To Seek Help or Not to Seek Help: Taking Precautions and Being Proactive Choice-makers

Two years ago, a friend of mine who works and advocates within the mental health system in Erie County, NY asked me to write something for the Anti-Stigma Coalition. I wanted to write about the RISKS involved with asking for help because this is a topic that is often avoided because those who work within the mental health system do not want to deter potential consumers from seeking services, but the reality is that there are risks involved with seeking help – and that sometimes force and trauma are packaged as or folded into help, and this is something that every consumer and person deserves to know before they seek help for themselves or others – or have help forced upon them.

Below is what I wrote for the coalition – it didn’t jive with the campaign’s mission but it does jive with MITA’s mission, and so it’s been sitting in a folder for two years, but I decided to post it up in the event that someone out there reads it and finds it meaningful or helpful. This short essay was written primarily for people who identify as consumers but is likely to be relevant to those who do not identify as consumers or those who identify as psychiatric survivors. It was written by someone who was harmed, not helped, by the mental health system, and by someone who does not identify as a consumer – but, rather, as a survivor. Continue reading “To Seek Help or Not to Seek Help: Taking Precautions and Being Proactive Choice-makers”

Justice for Barbara Warren-Jones

In 2017, while I was incarcerated against my will in a psychiatric institution in Buffalo, NY for ten days, I shared a room with a woman I will never forget.

She was Barbara to me at the time, although on one occasion, I asked her for her last name and I wrote it down in my composition notebook. Tonight, I looked through the pages of that notebook for her name. I have not been able to bear to look at what I had written during my time in hell with my friend until now. I found what I could handle reading for tonight. Three words:

Barbara Warren Jones. Continue reading “Justice for Barbara Warren-Jones”

Gaslighting

What Is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting: manipulating someone, by psychological means, into doubting their own sanity.[1] This may involve saying something and later denying having said it, making you question your memory, making you feel that everything is your fault, and even outright lying to you (and possibly those around you). Continue reading “Gaslighting”

On Being Well

When you’re ill, and you reach the threshold of what you consider ‘enough pain to warrant treatment,’ you can do a number of things: you can continue to live with the pain, you can try at-home remedies, you can seek out holistic forms of treatment that exist outside the medical realm, or you can go to the doctor.

Pain is a matter of perception. Continue reading “On Being Well”

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