I am Not the Next Headline in Tragedy

Carmela Kudyba
18
1879

On April 2nd, 2017 I came to the ER on my own, scared of what I call being “upset.” My “upsets” have also been called nonepileptic seizures by my sister who is a neurologist. They have been diagnosed as fugue states by the psychiatric medical director of Michigan Medical at University of Michigan, and also referred to as dissociation by an advocate as well as a nurse who looked into coping mechanisms for me.

I have been a patient for over a month at a hospital where they have insisted on treating my natural state of being which has been diagnosed as psychotic. They have almost solely addressed my psychosis while they have hardly acknowledged my “upsets.” My psychosis is subsiding without any scheduled antipsychotic or any other psychiatric medication, with the help of a stable environment and kindhearted patients and support staff including nurses, activity therapists and doctors.

In the meantime, I am awaiting a trial by jury so that the medical professionals have the legal ability to inject me with antipsychotics. I have repeatedly told my doctors that these injections make me physically sick, and even worse they often induce “upsets.” The doctors are expecting and hoping that the injections will make my psychosis subside. I explained to my team of medical professionals that the psychosis does not subside, but instead becomes more private. Because I am too tranquilized to physically acknowledge my inner beliefs, voices and persecution, medical professionals subjectively observe me to be more “normal,” and less “disturbed” to witness.

I wouldn’t mind medication if it didn’t cause such severe side effects. Since I experience more side effects than the average person, I have been called a slow metabolizer. The most troublesome side effects I experience include weight gain and sedation. The doctors recently told me their choice of medication to put me on will be Invega. I remember that the last time I was injected with Invega I slept an average of 17 hours each day and I gained 50 pounds. My pre-existing conditions involving my feet and ankles were exasperated by the weight gain, and I had to buy an entirely new wardrobe. Since it was the middle of winter, I couldn’t find a coat that fit me, even when I went to a store for plus size women. When I am not on antipsychotic medication I am a healthy weight and very responsible eater. I have always had low cholesterol, blood sugar and lipids. The first few weeks on any antipsychotic, my blood sugar creeps up to borderline pre-diabetes.

Since I am an avid dancer and horseback rider, these side effects are extremely disturbing. Even activities of daily living such as going up and down the stairs with a load of laundry become too painful to endure with the extra weight on my feet. The sedation also limits what I can do in my life. When I last needed 17 hours of sleep each day, I was unable to hold down a job at 10 hours a week, a job that I had maintained at 20 hours a week for the previous 8 years. This was crushing to my self esteem.

I am fighting the medical orders by going to trial by jury under the direction of the Honorable Judge Owdziej, who also dishonorably refused to schedule the trial for almost a month after she refused to acknowledge the abandonment of two statutes. These statutes mandate that I must be presented with my petition and two physician certs within 48 hours, and that I must appear before a judge for a hearing within one week of involuntary inpatient admission.

I have been repeatedly told I am “safe” and that I have “rights.” Meanwhile I have over 20 bruises that have been documented as brought on by petty fights with nurses and security guards employed by the hospital. These battles are the result of staff instructing me to be quiet as I practice my public speaking skills in transformation and human rights discourse. I am also told that discourse and debate do not exist at this hospital sponsored by the University of Michigan. I may be psychotic, and I may have upsets, but I realize that I am anything but safe.

While I am aware that I will most likely lose this trial by jury, I intend to take a stand for mental diversity and my right to coexist with others in mainstream reality without being medicated. I know my heart and I know that I never want to hurt anyone, even myself. I believe my body is my temple, and that my body and other people’s bodies are to be respected and cared for, not bruised or hurt. People who know me best are familiar with my interest in non-violent resistance. I know I am able to take care of my basic needs, and even more that I am able to serve my community as a public speaker, advocate and trainer.

