ABOUT THIS BLOG -- I was once a writer published the old fashioned way. I am trying to relearn that skill after 15 years of silence, exploring a topic that many are scared to explore. Seeking or being involuntary placed in mental health treatment creates a stigma for the patient -- no matter how strong or trustworthy that patient was before treatment, they are somehow deemed weak and untrustworthy. In my 30 years of psychotherapy and 15 years of silence, I've observed that should something go wrong between clinician and patient, the clinician gets the benefit of the doubt. There are advocates and organizations that are supposed to counterbalance this tendency, but I feel even they are flawed. This is a blog about my journey.

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Psst -- I didn't post this.

Psst… I am still on hiatus. Leaving this note here because I have to put it somewhere. Inspiration strikes at the most inopportune times. I am honest to a fault. There are very distinct personalities that feel otherwise and those personalities are few and comprise of those that would take advantage of me, you or anyone else. There is a conversation I’ve had with a few people I sort of wish I didn’t have, but without them, I live in a world of giving all and receiving apathy. The other says, “Damn, why are you always right?” Instead of spelling it out to them, I respond, “Sometimes I wish I wasn’t.” Now this does not indicate for my reader to engage in jackassery. And yes, this is a word that I borrowed from another old acquaintance that had similar experiences with the local mental health system, who has hopefully found peace in another United State a couple days drive away. There are other quips we borrow from people, who have had similar experiences as well, that we hope they have found peace i.e. ‘right kind of asshole’ and yes, sometimes we, as people, require just the right kind of jerk to remedy – I firmly believe the denial of this has to capacity to explode into things such as war, but for most of us – that right kind of asshole need not fling guns or Molotov cocktails around – they can usually simply be themselves, but (un)fortunately they are too busy in another state a couple of days drive away trying to make a better life. This paragraph indicates that I give credit where credit is due and that I don’t want to be a doomsayer or naysayer, but in a world of ever-increasing apathy, am I supposed to say nothing? Or worse -- join in on the tactics of the morally devoid? We have a couple of ways of ways of life in my social circles and family. They can be summed up with one statement and one question. The statement is – love is not the opposite of hate, apathy is. It takes investment of at the very least, energy, to love or to hate, but apathy requires no vestment at all. The other way of life is summed up by one question – do you want the truth or do you want a lie? We first assume you want the truth, tactfully put, because that is what we want, but we are also pacifists, so if you indicate you want a lie, then ok, we will lie to you. If you tell us to shut up when we are in pain or worse, danger,, then what does that mean? That you only want to hear happy things? That you are putting vestment in, but that you want us to lie? Please specify because it appears that you wish for us all to waste our precious energy.

 

Postscript -- Yes, we will simply lie. We will give you what you want. It doesn't matter if the situation is large or small, I offer the following example. Person A says, "do these make me look fat?" We answer honestly, "yes they do," or "you may want to try another." Person A responds, "Your mean." We respond, "Ok, you look fine." Later, person B mentions person A's butt looks big in those pants. What are we supposed to do? We answer affirmatively; otherwise, it makes us look like the fool. Now, take that into other arguments. Is this person, powerful or powerless, apathetic to the needs of others? Is this politician good or are they another jerk? But the morally devoid think this is just another paragraph to mock.

Hiatus from net; life is for living

          I think this will be my last blog post for a while. I’m okay with being archived or submitted to the search engines as many people are. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a blog like my own; the first one was the early 2000s – right around when the trio of evil started working at Samaritan. They were local blogs – yeah, pummel the locals because they are loco, right? Best thing to do when psychotherapy starts an eternity of apathy from all directions is to get ones’ story and perhaps advice out so that someone else knows they aren’t alone, and no its not in their head. I’ll be back in a month with the more posts about my decade of hell and a don’t bother list.
          These posts are getting rather long. The reason for this is because I feel like I need to spell everything out with the most concrete and concise language while talking to an intellectually challenged 3-year-old. The latter is difficult to achieve when one is trying to explain rather adults things that, according plenty of texts, a normal 3-year-old is supposed to have not mastered yet but be learning about, and all the while trying to make it obvious those things that I am simply going to be blaringly obvious about from here on out – equipping my blog with whatever proofs I cam find..

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          I have a textbook on interpersonal communications from my own college years that I aced with flying colors and received an award from the department chair for, and that book says noise prevents people from understanding each other. That noise, even between two individuals, can be external noise such as the train that recently went by, a fussy baby, or the radio on in the background. That noise could be on behalf of the speaker or writer choosing the incorrect wording, stumbling over words or not speaking loudly, quietly, clearly or concisely enough. But that noise could also be the listener or reader’s internal noise.
          I do not know why some people assume/presume/believe the things they do when it pertains to me, what I say, write or do – to me their assumptions are controlled by their internal noise. I was actually writing the exact opposite way I once did – purposely using words that are homonyms to convey messages that were not said directly, purposely avoiding words that would have a vague meaning. Hm, the word assume. Dismiss is another example. To dismiss someone is to act as if an argument is invalid or illogical, unless you are talking about the things I am. If a politician, clinician, lawyer dismisses you while talking about these topics, it’s not just dismissive. I am one person that has justifiable reason not to trust. I don’t feel saying this should exploit or cause further lack of trust either. I am pumping these blogs out once a week or more. I found some of them sound plagiarized, but really – when you can’t say, or if its too hard to bear, and you shouldn’t have gone through that letlong repeatedly there’s only so many ways one can arrange letters and words to convey a message unless I lie like my pumpkin spice freind or I try to learn a new language, to which I can read five and nominally sign one.
          I presume the big obvious things –  I assume that since this world has become competitive enough to require firearms and associate collegiate degrees to find work, that we have all made it through Kindergarden or similar. Even though each home, place of business, village, town, city, county, state, province, nation, and heck – even religion -- has different laws, they are similar in the way they are intended to maintain a functioning and self-respecting people.

