From Mad in Ireland: As a voice-hearer of 30 years – and 27 years as a user/survivor of psychiatry – I could say, like Stephen Fry did this week, that ‘psychiatry saved me’. But I could also say that it failed me miserably. After five months in a psychiatric unit 27 years ago in Ireland I was very physically debilitated; that was after receiving I don’t know how many bouts of electroconvulsive therapy and drugs like chlorpromazine and haloperidol. The initial phase of my treatment- five months inpatient -was a deathlike experience. I am still harrowed by those ‘treatments’. Yes they stopped the voices and visions – which were a comfortable place to be to me, and a ‘coping mechanism’ as R.D. Laing – the famous Scottish psychiatrist, said, but in which I was sometimes wretched and overall very vulnerable.
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