“When you start to sit on your throne and decide who is good and who is evil, you become capable of doing great evil, without even thinking of it as evil.” -unknown
Relationships are the key. Relationships. By that I do not mean an “I’m above you” type relationship. Not uppers and lowers. Relationship, me getting to know you, you getting know me. No regard to rank. No one’s better, no one’s worse. When I talk about relationships, I mean a relationship in which we both can challenge each other when we think it’s time. We have to get away from this “I’m the wise healer and you are the lowly patient that needs help.”
That is the attitude of many in the field of psychiatry. That’s why they have phrases like “professionalism,” and “Boundaries.” I love it when they say to the patient, “tell me all about the worst times of your life and I will write it down and make decisions about your life, but I am not allowed to tell you anything.”
That is why it doesn’t work. Martin Luther King Jr. said something like, “you get justice fastest by rendering justice to the other party.” Who is going to open up to you as a provider when they have no trust in the system to begin with and we tell them no, we don’t talk about ourselves? There is a reason for that, of course. Some people end up making it about themselves, however we need to teach this skill. It is a skill that when used and well-timed and for the benefit of the patient is an amazing tool. It is what I call a “relationship.”
We told a patient the other day that she cannot high five staff. The rationale for it was, because it is a “boundary.” This person has not gotten a hug in probably 15 months. Then we wonder why things go wrong.
It’s not about one person walking in the room with a hundred thousand dollar a year job. The provider has a Mercedes, a fancy suit, and giving medications to the other person. We do this by reading a book that tells us how to label people. That is what the DSM is. It is a book written by rich privileged people that guides us on how to label and control those that have not had opportunities. It is an evil book. It takes special people, takes away their person and tells them what is “wrong” with them. It is essentially a “how to be like us” book.
The bell curve theory says that about 96% of the population is inside this box. The DSM helps those in power to pull anyone who is different and special into that box. They do this to anyone that they can influence and change and take advantage of. It uses shame, medications, and even brute force if necessary.
We are getting this all wrong. We are trying to make everyone safe, and the same. Not a threat to those in power.
I remember a time in my life when I was working at a rehab center for mentally unstable kids and I learned this first hand. I was trained by many people coming out of my recovery. Some say to me now, “you were lucky to have the people train you that trained you.”
I disagree; I think we choose who trains us. We have these beliefs already, and we have everyone throwing knowledge our way. We choose who we cling to and who we take ideas from. If we are gifted with humility, (which I was not,) we learn a bit from everyone. If we see everyone as good and bad, and every experience and person as a teacher, we become amazing. Even if someone does something wrong and bad in our eyes, is it really bad if we learn from it and become better? It is a rare person that can learn from everyone that they meet.
We are taught to listen to authority and to think like the teachers and elders tell us to from the time we are young. We get rewarded when we repeat what the adults want us to say. With positive reinforcement, we are basically domesticated early. In school, we teach children to remember, repeat, and memorize what the teacher wants. You are labeled “good” if you are able to do this. If you question them, you are a non-conformist and a rebel and get a bad grade. It is passed on throughout the school that we need to “keep an eye on him/her.” It starts early. We reward conformity.
However, we need to be careful when blindly obeying authority. I have a very good example of when I made a huge error and ended up learning a lot about this whole psychiatry, psychology, mental health and addiction field. My lesson came in the form of an 8 year old boy and a 55 year old woman. Not exactly who they tell you who the wise teachers are.
This happened at a point in my life when I was in full recovery mode. I thought I had this addiction/mental health whooped. In my mind, I am now on my way to becoming the great healer. I had been cured in my mind. As the great man I’ve mentioned before “PVD” says, you can become complacent, or addicted to thinking you are recovered. He warned me, I didn’t listen.
I get this huge supervisor job at a rehab center. I am the man. I now will teach my great wisdom. This is what I am telling myself. My ego was through the roof.
In pops Deborah. She is dressed very nice, walks the walk. She is the ultimate “professional”-she hired me. I feel I owe it to her to listen to her and keep her on my side. She seems legit. I am in the big time now, so I need to last here, so I look like I have made it.
She is very adamant about making sure we know who the staff is and who the patients are. She tells me I need to dress up more. That If I dress nice, that I’ll perform better. She says “studies show this is a fact.” I was her puppet. The truth is that studies that evaluate this do not take in to consideration other factors, like those that are evaluating the person’s performance, likely has a biased. They want people to play grown up professional like them.
