For Peers Category

Learning Disabilities and Psychosis

Never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long I never heard the melody until I needed the song . . . . . . I never I spoke “I love you” till I cursed you in vain Never felt my heart strings until I nearly went insane                                                             –Tom Waites, San Diego Serenade […]

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Writing for Mental Health: Six Basic Considerations

I like to think that I could recommend writing to some other people who have been subjected to a diagnostic labeling process that diminishes their hopes and potential. Indeed as emotional tension pulses through my back and appendages, I have found few other outlets that are there for me like the mixing and mastering letters. […]

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A Vacation Day for a Schizophrenic:

Fifteen years ago, I remember hearing a psychiatrist who had just been away for two weeks say, “There is no such thing as a vacation when you are schizophrenic!” As an unlicensed professional vying to get a staff position on the unit, I had carefully avoided rolling my eyes. I had politely nodded my head […]

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When the Public Studies Mass Murder

January 7, 2017: I sit stunned in the wake of the tragedy of yesterday’s Fort Lauderdale shooting. As statements appear in the press that insinuate that these evil acts need to be avenged, I grieve for the senseless loss of life.  I grieve and I also wonder if anyone cares to understand the dilemmas that […]

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Recreating Myself within a Changing Economy

Seventy years ago my family closed a lumber company in upstate New York. A series of small towns had built up primarily around the business and had to be abandoned and redefined. As is often the case, times change the economy and people have to find new ways to survive. Growing up, I never considered […]

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Honoring traditions that helped me escape:

My revolt against my father’s and my family’s legacy was not well understood without lists of psychiatric labels. Now, as I am preparing to honor my father in a seventy-fifth birthday reunion in the belly of the beast from which I fled, I have a better sense of how I let the traditions of my […]

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Viewing Myself through the Healing Voices Documentary

The Healing Voices documentary is a bold collaborative effort to recreate the public perception of people who hear voices or experience altered states. At a private viewing, amid a room of like-minded individuals there is cause for all of us to rejoice. We all sit engaged, excited, and proud as concepts and materials that we […]

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Learning Life’s Lessons in the Least Likely of Places

I look out the window feeling like I am straight out of the mental institution as my wife’s SUV pulls off the freeway toward the Marriot Hotel. We are on our way to visit my wife’s dear friend and goddaughter at an Irish Dance competition. I know I will be feeling straight out of it: […]

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Issues that Divide the Mad Community

As a psychotherapist who works with other Mad individuals in an L.A. county facility, it seems to me that the wider Mad community is not always aware of the diversity that exists within. While I am grateful for every person who has survived in spite of the limits of therapeutic environments available to many, rich […]

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