Reconsidering Forced ‘Psychiatric Care’: A Conversation with Rob Wipond

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From Psychiatry at the Margins/Awais Aftab: “This is probably partly why you felt my book did not deal well with the ‘ethical complexities of involuntary psychiatric care’—because I don’t think involuntary psychiatric care is ethically complex, I think it’s bad. I see forced psychotropic drugging and forced electroconvulsive therapy as blunt hammers smashing down on complicated circumstances and complex brains.

. . . You’re probably right that I have a relatively negative view of psychiatry, and that’s partly because nearly all of my exposure to it over two decades has been witnessing coercive psychiatry and its impacts. But it’s also because I don’t hear anywhere nearly enough psychiatrists speaking out and showing genuine understanding and concern about how harmful and unhelpful involuntary ‘treatment’ can understandably be for many people. That ongoing lack of collectively expressed public acknowledgement and concern does at times make me question the foundations of the core psychiatric enterprise.”

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15 COMMENTS

    • Tax haven abusing synthetic dope dealers in the medical industry that flood our nation with drugs and unhealthy addictions.

      Those same multi billion dollar parasites again wanting to force synthetic narcotics upon Americans

      Corporate welfare recipients need to pay their taxes on straw man entities or I pray they get rounded up by military for committing treason, tyranny, tax evasion, genocide and crimes against humanity

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  1. During the course of my treatment psychiatry did more harm than good. And at every interval, when I asked for help moving away from pharmaceuticals, I was met with disbelief, shame, and threats for involuntary commitment. This went on for two decades. After I opted out of meds, on my own and in secret, I discovered that all of my most debilitating symptoms, the symptoms that caused disability, were a consequence of of one of the medications — the only one that was consistently prescribed throughout. It was the benzodiazepine. Researchers have discovered that this class of drugs ha the potential to cause long-term damage to the brain. It causes a myriad of psychological and physical symptoms that can last for years, even after discontinuing the medication. These researchers have named this phenomenon Benzodiazepine Induced Neurological Dysfunction or BIND. I call it neglect.

    For 60 years, ever since benzodiazepine hit the market, these medications have been causing symptoms (in an estimated 1 in 5 users) that look like mental illness. In all that time psychiatry didn’t notice. The schema in the mental health community is to blame their clients for their symptoms. They should be ashamed of themselves. Instead, they shrug it off.

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    • Oh my God Chris!! This is all so true!! My beloved nephew who has struggled with PTSD for years!has been prescribed all kinds of psych meds, among them, benzos.He has been in and out of psych hospitals, psych holds and crisis after crisis more than I can count!!Several suicide attempts!! He has talked to his doctors about his PTSD, related to sexual abuse as a child by a neighbor , and about being beaten up by his caretaker at one of the houses he shared with other kids like him but the answer was more heavy psych meds , more hospitalizations while nothing was done to that caretaker, who two months later, ended up killing one of the kids under his care!! Nothing, absolutely nothing had been done to ever address the real issues of my beautiful nephew, who is now an adult. My heart is broken every time he tells me he :” I just want to go the the Light of God”. His father has been the one who has been there for him, as his mother abandoned him years ago. I live in another city of the State and visit him as much as I can every weekend he spends at my brother’s apartment.

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  2. Forced to comply with the narrative of biochemical brain disorder. That it’s a life long need to take neurotranquilizers. Dr. Peter Breggin explain s what psychiatric abuses hurt not only ones body, mind, and soul. It’s systemic discrimination s which are based on race.
    Look up the DSM-5-TR manual that is created by the psychiatrists who assume that without genuine tests need this diagnostic book for criteria made by them.
    Also the ICD-11.
    Ask yourself if feelings emotions are an illness?
    So bipolar is described as a mood disorder!!??
    Having PTSD and the discrimination faced by the society s ignorance and pride.
    Read this thick book!