In my heart, I didn’t believe this, what I noticed is, it causes separation. But she’s the boss, maybe she’s right. So I get dressed up. I’m making all this money, dressing nice, feeling special. I went out and got myself a BMW, and a Mercedes. I am now the rich healer. “Look at me! Look everyone, I’m not a loser! Accept me! Accept me! Tell me I’m ok!”
I’ve arrived. The money of course is to try to prove I’m not that addict. I’m a success. Problem was that I was living for other people. I wanted acceptance from family. I also wanted acceptance from others. I wanted an image. I have heard it said, “It is better to be hated for who you are than be loved for who you are not.” I found out that this is not just a saying, it is a fact.
My ego loved this. I had made the full comeback. I told myself that I don’t need any more recovery talk. I beat it. I don’t need no “PVD.”
Deborah had taught me, that what we do is go into offices, go to meetings, make up committees, and more meetings. Socialize with the big shots, find the good staff, and befriend them. Show off at meetings. Get information from the staff, use it to our advantage, and manipulate the numbers. This is why money should not be involved in this. It is not a business, it is people.
Something felt icky about this. But of course it was another addiction. Not booze, drugs, women, but image.
Now I learn the game, let’s label all the patients, look at the DSM and categorize everyone. We did this and it would make me feel superior. I got to sit back and label people in need and determine who they were. If they didn’t get better, it was because they weren’t ready. I learned these neat phrases on how to say things and how you can use words like that and manipulate and cover up your deficiencies.
We were making money. We didn’t track success by recovery, but by beds, and cash flow.
When I did do a lecture, people didn’t listen. I wasn’t getting to anyone. What happened? I didn’t get it, that’s what I thought my strength was. But I wasn’t me anymore. They just weren’t ready I told myself. “I know this stuff; I used to be an addict I told myself.”
Then the magic happened over the next year and a half.
In walks this kid with his mom. Jonah is his name. She says he’s tough. He also has Asperger’s. He’s almost impossible. No one has ever been able to get to him; he has been kicked out of many placements. He is only 8.
Well I have to meet all new patients within 72 hours. Or I need to just sign off. So, as Deborah taught me, just sign off. So I did. They just needed my signature.
Then I can’t get over it, for some reason, I’m interested in this Asperger’s, so I look it up in the manual. “Wow, this is interesting,” I think to myself. So I get books on it and read them. I read them over and over. I got this figured out. We are going to do this! We will be the ones. I had a spark.
Meanwhile, the kid is wreaking havoc and we don’t know what to do with him. Everyone is at a loss, they said at one time or another, “discharge him, send him up the river, and lock him up. He’s a future ax murderer.” My ego wanted to be the one to figure it out.
But I, the self-proclaimed expert, have read the book. So I know how to treat him. I set up organized activities. Make sure he understands what people mean when they are talking to him. I say, don’t give him negative consequences, because of his Asperger’s, it won’t work. These are the theories I’ve learned. I had this master plan to fix this. I had done hours and hours of reading as well as research.
I decide after coming up with my master plan to meet the kid. But of course, I’ve already got him figured out. I’ve read about him. I have also read his chart and asked EVERYONE ELSE what they think about him.
So in this research, I had read the diagnostic criteria for Asperger’s. Here it is:
(I) Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
(A) Marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction
This kid, he made weird movements, had weird facial expressions. He didn’t make eye contact. He didn’t regulate social interaction like most people.
So here I am and I have already read his diagnosis. He has Asperger’s. So I did not take into account that maybe he was shy, maybe he was just quirky, and maybe he was just a goofball. He would say weird things to start interaction. Maybe he didn’t know how, maybe he has been told he is no good and to shut up his whole life. So he doesn’t know.
What I also failed to realize is that we all have these traits sometimes, and the phrase here is “marked impairments.”
I never questioned the word impairment. Who gets to decide what impairment is? It is worded here like it is a defect. Really, Impairment? Would we say that about Bill gates, that he is impaired?
I looked it up and impaired means being diminished, or weakened. Why is it that because this kid did things different that he was diminished or weakened? Who decided this? Why does the APA have the power to tell us what “normal” is? And if we don’t meet their standards we need medication?
But I did not take any of this into consideration. He was labeled, so I didn’t think about other possibilities. I attached it all to the “Asperger’s” label. This is what we do. This is what we teach in school. We label, we teach to find what’s “wrong” with people. Then we reward those that remember and repeat. We reward conformity even in the psychiatry and psychology schools. We do not reward free thinkers and truth seekers. The students want to be the next great healers, so they learn what the elders want them to learn. This is the only way to stop the issue. We have to change the way we teach.