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          I think instead of trying to categorized the mental illnesses that have existed since the beginning of humanity into neater, smaller, tidier, plentiful and possibly manipulative categories, we need to go the other direction. First, what is the involuntary period and is it legally mandated – I have seen, heard or experienced 48 and 72 hours, 7, 14, 21, 28, 30, 45, 60 and 120 days. These people don’t use their real names and send mixed messages – that’s very noisy. How is someone who is already distraught supposed to make heads or tails of that noise?
          Then let’s take the next most obvious -- voluntary versus involuntary because involuntary, inpatient or outpatient, generally indicates more problematic. The next levels -- mental illness that's inherent or mental illness that arises out of an experience, dangerous versus not dangerous; and hurt self versus hurt another. Some of us are indeed dangerous. Some aren’t. Not only does every patient have a different trigger for whatever symptoms or “symptoms” they experience, every human and every mammal has a different trigger.
          Then there is this other level that I feel shouldn’t exist: willing or unwilling insanity. Some people have come to like it. Maybe they get a rise out of it. Or maybe they don’t know there is anything else.
          I don’t want to be scared, depressed, anxious; single, or battle insomnia or migraines. I don’t want the fatigue, brain fog or to be involuntarily placed in the same room with a pyromaniac, or the same ward with a man with uncontrolled (psycho)sexual desires.
          I don’t want to be stuck in a ward of a bunch of broken and financially broke people with candida infections getting testy or touchy as we watch some indifferent shrink show off large print vividly colored photographs of their expensive vacation to their coworkers. Don’t you think that’s a bit risky? Is the clinician going to think I mention this out of malice and not concern for their or my own well-being? And why do the patients have yeast infections? Is it the same reason they need to run our urine through a large gauge expensive metal syringe? What if a violent patient got a hold of one of those? No urine cups that couldn’t second a weapon available for the psych ward? I guess they’re blind and can’t do a visual inspection for sediment or stones. They rather take people coming in from house fires and gunshots and traumatize them further visually.
          Freud said that we have nightmares because of unresolved conflict. I’m going to have nightmares for the rest of my life just from their laziness and unwillingness to use their God-given eyeballs.
          The amount of time it took to push that urine through that syringe they could have set the cup down, had a short conversation showing the patient they’re actually human or even pompously talked with their coworker about their fancy vacation, then pick up the cup and friggin looked at it. And… and is this place a modern psychiatric unit with a modern hospital that had positive outcomes since WWII– or have they opted to be a bedlam? Y’know what folks, avoid hospitals with the name Samaritan. Avoid Troy. For your own best interest.
          To prize the dangerous’ behavior is not going to make that dangerous person less dangerous. To punish the dangerous because they remain calm solely to stroke the clinic’s ego out is not going to help that dangerous person. To punish the passive because they act out is not going to help that passive person. To reward the passive simply because they’re passive isn’t going to help that passive person – that last one is a big problem in the entire system. Clinician don’t want an argument. My kind of passive don’t want an argument either, but I have the right to self-preserve. People have the right to know what they are getting into and decide for themselves if that is the form of therapy that is going to be useful.
          What therapeutic quality would it serve to make patient with PTSD and the patient that’s a pyromaniac roommates? Am I supposed to simply “toughen up”? Was I supposed to channel my inner firefighter granddaddy? No other roommates available? And what happens when the entire ward is complaining about cottage cheese in their underwear? Yes, but keep the blood pressure low, sure, buddy because raging yeast infections are going to keep blood pressure low.
          I think clinicians need to rigorously and at random tested at random to assess the strength of their character. If the clinician banks off subversion, then hides behind a diagnostic manual, then we need to design assessments that reveal this. We should build assessments to reveal those weaknesses in clinician’s personality and moral code, big and small, to reveal tendencies from everything from mistreatment to fraud to torture to other most damaging. And have assessment results be available should the patient, clinician or system be called into question. I think it would make for a safer, more effective and efficient system than even all these complaints that can be found in this information and digital era. Unfortunately, these words I write are already censored. I think it would be most efficient if we combined both concepts. I feel those in positions of power, such as police and politicians, should also go through these assessments, but I will feel lucky if simply clinicians are assessed because police are, at this point, at the whim of an anonymous clinician. And many politicians, I guess, are willing to be at the whim and make those they allegedly represent be at the whim of the clinician.
          Instead, the most disadvantaged (on average) are expected to placate a system where an anonymous person can take away a patients freedoms’ and (federal) rights without the legally required due process of things worse than simply mental illness, and a clinician and do that without even a warrant. Yes, I understand that there are those of us who are indeed dangerous, but I think an assessment of the clinician should be aimed at assessing if the clinician has the strength of intellect, deductive reasoning, and moral standard to deduce who is a real danger, who is a perceived danger, the real reason why that real or perceived danger is acting out, and perhaps most importantly the appropriate amount of force used against someone who is acting out.
          Here’s a question that should be on tests and textbooks -  patient A is a 127lb mid 30-something female with known severe anemia and alopecia. She has been in obvious poor health for many years, where she experiences episodes of fainting and vomiting. She has sought emergency services and has been hospitalized in a medical setting for her physical symptoms. She has an even longer medical proven medical history that does not involve the aforementioned symptoms. (i.e. we all should be able to plainly observe with our eyeballs she is weak.) She sought psychological care as a voluntary outpatient and waited an entire year because her local clinic has a waiting list. She does has a history with mental illness, but her records indicate she is nonviolent. She also does not have a criminal record. Her town is having a massive spike in violence and street crime. She resides in part of town that, even during the average year is prone to more crime than other areas. Children reside in her building. The public opinion of police in this town is undesirable. This patient is a rape survivor; she sought out therapy for anxiety, depression and trust issues. One day she acts out within her own home. What is the appropriate response?
A.) Send two uniformed men that weigh over 200lbs each without documentation of her arrest to escort her, like a criminal, to a psychiatric evaluation.
B.) Send two uniformed men that weigh over 200lbs each with documentation of her arrest to escort her, like a criminal, to a psychiatric evaluation.
C.) Send an ambulance with just enough physical strength to subdue her, if necessary, without any documentation of her arrest to escort her, like a patient, to a psychiatric evaluation.
D.) Send an ambulance with just enough physical strength to subdue the patient, if necessary, to present her with a psychiatric arrest warrant, and escort her, like a patient, to a psychiatric evaluation.
E.) Treat her brain, body, or existance like it’s a racecar driver’s uniform.

          Even though I fear (1) putting the wrong idea into the wrong mind because (2) for a reason unbeknownst to me or anyone else, it is more effective to broadcast ones’ problems to the open Internet instead of going to private therapy, group therapy, or privately contacting the authorities; (3) being perceived as simply crazy; or (4) point out that psychological trauma is treated by the mental health industry and psychological trauma arises from all kinds of negative experiences, I point out some things. This paragraph should inspire policy-makers to consider what I say instead of using ignoring, mocking, or locking horns with me, or any crazy. I know it will be mocked, but: something’s wrong if only one soldier with high end insurance says it is right.
          (I risk appearing crazy --  someone who says to themselves, “I know I’m not a criminal, so why are they after me” also points out police and military uniforms are easily and affordably purchased from the Internet. I know this because I have owned military surplus bags and military boots. I have dated military brats. My family was once proud to be American and willingly were part of the military. I, as someone, who does not have a criminal record, have no knowledge to discern one badge from another – that badge could be the security guard’s of the local mall. Perhaps, Tanski and Koch can tell badges apart, but I can’t. This information is of little use to me on a day-to-day basis.)
          They say I am crazy but I feel the proper answer is (D). If (B) or (D) occurred I would not have received marks (not scars, but this situation resulted in them too) on my body that still exist on my body today. If my case study background was different; I might say what they did was justified – he’s 6’5” tall, in good health, weighs 300lbs, lifts weights, an angry drunk and is currently intoxicated – sure, it’s better than being brought to jail in my opinion! But 5’4”, slim, voluntary, so clean it hurts, a softy, and is the one everyone knows is she’s sick– no. And (E) results in strange passing out inside-out brain, or friends that have known each other for 26 years that somehow forget we don’t do maple nut crunch in our coffee. (Now imagine the latter in a relationship like parent and child.)
          I think the system is unjust. It takes away the patients’ ability to question the system, and American law was and is supposed to be written so Americans can question it. It was and is supposed to be done this way to create a stable, productive and self-respecting people; not just a happy life for select people. If the clinician is judge and jury, I think they need to prove themselves to a greater whole of the state or country as both judge and jury would, especially if they refuse to do so for the patient. Please keep in mind that prior to Covid 33% of American have dealt with mental illness in their lifetimes, and many of those get jury summons. I truly hope I do not receive one *folds arms*.

* * *

          To make ends meet, I once worked as an under the table maid – not the pretty frilly uniform variety, but vacancies, borderline hazmat and jobs few were willing to take. Some of them were pleasant – teachers, psychiatrists, famous writers would leave parts of their book collections behind. Legally, I was supposed to throw them away, but I put them in a box next to the dumpster. If they were there 24 hours later, I took them home. Between my lifelong collection, old textbooks, freebies given away, and books I found next to the dumpster, I have more books than bookshelves.
          In hindsight, I look back at the names written inside these books, sometimes next to their course codes. These people should have known better, but they rather cause or allow to happen terrible traumas and destructions. People, who have the power to do something about it, don’t. They must get a rise out of fighting and I don’t. So, my end of the fight is a losing battle; the locals will be able to find my archived blog as I have found others’ archived and non-archived blogs.  Hopefully, they and/or I will be alive to read it. The lack of doing something about this, or any other problem, sounds wasteful to me – all the wasted tax money could have been independent housing for a lot of people, but that’s the obvious statement. The upheaval from not doing something about this, and other, problems will probably keep the same people the same kind of single, scared, and unsuccessful for eternity. I (we) have better things to do than waste. I have concluded the fields of psychiatry, psychology, law and politics employ the most manipulative and lazy people on the planet. Either that or they have some the slowest reaction times in the universe. And those who work in survivor are because of their experiences flawed, and may fall to the same tendencies as those that hurt them. It’s unfortunate. Further unfortunate these problems will probably be allowed and perhaps even promoted by those who should shun it the most.
          I think I have figured out he or she that claims to read emails twice and will be sharing that information about that in my upcoming don’t bother list. Don’t worry – I won’t say their names, but I wonder if this is synonymous with Green Island admitting they lost both of my housing applications? Or the two comas my grandfather was in? I think they accidentally, on purpose, confuse me with my mother. Anyways, this one rather channel that clinician that hurt the patient, and use the lousy excuse that it has something to do with love  – no, its about a little pattern they use to understand their lifeworld and I guess, no one else’s. It’s about proving your value to people who are just as guilty as those you are fleeing from. I don’t know how much more honesty they needed, but if anyone needs honesty to the point of excruciating pain, chances are honesty isn’t going to do any good. The feeling of falling in love is not a sane process, so why exploit it and make it worse? (We must not tolerate the morally devoid’s answer to this question.)
          I prefer to put an honest effort into trying to be helpful, for myself or possibly another, rather than act as pretense. Leave the pretension to the nightclub, where it is supposed to be, in some forms, anticipated and less harmful. People like me set out for information and support because they’ve already been played. Getting played again is jubjub. People like me have already been abused by a bureaucracy, or what I am going to call the bureaucrazy; we don’t need to fight against more people. We need less fight.

