St. Joseph’s: The Perverse Pathology of Mary Corbliss (Part V)

On December 31, 2010, I began a four-part post about Mary Corbliss.  It is one of the top three posts that readers are going to, so it deserves a final note.

Mary Corbliss was (and probably still is, judging from the number of people searching on her name) a mental health counselor on St. Joseph’s Hospital’s inpatient psychiatric unit.  The position of mental health counselor is entry level.  The only requirement is a college degree; it does not have to be in any subject related to the care of people with diagnoses of psychiatric illness.  No medical training is required.  With the same skill set, you can get a job at Burger King.

Mary was assigned as “my” primary care—a position which she misused and abused due to her own psychopathology.  People who work on inpatient psychiatry are not vetted for their state of mental health.  Both the nursing and management staff permitted the abuse to continue until I was driven out of the hospital by Mary’s mistreatment of me, which I detailed in the “The Perverse Pathology of Mary Corbliss.”

“Perverse Pathology” was written after my discharge, probably in 2002.  I sent it to the director of the inpatient unit.  She replied in a letter of only a few sentences.  Basically, what she said was ‘if anything was wrong, we’ll deal with it.’  There was no further response to me.  There was no acknowledgment of harm done to me, nor was any attempt made to heal me from the damage inflicted while I was inpatient. 

St. Joseph’s is a Catholic hospital.  We are all aware of the Catholic Church’s non-action in regard to the care of people who have been sexually abused by priests.  It parallels their treatment of psychiatric patients.  Inpatient psychiatric staff is not held accountable for the injury they cause to patients.  They operate outside the boundaries of humane treatment.

An experience three weeks ago brought to the surface the post traumatic stress disorder that I have been working out for a decade.  The traumatic stress I suffered was being imprisoned on inpatient psychiatry.  Between 1971 and 2003 I was hospitalized about fifty times.  I have spent about three years of my life locked down on inpatient psychiatry, most of it at St. Joe’s.

Inpatient psychiatry is cruel, demeaning, manipulative, controlling, disrespectful, dehumanizing, vindictive, humiliating, and rude.  Among other things.

The only way you can keep people on inpatient psychiatry is by drugging them.  No one would go there if they weren’t drugged.  I took drugs every day for twenty-six years, based on the psychiatrist’s lie that there was such a thing as a “chemical imbalance” in the brain, and that I had it.  Because I was drugged, I was also suicidal and frequently hospitalized.

I stopped taking drugs ten years ago on April 23, 2001.  In 2002, I was re-hospitalized at St. Joe’s.  With my brain fully conscious and alert, I wrote about hospitalization.  It is a 21-part piece, and includes the excerpt about Mary Corbliss.

Mary Corbliss is not unique.  She and her counterparts run inpatient psychiatry.  She is simply the bitch who was personally visited upon me.  Inpatient psychiatry is full of people like her.

In 2003, I endured my last hospitalization.  (It was precipitated by a near-fatal allergic reaction to a cat, which was misdiagnosed and mistreated, and one disaster led to another.)  I ended up on St. Joe’s inpatient psychiatric unit again.  As I entered the unit, a staff person was coming down the hall toward me.  She was overweight, had short bleached blonde hair, and was wearing scrubs.  She turned her face to the wall and slide past me sideways.

I later found out it was Mary.  Gone were her petite figure, long brown hair, velvet skirts and silk blouses, and confident attitude that she ruled.  I do not know if I had anything to do with her transformation.  I do not know if she ever saw the complaint I filed against her.  I do not know if she was reprimanded or disciplined.

I do know that she is still locked on inpatient psychiatry, and I am free.  Your family and friends will still be subject to her and her kind, who operate behind locked doors and without public accountability.

For the 21-part story about St. Joseph’s Hospital’s treatment of people with psychiatric diagnoses, go to

The 4-part story about Mary Corbliss begins at

Click on the link in the upper right-hand corner to move forward through the pages.

Today is a warm and lovely spring day in Central New York.  The trees are coming into full leaf; the tulips are blooming; the song birds are outside my window—and I have finally overcome the emotional damage done to me by psychiatrists, therapists, “mental health counselors,” and drugs.

It is a good morning.

            Anne C. Woodlen


About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
This entry was posted in Community General Hospital, CPEP, doctor, drugs, Hutchings Psychiatric Center, Inpatient psychiatry, mental illness, NYS Office of Mental Health, patient, physician, psychiatric patient, psychiatrist, psychiatry, St. Joseph's Hospital, Suicide, Unit 3-6, Upstate Medical Center and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to St. Joseph’s: The Perverse Pathology of Mary Corbliss (Part V)

  1. hannah johnston says:

    mary has been at cpep since 2010 and she is pretty with long brown hair and she got her figure back

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