Check out this way cool article published this week in the New York Times about a digital pill that uses Abilify that ends with some pithy quotes by yours truly. Hopefully, this is the first of many appearances in bigtime media for this indie mental health author.
As someone who has MCS otherwise known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, I wanted to give my review of the movie “The Sensitives Documentary”. It is a sad, hopeless movie for me. These people are where I was in life two years ago. I have gotten much better, thank goodness due to my investigations and my training as a medical librarian. I will give in one sentence the things that have helped me most: increasing glutathione in my brain and body, taurine, occasional DHEA, and an external vagal nerve stimulator. I have become so insensitive to chemicals, luckily, that I have been able to kiss my beautiful Colombian ladyfriend on the neck where she has sprayed perfume, and I do not get sick. I can go to bathrooms that reek of fragrance and use them as they are meant to be used. I am much better. MCS is probably a constellation of problems, but for me it is definitely primarily a limbic system disorder. It probably is for many people. That being said although the things I espouse worked for me, they may not work for you. But I believe in helping my fellow travelers, so here you go.
I have been using the Auri-Stim 1000, which is a Vagal Nerve Stimulator that is not FDA approved, but it has been used in a bunch of clinical trials and is SAFE. I have been using it for two years. The two major problems with this device are one, the battery and logic sometimes goes off, so I have to buy another one, and they are $800. So, they are not cheap. But, I only have to use it once every week or so for 20 minutes, and the rest of the week is just great. According to my studies, the MCS affects the limbic system as epilepsy affects the brain, though a process called kindling, which just means that my limbic system is way too sensitive. A mix of Wellbutrin and Abilify gave my my MCS. The Sensitives Documentary reminded me that I want to spread the message that hope is there for people like me. I have shared my story on Medium a offshoot of Huffington Post before. But, I want to tell people also I am going for a stronger Vagal Nerve Stimulator that is approved by the FDA. It is called the GammaCore device. It’s FDA approved for cluster headaches. I have a feeling, it will help more than the weak Vagal Nerve Stimulator that I am currently using, and my neurologist has no problems with me getting it for an off-label use. So, I am just waiting to get the money and the paperwork done for that to happen. I will report in, after I get the GammaCore results. All the best. -William Jiang, MLS The following is an excerpt from my intentionally low-cost book, MCS Cure? The best Strategies of a Former Medical Library Chief and MCS Survivor. Somebody gave the book 1 star on Amazon not because the content was not potentially helpful, but because the contents of the book came from my blog. That was sad, as I only keep this book on the market to help people. The one star is discouraging, and many people who might benefit from it will not because of that. Also, now that blog has crashed, I feel lucky these writings are still available anywhere. Anyways, here is the free excerpt, I hope if you have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and/or are inspired by The Sensitives Documentary to find treatments for MCS for yourself, a loved one that you find some healing in my words. If you are a scientist working on Vagal Nerve Stimulation or you are working on Environmental Sensitivities or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, I invite you to collaborate. All the best…
By William Jiang, MLS
There are a lot of theories and scams out there about MCS, otherwise known as, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, TILT or Toxicant Induced Lack of Tolerance in English, SQM or Sensibilidad Quimica Multiple in Spanish, and hypersensibilite chemie multiple in French. It is called other things in other languages, and I only know the above languages really well, so I will stick with those languages when I talk about MCS around the world. This book consists of articles I have written about MCS, culminating in an article that has given me my life back. I’m still chemically sensitive; however, now I can do things like go to Planet Fitness which is awash with chemicals all the time, I don’t fear travelling in New York City, I can take a cab that uses an air freshener and not feel sick. The list goes on, and I am so happy to share this information with you. I’m not saying what works for me will definitely work for you, but it might.
