April 23, 2011

Feedback on the State of Psychiatry

Sharing about my psychiatric history has been cathartic in itself. I've shared in my Emotions Anonymous communities, too and may share it at my meeting tomorrow. One member already wrote me privately and I thought her response to my share might help others. Nothing like removing the stigma that keeps us alone in our suffering. I thank you Robin for giving us an even longer perspective through your own family's story today. 

Hi Smitty,

Your share is so moving. It is such a blessing that you found EA and found your voice and left the psychiatrists behind that were so inept at working with you and really trying to understand you and your experiences.
Your share took me back to the fall of 1976, my first semester at the 4 year university I attended (as a transfer student, so it was my 3rd year of college). I declared a social welfare major and part of the required course work was a "practicum" of a few hours each week. I was at the local state hospital on  a locked ward, no less. Mind you, my only personal experience with such a facility was when the state hospital where I grew up did a wonderful fireworks show each year that I went to with my family several times. I'll never forget viewing the hospital "inmates" who were leaning out their windows to try and watch. In addition, I had literally grown up with a description of my maternal grandmother's "break" during her menopause journey which led to ECT. One day they didn't strap her down and she broke both of her shoulders. My mother, age 16 at the time, had to take care of her for that summer, including all manner of personal care. This story set the "stage" for my introduction to mental health issues. I was just rebellious enough due to the rigidity and control employed by my parents that I chose a profession that opened my eyes to the inhumanity of it all. Thank God for that.
My purpose with sharing this is that I want you to know how deeply I feel for you and all people who spent/spend time in a setting such as that without a voice and the ability to direct care and recovery. I do know that in this state (and most I imagine) the mental health laws have changed dramatically in regard to holds and the like.However, the profession of psychiatry has degenerated from what I've read into a pill pushing, automated assembly line one-size fits all process.
Hugs and blessings to you in every step you take farther away from  your experiences with that setting that did not allow you a voice.


  1. awww! I LIKE robin! Thanks for sharing her letter!

  2. Robin is a gem. I am glad she gave me permission to share her thoughts with you all...

  3. Thanks for sharing that. A great letter from Robin.


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~