally ordinary. And then he cut her off much too soon. Nothing had been achieved except a massive swindle on the audience.
But he thought there was great "positive" feeling between them, and I say he manufactured the whole success of that interview by getting her to adhere to HIS inner view of the alternative world...(ie: that this conference was a conspiracy of "love") in a way that really went over her head..... but nobody saw it by me and a few other readers I haven't met yet.
And then she got patronized about being so "bright". She was just ordinary though...had an ordinary vocabulary and so forth. Maybe she had to be seen as very bright to cover up the fact that she was just being overpowered by that brilliant Ronnie who always dazzled everyone in those days....
Ronnie manipulated the thing to make it look like he was some kind of magician. Sad to read that book now over twenty five years after it happened and many many years after his unearned halo fell off completely.
That woman may have simply been misdiagnosed. We all know why that happens now with our 20-20 hindsight.
I never had many friends Seth. But after I was so viciously imprisoned following my stupid trust of the mental health system in order to help me get an order of protection against a roommate who had also been abused by the psychiatric system....I found a friend, or so I thought. I had met her a year before...and she just so happened to be working in the accounting dept. of that snakepit. She let me eat at her house and after I was dumped from the sakepit with no where to go, she let me stay with her until I got some seedy inadequate apartment, since all my money was gone. She acted like a friend because it made her feel important. But twenty five years later when I tried to remind her of that special date, I got snubbed in a way I KNEW it was no accident. I reestablished contact with her a couple of years ago and stayed at her house again etc....so it was no magic pop-up job on the anniversary. She just didn't wanna hear about it any more...when for me it was one of the most important relationships of my entire life and one of the most important needs....to have this woman to establish closure with. She acted like she cared...THEN. She snubbed me completely NOW.
The message was.....I was eminently forgettable. Her "excuse" for doing it (when I finally reached her a couple months later) was her physical ailments. REALLY! Talk about conventional. Jesus H. Christmas..who in hell doesn't do that when they really just wanna get rid of you??
So my point here is....that even "HUMANISTIC" psychology is RIFE with BS and hypocrisy. When people get done over by the system the way it happened to me and that woman being interviewed by Ronnie Laing in Arizona..the system always seems to win.
And Seth, if you don't wanna talk to people, and need to select them out for your personal reasons...aren't you sending the same kind of message?
I have been snubbed by you a few times in the past too, so I see a pattern here even with you.
Also it's no coincidence that the "survivors" movement kinda sputtered and died, and now only the "elite" (apparently) get heard about this stuff.
I don't think Thomas Szasz would have cared about my story either. (Peter Breggin didn't either...and that's not conjecture) Thomas Szasz probably would have insinuated that I was normal but just too stupid to stay free. I mean if you get victimized by the system and there's no reason to have allowed yourself to get taken in, then isn't the DEFAULT reason always that you were just too stupid?
Is STUPIDITY the UNSPOKEN diagnosis that all of us invisible ones are really suffering from?
Much ink has been spilled over the subject of contempt-for-others in traditional psychiatry but so far I've yet to see many frank discussions regarding contempt-for-others in the world of humanistic psychology and also in the real world of our pseudo-democracy and one-percent fightback and galloping inequality among ordinary people. What are the real politics of "success" and "failure" in our world? Who has ever spoken or written frankly about these things? What unspoken rules are being used to hurt some people all of the time and all people some of the time and some people hardly ever...around our unspoken consensus and nagging unspoken questions and unexamined assumptions... regarding success and failure (economic and social and personal) in the real world? How do these subjects tie in with the idea that in humanistic psychology itself there is massive contempt for some dysfunctional individuals who don't necessarily fit in with traditional DSM criteria, but who are dysfunctional nonetheless and damaged by the world at large for not meeting certain unspoken rules of conduct? Does Dr. Thomas Szazz' contempt for instance.... for those "malingerers" (as he himself puts it)draw attention to some of these as yet underground problems in our erstwhile social/political/existential democracy? What happens to people who cannot find meaning in the world because they don't fall neatly into certain preconceived notions of success or failure in ordinary life.....and at the same time they are discouraged from exploring new ways of thinking about such issues....because of so much unspoken prejudice against any such personal or social enlightenment?
