08. The State

The State

 

The State and psychiatry are intricately linked.

 

It is no coincidence that a high proportion of female prison inmates have reported histories of sexual abuse.  Many also carry the label BPD.  The legal implications of having a “personaility disorder” as opposed to other “mental illness” is that whilst a personality disorder can be a mitigating circumstance is can not be used as a defence (as say schizophrenia).  There is a “lock em up and throw away the key” attitude to female victims of childhood trauma “criminal” behaviour.  I believe closer attention should be paid to the causes of such women’s anger and “disturbed” behaviour – could it not be that their particular reaction to childhood trauma has become criminalized?

 

Even for those that do not get into trouble with the law (most do not!) there is a clear link between the state and psychiatry.  In order to gain access to disability benefits for mental illness in this country you have to have a psychiatrist who will support your claim.  Not only are the forms horrendously long (a 70 page claim form is not uncommon, and due to the lack of understanding of trauma issues the need to appeal DWP refusals of benefits are not uncommon causing further delays and financial stressors), complicated and incredibly stressful to cope with, but the fact is that no matter how well you cope with filling out the forms your financial situation ultimately lays in the hands of the all powerful psychiatrist.   

So whilst dealing with PTSD, and more often than not coping with a misdiagnosis you have throughout this the horrendous added stresses of bureaucracy of Kafkaeque proportions.  The bureaucracy of gaining benefits, and disability rights along with possible court cases to report abusers or claim your rightful compensation is a full time job.  Days are filled with endless form filling, letter sending and dull legal appeals, research and wranglings. All this on top of PTSD!!! 

 

Surely, it can be seen that psychiatry is nothing more than another form of policing.  It’s about behavioural control that masks the need for social change.   Psychiatrists work for the state; they do not work for their patients. 

 

Psychiatry in its current mainstream form acts as social control and behavioural modification, where people’s justified and rational responses to horrific child abuse is pathologised and stigmatised and then “treated” with toxic psychiatric medication which dehumanises the individual.

 

Even the talking methods of psychotherapy currently available in our country are no more benign because again may focus not on where the pain came from in the first place but on why it is important for a person to change their so ‘irritating’ or ‘irrational’ behaviours.  They must conform. 

 

In our society the result of not conforming to psychiatry is a) financial ruin – you cannot access benefits or DLA or legal compensation without a psychiatric report.  And b) Social exclusion – many friends and family unable or unwilling to cope with distressed behaviours reject “loved ones” if they do not seek “professional advice”.

 

However it is ironic because a vicious cycle is created because by its very nature contact with psychiatry increases a) financial ruin – the re-traumatisation and debilitating psychiatric medication often leaves people permanently unemployed and thus also b) these unemployed people are left isolated and without structure, colleagues or the social status that comes with employment.  Self esteem is damaged and the cycle deepens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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