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Why I didn’t and won’t watch Breaking Bad

It’s appreciated just how excellent a program Breaking Bad is. I didn’t watch it and I won’t watch it for this very simple and singular reason:

It’s a show that dramatizes drug culture.

The stuff I do in peer co-occuring advocacy gifts me with friends whose lives are severely and significantly damaged by illicit drugs like meth. Dramatizing drug culture isn’t necessarily condoning, glorifying, or celebrating drug culture. However, it’s impossible for me to watch a show like Breaking Bad without reflecting on the horrible life stories my friends shared with me. This negates anything pleasurable and enjoyable about watching the show. So I didn’t and I won’t.

And that Breaking Bad was filmed in Albuquerque makes it even more tangible, the literal recognizable physical setting of my friends’ life experiences.

I have an irritated good friend insisting I watch Breaking Bad, pointing out it’s about more than meth culture, that it’s about character development and character interaction. He insists if I give the show a chance I would understand this.

I asked him a single question: Does the show utilize meth production and sales as a central plot point throughout the series? The answer is of course “yes.” Returning to my first principle reason for not watching the show, because it is based upon dramatizing drug culture I won’t watch Breaking Bad. Flatly and immutably.

Call me stubborn if need be. I don’t feel my personally earned principles are open for debate. And I appreciate just how excellent a program Breaking Bad is.

Starting psych meds and remaining suicidal – or – Starting psych meds and only then becoming suicidal.

Last week’s thrifting found two DVDs from a medical-sounding production company directly funded by the Church of Scientology. These DVDs are candid interviews and group discussions with parents who lost a child to suicide. Viewing the material a few times, I recognized this logical pattern.

1.) Child is depressed and suicidal.

2.) Parent chooses to take child to medical provider.

3.) Medical provider prescribes antidepressant.

4.) Child begins med regimen.

5.) Soon after, the child suicides, by these accounts within days of starting the med regimen.

6.) The medical provider and their prescription is to blame for the suicide.

This logic troubles me greatly. As a peer who has cycled through many different antidepressants, I can attest to the dreaded “it’ll take two to four weeks to see if it even works.” And in this efficacy lag time, quite often I remained suicidal.

No antidepressant I’ve taken has ever worked within days.

Based on my experience and my understanding of psych meds, the query is plain:

Did the medication cause the child’s suicide, or did the child continue to be suicidal as before starting the medication?

The Church of Scientology is infamous for their outspoken denouncement of psych meds, and aggressively so. For DBSA and STS, Craigslist was a great way to reach peers in search of a peers support group. Well, the local Scientologists messed that up for everyone by overposting. Now, no peer support group posts are allowed.

You see, the church posted daily dozens of “support group notices” of the ilk:

“Do you have anxiety? Come to our support group.”

“Do you have depression? Come to our support group.”

“Do you have bipolar? Come to our support group.”

“Do you have PTSD? Come to our support group.”

“Do you have insomnia? Come to our support group.”

“Do you have an eating disorder? Come to our support group.”

And onwards.

There was no accompanying contact info, just an address … which was the local office for the church. I dropped in once in curiosity and upon arriving I was near immediately asked if I was prescribed psych meds and given literature similar to the DVDs I watched this week.

There were no support groups.

What’s so troublesome to me is how hazardous this tactic is, using manipulative illogic to dissuade peers from exploring every option available, in this case psych meds.

Don’t give your suicidal child psych meds because I did and it made my child kill themselves.

I asked the plain question earlier, was it the psych med that pushed the child to suicide or did the child remain suicidal and end their life in that dreaded two to four week lag time?

The answer is also plain. The child remained suicidal. Some will take this as me being insensitive and ignorant, which if you know me and my advocacy efforts you’ll know is not true.

What I find concerning is using correlative illogic to convince peers psych meds are universally deadly. How can that be? There are millions of peers making use of psych meds who are alive and healthy, their lives more successful and joyful in part from having the choice of psych meds available to them. This includes me.

We’ll never find a DVD of interviews with parents whose child has benefitted from psych meds. Like Yelp, reviewing activity is skewed greatly towards complaints and not praise. To take a (thankfully and blessedly) small population of family tragedies and claim this represents inherent danger is knowingly irresponsible.

How can I know this? Because if psych meds were as damaging as claimed, the pharmaceutical manufacturers would have been out of business decades ago.

This is plain logic that makes good sense.

My feelings on psych meds and treatments options for mental illness is consistent and transparent. Peers benefit the most from having as many choices as possible available. For my wellness, I am alive because of the choices I made in my treatment, and this includes choosing to have a psych med regimen.

It is responsible to encourage and promote support for all existing choices and the creation of new choices. Peers benefit from having choices.

And to be balanced, this includes choosing not to take psych meds.

Providers who aren’t peers are frustrated unmagical Muggles

Providers who aren’t mental health peers telling me my humor, irreverence, and jokes about mental health are wholly inappropriate and are insulting to other peers are confused Muggles attempting and failing to conjure forth the grumpy and constipated Ghost of Liberace to prepare a brimming Dixie cup of scrumptious hasenpfeffer to feed all the world’s starving vegans and thusly save Kanye West from a hostile takeover of his essence as the Universe’s Least Bipolar Man.

