They Call This “Help”

Otto Douglas
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I am an inmate of St. Joseph’s Psychiatric Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. Although I am still trapped in the intricate web of the forensic “mental health” system, I consider myself a psychiatric survivor. After all, I’ve made it this far, but I realize that more time is needed before I’m finally able to extricate myself from the forces of psychiatric oppression. Before entering the system, I knew virtually nothing about the philosophy and practice of psychiatry. After about a year and a half of being subjected to a humiliating barrage of psychological and physical abuse, I have come to loathe and despise this pernicious form of pseudoscience.

At first, I fell into the deepest fog of despair I had ever experienced in my life, paralyzed by the emotional and physical pain I was forced to endure at the hands of my psychiatric keepers. I now spend most of my waking moments trying to make sense of the bizarre and irrational world in which I find myself. How, I wonder, are psychiatrists the world over allowed to abuse their “patients” with impunity?

Let me make myself clear: I want to see psychiatrists punished for the criminal frauds and quacks that they are, perhaps before an international tribunal. I vow to spend the rest of my life fighting this monstrous crime against humanity, and hope to see the day when it is finally abolished. I believe that everyone who has suffered at the hands of psychiatry deserves compensation. I will do everything I can to speak out against it and to help those still trapped in this evil system. Unfortunately, until very recently, I didn’t even know that such an abomination existed in what I had thought was a civilized society.

Who am I and what am I doing in this institution? This is my story.

I’m a middle class native of Brampton, Ontario. I first attended university in the mid-1990s. I started studying humanities but didn’t graduate until 2014. Originally I wanted to study law, but for various reasons I enrolled in a master’s in education. Before I was able to begin my degree, however, I was arrested on a bail violation. What led up to this?

In 2013, I had been feuding with some neighbors. They called the police, and though I claimed self-defense I was arrested for a number of minor criminal offenses. The next day I was bailed out by my father, but we were forced to move and live elsewhere. A year later I was arrested again – this time my father refused to bail me out, so I remained in the provincial jail while my lawyer and the crown negotiated a plea bargain.

When I heard it would involve about a year behind bars, I was horrified. I’d served 20 days in prison some ten years before, but a year seemed extreme. I felt I could not survive the sentence, so I asked about pleading not guilty. However, my lawyer felt that I could lose and be sentenced to up to two years for “wasting the court’s time over a foregone conclusion.”

In desperation, I tried to find alternatives. Someone mentioned going to a mental hospital instead of remaining in jail. I was told by a number of former psychiatric inmates that inmates had their own rooms and could order takeout and play videogames. They said it was easier than doing time in jail.

“How hard would it be to get in?” I asked one of them..

“Not hard at all,” he said. “If you tell them that you’re suffering from auditory and visual hallucinations, they’ll find you not criminally responsible (NCR).”

“Won’t they know I’m lying?” I asked. “Won’t they know I’m an impostor?”

“No,” he said, “not at all. You can tell them you’re suffering from delusions and they’ll believe it almost without question. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any history of psychiatric illness or hospitalization, just make up some nonsense about hearing voices and they’ll swallow the whole thing hook, line and sinker. If you want a guaranteed, automatic NCR, tell them that you’re seeing things. They’ll really believe you then. And remember, they can’t prove whether you’re lying or not.”

It seemed like a great idea at the time, but I now know this was the worst possible advice. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and I overreacted to my fears. I should have realized that if it was so easy, wouldn’t everyone be doing it? But I was desperate to avoid jail so I didn’t look into it properly. I didn’t ask for hospitalization, I asked my lawyer to mitigate any sentence by requesting some form of mental health diversion.

Apparently believing that my lawyer’s plea for mental health diversion was just malingering, the judge decided to have me transferred for psychiatric assessment at the Waypoint Centre for Mental Healthcare in Penetanguishene. I asked my lawyer how long this would take. He said it would probably take about as long as a jail sentence, maybe a bit longer. He did not tell me that once committed, I could be held indefinitely. Nor did he tell me about such routine practices as forced administration of drugs and electroshock, or the mechanical restraints and solitary confinement that could be imposed as punishment for the most trivial of infractions. If I had known, I would never have gone this route.

At first, I found that the living conditions at the “hospital” (if it can be called that) did appear to be much better than jail. It was true that you could have your own room, order takeout and play videogames throughout the day. I did not know that these seemingly better conditions came at such a terrible price.

Sticking to my story, I lied to the examining psychiatrist about hearing voices and having other perceptual disturbances. Although I knew next to nothing about schizophrenia or any mental disorder, I told him about seeing purple elephants and men in pink bunny suits. He appeared to believe everything I told him, no matter how ridiculous or improbable. Once again, no one told me that commitment was an indefinite sentence with involuntary treatment. I was never told of the dangers of their so-called “treatments.” Only much later did I learn that psychiatry is not really a branch of medicine, just a form of social and psychological coercion disguised as medical “treatment.”