So, who am I, and why should you take anything I say seriously? Well, I was a medical library Chief at Columbia Psychiatry for almost a decade, and I have written over thirty informative books that do not hype anything. I actually have a Masters of Library Science, so in a court of law, I would just on that fact, be eligible to give expert testimony. As a medical librarian I am very particular as to the information sources to which I lend credibility. There is so much misinformation on there on Google, and there is no way that anybody could sift all the gold from all the dross. So, I like to think my books are held to a higher standard. All that being said, I will not be held liable to any use or misuse of the information presented in this book. Yes, all of the information is from quality resources; however, everybody reacts differently, in my experience to medical science. For example, antihistamines are amazingly efficacious and work as intended for most. Indeed that is why the United States Food and Drug Association classifies it as an OTC, or over the counter drug, it is deemed very safe by the FDA.. However, some people experience panic attacks when they take a benadryl, and so it goes. One never knows.
What is MCS?
Imagine you are seated comfortably among friends at a restaurant, until a waiter came up to your table to ostensibly make you all more at ease, and cleaned your table. You suddenly start choking due to the cleaner your server used, and you are forced to run out of the restaurant, ruining your fun evening. Worse still, this kind of situation happens more often than not. Maybe you have MCS.
Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a chronic medical condition and syndrome characterized by symptoms that the affected person attributes to low-level chemical exposures to commonly used chemicals, as presented in the above MCS Video. Commonly attributed substances include scented products, pesticides, plastics, synthetic fabrics, smoke, petroleum products, and paint fumes.
Apparently, MCS is partly a disorder of the limbic region of the brain, and can be treated by Low Dose Antigen therapy or nutraceuticals. In the future it may be treated with brain stimulation techniques other than ECT which only works a few days after it is given.
Australia, Germany (2000), Austria (2001), Japan (2009), Switzerland (2010), Denmark (2012), Spain and Canada (2014) all recognize Multiple Chemical Sensitivity as a medical condition. As of December 2015, There are 336 articles pertaining to “mcs chemical sensitivity” on MEDLINE. It makes one wonder why the most powerful association of doctors in the world does not endorse MCS as a disorder. It would make things a whole lot easier for those with MCS in America, if the AMA would change their position, and it would surely save lives. Even the venerable Financial Times (UK) gives it more attention than the AMA. Let’s hope the AMA changes its tune before more Americans die unnecessarily.
MCS News as of June 21st, 2016
The Mainstream press in the English language is starting to cover Chemical Sensitivity. The following are a few articles on MCS in the news published so far in 2016, listed in reverse chronological order. MCS Video
MCS News as of June 21st, 2016
The Mainstream press in the English language is starting to cover Chemical Sensitivity. The following are a few articles on MCS in the news published so far in 2016, listed in reverse chronological order.
- May 25th, 2016 Allergies keep Auckland woman living in isolation
- May 23rd, 2016 Mediation fails to resolve case involving roadwork, ‘wrongful death’
- May 3rd, 2016 University of Delaware Review Updated list of Green-care chemicals released
- May 3rd, 2016 CBC New Glasgow woman with chemical sensitivities fights public housing eviction
- April 15th, 2016 UK Daily Mail Recluse who does not use electricity because she’s ‘allergic to the modern world’ is now homeless after her wooden shack was burned down by a candle
- March 21st, 2016 Inside Climate News The Air Around Aliso Canyon Is Declared Safe. So Why Are Families Still Suffering?
- March 9th ABC 9 WVTM ‘I couldn’t stand it for 10 minutes’; carpet cleaner concerned with moldy apartment
- February 6th, 2016 Doctor with MCS buys car, is allergic to it: Guy forked out £20k for a car… turns out he’s allergic to it
- January 27th, 2016 Tri-City News: LIVING GREEN: How good is your smell?
- January 25th, 2016 Apex- Scents and Sensitivity: Considering Passenger Allergies to Fragrance
- January 22nd, 2016 Andover Advertiser, UK Who can help when fracking goes wrong?
Again, MCS is NOT a psychological disorder, it is a disorder of the limbic (olfactory) system in the brain and other organ systems. MCS is being accepted by many first world countries as we collectively have more chemical exposure due to industrialization. Notice above, even the venerable Financial Times, UK has published an article about MCS.
In Spain and Latin America MCS is more accepted by the medical community as a legitimate physical medical disorder, and not as a psychological disorder. Indeed, Spain is one of the most progressive governments in the world when it comes to helping people with Environmental Illnesses. In Spain people with MCS are protected by the law. See SQM (Sensiblidad Quimica Multiple) in the Spanish News.
