Volunteer opportunity: Organizing Phoenix Rising articles
This section contains all the articles that have been published by Phoenix Rising over the years. As you will see if you browse here, some of the articles are outdated--either the research has been superseded or retracted or the article features an event or campaign that is now in...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Healing the rifts between mental health workers and psychiatric survivors (CFS mentioned)

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Tom Kindlon, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member


  2. Mary

    Mary Forum Support Assistant

    Southern California
    I'm not sure what to think about this. Spandler says in part:

    She seems to be saying there is mistreatment of ME/CFS patients, but at the same time states there is a body-mind connection resulting in ME/CFS - so apparently it is all in our heads, but we have not been treated properly by the shrinks?

    The idea of "healing" this "rift" makes me feel kind of crazy - it's like you get mugged by someone, and then are asked to "heal" the "rift" between you and the mugger (psychiatry).

    I guess she's well-intentioned but her thinking seems rather muddled.
  3. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

    Cornwall, UK
    I was trying to think how to describe my feelings about this, then you did it for me :) Exactly.

    I don't even want an apology from them. I just want to hear that they're gone, out of our lives, their attempt to redefine an illness out of existence consigned to history.
    Sea, lemonworld, Solstice and 8 others like this.
  4. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

    Get their toxic influence out of our lives. We have enough problems to deal with.
    Sea, lemonworld, Solstice and 7 others like this.
  5. Webdog

    Webdog Senior Member

    As a "psychiatric survivor", I'd like to tell my story.

    Recently a neuropsychiatrist, after extensive cognitive testing, actually apologized for how I've been treated by the psychiatric profession.

    She verified that, in fact, I don't actually have primary major depression, or attention deficit disorder, or borderline personality disorder(!), or dementia, and validated my various debilitating neuro symptoms.

    I was floored. No psychiatrist before had ever apologized or even believed my neuro symptoms and PEM were real.

    Decades of psych misdiagnoses. Forced lockup following bad responses to new psych treatments. Forced ECT. A decade of exercise therapy combined with various stimulants. 30+ mostly ineffective psych meds, often with intolerable side effects (including seizures, hallucinations, and constant anxiety attacks).

    It's quite obvious inappropriate psych treatments and an unmanaged crash/remission disease cycle have resulted in permanent neurological damage, cognitive deficits and liver damage.

    When you are sucked in to the black hole of childhood psych misdiagnosis, it's virtually impossible to ever dig your way out and get actual medical care.

    Fortunately, my primary care doctor took the time last year to read the Institute of Medicine report, and now sees that pacing, antivirals and LDN relieve my symptoms/help my mood more than any antidepressant.

    Healing the rift? I doubt I'm capable of that much forgiveness. But I'll work on it.
  6. JohnCB

    JohnCB Immoderate

    I think Helen Spandler is trying to deal with the wrong stage of the problem. There is no point trying to wash the blood off the road until the car accident victims have been removed from the scene to the hospital or the mortuary as necessary. With psychiatry, as in motorway madness of old, vehicles are still smashing up in the fog and new victims are still dying. You cannot have restorative justice until the source of the injustice has been quelled. You cannot have truth and reconciliation until it is recognised that there is truth to be revealed. In South Africa, they introduced the truth and reconciliation system after the apartheid system was dismantled, people could talk in relative safety, and both sides of the old system recognised there was a need for reconciliation.

    At present what we need is a way of understanding that there is institutional bullying and it largely continues despite the hand wringing. Bullying was endemic in schools. First it had to be recognised and it had to be recognised that teachers were also part of the problem with their arcane punishments. First teachers were reined in, then the teachers were in a position to rein in the worst of the pupil population. There is still a way to go but the injustices were recognised and controls put in place.

    It is a similar situation with institutionalised sex abuse. First it needs to be recognised that there is a problem, and secondly that it is possible to put in controls to protect people. Perhaps the government enquiry will eventually go some way towards this, but it is still a case of recognised that there is a truth to be revealed. Perhaps in time there can be reconciliation and healing, but not yet. People like Anne-Marie Ellement are still dying but at least her case has shone a light in.

