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  #51  
Old 05-22-2017, 08:45 AM
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If any of you guys have any questions or curiosities about any other particulars of how things were like in there, feel free to ask away. I'm an open book. Truth be told, there was so much crazy shit that went on there in C-Block, that I'd be hard-pressed to remember it all without some prompting.

One thing that really surprised me about the whole experience though, was how "humane" it really was, at least once you got out of your state of psychosis and could see things more clearly. I was really surprised by the fact that I never saw them force-medicate anyone against their will. That was a big misconception I had about how those places were run. Instead, if someone chose to quit taking their meds and decompensated, they'd just send them back over to Tier 3 isolation and let them stew in their own misery until a point where they ever decided they wanted to take their medications again and move back to Tier 2 with the more privileges.

Definitely more of a "carrot" approach than the "stick", which surprised me. I'm not sure if actual mental hospitals work the same way, where maybe they can force-medicate you. Perhaps as otherwise "sane" prisoners (at least when we were convicted) we had more rights than those who are actually civilly committed. I have no idea.

It depends on the facility. I have worked in the mental health field for 12 years. There are some facilities that can force medicate you. If you are on a legal hold due to your mental health. There are others who will not. I worked at a facility twice for acute inpatient care and we did not force medication. I have heard many reasons why people do not want to take the medication. It's hard for them to see through the paranoia to see that there are people who genuinely care. Sometimes it is not so easy to find a medication that works. Sometimes it takes people months with different combinations of medications to finally have the voices quiet. Mental health is very real and I wish more people would talk about it vs. creating stigmas. I have seen countless families in denial. You know in Buddhism they say that human suffering is due to not seeing reality exactly how reality is. Some people don't want to see that a loved one is struggling....some don't care to deal with it. I love the field I work in and I absolutely love seeing someone be successful.
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  #52  
Old 08-17-2017, 11:14 PM
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I just wanted to give a quick update for those still following this thread...

I am still working on the memoir, but as many writers before me have found, churning out a whole novel-length manuscript is easier said than done. It's coming along in bits and pieces, fleshing out a few chapters, and quite a few of the central characters, but my ambitious goal of getting something workable to press by the end of summer isn't going to be happening. Especially now with school starting back up next week.

On a related note, I do have one positive development to report -- due to some unforeseen circumstances, I had to re-evaluate this Medical Lab Science program I had been accepted for at my college, and ended up switching majors instead. My new curriculum: Psychology! Which will actually be quite beneficial towards being better informed about mental health issues in general, for my book.

So I'm just going to plan on taking my time, and probably try to go the psychology press route instead of amateur release on Kindle, since I may want to reference my work towards possible future career goals, depending on where I plan to go with graduate school after I earn my bachelor's next year...

I'll make an announcement here in this thread, regardless, whenever I do get around to publishing. So stay tuned.
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  #53  
Old 08-26-2017, 01:55 AM
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Nickel, I have no idea what your college experience is, but it just might help you if you took a few courses. English 1010 & 2010. A few more after that as well. Those help a lot in writing, and can open a few more doors for you if you get an associates degree or bachelor's degree. Of course I could also be wrong as you could already have college under your belt.

I myself was diagnosed for many years as having Bi-Polar Disorder. Moved to another state and found out I never was BP but instead PTSD. The meds they had me on made life horrible.
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  #54  
Old 08-26-2017, 11:50 AM
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Nickel, I have no idea what your college experience is, but it just might help you if you took a few courses. English 1010 & 2010. A few more after that as well. Those help a lot in writing, and can open a few more doors for you if you get an associates degree or bachelor's degree. Of course I could also be wrong as you could already have college under your belt.

I myself was diagnosed for many years as having Bi-Polar Disorder. Moved to another state and found out I never was BP but instead PTSD. The meds they had me on made life horrible.
You do realize that different schools have different course numbering systems so the courses you are advising are meaningless gibberish. Example: at the U. of Iowa, the premiere creative writing school in the nation in all forms of writing, freshman level courses are 100 level, sophomore are 200, etc, up to PhD dissertation levels that stil wouldn't rise to your 1010 & 2010. Further, courses can be in writing, grammar, literature, literary criticism, workshops, and others (hint, don't screw with somebody getting a PhD in grammar - it won't be fun no matter how well you adhere to traditional grammar motifs).

