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.
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.
Our system fails because it colludes with social structures that themselves generate harmful ways of being in the world. The sector at best sedates these states while at the same time exonerates harmful social arrangements by over-emphasising the so-called internal and disordered causes of structural distress.
Every year thousands of medical students go through and we explain to them the risks associated with certain drugs. Why is it now when I am saying that maybe my colleagues are underestimating those risks, I’ve been pulled up with complaints?
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.