I don’t think humanity is going to continue to agree to what is government approved torturing of people who have already undergone trauma. I don’t think humanity wants to be inhumane. So eventually those people who have altered states of consciousness and unusual sensory experiences won’t be subjected to a forced psychiatric regime, by the fearful public, who if they were better would never approve of such things as ECT and forced drugging.
I go to a lot of Melbourne poetry events and usually read my
comic poetry. And, while I get laughs and a good response to this I’ve noticed
there are ‘serious poets’ who think I haven’t got anything to say that might
make them think, that I’m not doing anything daring, that I’m flippant... I’ve
noticed this particularly with slam poets. They’re a pretty serious lot and yes
it is becoming a genre, you can pick current slam poetry by its rhythm, tone,
angle and length. Slam poets are into activism and humanas well as animal rights and good on them. But,
I learnt a while ago that if I’m to get up there and say what my fight is about
and the prejudice I’m against, people seem to take a step back and cast me into
the bin with nonsense things. In other words, I may as well be doing comic
poetry, because at least then, I know I’ll have made the fuckers who want pure
entertainment laugh. At least some portion of the audience will be satisfied.
So here it is, my slam poem:
The psychiatric slam-it bin
I don’t want to talk about
This stuff anymore.
I’m wrong, I’m wrong,
I’m so very wrong…
To ever mention
Things on my mind.
My mind, that lost the plot
And got a blast of indifference
In a set up treatment plan
That shut me down,
And brainwashed me into
Continual self-hate stupidity
As I felt my brain switch off
During those doses and doses
That made me dose
And wish it was all over.
I could see no light
When they insisted I’d have to
Take it forever, their medicine
That stuff that made me sick.
I had to agree and be agreeable
To their treatment of me.
Thank them and tell them they're lovely.
But I shouldn’t mention this
Because I’m wrong, so wrong…
I know that’s what some psychiatrists think
And demand I agree
Or else I’m meeting criteria
In section 73 involving electricity
To my, ‘treatment resistant’ body.
My period flows immediately
And doesn’t appear again while I’m addled
By their medical treatments.
I couldn’t get pregnant if I wanted to
On their doses of neuroleptic drugs.
They give ECT to those expecting
Because they don’t want to give
The foetus too many harmful chemicals
That they think are okay to give me.
A few doses of electricity
Are less likely to hurt the baby
Apparently, yes apparently
'It’s quite a peaceful procedure,'
The psych nurse assures me.
'And what can you do
When someone hears voices
That are telling them to harm?
If they kill themselves
Then they will also kill their baby!
What can you do
But forcefully cause their temples
To sting with electric shocks
That make them forget they’re pregnant
And hopefully make them docile
As a cute little pup?'
I listen to the psych nurse
Giving his lecture
I hear a psychologist concede
With his beliefs that don’t
Match well with lived-experience
Of those who rage and complain
That they never want ECT again.
And I hear a command voice
That says, ‘Kill the fucker dead!
He’s advocating torture,
The prejudiced ugly smuck.
See that electrical chord
Plugged in for high voltage?
Cut it in half and take
The live wire to his ugly mouth
And ask him how at peace
He is with feeling that!’
My teeth grit with memories
I bite down the old threats
Onto the insides of my cheeks.
Freaks we are to them.
Those who label us ‘mentally ill’,
Tell us to be good little patients
And keep swallowing their pills
Or they’ll have to drag us in
And stick pricks in our behinds,
Full of the stuff they say is good for us.
It stops us from thinking,
It stops us from creating,
Our anger is squashed,
Our protest is dismissed.
We have to comply,
We have to be
Agreeable to their treatment
Or else, you see.
Medication has its effects…
Can’t really do work on it,
Can’t really talk on it,
Never can drink on it,
Can’t really drive on it,
Can’t get a job on it,
Can’t really read on it,
Can’t remember much on it,
Can’t enjoy sex on it,
Certainly can’t have a baby on it.
There have been cases when
People have gone full term
All dosed up to the fish-eyed stare.
Babies don’t like it though,
Ugly chemicals, really ugly…
Forced on those mothers
Like they’ve been forced on me.
Of course I’m wrong. I’m wrong
I’m so, so wrong… they say.
Society knows they are right.
They make the laws that do
What they think does good.
Tiny little pricks and tiny little pills…
It’s only chemicals in milligrams,
And I’m the one who is the fool.
It’s nothing, it’s ethically sound,
These psychiatric forced treatments.
Sometimes there’s side-effects,
It’s just something on the side,
But if you weigh up the imbalance
Who is listening to who?
‘I mean surely it is better
To drug than to talk things through!
