Comments by Andrea Barnes

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  • I agree but when one is up against political power and money OMG there are no words. When you or your family is always in the news OMG. When you have an offender praised by the media and elected officials and has an human rights award named in his honor it’s just an extra layer to add to the cruelty of the trauma and the system that protects people in power — even our elected officials in both parties. It’s like Jamie Spears being praised for having Britney Spears best interest at heart by putting his “mentally ill” daughter in a loving conservatorship and the public fell for it. That’s Patriarchy.

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  • Thank you, Miranda. At the risk of sounding grandiose I relate in many ways to Britney Spears’ story. I am 65 and it took me decades to escape the cruelty but the label of seriously mentally ill lives on and will always affect my life and how I am viewed and treated. Thank you for your article. It was because of Britney’s ordeal that I finally began to tell my story of psychiatric abuse and torture used to protect my family and I am still trying to find my voice. Thank you for your article. It helps give me courage. Maybe one day I too can write my story for Mad in America but it’s an overwhelming one. Thank you again. And I am so happy to be drug free for the first time since 14. I got drug free in 2023. It took 15 years to taper as my health was quite compromised and I was on high doses of 14 meds. I don’t know I survived. I am so much stronger and healthier off those drugs. Thank you again.

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  • Thank you, Steve. My husband grew up in Lebanon all through the civil war and invasions of Lebanon by both Syria and Lebanon. I was in Lebanon in 2006 during the 34 day war. There will be survivors on both sides who will suffer from the distress of this conflict and the medical model of mental illness has no place when testing trauma from living in war zones.. thank you, Steve, for striving to make everyone feel safe. This article is about mental health treatment of trauma. I don’t see it as promoting one side over the other. Thank you.

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  • Britney Spears was more than a victim of circumstance. She was a victim of crimes, abuse and exploitation. She endured inter generational trauma. The men in my family have had women locked up in institutions since 1900 when my great grandmother an immigrant was committed by her husband. My great grandmother died at 99 after being there for over 60 years. The last woman I know if to be institutionalized was me when my father committed me for reporting incest but I haven’t seen my family in 45 years. He had local political power and he was not about to let me ruin any of his 5 son’ political careers. I have a brother who is greatly admired in legal and political circles but I also have a police report with his name on it from him and my other brothers beating me up. No father should be allowed to weaponize the mental health care system to incarcerate, drug and have his daughter who is being SA in the home labeled seriously mentally ill for reporting sexual abuse. No psychiatrist should ever accommodate an abusers desire to protect his political career or that of his sons. I was 14 years old when my dad first institutionalized me but the ‘seriously mentally ill’ label haunts me everywhere I go and I am 65 years old. Between the ages of 14 and 25 my dad controlled every aspect of my life. I was on 800 mg of Mellaril. I was so incapacitated by 800 mg of Mellaril and other drugs I couldn’t fight back when I was being SA. Sadly the Patriarchy still exists as does racism, classism, sexism etc — all rooted in white supremacist colonialism. Women don’t need our fathers to police us especially when they are our abusers. Psychiatry need not play into the hands of those who oppress women and others in families especially abusive fathers. Psychiatrists need to listen and believe women when we say our fathers are mistreating us. Finally the public needs to stop judging and policing women’s reactions to severe trauma, abuse and exploitation. It’s time to stop pathologizing women’s rightful hurt, pain and grief after experiencing trauma. It’s time to stop believing that all fathers like my political powerful dad and now my brother and Britney Spears dads have their daughters’ best interest at heart when they psychiatrically incarcerate and drug their daughters. I am 65 years old and just escaped this brutal Carceral surveillance system that was never meant to help me but to control me and protect my rapists. My 5 brothers are doing great. They never spent a day in jail not were they committed. They have always been free. Somehow, like Britney’s family in my family too it’s only women who get committed and surveilled and drugged and somehow it’s the men in the family who have committed crimes against us go free to live fulfilling lives. Psychiatry is part of white culture rooted on Patriarchy and colonialism. Lastly Britney Spears is not bothering anyone. When she posts on IG she is not hurting anyone. Why do we care what she does. It’s time we let Britney Spears be truly free and stop picking her apart underneath a microscope. Hasn’t her dad and psychiatry done that enough already. It’s time the public and people who have judged her harshly in these comments to just let Britney Spears BE. Let her live free.

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