Bully to Friend in the End

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;

I have known my mechanic for many years now and we’ve had some good talks. He’s always reminded me of someone from my past and it was quite a surprise when I realized recently who it was- the school bully who used to torture me on the playground.

It’s funny, because my mechanic is a really nice guy now, a good dad, a hard worker. We each have a very different way of looking at the world, but he respects me and finds my opinions interesting. I suspect that 35 years ago he would have probably been making fun of my clothes and giving me a bloody nose. But now, we find that the differences between us make for good conversation.

I got to wondering what would happen if bullies and their “victims” were brought together after a lifetime of experience. If they didn’t recognize each other, do you think that they could become friends? I think it would make for a better reality show that most of the crap out there.

Billy not Bully

Dear Billy,

I’ll bet. Life can be ironic that way.  It’s heartening to know people can change and grow. This would be a much better and healthier message than the superficial NON REALITY junk shown on TV. Reality TV reminds me of the orangutans at the zoo.  They are only fun to watch until they fling their crap at you for watching.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché


Granny says: I’d like to think that on your Bully/Victim reality show all of the adults would get along but considering the large number of adult children out there, I suspect that many of the bullies have remained as unenlightened as ever and the victims still carry the scars.

Your mechanic friend may remind you of your childhood bully, but he is not your childhood bully. That makes a huge difference. Just as ex-spouses can never really be as impartial towards each other, I think that a bully and his/her victim will never be impartial towards each other. They might work at being friends for the sake of the camera, but sooner or later, the buried feelings would surface.

Would you be chummy with your mechanic if he’d been the actual guy who tortured you back in school? I don’t know. Are you a masochist?

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He wears his heart and mind on Face book:

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché, 

I have a busy life and am a busy person but I love to write thus keep a blog and also post often on Face Book both about my life and inner thoughts. What erks me to no end is my wife refuses to read any of my posts. She says not to take it personally as she is also a busy person and she doesn’t go on line to read anyone’s private posts as most of her work is done on line and on social media.   She says if I want to tell her something important just tell her in person as we do live in the same house.  Only this isn’t often possible as even though she works from home she doesn’t like to be interrupted when she is working and I don’t often remember for later what was so inspiring, that’s why I wrote it down at the time in the first place. The irony of this out of sync on line phenomena is that we actually met on line via an on line dating service and at one time we conversed often on line about just these kind of random spontaneous thoughts that we wished to share with each other.  Shouldn’t she should be flattered that 16 years later I still wish to share these things with her? 

-FB Husband  


Dear Husband, 

Many years ago in therapy with clients we often discussed differing partners sexual needs and that they needed to have a conversation open and honest with each other, learning to listen to each other and sharing their needs.   Today we often have to have the same conversation regarding differing partners on line needs.  

From on line porn use to how much either partner shares on social media about their personal life to what “friends” means to each partner regarding their on line friends list, i.e. ex girl or boyfriends.  These are all areas of potential contention that need to be discussed and defined.  You have to have a conversation with your wife about when and where is best for you two to reserve time for each other as to maintain the relationship.   Whenever and wherever isn’t really a reasonable thing to ask as is often done in dating before “real  life” intervenes.  

In the old days we used to have couples write letters to each other to convene feeling and needs that might have been to difficult to express verbally. These days’ people wear their heart on Face Book. Maybe you can just Print Screen and save it for her for when she has time to read them later?  

Dr. Brilliant Cliché


Granny says: here’s something you need to consider – if you are posting your thoughts for all to see, they aren’t really personal anymore, are they? I know that things have changed a lot since I was married or dating, but I feel there’s something vaguely insulting about telling the social media world your “important” thoughts, and then expecting your significant other to be part of the general fan club. What makes your primary relationship different from your friendships is that there are some things you share only with your partner. If your life and inner thoughts are scrolling out there like the news feed in Times Square, there isn’t anything very special about it, is there?