The problem in this case is it is not a “problem.” It is not an ”impairment,” at all. We have a bunch of old white guys who are paid by drug companies to come up with these “problems.” We all feel superior being able to label people and sit on our throne and decide how we need to “fix” everyone.
(B) Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
Well this kid definitely met this standard. He did not develop peer relationships normally. So, it’s got to be Asperger’s, right?
Yes! Of course it is! He already was labeled so that is who he is. He is “impaired,” poor kid. I say to myself, “I’ll fix him, and I am going to be the one to get this.”
What I never took into account was that maybe he was smarter than the other kids, so he was on another level. Or perhaps, he was very sensitive, and got his feelings hurt easily. Or perhaps he was just ok with being alone more, like maybe a very introverted kid and a deep thinker.
But he had been labeled by someone that read books about how to discover what is wrong with people, and I wanted to feel superior. Of course this poor kid can’t develop relationships. We think “It must be Asperger’s.”
Or maybe he doesn’t want to do it like the rest of us; maybe he is not domesticated like us.
I didn’t think of this, I didn’t have the capacity.
I love in this criteria they use the word “appropriate.”
What is the definition of “appropriate?” -particularly fitting or suitable.
So this means if you do things how most people do things, you are “appropriate.” If not, you need to be looked into and maybe medicated. Maybe you are dangerous.
If it were not for people that were not “appropriate,” women still would not be allowed to vote, we would still have slaves, and many other atrocities would still be happening. I could name a million things that “inappropriate,” thinkers at the time changed.
Do you think Bill Gates or Martin Luther King or mother Theresa did things how everyone else wanted? Or Gandhi? You see what we are doing here to this kid? What I was doing?
I didn’t know any better, and most of us in the system truly think that those they are helping are still in the same boat. No one does this intentionally. It is just that absolute power corrupts. In psychiatry, we have built it so one side has absolute power.
(C) Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
So this kid did this as well. Of course he is the impaired Asperger’s kid in my mind. So I ignore the fact that he does not always do this.
He didn’t show interest in others things sometimes; this is a trait we all have. Some people are obsessed with certain interests and thank god for them. That is how we come up with cures for diseases and how we fix serious issues, is those obsessed with their own interests.
What would we do without people that are obsessive? Michael Jordan? He was so obsessed with himself and basketball he became the greatest basketball player of all time. So I guess he may have had Asperger’s as well? We need to fix him also.
Or others like him…
Just to name a couple.
Think about some of these obsessive people. How about instead of finding what is wrong with people, we start to find what is good and pure about them.
(D) Lack of social or emotional reciprocity
The kid I am discussing did this as well. He did not always want to listen to others’ opinions, or care what their opinions were. If you didn’t do what he wanted, he just did his own thing.
I did not take into account that maybe he was just sure of himself, and liked what he liked. Or that we all do this sometimes, which is true, we are all selfish at times and it can be seen as healthy.
We are also told to take care of ourselves and we only have one life. So maybe he was happy with his own stuff and talking to people with the same interests. Maybe we just didn’t like this kid deciding what he liked and wanted.
Maybe he was sensitive and a loner, but why there is such a need to make our children extroverts when they don’t need to be? It is poured into peoples’ heads that you need a lot of friends, you need to be popular. This is done even if it is completely against your nature. So you are taught that who you are is wrong. Voila, the mask!
We all get selfish at times. It is self-preservation, and we all have different levels. In fact, we call a high degree of unselfishness a disorder known as “codependency.” If you’re too selfish, you’re wrong. If you’re too unselfish, you need help. We listen to these psychiatrists and therapists like they have all the answers. The truth is, they mostly read a book passed down with studies made by people that manipulated them to favor their own beliefs. They repeated and remembered. Now not all of them, there are great ones out there. I am simply saying look around and don’t blindly follow. Not all therapists and psychiatrists are created equally. Don’t judge someone by the plaque on their wall.
If it wasn’t for great doctors and therapists, I wouldn’t be here. They saved my life, but bad ones exist. I’m saying they are like every other profession. Some are robots. Some are people. If someone diagnoses you right away, then run, run, run.
(II) Restricted repetitive & stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
As I had him diagnosed and as I read this, I started to think, “Man, this sounds like me. I don’t make eye contact a lot, I get selfish. I am inappropriate at times.”
I started to think, “Wow. Maybe I have Asperger’s and that is what has been wrong with me my whole life. Maybe this was me.” However, I thought that as I went through every diagnosis. So apparently I am a Borderline Narcissistic Anti-Social Asperger’s with some major depression and a little ADD with some Bipolar.
