[Hpn] Thousands of Nevadans with mental problems not being ser...

Jason Albertson blakjak@attglobal.net
Wed, 17 Jul 2002 00:11:12 -0700

Didn't mean to take it off list. Just hit reply, didn't type in the 
list-address. This will be my last message on the subject to you though.

You sound like you read a lot of a fella named Thomas Szaz.

I do not define recovery in the way you do. Recovery is A) defined by 
people who recover (nothing about us without us) and B) defined by an 
observable absence of symptoms and to an extent, of problems in living.

Recovery is a buzz word. It is in use by the psychiatric establishment. 
I'm not referring to that establishment in my statements on recovery. La 
cultura cura--and this fact has been proved over and over again, not by 
psychiatric establishment but by medical anthropologists. The rate of 
the symptom collection of schizophrenia and bipolar affective disease is 
consistent, worldwide. The recovery rate is not. Recovery is more often 
found in cultures which have a place within them for people with these 
symptom collections, primarily, Africa and a few other places. Where 
people whom have mental illness are sometimes venerated....but certainly 
are not kicked to the curb without assistance.

And yes, the meds aint great. But I have had the priviledge of working 
with folks, mostly homeless people with schizophrenia and they had lives 
of fear and pain, experiencing terrifying hallucinations, unable to do 
much more than live in very rough circumstances who, having made the 
decision to take the medications and having had a good response have a 
better life. When you can talk to people again.....and love and be 
loved, well, there is some value in that.

You don't have to accept societies stigma and believe you are sick to 
realize that medication may help you. And, it may. It won't do the whole 
trick though...will and desire help and are necessary.

There have been a number of brain imaging studies, fairly recent work, 
which show specific neurochemical differences int he brains of people 
with chronic schizophrenia. Same for bipolar disorder. These difference 
pretty clearly affect information processing in the brain. There are 
pathological abnormalities.....and it runs in the family, to an extent. 
Have you read the twin studies?

Aah, yes, but you have decided there isn't any proof and as far as you 
are concerned, there never will be any proof. You have closed yourself 
off, blocked your ears. Only an open mind can continue to learn. Perhaps 
the proof you want is in front of you.....but you have decided it does 
not exist, and therefore, it does not.

I detect an intolerance in your response. An unwillingness to hear 
(read) what I have written, truly, and to understand it for what it is.

I do not agree with forcing people to take medications. I do not do it. 
I have some clients though, who repeatedly play in traffic because the 
voices they hear in their heads tell them to do so or tell them they are 
bad, and should die. Sometimes they are taken to the hospital because of 
this, and sometimes they are given medications. It is not good. Should 
we let them die? It is easy to write 'against' but hard to write 'for', 
to prescribe a course of action. Others that I work with run in the 
streets naked, and cannot accept the housing we have to offer. Cannot, 
sometimes, remember where it is, cannot, sometimes, stop from screaming 
in the night so that their neighbors become upset, cannot refrain from 
creating of their living space a mass of papers and feces and old food 
such that it is a hazard, cannot refrain from lighting the bed on fire. 
What shall we do?

Because my life is about building connections and not breaking them, 
because it is about dialogue and not flame, I don't think I will 
continue to respond to you on this topic. But I have given you my 
thoughts, and in a public forum, and that is my gift to you, today, tonight.

Jason Albertson
work for peace, live for justice.