Unpopular Opinion

Here I am again, always with the unpopular opinion, thoughts, and beliefs that might lead me into trouble. OTOH, I created this space quite specifically to explore the kind of cognitive dissonance that happens when I just can’t embrace whatever is the mainstream trend.

I have never been mainstream.

But suddenly the way-off mainstream has become the mainstream, and it’s weird. And I find myself at odds with LGBTQ culture, licensing boards, doctors, and other therapists. I think “they” (LGBTQ activists) would call me a TERF – trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

I am definitely not that.

I call myself rational.

I have long questioned the medicalized treatment of mental health struggles. I have always encouraged personality and identity exploration, with the help of a therapist or without. Through talking or music or art or writing. Discover yourself.

Here’s my unpopular opinion: I do not believe adolescents should be encouraged to medical transition to maleness. I do not believe adolescent females should be allowed to make decisions that will permanently change their bodies or their brains. Puberty blockers – no. Testosterone or Estrogen – no. Removal of healthy body parts – no. Adolescents are incapable of giving informed consent.

Adolescents are known for difficulty with impulse control, for engaging in high-risk behavior, for seeking instant gratification, for being unable to foresee the conswquences of their decisions and actions. These are the things they are learning in this stage of human development.

These are children who cannot legally get tattos, for fuck’s sake, even with parental permission.

In the past few years the numbers of middle to upper class white females seeking gender transition to males has risen 1000% (since 1910), higher if you look at UK numbers. (Irreversible Damage, Lisa Littman, 2020)

It is a statistically significant anomaly that is bizarre.

It makes me wonder if body dyphoria is common to adolescence and may simply be part of that developmental stage. Except now it’s being labeled Trans and diagnosed as gender dysphoria, with medical transition touted as the cure.

And young people can’t even wonder out loud publicly if they’re making the wrong decisions, because they will be labeled TERF or transphobic and lose their social status. And the most terrifying thing to an adolescent is losing their tribe. And they can’t wonder it out loud to their therapist in many states because exploring this might be considered conversion therapy, which is banned, which could cause a therapist to lose their license.

It’s like a train they got on that is moving too fast to safely jump off.

The current trend is “If you think you might be trans, you are trans. The end. Medical transition is the cure. If you think you might be trans, but later change your mind, you are transphobic. Get out of our safe space.”

Gender identification is immutable and unchangeable. But also fluid.


I suspect we won’t find out much for several more years, when these children are 25+ and wondering why no one stopped them from making permanent life and body altering decisions. When the lawsuits roll into the legal departments of clinics medically transitioning teens.

Imagining the pain and suffering of young people who regret transition saddens me more than I can express.

Use search term “detransitioning” to learn more. I’m not going to point to any specific source in an effort to avoid bias.


Today I realize with astonishment that 50-something year-old therapist me has the exact same naive and open heart as 14 year old me encountering a troubled boy for the first time.

The first short story I wrote was titled “The Angel and the Hood”. It was terrible and ridiculous, of course, because I was 14 years old. But even then, I had the notion that my pure and true love could heal any wounded heart.

75% of my caseload are males between the ages of 19 and 25. Some are good at talking in the office, but most are not. I am a low-pressure therapist. Boys have their own way to communicate, and one thing I’ve discovered is that if I keep showing up, the trust will come. We run errands and get coffee, walk in the park, or sit in the car. Sometimes we just drive. I offer the aux cord and ask them to play me their favorite songs.

It takes time for an old woman to build a working therapeutic relationship with a young man. I choose the word “relationship” on purpose – because while insurance companies might believe that therapy happens in a session, the real therapy happens in the safety of the space between myself and my client, and that space is the relationship. All of it.

We all make mistakes, myself included. Disruption of the therapeutic relationship can feel like disaster – but then there can be repair, which makes the relationship stronger. These young men haven’t heard, “Hey, whenever you’re ready, we can talk this out,” nearly enough. They haven’t had adults willing to admit to having made mistakes. So many of their relationships end in ways they never entirely understand. How many of our relationships allow for anger and feelings of betrayal followed by honest conversation and forgiveness? Often they’ve never experience that, because “boys don’t cry,” and “boys don’t feel” and whatever.