Glutathione and MCS
For many whose glutathione may be out of whack due to medication, especially psychotropic medications, or environmental issues glutathione can be a big help in fighting the Chemical Sensitivity. Glutathione need not be inhaled to be helpful. Whey and NAC can also be of help. Whey is probably a good thing to add to any diet for health anyway. It used to be eaten much more; however, these days it seems to be a weightlifter “secret”.
Source: Altern Ther Health Med. 2008 May-Jun;14(3):42-4.
Title: Inhaled glutathione for the prevention of air pollution-related health effects a brief review.
Author: Allen J1.
Exposure to air pollution is associated with significant adverse health effects, such as cardiovascular disease and asthma. Most current research trends focus on quantifying illnesses or deaths attributable to air pollutants, but limited research has examined potential methods of preventing these effects. The mainstay of conventional therapies lies in the treatment of exposure-related diseases, not prevention strategies. Few medical interventions seek to protect the lungs directly. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners are widely recognized, and often criticized, for administering therapeutic substances based on biochemical plausibility or pre-clinical studies. One widely used CAM intervention that specifically targets the Slung is inhalation of the antioxidant glutathione. Inhaled glutathione is commonly used in the CAM community to treat a number of conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis, sinusitis, and chemical sensitivity. Evidence suggests that inhaled glutathione rapidly increases pulmonary glutathione levels, providing a potential preventive intervention in the presence of environmental oxidants (eg, air pollutants). Enhancing pulmonary glutathione levels may reduce or eliminate systemic effects of air pollutants; however, no controlled studies have evaluated this potential. This article briefly reviews a major air pollutant (particulate matter) and the natural defense system against its toxicity and propose a pilot study to investigate the potential of inhaled glutathione to blunt its adverse effects.
William Jiang, MLS is the Author of 63 books, including the bestselling books Guide to Natural Mental Health , 3rd ed and his critically-acclaimed autobiography A Schizophrenic Will: A Story of Madness, A Story of Hope. You can see a selection of his books about mental and physical health nicely laid out on his blog at http://www.mentalhealthbooks.net
As September and the fall semester begins, I remember the rush I had as a university student caught up in the swirl of energy of my fellow students and myself, more than twenty years ago now. A smile lights up my face as I recall, and then I think of a dark joke that my brother taught me his freshman year of MIT. A professor stands in front of a window after leading a tour around the campus, and he asks the students, “Do you know why MIT’s colors are gray and red?” All the freshmen students shake their heads. Just then, outside of the window, everybody sees a body falling to the cement below. “That’s why.” says the professor.
MIT has a higher suicide rate than the national average, but the joke reflects an underlying truth about campus life all over the United States. According to Collegedegreesearch.net, there are about 1,100 suicides on campuses around the USA each year, and, shockingly, six percent of all undergraduates have seriously considered suicide. Why is contemplating suicide so common among university students these days? A lot of stress, abuse of drugs and alcohol, as well as underlying clinical depression and anxiety are risk factors. Even if you are a learning machine, my advice is to take time to smell those roses because too much stress will take down even an ubermensch gifted student.
One in four Americans suffer from a serious mental illness during their lifetimes, most often depression or anxiety. Serious mental issues can be triggered by the stress of university or years of workaholism. It is no coincidence that depression is soon to become the number one cause of long term death and disability worldwide by 2020, according to the World Health Organization.
Reading and Mental Illness
University students read a lot. Problem? Maybe. Even high-achieving readers are predisposed to bouts of melancholia, according to medical history. Before the 19th century doctors thought that the mere act of reading books could cause mental instability. See: A Text-book on mental diseases By Theodore H. Kellogg. Also, see Wikipedia’s article on the History of Depression: “Since Aristotle, melancholia had been associated with men of learning and intellectual brilliance, a hazard of contemplation and creativity.”
According to the Census of 1890 about one percent of one percent of the population or one in ten thousand people in all of the United States had a hospitalization for depression. Today approximately one in seven people in the US suffers from clinical depression and the rate keeps going up. In 1890 few people had the opportunity to educate themselves beyond a basic level of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Today, one in four people in the US is a college graduate. As rates of college graduation go up year to year, so does the figure of people becoming clinically depressed. The question becomes, what can be done to stay healthy?