In January of 2015 I was found NCR by the presiding judge on the basis of the psychiatrist’s report. I was promptly returned to the “hospital.” At first I did everything I was told and embraced the sick role, but after a few weeks I ceased malingering and began acting normally. I thought I’d be out in a few months. Staff told me that because I was a “model patient,” I would have no problem getting out of the system. I was assured by staff that my “hospitalization” would be no longer than the jail term originally recommended by the prosecutors.

However, because of psychiatric recommendations made during my first Ontario Review Board review in April of 2015, I learned that I wasn’t getting out anytime soon. I was immediately transferred to St. Joseph’s in Hamilton. Realizing the incredibly stupid mistake I’d made, I contacted the patient advocate to file an appeal. I requested a second opinion and was then examined by another staff psychiatrist. In his final report, he said that I had lied about my experience of psychotic delusion, further indicating that there was absolutely no evidence that I had ever suffered from any psychosis. He did say that I suffered from a number of different “personality disorders.”

I then applied for legal aid, but this was rejected, so the judge appointed a lawyer to act on my behalf. In February of 2016, I saw an independent psychiatrist. He was very critical of the original examining psychiatrist’s findings in the NCR report. He rejected the original diagnosis of “unspecified delusional disorder,” concluding that I was not NCR. He was surprised that this psychiatrist did not detect an obvious case of feigning illness, one with all the classic features of malingering. The crown decided that this report should be reviewed by the NCR report’s original author, who has since indicated that he does not dispute the independent report. So it seems I will finally be allowed to leave the prison hospital and go home.

As for my stay in this “hospital,” I can only describe it as the most brutal, vicious and degrading “treatment” that I have ever experienced in my life. My (limited) experience of jail is that it is easy compared with the daily psychological and physical tortures visited upon the “criminally insane.” For example, in a “hospital,” inmates have practically no privacy. Every 15-30 minutes, cell doors are flung wide open which means the occupants are constantly on edge. Rooms are stripped and searched weekly, sometimes more often. There are also routine body cavity searches. Inmates are asked the same questions over and over again, to assess whether they are a danger to themselves or others (this is the so-called “mental status examination”). The same questions can be asked repeatedly throughout a single day – whatever its justification, it is nothing more than an intrusive, degrading and infantilizing form of harassment.

Trivial infractions, such as failure to return a plastic spoon to staff members, can lead to a barrage of abuse, more intensive surveillance, and even additional room and body cavity searches. Other offenses such as “raising your voice” or pushing away a chair in a supposedly “threatening manner” can lead to loss of “privileges,” such as they are. Looming behind this is the ever-present threat of violent physical restraint by guards, forced drugging, mechanical restraint and solitary confinement.

One incident stands out for me. I was forced to live beside an inmate who refused to bathe or clean up after herself for five or six months. The stench was horrible. The ward constantly smelled of urine and feces. It reached the point where some inmates were unable to eat in the dining room because of the stink. One inmate vomited while getting his meal. Complaints were made to staff, but inmates were told to mind their own business. It was apparently her “right” not to take a bath. What about the health and safety of the other inmates? The staff didn’t care. Further complaints were met with threats of being detained in the institution for even longer. Fortunately, this nightmare finally came to an end when the inmate was transferred to another institution.

In addition to all the daily horrors of psychiatric commitment, I’ve been subjected to considerable personal abuse from the director of forensic psychiatry. Despite my limited contact with him, he believes he knows what is in my best interests. In May of 2016, he came to my cell to talk to me. I have always found him to be callous, arrogant and condescending, and I don’t like speaking with him as he dismisses anything I have to say unless I agree with his opinions. I explained that I found him bigoted and intolerant, and there wasn’t much point in our having a conversation because he would immediately dismiss my concerns as “symptoms” of some underlying “chemical imbalance.” I then closed the door.

Twenty-four hours later he returned, accompanied by some 20 staff members. Through this overwhelming display of force, he tried to physically intimidate me into speaking with him. I again refused. He said that if I continued to refuse to speak with him, he would be left with no other choice but to have me physically restrained, forcibly drugged and placed in solitary confinement, possibly for days or even weeks. A few days later, and again with about 20 staff, he approached me again but I refused for a third time. He then announced that if I refused to take the neuroleptic he’d prescribed, he would apply to the Consent and Capacity Board of Ontario (CCB) to have me drugged against my will. The CCB is a mere formality which rubber-stamps anything the psychiatrist recommends.

I called him a fascist and said I would never accept his brain-damaging, brain-disabling neurotoxin. He then ordered his guards to restrain me as I had “raised my voice.” He threatened to have me forcibly drugged on the spot with Haloperidol if I showed any signs of resistance. I was then placed in solitary confinement for five or six hours. The next day, I was found “mentally incompetent” by the director and handed a summons to appear before the CCB.