(A) Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
“Yes!” I said, “This is it!” He was preoccupied with reading, and with nature and animals. He was very obsessed with many things.
Some would say “abnormally obsessed” but I start to ask myself….
What is normal and who gets to decide this?
Normal- conforming to a standard.
So if he is abnormally preoccupied with things, can’t that be good? Why is there this need to “fix” this, and to place everyone in the “normal” box?
(B) Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
He loved things the way he wanted them. We would say, “ Must be the Asperger’s, must be a defect.”
I did not think for a second that maybe he was abused and needed to have some kind of control over his environment. Or that he was just rigid, and liked structure and having a voice. A voice that maybe he was denied his whole life.
A lot of these criteria are also that of a gifted person. But I did not consider it. He was at our mercy, and we had him labeled and we had to fix him and get paid for it as well.
(C) Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g. hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
Sometimes he had weird movements so check mark on this one also. What is “weird” though? It is a term used to shame people that we don’t understand. If Bill Gates wasn’t famous, you would call him a weirdo, same as Einstein.
However, we all have weird ticks, I pick my head, I chew my nails, and people that truly love me just laugh and say that is me being me. My brother chews his tongue, some people grind their teeth. But that is “normal.” If the loud powers that be have a tic, they market it as normal. It is all about the language we use.
“We need to stop him from his movements,” we say. So we give him more meds that make him sick, but he is not allowed to complain. So he is now sick and told to be quiet. Then he is angrier and we say “Boy, they were right, he is very difficult.”
Some people move more often. They are hyper. I did not even consider this because I already had him figured out. See I read in his chart he had Asperger’s. So, that is what he had.
(D) Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
Preoccupation of things, yes he had this, He was very obsessive about things he likes.
But aren’t we all?
So why do we need to fix this? Why is this even a disorder?
I started to think, “Ok he only needed to have a couple of these, he has almost all of them, wow!” I am thinking how this diagnosing and labeling was going to help us deal with him.
We ignored the fact that sometimes he did some of these things, sometimes he did not.
For instance, when he showed empathy, we ignored it because it went against our preconceived notions. When he showed eye contact, we ignored it because it went against our label; we do this with everything in psychology and psychiatry.
So as time goes on, I spend time with him. I have come up with a plan on how to help this poor Asperger’s child. I am going to be the one that helps him, that was what was in my heart.
People want to help and there is ego and superiority involved, wanting to focus on others’ problems as an escape from yourself. There is a sickness in that.
So I gave him a routine. He needs that, which is what is written. I had him talk about his feelings, he needs that. I watched him and watched him and spent hours and hours with him. Fascinated, (must be my Asperger’s.)
It occurred to me, as this master plan was not working, that half the time he does not do this stuff. He does show empathy, he does smile, he does share, he is not always obsessed, and he is not always rigid.
I realized I was always looking for this stuff as he was labeled. So I attached everything he did to that label; and if he did something contrary to the label, I ignored it. If he did something neutral, my own mind twisted it to what I wanted it to be. I was becoming aware of this.
After hours and hours I thought, “This isn’t working because he DOES NOT HAVE Asperger’s. It’s a poor diagnosis.” Now that is something that is upsetting to most in the field. I told them their label was wrong.
So he goes on to another series of tests and analysis, they come back with agreement. He does not have Asperger’s. Of course I told them in my report that I do not believe it and gave specific examples. I of course gave them the referral that was paying their money. I represented future business. So that of course influenced their minds. Same as my mind was influenced previously.
I told them the things we tried and how they didn’t always work. It says to not discipline the Asperger child, and to let it out and he will stop, that he needs routine. I had evidence he was not by the hours that I spent with him and the notes that my biased mind had made.
They came back with something new. Now I was invested in this diagnosis because I had helped fix it and get him the correct diagnosis. I had to make sure this was the right diagnosis, and manipulate the chart so it seems like I was right so I can keep making more money. That is what happens. I was a part of it.
His new diagnosis was Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
Here is the criterion:
Diagnostic criteria for 313.81 Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- A pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior lasting at least 6 months, during which four (or more) of the following are present:
(1) Often loses temper:
He did that for sure. First we were sure it was the Asperger’s and he was throwing Asperger’s fits. Not anymore, now that we know he does not have Asperger’s. It was just the fact that he was angry and had temper issues.
We didn’t look at his history of abuse, isolation, inability to speak up. Or his sensitivity that caused hurt. Why would we, he was oppositional. That is not good.
You see how most of these diagnoses revolve around conformity and normalcy and appropriateness? As defined by the powers that be.
