Dear Dr. Archer,
I'm reading your book, 'Better Than Normal' and I've been diagnosed and suffer from severe OCD. You seem not to understand that some people out there really do have severe mental illnesses. Yes, it can be chemical and it can be in the genes, too. I would think you would know that.
If some of us do not take medication, we are unable to have a normal life! Therapy can also help; I know that. Thank goodness for social security disability payments. Because of that assistance we have a chance at independence and a normal life. Before that, people like me had to live with our parents, but now that my OCD is under control I enjoy my house and being independent.
Do you know how many homeless sick people there would be if Social Security didn't exist? They don't give those checks to anyone; you usually have to go before a judge. I believe in prayer, medication, when I need it, and therapy. I believe in therapy, and I'm doing better from a relapse.
Please don't be so fast in saying people with severe mental disorders or symptoms do not need at least some medication. I know people do need therapy also, but therapy alone doesn't always work. I bought this book because I do agree with some things in it. I believe we can use our strong points and be better than normal.
But, as I read this I can't believe some of what I'm reading. Some people need their medication and it's great that social security exists so we can live a more independent life.
I am not overmedicated; I would not be able to write this if I were. I am different from other people, but we with mental illness don't take our medications to be like everyone else.
I hope no one who has severe mental illness and who is not taking medication reads your book. I'm going to continue reading your book. I can only hope it gets better.
I’m not sure how you came to the conclusion that I am against treatment for mental illness. I state repeatedly throughout the book that is not the case.
A couple of quotes within the book: ".... in some more serious cases, I can tell the person that the problem really does warrant a visit to a psychiatrist." Pertaining to Perfectionism/OCD, "...I would never suggest that OCD cannot be a devastating disorder, because it can, and I've seen it."
These traits occur along a continuum from 1 to 10+, psychiatric diagnoses don’t come with an on-off switch. Those that score 9-10+ on the continuum may very well need treatment.
However, many in the 5-8 range are being diagnosed and treated when in reality this is not only NOT a weakness, but could be their greatest strength.
Please finish the book, then send a follow up letter. I wish you the best.