Not Going Quietly

Rufus May
31
2498

By law people can now be forced to take medication once they’ve been discharged and are living back in the community, if they have had several hospital admissions for psychosis. When I was forced to take medication in Hackney Hospital, I am pretty sure it put me off the stuff for life. Maybe if I had been given more choice about how and when I used it I would have found it more helpful. I think I definitely needed some strategies to get some sleep, and if I had been told to take something temporarily to help with sleep I think I would have agreed to try it.

To make things worse, not only did I have to take drugs against my will but they also had so many unpleasant side effects that I felt they were making my life more difficult, not less. I told my father that “I’d rather be mad not on drugs, than sane on the drugs.” It’s quite possible that under today’s laws I would have been put on a community treatment order and forced to take the drugs indefinitely. On the drugs I am certain I would not have had the capability to train as a psychologist.

Chris RushworthA few years ago, I was asked to see a man called Chris Rushworth. He lived in supportive accommodation in Bradford and had done so for many years. He was referred to me for anger issues. He was a slim man in his mid-forties with heavily tattooed arms. When I first met him he seemed a little suspicious of me. He talked of having met with a psychologist previously and how it hadn’t really made much difference to his problems. Then he recognised me from the TV documentary I had done and that seemed to make him relax a bit with me. He’d enjoyed seeing the part of the film where I challenged the psychiatrist Trevor Turner.

Chris had a restlessness about him, frequently shifting his legs from side to side. He had been on antipsychotic medication for 25 years. I thought the restlessness was likely to be a side effect of the drugs he was being prescribed. I tried my best to listen to him each week while he talked at an impressive pace about his experiences. My intention was to really try and hear him. At times his hopelessness about whether things could change felt draining to hear. He spoke about the staff where he lived who didn’t respect his privacy, the doctors who had not listened to him and the psychologist who had told him to lower his expectations about what he could achieve. On a few occasions I felt disconcerted by the fact that I found myself getting drowsy. It seemed that because Chris’s anger was painful to hear, part of me wanted to switch off and sleep.

Perhaps I found the injustice of what Chris had experienced difficult to hear. My more privileged background meant I had had more opportunities to get out of the system than him. What was it like for him to meet with me, knowing this? Every time Chris had asked for a medication reduction he had been told it was a bad idea and now he had a painful and uncontrollable restlessness in his legs. I knew that the nerve damage might be permanent. He felt treated like a second class citizen by most of the mental health staff he had come across. Chris knew what caring should look like because he had been caring for his mother who had dementia for the last five years. He regularly took her out from the care home she lived in for day trips to Scarborough and Durham. I felt he was right to be angry about the lack of respect he had experienced. He had repeatedly felt the impact of being undervalued and this seemed to have scarred him. I wanted things to change for Chris, but first he needed to grieve and I needed to listen.

Chris was the middle born of seven brothers. His dad worked in a warehouse so money was tight. When he was eight, he fell off a climbing frame and was unconscious for two days. He speculated that this led him to have problems with reading and writing. At secondary school his illiteracy really affected his confidence. His brothers teased him about his literacy problems and he became very shy and lacking in confidence. When he left school at sixteen he discovered alcohol. When he drank, his anxiety disappeared which meant he could stand up for himself and chat up girls. For four years he drank heavily and if he didn’t feel heard, he could often be aggressive. One night he got beaten up by a couple after he went to their home, thinking they were throwing a party. A month later he went back to the house for revenge. He waited for the boyfriend to come back to the house and then attacked him. However he was so drunk he didn’t realise it was not the man who had assaulted him.

In court he was sent to a forensic psychiatric unit to be treated for his alcoholism. After a month, he started to go back to work while still living at the unit. After four months he started to struggle mentally. Chris didn’t know what to do about his social anxiety, and we think that because it had laid buried under booze for years, it had become more potent and paranoid. He also didn’t know how to relax and sleep without the sedative effects of drink. He became overwhelmed with paranoia and suicidal feelings. He was stopped from working, put on antipsychotic medication and was in hospital for the next two and half years. The diagnosis he was given was paranoid schizophrenia.

For the next twenty years Chris was in and out of hospital. He was heavily sedated and lethargic but every time he asked to have his medication reduced, he was told it was keeping him well. He felt depleted of energy and he was encouraged to accept the life of a mentally ill person.

A turning point came when he turned forty, after he saw how distressed his mother was when she came to visit him after he had taken an overdose. She was now in a care home and suffering from dementia. He realised that if he wanted to have quality time with her while she was still alive he was going to need to sort himself out. He managed to get a lower dose of medication and took up long distance running. He started volunteering at a care home and met a German woman whom he started to date.