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          Dang - y'know even war has rules

* * *

          We don’t just simply waltz into each others’ home or bedrooms without knocking, ringing the doorbell or asking. It is commonly accepted that we don’t pick up someone else’s phone, device or computer and go through it’s contacts, photos, documents and other contents without the owner’s permission, if not passcode.
          When I meet someone new to me, I don't just go up to them and violate physical boundaries until told to stop. For those who need everything to be as lewd and obvious as possible -- I don't know anyone who walks up to a complete stranger and starts fondling those stranger's loins until told to stop; that's a way to get yourself killed. If this physical violation is unacceptable, then it is sane and logical that it is also unacceptable to violate other boundaries. In the psychotherapist's office, just as it would be in the doctor's office, what would become lovers first time meeting, or what would become old friends meeting for the first time, a slow, gradual testing of boundaries is normal. If boundaries are pushed too far, the potential relationship generally ceases or conflict occurs. If both parties agree that the other has not pushed boundaries too far, then a relationship -- professional, public, personal, educational, familial, intimate, business, legal, all types -- is formed. In the professional, i.e. psychology and workplace training manuals, it is called 'building rapport'. In the casual or personal world, it is called 'getting to know each other' or 'building trust.'
           Now, we level up -- an individual meeting a new group of people for the first time. The new employee, religious worshipper, tenant, club-goer, or member of the think-tank or discussion group is not allowed to waltz in and offend the group. In return and in politeness, the group should approach the new individual with neutrality.
          Now we level up – the same applies to the individual entering a larger group. The school, workplace, nightclubs – but it is somewhere around this level where these lessons from pre-K and kindergarten that should continue to a macro-level smoothly, don't. It creates the dilemma for the older sibling, parents, pre-K teacher’s aide, and high school English teacher's aide, but more importantly, it creates a dilemma for the student, who is supposed to be fixated on their more obvious schoolwork. Some would say learning or the creation of new thought is, in essence, insanity – I do not agree with the components of this theory, but I understand what they were getting at. I do not feel the process of learning requires traumatization – this is punishment, not learning. I feel this theory leaves an equal vulnerability to also “forget” that which is learned. 

* * *

          Think back to that moment you were concentrating on that difficult concept you were learning and then someone throw a spitball at you or some jerk stole your pencil. That spitball, that missing pencil is dilemma. Well now, you just lost 5 or more points off your test score, and those 5 or more test points could have been the make or break you needed for that scholarship you may or may not require because of your family’s socioeconomic condition (oh, look another dilemma), to stay on the school club/team, or to perhaps simply to pass or fail. And why? Because someone wanted to be an asshole.
          There are groups that send the message of "we like to wear lots of black clothes and peaceably listen to loud music; please join us for entertainment" and from what I found mmm, yeah for the most part. But, where’s anything else? Is this the example we are to use to reaffirm to children and adolescents that this is supposed a seamless transition from micro to macro? A whole world relying on black clothes and big black boots to show the entire world there is hope for a seamless transition and peaceful self-respect?
          But then here comes the reader that somehow is devoid of all moral code – less compassionate than the wildest of animals that will interpret this blog with utmost amount of jackassery. Perhaps that reader requires a dilemma then --
Here is another group that says, "hey your therapist fucked up, my therapist fucked up, I understand you could be too mindfucked or sick to speak or walk; I am supportive; let's join forces" or even worse “we are representatives of the law and permit only proper therapy, you can come to us,” but not really. So far no answer, or told to, basically, shut up by both sides? Yet I know what my rights of self-respect are, and I understand others have the same rights.
          Here is another group that says, 'we are the authority of the mind, we are the Gods of what behaviors are acceptable, you can trust us" but eh, not really. I have to self-censor myself, and they get away with doing whatever they want – even using a diagnosis of another as a shield for their shameless behaviors.  

* * *

          And then there is this other group that sends the massage of "we are the policy-makers, we write the rules, we have the most level-headed understanding of what the rules are and how each law or policy keeps our people safe, productive and self-regarding; therefore we are trustworthy" but eh, not really. Taxes pay for all of us to familiarize ourselves with these rules, but for some reason the policy-makers aren’t required to follow, or even uphold, the rules.
          How is one supposed to show the impressionable mind that the most basic concepts that we are supposed to learn in childhood are supposed to apply to situations big and small, or should I also have to include medium as well to cater to the morally devoid, and least tactless boundary pushers?
Those devoid of moral character conclude these simple concepts don’t exist, or don’t exist in certain situations. And the rest of us desperately want these simple concepts apply to each of us and the greater whole, but we never see them, and those times when we don’t see them coincide when all of us are getting hurt.
          What is the pre-K teacher's aide, high school English teacher's aide, older sibling, or parent supposed to reaffirm that these ways are legitimate? The best thing the teacher, teacher's aide, sibling, or parent can do is say, then you don't want to be part of that group. It does nothing to reaffirm what someone should be able to expect of what are supposed to be well-adjusted individuals or groups.. And it has damaging effects too: Personalities at entire different ends of the extremes. One may end up violent, the other a pacifist. One may be branded with “problem with authority” yet have absolutely no qualms with the rules or how to pursue changing unjust rules. Another may have a blatant disrespect and get away with it.

* * *

          From my perspective, clout would rather target the weakest to bolster their own ego and claim they got the job done – not very high quality work. When in fact, clout has created a situation where the worst players get away with, if not are rewarded, for the gravest manipulations. This only shows that the person exerting exurbanite amounts of control over a pacifist is the one who needs to control themselves the most.
          OK, so we skip over the middle – it’s the bully in the room that for some reason we can do nothing about. Go about life peaceably and make the best of it – I’m sure we all can understand that having survived the Covid shelter in place orders. So, why waste our time resisting the unjust? The morally devoid person inquires with a tone of derision, ’yes, why waste your time resisting your oppressor?’ The same reason why we try to cure disease. Because your interpretation is unjust and disrespecting to me, to you and to everyone else. That’s why!
         
There was once upon a time in a land we call home that despite someone else's disapproval, we peaceably lived our lives. It was part of the way of life for many people in and outside of America – it isn’t illegal and according to science and at least half of non-science, does no harm, so we’re going to do it. Once upon a time we said, yes, we are going to Howe’s or Secret Caverns despite the bully we are all paying has an unlawful beef with us. But the bully has won, and it has become too great for any of us to handle. Keep plugging along… but nope. Poverty, gunfire, house fires, unethical therapists, ever increasing apathy even from those who claim they or are paid to do otherwise. And the morally devoid feels, ‘hm, these sound like great things to inflict on my enemy.’
          No level up – not even to the gemstone cavern two hours away from me and as a family despite the same rules that apply in pre-K are supposed to apply.
          No level up, yet there are those among us that still have the knowledge. Whether it’s a different town, county, state, province, country or continent – it’s best to familiarize oneself with the risks, rules and social norms of wherever it is to be visited, so one  knows what, if any, boundaries can be pressed as to best enjoy the visit, do no harm, and return home unscathed. Nope, the bully disagrees; the bully says life is not meant for living.  The rest of us say life is for living.


They don't use their real names, yet they are judge and jury?

Freud said we have nightmares because of unresolved conflicts. I am an insomniac. Since no one cares about the problem solving or the well-being of anyone but themselves. I am going to be as blatantly obvious as possible.

The clinic I am talking about in the blog is Samaritan Hospital of Troy, NY. The county office that works in tandem with this office is Rennselaer County Mental Health. The news says the county offices are moving out of Troy. The newspapers are the Troy Record and the Albany Times Union. The freelancer calls himself Sidewinder Productions.(google keyword Sidewinder troy ny) Troy, NY is within a two hour drive from where the first bat with white nosed syndrome was documented.

The clinicians go by the names Katri Noble, Elena Tanski, Daniela Andrade, Sarah Koch, Cathy or Kathy Coons. I doubt these are their real names.

Katri is a fair skinned blonde, most of the time she is taller than 5'4". She is curvy and usually has pink toned skin.

Tanski is a dark skinned woman but not dark-skinned like an African, European, Hispanic or Latino. She has long dark brown to black straight horse hair. She has also gone by the name Ilana, Illana, Elina, she has gone by the last name Caldarazzo and a last name ending in -ski. Patients and her co-workers alike call her 'Hellena.' I know for a fact two of her once lived in south Troy, NY. Her height ranges from 5'2" to 5'7"

Daniela is a fuller lipped lighter to medium toned brunette, but sometimes she can be blonde.

