Psychiatry’s Failure to Acknowledge Who I Really Am


I was a very sensitive and aware child. I did not know yet what would happen to me when I became a 25-year-old adult. I did not fit in the education system, but I was very intelligent and highly gifted; though I felt pretty trapped in this system, I received high grades. But I was not really myself. My parents barely had time to have a decent conversation with me. They were so busy earning money, buying things and being unhappy.

In high school I felt very lonely and unhappy. I had no friends. But I kept receiving high grades. So my self-worth became my grades and my intelligence. I then went to university, and here, it all went wrong. I was fed up with the system — with the rat race. I started four courses but I did not finish one of them.

When I was 23 years old, I developed serious burn-out. I could only lie in bed, but I could not sleep or eat. I lost weight rapidly. I had some experiences with the mental health care system and these were not satisfying, so I kept a distance.

I wanted to solve it by myself.

I received no welfare. I ended my relationship with a once loving man who was not loving anymore after five and a half years and left the house. And so I had some savings but no income and no house. It was at this point I turned to God and asked Him to take care of me. Apparently the system/government did not do this, so I asked God.

Eventually, I met some wonderful women and was able to stay in their houses. For a year and a half, every day, I was in a safe environment: I had a bedroom to sleep in, and I could eat and shower. After this period, my savings were gone. I went to the Social Security office and got very angry and assertive, and the next day I received my welfare!

Within a few months, I had a nice little house and met my current husband. But by then, I had become a member of a religious sect, which made me confused and “psychotic.” At this point, I was 25 years old.

I was brought to the psychiatric hospital, and I was terrified. They of course gave me neuroleptics, but this made my condition much worse, even though my “psychosis” was over. I felt so terrible due to the drugs that I wanted to kill myself. But they did not seem to notice this and would not simply lower the dosage! So I had a terrible time. First I had to take 4mg of Risperdal, and when I quit that, they gave me 10mg of Zyprexa. I gained a lot of weight and felt suicidal. I was extremely depressed. But they did not acknowledge that this was a side effect.

So in 2008 I lowered the dosage of Zyprexa by myself and, finally, started to feel better. But my trust in psychiatry was as good as totally gone. They gave me drugs that made me feel terrible, and they did not seem to recognize that and lower the dosage.

In 2009 they give me a new drug: SeroquelXR. At the same time, I was hospitalized and placed under the care of a new psychiatrist who seemed to be very enthusiastic about “fighting psychosis.” Already at that point, I had a different opinion — that “psychosis” is not a sickness, and not the enemy, and that fighting it only makes it worse! One needs only to understand the behavior in a loving way and this person will become “normal” in a matter of time. But this psychiatrist did not think of that. So I turned into a rebel, fighting back, defending my real self. I was admitted to this hospital twice, and it was horrible to be subjected to the way they treated “psychotic” people.

Finally, at the end of 2009, I was brought by an ambulance to a mental hospital in the south of the Netherlands (I live in the north of the Netherlands, but my origins are in the south and my family lives there). My mother had arranged that. She apparently had not seen this hospital in advance to make a good decision, because this hospital was the worst experience of my life. It was more like a concentration camp than a hospital!

They locked me up there for 10 months, by force, and injected an extremely high dosage of neuroleptics into my back for 12 months. Because of the side effects of those drugs, I committed eight suicide attempts. The whole year of 2010 was sheer horror. I cannot think of a different word to describe it.

Because I was rebellious (and I had good reason to be!), they locked me up in an isolation cell more than 30 times and gave me injections that made me hallucinate terrifying visions. It was as if they were punishing me instead of helping me. And they did these things to other people as well. This hospital really seemed to be a torture factory.

And this seems to still be legal and legitimate in the Netherlands — to treat people like that. How about human rights? In psychiatry, these do not seem to exist!

This is not how the mental health system should treat “psychotic” people. Mental health providers should treat them with compassion, empathy, respect, love and understanding. With a circle of loving and understanding people surrounding a person in crisis, I have no doubt that most “psychosis” would normalize in time.