I can’t be bothered with them,
They don’t make sense, that’s the issue.
And surely it is better to have someone
Who is disabled and depressed
Than running around manically undressed?
Because that’s what those sort do,
These mentally ill and who knows
If their neurotransmitters weren’t
Shut down to near zero
By our wonderful medicines,
They may turn psycho killer
As you know these people do.’
That’s not exactly what the lecturer says,
But it’s there in a hint and tone.
I can sense his bleeding heart prejudice
And his promotion of those
Who give him a stance and sponsorship.
And as long as society agrees to his tune,
His volume will be turned up to ruin us all.
The abusive laws will be maintained,
That police those who won’t ever commit crimes,
But have breached the law
By appearing, ‘mentally ill’
Which is enough criteria
For any psychiatric bin
That encloses us within.
I don’t want to go on about it
Or people will start to accuse me
Of being in need of psychiatric intervention.
And that I’m wrong, so very wrong…
Anyway, most people don’t want to know
About the abuse of the abused
Whose coping mechanisms lead to diagnosis.
They don’t want to understand.
They just want to know there is control
Over those who seem strange and give them fear.
They don’t want the unknown to be free,
Unpoliced with its scary possibilities.
Psychiatrists can show prejudice, no problem.
Complain too much about what they do and people can
Pick up the phone and make that call
That’ll have us incarcerated for nothing at all
And on those shut-it-up-shut-it-down drugs
Forced into strait-jackets by a society that could
Be better, if they thought a little more
About what really is happening,
What people with experience are saying,
Instead of keeping up their delusional beliefs
That there’s nothing that can be done
With a person in a waking-dream,
An altered state of consciousness
With unusual sensory experiences,
Except to drug and electrocute them.
That’s seriously unimaginative thuggery!
Of course though I’m wrong,
I’m so wrong and those who
Think I’m wrong are a totalitarian right.
Yep righteous upstanding citizens
Who don’t want to be bothered
Listening to all this, ‘upsetting propaganda
That deprecates psychiatric practice.’
Yep I’m a bitter x-mental patient,
A sick woman dampening pharmaceutical optimism.
I’m riddled with some apparent disease
They intend to find microbial cause for!
I should never be listened to,
Because I got diagnosed schizophrenic
And once you’ve got that, it’s there for life.
When propagating science argues against me
Of course it’s me that’s unbalanced,
Not science, society or the law.
I’m making up stupid conspiracies.
I should keep my bloody mouth shut
Like I did when I was under their order,
Or they might just decide
To lay down their outrageous ‘health acts’
That debilitate and contaminate
And make me fucking irate!
Psychiatric rubbish is something
That needs to be put in the bin,
And people who have been tortured by them
Need society to be listening
And recognising the changes that need implementing.
You want a lawsuit? You must be kidding. You want to go
up against the good doctors? Right. You must be whacko. Well if you’re not now
you soon will be. Fighting them can be like banging your head against a brick
wall of some elephant enclosure. Get real and slip on a banana peel near a supermarket,
then you’ll get compensation, but never from good doctors who have performed ‘duty
of care’.Psychiatrists are akin
to police, thought police, consensual reality police... It is very difficult to
obtain compensation from forensic police, so you know what are you thinking?
You’re not recognising that the public fears those who have ‘gone mad’ and
likes them to be put in chemical strait-jackets. So, stop making them feel
uncomfortable about what they are doing!
There are cases though. People
do try. And they there are very strong cases that lose. However on the winning
side, there was an Australian case involving shattered teeth from ECT a friend
told me about that I can’t find on the net… And then in the USA, the lawsuit
country: A settlement in a case in New
York over prescription and negligent monitoring of Haldol resulting in harm to
the patient… Improper monitoring of Prolixin by a psychiatrist resulting in harm
to a patient in California… Negligent mixing of medications in a state facility
in Florida resulting in harm to the patient…
I’m very interested in the cases coming up involving the use of LSD, a ‘grey
area’ of psychiatry. I know it was forced on people in Australia. One person
who was in hospital during the 1960s – 70s, said he was administered over a hundred
tabs of LSD and it wrecked him, frightened him, made him feel worse.
I am also interested in the cases involving newer ‘popular’ drugs Seroquel,
Zyprexa and Respiradol, that have a commonality of causing type II diabetes.