I met Chris a few years after this. I was the first mental health worker to say I thought his restlessness was caused by his drugs. I supported him to negotiate a gradual reduction in his antipsychotic medication. Five years ago he stopped it completely but stayed on the drug lithium, which he found helpful. Although he still had constant restlessness in his legs, the pain he experienced was reduced significantly. I also encouraged Chris to go to literacy classes and train as a mental health advocate. I felt his anger could be usefully channelled into helping other people get their needs better listened to by health professionals.

Chris’s life improved even more when his estranged daughter got in touch. She was now sixteen but he had not seen her since she was a baby and had been discouraged from pursuing contact with her. They began to meet regularly and formed a good relationship. He also got the confidence to move out of supportive accommodation, which he clearly hated, into his own flat. He told me how his brothers now felt a bit ashamed that they’d persuaded him to keep taking the meds and they’d realised they’d missed out on the brother they’d lost.

I also supported him to make a complaint against the Trust. I wrote a report saying that I thought Chris had been both misdiagnosed and overmedicated for many years. The Trust refused to agree with my report and Chris’s view that services had let him down.

When I interviewed Chris for this article, the first thing he mentioned was the health trust denying they had mistreated him: “The chief executive was perfectly satisfied I didn’t suffer any long-term damage from the medication and I wasn’t overprescribed. He said the doctors acted in my best interests. If that was the case, then why didn’t they listen to me and work with what I wanted? In their mind there is no other approach apart from drug treatment.” I sensed that the way management had defended how Chris had been treated had added salt to his wounds.

Chris was still seeing a psychologist once every six weeks. “My psychologist says I have a voice now that I have come off the meds and I haven’t relapsed after five years. But surely I had a voice before — the problem was no one was listening. It feels a bit late now to have a voice.” “Do you think you’ve missed out on learning ways to use your mind?” I asked him. “Definitely,” he said. “All that medication over so many years was unnecessary. Nobody seemed bothered, they just wrote me off as a nobody who couldn’t progress.”

“I was in a similar situation to you when I was eighteen, but probably because of my education I was able to speak up and get listened to more,” I said. Chris nodded. “There are two things that blocked me being listened to,” he said. “Firstly because I wasn’t educated, and secondly because I got done for GBH (grievous bodily harm) when I was drunk.”

“How do you think your treatment affected you?” I asked him. He said, “Being sedated took away my personality. I knew it was slowing me down and made me unattractive to women. It was a struggle to stay awake — I couldn’t even follow a conversation. Medication takes away all your faculties. I was only twenty and I had hopes of getting a job and getting married. But in rehab, everything stopped for me, there was nothing to do. For a professional that seems acceptable. They took away my quality of life.”  Chris’s testimony made me think of the recent studies showing how antipsychotic medication progressively reduces the size of the brain and how mainstream psychiatry is still in denial about this finding.

Chris told me about how his doctor of many years had misled him, telling him the drugs were keeping him well, and always making sure that she had other staff with her to back her up when he challenged this. She always played down the negative effects of the medication. “If she had listened to me I might not be suffering the way I do now. Being fobbed off hurts. They had an answer for everything,” he said. Chris felt if he had been allowed to go through the paranoia unmedicated he could have come out the other side and not be living with the nerve damage he now had. He believed he was much healthier now that he was off the drugs he had been told were keeping him well. Although he still felt a lot of tension and agitation and struggled with his sleep, he felt a renewed awareness of his senses that he hadn’t felt in years. He described how he felt like he was growing up again and slowly getting to know himself again.

Chris attended the monthly Evolving Minds meetings I facilitate, and there he often talked about his anger towards mental health services. I sometimes worried that the anger was consuming Chris, blocking him from other conversations and experiences. I wanted to explore this with him. “Are you bitter?” I asked. “I’m bitter against the system.” “Maybe the anger is blocking you from the sadness you feel about your life?” “What happened to me wasn’t right. If I accept what happened, it will make it right,” he said. It was a strong argument. Chris told me that his restlessness made him feel so uncomfortable that he could cry.

I tried to imagine never being able to relax. I felt torn between trying to think of a solution to his anger and restlessness and wanting to just stay and be a witness to the discomfort he felt daily. He told me how difficult it was to share the bed with his girlfriend, and I remembered one night when I slept in the same barn as Chris on a retreat and how his constant tossing and turning in his noisy sleeping bag kept me awake for many hours.

