My name is Dustin and I live in Michigan. When I was seventeen years old my mother put me in a psychiatric hospital called Forest View. The abuse I felt violated me to the core! I felt like I was being raped having to submit to all the rules, the bullying and the emotional abuse. To have your dignity removed when you are an innocent patient and just want genuine, kind, gentle care, and get unprofessional jerks who you can tell are fake and just care about getting paid is a horrible experience. If anything it only caused me more traumas with the trauma that I already had. I am now twenty-two years old and live on disability while also living my life as a hermit because now I am afraid of people due to the awful treatment I endured. I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder by a REAL professional at the age of eighteen. I now have no social life and it sucks, it really does…
I know it really sucks. I’ve been there and it’s awful.
Here’s my prescription for recovery:
- Focus on what you may need to do in order to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep–without drugs–is healing.
- Exercise. This will “change your mind” and also improve your sleep.
- Eat healthy. No junk food–cut out most sugar, salt and fat. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Develop your spirituality; find God, in whatever form you conceive.
- Connect with nature–walk, garden, go kayaking, whatever. Become grounded in nature.
- Do something creative–write poetry, paint, make pots. The creative process brings together your intellect, emotions, spirit and memory and knits them into a whole.
- Serve others. Do something that is of value to the community.
It will take you about three years to develop these seven steps as a lifestyle. Pick one to start on today, then gradually take actions in the other areas as they appear to you. Also, as you move forward in healing, gradually reduce your medications. Your medications may prevent you from recovering, so reduce your drugs as soon as possible.
What you say about what happened to you is absolutely true. I’ve been there; I know you’re right. Now, the only path for you is to take the job of recovery as your own; the psychiatric industry isn’t going to help.
The diagnosis of borderline personality disorder is bullshit; don’t worry about it. During the years I spent as a “psychiatric patient,” I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, major depression, narcissim, paranoid schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and a bunch of other stuff. What I actually had was immaturity, bad parenting, and over-medication.
I took antidepressants every day for twenty-six years. The damage from the drugs has left me catheterized, in a wheelchair, and on a breathing machine. My body was wrecked by the drugs. You are young; you still can protect yourself. Do not take drugs. Emotional healing comes through contact with emotionally healthy people (which, as you know, does not include people who work on inpatient psychiatric units) and through spiritual maturity. Find God. He’s there and he created you; he knows what you need.
There are certain steps through the psychiatry system.
- The first step is trusting them—the doctors, social workers, nurses and aides—and believing what they tell you: you are sick. Your sickness is inside you and cannot be cured. The best you can hope for is some kind of life based on taking drugs.
- The second step is discovering that the people who work in psychiatry are not very nice. Most of them are unkind, judgmental, power-hungry and financially greedy. They have created systems and social orders that are destructive of human growth. With this goes the discovery that the drugs don’t work. They also prevent you from growing as a person.
- The third step is extricating yourself from the control of the psychiatric system—getting off drugs and renouncing the authority of psychiatrists.
- The fourth step is spreading the alarm about the dangers of psychiatry and trying to fix the broken psychiatric system.
- The fifth step is getting a life that is so interesting and fulfilling that you get bored with the whole psychiatric thing and stop paying attention to it.
Any one of the first four steps can take anywhere from a year to several decades. Many people become stuck in one of these stages and never move out of it.
I am writing this today because I am in stage five: issues of psychiatry no longer interest me. I have become a Citizen with a capital C. My concerns are the interrelationship between God, Caesar and the citizen. What is power? Who has it? How should it be used by those who govern and those who are governed? In short, what the heck is wrong with the country and how do we fix it? I refer you to my other blog, http://annecwoodlen.wordpress.com/about/ .
This blog, “Behind the Locked Doors of Inpatient Psychiatry,” tells the stories of what I suffered from psychiatry—not my “mental illness” but the dangerous and damaging things that were done to “treat” my mental illness. It covers a time period from my first therapist in 1960 to my last psych meds in 2001. It is, in fact, the story of a life lost to psychiatric treatment.
I stopped writing for this blog in July 2012, nevertheless, it continues to receive an average of 70 hits a day. Apparently I have written well and wisely for the ages. Now I’m officially quitting: I have things to do that are more important to me.
In the twelve years since I stopped taking psychiatric drugs, I have given speeches, done interviews and written tons of stuff to educate others about how emotional distress should and should not be dealt with. I will always be available to answer questions and speak from what I have learned, but I no longer will actively pursue issues of psychiatry.
I have a life now. I have moved beyond recovery to the point where psychiatry no longer matters.