The most reliable data available suggests that millions of Americans from many walks of life have been subjected to psychiatric detentions and treatment against their will, and millions more have experienced unwanted psychiatric coercion under threat of commitment.
Where are all of these people? Especially with the massive growth of social media helping give voice and space to those who were previously blocked out of centralized news media, why don’t we see these millions constantly speaking out and sharing their perspectives on involuntary commitment?
I recently completed Your Consent Is Not Required, a book that investigates people’s experiences of psychiatric detentions and the science, economics, and politics of forced treatment today. Yet, despite so many people being affected—many in ways that they felt were profoundly unjust, unhelpful, and traumatizing—I found that focused, sustained discussions of wide public reach don’t emerge much or trend often in social media. Compared with social media discussions of other civil rights issues currently in the news and affecting millions of Americans, like abortion, sexual harassment, or police violence, involuntary commitment is off the radar.
It’s not that no one ever talks about psychiatric detentions or forced treatment on social media; indeed, there’s been a noticeable uptick over the past few years. But even those people rarely use common, clearly identified terms or hashtags in their posts, pages, or groups that make them easy to find.
On Twitter, as well as on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Mastodon and other social media, hashtags often get used to highlight key terms or ideas, and then function as organizing tools—anyone who clicks on the hashtag can instantly connect to other posts and people anywhere discussing the same issue. This can help disparate people find each other and share stories, support, and research, build alliances, educate others, politically organize, and catch the attention of news media. The result can sometimes be extremely potent: #MeToo developed from a unifying hashtag into a social movement and then an indelible national political symbol. #BlackLivesMatter, too. But involuntary commitment doesn’t seem to have even a seed of such a hashtag. Consequently, on those occasions when forced treatment does hit mainstream news and then get discussed in social media, cohesive critiques remain difficult to find and rarely trend.
Why is this happening, and what can be done to change it?
I sought answers from a variety of people who are active in social media, public relations, education, or organizing, and who are also public critics of coercive psychiatry.
Coercion is Nowhere but Everywhere
Searching social media, it’s comparatively much easier to find busy discussions and debates about other issues in the general field of “critical psychiatry”—such as adverse effects of psychotropics, withdrawal problems, and pseudoscientific diagnoses—highlighted with hashtags like #PrescribedHarm, #Tapering, or #Antipsychiatry.
But Adele Framer has noticed the same tendency I have: The underlying themes of power and coercion are nevertheless practically everywhere.
Framer is best known as Altostrata on Twitter and as founder of SurvivingAntidepressants.org, a discussion forum about psychotropic tapering with 18,000 members. SurvivingAntidepressants.org has many topic subcategories with active discussions—but none about coercive treatment. Still, said Framer, “Individuals bring it up all the time.”
Essentially, she explained, while engaging in the forums or on social media, even people who’ve never been forcibly treated frequently express their humiliation, frustration, or anger about having been victims of “sales pitches” from doctors, media, family, and others that misled them with tales of alleged “biochemical imbalances” and corrective “safe and effective” psychotropics with virtually no serious adverse effects or potential withdrawal problems.
“Everyone gets together to persuade the reluctant patient to go on drugs,” said Framer. “It’s very seldom that people will say, ‘I knew what I was getting into.’ The coercion occurs in the doctor’s office. It’s the opposite of providing autonomy; it’s undermining or sabotaging the patient’s own independence and ability to make their own decisions.”
In that sense, people’s criticisms of coercion in psychiatry are frequently implied while discussing countless other mental health topics. Yet, by not focusing and centering discussion more explicitly on the role of coercion—and its ideological and practical connections to formalized forced treatment—countless opportunities are missed to more strongly emphasize this core issue in psychiatry, and critically discuss, educate, and organize in response to it.
At the same time, strikingly, even when involuntary commitment and forced treatment are the main topics at hand, they’re rarely clearly named as such.
For example, in December of 2022, when more aggressive uses of mental health laws against unhoused people in New York made national news, most critical discussions on social media seemed to use #Homelessness and policing-related hashtags like #CareNotCops or #HousingNotHandcuffs. The more targeted hashtags #NoToForcedHospitalization, #InvoluntaryCommitment and #HousingNotHospitals had only a handful of posts—and even fewer before December. #ForcedPsychiatry, #StopForcedPsychiatry, #ForcedTreatment, #Sectioned and #PsychiatricCoercion were also used only rarely or by very small numbers of people.
Similarly, the high-profile detention, control, and forced drugging cases of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton spawned massive discussion hubs. But again, the key popular hashtags #FreeBritney and #BreakingCodeSilence—the latter the name of an organization boosted by Hilton that represents survivors of the troubled teen industry—don’t clearly put at the forefront the general issues of involuntary commitment or forced treatment.
Meanwhile, any more directly explicit hashtags that could potentially be dominated by other users, frequently are. #Committed has been taken over by people testifying to their dedication to football, baseball, religion, and marriage. #InformedConsent is overrun with discussions of Covid-19, vaccines, and other medical issues. #Abolition shows that there are a lot of different things people want to abolish. Even discussions tagging California’s #FiftyOneFifty detention law are more cluttered with chatting about the Van Halen album.
Amid all this, it can start to seem like even the people who are publicly protesting against involuntary commitment in social media may not want to be easily identified as such.
Wary of Bigotry
Michael Simonson has talked with many people who, like him, at times feel reluctant to speak out about their own experiences of getting detained under mental health laws. “People are embarrassed to talk about it because, by definition, it means they were allegedly not just mentally ill, but dangerously mentally ill.” Many diagnostic labels alone, he added, already come with implied connotations that a person is purportedly less reliable or credible.
Simonson is a communications and public relations professional who occasionally does journalism for Mad in America and other outlets, and also experienced forced treatment. “Between the time I was committed and the time I started writing about it, that was a thirteen-year gap. Despite the fact that it was a traumatizing, life-altering event that shaped my life.” Even now, Simonson said, he feels “nervous” about the idea of using a hashtag that could more readily identify him as someone who has been committed.
Daniel Brummitt also believes that caution, wariness and fear are among the main reasons that psychiatric survivors, for their part, don’t speak out more against forced treatment.
Brummitt was first forcibly medicated as a child, but is now thirty-eight and has been off all psychotropics for fifteen years. Due in part to his diverse background in independent publishing, fashion, and the arts, Brummitt has nearly 30,000 followers on Twitter—as many as Mad in America has, and certainly a large number for a clearly self-identified survivor and activist against psychiatric force.
Brummitt’s personal account and another one he manages have been issuing posts with the hashtag #PsychiatricCoercion for years—yet very few others have joined in. The core problem, he told me, is that people who are pro-force often attack critics, and such attacks can be especially painful for those still struggling to recover from harms.
“They’re very scared to talk about things online,” said Brummitt. He said even some psychiatrists have become notorious in the social-media community for saying “really nasty things” to psychiatric survivors. “I’m very fortunate to not have any permanent damage. But I can definitely put myself in someone’s shoes who has been, and it’s horrible to be treated that way by a doctor. It’s like a surgeon messes your body up, and then laughs at you because your legs don’t work.”
Expressing one’s anger openly can cause other blowback, too. Brummitt once tweeted a framed picture of a generic building on fire with the Pfizer logo beside it. Police subpoenaed Twitter, and the FBI then visited him.
#ArtOfTheDay #ArtisticExpression pic.twitter.com/JbD5RcrLxC
— Anti-Mental Health (@mh_reform) November 11, 2021
For Jill Kesti, the fear of getting visited by authorities is still more ever-present.
Kesti has been in and out of involuntary treatment across two decades. “I’ve been very harmed. I’m on a lot of drugs, neurotoxins. And my physical body is falling apart,” she said.
Kesti manages a Facebook page, the Coalition to End Forced Psychiatric Drugging, that seems to be one of very few popular, open groups on Facebook targeted specifically at forced treatment. Kesti has created and posted thousands of images, memes, quotations, and links to articles and research that challenge common ways of thinking about psychiatric force and related social issues. She uses hashtags to link series of posts into de facto organized bodies of thematic commentary and research. Yet, even with 5,400 page likes and 5,800 followers, virtually no discussions occur on the page or below her posts.
“I get a lot of people texting me privately,” said Kesti. “But in general, people stay away… People are afraid to have their name out there on the page, with their history, with the horrible things that have happened to them.”
This privacy can be crucial for one’s sense of safety, said Kesti. “For somebody to speak out, they’re speaking out against the judge and against the lawyer and against the psychiatrist in the hospital that’s putting the orders out there, so it creates more of a fear of authority. There’s that fear that if you speak out, you’re going to be reprimanded, punished by being put back on a court order.”
Vesper Moore, an Indigenous activist, trainer, and psychiatric survivor, agreed. “There’s an inherent fear about talking about it, because you end up speaking out against public and private institutions.” Furthermore, Moore said, having been psychiatrically incarcerated carries a link in the public mind with violence or danger—so it can be risky, especially for people of color, to be associated with such an image.
It’s possible there could be “safety in numbers” if more survivors were regularly speaking out—especially if lots of diverse allies joined them—to help shift the public dialogue. However, others pointed out that feelings of embarrassment and a wariness of talking frankly about involuntary commitment occur also in health workers, critical practitioners, and across our culture.
We Hide It From Ourselves
“A lot of psychiatric nurses would say, ‘I hate holding people down and injecting them.’” And though they’ll usually still do it, said Johnstone, “they have a tremendous amount of shame.”
Lucy Johnstone is a clinical psychologist, and one of a number of critical experts based in the UK with relatively large social media followings. Critical perspectives appear to be more prominent and accepted in the UK than in North America; nevertheless, Johnstone said she and others have been “massively attacked on Twitter” for simply challenging psychiatry’s diagnostic framework. Online debates have also led to seven formal complaints being lodged against Johnstone to her regulatory body. (All were dismissed.)
With regard to the relative lack of sustained, critical public discussions about involuntary commitment as a systemic practice—even in the wake of several damning TV documentaries last year about UK psychiatric hospitals—Johnstone compared the situation to how mainstream society tends to dehumanize or regard as “lesser” certain minority groups, prisoners, or refugees. A little dehumanizing can go a long way towards making it easier to ignore certain groups and the conditions into which they’re forced. “The public has bought into this narrative about crazy dangerous people who go around with axes killing people. So, I think there’s something rather dark and murky and unexplored about the whole idea of doing something that may not be justified.”
Indeed, Simonson said a major reason that he himself doesn’t write or tweet more about other people’s experiences of forced treatment is because our society has made it so difficult to explore this dark area. “It’s literally behind closed doors. It’s not just that people who are involuntarily treated are locked away, but medical records prevent you from accessing the data… It’s a battle to get into court hearings… It’s so blocked off.”
This darkness and dearth of data is something I repeatedly ran into during the research for Your Consent Is Not Required, and it’s also an issue that UCLA social welfare professor and author David Cohen has exposed through stalwart efforts to simply find out how many people nationally are getting psychiatrically detained.
In conversation, Cohen suggested that the lack of social media discussions mirror a similar lack of sustained research and discussion throughout the scientific and academic literature and our culture as a whole.
Since the death of psychiatrist-philosopher Thomas Szasz a decade ago—a scholar who made it his lifelong work to attack the principles and practices of forced psychiatric treatment—Cohen said no comparable, prominent intellectual has “taken the mantle” of constantly, doggedly, and deeply attacking the scientific, philosophical, and political underpinnings of involuntary treatment. “Szasz stayed with it. He never gave it up. Because it was his strong belief that it was like forced religious conversion; a crime against humanity,” said Cohen.
And Cohen believes the lack of sustained, thoughtful dialogue about force—even among many people who might readily critique other aspects of psychiatry, let alone among the broader public—is neither incidental nor accidental.
Cohen frequently describes coercion as a kind of conceptual sociopolitical glue for modern psychiatry and psychiatric practices. That is, using psychiatric force against people cannot truly be justified by contemporary science or Western ethical principles. However, Cohen argues, the widespread shoddy science and dubious, harmful treatments can be criticized until the cows come home, but are ultimately still held together and socially accepted mainly because they justify using force against certain, non-criminal types of people—a power society generally wants to reserve for itself.