Chris had also had his case against the Trust taken on by medical negligence lawyers, but when they requested an independent doctor to review the case, the doctor refused to criticise Chris’s past treatment. Unlike with physical health, hardly any cases of clinical negligence in mental health have ever been proved.

I talked with Chris about restorative justice, where perpetrators have to face their victims and hear the impact their crime has had on the person in front of them. I suggested that in some ways he was like a victim of a crime who has not felt that their concerns and injuries have been listened to. I offered to set up a meeting with a psychiatrist who could empathise with him, to which he wearily agreed. I thought that having a trained psychiatrist acknowledge he could have been treated differently would release Chris from some of the anger and preoccupation with his past. The only doctor Chris felt had ever empathised with him was the doctor who looked after his kidneys. Chris explained how Dr Jeffries had always treated him as a human being and never blamed him for his overdoses. He also took an interest in Chris’s long-distance running and his life more generally, not just his health problems.

I thought about my own fear and prejudice toward medical doctors that sometimes rears up — how I generally avoid seeing my GP, and my aversion to medical TV dramas, especially Hugh Laurie’s character in ‘House’. The idea of the self-assured doctor clearly still grated on me.

“My experience of psychiatry is, you’re not treated as an individual. You are asked a battery of pre-prepared questions and they try and control your life. Keeping talking about it helps me,” said Chris. I said, “I just wonder what would make you feel heard so you could enjoy life more.”

After our meeting, I called up a friend of mine who worked as a psychiatrist with an Assertive Outreach team and asked if he would meet with me and Chris, but the next time I spoke to Chris he had changed his mind. He was doubtful of what the meeting could achieve and still felt very hurt that he’d been forced to have a treatment which ruined his quality of life. He now had to cope with the consequences of their actions every day for the rest of his life. He was still angry that they hadn’t admitted that they’d done anything wrong, and unless he received an acknowledgement of this in writing, he thought the meeting would be pointless.

I thought back to my report about Chris’s past treatment and how it had led to a slightly tense meeting with the psychology lead manager for the Trust. I had been warned that I should have cleared my report with the complaints department before giving it to Chris. I wondered what the pressure was like on doctors not to criticise their peers.

While Chris wasn’t interested in meeting with my psychiatrist friend, he was interested in coming on a mindfulness retreat we were organising. He also wanted me to mention his full name in this piece to make the point that he would not go quietly about what he had been through at the hands of mental health professionals. As I finished the interview with Chris, I thought about what it must be like to live with constant uneasiness that you know has been caused by people supposed to help you. When Chris talks in detail about his frustration with mental health services, I feel that agitation. Part of me wants it to stop, and part of me thinks that we as a community need to tolerate this restless unease. After all, Chris lives with it constantly.

31 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Rufus,

    Thank you for your very worthwhile Article. I have a lot of identification with both you and Chris.

    I don’t go quietly either:-

    On Thu, 16 Feb 2017 at 10:58, (Me) @yahoo.co.uk>wrote: To the Parliamentary Ombudsman

    Dear K (Officer)

    Would you please pass this Information email on to J (Officer). I apologise for any unpleasantness attached to the contents.

    Please find attached:-

    1. The Relevant Sections of my November 8, 1986 Handwritten Adverse Drug Reaction Warning Request Letter (3 pages).

    2. The November 24, 1986 Irish Record Summary (2 pages) – With Requested Adverse Drug Reaction Warning Intentionally Omitted.

    3. My January 13, 2012 ‘Near Fatal Modecate Experience’ – ‘Statement’, sent to;- (X) University, Depot Side Effect Research & Monitoring Team

    4. Admitting Doctor, Dr (F) description of me ‘on presentation’ at (X) in November 1980.

    5. The November 1986 False Reassurance Letter From Dr (DK)

    MALPRACTICE AT (X) 1986
    Please examine and reconcile the attachments to this email and please read through the background information to the offending drugs for perspective. My recovery after April 1984 was as a result of discontinuing these drugs.

    MALPRACTICE & DIAGNOSIS
    I don’t think a Medical environment engaging in Malpractice can be trusted to represent a Medical Opinion.

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE OFFENDING DRUG

    Suicide
    Associated with Akathisia and depot Fluphenazine (Modecate) treatment

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/16313058_Suicide_Associated_with_Akathisia_and_Depot_Fluphenazine_Treatment 1983 (Dr K Shearer, Dr A Frances..)

    Dr A Frances went on to become Committee Chairperson to DSM 4.