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  3. Psychiatry is complex and so much can be done with love, art, safety,spiritualiy, good food and exercise.for people with depression, anxiety, PTSD, even bipolar and other psychoses.
    Yet sometimes the brain gets hijacked by thoughts, voices that can either harm the person or others or render them unable to take care of themselves, roaming streets, populating jails with no insight that they are sick. That is called anosogosia. It is like someone with dementia who has no idea who they are and where they are going. We need to create a kinder humane system that does impose treatment so they can have a decent, safe life in a kind environment. Not doing that is also cruel. Namaste.

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  4. It is wrong. Civil commitments for people who May..get 8n trouble again..Using thiere plea deals to put 5hfm in Civil commitment places 5hat are privately funded. Is wrong. Three strikes law why is this not a wrong why is this not against Constitution relocking after release on probation…to psych hospital…calling 5hem violent…they may do it again…probation should follow like it was given…not lock em up for term of probation….it’s very dishonest. And
    against civil rights. Please stop them….

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  5. My mother became psychotic after a traumatic experience in a yoga community where it was revealed the “chaste” guru had been choosing his favorite young women for sexual “treatments to work out their bad sexual karma.” She never regained her emotional stability after the shock of that betrayal. She ultimately became paranoid and psychotic to the point that she believed multiple family members were attempting to kill her by various bizarre means. She asked my brother to buy her a gun (he didn’t). She was certain nothing was wrong with her mind and refused psychiatric treatment. When she entered the house of a friend through the dog door and threatened her, the police took her to the hospital, where she was involuntarily committed and forced to take antipsychotic medication. Her psychiatrist was contemptuous and demeaning. But her delusions improved. Each time she was discharged and stopped her meds, she became aggressive and threatening toward herself and others. By my request, she was switched to a different, kinder doctor, but she was kept involuntarily on antipsychotics. As often happens, her psychosis and agitation improved on meds, but flared terribly when she stopped taking them. She nearly starved herself to death to avoid the “death squads” she felt were stalking her. After 2 years of these cycles, the social worker in the hospital chose to ask the court to declare her incompetent to make her own medical decisions and appoint a guardian, so that she could be forced indefinitely to take antipsychotics. Mom demanded a jury trial and begged for her freedom. I have never felt so horrified, in such a wrenching situation in my life. The jury agonized but voted to impose guardianship on her. This was in the year 2000, Mom age 70. The meds DID transform her life for the better. She is her recognizable happy, funny, and kind self again, and has had friends and boyfriends who love her in the assisted living community where she’s been for the past 23 years. They try to stop her meds every year or two, but the frightening voices and agitation return, so at 93 she continues on a very low dose. She has some minimal side effects, but they don’t seem to trouble her. The voices on this page MUST be heard, and our system changed profoundly (just as the inherently racist policing system must be changed at every level). But there are stories such as my mother’s, and others like her that I know of, and I wish all stakeholders would bear in mind the diversity of mental health challenges and work toward a solution that could somehow benefit many different situations. Hard, though.

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  6. I once knew an ethical psychiatrist who revealed to me that he always advised patients who found themselves involuntarily held in a psychiatric ward that the only way for them to get out of there quickly (and with less trauma) was for them to keep quiet and play along with whatever the attending psychiatrist said. And he also said that in all his years of practice he only placed ONE patient in such a place as he knew all too well how harmful such “treatment” actually can be. He was a man of true compassion and insight, which Aftab clearly is not.

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    • CLARIFICATION: The patient HAD ASKED to be hospitalized — IT WAS NOT AGAINST THE PATIENT’S WISHES.

      Aftab’s diplomatic way of speaking doesn’t align with his rigid belief in forced “treatment”; Rob’s book clearly freaked him out.

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  7. Involuntary commitment is complicated and nuanced. I’d be wary of anyone who was 100% “for” or “against”. My own experiences (bp type 1) were not pleasant and borderline traumatic.

    However, my sister, with schizoaffective disorder, absolutely needs involuntary commitment. She has anosognosia, is delusional, paranoid, violent, and abusive. She needs to be institutionalized for everyone’s safety, but there is no mechanism for that–just endless holds and releases.

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