Coons is allegedly an older woman that also works for the Catholic Diocese of Albany, NY. She is also of pastor of a Waterford, NY church. The spelling of her first name changes, even in the printed newspapers. She has been known to be blonde, and salt and pepper grey and sometimes has a tattoo. She generally keeps her hair short and is allegedly retired from the mental health industry according to newspapers. She runs from 5'4" to 5'8" tall.

Sarah Koch is a curvy, freckled strawberry blonde to redhead. She sometimes has a tattoo on her right shoulder.

If they don't work in Troy; they are known to work in other nearby location.

The politicians' names include but are not limited to Steve Madden of Troy, NY and Michael McNulty of Green Island, NY.

Don't bother contacting Vermont Psych Survivors; they rather tell everyone they read emails twice and to shut up like Andrade.

Unlike a world of apathy and over-competition that I was accused of enjoying; I rather not victim-shame and censor; I rather do the right thing and warn people about this place, especially if those who have power to do something about choose not to. The other patients in this blog are Kristen Garzone, and someone named Freedom Free on Youtube (but you may want to go to Youtube and search keywords "mental health troy NY".)

Oh, and the name of the black man that was shot a block away from where I lived was Edson Thevinin.

Incomplete list of movies recorded in Troy and list of directors of those movies --

Gilded Age, Yes Men, Ollman, Price, Smith, Bostonians, Ivory, Wordplay, Creadon, Ironweed, Babenco, Emperors Club, Hoffman, Age of Innocence, Scorsese, Time Machine, Wells, Scent of a Woman, Brest, Pauls Case, Johnson, Opponent, Jarecki, Wedding Advice Speak Now, Forever Hold Your Peace, Sosnoski, Zeytoonjian, Shadow Tracker, Vampire Hunter, Bagnardi, Motherless Brooklyn, Norton, Raising Hell, Bethmann, Szmyr, Get a Grip, West, RealVision, Alkoff, Maker of Guns, Platt, Scotch Hill, Kuell, Pawn, Schaffer, Nightingale Princess, Dreisbach, Museum, Gietl, Corruption, Bishop, Against the Current, Callahan, A Void, Gietl, Clash of the Champions, Distractions, Scorzelli, Juche Idea, Brave and the Kind, Meetcute on Danceworld, Khan, Inheritance, Asili, Falling World, Bethany, Lunamancer, Mucci, Do Sharks Get Seasick, Yule Log, Electric Boogaloo Bois, Yost,

It was supposed to be an interlude, but - of power, boundaries, unhealthy psychodramas, critters & fire. Hey Knudge -- is Disuet opinionated?

Hm, I speak and no fires for a week in that little city. Yes, they have sacrificed their people, started another argument, and made those who lived there the longest and once had most pride in the place suffer then look like a fool. Their mission is complete. At least the new fires are in places they have been known to happen and I offer a disgusted laugh.

 * * *

"It's fucked up
'Cause I don't see either one of us budging
I'm withholdin' my anger though I'd like to be the strangler
Of this punk ass little pussy's puny neck
It's my right to insist that he acknowledge my existence
But he just displays complete lack of respect
That's what he says to himself as he uses his magazines to trash me
As he sits with both his feet up at his desk [...]
And he just can't see that he's manically depressed[...]
As he turns on [...]TV and sees my face
He don't exist in this world [...]
And it's destroyin' him slowly 'cause he does not even know me
Even though he sees me everywhere he goes
So he just tortures himself, he has no fortune and wealth
So he extorts someone else to get his dough
And now he's actin' like a bully so he tries to push and pull me
But he knows that he can't fool me so he's mad[...]
'Cause it annoys him to see that I ain't scared
You ain't no motherfuckin' bully
And I ain't bowin' to no motherfuckin' bully
I won't allow it, ain't gon' cower to no bully
I'll be damned if I don't stand up to a bully[...]
And I know it must be fuckin' wit' you emotionally
Now I'm not tryin' to make no more enemies, no more unfortunately
There's so many other motherfuckers there just are[...]
So now Ja thinks that he's so tough and Murder Inc.'s the big bad wolf [...]
So now you try to pull the race card and it backfires in your face hard
'Cause you know we don't play that black and white shit
Plus this stylist you fucked when you was ecstasied up
Was just a man who's dressed up as a white bitch [...]
Now what bothers me the most about hip-hop is we're so close
To pickin' up where we left off with Big and Pac
We just lost Jam Master J, Big L got blasted away
Plus we lost Bugz, Slang Ton, and Freaky Tah
It's like a never-ending cycle [...]
Everybody's gotta be so fuckin' hard
And I'm not excludin' myself 'cause I been stupid as well [...]
There's only so much bullshit we can really stand
We all got reps to uphold when someone steps on our toes
It's no exception, [...]
But if Irv really gave a fuck about Ja like he claims he does
He'd wake him up and make his boy get off them drugs
But he just keeps feedin' him pills so if that E doesn't kill him
Someone from G-Unit will and I ain't buzzed
Dawg, I'm talkin' to you straight if the situation escalates
Any worse, we're gonna lose another soldier to this game"

-- "Bully" by Eminem

 * * *

I do not know how dishonesty, mockery, apathy toward grief, physical coercion, discouraging discussion (no, I don't talk too much, ma'am), encouraging promiscuity, or a disregard of science are therapeutic for any illness – mental or physical. I guess reverse psychology or some strange new form of psychoanalysis (or whatever these rote, fisticuffs, antagonisms, ad nauseam are called) are more important than goals, functionality, ethics, quality of life or human life. I can only conclude the clinician's desire to be a soap opera television star undermined their alleged professional training.

Obviously, we can’t expect anything from the local mental health system; they don’t seem to understand how one wrong starts a chain reaction of wrongs. If none attempt stop this chain reaction, then the chain reaction will continue affecting many. If someone wants to deliberately perpetuate that chain reaction, it affects many, much and all.

There is another patient, who is feistier than I, that to my knowledge, remains in that little city. They recorded audio-visuals of their interactions with police, the mental health system and the clinic's billing office. I think this other patient is expecting too much of the self-important, but this other patient caught them in the wrong "on tape" and posted all of it on Youtube for the world to see. I, on the other hand, can only attest that everything I state as fact can be proven. Some sources are more difficult to attain, some may fall into the archives or require law to attain, but they are  attainable. Everything I claim that has been said, one can ask around and you will find someone else that says the same.

Since my song and word choice in response to Disuet may have been or could be psychoanalyzed and sterilized as simply a passion response and will probably be taken further out of context, let’s talk about Disuet. --

An acquaintance from back to our pre-adolescence, with the same real first name as Disuet was a patient the same time as I was. She left this little city as well. (Not that it should matter, but -- I seem to remember Disuet the clinician and Disuet the patient lived two blocks away from each other many years ago.) Disuet the patient lost their father after they started psychotherapy with Aldo Ujad; they lost their mother before 9/11. Disuet the patient was the only non-family guest I had in my Blackboot apartment. I remember they brought pumpkin spice coffee creamer with them because we are both familiar with the skits of a particular comedian. Despite that some vulture would rather put the public at great personal risk for a quote –

* * *

“Somebody’s spilt maple syrup in my coffee […] Pull up your pants!” […] why don’t you wake up and smell the coffee.’ […] I did, it smelled like fucking waffles,”“Lock n  load – Coffee flavored coffee” by Denis Leary 
 
* * *

It’s the most miserable situation, the clinician seeks too much power and offers apathy or sliminess. The patient is not allowed to be themselves, or seek emotional release, even to force themselves to laugh. The skit should have reminded us old acquaintances we, or now, I don’t do pumpkin spice in coffee. – I’m filbert or plain. Disuet the patient knows this. The comedian’s name is synonymous with risking one’s home, so do we not say it? Or maybe someone’s reading this blog that is interpreting the skit as something other than these old acquaintances did. The friendship was/is entirely different. Historically, when either of us were hurt, we would not refrain from hugging; saline tears on the shoulder. We remained covid distance from each other despite there was no covid yet; no tears. This is what the world has become – I also haven’t received this compassion from my own family, despite the deaths, despite the uprooting, despite, despite. I contacted a family member’s psychotherapist about this and received no response. I pour as much of my mind, heart and soul as I feel I am safely allowed here – I isolate, but I don’t close myself off.

Nonetheless, I stuck it to Disuet the patient with painted toenails, which they do not do.

Simultaneously working with both Disuet the patient and myself was a conflict of interest on the part of Aldo, who may or may not suddenly start quoting Denis Leary now. Disuet the patient talked with me about how their father was dying in a slow, bad, miserable way and how they were still hurt by their ex. I mostly commiserated, but I didn’t say it, ‘who you sleeping with?’ For their own best interest, they were repeatedly advised not to sleep with one person. When Disuet the patient and their ex broke up, their dad footed the bill and bought them automobiles. When my ex and I broke up I got death threats from the whore, was expected to walk everywhere, take in my spoiled rotten kid sister while dirt broke, and reside in a lower cost apartment that was still beyond my means and below a child molester while the local politician was spectator.

