"I am writing in response to a commentary posted on August 13, by Don B...If you have time it is worth reading as probably at some point in your life, or the life of a friend or relative, you will find it pertinent.
I have had quite a number ( over a span of 30 years) of experiences both inpatient and outpatient in the psychiatric community. You see, I am diagnosed with a mental illness. There are days that it is the bane of my existence. There are days when it is so far back in my head that I don't give it a thought. By the way, maybe of interest here is that I am also an RN and have some professional background in the field of psychiatry. So I am not blind to both sides of the process. Having said that though, most importantly are my personal experiences. That is what I want to address here. Again, I read the commentary in Urban Tulsa by Don B on August 13, who wrote about some seriously thought provoking observations. He is so on point that it is scary to read and know that he is so tuned in to the mental health community of those of us who are unfortunate enough to have this disease of mental illness. There is still a medieval mentality toward those of us who suffer from mental illness regardless of the degree to which we suffer Yes..still in this day and age. And..horrors to the "mentally healthy" community but we are everywhere, in all walks of life. Hey..as an RN I may even be in a position to save your lives one day or at the very least be of assistance! And yet we categorize and mostly denigrate those with mental illness.
Those of us who go inpatient or outpatient to seek help, often get so caught up in the subjective aspect of psychiatry that it is frightening if we stop and think about it. Though think indeed is what we somehow have to do..blocking out the ravages of the mental illness-maintaining some sense of sanity- long enough to be able to think clearly about what we are subjecting ourselves to when/as we enter the system! The system that needs some serious overhauls. There is too much power by those in control to actually make it possible for patients to come out of the system worse than they went in. Missed diagnoses, misdiagnoses, poor medical management, poor client therapists relationships, the list goes on and on. I don't care what the level of education is for nurses, counselors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and on and on, it is seriously flawed. It is akin to a cult..and it is routinely subjective. I don't have the answers. Just beware that if you enter the system you can get sucked into the black hole of psychiatry, and you will never come out the same. Sometimes better, sometimes worse, sometimes neither, but never the same. You must take responsibility ...hold on to your sanity..seek help..but seek it after educating yourself to the system. And if you, or one of your loved ones, is in no condition to take any responsibility for you and your surroundings..and sadly this is often the case... then may God be with you.