It was only during my civil commitment at St. Joseph’s that I began to realize what complete and utter bullshit psychiatry is. The nurses seemed to be incredibly ignorant of how the drugs and electroshock were supposed to work. When I asked them how forcing someone to do something against his will could possibly be considered therapeutic, they said that it is “just hospital policy.” I asked them to define “mental illness” – none of them could do so. Perhaps they were playing dumb, but it was very convincing. Eventually, I realized that the nurses’ ignorance was simply a reflection of the serious underlying methodological and empirical deficiencies of psychiatry as a supposedly legitimate “medical” discipline.

Many times the nurses would become angered by my persistent questioning, to the point of taking away my few “privileges.” Eventually they stopped answering and told me to ask the psychiatrists. They said that “mental illness” was caused by “chemical imbalances” in the brain, but when asked for conclusive scientific evidence they were unable to provide any. Because I refused to accept their seemingly authoritative pronouncements, they decided I was paranoid. By that stage, I had realized that psychiatry is just pseudoscientific quackery and its practitioners are delusional “true believers.”

Even though I am subjected to degrading and dehumanizing ill-treatment on an almost daily basis, I do everything in my power to avoid doing anything that might lead to any direct confrontation with my torturers. Given the highly arbitrary and subjective concepts of “dangerousness” and “aggressivity” that are routinely deployed by staff, this is not easy. The slightest disagreement is easily blown out of proportion and can be interpreted as aggressive behavior, requiring immediate physical restraint and injections followed by mechanical restraints and solitary confinement. Because of this arbitrary abuse of power, I feel that I am in constant danger. I have no choice but to do everything I can to get out of this system. My lawyer is appealing the original NCR finding in the summary court, but I am also trying to get people to pressure the hospital administrators to have me released.

I want to get out of this medieval torture chamber in one piece. I do not want to come out with brain damage, neurological disease such as tardive dyskinesia, cognitive impairment, cardiovascular problems, shortened life expectancy or severe psychological trauma, with nothing but a monthly disability check and government subsidized housing as “compensation” for my sufferings in this brutal system.

The longer I stay in this madhouse, the more I realize that my health, my safety and even my life are in jeopardy. I can understand why some inmates turn on the hospital staff who are supposed to help them but instead hurt and humiliate them. I see now that a long sentence in prison would have been better than this abuse. Who cares about the iron bars and orange jumpsuits of the federal penitentiary? At least your mind and spirit will be free of all externally-imposed chemical, mechanical and electrical restraints. Better a drug-free, shock-free imprisonment where one can be left to one’s own devices than “therapeutic treatment” in some “hospital.”

The psychiatrists I’ve encountered always think they’re right, even when they can’t prove it. Their credo is a crude biological reductionism. This is what makes them so dangerous. Human rights aren’t objective, empirical phenomena that can be observed under a microscope, so they’re automatically dismissed as figments of the imagination. Thus, questions of morality and ethics mean absolutely nothing to them. There is no independent thought; the typical psychiatrist is a narrow-minded ideologue with authoritarian tendencies. Anything that calls his biological utopia into question is ignored or crushed.

In retrospect, I realize how incredibly stupid I was, even though I honestly did not know what I was getting into. I should have known better. I should have been skeptical but the past cannot be undone. If I had known about the indefinite nature of the sentence, the humiliating daily surveillance, the routine infantilization, the daily physical and psychological abuse, the forced drugging, the forced electroshock, the physical and mechanical restraints and solitary confinement, I would have run to the nearest jail and banged on the gate to get in.

Since my commitment, my life has been a nightmare. Imagine beginning each new day, sweating, your heart pounding, sick inside from a life that is beyond horrifying, a seemingly endless series of sufferings from which there is no relief. I cannot describe this torture. I accept that I deserve to be punished for what I did. I accept full responsibility for my actions but I do not deserve this. No one does.

44 COMMENTS

  1. This piece rings so true, as someone who’s lived through three inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations. Psychiatric professionals are on the whole authoritarian, highly biased, narrow-minded and there is very little freedom in psychiatric facilities. I too would rather spend time in prison than in a psychiatric ward again.

    • You need to add that these “professionals” are highly dangerous, profoundly ignorant, and quick to toxic poison and/or shock people they have no clue how to “treat”. One of the most dangerous things a person can do is see a psychiatrist. The “help” they provide invariably disables, kills, or drives people to suicide.

    • It is precisely the same in Canberra, Australia. Two admissions over 10 years ago for me (not to avoid prison or anything, though), and I still suffer severe PTSD as a result of their barbaric drugging and other treatment.