(2) Often argues with adults
He did this almost nonstop. We thought before it was because he didn’t understand, he had Asperger’s and didn’t get things the same way others did. Now we were convinced it was just defiance.
He argued with me all the time.
We now knew he understood, he just wanted to be in control. He was basically a punk.
We didn’t think about him being hurt, sensitive, caring and afraid of being hurt or punished. We didn’t have to, especially me. And this was my monster.
(3) Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests or rules
This kid did this very often, almost nonstop. However as you see some of these are the exact same as Asperger’s, just written differently. With Asperger’s, he “doesn’t get it” with this label he is just a “rebel.”
So here we are again with conformity. We teach kids in school to listen and obey. Repeat and remember. Do as we want you to do. We domesticate them. Those that do not believe the lie or buy into it are labeled in one of many ways.
Maybe he didn’t trust the system because of the abuse he endured, the isolation and terrible life he had. We didn’t want to think of that, we had to find out what was “wrong” with him, so we would know how to “fix” him.
Maybe he was scared.
(4) Often deliberately annoys people
He did this to everyone every day. So he met these criteria for the disorder already.
We never thought that maybe he is in great need of attention, had never gotten it, and was doing whatever he needed to in order to get his need met. Maybe his soul was screaming to be heard, “Someone pay attention to this!”
We had to fix him, we had to fix that.
This is a dangerous diagnosis. It sets kids up to be labeled as “trouble.” If they have this diagnosis and then trouble as an adult, it is an almost automatic diagnosis of “Anti-Social.” Or “Sociopath.” Basically, life over. You are not reversing that.
Martin Luther King may have met the criteria for this, Gandhi, and Mother Theresa. They were all oppositional as well.
This is only a bad thing for people that want to control the masses and keep everyone in a box.
(5) Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
Yes he did that. This 8 year old never took responsibility for his actions. Maybe because monsters are not born, they are created by other monsters and the APA labeling system.
With Asperger’s, he didn’t understand. Now we think it’s intentional.
Maybe he was scared of rejection, or that no one would love him if he said he was wrong, or the things that he notices, or maybe he didn’t know. Maybe he learned that this was a way to stop abuse or get it spread out to others to escape a beating for one night.
We don’t think like that in the west. We think, “What is wrong with this person, how can we label them and come up with a plan to help them.”
(6) Is often touchy or easily annoyed by others
He was bothered by a lot of things. Again, this is almost the same criteria as Asperger’s, just worded different. He got upset by people and things in his environment very easily. He was highly sensitive to the environment. Even this is now a disorder.
Why would a kid be this angry? Maybe hurt, pain, abuse, or fear. We don’t focus on that, we focused on his “problem” because he is the “identified patient.” We come up with these “problem statements” that guide us in how to repair these, in our minds, “defective” people.
(7) Is often angry and resentful
Yes, he was an angry kid. Mad all the time. (Guess he is oppositional.)
The same possibilities exist that we ignored as we focused on his “problem,” and how this will guide us in saving him and correcting him.
(8) Is often spiteful or vindictive
. We are limiting ourselves out of ego. We know what’s wrong with others, we are superior. WE GET PAID. We have the fancy cars. We are above them. That is the attitude.
It is very rare to hear someone say, “Why would a kid be this way. What caused it?”
No one looks at the family system. That is the last thing the family wants. They have identified their family problem. Don’t bring them into it, just fix the broken piece.
Often the kid reacting to the dysfunctional home is the strongest and healthiest. They see it and act out. They do not know how to verbalize it, so they act out.
We take the strongest and most sensitive, tell them they are ill, and label them. This leads to a lifetime of labels going from chart to chart.
This labeling is sick. And this was my doing. This was my error, one that will never leave me.
Note: Consider a criterion met only if the behavior occurs more frequently than is typically observed in individuals of comparable age and developmental level.
I love this one. It says only if it is more frequently than individuals of comparable level. Well how can we compare a kid that has been abused and isolated to a kid who has not. Again, conformity is normal. Be like we tell you to be and you will survive this world. Domesticate or suffer.
So how do you treat oppositional defiant disorder, the opposite of Asperger’s? So one week we are convinced he shouldn’t have consequences, he should have routine, have him talk about things.
Now with the next diagnosis he needs order and discipline and consequences.
To my surprise, after a few months, it did not work. I was astounded. I got to know him after even more hours and hours. I saw the anger, but I also started to see the caring and loving kid. He lowered his guard. He cried. He was scared, nervous, and shy. He said that he wanted to die. A 9 year old that wanted to die and said he hated himself. He said that he was not ok, that no one loved him.