“The desire to coerce others makes the theories of psychiatric science acceptable, even though the theories are so full of holes that they can’t be accepted,” said Cohen. “It gives everything the sense that we can trust psychiatrists to do this thing which is otherwise distasteful to our democratic norms, our rules of law, our sanctity of the individual, and our respect for privacy.”
And maintaining this illusion requires that society never look too closely or discuss too thoughtfully, said Cohen, but instead to obfuscate reality with the kind of “bigotry and ignorance” against “the dangerous mentally ill” that Johnstone also described.
Can this systemic, culture-wide darkness be brought more into the light? And if so, what role can social media play?
The Good that Can Be Done—and How
As Maggie Leppert shows, focused and sustained social media discussions of force can, at the very least, start to bring survivors and other critics of involuntary commitment together.
The twenty-five-year-old Leppert, The Booksmart Bimbo on Instagram, puts out a stream of visual memes, brief satirical videos, and critical stories about psychiatry and her experiences of coercive treatment and withdrawal from psychotropics. Over the past year, she’s gathered 4,300 followers.
Leppert said that, among many in her generation, there’s a “woke-ification” associated with psychiatry where treatments are seen as inherently virtuous. “There’s a lot of this attitude that, if you don’t go to therapy, if you don’t take medication, then you’re stigmatizing therapy, and that’s irresponsible, and you’re going to hurt other people,” said Leppert.
In spite of that—or because of it—right from the start, Leppert received many public comments and private messages such as, “You made me feel like I wasn’t alone,” “I didn’t know that I was right to feel like I was mistreated,” and “I don’t feel safe sharing my story publicly, but I want to share it with you.”
“That transformed the way I took the page,” said Leppert. “Instead of mostly educational, it became more of a place for validation. I really wanted to make it a safe space where people could feel their experiences were reflected and respected.”
She believes her efforts have been helped by Instagram’s algorithm, as it tends to connect like-minded people. “You could call it an echo chamber, but I don’t really think it’s that. I think it’s circling within spaces of people who are open to hearing these kinds of conversations.”
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In a Washington Post op-ed, Sara Kenigsberg described how her experience of involuntary treatment “torments” her still, but then hopefully compared our current cultural situation to the beginnings of the #MeToo movement. She wrote, “I want those who have stories similar to mine to speak—so long as they’re willing and able… I hope by coming forward, I make clear that not just my voice, but all our voices deserve to be heard, our trauma recognized, and our insight taken seriously.”
Kenigsberg is a media producer with 32,000 Twitter followers. She has worked on nationally prominent advocacy and political campaigns and is now also a board member of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.
“If we had #InvoluntaryCommitment trending on Twitter, that would be great,” said Kenigsberg. But for any unifying, galvanizing phrases and hashtags to emerge, Kenigsberg noted that it helps enormously to have established, influential groups regularly promoting them. “You need an organizer. If you look at #BlackLivesMatter, you had people that were organizing a movement.”
Currently, though, it seems that the relatively small number of groups and organizations that strongly and clearly critique the culture of psychiatric force do not tend to have busy or large social media presences, while larger ones—such as Human Rights Watch or some state Disability Rights network organizations—do not focus on the issue very sharply or very often.
Kenigsberg also suggested that educators and activists using social media could more regularly connect the issue of involuntary commitment with broader disability rights and human rights groups and hashtags, with movements for criminal justice and police reform, and in conversations about bodily autonomy. And she encouraged adding hashtags that promote clear ideas for change, such as #HomesNotHospitals or #CareNotCoercion.
I wrote a story published in @washingtonpost today. “The stigma of what I went through torments me, but it’s hard to stay silent as people, including our president, tie mental illness to mass shootings — and call for others to endure what I went through.” https://t.co/1G0ynSSu0R
— Sara Pearl (@skenigsberg) August 7, 2019
Vesper Moore similarly noted that, for example, #MentalWellness gets billions of hits on some social media, while #PsychSurvivor more typically gets a few thousand. By posting something that uses both hashtags, one can “subvert” the conventional discussions of mental wellness. And many diagnostic labels have been turned into enormously popular hashtags where people embrace “self-diagnosing” as “liberatory practice,” said Moore. Those same hashtags can be used to reach and educate. “They don’t understand the history of psych labels, and some of the harms that have come up—how these labels have destroyed lives and institutionalized people en masse.”
Another key factor to be navigated, though, said Moore, is how critics of the dominant mental health system take many different positions using different terms on practically every major issue, not only on involuntary commitment—such as reform, abolition, recovery with or without medications, mad pride, antipsychiatry, or viewing hospitals as places of care versus incarceration, etc. “I actually think it’s liberatory, in the way where we find language for ourselves. I think of madness as a way of subverting and defying the norms of mental health and what we understand as mental health in our society.” Unfortunately, Moore conceded, this “polyphony” of voices makes establishing universally used hashtags challenging.
In any case, such hashtags could definitely help survivors, educators, researchers, organizers, activists, and reporters alike find each other—along with others of like mind, and those looking to learn. Everyone I interviewed expressed excitement about the prospect of creating some shared hashtags for involuntary commitment.
“I’m grateful for you for doing this article and bringing it to the fore,” said Kesti. “I believe in hashtags. I believe in the power of technology.”
Framer pointed to how SurvivingAntidepressants.org and similar online groups focused on psychotropic withdrawal have now also inspired more than half a dozen scientific studies and papers and been included in numerous news stories. “Patients are educating each other with the assistance of social media. Patients are taking the initiative to challenge the medical paradigm,” she said.
A more robust social media presence for people and organizations questioning and challenging psychiatric force would seem especially important now, in a cultural climate of increasing authoritarian attitudes, and in which the uses of coercive hospitalizations and drugging are rapidly expanding, not only for policing the streets but for managing disruption, protest, and distress in schools, long-term care facilities, prisons, workplaces and elsewhere.
Of course, creating popular, influential hashtags on social media requires a community of participants acting together to collectively build and maintain. Can talking about it spark change? For his part, Brummitt doesn’t believe it would take a lot to get something good going. “If you have a small army of one hundred people pushing the same hashtag over and over again, it’s going to create a shift in public perception.”
MIA Reports are supported, in part, by a grant from The Thomas Jobe Fund.
“The most reliable data available suggests that millions of Americans from many walks of life have been subjected to psychiatric detentions and treatment against their will, and millions more have experienced unwanted psychiatric coercion under threat of commitment.”
Source’s please? What are the numbers? Between what years?
One of those people February 22-28, 2013. Michigan.
I can give you a number for germany. 200000 coerced hospitalizations a year. I’d be surprised if it was below a million a year in the US.
One of those people June 26-July 01, 2015. Germany.
Okay. Quick read because I know how hopeless real change is. I don’t see any talk of congressional effort in Washington. Isn’t that what is needed? An official legally mandated count which means lawmakers.
I’ll ask Debbie Stabenow again if she wants to clean up her tattered record (in my view, she has ignored me for a decade) on quality mental health care now that she has announced she is not running again for the senate in 2024.
Oh I see the David Cohen article now, but there are no conclusive figures there, right?
I sent around an op ed in the last couple of years asking for an official federal count. I identified myself as a survivor /victim and was turned down by the major newspapers, no surprise.
Thanks for your thoughts and questions, Gina.
I’m sorry I did not clarify this a little better in the article. Lee and Cohen’s numbers are basically good-ish, and would appear to be the absolute low end for the number of people detained annually alone. In my book — coming out in three weeks — I examine other sources and numbers, and also describe other ways of understanding what’s happening in Cohen’s numbers and across mental health care and society based on other social-circumstantial evidence we can gather. But yes, admittedly, “most reliable data available” is, to some degree, as you’ll see if you read the book, literally just that — something between reliable and not so reliable, but the best we can do given a widespread lack of hard data (and yeah, I searched!).
The above was an article specifically about hashtags and social media. The issue of lobbying is very important, too, though, and I do examine it in my book. And specifically lobbying for governments to better collect and share the data — yes, absolutely needed! I also TRIED that in my way for my book, and you can read what happened…
If something less than half the states report and the figures are horrible, can there be any reliable figures at all?
Yeah, I’ve searched too.
I understand the focus of your piece. I just thought the answer to your question was pretty obvious and under explored. As one of few voices I know of who is willing to talk online about involuntary detention and to use my name, first and last, hearing about the specific retaliation other survivors/victims endure would potentially be interesting to me.
Well, good luck. I recall seeing your query. I’ll see if my library has your book and make a request. Thanks.
Why no hashtag? No surprise, as you discuss: fear, stigma, still big time. People who still need jobs, meaning they are in their working years, realize its a bad idea.
I would create one, because at almost 60, with my resume and story I will never get another job, so its over for me. But I was kicked off Twitter for trying to express the resulting trauma from involuntary detention.
One of the writers mentioned in this piece said to me in a Twitter message I was being followed for my story but that my posts were scary. That writer still stands on my wick–and I’ve wondered did they try to kick me off Twitter? Scary is involuntary detention without evaluation, with retaliation instead of equal protection from the standing state attorney general (yes, documented), not trying to express resulting trauma in words. Not even survivors/victims agree/get along. I sensed sexism at play. Yes, its often worst among liberal men because they don’t see themselves as sexist.
Also the following reasons:
People in coerced hospitalizations are not allowed to use their phones.
People out of coerced hospitalizations have often internalized the lies about it benefitting them.
Victims of coerced hospitalizations got other problems than using social media.
Absolutely. The article might have assumed such and taken things from there, but of course I am very sensitive on this topic.
(I’ve decided to ignore the queries from other writers, male writers, to tell my story of involuntary detainment, for good reasons.)
Perhaps the movement doesn’t take hold because many people find it difficult to do much more than struggle to function when they have psychiatric conditions. Also, perhaps the movement doesn’t take hold because it doesn’t resonate with people who are fortunate enough to get good psychiatric care.
I have been a psychiatric nurse for 10 years. In that time we moved rapidly away from holding people down to give them forced injections, And that is a very good thing. Forced hospitalization is also often a very good thing as is the coercion to take medicines that stop the very things that caused the forced hospitalizations.
I bring Mad in America’s ideas to my patients repeatedly and my patients tend to reject them. As I had one patient tell me recently, mania destroys my life. Why would I reject the medicine that curbs it?
There seems to be a pretense that people are idiosyncratic and therefore hospitalized involuntarily. But the reality for my patients who are hospitalized against their will is that they have been running naked in the streets, or spending tens of thousands of dollars that they do not have, or screaming at their bosses and coworkers for poisoning them, or attacking their elderly parents, and so much more.
I read an essay here once defending leaving a woman unmedicated to the point that she was lying down on a bridge in rush hour traffic. That’s, um, insane.
There are many important and cogent criticisms to be made of psychiatry. Within a year of starting at my hospital, I was sent to a trauma informed care seminar. One of the main points of that seminar was that the psychiatric profession is part of the trauma for our patients. We at my hospital specifically continue to hear from our patients that the care we provide is the best they have gotten. That tells us that possibly the problem is not the medicines and not the forced commitments, but the inhumanity of some staff.
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“I read an essay here once defending leaving a woman un-medicated to the point that she was lying down on a bridge in rush hour traffic. That’s, um, insane.” You’d have to actually leave a little more direction as to which article that was, how you maintain that “medications” would have helped her, what the other person said or the context of what you say would leave a person to lie down on a bridge in rush hour etc. You also leave no room for how much inattention there was to anything BUT “medications,” and whether under scientific scrutiny that DOES solve the problem in a better way WITHOUT forced medicating.
You aren’t acknowledging the statistics. Which also is why there’s the book Anatomy of an Epidemic, or Psychiatry under the Influence. Psychiatric drugs disable natural function of the brain, while this may seem to promote lessening of symptoms for an interim, in the long run this causes more relapsing, added on diagnosis, loss of life expectancy, and the belief that what in the long run has made things worse is the solution. And then there’s the extreme phobia against symptoms that being turned off weren’t understood, there’s the lack of allowing for perspective that might help a person understand their responses rather than suppress them, and this becomes a bit like saying that turning off an alarm is the solution, rather than why the alarm went off and what the cause is for the alarm. All for suppressing symptoms. That people have become so terrified of their symptoms that they vie for the drugs, but not leaving the brain in healthy enough of a state to be able to understand the cause of the symptoms, that is evident, as well as that people who are not allowed to speak against the medications aren’t going to come prancing to you, or to the authorities of the asylum when simply expressing how they really feel could label them as non compliant, and they might endure further “treatment.”