      I now am totally clear of their “medication” for more than five years…be careful, coming off it is tricky and dangerous…but still suffer flashbacks and intense fear because I know that now I have a “history of mental illness” ANY doctor can lock me up at any time for any reason, with no evidence needed and no chance of defence on my behalf.

      Psychiatrists are severely sick and VERY dangerous people.

      I hope that Otto manages to get out reasonably in tact.

  2. It really scares me how we treat the mentally ill, and think that this is ‘help’. While I think it is unfortunate that this story is about someone who tried to cheat the system to get out of serving time, it does say something about our mental healthcare system and how we don’t actually have any real and objective methods of detecting a mental disease. There are no scientific tests available to sort out who could be faking or suffering for other reasons, and who has a legitimate and biologically based illness. Honestly, rather than trying to find your justice through the legal system (you got yourself into this mess, admitted to malingering, so I doubt many people will sympathize with you on that) why not write a book about your experiences from inside the institution and what you saw happening there? A book like the one written by Susana Kaysen – “Girl Interrupted”, which documents her experience within a mental institution and she was quite sane. It could be a contemporary version of a sane person’s insider view of the insanity inherent in the system. You were witness to many abuses and could become the voice for others who may not be in a position or state of mind to be able to speak out against this kind of institutional abuse.

      • You’re right, that did come out a bit harsh and judgemental. I’m not saying I don’t sympathize, I think it is absolutely atrocious what happened to this man as well as to many others who have suffered at the hands of these institutions, but I was just thinking in terms of how the justice/legal system might view a person who has admitted to malingering and tried to cheat their way out of serving time. There is a bit of problem there.

          • No, that is not what I am implying here – I do not agree with the current methods of labeling and treatment, nor am I saying that I think they are okay. I think you are interpreting more here from my comments, than what was actually intended. My point was only that I recognize that the legal system and the medical community DO see these kinds of interventions as legitimate, and justified – from their perspective, they will think they did the right thing based on what this man had reported at the time. But obviously this case does point to the flaws in the current system of psychiatric diagnosis – it cannot tell the difference between a real disease vs. malingering. Same problem that was highlighted several decades ago with the Rosenhan experiment. There are no tests available that can screen a person for the real presence of a disease, it is all based on clinical judgement from reported symptoms that correspond with a particular DSM category.

  3. My advice for now is to take careful notes, mentally or otherwise, about what you see going on around you and the nature of the system you’re facing. This will help you and others once you’re out. It’s one way I dealt with the experience of incarceration: see this as just another activity in life that you’ve been assigned by fate to carry out. Pay attention to the dynamics of the “lifestyle” that’s supposed to “rehabilitate” you and try to understand the power plays and other manipulations which help them keep “order.” Etc. The experience and insight you’re getting will serve you better than any graduate course in sociology, psychology or even political science.

    • Taking notes in interpreted as a paranoid action and so fits into their pathologizing every act and statement of a “mental patient”. Eventually they will want to see what is written. They probably wouldn’t take the notes away but you can’t ever be sure. They pathologize every behavior on a psychiatric unit. Part of my job is to offer alternative explanations for people’s behavior that is free from pathology and sick interpretation. Clinical staff do not want to hear what I have to offer as to what people may actually be doing. Don’t be an introvert and get on a unit because every time that you sit by yourself in the quiet corner of a room full of people they will claim that you are “isolating” in the milieu. It’s disgusting and aggravating as hell.

      • That’s why I suggested “mental” notes. Wasn’t it the Rosenhan study where the “sane” research volunteers were described as engaging in “note-taking behavior”?

        Actually I’ll be surprised if Otto has the capacity to respond here; I hope they didn’t put him in solitary for writing this article.

        • Yes, it was Rosenhan. The real “patients” told the staff that his students were fakes but the staff ignored them because you know how the mentally ill lie and manipulate all the time. The psychiatrists and staff said that they’d be ready the next time when he sent fake “patients” in and over the next year picked out a number of people that they called fakes. Come to find out Rosenhan had not sent anyone. Just goes to show how good the psychiatrists are at “diagnosing” people, heh?????
          They succumb to the power of suggestion very easily.

  4. I agree with Vanessa and oldhead. Take notes. Though mental notes would likely be preferable, as they’d raid and destroy any physical notes and maybe even use such material to claim you are paranoid.

    Like oldhead said, such an experience you are having will offer far greater insight into how the system works than any degree could offer. Write a book about your experience to help others and expose the system.

    You’re already not confronting them, which is good, cause that’s a druggin’. Keep asking questions, but not too many, or that’s a druggin’. Stand up too fast? Yep, that’s a druggin’. Forget to return a plastic spoon and you’ll get a druggin’.