Disuet the patient and I had a, often public, ritual we repeated over the course of 26 years whenever a relationship ended for either of us; we’d renew a promise to each other that we made a long time ago -- no getting with the others’ exes. Knudge agreed, or at least that’s what they said to me. It sounds petty and childish, but pumpkin spice creamer was a clue Disuet the patient was getting the same shoddy quality psychotherapy as most of us and Disuet the patient was sleeping with Knudge. Disuet the patient can have Knudge; I’m sure that Aldo will exploit this statement to its fullest extent; there’s 3 more families that left town Disuet the patient wanted Knudge, Disuet the patient and only Disuet the patient accepts the consequences.

I haven’t given up hope there is hidden from my view and removed from malignant orchestrations, especially of those not in my relationship, which I will find someday. This would make a healthier family. But in all dirision I say – yes, overturn Roe versus Wade because we need to bulk up the population against instead of letting us enjoy our God given rights to couple as the couple chooses.
 
My goal was to trust again. (This following shows how contrary the world is -- I said I wanted to trust again, yet I find myself saying all too often that if I [we] are given no other option to lock horns until one of us dies, then that's the only option we have. If your ego [actually id] insists there is no healthier method, then ok.) That little city’s historical dirt is they were once known for their red light district; I guess some things never change. I spoke with Disuet the patient about how many of mine died and how that crappy city values the home wrecker. I was physically ill. I could tell by the look and smell of Disuet the patient, they were too. I do not include their father in my 30 family deaths, but I acknowledge he is indeed dead; he is one of many. Disuet the patient once claimed to be homosexual. Now, they are married to the opposite sex. This may be relevant later --

Some clinicians have been known to frequent the Capital's venues, but not all have the reputation that Disuet and Porly do. Disuet and Porly showed up to the club event I frequented. Many, if not most, of the original clubgoers stopped going; I was one of the people who stopped going. Others attended instead. From what I understand, the event coordinators kept it going despite their own and others’ absence. Disuet and Porly have the right to go out and peaceably enjoy themselves as every adult does. To my knowledge, this club event still exists to date or at least did until Covid, but with different, and perhaps younger people in attendance. Impressive – if it is still going, it is competing with bigger cities for longest running event of its genre.

Individual psychotherapy is supposed to be a very personal journey, chiefly for the patient; which is why there are laws that dictate what can and cannot occur, such as  PHI laws or HIPAA.  (No, they aren't there to protect only the clinician, only insurance companies only preferred patients, or preferred tiers of insurance; they are there for all.) Only the individual, the clinic, and the patient's medical insurance should have the knowledge the patient in psychotherapy, unless the patient themselves informs another person of such. If the patient is under the assumption they are under the care of one clinician, i.e. the patient receives appointment cards with the same name (or homonym thereof) for the duration of such psychotherapy or the patient's insurance company is paying for what appears to be one individual to provide treatment, then treatment should be provided by one clinician.

The clinician should not enmesh or scapegoat patients with or against each other or any other person, or enmesh or scapegoat themselves with or against patients; the clinician should not isolate voluntary outpatients, have a conflict of interest, involve any patient in another's or their own personal agenda, play favorites, or use patients as chess pieces. Fortunately, when the patient is hurt, offended or wronged, they speak in their free time; this is healthy. Those, who do and do not go to psychotherapy, should not be required to be inconvenienced by someone else's psychotherapy, unless legally required; although, supportive family and peers are helpful. 

It is said Disuet feels clubgoers scatter like cockroaches because clubgoers are all guilty of something. No - forgive me for speaking for others, especially if I am incorrect, but self-preservation is not a crime. We leave because both of them are known to become a or bring a hazardous situation. The club event is the clubgoers' free time - a time where the customer can imbibe alcohol if they so choose, dance, be vulnerable and speak freely amongst peaceable people, peers and like-minded individuals.  

The last paragraph applies not only to some obscure nightclub, but also to peoples' homes, communities, workplaces and schools. We relocated, died, changed jobs, home-schooled and isolated.

Since this blog is about being honest as possible, I’m going to say it: I have no interest in soap operas; if you like watching them, understand that I do not. Further, I don’t want or require a role in any soap opera. I have a very short list of movies I appreciate. I have little interest in watching television or the movie screen, whether it is on the television, movie screen or somehow being enacted as part of life.

I have no aversion toward homosexuals. The world endures too much conflict to be judgmental against people making love. What consenting adults do in privacy is between them; hopefully, they aren't related by way of genetics or have promised themselves to someone other than who is in that bedroom. For the exception of those who go to psychotherapy for sexual issues, which is beyond my forte, what consenting adults do in privacy is between them -- not the consenting adults’ parent, whore, mistress, co-worker, ex-lover, rapist, politician, sibling, friend, employer, landlord,  or… questionable psychotherapist. What the people engaging in sex knowingly bring to the bedroom in loyalty, trust and honesty is what should be in that bedroom.

In my mind, and whether it is accurate or not, I split homosexuality into three groups: (1) those who honestly prefer their own sex; it makes sense - happens in nature believe or not, no birth control required, Roe v Wade is in the spotlight again, on average people of a specific gender generally understand their own gender's bodies better than the opposite gender; (2) homosexuality as part of the individual's perversion, and (3) homosexuality as a result of someone else’s perversion; where some may turn to homosexuality, others, like myself, turn to celibacy. 
 
The local mental health industry has traumatized and brain mapped enough to know this, so I don't know what they expect, except prove that trust is not possible. If you haven't already figured it out, I'm female. I was born female, and despite I am proud of it, I'm not a feminist. I take great pride on my cleanliness and remaining free of venereal disease. I am a rape survivor. Those who do not understand the word no risks much and many. Lack of compassion gets you nowhere with me. I'm celibate despite I would rather be in a trusting, loyal, functional relationship. I'm heterosexual, and that is never going to change.

Everyone I knew outside the club event that claimed to be homosexual is now married to the opposite sex. I find this odd; that's quite the clear divide. And one that attended the club event, who claimed to be heterosexual, but everyone wondered or knew something about, got married to the same sex, but their partner later had gender reassignment surgery; one of their siblings also got gender reassignment surgery making all the siblings the same gender. That's even more strange. I thought extensive psychotherapy was legally required for gender reassignment surgery. Perhaps, I am wrong; this isn’t my area of expertise.

If 30 deaths in a decade doesn't illicit an appropriate response, then maybe this will -  three sex changes in five years sounds like a soap opera to me, but the problem is - this isn't fiction. What's worse is that's three that I learned of in my years of social isolation; there could be more. On more than one level I say the following: if I could speak freely; they have real names and some are quite influential -- not that they do any good with that influence.. 

They have real names. I have a real name. Disuet has real names. Porly, Peglou have real names. We all have real names.The houses that burnt down, actually burned down. The drown child is actually a dead child. The people who uprooted their life, literally packed up decades' worth of their existence and relocated. It's exhausting! It is sickening  

This new reverse psychology psychotherapy is like a police interrogation of an innocent gone too far.

I peaceably sought out psychotherapy. I did not seek out a soap opera. I did not seek out a career in theater. I'm not an actress. I did not seek out drama. I did not seek out fear. I wanted to be able to trust. I needed housing. I didn’t realize the patients need to explain the clinicians' responsibilities and obligations in detail to allegedly trained, versed and trustworthy professionals.

When a patient seeks voluntary psychotherapy, the patient is vulnerable; this is not the time for the clinician to act like a spoiled brat. It is the proper time for the clinician to build rapport while following proper protocols to distinguish what form of therapy is needed. Many patients know vulnerability may be required to heal, which means the clinician needs to show the patient that the clinician is trustworthy. Many patients even admit they feel or are defeated; therefore, it is not the time for the clinician to show the clinicians' pomposity, fisticuffs or sliminess. Effective psychotherapy is not achieved by the clinician mocking the patient or influencing the patient to appear foolish.

Dang – politicians to housing to psychotherapists: what a bunch of scumbags; no wonder why it stunk to high hell.

* * *

A few weeks ago I started an anonymous survey -- I asked the world who has been helpful and unhelpful. I'm going to start my don't bother list soon. Unlike others who appear to have a reaction pattern apathetically memorized, I'd honestly like to know what peoples' experiences have been.

