Initial Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     

 

Outskirts Press Releases New Memoir About Surviving a Diagnosis of Schizophrenia:

Fighting for Freedom in America by Clyde Dee

 

In the frontiers of America’s mental health institutions, fighting for freedom can become very personal.

September 24, 2015 – Denver, CO and Oakland, CA – In Fighting for Freedom in America, released by Outskirts Press, mental health counselor and author Clyde Dee asks, “Have you ever wondered if something is wrong with you? Have you ever wondered what it is like to find yourself driven into madness; and whether you will ever come back from catastrophic loss?”

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Waiting to Hear Back

Having returned from an east coast trip to attend the memorial of my stepfather, I am a little late with my monthly update. The trip back east was hard as my mother is currently suffering from her loss. I tried to spend time with her to offer her support, but my need to stay busy and our vastly differing interests made the week challenging for both of us.

 

Those who may have visited my blog may notice that I have only published one post this month. I have been working extensively on one essay that I am trying to prepare to get published. It is frustrating because I feel unproductive, but I have a need to master the essay and prove that I can publish.

 

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Are you Prepared to Address Psychosis in Your Practice? (Feature-Length Version)

In Madness and Civilization, philosopher Michel Foucault has predicted a proliferation of madness as disparities increase and modern society advances. Indeed, with psychopharmacology industry booming, rates of addiction, fueled by the opioid epidemic, skyrocketing, terrorism wars raging abroad, ongoing drug wars afflicting low income neighborhoods, escalation in homeless encampments in major cities, and a rise in bullying in schools, and even cyberbullying, it really does seem like higher percentage of people have been forced to explore their mental health struggles. While mass shootings have kept danger stigma in the media high and the media response continues to reinforce silence about mental struggles, the field of psychotherapy does have a lot more trends to address.

When I look through my state’s psychotherapy association’s annual conference, I see many of these trends getting addressed in workshops. But ever invisible is the issue of psychosis. Is it possible that the issue of psychosis functions as a significant part of the madness narrative? Is it possible that psychosis too is affecting more and more Americans as Foucault inferred?

 

 

What the Statistic Say: Continue reading “Are you Prepared to Address Psychosis in Your Practice? (Feature-Length Version)”

A New Definition of Psychosis

Psychosis is an antiquated word that leads to huge misunderstandings that play a large role oppressing a larger and larger portion of the population. For the past nine years I have run professional focus groups, going through the process of listening, exploring, reflecting, writing, seeking feedback and rewriting to get a better definition of psychosis.

 

Defining Psychosis, the Mainstream Way:

I remember using the mainstream definition as a young professional during the job I used to get me through my Master’s Program. Wondering how I was to connect with people who had delusions and voices that I clearly didn’t experience with my neurotic, highly-medicated self, I filled the white board with a list of labels and complicated words I was proud to be able to define. It was my college education that got me the job, and this was one way I could use it to be useful.

positive symptoms

Hallucinations:           reports of sounds (voices,) visuals, tactile sensations, tastes, and olfactory sensations that others do not experience

Delusions:                   “an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational . . .” In spite of the “preponderance of the evidence”

Disorganized Speech: Frequent derailment or incoherence): Word salad, tangential, or circumspect speech

negative symptoms

  1. Andhedonia
  2. Avolition
  3. Amotivation
  4. Alogia
  5. Attention Problems
  6. Catatonia
  7. Posturing
  8. Lethargy
  9. Flat affect
  10. Social Withdrawal
  11. Sexual Problems

 

The Errors of These Ways:

Life has taught me that the mainstream definition, as such, does little to depict what it feels like to have a break from reality. Indeed, not understanding this can cause a supporter to make things worse even when they have the best of intentions. Indeed, miscommunication, pain, and strained relationships often result once a sufferer has a break.

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Another Anything for a Little Attention Man

It’s true that a plastic rimmed hat

That cost me ten cents at a thrift store

Is sitting on my head;

And it’s true that they gave me

A free plastic trash bag

To covers some  of my

Old five and dime store clothing display;

And it’s true I might have taken the bus;

When it didn’t look like rain this morning;

And it’s true that it would have been

Ten miles home, or four miles to the mall

By the time the skies opened

And dogs and cats nailed down upon my face;

It’s true that already have an interview suit

In another state

That my father wouldn’t send to me

When we fought on the phone earlier today;

And it’s true I have an interview on Friday

And it’s true that I have the money

On my card to pay;

And it’s true that I don’t have enough money

To pay four more months’ rent stay;

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The Need to Dismantle Industry Constructs (Part Three)

When I think back to my twenty-two-year career working with other providers, my mid-career first-break, and the things that helped me recover, like my dog, I know for sure that the standard of care needs is a disservice to those who experience madness.

Many people who have breaks from reality get that permanent housing trajectory in their heads and rant and rail against it. They may still believe that there is such a thing as schizophrenia and be disinterested in the lives of their peers who are clearly schizophrenics. Those who have breaks, like me, are extremely diverse with distinctive cultural backgrounds, different access to resources and differing levels of buy into to the concept that they are permanently ill with something that will never go away. Those without a history of privilege become very susceptible for decline into permanent warehousing conditions that make healing very challenging.

Clearly, dismantling industry constructs for things like schizophrenia and poor prognosis is an important component of recovery. I have a hunch that to plan for generativity, schizophrenic constructs, other disorder constructs that block the formation of counterculture, and constructs from developmental psychology need to be challenged.

 

 

***

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The Need to Plan for Your Loved Ones Recovery (Part One)

 

In the United States, when a person has what is often referred to as a first break, the courses of action that get taken against them may end up being a crime against their humanity.

While there can be very diverse responses from family and friends, there is the unfortunate tendency to turn to the mental health industry for support and direction. Many providers in the industry only know the standard of care which is to refer the person to a hospital and psychiatric medications.

Few providers take an interest in understanding and exploring the important experiences that lead to the break. I call these experiences special messages. Finding a provider who is curious about these experiences, skilled at understanding them, and who knows better than to try to suppress them can be rare.

Many providers fail to acknowledge the trauma involved in the lives of the people who have first breaks and that the trauma that gets worsened as the standard of care—forced medication, social security, revolving hospital doors, and warehousing—get implemented. Many presume this is a necessary process.

Continue reading “The Need to Plan for Your Loved Ones Recovery (Part One)”