His sister never got the abuse; he did, so he was of course spiteful of her.
I’m watching this kid crumble with this discipline and my heart is breaking. I watch his family when they visit. When they come in, they want a diagnosis; they want him to be sick. It takes responsibility away from any of them.
If he is sick, they have an excuse. They take the strongest most sensitive family member, the one who speaks up through his actions, and place him in therapy and in centers. They then get mad when I say, after 8 months now, “I’m sorry, but I think this is a systems issue. I do not think he has Asperger’s and I do not think he has oppositional defiant disorder.” They want Asperger’s, because that opens up funding for in home care. So they get people to come in and “deal with his stuff.”
What is it then? What is wrong with him? His mom is raging. Can’t you see what I see? He acts different here than he does at home, and she is mad that we aren’t diagnosing him. What is wrong with us?
He cries and clings to us. We are all starting to get to know him. He is obsessive, strong willed, funny, caring, sensitive, and a very gentle soul. He also gets mad when things don’t go his way, and he doesn’t make eye contact. He has a hard time connecting and he can be selfish. He also wants to die and hates himself. I think I would call him, “human.”
I went into his room. I said Jonah; I want you to write down 10 good things about yourself.
He couldn’t come up with one. It broke my heart. I cried. I said ok, I’ll make a list. I did. He hung it up and framed it. Of course, he later got mad and ripped it up.
Then we gave him structure, we talked it out after he had outbursts, he wrote out feelings and what they meant, how his body felt, what he could do, what he could do to stop it.
I realized we were now incorporating some of the Asperger’s and some of the ODD treatments. And it was a mixture that was working. I was starting to see the picture of the truth.
The next one was ADD. That made sense to us all. I won’t go line by line but he met them all and that guided our treatment. Now we got it.
Medication and organization again, we were treating this kid on a label. Now it was all ADD, we were convinced. That didn’t vulcanize him or make him unaware.
He didn’t respond to our perfect treatment plan. We never asked him, so now as more time goes on, we are at almost a year with this kid now.
Yes he may have had ADD, maybe some of everything. I didn’t know.
He was scared of adults, he lived with a man that locked him in his room at night and abused him. The daughter got none of it.
He loved rocks, science, video games, organization, and rules. He was strong willed and sensitive.
We came up with lists of why he likes his sister because he got jealous. We gave him complements. When there was an outburst, we processed it. The feelings, and processed what happened.
We did discipline him and took things away, but also gave more positive reinforcement and caught him being good. I do not think he needed discipline, I think he needed something else.
He absolutely loved animals and little kids. He was wonderful to anyone who was helpless. He was such a loving kid; he was so sensitive and had a hard time with criticism. Ghandi once said, “You can tell everything you need to know about someone by the way they treat animals and those that can never pay them back.”
We treated him, not some fake label, but the person, who has traits of all of these. We found his strengths, things he liked and talked about that.
He was seriously abused. Never allowed to speak for himself, hit, thrown, and never told anything good.
He started reading his “good things about himself” list, the one he made. He loved reading it to me. He grew, he smiled, and it was his favorite time. He started adding to it. It was my favorite time as well.
I watched him get well and start to thrive, and then he would act up just so we can talk. I realized I was failing and needed to give him time when he was doing well.
He had taught me more than I taught him. I don’t believe in these labels and diagnoses anymore. I believe in people.
If you get diagnosed with bipolar, schizophrenia, bpd, major depression, you get major funding. It’s a money making scheme.
This is not supposed to be about money, but about people.
I wondered to myself, why was I so invested in this case? He was teaching me. I enjoyed the time, and it was like watching me at age 8.
I acted up, got in trouble, didn’t want friends, and didn’t know how to communicate or make eye contact. Wet myself at times in school, afraid to ask the teacher, trembling in fear.
You could have diagnosed me with all of these at one point. In fact in preschool and kindergarten they thought I was mentally retarded because I didn’t talk or participate.
No one said “That is odd, whey won’t he participate?” I was scared, then I acted up and got expelled from junior high, then I didn’t graduate. The labels continue.
The family wants you to be sick.
I became very attached to him. I would not diagnose him or follow Deborah’s rules anymore. I stopped dressing up, I realized I was not above anyone, it was about getting to know people and talking to them and teaching them what I had learned through my life’s trials and tribulations.
I survived by luck. So I broke rules of “dress,” “professionalism,” “self-disclosure,” and I didn’t follow their rules. They decided to get rid of me. Once again, I was not following the script.
I gave up the house, the cars, all of it.