* * *

There are these strange critters where I live. They’re mainly white with either black stripes or dots. They look like an amalgam of a small frog, a tiny hairless gopher, a cricket and a grasshopper and seem to reach a maximum of an inch and a half (~3,8cm) long. They may or not be able to chirp like a cricket and are said to be able to makes a high pitched ‘eeeeee’ sound like a cockroach when threatened. It’s also said they are toxic if ingested and care for their young No one seems to know what they are.

They rarely make an appearance, but when they do, it is often before a fire; although, I don't think they appreciated the pile-driver at the clinic's construction site either. (Good God -- who approved those building plans? C'mon, -- USGS, historical maps, anything!?) Nonetheless, many suggest if you see one to sterilize the place. I’ve spent 30+ years trying to find out what they are, even head-diving into rare mantids and blattera, and to answer one question – do they bite or sting? I have found nothing conclusive. If I could find out what they are, I might even suggest they are kind of cute.

I found one on my bedroom windowsill at Blackboot. I squashed it. I didn’t sterilize the room. I wiped down wipeable surfaces with a Lysol wipe; otherwise, the world smelled so bad to me that I was using diluted
cleaning quaternary as Febreze.

It’s been proven certain diseases have characteristic smells, even if not everybody can smell them. Some forms of diabetes smell like fruity wine; some think malaria smells like smelly B vitamins; I don’t know anyone who will debate if gangrene smells offensive; some forms of cancer have an odd sterile rubber smell. Nonetheless, there is an entire science dedicated to this now; they have built electronic “noses” that evaluate the ‘volatile organic compounds’ (VOCs, or the smallest individual components or isolates that comprise an odor.)

My nose could have interpreted the world as smelling offensive because I was sick, but sick with what? Anemia? Hm, anemia -- that's it? Or my nose could have interpreted the world as smelling offensive because the world smelled offensive.

On the North American front, millions of bats died from White Nosed Syndrome. The syndrome is a sort of yeast infection of the bat’s muzzle causing the bat to starve to death. “Moldy bat syndrome” or similar can be found in old fiction and nonfiction books of American and European publication or print. On the Afroeurasian front, they theorize that Covid make the jump from the fruit eating bat to human later. (For so those so inclined, please drop “mycormycosis, mycosis covid, india” into your favorite search engine. My stance is either this bat mold is strong stuff or something compromised a disease vector's, or very strong and seasoned, immune system.) This makes me wonder what does Covid smell like? Or what did the original disease from which Covid originated smell like? What does a moldy nosed bat smell like? And does it have anything to do with why there is suddenly a spike in the number of children with liver disease and jaundice? I think I'll leave it to the electronic noses to find out.
I can personally attest -- jaundice sucks.

* * *

"All the wildlife has disappeared […]
Some people here have all the power [...]
Constructing a new kind of life
But these creatures are not alive […]
The language in the streets is strange
From day to day their meanings change […]
A system without emotion"

-- "City of Darkness" by Funker Vogt

* * *

I remember it as a warm August evening; I looked through the window once and the sun was starting its long, slow summer process of setting. The newspaper says it occurred July 2012. Perhaps, I am confusing the incident that happened almost exactly a year later, or one down the street that occurred sometime in-between.

I had the windows’ bottom sashes completely open; those bottom sashes couldn’t be pushed upward any further. The lower shutters, which covered the open portion of the window, were closed and locked. One could stand and look out the top sash of each window. I had a box fan in the front and bedroom window on their highest setting. My bedroom window faced south toward the building with the windows covered in chicken coupe fence. Luckily, their building did not have windows near or facing mine.

I was clipping coupons at the hopechest I used as the living room table when I smelled something chemical. I got up, walked around my house, even sniffed the closet. Nothing out of the ordinary. I tidied the hopechest and stacked the sections of the newspaper in a pile. During one of the fires, and I believe it was the July 2012 fire, I stacked the sections of newspaper and placed a magazine insert on top. On the cover of this magazine was something to do with the Presidents Bush; it was a photograph of one of the Bush presidents, their respective first ladies, or a photograph of them as a couple. I remember this because I thought, “Hm, they aren’t the President. How odd --” I remember it because of something I would experience after July 2012.

Then I undoubtedly smelled burning plastic; I looked out the window, inspected the drapes, checked the oven, breaker box, hot water tank, outlets – nothing. I turned off the living room box fan and sat down on the couch. I may have gotten back up to get a beverage. Then I heard, “Fire! Fire! We need a wet blanket.” It was the voice of a slender black man that one could find across the street just south of me sitting on a fold out lawn chair on the sidewalk in front of what I presumed to be his residence. There were and probably still is a “no loitering” sign next to every Blackboot door, so I was bothered a bit, but not enough to say anything.

I looked out the window, and I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, so I went to my front door. Woh! – fire less than 10 feet away.

Interlude -- Stop motion vision

I had this scheduled to be posted, but had not posted it yet. For some reason it was posted. If anyone keeps a blog about this subject matter, I suggest you choose a different host because in this world posting anything but the final draft is dangerous. I thought I'd let anyone reading this be aware of this because I didn't post it anywhere else yet as of May 18, 2022 and don't know when I will be posting it. But as it is posted here and public. I will leave it here because I am honest.

In my south neighbor's north window - the one with the chicken coupe peeled away - was indeed, the initial moments of a house fire. I didn't look at their south window. I ran back into my apartment, grabbed the first blanket I could find, threw it into the shower, turned on the water, grabbed my purse and phone, grabbed the wet blanket, and exited without turning off the shower.

It was probably the worst choice for a wet blanket to smother a fire, but it was the first one I saw. It was a hemp and cotton blend throw blanket I kept in my living room. In hindsight, I can't imagine that a cotton blanket, a cotton-synthetic fiber bedspread, or an artificial Sherpa blanket would have been more effective; these were my other options. By time I returned to my front door the fire had progressed through my neighbor's front room. I gave the wet blanket to the slender black man, and called 911.

I understand that the 911 operator asks for intersecting streets to make sure they have the accurate location, but damn - this fire probably had more than one caller reporting it, they have a map in front of them, the address associated with my phone was the address where I was and my phone had GPS enabled. it really did feel like they were dawdling. Perhaps, it was the perspective - I was literally watching this fire, less than 10 from my house, spread.

Luckily, no one died. The third story residents were removed from the building by way of engine's ladder, and I think they may have been able to save a cat, who was also a resident of the third floor.

There were two fires that night. One next door to me and another, even worse, one on the north end of the city; they were on the same citybus route. I knew this because at that time, I didn't drive.

It was deemed neither were arson. 

Nonetheless, I really would have preferred to talk traditional psychotherapist instead of these new-fangled apathetic ones. I had an experience during one of the fires that I feel could have been prevented.

I experienced a similar phenomenon years prior in Puelsia Arbor. There was a device turned children's toy called the Viewmaster, it was used for viewing microfilm images mounted in a circular fashion on a round cardboard disc. To change the image, one pulled a lever. If one repeatedly pulled the lever, one could view the slides in rapid succession. Some of these cardboard discs had a progressions of images on them to created a sort of really slow stop motion movie.

It's one thing to see what you are looking at in a Viewmaster or old stop motion sort of way when you are looking through a Viewmaster or watching old stop motion videos. It's another when this is how your eyes and mind are seeing the world.

I would learn by doing research that this is a sort of panic response that may have been exasperated by severe anemia.

It was the first time I ever had a panic response like that. My natural inclination is to feel people are moving to slowly during a crisis, and I do whatever I can do to prevent further damage.

After the July 2012 fire, there were two more fires within one year on that specific street. This is uncommon. I don't remember which fire it was but the Viewmaster stop motion vision got worse.

I think I was cleaning the apartment when I smelled fire. I walked over to my front window, opened the top portion of the shutter and the street was full of smoke.

Part of me feels like I am being a crybaby because I never lived in a house that burned down. Historically, my family's home is one of the places the people whose houses burnt downt run to. My Blackboot neighbors unfortunately lost their home and have more right to complain about these fires than I do. I know it feel to lose almost everything, but not by way of fire.

I looked at my right hand on top of the bottom shutter, and then came the Viewmaster stop motion vision, but this time, in the same stop motion fashion as I was seeing, I started to have vivid recollections in multiplicity.. The problem was they weren't my memories. Perhaps, they were recollections of vivid but forgotten nightmare.

My grandfather died in 2012.

If these episodes didn't result in fainting, I might say that they have a use. They bring me perspective that I may not have achieved on my own. The quandary for me is that no one felt my problems were problems, and I firmly believe if someone had listened, this panic response would not have happened. Part of me feels these fires and other events may not have happened or would have happened to a lesser degree. I feel for me to tolerate these episodes, whether they are insightful or unhelpful, it would be counterproductive -- they add insult to injury.

