he's 'sick and tired' of our anti-meds attitude

Letters and even better selected at random from the pounds of good stuff coming into the MouthHouse every day

While I fight for inclusion and rights and I appreciate your support of that, I got sick and tired of your anti-medication attitudes.

If a schizophrenic doesn't want to take his medication, we aren't necessarily acting in his/her best interest to go along with that! Look at the suicide rate in non-medicated schizophrenics! You wouldn't let your diabetic relative not take his insulin and die. You'd force him to do what he needed to stay alive.

Former subscriber whom we

have no permission to identify

Thanks for "Disability Identity Politics" by Art Blaser. [Mouth #71] Why is it (at the risk of sounding either/or myself) so many people on this earth overuse that globalizing either/or. I've noticed that discussions about psychoactive drugs and the psychiatric profession seem to take the absolutely globalizing form of 'All drugs are bad,' 'Nobody's mentally ill,' and of course their opposites.

Some psychoactive medications do help some people at some times. Like me. I also know from my own experience that post-traumatic stress syndrome is real. Simply having the information that it exists and what it typically does can be a very good thing for people who have been through overwhelming trauma.

None of the above has anything at all to do with making people do anything they don't want to do. The 'must' business, which I know happens a huge number of times, is a whole other ball game. That's what seems to be happening re the NYPD and mandatory psychiatric counseling post 9-11.

Global goodness/badness doesn't

usually work. That's why I fear it. It takes our minds off poverty and the system that makes us poor. We must fight, all right, but choose the right targets. And know what they are.

Joanna Russ

Tucson, Arizona

It's nice to hear that people liked "Disability Identity Politics," I was thinking that a lot of the negative feelings about "identity politics" are like the ones against "political correctness." What they usually amount to is that the person doesn't like politics. And if they're like Bill Maher, they'll find a way to discredit

their opponents without using rational argument.

Art Blaser

Orange, California

[This next note came in answer to a fax we sent in mid-July.]

You wouldn't know how much Justin and I appreciated your love, fighting spirit, and friendship. We will continue. 'You have the power. Lead the revolution of empowerment. Lead on! Lead on!' We love you.

Yoshiko Dart

Washington, D.C.

I saw Justin Dart speak at a Seattle community college not long after the ADA became the law of the land. The venue was dingy and packed with people, most of whom had never heard of him or the ADA. The accessibility left something to be desired and so did my attitude.

Justin had been a tireless champion for the cause since before I was born. The fruits of his labor created enough opportunity for me and other people with disabilities my age to finally have something to take for granted. In my arrogance I mistook his gentle nature and patience for a lack of sophistication. I had limited appreciation for just how difficult his work had been. I believed, naively, that the legislation passed because lawmakers understood it was the right and sensible thing to do. I'm not proud of that naivete or of what I took for granted, but, thinking about it now, I realize that this is evidence of the efficacy of his work.

I have never appreciated the characterization of those of us in the movement as 'patriots,' even less as 'foot soldiers.' I'm not on foot and

not in the news

The schizophrenic shown here went off his drugs without bad results!
dan fisher, m.d., director of the national empowerment center. photo by tom olin

page 38 sept - oct 2002 mouth

I'm certainly not a soldier. Patriotism and the soldier image are based in a kind of militaristic nationalism that perpetuates jingoism and violence.

When Justin used these phrases to call us to action, I disagreed with the representation but not with his deep and abiding commitment to our civil rights. This is a commitment he inspired and nurtured in me and in others.

Justin was an example of both tenacity and generosity. It is frustrating and disrespectful that some in the community act as if our movement died with him. We are the movement. It is our task to convey the depth of passion that was in his heart and that

remains in our own.

He worked for three decades to bolster us. He lavished love on us all. Now we must rise to the occasion.

Joelle Brouner

Seattle, Washington

I love Mouth. It's in-your-face and tells it like it needs to be told.

I especially enjoy the ReSources section and always learn something from it. I hope you'll consider expanding this section.

Anthony Trocchia

Brooklyn, New York

Your magazine has been one of the catalysts in my recovery as a professional. I realize that recovery is

a lifelong process, and I expect that Mouth will also continue to help me in my journey. I promise to help you guys out when I can, too, and to spread the Mouth everywhere I go.

Jennifer Buehrer

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Keep me on your mailing list, please, even though I don't donate or subscribe.

Phyllis Rapp

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

[Like I keep saying, this is a magazine. Try to think of Mouth as if it were Time or Newsweekeven though we don't run ads. If you don't renew, they stop sending your magazine. ed.]

mouth sept - oct 2002 page 39