I am lucky to be “of a certain age.” I can let myself love them with a big, endless, altruistic love. I can give them that, even though I am wise to the ways of my own heart – and I know they all must save themselves.

It’s a pity though, because my heart still wants to try.


The shot, the hit, the rush

the bliss

the nod.

The frenzy and the money moves and the terror of sick.




“Where’d you go?

We miss you so

Seems like forever

Since you’ve been gone…”

The shot, the hit, the rush


The boy who texted poetic

who longs to love a girl who loves him back

Who wants a family

And a home to come home to…

Where are you?

~sja 9/2019

A Whole New Life

I started this blog as a kind of exploring place and a thinking space, to examine some of my unpopular feelings about hospitals, medicine, and mental health. I intended to be here in anonymity and to not risk my job.

If I knew more about the workings of WordPress, I would insert a slew of photos of people laughing hysterically.

I left my job of eleven years. It was stunning and shocking and, for a brief minute, shattering, if I am being honest.

Who shall I be, now?

The main reason I haven’t added any thoughts here over the past few YEARS is because I went to grad school, 25 years after earning my undergraduate degree. It would be accurate to say that I was unprepared for that level of time suck. But I was also so, so ready to add to my knowledge base. I had a lot to learn.

I have a new life, and it is beautiful. I am able to help people more than ever. I am able to know people when they are well, and when they are less well. I am able to put all the “heart” that I want into my work, with co-workers who feel like family.

I felt like was seeing a perpetuation of mental illness happening in the hospital, and it made me feel angry and helpless. Was it real? I don’t know. Was it that the responsibilities of my job changed and skewed my perspective? Maybe. I felt less trusted than ever before. I felt less competent than I felt on my very first day. But I also felt like my eyes were opened to a bigger picture – that yes, we could medicate the symptoms of mental illness out of our patients, but what could we do beyond that?

We could not provide stable housing, we did not embrace harm reduction, we had no ability to know patients long enough to offer strength-based treatment, we were in an environment that could not possibly offer trauma-informed care.

All of the above is what I do now. I listen and validate and problem solve with people who ask for assistance. I am the keeper of all the secrets.

I found my people and I found my place.

Highly Sensitive People (HSP)

One of the things I’m going to push on this site is to know yourself. Do the research. Find others that have traits like yours. Investigate how they cope and function. Look for trade secrets.

It’s not that I think it’s necessary to label ourselves, or diagnose ourselves with disorders, or swallow whole the concepts presented by medical psychiatry – not that at all – but it can be useful to know some common terminology of personality traits in order to figure out how other people cope (so maybe we can steal their ideas -grin). And, yanno, it’s nice not to be all alone. Even loners like company, sometimes.

So this is a link to some stuff about Highly Sensitive People: http://hsperson.com/

And here’s a simple quiz:  http://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/

HSP’s might also be known as empaths. http://liveboldandbloom.com/08/self-improvement/empath-traits-of-highly-sensitive-person

From the Wall Street Journal…

Why Psychiatry Needs a Therapist


I do find the trend toward making more and more of our population diagnoseably (not exactly a word) mentally ill highly concerning.

Oh you’re sad? We have a pill for that. You have a test or a try out or a date tomorrow and you’re  nervous? We have a pill for that. Have trouble falling asleep? We have a pill for that…

Here’s the thing… humans surviving the human condition are not normal. There is no normal, and no one should strive to fit into some set ideal of what normal is.

Live your life. Take care of yourself. Try not to hurt anybody else. Be happy.

If you’ve got it in you to do more than that, to build something, create something, help others – awesome – go for it. If not, and you’re happy with who you are and what you do, call it good. We get one turn here. I’d say doing what we can do to be as happy as we can be as much of the time as possible – that’s what we’re here for.