I am personally concerned with
the use of veterinary drugs, for instance zuclopenthixol acetate. It is given
either by deep intramuscular injection or subcutaneously. A total dose of 50 – 100
mg has been used on a number of different free-ranging and captive wild animals,
such as me. This acuphase injection resulted in micro-seizures and involuntary
movements of the tongue and other parts of my body.
in 2001 said I should never be given it again, told me to write the effects in
a letter to him and photocopy one for the hospital. The lawyer said this should
stop them from giving it to me again. It didn’t. The next time I was taken to
hospital 2008 I was given this cattle tranquiliser, despite informing them
against doing so. I was also given it in 2009 and 2010.
effects, of micro-seizures, but different muscles moved involuntarily, luckily
not the tongue every time, that was frightening!
also disturbing is that I feel like every time I’ve been injected with this
drug I’ve suffered severe memory loss. By that I mean, the ability to remember
things, like monologues. See, I was a person who could remember a 90 minute
monologue for stage and perform it, no problems. A psychiatrist (Dr L) even
came to a performance and witnessed this in 1998 and said I must be better if I
could perform like I did. Back then I could remember three hours’ worth of
songs and sing them non-stop on top of remembering a 90 minute monologue. I can’t
do even a tenth of the kind of memorising now.
So, do I
have a case? No… But, just think about this:
·Used on cattle via dart to tranquilise: acuphase 50mg
·Immobilisation of a sub-adult female giraffe for relocation: Clopixol Acuphase
·Long-acting tranquilisers like Cloxipol Acuphase tranquilise the rhino for three days and assist with long distance transport.
I am an average sized woman of small build. I wasn’t violent in any way.
Talk about overkill! I didn’t need to be put to sleep. I didn’t need have my
memory harmed, be given Tourette’s Syndrome and Tardive Dyskinesia. Yet
psychiatrists have done this to me again and again, despite a lawyer’s letter.
It has damaged me over time. And I feel somewhat angry that psychiatrists
have the law covering them, as they have done their, ‘duty of care’ by harming
me with this ‘standard procedure’.
There are other options that could be used to help people instead of
psychiatry’s drugs and ECT. I would like other therapies to be considered next
time laws are amended. I want positive solutions. I don’t want to be thinking
about how many people are harmed by psychiatrists and never have hope of
recovery, who have been crippled because of these treatment regimes.
What I’d like to happen is for
psychiatrists to be liable, for the damage they cause, when they administer a
drug. I’d like them to have to check an epage
specific to that patient, for known allergies and ill effects to the drugs they
intend to administer. I want psychiatrists to take care. And, I think society has to think about these ongoing crimes
that don’t receive compensation. Really think about what kind of era we’re
living in, that allows this to happen.
However, if you think that I’m going
to bother to lawsuit, I’ll just let you know that I’d rather write another
book. I have a possibility of being published and no possibility of winning a
case against a pharmacology sponsored psychiatrist, who is following their training
and the Mental Health Act as it currently stands. I have no window. But I do
think the public has a lot of blind-spots they may wish to address in regards
to ‘community treatment orders’ and the power psychiatrists have in forcing things like giraffe tranquilisers on people.
wonderful it is to find a publisher that wants first-hand experiences of people
diagnosed with psychiatric conditions. In Australia, people have some fears
regarding attempting to understand people who have delved into the symbolic
world of waking-dreams. They seem to worry that it might somehow ‘get them’
too. That the schizophrenia ‘disease’ is contagious by hypnotic suggestions of
art from these 'deranged' people.
I studied Professional Writing
and Editing at Melbourne’s RMIT University. I got into this course on the
strength of something I’d written when I was 22, before I’d experienced what
psychosis meant. I knew somehow that what I was writing at age 32, wasn’t going
to fit with consensual reality. And, it didn’t.
burning things to say, but I had to think about how to say them, so that the
public could be able to read them. Tutors and students really helped me get to
this point. I really got a lot out of my time at RMIT. I realised there is so much ignorance around
what happens in psychiatric facilities. There was so much prejudice and that belief
that there is no market for is regarded as a ‘dirty tissue.’
In Naked ladies I was able to take raw
material I wrote while in an episode and write it in a way that can be
comprehended. This book allows people to understand how I was able to be lured
into the fantasy world of waking-dreams that lead to waking-nightmares, not
just once, but again, with the same science-fiction themes.
want to understand what it is like to hear voices, or have other sensory ‘hallucinations’
and strange ‘delusional’ belief systems, this book takes you through my journey
of this. It’s a fast-paced book. Lots of things happen all at once. Very much
what psychiatrists would term, ‘mania’, ‘paranoia’, ‘conspiracy theories’, ‘florid
psychosis’, and ‘positive symptoms of schizophrenia.’ There are also breaks in
between the ‘psychotic episodes’, where I resume a ‘normal state of being.’
