For me, this documentary raised so many issues beyond Tony’s individual story. I was deeply touched by his honesty and I sincerely hope he is now getting the trauma-informed support he has needed since he was a desperate, terrified 8-year-old boy more than half a century ago. But it also raises wider concerns.
Since nothing good ever comes of pouring petrol upon a blaze, it is the duty of any mental health professional to avoid attacking, silencing or misrepresenting those they purport to serve, especially when such people have passed through our service. But the anti-psychiatry tag is increasingly being used indiscriminately to do those very things.
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.