    To try and defend yourself, there are a few things you can do. They threaten you with forced drugs like antipsychotics which you rightly want to avoid. Look up some Robert Whitaker articles here on MiA (like this one https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/07/the-case-against-antipsychotics/ or go straight to https://www.madinamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/The-Case-Against-Antipsychotics.pdf for the 46 page article). Get these printed, read them, and show them to the staff. You’re not delusional if you’ve got evidence. You have every right to refuse brain disabling ‘treatments’, and if they want to force such treatments, then ask them to justify forcing a ‘treatment’ that is not ‘safe and effective’ and has potential for great harms, as is provable in Whitaker’s research. Also, if they tell you again that you have a ‘chemical imbalance’, ask them the two word question every psychiatrist hates: Prove it – or – Show me. Ask them to provide evidence or the results of a test or scan or whatever that shows you have a chemical imbalance. They will either try to ignore/dismiss your question, or they’ll get flustered and not know what to say. Also, you could try turning things around a little. If any staff member raises their voice, or closes a door too fast, or makes threats of violence, point it out, and even do it with a smile on your face. You raised your voice staff member, is that a sign of your chemical imbalance? You closed the door too fast and I found it threatening. You’re threatening me with violence and forced medication against my will? Are you a psychopath Mr Psychiatrist? Maybe a sociopath? Arrogant personality disorder?

    Psychiatry is a pseudoscience. It claims to be a medical specialty yet has no medical tests. It cannot prove the existence of any so called ‘mental illness’. There is no evidence to support the claims of brain diseases, biological illnesses, chemical imbalances, or genetic defects. Their treatments are not ‘safe and effective’ as claimed, yet evidence shows they are potentially harmful and even fatal.

    Psychiatrists don’t treat the insane. They are the insane.

    • I agree. I’m looking forward to reading your book. You write well and will be hard to discount, as you have no actual label of “insanity” that can be used to discredit you. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I continue to be appalled that such treatment is legal in Canada or any other civilized nation!

      — Steve

  5. This article was a masterpiece. And that’s very, very bad news for Mr. Douglas. Psychiatric clinicians reel in hysteria whenever they’re confronted with smart, strong, male, Black, and vengeful psychiatric patients/inmates. MIA, you’ve reached a new standard of excellence with this piece. I have only one request: remove Mr. Douglas’s name, photo, and all other identifying information from this article and the comments. This man’s captors are lazy, but not *too* lazy to troll the Internet and find what Mr. Douglas has written here. If those evil quacks see this article, they’ll NEVER set Mr. Douglas free and, I fear, they will hasten his murder-by-psychiatry. Time is of the essence.

    And to Mr. Douglas: YOU ARE A MAN! However, you must not *act* like a man until you are a FREE man.

    1) Don’t say “no” whenever your captors ask/tell you to do something that offends your dignity, but doesn’t hurt your body. You MUST promptly and subserviently do EVERY degrading thing they want you to do. It’s your only way to your hour of deliverance.

    2) If your captors do ask/tell you do do something that hurts your body, DON’T over-react or under-react. Don’t ask any questions about their latest perpetration of psychiatric torture. Don’t try to negotiate your way out of it. And don’t waste any of your precious effort on appealing to your captor’s nonexistent shreds of humanity by begging them for mercy. Even at this critical juncture, DO NOT TELL YOUR CAPTORS NO! Similarly, you must not cry or express any feelings of terror or resignation. Nor should your demonstrate any cognizance of the fact that you’re trapped or doomed. Tell your quacks that you’re scared of treatment, but feeling hopeful about its prospects for helping to “manage your symptoms” ONLY IF THEY ASK YOU how you feel about the “next stage in your treatment”.

    3) Don’t give ANYONE the benefit of the doubt. Unless you KNOW you can trust a person, DON’T.

    4) Stay physically active when nobody’s looking.

    5) Keep your mind sharp. Remember – even memorize – biographically-ordered chunks of time in your life, no matter how pointless they might seem. Write, do math problems, and work on maintaining ANY marketable skills that you’ve acquired before you got locked up. Talk if there’s ANYBODY who is safe for you to talk to.

    6) If you’re a man of faith, pray. God will ALWAYS be more powerful than psychiatry. He will strike down that basket of sin, even if you never do. Religion can be an excellent way for people to restore or strengthen their sense of justice.

    Prayers for you, Mr, Douglas. To MIA, “You Call This Help?” is the best article you’ve published so far this year.

    • I must agree, those working in psychiatric facilities do despise the “smart, strong, male, Black.” When I was held against my will by psychiatrists, for lying in a park, looking at the clouds, while trying to mentally come to grips with the medical and religious betrayal written in my medical records. There was a really nice, sweet, but very large and strong black man who was also locked up. His name was John.

