Friday, October 26, 2012

The psychiatric slam-it bin

I go to a lot of Melbourne poetry events and usually read my comic poetry. And, while I get laughs and a good response to this I’ve noticed there are ‘serious poets’ who think I haven’t got anything to say that might make them think, that I’m not doing anything daring, that I’m flippant... I’ve noticed this particularly with slam poets. They’re a pretty serious lot and yes it is becoming a genre, you can pick current slam poetry by its rhythm, tone, angle and length. Slam poets are into activism and human  as well as animal rights and good on them. But, I learnt a while ago that if I’m to get up there and say what my fight is about and the prejudice I’m against, people seem to take a step back and cast me into the bin with nonsense things. In other words, I may as well be doing comic poetry, because at least then, I know I’ll have made the fuckers who want pure entertainment laugh. At least some portion of the audience will be satisfied.

So here it is, my slam poem:

The psychiatric slam-it bin

I don’t want to talk about

This stuff anymore.

I’m wrong, I’m wrong,

I’m so very wrong…

To ever mention

Things on my mind.

My mind, that lost the plot

And got a blast of indifference

In a set up treatment plan

That shut me down,

And brainwashed me into

Continual self-hate stupidity

As I felt my brain switch off

During those doses and doses

That made me dose

And wish it was all over.

I could see no light

When they insisted I’d have to

Take it forever, their medicine

That stuff that made me sick.

I had to agree and be agreeable

To their treatment of me.

Thank them and tell them they're lovely.

But I shouldn’t mention this

Because I’m wrong, so wrong…

I know that’s what some psychiatrists think

And demand I agree

Or else I’m meeting criteria

In section 73 involving electricity

To my, ‘treatment resistant’ body.

My period flows immediately

And doesn’t appear again while I’m addled

By their medical treatments.

I couldn’t get pregnant if I wanted to

On their doses of neuroleptic drugs.

They give ECT to those expecting

Because they don’t want to give

The foetus too many harmful chemicals

That they think are okay to give me.

A few doses of electricity

Are less likely to hurt the baby

Apparently, yes apparently

'It’s quite a peaceful procedure,'

The psych nurse assures me.

'And what can you do

When someone hears voices

That are telling them to harm?

If they kill themselves

Then they will also kill their baby!

What can you do

But forcefully cause their temples

To sting with electric shocks

That make them forget they’re pregnant

And hopefully make them docile

As a cute little pup?'

I listen to the psych nurse

Giving his lecture

I hear a psychologist concede

With his beliefs that don’t

Match well with lived-experience

Of those who rage and complain

That they never want ECT again.

And I hear a command voice

That says, ‘Kill the fucker dead!

He’s advocating torture,

The prejudiced ugly smuck.

See that electrical chord

Plugged in for high voltage?

Cut it in half and take

The live wire to his ugly mouth

And ask him how at peace

He is with feeling that!’

My teeth grit with memories

I bite down the old threats

Onto the insides of my cheeks.

Freaks we are to them.

Those who label us ‘mentally ill’,

Tell us to be good little patients

And keep swallowing their pills

Or they’ll have to drag us in

And stick pricks in our behinds,

Full of the stuff they say is good for us.

It stops us from thinking,

It stops us from creating,

Our anger is squashed,

Our protest is dismissed.

We have to comply,

We have to be

Agreeable to their treatment

Or else, you see.

Medication has its effects…

Can’t really do work on it,

Can’t really talk on it,

Never can drink on it,

Can’t really drive on it,

Can’t get a job on it,

Can’t really read on it,

Can’t remember much on it,

Can’t enjoy sex on it,

Certainly can’t have a baby on it.

There have been cases when

People have gone full term

All dosed up to the fish-eyed stare.

Babies don’t like it though,

Ugly chemicals, really ugly…

Forced on those mothers

Like they’ve been forced on me.

Of course I’m wrong. I’m wrong

I’m so, so wrong… they say.

Society knows they are right.

They make the laws that do

What they think does good.

Tiny little pricks and tiny little pills…

It’s only chemicals in milligrams,

And I’m the one who is the fool.

It’s nothing, it’s ethically sound,

These psychiatric forced treatments.

Sometimes there’s side-effects,

It’s just something on the side,

But if you weigh up the imbalance

Who is listening to who?

‘I mean surely it is better

To drug than to talk things through!

I can’t be bothered with them,

They don’t make sense, that’s the issue.

And surely it is better to have someone

Who is disabled and depressed

Than running around manically undressed?

Because that’s what those sort do,

These mentally ill and who knows

If their neurotransmitters weren’t

Shut down to near zero

By our wonderful medicines,

They may turn psycho killer

As you know these people do.’

