I write this hesitantly knowing that due to the fact that I have a mental illness people are unlikely to believe or think I’m stretching the facts. However, as I’ve said before OCD patients are usually more intelligent then those with out. Typically people with OCD are hyper aware of there surrounding and notice a lot more then you’d think. Well, I’m just going to start.
My favorite quote from the movie Stick it is, “You didn’t owe it to me to be a decent coach. You owed it to me to be a decent human being.” There has been many times where I’ve wanted to say this line and replace coach with another word, quite often with some form of mental health professional. Am I suggesting to anyone that they should avoid seeking treatment or that it wasn’t worth it to finally get the help I needed? What I am suggesting is that even so called professionals can be ignorant and cruel. As I have said, most of the professionals I have worked with have been quite excellent. However, through my journey of battling OCD I’ve ran into a lot of mistreatment and in some cases I’d even consider it abuse.
If you’ve seen my YouTube video for OCD awareness week, you’ve heard the part of my story that involves hospitals, psychiatrist, and misdiagnosis. There is a lot to this story that a lot of people aren’t aware of though. When I was misdiagnosed, I was maltreated. At the regional treatment center, where I spent approximately 2 month’s, I was put on Haldol and not a small dose. For those of you not knowledgeable on medicine this a very old school outdated anti-psychotic medicine. For me this had the effect of pseudo parkinsons. This meant that for the time I was on Haldol, roughly 1 month and almost a half, I was drooling, shaking, and had a shuffling gate. This is highly illegal. It’s an illegal form of chemical restraint and should never be practiced. This wasn’t the only real negative side effect I had from medicine they put me on either. Previously they tried Risperidone, which due to my low weight and the amount of water I had been drinking, caused me to have Orthostatic hypotension, basically in my case it was dangerously low blood pressure. All of which, I warned my psychiatrist and social worker about, but they refused to listen to me.
See what the public doesn’t typically know is that at regional treatment facility’s Psychiatrist’s are switched and leave often. Most of them are hired on from a separate company and leave with in months. Despite, their schooling many of them are only trained in diagnosing a mental illness and medicating the “problem”. The truth is medicine alone is almost never the only or best solution for treatment of any mental illness. At that facility despite claiming to have exercise groups, music, and craft groups there was absolutely no staff that even had a master’s in psychology to do any form psychotherapy and 90% of the time groups were never held or if they were very insufficiently. Despite my psychiatrist having a Doctorate she often times had less insight in to anything than I did. I remember well she was doing an assessment one day she asked me what day it was to see if I was aware of the day and time. I answered immediately with the correct day of the week followed by month and date. She puzzled had to look at someone who was supposed to be learning from her to see if that was actually correct. Later, after having multiple talks, telling her that I’ve studied psychology in multiple college classes, her basically realizing that I wasn’t really psychotic and as she mentioned I was very bright, she had the nerve to say to me well I’m pretty much stumped what do you think it is?
However, the abuse and pure ignorance that I experienced wasn’t simply on that one facility’s shoulders. I also had a very ignorant social worker who to this day I’d claim was on a power trip and emotionally abusive. She went trough with and even pushed for a Jervis (this is a court order allowing hospitals to inject you with medicine if you refuse to take it) knowing that the medicine was making me drool and shake. If that isn’t bad enough upon seeing me right after arrival to a different hospital after that and handing me over seven paper towels in a matter of about five minutes for the drooling she, a mandated reporter, never bothered to report the chemical restraint and down right abuse from the facility. To add to this she had my commitment extended basically on a lie. She told the judge that I had not taken my medicine more than one time period, which wasn’t the truth at all. Did I chose to quit taking my medicine, yes, for five days when I should’ve legally been off commitment and not forced to take the pills. She told the judge that if I didn’t get a recommitment that I’d pose a danger to myself. The truth is many people are more of danger to themselves by drinking, smoking, gluttony, and reckless behavior. The truth is everything I did and do was highly calculated. If I would’ve saw any increase in OCD symptoms or felt worse in anyway I’d have immediately started on the medicine. The truth is I felt better off of them than I did on them. After, she finally did get the recommitment; she took away my car and made me move into adult foster care. The process of putting me in adult foster care I found out was highly illegal as a person if I have the capability to make a choice where I want to live, that is a form of abuse and restraint. After all of this and much more I never received an apology or any kind of response from the treatment center or from the social worker who I apologized too for the part I actually did play in it. In addition, the part I’ve probably said a million different times to people is and why I wrote the intro I did, they also often times underestimated me, my ability, my insight, my awareness, and much more all on the basis of the fact I had a mental illness. The same social worker assumed I didn’t remember our first meeting. The truth is I remember what she was wearing, what I was wearing, what the room was like, and what she said. She wasn’t the only professional who made that mistake either. One of my psychologists actually told me that she believed I believed what I was telling about a certain event, but that I didn’t remember it right. The truth is… to them it was just another day on the job and maybe a little bit of a strange case, but to me the meeting with my social worker for the first time was what I knew would be a long line of miserable events and the other event would also have a big impact on my life. No one should ever jump to assumptions. That is really just the tip of the Iceberg; I’m really not going to rant anymore. The whole point of this is that if you think you or someone you know is being mistreated, you think the diagnosis might be wrong, you simply want a second opinion, or you don’t really connect with any professional don’t be afraid to look into your rights and to get the best treatment possible. Also, I hope that people really that even though treating mental illness has come a really long way, it’s no where near what it should be.