Jonathan Haidt

Background

It always humbles me to see how far ahead so many of these guys really are.

Profile

 

Quotes

“If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between ‘for’ and ‘against’ is the mind’s worst disease.”
Sent-ts’an, Buddhist, around c. 700 C.E.

 

 

Videos

  1. Tim Keller & Jonathan Haidt at NYU – The Closing of the Modern Mind – Identity Politics
    Link
  2. Jonathan Haidt: The moral roots of liberals and conservatives
    March 2008
    Link

TheAtlantic – How Brain Scientists Forgot That Brains Have Owners ( By Ed Yong )

Introduction

Ed Yong has an interesting article in the Feb 2017 Edition of the Atlantic.

I especially like it as it shows that we can disagree without being disagreeable.

 

Story

Link
It’s a good time to be interested in the brain. Neuroscientists can now turn neurons on or off with just a flash of light, allowing them to manipulate the behavior of animals with exceptional precision. They can turn brains transparent and seed them with glowing molecules to divine their structure. They can record the activity of huge numbers of neurons at once. And those are just the tools that currently exist. In 2013, Barack Obama launched the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative—a $115 million plan to develop even better technologies for understanding the enigmatic gray blobs that sit inside our skulls.

John Krakaeur, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, has been asked to BRAIN Initiative meetings before, and describes it like “Maleficent being invited to Sleeping Beauty’s birthday.” That’s because he and four like-minded friends have become increasingly disenchanted by their colleagues’ obsession with their toys. And in a new paper that’s part philosophical treatise and part shot across the bow, they argue that this technological fetish is leading the field astray. “People think technology + big data + machine learning = science,” says Krakauer. “And it’s not.”

He and his fellow curmudgeons argue that brains are special because of the behavior they create—everything from a predator’s pounce to a baby’s cry. But the study of such behavior is being de-prioritized, or studied “almost as an afterthought.” Instead, neuroscientists have been focusing on using their new tools to study individual neurons, or networks of neurons. According to Krakauer, the unspoken assumption is that if we collect enough data about the parts, the workings of the whole will become clear. If we fully understand the molecules that dance across a synapse, or the electrical pulses that zoom along a neuron, or the web of connections formed by many neurons, we will eventually solve the mysteries of learning, memory, emotion, and more. “The fallacy is that more of the same kind of work in the infinitely postponed future will transform into knowing why that mother’s crying or why I’m feeling this way,” says Krakauer. And, as he and his colleagues argue, it will not.

That’s because behavior is an emergent property—it arises from large groups of neurons working together, and isn’t apparent from studying any single one. You can draw parallels with the flocking of birds. Biologists have long wondered how they manage to wheel about the skies in perfect coordination, as if they were a single entity. In the 1980s, computer scientists showed that this can happen if each bird obeys a few simple rules, which dictate their distance and alignment relative to their peers. From these simple individual rules, collective complexity emerges.

But you would never have been able to predict the latter from the former. No matter how thoroughly you understood the physics of feathers, you could never have predicted a murmuration of starlings without first seeing it happen. So it is with the brain. As British neuroscientist David Marr wrote in 1982, “trying to understand perception by understanding neurons is like trying to understand a bird’s flight by studying only feathers. It just cannot be done.”

A landmark study, published last year, beautifully illustrated his point using, of all things, retro video games. Eric Jonas and Konrad Kording examined the MOS 6502 microchip, which ran classics like Donkey Kong and Space Invaders, in the style of neuroscientists. Using the approaches that are common to brain science, they wondered if they could rediscover what they already knew about the chip—how its transistors and logic gates process information, and how they run simple games. And they utterly failed.

“What we extracted was so incredibly superficial,” Jonas told me last year. And “in the real world, this would be a millions-of-dollars data set.” If the kind of neuroscience that
has come to dominate the field couldn’t explain the workings of a simple, dated microchip, how could it hope to explain the brain—reputedly the most complex object in the universe?

