Thursday, December 1, 2022

Comments by AnnaMagdalena

Showing 6 of 6 comments.

  • Shiloh, how many people have lost their lives (while still “living”) because of the psychiatric profession? There must be thousands upon thousands. And then there are those who very literally lost their lives through either suicide or through encounters with police.

    I did not like reading your article. It was horrible. I am so sorry about what happened to you. It should have never, ever happened. The medical profession has an unofficial motto: First, do no harm. I am at a loss for words…. You must be exceedingly angry and grief-stricken. I know just what it was/is like.

    The Fall of 1987 was when I joined Rip Van Winkle under the tree. Was it after 20 years when he woke up? That’s what it was for you. For me, it was over 30. During those lost years I was prescribed approximately 50 drugs from every class of psychotropic medication, subjected to dozens of ECT treatments (after which my daughter re-taught me to dress and feed myself), and hospitalized a dozen times. I was numbed and dumbed (how I characterize the drugged experience), extremely suicidal, writhed at times (literally) in psychic agony, and during one period, in bed for 5 years.

    Unlike you, I did not also lose my family, but they experienced significant trauma. When my husband, who worked out of town, came home at the end of the week, he said he never knew if he would find me dead or alive. My daughters continue to struggle with the results of long term childhood trauma.

    I was told my “condition” (Bipolar I, which was diagnosed because of the side effects I manifested to certain drugs) would deteriorate over time and I would have to be on medication for the remainder of my life. I finally discontinued all psychotropic medications in May 2018. The next 3 years were HELL. Now I know why people who “go off their meds” either kill themselves or kill other people. The withdrawal is absolute hell.

    So, here I am now. I am a few years older than you. I am struggling to deal with what happened. I do not have a “mental illness”. I am Autistic. I don’t know how to deal with all the trauma. Because I was so numbed, I was never able to process or grieve for the losses that occurred during that time. I have gone from being unable to feel to being inundated with emotions.

    Yes, it’s tough. There must be thousands upon thousands of people “out there” whose lives were stolen from them while under psychiatric care. This is a travesty. I think it is morally wrong and criminal.

    I hope, Shiloh, that you are finding a life after losing so many years and all that you held dear. I am so, so sorry for all of your losses.

  • Leonidas, I totally hear you. My experience was similar, but with differences, of course. Rather that the OCD, I am Autistic. It sounds like both of us began our psychiatric journey because of trauma.

    Like you, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (for me, I believe the diagnosis was based solely on drug reactions) and told I would need to remain on medication for the remainder of my life and that my condition would likely deteriorate.

    I never had bipolar disorder, i am no longer taking any psychotropic medications, and while there are residual effects (trauma and chronic kidney disease from the drugs) i am back to where i was in 1987 when i first saw the psychiatrist.

    A great injustice was done to us. We were robbed of a life we could have had. My thoughts, and i expect few to agree with me, are that psychiatry is not a legitimate branch of medicine. For myself, i now want absolutely nothing to do with the mental health profession – but with one exception. There is one professional, a therapist, who caused no damage and is, in fact, very affirming. I adore her. She understands having to grow up being someone she wasn’t. (As an autistic person, i had to appear “normal” in order to fit in. It’s called “pretending to be normal.” ) She is trans.

    Leonidas, i wish you healing and happiness.

  • Kate (I thought you were Katel…), thank you for voicing the despair so many of us feel. I don’t have the words to tell what happened to me. And, while I have family, I am alone. I was sucked into the mental health system beginning in 1967 or 1968. I am autistic but that did not exist back then for people like me. No one ever stopped to determine what was actually going on with me. Instead, drugs, ECT treatments, hospitalizations… I lost most of life. My husband lost his wife. My children lost their mother. My siblings lost a sister and my parents lost a daughter. I am still here, obviously. But the scars run so deep that they will never be eradicated. Over a 30 year period, I was prescribed nearly 40 different drugs. I was told my condition would likely deteriorate and that I would need to be on medication for the rest of my life. But I was never “mentally ill”. I was (am) autistic and lived in an alien world. No one ever asked what was going on. I quit the drugs in 2018. It was hell. For years. I am in my early 70s and am navigating my own life. I really appreciate people like you and the authors of this article who can voice more articulately what happened to us. So, thank you. And, like you, I really, really wish there was some support out there for people like us.

  • Sometimes it’s hard to not lose hope. The American health system is so broken. The MBAs seem to have won. The patient is too often no longer the focus. It’s now the bottom line. I suspect a fair number of practitioners are caught in the middle. Quite likely too much focus on the patient means the loss of a job.

    I sent this article to my sister who is an emergency room nurse in southern California. She said she nearly cried when she read it. But as she said, “What can you do?” It was a rhetorical question.

    Then she told me that many of the nurses she knows are going back to school to become psychiatric nurse practitioners. What they tell her is chilling: ” I am going to work in [so and so’s] office. A patient will come in and I’ll ask, ‘How are you doing? How’s the medication working?’ Then I’ll write them a script and say, ‘Okay, I’ll see you in 2 months.’ In 5 minutes they’ll be out of my office. I’ll make so much money! I’ll never really have to see patients, just write scripts!”

    One can only hope that sooner rather than later the bottom falls out of the whole racket. I think it’s criminal. We must continue to speak up and speak out. If enough of us do so, at some point our collective voices will be heard.

  • I don’t know where to ask this question, so I am asking it here. The question: Do psychiatric drugs blunt one’s emotions to the point where the person experiences an inability to grieve?

    Here is why I ask: I was on a plethora of psych drugs for 30 years. I refer to those years (when I was effectively disabled) as the years I was “numbed and dumbed.” You may know what I am talking about… During that time I struggled to feel.

    Then my Father died. I felt no emotion and never grieved for him. Nine months later my Mother died. I had a hard time dealing with her loss. Five years later I discontinued all psych meds. My daughter warned me to be prepared for an onslaught of emotions.

    O, boy!! I had no idea!!! So many emotions and so intense!!! Having felt little with any intensity for decades, this was hard to deal with. I didn’t know what to do with all the emotions. The worst for everyone around me was my intense irritability and anger.

    Six months after quitting the psych meds, I was forced out of my job. A month later my husband was diagnosed with leukemia. A week later Paradise (California) burned. I am overcome.

    Paradise was my parents’ town. Their home was incinerated. The town is destroyed. I am taking it very, very hard. This was the only place I felt comfortable. Memories of my parents and my siblings are all couched in Paradise. I am overcome with grief, not just grief for my town, but for my parents, the lost times with my siblings, the years I lost to drug-induced disability. (I have autism. I did not have a mental illness, but because of the distress I experienced from being different, I was medicated and provided with a psychiatric diagnosis.)

    So I am grieving and I wonder if I can bear it. And I cannot help but think that being drugged for decades prevented me from being able to effectively grieve. Is this something to which others can relate?