If I were to try to explain to another person what medical freedom meant to me, I’d have to define what I call “medical slavery” by explaining my own lived experience. I was adopted at birth into a family where my father hit me often. My sister was adopted shortly after I was and home life wasn’t a pleasant time for any of us. I learned a lot from the abuse I endured and soon after mimicked a lot of the things being done to me. When I told my teachers in elementary school I was labelled as depressed and medicated. My story will show how at this very point in my life, had things been done differently, years of pain could have been avoided and much money saved.
The result of being given medications I didn’t need at a young age only created a chemical imbalance that hadn’t previously existed. The more I tried to get someone to listen to me about what I experienced nobody listened. The same doctors who suggested more pills, did so after hearing my side of the story. I had told them how I was frequently locked in my room with no power all night long, crying because I was scared of the dark. I told them how my own father had dragged me by my hair down a hallway at his business and choked me with a bar of soap for swearing. I was no angel, after years of this going on I became that same angry kid. By the time I reached middle school I would say I was actually depressed, not because chemically I had issues, but because I had long since given up hope my life would change. I refused to accept the doctors telling me something was wrong and many refused to continue treating me because of my resistance. My parents for years shuffled me to new doctors to find someone who could convince me I was crazy so that I would take these pills and stop harping on what was actually bothering me…my being abused. At what point is forcing a kid to take pills that make them feel worse against their will considered free, or is it the opposite? If the medicines are doing more harm than good whose responsibility is it to put an end to it, the parents or the doctor instructing them to defy logic and do the opposite?
By the age of 12 I was being forced to work 40 hour weeks on my dads maintenance crew, but only paid me $20 a week during my school vacations. I was frequently left out of family vacations to be instructed to work instead. Each week my family took all the money I earned and put it into a bank account for me as most parents do. The thing that was different for me, is that eventually my parents stole my money to send me to a 12 month treatment facility in Utah because I did not have grades to their liking, and they were convinced that something was wrong with me. I never truly had vacations at school because I was forced to work, and we grew up in an apartment building my dad owned where prostitutes were allowed to pick up johns in the lobby, and drug dealers loitered out front. We never had a yard, or a neighborhood, or a normal childhood in any regard. I was molested several times during my youth and that also fell on deaf ears. By the time I had turned 18, I was still being told that the years of abuse weren’t my issue but that my brain was chemically imbalanced. 10 years later I would finally be told by a neuropsychologist that I was right all along, and that many of the labels I had picked up over the years were inaccurate.
The thing I talk a lot to my wife about these days is how there is an element of conditioning that I experienced in my childhood. No matter how much I resisted the adults in my life telling me all these things were wrong with me, it still affected me. My self image by the time I was an adult was that I was sub-par. I grew to learn the world was a cold place, and felt as if I could never be the same as other people. The years of pain I had experienced left my hopes for the future dismal. There were plenty of factors here, but the cumulative effect of the road I was forced down when I was medicated against my will as a child had repercussions. I spent years self medicating, lost, looking for some kind of purpose in life but could never free myself from the notion I wasn’t good enough. All the years of counselling had done little more than ingrain in my subconscious ideas that would limit me later in life. Eventually I got sober and began making a life for myself, I got as free as I could from this past and at the time I decided that in order to succeed in life I’d have to take the pills again.
Several years went by and I found myself in a number of really tough situations. At this point, the same father who hit me as a child was now my boss and landlord. I had fallen on my face so many times trying to figure life out on my own without a sense of “normalcy” in my life that there weren’t many options for me in society. Id worked at my family’s company off and on for years, yet they would give me bad references when id seek employment elsewhere. Attempts to get an apartment without references or a cosigner was impossible. I was trapped, and still am in many ways, but what I found was that the same pain I had experienced as a child still existed with all these pills. Naturally I was tired, angry, confused, but above all else I came to see that feeling all these things was justified. I decided to humor myself and I saved up the money to have myself examined by a neuropsychologist to see what diagnoses I did or didn’t have.
The reason I mention conditioning so much is because liberating myself from medication wasn’t my response to feeling like my medicine wasn’t working. I went to be examined because I thought at the time the diagnoses weren’t serious enough. I thought for sure I must be autistic or developmentally disabled, but instead left with a clean bill of health. The full report illustrated that from a young age I had adoption issues that were never properly dealt with. That I never had any disorders, that children who are abused behave just like that when they don’t receive proper help. If I had been heard as a child, and been given the correct resources for what happened at the time, I could have likely avoided many of my bad experiences. The doctor told me that the reason my medication wasn’t working was because I didn’t need it. Furthermore my definition of “working” was skewed, that I shouldn’t define my mental health by how much pain the pills numbed, but that I should actually learn to process and deal with the things in my past.