    Akathisia
    I think I describe the symptoms of Akathisia fairly well in my November 1986 Handwritten ADR Request Letter + in My January 2012 ‘Statement’ to (X) University.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akathisia

    Wikipedia:- ‘Signs and Symptoms’
    “….Neuro-psychologist Dr. Dennis Staker had drug-induced akathisia for two days. His description of his experience was this: “It was the worst feeling I have ever had in my entire life…”….”

    Manufacturers Warning
    Adverse Drug Reaction
    https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/archives/fdaDrugInfo.cfm?archiveid=7520

    “…The side effects most frequently reported with phenothiazine compounds are extrapyramidal symptoms including pseudoparkinsonism, dystonia, dyskinesia, akathisia….”

    Yours Sincerely

    (Me)

    *The 1986 Handwritten ADR Request Letter
    was at the very back of my FOI requested Irish notes.

  2. The only function of a psychiatrist is to drug the patient.

    Anger at psychiatry can be converted to comedy/humor with imagination.

    Voluntarily taking a poison/medicine every day makes some one humble. If a person consciously stays humble (every day) by remembering the mistakes they performed in the past they do not need the symbolic act of taking a poison.

    Psychiatry never forgives, they write the mistakes all down on paper, where a broken leg diagnosis is a broken leg diagnosis forever.

    “The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.” Szasz.

  3. I laughed when you described becoming sleepy while listening to your client. I put a counselor to sleep once. I was going on and on about the story of my life and three quarters of the way through my session I realized my counselor’s chin, had slumped till it was touching his chest, his eyes were closed and he was softly snoring. I was mortified and it took me nearly two decades to bring myself to see a counselor again. Counseling people must be hard work, the focus required to focus and radically listen to people’s pain and anger and anxiety while not getting drawn into the drama; there is a fine line remaining objective without becoming robot like. Wouldn’t it be good if most counselors limited the number of clients they saw everyday, say to one per day, or one day per week and augment their income from other non-mental-health-related sources such as farming or landscaping or construction or computer programming, etc? The breadth of other non mental health related experiences may create more of a multi disciplinary knowledge base and symbolism from which to draw on, possibly enriching their mental health practice while help them be well rounded, satisfied, and grounded. I think it may also make them more accessible to their clients. Just a thought.

  4. This story is not surprising or anything ‘new’ just think of all those thousands of people who were lobotomized and became zombies, that really sucked, but the passion of a psychologist that has this much care and insight for people is unusual and good. If I end up going mad again I would want this psychologist on my side…

  5. I have a concern about the first sentence of the article:
    “By law people can now be forced to take medication once they’ve been discharged and are living back in the community, if they have had several hospital admissions for psychosis.”

    I think this refers to community treatment orders. I think the law is slightly more complicated than that. You maybe discharged with a conditions. One condition might be that you take the drugs. You might decide to not follow the conditions. The mind website has the following if you decide not to follow the conditions of a CTO:
    “What happens if I don’t follow the conditions?
    If you don’t follow the conditions, your responsible clinician may:

    change the conditions or the support you receive if there is a problem with them, or
    return you to hospital
    You cannot be recalled just because you don’t agree to medical treatment. As long as you have capacity to consent to treatment, you can only be given treatment if you consent to it. But there are different rules if you are recalled to hospital or do not have capacity. (See our page on recall to hospital to find out more.)”
    http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/legal-rights/community-treatment-orders-ctos/conditions#.WNQ83vnyg1N

    The page on recall to hospital says:
    “When can I be recalled to hospital?
    You can be recalled to any hospital if your responsible clinician thinks that:

    you need medical treatment in hospital for your mental disorder, and
    there would be risk of harm to your health or safety or to others if you are not recalled
    You can only be recalled if you meet both criteria. For example, you cannot be recalled just because you stop taking your medication. But if you stop taking your medication, and your responsible clinician thinks that you will get unwell, they can recall you.”
    http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/legal-rights/community-treatment-orders-ctos/recall-to-hospital/#.WNQ-M_nyg1M

    So if I am right then the law is slightly more complex and subtle, though still bad, than the article says.

    I have little experience around this and there will be people who know more than me. I would however advise talking to an advocate if you are on a CTO and want to come off or reduce medication. Please do not just accept what the Dr’s say and give up.

    • John

      The only people I know in London that DON’T have “violent histories” are the so called “mentailly ill”. Most policemen need to have violent histories and most soldiers need to have violent histories to be able to do their jobs.

