What Psychiatry Has Done for Me
The stigma and discrimination I have had to endure due to my ‘diagnosis’ crushed my spirit and the dreams I had for my life. But the most devastating part of all is how it altered my relationship with my two sons.
In psychiatry’s wake, society continues to deny people their civil rights based solely upon its perception that ‘they’ need ‘help’. But is psychiatric help the answer? I can think of far more kindhearted and empathetic methods and less stressful ways of helping someone cope with a life crisis or distressing situation than locking them up, forcibly drugging them and stigmatizing them with a scarlet letter for the rest of their lives.
Another accounting of the damage / abuse of psychiatry :
The road to hell, they say, is paved with the best of intentions. As a boy of ten, a psychiatrist diagnosed me with a condition then known as MBD (Minimal Brain Dysfunction) which has, in the years since, become what is now known ADHD, I was put on a daily dose of 350mg of Thorazine and remained on it for roughly seven years. Now the possibility that because I was a child, along with three siblings, who had been abandoned by both of his parents before the age of six, sent to live with a psychologically (and sometimes, physically abusive,) grandfather, placed in an orphanage by the age of eight, and separated from his siblings two years later, would have anything to do with the emotional and mild behavioral issues I presented, did not seem to cross her mind. I was an intelligent (IQ of 145) and sensitive child who had experienced a considerable amount oain and disruption in his young life and was a target for bullies in school which led me to become withdrawn from and subsequently rejected by his peers, which led a psychiatrist consulted by my long term psychologist to suggest that I was borderline psychotic (a diagnosis which my therapist, thankfully, didn’t accept.) None of the psychiatrists and psychologists that dealt with my case had intent to do me harm, but their good intentions resulted in my growing into an adult who would never achieve his full potential and who would spend his entire life in social isolation. I went twenty five years without contact with my siblings after graduating highschool and my relationship with them, save the youngest of my two oldest sisters, is tenuous at best. Now, at the age of sixty, with my life winding down, I look back across the years and despair over what might have been if I had never crossed paths with that first psychiatrist.