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edit: here is the petition. please sign it. TW, the still-frame for the video that comes up is a wound from electroshock. If you don’t want to look, lean a book over most of the left side of your screen and just fill out your information on the right. <3 take care. <3
What You Can Do to Defeat the Murphy Bill and Stand up for Social Justice
There is a heinous bill in favor of forced treatment the House right now. It is not well thought-out, it is misguided, and will severely damage the rights of mad and disabled people. I’m currently reading as rapidly as I can and preparing to contact my representatives. I’ve never done this before, and maybe you haven’t either. Let’s do it together.
I will keep you up to date with what I’m doing and what I’m learning. Once I am better informed, I will compose a script for you. WE MUST OPPOSE THIS BILL. THIS BILL IS HASTILY WRITTEN AND IT IS NOT OK. THIS IS AN ANTI-MAD, ANTI-DISABLED BILL. READ. TAKE ACTION. STAY TUNED.
Meme: When they diagnose you, but don’t tell you.
old submission from Meeresbande!
(continued) do you have any suggestions about this? Thanks!
Hey!! Thank you!! First I want to say that a super cool & brilliant blogger and system, Meeresbande, submitted that meme, and I’m so glad they did because it struck a chord for me and a lot of people and has a lot of notes, and I’m sure if you ever wanted to go over to their blog and say hi they’d be happy to talk to you about mad things or psychologists or just whatever. <3
Second, thank you so much for asking this question!! I am answering this from the U.S., based on my U.S. experiences and psych undergrad degree. So let me know if you are in another country and i will do more research. <3
Yes, unfortunately this is a normal thing. In fact, for some diagnoses, therapists have a lot of theories and opinions about why clients shouldn’t ever know their diagnosis, because it will supposedly get in the way of their treatment.
(THis idea is authoritarian. File under: therapissed.)
Theoretically I can understand how the psych establishment operates this way. The belief might be that some clients will fixate on their diagnosis, undermining the overall therapeutic process. But the problem is, most therapisty people will not tell you that you are within your rights to inquire about it.
There are also many psych professionals who push against this tradition and find it to be unethical. For example, there is something called the Feminist Therapy Code of Ethics. In section 2A, it states “A feminist therapist acknowledges the inherent power differentials between client and therapist and models effective use of personal, structural, or institutional power. In using the power differential to the benefit of the client, she does not take control or power that rightfully belongs to her client.”
Now, this does not necessarily mean all cool, rad, or feminist-ethics-type therapists will tell you your diagnosis, but ethically they believe they should tell you that you can ask. It’s your life and your file!
So let’s back up. How does this happen? Why else might a counselor diagnose you and not tell you?
Well, the truth is, ALL of us who use insurance to see a counselor are diagnosed in our very first (sometimes, rarely, the second) session. This is because THE WHOLE SYSTEM IS FLAWED. In order to begin the paperwork with insurance so that they can help pay for your session, there MUST be a diagnosis. It’s part of the paperwork. Isn’t that intense? The DSM is less about us, and more about filing paperwork in a way that helps us afford being helped. This is why all diagnoses have numbers (“codes”). Bipolar II is 296.89 in the DSM, and F-31.8 in the ICD, “International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.”
No matter which kind of psych professional you are, there is a lot of legality and ethics around this as well. In most situations it would be entirely unethical for someone to walk in for the first time and get a SMI (seriously mentally ill) diagnosis. The way this is handled is that diagnoses which are not considered severe, such as GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), are often given. This is strategic, because those “mild” diagnoses are much more coverable by insurance. Whereas the more “serious” diagnoses are also more serious in terms of structural oppression because they can prevent people from being allowed to check in to certain treatment programs, or have their crappy insurance cover them. But at the same time, mad people with GAD don’t always get the seriousness and respect they deserve, because to some psych professionals it’s basically code for normal-person-seeking-therapy. It’s very complicated.
So, GAD and a couple others are often used as placeholders, to guarantee that insurance can pay and you can get the help you need. This is all part of a reformist ideology. Does that make sense? The idea at work here is that instead of looking at the root problems of the flawed psych system, keep reforming the system to have all these complicated tricks that individual psych professionals can cleverly use to navigate our mental illness and insurance at the same time.
Your school counselor seems super rad. What I’m getting is that he agrees that the whole system is flawed, and he has found a way to be a psych professional without having to engage with the insurance system. I’m honestly like blown away and have never thought of that before.
I want to be clear that I would never disparage all the counselors who do engage with insurance or the DSM, like social workers, because frankly insurance is the only thing helping poor people pay for therapy. In fact, insurance is the only thing helping most people pay for therapy. Nor would I disparage the people who work tirelessly and politically to make these reforms. Getting help in the U.S. is incredibly expensive. This is all changing because of Obamacare, thank god. (Obamacare isn’t abolishing the DSM, but it’s a huge step for mental healthcare in this country. massive. undeniably massive and good huge step). There are a lot of amazing psych professionals out there trying to make the system work for their clients, and that is admirable and crucial. Just like your counselor, people are trying to be as creative as possible to help us.
