Monday, July 27, 2009

Comments You Don't Get to See

In my last blog piece, I recollected an unscheduled visit I had made to Walter Reed Army Hospital two years before. These are the type of spur-of-the-moment decisions journalists make all the time when they are on the road.

The purpose of my visit had been to see if I could get into the hospital’s psych unit to learn what was being done for returning soldiers with PTSD. Naturally - and appropriately - they did not let me in, Nevertheless, I made use of the visit in a blog I did for HealthCentral to draw awareness to PTSD.

“Time for quiet reflection on our heroes," I concluded in my piece. “Are they aware of what lies ahead for many of them? About the odium and contempt society will hold them in when it happens? These poor souls don’t have a clue.”

While there, I also encountered young men with missing limbs, which I also reported in my original piece.

At the moment, I am recovering from sciatica, which literally had me flat on my back for more than a week, I ventured out to the local diner last week, only to run into a telling reminder how fortunate I am: A woman at an adjacent table was relating to a neighbor about her husband, who had just had half his foot amputated.

That conversation prompted me to recall some of the suffering in my own family. Then those unforgettable images of those young men at Walter Reed seared through my conscious, with a pain far more intense than anything I had felt in my leg. Suddenly, my sciata didn't seem so bad.

Time to count my blessings. Time to come to terms with the natural process of aging. That was the theme of my most recent blog post here.

It seems “Anonymous” entirely missed the point:

“Let me get this straight,” he wrote. “You made an impulsive, spur-of-the-moment visit to Walter Reed Hospital, where you used the suffering of strangers to make yourself feel better?”

Even though I did not explain the purpose of my visit to Walter Reed in my last piece, it’s pretty obvious the reason wasn’t to make me feel better. But having already made up his mind, Anonymous wasn’t going to let a good tirade go to waste: “I bet they loved being an inspiration to you,” he concluded. “Some compassion, and admiration, for your aunt and cousin might have been warranted, rather than your self-serving, sanctimonious blather.”

Irrational attackers like Anonymous are an occupational hazard for all bloggers. They just happen, and when they try to post a comment, I simply hit the “Reject” button. There is no sense reasoning with them, as they are beyond reason. Typically, they have an antipsychiatry agenda, but a good many are just plain freelancers with anger issues. Here’s a doozy from a few months ago:

Keep popping those wonder drugs SAL aka McPimp {Oh, that's right, you don't do meds Mr. McPimp}. Maybe McPimp can get himself into see his other heros as in Biederman, Goodwin, Jamison, Nemeroff and all the other greed mongering bipolar child Pharma huggers!

Though McPimp is a pretty lame con-man; did you write that post yourself Johnny Boy aka Sal? Did you steal this Page from Herb of many faces and IDs play book? {making up people to talk at is an old trick for sociopaths like yourself}. I guess being a fraud isn't enough; now you make people up to have comments on your "LOST" adventure. You do know that plastic blow up dolls are next in your precarious relationship pattern. {laughing}

Let’s see: This version of Anonymous is confusing me with someone named Sal, is nursing a resentment with someone else named Herb and yet another individual who goes by the screen name ID, is entertaining a delusion that I’m not on meds (I’m on a very light dose mood stabilizer and have emergency meds on standby), that I fabricate imaginary characters, and that I’m part of the Pharma conspiracy.

I’m grateful to Phillip Dawdy of Furious Seasons, who acts as Jupiter to my planet earth. Namely, his gravitational field seems to attract all manner of space debris nursing cosmic resentments, some of whom have ideated physical violence against me. It helps when he makes up things about my personal life such as:

“Maybe that's why a little over two years ago, when I was making the Zyprexa documents available to the public and going up against Eli Lilly, McManamy was going on book tours, divorcing his wife who'd supported him while he wrote said book and moving off to the desert of San Diego County to find himself.”

That little piece of fiction drew a whole meteor shower of nutjob comments. Better they scar his planet rather than mine. But, occasionally one or two migrate into my orbit.

That’s what the “Reject” button is for.


cretin said...

I don't get people. Part of my problem. But people on the web take it a step further. Anti-psychiatry folks' hate is incomprehensible. I understand that some people are sometimes laid low by side effects of medications, both physical and psychiatric. But you don't find those who had a problem on, say, Viagra attacking everyone on the web who has ED. Those of us with mental illness have enough problems without having to hear how we are "poisoning" our minds, "avoiding" our problems, and are "cheating" with medications. I am sick of it!! Especially since I take Zyprexa for schizoaffective disorder. Zyprexa gets a lot of heat (especially with how Lilly downplayed its side effects); but it is SO effective for thought and mood disorders. For many, this imperfect pill is a blessing! For the sake of my well-being, I avoid the worst of it, but it sometimes crops up on sites that are truly friendly to mental illness. When that happens, I just sigh. Such misguided anger. And it is not as if anti-psychiatrists offer any alternatives beyond the "get in touch with your inner-child and past traumas" or smoke dope ("hey, it's natural"). I've been throuhg the "insight" therapy with nothing to show for it but an empty bank account. No, medicine has helped to account for some lousy genes. Talking can't fix family history.

Anonymous said...

Hope you're sciatica is better.

I just want to offer you some encouragement. Your work has offered me a place to learn about my diseases, as well as the good, bad and ugly of the psychiatric community and Pharma. You give your readers information and things to think about. You offer a unique and vital service. Keep using that "reject" button.

John McManamy said...

Hey, Anonymous. I take it you're no relation to those others named Anonymous. :) Many thanks for your supportive comments. No "Reject" button for you.