“Q&A: He’s studied mental illness for 50 years. Here are all the things we’re doing wrong: a portrait of professor Andrew Scull” by Thomas Curwen; and my commentary thereof

 The following article titled, “Q&A: He’s studied mental illness for 50 years. Here are all the things we’re doing wrong: a portrait of professor Andrew Scull” was published at the Los Angeles Time's website. I retrieved it May 11, 2022 at 1:39PM EST and I submitted it to archive.org on May 11, 2022 at 1:43PM EST.

If you would like to read the article without my commentary, please click the link above. If you want to read my commentary, keep reading. The text of the original article is in regular font. My feedback is in italics.


"The history of mental illness - and its treatment - is not for the faint of heart.

And modern mental illness - and its treatment --- is? It appears the dynamic that fueled the errors of yesterday, fuel the errors of today.

"From ice-water plunges to the early days of electroshock therapy, from lobotomies (honored with a Nobel Prize in 1949) to Thorazine catatonia, its treatments belong to the pages of a dark dystopian novel. Often targeting the poor, the indigent, the most vulnerable, the attempted cures were cruel, unethical and often racist.

Yet the history demands to be understood.

Yet these "modern methods" need to be questioned. I am getting the impression that the last 15 years of my life - of everyone's life - has a name, and like electroshock treatment, was once deemed illegal. Now, if I could only remember some the names for it. Perhaps someone can mention that name or somehow give me a clue. Things, whose legal status is questioned, have a long reputation of being cruel, inhumane, ineffective, if not downright damaging. Those administrating these methods are, at the extreme least, often frowned on. Would either the interviewer or interviewee inform us what it's name is or is the patient supposed to invest in hundred of books and make a lifetime vestment to figure it out? Hm, a wasted human life forced into locking horns?

"The author of numerous books that delve into human psychoses and their treatments, Andrew Scull graduated from Oxford University in 1969 and arrived in America not long after the Community Mental Health Act of 1963 began to shutter hundreds of custodian institutions around the country.

"Community health centers and treatment programs were meant to fill in that void by providing education and job training for the intellectually disabled. Yet today's crises in homelessness and mental health make clear that these goals were either never achieved or simply abandoned.

Yes, for both the intellectually challenged and the student on the National Dean's List, who has won awards from department chairs because of their writing. But dontcha know - housing felt I didn't know how to read or something because they felt I did not understand a paragraph in their pamphlet.

"Scull's work was initially driven by one simple question: "Why did society imagine that institutionalizing people was so important, and why was so much capital - intellectual and financial - devoted to this end?"

One word: greed.

"The search for an answer made Scull, a professor of sociology and science studies at UC San Diego, a singular authority on more than 200 years of the medical profession's tangled relationship with mental illness. In delineating this history - from asylums to psychopharmacology - he considers the challenge that individuals with mental illness pose for the health of a modern society.

I encourage you to read my blog. I don't own a firearm to shoot it 127 times in a year. I descend from a firefighter, I have no interest or use in house fires. A burnt down house is no longer a home.

"Yet he knows how solutions are elusive and still far out of reach.

Sir, please, come off your high horse. I beg you.

"What impresses me most," he said, "is how recalcitrant mental illness is, how difficult it is to comprehend, how hard it is to come up with effective treatments and ultimately, how it is best to be honest about what we don't know, so we can pursue a more eclectic approach to treating it and not be certain we know the right answer."

I guess simple things like ethics and compassion are difficult for the clinician.

"In his latest book, "Desperate Remedies: Psychiatry's Turbulent Quest to Cure Mental Illness," out this month, Scull is especially critical of the last 20 years when research narrowed its focus onto possible biological factors for mental illness. The lack of concern with the social and psychological dimensions of mental disturbance, he argues, has precipitated inequities in treatment and led to the consignment of the mentally ill to the streets and jails of this country.

I guess there is a biological factor why a clinician or politician would physically lunge at someone who is, within bounds of the law, questioning them. Because the violence that result when ethics and policy are disrespected is merely a chemical imbalance, and we need to involve more people in a what will turn it into a violent stalemate?

"The interview with Scull has been edited for length and clarity.

"Over the last 20 years, the plight of the mentally ill has become most conspicuous among those who are living on our streets. Is it time to declare that the community-based treatment model is a failure? What do you believe are the first steps we need to take in order to begin remedying the tragedy we see just outside our doorstep?

Do we deem community based treatment is a failure? Well, if you want homelessness, yes. Especially in an era where the poor need to rely on Craigslist to find affordable housing.

"We need look no further than our jails and the gutters of our streets to view what the failures of contemporary mental health policy have wrought. The emptying out of asylums without any serious consideration of what was to replace them has contributed to problems of the homeless and the sidewalk psychotic that are now part of the fabric of our cities.

So are you going to justify what I experienced with some strange psychopathic logic? Or are you going to shield yourself with the diagnostic manuals?

"We ought to recoil from arrangements that condemn helpless and suffering human beings to homelessness and prison and stop pretending that chemistry is the sole and singular way forward. Those afflicted with serious forms of mental illness have been cast into the wilderness - a brutal and often fatal outcome for many with few resources of their own. These are people who lack the capacity to function in an environment where they are seen as a drain on the public purse. Chronically dependent on the not-so-tender mercies of a shrinking welfare state, they are doubly stigmatized: for their illness; and because they show few signs of reform or recovery.

You said it. But I will also point out with the prospect of returning to work while brutally ill and more insane than I started, the clinician, and their preferred patients, are also very much a drain on the public purse.

"If matters are to improve, we need to develop a multifaceted approach to understanding and dealing with the problems posed by serious mental illness. This requires a major commitment to housing, supporting and sheltering people who are incapable, for the most part, of providing for themselves. It means serious engagement with research about the best ways to provide these services. Families often find these burdens impossible to bear, and in other cases, patients flee their families. In either case, the alternatives are grim.

Yes, serious engagement to research on the part of the clinician and the patient, so hopefully we can avoid the serious engagement of research on part of politicians, lawmakers and lawyers; correct? The voluntary outpatient has rights - we still qualify under 'consent of the governed.'

"Stop pretending that chemistry is the sole and singular way forward." This is at the heart of your critique of Thomas Insel, who directed the National Institute of Mental Illness from 2002 to 2015. Can you explain your argument? And what approach would you recommend its current director, Joshua Gordon, take?

"Thomas Insel is busy promoting his new book, which carries the odd title of "Healing: Our Path from Mental Illness to Mental Health." It is a curious endeavor, given that his 13 years in charge of the nation's mental health research produced such uniformly dismal results. That's not my opinion. It's his.

Yes, their new books... mhmm *folds arms*

"When Insel stepped down as director of NIMH in 2015 he gave an interview about his accomplishments, after spending by his estimate $20 billion. "I spent 13 years at NIMH really pushing on the neuroscience and genetics of mental disorders, and when I look back on that ... I don't think we moved the needle in reducing suicide, reducing hospitalizations, improving recovery for the tens of millions of people who have mental illness."

What an interesting place for an ellipses. I contacted the Department of Homeland Security when someone committed suicide in a second-to-last ditch effort to make CERTAIN people wake up! It didn't do anything. I had to take it to the Internet to make it calm down. I had to make my PERSONAL problems PUBLIC to even try to get anything done. Dontcha think that's a bit much to ask? And wow - 20 billion dollars would pay for a lot of independent housing and work training.

"Karla Finocchio, 55, tears up as she talks about being a homeless woman on the streets, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, in Phoenix. Finocchio is one face of America's graying homeless population, a rapidly expanding group of destitute and desperate people 50 and older suddenly without a permanent home after a job loss, divorce, family death or health crisis during a pandemic.

"Actually, the situation is even worse than this implies. People with serious mental illness live, on average, 15 to 25 years less than the rest of us, and that gap seems to be widening, not narrowing. While genetics and neuroscience have flourished within the confines of universities, their therapeutic payoff has been minimal or nonexistent.

Yes, the entire community, city, county, so forth appears to survive 15-25 less years.

"I'm a sociologist, so you may think I'm biased. Perhaps I am, but in my judgment, Insel's fixation on biology and biology alone has been a profound error. It threatens to undermine the prospects for progress in the mental health arena.

Mhmm... *folds arms*

"Unfortunately, it is the same approach that seems to dominate the thinking and priorities of his successor at NIMH, Joshua Gordon. Gordon is a neuroscientist whose own work, focused on neural activity in mice, and his appointment indicates that the federal research enterprise will double down on neuroscience and genetics.

Yes, if the poor are to survive we are often referred to as 'a mouse.' Mhmm...