The kid taught me more than I ever taught him. It was like going back to the 8 year old me and understanding the pain I was in and it made me feel ok.
It was an equal relationship. When I screwed up, I said “I’m sorry, I screwed that up.” I got serious eye rolls from Deborah and she told me that I cannot apologize to patients like that. You should have seen the look on his face when I apologized. That was worth it.
He wasn’t Asperger’s, ODD, or ADD. He was a person, as we all are. He was not a label.
When the Dali lama came to west and met with western psychologists and he was baffled. He said “What is this, you are always trying to figure out what is wrong with people, and all people are beautiful.”
It is a good thing the DSM wasn’t around for these people:
Einstein was four years old before he could speak and seven before he could read.
Isaac Newton did poorly in grade school.
When Thomas Edison was a boy, his teachers told him he was too stupid to learn anything.
- W. Woolworth got a job in a dry goods store when he was 21. But his employers would not let him wait on a customer because he “Didn’t have enough sense.”
A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney because he had “No good ideas”
Caruso’s music teacher told him “You can’t sing, you have no voice at all.”
Leo Tolstoy flunked out of college.
Verner Von Braun flunked 9th grade algebra.
Admiral Richard E. Byrd had been retired from the navy, as “unfit for service” until he flew over both poles.
Louis Pasteur was rated as mediocre in chemistry when he attended the Royal College.
Abraham Lincoln entered The Black Hawk War as a captain and came out a private.
Fred Waring was once rejected from high school chorus.
Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade.
I was fired and learned many lessons from this. Jonah actually was hospitalized multiple times. He took his own life at age 14. At the wake, they all talked about how he was “messed up.” I sat in the back of the room, waited for everyone to go away and, as they do at any wake, go about their gossiping and use it as a social event. I went up to his casket and said “Thank you Jonah. I am sorry, and I love you. I will take this with me everywhere. There won’t be another Jonah.”
Deborah finally got her wish and got to open her own treatment center. It was run into the ground within 7 months.
I have since researched this. I think it was actually a different kind of label that fit him.
That label is gifted. This is a list of gifted traits:
High moral standards.
As a gifted person, you have a strong sense of what is right and wrong and how others should be treated. It hurts you to see others mistreat each other, animals or the environment.
As I said, he was great with animals and helpless people. He knew what was right and wrong. That’s why he acted up when things went wrong at his home. Instead he got pushed around and beaten and blamed.
So in this case it is called a strong sense of what is right and wrong. I if you look at the ODD criteria that would call this behavior as actively defiant of adult’s requests or rules.
I ask you, what if the things that the adults are doing is wrong? So he was gifted and standing up against that, but we called it “defiant.”
It is all about perceptions.
Passionate devotion to what interests you.
What absorbs you. You easily devote your energies to what moves you.
He did this.
But look at the Asperger’s diagnosis criteria.
If you’re labeled as “gifted” it is about passionate devotions.
If it is Asperger’s it is called:
“Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus.”
See it depends on the one doing the labeling.
One says passionate devotions, the other says abnormal preoccupation.
It’s the same behavior.
Independent, tend not to be a follower.
You may not do well in groups or have much patience for processes or ineffectual leaders. You tend not to admire authority figures. You seem them for who they really are. You value people for their gifts, not their positions.
Again he did this. He did not want to participate if it was not something he believed in.
So here it says if you are gifted, you do not admire authority figures and you are independent.
Now let’s look at the ODD and Asperger’s definition of the same behavior:
Asperger’s calls this same behavior:
Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
So, what they are saying in the DSM is that he is inflexible and not a follower? It is the same behavior, not always following.
Here is what ODD says:
Often argues with adults.
Again, what if the adults are wrong and he is just smart enough to see through it all?
So he is labeled as “not a listener.”
Whereas someone not obsessed with labeling or that looked at the whole person AND gets to know him MIGHT SEE THIS as gifted.
It’s the same behavior labeled differently.
High degree of sensitivity to inner and outer stimulus.
Whether or not what you attune to is relevant, you can easily be overwhelmed by stimulus – visual, auditory, mental, emotional, physical or energetic.
This is another hallmark sign of “Asperger’s” and “ADD.”
They say it is impairment, and that it is not normal.
They are right, it is not normal. It is gifted.
This is the same behavior and is labeled as a “good” thing and sign of being gifted
So we take someone who is in tune with their environment and notices thing that do not make sense, is sensitive, doesn’t know what to do, so acts out. Instead of thinking of this as special, we say it is a problem.
The problem is the whole practice of psychology and the DSM.
