Estimated reading time: 14 minute(s)
I would like to begin this entry with qualifying my position. To date I have two degrees in psychology specializing in forensics, abnormal psychology and psychiatry. I have received my certification in Thanatology, the study of death and dying and how we cope with grief/loss. I’ve worked for a major psychiatric agency that focused on clients (everyday people and those recently released from prison) diagnosed with ‘Major Depressive Disorder’, ‘Bipoloar Disorder’ and ‘Schizophrenia’, varying in levels from mild to severe. I’ve worked in maximum security prisons assisting inmates who were diagnosed with the above while in prison. I’ve worked with the county courts assisting those within the county jail system, including those who pled “not guilty for reason of insanity”. Lastly, I’ve facilitated rehabilitation sessions with newly released parolees diagnosed with the above.
To date, I am twelve years into being a VERY proud citizen of the Nation Of Islam under the Divine Leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, who is a divinely guided Servant of God, a healer of minds, including mine, and a Student of a Master Teacher, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I am seven years into being a Gold Seal Dianetics Auditor under the instruction and guidance of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, facilitated by the Church Of Scientology founded by L. Ron Hubbard.
I went into this field of work over 17 years ago to make discoveries about the mind, human behavior (why we do what we do), and to acquire a solid resolution to healing our minds as a result of trauma.
While in school I learned everything I possibly could about both psychology and psychiatry, because this is where I believed the answer resided to the above discoveries and remedies. However, once inside this field, I was given a rude and unsettling awakening. It began during my weeks of training with the agency I worked for, which was also the agency I completed my internship with. I had to learn and practically master the information contained inside of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual also known as the DSM (at that time it was the fourth edition). This publication contained every mental health ‘illness’, their criteria for diagnosis and the common symptoms of these ‘illnesses’. This is a publication organized by the American Psychiatric Association in Washington, DC. We were also given numerous print-outs with the well known prescription medications for treating those ‘illnesses’ and the side effects of those drugs. Along with that book I had to be thoroughly versed with The Complete Pill Guide, a publication that contains every pill ever manufactured (generic and brand-named) in the span of pharmaceutical history with their side effects, symptoms of overdose, etc.
One major aspect that I took note of was how common these symptoms for diagnosing mental health ‘illnesses’ were in terms of what we may exhibit in our day to day life. For example: If one is an introvert, it was considered in the DSM-IV to be suffering from “anti-social personality disorder”. If one were sad or experiencing feelings of loneliness, it was exhibiting criteria points of “major depressive disorder”. According to The Complete Pill Guide, symptoms of clinical depression were listed as: sleep and appetite changes, sadness, guilt, shame, low self-esteem, anxiety, and extreme fatigue. Well this applies to 9 out of 10 Americans including children! When I brought up this point, I was told that it was the ‘prolonged duration’ and ‘combination of symptoms’ that made it valid as points for diagnosis. It sounded legit at the time, and I was a new graduate so I went with it…for the moment.
When my weeks of training ended I was assigned to one of the many locations of this agency and given my own office, which to any recent graduate coming straight out of school was grounds for calling all my classmates to brag. However, this office would soon become one of the most dreaded places I had to be in.
Quick Pause: While interning for this agency I was visiting an inmate in the courts before his hearing. He was arrested for male prostitution and had been in the system before. He was listed with being diagnosed with ‘Schizophrenia’, which usually come with symptoms of hallucinating, seeing and/or hearing things that aren’t actually there that alters one’s reality and causes a person to become paranoid. We weren’t even halfway into the psychological evaluation when he disclosed a piece of information that has stayed with me for nearly 17 years. When I asked him about the time he first began hearing and seeing things that he clearly understood weren’t there, he said it was during his first stay in prison. He said that he went in fine (mentally) but came out ‘different’. He recounted the day he had a severe headache and asked the guard for an Advil. The guard returned with an ‘unmarked pill’. When he asked about it he said the guard told him it was for headaches. He told me that he felt something wasn’t right, but since his headache was so bad he took it anyway. He said it was shortly after that and being given more, since apparently it wasn’t helping the actual headache, that he began to ‘feel strange’ and heard and saw things that weren’t real. This was the first but, unfortunately, not the last disturbing nudge I experienced.