Based on Nickle's writings here, he is more than competent to write a book. Should he need assistance, such assistance can be provided either at the collegiate level within his discipline, or a la cart through writing groups, a mentor, or workshops.
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Old 08-27-2017, 01:15 AM
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Doesn't hurt to mention it, IMO. If he feels he doesn't need it, then go for it. Just adding my thoughts.
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  #56  
Old 09-02-2017, 11:32 PM
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I want to add my name to those that want to thank you for sharing your difficult journey.

Perhaps you will need to revisit how you will accomplish writing your story, but however you do so if will help. Mental illness is an agony that if you add to all the other bumps in the road can make things quite unmanageable.

Just think how far you have come. Certainly proud of your bravery in speaking up.
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  #57  
Old 09-08-2017, 11:24 PM
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In Buddhism they say that human suffering is due to not seeing reality exactly how reality is. Some people don't want to see that a loved one is struggling....some don't care to deal with it. I love the field I work in and I absolutely love seeing someone be successful.
So much in this is the reality of people's lives. Lots of people practice escapism. It hurts at first, to live in the desert of the real but it is where a person must live without suffering. Sometimes the best form of medication either for a patient or their family is a reality check, this is real, I have an issue/my family member has an issue. This IS what it is. As anyone does go through mental health, you dug the hole, and as much as so you must now learn how to jump back out of it. Suffering comes from not recognizing what it is. As I fall back further into the hole myself, I am finding myself going back to the philosophy of my Buddhist psychotherapist lately, I must accept what is rather than run away. Talk to people about it, see my psychologist, and analyse what IS.

The cure is facing reality.

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You do realize that different schools have different course numbering systems so the courses you are advising are meaningless gibberish. Example: at the U. of Iowa, the premiere creative writing school in the nation in all forms of writing, freshman level courses are 100 level, sophomore are 200, etc, up to PhD dissertation levels that stil wouldn't rise to your 1010 & 2010. Further, courses can be in writing, grammar, literature, literary criticism, workshops, and others (hint, don't screw with somebody getting a PhD in grammar - it won't be fun no matter how well you adhere to traditional grammar motifs).

Based on Nickle's writings here, he is more than competent to write a book. Should he need assistance, such assistance can be provided either at the collegiate level within his discipline, or a la cart through writing groups, a mentor, or workshops.
You don't need to come off like this either. At my university 100 level is an introductory level course, 200 level is intermediate, 300 is advanced, raising to 400 to 700 level courses are for post-graduate studies, and so? It doesn't matter a jot. Beyond 300 level courses its mostly stuff that would not be relevant if you hadn't done a 300 level prerequisite in the first place. None of this really means anything anyway.

I have also read this thread, while I advocate the right of people to write and it is easier than ever to get published... At some point in time learning some grammar, basic structure for paragraphs, spelling skills, and critical thinking skills which you will learn at a university will help (that is of course contingent on whether the person who wrote this thread is interested in doing so). Should you want to write and be published, and be well read in a theraputic sphere, or as life for what it is, it would help immensely to at least have some sort of writing skills of course though.

The guidance of an editor will only take you so far. You don't need a PhD in English lit, or grammar, or whatever to realise this. I am also a prospective PhD student graduate. I have an English Literature minor among many other things. University is so much more than that though. I also have a major in political science/international relations, and in historical studies, as well as a concentration in society and culture. None of this really of course makes me better than the next person, but it does help to a certain extent with writing in those spheres.

Having the guidance to see what is going on in the dominant discourse helps if you want to write, that way you can also see the grass for the trees, who else is out there, what they're saying and where you fit in the grander schemes of things. A review of the literature that is already out there would be as good a place as any to start off with so you can agree/disagree and make your own stance about things.

Even those who write in the sphere of fiction and non-fiction adult literature generally go through these things before they even get to writing on their own. You might do this on your own, but it is certainly easier to do it with some guidance from a mentor/supervisor.

