In memory of my friend Carmel
The first time I met Carmel was before I spoke at a nutritional conference in Dublin. She had been through the psychiatric system and like me she was drug free. She had a profound spiritual sense. She had read ’Soul Survivor - A Personal Encounter With Psychiatry.’ We immediately became friends. Then I thought Carmel had a good life in front of her and that she would be able to remain drug free. She was only in her thirties. But unfortunately because Carmel was labelled ’schizophrenic’ she did not have the freedom to chose her own path. She was incarcerated many times after that and force treated with powerful, mind and body altering neuroleptics. She was force treated in the community when she finally was allowed to leave a Dublin psychiatric institution. She remained for months on end there while she pleaded to be respected as a human being. The more she pleaded the more she was viewed as lacking ‘insight’. The more she pleaded the more she was treated as a child. The more she pleaded the more she continued to suffer the terrible adverse effects of psychotropic drugs which my friends and I witnessed when she came to visit us in Cork.
One of the times Carmel came to visit us was when MindFreedom Ireland had its 10th anniversary. She experienced akathisia very severely then but her will to be with was so strong she wanted to be present. Akathisia is torture. For those of us who have experienced this kind of restlessness, drug induced in body, mind and spirit, we are reminded and can relive past torture when we witness it over and over again in others.
The last time she came to visit me was in December shortly before her untimely death. She was forced to agree to take another neuroleptic by injection and lithium which she took orally. Even though she was decades younger than me she was now finding it very difficult to walk and do the ordinary things necessary to live. As I experienced this at a similar age while drugged it was very clear to me that most of Carmel’s difficulties were indeed drug adverse effects. She wanted to live in a home she could call her own. She did all she could to find one. When she got back to Dublin she rang me soon afterwards with great hope she finally had a strong chance she would be successful. Soon afterwards she was told she could not live independently. I believe this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The problems Carmel found insurmountable were drug induced. Psychiatry misunderstood her, as it continues to misunderstand beautiful people it labels ‘schizophrenic’, while it causes many more problems than it solves. Psychiatry continues to have the delusion it should have the power to force its ‘help’ on others. It harms many people. Carmel did not get a chance to live a life she would like to choose. She was deprived of her humanity. The ‘schizophrenic’ label is built on lies and deception. It deprives those who believe in it and those who receive it of their humanity. Forced treatment is a crime against humanity. While it continues we are all less than human!
P.S. No psychiatrist or ‘ mental health’ professional would have spent the time listening and communicating with Carmel than me!
Loving Creative Children
Today I went to the leisure centre as I do almost everyday for the last 15 years. Good music added to the relaxing experience and I responded in my own way to each song. It was also quiet and easier to enjoy living in the moment.
When I was finished I met two women who had worked in the health business and they both said they would not want to use it themselves! They spoke a little bit about what they referred to as ‘mental health’ and later on one of them was happy with the label' ADD'.
Now I know well that children can be distracted when they are not interested in what is going on and some of them will let adults know if they are not afraid to do so. However every child is interested in learning what they want to know.
I love to learn more everyday but I did not like most of what I was told to learn in school. School as we know it is a perfect tool for expanding the economy. It and the economy like the idea of one size fitting all. Young children especially do not like it but because most of them like to please adults when they are put into a strict control system they tend to follow the rules. When I ask children what subject they like best they will say something they are involved in like art or music. Yet these two subjects are still Cinderella subjects in most schools. Definitely not as important as maths or science!
Babies and young children naturally live in the moment. When they like what they do they cannot be distracted! Yet adults who are very easily distracted find it very easy to label children they don’t understand 'ADD'.
Children have enough challenges in our capitalistic word without adding to their problems while we ‘grown ups’ find it very difficult to live consciously in order to love and understand them.
MindFreedom Ireland challenges the basis of psychiatry.
Psychiatry assumes that mental distress is caused by genetics, brain chemistry or other "bad blood" reasons. That is they feel that the inappropriate behaviour they observe in their patients stems from the body in a mechanistic way. Similar to someone limping because their foot is injured.
MindFreedom Ireland reject that medical model. There is little to no evidence to support the psychiatric view, which is one that is based more on faith than on science. The psychiatric industry's research and practices, which is worth billions to the drug companies, is increasingly being called into question.
Drug companies do much of what passes for research in psychiatry, which presents an obvious conflict of interest. The drug trails are slanted via techniques such as placebo washouts, ghost written research and burying of negative findings. These are established facts, albeit under publicised ones.
In it's day to day practice psychiatry uses a book called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, or DSM, which is devoid of both statistic and diagnostic tests. The so-called 'mental illnesses' that are listed in the DSM do not get there by any scientific method.
It is our contention, along with many leading psychiatrists, that the DSM lists various states of distressed human behaviour and class them as illnesses - rather than classing them as part of the human condition.
MindFreedom Ireland challenges the validity of the DSM labels and the psychiatric model on the basis of them being unscientific and non-medical.
We feel that receiving a DSM label is an infringement of our right to be equal before the law. The problems that lead people to be unreasonable for a particular time in their lives do not necessarily last a life time. However, no matter how sensible and rational people become following their time of emotional and psychological distress, once a label is given, they carry that label to the grave. In a court of law people with a 'mental illness' label can be easily discredited, even if that reflects a state of mind they had in the distant past.
It should be the human right of every adult to be able to decide what is in their own best interest. Doctors are fallible and base their diagnoses on fictitious, non scientific labels based on human behaviour. The way we feel and act cannot be redefined as an 'illness' in need of medical 'treatment'.