    Psychiatry is nowhere near that. It is still a situation of the victims shouting into the darkness and deaf ears choosing not to hear. As with the other cases it is a form of bullying, and it is not trivial bullying. All of these things come out of severe power imbalances. Medicine, especially in bureaucratised medicine, whether that is NHS style socialised medicine or insurance based corporate institutions, has a huge power imbalance, and within that psychiatry is even worse. That is what needs to be addressed. Perhaps UN and other human rights organisations recognise that there is a problem of some kind, but government doesn't and the legal system doesn't. Psychiatry is a wonderful playground for the arrogant and the bullying. They are given huge power to manage themselves and they are given a level of control over individuals that would simply be illegal in any other field.

    That is where Helen needs to start, but she is on the inside. She cannot see the overall picture. I wish her well in any attempt to improve matters, but I think that as a PhD rather than an MD she will find that she too is largely powerless.
    Sea, OhShoot, Solstice and 15 others like this.
  7. trishrhymes

    trishrhymes Senior Member

    Thank you @Webdog for sharing your experience. Once again I am appalled at the torture inflicted in the name of medicine.

    Thank goodness you have at last found sane doctors.

    Love and hugs. :hug:
    Mel9, Webdog, Snowdrop and 3 others like this.
  8. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

    Yea, I get the same feeling when I read statements about how "trust has been lost" between CFS patients and the medical profession. Patients shouldn't have to work to gain the trust of their doctors. That should be implicit in the relationship. Its doctors need to work to gain the trust their patients. The trust burden is entirely on them.

    Those statements should read "the medical profession needs to regain the trust of patients".
  9. lauluce

    lauluce as long as you manage to stay alive, there's hope

    they are not yet ready to realise they mistake, give them a century of two, IF PSYCHIATRISTS STILL EXIST BY THAT TIME
    Sean and Mary like this.
  10. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

    I get the feeling this lady is out of her depth. She seems to have little or no insight into the realities of mental illness and the treatments that actually work - sometimes not the cuddliest ones.She may be right on the psychiatrisation of ME but surely what we need is some common sense and admission of incompetence, not healing after more screwing up?
  11. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

    I was reminded of all this watching Paranoia on Netflix the other day. (alert; spoiler coming). The villain is a shrink who really uses his self-proclaimed knowledge of people's psyches to manipulate and control. Whenever someone in the village tries to question him, he turns it around on them by suggesting they are becoming upset or paranoid and clearly need urgent treatment.

    Sounds kind of familiar, doesn't it?
  12. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Here is my reading of this: psychiatry has attempted to reduce organic disease to mental disease and this has resulted in neglect and abuse. I think its just worded badly.
  13. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards Senior Member

    I thought that at first, but I think that 'here' at the beginning is doing a lot of work. I think it's a specific, rather than general, application about the "complex interplay" waffle.
    sarah darwins and Valentijn like this.
  14. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

    South Australia
    Note, that the current president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (referred to in the quote in Tom's Tweet) is none other than SW.
  15. Solstice

    Solstice Senior Member

    That quote you're quoting immediately made my mind go to the stanford prison experiment to be honest. Allthough what you say sounds familiar too.
    Valentijn and Woolie like this.
  16. Luther Blissett

    Luther Blissett Senior Member

    Yorkshire, England
    Opened the article, did word search for consent, no results, closed page.

    It's that simple for me.

    Until Psychiatry gives a damn about consent, how can its victims 'heal a rift' ?

    What would we say about a normal person who ignored consent for money ?

    I'm so sorry you had to endure that hell @Webdog :hug: , and hope you can find the best way to deal with it possible.

    @Solstice , you might be interested in this critique of the Stanford Prison Experiment, and Erich Fromm's criticism of it.


    Erich Fromm

    Woolie, OhShoot, Comet and 3 others like this.
  17. Webdog

    Webdog Senior Member

    This thread got me thinking about one of my least favorite past psychiatrists, and I dug up this old news item about him.

    Fortunately, I was neither of the patients mentioned in the article.

    I do suspect the rifts here are impossible to heal.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page