In the beginning the idea of asylums came from (if you would read Robert Whitaker’s books) places the Quakers had set up, where a person indeed got an asylum: they got healthy food, slept well, had daily activities that made them feel alive. This isn’t what’s going on in present day asylums. It also simply doesn’t happen that a person ends up in an asylum without being forced on medications, so whether forcibly committed or not, one isn’t able to determine whether a setting without forcing medications would help, although historically it has shown to help better. The Quaker setup had an immensely higher recovery rate. This becomes a complete Catch 22, when all you do is state that something needs to be done, and then deny that what’s being done clearly correlates with the spike in the problem.
THAT is insane!
Also, when in a setting where people aren’t even allowed to maintain that they know what’s going on with them, can’t refuse treatment; and you state you try to share “madinamerica” ideas with them, and they “tend to” reject them, says you….(what kind of people do you actually engage with, are the people that might agree with madinamerica ideas interested in engaging with you etc.) you might TRY a different environment, where people are encouraged to say what they think and feel, where this is nurtured, where there’s attempt at getting into the workings of what their mind is expressing, even when it’s not understood and labeled as “crazy”, somewhere they actually have free choice to say what they think regardless of the response to life when this isn’t allowed, and regardless that when they aren’t allowed to unburden themselves of stuff that’s otherwise not welcome one gets such responses labeled as symptoms, stuff anyone can go endlessly on about labeling and suppressing while causing more of it by labeling it rather than going one step further into how it’s understood when not treated as something that happened for no reason other than the brain was healthy and needed to be disabled by “medications” said to treat a chemical imbalance while in reality causing one, and also in the meantime correlating with a spike of said “symptoms”….. and then you might be able to determine what’s going on.
People under a coerced situation, not allowed to entertain other methods that statistically offer more recovery without being labeled as non compliant and further coerced and treated with the only thing they are allowed to see as the solution and not question and not rebel against…..even if they agreed with you, somewhere in the quiet of their own mind still left free to think its own thoughts, were they intelligent they might not state what they think, just to make sure no one else hears their response and its reported, and they get further labeled as non compliant…. In fact they might actually not dare to entertain agreeing with you….
Consistently stating the effects of what the “treatment” in reality correlates with causing more of, and saying people are insane who won’t promote that treatment, this shows serious signs of brainwashing…..
It’s like going to a regime where anyone disagreeing with the “authorities” gets labeled as being dangerously dissident, and then asking them something that if they agreed with you would get them in trouble the regime that if nothing else would illicit a fear response from agreeing with, and then stating this shows how much people agree with the regime….
force medicating people hasn’t statistically caused a lessening of the problem it is said to eradicate.
And people who aren’t following such a method are not going to end up in an asylum, added to that those there aren’t allowed to disagree with said method when you say you bring “Mad in America” ideas them, ideas you haven’t at all shared with us regarding what you say you offered or “brought” to those in an asylum. What you’ve done is quite harshly called people insane when they point out the cause and effect of what goes on in an asylum, and that it correlates with the spike in the problems you seem to think is going to be fixed there, but hasn’t been. And yet you say you “brought’ “Mad in America” ideas to the asylum.
“I read an essay here once defending leaving a woman unmedicated [SIC] to the point that she was lying down on a bridge in rush hour traffic. That’s, um, insane.” What’s “insane” is denying the correlation with the spike in such problems and mainstream drugging: forced, coerced, and promoted. Only I shirk from using the word insane to describe such harsh denial, a person that’s “insane” would be more flexible in their thinking.
I don’t think the person you describe as lying down on a bridge in rush hour continues to do this regularly, although what goes on in an asylum as “treatment” does continue regularly, and regularly causes the spike in the problems. Or the rest of the symptoms you hurl at us as excuse for what clearly correlates with the spike in them to be denied.
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“But the reality for my patients who are hospitalized against their will is that they have been running naked in the streets, or spending tens of thousands of dollars that they do not have, or screaming at their bosses and coworkers for poisoning them, or attacking their elderly parents, and so much more.”
The first time I was committed, I went to a appointment set a week in advance to see a social worker about legal and financial protection against my abusive parents. She lied and told me I was going to a domestic violence shelter. When I realized I was being committed, I asked the nurses why, they said I had scared the social worker. What did I do or say that was so scary? No one would answer. The attending psychiatrist threatened to financially destroy me if I did not acquiesce to violating HIPPA by giving them the contact information of my violent father.
The second time I was committed, I was walking down the street talking on the phone like a normal person when I was assaulted by FIVE police officers and prone restrained. The official report said I was off my head on drugs and exhibiting superhuman strength. I am a visibly gender non-conforming POC person, and I was visiting a friend who lived in a very nice, very white neighborhood.
These were some of the worst experiences of my life, I hate and despise nearly every person I met working inside the system. I smiled at the people who treated me like a subhuman animal and thanked them, and told them I felt better. Because that was the only was to melt back into the shadows and escape the brutality.
You will never see or hear the truth while working inside the system. People like me are invisible to you. The harms you put us through will always be invisible to you. We will lie through our teeth and put on a happy smile and treat you like the saints you think you are because that is the only way to escape the subhuman status you impose on us.
I function pretty well without “psychiatric treatment”, and I would function even better without the societal bigotry and persecution that only intensifies against me should I openly acknowledge being subject to such oppressions.
Excellent counterexamples of the “need for forced treatment!” I’m so sorry you had to go through this kind of crap. And I think you are right, it remains invisible to most “insiders,” because those who have been essentially arrested and held against their wills are totally willing to say whatever they need to say to get the hell out of there. So if you ask a forcibly incarcerated person in a “mental” ward if they were OK with being detained, the smart ones will say, “Oh, yes, BLESS you, I’m SOOO lucky you put me in here, I’m SOOO much better now, can you please unlock the door and let me go home?” This is not even taking into account the phenomenon of “internalized oppression,” where some of the victims spend a lot of energy trying to explain why their abuse is “understandable” and somehow deserved, as a means of avoiding the conflict of being the adverse effect of an overwhelming power that they can’t possibly match. I’m usually all for asking the client to let us know the truth, but asking people in the hospital psych ward involuntarily if they agree they ought to have been detained is going to give you a very distorted picture of reality.
Thanks for sharing your stories. I hope some of those “insiders” take a good look at the utter randomness of these events!
They are good examples…… and show that there are two sides to every story…. the real one, and the “edited” version forged by mental health professionals lol. Mine was as a result of a disagreement with my in laws, which makes the need for arbitrary detention and torture seem all the more unnecessary….. but, straight for the jugular when your desensitized to and human rights…… as you would expect from a shock Docs wife. (I often wonder about the fear she must live in, knowing if she blows the whistle on his domestic violence what she will receive in return…. right this way)
“So if you ask a forcibly incarcerated person in a “mental” ward if they were OK with being detained, the smart ones will say, “Oh, yes, BLESS you, I’m SOOO lucky you put me in here, I’m SOOO much better now, can you please unlock the door and let me go home?””
Not me. My response was to suggest to the nurse that he take the benzos and use them as suppositories. The psychiatrist turned out to be a decent bloke, though I did suggest to him that should I need the services of a psychiatrist I knew one (though keep in mind they were avoiding asking me about whether I was actually being treated by that psychiatrist because that would mean they were aware of the crimes they had committed by lying to police. Ie that I was NOT an “Outpatient” and therefore did not meet the criteria set out in the Act for assessment).
My comments about the filthy state of the facility, and my ‘property OHS inspection’ were not taken into consideration I don’t believe. A little tip, the water cooler was causing people to receive electric shocks (a short in the wiring I believe, quite dangerous, but the staff didn’t use that cooler in the smoking cage). Barrels of laughs watching people get zapped and then ‘restrained and injected’ for kicking the cooler. Covert ECTs? A bit like their ‘spiking’ people who would refuse their intoxicants?
>Excellent counterexamples of the “need for forced treatment!”
Agreed, Steve McCrea!
>And I think you are right, it remains invisible to most “insiders,” because those who have been essentially arrested and held against their wills are totally willing to say whatever they need to say to get the hell out of there.
If the people who have coerced others were to come to view what they have done as evil, they could not live with themselves. (Perhaps that’s why there’s a high rate of suicide among psychiatrists.) So they will double down in self-defense and for dear life. They were, after all, only “following orders” or “following science,” etc.
Nothing will change with respect to forced “psychiatric treatment,” until and unless people generally come to understand that nothing good is ever achieved by force, and repudiate all attempt to do so.
Force is always destructive, even if it’s sometimes necessary (against those who initiate force in order to protect the rights of individuals to be free from force), but force and mind are opposite.
To attempt to achieve the good by force is, as Ayn Rand put it, basically, an attempt to show someone great paintings by first cutting out their eyes.
“Good” is an assessment based upon facts and in relation to an individuals own life and goals, according to his or her own judgment. It is not something intrinsic that can be forced on anyone.
Force can ensure that individuals are free (from force) to think for themselves and to act on the basis of their own choices, as they should be, as long as they respect the same rights of others, but that is an idea that is entirely repudiated by the idea of forced “psychiatric treatment.”
“Perhaps Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that we don’t learn from history. In the past, when people were obsessed with religion, they believed that the “true faith” justified depriving others of liberty. Now, when people are obsessed with medicine, they believe that “scientific treatment” justifies depriving others of liberty. But if we reject coercion in the name of salvation, why should we accept coercion in the name of treatment? And if we accept such coercion, do we not become—knowingly or otherwise—true believers in our own blind and bigoted brand of “therapeutic” despotism?”
— Thomas Szasz, The Therapeutic State (1984), “Coerced Treatment for Addicts”
“I read an essay here once defending leaving a woman unmedicated to the point that she was lying down on a bridge in rush hour traffic. That’s, um, insane.”
I second Nijinsky’s request. Please link the article you’re referring to, if in fact it exists.
I would also ask why we would assume that the woman would NOT have lay down on the bridge just because she was “medicated.” And the term “leaving [her] unmedicated” reflects a very paternalistic attitude, as if we have a right to “leave” or “not leave” her in a particular degree of “medicatedness.” As if she herself has no particular rights to decide her own course of action.
“I read an essay here once defending leaving a woman unmedicated to the point that she was lying down on a bridge in rush hour traffic. That’s, um, insane.”
I read an essay defending medicating a woman and neglecting her so badly that she died as a result of the trauma to her head caused by the falls and beating her head against hard objects.
If this is the sort of ‘treatment’ the woman on the bridge was to receive, I suggest they simply throw her over the bridge and save the time and effort (and faux concern) of transporting her to a ‘hospital’.
Gina is right. Social media is not a safe place for people who have experienced psychiatric coercion to speak about it.
Right. Thanks for mentioning my name, which I do appreciate.
I thought the article kind of made it look like the writer sorta positioned himself and his book in the margins.
Of course there is no hashtag! Have you heard of Kiwi Farms!????
“But even those people rarely use common, clearly identified terms or hashtags in their posts, pages, or groups that make them easy to find.”
Easily found, easily targeted.
So-called social media should never be used to discuss personal issues of any sort, unless those involved want the entire world as their audience, and I never use it period.
However, for those who nonetheless choose to proceed with anti-psychiatry education and organizing in this manner I can go along with the basic premise of this article.
Richard Stallman of the Internet Hall of Fame suggests organizations use ONLY THE HOME PAGE of Facebook etc., and only to direct people to an actual website they control, which I think is an EXCELLENT idea.
“Where are all of these people? Especially with the massive growth of social media helping give voice and space to those who were previously blocked out of centralized news media, why don’t we see these millions constantly speaking out and sharing their perspectives on involuntary commitment?”
In a country and culture that recognizes that rape, for example, is a terrible injustice and a crime, then if one is raped, one can at least know that in principle the law and justice is on your side. In other words, one can at least know that one lives in a society that recognizes that rape is a grave injustice and does not tolerate it.
With respect to involuntary psychiatric commitments or “treatments,” that is not the case. There is no legal recognition that such is a crime. Quite the contrary.
And so everyone has to know in principle that we are all subject to the possibility of being committed and “treated” against our will if we do not behave in a psychiatrically-approved of manner. Those who have already experienced such force know more than others that it can happen and that they are in a more vulnerable position than others, given that it has happened once already, making it more likely that it may happen again against them as compared to those who have not been involuntarily committed and treated.
