My Life as a Mom

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With 6 happy kids, life can be really fun around here! This blog is dedicated to the joys and sometimes chaos of having a large family. Okay, so it's always chaos around here, but fortunately, it's almost always fun, too!

Friday, July 08, 2005

I took a tour a few years ago at the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). It was shocking, but I know it was all true - that's the worst part. When I was in high school, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" was required reading in my history class - thanks to Mr. David DiCarlo, who was a totally brilliant history teacher.

It was a very difficult book to digest - and by far, the most horrendous parts were those that disclosed the atrocities committed by psychiatrists on the people imprisoned in the concentration camps. I still remember the descriptions of some of these experiments. Totally horrifying, like putting a man naked, strapped to a bed, out in the snow, and seeing how many hours it would take him to die. Or doing this for several hours every day, until he finally died - and recording how many days or weeks it took. In one experiment, they warmed the man up next to a naked female prisoner - and another man was warmed by two naked female prisoners. The psychiatrists wanted to know if the men were more likely to live if they had ONE or TWO women to warm them, after being held in the snow for hours.

It was horrible, but this, I am afraid, is part of the history of psychiatry. It's far more gruesome than Pavlov's dogs, I am afraid. It looks sterile and clean now, but psychiatry does, indeed, have a dark underbelly, even today. Insurance fraud is the least of their crimes.

I knew a woman who was raped by her psychiatrist, under sedation (she happened to wake up during one of the probably many episodes). When she filed a complaint with the APA they refused to take her seriously. They just didn't want to take this guy to task. Years later he was still "practicing medicine", although I wouldn't call it that. (And probably billing insurance companies for his sessions as well...)

Psychiatric rape is not a small thing. It's happened to many women, children, and even men.

When people need help - whether they are suffering from depression, anxiety, postpartum depression, schizophrenia, or dealing with children with ADHD - the last thing they need is abuse at the hands of a psychiatrist. I would have to say this abuse extends to the doling out of harmful psychiatric drugs as well.

Change is definitely needed - and I don't expect that psychiatry, with its roots steeped in human rights abuses - to have any ability to change its ways.

The Citizens Commission on Mental Health is doing an amazing and intrepid job, exposing the crimes of psychiatry to the world. It's not for the faint of heart, but it is so needed!