My heart goes out to anyone experiencing withdrawal but especially those surrounded by unsupportive judgemental people, and those who are so ill they can’t work and are struggling to navigate a heartless and cynical ‘benefits’ system. Denial and minimisation make it even more difficult for people to access help, support or seek understanding. Their only crime is to have experienced difficulty from a prescribed treatment, yet they are treated as medical pariahs.
Psychiatric diagnoses have far-reaching consequences for every area of your life: welfare, employment, health and travel insurance, physical and mental health assessment/treatment, adoption rights, and social stigma, to name but a few. Yet they are just subjective opinions with no scientific basis and can change over time.
We live in a society where academia is our measurement of good parenting. Teaching good relationships to encourage our children to develop empathy and manage their emotional regularity is rarely considered. Parents assume that children ‘glean’ this information and don’t identify our society’s individualism and consumerism as the main culprits in causing our ‘mental wealth crisis’.
The workshop was a very powerful experience as we were faced with the immense pain of the stories of indigenous Australians, compounded by psychiatric imperialism. We were also reminded once again that like the Māori and Pacific Islanders, First Nation Australians have an awareness of community, spirituality, identity and connection to the natural world that has been disastrously eroded in Westernised countries, with profound impacts on all aspects of our wellbeing.
I have no doubt that New Zealand’s major Government inquiry into mental health will result in some real improvements, but it seems likely to fall short of a fundamental challenge to the diagnostic approach. Nevertheless, if the Power Threat Meaning Framework can help a move in that direction, I and the other authors will be delighted. In the meantime, I will always value the lifelong connection that has now been forged with the marae at Manawanui.
In the interest of the patients who are currently experiencing withdrawal reactions and the many more who will suffer withdrawal effects in the future, we need to end this “war”. Academic psychiatry must address these problems and conduct thorough research on withdrawal reactions.
Having one’s rights and freedoms removed is inherently degrading, no matter how nicely or correctly the procedures for enforcing and managing those removals are implemented. When one’s ability to act autonomously and in personally meaningful ways is significantly undermined for an extended period of time, it is soul destroying, and for me, it certainly contributed to my escalating mental distress.
Conscientious Objection to Coercive Treatment: An Opportunity for Mental Health Professionals to Oppose the...
We urgently require action that will grab media attention, jolt us out of our collective apathy and act as a catalyst for us all to question why we collude with legalised discrimination against those unfortunate people tagged with a ‘mental disorder’. Psychiatric nurses conscientiously objecting to forced psychiatric treatment would potentially achieve these aims.
In parts of Wales in the UK, one in six adults takes antidepressants and support for anyone struggling with dependence or withdrawal issues is patchy and inconsistent. To help draw attention to these issues, an awareness day was arranged for the Welsh Government and here we provide video of the presentations made at the Senedd in Cardiff, Wales.
I felt compelled to write this account of my experiences as a mental health nurse. All identifying details have been changed. However, this is a true account of the conversations I had and the people I met. I believe it needs to be heard. It’s been three years since I completed my training to be a mental health nurse. During the course, my time working on hospital wards and within community teams shocked and disturbed me profoundly.