by Maia Szalavitz
Could Dr. Drew Pinsky be following Charlie Sheen off the rails? Recently the “Celebrity Rehab” host claimed that Sheen was “in an acute manic state” — a public statement which teeters on the bounds of psychiatric ethics (more on that after the jump). Moreover, Pinsky — contradicting his own previous statements about 12-step programs being critical to recovery — told TMZ that Sheen, who denounces 12-step, “has got a point” and that “their success rates aren’t that great … but it DOES work when people do it.”
Dr. Drew’s assessment of Sheen may well violate a principle of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) ethical standards known as the Barry Goldwater rule, which was adopted after psychiatrists diagnosed the presidential candidate in a magazine article as “paranoid” and “narcissistic” and questioned his mental fitness for office — without ever examining him in person.
ST reader J.G. just sent me this infuriating, yet revealing, little post on PopEater. I am seriously dying of a cold right now so I can’t compose a coherent thought. I’m just going to leave it up to everyone else to debunk. Also, I know some of you all are sick of hearing about Charlie Sheen, but this article not about him as much as it’s about the response from the status quo to their worst nightmare: having that 5% figure hit the mainstream. If I could sum up the argument, it would go like this, “The truth is irrelevant. We’ve been lying for so long that people will die if they find out.”
I can’t find a good quote to pull, since it’s so short and packed with lunacy, so go read the whole thing and report back.
If these assholes were truly concerned about people’s lives, they wouldn’t be drawing a bright line under statements that make Sheen sound like he’s gone around the bend. Clearly, they’re trying to discredit the 5% by placing it in the context of some really nutty assertions. But, if they genuinely believe that Sheen is mentally ill, they why are they not, instead, focusing on how irresponsible it would be to send someone to AA whose problems clearly fall outside AA’s scope?
Last year, we posted a story about Herbert Jones, a deluded 12-stepper who showed up outside of a Portland, Maine AA meeting with a sniper rifle and a load of resentment toward pedophiles. Obviously, we don’t condone his actions, but I do give him credit for his strategy. I mean, if you are deluded, and your goal is to snipe off a pedophile, randomly spraying bullets into a crowd of AAs is like shooting fish in a barrel. You’re bound to pick off at least one, maybe two.
Recently, under a plea agreement, Herbert J was sent to a mental hospital, where he will hopefully get some proper treatment. There was no disagreement between the judge, prosecutors or the defense attorney as to whether or not this guy is mentally ill. I doubt anyone reading the facts of the case would disagree. He was, after all, receiving messages directly from God, and believed that he was on a divine mission at the time of his arrest. I doubt any reasonable person, understanding the facts of the case, would disagree with the fact that this guy is deluded, and that he needs psychological help. Continue reading Godpuppetry
This is the first installment in our new Category: 12-step AAll-Stars. Here, we find a quote from a 12-stepper in one of the many AA forums and websites. Steppers say the darndest things, and there are a lot of honorable mentions out there, but it takes someone really special to make the 12-step AAll-Star team
Today’s AAllstar is Tipsy McStagger, who posted the following quote over at this forum, under the title “Anti-AA Rhetoric”:
“I often come across people who have very negative thoughts about AA. They talk about it like it’s either some sort of evil cult that’s after all your worldly possessions and your first born child or like it’s some sort of spiritual Amway that’s brainwashed you into trying to sell your new found “faith” to anyone who will listen….”
We don’t believe AA wants all of our world possession or first born children. That is just absurd to say. No way could they ever get away with this, although we are fairly sure they would take these things if they could. As for the second point, I think Mr McStagger is dead on. At least, this describes my opinion in a fairly accurate way.
“One thing I’ve noticed is that some of the most vehement anti AA people are former AA members. Maybe because the people who leave feel animosity because AA didn’t deliver on what was promised or they don’t want to take responsibility for their own failure to follow the simple program so they lash out and justify their quitting by insisting that AA is a cult and that they were “too strong willed” to be brainwashed, etc….”
Actually, the only anti-AA people he hears criticize AA, is former AA members. Why? Because current members aren’t allowed to question, much less criticize, the program. It isn’t that current AAs don’t hate the program. Most do, as is demonstrated by the fact that nine out of ten newcomers sitting around him at any given meeting are going to leave. Sure, they aren’t saying anything critical while they are there, but if they had cartoon-like thought bubbles pop up out of their heads, he would read such things as “How many times has this insufferable know-it-all spewed this same drunkalog?” or “Three more meetings, and I’m done with the court order!” or “Is that the gal my sponsor is screwing?” or “I wonder what time the bar closes. This is making me want to drink”.
Notice, also, that he makes the assumption that those who question AA are bitter because AA did not work for them. AA works for nobody, although some within AA fall under that percentage of Alkies who quit. What he is really expressing here is the fallacious idea that leaving AA means a person has returned to the sauce. This is the “do the steps or die” mentality.
“My question is this, when you encounter the people in your life who express these thoughts and feelings, whether they’re former AA members or just people with ridiculous misconceptions, how do you respond? I love a good heated debate so I usually get right in their face and give them a verbal bitch slapping that usually leaves them feeling quite humiliated and embarrassed for being foolish enough to condemn something they know so little about. It makes me feel good and I’m sure I do it more for my own ego then to defend AA. Lets just say that I doubt Bill W. would approve….”
This paragraph is just beautiful, and is what makes this AAer today’s AAll-Star. What he is saying here is: “When I encounter someone who thinks it is ridiculous that AA will provide them with humility, peace, serenity; and an end to selfish and self-seeking behavior – like it did with me – I get so fucking angry that I want to verbally abuse them to feed my ego (which I no longer have, thanks to AA). It makes me feel good to degrade others when they don’t feel the inner peace and serenity that I feel.”
I wonder if this guy crosses his fingers during the Serenity Prayer. This post is two years old, so the chances are probable that Tipsy is no longer in AA, but I really hope he is. He will make a great sponsor one day.