Finding Resilience and Hope in the Face of Despair

While institutionalized for three years as an adolescent in the 1960′s, Dorothy was labeled a “schizophrenic” and forced to undergo 40 combined insulin coma-electroshock “treatments.” Dorothy says, “I experienced and witnessed many atrocities. I believe that luck, determination, my own anger and one compassionate advocate were my best friends on the road to my ultimate survival and freedom.” Through a number of op-ed pieces in The Boston Globe, Miami Herald and The Detroit Free Press, she has voiced her opposition to abusive psychiatric practices. Her poster, “Behind Locked Doors,” which she created from her hospital records, is used in training programs. Dorothy lives in the Boston area where she has raised her four wonderful children. She founded and is the sole driver in her “safe, friendly and reliable” car service, The Crystal Lake Express.

Interview with Dorothy Dundas:

Dialogue – Dorothy Dundas from Mad in America on Vimeo.

Dorothy Dundas Behind Locked Doors: How I Got My Hospital Records, and What I Did With Them

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May 13, 2014


When people look at my poster, their most frequent response is, “Wow! How can I get my own records? I have always wanted to have mine!” I tell them, “Just do it! And be persistent. Even if the contents turn out to be upsetting, I doubt you will ever be sorry.” This is the story behind how I finally received mine and what I did with them.
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Dorothy Dundas Why I am Going to the APA Protest in NYC on May 4, 2014

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May 1, 2014

I am one of the few lucky ones to have survived this long after being forcibly locked up in four different mental institutions over 50 years ago. I feel a responsibility to the memory of those who died and to the millions around the world who are still subjected to the inhumane, torturous “treatments” of the mental health system. With a heavy heart and fire in my voice and spirit, this is what I plan to say on May 4.
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Dorothy Dundas 60 Minutes: Stop the Lies!

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September 29, 2013

As the 60 Minutes episode featuring E. Fuller Torrey comes to air, I feel moved to ask: when will the lies that robbed me of my late teenage years and young adulthood stop? When will the false notion that professionals can predict who – and who will not – be violent give way to the reality – proven over and again – that they are no better able than chance to make such predictions? When will we see the reality that forced treatment is actually, statistically, more harmful than helpful? It certainly was not helpful for me.
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Dorothy Dundas I Am A Witness…
Fifty Years Later

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May 4, 2013

It was Sunday, December 4, 1960. I had been sad and depressed and taken a small overdose of Aspirin in an attention-getting gesture for help. My parents took me to where they thought was the best place at the time: Massachusetts General Hospital emergency room. From there, my three-year hellish odyssey began. In those days, it was easy to be locked up and committed against your will and nearly impossible to get out. Many people never did.
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