It took me a long time to realise that I was being gaslighted. In fact, I had no word to describe the experience until years after I had finally escaped, when I came across the term by chance. What is worse, whenever I talk about my past relationship now with friends in my new life, I am horrified to discover how common manipulative relationships are.
In almost any other situation, pinning people down and injecting them would be cause for investigations and criminal charges. The perpetrators would be seen as aggressors. Those who fought back would be seen as courageous. Those who accepted their fate would be understood. We would draw a line.
We urge the BPS to consider the implications of proposals to grant psychologists prescribing rights. Specifically, we note that uncritical use of diagnostic language and assumptions in the field of mental health begs crucial questions about the nature of distress, while potentially contributing to the overuse and misuse of psychiatric drugs. We are also concerned about further restricting the right of service users to be offered a choice of understandings and approaches, especially in the field of mental health.
It’s World Mental Health Day as we publish this. On this day, while we think of how it is good to talk and that 1 in 4 of us (at least) will experience mental health problems, let’s try to remember some other people too. Let us try to remember the people for whom we pay £200,000 a year to keep out of sight and out of mind. Let us consider whether life at all costs is worth forcing people to live in hell. Let us ponder whether our care can harm people.
The English National Hearing Voices Network (HVN England) is publishing an alternative report, today, to coincide with the launch of the government's report on its Review of the Mental Health Act.