One has to wonder at the profound dishonesty of a profession that claims to be just like others (other doctors or medical professionals and practices), because if any other doctor were to involuntarily treat someone it would be an obvious assault and battery of the most horrendous kind.
Perhaps one reason that there’s so little said about such an experience is due to the fear of it happening again, perhaps in part due to speaking out against it.
The question is, why do we as a society not only tolerate such things, but see them as good?
“An attempt to achieve the good by force is like an attempt to provide a man with a picture gallery at the price of cutting out his eyes. Values cannot exist (cannot be valued) outside the full context of a man’s life, needs, goals, and knowledge.”
“one can at least know that one lives in a society that recognizes that rape is a grave injustice and does not tolerate it.” Unfortunately that is NOT the society we live in today, and both the psychological and psychiatric professions are systemic child abuse cover uppers.
I know from personal experience, and my beloved child’s medical records finally being handed over. And when one does speak out – like by doing a show of artwork that depicts the living nightmare that is psychiatric “treatment” – one absolutely does get attacked by another, God complexed, attempted child abuse covering up psychologist trying to steal all my money, work, and story with his classic thievery/conservatorship contract, disingenuously dressed up like an “art manager” contract.
That’s likely why people are hesitant to speak out. Psychologists and psychiatrists will literally break tons of laws (at least my former doctors, one of whom was eventually convicted by the FBI, and the psychologist I refused to hire, did), when they are attempting to cover up child abuse for their religions. And this has turned the bishops of my former religion into nothing more than systemic child abuse cover uppers, too.
Absolutely retaliation from a variety of sources should be feared. I did not realize how bad it could get, but I had/have no choice but to use social media anyway. Sixty year old women do not win in America. I’m 59. Been at it for a decade. But the retaliation is far more widespread than I would have imagined: Kiwi Farms, the former state AG, computer hacks, all documented but fabulous and part of an unbelievable story, that is unfortunately for me true. Thanks.
I have a similar story – I was involved, in the ballpark of 60 or 70 class action lawsuits, by criminal corporations – due to mind boggling corporate corruption. I understand that’s known as being a “targeted individual,” based upon my subsequent research. Although my story also has a hopeful side, of God judging all fairly in the end, so I am still a hoper and believer in maintaining the faith.
You should check out the YouTube channel: That Surprise Witness Tv (*BJ Investigates). THIS exactly has become her ENTIRE life mission. This article is *chef’s kiss
I will be forwarding this link to her. Thank you for great care, attention & detail. Much respect.
So Let’s Mad pride/Anti Forced Treatment Activists pick a couple hashtags and start using and promoting them.
I like #NoForcedTreatment.
What do you like?
I don’t know, I like a society that says sometimes people have to be forced to be treated because they don’t get what they are doing. Last week we had a patient who was 60 years old and running through a laundromat pulling people’s wet clothes out of the washing machines and throwing them around the room and assaulting anyone who tried to stop her. You think she should not be forced into a hospital and forced to take medication that she doesn’t believe she needs? I guess you think it would be just better to throw her in jail. Or are you possibly saying that society should just tolerate her behavior? Can we get real?
You and our society are combining two separate issues. Society needs to be protected from people who are behaving dangerously or disrupting the ability for society to function. That does not automatically mean they need “treatment” in the form of drugs, or that the drugs will automatically make it better, or that the full civil rights of a person need to be eliminated in order for society to be protected. There are people who have experienced both jail and forced psych hospitalization who prefer jail. Not saying that’s the answer, either, but forcing drugs on someone isn’t necessarily the answer, either. Maybe we need to be creative and start coming up with some new answers that nobody’s thought of yet.
A reminder that shooters at Springfield High School, Columbine, Red Lake MN, and many other places were taking psychiatric drugs at the time of their shooting sprees, not to mention the Germanwings guy who flew a plane into a mountainside on purpose. The media makes it appear that the drugs somehow magically make a person fine and stop any possible threat they may pose, but the hard facts of reality don’t fit that rosy picture. And the damage done by enforced psych hospitalization can be substantial.
How do YOU propose balancing the safety concerns you mention with the high rates of damaging adverse effects of both the drugs and the process of being essentially arrested without committing a crime and forced to take a drug that may not only not help but make a person’s situation worse, and take away any right of that person to place a rational objection to the force being applied?
My personal view is that once force is involved, you can no longer call what you are doing “treatment.” It becomes enforcement of social norms via drugs, and that is absolutely NOT the same thing as trying to help someone get better.
Again listing symptoms of what in reality medications as a method of treatment have caused such an epidemic of that it’s caused a spike in such occurrences in order to validate that “treatment” is necessary, and anyone pointing out there’s a different way is not reality based. This shows who has a problem with science, with reality based treatments, with statistics, and acknowledging what’s effective and what isn’t.
Yeah, Let’s get real.
Throwing laundry around is annoying, but it does not constitute endangerment of her or others, so at least in the jusrisdiction I live in you are argueing for commiting a crime there.
You could have just let her vent and find a natural consequence (like making her do the other peoples laundry again) afterwards.
All you do here is confessing to not knowing how to deal with extreme emotional states in others in a way that respects the others rights. Instead of advocating for better circumstances, that would make it easier for you to act in a humane way, you come here begging for absolution from victims of similiar crimes.
You’re not gonna get it from me.
“Last week we had a patient who was 60 years old and running through a laundromat pulling people’s wet clothes out of the washing machines and throwing them around the room and assaulting anyone who tried to stop her.”
What was her reason for doing that? I’m not asking for her “diagnosis”, nor am I looking for “she was psychotic” as a response. But why did she engage in that (or what were her reasons even if you think those reasons are gibberish)? What were the precursors to her ending up in that state? Certainly, at the moment of her doing that, innocent people must be protected from her. But without knowing why she ended up in such a miserable situation, it’s hard to answer the questions you have put forward.
How can we know if your stories contain any truth at all?
I’ve been reading this website on a daily basis for years, and I don’t remember ever reading on MIA about a woman…lying in traffic…on a bridge.
Please link the article.
For over 20 years, my law practice has been entirely devoted to confronting and defeating psychiatric coercion. Szasz was right: absent involuntary commitment and the insanity defense, psychiatry as we know it will wither away.
These two legal institutions are the only things we need to change. When psychiatrists cannot any longer force their services on unwilling “patients” or excuse criminal behavior with the authority of courts, they will start looking for more honest jobs.
All of my experience as an attorney in the Illinois forensic mental health system convinces me this is by far the single most viable strategy.
Gosh, I wish I found you when I was looking for a lawyer, after dealing with the now FBI convicted IL force treating doctor, V.R. Kuchipudi.
Are there actually any IL lawyers who help people deal with easily recognized malpractice, and medical evidence of child abuse covering up psychologists’ and psychiatrists’ attempted murders of me? Via the medically known toxidrome, anticholinergic toxidrome. I’ve got medical proof of 14 attempted murders of me, via anticholinergic toxidrome poisoning.
My understanding of the law is there is no statute of limitations for attempted murder. And I do have quite definitive proof in my and my family’s medical records that I dealt with 14 psychiatric attempted murders, to cover up a medically confessed “bad fix” on a broken bone – by the “attending physician” at the “bad fix”‘s dangerous and paranoid of a nonexistent malpractice suit wife – and a bunch of child abuse covering up ELCA criminals, including the systemic child abuse covering up ELCA bishops. I’d be one of the, likely, many “widows” mentioned in the Preface of this book.
Are there ANY lawyers in IL who actually take, basically an iron clad case of many psychiatric attempted murders, via a medically known toxidrome. To cover up easily recognized iatrogenesis, and what also turned out to be a religious/psychological cover up of the sexual abuse of my very young child?
And what is your strategy for protecting people, their families, and society from the effects of psychotic illnesses?
This is quite rude, to deny all of the well thought out material on this website, supporting statistics, supporting clear science (this is something different than saying “medications” that cause chemical imbalance treat it, and when after an interim of symptoms being suppressed by the brain being disabled there’s more of the problem that there’s need for more “medications” when not only other methods not allowed correlate with recovery instead, the initial setup of the asylums the Quakers had, and where the name comes from, before the whole bio-medical method, also had more recovery), and material on this website supporting perspective, supporting free choice, all the rest of it HERE on this website. To ask someone what their strategy is, as if there’s not ample information on this site supporting alternative methods, and expect someone to spit out in one comment all of that. When in reality you are trying to make out anyone supporting all the clear evidence is not reality based, because that’s not the mainstream method, regardless of the statistics from said “method.”
There’s a difference between what is made out to be the solution, and statistics. And no, it’s not going to excuse the statistics to pound on that anyone not supporting the standard method and thus disregarding science and statistics, that they aren’t supporting a working strategy.
If you ask a question, you do need to want an answer to it, not just a whole mob echoing what you want to hear so you don’t have to take perspective on what’s going on.
>And what is your strategy for protecting people, their families, and society from the effects of psychotic illnesses?
What “effects of psychotic illnesses” are you referring to, [email protected]?
There’s a distinction between protecting people from coercion or force (properly defined as crimes), a proper purpose of government (to ensure that all relationships are voluntary), and protecting people from the effects of any illnesses, but that distinction becomes confused with respect to so-called psychotic illnesses, because the assumption is that such illnesses do or may cause someone to violate the rights of others (engage in criminal acts). Instead of viewing such person as moral agents responsible for their own choices and actions, there’s the psychiatric (reductionist and determinist) view that they are not moral agents and not responsible for their actions, because their actions are caused, by an illness (“of the brain,” it is typically asserted), not chosen.
While it is proper for government to be concerned with and to combat those who resort to the use of force against others, in violation of the right of the individual to be free from force, using force itself (that’s what government is, force) to combat the initiation of force (properly identified as crime), it is not proper for government to be concerned with people’s health per se. The individual’s health is his or her own responsibility, his or hers and those value him or her, etc., and not an issue to be addressed by force (everything government does is done with force).
The basic issue with respect to government, given that everything done by government is done by the use of force against individuals, is when is it proper to use force against any individual. The concept of individual rights answers that it is never proper to initiate the use of force against any individual, that force should only be use to combat initiated force (for crimes like assault, rape, murder, theft, etc.), to secure every individual’s freedom from initiated force (that’s what a “free society” is, one in which individuals are free from force, initiated force — force properly used only to combat initiated force). But again that distinction becomes confused with respect to so-called psychotic illnesses. The question is, do such so-called illnesses cause crimes or not? Or, is someone with a so-called psychotic illness an inherent threat to others, or are they, like everyone else, only a threat to others if and when they act as a threat to others?
To the extent that we view individuals with so-called psychotic illnesses to be a threat to others is the extent that we will think that government ought to use force against them (to protect others) and toward what end (to punish them for crimes or to “treat” them for their “psychotic illness”).
If we view such individuals as moral agents, then, regardless of any so-called psychotic (or any other) illnesses they may be said to have, we will insist that our government treat them just as it does anyone else, as moral agents responsible for their own choices and actions, with a right to be free from force as long as they recognize and respect the rights of others, but to be met with force and punished for any specific crimes they commit, in accord with legally defined sanctions for such crimes as they are charged and convicted.
If we do not view such individuals as moral agents, as rational beings, but as less-than-rational animals driven by causes (illnesses), not reasons, then we will view them as an inherent threat to others (like a rabid animal) and call for some means of segregating them from others for the protection of others, until or unless their so-called psychotic illnesses might be “cured.”
From Thomas Szasz:
“For centuries, psychiatrists insisted that the intended and actual beneficiaries of involuntarily hospitalized mental patients were the coerced patients, not their families and society. Now, they insist that the intended and actual beneficiaries of involuntary outpatient commitment are the coerced patients, not their families and society.
“In 2000, New York State enacted its version of an outpatient commitment law, named Kendra’s Law, after Kendra Webdale, a young woman pushed to her death under a subway train by a “schizophrenic” patient released from a mental hospital. This law, a psychiatrist states, “was originally going to be named the ‘Assisted Outpatient Treatment Act,’ to denote that its intent was to help patients in dire need of treatment.” The psychiatrist describing the development of the law does not cite the views of any patients allegedly benefited by the legally mandated treatment. Instead, she cites the views of a man whose schizophrenic son refused treatment and was forcibly medicated. Kendra’s law, said the father, “certainly helped my son.”
