Sunday, July 5, 2020

Comments by foghill

Showing 1 of 1 comments.

  • Hi Linda,

    Thanks for sharing.

    I unfortunately have had an extremely similar experience. In 2018 I was in California and went through some serious stress that lead me to some symptoms of mania. I visited my family in New York to get help, since my sister is a doctor. I wish I had stayed in California which has much stronger laws protecting patients from being committed. My sister is an anasthesiologist at Columbia / New York Presbyterian, so that’s where I voluntarily went thinking that I might be helped. I recognized that I had symptoms of mania (sleeping <2 hours a night, extreme racing thoughts) but I was aware enough of the problem to seek help.

    Unfortunately at Columbia and New York Presybterian I was force fed extreme doses of mood stabilizers and antipychotics that made me extremely sick. When I refused meds, I was physically assaulted (repeatedly punched in the face). My sister said she would never believe something like that would happen at her hospital if he hadn't witnessed it before her own eyes. My family contacted both the police and a lawyer, but the hospital refused to admit wrongdoing and refused to release the video tapes of the incidents. They said that I was acting unruly and their behavior was justified to control me. My face was badly bruised, but it did heal, and both the police and the lawyers said that while it was unfortunate, without the video tapes or evidence of permanent bodily harm, there wouldn't be enough of a case to make it worth pursuing as long as the facial bruising healed. Like you, even though what I'm saying is 100% the truth, it was cast as the word of "the crazy person" vs the doctors and medical establishment.

    The levels of meds they gave me made me extremely sick and nauseous. When I got back to California, a doctor tested my Lithium blood levels and found Columbia / New York Presbyterian had given me toxic levels of lithium. They were blood testing me every day so I have no idea why they felt the need to go overboard to the extent that they did. The antipsychotics were likewise cranked up to absurd doses, and I was basically told that I could either take the meds and attend "groups" and leave in a few weeks, or I could contact a lawyer to get out, which would take even longer to get through all the court proceedings and would once again be the crazy person vs the medical establishment. So if I wanted to actually leave I had to comply with their excessive medication and control. Like you I was trapped in a small windowless area with no exercise. It was basically prison. It's true that I was in a bad mental state and I needed help but the cure was far worse than the disease.

    Of course, I paid many thousands of dollar in deductibles for the experience. It was a nightmare. I'm still angry about the experience but there's not much I can do about it so I try my best to move on. Despite me being cast as crazy for the sin of seeking help, I am mostly a fully adjusted functional member of society. I appreciate you sharing your experience as it reflects mine and it's good to know that I'm not alone in feeling the way I do about the field of psychiatry in America.