"That's a lot of time and money with little to show for it. Surely other voices are calling for a new approach.

Mhmm...

"Increasing numbers of psychiatrists, particularly those now entering the profession, are beginning to voice their discontent and dismay with the direction the profession has taken over the last four decades. That may prove a more potent source of pressure to change current priorities. But within academic psychiatry, as opposed to clinicians who work in the trenches, change is likely to prove harder to come by.

Clinicians are clinicians. They are the they at this point for me. Whether they work in an office, in the trenches, behind a computer (esp. in this Covid age), whether they claim to work for the system, or against it. Are you saying you want the patient to risk our freedoms to clearly specify who or what the problem is? Sounds like baiting to me.

"Careers in academic medicine are built on grant moneys and publications, and those have dried up for psychosocial research. It would take a brave psychiatrist to push against the status quo when the money and prestige that medical school administrators crave and rewards continue to flow toward scientists trying to find a biological link to the disease. Perhaps we shall at some point see the breakthroughs these folks have been promising us for years. Or perhaps these are once more soon-to-be dishonored promissory notes.

Or we leave it to the patient to risk themselves to figure out. They mock the patient - oh, the patient is arguing that getting everything they ever wanted is bad. No, I am arguing over getting a blatant mockery and bastardization of what was NEEDED. So perhaps I should mock right back? Or am I going to be put away for that?

"Your book, "Desperate Remedies," focuses on the psychiatric profession, but we all bear responsibility. Despite the prevalence of mental illness, it still lies in the shadows, marginalized and stigmatized. What are we so afraid of? Why is it so difficult to acknowledge and so easy to ignore?

Yes, more references to books you will make a profit from. I have not found mental illness that it is easily ignored. There is another person trying to take a stand about the mental health system in my little city. They recorded their interactions. I darn well know people aren't level-headed enough to listen because they start watching their videos with the mindset that this person is crazy. If taken out of the context that they are crazy instead of taking the  crazy's words out of context, the videos reveal the patient was NOT in the wrong. And neither am I.

"Mental illness haunts us, frightens us, and fascinates us. Its depredations are the source of immense suffering and not just for the mental patient. The havoc caused by depression, mania, and schizophrenia extends its tentacles to the family of the sufferer, and usually to the community at large.

De-predations? Wow - a very vague word considering some of the schools of thought used in modern psychotherapy.

"Mental illness challenges our assumption that we share a commonsense universe. It injects uncertainty and often menace into our lives. It threatens on both a symbolic and a practical level the fabric of the social order. It is incomprehensible, and deeply disturbing, and we tend to respond by avoiding and stigmatizing those who suffer from it.

I agree with the last 13 words.

"That stigma adds to the pain of those experiencing mental disturbances, often renders family members silent, and even extends its reach to those who claim to treat it. Psychiatrists are among the least respected medical professionals, and shrinks are a routine target of jokes about their competence and even their own mental stability.

At this point, I doubt it is the stigma or of being branded with mental illness that makes my family silent. It is not the judgment of the common man that makes that stigma so terrible, it's the judgment of people like you.

"These attitudes are deep-seated and hard to erase. The problems they create are exacerbated by how pernicious mental illness is. The needs of people with mental illness are great, but in the competition for public resources, they are poor advocates for themselves, and the plight of their families generates only token sympathy from many. In the competition for resources, they are heavily handicapped, and in hard times, mental health budgets are routinely targeted for cuts.

Mhmm...

"Research, searching for the cause of mental illness, is often divided by the nature-versus-nurture debate: Either we are born with a predisposition for the disease, or is it acquired in the course of private trauma. You recommend that we abandon these lines of inquiry. Why?

Or powerful versus powerless debate. Or abuser versus abused debate.

"I'm convinced that madness cannot be divorced from the cultural, social, and psychological matrix within which human beings exist. To deny that social and psychological factors play a major role in the genesis and course of mental illness is to blind ourselves to a mountain of evidence, epidemiological and otherwise, that teaches us that the environment powerfully matters.

It also cannot be divorced from ethics or policy...

"Treating the biological and the social as separate entities is profoundly misguided. To an extent unparalleled in any other part of the animal kingdom, humans' brains continue to develop post-natally in ways heavily conditioned by the environment. Culture and society, on both a grand and a microscopic scale, interact powerfully with our lifestyle choices and our biology, and the physical structure and functioning of our brains are shaped by psychosocial and other sensory inputs. Human neuroplasticity extends far beyond childhood.

Mhmm *fold arms*

"To think of the brain as an asocial or pre-social organ is thus deeply mistaken. So too is the crude parallel notion that mental illness - the breakdown of our cognitive and emotional life - is just brain disease. That said, I would be astonished if it turns out that biology has no role to play in the origins of many major forms of mental illness. To dismiss any role for biological factors is to don a different set of blinkers. One self-imposed blindness is as bad as the other.

Yes, self-imposed blindness is bad.

"The treatment of mental illness has often been worse than the disease. Is this the case of best intentions going tragically awry? Why do you suppose psychiatry's attempts to cure mental illness have been so lacking in humanity?

No, this isn't a case of best intentions gone awry - this is the case of the worst intentions going awry; there is a big difference. And for the second question, well, you said it.

"Mental illness has forced psychiatry to wrestle with profoundly difficult matters. As my history shows, the intractable nature of the disease and the desperation of the afflicted has often proved a toxic combination, an invitation to therapeutic experimentation and excess.

I have not seen the clinician, and yes that is the word I will use until it is safe for me to post names, wrestle with anything except a patient. From my observation, they are self-important and feel the need to be viewed as Gods. As for the second sentence, you said it.

"It is true many treatments added to the suffering of the mentally ill. Compulsory sterilization; removal of teeth, tonsils and internal organs to eliminate the infections that were allegedly poisoning their brains; inducing life-threatening comas with injections of insulin; subjecting them to multiple episodes of electroshock treatments day after day till they were dazed, incontinent, and unable to walk or feed themselves; damaging the frontal lobes of the brain, either with an instrument resembling a butter-knife or by using a hammer to insert an icepick through the eye socket and sever brain tissue: these were unambiguously, horrendous interventions.

This paragraph must explain my MRI and how these clinicians don't give two shits about it; correct? And what about things that cannot be photographed? Or that can and cannot go through spectral analysis to prove? What about the underhanded things clinicians do that cause permanent psychological damage that aren't so straightforward?

"The antipsychotics and antidepressants that have come to dominate psychiatric practice since the mid-1950s are a more complex matter. These drugs are no psychiatric penicillin. For some sufferers, they provide a measure of symptomatic relief - and we need to acknowledge that - but at the same time we should be clear-eyed and not exaggerate their value.

So that explains why an antidepressant that worked extremely effectively for 20 years suddenly and out of blue stop being effective causing withdrawal symptoms with a new refill? And what about the wordplay of the name of that prescription and what I'm doing now?

"While we do not have cures for diabetes or AIDS, we have managed to turn those afflictions into manageable diseases, but our pharmaceutical treatments for mental illness are nowhere near this effective. Meanwhile, the big drug companies, having made a fortune from antipsychotic drugs, and ruthlessly marketing them while concealing their drawbacks, have abandoned any attempt to develop new and improved chemical remedies. Prospects on this front, I regret to say, seem dismal at present.

Hm, see my previous comment.


"After nearly 50 years studying mental illness and following these trends, what hope can you offer us?

"Hope, in my opinion, is not yet in sight. Before we get there, we need to take a few steps.

Mhmm. *folds arms*


"First, I think psychiatry has to be more honest about its limitations and not treat biology as the primary cause and recognize the social dimension of mental illness. It needs to stop chasing magic bullets.

Yes, bullets are bad.


"Second, states and the federal government must recommit to providing the services that mental hospitals once offered: shelter, food, clothing and some semblance of social support. We need our political system to act appropriately rather than have politicians wash their hands of the situation.

MHMM... *FOLDS ARMS*


"Third, we have to rethink mental illness and accord a high priority not just to those with mental illness, but those who are incapable of providing for themselves. The depth of pain and suffering they experience is almost unimaginable, and we should be making serious efforts alleviating problems for them and the families.

Yes, SERIOUS efforts - not some bastardisation or locking of horns.


"Finally, we need to be cautious and properly skeptical when we hear of the latest claims of major breakthroughs in this field. There have been far too many false dawns. Madness refuses to bend itself to the rule of reason. It is nonetheless a riddle we must continue to strive to solve. The misery and suffering mental illness brings in its wake demand nothing less of us."

Well, it is said I am mad, but I much prefer logic, science, reason, policy, ethics, compassion, conscience, peace, and stability.