In 2012, I experienced “psychosis” and was fortunate enough to be in such an environment, and within two weeks my “psychosis” vanished. (Soteria has such an approach, as does the Finnish Open Dialogue therapy. But the latter two are, unfortunately, not available in the Netherlands.)

In 2011, I went back to the north of the Netherlands, to the city of Groningen, and received treatment from a mental health center. It much went better. I was prescribed fewer drugs, I enjoyed life and I studied and got a job. The people working for that center increasingly seemed to see me as who I really am.

But since April 2017, because of bureaucratic reasons, I had to switch to another mental health center, and I have difficulties with this, even to the point that I’m afraid they will put me in a hospital again. At this center, they seem to be frenzied “psychosis” fighters. This really makes me nauseous. Even today, some mental health providers are still thinking as if they lived in the Dark Ages.

I have been so sick and tired of their talking that I tried to kill myself in May. Afterwards, a woman spoke to me and said that I should not take them seriously because it literally drags me down and could even kill me. I do not feel acknowledged as who I am by this particular mental health center. I do not feel heard nor understood by the staff or providers, and this makes me feel upset.

So my plan to save myself is to let the staff at my new mental health center talk rubbish and stop caring about what they say. Of course, this is not how it is supposed to be! Mental health providers should be respectful, compassionate and understanding, but they are too busy “fighting psychosis” and hence, they do not see their “patients” as who they really are — as whole people. They keep people sick with their unhealthy approach and their suppressing drugs.

If I really listen to them I get sick: I feel unhappy and I feel depressed. So here is the rebel again. This whole Dark Ages approach to mental health care makes me upset and angry. I even sleep less well because of it. The only thing I can do is acknowledge myself and just be.

Only then I can free myself from their grasp.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. Lots of wisdom and great insights here.

    You describe the perfect double bind of the “mental health industrial complex”–if one complies with treatment, one’s health and life have an excellent chance of deteriorating, as per thousands upon thousands of personal testimonials; and if one shows independence of thinking (one’s true spiritual nature), then force and coercion begin (and it can start out with very subtle power-conscious mind-games, e.g. gaslighting), amounting to systemic abuse and human rights violations. There is a very low ceiling here regarding personal freedom in that particular community, and no concept at all of having a spiritual nature.

    What I found, at the end of it all, is that “psychiatry/psychology” has become the practice of “the professionals” (whether clinical or social services) projecting their inner demons onto clients, in order to perceive themselves as “healthy,” by comparison, and it becomes a dreadful power game of “superiority.” It’s how training occurs in the “mental health industry.” I remember in my training exactly 20 years ago, a big component of our clinical supervision was on how to “not give clients too much power.”

    And as a client, all I felt while in psychotherapy was incredibly manipulated and really thrown off my game and life path. I had to go way outside the box in order to first, find my true healing (because it addressed my heart and spirit), and then, to come into affinity with my spirit once again and get back to better living, based on who I truly am, and not some negatively projected image based on the prejudices and limited sense of self of some “clinician.”

    There is something dreadfully wrong at the core of this field. I think the belief systems are skewed toward fitting in, rather than being comfortable in one’s own *unique* skin, regardless of anything. Personally, I do not believe that we are put on the planet to make others comfortable at the expense of our truth.

    Obviously, the “mental health system” practices and dynamics do not work to alleviate suffering, and in fact, they only serve to re-traumatize and to keep people stuck in this systemic abuse-victim dynamic, fully enabled by the community at large, including the law, and making virtually everyone enormously frustrated, at the very least. At worst, it is highly damaging to clients. And without a doubt, it is destructive to society on the whole, perhaps even the downfall of it.

    Thank you for speaking your truth with such clarity, power, and grace.

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  2. I too had parents who barely spoke to me as I grew up. I think it became like a sentence handed down from a court, that I should never be known to other people, because they say that what a child interprets from his parents is taken as very final. But we all have a powerful need to be known, to be social, and so these two forces are in conflict, and this has lasted my entire life, and been a source of a lot of misery. I never got involved with the mental health system hardly at all, and I suppose that is fortunate. I don’t have any answers, but I came to the same conclusion, that the system doesn’t either.