Protection: Omega-3 Fish Oil and the Prevention of Clinical Depression
Disclaimer: I worked as a medical library chief at the leading psychiatric hospital in the United States, New York State Psychiatric Institute/ Columbia Psychiatry, so I have a bad habit of quoting MEDLINE to prove points. From the journal Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, Epub 2014 Mar 18.: there is a journal article titled “Omega-3 fatty acids and depression: scientific evidence and biological mechanisms” wherein the abstract states that “..several epidemiological studies reported a significant inverse correlation between intake of oily fish and depression or bipolar disorders.” Free full text of the article is available to anyone who wishes to explore the article in more depth at pubmed.gov .
Back when I was an undergraduate, we did not know as much as we do today about the science behind a healthy brain and body, so we can do much more today than before to keep our minds and bodies healthy. Paradoxically, college students are less fit and more prone to suicide than ever before. According to Collegedegreesearch.net suicide rates for our youth are three times what they were back in the 1950’s, and diabetes rates are going through the roof among the Internet Generation.
If you feel suicidal please Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Editor’s Note: William Jiang, MLS is the Author of 63 books, including the bestselling books Guide to Natural Mental Health , 3rd ed and his critically-acclaimed autobiography A Schizophrenic Will: A Story of Madness, A Story of Hope. You can see a selection of his books about mental and physical health nicely laid out on his blog at www. mentalhealthbooks.net . He also is editor-in-chief of Mental Health Books Review
By Debra Faes-Dudden
Recovering from trauma is an ongoing process that involves awareness, abreaction, acceptance, and change on emotional, physical, and psychological levels. Self-care during recovery is essential in order to achieve wellness. But for many survivors of trauma, self-care needs to be taught during the recovery process because they often have very low self-esteem and self-worth.
Fortunately, as I did the work to heal from trauma, there was attention and guidance given in self-care. The first symptom of my mental illness was debilitating panic attacks. I was pregnant at the time and when I had one. It literally brought me to my knees. My family physician recommended psychotherapy to learn relaxation techniques versus taking anti-anxiety medication due to the pregnancy. The psychologist made a tape that involved progressive relaxation exercises combined with breath work. I practiced the taped exercises three times a day and found they stopped the panic attacks. After the birth of my son, I continued psychotherapy because I had found a place where there was room for my authentic voice to surface. Memories of early childhood sexual abuse gradually surfaced in the form of night terrors, flashbacks, body memories and abreactions. At that time I had two children and a husband to care for as well as a part-time night job that left little time for self-care. I was so used to taking care of other people all my life I really did not know how to focus on self-care. I also did not feel worthy of taking the time. As the years passed I felt more and more anxious. I found the meditation was not enough to stop the panic attacks so I began anti-anxiety medication. Some years later I was admitted to the psychiatric floor of a local hospital due to severe dehydration and low body weight. I was diagnosed as having a dissociative disorder, anxiety, and depression. I was told I needed to take care of myself and went on to learn that taking care of one’s self means becoming aware of what one needs in each moment of the day and giving it to one’s self. Recovering also meant working on my self-esteem and self-worth. In time, I came to acknowledge that I am important and worthy of good health, joy and nurturing from other people.
As part of the recovery work, I compiled a list of activities and ideas for emotional, psychological, and physical health that I gained from what people have told me and ideas that best fit my authentic self and unique needs (see below). Trauma affects the body, mind, and spirit; therefore, remember that an important part of recovery is in feeling worthy of giving time and attention to one’s self in order to achieve wellness.
ACTIVITIES FOR EMOTIONAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, AND PHYSICAL HEALTH
- Mantra: “May I let go and be filled with peace.”
- Meditate and journal daily.
- Take 3 deep breaths 5 times per day.
- Focus to find peace and joy in your home.
- Know you are safe.
- Stay in the moment.
- Yoga once a week.
- Walk in nature for fresh air, the quietness or to music 3x/week.
- Get a massage or facial.
- Dance to your favorite music.
- Paint how you feel.
- Listen to birds chirping, waves crashing, fire crackling.