      The so called “mentally ill” can get very irritated, but rarely violent – other than through means of medication. Nearly every hospitalization 1980-1984 I had, was a suicidal event – this stopped
      when the (strong) medication stopped.

  6. Hi Rufus, my partner is suffering from the same problem – he is forced to take his antipsychotic meds and I see him getting worse. I worry about the long term damage and have asked his psychiatrist to lower doses but they refused – they want to take him to a rehab. How can I stop this – he’s under section 3. I need professional people who can persuade and convince his psychiatrist to reduce his meds. Would you help us ?

    • When I was involved in anti-psychiatry campaigning, and not just posting comments on websites, I ended up thinking we needed to create some alternative services. These being:

      1 advocacy for people trapped by psychiatry, especiallly those forced to take drugs they didn’t want
      2 support services such as counselling and psychiatry free open dialogue type help
      3 drug reduction and withdrawal services

      I thought that doing that and publisising them as necersarry because psychiatry was harmful would make a powerful statement. I also found the quite a few people in the organisation I was working with were in need of these services. They were prone to crisis and forced to take damaging drugs by services.

  7. A verse from bible says God helps those who help themselves.

    Upon reading this story I say “who helps those who can’t protect themselves from abuse?” Actually heard this question or something near to it from Delores Oriordan cranberries singer.

    It appears that dr. May did. Well done.

  8. Heh! I got news for those perps who nearly sucked the life out of Chris – as time goes on, he’s going to get stronger, and louder, and happier, and better organized. He WILL be a threat to you! You’ve robbed him of twenty years, but he still has at least twenty more to invest in your demise and his own best life. LIVE IN FEAR, QUACKS!!!!

  9. Yup! ~from ANOTHER VICTIM of the pseudoscience LIES of the DRUG RACKET and means of social control known as “psychiatry”…. Psychiatry is nothing more than 21stCentury Phrenology, with neuro-toxins…. Psychiatrists are the personification of MEDICAL FASCISM…. So-called “mental illnesses” are exactly as “real” as presents from Santa Claus, but not more real. The DSM is in fact a CATALOG of BILLING CODES….
    I’d like to see the U.S. Military invade England, depose the monarchy, and convert the subjects of the crown into FREE CITIZENS…. But that’s just a fantasy!

  10. Rufus, thank you for sharing Chris’ story.

    Chris, I deeply appreciate hearing about your resilience through your experience of medical model psychiatry. I am very saddened to hear of your horrible mistreatment, repeated disrespect and psychiatric oppression. My heart goes out to you. Wishing you strength and healing in the years ahead.

  11. Listen crazies!
    Mental Health *experts* are laughing at us!Yes they do.And they aren’t afraid of us.But we should give them
    a fundamental reason,to fear us!We have numbers,they have nothing!All what we need is Occupy NIMH movement and this will be their end…All the world will learn what MHS really is: Genocidal *Health* *Care* System!

    • what are they laughing at us for? the specific reason? they are making money from the diploma or whatever credentials they have. With this job they have in mental health they have money to spend, spend as they wish.

      What are you fighting against? Forced drugging? You are not following orders?

  12. I think it’s important to realize that situations in which people wrongly assume power and dominance over others and deny them their basic human rights – i.e., a voice – is not limited to treatment of mental health issues – they occur in all kinds of situations – in courts, schools, GP surgeries, general hospitals, family relationships, you name it. Victims need to recognize what is going on and exercise their freedom to choose and leave if they have to – simply because those behaving in such a way often do not want to give up their power over them. When controllers do realize what they are doing they often find it difficult, but not impossible, to give up their control.

    Patricia Evans has written some great books on verbal abuse and people who try to control others and I believe that raising an awareness of this problem generally will help to disperse it quicker! I identify with Chris’s anger and thank him for his strength, perserverance and courage in speaking out and sticking to what he thinks is right. I too have lived through the encounter with a number of broken systems (family, doctors, psychiatrists, schools, courts, social services, etc) and am still here kicking and fighting though at times I’ve only survived through sheer faith and hope.

    Thanks Rufus for continuing to support Chris and others and in raising awareness of the dangers, over use and dis-empowering state of psychopharmacology. Talking therapies are woefully underfunded. We want to talk about what’s happened and that can be a highly effective ‘treatment’ but who is making the time to listen? Who can afford it when making money seems to be the order of the day? It takes principles and a determination to stick to your guns and to go against the flow. You can medicate trauma and abuse by labelling, numbing and sedating people but it’s hardly the solution it’s simply ignoring and even cultivating more problems and issues – a supposed ‘fix’ of life’s most difficult problems that’s doomed to fail.