This criticism misses the mark, says Rafael Yuste from Columbia University, who works on developing new tools for studying the brain. We still don’t understand how the brain works, he says, “because we’re still ignorant about the middle ground between single neurons and behavior, which is the function of groups of neurons—of neural circuits.” And that’s because of “the methodological shackles that have prevented investigators from examining the activity of entire nervous system. This is probably futile, like watching TV by examining a single pixel at a time.” By developing better tools that can watch entire neural circuits in action, programs like the BRAIN Initiative are working against reductionism and will take us closer to capturing the emergent properties of the brain.

But Krakauer says that this viewpoint just swaps “neuron” for “neural circuit” and then makes the same conceptual mistake. “It’ll be interesting to see emergent properties at the level of the circuit, but it’s a fallacy to think that you get closer to the whole organism and understanding will automatically ensue,” he says.

He and his colleagues aren’t dismissing new technologies, either. They’re not neuro-Luddites. “These new tools are amazing; I’m using them right now in my lab,” says Asif Ghazanfar from Princeton University, who studies communication between pairs of marmoset monkeys. “But I spent seven years trying to understand their vocal behavior first. Now, I have some specific ideas about what the neural circuitry behind that might look like, and I’ll design careful experiments to test them. Often it seems that people do the reverse: They look at the cool tech and say, ‘What questions can I ask with that?’ And then you get these results that you can interpret in vague ways.”

This point is crucial. Unlike others who have levied charges of reductionism against neuroscience, Ghazanfar and his peers aren’t dualists—they aren’t saying there’s a mind that sits separate from the brain and resists explanation. They’re saying that explanations exist. It’s just that we’re looking for them in the wrong way. Worse, we’re arriving at the wrong explanations.

Consider mirror neurons. These cells, first discovered in monkeys, fire in the same way when an animal performs an action and when it sees another individual doing the same. To some scientists, these shared firing patterns imply understanding: Since the monkey knows its intentions when it moves its own body, based on the firing of the mirror neurons, it should be able to infer similar intentions upon whomever it watches. And so, these neurons have been mooted as the basis of empathy, language, autism, jazz, and even human civilization—not for nothing have they been called the “most hyped concept in neuroscience.”

Here’s the problem: In the monkey experiments, scientists almost never check the animals’ behavior to confirm that they genuinely actually understand what they’re seeing in their peers. As Krakauer and colleagues write, “An interpretation is being mistaken for a result; namely, that the mirror neurons understand the other individual.” As others have written, there’s little strong evidence for this—or even for the existence of mirror neurons in humans. This is the kind of logical trap that you fall into when you ignore behavior.

By contrast, Krakauer points to his own work on Parkinson’s disease. People with the disease tend to move slowly—a symptom that’s been linked to a lack of dopamine. Increase the levels of that chemical, and you can hasten a person’s movements. That’s could lead to new treatments, which is no small victory. But it doesn’t tell a neuroscientist why or how the loss of dopamine leads to the behavior.

Krakauer found a clue in 2007 by asking Parkinson’s patients to reach for objects at varying speeds. These experiments revealed that they’re just as capable of moving quickly as healthy people; they’re just unconsciously reluctant to do so. They suggested that dopamine-producing neurons that connect two parts of the brain—the substantia nigra and the striatum—determine our motivation to move. Deplete that dopamine, and we opt for less energetic movements for a given task. Hence the slowness. Later experiments in mice, in which modern techniques were used to raise or lower dopamine levels, confirmed this idea.

There are many other examples where behavior led the way. By studying how owls listen out for scurrying prey, neuroscientists discovered how their brains—and later, those of mammals—localize sound. By studying how marmosets call to each other, Ghazanfar has learned more about the rules that govern turn-taking in human conversation. Critically, these cases began with studying behaviors that the animals naturally do, not those that they had been trained to perform. Likewise, bats, sea slugs, and electric fish have all told us a lot about how brains work, because each has its own specialized skills. “If you pick a species that does one or two behaviors super-well, you can identify the underlying circuits more clearly,” Ghazanfar says. “Instead, mice are treated as if they’re this generic mammal that have smaller versions of human brains—and that’s preposterous.”