I sometimes read back in some of the journals I wrote before social media came in vogue. The most important and significant things I felt and wrote were things I’d only want to share with someone who was important and significant to me. When you are a media slut (let’s call it like it is) your wife isn’t getting anything but sloppy seconds. Think about it.

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Mirror Mirror in my head:

A string of 40 to 55 year old women all complained of the same issue. They were upset over their bodies and what the felt they looked like. Their in their head comparison ideal were women of media,  magazines, and movies.  Not one of these women had a realistic image based on the human body and normal aging.  What they could do was think what did my mom look like at my age? For most people that is what 40 and up women who have had kids look like in reality. What these women disliked about themselves was essentially just normal aging without the makeup and surgeries.


“Mirror Mirror in my head who I am supposed to look like by what I have been led.”

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You are my Everything:

The movie “The Phantom Thread” starts with a woman being interviewed; “What did you give of yourself?”  She answers “I gave him every part of me” I.e. She sacrificed herself to redeem him as we find out.  This story depicts the greatest myth of our current social structure in terms of relationships. It is the Beauty and the Beast story. It’s the 50 shades of gray. It’s the foundation story for a large part of our culture. It is the myth of Love in the terms of sacrifice will redeem the Beloved. This is even the same story that depicts the foundation story of modern love itself. Romeo and Juliet. Through Juliet’s sacrifice she redeems Romeo and his family and ends their families feud.  Romeo, as in  all these other stories, is just another form of the beast.  In every story the beast Betrays another woman first before the loving sacrifice of the Beauty Redeems him.   In ‘The Phantom Thread’ the 19 or 20 ish year old new beauty redeems the 65 to 70’ish year old Beast man who previously shat all over his 30ish year old previous wife.   Romeo dumps Rosaline before Juliet can sacrifice herself for him and Mr. Gray dumps his suicidal sex slave before Anastasia can redeem him.  

Reality doesn’t function as in the Myth of redemption. In reality The Beast would just devour Beauty as one person can not redeem another. Love is not redemptive it is enabling.  A person cannot change their behavior for another permanently. They can only change their behavior for themselves if they chose time and again to change their behavior.  It takes conscious attention to change one’s behavior. One has to choose behavior constant and continuous over time.

Personality is defined by one’s consistent choices and behaviors over time. You can not change the personality of another human being no matter how much you love them.  They have to, if they need changing, do the work themselves and  it will take work, work, and more work over a very long time. The only thing known to have shown any success consistent over time in changing personality is a 12-step program. Medications have not been shown effective to change personality and certainly not love as in sacrifice.  Support of a group or a village can help while a person chooses to work and work and more work in change but Support without the work is just pissing into the wind. 

Unconditional love on someone who is not taking responsibility for themselves and their effect on others just maintains the status quo. It enables the beast to remain a beast. 

Healthy support and healthy love for someone is conditional as it maintains that both partners needs are equally important and that the behaviors of each affect the other.   If one partner takes without reinvesting the relationship can not last.  It if goes on long enough the taker will bleed the enabler to the point of sacrifice as seen in the number one children’s book in America, The Giving Tree. The demise of the giving tree as sacrificed to the vampiric child is another example of how we keep telling the same myth over and over again brainwashing kids into this one-sided unhealthy and unrealistic relationship expectation.  

Healthy love is conditional.  Healthy love has the expectation of mutual intent, reciprocation, and reinvestment, back into the relationship and family.  

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Twisted Jewelry hand made by Dr. Brilliant Cliche

Link here and in Blog roll on main page right side .