  13. They are laughing at us,because we don’t act against them!No-matter what MHS and it’s employers did to us!
    Until MHS infamy won’t be exposed on publical level,with massive protests against the System,soo long they will laugh at us and get away with everything,even with murder!We all here know this,but real life activists aren’t in general from USA!

  14. What are we waiting for ? let’s organise a march and tell the politicians enough is enough – this kind of forced psychiatry is barbaric and medieval and not for the 21st century. Let’s expose the danger of these antipsychotic long term danger on the brain and make our case heard. Can someone organise this?

  15. thank you Rufus. As usual a fantastic piece from someone who is actually helping people instead of just talking about it !
    You can organise a march but you will just be labelled as mad people because that is what they do … label you and nullify you .. the power is with the psychiatrists and will remain with them because that is how society contains its fear and anxiety.
    Most psychiatrists are pathological liars for a start off they have the upper hand here and yes despite people trying to tell us differently at the top of the comments a CTO here in Australia means just that it is an ORDER and if u do not obey u will be formed under the powers of the law and psychiatrically imprisoned for as long as they feel like banging u up for because not wanting drugs that give u diabetes heart disease and an early death must mean there is something very wrong with you!
    there are no checks and balances here and there are no alternatives , no Rufus around the corner to help and support u you find the help yourself or u bounce back to the trolley locked and shackled for 97 hours while waiting for a bed ….
    Hang on in there people and rufus keep up the good work – eternally grateful to know ur out there X

  16. Anti-Mental Health movement once as it will be *formed*,have to be leaded and guided by non-Americans.This will be the best way,how to prevent the very *weight* of $$$,to supress movement into passive and really unimportant organization!Anti-psychiatry movement was *killed* by corruption and it’s death now and a new movement have to start in this year!One in which Mental Health *experts*, certain political agenda and above
    all it’s progress supressing proxy agents,won’t have a place,much less a chance to undermine movement,which will try to dismantle MHS.

    • Great for those outside of the USA, not so great for those inside the USA. I would say that the psychiatric survivor movement as an anti-psychiatry movement sort of self-destructed in the USA, in part due to not distancing itself from the mental health movement, however, it is far from dead. This is to say, if you get an anti-mental-health movement going outside of the USA, great. Still, it’s not like the USA doesn’t need its own anti-mental-health movement. You certainly don’t need Americans dominating the movement and guiding people in struggle outside of the continental USA. They’ve got their own struggles, but hopefully we can still find some kind of agreement between us regarding our respective struggles, and also develop some kind of solidarity with the worldwide movement against the MHS, and for human rights, as well.

  17. Frank
    Yes.Not just USA,entire world needs anti-Mental Health movement,which once exist in your country.Anti-Psychiatry movement,didn’t seperated it-self from MH movement,mainly and you know this,because of Psychologists and Psychiatrists involvment inside and outside anti-Psychiatry movement.They become *brand* names or *faces* of anti-Psychiatry movement and not the crazies.Psychologists and Psychiatrists will always protect their professions,so they are united against all of us.Maybe some of MIA writters won’t agree with me,but even MIA haven’t a single crazy person amoung the *staff*.Always normals use their normality and with it,they *have* credibility to represent us and far worse to make all decisions,about us!
    So far they brought to us all,only misery death and suffering.And to normals who live with us to!

  18. Hi Rufus

    Thanks so much for sharing. Truly believe we need to speak up.
    I am sorry to shamelessly post my initiative here as I really need ideas and opinions and I feel like people in MIA are very supportive and vocal about mental health – I am wondering if you could help with my initiative here –
    I am developing a storytelling and mental health platform with the ultimate aim of curating a museum exhibition. Soul relics Museum is a platform for people to read and tell stories of mental health through objects that help them connect or express to a present or past experience they have had with their mental health. The object can be anything personal to something in the system. It’s a unique and creative idea to help people come forward and share with others what mental health problems have been like for them and a safe and constructive way to read of others experiences while being brave enough to share your own. Together, we can create a collective voice in raising awareness and education on mental health!
    All you need to do to help is to take a look (http://soulrelicsmuseum.me ) and write a short personal story (http://soulrelicsmuseum.me/Contribute.html)!
    If you agree with the initiative, I would be super grateful if you could help me promote it (eg. share on social media and contribute to the discussion) as me as an individual can only do so little in unifying people’s voices.
    Let me know if you have any thoughts!

    With Solidarity,
    Van