In your book, Unholy Madness (p.109)you write: "The countercultural model is not compatible with the church's present policy of deferring responsiblilty for the care of individuals experiencing distress or crises to secular mental health experts." What about sending them to professional counselors who approach their work from a distinctly Christian perspective? Also, do you apply this same critique to people needing physical healing? Should the church be more involved with that as well? I'll look forward to your response. Thanks, Duane
I have a question regarding the current Obama regime and the risk of further governmental control over the so called "Health Care Movement." In light of the administrations efforts to take over the American healthcare system - and with the passing and neglegent acceptance of this system over our civil liberties as free Americans - how will this coercive policy influence the use of coercive psychiatry for our society? Could this lead to a more prevalent psychiatric intervention into people's lives and liberties? Could a zealous administration empower the implementation and distribution of "Institutional Psychiatry" (as deemed by Thomas Szasz). At this point it seems helpless as its nearly inevitable that the American people have been hood-winked into believing that Universal Healthcare, or Socialist Healthcare (whichever way sounds less deviant), will be a prominent factor in America's recovery. This, as any informed civilian knows, is not the case.
I seek your advice on this and also on where I can become active in this debate. I plan to pursue a career in Political Psychology and would like to begin in a suitable environment. I can be contacted by anyone at JWhalenNRG@gmail.com. Thank you
reference to "Naomi Clements"
"I hope the people of Huntingdon of Tennessee have the courage to re-examine the facts in the light of what was revealed on the TV show Women Behind Bars. Deion Harris has served over 17 years in prison for a murder she did not commit, a murder she would have prevented had it been within her power. Ms Harris should be rewarded at long last for the service she provided to the people of Tennessee in helping to put Walter Smothers behind bars before he murdered another person. The Brooks family in particular owes a debt of gratitude to Teresa Deion Harris for turning in the murderer of their loved one. I think that the best way the Brooks' family could now honor the memory of Dennis Brooks Jr is by asking the Governor to commute Ms Harris sentence, to free her from prison at long last."
YOU ARE KIDDING RIGHT?? I REALLY HOPE I NEVER RECEIVE ANY OF YOUR SERVICES. THE ONLY THING THE FAMILY OR THE TOWN OF HUNTINGDON OWES HER IS EXACTLY WHAT SHE DID TO DENNIS. SHE IS THE ONE THAT STOPPED HIM AND THEN WENT DANCING AND HAVING A GREAT TIME IN HIS PERSONAL EFFECTS TO INCLUDE HIS CLOTHES. SHE IS A SICK FREAK AND I HOPE SHE GETS EVERYTHING THAT IS COMING TO HER. HER HUSBAND TOO FOR THAT MATTER. I FEEL BAD FOR HER KIDS BUT BEING THAT THE WONDERFUL PEOPLE WHO RAISED HER ARE NOW RAISING HER KIDS, WE CAN EXPECT THE SAME GREAT BEHAVIOR FROM THEM AS WELL I AM ASSUMING. SHE CAN BLAME WHO SHE WANTS BUT SHE HAD THE CHOICE TO SAY NO, WALK AWAY, OR DO ANYTHING TO GET HELP AND SHE CHOOSE NOT TO. I THINK WE CAN SEE FROM A VERY YOUNG AGE SHE WAS A MENACE, NO WONDER SHE DATED MEN WHO BEAT HER AND FORCED HER TO DRINK BLOOD AND KILL PEOPLE. THAT WAS THE TYPE OF PERSON SHE WAS. SHE NEVER ONCE DECIDED I HAVE HAD A BAD CHILDHOOD LET ME DATE SOMEONE WHO GOES TO CHRUCH OR SOMEONE WITH A STABLE LIFE. LEAVE HER WHERE SHE IS AND AWAY FROM HUNTINGDON TN WE DONT WANT HER OR HER KIND ANYMORE. MURDER IS NOT SOMETHING THAT CAN BE CHANGED, DENNIS IS GONE FOREVER AND NO ONE WILL EVER CHANGE THAT AND HIS FAMILY HAS TO SUFFER TILL THE END OF THEIR DAYS CAUSE SHE WAS SCARED, WEAK, OR WHATEVER THE EXCUSE IS. ITS PLAIN AND SIMPLE SHE HELPED TAKE A LIFE AND SHE NEEDS TO BE PUNISHED FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE. I HOPE SHE NEVER SLEEPS IN PEACE OR FINDS ANY PEACE. MAY SHE FEAR THAT THE SAME THING WILL BECOME ON HER CHILDREN THAT CAME ONTO DENNIS. GOD REST DENNIS... WE LOVE YOU
Thanks for your work, Dr. Farber!