That’s not exactly what the lecturer says,

But it’s there in a hint and tone.

I can sense his bleeding heart prejudice

And his promotion of those

Who give him a stance and sponsorship.

And as long as society agrees to his tune,

His volume will be turned up to ruin us all.

The abusive laws will be maintained,

That police those who won’t ever commit crimes,

But have breached the law

By appearing, ‘mentally ill’

Which is enough criteria

For any psychiatric bin

That encloses us within.

I don’t want to go on about it

Or people will start to accuse me

Of being in need of psychiatric intervention.

And that I’m wrong, so very wrong…

Anyway, most people don’t want to know

About the abuse of the abused

Whose coping mechanisms lead to diagnosis.

They don’t want to understand.

They just want to know there is control

Over those who seem strange and give them fear.

They don’t want the unknown to be free,

Unpoliced with its scary possibilities.

Psychiatrists can show prejudice, no problem.

Complain too much about what they do and people can

Pick up the phone and make that call

That’ll have us incarcerated for nothing at all

And on those shut-it-up-shut-it-down drugs

Forced into strait-jackets by a society that could

Be better, if they thought a little more

About what really is happening,

What people with experience are saying,

Instead of keeping up their delusional beliefs

That there’s nothing that can be done

With a person in a waking-dream,

An altered state of consciousness

With unusual sensory experiences,

Except to drug and electrocute them.

That’s seriously unimaginative thuggery!

Of course though I’m wrong,

I’m so wrong and those who

Think I’m wrong are a totalitarian right.

Yep righteous upstanding citizens

Who don’t want to be bothered

Listening to all this, ‘upsetting propaganda

That deprecates psychiatric practice.’

Yep I’m a bitter x-mental patient,

A sick woman dampening pharmaceutical optimism.

I’m riddled with some apparent disease

They intend to find microbial cause for!

I should never be listened to,

Because I got diagnosed schizophrenic

And once you’ve got that, it’s there for life.

When propagating science argues against me

Of course it’s me that’s unbalanced,

Not science, society or the law.

I’m making up stupid conspiracies.

I should keep my bloody mouth shut

Like I did when I was under their order,

Or they might just decide

To lay down their outrageous ‘health acts’

That debilitate and contaminate

And make me fucking irate!

Psychiatric rubbish is something

That needs to be put in the bin,

And people who have been tortured by them

Need society to be listening

And recognising the changes that need implementing.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

‘Not guilty your Honour,’ pleaded the psychiatrist, ‘I mistook my patient for a giraffe.’

You want a lawsuit? You must be kidding. You want to go up against the good doctors? Right. You must be whacko. Well if you’re not now you soon will be. Fighting them can be like banging your head against a brick wall of some elephant enclosure. Get real and slip on a banana peel near a supermarket, then you’ll get compensation, but never from good doctors who have performed ‘duty of care’.  Psychiatrists are akin to police, thought police, consensual reality police... It is very difficult to obtain compensation from forensic police, so you know what are you thinking? You’re not recognising that the public fears those who have ‘gone mad’ and likes them to be put in chemical strait-jackets. So, stop making them feel uncomfortable about what they are doing!

There are cases though. People do try. And they there are very strong cases that lose. However on the winning side, there was an Australian case involving shattered teeth from ECT a friend told me about that I can’t find on the net… And then in the USA, the lawsuit country: A settlement in a case in New York over prescription and negligent monitoring of Haldol resulting in harm to the patient… Improper monitoring of Prolixin by a psychiatrist resulting in harm to a patient in California… Negligent mixing of medications in a state facility in Florida resulting in harm to the patient…

I’m very interested in the cases coming up involving the use of LSD, a ‘grey area’ of psychiatry. I know it was forced on people in Australia. One person who was in hospital during the 1960s – 70s, said he was administered over a hundred tabs of LSD and it wrecked him, frightened him, made him feel worse.

I am also interested in the cases involving newer ‘popular’ drugs Seroquel, Zyprexa and Respiradol, that have a commonality of causing type II diabetes.

I am personally concerned with the use of veterinary drugs, for instance zuclopenthixol acetate. It is given either by deep intramuscular injection or subcutaneously. A total dose of 50 – 100 mg has been used on a number of different free-ranging and captive wild animals, such as me. This acuphase injection resulted in micro-seizures and involuntary movements of the tongue and other parts of my body.

            A lawyer in 2001 said I should never be given it again, told me to write the effects in a letter to him and photocopy one for the hospital. The lawyer said this should stop them from giving it to me again. It didn’t. The next time I was taken to hospital 2008 I was given this cattle tranquiliser, despite informing them against doing so. I was also given it in 2009 and 2010.

            Same effects, of micro-seizures, but different muscles moved involuntarily, luckily not the tongue every time, that was frightening!