While antipsychotics may make my thinking more linear in nature, while I may be less grandiose in social situations, and while I may seem to experience fewer auditory hallucinations, I would be more able to walk, to dance and to ride horses without them. I would be able to live a life I was intended to live, as opposed to having a tranquilized state of being forced on me by a judge representing a society afraid of difference — a society in fear of pervasive violence that exists from other people’s hearts and hands, not my own.

A psychologist experienced in writing Independent Medical Evaluations for these types of cases told me that the judge is a politician who is elected every 6 years. She will see every mental patient as a potential headline in the news of a crime committed with a mental health diagnosis involved. Every headline involving mental illness is a threat to her being re-elected. I may be psychotic but I am not the next headline in the news. I am thoughtful and questioning. I am different and unique, but I am not violent and my life will never be anyone’s tragedy.

Would you like to stand with me?

Is my reality a just reality?

Do I have the human right to dwell in my own reality?

You can join my fight by doing any of the following:

1. Call Ann Arbor City Hall at 1-734-994-2700. Tell them Judge Owdziej (pronounced Judge Outside) Bar #P42715 refused to acknowledge the denial of two statues for Carmela Kudyba who is currently being illegally held as an involuntary psychiatric patient at University of Michigan Medical Hospital.

2. Come to my trial by jury at 9:00 am on May 22, 2017 at 15th District Courthouse of Ann Arbor at 301 E Huron St, Ann Arbor, MI, 48107.

3. Donate to the screening of the Healing Voices Tennessee premiere. (This is one initiative I am looking forward to working on when I am discharged.)

4. Say a prayer in my honor for justice to be rendered to all who refuse to live in the status quo of what society and the medical model dictate as truth.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, what a sad and infuriating story! Good for you for standing up for yourself! Did you say your “symptoms” are decreasing but they still want to force you onto antipsychotics? Do you have a good attorney? Wish I lived in Michigan – I’d come and support you!

  2. My wife has d.i.d. Though I’m not suggesting you have it, in the past she has displayed all the symptoms you have mentioned. She didn’t deserve incarceration in a mental hospital or forced druggings, and I never let them happen. I never feared sleeping in the same bed with any of the girls at nights. I always treated her and the other girls as equals and with full respect. I never forced myself on any of them, but respected the boundaries they voiced so that they would feel the safety each needed to heal.

    You deserve the same. I don’t live close enough to be there with you, but I will keep you in my heart.

    I hope some day that you will find a safe person who is wiling to let you be you but also who can help the internal chaos in your mind quiet and heal so that those symptoms are no longer present. You shouldn’t be forced into an either or choice just because of the ignorance of others.
    Sam

  3. This “judge” is selfish and spineless! Physical mobility and bodily autonomy are THE two most vital human rights, after the right to life itself. It’s a brutal abuse of power to gut the rights of any law-abiding citizen. But, it’s beyond the pale to gut such important rights from a citizen who *thought* they’d be secure, if they *VOLUNTEERED* for treatment. Ironically, though, it’s this very fear-mongering which might just be your exit from the psychiatric terrorism at U of M.

    In Michigan, the pro-force psychiatry laws were recently made MUCH more draconian. Before this year, a “targeted individual” had to have “anosognosia” (more on this, in a bit) AND a proven history of “harm to one’s self or others”. But as of February 2017, Mad people “qualify” for forced-drugging, if a quack supposes that they “could” harm themselves or someone else in the near future – a standard that applies to virtually anybody. Since neither you nor your petitioners can prove a negative, your petitioners are going to hit heavy on your “anosognosia” and the scary stereotypes of “noncompliant” Mad people. Likewise, your defense will also take a two-pronged approach: discrediting the quack’s “science” and fear-mongering their fear-mongering.

  4. Hi, Well written article and you should feel very proud for having the courage to stand up for yourself and speak so clearly and strongly. I’ve shared a link to your piece in other forums. Although I cannot be there in person for the court date, I wish you the best and hope you have others around you there supporting you.