“I am thrilled to see this paper emphasize the importance of carefully studied behavior,” says Anne Churchland, who studies decision-making at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. “I’ve seen in neuroscience that behavior is often an afterthought, studied with insufficient understanding of the animal’s strategy.” But she adds that such studies are hard. It’s difficult to get animals to behave naturally in a lab, because you might need to recreate aspects of their world that aren’t obvious to us.

Ghazanfar agrees. “If your goal is to understand the brain, you have to understand behavior, and that’s not trivial. I think a lot of neuroscientists think it is,” he says. “Perhaps one way forward would be to develop tools to help address the complexity of behavior” suggests Ed Boyden from MIT, who pioneered the breakthrough technique called optogenetics. “Behavioral investigation has a strong tradition in neuroscience and I hope it grows even stronger.”

For the moment, the problem is that it’s getting harder to publish such studies in flagship neuroscience journals. Behavioral studies get rejected for “not having enough neuro”, says Ghazanfar, and “it’s as if every paper needs to be a methodological decathlon in order to be considered important.”

Marina Picciotto from Yale University, who is editor in chief of the Journal of Neuroscience, says it boils down to how studies are framed. If they’re just describing behavior, they’re probably more appropriate for a journal that, say, focuses on psychology. But if behavioral experiments explicitly lead to hypotheses about circuits in the brain, or something of that kind, they’re more relevant for the neuroscience field. But “the line between ‘pure’ behavior and neuroscience is fluid,” she admits, and she’s both appreciative of the new paper and open to discussions about the issues it raises.

To Krakauer, the current line demeans behavioral work, deeming it valuable “as long as it tells us where to stick the electrodes.” But it’s important in itself. “My fear is that people will say: Yes, of course, we should continue to do everything we’ve been doing, but also do better behavior studies. I’m trying to say: You’ve got to do the behavior first. You can’t fly the plane while building it.”

Listening

Wretch 32 ft Jacob Banks – ‘Doing OK’ (Official Video)
Link

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Cases

  1. Herschel Walker – Dissociative Identity Disorder
    • Discussion with Herschel Walker, Cindy DeAngelis Grossman ( his ex-wife ), and Jerry Mungadze ( his therapist )
    • Uploaded On :- 2010-Apr-28th
    • DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder 1 of 2
      Link
    • DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder 2 of 2
      Link
  2. Kanaan Ministries – Foundational Understanding of Mind Control – Dissociative Identity Disorder
    • Dissociative Identity Disorder
      Link

 

Indepth

Herschel Walker

Herschel Walker is widely regarded as one of football’s greatest running backs. He led the University of Georgia to victory in the Sugar Bowl on the way to an NCAA Championship and he capped a sensational college career by earning the 1982 Heisman Trophy. Herschel spent twelve years in the NFL, where he rushed for more than eight thousand yards and scored sixty-one rushing touchdowns.

But despite the acclaim he won as a football legend, track star, Olympic competitor, and later a successful businessman, Herschel realized that his life, at times, was simply out of control. He often felt angry, self-destructive, and unable to connect meaningfully with friends and family. Drawing on his deep faith, Herschel turned to professionals for help and was ultimately diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder.

While some might have taken this diagnosis as a setback, Herschel approached his mental health with the same indomitable spirit he brought to the playing field. It also gave him, for the first time, insight into his life’s unexplained passages, stretches of time that seemed forever lost. Herschel came to understand that during those times, his “alters,” or alternate personalities, were in control.

Born into a poor, but loving family in the South, Herschel was an overweight child with a stutter who suffered terrible bullying at school. He now understands that he created “alters” who could withstand abuse. But beyond simply enduring, other “alters” came forward to help Herschel overcome numerous obstacles and, by the time he graduated high school, become an athlete recognized on a national level.

In Breaking Free, Herschel tells his story — from the joys and hardships of childhood to his explosive impact on college football to his remarkable professional career. And he gives voice and hope to those suffering from DID. Herschel shows how this disorder played an integral role in his accomplishments and how he has learned to live with it today. His compelling account testifies to the strength of the human spirit and its ability to overcome any challenge.

Kanaan Ministries ( South Africa – SA )

Narrator

Amanda Buys, Kanaan Ministries, South Africa, is the instructor.

