What Is Missing In How We Treat Mental Illness

I’m angry. I am so angry that I need to get it out before I can reach out with love and tears to the families of murdered children. I am angry because I have been saying for years that our country is going about its handling of mental illness in the wrong way. I have just written an article at GoodTherapy.org on that very topic. The new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders will be coming out in the spring, DSM-5, and, as the reviewers for GoodTherapy said about my article: “They’ve had five versions, and nearly 20 years since the last one, to get Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders right. And they’ve failed miserably.” Why Adam Lanza Killed If you are not up for reading a heavily-researched article on the history of the DSM and why it is junk, here is the synopsis: Labeling people with diagnoses and then pushing pills at them is NOT, I repeat NOT the answer to helping people with emotional difficulties. Adam Lanza did NOT kill people, including his own mother, because he had Asperger’s Syndrome. Like all the other mass murderers, he killed people because a. he was in terrible, unbearable pain b. he wanted the world to “know” the degree of pain he was in by giving us that same degree of pain. Adam Lanza needed something far more potent than pills. The pharmaceutical industry has been pushing pills and I have been patiently trying to explain why that is not the answer. In short, pills are incapable of taking away the degree of pain that some people,...

Why Pain Is A Gift When You’re Overcoming Addictions

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION from the Florida Jewish News Look,” I said to Lawrence a week after he decided to quit drugs for good, “this is going to be really, really hard because eventually, you’re going to be in pain and you won’t wanna stay there. That’s when you have to stick to your commitment to stay clean.” “I’m not worried about that,” he smiled, “I gave up pain a long time ago. I don’t like it much.” “That’s because you ran to use before you felt anything,” I reminded him. “You haven’t experienced it because you put yourself into a haze before you could take that risk to feel. I’m telling you, you won’t like it, and I’m asking you to be strong and get through it anyway. When it hits you, it’ll be like a two- by-four smacked you, but you’ve got to keep going.”   Pain Is Part Of Life If You Don’t Use Drugs To Run Away From It   Sure enough, not two weeks passed before it hit him. The reason he had decided to give up the drugs was because he wanted his family back. He wanted to laugh and joke with his two little girls. He wanted to run his fingers through his wife’s hair. Right now, contact with his wife was limited and strained. But she was trying to give him the space to learn how to be a husband and father. Nice woman. And things had been going rather well. There were some reasonable phone conversations. Then he’d had dinner over at what once had been his home, until he was...
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