I would DEFINITELY ask him about this!! I bet he would really appreciate it, and probably has some amazing insights. I haven’t worked in the field yet, I identify as surviving and studying it. But he knows firsthand from a different power position, and I bet he’s got a really specific and rich analysis.
Sending Love! Always feel free to write me whenever. <333333
Editor’s note: Tonight (April 21-22) is the peak of the 2014 Lyrid meteor shower! Some helpful viewing advice from NASA astronomer Bill Cooke: “Everyone in the Northern Hemisphere can see the Lyrid meteor shower tonight. The best viewing will be between midnight and dawn, local time to wherever you are. To watch the shower, find a place with dark, clear skies away from city lights. Give your eyes 30-45 minutes to adjust to the dark. Lie on your back and look up (avoid looking at the bright moon), allowing your eyes to take in as much sky as possible. Happy viewing!”
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Tinctures: The Basics
When making a tincture you are drawing the qualities out of the herb and into the liquid menstruum. These not only digest more rapidly into the physical body when used, but are an ideal way to preserve herbal components for long periods of time.
Menstruum: Menstruum is a term used in reference to the solvent in which the herb is drawn into. Acceptable menstruums are: pure grain alcohol at least 75%, vinegar, glycerol, and distilled water. These are in order from the most to least effective.
Alcohol: The most effective menstruum because it extracts alkaloids and volatile oils as well as breaks down most medicinal resinous materials. If you use an alcohol menstruum that is over 100 proof you will need to add distilled (non-chlorinated) water to balance the menstruum. Alcohol based tinctures should not be used by pregnant women, children, individuals with liver problems, or those suffering from alcoholism. Alcohol based tinctures can be stored from 2-5 years in a cool dark place.
Vinegar: Vinegar menstruums are effective at extracting plant alkaloids but they are not very effective at extracting acidic qualities from herbs. Apple cider vinegar is the most commonly employed due to a slight benefit in flavor, and the notable healing benefits it holds on its own. Vinegar based tinctures have varying shelf lives.
Glycerin: Glycerin is not a very effective solvent for oily or resinous material. It does however have more extracting potential than water. It is sweet, and often used in tinctures for children. NOTE: Glycerin for tinctures is not ‘sugar water’ it is usually vegetable based and can be purchased at pharmacies, whole food stores, or online. When stored in a cool dark place glycerin based tinctures can keep for up to two years.
Distilled water: Herbal tinctures made with distilled water are the weakest of the tinctures. They do hold merit however, particularly for those who cannot ingest the other menstruums. The tincture will take longer than the rest, and it will need to be refrigerated for storage. The maximum life of a water based tincture is six months. Never use tap water, this has chemicals in it that will harm your product. DISTILLED WATER.
Light and heat: Some herbals will instruct you to prepare your tincture in a source of light or heat, while others say to prepare in a dark cool environment. I go by the dark environment rule unless an herbal preparation gives direct instructions otherwise. In other words, 90 percent of the time you will be preparing your tincture in a cool dark place. Note however that some herbs benefit from the heat and you should notate this in any recipe that you may be using.
The moon: Herbal tinctures should be started on a new moon and completed on a full moon.
Basic instructions for herbal tincture
Fill sterilized mason jar 3/4 of the way with well minced herb of your choice.
Slowly pour the menstruum of your choice over the herb, gently swishing it around as you go so as to allow it to settle. Continue to pour your menstruum until it rises above the herbs about an inch. There will be some room left in the jar, the herbs will expand slightly so this is necessary.
Store the jar in a cool dark place for at least 2 weeks. Woodier herbs will require a longer period of time. Also, if you are using distilled water the guideline is usually four weeks.
Gently swish the tincture daily, enough to move things around slightly.
Pour tincture through a non bleached cheese cloth to strain the herbal pulp. Gently press the pulp at the end to get the last little bits from them.
Pour the tincture into dark colored bottles, seal, label with the date and the herbs used, and store in a cool dry place.
NOTE: Be sure to know the herb that you are tincturing, read up on it well and become familiar with the properties of the herb, guidelines, and dosage recommendations.
NOTE: Always check tinctures before using: this includes checking the labeled date, and type of herb, and freshness. If the tincture has discolored or smells funny do not use it even if the date is within an acceptable time frame. It is better to be safe than sorry.
NOTE: This is a basic guideline, some herbs have a dichotomy of their own and will vary from the guide. For instance some woodier herbs take up to six weeks while others can be tinctured within the two. For the most part this guideline will serve you well. Use it as a reference but always do further research on the herb you are using in order to ensure the best end result.