I read your blog post, “Influential Critic D. J. Jaffe Has Died: Remembered As “Bomb Thrower” Who Demanded Mental Illness Reforms” and thought of how he has done so much to hurt those of us labeled “mentally ill”. You considered him a friend, he was anything but for those of us struggling with the challenges of trauma, abuse and mental health concerns.
These are some of my thoughts on D.J. Jaffe. He did not have the best interests of people struggling despite all of his rhetoric, it was based in fear, hate and disdain for those of us labeled “mentally ill.” There was no compassion in that man or his cohort, E. Fuller Torrey, despite their bombastic appeals to the contrary.
They built a house of cards, a hurtful, dangerous house of cards.
In your book, you quote Jaffe stating in a speech: “Nobody cares about people with brain disorders. Laws change for a single reason – in reaction to highly publicized incidents of violence…I am not saying it is right, I am saying this is the reality….(We) must take the debate out of the mental health arena and put it in the criminal justice/public safety arena.”
He used fear to help drive his agenda. Fact is, those labeled “mentally ill” are more often the victims of crime. Jaffe refused to look at the data of how psychiatric medications can cause people to commit violence and suicidal ideation. Journalists have covered this over the years, they’ve even linked some of the mass shooters to this fact, but it is ignored. My suicidal ideation and attempts to end my life came when overly medicated on psychiatric drugs that were known to cause this. I am not anti-medication, but strongly oppose over-medication and understand that not everyone responds to these medications in the same way. The drugs in fact can have an adverse affect. Again, I am not not anti-medication, many friends and peers are helped by them.
Hope is an essential component for healing.
Jaffe’s belief that “mental illness” was a life long sentence was another falsehood. I was told repeatedly that because of my “mental illness, I would never be able work again or be a musician.” Learning how the trauma and abuse in my life shaped the development of my brain and nervous system and finding compassionate trauma-informed and practicing providers played a huge role in me regaining my life and returning to work.
Jaffe made light of peer support. Well, that too played a major role in my healing. Al-Anon and Alcoholic’s Anonymous have been helping people for decades. The peer support of fellow travelers impacted by mental health challenges, trauma and abuse has also been crucial for many. Generous doses of kindness and caring go a long way in healing.
Read the whole article – Reader Writes D. J. Jaffe Was No Friend To “Those Of Us With Mental Health Concerns.” – Pete Earley – http://www.peteearley.com/2020/08/31/reader-writes-d-j-jaffe-was-no-friend-to-those-of-us-with-mental-health-concerns/