- Sleep/rest when fatigued.
- Daydream your desires.
- Look at the natural beauty around you (sky, trees, flowers, streams).
- Look at the stars and moon at night.
- Experience how a work of art moves you.
- Know that there exists something greater than any negative feeling you are experiencing.
- Find and commune with people who share your personal spiritual beliefs.
- Wear comfortable clothes you like.
- Ask for a hug when you need one.
- Feel cool rocks, earth, and flowers.
- Burn lavender incense.
- Gather fragrant flowers for your home.
- Drink comforting herbal tea.
- Eat comfort foods.
- Make healthy self-care choices each moment.
- Say ‘No’ when you need to — healthy boundaries are ok.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Eat fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Stop judging, mind-reading, fortune-telling, and catastrophizing.
- Be aware of what you expose yourself to because it can activate repressed trauma.
- Put in place a support network.
- Call help-lines when you need to.
- Schedule an extra therapy appointment when needed.
- Focus on healing (release of emotions) in psychotherapy each week.
- Prioritize when making a ‘to-do’ list, including time for self-care.
- Socialize with positive people, family and friends you can be yourself with.
- Laugh and be silly.
- Remind yourself you are worthy of attention, healing, and joy.
Editor’s Note: Debra Faes-Dudden is the author of When Cries are Silenced. It is a book of artwork and poems created during her healing from early childhood sexual abuse. The book is available in print on Amazon.com.
By Dennis Heil
Quite a few people reach out to me in the hopes of gaining some understanding of what their mentally ill loved one is going through. One of the most common strings of questions I receive goes something like this: “Where do I draw the line? How will I know when enough is enough? Where does compassion end and accountability start for destructive behavior?”
There is a simple answer. The line is drawn wherever you want to draw it. That’s as complicated as it needs to be. No one but you can decide what you are willing to deal with. No one but you can decide where your compassion needs to end. You are the only one that can make that decision for yourself, based on your personal circumstances. And if you’re confused and unsure? Get off the internet and talk to a certified mental health counselor about the situation.
There are no internet articles that are going to be able to replace that important knowledge and neutral, third party perspective.
And it would be lovely if the more vocal, compassionate people of the world would stop pushing the romanticized narrative that martyring oneself is a good and noble choice. It’s not. It’s short-sighted and destructive. The stains, wounds, and scars of staying in an abusive situation, regardless of the cause, do not just disappear after. They may linger and continue to be destructive even decades later.
Then you have the generic, blanket advice to clearly state one’s boundary and enforce it. Okay. And if the other person is a skilled manipulator who can gauge how to coast just below that boundary to be destructive, but without overstepping? What about people who have been in emotionally abusive relationships that have been conditioned by an abusive partner to bend their boundaries?
Blanket statements can cause a person to give up far too much information to someone who may be adept at wielding that information as a weapon to harm. Anyone who’s been in an abusive relationship knows that honesty is an impossibility in that kind of situation. That person knows that what they say or do can, will, and often be used against them.
Always be wary of who you discuss the issue of boundaries with and treat their words with skepticism. They are not you. It is so easy for someone sitting outside of the situation to tell you to keep going through hell because they believe it’s the compassionate or right thing to do, when they aren’t the one suffering. That’s not their decision to make for you.
And in my personal experience, having listened to the survivors of these situations for years now, women tend to get the worst end of that. For men, it’s typically, “She’s crazy. You should dump her.” For women, it’s typically, “You need to be more supportive and understanding. It’s your job to keep things together.” Which is total BS on so many levels.
Draw the line wherever you want. You are the only one that can decide what you are willing to suffer through. No one else is going to live your life 24/7. No one else is going to have to deal with the consequences of that choice. You are your own person. No one has the right to tell you how compassionate you should or shouldn’t be.
Anyone that would criticize you for choosing your own survival and well-being is not worth listening to.
Editor’s Note: Dennis Heil is the author of the refreshingly insightful and blunt books What They Don’t Tell You About Bipolar Disorder and Everyday Instability and Bipolar Disorder and his informative blog can be found at bipolarmanifesto.com
By Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD
Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Psychiatrist In Chief New York Presbyterian Hospital – Columbia University Medical Center
Past President, American Psychiatric Association
As a psychiatrist who has cared for patients and conducted research for over 30 years, I have published over 600 scientific articles and 10 books for scientists and health professionals, but never anything for the public at large. Then I came to a realization.