----

I don't want to leave this as a mine is bigger than yours because it just ends up going round in circles trying to work out who the idiot in the house is, so I'll leave it with this:
  • Finding a mentor/supervisor in the field would most definitely help a long way towards writing successfully if nothing else.
  • Working out where your book fits in the grander scheme of all the other books out there would also help.
  • An editor will help in the end stage but they won't help you with forming and shaping your ideas the way a mentor/supervisor would and they won't be as readily available to assist you IN that particular field.

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  #58  
Old 09-09-2017, 12:07 AM
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Dan Poynter's books about writing and publishing have drawn compliments.
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  #59  
Old 09-09-2017, 05:20 AM
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I don't know how long you've been out for but you might consider entering something like this.

https://pen.org/annual-prison-writing-contest/

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  #60  
Old 09-09-2017, 01:42 PM
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So much in this is the reality of people's lives. Lots of people practice escapism. It hurts at first, to live in the desert of the real but it is where a person must live without suffering. Sometimes the best form of medication either for a patient or their family is a reality check, this is real, I have an issue/my family member has an issue. This IS what it is. As anyone does go through mental health, you dug the hole, and as much as so you must now learn how to jump back out of it. Suffering comes from not recognizing what it is. As I fall back further into the hole myself, I am finding myself going back to the philosophy of my Buddhist psychotherapist lately, I must accept what is rather than run away. Talk to people about it, see my psychologist, and analyse what IS.

The cure is facing reality.



You don't need to come off like this either. At my university 100 level is an introductory level course, 200 level is intermediate, 300 is advanced, raising to 400 to 700 level courses are for post-graduate studies, and so? It doesn't matter a jot. Beyond 300 level courses its mostly stuff that would not be relevant if you hadn't done a 300 level prerequisite in the first place. None of this really means anything anyway.

I have also read this thread, while I advocate the right of people to write and it is easier than ever to get published... At some point in time learning some grammar, basic structure for paragraphs, spelling skills, and critical thinking skills which you will learn at a university will help (that is of course contingent on whether the person who wrote this thread is interested in doing so). Should you want to write and be published, and be well read in a theraputic sphere, or as life for what it is, it would help immensely to at least have some sort of writing skills of course though.

The guidance of an editor will only take you so far. You don't need a PhD in English lit, or grammar, or whatever to realise this. I am also a prospective PhD student graduate. I have an English Literature minor among many other things. University is so much more than that though. I also have a major in political science/international relations, and in historical studies, as well as a concentration in society and culture. None of this really of course makes me better than the next person, but it does help to a certain extent with writing in those spheres.

Having the guidance to see what is going on in the dominant discourse helps if you want to write, that way you can also see the grass for the trees, who else is out there, what they're saying and where you fit in the grander schemes of things. A review of the literature that is already out there would be as good a place as any to start off with so you can agree/disagree and make your own stance about things.

Even those who write in the sphere of fiction and non-fiction adult literature generally go through these things before they even get to writing on their own. You might do this on your own, but it is certainly easier to do it with some guidance from a mentor/supervisor.

----

I don't want to leave this as a mine is bigger than yours because it just ends up going round in circles trying to work out who the idiot in the house is, so I'll leave it with this:
  • Finding a mentor/supervisor in the field would most definitely help a long way towards writing successfully if nothing else.
  • Working out where your book fits in the grander scheme of all the other books out there would also help.
  • An editor will help in the end stage but they won't help you with forming and shaping your ideas the way a mentor/supervisor would and they won't be as readily available to assist you IN that particular field.
Look, you really don't want to pick this fight with me. You can go for a PhD as much as you want and you won't have my credentials as a published author, a MFA, and a JD.

If you've bothered to read more about Nickel, you'd know that he's already in school as an undergraduate nearing the completion of his bachelor's. Now, a bit of deductive reasoning means that he's already completed the freshman level core courses in literature and writing. Advising him to take more freshman level stuff is bogus as he's doing the work, including the writing, necessary for his degree level work.

The question becomes gaining the appropriate support necessary for the completion of the task of writing a book length memoir about his experiences. Yes, he could go towards creating a reading list of similar work, but there simply isn't anything out there written by a patient/prisoner who was treated through a prison mental health unit. Prison mental health units are fairly new constructs, which is one of the reasons why Nickel's voice in this matter is so important.