The reason I call my experience “medical slavery” is because for years I was held back by the pills themselves. The worse thing about the experience is that having started at such a young age, it tarnished my self-image and debilitated me for years of my life. To bounce back from this I actually had to break free from who I even thought my self to be. I had to learn to function all over again, how to interact with others, regulate my emotions, and much more. To free myself from this type of slavery took years, and many looked down on me for a long time. This same freedom took work to acquire, I spent years doing specialized cognitive therapies to deal with my past trauma. I found that I could absolutely be free of it all, but it took work on my part. This experience opened my eyes too to many other things, having a distrust for pills I came to have revelation after revelation.
I spent years studying psychology, how the brain works, and natural alternatives to psychotropic medications. I came to have a different understanding of myself, my emotions, and through studying herbs and essential oils found many things that could help with anxiety on as needed basis. I came to view myself as human, that I have emotions and make mistakes and thats okay. I started meditating, and through this process I truly mastered self regulation. By becoming able to calm myself down at stressful times through breathing exercises and visualization I actually eliminated my anxiety over a few years. I saw my “triggers” start to vanish over time, and I became much more capable of functioning in society. I also utilized tools called “subconscious sleep programming” and binaural beats. Through my research I found ample findings that by listening to positive affirmations while you sleep, you can fill your subconscious with good thoughts. Over time my self image had entirely changed, I shed the years of darkness and pain and became able to view myself differently. The variety of holistic or natural practices I incorporated into my daily routine over two years assisted me to become who I’d always wanted to be. I learned that I was in my own way, and that sometimes all it takes is believing a different life is possible.
My beef with the pharmaceutical companies does not stop with mental health. My parents sent me away in middle school, and as a result I was required to have additional vaccines and tests because the kids all lived in close quarters. At the same time I found out I was diabetic because I had sugar in my urine. I was held in a hospital for a week and tests were done on me because I did not have diabetic antibodies in my blood. The doctor at the time in his notes mentioned he thought I may have a rare condition called MODY which I’ll describe shortly. The doctor never told my parents, as a DNA test could have at the time prevented similarly, years of pain and wasted money.
For years I spent diagnosed as a type I diabetic, and battled perpetual low blood sugars. For years I told doctors how the insulin affected me negatively and that I really was unsure of my diagnosis, yet that too fell on deaf ears. At the time I was battling my mental health diagnoses and as a result nobody took me seriously when I spoke up about my insulin. When my parents actually had me committed for 12 months a doctor in Utah had me use an insulin pump and found I needed so little insulin that my diagnoses was changed to type II. I was switched onto pills at this time but found moderating my nutrition to be difficult. Normally a person with type II diabetes would be able to maintain flexibility with their diet on oral medications. I found on the pills that no matter what I did my sugar readings would spike and then crash despite sugar intake. I presented the possibility to my doctor that the medication wasn’t metabolizing properly in my system and was told that I didn’t understand what I was talking about.
I spent several years after being met with no solution for my blood sugar regulation, and up until I was in my late 20’s hadn’t even heard of the MODY diagnoses from my childhood records. I began doing research on rare types of diabetes and discovered this on my own. MODY is maturity onset diabetes in youth, its similar to gestational diabetes and is very rare. In my research I found that this is often mistaken for type II diabetes as the patients pancreas would still produce insulin, but due to mutations in the DNA would not properly regulate the output. There were 6 sub-type’s of MODY that I could find, and there were actually cases where patients came off of their oral insulin and could regulate through diet and exercise. I went back to an endocrinologist at age 26 and had genetic testing done and was confirmed to have this rare anomaly.