Over the course of human history until the latter part of the 20th century, untold millions of people suffered from mental illness and substance use disorders because there were no treatments and little that could be done to help them. However, now that is not the case. We have an array of evidence-based treatments that work, for most mental and substance use disorders. However, because of lack of awareness, shame and embarrassment or lack of access to competent care or insurance coverage, people just aren’t getting them. Imagine if the population of our country was afflicted with infectious diseases like pneumonia, tuberculosis, smallpox and HIV and they did not seek or could not get antibiotics, vaccines or protease inhibitors.
This is the reality for millions of people in the U.S. and around the world and it is a reality that is no longer tolerable. It is simply unacceptable that the greatest barrier to symptomatic relief and recovery for mentally ill persons is not a lack of scientific knowledge or effective treatments, but stigma.
It is for this reason that I wrote Shrinks, The Untold Story of Psychiatry; to tell the fascinating and scandalous story of mental illness, and psychiatry’s efforts to understand and treat them. Shrinks describes the origins of our understanding brain disorders that affect mental functions and behavior and the evolution of the field of medicine responsible for their understanding and care. It describes psychiatry’s development from a mystical pseudoscience to a bona fide scientifically guided medical discipline that helps people and saves lives, while revealing exemplary case studies of patients. The book also makes an urgent call-to-arms for the public and media to start treating mental illness as a disease rather than a state of mind. As a member of this profession, I think you will find this story incredibly illuminating and inspiring.
But don’t just take my word for it, here is what some other distinguished authors said.
“Jeffrey Lieberman has produced a masterful behind-the-scenes examination of psychiatry—and, by extension, the human condition. His epic narrative charts the unlikely ascent of the ‘stepchild of medicine,’ paralleling Lieberman’s own professional transformation from eager psychoanalytic student of Freud to neuroscience-minded president of a reformed American Psychiatric Association. A wise and gripping book that tackles one of the most important questions of our time: what is mental illness?”
—Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree and The Noonday Demon
“This is an astonishing book: honest, sober, exciting, and humane. Dr. Lieberman writes with the authority of an expert, but with the humility of a doctor who has learned to treat the most profound and mysterious forms of mental illnesses. This book brings you to the very forefront of one of the most amazing medical journeys of our time.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies
“Shrinks is a must-read. . . A smart, important, accessible book.” (Patrick J. Kennedy, former congressman, founder of The Kennedy Forum, and co-founder of One Mind).
Weekend Edition with Scott Simon NPR 3/14/15
Charlie Rose PBS Interview 4/8/15
For additional information visit:
Money makes the world go round; yet, the love of money is the root of all evil.
‘Tis better to be feared than loved; yet, love conquers all.
The Romans loved their games. When the Senate wanted to mollify the masses, the floor of the Colosseum was soaked by more gladiator blood than usual, to distract the mob from their troubles. By the way, how about those Yankees?
Life explained in a nutshell: Kim Kardashian. An important person. Republicans. Good, down to earth folk anybody would be lucky enough to drink a beer with. Democrats. Fucking liberal faggot loving scum. Fox News. It’s the news.
Murder. Rape. Murder. Rape. Cat up a tree. Murder. Rape. Murder. The weather. Sports. Think about it. This is your local media news all day everyday in the good old USA. The local news is important. Now. Did I miss something?
Remember, blowhard, use your indoor voice indoors.
Shut up. Notice your thoughts as they cross the screen of your mind’s eye. Do not judge. Be impartial. Let them come and go, from nothingness to nothingness. Notice the miracle of your own breath. Know that with breath there is hope. Let go of the future. Let go of the past. Be at peace. Live now, because this moment is all we really have. Carpe diem. Seize the day.
Love. A life without love is empty. It is better to be a poor happy man who is loved and cherishes his life than to be the lone miser who counts his piles of pennies. Cash is cold comfort. You cannot take it with you when you go.