Twisted Jewelry hand made by Dr. Brilliant Cliche


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My diet book:

My diet book will never sell as its only one paragraph long so I have to post it for free. It revolves about a gland we all have, the thyroid. The thyroids purpose is to regulate our metabolism. It is the master gland and controls just about everything else in the body. It’s sole purpose is to resist change.  It does this to keep us alive. Other animals like reptiles when it’s cold they get cold and when it’s hot they get hot. They take on the temperature of the environment where people are always internally the same temperature 98.6 no matter what is going on outside.  It is the same with everything else inside humans and it is all controlled by the thyroid. How this pertains to diet is THE BIG SECRET! It isn’t ever mentioned in any diet book or plan yet it’s the most important piece of information ever that is not told and that people don’t realize. 


What this means is that any diet one does, especially those made for rapid results, the thyroid rebounds. It takes away the initial loss and then throws in some more. This is why ALL DIETS FAIL!  The more effective the diet the larger the rebound! The thyroid thinks “OH MY GOD there’s a drought, we are starving! Conserve calories!!! The metabolism then slows and you put on weight.  Again, the more efficient the diet the larger the rebound!

The way around the thyroid is don’t diet. Life style change. Any positive changes you do, healthy balanced diet and exercise, after 5 months the thyroid says “OH this is the new norm and it resets to accommodate and then, and only then, the changes will last.  As my friend said after losing 15 lbs after some significant life style changes, “and I have to do this every day for the rest of my life?” YES! YOU DO.


End of book!

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My Self Help Book:

This book is only 1 sentence!   Why should you be happy?  

The constitution says you have the right to peruse happiness. It does not say you have a right to happiness!     The current generation has been brought up due mainly to advertising campaigns to believe they have the right to happiness. They do not expect suffering or failure to be normal human affairs, except for poor or ethnic people.  

My parents’ generation didn’t expect to be happy so they worked hard to make a better life for their children.  Their children expect to be happy so they take medications and drugs to be happy instead of expecting to work hard to better their circumstances. Sometimes this is caused by, they don’t need to work as hard as their parents because their parents provided them much of what they were working hard for.  But mostly unhappiness or discontent is caused by a skill deficit and expectations.  What are you doing to deserve to be happy? 

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A friend is writing a column on the long-term effects of antidepressants,and about cases where people start taking them to help get past a specific trauma,but never go off. She wondered who needs them long term and who is just hurting themselves? 

She wonders about antidepressants causing withdrawal, dependence? She wonders about Dr.’s leaving people on them for life even after depression is resolved.  

The problem is in the marketing. People have no idea what antidepressants do or how they really work. There really is no such thing as an antidepressant that’s marketing bullshit.  No legal medication can make you happy. Happiness is a transient state, the result of some behavior – or should be. Ecstasy and such bypasses this but the happiness or oblivion they cause can’t last. You can say antidepressants secondarily help with depression.  

Medications can’t reformat your brain, when you stop them the brain goes back to the way it was before you took medication. 

Serotonin antidepressants can best be describes as turning the brains gain down decreasing sensitivity and distortions. This is primarily right brain activity.      

Norepinephrine antidepressants can best be described as turning up specificity or attention. This is Left brain activity. They give energy, alertness, sharpness or more accuracy.  

Thus, after people feel better and decide they don’t need medications anymore and go off, most people relapse into symptoms again after a time as they are who they are. 

Even on antidepressants people still need skills and counseling. In fact, antidepressants alone with no skill acquisition, in studies after 10 years of use, people are worse off than when they started the medications. Medications don’t make good life decisions for you and feeling better is not related to being better.  It takes skills to make good life decisions in alignment with one’s intent. 

Now feeling and empathy, the right brain, is 12x faster than left brain data and common sense. Thus, even with 40-year worth of skill building (as i have known people to have had) without medication the brain works so instantaneously they have reacted and behaved before they ever realized to use a skill.  So, without medications people don’t and can’t use the wonderful skills they have acquired.  Medications give that 3 second pause when you can choose. They allow left brain common sense based on data to catch up with the right brain emotional impulse.  This is why medications are often necessary for a lot of people their whole life.   