            What is also disturbing is that I feel like every time I’ve been injected with this drug I’ve suffered severe memory loss. By that I mean, the ability to remember things, like monologues. See, I was a person who could remember a 90 minute monologue for stage and perform it, no problems. A psychiatrist (Dr L) even came to a performance and witnessed this in 1998 and said I must be better if I could perform like I did. Back then I could remember three hours’ worth of songs and sing them non-stop on top of remembering a 90 minute monologue. I can’t do even a tenth of the kind of memorising now.

            So, do I have a case? No… But, just think about this:

·         Used on cattle via dart to tranquilise: acuphase 50mg

·         Immobilisation of a sub-adult female giraffe for relocation: Clopixol Acuphase

·         Long-acting tranquilisers like Cloxipol Acuphase tranquilise the rhino for three days and assist with long distance transport.

I am an average sized woman of small build. I wasn’t violent in any way. Talk about overkill! I didn’t need to be put to sleep. I didn’t need have my memory harmed, be given Tourette’s Syndrome and Tardive Dyskinesia. Yet psychiatrists have done this to me again and again, despite a lawyer’s letter. It has damaged me over time. And I feel somewhat angry that psychiatrists have the law covering them, as they have done their, ‘duty of care’ by harming me with this ‘standard procedure’.

There are other options that could be used to help people instead of psychiatry’s drugs and ECT. I would like other therapies to be considered next time laws are amended. I want positive solutions. I don’t want to be thinking about how many people are harmed by psychiatrists and never have hope of recovery, who have been crippled because of these treatment regimes.

            What I’d like to happen is for psychiatrists to be liable, for the damage they cause, when they administer a drug. I’d like them to have to check an epage specific to that patient, for known allergies and ill effects to the drugs they intend to administer. I want psychiatrists to take care. And, I think society has to think about these ongoing crimes that don’t receive compensation. Really think about what kind of era we’re living in, that allows this to happen.

            However, if you think that I’m going to bother to lawsuit, I’ll just let you know that I’d rather write another book. I have a possibility of being published and no possibility of winning a case against a pharmacology sponsored psychiatrist, who is following their training and the Mental Health Act as it currently stands. I have no window. But I do think the public has a lot of blind-spots they may wish to address in regards to ‘community treatment orders’ and the power psychiatrists have in forcing things like giraffe tranquilisers on people.

Please sign our petition to stop psychiatric abuse


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chipmunka… publishing first-hand experiences

Chipmunka has just recently published a memoir of mine called, Naked ladies about two psychotic episodes following the death of my father. It’s in ebook at this stage, but will be in paperback in a few months’ time.

            So wonderful it is to find a publisher that wants first-hand experiences of people diagnosed with psychiatric conditions. In Australia, people have some fears regarding attempting to understand people who have delved into the symbolic world of waking-dreams. They seem to worry that it might somehow ‘get them’ too. That the schizophrenia ‘disease’ is contagious by hypnotic suggestions of art from these 'deranged' people.

I studied Professional Writing and Editing at Melbourne’s RMIT University. I got into this course on the strength of something I’d written when I was 22, before I’d experienced what psychosis meant. I knew somehow that what I was writing at age 32, wasn’t going to fit with consensual reality. And, it didn’t.

            I had burning things to say, but I had to think about how to say them, so that the public could be able to read them. Tutors and students really helped me get to this point. I really got a lot out of my time at RMIT.  I realised there is so much ignorance around what happens in psychiatric facilities. There was so much prejudice and that belief that there is no market for is regarded as a ‘dirty tissue.’

            In Naked ladies I was able to take raw material I wrote while in an episode and write it in a way that can be comprehended. This book allows people to understand how I was able to be lured into the fantasy world of waking-dreams that lead to waking-nightmares, not just once, but again, with the same science-fiction themes.

            If you want to understand what it is like to hear voices, or have other sensory ‘hallucinations’ and strange ‘delusional’ belief systems, this book takes you through my journey of this. It’s a fast-paced book. Lots of things happen all at once. Very much what psychiatrists would term, ‘mania’, ‘paranoia’, ‘conspiracy theories’, ‘florid psychosis’, and ‘positive symptoms of schizophrenia.’ There are also breaks in between the ‘psychotic episodes’, where I resume a ‘normal state of being.’

The book also includes illustrations and paintings I did at the time, but it is a decent sized book. I like books to be at least 70,000 words, when they’re not poetry books or novellas.