Think for yourself. If you can think for yourself my words are probably merely a reminder of your way of being. If you cannot, you probably don’t realize it anyway.
You are not alone. If you feel lonely, realize that no one is truly alone, we are all connected to each other by an invisible web of energy and we give each other’s lives meaning as we interact. Ubuntu, baby.
The essence of Brahma is creation, of Shiva, destruction. They are inseparable. One cannot exist without the other.
Good cannot be good without the existence of evil. There must be a choice we have to make, or we would be as sentient as plants, growing towards the sun, without rhyme nor reason.
Each of our lives can be likened to a kind of music. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end to each of our pieces. Some people live a rock song. Others Jazz. Yet others, symphonies. Some play badly. Others are virtuosos. Because our lives run the length of years, oftentimes we hit a sour note and hope we can cover it up quickly and hope nobody notices. Some people diligently study, practice, and conform to their sheet music. Others loosely improvise their melodic structures. There are many popular songs on the radio, yet in one hundred years from now, they will mostly be listening to the songs of the age. Much of our music, although timeless, will have been buried by time, waiting for the curious to listen and enjoy the zeitgeist of our age, once again.
There is a reason that when you take an “O” away from good, you have God. There is a reason son and sun are tied in our theology. Amen.
Most of what is important in life is simple. Only a little bit is simply complicated. Don’t waste your time sweating the small stuff. Be wise, prioritize.
Use the brute’s mind against him by telling him you hate what he hates. He will confuse you for his friend.
I hate the word politics because it is derived from the Latin poly meaning many and tics meaning bloodsuckers. The word was coined in the Roman Senate and yet it holds as much truth now as it did then.
William Jiang, MLS is the Author of 63 books, including the bestselling books Guide to Natural Mental Health , 3rd ed and his critically-acclaimed autobiography A Schizophrenic Will: A Story of Madness, A Story of Hope. You can see a selection of his books about mental and physical health nicely laid out on his blog at http://www.mentalhealthbooks.net or check out his Facebook at Mental Health Books.NET
Alan Doyle: Will, thank you very much for inviting me to speak with you today about Fountain House. I am the Director of Education at Fountain House. It’s an opportune moment for me because of where Fountain House is in its history — for almost seventy years Fountain House has been at the center of defining a model of community mental health, not only in New York City, but especially now as the recipient the Hilton Humanitarian Prize globally. Fountain House is considered a model for community mental health world-wide and as policy on how we should proceed over the next decades in terms of the structure and care for those with severe mental illness.
William Jiang: it is really interesting that you brought up the Hilton Humanitarian Award. I wanted to ask you about that because I heard the Fountain House won it recently. Can you say more about the importance of this award?
Alan Doyle: Yes. Every year the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Identifies a charitable, non-governmental organization that has made extraordinary contributions toward alleviating human suffering. In 2014, when it considered the suffering caused by mental illness, it decided that Fountain House and those clubhouses throughout the world that follow its practice offer a real solution for families, for governments, for mental health professionals, and for people living with severe mental illness. We did not come to this award easily. We were nominated for the prize for more than ten years. It was only at the point where the Hilton Foundation learned that the crisis in mental health care had reached such global proportions that mental illness was a topic that needed to be addressed. It chose to shine its light on Fountain House to meet this great humanitarian need and the suffering it causes. Fountain House is now also working with the World Health Organization for the same purpose.
William Jiang: Can you speak about Fountain House’s work with the World Health Organization?
Alan Doyle: Yes. The pervasive impact of mental illness cannot be understated. It should not only be considered in terms of individual human suffering alone but the impact it has on a nation’s economy, especially in those areas of the world at the lower end of the scale of wealth. So that the seriousness of this illness not only pertains to individual people, but also at the national and international levels. Fountain House has teamed up with the WHO by jointly publishing a clinical study on the premature death faced by people with mental illness. It is currently writing source materials for government officials and public health practitioners addressing the impact of this condition in terms of solutions.
William Jiang: That is very interesting. As a reminder, this is http://www.mentalhealthbooks.net. I understand Fountain House has two books out. Can you please talk about them as well as where Fountain House is going in the future?
