A question of power


I was admitted to hospital aged 17 and quickly diagnosed with this diagnosis, too quickly in my opinion. I consistently told the consultants that what I had suffered from was a drug induced psychosis, and my illness was more likely to be bi-polar as my mum, grandmother and other members of my family have bi-polar. I have never heard voices, which is one of the criterias used to determine a patient with schizophrenia, and so I used this fact to try and get my diagnosis quashed. However, consistently the psychiatrists would say 'you don't have to hear voices to have this illness'.

To me it summed up much of my treatment as a young man in the mental health system, it felt like my opinion was invalid, the psychiatrists always knew best even when clearly showing signs of being negligent, and seemingly, at times, even making things up regarding the criteria for this illness as they went along in order to justify their stance and affirm the power they had over me.

After 8 years, with the help of a very good local doctor who supported me throughout this experience, I was granted an appointment with a bi-polar specialist, who said it appeared to him I did indeed have bi-polar. I now take a mood stabaliser instead of just anti-psychotics and have never felt so good. For 8 years I feel I was the victim of gross negligence at the hands of my psychiatrists, and would like to pursue the matter further if there were any half decent law firms willing to challenge the psychiatirc profession in a court of law.