You ARE kidding about the Brooks family owing Teresa Deion Smith Harris a apology......I hope she is punished for ALL eternity. He was my COUSIN.
Link to my email is at right--bottom. Please send questions to email, or phone if you prefer. email@example.com
Hi Seth, I was watching Psychiatry - Instrument of Death, and at end pf part 8, I saw a video you gave. It is so powerful--in 3 parts--i was transfixed. What you are saying is full of love. However, I would like to ask you this: How do you see the new psychedelic therapies, in the psychiatric world. I have read some shrinks who are doing this with people still use same old jargon as 'chronic mental illness' etc! Also, about your belief in Judeo-Christianity. As you know many women, ecofeminists, radical feminists, and males too, pagans, see the Church as being patriarchal, and that the roots of this secular nightmare seem to have ROOTS in this theocracy from our past. For example, Thomas Szasz shows similarites between Church dogma and its Inquisitions with psychiatric history in his book, The Manufacture of Madness Earlier this evening, I had watched a BBC2 documentary where this Christian minister goes round the world experiencing other faiths, including pagan. Tonight he joined a witch's coven, and he struggled with joining on, and had to leave early because he said "I am a minister. I do not worship nature. I worship 'God'" And in that statement, for me, it shows the eptiome of the Christian belief system. He had also been to Australia with romantic notions of being introduced by the Aborigenees to The Dreamtime rituals, but found that they had been converted to Christian faith, and their rituals were now hollow, and he said how "upset" he was. So he seems in contradiction So I really would love to know your thoughts about this?
You are an insult to the profession how could you bring Jeff on Howard Stern and have him fullfill his fetish. You are a sell out and a hack who couldnt treat a cold.... Screw You Jeff
by the way..i wrote the comment below this one....my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. my name is michael gaudio
I have just begun reading your book, Madness, heresy, and the Rumor of Angels. It seems interesting to me. i have only just begun to read this book, but i am seeing similiarities between its content, and my own life. I wish i could talk to you more in detail, and ask you questions. It would be nice to have a professional person tell my family that perhaps it is not "me" that is the problem. just yesterday I got a call from my grandmother, (a very loving and crazily worried woman)the first thing she started to really talk about was "We just need to get you medicated, and everything will be ok". It makes me want to cry, as much as it makes me want to laugh. In all, i wish i had someone to relate all this too. anyway, thankyou.
I agree all too well… I’ve first become very observant of Dr. Szasz’s and Dr. Breggin’s writtings and yours when our family was going through transitional existential and cultural difficulties which began when we realized our eldest son was not being intellectually challenged in his Ardsley (Westchester, N.Y.) high school…I hold his school’s administration ( not the teachers) responsible for much of the mistreatment that occurred. Thanks to the readings of Drs. Szasz’s and Breggin’s including yours I’ve managed to find the strengh to empower myself and my son by pulling him out of the school’s quick-sandbox… So, I’m ever gratefull for your cohesive efforts to keep the “Establishments” from pushing their “bright” pupils into their dead ends… And I wish to know how I can help prevent other kids (including my other junior high son) from possibly falling into their shool’s same destructive blind alleys … - Viviane Marescot-02/06/08
Hello Mr Farber. My question is whether or not you are still in touch with the gentleman whom we all witnessed on the Howard Stern Show enjoying the vomit of a young lady. Now I myself do not enjoy vomit or any other crazy such things, but my what an interesting fellow! Portly, yes. But interesting indeed!
