I need to get this off my chest, please bear with me for a moment.
Psychiatry is not medicine. The practice of diagnosing people with brain disorders, chemical imbalances, and genetic conditions based on lines drawn arbitrarily around self-reported emotional symptoms is not in any way scientific.
Prescribing brain-altering drugs that bear multiple black box warnings and the constant disclaimer that “it is not known how (drug) works…” based on unscientific diagnostic criteria is not in any way medicine.
Mandatory mental health screenings which use questionnaires developed by AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and other drug companies are unethical and dangerous.
Some of these drugs lead to dependency. Most of them have side effects that can make a person unable to function. They are being prescribed to hyper children, to teenagers who are stressed out by the hellish experience of high school and puberty, to adults grieving over trauma and loss, to the elderly with dementia.
This is absolutely wrong, and until psychiatry begins to diagnose and prescribe in a scientific manner, I will continue to see the entire field as dangerously fraudulent. If you disagree with me, I understand — it’s very easy to get caught up in ad campaigns and promises of pills that will relieve emotional burdens.
However, if you believe that I’ve gotten stuck in some kind of “lunatic fringe” in any way, I invite you to stop reading this blog, as I don’t need you keeping tabs on my life. If you choose to look at my views on psychiatry and see it as science denial or anti-medical views, then we clearly do not have mutual trust.
Thanks buddies. Peace.
It’s time to vent for a brief minute and then I’m gonna go grab notebook and vent in a more constructive way.
Let’s have a come-to-Jesus moment about psychiatric incarceration and forced treatment because damn, you’d think everyone gets that this shit is close to my heart, but somehow I’ve still got distant family members feeling the need to message me and tell me how gosh darn amazing Haldol is at preventing the brain damage inherent to having a manic episode for more than like, five minutes or whatever. Here I was thinking that my mental illness related brain damage was the result of ten years of doctors treating me like a guinea pig and dumping chemicals into me to treat those icky emotions nobody should have to feel. Silly me, I guess. Overhauling my neurochemistry is apparently the ideal alternative to experiencing a pretty natural mood state! Live and learn.
It’s hard for me to get directly angry at people in my life for believing this shit. We’ve got so much medical model bullshit pushed at us from all sides, and buying into that idea is really comforting. A pill that can fix my shitty life sounds pretty awesome. If you try to argue against that, people you care about will use the words “lunatic fringe” right to your fucking face. It’s easier just to go with the flow. It’s easier to just believe your psychiatric nurse friend who tells you that “there was a study” that showed that pills are the bestest and injections of neuroleptics won’t hurt if it’s only a couple times. I can’t really even stay pissed at my mom for signing the papers that got me locked up in 2013 and my sister locked up this week. I get that dealing with people who are wigging out is scary, especially when you have little kids in your house, and I get that our mental health system doesn’t have options for situations where you don’t want to go whole hog and have your daughter incarcerated in a place like that. It seems more productive to just stay pissed at the systemic shit. Besides, Mom’s as worried as I am, and I know she’s grieving over seeing another daughter go swimming in the Black Sea, and she didn’t expect so much resistance at attempting to be involved with care decisions (like “can i please take my daughter home now???”). Yeah — once someone’s involuntarily committed, it’s prison. They lose their rights and so do you.
So — can we please stop signing papers on each other?
Like OK, y’all know my shit here, y’all know what I went through with myself and with Mychal. There are alternatives. There are ways to help someone that do not involve putting them behind four locked doors and six different pills SIX DIFFERENT FUCKING PILLS. Well, I guess that’s wrong — it’s actually five pills because one medication is administered with a goddamn needle, or it’s nine pills if you’re counting the 4mg of Ativan they’ll give you every day, just for asking.
Ativan was the hardest drug for me to quit, btw. I was on Ativan for two years after I quit everything else. James kicked his cocktail successfully and only got suicidal when he tried to quit Ativan. He’s never been the same since quitting Ativan.
But I digress. You may be thinking something like “but what about when someone really truly Needs The Help” and i will laugh at you and remind you that the last time I took a swim, I’d gone three days and three nights without food or sleep, and that what I needed at that point was to rest and eat. But nope someone signed a court order and guess what? The shit I saw and felt on the psych ward fed the delusions. That and the fact that someone close to my mom came to me when I was in a vulnerable state and convinced me that I was demon possessed and needed an exorcism and set up an extended prayer session with a faith healer, who was a very kindly person, I can’t fault that guy, but damn, THAT shit ended up integrated into my belief system and three years later I still have trouble sleeping some nights because what if I really did sell my soul????????? What if she was right?
Let’s keep track of the points here —
1. Don’t fucking incarcerate people for mental health stuff because they lose all their rights, possibly for a long long time (possibly forever! Not a joke)
2. Don’t fucking dump a shitload of drugs into someone’s system. If a person is experiencing psychosis, it partly means they’ve got something incredibly serious that they need to work through. Sedation to the level of zombification totally halts that process. Congrats, you just set that person up for another swim in the future.
3. Don’t fucking tell a delusional person they’re demon possessed, oh my god, why do I have to type these words in 2016, why did this happen to me, I’m still grieving. I guess a more relevant concept is “don’t fucking fuck with someone’s mind while they’re delusional” because this shit happened to James too and it BROKE him. Ask him to tell you the story sometime. Or not, because he won’t tell you, because he’s still literally phobic about even talking about it out loud.
K. I guess my Big Point in this post is that we as a society have no idea how to deal with psychotic episodes. I’ve been typing this for longer than I intended so I’m gonna cut it short, when I’m less furious I’ll come back and post something about how to effectively talk to your ocean buddies.
I leave you with this very important message: stop fucking signing court orders to incarcerate your loved ones. Psychosis/delusion (much like teen horniness) is not a crime. Live and learn. Please actually learn this time, in case I ever take a dive again. I would like to come out of it less damaged in the future.