      All was calm in the milieu one afternoon, John was doing nothing wrong, no one was. Then suddenly, some of the social workers undeservedly provoked John, in front of everyone. John tried to dismiss them politely. And this resulted in a bunch of the social workers physically attacking John, and taking him to be force medicated. I think the social workers did it to terrify everyone there, or maybe they were just bored and wanted to prove their power to behave unjustly and act like psychopaths? But make no mistake, they intentionally choose to pick on the biggest, strongest, black man in the place. I found it disgusting, and felt so bad for John, he was so nice and his presence there made me feel safer in that unsafe and unjust “hospital.”

      Have to agree, though, ‘go along to get’ out is the best way to get out of a psych ward. Best of luck in getting out, Otto. And welcome to the world of pointing out the crimes and injustices of today’s disgusting psychiatric torture system. I agree with Ragnarok, “Psychiatrists don’t treat the insane. They are the insane.” The whole system is insane.

  6. I didn’t even know that such an abomination existed in what I had thought was a civilized society.

    I remember that part too, what the hell is this ? I had no idea such an atrocity existed in a civilized society, no idea.

    What the hell, I am having horrible problems with anxiety, I go for help and suddenly I am being kidnapped, not allowed to smoke and locked in a brutal environment, violence all around with no way out. THIS is help ???

    Never again, if the anxiety gets bad I will just drink alcohol with my anxiety pills and all the rest of them, sometimes it would work sometimes not but it was a safer bet then going to the hospital if the anxiety got so bad I thought I was going to die and risk the kidnapping. If it got so bad and I did go to the hospital I would drink in the parking lot before going in to endure the get in the gown and “observation” detention or just prey the alcohol would knock it down enough and it would pass and skip it all together.

    Eventually alcohol got me in trouble and I came real close to taking the psychiatric treatment option, I knew just enough at that time not to go for it knowing my label as alcohol abuser would mean I could only get the “non addictive” make you a tired zombie pills. It was in jail I discovered that all their damb pills were what were screwing me up.

    I met a psychiatric survivor during that year in jail who told me about Mindfreedom and also got a hold of the book “the myth of the chemical cure”. WTF that is how psychiatry really works ?

    I did one more round with alcohol after getting out and one more psychiatric kidnapping when I foolishly went for detox and they pulled the same take these pills or get injected. Ya ? Inject me and lets see what happens when I see you outside this place. It was that last nightmare that got me started writing on MIA and spreading the truth about psychiatry on the internet posting links and videos anyplace I think people will view them.

    But anyway Otto, I am alright now. I endured all this shit and I am alright now. Zyprexa , Remeoron , Clonopin , Adderal and many others for a long time all mixed up and I survived it and came back. No doubt you will get through it.

    I vow to spend the rest of my life fighting this monstrous crime against humanity

    Me too and I like doing it, every time I press the post comment button I know I am damaging them.

  7. Otto Douglas’s description of the behaviors and beliefs of the dominant psychiatry treatment in hospitals in Canada are sadly familiar and similar to many institutions in the U.S. The additional threat that I see here is embedded in the current US activism to divert people with “mental illnesses” from jails that are over-crowded with people who lack economic, social, and political capital and represent a non-dominant perspective, so are deemed “mentally ill.” While in jail or prison, they are subjected to involuntary and or uninformed or coerced psychiatric treatment/ drugging, and the current activists, many with the “best of intentions,” are lobbying to save them from these time-limited, though too long sentences in order to re-institutionalize them in”reformed” asylums where they can receive the treatment that is presumed to help since they lack insight into their disorders. These advocates would support poor houses and outpatient commitment to resolve their fears for and of those who have worldviews different from those in the “majority.” The dominant culture of psychiatry and social control via politicians and “advocates” seems incapable of acknowledging equal worth and entitlement to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. They would have people acquire shelter, food, water and “healthcare” only if those who represent diverse experiences adopt the worldview and insight that those in authority deem rational, i.e. consistent with the dominant culture’s views.

    I empathize with Otto Douglas and I cringe to consider what lies ahead in the US. First, Murphy, then Trump…
    Berta

  8. As a psychiatric survivor myself, having been in two mental prisons, and one who has experienced the abjectly ineffective, harmful, and pathetic treatments which are common in America’s mental prisons, I agree with most of this author’s statements.

    Otto, I applaud you for writing so honestly and courageously about your experience.

    And as much as those working within the system might not like to hear this story, there is no answer to most of these criticisms: psychiatric diagnoses are totally lacking in validity and weak in reliability. Telling people they have a brain disease and must be on drugs is a regular practice in mental prisons. People are frequently harmed, and indeed even murdered, by psychiatric “treatments.”

    There is a reason fewer and fewer young people want to train as psychiatrists: because the general public increasingly lack respect for the field of psychiatry, while they are becoming more and more aware of how fraudulent, unscientific, and harmful its paradigms are.

    I like what Ragnarok says: Psychiatrists don’t treat the insane. They are the insane.

    Has a nice ring to it.