He could read the basics of mental health literature from the perspective of people who've been inpatient, or the family/friends of people who've been shipped to a state or federal forensic institute when they became too disturbed for prison - the standard before the creation of mental health units. Much of that stuff talks more about the abuses of such institutes rather than a positive experience that led to actual healing. You can call those the Prolixin Papers - experiences by people like Jack Abbott, Gary Gilmore, Charles Bronson (UK). The thing is those writers are psychopaths who have caused too much violent trouble in prison sent to forensic hospitals and placed on Prolixin and related drugs to try to control their acting out. Psychopathy is completely different from what most inmates sent to hospitals and to mental health units experience because of their mental illnesses.

But, then, anybody who thinks that people suffering from serious mental illness should turn to mentalization and Buddhist techniques to control things like delusions and hallucinations might not really have a good idea of serious mental illness.

Too often, people wind up in mental health units after their symptoms have become so florid that reality testing is not possible until some symptoms are appropriately controlled through medication and the removal of the person from the stresses of general population. Since most prisons do not want to actually torture mental patients, the creation of mental health units as an alternative has been a fantastic thing. The stress level is reduced, the prisoner isn't placed in isolation, the environment is therapeutic, and an actual treatment plan is created with programming that allows the person to once again grasp reality, devise a method of reality testing that fits their particular psychosis, and gain mastery over their environment with gradually increasing stress and appropriate supports until the person is able to go to general population or stay in an environment that allows them to successfully complete their prison term without a high likelihood of recidivating because of mental illness.

Last I checked, psychopaths are not included in the therapeutic environment since psychopathy is a personality disorder without a known method of treatment (outside of a unit in Vermont which has a unit specifically for psychopaths and narcissists in hopes that they can figure out a way to treat them. Btw, the guys who stay in that unit are far more likely to recidivate should they be released than psychopaths who stay in GP, but I digress).

If the poetry of Robert Lowell stimulates Nickel in his pursuit, then he should read Robert Lowell, knowing that the only thing that Lowell had in common with Nickel is mental illness.

Should Nickel take more classes to help him write his story? Probably not. First, his goal is to graduate, and he's very close. If he had a ton of credits left and room in his schedule, the answer might be different. Even then, getting into a writing class, a workshop, would probably not be helpful since the vast majority of other students would be 18-22 with limited life experience. While the U. Of Iowa research shows that there's a much greater level of mental illness in creative writing students, especially poets, it's still not all that relevant to somebody trying to write his story.

Can he find relevant support outside of an English class? Absolutely. An academic advisor may be helpful. A thesis advisor at the next level might be helpful. Writing Kurt Vonnegut's son, the MD who's written extensively about his schizophrenia might be helpful. But what you are missing is that he has other concerns to address first.

1. He needs to decide whether or not he's going to put his actual name on the book. Putting his actual name on the book can have consequences.
2. He needs to decide who his audience is. Is he writing for the purposes of just processing his own experiences? Is he writing for friends and family and prisoners going through something similar to his experiences? Is he writing to further his own career? All shape the project differently.
3. He needs to decide how he wants to publish. He doesn't have to publish. He can easily publish through any of the myriad of vanity presses out there now known as "self publishing". He could go through any of the mental health presses for more legitimacy. Or he could go for something more professional, that will find its way to peer review of a thesis more involved than just a professing of his own experiences. He can offer himself up as a case study, but that gets peer review and requires more shaping of a thesis that can be addressed by the profession.

Until he's addressed those three basics, most bs about editing and taking more classes and publishing is irrelevant.

Further, most of that - the shaping of his story - is irrelevant until he writes his story. And if you've been listening, he's in the middle of school right now so taking on more work beyond what he's already doing with writing his rough draft is a suggestion that just makes things more onerous. Let him write his story. He's at the organizational/rough draft stage. Classes on grammar or writing papers will not help. He needs to write his story and worry about shaping it from his rough draft after he has written his story. He can worry about shaping it to his audience and mode of publication later. Matter of fact, he should worry about it later. Editing while writing is the quickest way to writer's block there is. Contemplating the implications of putting his own name on the story or using a nom de plume will not help him write. Those are issues best shelved until later.

Right now, he's at the rough draft stage of writing. As anybody who's written a paper 7 pages long to 700 pages long knows, a rough draft is a rough draft. You organize and then write. His education so far has taught him what works best for writing. Writing his story has already added significantly to his reading and writing load for the semester. He doesn't need more.