“In no other area of medicine is a single anecdote permitted to be used to support a theory, much less a treatment or public health policy. In other areas of medical decision making, statistical outcomes of results based on studies of groups of similar cases are used to reach conclusions. Because one so-called schizophrenic kills a woman does not mean that the risk of being killed by a person with a psychiatric diagnosis is greater than the risk of being killed by someone in the general population without such a diagnosis. However, because such persons have been subjected, often over long periods, to systematic psychiatric humiliation and coercion, they finally may channel their anger and frustration randomly against others. That completes the circle: the psychiatrist is proved right.”
— Thomas Szasz, Liberation by Oppression
What when in some cases (it’s not right to accuse innocent families in all cases), they have become that way due to their families or other people and now those people are using psychiatry to gaslight the victim and keep him/her subjugated? Or even good families (with as good as their intentions can be) who are doing things to someone to make their behaviour aberrant?
Again, not right to accuse innocent people in cases where it isn’t their fault. But what about the cases I have put forward?
The big error that the DSM perpetuates is the idea that a particular “diagnosis” has a specific cause in all cases. The DSM itself disclaims that they mean this, but that’s how people interpret it, and I don’t think it’s by accident that it works out that way.
It should be obvious that at least SOME of the time, crappy parenting IS the cause of a person’s “mental disorder,” and addressing that early life trauma is an essential part of their healing from the resulting injuries to their spirit (speaking metaphorically, of course). The idea that exploring parents’ behavior as a possible causal factor is “blaming parents” is downright childish, and plays into the hands of those parents (and they are NOT rare) who will use a “mental disorder” as a cover for their own abusive or neglectful behavior.
It’s also important to note that parents can do damage without intending to. They don’t have to be “bad parents” or be overtly abusive to simply not understand the child’s needs and make mistakes that contribute to their anxiety, depression, or inability to exert control over their behavior at times. So it isn’t a matter of “blaming parents,” it’s more a matter of helping the child/adult come to terms with ways in which their parents may not have been able to meet their needs fully.
It’s not a “black and white” thing. It’s just as bad (or maybe even worse) to let all parents off the hook as it is to blame parents for everything that goes wrong with a child’s life.
I wonder about the situation where a child has been diagnosed with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Steve?
My governments response was to suggest we sterilise the lot of them without their parents consent. Thus we would not be ‘blaming’ them, just recognizing their lack of insight into their conduct? This ‘solution’ was suggested after a study by an epidemiologist showed the cost that would be incurred as a result of the care required by the numbers of children being born with the disorder.
Far be it for me to suggest a ban on women drinking alcohol when they are pregnant. We’re not the Taliban. And I certainly wouldn’t suggest that it be done on a racial basis. I mean, aboriginal women are already THE most incarcerated people on the planet which might explain why they have turned to alcohol in the first instance? Locking them up for doing something everyone else has a right to do seems a bit ….. abusive?
And it makes me wonder about the effects of forced drugging (or even with consent) on women who do get pregnant whilst being ‘treated’ with drugs known to do physical harm to the brain…… something I can’t say I’ve seen talked about a lot, even here at MiA. Or do the drugs not cross the placenta into the babies blood stream, and thus no chemical imbalance can be corrected or effected? Can’t say I’ve heard a lot form psychiatrists in this regard….. maybe because it would highlight the weaknesses in their arguments? Or are the children born damaged seen as proof of the genetic nature of these ‘mental illnesses’?
There was a suggestion by one of our Mining Magnates to put something in the water to sterilise the worst of the aboriginals some years ago. Strange that his daughter (also a multi billionaire) is also good friends with our Premier?
Move forward to 2014 Mental Health Bill……..
Woops, did I just voice the unvoiced? That this is about targeting a particular race of people, force sterilising their children, and claiming that it was pure coincidence that they are mostly black? Sorry…… oh wait, we already said that. Isn’t there some sort of double indemnity for future abuses of these people now we have apologized?
I read this article yesterday. And was thinking about responding, but then today reading the comments I encountered exactly what explains people’s reticence.
I’ve never been forced committed. Never committed at all. Not even forced on medications or taken them. Not in this incarnation, anyhow. I’ve had problems with substances that I would resort to without knowing it that might cause what’s labeled as “psychosis:” coffee and nicotine, but not even those are acknowledged, nor would the mental health system look with any diligence regarding them, as to whether they are mitigating factors. In reality it was looking at why I couldn’t see cause and effect, why I would be gravitating towards substances that would turn off the left part of my brain enough that it became an attraction. And that takes being allowed to have room to look into stuff that can become extremely uncomfortable, although pushing them away might be even more uncomfortable, although you get rewards for it. But it’s been YEARS till I have found enough balance to actually address extreme discriminatory alarmist reactions to me. When too many people, in this age, think you have some sort of a psychiatric disease, there are a whole list of behaviors that anyone without such a stigma can be exhibiting without encountering the alarm. And I’ve seen this used time and time again against others who WERE force incarcerated and “treated.” and/or lost their civil right or self determination. A girl who grew up in Chicago simply wanting to go back there, people that dressed differently than “normal,” people driving a car in a way that seemed reckless although they never caused an accident (and there are numerous accidents caused because of a person on a psychotropic medications, which isn’t reported), someone doing street drugs (imagine anyone ever having done street drugs all ending up in the asylum), someone having a belief that her dead mother speaks to her through nature (a bird); and I’m holding back from listing the whole plethora of misinterpretations I received from one specific person. Anything I did could be misinterpreted, lies added to spice up her paranoia, and literally ANYTHING. And in other places, a person could be unprofessional towards me, or actually sexually harassing me given the context, and this is overlooked because it made me respond in a way that could be determined to be “psychotic,” and then it’s listed as “inappropriate.”As if people sexually harassing you or being highly unprofessional needs to be seen as “kindness” by someone who it might cause to become “psychotic.”
Eleanor Longdon mentioned in her Ted talk how when she was working at a radio station, mentioned this to her psychiatrist as a reason why she needed to leave, he listed that as a delusion that she “thought” she worked at a radio station. He wouldn’t know whether she was working at a radio station or not, doesn’t realize he can’t know that, is putting down inaccurate discriminatory slanderous data, and this is all overlooked because this person is “crazy” and might be doing “something.” And I have yet to see someone put in an asylum without there being such stuff going on. Someone gets paranoid, believes fill-in-the-blank could be going on, makes out it is when it isn’t, and there you go….
One girl I watched get put in an asylum, when she was trying to get away from the people bullying her that they would do that and had tried to take off on my bike but couldn’t because it was locked, ripped her ankle ligament in the process, she suddenly was made out to be running around naked. She wasn’t, although when they had trespassed into her house, and I had called there upon them answering, and told them she clearly didn’t want them in her house, that when I got such a sarcastic response upon mentioning I’d call the police, I didn’t. When I later called the police when an officer was at her house, I wanted to inform them how the neighbors had trespassed into her house, and used her phone to call her case manager, the non emergency police told me she had been running around naked (she hadn’t been), and so there were lies to the police, again. none of this was checked either. I didn’t know at that time that the police were giving me false information. Her ankle ligament in the asylum was never treated, although her leg was swollen up to the knee, but she was so doped up she wouldn’t know whether she was taking her medications or not, and what difference it would make one way or the other, to be let out and re-admitted. Then they wouldn’t believe she had been raped in the interim, she instead was accused of being too provocative by a nun, who you can imagine what would be too natural for her, and put in restraints for urinating because of the medications. And then after she got out, within a few months she committed suicide. Although I had told her mother if you have her committed I think you’re going to lose her. She then actually had taken someone in at one point years prior, and had him committed, when all she had to do was tell him to leave. Years before this, she had gone on a rampage in Massachusetts, and would assault anyone with the fact that she had a mental illness, and expect them to give her money. The result of forced drugging, and not having the strength to ditch being “normal” enough to stop thinking she needed her own “choice” of them. Time again, she would lean towards a drug solution, and as statistics show, after an interim you’d have everything that was suppressed emerge again. I’m supposed to say that things get worse, but if she had actually dared to look into ditching being normal, shedding a whole array of game theory needs, looking into alternative treatments, things could have gotten better, and she could have ditched what was keeping her going round in circles. Had the same occurence again, I heard recently. Happened to a family whose mother’s mother trying to help the movement to end racism in the 50s or so, she encountered enough trauma to end up in an asylum, the daughter was made to think it was some treatment, half of her family got the same knee jerk reaction when she got married,had children, there was trouble and they were and put on “treatment”, and when she and her husband died, another family member (this is a grand daughter of the original poor lady incarcerated) got a check in the mail for 100,000 dollars because of investments they didn’t know were there (the mother was extremely senile towards the end of her life and so wouldn’t know), and she decided to buy a house for her brother, who had been in and out of institutions for over 30 years. This brother was the same guy the girl I mentioned before had put in an asylum, when all she had to do was tell him to leave. HE was so messed up and confused and angry he sounded at times like a synthetic intelligence program criticizing anything to find some self worth, decided that street drugs was how he could control his chemistry rebelling against psychiatric oppression, and then the alcoholism. I told his sister that he wouldn’t know what to do with a house, he didn’t value that, he needed something different. It simply sounded shockingly unrealistic to me. All that came to pass also, I heard recently. Took about a year. They had to restore the house, and sell it. He ended up in the asylum, which by now probably with all of the times he was institutionalized adds up to maybe enough money given the totality of times he was put in the asylum, that a whole array of houses could have been bought instead for homeless people. People that would value the house. These are now being forced on treatment in New York.
That whole horrible “paragraph” of stuff to denote just some of the stuff one encounters being involved with people in such a system, when you’re also dealing with it, but not trapped in it and can have perspective. How life becomes “colored.” I still can’t believe conversations I’ve had recently with people, and find how they just spell out symptoms, as if this is a call for something to be done, while their own trust in the system is way worse than what they are pointing their finger at regarding others. Someone talking about another, I don’t even know, as having grandiose thinking, while…. I was supposed to believe this (!?)
I’m still overloaded with the lies and distortion I’ve encountered. As if there’s something wrong with being human rather than a fabrication of beliefs that push all of that to the side, as if any response not robotic and fear based has something wrong with it…… Literally ANY response that’s natural.
I AM able to put that all on the line now, though. Am doing that, and will continue. I can only imagine what it’s like for anyone that has been committed.
People like Gina Fournier, and the others. Makes me cry. Hang in there. Don’t give up in being human….. there is something beyond all of it that remains free….. don’t give up….
thanks for saying my name really thanks
I’ve been committed to inpatient psychiatric wards around 25 separate times. The first commitment was age 19. After I told someone I wanted to kill myself. They only kept me overnight. I didn’t see a doctor. It was just a big show of being taken away by the police from my college dorm to show me that I’m not allowed to say that. Most of the commitments happened after ECT treatments about 15 years ago. Between that and all the psych drugs I’d been on put on for decades, I couldn’t manage my of chronic suicidality any longer. Also being diagnosed with borderline after the ECT increase my feelings of suicidality exponentially. I still think about dying every day, but I can manage the thoughts because I finally escaped from psychiatry. At least for now.
When I realized what the system had done to me, about 5 years ago, and I began to understand how so-called treatment had destroyed my life, I posted a bunch of Google reviews. They were met with threats and Intimidation, including one occasion where the police were sent to my house… because I posted a negative review of the local hospital and how badly they had treated me. Shortly after that incident I left the state. I no longer seek any kind of medical treatment.
I’ll never feel safe in this world. I’m still learning to navigate between speaking out about the destruction and keeping myself safe – relatively speaking – from more harm from the system.
Yeah, being met with violence, when you would have needed someone to sit down with you, ackowledge your feelings and figure out where they are coming from, is incredible harmful.
I can see how that has destroyed trust in others for you. It was the same for me.
Yet, there is still hope to regain that trust by forming new respectful relations.
Thank you, be okay. I do have one real friend now, which has been healing.
That’s good to hear.
The emotional fallout from psychiatric violence has cost me some friendships, but strengthened others. “That sounds like a horror movie” was what one of my friends said when I told her the story of my coerced hospitalization. I wish you all the best in finding people in your life who can be that understanding.