I hope Australia will start publishing more first-hand experiences about altered states of consciousness that get labelled ‘diseased’ by psychiatrists. There is a growing market for these books. It is peer support. And books like this help people realise that people with lived-experience are not ‘consumers’ and ‘useless eaters’, we are people who have had unusual experiences. These experiences are our coping mechanisms. Yes they are flawed, but how nightmarish they become has to do with how these symbolic manifestations are treated by society. Treat unusual experiences with fear and prejudice and psychiatric torture and what does society expect will happen? A cure? Apparently that is the current belief… But that is not the truth of what’s happening. The truth will be found in books by those who have experienced psychiatric conditions first-hand.
Chipmunka has just recently published a memoir of mine called, Naked ladies about two psychotic episodes following the death of my father. It’s in ebook at this stage, but will be in paperback in a few months’ time.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Diagnosed schizophrenic… so let’s kill the cat

The diagnosis of schizophrenia is the most common diagnosis of all categories in the DSM4. This means that the cause of schizophrenia cannot be put down to just one thing, like a chemical imbalance in the brain caused by toxoplasmosis parasites. But perhaps for some people, cats are the cause. In any case television reports that it is a possibility. But, no way is that how it is for everyone diagnosed with schizophrenia. No way!

                I had a diagnosis of schizophrenia given to me fifteen years ago. I’d experienced three deaths in a short period of time and I was isolated and in an abusive relationship. But that alone wasn’t the cause, it was the trigger. However, I was told it was a chemical imbalance and I must be treated with anti-psychotic medication.

There were scary things that happened in my childhood again and again. There was no real physical violence though. And, the person who was violating my childhood was also very loving and nurturing. However she exploded into suicidal threats due to her childhood trauma for the duration of my childhood and teenage years. This conditioning in childhood has meant that, as an adult, I’ve been triggered into an altered state of consciousness when someone close to me has died.

                So why did I get the label schizophrenic? Because most psychiatrists are really lazy, uncaring and stupidly trained to follow out-dated dogma. A thinking professional would’ve realised what has caused me problems is transgenerational trauma. That is trauma that is passed onto the next generation because there isn’t effective social structure to allow the parent to overcome the abuse suffered , so they can tell their story to their children in a helpful non-threatening manner.

                I blame transgenerational trauma on psychiatrists and their insistence on forcing harmful chemicals on people who don’t want it or need it. Neuroleptics don’t work for people who have experienced trauma, because people who have experienced trauma do not have a chemical imbalance, they are traumatised. So what could my mother do but pour out her sufferings to her children? She would’ve been locked away. She would’ve been drugged. I would’ve had to put up with foster parents who didn’t love me as much as she did, who may’ve put me on drugs if they thought I was behaving too artistically for their straight-laced sensibilities.

                45 per cent of Australian Aboriginal children in foster care are put on psychiatric drugs. That’s horrific racism! There is no way that Australian Aboriginal children have a genetic ‘mental illness’ gene.  More like there is some kind of imbalance in the Mental Health Act that allows this wholesale drugging of children and adults who are most likely suffering from trauma as well as transgenerational trauma, from the genocide that happened in this country!

                I am enjoying learning about the growth of the peer support movement and how there is hope for people like me and parents who have a reasonable fear of medical professionals. I am also learning art therapy techniques that I believe do shift behavioural patterns, well, these things work for me.

                It takes a long time to recover, if you can. For me, I’ve spent over a decade in art based rehabilitation, that was gentle and didn’t push me to quickly move on. This has meant I have been able to learn what I needed to and have developed a consensual reality that also makes sense to me. It’s taken a long time though. I’ve had steps backs where I was taken to hospital and tortured with cattle tranquilisers and heavy doses of neuroleptics. I’ve had times where I’ve lost the plot and said things that I didn’t want to say and only made sense if people understood the symbolic nightmare realm I’d entered into.

                I have been repeatedly given the label schizophrenic by psychiatrists who give that label to anyone who shows symptoms that include unusual sensory experiences such as hearing voices. A better society would not give psychiatrists such a high platform in mental health treatment, when their belief of chemical imbalances are based on bollocks. I’m tired of a society that sits by and lets generations be tortured because of their faith in the cult of psychiatry. Many art therapists train for over ten years in various techniques. So, it’s not about the years studied, it’s about the sponsorship.

                I say let those who want to be drugged by psychiatry, have their drugs, because perhaps they do actually have some parasite causing a cyst in their brain, that’s stressing them enough to cause trauma to the body that induces ‘symptoms of schizophrenia’. However, please, if the drugs don’t work, don’t force them on people and then say it’s their fault for being, ‘treatment resistant’. Besides, when drugs like Abilify have a known side-effect of causing hallucinations, how on earth can they be acceptable? Psychiatry and government law, is not currently making sense. It’s time for them to grow up and become better. As for blaming cats… well pussy down the well.

Not a chemical imbalance protest T-shirts