  9. You must have had some sort of mental illness since you admit to having a life of crime where you are imprisoned or jailed regularly, and some of your crimes aren’t mentioned.

    Then you lied to get into a mental hospital for better treatment than jail, and became bitter because it wasn’t a walk in the park since you had to take medications?

    I understand your concerns that there are people who should be able to consent to not taking medications to control their anger and sadness, but I cannot allow you to say that the people eating their own feces and urine and screaming uncontrollably wouldn’t be helped by medications?

  10. There’s a BOOK: “The First Circle”, by Alexander Solzhenitzen. (Sorry, I know i mi-spelled his name….)
    It’s about a Soviet prison camp in Moscow, in late 1949. It’s a longer and more detailed look at (psychiatric) prison life. And, ironically, the day-to-day treatment of the prisoners was in many ways BETTER than Canada early 2000’s has treated Otto! Being directly government funded, these psych prisons EMPLOY many 1,000’s of people across Canada, who would otherwise be unemployed. The Gov’t sees these employment-prisons as economic necessities. Folks like Otto are just more COLLATERAL DAMAGE. Truly, “mental hospitals” are socio-economic-political phenomena, *NOT* “medical facilities”.
    And, meanwhile, I am VERY curious to hear more about whatever the original “crimes” were. That was kinda glossed over. Because there’s so little information about what did, or did not occur, around the original 2 sets of criminal charges, I’m finding something missing here…. But that does NOT take away from the larger narrative of systemic, Gov’tal ABUSE…. It’s actually cheaper to keep somebody in the community, as opposed to incarcerated. Bed capacity limits facility size, and employment of employee numbers, and thus only *seems* to have some limitation on taxpayer expense…. The taxpayers are getting screwed, PhRMA is getting rich, and that’s the BEST we can do….????…. We Americans deserve Trump. Let’s see Trudeau, Jr., do any better…. Good luck, Otto….
    (I dream of ALL employees of these facilities being required to spend several hours of “re-education”, reading here at MiA!…. Hey, could happen!….

  11. One activity that is helpful to pass time in institutions is trying to cost them as much money as possible. In jail I calculate that I flushed at least 3000 bars of soap down the toilet and threw away 1800 trays when I worked in the kitchen. The soap was easy, I started with like 5 bars a day and no one noticed, then it went up to 10 or 15 as being real sneaky, then the soap ran out and they just brought out another box so it was really boring so it increased as far as I could push it. The trays was easy, throw in 2 , dump more trays to cover them up, then a few more. I obviously did not bankrupt the place but it was something to do. Anything and everything that could go down a toilet went down a toilet.

    Inpatient psych: Jamming keyholes. I only got one , I found a splinter of wood and jammed it into the lock of of the main office on the floor. It was so funny watching the goons and buffoons taking turns with the key thinking they would be the one that had some special talent and get it open then later the locksmiths trying too only to end up drilling the thing. The bill must have been $500 +. All kinds of supplies can go in the garbage and toilet inpatient too. The sump pump in the sewage plant doesn’t react well to rubber gloves, strings , strips of torn up cloth and that gets expensive.

    Always always undermine no matter how small the actions. No matter how much it seems like it they never have all the power they never have all of it.

  12. Hi Otto. Thanks for speaking out. We need every voice and comparatively few in our movement speak openly from the perspective of having been in forensic psychiatry.

    You are in Canada, which has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It sounds like you may already be aware of international human rights, but I can put you in touch with survivors who are working on reporting about forced psychiatry of all kinds, as a human rights violation under this treaty. I will try to email you through this site.

    The UN expert committee (Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) which monitors this treaty has said a number of times that forensic psychiatric commitment and forced treatment in the prison/jail setting is a violation of CRPD, the same as other psychiatric commitment and forced treatment. They have mentioned restorative justice, so long as it does not involve coerced mental health treatment as a supposed diversion, as an alternative to prison to be pursued.

    The CHRUSP website has links to UN materials and some of my writings and those of others, if you are interested to look into the international human rights aspect further. http://www.chrusp.org/home/resources

    All the best,

    Tina

  13. @Tina. I don’t think Otto can make an appeal to disability rights if, as he is claiming, he faked mental disability symptoms. I think that must hold true for people who fake physical disability too. They cannot rightly make an appeal to disability discrimination legislation if they are in fact faking physical disability symptoms.

    And rightly so.

    If you commit an offence that is going to see you do a 1 year stretch then the point of the imprisonment is rehabilitation.

    Otto wouldn’t accept his responsibility for the crime. He considered a not guilty plea knowing full well he was guilty of the unspecified crime. Which, I assume, has a victim or victims. We should not overlook that this man commissioned a crime with a victim or victims.

    That he then went on to lie about his mental state believing he could ride that year out in relative comfort is the commission of another crime.

