Sunday, February 11, 2007

We Made it to the Exhibit

Beth and I made finally it to the exhibit titled "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death" on Saturday. Hmmmm... pretty intense - and extreme. Videos were blaring constantly in every corner of the large room. I thought I was "anti-psychiatry," but after seeing that display, I guess I am a bit more balanced. It reminded me of a tabloid news segment by Geraldo Rivera in the 90's. Very dramatic and sensationalized. It wasn't the message itself, but the presentation. Talk about in your face!

The message needs to be heard, though. I remember when I was 15 years old, my family and I watched "Roots" together. I had never been taught a thing about black history, and the series was shocking and eye-opening. The impact of that movie stayed with me for life. Back then, black history was not taught in schools. I never learned about the Holocaust in school, either. The history of psychiatry should be taught, at the very least, to college students, especially those who are entering any helping profession.

People need to know the history of psychiatry. So many of the attitudes and practices are still being used today. People are dying every day from psychiatric abuse. I just saw 60 Minutes where a 21 year old guy who was diagnosed with a mental illness died in prison (the new asylums) at the hands of the prison guards. They restrained him for hours on end -- as punishment -- and he finally died of dehydration right before their eyes. It was all caught on video. Some of the cameras were shot by the guards themselves. Other footage was caught on the surveillance cameras. It was absolutely horrendous. It made me sick.

Deaths happen all the time in mental hospitals but the public doesn't hear about most of them because they are routinely swept under the rug. And the history of psychiatry is also swept under the rug because it supposedly doesn't happen anymore. The truth is, it's happening right before our eyes. Nowadays we have the internet, and we have cameras practically everywhere. Please, please educate yourselves! Learn about what is really going on. The information is just sitting there, waiting for you to find it - and to care. You don't have to go through CCHR (Scientology) to learn about it either. The internet is right at your fingertips. If books are more your speed, I highly recommend "Mad in America" by Robert Whitaker. That was the most profound and informative book I have ever read.

All I can do is my part. And you're reading it.


Anonymous said...

THIS is very important!! Thanks for writing about the 60 Minutes Episode. Maybe folks who didn't see it will check it out on the cbsnews website.

Don Grey said...

Hey - glad you got to see the exhibit. Love your articles and glad to see the actions you are taking. Will be adding you to my links.