Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Prisoners of the mental health industry

Note: we added this video after putting the image up. It is not connected to either author below but it is about the same issue and we thought it worth including.  RM

This is from a reader who has sent Facts For Working People material before relating to the mental health industry, part of the sickness industrial complex. Her comments are below and below that is a letter from Nicolas who is presently in a facility in Colorado and unable to access sites like this.  We are sharing it for our readers' interests.


Dear friends,
Since the National Institute on Mental Health has determined that 1 in 4 people are diagnosed with a mental illness in a given year, and noting that it's normal to have "mental health" of varying levels all throughout life, I hope you read Nic's psychiatric-diagnosis recovery story below. 

It gives me great hope that people can recover and rise above the mainstream mental health label they are given and the services that we are limited to or, even worse, "forced" to rely upon when there are so many other non-drug, non-coercive, holistic mental health treatments available.

I go to LA next weekend to visit my son in a state hospital.  I bring our love and well wishes to him. 

Thanks Nic for sharing your story, and to everyone else for hearing about others' who are suffering and too often silenced by an uncaring, for-profit system!


 Dear Internet Audience,

Things are going well considering.  I just wanted to share a hopeful story instead of my gloom and doom.

In the confines of the mental health system, it can be difficult to stay focused on what 'your,' needs really are.  I have a friend in custody and he's going through the same trials and torment as the previous mental institution he was at.

In him; I see my self.  The pain, coercion, paternalism and persecution all because someone labeled us with a diagnosis.  My friend is partly lost in the system, until we can get him out with a writ of habeas corpus, which we are working on.

His public defender is what we call a 'dump-truck attorney,' as they will not adequately defend my friend and there's an intentional denial of services there.

We hear all too often that usually public defenders are attuned to the state and cant act much on behalf of the defendant.  But, sometimes you find a good public defender, but its hard to leave such a thing to chance.

In one of my cases, I had a good public defender on my side and I actually won a case with them.  Unfortunately, soon after the trial I relapsed, just like the public defender warned me about.  The relapse happened because I was addicted to psych-meds and no body explained that to me.

At these mental hospitals that we have around us, there should be classes for the patients, explaining to them that if they have taken psychotropic medications for one year or more, that they have become
greatly addicted to the drugs and will relapse if they quit the medication.

Also, there should be classes for the patients to attend which would be focused on how the institution may be harming them, as a safe place for them to come together constructively and vent their complaints and concerns.

At our mental institutions the patients who believe in psychiatry should be separated from the patients who don't believe in it and each type of mental patient should be taught how to negotiate the system according to their individual needs and not the medical model.

Also, there should be activities and classes for atheist-mental patients who don't believe in the twelve step programs nor the church or other religious circles.  Classes, which may focus on just some simple models for behavior and basic meditation, as needed.

I my self am neither an atheist or Christian and in custody, the religion areas were typically like what some people call a prison church or a racist sweat lodge.  Institutions as described in my other stories tend to be religious places and I had neutral results thereof.

As well; I found there to be a strong push against the mental patients to attend Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, when such a thing should be a choice and not a prerequisite for outpatient treatment. A lot of non 12 steppers such as staff, insisted on me to attend 12 step programs when they their self were non-believers and on top of that, they had me addicted to their designer drugs (psych-meds).

We as a society need to have places for the displaced mental patient to go to.  We need a much more progressive form of psychiatry for the patients who don't believe in it. How about clinics and group homes for mental patients who will take some medication, but with a focus on attending college and for the person to get a job.  How about we start 'giving,' voluntary and reasonable doses of meds to the non-believers who are hooked (addicted), so they can move on in life?

Why are neuroleptics still used?  (See the Affidavit of Robert Whitaker and the articles by BG Charlton of The School of Biology, UK,  "Why Are Neuroleptics Still Used.")  Its so strange that neuroleptics are used as punishing-behavior modification tools, in place of a host of alternative treatments such as basic respect.

Once a mental patient is tormented with neuroleptic medications (See the Physicians Desk Reference 2000-2014), we hardly ever see them regain their life.  Especially if they are still taking neuroleptics.
These types of antipsychotic drugs are:  Risperdol, Haldol, Prolyxen and Thorazine, (I think my spelling is off).

Diagnosing someone with a mental illness doesn't do anything about the mental illness.  Also, usually the first experience people have with psych-meds is usually in the throes of a perceived crisis and are
subsequently forced to take injections of neuroleptics.  This is why so many mental patients don't do very well.  So, the stigma of a mental illness isn't doesn't really stem from the illness itself but rather the treatment for it.

When you force somebody to take psych meds or if the drugging is coerced then, this is where we see the conflict and relapses.  How can you get on some respectful and sustainable meds, if the psychiatrist their self doesn't care about that and doesnt have to care about it?

While in the confines of state hospitals, I met a lot of people who were there but claimed they didn't do a crime.  One guy was caught with a simple and small swiss army knife at a KMart and he was
arrested for that.  Another guy claimed he was abducted by the police from his apartment and was being kept without a trial.

Some of the offenders had a crime of violence.  Most of them had petty charges.  But, neither of the above deserve to be tormented with a bunch of fear and intimidation games surrounding the issues of forced drugging, which is basically a chemical lobotomy and shock treatment.  At least half of the people who take neuroleptics especially, tend to have shaking of the limbs.  So, that's like electro shock therapy.

While I was under the duress of forced Haldol, my limbs shook severely.  My head was tilted to the side for a while and I could barely keep my eyes open.  After a while some of the effects went
away, but the shaking and pain continued.  While under that duress, I typed about a 500 page writ of habeas corpus.  My hands shook really bad, but I persevered and was released.

Most people say that a mental patient can never be anything in life. Such as a doctor, scholar, merchant or other business professional. Although there is the stigma and the acquisition of class is limited for a mental ill, it still isn't true, that the person cant be a success.

Believe it or not, all mentally ill people are either as smart as me or they are more intelligent.  Its just that they don't show it, because they are afraid.  Believe it or not, deep inside someone who
seams to be very shy, mentally ill and not have any goals or articulation, rests a brilliant mind exactly like a normal person.  I'm serious about that too.

The remedy to their malady is to simply get them involved in their legal remedies, complaint process and to open the view just enough for them to see that they are exactly like everyone else.  Most of them wont do that though, for fear that medication will be used against them as a deterrent to their legal choices and alternative options.

Take me for example.  I never completed not one grade in school.  I do not have a high school diploma.  I could hardly read, write and do math until I was about thirty years old.  I have a good work history. But, I don't have certificate in anything and no formal training for a trade.

I used to be one of the worst mental ills you ever saw.  I didn't have any goals.  But, most importantly; I didn't believe in myself.  What made me change was the mentoring of other mental patients who got well and took me under their wing and told me what was really happening to
me and what I could do about it.  That's all it takes.

Thanks again for giving me a place to share. Keep going in the direction which will make your life better. Don't do anything to make it worse.

Nicolas Gambs.

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