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eyes open

 Alternatives to anti-psychotic drugs

 

About us

 

 

 

Hello - my name is Viki; a member of the eyes open collective speaking out to the wider community, as a mother, sole carer and legal guardian. I have organised meetings in the past about alternative treatments to anti-psychotic drugs with other carers and patients.

This web site will be used to organise more meetings, provide information and facilitate discussion.

We are political activists prepared to lobby government, to either logically justify their treatment of patients with dangerous drugs, or provide alternative therapy on medicare.

 

My/Our story

I wish to inform people with a mental illness - as well as their carers - about how my son John, was institutionalized as a mental patient.

Psychiatrists tranquilized my son -- constructing a chemical prison between him and the outside world -- then diagnosed schizophrenia.

 

Involuntary Commitment

“The fact that psychiatric imprisonment is called ‘civil commitment’ is, of course, simply part of the linguistic deception characteristic of the mental-health system.

Since civil commitment results in the loss of liberty, and subjects the victim to health hazards at the hands of medical criminals whose ostensible healing function is legitimised by the state, it entails far greater deprivation of rights than does incarceration in prison, a penalty carefully circumscribed by constitutional guarantees and judicial safeguards”

Dr Thomas Szasz, M.D - Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus

 

John

John

I recall John as a quiet and contented babe who grew up into an adult much the same. As a family we always got on well together.

John spent a considerable amount of his growing years in a farm style environment, where he enjoyed taking the dinghy out over the water for a boat ride into the estuary. John and his sister would feed their menagerie of farm animals, as well as help out at hay-bailing time. We had a horse each for recreational riding.

John loved tearing around on hi
s motor cross bike and riding the tractor, swimming in our 300 million gallon dam and sliding through the clay mud.

John had also been enjoying outdoor life, he especially liked surfing. Rising at 4am, tackling the ocean waves like a warrior, plus socializing, talking and laughing with friends, having your average teenager fun, exploring night clubs, dance floors and girls,

Emotional trauma responsible for erratic behaviour

The collapse of my fifteen year old marriage and a stressful divorce in 1998 created great emotional trauma in John, who was also dealing with the loss of his first love as well as heavy narcotic and alcohol abuse.

Unemployment due to this self-abusive lifestyle, led to boredom and more self-abuse, obviously this cycle was impacting on John’s physical and emotional well-being.

A display of inappropriate behaviour by John, led me to seek help from the government health services. A psychiatrist from the unit, visited John while John was home alone on the 2nd August 2000, and stated John…

a). Appeared disordered in thoughts
b). Bizarre posturing
c). Aggressive manner and threatening

There was no explanation given for this behaviour or the context in which the psychiatrist claims to have observed it.

John was an emotionally confused young man dealing with traumatic personal problems and drug abuse at the time. Most people would consider those factors - explanation enough for such behaviour.

On the 4th August 2000, John (age 20) was admitted into a WA government-funded mental institution. At the time the referring psychiatrist’s report stated, “possible amphetamine use”

From John’s medical records – On the 4th August, 2000 John was tranquilized with lmg of Risperidone, 10 mg Olanzapine, and lmg of Lorazapan, followed by observations.

They resulted in a diagnosis from the consultant psychiatrist and the psychiatry registrar’s of Hebephrenic Schizophrenia and Polysubstance harmful use.

 

John with his mother Viki (7th April, 2002)

John was receiving ECT treatment during this period

 

t-shirt reads

Eat rich food - Barbecue a Yuppie

 


John has been on compulsory medication since August 2000

Similar to any young man his age, John was physically fit, however following admission and hypersensitivity to the tranquilizing medications prescribed to him, John began to suffer side-effects that his doctors tried to ascribe to the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Intervention by psychiatrists did not produce optimistic cognitive behavioural therapy which is meant to constructively challenge a person’s patterns of thoughts, supposedly resulting in a positive concurrent challenge to the behaviour associated with the patient’s dysfunctional thinking of the time.

We had no control over John’s treatment or plans (which have yet to materialise) for John's recuperation and recovery.

John is in a physical and chemical prison not a convalescent hospital with a plan based on the eventual recovery of the patient.

I questioned the psychiatrist about alternative treatment. However, instead of answering my question, he handed me a card with John’s next appointment time, simultaneously showing us the door as he said goodbye.

