I survived the mental health system.
I have been verbally/physically abused by nurses, therapists, ER personnel, psych techs, and obviously psychiatrists. A lot of people have been, but they keep quiet about it. The repercussions of trying to tell a mental health professional that abuse occurs within the psychiatric system are monstrous. I have endured a decade of systematic torture. As a result, I’ve developed the symptoms of PTSD, for which I could never afford therapy. Instead, I process things by writing about them.
Revenge? Or Rebellion?
Feelings of revenge are a natural response to trauma. In a study of 96 individuals with PTSD, the severity and repetition of traumatic thoughts surrounding the traumatic event predicted the severity and repetition of thoughts of revenge. Intrusive thoughts were a better predictor than perception of the perpetrator’s being punished for their actions. (Kunst, 2011).
In other words, it might not matter if the abuser is brought to justice; I’ll still be thinking about getting revenge. Should that keep me from fighting this fight? I think many civil rights movements have begun with trauma, and thoughts of bringing the perpetrators of abuse to justice.
Thoughts of revenge have triggers. I take refuge in learning more about my actual conditions: Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy and PTSD as opposed to the diagnoses that have been thrown at me over the years to make me go away: Bipolar Disorder, mania with psychosis, ADD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Tourette Syndrome, Dystonic reaction to medications, Borderline Personality Disorder, and of course attention-seeking. Learning the truth, while self-healing and constructive, is triggering. I feel rageful, indignant, hopeless, and empty (uncared for).
Maybe it’s unrealistic to expect compensation for what I’ve been though. But people spill coffee in their own laps and get to sue McDonald’s for it.
Letter sent to a medical malpractice attorney:
I think I have a case for malpractice/medical error with Poudre Valley Health’s ER dept.
I have a history of “mental illness” which has been recently identified as being neurological in origin; i.e. I have Myoclonic Epilepsy. I presented frequently at the ER feeling “confused, shaky, and anxious,” and was even taken to the ER by ambulance for “acute dystonia,” and presented often with suspected Autism. Epilepsy was not suspected and I was treated for “psychiatric” conditions.
When released, I had a seizure while driving and got into a very serious car accident, of which I have no memory. I was given another psychiatric evaluation at the ER and taken to a behavioral unit. Although my car was totaled and I face litigation for the property/bodily injury incurred from this accident, PVH ER records indicate the MVA as “minor with minimal damage to vehicles and no injuries.” I was also convicted of reckless driving.
Is this a case for medical error due to mis-diagnosis?
Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy
Delays in diagnosis are common, often until a generalized tonic-clonic seizure brings the child to medical attention. Ignoring the myoclonic jerks is commonplace. Suspect JME in any adolescent driver involved in a motor vehicle accident when the driver has no memory of the event, but did not sustain a head injury.
Clinical Pediatric Neurology: A Signs and Symptoms Approach (2009) by Gerald M. Fenichel
Imagine if we had a voice; What would we say?