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  3. The mental health system should not even exist. All these people should be getting prosecuted for Crimes Against Humanity in the International Court.

    I would suggest that you consider a lawsuit. Therapists have the most power to harm you in what Freud called ‘transference’. In layman’s terms, this is when the client realizes that they have been disclosing their affairs to someone who is not on their side, but rather is on the side of the parents, and has duped them.

    The power that the mental health system has all derives from your disclosing your thoughts and affairs to them, instead of just giving them the middle finger.

    I am not a lawyer, but if you tell me which state you are in, I’ll do what it takes to find you one.

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  4. I am not sure we should be blaming the mental health system, I think a better approach would be to directly blame the individuals who are abusing people and hold them accountable. I was threatened with an assault and injection when I refused an overdose of their lobotomy pills.

    Lucky for them they never assaulted and injected me cause after it was all over if the legal system did not give me justice I would have got justice myself with a baseball bat breaking some knee caps as they walked to their cars after “work” in that hell hole posing as a hospital.

    The mental health system did not abuse me, a few people “working” in that hell hole did.

    Some people will say they are “just doing their jobs” often known as the Nuremberg defense, lawful orders or by the German phrase Befehl ist Befehl “an order is an order”… Its not a legitimate excuse.

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  5. These people in Psychiatry are a bunch of sick ———!. So glad you are okay , it’s inhumane what they are doing to innocent people . I can’t get over it , I never will. Mental health care is a black whole of death. Will be nice to teach that to my kids one day.

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  6. Diana:

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge. To me, this reinforces everything I have come to learn about and lament per the failures of the western approach to ‘psychosis’.

    You wrote: “Mental health providers should be respectful, compassionate and understanding, but they are too busy “fighting psychosis” and hence, they do not see their “patients” as who they really are — as whole people. They keep people sick with their unhealthy approach and their suppressing drugs.”

    As a parent, i realize that this applies to family members, friends, and caregivers too. A hard take away but very true.

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  7. Psychiatrists truly do fail to acknowledge who their clients really are. I had to leave my psychiatrist because I’d been handed over some of his medical records, and realized he was completely delusional about who I am.

    I confronted him about the plethora of misinformation he had written about me in his medical records. He had the frickin’ gall to think his declarations that “you feel powerless” and your entire life is a “credible fictional story” would fly with me. The psychiatrists are crazy.

    Walk away, don’t listen to them. They are the least logical and most delusional people on the planet. Their DSM “bible” has been debunked, and they’re still not intelligent enough to give it up.

    But, historically, the psychiatrists have always resulted to mass genocide, over confession of their sins. How sad they choose to repeat the worst in history over and over and over again. They never learn.

    God bless you in freeing yourself from their grasp. I’m certain God will help you escape, He helped me survive 14 distinctly different psychiatric anticholinergic toxidrome poisoning attempts at my life, and escape. I’m certain He’ll help you escape and heal as well.

    Have faith, believe in yourself as well, you have survived for a reason. Thank you for sharing your story of the insanity of today’s psychiatric system, keep sharing it.

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  8. Idea – Have this new mental health center employ peers or people with lived experience.

    They could be of assistance. Like to help be understood a bit more.

    Perhaps peers transform center to be better agency like one before.

    If peer support is wrong I don’t wanna be right.

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  9. Diana thank you so much for your story. I blame our Community Mental Health-care system directly for my demise after what they did to me. And I remember coming across this during my research too because it appalled me. And I know it’s coming to America. There is a de-population agenda here and what could accelerate it any faster than a patient suffering endlessly & needlessly from taking our devils cocktail of psychiatric drugs. If this would have been available to me I would have begged for it to end my ongoing suffering. ‘Netherlands sees sharp increase in people choosing euthanasia due to ‘mental health problems’ – The Netherlands has seen a sharp increase in the number of people choosing to end their own lives due to mental health problems such as trauma caused by sexual abuse. – Mental Health seems to know only two ways to treat ‘distressed’ people. First you drug them, then you kill them.