My eyes had been shut; I had believed a mental hospital would help restore a patient’s mental health, not subject them to a life-time of toxic chemical servitude.

Eventually a psychiatrist informed me that they believed it necessary to hold John under a section 38 (involuntary admission) because of the high risk factor of injury to himself, plus the community as well...

John has never shown signs of the violence and self-harm that are all too common to his peers. He has never attracted attention from the law and has no criminal convictions.

...John was compelled to take tranquilizing medication and anti-depressants and is still an involuntary patient.

Once admitted involuntarily to a psychiatric institution, psychiatrists can commit the most injurious acts upon you, including forcibly injecting you with physically-damaging drugs.

 

Human rights abuses

John has been unable to understand much of what the psychiatrists say. Information on his condition and the possible side-effects of the anti-psychotic drugs have little real meaning to him.

 

- Electro Convulsive Treatment

- I returned to the mental hospital with my councillor to attend a meeting with two psychiatrist and a student, who were assigned to assess John’s eligibility for Electric Current Therapy.

- Throughout the few minutes of the assessment, John’s attention needed monitoring, because of his consistent sedated relapses into (anti – psychotic drugs) la la land.

- John did not raise his head or speak; he couldn’t give informed consent.

- Despite John not being fully alert or focused enough to understand the procedures that were being presented, the psychiatrists agreed among themselves that John qualified for ECT treatment.

- A Tribunal Hearing was rapidly evoked - scheduled for late afternoon.

- The transcript from that hearing reads, “...the psychiatrists were actually seeing a deterioration in John’s condition despite treatment which they had introduced and that they considered him to be an emergency rather than an elective basis for E.C.T”

 

 

 

So because the Psychiatrist's treatment with anti-psychotic drugs was causing "a deterioration in John's condition" - to the extent of being called an "emergency" - the psychiatrists were now going to 'experiment' with Electro Convulsive Treatments

...by his second treatment on the 27th March 2002, when I asked John about his ECT, he was unable to remember if he had even had ECT that morning. John was suffering from memory loss which continued throughout his treatments, in addition to his vitality being drained by the procedures.

 


The fact is that electroshock is a form of torture

But placed in a hospital setting and cloaked in muscle relaxants, anesthetics and the legitimacy of medicine, it is suddenly and inexplicably pronounced “therapy.”

The scientific principle behind electroshock is no more advanced than the principles behind terrorism or neighborhood bullying. Even in hospitals, it is well recognized that electroshock is used for punishment (source)

 

John (25) is now unable to manage his own affairs

Further treatments with neurological drugs are to be continued indefinitely according to psychiatrists. John has been on Zuclopenthixol depot injections - 250ml fortnightly - with no recovery or discontinuation plan for over 2 years.

For 12 days after his fortnightly injection, John sleeps for up to 20 hours a day or appears to be asleep; because he doesn't emerge all that rested. In fact he says he feels sleep deprived.

He also continues to experience stiffness in his arms and the shuffling or swaying from foot to foot has progressively worsened. His shoulders are stooped with a slight lean to the right side.

John is unable to remember things such as times, dates, or what was said a couple of hours earlier. He has a spit bucket by his bed and continues to projectile vomit regularly.

John also has bouts of inappropriate laughter and says he hears voices.

Despite being John's legal guardian and mother, I have still found it very difficult to get answers to straight-forward questions.

Alternative treatments do exist - but are prevented from being accessed on medicare, by the politics created by the "partnership" between pharmaceutical companies and psychiatrists.

Psychiatrists have attempted to submit false information to the Courts in at least two instances during Mental Health reviews.

Both times their submissions were proven to be not only false, but deliberately constructed to mislead the Court as to the real nature of John's potential threat to others and himself

 

- My questions remain


Why is this toxic, brain-damaging drug regime the only avenue available for those of us who live under the poverty line?

Why are we who make up the masses being heavily tranquilized?

Why did John not display these symptoms during the years prior to medication?

Why is there no mention of the supposed schizophrenic symptoms In his medical records...

- Swaying from side to side, shuffling from foot to foot, hearing voices, vomiting, compulsive eating and sleeping, obesity, lethargy, memory loss, stiffness, racing heart rate, excessive sweating and twitching

...before John was being medicated with anti-psychotic drugs?

- viki zangari

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