He just needs to write. In and around the requirements of the rest of his semester, he needs to write. If he gets stuck, then the suggestions may be helpful. But right now, he needs to just write.

And of course do his coursework.

Fwiw, courses at the undergraduate level do not address writing a book length document. Some MFA programs have added memoir to their catalog. Goddard I believe is one such college with a low res program. For academic writing, you don't hit book length constructions and writing until your PhD, though the master's thesis is a good prep for writing book length work. Anything that can be taken at the undergrad level deals with short papers (I'm a lawyer; a brief for me is 75 pages) and rewrites. And, it involves reading in your field and a myriad of fields outside your field. But it doesn't involve writing books.

Remember, he's doing the reading and coursework for his semester and that has to come first as he realizes that writing his story as a book length work will take more than a summer. He will fit his writing on this project in around his semester requirements.

Remember also that when writing something with a high emotional value to the writer, there are going to be more mistakes. This is one of the reasons that it's called a rough draft. Nobody writes perfect prose right out of the chute. Nobody writes perfect prose on a message board. Criticism of spelling or grammar on a message board like this? It's just crap. And those who've read the entire thread should realize Nickel is already in college, and pretty far along at that. Suggesting a college upperclassman needs to go back and take intro level writing courses is really passive aggressive bullshit.

Nickel just needs to write and worry about all that other crap once he's written his rough draft.

And all of that should take a backseat to his semester (or trimester, or whatever system he's in) work.

Your failure and the "recommendations" of cornered are just crap. Totally unnecessary.
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  #61  
Old 09-09-2017, 06:58 PM
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Look, you really don't want to pick this fight with me. You can go for a PhD as much as you want and you won't have my credentials as a published author, a MFA, and a JD.
No one is picking a fight. I only see people trying to help. So go take a chill pill. You need it.

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If you've bothered to read more about Nickel, you'd know that he's already in school as an undergraduate nearing the completion of his bachelor's. Now, a bit of deductive reasoning means that he's already completed the freshman level core courses in literature and writing. Advising him to take more freshman level stuff is bogus as he's doing the work, including the writing, necessary for his degree level work.
Great! For whatever reason my profile is not allowed to access other people's profiles. Once in a while it will.

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Nickel just needs to write and worry about all that other crap once he's written his rough draft.
But it never hurts to have a mentor. Even some highly prized academic authors have theirs.

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Your failure and the "recommendations" of cornered are just crap. Totally unnecessary.
Just offering some guidance. You want no guidance or views, then say so in the sub-title. Otherwise dump the cocky attitude.

I don't know about the rest here, but I have invested nearly 100K into lawyers only to get jacked. That's why I don't have the money for an apartment and am living "out in the sticks" literally, while going to college. So I wouldn't brag about having a JD, if I was you.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:57 PM
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Look, you really don't want to pick this fight with me. You can go for a PhD as much as you want and you won't have my credentials as a published author, a MFA, and a JD.
Sucks to be you, I'm already published... Seems to be that you've got a bone to pick with someone and come off as being a little uppity and conceited. Don't worry I come across people like you as an academic all the time. The academic system is what it is. We both tie our shoe laces the same way, you're no better than what I am OK? You're talking to someone who going by the US system if you stuck me on a bell curve as an A level student I'd be in the top 2-3% of all students in the system.

Don't play games with me because you're not going to win. Getting published is not difficult in fact my supervisor offered me a range of different journals I could approach so as I could go through the whole process as a lived experience.

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If you've bothered to read more about Nickel, you'd know that he's already in school as an undergraduate nearing the completion of his bachelor's. Now, a bit of deductive reasoning means that he's already completed the freshman level core courses in literature and writing. Advising him to take more freshman level stuff is bogus as he's doing the work, including the writing, necessary for his degree level work.
Well I'm sorry I'm new here, you need to take the stick out of your buttocks. I'll remember that for future reference now that you've told me. But I can't be expected to be widely read across people I don't really know from a bar of soap. Again, commiserations but I just stopped by here to notice you were chastising people for not knowing what entry level courses in academics are and had to remove the stick from your backside. I don't know maybe you like it that way?