    That he has now awoken to his folly is not a human rights issue, as such. Do we have a human right to lie and deceive in order to avoid criminal responsibility?

    I have sympathy for Otto for his stupidity. But I have more sympathy for the victims of his crime, and more sympathy for the genuine sufferers of mental strife. Cowardice is not generally speaking a human rights issue.

    I applaud Otto for his honesty. There are many many more like him that played a dangerous game but never came clean about it. They all just make it worse for those whom the oppression works against.

    My advice to Otto would be: keep your gob shut and your head down and work towards getting yourself free. Do not fight the system. It is already drenched in your urine. The best you can do now is acknowledge the piss-take and be humble.

    • “Do we have a human right to lie and deceive in order to avoid criminal responsibility?”

      I’ve got a set of fraudulent documents which were sent to my lawyers, authorised by a Clinical Director, and which with the changes in legal narrative conceal a string of compound offenses totaling over 100 years of prison terms. So there might not be a human right to lie and deceive, but there sure is a State sanctioned one for some people.

      • Lucky for him (CD) the police will do referrals to Mental Health for such serious problems as “man collapsed in bed after being drugged with benzos without his knowledge”. Delivered to a hospital you will have 3 serious mental illnesses within an hour and require treatment with a chemical base ball bat. All reasonable according to our Chief Psychiatrist and Minister lol

      • Yes, corruption is rife and perhaps no more so than in the psychiatric institutions. Playing cry wolf with these institutions is a very dangerous game, as Otto Douglas has found out to his cost.

        My advice to him is the best that has been given. It is the kindest advice. Every psychiatric survivor knows that the only way out of the bin is to keep your gob shut, take the pills, and yes sir no sir three bags four sir. Yes I’m feeling better now and so on and so forth.

        Otto has a head start on that game as he is able to play the con artist. That is after all what landed him in the bin in the first place.

    • Otto wouldn’t accept his responsibility for the crime. He considered a not guilty plea knowing full well he was guilty of the unspecified crime

      Where the fuck did you pull this conclusion from? He said nothing of the sort, in fact the opposite. This is unacceptable and racist as shit, and your attitude sucks. And yes I’m reporting the comment. Again.

  14. Please re-read the text from this paragraph onwards:

    ***** When I heard it would involve about a year behind bars, I was horrified. I’d served 20 days in prison some ten years before, but a year seemed extreme. I felt I could not survive the sentence, so I asked about pleading not guilty. However, my lawyer felt that I could lose and be sentenced to up to two years for “wasting the court’s time over a foregone conclusion.” *****

    If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. Race doesn’t come into it.

  15. “I want to get out of this medieval torture chamber in one piece. I do not want to come out with brain damage, neurological disease such as tardive dyskinesia, cognitive impairment, cardiovascular problems, shortened life expectancy or severe psychological trauma, with nothing but a monthly disability check and government subsidized housing as “compensation” for my sufferings in this brutal system.”

    This is my life, although my brain damaging, life destroying experience with psychiatry was during childhood (with a handful of encounters as a guy having to spend his entire adult life on SSI/disability)

    “Let me make myself clear: I want to see psychiatrists punished for the criminal frauds and quacks that they are, perhaps before an international tribunal.”

    I’ve been saying this for years, but I refer to it as them being charged with crimes against humanity in nuremberg-esque trials.

  16. Otto, please answer us if you can! The only good to come out of this horrific story is that we now have one more determined soldier in the fight against psychiatry/big pharma. Get out of there safe and sound and ready to spend the rest of your days spreading the truth of what shockingly goes on in what you THOUGHT was civilized society.

    blessings,

    -erin

  17. ” just make up some nonsense about hearing voices and they’ll swallow the whole thing hook, line and sinker.”

    “The Rosenhan experiment was a famous experiment done in order to determine the validity of psychiatric diagnosis, conducted by psychologist David Rosenhan, a Stanford University professor, and published by the journal Science in 1973 under the title “On being sane in insane places”.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=the+rosenhan+experiment

    I think with proper planning a person or better yet a team of people could get themselves admitted to a psychiatric hellhole for the propose of having there rights violated then make a nice amount of money off a lawsuit.

    How hard would it be for 2 people to get themselves admitted, have a visitor sneak in a smart phone then have one person get themselves unjustly assaulted by staff and record it put on Facebook live or something too.

    You could make $50,000 in 72 hours.

  18. OMFG Otto. My deepest sympathies. What a nightmare.

    It’s pretty sad but my advice is to do everything you can to avoid confrontation. Become grey, boring. Nice. Maybe occasionally even praise them. Flattery and bullshit until you can weasel your way out of there. The more you fight them, the more you take a stand while behind their walls in their clutches the more you risk being taken down by them.

    Googling “how to get out of a mental hospital” turns up quite a bit.

    Best wishes.