TOP 5 Benefits of Breaking Your Neck

Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Activism, Commentary, Peer Support | 6 comments

Please scroll down for David’s latest blog!
But first…David needs your help now! There are 2 ways to make a contribution to help David and his wife Debra meet the extraordinary expenses of renovating their home to accommodate David’s special needs when he returns home:

DONATE online:



Send a check! Please make your check payable to: David W Oaks Irrevocable Trust

Please send your check directly to:
David W Oaks Irrevocable Trust
c/o Chase Bank
1100 Willamette St.
Eugene OR 97401

The bank tells us it would help them if you referenced account number 3008433244 in the memo line of your check. Be sure to put your return address on your envelope. Every week, Debra picks up the deposits from the bank along with the envelopes and David’s mom tries to write a personal thank you note to each and every contributor.

Note: your contribution to the David W Oaks Irrevocable Trust, while a gift, is not tax deductible and, of course, it is not refundable.


David’s blog for March 24, 2013

David W. Oaks here, with a top five list of things I learned after breaking my neck completely on December 2, 2012, in Eugene, Oregon.

1. Crisis preparation.

We all will probably experience disaster, and hopefully, have a nice day. I used 40 years of mad movement wisdom and empowerment for my catastrophe: A small fall from a ladder to get my cat with wet shoes – I
was the one in the wet shoes.

2. Unconditional love.

Within hours of my December 2nd accident, my brother Tony flew in from Texas and has not left my side since.

My dear wife Debra is now the center of a whirlwind. She is supervising the reconstruction of our home including building out a new wheelchair accessible bathroom. Plus her research helped me find Craig Hospital near Denver Colorado. Craig is one of the best spinal cord injury rehabilitation centers in the world. Here I learn to use a wheelchair, strengthen my arms with virtual reality exercise equipment, etc.

Even my mom, who turns 96 this Friday, is helping. She makes sure our whole family (including me) thanks and acknowledges your donations.

Plus there are hundreds of people who have volunteered and/or have kept me in their thoughts. Too many to mention all here. Thank you.


To be crystal clear, due to stringent federal and state guidelines, there is only one way to help me financially. My family worked with a Eugene attorney (Mark Williams) to set up a special needs trust.

You can now either postal mail your gifts to my trust, or, NEW – deposit them directly and securely on line.

Make your checks or money orders payable to: David W Oaks Irrevocable Trust

The bank tells us it would help them if you referenced account number 3008433244 in the memo line of your check or money order.
Postal mail your checks or money orders directly to this address:
David W Oaks Irrevocable Trust c/o Chase Bank | 1100 Willamette St., Eugene OR 97401 USA

NOW – Via the Internet in seconds: Securely and privately on the web, via credit card or PayPal here:

How much to donate? Every bit helps.

* $50 to $100 buys me massages and ebooks.

* $100 to $1000 buys me durable medical and/or Internet equipment.

* $1000 to $50,000 helps Debra and me achieve our transportation dream – a wheelchair accessible (lift or ramp equipped) van.

4. Keep up your activism.

I said this is a report 4 months after my accident. In less than 4 months from now, I hope you will join me in helping celebrate: Creative Maladjustment Week – July 7 – 14, 2013.

5. I am counting on you!

What has truly helped sustain me is knowing that you are there in the world leading a non-violent revolution in mental health and all disability.

Lead on.

David W. Oaks
P.S.: Here are some of my weblinks you may want to have in order to stay in touch with me:

My latest accident/recovery info can be found at:

Disclaimer from MindFreedom’s attorney David Atkin:
Until his accident, David W. Oaks was the inspiring, committed and tireless Executive Director of MindFreedom for 25 years. Donations to the David W. Oaks Irrevocable Trust are not tax deductible and do not benefit MindFreedom.


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  5. David – You are a badass. I love that you are still being an activist from your recovery. I’m glad we’re on the same side of things. I hope your recovery is truly going as splendidly as it sounds. You are in my prayers daily.


  6. Dear David,
    I’m so sorry to hear of your recent tragic injuries from just a moment’s inattention. I read your recent blog, and there isn’t a “poor me” statement in there. Not one. I can’t send you a check right away because I need to catch up bills, myself. I’ve had a recent bout of tragedy myself with some of my family sure that I need the medicine I tapered off of some 11 years ago, and the result was two “four-day miracles,” which accomplished little or nothing to my benefit; only a kind of mental and physical imprisonment in which, fortunately, I for once came out on top. In a hearing at the end of the second four day tour of the involuntary ward here in Mason City Iowa, the judge released me from having to take any of the medicines that had been ordered by an old adversarial acquaintance (for 30 years a doctor at that hospital) and allowed me to be in the care of another, who although a stranger, saw no need for me to be committed to take drugs, at least at this time. The complaint and order to seize me and deliver me to treatment was so ridden with errors and the case for treating me was so weak that it merely points up the ill feelings between Dr. Armstrong and I. I have many times thought about you as an example of facing these same kinds of trials with courage and measured resistance to authority where they need correction. I have also had a recent “accident” of sorts, called an “iatrogenic” accident in this case, which my sister, trying to take authority over me, and extending this even to my financial future. She did not impress the judges, and part of this is the danger of the asthma/COPD drugs that had led to my having broken down over the past decade due to the toxicity of those drugs (Accolate, but much more-so ‘Singulair;’ troublesome for only those with neuropsychiatric vulnerabilities to their physical constitution, I even had a negative reaction to Advair) and she failed to see this as anything but her notion of “my illness”….diagnostics unclear…”kicking in again.” Oddly, though I have resumed heavy cigarette smoking at times, I am breathing now better than I was taking any or combinations of those drugs. My COPD relents to merely the use of a 12-hr. and 4-hour inhaler. I am so sorry that the psychiatric survivors of the world are seeing the early retirement of one of their finest champions, but please keep on swinging when you can get a single glove on; we need you; just for you to be alive and conscious gives me strength. Of course there is much recovery to be accomplished for your neck and adjustments in your lifestyle. But thank heaven you have your devoted family, and God speed, as they say.