 

Discussions

  1. Captive Spirit
    • The following is an extract from the latest course ACTS (Advanced Counsellors Training School). For the complete course – there are 23 DVDs and 3 manuals, which can be purchased from our office, please contact our office:
    • Parts
      • Captive Spirit – Part 1
        Published On : 2016-May-27th
        Link
      • Captive Spirit – Part 2
        Link
      • Captive Spirit – Part 3
        Link
  2. Foundational Understanding of Mind Control
    • Foundational Understanding of Mind Control – Part 1
      Published on :- 2016-May-30th
      Link
  3. SRA / Dissociative Identity Disorder ( DID ) Advanced Training Sessions
    • SRA / DID Advanced Training Sessions 1 – 3
      Added On: 2017-Jan-16
      Link
  4. Neshamah – Journey to Freedom
    • Amanda Buys, Kanaan Ministries, South Africa, is the instructor in this video seminar on the Neshamah and is supplemental to the teaching “Understanding Neshamah in Counseling DID/SRA”. It was recorded in January of 2013.
      Published On :- 2013-Sep-27
      Link

InDepth

Captive Spirit

Captive Spirit Part 1

  1. The enemy comes against the Counselor and places fear in his heart and mind
    • Every new level comes with his own level of intimation
    • Balance between Faith and Fear
  2. Isaiah 42:22
    • But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.
  3. Wound Type
    • It is a Spirit wound [ Segment 11 ]
      • It is not just a soul wound
      • Once it gets into captivity, it is both a Soul and Spirit wound
  4. The Captive in the Tower
    • The enemy takes advantage of these moments of great suffering and trauma to capture a fragment/piece of us and takes us prisoners in his kingdom
    • When a person suffers from intense trauma, regions of fear capture his spirit and soul
  5. In her youth, she suffered through an alcoholic father
    • She built a stronghold
    • Others those it was just stubbornness

Captive Spirit Part 2

  1. Lord, I repent that I did not run to you
    • Proverbs 18:10
      • He also who is slack in his work Is brother to him who destroys.
        The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.
        A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own imagination.…The name of the Lord is a strong tower

Captive Spirit Part 3

  1. Lies of the Evil one
    • Isaiah 28:16-18
      • A Cornerstone in Zion
        …Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
        He who believes in it will not be disturbed.
        I will make justice the measuring line And righteousness the level; Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies And the waters will overflow the secret place.
        Your covenant with death will be canceled, And your pact with Sheol will not stand;”
  2. Repeated Transgressions
    • Prisons of Sin
      • Sexual Immorality

 

SRA / Dissociative Identity Disorder ( DID ) Advanced Training Sessions

  1. Now people can say that I have prayed, but how do they live
  2. The physical traits of the fruit can be there and exists, but how is being expressed
    • They can be pray
    • But how does that person live?
  3. Really have to live and pray
  4. The way we live is a testament to God’s ability to change lives
  5. It is not just about sitting in Church every Sunday and making sure that I keep that sit…
    • That is a joke
    • That is playing a Church
  6. Am I changing the community around me
  7. Am I there for my neighbor
  8. It does not matter what my skin color is
  9. It does not matter what my Political Party is
  10. Checked
    •  I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming, and he has no claim on Me. ( John 14:30 )
  11. Anointing
    • If you want Authority before the Lord, it is based “On how are you Living
    • It does not mean my gifts
      • I can be very gifted, but not have any anointing

 

Screen Shots

Fruit of the Spirit

Definition ( Segment Part 1 – 25th Minute )

definitionoffruitofspirit

Anointing Is

anointing

 

Life Talks – 2016 / Sept

 

Background

Human lives still hold the strongest and most poignant stories of all tales and fables.

I have listed some of them below.

They range from Mark Henick’s opening up about his attempted suicides.  The presentation was part of series of talks given at Ted’s Talk Toronto.  The theme of the series is “The Choices we make“.

I found Shraddha’s story along the same topic so personal and endearing.  And, I think you will remember her for a long time.

But, first Kofi Boahene. His story is so uplifting as it talks about how chance encounters can right paths.