  5. Carmela- you’re sister’s a neurologist, right? This may not be an item for shrinks, after all, but more in her line. They’re hardly going to be able demonstrate a need for this alleged “treatment” if the cause for the episodes is outside the realm of psychiatry.

    • Again, not saying Carmela has d.i.d. like my wife, but sometimes when the girls switch they kind of ‘glitch’ and get stuck like a computer program that doesn’t quite fully load and it causes minor seizures. I just keep them calm and talk them thru it. It’s not a big deal as long as I stay calm so I can keep them calm until they get out of it.

      I don’t understand the biology of it, but I think the mechanics of it, in layman’s terms, is my wife’s brain is working hard to strengthen the neural pathways between the various girls that were allowed to atrophy for 4 decades, and sometimes there are little ‘hiccups’ during that process. They rarely happen at this point…

  6. Hi! I know what u are going through I’ve been on and off antipsychotic mess for 5years. We did some praying and God pushed my mom into finding orthomolecular! Look it up! It’s vitamins that take away the voices! The key vitamin is vitamin b3 – niacin. I take 80 vitamins a day -I’m almost off fluanxol I’m on 20 mg! It works! The voices are gone and I’m almost off all antipsychotics!

    • There aren’t that many bloggers on this site familiar with orthomolecular treatments and the qualitative difference between being on neuroleptics and taking B3 and its fellow nutrients, so you’ll be likely to take some grief from those who find psychic meaning in dysperceptions and want to analyze them without really grasping their effect. It’s no big thing- I get flamed every now and then, myself.

  7. respectfully, but, that’s very sad. The voices are there for a reason. I understand this is your only post, but if you stick around maybe you could check out the Hearing Voices Network. Our culture’s attitude toward voice hearing is the problem, NOT the voices themselves.

  8. “refused to schedule the trial for almost a month after she refused to acknowledge the abandonment of two statutes. These statutes mandate that I must be presented with my petition and two physician certs within 48 hours, and that I must appear before a judge for a hearing within one week of involuntary inpatient admission.”

    The Due Process Clause was meant to act as safeguard from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property. Whats the point of having laws if they are not followed ?

    I think below is the remedy.

    42 U.S. Code § 1983 – Civil action for deprivation of rights

    Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom or usage, of any State or Territory, or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress http://www.google.com/search?q=+42+U.S.+Code+§+1983+-+Civil+action+for+deprivation+of+rights

    I have written on this site before that I believe someone good at law could create a do it yourself lawsuit kit for this situation of hospitals depriving people of their liberty without due process. A simple fill in the blanks for people who do not get a their hearing on time and filing instructions. Win or loose it still would cause a hassle and expenses for the opposing side.

    I was in a “hospital” and the most common thing I heard was people stating “I am going to sue this place”. Staff did not care and likely laughed about that threat they know what a difficult task that is and very rarely happens no matter what they do to people. Maybe if a do it yourself lawsuit kit existed and was easily found online it would become too expensive for these hellholes to routinely violate peoples rights.

    Anyone in the United States has the right to represent themselves in court and file a lawsuit without an attorney. https://www.i-lawsuit.com/how-to-file-a-lawsuit-without-an-attorney/

    Arbitrary arrest and arbitrary detention, that’s tyranny and lawlessness, and scary. These hospitals already have rubber stamp hearings now they are just skipping them without consequence ? Scary.

  9. I am happy the jury was understanding. I was subject to two human rights infringements last time I was in a mental hospital. They injected me against my will, and I wasn’t allowed to have a lawyer come in or anything, they just sped up the process, lied in my medical report and raped me with a needle in the ass with a chemical that is more lethal than aids infected sperm. 11 people held me down. I didn’t even have the option of trial or anything and there was only one psychiatrist who made all decisions, which according to European Human Rights Regulations is called torture. This was not in the US by the way. But thank you for sharing your story and your bravery, hopefully it will set an example, in court and in so called mental health facilities around the globe. Hasta la Victoria Sempre, Viva la Revolucion!