You see? Providers who aren’t mental health peers can’t even get basic magic right that EVERY peer can do while still pooping and peeing in their knickers, and thank the stars for Huggies and non-peer providers who happen to be full of the same sticky stuff. How can they be expected to know what’s funny amongst peers? Where is their experiential authority to judge me and my wit?

One of my strongest beliefs:

When you can laugh at the horrible things in life it takes back the power the horrible things hold over you.

This is the core principle for STS’s Laugh It Off education program.

Cats are better than everything combined and more, and I have the meme to prove it

My friend the Cat Apologist sent me this as “proof” and “evidence” of cats are superior and if not then you’re stupid.

Citations? This “study” sounds like the same ilk of baseless self-serving fortune cookie logic Facebook denizens use to justify overt Trump hatred (racist racist racist!!!) and bad science rhetoric (climate climate climate!!!). And in this case, cat apologists making excuses for being a cat apologist.

Similarly and conclusively, those credentialed professionals in the behavioral health community claiming lofty authority via the premise “Because Professional Studies Show” WITHOUT providing validating professional citations are the epitome of the appeal to false authority. It’s the same psychological construct that helps Lebron James peddle a Kia and 50 Cent convince you Vitamin Water is the finest way to quench your thirst.


Unsubstantiated scholarship at behavioral health meetings holds the same scholarly sway as “I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV.”


Simply stringing soothing words together, creating a meme, and posting it to Facebook doesn’t make it valid and true. Cat apologists do not have the gift of effective reality. Nor do those with credentials sitting at the same table with peers.

I’m the one with the mental health symptoms. These meetings are important. It affects me directly. My interest is immediately vested. I’m not prepared just to take your word for it. Proove yourself to me. Thank you.

Kindly reprinted with permission from Steve’s Thoughtcrimes.

“Reasons to Live” by Feti’a

Stars, especially shooting stars

That weightless second on a swing that makes you think you might actually fly

Warm baths

The smell of petrichor and wet concrete

Rainbows

Thunder storms

Waterfalls

Greenery

Fascinating things to learn from any/every subject

Laughing until it hurts

Running until I’m drenched in sweat

How my body feels after yoga

Cool textures

Songs that change my brain chemistry (aka: of the classical sort)

Writing

Creating weird worlds in my head

Silence

Deep breaths that fill my whole lungs

Fog over mountains or in valleys

The taste of the smell of rain

Feeling thankful

Colors, especially natural

Pleasant words like equidistant or bubbling or soliloquy

My Seasonal Affective Disorder is a Real Drag this Time of Year

Something needs to be done about my Seasonal Affective Disorder and how insufferably cheerful and gratingly pleasant I get during summertime. Not imposing upon my loved ones just because I’m joyful must be leaving a huge void in their heart. There must be a med to drag me into even a mild doldrum, requiring the people in my life the burden of having to be on suicide watch 24/7.

I hardly want to spend any time at all in my bed beneath my Blanket Fortress. And this unforced smile is so easy and uplifting. What a chore this is. For myself, for everone.

I’m so sorry for feeling happy and productive once again. I feel selfish to the core.

Forgive me for this and I’ll forgive you for eating the whole goddam bag of Cheetos. Those were for everyone, you realize.

Reprinted with kind permission of Steve’s Thoughtcrimes.

My Seasonal Affective Disorder is a Real Drag this Time of Year

Something needs to be done about my Seasonal Affective Disorder and how insufferably cheerful and gratingly pleasant I get during summertime. Not imposing upon my loved ones just because I’m joyful must be leaving a huge void in their heart. There must be a med to drag me into even a mild doldrum, requiring the people in my life the burden of having to be on suicide watch 24/7.

I hardly want to spend any time at all in my bed beneath my Blanket Fortress. And this unforced smile is so easy and uplifting. What a chore this is. For myself, for everone.

I’m so sorry for feeling happy and productive once again. I feel selfish to the core.

Forgive me for this and I’ll forgive you for eating the whole goddam bag of Cheetos. Those were for everyone, you realize.

Reprinted with kind permission of Steve’s Thoughtcrimes.

DBSA Albuquerque has a new Tuesday evening peer support group!!!

DBSA Albuquerque a new Tuesday peer support group!!!
Beginning on Tuesday, January 29, DBSA Albuquerque offers a new weekly peer support group for our New Mexico communities.


It’s been a while since we’ve had our evening group centrally located in Albuquerque. By popular demand, we now have a new venue that is friendly, safe, and easily accessible from both I-25 and I-40.

Like our Monday afternoon and Friday evening peer support groups, DBSA Albuquerque offers our Tuesday group free to the community. There is no need to register ahead of time. Just show up and meet other folks who understand what you’re going through in a safe, welcome, and judgment-free space.

Every Tuesday
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
First Unitarian Church
RE Room 3
3701 Carlisle Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
 
On the SE corner of the
Carlisle & Comanche intersection

Across Comanche from
KOAT 7 News

Dedicated Accessible Parking
First Floor Accessible Entrance.
Parking entrance on Comanche just west of Carlisle

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