And, to close things out a good family and redeeming movie.

 

Talks

Medicine

  1. Kofi Boahene
    • Johns Hopkins Surgeon: The Long Way Here – Kofi Boahene’s Story
      Link
    • Dr Kofi Boahene – The doctor who rebuilds faces (CNN African Voices)
      Link

 

Mental Illness

  1. Shraddha Shankar
    • Suicide: How my failed attempts became my biggest success | Shraddha Shankar | TEDxUIUC
      Link
  2. Mark Henick
    • Why we choose suicide | Mark Henick | TEDxToronto
      Link

Movies

And, so round up things, please watch “Lyfes Journey”.

It is available here.

 

Treating Tasla ( by KAREN DE SÁ – San Jose Mercury News)

Forward

A heartbroken story of family or lack thereof.

 

Story

Story by KAREN DE SÁ
Photographs and video by DAI SUGANO 
PUBLICATION: AUGUST 8, 2016

Link

Pulled from a neglectful home, Tasia Wright remembers the terrifying loneliness of growing up in foster care in Southern California.

There were frequent visits with psychiatrists, and when she met with Dr. Eliot Moon, she remembers getting a sweet, a prescription and being sent on her way.

“I just went to his office, took my piece of candy and let him tell me what medication I’d be on,” recalled Tasia, who said the doctor would tell her the treatment was for “bad behavior.”

“He didn’t ask us why we did what we did, or anything like that.” She felt like “it was set in stone. He has to put you on a med.”

Now 27, Tasia is sharing the story of her emotionally fragile childhood under the care of one of California’s highest prescribers of antipsychotic medications to foster children — the latest installment of the Bay Area News Group’s ongoing investigative series “Drugging Our Kids.”

A new investigation of the prescribing habits of 1,280 doctors and nurse practitioners, published Sunday, showed Moon was among a select group: 120 psychiatrists who were responsible about 50 percent of the time when a foster child received antipsychotics. The powerful psychiatric drugs often come with debilitating side effects for children.

Tasia was 6 when social workers wrested her from a single mother with drug problems. The little girl arrived at the Hillsides residential group home in Pasadena, with a nurse noting in her files that Tasia “appears bright, answers questions, smiles. … Says she has no aches, pains or problems.”

She left the group home 13 years later, morbidly obese, with Type 2 diabetes and medication-induced tremors.

Ties to drug companies

Moon saw Tasia in her teenage years, from 2004 to 2009. In the ensuing years, Moon stood out among psychiatrists who treated California foster youth from July 2009 to July 2014, according to a database of state Medi-Cal benefit claims obtained through a public records request by this news organization. He ranked among the highest prescribers of multiple antipsychotic medications, drugs approved mostly for adults with schizophrenia and other serious mental disorders.

 

The 46 foster children for whom Moon prescribed two or more antipsychotics for two months or longer accounted for a startling 6 percent of the youth who received a similar treatment statewide over the five years the news organization examined. The drugs, especially in combination, place youth at high risk for obesity, diabetes, extreme lethargy and irreversible tremors.

And Moon was among a handful of the state’s highest prescribers who played a role in helping drug manufacturers research antipsychotics and other psychiatric drugs. From a remote region in the Riverside County city of Wildomar, Moon runs Elite Clinical Trials, a firm sponsored by 13 pharmaceutical companies.

Despite a reporter’s visit to that office, along with months of repeated calls, emails and a certified letter, Moon did not respond to questions about his dual roles as high prescriber and drug industry researcher, or his treatment of Tasia.

His firm received $1.2 million in research funding in 2013-2015, according  to the government’s website of drug company disclosures. Elite Clinical Trials is listed on another federal government website as a study location for 25 industry-sponsored trials on mental-health drugs, including 19 that involve children and adolescents.

According to medical records she shared with this news organization, Tasia was prescribed 23 different psychiatric drugs by three psychiatrists, including Moon, while she lived at Hillsides. Moon and Elite Clinical Trials accepted payments from the manufacturers of five of the seven psychotropic drugs he prescribed her: Clozaril, Topamax, Neurontin, Ativan and Zyprexa.