If you are looking for a group of female memoir writers focused on reforming mental health care, please ask Steve for my contact info, which anybody can find online I think. Best to you, KateL.
Thank you, Gina. I’ll definitely keep that in mind. It was a goal at one point, to write about my experiences, then things got more complicated and I lost motivation, but I haven’t given up on the idea entirely.
Best to you also.
“It’s possible there could be “safety in numbers” if more survivors were regularly speaking out—especially if lots of diverse allies joined them—to help shift the public dialogue.” V Moore.
I was reminded of the comment made by Jimmy Carr……… “there’s safety in numbers…….. tell that to 6 million Jews”
Whilst some may take offence at his comment, what I have found is that despite having documented proof of both arbitrary detention and acts of torture (and a lack of evidence of the attempt to snuff me in the E.D. [rudely interrupted by someone who ‘doesn’t have the stomach for it’] for complaining) the State will ensure that nothing is done about the criminal conduct disguised as ‘medical care’. Doctor was “just following orders” and so continues with his ‘career’.
Why might that be?
Let me tell you how the National Socialist’s managed to run certain ‘facilities’ which it was later claimed by the citizens that they knew nothing about what was going on over the fence. And you people are surprised that no one is talking openly about it? Walking into a police station with proof of the criminal conduct and human rights abuses of these people is a death sentence where I live. Police will alert the ‘mental health professionals’ to the fact they have a little problem, and provide material assistance in concealing the ‘unintended negative outcoming’ of that problem. How embarrassing that I slipped the net, and managed to hold on to the proof. Not that it would have been much use in National Socilaist Germany either…… the folk didn’t really want to know what was going on over the fence. Seeking ‘help’ from the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave? Sorry, they’re ‘turning the boats back’ at this point in time.
All of these ‘advocates’ know what is in store should they ‘step out of line’ or speak truths not preferred when the State has “edited” reality…. I have an email personally threatening me with ‘treatments’ for speaking a truth which I can prove to a standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. The Minister simply utters with known forged documents, and slanders should anyone take it up with him…….. and with National Socialist’s they tend to use the Police as their own personal thugs. Precisely what is being done where I live.
Our ‘justice’ system an absolute joke, with police refusing to take proof of offending, or fabricating anything they wish to be true via the corrupt practice of ‘verballing’ (a practice rampant in ‘mental health’ I note) and fabricating outcomes preferred by the State. Mental health simply calling police and claiming anyone they wish to arbitrarily detain as being an “Outpatient” and using police beatings to extract answers to their questions. Placing the victims into ‘induced comas’ as a result of the trauma they suffer, and ensuring their continued silence…. for years if necessary.
I must say I was pleased to hear that this was not a situation which was reserved for citizens……… Our Treasurer had to flee the State overnight when Police were dispatched to ‘detain and refer’ him for ‘treatment’. Couldn’t find a doctor to treat him for such a common psychiatric diagnosis? I think he knew he was going to be getting the ‘dribble therapy’ afforded others his government wished to silence, rather than have them expose their corrupt conduct.
Funny how ‘confidentiality’ was afforded in that situation, due to journalists asking questions…. and yet my medical records “edited” and then handed around like flyers for a Concert……. not their problem if people jump to conclusions about the “edited” documents…. and should that fail, their families can be threated by police. I can imagine the neighbours of the people forced to leave their homes by the Shutzsatffel not asking much more beyond the fact they were going to one of those wonderful places the government had set up, and were showing newsreels of at the movies. Coercion to think in a certain way can be so effective if backed with the use of violence.
About retaliation, thoughts spurred by this conversation.
Retaliation comes from work, family, friends, all subsequent medical professionals, everywhere.
File under retaliation from a friend who in now late middle aged adulthood calls himself a Christian mental health care therapist–which to me is a pretty great indication that there is no science involved here.
In the spring of 2012, my higher ed employer announced it would use psychiatry to dismantle me. I called my friend in Billerica, Massachusetts. This was before retaliatory psych ward lock up. My friend the Christian therapist told me to forget about it, like I was dealing with the mafia when I was forced to deal with hostile psychiatry.
I was incredulous. You should talk about sexual abuse but shut up about psychiatric abuse, says the so called mental health care professional?
Yep, he said, because psychiatry will never admit its mistakes.
I can’t shut up, was my reply.
We both were right. And I am still sunk.
And my former very close friend? Dumped me. When the effects of unchecked criminal and retaliatory psychiatry had turned to mental torture.
Hi Gina, you write;
“My friend the Christian therapist told me to forget about it, like I was dealing with the mafia when I was forced to deal with hostile psychiatry.”
Personally I think it’s helpful to understand the “Death before Dishonor” motto. That’s what your up against when trying to expose these people. Any suggestion of wrongdoing, and a complaint following will result in extreme violence towards the person complaining.
Sure a few police might be reprimanded for failing to act, or a nurse might be ‘moved sideways’, but the consequences for the victim of State sanctioned human rights abuses will be extreme.
What I found was that being aware of what the State is doing in such situations, leaves them predictable, and thus vulnerable. So in my situation, ‘resources’ were obtained by putting the people planning to murder me in a compromising situation [rudely interrupted in the Emergency Dept….. just following orders], and then using the State to ‘cover up’ the original wrongdoing (the motive for the attempt to murder).
The means of silencing me had already been fabricated, and thus it was simply a matter of authorities uttering with those forged documents. A bit of a problem when I turned up with the proof of the original offences AND the concealment, but these are people who ….. death before dishonor. And sure someone had to take the ‘can’ because the authorising of such convenience killings in hospitals ….. well, it looks about as nice as the ‘treatment’ Jamal Kashoggi got from the Mental Health Emergency Response Team (1800 M HERT), and does little for the ‘honor’ of these ‘professionals’.
I am reminded of the words of Lt Lockhart in Full Metal Jacket. The tet offensive having just occurred, he said to his staff “it’s one giant shit sandwich, and we’re all going to have to take a bite”. I guess those words were uttered (along with the forged documents) by our Premier when they realised “who else has got the documents”……… all out of their sphere of control at that point, and the fact they are not only arbitrarily detaining and torturing citizens, but they are then killing them should they try and access the protection of the law (with assistance from Police and ‘legal representatives’)
A mafia? No, this is how our ‘elected representatives’ are doing ‘business’ and claiming it’s not in the public interest for the people electing them to know. Their “death before dishonor’ code of conduct seems to be trumping the oaths they are swearing to uphold the law…… or is it?
I know that the ‘error’ which was made that allowed me to be killed for speaking the truth (not preferred by the State so they “edited” it), has not yet been ‘corrected’. Yes there have been consequences for some, but I continue to be held against my will by people uttering with known fraudulent documents…. mainly for the purpose of obstructing justice. Those ‘wheels’ grind slowly, but leave very little when done. And there are people who think they have managed to avoid any consequences……. poor souls.
There are those who do recognise the truth when they hear it though. People who are in positions to ensure that they do not make agreements with hypocrites who have no intention of standing by the agreements they make (see for example the Convention against the use of Torture).
So, as one would expect from a State turning paranoid, we are in the market to upgrade our weaponry….. ummmmm Two Nuclear submarines and a heap of those missiles capable of attacking small Island Nations in the Pacific please. We’ll show those East Timorese to complain to the ICJ about ‘us’ using listening devices in their government offices….. and we need to deal with the whistleblowers as well.
I had to smile when I realised that I actually survived NOT as a result of the State being alert to what their ‘hospitals’ are being used for, but because my wife knew a doctor who was more corrupt than the people plotting to murder me. Fire….. meet fire.
She had told me some years before about her Prof friend (Cardiologist) who had been deliberately driven insane by his estranged wife during an acrimonious divorce. The threat of exposing some of his misconduct and the drip drip drip leaking of information at the hospital eventually gaslighting him into a locked ward. So he would have been aware of what thoughts go through the mind of people afraid of being exposed for their misconduct, AND the resources available to them. He also knew the psychiatrist who owned the Private Clinic personally (telling me to say Hi to him. Mocking him or just letting him know who had gotten their hooks into one of his psychologists? )……. it’s a small town.
So who better to understand the ways in which psychiatry can be used a s a weapon? And what a psychiatrist might do should his wife be looking down the barrel of a prison term for her conspiring to stupefy and commit an indictable offence (plus all the other criminal conduct AND releasing medical records from a Private Clinic)?
So my wife gets tied up in this conspiring …. the hospital pissed at her for dragging them into the situation, threatening her to obtain her ‘assistance’ with their misconduct, and the criminal misconduct and human rights abuses slowly unfolding as I attempt to obtain the documented proof of the matters.
And then when I get the ‘redacted’ set of documents from the FOI Officer 6 weeks after the offences occur (minus the proof that the hospital lied to police about me being their “Outpatient” to procure their thug services) I am going to the police with that proof? I am now fully aware that it was that night that the plot to murder me was hatched……. the bucket was leaking and could spill at any moment…. get him to the E.D.
It was also at that time that my wife contacted her Prof friend…. who was working his way back into a new Chair (Cardiology now gone) and working as a General Practitioner. He did ask her for a loan of my copy of Sun Tzu The Art of War….. and tried to contact me and strike up a conversation….. I was in no mood to be speaking to ‘medical experts’ (who I already knew were corrupt)….. but he tried. The aim I suppose was to inform me of his need for my ‘assistance’ with a little task he had planned. How about you go to the E.D. as asked to by the clinic psychologist Boans? Lets see where they are going with this? It didn’t work out that way and my failure to do as doctor asked meant he just arranged it so he didn’t have to ask. This was after all someone the State was quite happy to be ‘spiked’ with date rape drugs, and cares very little about the right to consent.
And well, history shows that just as they were about to inject me with harvested morphine product (and the regular ‘chemical restraint’ anti psychotics) my wifes doctor friend stepped out from behind the curtain in the next bay and asked the doctor in possession of the ‘weapon’ to put it down and go with him …… NOW. Which he did, and I can only imagine what must have been going through his mind getting interrupted right in the middle of murdering someone for a friend.
Now if it was the ‘authorities’ (ie the State) who had arranged this little ‘sting’, then the Chief Psychiatrist wouldn’t have been surprised to find he had signed that letter of response to the complaint drafted for me by the Law Centre. No surprise that someone is forging your signature on such letters when your part of the conspiracy. But he was surprised.
Who wasn’t? Well, the Minister wasn’t, and in fact provided written confirmation that the letter was authentic. The Shadow Minister found it a little amusing when I pointed out I still had the documents police thought had been retrieved, and could thus demonstrate not only the crimes and human rights abuses, but also the cover up and forging of a letter from the Chief Psychiatrist by the Law Centre.
In my State it is a crime to fail to report suspected misconduct to the relevant authority. And I note the Minister was asked about how many reports had been made in the past two years…….. none (see Hansards). And when you think about it, when your having people ‘outcomed’ in the E.D. for complaining about misconduct, there isn’t a need to report really…. it’s a waste of taxpayers money. But, the Shadow Minister then stood outside Parliament and accused the Minister of being “derelict in her duty”….. she was sacked and some important people who don’t have to worry about being drugged without their knowledge and snatched out of their beds by police at the point of a weapon shook my hand. Not that my life matters to them, I just think they were glad it wasn’t their families being ‘fuking destroyed’ by these ‘mental health professionals’. I’m more like an oil rag they would throw away once it has done the job for them.
My wife? Well, she has friends in high places…….She worked in a Catholic School too actually Gina (Our Lady of the Worthless Miracle? Rodney Dangerfield lol). Her best friend in that place was the school psychologist…. who was also the sister of the guy who took the job as our Minister for Health/Mental Health.
Funny how these things can seem linked…. my wife does something that sees the Minister sacked, and her friends brother takes the job. And then starts threatening me for attempting to make a complaint about being arbitrarily detained and tortured…. which would be obvious to anyone who examined the facts, and asked a few well placed questions.
I realised when I thought about the “Death before Dishonor” motto, that most of the people who swear such an oath tend to be hypocrites. The Community Nurse for example would ‘squeal’ at the first sign of trouble….. as do most of them. Some may take a few rounds of ECT before thy confess but we’re getting there with them. The ‘treatment’ seems to be effective.