Hello Mr. Farber, I couldn't e-mail you through the website, so this is the only thing I could click on that would let me write. Hope that's cool? Anyway, I wanted to ask you how one could most effectively contact counselors in the Los Angeles area who come from the same point of view as you. I am a struggling counselor seeking to escape from the mainstream counseling b.s., and wanting to genuinely help people become free. Any suggestions would be appreciated, Thanks Matt Robbins. p.s. my e-mail is email@example.com and my phone is 310-633-3239. Peace
Dear Dr. Farber, Please let me introduce myself. My name is Elaine Phipps-earl and i am a mature aged (54 years young;)) doing my thesis for Honours in Philosophy, answering the question "Is mental Illness an illness or a set of illnesses and if so what are their characteristics?" I am honoured to quote u in my thesis. However, my Supervisor has asked me not only to quote full names of those i reference, but also their birth/death e.g. Pierre Deniker (1917- ). I would be extremely greatful if u could please email me - firstname.lastname@example.org with your year of birth. Have tried to trace it on the net, but was unable to find it. Anxiously waiting to hear from u. Kind Regards and Best Wishes Elaine (Brisbane, Australia)
Please could someone tell me what year Dr. Seth Farber was born and if he is still alive ?
Seth, I liked your old Website too and I am happy you sent me this new address to include on my own list.The new Site is very easy on the eyes for reading and I like the updated photo of you; though it was a bit of a shock after all these years! Keep adding to it. Patricia Lefave, Canada
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I apologize for the many typos in my previous post .New cell an I apologize guess turning off the word predictor off might be a good thing to
I would love nothing more than to call the number posted and speak with you ,perhaps for the rest of my life .
YoThe coast to coast show
recently posted on YouTube , featuring your opinions and ideals , literally blew my drug diseased mind control.
I am going to attempt to get myself off this poison , but having a safe place and one which doesn't rely on the pharmaceutical industry , to come off safely is my issue .
Without having family or friends , how would you suggest going about doing so , please .
Thank you for being you and true to yourself .
My point is well illustrated in that my comment was followed by someone else's comment and there was no way to show that my comment was separate from theirs. You really need to change this, Seth.
You really need a better way to show who is typing on this page. Some kind of highlight system, or a Topic line or something. It's hard to tell when one comment starts and another begins. It creates a disservice when trying to keep any kind of flow when reading.
From what I can tell from my rather cursory look of your views, I must say that something inside of me leapt for joy in hope as I skimmed through. I'm not one who is normally given over to conspiracy theories or who has relied upon subjective thinking to make decisions, but your arguments resonate very much with my own recent experiences with the psychiatric system and with mental illness.
I am currently writing this at about 4:00 a.m., after having been jolted out of bed by a surge of energy despite taking four milligrams of Xanax five hours ago. I just turned thirty and have tolerated, and even enjoyed, these surges throughout my life, as I find them crucial to my creative processes as well as for my ability to write and articulate things clearly. The feeling I now have is undoubtedly what the psychiatric community would label as "hypomanic."
In truth, manic and hypomanic states are very real and very potentially harmful. Over the past several years, and on more than several occasions, I have found myself so extremely wound up that I once resorted to cutting myself to relieve the tension, and I have been admitted to the hospital a couple of times. When my impulse control is thus so very low, I have found myself committing textbook bipolar acts: spending sprees, sexual promiscuity, fixation, recklessness with regards to personal safety, etc. I have never been dangerous to others, however.
Being bipolar is definitely something that has its issues in this regard. Yet there is a very beneficial and even empowering side to the disorder as well. For instance, while in a hypomanic state in college, I was able to out-perform most of my peers, as I could operate on little to no sleep without any problems. It was when I was in this state that I had so many of those "ah-ha" moments, those strokes of genius in which certain things become so utterly crystal clear. My ability to perform academically was on a whole other level while "hypomanic."
Yet of course the rollercoaster nature of bipolar means that these benefits are not consistent, thus leading to the condition being labeled a disorder. For this reason, and n general, in my experience I would have to agree that it is largely a disorder. The problem is how the disorder is being treated (and I assume this is your argument, so I apologize if I am just rehashing it.)