Depression or boredom if you are not engaged.
Because much of what is in the world is simply noise for the gifted person, you may avoid stimulus. In fact, as a gifted person you require stimulus in the areas of your passions. Without the proper stimulus, your gifts can turn against you.
So this says that if you are gifted, you like to tune out the world and focus on the areas you are passionate about.
ODD would call this defiance.
Asperger’s would call this preoccupation abnormality.
Feeling something is wrong with you because you are unlike others.
Living as a minority, it can take a great effort to stop comparing yourself to others. One tends to compare one’s level of energy, number of friends, activity level, and personality with that of others.
So these kids, in tune but in an environment that does not know what to do with them, act out and WE want to know what is wrong with the kid.
The answer is nothing.
So this kid doesn’t have a LOT of friends. We say it is Asperger’s, it means he doesn’t get social cues. Maybe there is something wrong with society that he understands.
In ODD they would call this pre antisocial behavior, trouble maker.
It is easy to label and write it down and walk away. These kids are different, but it is not a bad thing.
Elaborate inner dialogues, thoughts or imaginings.
Whether it is what you think when you watch a movie, read a book, hear a lecture, or what you dream – you have a rich inner world. You have rich inner dialogues or imaginings.
If a kid like this is obsessed with his inner life and is an introvert, we think that is wrong. We say he is shy like it is a disease, we have to fix him. He needs friends.
Maybe he doesn’t, maybe he needs a couple and that is it. That doesn’t mean he is socially awkward. Maybe he gets the world and what is important.
But we label it. Call it a disease.
In ODD we call this antisocial behavior, manipulation, or trying to scheme.
It’s all in the person doing the labeling.
Seeing the underpinnings of things.
You tend to think about, explore and see the place of origins. You look at the causal level of interactions in the field of your gifts – whether human interactions, agents of disease, warring countries or foundational aspects to color. You are aware of the place of essence, the place before things have form.
We call this being a weirdo or an introvert, thinking deeply, being quiet and analyzing. Of course someone like this would not have a lot of friends their age level.
But it is certainly not a disease.
Seeing outcomes before they occur.
You tend to jump ahead. This can occur when you read, listen to someone talk, or when you consider an issue. You often see what has not happened yet. Outcomes seems obvious to you because you are considering the variables in a way many are not.
When someone jumps ahead in ADD is a bad thing. We have to stop calling that ADD, a disorder, when really it is someone who figured things out quicker and has more thoughts in 4 hours than most do in 24. But we want to “slow them down” instead of embracing it.
Interrupting is a hallmark of ADD, which we call a disorder.
Little interest in much of what interests others.
You don’t find yourself easily absorbed in what interests others – events, activities, news or reading matter. You want to go deeper than most.
Remember what Asperger’s says about this behavior:
“Lack of social or emotional reciprocity.”
But we like to jump to this label. It is superiority and ego. We can find someone who is sick, and then they go back to the same sick environment and wonder why they keep coming back.
They don’t need meds, they need a therapist that gets it and they need a “system fixing.”
A rapid learner in the fields of your gifts.
You tend to have natural abilities without formal training. You are a rapid learner in the area of your gifts and a creative thinker – seeing beyond the given.
So you do things differently, you make your own rules, do things your own way, don’t conform.
What did ODD say about this behavior?
“Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests or rules.”
What did Asperger’s say about this behavior?
“Lack of social or emotional reciprocity. Doing things their own way means these poor kids with Asperger’s are “socially clueless” when in fact they may just be advanced.
Because you process in a different manner than most and tend to attend to many different directions of thought or experience at once, you may find it difficult to be part of organizations or situations that value consensus.
So someone that doesn’t blindly follow is gifted.
We know that is not what Asperger’s and ODD say. They say they are impaired and abnormal.
Many skills or interests.
Many (but not all) gifted people find themselves gifted in more than one area. This can make focusing energies and prioritizing very difficult.
So disorganization is a sign of giftedness.
The APA would have you believe that it is lack of empathy, ADD, or something that needs to be fixed.
You approach the world and problems differently than others. You may be concerned about things that do not concern others.
So if you are different than others it is a gift.
Other phrases that may describe you: too smart, feelings of despair, alienation from culture, authentic existence, meaningful life, critical inner voice, highly motivated, driven.
Or Asperger’s, ODD, anti-social, bpd, bipolar, depression, etc.
If you meet a mental health professional that diagnoses you in the first visit, run.
We need relationships, not criteria. Treat people, not symptoms.
And in the end, all of these so called “disorders” have an antidote:
End the DSM.