Alan Doyle: The idea for a book on Fountain House (Fountain House: Creating Community in Mental Health Practice) came to me about 7 or 8 years ago. It became apparent to us that practitioners and policy makers were not clearly understanding our methodology. We call Fountain House a working community. We are located on 47th Street in New York City in the old Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of the City. People come each day to Fountain House: both staff and the members — “members” is how we refer to those individuals within our community who suffer from severe mental illness. And we do what everybody else does. From Monday to Friday from 9 to 5, we have a work day here where we address together the issues faced by people living with mental illness in the community. That is the project we work on. That’s why we are here today. And for some reason the idea that the normality of the way that we approach treatment for people with serious mental illness is considered not important or not intellectual enough for many academics or mental health practitioners was the reason for wiring the book. this perception is changing with the recognition of the WHO and The Hilton Foundation. We believe that many in the academic community have overlooked the importance of the opportunity for meaningful work that has always played a part in recovery for serious mental illness–for centuries back to the 19th century Paris, France and the method morale of Philippe Pinel. Fountain House taps into these rich social traditions and practices them as a way of helping our members live outside the hospital and in society. So, what the book did then was tap into these rich academic traditions coming out of Psychiatry with Freud and group theory and integrated with Social Work and the Settlement House movement. Fountain House is a settlement house for those living with serious mental illness.
William Jiang: Like Hull House?
Alan Doyle: Like Hull house, exactly! But we practice our services for those with severe mental illness in contrast to Hull House which worked with immigrant populations.
William Jiang: Exciting!
Allan Doyle: We follow the evolution of this thought as to how we tapped into these traditions taking it out of a medical environment into an everyday work environment like our clubhouse here at 47th Street.
William Jiang: Did you want to say anything else?
Alan Doyle: I think there is a serious issue on the horizon that I would like to personally work on and bring to your attention. As we look upon our traditions and the recognition by the World Health Organization and the Hilton Foundation, what started to emerge that supports the effectiveness of the intervention of the clubhouse model. That of the original dream in our origins. Fountain House was never just a program here at 47th Street: Fountain House was an idea in community mental health care with worldwide ramifications. What we’re looking at and challenged by now is how we scale our idea from where we started with one clubhouse in 1948 and then in the nineteen-eighties started the training program which resulted in over 300 clubhouses over score of years later.
William Jiang: Under Mr. Beard?
Alan Doyle: it started with John Beard and then was furthered by his protege Rudyard Propst into a worldwide movement involving hundreds of clubhouses practicing the approach that the was founded here at Fountain House. But for the last 15 years we’ve been stuck at 315 or so clubhouses worldwide. So it is an issue of scale that we are now faced with. I personally have been looking at how we can use education as an intervention to break through this barrier and reopen the gates of expansion that occurred between 1980 and 2000 when we grew to over 300 clubhouses. We need to look at a whole new approach to how we think about replication — in a way that is fiscally responsible for a solitary place in New York City. We want to keep in mind our global mission and how we can in a very practical dollars-and-cents way, think about how to expand community mental health around the world using the clubhouse model of Fountain House,
William Jiang: That sounds exciting.
Alan Doyle: And yet we can reach out to a larger community. We are looking forward to coordinating with training for others and share our methodologies. We now have video conferencing–it allows us to give our traditional training in a way that we can do it without walls and recreate that early group who brought the message of Fountain House to other parts of the world and use it to support and re-energize groups to go into areas like South America.
William Jiang: South America?
Alan Doyle: South America only has one or two clubhouses: two in Argentina and also one in Mexico. Think about it- all of South America is going through deinstitutionalization right now, like we did here in the states in the 1960’s and 70’s. They will have an increasing number of people in the jails who are there not for any criminal activities but because of their mental illness. Also, there will be increased rates of drug addiction and homelessness on the streets. These are all the impacts that the World Health Organization is looking to Fountain House to mitigate. And that’s why we need to find a way of thinking about how we can bring this issue of mental health to the fore for countries at a reasonable cost.
William Jiang: This was an exciting and very interesting overview of what Fountain House has one and will do in the very near future, hopefully. Thank you so much for talking to me today, Alan.
Alan Doyle: Thank you, Will.