Is Free Thinking A Mental Illness?

There’s got to be a better way to insert links. I’ll figure it out, but for now, I’m sorry my links aren’t very pretty.  The title of this blog post is actually the title to the article I’m going to link to, and the comments attached to that article are important. They run the gamut from “you people are paranoid freaks and have no idea what you’re talking about” to “right on, I’ve been there and seen this” – and I believe all the people commenting are speaking some measure of truth.

People who have lived with persons diagnosed probably correctly with ODD have an understanding of the disorder as it was meant to be diagnosed, that the DSM-WhateverVolumeWe’reCurrentlyOn is intended to be noting these behaviors in extreme severity.

It doesn’t mean that all clinicians are diagnosing all patients correctly. It doesn’t mean people are not being misdiagnosed every day. It doesn’t mean these diagnosis aren’t being used to control behaviors and thinking patterns that are disliked by the mainstream. It doesn’t mean diagnosis cannot be manipulated and medications used in an attempt to make “weird kids” become “normal.”

And my saying that doesn’t mean the above will ever, ever work, by the way.

And it doesn’t mean that clinicians aren’t encouraged to make diagnosis in order to prescribe drugs, and that drug companies don’t benefit financially from the prescribing of said drugs. Or that clinics and hospitals and doctors and providers don’t benefit from follow-up visits to manage the prescribing of said drugs.

So arguments in comments notwithstanding, I still ask…. is it paranoid or fear-mongering to question the breaking down of “depression” or “anxiety” or “schizophrenia” into lesser diagnosis in order to prescribe essentially the same drugs?

Here’s the link. What do you think?



Psych meds.

Not all bad, but not all good, either. As with so many things in our world, holding onto black and white thinking is a mistake because there are so many shades of gray. The key is, and always will be, knowing what you want and arming yourself with education.

Based on my own experience with anti-depressants, I’ve often told people that the correct psych medication should make you recognize yourself again. I have never believed that an anti-depressant will or should change a person’s personality, such as turning a typically melancholy personality into a sunny one…

But. I look back on my time taking anti-depressants and note, rather sadly, the creative wasteland that was that time of my life. I wrote nothing. No poetry. No stories. Nothing. I went to work in cube-land and was content to stare at the television until bedtime. Sleep. Repeat.

No real happiness. No real sadness. So even though I felt like myself, I was NOT myself, and 2.5 years later, when I dared to stop taking the anti-depressant, I kind of felt like I’d been duped into a false sense of happiness, because it had been pretty easy to pop a pill and feel like my usual, happy self again. But when I woke up, I had created nothing from the grand depths of my grief.

Anyway. Here’s an interesting article that questions if there is any such thing as a chemical imbalance of the brain that causes various mental illnesses. Food for thought. Click below.

Click to access Blaming_The_Brain_The_Chemical_Imbalance_Fraud.pdf

Hello world!

Welcome to this new place, Wounded Not Sick. This is a special place where secrets and fears can be shared, and where being anonymous is encouraged, although certainly not required.

I’ll tell my secret first.

I’ve worked in medical mental health for a lot of years, and I believed that a lot of good happened there. But lately I’m starting to see a lot of less good is happening there, and I am frightened and disillusioned. What I see is that change for the better is not happening from within this broken system, and probably will never happen from within, because the system itself is self-perpetuating, and the honest truth is [insert drumroll] there is no money in curing mental illness. There is, sadly, money to be made diagnosing young people with chronic and persistent mental “illnesses” –  schizoaffective disorders, mood disorders, and personality disorders.

Schizophrenia, bi-polar, borderline personality. Social anxiety. Antisocial tendencies.

Terms and labels that make us think of school shooters and crazy people pushing shopping carts and living under bridges and not functioning.

Let me tell you a secret.

Sometimes medical psychiatry causes people not to function. Sometimes miracle drugs look more like behavior control than good medicine.

Sometimes helping looks more like hurting.

And I lie awake in my bed at night wondering how I can continue to be a part of this.