And well, whilst the clinic psychologist and her shock Doc husband had to flee the State, I note that my wifes Prof. friend is also working at the same College in the State they fled to. More coincidences. Or is it best that such a dangerous individual has a handler, and is kept on a short leash?
It all leaves me a little “Disoriented”
R.I.P. Cardinal George Pell.
boans, i can only say lame words. You’re from Australia; I’m from the former leading democracy, sewer of Michigan. We are both in the cateogry of “extremely screwed” by psychiatry.
People don’t beleive our stories because they are too over the top with too many true horrifying details. Frankly, without my own story, I would definitely be inclined to disbelieve yours.
But a count is critical. How many in the extrememly screwed category?
Too true Gina.
I don’t think ‘Australia’ knows how much is actually being discussed behind ‘it’s’ back.
Other Nations no doubt find the ease of use of their institutionalised arbitrary detention and torture system alluring. In fact, I have met once such victim. He managed to escape with his life…. which I think is the preferred option of the people doing this…… they’re not all insane and want to slaughter people unnecessarily. Some of them ‘don’t have the stomach for it’.
I think one advantage is that it is good to know exactly what the government will cover up. This it seems is common knowledge among certain ‘professionals’. A call to the police to have them obstruct justice while ‘alternative arrangements’ can be made…… the problem in my instance ? Someone spotted the signs. (which was fairly easy when you realise what my wife was aware of……. the clinic psychologist trying to have her deceive the hospital, and the hospital trying to get her to deceive me. Killing me the only real option once I started going to Police with the documented proof of the crimes…. no hard feelings. I just prefer a fair fight. And we got one in the end.
What I do find confusing is that once the ‘authorities’ took a look and realised what had been done, then they actually did what they should have done in the first instance….. that is, provide me with the documents I had a right to. It took me some time to unravel what had been done and by whom. There were people who could have assisted with that but ……. they are providing assistance to the criminals with whom they have an agreement to ensure no accountability using our ‘legal system’.
Not to say there weren’t consequences. But it couldn’t look like the police were just snatching people from their beds and taking them to a hospital to be ‘outcomed’. And there was a need for more than forged documents to be used as justification for their ‘outcoming’….. like confessions. Not too difficult when you have the likes of the Community Nurse who follows orders and enjoys the abuses he is charged with by his superiors…… and he is ‘just following orders’.
I think when he thought I was there to kill him, he was more than compliant with the ‘authorities’ in providing them with the information they needed to follow through and unravel the mystery.
Imagine….. Feds going to him and letting him know there was a plot to kill him, and if you just tell us why this guy has a grudge against you……. we can help you.
‘Okay, I forged some documents and lied to police to have him detained unlawfully, but honest, I was just following orders………’
The “elegant method of overcoming ‘resistance'” (Franz Fanon)
He ‘coughed’. And ‘we’ know who he ‘coughed’ on. The Senior Medical Officer (and his co conspirators), AND the Senior FOI Officer (and her co conspirators)……. and I feel sure none of them knew anything about the plot to murder as a direct result of their criminal misconduct….. we were all just following orders, and doing what ‘mental health services’ do….. that is ‘fuking destroy’ people and their families for attempting to access the protections of the law.
I guess the fact that this can be done, and the people doing it are aware that it can be done to them, is the biggest fear they have. Like the doctor who was rudely interrupted in the E.D. ….. they have to maintain a ‘dual’ reality…… ‘do they know I was in the middle of killing someone?’……. ‘or was it just a coincidence?…… and how do I communicate this to my ‘colleague’ who requested the ‘outcoming’ for a box of beer? ‘They’ might be listening’…….
I think drugs may assist in such situations. Luckily these people in such important roles are not drug tested regularly (though our waiters will not be employed without a drug test)…. and in fact one neurosurgeon was found to have been taking $40,000 worth of cocaine in a night (not on his own, the two hookers he was with sharing the drugs with him, one dying and he fleeing to escape any liability issues,….. and he had work the next day [4 Corners Episode “In Their Hands”])
They’re only human, and there are no mechanisms to do anything about such mischief…. the doctor concerned walked across the street to another hospital and was working the same day….. and the AMA had to provide him with assistance….. rather than see that he never harmed another person again.
I like to think of it as a market with lots of opportunities. Imagine targeting a Private Clinic where people are receiving large amounts of compensation. Once they have been ‘released’ by their lawyers, a clever psychologist might find a means to have the person ‘involuntarily detained’ and ‘referred’ to her shock Doc husband? Who could find ‘illnesses’ that needed ‘treating’ until the money runs out?
Yeah, yeah….. heard it before “They wouldn’t do that”…. and taking the documented proof they are doing that to Police means you will be ‘referred’ and ‘treated’ until they aren’t doing that…. it’s a little ‘arrangement’ they have. The benefit to police in getting answers to questions the ‘patient’ may withhold minus injections of the ‘burning flesh’ or electricity make the quid pro quo well worth the efforts (and small risk of the ‘authorities’ doing anything about it).
I was interested in the difference in the U.S. regarding police corruption when watching Betraying the Badge. Your FBI it seems actually investigate police corruption and prosecute corrupt police? Wow, not where I live….. more ‘arrangements’ t maintain the illusion of honor and integrity……..
Care to see the response of our Corruption watchdog to my initial complaint? Perhaps they couldn’t see the significance of the documents? Or perhaps another window of opportunity for the Police and ‘mental health services’ to sort their little problem out before anyone had to do something?
“People don’t beleive our stories because they are too over the top with too many true horrifying details. Frankly, without my own story, I would definitely be inclined to disbelieve yours.”
And had we escaped from Dachau and told people what was being done in that ‘facility’? I think we would have gotten the very same response Gina. And yet it is so obvious that the ‘system’ is open to these types of abuses……. in fact, the laws making it criminal are designed for that very purpose (Procure the apprehension or detention of a person not suffering from a mental illness [as defined in s. 4 of the MHA] Penalty 3 years prison).
It’s just such a shame that Police will deny access to the protection of the law for criminals while they kill anyone who tries to complain. It does howvere explain why there are never any complaints about arbitrary detentions and torture getting through to the U.N. (despite the ratifying of the Convention and Optional Protocol)….. they are “editing” the legal narrative, and killing the complainants (okay, “unintentionally negatively outcoming” them. The new Euthanasia laws means they are now actively “assisting’ with their care…. Josef Hartinger caused the same changes for the National Socialist’s) with the assistance of their own ‘legal representatives’ (acting as ‘informants’ to the State).
The Euthanasia laws are written to ensure that no numbers are kept. I would assume that a government “totally obsessed with secrecy” would do the very same with the amount of ‘referrals’ being done by police of ‘inconvenient truths’ and victims of misconduct. They have dismantled systems which allowed us to know that one doctor was prescribing ADHD drugs to more than 2000 ‘patients’ in one calendar year. What we don’t know, can’t hurt us. Particularly true of the human rights abuses being committed against children incarcerated in some of our ‘facilities’….. I’ve no doubt more will be heard about this in time, the truth is gradually emerging.
How ironic that the State is subjecting these kids to abuses worse than the abuse they were subjected to in the homes they were removed from by the State.
Hi again Gina, you write;
“People don’t believe our stories because they are too over the top with too many true horrifying details. Frankly, without my own story, I would definitely be inclined to disbelieve yours.”
I find it amazing that they don’t believe, but refuse to examine the documented facts. I’m not even asking that I be believed……
Let me stick my neck out here. The documents provided to my ‘legal representatives’ were forged and then uttered with by the hospital administrators.
Thinking that my wife, with assistance from police, had retrieved the documents showing that these documents had been forged, the Law Centre, at the instructions of the Minister, then drafted a letter of complaint to the Chief Psychiatrist, and then forged a letter of response and handed that letter on to me. Claiming that they did not have the time to read it, which was lucky because the Chief Psychiatrist looks like an absolute plank rewriting the law to enable arbitrary detentions and torture…… but minus the proof that the documents were forged the matter was going nowhere.
However, I still had the documents not realising what the hospital meant by “editing” AND didn’t realise that the Law Centre was checking to see that I no longer had the documented proof of the ‘spiking’ and the lie to police about me being their “Outpatient”, before they uttered with the forged letter of response from the Chief Psychiatrist.
My avenue of complaint took me straight to the Minister for Mental Health (also the Leader of the Upper House). Assuming that I no longer had the documented proof, she was more than happy to validate the letter she KNEW was forged by the Law Centre………. and then Boans drops a brick on her toe…… I’ve still got the documents showing the forging of the Forms AND the letter from the Chief Psychiatrist.
Your right, it does sound “too over the top”, and if what I am alleging is true, it might confirm my allegations about how the State intended to resolve their problem, while they got the paperwork in order.
So what happens in such situations? Do we go with the claim of the Minister that “you can’t listen to them, they’re mental patients”? Or do we check how they obtained the status of “Outpatient” before dismissing any and all allegations?
It seems to me that it’s a fairly simple check to make…… was I or wasn’t I an “Outpatient” at the time when the Community Nurse called police for assistance with one of his hospitals outpatients? The unredacted documents confirm 100% that I was NOT an Outpatient, it was a lie told in the commission of a number of offenses…….. and this then starts the dominoes falling.
So, did they try and murder me in the E.D.? When you can “edit” documents and forge and utter to that sort of level, you would have to believe that snuffing a few complainants in the E.D. to maintain your ‘honor’ would not be an issue…… you just need someone with the stomach for the job….. and the ability to claim they were just following orders……
So the problem becomes one of while the claims do seem to be ‘over the top’, no one will examine the documented facts because they do not wish to confirm the truth, and prefer to live in the bubble of forged documents and denying reality…. which, when police are threatening and intimidating the families of witnesses is understandable…… just following orders.
Good news is I know that there are others who had the courage to look, and who are now aware that what I am alleging is the truth….. what they have done with that truth is another matter. Josef Hartinger was told to drop the matters at Dachau, and he did….. and we know where that ended up. The killings stopped while the National Socialist’s passed laws making it lawful to kill people for their ‘potential’ for damage to the State…. and away they went. Just following orders.
I mean, when the Minister and Leader of the Upper House is conspiring with criminals to conceal such serious offenses, and has the resources of the Police available to ensure that the law is obstructed and perverted? Who’d have thought I had a chance right? The biggest problem for the Minister…… the mandatory reporting of suspected misconduct to the Corruption watchdog…. but why would you report when you had concealed the misconduct? Woops, what do you mean he still has the documents? Not only did they ‘suspect’, they actively commissioned offenses to conceal corruption.
And now, realising how my government is dealing with the internal corruption by allowing the use of the Mental Health Act to silence victims of State sanctioned arbitrary detentions and torture, and watching as they pass a Euthanasia Act which will allow the “editing” (forge and utter) of legal narrative to subvert the protections afforded the community by the law? There has already been one guy sent to the morgue before he was even declared dead….a doctor was asked to backdate a death certificate lol. Forge and utter with documents to subvert the protections of the Euthanasia Act? They are becoming quite bold with their “editing” and confidence in carte blanche and zero accountability model enabled by the State.
I’d simply prefer to have my property returned and to leave this shithole. Such hypocrisy, and even when the truth is there to see, they turn their backs and pray that it isn’t their families next.
I still have the email from the Minister stating that the rewriting of the protections afforded the community by the law was “not a misrepresentation”. Validating the letter that is a demonstrable forgery from the Law Centre. (it took a Prof. one reading of the letter to state “This is rubbish. This is a cover up”. Bingo, glad you noticed.) And at the time of writing, she was fully aware that the letter had been forged by the Law Centre….. for a little increase in their State funding….. never to be connected to the ‘arrangement’ they had to throw their ‘clients’ with legitimate claims of human rights abuses under a bus by not being ‘over zealous’ and demanding the documents they had a right to examine.
How many dead? Someone kept count, though I feel certain the documents will be “edited” for public consumption.
‘God loves not that evil should be voiced abroad EXCEPT where an injustice has been done’. That’s where my protection comes from.
This is a multilayered topic as touched already by the author and the commenters.
First, I have never been committed or coerced but I am passionate about consent, culture and labeling!
To me people do not come forward for myriad of reasons from fear and already being destroyed to moving on with their trauma intact or finding relief some other way or truly believing the label and may even become advocate for this type of abuse of power and many layers in between. Some people forgot because maybe it was one off and do not want to dwell on it…limitless reasons.