Hillsides CEO Joseph Costa declined to discuss Moon, one of his center’s five treating psychiatrists. But in a written statement that did not address any specifics, Costa described Hillsides’ “medication support” as just one part of an integrated treatment approach, which he said is based on evidence of effectiveness, proven research and measurable outcomes.

“Children are also informed of the medication, which is administered at the lowest effective dose possible,” he said, “and advised that they have a right to refuse medication without fear of consequence.”

‘All she wanted was to be adopted’

Overwhelming sadness compounded Tasia’s deteriorating physical health at Hillsides. As she watched her siblings find adoptive homes one by one, Tasia would get dressed up in donated clothes and wait for visits from her birth mother. But her mom often failed to show. Grief and frustration would turn to anger, at times unleashed on the group home staff. Tasia was often sent to the padded timeout room.

When she was 14 and on three psychiatric drugs, psychiatrist Dr. Elliot Tressan noted how she “had an extremely difficult weekend, violent, unpredictable. Looks sleepy at times but becomes very angry quickly. Dangerously out of control.” He discontinued one drug but added Depakote and the antipsychotic Risperdal.

“She thought if she was bad enough they’d send her back to her mother, but she didn’t know that ‘bad enough’ would turn her into ‘unadoptable’,” said Tonya Beaudet, who adopted Tasia’s sister and spent years taking Tasia home on weekends. “It was just sad, it was so sad — all she wanted was to be adopted.”

Tasia was cheerful at Beaudet’s home, she said, helping in the kitchen and cuddling with her sister. But Tasia would arrive for visits with a zip-lock bag full of pills. Beaudet said she quickly learned which ones not to give her “so she wouldn’t sleep all weekend.”

Tasia was treated by two psychiatrists before she became Moon’s patient. In her first year in the group home, 10 psychiatric drugs were tried — so many that by age 8, a physician’s notes describe Tasia as so sedated she “fell over ‘like a tree’ on way to school.”

Tasia Wright shared more than 13 years of medical records with the Bay Area News Group from her youth growing up in foster care at Hillsides, a residential group home in Pasadena. Documenting a tumultuous childhood, the records provide a glimpse into how psychiatric drugs played a central role in the treatment plan of a girl who arrived at 6 and “appears bright, answers questions, smiles … no aches, pains or problems.” More than a decade later, she left foster care morbidly obese, with Type 2 diabetes and medication-induced tremors.

As a young teen, Tasia Wright was once on as many as five psychiatric drugs. Dr. Eliot Moon eventually tapered her off most of the medications but introduced Clozaril, an antipsychotic designed for treatment-resistant schizophrenics that is rarely used in children younger than 16. From 2004 to 2008, her records show, the doctor increased Tasia’s Clozaril dosages 11 times.

Questionable diagnosis, treatment

In 2002, when she was 12, Tasia was diagnosed as bipolar, although her medical records show little sign of manic episodes or psychosis. Recent studies have found bipolar disorder is misdiagnosed in children at least half of the time.

Moon took over Tasia’s treatment in 2004, shortly after Dr. Tressan died. She was 14 and had gained 45 pounds in four months. She often refused the humiliation of being weighed, because — at 5 feet 4 inches and 250 pounds — “I knew I was fat,” she said. “That’s all I needed to know.”

Notes from Moon’s predecessor described the young girl as “Markedly Zomboid in manner and function.”

And although there are no studies supporting the use of three or more psychotropic medications at once in children, Tasia was on five, including two antipsychotics. Yet her medical records showed little improvement — and no sign of anyone questioning whether another approach might be needed.

Within a month of taking over her care, Moon did depart from the approach of Tasia’s earlier psychiatrists. He questioned her bipolar diagnosis, and added the phrase “NOS,” or not otherwise specified — a term used when patients don’t quite fit diagnostic criteria.

But while he eventually tapered her off almost all of the earlier medications, Moon introduced what psychiatrists reviewing redacted copies of her records for this news organization described as “the biggest gun” available: Clozaril, an antipsychotic designed for treatment-resistant schizophrenics that is rarely used in children younger than 16. A medication of last resort because of its risk of irreversible bone marrow suppression, Clozaril prescriptions cannot be filled without biweekly blood draws. Moon steadily increased Tasia’s Clozaril dosages 11 times from 2004 to 2008, her records show.

