AN INTERESTING STORY
Yesterday I came across the following on Twitter from Mental Health @Sectioned_.
“I just met someone who told me their remarkable story about falling down the rabbit hole into psychiatric sectioning and forced medication. I listened with fascination to their intricate story in all its twists and turns, looping backwards and forwards with incredible details. The longer we spoke the more was revealed, the crazier and more believable it sounded. I was listening, probing for clarification, trying to grasp what happened and why. First the overview, then the highlights, then more details, expanding out, backing round, drawing me in. There were many parallels in our stories, and many contrasts. It reminded me why I don’t really talk in detail about what happened to me: because, if you’ve not experienced it, it sounds unbelievable. Unless you’ve experienced the scorching reality of forced drugging, seclusion, assault by nurses and patients, it sounds like a mad fantasy. It’s too far outside most people’s realities for them to contemplate it being true, and so quietly assume you’re deluded. So it smooths life’s path to make light, to skirt over the details, to change the topic. And sometimes, sometimes, when I meet someone who’s been through something similar, I listen to their story and realize I’m not the only one.”
“Sectioning” is the British term for involuntary psychiatric commitment. (Committed under various Sections of the Mental Health Act).
The story is short and simple, but has extraordinary depth and significance. There are several themes.
1. “I just met someone who told me their remarkable story…” Contact and sharing.
2. “I listened…” In mental health there needs to be more listening.
3. “…the crazier and more believable it sounded.” Respect – even when someone sounds “crazy.”
4. “… trying to grasp what happened and why.” A lesson for psychiatry.
5. “…drawing me in.” Empathy.
6. “There were many parallels in our stories.” Human identification.
7. “…if you’ve not experienced it, it sounds unbelievable.” Nobody will believe me.
8. “…it sounds like a mad fantasy.” They’ll think I’m crazy.
9. ” So it smooths life’s path to make light, to skirt over the details, to change the topic.” Keep your head down.
10. “…I realize I’m not the only one.” The power of human connection and support.
Twenty years ago, victims of psychiatric practice, for the most part, kept silent. They stayed in the shadows, often feeling guilty about what had been done to them; feeling that somehow it was their own fault that they weren’t skipping happily through the park like the models in the pharmaceutical adverts.
And then something happened. They began to find each other – through the Internet largely, but also in other ways. And discovering that you’re not alone is a very empowering experience. Today the protest against psychiatric damage has become a movement, and is continuing to gain momentum, and will ultimately prevail.
THE OTHER PROFESSIONS
It is time for the other mental health professions to learn from the victims. It is time for the social workers, counselors, psychologists, job coaches, case managers, family therapists, etc., to learn from the victims. It is time to stop playing along with the bogus psychiatric theories. It is time to challenge the claimed efficacy of the drugs. It is time to remember the shock we felt on first encountering a victim of tardive dyskinesia. It is time to recognize how we’ve muted that sense of shock and outrage, and how we’ve bought the lie that the benefits outweigh the risk. It is time to realize that we are not the only ones who have concerns about psychiatric excesses. It is time to connect with the person in the next office or the next county. It is time to let in the light.
It is time to speak out – both individually and through professional associations. It is time to do what’s right. Modern American bio-psychiatry is not something good. It is not a legitimate branch of medical practice. Pharmaceutical psychiatry is an elaborate apparatus for selling dangerous and destructive drugs.