The War on the Other Terror

Schizophrenia is a problem of the mind, not the brain, and therefore is curable with proper talk therapy. 

Schizophrenia is caused by trauma.  Certain life events can make the most normal person crazy.  A person with schizophrenia is living in a constant state of terror.  The hallucinations are conscious nightmares.  Empathic therapy focuses on the therapist learning the symbolic language of the hallucinations so he can talk to the patient about what has happened to him.

People deemed “hopeless” and living on the back wards of mental hospitals have been completely cured of schizophrenia by therapists working in this manner.  The patients have returned to society and lived full lives.  Dr. Bert Karon and Dr. Peter Breggin have both written about their success in using this kind of treatment.  Richard Gottlieb, MSW, in personal communications, has told me about his use of this kind of therapy to enable people with schizophrenia to heal.

Alternatively, in America, we choose not to listen to one another.  Instead, we prescribe drugs to try to make people not talk crazy.  If you drug a person into unconsciousness then that person does not talk crazy.  Our goal is not to heal the patient but to make the patient shut up and stop bothering us.  Antipsychotic drugs are the third most damaging drugs on the market.  There is clear evidence that antipsychotics cause loss of brain mass.  The longer you take drugs, the less brain you have. 

Anyone who has experienced decades of drugging and inpatient hospitalization cannot possibly make a successful transition to independent living.  It would require extensive thoughtful and constant support.  Such support is not available in America because it would cost a lot of money.  Our politicians will not show us the true picture of people’s suffering.  They know that good care would require raising taxes and that won’t get them reelected.  It is always about putting self-interest ahead of the good of the people.

The other war on terror—the one in Iraq—has been horrendously expensive.  It is variously reported to have cost between $255 and $275 million a day, $1.7 billion a week, $7.1 billion a month, or $3.6 trillion in totality.  We have killed a hundred thousand Iraq people, and more soldiers have died from suicide than from combat injuries.  Americans chose to identify others as the enemies rather than look inside ourselves and fight our internal enemies.

America’s priorities are killing before healing.  Imagine an America in which we put life before death.  Imagine taking care of each other instead of killing strangers.

The only way I can survive this devastating reality is to focus on my own life and my own backyard.  I cannot save the world but I can save myself.  I can sleep well, eat healthy, exercise with determination, be humble before God, and serve others.  I must tell the truth at all times, regardless of how others may react to hearing it.

I know that it is more valuable to be kind than to be right.  I know that love is the most important thing in life.  I know that seeking solutions is better than dwelling on problems.

I know these things, even though I often fail to do them.

I will keep trying.  It is what I can do!

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
This entry was posted in American medical industry, drugs, Health Care, Inpatient psychiatry, Medical care, Mental Illness & Health, Pharmaceuticals, Values and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The War on the Other Terror

  1. JackJoe says:


    Peace be with you this Christmas Day..
    With perhaps a new year full of people who will shock you by their desire to listen, by the respect they show you, and by believing you know more about your own body and how it works than They Do.
    Hey we can still dream can’t we?

  2. Cathi Carol says:

    Great work, Anne.

    May I suggest my post “I Recommend: On Psychiatry” at ?

    Merry Christmas, everyone!

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