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The question becomes gaining the appropriate support necessary for the completion of the task of writing a book length memoir about his experiences. Yes, he could go towards creating a reading list of similar work, but there simply isn't anything out there written by a patient/prisoner who was treated through a prison mental health unit. Prison mental health units are fairly new constructs, which is one of the reasons why Nickel's voice in this matter is so important.
Ahh really, this... no this is what a literature review is about. Now I don't have means other than this forum to guide anyone here about how to do a literature review step by step but I can tell you there would be numerous people in the field. You just haven't encountered who they are and what they have to say.

Start with http://www.worldcat.org/ do a bit of a search through preexisting books on the matter, see what they have to state, see where the middle ground in it is and then start writing otherwise you're going to get in a fight you don't want to be in with another author. A bit like the prison system... Now really? Do you want to write a book and then realise that you're chasing a weak argument that cuts against the grain of someone who is smarter, more well read, more experienced... Or do you want to write a book because you can.

Any Tom Dickens can go and get a book put through a publisher and have it self published. Some publishing houses will do a number of books at X amount of dollars without a care in the world. Do you really want to be one of those people however?

Quote:
He could read the basics of mental health literature from the perspective of people who've been inpatient, or the family/friends of people who've been shipped to a state or federal forensic institute when they became too disturbed for prison - the standard before the creation of mental health units. Much of that stuff talks more about the abuses of such institutes rather than a positive experience that led to actual healing. You can call those the Prolixin Papers - experiences by people like Jack Abbott, Gary Gilmore, Charles Bronson (UK). The thing is those writers are psychopaths who have caused too much violent trouble in prison sent to forensic hospitals and placed on Prolixin and related drugs to try to control their acting out. Psychopathy is completely different from what most inmates sent to hospitals and to mental health units experience because of their mental illnesses.
There is a range of topics and you're just heading into an area I'm somewhat interested in you could also read Madness and Civilization by Michel Foucault. Trust me enough in actually understanding that if you want to be part of the top 2% then you want to be well read in your field of interest.

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But, then, anybody who thinks that people suffering from serious mental illness should turn to mentalization and Buddhist techniques to control things like delusions and hallucinations might not really have a good idea of serious mental illness.
Now little britches... I am floridly unwell myself, now maybe I don't hear voices or have delusions, but I have major unipolar depression and anxiety. I know what it is to have your brain tell you it might just be a good idea to jump off a cliff. You're playing games again and you're ignoring the wealth of information that is parlayed through other theories such as "acceptance and commitment therapy and also in "focusing" therapy that says exactly the same thing. Oh there's "mindfulness" also that is about just learning to deal with the suffering itself. Siddhartha Gautama is just the first among many to suggest these things.

Now I understand medication has its place for people who are floridly psychotic, I've seen all kinds of things as a sufferer of mental health myself. Among many of them, people like you who think they know too much about nothing also. But I've seen delusions, schitzophrenia, paranoia and oh hey.... I've been in a nut house myself. Now you want to tell me with your "well vested" academic interest I haven't a clue what I'm talking about

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Too often, people wind up in mental health units after their symptoms have become so florid that reality testing is not possible until some symptoms are appropriately controlled through medication and the removal of the person from the stresses of general population. Since most prisons do not want to actually torture mental patients, the creation of mental health units as an alternative has been a fantastic thing. The stress level is reduced, the prisoner isn't placed in isolation, the environment is therapeutic, and an actual treatment plan is created with programming that allows the person to once again grasp reality, devise a method of reality testing that fits their particular psychosis, and gain mastery over their environment with gradually increasing stress and appropriate supports until the person is able to go to general population or stay in an environment that allows them to successfully complete their prison term without a high likelihood of recidivating because of mental illness.
Let me simplify this for you:

Too often people end up in hospitals/prisons because they either can't or don't want to ask for help. Having a treatment plan created for you is difficult enough as it is when your mind is telling you as it was telling mine last night you want to jump off a bridge. I know how difficult it is that's why I'm here also.

I have a particular personal interest in everything you just said from personal experience.