Humans are emotional based critters and that is for survival. You don’t need to be accurate to survive you just need a gist then react. Over kill is ok. Paranoia is a survival thing. Kill them before they kill you such and such… Survival is why we are built this way but it doesn’t work as well in a crowded 9-5 culture. You can’t just kill the person at the next desk.   Although these days that’s getting way more popular. 

An interesting story regarding all this:  A person I know was on Zoloft for 20 years   but had to be changed due to developing a side effect, muscle movements.  Some interesting occurrences happened with different medications.  

On Wellbutrin they felt better, more alert, more energy, more sexual, but changed their religion to a more conservative one as they got really into ritual and detail and the brevity of depth to their previous religion had started pissing them off. Only their obsessiveness and perseveration of thoughts (why they were on Zoloft) over time returned.  

Next was Cymbalta (adding serotonin back) and the obsessiveness went away. They changed back from the new conservative religion to the previous more liberal religion. The details of conservative ritual which makes up much of their old religion became cumbersome and bored them.  Who they were as a person, their needs and desires, changed with medication. 

It is fascinating that personality can be changed and adjusted.  This of course is freaky but good as off medication they get bogged down with obsessive thinking and can’t function well despite having had many years of skill building. It just doesn’t matter off medication as they can’t use the skills. With medications you feel how you feel until you don’t feel that way.   

My friend next asked about artists. Do you think effectiveness of medication is vocationally affected?

Meaning on medications will artists who often use angst as a muse cease to be productive? And what about artists who drink? Is it safe with medications?  

Mixing alcohol and antidepressants is always a bad idea. People want to numb out with alcohol so you don’t then want to numb out with medication. What drugs people take should always inform what medications are chosen as medications often target the same chemicals and receptors people fall into via self-medicating but with treatment you want to always target an overall balance. Self-treatment street drugs or marijuana often is like a torpedo for one side of the brain vs a pebble to push the balance to open up the other side to make better decisions.  

Other doctors often do not think or practice this way. They do not consider left right balance, they won’t mention things like the brains gain. That’s all me for now but newer info coming out does look at this. The current paradigm is wrong, the DSM one.  A lot of Dr’s know this but we are forced to talk in the old system due to insurance and politics. 

As far as effectiveness of medication vs. vocationally affected?  –  This has been disproved scientifically. Angst isn’t needed to create but a paradigm shift has to occur and the type of art a person might make would definitely change.    Artistic ability doesn’t go away without pain but one might not write dark pain driven shit. They might instead make the new marry Poppins?    

The have to channel one’s pain shit is a myth. If one is on the right medications they should still be able to feel joy and create from that joy.  Medications shouldn’t numb one, only help in creating balance. Many doctors enable people to feel numb, fire that doctor. They are not helping you toward the bigger picture or you’re potential.  

The need for dis-inhibition and dis-control is also a myth. Creativity doesn’t come from dis-control. It can be volitional.    

Again if you have been numbed out your treatment provider didn’t know what they were doing or communication was poor.  This is an important point.  

A friend asks what’s better in the long run, self-control, or medication? 

Dr. Brilliant Cliché replies:

“One might need the other to exist.  At the level of master yogi maybe not but in the real world; medications, exercise, nutrition, healthy positive friends, and good books, are all one together.    Taking medication regularly can be a form of self-control.  Shot gun self-treatments like marijuana (yes I went there) isn’t.    I admit there might be medial use for CBD but THC, nope, not. It’s a torpedo.  Never a good idea.  “

The Granny Dr. makes a Cameo appearance with this comment:

All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.”― Pope Paul VI 

This quote from Pope Paul turned on a lightbulb in regards to why many artists eschew antidepressants, even if life is easier with them.

It’s not because of the myth of the “suffering artist” and that misery is necessary for creation.

It is because the struggle with the bipolar nature we are born with is as much a part of artistic development

as the struggle of developing a master’s thesis out of a swirling mass of ideas is to someone attaining a doctorate.

