This article about the forced psychiatry experience is dead on. For those of us who have been locked up against our will or coerced into treatment, we fast learn how little what we say or want matters in the face of the “all powerful- we know what’s best for you,” patriarchal mental health system.
Many of us psychiatric survivors live in fear of being dragged back into this system and experiencing more psychological and physical rape that make up the standard psychiatric care model of “therapy,” electroshock and drugs.
I am personally terrified of any interaction with anyone in the mental health field, and with increasing “mental health” screening questions required by insurance during visits with my GP, that fear is carrying over to already stressful doctors visits.
At a young age I learned how to act “normal” and “cooperative” as a form of self defense and to comply with drugs and therapies I knew were wrong for me, in order to stop the constant bombardment of harassment from the mental health system or possible lock up against my will. The “playing along” with this abuse has left deep emotional scars and has drastically impaired my ability to have meaningful relationships.
The very thought of this self-betrayal of my values, beliefs, the violation of my mind and body’s sanctity when I complied out of self preservation makes me want to throw up and/or hide. But I was a minor. My survival was at stake. I had to comply.
By the time I entered adulthood, I wasn’t aware I had any rights to my own body and mind. I wasn’t aware I could say no. And after forcing myself to take drugs despite of horrific side effects, I could no longer hear my body’s “no” either.
I often envy people who have never experienced such human rights violations or know this fear that stalks me relentlessly–constantly prods me to act like a good, compliant little girl so I don’t have more “mental health interventions” inflicted on me like the ones that have destroyed my health, brain and mind.
What’s it like to not be terrified of doctors? Be secure in knowing you have protected civil rights? to be confident and unashamed to say no? To not be tormented by PTSD?
It should be added that nothing in my situation ever improved from drugs or therapy. In fact, my health and emotional struggles were astronomically worsened. Many of the doctors and counselors didn’t care- so long as I was easier to manage and they could write what they wanted to see in my progress reports, they were satisfied. They didn’t see or care that I was dying physically, emotionally and spiritually.
One psychologist actually blamed my parents for encouraging my “bad behavior” by letting me stay home when I wasn’t feeling well. She stated their permissive parenting were contributing to my mental illness, when in fact, I was suffering from a failing gal bladder that I would have surgery to remove a year later.
This is just a small slice of my over 15 hellish years as a misdiagnosed, psychiatrized teen and young adult.
My story isn’t unique– these human rights abuses are rampant.
There are more humane, effective and affordable ways of dealing with psychological distress than our society is led to believe.
It is crucial to support these alternative interventions, and stand behind those fighting forced treatment.