The doctor at the time started me out on a moderate oral insulin medication, and I was weaned down to nearly nothing. It finally got to the point in my life where I took nutrition more seriously. As I ditched soda, ate more salads and less junk food I started to go more days at a time without any pills at all and my blood sugars were normal. I got to the point where I could watch my diet, take no pills for a month at a time, and still have a perfect hbA1c. Despite the fact that my doctor had admitted nobody in the entire practice had treated someone with MODY, each appointment I was reminded that someday I would definitely need more insulin. In hindsight, the amount of money that was dumped into the astronomically priced insulin was another violation in my opinion of my rights to medical freedom. At the point that my doctor thought I may have MODY as a child, he should have had me tested. My experience as a diabetic of rare sort was in no way different than the way the mental health professionals operated. All along I could have lived without the pills and been healthier for it, but that information was kept hidden in my medical charts for decades. At what point did our doctors start putting profits, or their allegiances before whats best for their patients? At what point will the people rise up and course correct a healthcare system that may be creating more illnesses than its actually treating? I personally think it will take all of us having the courage to speak our truth, and stand together for our right to make informed choices based upon the ACTUAL truth.
With regards to both my physical and mental health, one moment in time could have been handled differently and my whole life would have been different. When “systems” invade other systems we see an education system that steers children into a psychiatrists office when there may likely be a safer option. We can see doctors trained a certain way through the same education system that may not even realize that they’ve been educated to perform medicine in a way that is causing harm. I wrote another article a while back that illustrated a lot of the blatant corruption that exists in the healthcare system. In my experience with western medicine in my lived years the mental health and physical health systems are both vessels of an agenda to net maximum profit to a select few. I do not think it is at all an accident that we don’t see natural remedies on television much, but commercials for an assortment of pills are all too common. I think too its quite peculiar that most doctors will discourage eastern or holistic medicine, and that natural medicine is being discontinued or suppressed, yet there are findings it could be better for us. Our access to basic factual information about ALL options when facing any health malady has been missing from our healthcare sector for far too long. With all cards on the table I think more people would be choosing the natural options if all the co-existing systems weren’t programmed to convince us there’s no merit for treatments that have worked for generations.
Medical freedom could mean a wide variety of things, or it could be condensed to a principle that should exist in all areas of medicine…choice. Whether its mandatory vaccines, or a child being forced to take psychotropic medication against their will, these things cannot be allowed. Whether its forcing another human to endure a lifetime of illness, mental pain, or both…it’s all harm that does not need to occur. If most medicines for headaches actually cause stomach problems over time, wouldn’t freedom be the ability to easily access a natural alternative without those issues? If there existed alternatives to chemotherapy for cancer without the side effects, wouldn’t freedom be the ability to easily access this if you needed? Or would freedom be finally seeing the entire system exposed, to finally be made public that for nearly a century this whole system has served to keep people sick so more profits could be generated? There’s so many things that I’d love to see change within the confines of this subject.
For me, I’d love to see steps taken to return our food and water to a point that they are no longer at fault in any way for heart issues, kidney issues, diabetes, or more. I’d love to see the money spent, and time taken to actually ensure that vaccines aren’t responsible for injuries. I’d love to see a stop to the removal of natural medicine from online stores, and an end to the suppression of natural cures that exist, or may come to exist. I’d also really like to see a change in our early education system. Instead of forcing pills on our children, I’d rather see them learning good coping skills like that of dbt. A proactive approach like that in my opinion could prevent much more suffering than a reactive approach like over medication. Above all else, I’d love to see people’s right to make their own medical choices respected. This discussion has been so difficult for so long because so much information has been kept from the public. The same ways these companies suppressed the addiction potential of Oxycontin, they have kept a lot of truth from people on many subjects. I firmly believe that so much within the medical field could be changed for the better, but the support of the people is impeded by misinformation from the pharmaceutical companies and divide/conquer tactics. I think of all the causes, this is one of the most important. Advocates for the homeless would inevitably find themselves advocating for things within the confines of mental health, or addiction, and at the end of the day its about healing. To me, I wasn’t truly healed until I reclaimed my freedom from the grips of the pharmaceutical agenda. Our nation needs healing in many regards, and within this cause I have found so many people committed to healing. The one thing I could confidently say I never felt in a doctors office, I do feel within the natural medicine community. The alternatives have been a beautiful life changing switch for me, and my hope for our nation is not that of being slaves to pills and needles. I wish for people to both not have to suffer as I did, but also get to experience the joy in the contrast that I feel doing things more naturally. I hope many get involved with this cause, and that perhaps my experiences can help others avoid a similar situation.
A very in depth presentation from NAMI on DBT practice. The way I see it, is this treatment is the natural alternative to psychiatric medicine. Instead of altering your brain chemistry, you learn to cope in healthy ways and overcome your issues through a core set of skills.