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Last I checked, psychopaths are not included in the therapeutic environment since psychopathy is a personality disorder without a known method of treatment (outside of a unit in Vermont which has a unit specifically for psychopaths and narcissists in hopes that they can figure out a way to treat them. Btw, the guys who stay in that unit are far more likely to recidivate should they be released than psychopaths who stay in GP, but I digress).
Psychopathy/sociopathy is not generally considered treatable by most psychiatrists and there in lies your problem from the beginning. We used to have these things called institutions that dealt with these people either permanently or otherwise. Unfortunately there was a couple dingalings named Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan who commited to shutting down wards. Now you wonder why in the world we are ending up with these people in prisons? There was another nice little old lady called Maggie Thatcher in the UK you might have heard about who dismantled the NHS in the UK.

Hmm... perhaps some insight into the history of mental health might help you understand now why in the world these people are actually in prisons rather than psych wards... OK

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If the poetry of Robert Lowell stimulates Nickel in his pursuit, then he should read Robert Lowell, knowing that the only thing that Lowell had in common with Nickel is mental illness.

Should Nickel take more classes to help him write his story? Probably not. First, his goal is to graduate, and he's very close. If he had a ton of credits left and room in his schedule, the answer might be different. Even then, getting into a writing class, a workshop, would probably not be helpful since the vast majority of other students would be 18-22 with limited life experience. While the U. Of Iowa research shows that there's a much greater level of mental illness in creative writing students, especially poets, it's still not all that relevant to somebody trying to write his story.
OK yes, he should graduate and then if he wants to get serious he should do what I suggested and find a good supervisor. There are plenty of those types of people kicking round in universities that will help both in terms of knowledge and also in terms of structure.

If you want my advice you could probably turn this into a thesis if you have something new to say, or maybe an academic journal or two and then think about turning either or into a book.

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Can he find relevant support outside of an English class? Absolutely. An academic advisor may be helpful. A thesis advisor at the next level might be helpful. Writing Kurt Vonnegut's son, the MD who's written extensively about his schizophrenia might be helpful. But what you are missing is that he has other concerns to address first.
Yes good, if you know these people then approach them, I don't know who the preeminent people are in these fields because I don't happen to live in the United States and its not my particular area of study.

I could probably write a book on the history of mental health at this point if I felt so inclined, but that's an area that is already well covered. My specialty area is in the social impacts of migrant communities and particularly my own migrant community. This has nothing to do with mental health, so aside from tidbits I have no in depth analysis I can offer in this field. By way of chance I haven't pursued that particular area.

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1. He needs to decide whether or not he's going to put his actual name on the book. Putting his actual name on the book can have consequences.
2. He needs to decide who his audience is. Is he writing for the purposes of just processing his own experiences? Is he writing for friends and family and prisoners going through something similar to his experiences? Is he writing to further his own career? All shape the project differently.
3. He needs to decide how he wants to publish. He doesn't have to publish. He can easily publish through any of the myriad of vanity presses out there now known as "self publishing". He could go through any of the mental health presses for more legitimacy. Or he could go for something more professional, that will find its way to peer review of a thesis more involved than just a professing of his own experiences. He can offer himself up as a case study, but that gets peer review and requires more shaping of a thesis that can be addressed by the profession.
Yes I pretty much said the same thing. He needs to work out what his audience is and he needs to do some field research to solidify his case if he wants to be taken seriously and then he needs to decide how he wants to get it published.

Is this a serious book, or a book of memoirs for a small audience of people who are close relatives or have been there. If it were me I would go for the biggest audience I could summon myself to conjure up. That might be academically or otherwise. Unfortunately I don't have the experiential means to talk about what other writers have to do to get published outside of an academic sphere.

That's not my game, unfortunately so I'll be licked. I hope that addresses your rant... This is turning out just like a prison in fight over some smashed up honey buns... Exactly where I didn't want to go.

Last edited by Roumelio; 09-09-2017 at 11:07 PM..
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:14 PM
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Strong recommendation that folks take a step back, a deep breath and a little break if needed.

It's fine to debate, but civility first. Name calling and pissing matches can be had somewhere else.
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by miamac View Post
Strong recommendation that folks take a step back, a deep breath and a little break if needed.

It's fine to debate, but civility first. Name calling and pissing matches can be had somewhere else.
Thank you.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:09 AM
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OK. Since the argumentation seems to be continuing despite the warning above, I'm closing the thread.

Take it somewhere else, folks!
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