If you pay someone to do it for you, you ain’t learned nothing. And when it’s done, and you’ve learned, it’s over.

Otherwise, it’s never really over, is it?”


Dr. Brilliant Cliché replies:

Within boundaries this is true but can fail as did Rothko and many others in suicide. “Too much of a bad thing is a bad thing.” – Dr. B.C. 2018

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Memory is just a story, individual and collective.

A client felt lost and no meaning to anything. He was just surviving day to day.  Upon asking what he did all day he said he watched 100’s of Vietnam movies as he himself was in Vietnam.  The problem is that history is told via an interpretive lens that is made in the political ovens of the day.  The Vietnam lens, the way the story is told, is that of just surviving. No greater meaning just lost and trying to survive.  He had learned to tell his story the way his story was being told. 

I told him to instead watch WW2 movies as the lens there, the way the story is told, is different. WW2 is told as a higher purpose, greater meaning and often hero story.  It would change everything if he learned to adapt this lens on his story and defy cultural pressure.  Memory is just a story, individual and collective.

Today the political lens, our story, is most often a blame the victim lens. Look at Trump vs. his many concubines, Kanye West blaming the slaves, A popular imam blaming concentration camp Jews, The Me-too backlash blaming women.  I wonder how this will affect our views on life and ourselves in the next 40 -60 years?

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On Line reviews:

Are on line reviews, like Yelp, of service providers the same as on-line reviews of products? Are they reliable? Not in the least. First let’s look at how to read product reviews. The prevailing wisdom is start from the bottom as the top 5 at least are often fake reviews from people who have received free products or been company hired. Look for poor English and if they are glowing but non-detailed.  The verified buyer thing doesn’t really mean much.

For service providers the onion had an article recently that summarizes the issues. Regarding doctors “Oh my on line reviews are down I have to give out more Adderall!” says the DR.  The only people who generally write reviews of service providers are those that have had issues. In my experience it is people you have said no to their agenda.  Like in the article no you can’t have klonopin or Adderall.  A friend and fellow service provider gives this example.  He has an eight year old. “If I gave my eight year old candy, chocolate, and a steady diet of junk food I would be the best parent in the world according to him; But am I?”  The fact that it made it to a political parody web site must mean it is a universal Doctor experience.

Using myself as an example regarding on line reviews, my on-line reviews really suck; 1 out of 5 possible stars, the worst! In all but 1 of about 16 on line reviews over about a 3-year period.   If you would go just by these you would run for the hills before seeing me but let’s look at the bigger statistical picture. In this period of 3 years I have seen about 9,000 people.  16 bad reviews are a .18% bad review rating. That’s a tad under for every thousand patients 2 go out of their way to complain on line which is consistent with another statistic.  1-2% of the American population has a completely miserable personality with a diagnosed severe personality disorder. They are not only unhappy no matter what you do but the mere fact that you saw them pisses them off.       In a psychiatric practice the concentration due to selection (people send their unresponsive to treatment patients to psychiatrists) is higher.  In a psychiatric practice severe personality disorders are found in about 20%.  So, 16 awful reviews, .18% is statistically normal background noise for the general population.  It is about nothing for a psychiatric practice.  In fact anything less than this would indicate the reviews are fake, manufactured.

Doctors with all glowing reviews, 100% are often of large practices that hire companies that generate good reviews. This is an expensive service so usually found in larger practices but anyone can do this. Again, if there are no negative reviews for any service provider the reviews are fake.   It is improbable if not impossible to satisfy every customer.

So how to evaluate useless reviews, look to what the person disagreed like their diagnosis or was said no to.  Look for ranting and raving, defensiveness, self-righteousness, childish or exaggerated bizarre statements.

Overall subjective opinions about people just aren’t very useful.  A product has a specific purpose and either does it or does not. Service especially medical service is a lot more ambiguous despite what insurance companies or pharmaceutical sell as expectations.


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