One night, for a matter of hours, he agreed to allow Tasia off her meds.

On June 12, 2008, after a 10-minute office visit, he noted in her medical records: “Client is attending grad night this evening and wishes to hold medication so she will not be sleepy. Hold both evening meds for tonight only. (resume both meds on 6/13/08).”

“That was the one time I know of that I stood up for myself and refused my medication,” she said. “I was not about to fall asleep at my prom — that’s embarrassing!

What’s best for the kids’

Hillsides’ main campus in Pasadena — where Moon still works — houses 50 children on a spacious 17 acres with stately cream-colored dormlike cottages, a swimming pool, playground and library. The group home, flanked by palms in an upscale residential neighborhood, is rated a “Level 12” — which means it is not designed to treat the state’s most seriously disturbed children.

Yet Rosa Martinez, who worked at Hillsides as a child care counselor from 2013 until February 2016, said many children took multiple drugs

Martinez said the flow of information that led to the high prescribing often concerned her: The staff would complain in meetings about kids acting out, and a therapist would take those complaints to Moon as prescription recommendations.

“I can understand there are those days where it’s really difficult and very challenging,” she said, “but they’re not thinking about the long-term benefit of the child. What I saw is everybody just trying to get through their shift, versus what’s best for the kids.”

Lorraine Triolo, a Hillsides volunteer and benefactor, had other concerns about prescribing at the group home. After learning of Moon’s ties to drug companies in this news organization’s 2014 investigative series “Drugging Our Kids,” Triolo — a professional photographer who grew close to Tasia throughout her teenage years — began asking critical questions about Moon. Last year, she sent a letter to Costa, the Hillsides CEO, threatening to rescind a five-year, five-figure funding commitment she had made for a new campus construction project.

“It appears to me that there is an ongoing conflict of interest between Dr. Moon, his pharmaceutical vendors and the children at Hillsides,” Triolo wrote Costa. “This conflict leaves children like Tasia vulnerable to inappropriate medication with profound, lifelong consequences. I strongly object to this practice and cannot continue to support or fund the organization until Dr. Moon is removed from your staff, and all future psychiatrists serving at Hillsides do not receive payments from pharmaceutical manufacturers of psychoactive drugs. I hope that you will see this as I do.”

Costa defended Moon and his approach to medication in his correspondence with Triolo, so she withdrew her pledged support.

Triolo insists she has never seen the violent behaviors from Tasia that the staff described, or the psychiatric conditions her doctors seemed to be treating. “In all that time, there was never a moment when I was concerned for my safety,” Triolo said. “She was always a sweet, sensitive kid.”

So, now, Triolo continues to try to help Tasia find a way through life. But it has not been easy.

A terrifying emancipation

In her final days at Hillsides, Tasia was terrified of leaving — weepy and unsure how to function on her own after 13 years in a group home. She also was left saddled with lifelong health problems from the medications she received. “She is a client that will require monitoring closely for many health risks,” a final note from her nurse predicted in 2009.

Since being discharged from the group home, Tasia has been homeless and in and out of jail for minor offenses, living meagerly on monthly $889 disability payments.

In his final visit with Tasia, Moon noted in her medical records she would need endocrinology follow-ups, given that she was barreling into a life with diabetes. She should try to lose weight, count her carbs and monitor her blood sugar, he wrote. Three months earlier, he described her anxious mood “associated with her upcoming emancipation” from foster care, adding: “Yesterday, she had an episode of tearfulness concerning this issue.”

Tasia’s send-off from Hillsides launched new struggles. “I go to counseling, but every time I go, it’s like where do I start? I have childhood trauma that has never been resolved, but now that I’m an adult, it’s like what do I do now?” she said. “I was treated like an adult when I was a child, but now that I’m an adult, I have a ticking time bomb inside me of all the pain that I buried away.”

Closing

Mondays off is usually a good thing.  And, I had the last 4 days off.

The best was spending the day with mum.