Friday, June 18, 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.

Boy, Interrupted: A Story of Akathisia

I watched my son’s life change almost overnight. He developed akathisia from antidepressants, taken as prescribed for just a few weeks for garden-variety anxiety.

Understanding Psychological Disorders: My Personal and Professional Journey

A conflict in my personal life made it possible for me to imagine the power of emotional trauma to trigger a mental health disorder—and gave me new insights about what can help heal it.

Treatment Providers Have the Power to Make or Break Recovery

We need treatment providers that listen to their patients and treat them like human beings. Their job is to support our recovery, not stymie it.

My Letter to an Advocate for Involuntary Treatment

How long would I have to be off meds and stay safe and out of the hospital before my story would mean something to you and the advocates for chemical interventions?

Mental Health Liberation and Spirituality: Ex-Psychiatric Inmates Share Their Thoughts

What I want to share with you, dear readers, is how spiritual experiences like mine have been reflected in so many people’s stories of being labeled with psychotic disorders.

My Mother Wound: Rethinking “Fear of Abandonment”

Therapists are quick to refer to this pain I feel as a “fear of abandonment,” as if it is a figment of my mind and something not worth the time to attend to.

The Undervalued Potential of Living Without Psychiatric Drugs

Compared to the last six years, compared to how intense the drugs are and how grueling the side-effects, my first psychosis at 17, I admit, was honestly not that bad.

Drowning in Doubts: Why I Think About Leaving Psychiatry

Going into psychiatry as a naïve 25-year-old, I had no idea what I would discover. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have chosen this field.

From Wonder Drug to Catastrophe: My Seroquel Story

What my doctor had told me would be a two-week withdrawal from Seroquel turned into a 14-month nightmare with lasting repercussions: the movement disorder tardive dyskinesia.

Women We Call Crazy

“You’re so different,” people would say to Betty and me. We joked about the thinly veiled criticism—people thought we were crazy because we were women who consciously defined ourselves and how we wanted to live.

The Relapsing Peer Supervisor

Peer supervision is often silent and stigmatizing instead of including necessary, robust discussions around relapse.

My 7 Years of Detention Hell

The court found me “not guilty by reason of insanity” and sentenced me to a 30-day evaluation at a psych facility. A crisis had been averted, and my life could return to normal... oh, how far from the truth that idea was.

On Being Forced Out in the Clinical Psychology Field

I wondered how many others have experienced coercion, abuse, and have had their lived experiences of mental illness used as weapons against them by mental health professionals?

How I Became My Own Psychiatrist

I now am more conversant with the latest literature on the medications I take than my prescriber is. While I consider his opinion and clinical judgment, I no longer accept every word as the Gospel truth.

Bearing False Witness: Childhood Psychiatry, Trauma, and Memory

Through journaling, I realized that my lifelong confusion surrounding my memories of traumatic events was the direct result of the psychiatric labels and drugs I swallowed alongside years of parental abuse.

Someone I Used to Know

When I sit in Billie’s office, I am still 13 years old, bitter anger saturating my body. I am 23, sobbing that I cannot do this anymore. I am 24, celebrating my first year of college. I am all of these people and none of these people.

Assault and Exploitation: My Peer Worker Experience

The intensity of demand faced in the acute ward is exhausting. No one has a clue what I’m supposed to be doing, least of all me.

A Thief in the Hospital

I knew by then that there was a thief, but I tried not to rush to conclusions. I couldn’t even think of the possibility that it could be one of the staff. They go into the field in order to help people.

Childhood Trauma Is Not a Mental Illness

My childhood was stolen by systems focused on labeling and medicating me instead of healing the effects of abuse and neglect.

Confused, Accused, and Retraumatized

At the hospital, what traumatized me the most was that my freedom was in the hands of a professional who was steadfast in his conviction that I was feeling things I was not.

Patient or Prisoner? My Hospital Experience

We need to come up with a plan that destigmatizes mental health issues for all races, including respectful and non-punitive treatment in in-patient settings.

Sound After Psychiatry

In the wake of psychiatry, there was a fracture, a gulf that opened between me and the authentic sound of my voice when it is connected and resonates with my truth.

Giving Up on Mental Health Care

After 34 years, I've concluded that some psychologists/psychiatrists may genuinely want to help people, but they certainly don't have a good toolbox to do it with and, quite likely, never will.
Photo of hand with pen drawing a sign that says Creativity and COVID: Art-making During the Pandemic

Creativity and COVID: Art-Making During the Pandemic

The pandemic lockdown last year afforded me a precious gift of time to explore my creative spirit, and that, in turn, gave me a powerful way to cope.

Missionary Headshrinkers in Gold Canyons: A Survivor’s Perspective

Missionaries and psychiatrists have failed not through lack of compassion but through lack of willingness to take a long walk and a long, long talk to ask the neighbors what they need and the people what they already know.

Follow Us

19,639FansLike
11,994FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe