I frankly don’t believe in mental illness. It’s not an illness in the way that diabetes is an illness. I believe that it’s just an emotional response to a distressed environment. I feel that mental illness is often misdiagnosed. My mother was misdiagnosed with a mental illness and institutionalized because of her suicidal tendencies. I remember going to visit her at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital, after a while, I felt like I was also a patients. I eventually got legal help to have my mother removed from that hospital to get the proper care. After seeing her doctor, it was determined that she was suffering from Menopause, the Doctor gave a prescription and within a short time she was back to her old self again.
I was shocked after reading the study, regarding the abusive behavior both physically and verbally and the condition of the ward. The patients were also deprived of their legal rights and the right to privacy.
I learned that it’s very difficult to distinguish the sane from the insane in a psychiatric hospital. You could very easily be misdiagnosed as a person with a mental illness, without any further evaluations being done. I personally witnessed the sense of powerlessness, and depersonalized that my mother experienced while she was at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital.
The biggest pitfall in labeling psychiatric patients is that it could create a barrier to what you need to accomplish, either advancement at work, social events, or just the stigma of being a recovering psychiatric survivor.
There is some non-drug, non-harmful medical alternatives to psychiatric drugs. Doctors don’t always inform the patients of these non-drug treatments.
David Rosenhan (1972) ROSENHAN EXPERIMENT - On being sane in insane places http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXp-ANr8jAQ