Saturday, May 28, 2022

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.

Made “Mad” in America

6
It will take me over three years to remove all this medication from my body, and countless months to recover from the harmful effects these drugs had on my mind.

Called by God: Dealing With Depression and Psychosis

14
God supported me during my psychosis. I was afraid that I would lose God when I took antipsychotics again. That had happened after my first forced medication.

My Substance Intoxication Was Misdiagnosed as Psychiatric

9
I thought it’d be a good idea to just triple the daily dose of St. John’s wort — surely a plant-based, prescription-free pill couldn’t be dangerous? I was wrong.
abused child

The Abused Children to Bipolar Pipeline

26
The mental health system traumatized me further. They were allies with my abusers to cover up and continue my abuse.

Eugenics, Lobotomy, Risperidone: “Science” Gone Awry

31
The worst thing about psychiatry is how it convinces your family to do things that they think are correct, which ultimately gets them to participate in harming you.
An illustration depicting headphones and the words "Song of Psychiatry"

The Song of Psychiatry: The Impact of Language

12
I want to share the journey I took to find a new language, a new story, around my experiences and how that journey impacted my survival.

From Labeled to Healer: A Road Less Traveled

16
We have let down our children (and ourselves) by losing touch with parental intuition and handing their care over to professionals at the first sign of a problem.

The Observation Room

59
Class war between the haves and have nots is nowhere more evident than in a psychiatric ward. Dissidence becomes both a disease and a crime where cure is indistinguishable from punishment.

Anesthetized

18
At times I dream about meeting those doctors, and telling them how wrong they were when they told me I would always be a very sick person, needing medication my whole life.

Connecting the Dots: My Toxic Workplace Made Me “Mentally Ill”

18
In 1996, I suffered my first manic episode. My mother was convinced it had been caused by chemical exposure. But I wouldn’t hear it, and neither would my psychiatrists.
psychodynamic

Becoming Whole: How a Change in Me Became a Change in My Practice

11
It feels challenging to commit to a lifetime process of self-reflection and self-improvement when someone is offering you an easy way out.
ADHD

Parenting Changed My Perspective on “ADHD”

37
My experience of raising a son who was bright and creative but didn’t fit the mold helped me to approach my restless, impulsive students more compassionately and creatively.

Dying to Stay Alive: A Ketamine Disaster

21
Ketamine treatment, which was being hailed as a ‘miracle cure’, backfired so spectacularly that it very nearly cost me my life.

The Unveiling of the Truth: A Journey Into the Invisible World

3
It is through the experience of suffering that God educates us with the knowledge of the heart that He alone holds the key to.

I Made It Out Alive

14
There is no replacing the near 30 years that psychiatry took from me and my family. I am now 70 years old and in failing health which I attribute to those damn drugs.

Put Psyche Back Into Psychiatry and Add Psychological Intimacy

4
Dr. Jones spoke to me in a way no doctor ever had. His affect, his demeanor, his presence, lit an ember in the darkness within my soul.

August 20, 1985: The Day My Psychotic Episodes Ended

10
I didn’t know that I had never fully experienced my emotional pain until I was thrown into an altered state. With “psychosis” I plowed through layers and layers of pain, alone in the night.

The Other Side of the Cage

40
My doctor estimates that I have less than a year to live. I do not want my life to end as it began, with trauma, pain and dehumanization. I would like dignity and compassion in my final days.
Wooden pawn-like figures surrounding a gavel

Guardianship Destroyed My Family

36
People who can’t take care of themselves need support and protection, but guardianship provides neither. I know: I've lived it.
trauma informed world

The Year Of Potentiality

13
I lost three years of my life to my first psychosis. I am living proof that your entire world can be smashed into a trillion pieces and you can recover and turn the broken pieces of glass into a kaleidoscope.
regret

Consumer Regret

24
Eventually I realized the drugs were safe and effective—for those prescribing them. Shrinks can never be sued for malpractice since it's "standard care" even if they kill you.
power threat meaning

Fatherland Dreamland Motherland Hinterland

14
I grew up in Rhodesia, a British colony in southern Africa. Until the age of 16, I lived on the grounds of Ingutsheni Mental Hospital where my father worked. As a psychiatrist, he had enormous power.
akathisia suicide

No More Tears: In Memory of Kathleen Fliller

56
My friend Kathleen Fliller ended her life last month. She had written a chronicle of her struggles with psychiatric drug withdrawal and akathisia, which she asked me to share with Mad In America to be published in hopes that it might help others not feel so alone.

Lessons Learned While Sharing About Voice Hearing

5
I slowly recognized that I wanted to fight every single person who used language based on their learned beliefs about “mental illness.” They didn’t know any better—so why did I feel so angry?
sister

“Floss on the Waves”: My Sister’s Journey

8
It takes a long time to recover from a psychotic episode, I understand now, and I wish someone had found a way, especially during those early years of her troubles, to give Rachel more space and time to find her own path to health.

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