The book also includes
illustrations and paintings I did at the time, but it is a decent sized book. I
like books to be at least 70,000 words, when they’re not poetry books or
I hope Australia will start
publishing more first-hand experiences about altered states of consciousness that get labelled ‘diseased’ by
psychiatrists. There is a growing market for these books. It is peer support. And
books like this help people realise that people with lived-experience are not ‘consumers’
and ‘useless eaters’, we are people who have had unusual experiences. These
experiences are our coping mechanisms. Yes they are flawed, but how nightmarish
they become has to do with how these symbolic manifestations are treated by
society. Treat unusual experiences with fear and prejudice and psychiatric
torture and what does society expect will happen? A cure? Apparently that is
the current belief… But that is not the truth of what’s happening. The truth
will be found in books by those who have experienced psychiatric conditions
The diagnosis of schizophrenia is the most common diagnosis
of all categories in the DSM4. This means that the cause of schizophrenia
cannot be put down to just one thing, like a chemical imbalance in the brain
caused by toxoplasmosis parasites. But perhaps for some people, cats are the
cause. In any case television
reports that it is a possibility. But, no way is that how it is for everyone diagnosed with schizophrenia.
had a diagnosis of schizophrenia given to me fifteen years ago. I’d experienced
three deaths in a short period of time and I was isolated and in an abusive
relationship. But that alone wasn’t the cause, it was the trigger. However, I
was told it was a chemical imbalance and I must be treated with anti-psychotic
There were scary things that
happened in my childhood again and again. There was no real physical violence
though. And, the person who was violating my childhood was also very loving and
nurturing. However she exploded into suicidal threats due to her childhood trauma
for the duration of my childhood and teenage years. This conditioning in
childhood has meant that, as an adult, I’ve been triggered into an altered state of consciousness when
someone close to me has died.
why did I get the label schizophrenic? Because most psychiatrists are really
lazy, uncaring and stupidly trained to follow out-dated dogma. A thinking professional
would’ve realised what has caused me problems is transgenerational trauma. That is trauma that is passed onto the next
generation because there isn’t effective social structure to allow the parent
to overcome the abuse suffered , so they can tell their story to their children
in a helpful non-threatening manner.
blame transgenerational trauma on psychiatrists and their insistence on forcing
harmful chemicals on people who don’t want it or need it. Neuroleptics don’t
work for people who have experienced trauma, because people who have
experienced trauma do not have a chemical imbalance, they are traumatised. So
what could my mother do but pour out her sufferings to her children? She would’ve
been locked away. She would’ve been drugged. I would’ve had to put up with
foster parents who didn’t love me as much as she did, who may’ve put me on
drugs if they thought I was behaving too artistically for their straight-laced
per cent of Australian Aboriginal children in foster care are put on
psychiatric drugs. That’s horrific racism! There is no way that Australian
Aboriginal children have a genetic ‘mental illness’ gene. More like there is some kind of imbalance in
the Mental Health Act that allows this wholesale drugging of children and
adults who are most likely suffering from trauma as well as transgenerational
trauma, from the genocide that happened in this country!
enjoying learning about the growth of the peer support movement and how there
is hope for people like me and parents who have a reasonable fear of medical
professionals. I am also learning art therapy techniques that I believe do
shift behavioural patterns, well, these things work for me.
takes a long time to recover, if you can. For me, I’ve spent over a decade in
art based rehabilitation, that was gentle and didn’t push me to quickly move
on. This has meant I have been able to learn what I needed to and have developed
a consensual reality that also makes sense to me. It’s taken a long time
though. I’ve had steps backs where I was taken to hospital and tortured with
cattle tranquilisers and heavy doses of neuroleptics. I’ve had times where I’ve
lost the plot and said things that I didn’t want to say and only made sense if
people understood the symbolic nightmare realm I’d entered into.
have been repeatedly given the label schizophrenic by psychiatrists who give
that label to anyone who shows symptoms that include unusual sensory experiences such as hearing voices. A better
society would not give psychiatrists such a high platform in mental health
treatment, when their belief of chemical imbalances are based on bollocks. I’m
tired of a society that sits by and lets generations be tortured because of
their faith in the cult of psychiatry. Many art therapists train for over ten
years in various techniques. So, it’s not about the years studied, it’s about
say let those who want to be drugged by psychiatry, have their drugs, because
perhaps they do actually have some parasite causing a cyst in their brain, that’s
stressing them enough to cause trauma to the body that induces ‘symptoms of
schizophrenia’. However, please, if the drugs don’t work, don’t force them on
people and then say it’s their fault for being, ‘treatment resistant’. Besides,
when drugs like Abilify have a known side-effect of causing hallucinations, how
on earth can they be acceptable? Psychiatry and government law, is not currently
making sense. It’s time for them to grow up and become better. As for blaming
cats… well pussy down the well.