One common thing in this type of experience, though, is the culture. The culture has a sense of safety internalized but not based on reality.
Anyone who is grabbed and handled by others would react with some violence or fear based reaction and then to justify the actions against such a person with medicating without consent under mental health and based on the decision the person was violent; It is abuse of power. But this abuse of power is given by the society we live in. We all believe in this.
We have safety sickness and any disturbance of the peace even yelling may get you committed – that is how safe we are! We just tell ourselves we are and hope it never happens to us.
I am vaccinated 3X but I fully 100% support non-vaxxers because they allow a part of me to resist the mass paranoia that could have set a precedent for fascism or for social control in the future under the premise of fear (again anything about loss of perceived safety). They stood their ground to say no to be medicated and they set the bar for our society that we do have the right to say no. But we all know how they were treated as if they lost their minds or were stupid. Why was that? Cause again we live in a culture that gets scared so easily. I am not underestimating the impact of pandemic, but my point still stands. We lose our minds when the machine signals for change!
The principle is the same. It is very complicated issue. People want to keep their lives intact but those of us who are not personally experienced can support and can advocate because we do not have the fear of backlash. I do not need to have cancer to support cancer related issues.
But again, everybody is afraid of being labeled for speaking up – the label is the biggest cultural weapon I have ever seen. One can be sick and have issues (who does not really) but the labeling is mind control and as another article spoke about the fakeness of ADHD reification. The seams are already being undone but these things take time. We are at the infancy of social media in the scheme of history. BLM and #Metoo all came roaring because they were same thing hiding in plain sight. I truly believe next one is DSM and labeling normal human behaviours as sickness but yet under the disguise of doctor’s care.
Because I am political person by nature, I will say this fight against labeling will have to be a white man’s first fight for diversity…get grassroots and find allies. Every other minority or oppressed people have their plates full already.
Those who are on the top of the figurative food chain, when they lose their privilege, then it is up to them to correct the course and what is better than taking a lead against policing their bodies and committing them against their will.
Join the club!
“The most reliable data available suggests that millions of Americans from many walks of life have been subjected to psychiatric detentions and treatment against their will, and millions more have experienced unwanted psychiatric coercion under threat of commitment.”
Millions since “asylums”? Time frame is needed in the above opening statement. This argument is too important. Sloppy guesses can only hurt.
As I recall, there are no numbers connected to the source mentioned later in the piece.
“This darkness and dearth of data is something I repeatedly ran into during the research for Your Consent Is Not Required, and it’s also an issue that UCLA social welfare professor and author David Cohen has exposed through stalwart efforts to simply find out how many people nationally are getting psychiatrically detained.”
I’ve looked at the article in the past. Does anyone one year studied suggest millions?
This is very imporant.
There are probably a small number of horror stories like mine, short of millions. We can’t be as bad with our data and arguments as the corruption we’re fighting.
“All-ages rates (per 100,000 people) of emergency detentions ranged from 29 in Connecticut to 966 in Florida. In 22 states with continuous 2012–2016 data, the average rate increased from 273 to 309. In four of five states with separate counts for adults and minors, rates over time for both were nearly parallel. In eight states that provided relevant data, the mean longer-term detention rate was 42% of a state’s average emergency detention rate. Only one state provided length-of-stay data, and one counted both detentions and persons detained. In 24 states—accounting for 51.9% of the U.S. population—591,402 emergency involuntary detentions were recorded in 2014, the most recent year with most states reporting, a crude rate of 357 per 100,000.”
Last line says maybe one million emergency voluntary detentions in 2014, extrapolating based on 24 states.
I’d like to add that the difference in detentions between states is bigger than the difference in suicides by an order of magnitute.
While that is not conclusive proof, it strongly indicates that 90% of the decision to lock someone up is not based on any characteristic of the person being locked up (such as “suicidality” or “mental illness”), but by factors outside of them.
As I said above, Gina, the article is about social media hashtags and public discussions of these issues–which is not the issue you want to focus on, but that set of issues would be another article altogether.
However, I’ll try to outline this a little more here, because I agree it’s important!
As that study suggests, it’s reasonable to conclude that the absolute rock-bottom number is one million people per year getting formally detained. Only a small percentage seem to be repeat hospitalizations. So… Where does that alone take us over years and decades?
Then, by way of another example: Cohen and Lee didn’t get numbers for Maryland, but I did. Maryland was in the middle of a big political and public campaign at the time to expand forced treatment. Cutting a long story short, the “official” civil commitment detention numbers, as I went back and forth with govt agencies over the course of several weeks and then months and finally a year, went from less than 100 people to 4,000 people to over 8,000 people per year. That’s the kind of spectrum we’re dealing with in lots of states, once one starts really digging. And it’s also very indicative of the kind of nonsense coming out from governments and pro-force advocates when they say — almost always without any numbers at all — that we need to forcibly hospitalize “more” people.
I just wrote an entire book which is in many ways a prolonged effort to grapple with the complete absence of any national numbers or any decent tracking of who is being detained, for how long, and why, and what’s happening to these people. My findings may still not satisfy you. But yes, when I added up, from many different studies and reports, how many Americans over the course of decades would have apparently at some point or other been formally psychiatrically detained, detained without any formal record of their detention (as was happening in Maryland for many years), subjected to coercion or threats while engaging with “voluntary” mental health services, forced into psychiatric evaluations in their workplaces, “voluntarily” drugged while under a guardianship, etc etc, I ultimately have no doubt when estimating that it’s millions of people.
Coerced hospitalization was the worst thing I’ve experienced in my life by a giant margin.
Your efforts to inform are much appreciated.
Getting the numbers right, spending some time on the numbers, only makes the article’s point more salient.
“why don’t we see these millions constantly speaking out and sharing their perspectives on involuntary commitment?”
The reality is that people who have been the most harmed by forced treatment have lost their standing in society and speaking out will put them in danger. They don’t have Twitter and Instagram accounts with tons of followers. They are not influencers.
They’re in hiding. Speaking for myself, I don’t talk to neighbors. I don’t go to the doctor. I don’t go anywhere. I understand that the system already won.
Sometimes I question the optimism expressed about the capacity for reform. Are we really experiencing a paradigm shift? Are we seeing incremental change? Is society ready to hear what psychiatric treatment entails (that’s it’s not mostly helpful but mostly brutal), or will they just call us crazy some more and talk about how society should be protected and we need to bring back the asylums? Any social media site where I’ve talked about how my diagnosis of borderline ruined my life, how ECT left me with brain damage, DBT was abusive and the prescribed drugs broke my body, I get attacked, usually by multiple people.
Death would be better. Pray, if you do, for death for me. No one will believe the computer hacks I endure. I hope to die soon. I too lost.
I can relate to you ladies. Once these scum unlawfully imprison you once and get away with it you will be forever vulnerable. You will always be the psych patient, forever in the wrong. You are determined to be at fault before you even get a chance to speak. You know the malpracticing incompetents will always have each other’s back. You are not a “victim” or a “survivor”. You’re a “target” or a “mark”. Hopefully one day they all get the gift of akathisia.
Why isn’t there a hashtag on “State sanctioned involuntary euthanasia”?
Well, I gave a quote a while back.
“If anyone can show me and prove to me that I am wrong in thought or deed, I will gladly change. I seek truth, which never yet hurt anybody. It is only persistence in self delusion and ignorance which causes harm” Marcus Aurelius.
I was wrong.
Whilst I was right about being arbitrarily detained and tortured under the definitions of our written law, I failed to take into account the Fuhereprizip of the Chief Psychiatrist in removing the protections of the law, and in line with his “political fascist” approach to mental health care.
I now realise how it is that I can be taken from a police station for trying to access the protection of the law, delivered to a hospital where I can be put on a Do Not Resusitate order and then given ‘end of life’ care….. I was of course going to die at some point in time right?
Or even better, have a Community Nurse call police and tell them I am his “Outpatient” in order to have me snatched out of my bed and forced into an interrogation…….
I suppose the industrial nature of the ‘Australian method’ which has been put into place in the U.K. (the NHS National Homicide Service) means that the State disposing of people with legitimate complaints about human rights abuses will increase due to the lack of any opposition to it.
The “sophisticated knowledge of the law” required to understand the methods being used would conceal these ‘extra judicials’ from most of the population. Though I note that the person who interrupted my end of life care plan “didn’t have the stomach for it”, which does leave us hope that hurrying the process along …. by twenty or thirty years may be frowned upon.
But I was wrong….. and the need to rush a Euthanasia Act through Parliament without any real discussion to act as a ‘circuit breaker’ for accountability/responsibility will now ensure that when the truth is exposed to the public, they will have no means of holding anyone to account.
The Three Card Monte…… what the lady, and where oh where did the morphine come from? The books are balanced and the Coroner is none the wiser.
I must congratulate these people because they have managed to avoid any real consequences for their conduct, even receiving material support from the police to ensure that their original offences were not exposed.
Personally I’d be concerned about living in a State where you can be snatched out of your bed, tortured into a ‘confession’ and then delivered to a hospital for your ‘end of life care’ with a Do Not Resusitate order issued after the fact, and not a soul would do anything to stop that process…… I got lucky. Many didn’t.
The article would have been more compelling for me had the title been a more straightforward, something more like, “There are no hashtags “melockedupyoutoo?# Because People Aren’t Nutz!”
In other words, talk immediately about retaliation because we know that’s the answer already.
But I’m biased. I’m sick of being told on these pages my thoughts are tangential, in a reprimand.
Ex. I point out psychiatry is a religion and its ‘tangential,’ until a male pro writer says the same thing.
I hear you, Gina.
Victims of psychiatric abuse are in a group by themselves. Not one of the “celebrated” victim cultures the “mental patient” is still OK to stigmatize. And once a “mental patient” always a “mental patient”.
I’m a nurse practitioner with over 2 decades experience. In early 2020 After acquiring coronavirus in clinical practice and giving it to my immune compromised spouse I was forced to battle my Big Medicine, Big Pharmacy, Big Insurance, Big Corruption company that refused me sick pay and ignored my safety complaints instead sending police after I notified media and State agencies.
I ended hospitalized against my will. When I explained I was suffering from trauma and PTSD I was ignored, drugged, and locked up. I was given multiple misdiagnosis, and the forced drugs and lock ups made me dig in and fight for my rights more. Questioning my plan of care and stating my rights was viewed as non-compliance, the typical nonsense used as rationale for forced drugging by these low life.
This ended up in 3 consecutive involuntary admissions. Everything they did to me made me worse. Made me want to resist the injustice. Until they drugged me into submission with akathisia so horrific I couldn’t fight anymore. I was incapacitated. It was that or death.
They want you to bend to their will. Fuck them. They have to break me or kill me.
I would die a thousand times before I ever surrender to the likes of these people.
They almost killed me. They drugged me to submission. But I never surrendered to those malpracticing incompetent criminals. Hopefully I never find myself in that position again. Because I’m sure they would kill me.
I never thought it could be me. Not in a million years. With my background? My resume? Impossible? I was so wrong. Yet I did absolutely nothing wrong. Now I’m a completely different person. While they didn’t literally kill me, I still consider that to be the time of my death. The death of the person I was. I will never be the same.
People are afraid of the stigma that will always follow you if you speak of your experience.
“That one” was in the mental ward!
My doctors now my treat me differently. They don’t know shit. Would never make it a mile in my shoes.
You know what? I got totally railroaded. But I related more with any patient than I did with any health care worker. I am a psychiatric patient!!! People are people. If I have to stand on one side of the road, I’ll be the “mental patient”. Go ahead and try me.
The worst fear most people have is these idiots have the power to take your freedom.
To ruin your life.
To seek revenge if they link you to a post. They can be malevolent and vicious. Especially when they know that you are right. They hate being questioned.
One day I will go public with my story.
Expose the employer in full detail for the corrupt criminals they are. All the retaliatory actions they took against me when I was going to expose them.
The same thing with the Malpracticing idiot “doctors”. Expose them by name along with copies of their medical notes and refuting evidence that shows exactly how they are either negligent idiots or outright criminals.
Involuntary psychiatric institutionalization victim is an easy one to keep targeting. To keep kicking. Keep questioning. Once inside an institution all credibility is forever lost. You will always be the one they locked up in the looney bin. Think about it.
So that’s why there is no popular hashtag.