Cristina Romero-Sierra said...

Hi John. You know, I don't like people much, period. But then I love them too. The thing is, I'm always torn. No matter where we go, what our profession, what walk of life we come from or what country we live in, conflict is part of human nature. Sometimes conflict is good if it's in the spirit of opening each other to another way of thinking, but that's not always the case. I can't help but think of the line in the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight when Michael Caine (Alfred, Batman's butler) told a story which is too long to write here. The moral of the story is, "Some people just want to watch the world burn."

Anyway, I live a pretty insular life because I don't like conflict. Isolation can be healthy at times, but in moderation.

Anyway, it takes a lot of guts for you to have to listen to the attacks. Jamison talked about the brutal verbal attacks on her since she started publishing. You'd think people would be a little more gentle with those of us who have mental illness, since we can be so fragile, but apparently not. It's a pity because I'm sure much more discussion could be had, since so many people (like me) just go into retreat mode when attacked. The main reason I retreat is not for fear of the attack itself, but for fear of myself, that my monster is unleashed.

Thanks for all the hard work you do.

John McManamy said...

Many thanks, Cristina. A few points:

1. Assholes are everywhere. On one hand, we all have to learn how to act as if they are not there. On the other, there are occasions to apply the asshole exterminator. If we live in fear of these idiots, then they win.

2. By far the worst mental illness stigma I have ever encountered comes from assholes within the mental illness community. I would hazard the same applies to Kay Jamison. These individuals have no capacity for being "gentler," as you put it. These are idiots with anger issues who only think about themselves. These unprincipled idiots aren't worth my time or yours, but occasionally - as in this blog piece - they need to be exposed for what they are.

3. There are "respectable" commentators who should know better who legitimize these idiots. It's as if they get a vicarious thrill over hanging out with the bad boys. Typically, they have no connection to the real world - sometimes doctors with professional qualifications with limited exposure to patients - and thus have no appreciation of the harm they cause. I will be devoting a blog piece to this brand of commentators, but not now - too much negativity at once. When the time is right. In the meantime, the best way to fight ignorance and stigma is to inform and educate and encourage intelligent dialogue.

herb said...

Hi John,

I do hope you’re feeling better and that your back difficulties are more related to muscle spasm as opposed to disc problems.

It seems someone pressed you’re wrong button. It’s sad to read that we come across the cockroaches (two legged variety) as I refer to some of these individuals. They too being one of nature’s creatures there must be a reason for them?

Actually it appears one of those cockroaches is one and the same having spewed similar or almost exactly the same waste (vitriol and statements) elsewhere about me.

While I sadly chuckle by what these individuals have written and that which you’ve quoted is indicative of their hostilities as well as inability to perceive and comprehend gray amidst the black and white. These same individuals in my opinion are probably in the most need of assistance so I actually do feel sorry for them.

From my readings we’re not alone in recognizing the cosmic forces attracting “all manner of space debris” that have gravitated to the investigative re-reporter’s site and what appears to me to be more and more like a cultist assembly. Also of note is the galactic circular movement of this debris; one around another. I chuckle to myself as I also note the awards bestowed one upon another of that galaxy adding significantly to the term “space debris” in my opinion.

Add to which any criticism and/or objections to the investigative re-reporter’s viewpoints and/or writing is met with his personal attacks and subsequent excommunication of the perceived offender as in a cataclysmic volcanic eruption.

More and more, that particular site and several smaller debris sites gravitationally circling the larger mass strikes me as sensationalistic tabloid re-reporting with a cultist and cockroach following.

I don’t know if you’ve followed the Schofield’s blog but a number of the very same re-reporter’s cultists quickly jumped upon this couples serious challenges and parenting in a similar manner to which you’ve addressed this particular blog topic. Had the cockroaches tempered their normal hostilities, black and white perception and given that blog a little time to evolve many of the cockroaches’ ill mannered and derisive comments would not have been necessary. One gal in particular who spreads the wealth of her “space debris” and I’m sure reads your site would also do well to read Michael Schofield’s recent posting that should temporarily at the very least lay to rest her constant anger and hostilities toward others who see things differently from she:

Such is life and the dynamics amongst the galaxies of Cyberspace; feel better.


John McManamy said...

Hey, Herb. Totally agree. Re the Schofields, scroll down and you will find a recent blog piece I did on them, with a reference to Dawdy's predictably irresponsible spin.

The piece focussed on the agonies of parents with a young child (Jani) with schizophrenia, and I didn't want to take away from that by turning it into a critique on antipsychiatry bloggers. But now is a good time to bring it up:

Dawdy turned an overstatement by parent Michael into this shock-horror headline:

"Father Of Girl With Schizophrenia Admits Hitting, Starving Girl."

This, of course, amounted to an open invitation for the nutjobs he panders to to heap on the abuse, including various "satellite" bloggers.

Liz Spikol, who really should know better, but who is an antipsychiatry sympathizer who sees no wrong in Dawdy, unconscionably refers to Dawdy's sensationalism as a "great post" and the nutjob ravings as "an important discussion."

Certainly, there is room for heated debate, but this is way beyond the pale. Both Dawdy and Spikol need to get out in the real world. It's clear from everything they write that they don't, which is unforgivable for anyone who claims to be a journalist, as they do.

Anyway, I encourage readers to scroll down to my blog piece and click on the link to Michael's blog, and make up your own minds. You may very well form a negative opinion of Jani's parents, but please, take the trouble to make it an informed one.