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  10. Julie, it’s in full force here in America. I know this is not the place to discuss this here, but I will just once. We have poisonous GMO foods, fluoridated water, vaccines, flu shots, chemtrails (geoengineering) and everyone’s on pharmaceutical drugs, and/or psych drugs. The depopulation agenda is not only targeting the poor, they’re targeting everyone (Georgia Guidestones, NWO agenda.) Genocide used to be legal here, they just renamed it genetics. Pretty clever huh.

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  11. Hi Diana, I love the way you write. It is very unpretentious, honest, to the point! REAL.

    It is so strange how Holland, which has seemed to be so liberated–in contrast the the rest of Europe, and world even–regarding the allowing of cannabis and psychedelics, and YET conforms, as you expose, to the same brutal ‘mental health treatment’ of people!!
    This shows me just how prevalent this toxic reductive myth is, which has us all reduced to chemicals and genes, and treated like robots/machines.
    The underlying myth which fuels this culture and its institutions like the ‘mental health movement’— has it that we are machines, other species are machines, nature is a machine and even the universe is a machine. HOW the hell could the sensitive, and intelligent and aware person NOT go mad in such an oppressive scenario? This reminds me the quote of Laing’s I was reminded of yesterday: ‘insanity can be a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.’ In the spirit of the Mad pride Movement I’d paraphrase it as ‘Madness can be a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world, because of course both terms do not connote the accepted myth that mental illness is biologically caused, but rather to differentiate the spontaneous feelngs people affected by oppression (which usually cannot even be acknowledged or ‘known about’) have, and behaviour deemed ‘disordered’ with a prevailing oppressive culture which irrationally will not acknowledge its OWN insanity as it willnilly loves and wants more and more war against others, and is exploiting millions of people, and causing mass extinctions of other species (even the Bees are threatened) and ecocide of the whole ecosphere all life, including the generations to come, depend on.

    Like their ‘gatekeeping experts’ are not interested in you and your story and feelings they are not interested in all of that also! And THAT is their insanity which is ignore-ance!

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  12. I want to thank you all for reading my article and for your replies!
    Right now I am withdrawing from psych drugs and as expected I barely receive any help from the Mental Health Care institution, but I manage and I fare well.

    Because I believe in my own strength and my direct environment.
    Diana Wolsink-van Landeghem

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  13. Diana,
    the mental “health” industry is not about creating health at all.
    It is about identifying aberrations and inability to have agency.
    The true attempt is to have people function in the wheel,
    and if we do not, we have a chance to dull the anxiety with
    harsh drugs that make us less reactive to internal and external
    Numbing is the ultimate goal.
    If one dies sooner due to MH care, or stressors, it is on the client,
    not society.
    This society is and will affect people way beyond the borders of their constructed MI

    the MH industry is not there for health.

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  14. Yes Sam. The mental illness myth is supposed to render society invisible. YET like you say its op-press-ion is a main CAUSE of ill health in every which way, physically, and psychologically. and spiritually. It follows the same pattern as was the case in the Soviet Union where people who would/could not accept that ideology and were labelled ‘dissident’ (etymology: 1530s, “different, at variance, disagreeing,” from Latin dissidentem (nominative dissidens), present participle of dissidere “to be remote; disagree, be removed from,” literally “to sit apart,” from dis- “apart” (see dis-) + sedere “to sit,” from PIE root *sed- (1) “to sit.”
    Meaning “dissenting, not conforming” is from 1837, originally in reference to an established church. Meaning “disagreeing in political matters” is by 1943.) could also find they would be labeled ‘mentally ill’, forced into a ‘mental hospital’, and forcibly drugged. Yes forced drugs which suppressed/numbed their organism and mind.
    Well this is exactly the same opPRESSion in this society although the ideology is ‘different’…

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