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.

The Strength in Sensitivity: Becoming a “Borderline” Psychotherapist

38
I'm a licensed psychotherapist in private practice. I'm also diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

Pieces of Shattered Memories

14
If the sum of my experience exists only as fractured memories that never happened, who am I? It has led me to a near-constant questioning of every aspect in my life.

Healing My Broken Story: The Power of Compassionate Relationship

12
Richard was more than a therapist; he was a faithful witness to my spiritual transformation. His faith in me is the sturdy banister I hold on to as I move forward.

The Suicide Police: Harm Disguised As Help

26
It’s easy to tell a dead person they mattered. Humans are great at writing eulogies. But we are shit at making people feel like they matter while they are alive.

Harmed by Psychiatric Drugs Prescribed for Acid Reflux

22
I was unaware that metoclopramide is in the same drug class as antipsychotics with the same potential for serious side effects.

“Gravely Disabled” — How I Narrowly Escaped a Conservatorship

11
"What’s going on? Is the idea for me to live in a locked facility forever?” A silent wail of despair wells up inside me. What’s happening to my life?

First Do No Harm: Restraining the Restrainer

8
I was face down on a cold hospital floor. My submissiveness came before the needle made contact. The shock and shame of such a violation silenced me.

Spoilation: What Becomes of the Forcibly Drugged?

41
I have been forcibly drugged for over forty years now. The dose of neuroleptics I am forced to take will probably kill me.

The Key to the Psych Unit

5
I was toeing a very precarious line working in a psychiatric hospital. I knew how tenuous my perceived sanity was.

Giving Caregivers a Platform: Sam, Husband of Ka’ryn Marie

8
For many caregivers who assist their loved ones, the journey involves navigating the medical system and its many challenges. This time, the journey takes...

So Long, Psych Meds: Escaping the Medication Maze

39
There was a time when I could think of nothing else but pills and prescriptions, pain and panic. Psychiatry shrank my world.

The Hidden Harms Within the Psychedelic Renaissance

16
If I would have read a story like this before I entered into psychedelic-assisted therapy, I would have been more careful, which might have prevented a lot of unnecessary hurt.

A Patient Reads His Psychiatrist

74
Dr. W.’s description of me, that I was agitated, insulting, uncooperative, did not match the emotions I was feeling. I felt distraught, hopeless, terrified, and desperate.

Race and Abuse in Inpatient Settings: What Happens Behind Locked Doors

11
The problem of staff brutality towards patients on the psych wards disproportionately affects people of color and continues to happen every day behind locked doors.

Only When It Poured

6
Disposable toothbrushes and sporks. Crayons instead of pens. Little pills in little paper cups. Someone would come. Someone would go. The days turned into nights and back again.

Children Are Vulnerable Cogs in the Psychiatric Machine

14
My guardian decided to seek out “professional” advice about how to diminish my “outbursts.” I was perceived as a problem that needed to be extinguished into a compliant state.

Reclaiming My Yin and Yang

22
Western psychiatry has done a lot of harm to people, especially when it is forced upon people as their “only” option. People’s experiences are wildly diverse, and only a diversity of options can do justice to our differing needs.

State Hospital Memories: More of My Story

18
The Detroit Free Press did an excellent job in bringing to light the conditions at Pontiac, its loss of accreditation, and closing. Still, they didn't quite grasp the severity of violence there.

Gabapentin Withdrawal: One Year Later

18
Even though I was only on the medication for a little over six months, I am still traveling down the long road of psychiatric drug withdrawal. This is the hardest thing I have ever endured.

What I Learned as a Moderator for an Antidepressant Taper Support Group

45
Medication support groups are saving lives and brains because doctors do not know how to safely taper off psych meds.

The State Power Triangle and My Spiritual Awakening

6
My will had been broken by work and psychiatry. How could I get my self-power back after so many years and so many brain-damaging meds?

Waking From the Nightmare: Is Recovery From Akathisia Possible?

50
I had a chemical brain injury from medications. The only help doctors could offer was more medications: treating the failed treatment with other dangerous treatments.

The Misery of Being Misdiagnosed and Overmedicated

8
From an early age, relatives and doctors alike had told me I was severely mentally ill. Naturally, I believed them.

Abused by Psychiatrists After a BPD Misdiagnosis

48
If you don't realize that you are autistic, your intellectual, sensory, social, and emotional differences are a mystery, even to you.

One Pill To Disrupt: Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal and the Marital Relationship

13
The suicidality that accompanies akathisia is the natural human impulse to escape being tortured. To save my wife, the woman I love, I was forced to argue for her continued torture.