Forced diagnosis is incalculably damaging


I experienced a time of withdrawal and emotional turbulence in my mid twenties. I had a difficult relationship with my family at the time who were not able to accept or understand what was happening to me and consequently referred me to psychiatric services against my wishes. As the interference of my family was unwelcome so was the interference of services at their request. So began an episode of oppression and coercion that dominated my life for the next ten years. I have found that being admitted to hospital and labelled psychotic is an extremely traumatic experience, directly resulting in, for me, for years, almost complete lack of hope and self respect. The process of erosion of a persons pride and self worth is real, and I believe a direct result of the system and the medical model and occurs despite the good intentions of some mental health workers. When schizophrenia is equated with a degenerative brain disease it is obviously a very depressing situation to be in. As the evidence for this being the case is highly debatable and entirely unproven it is grossly unethical to foist such a situation on people as if it were scientific fact. I have found a recovery for myself, which is on going, to be possible due to a number of factors, including, being listened to by another and my experience understood by them. In brief I have found the medical (and forced) diagnosis to be incalculably damaging. I hope we can manage to develop more humane ways of dealing with people suffering from distress as many people are being seriously harmed by the current system, as I think is becoming increasingly obvious.