Welcome. My name is Pat (female Pat). I am a writer, poet, and newbie mental health advocate. For a long time, I’ve been wanting to talk about psychiatric misdiagnosis and, for lack of a more subtle phrase, psychiatric abuse. Why be subtle? Call it what it is.
I decided to start this blog in part because I’m tired of talking back to the TV or feeling a pit in my stomach when I read anything related to these issues. I believe misdiagnosis and psychiatric abuse are health epidemics that have long gone under-reported. There isn’t a national conversation that I know of going on about these issues. And there should be. How much is mistreatment and abuse in the mental health system costing us both financially and in the loss of human potential and lost lives? I wonder.
This blog is dedicated to personal stories and other creative content, along with news and discussion about psychiatric misdiagnosis and mistreatment in America’s mental health system. As for my credentials. I don’t have a Ph.D or MD after my name. I’m not a professor of or researcher in psychology. My “expert” status is my story, my history in the mental health system. To start, I will post bi-monthly. If I’m on a roll, more posts! Regardless, I hope my posts will bring awareness to these issues and provoke thought and conversation.
If you haven’t already Googled the name of this blog, it comes from the 1940’s classic psychological thriller and personal favorite, “Gaslight.” It’s about a fragile woman, Paula, played by Ingrid Bergman, who is driven to think she has lost her mind by her husband, Gregory (Charles Boyer). Paula is rescued in the end by a Scotland Yard detective (Joseph Cotton) who assures Paula she is perfectly sane. The setting for much of the movie is the fictitious address; Number Nine Thornton Square in London. This seemed like a perfect beginning to this new adventure.
Very interesting, metal health is often swept under the rug. Many people just need a little bit of assistance. I will be following this.
Susan Scott-Hunter said:
Your blog came up when I googled “psychiatric misdiagnosis”. It’s 27 years since my life was ruined be having a psychiatric diagnosis attached to my name and I’m convinced that it was part and parcel of my then boss’s deliberate character assassination following my reporting him for professional misconduct.
A psychiatric diagnosis is a none-sensical thing. Manic depression is no more than a set of symptoms and correctly stated, a syndrome rather than a disease or illness.
I have a condition called Reynaud’s Phenomenon. I first heard about this donkey’s years ago when my best friend’s mother had it. Then it was called Reynaud’s disease, later Reynaud’s sydrome and now phenomenon. Essentially no one knows what causes it. The same applies to manic depression (calling it bipolar disorder does noting to lessen either it’s catastrophic effect on every aspect of one’s life or the stigmatisation). It should be called a syndrome, too.
This might be a first step to rubbishing the diagnosis altogether. In my view, 11 years on from my last involuntary admission to the local acute psychiatric ward, free of psychiatric intervention and drugging, what it is is an idiosyncratic reaction to insupportable stress.
I haven’t stopped to read your other posts just now, but I regard the whole practice of psychiatry to be an abuse of my human rights.
I also see it as part of creeping American colonisation of Europe and the rest of the world, as a hugely profitable scam, a convenient means of silencing dissidence an, because so many long term patients die prematurely, from iatrogenic diseases, as a covert, slow, form of genocide.
What I’m hoping to do in the not-too-distant future is to find a psychiatrist open-minded enough to listen to my account of how I came to get this diagnosis and how it fitted into the persecution I suffered at work until, four years later, I simply walked out and have never since had a job commensurate with my qualifications and experience.
Then I hope to sue for clinical negligence as create a controversy, to make this in to the big issue which as you said is all too often swept under the rug – in England we sweep it under the carpet.
Thank you for reading and sharing your story, Susan. The mental health system is indeed broken and I hope more people will speak up about their experiences. Best wishes. Pat
Herta introduced me to your posts, and as a psychologist who is privileged to practice the gentle art of psychotherapy I’m appalled that words like; mute, objectify, invisible, disappear, as well as failure to be transparent and exercise accountability describe your experience. I’ve read your posts, and look forward to further reads, and connecting with you and your story. I applaud your courage!
Hello Roger. I’m so sorry to have not gotten back to you sooner!! The summer flew by with other things.I have not been posting lately, obviously, or checking in with #9. But I’m getting back into it now and plan to post more so stay tuned! Thank you for reading and for your feedback and kind words. I appreciate Herta turning you onto to #9. Best, Pat
Thank you for responding, Pat, and I look forward to more of your thought provoking posts.