I won't get too much into my personal history except to say that I was not diagnosed until I was relatively late in life. I was aware that there was something that set me apart from others, but I feared the stigma attached to being psychiatric patient. But I finally had to see a psychiatrist for depression a few years ago. I was put on a common SSRI which, to anyone who knows anything about bipolar, only greatly exasperates bipolar. Over the course of a month of taking the medication, I pretty much lost my mind. I had experienced hypomanic states up until this point throughout my life, but now I was experiencing full-blown manic states, depression, and mixed-states (with episodes of catatonia). Though I was taken off the drug, I have not been the same since and my life has been absolute hell.
Since the Prozac incident, I have been placed on every SSRI available. Once my diagnosis was changed from depression to bipolar, I've been on four mood stabilizers as well as several antipsychotics. In addition to these, for the purpose of countering the others' terrible side effects, I have been prescribed everything from blood pressure medications to speed... that's right: methamphetamine!
My day starts by taking 30 mg of meth orally. I am currently unemployed, so my goal is normally to begin looking for a job or something else productive. If I am fortunate enough not to become fixated on something pointless, I might get something done. But normally I end up doing nothing much productive. In the evening to wind down, I take my Xanax, blood pressure medication, lithium, and two other meds in order to get to sleep. Needless to say, functioning at the level I used to as a student and professional (I had what I consider a prestigious career prior to all of this) had been nearly impossible. I have attempted to stop these meds, but the withdraw from them is excruciating in terms of the resulting depression, the paranoia, the loss of cognitive ability, the memory loss, etc. I feel like a prisoner to them.
I'm apologize for making this so long. My original intention was to write to you about the positive aspects of bipolar mania and that, because of these positive aspects, there really must be a better way other than mind altering medications to deal with the very real negative aspects of the disorder.
Real quick, I will just say that it has been when I have been hypomanic that I have operated at my absolute best. I am not an arrogant person, and I realize this may sound that way, but when I have been hypomanic, I have been nothing short of a genius. It is during those times when I am "up" in this state of mind that I have been able to sort of glimpse those almost indefinable things in nature. I describe the feeling as sort of looking around the corner of every day reality to see another point of view. Just as you mention that your work consists of constructing a new paradigm for how our society views mental health, when I am "up," existing paradigms melt as I am able to think about the world in new and exciting ways. In my opinion, this is how we advance individually as people and collectively as a society.
As you have said, mental illnesses as a whole are not necessarily the problem, it's those aspects of them that can lead to the affected being less able to function, and, worse, it's the treatments we currently have available that really make them into a disorder.
Again, it is very refreshing to read your thoughts. I've only begun to delve into your writings, though I am very exciting to read more. Thank you.
The way political whistle blowers in this society...are sometimes hounded to madness....by the agents of repression and terror....strikes me as SO SIMILAR to the way "disturbed" people are labeled and dismissed and then often tortured into inertness.
The truth is sometimes the greatest enemy.
But the movement to liberate truth itself...is the most noble endeavor anyone can undertake. Thank you Seth, for your great contributions.
Any questions can be addressed to me at email@example.com. Someone said there was no email listed--there is a link toi my emailm at right bottom, as well as phone/ Thank you. Seth Farber
I agree all too well… I’ve first become very observant of Dr. Szasz’s and Dr. Breggin’s writtings and yours when our family was going through transitional existential and cultural difficulties which began when we realized our eldest son was not being intellectually challenged in his Ardsley (Westchester, N.Y.) high school…I hold his school’s administration ( not the teachers) responsible for much of the mistreatment that occurred. Thanks to the readings of Drs. Szasz’s and Breggin’s including yours I’ve managed to find the strength to empower myself and my son by pulling him out of the school’s quick-sandbox…So, I’m ever gratefull for your cohesive efforts to keep the “Establishments” from pushing their “brightest” pupils into their dead ends… And I wish to know how I can help prevent other kids (including my other junior high son) from possibly falling into their shool’s same destructive blind alleys … - Viviane Marescot-02/06/08
I like it very much!
-- Susie from Idaho