Friday, January 22, 2021

Personal Stories

People with “lived experience” tell of their interactions with psychiatry and how it impacted their lives, and of their own paths to recovery.

Burning Down the House of Psychiatry During COVID

If there was ever a time to re-evaluate how society deals with human suffering, it is now. The pandemic’s mental health effects strain every false narrative and misguided practice of psychiatry.

Suicide: Shhhhhh

When we have a strong urge to live, it must be very difficult to understand another person’s wish to die. So far, no one has been willing or able to “go there” with me.

Reckless Psychiatric Treatment Spun Me Out of Control

The mental health treatment I received between 2016-2019 was like an unreliable car that various mechanics had tinkered with. Yet each time I careened into a ditch, nobody looked at the car, just at me.

Making the Transition to Compassionate Care

I feel my brother was harmed not only by psychiatric drugs, poor nutrition, and dehydration but also by the lack of compassion, social isolation, and dehumanization experience typical of psychiatric facilities.

Seizures and Constant Headaches: My TMS Experience

I wanted to believe TMS could be the thing that helped my depression and changed my life. Instead, I wound up with a new diagnosis: Epilepsy.
Collage depicting Cleopatra and a snake

The Psychiatric Patient: Who Is She?

The psychiatric patient is interesting—not your average person. She is the one who might tell you: “There is more to this reality, and I saw the proof.”

Letters to My Doctors (Part 3)

Rape is to Love what Bombs are to Peace and what Behavioral Eugenics are to Mental Health. So I choose noncompliance with psychiatric force.

Narrow Escape: My Prescribed Nightmare

It has taken me close to three years to be able to live with my memories from the hospital, where I felt completely and utterly alone, despairing that I might never live a normal life or see my family again.
Ekaterina Netchitailova

Psychiatric Medication: Does It Work?

One can lead a good life with a “mental illness” and I am the case. Yes, it is possible. Even with a diagnosis of “bipolar” above your head.

Letters to My Doctors (Part 2)

Why am I whole when I dance and paint but deathly ill when faced by a European/American medical mechanic? Why was I locked in a room for a week in the first place? Was it to heal? Or was it to fill a bed?

Surviving the “Bipolar” Label

The label bipolar validated that I was suffering, yes, but it was also a bargain that asked me to see my suffering as unreasonable, the result of a deformity within my body.

Letters to My Doctors (Part 1)

I struggle as to how to talk to you guys, and there can be no progress without communication. Today, I am attempting to begin a bridge so that you will not be afraid of me and I will not be afraid of you.
Ekaterina Netchitailova

I Live

Why is it such a “crime” to explore alternative realities, and look for something beyond our totally medicalized society? In some cultures, one would be revered instead, and not locked away.

Writing Is My Best Medicine

For me, writing is a powerful tool for wellness and healing, whether that involves an escape into science fiction or simply putting my dreams, emotions, memories, and observations on paper.

The Mad Priestess: A Call to Healing

A mad priestess kicks shame and stigma in the teeth, knowing that we can do better. We could be leading the charge for healing—please don’t call it “mental illness” anymore—and take our place as the wounded healers.

Kids on Psychiatric Drugs: Where Are They Now?

Once, for a brief time, there was an outrage over child drugging, in particular the use of child protective services and the schools in forcing or coercing this drugging on children. Today, instead of continuing to sound an alarm, most of society considers this normal.

Navigating the Mind: What Medication Cannot Address

I believe there's no harm in giving meds a try—it worked for me. Just be aware that they can only do so much. The rest of the journey requires some navigation and self-direction.

Not Just Another Stain on the Wall

During my 96-hour hold in the psych unit—despite that I was rational and a danger to no one—I was made to feel ashamed and somehow unclean. I went home feeling more depressed than ever.

Nerve Damage, Mouth Ulcers, & More: My Battle with Drug Side Effects

Since 2020 began, I have had a minimum of two to five excruciating ulcers in my mouth most of the time. I believe they're a side effect of the psychiatric drugs I am on. Yet most doctors won't take my symptoms seriously.

My Beautiful Psychosis: A Soul Process

To say a person is out of touch with reality is to ignore the validity of the reality that they are in touch with. This is not only disempowering, but also fails to celebrate the journey that the person is on.

A Letter to the American Psychiatrist Who Labeled Me

The bipolar label and the drugs you prescribed after talking with me for half an hour robbed me of my humanity. What did they not do? Prevent any of the psychotic episodes I had after the first one.

Overheated, then Overtreated: My 10-Day Involuntary Hold

Had the hospital simply treated me for heatstroke, they would have made next to nothing. But 11 days in the hospital (10 on a locked ward) and a battery of tests and psych drugs? Well, I’ll let you do the math.

Up in the Air: Surviving 24 Hours with Akathisia

Flying from Anchorage to Cleveland while suffering from life-threatening akathisia was going to be a constant push-pull between the urge to freak out and maintaining my body and psyche so as not to scare the other passengers.

Out of the Abyss (with a Little Help from My Friends)

An ER doctor told me I was experiencing venlafaxine withdrawal, then told me to go home and take care of myself. Unbeknownst to me, I was about to enter pure hell.

Seeds of Hope: A Journey Toward Truth about Psych Drugs

I believed I needed the drugs to keep me going, because every time I tried to get off, I couldn’t function. Years later, I learned the truth: The meds had only been masking the festering sores beneath the surface of my stability.

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