Tag Archives: psychiatric abuse

Exposing the Untold History of Psychiatric Atrocities

Photo by R. Valentine Atkinson, reprinted from The History of Shock Treatment, by Leonard Roy Frank

Over its history, Street Spirit has published a series of in-depth reports on many different kinds of psychiatric abuses that have been carried out in the name of healing, yet often end up damaging and disabling people for life. In light of renewed calls for forced psychiatric detention under the guise of “helping the mentally ill,” we are collecting and re-publishing these stories in a new section “Psychiatric Abuses and Human Rights”. 

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Laura’s Law and the Danger of Forced Detention

“Art in Jail” by Jos Sances. Serigraph, Edition 120, 8 color, 22” x 30”“Art in Jail” by Jos Sances. Serigraph, Edition 120, 8 color, 22” x 30”

How much sweeter “Laura’s Law” sounds than Forced Detention or Treatment! Yet it all sounds an awful lot like the usual government arguments used to justify surveillance, control, invasion of privacy. Who is to say this new law won’t be used to punish and isolate the indigent and the ill?

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Psychiatric Treatments For Depression May Be Hazardous To Your Health

advertisement for Zoloft : “Side effects may include dry mouth, insomnia, sexual side effects, diarrhea, nausea and sleepiness.”

My entire college education has been completely wiped out. I guess the doctors would consider [that electroshock] had beneficial effects because it has “cured my depression,” but it’s cured my depression by ruining my life, by taking away everything that made it worth having in the first place.

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Electroshock Must Be Banned as Crime Against Humanity

Electroshock is a barbaric, brain-disabling psychiatric procedure that should have been abolished many years ago. Yet its use is on the rise.

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Shocked into Action: How Electroshock Created a Rebel

Leonard Roy Frank is arrested in Toronto during a sit-in at the American Psychiatric Association convention on May 17, 1982. Photo by Wood, The Globe and Mail

“Leonard Roy Frank is the Gandhi of the psychiatric survivors’ movement. He’s really helped bring a powerful spiritual discipline to this movement, similar to the work of Martin Luther King. Certainly in the 20th century, Leonard would be one of the foremost challengers of psychiatry, especially electroshock.” — David Oaks

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Drug Companies Turn ‘Informed Consent’ into a Sham

When will physicians, HMOs and elected officials take the following pledge? “I pledge to accept no money, gifts or hospitality from the pharmaceutical industry; to seek unbiased sources and not rely on information disseminated by drug companies, and to avoid conflict of interest in my practice, teaching and/or research.”

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Electroshock: A Crime Against the Spirit

A patient is subjected to Electroshock or Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Photo by George Bjorgen, Minneapolis Star

Electroshock robs people of their memories, their personality and their humanity. It reduces their capacity to lead full, meaningful lives. It crushes their spirits. Put simply, electroshock is a method for gutting the brain in order to control and punish people who fall or step out of line.

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Speaking Out For Those Who Have Been Silenced by the Psychiatric Profession

“Hug Children Don’t Drug Them.” Protesters demand that the APA end the use of damaging antipsychotics on kids. Lydia Gans photo

“You are exposed, you psychiatrists of the APA. We know that psychiatry has long ago lost whatever conscience it may have possessed. We know that you are snug in bed with the drug companies, that you couldn’t even exist as a professional association without drug company funding.” — Leah Harris

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East Bay Hospital Is Closed for Good

The empty hallways of East Bay Hospital, shut down for good by investigative reporting and protests. Lydia Gans photo

The undeserved suffering of poor and homeless mental-health clients galvanized us to shut down East Bay Hospital so this anguish would never visit another family. This negligent psychiatric hospital had crammed disabled clients into shamefully overloaded wards in pursuit of higher profits. Now those once-crowded wards have been closed forever.

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Writing for the Street Spirit: My 17 Year Journey

Writing for Street Spirit has awakened in me a sense of responsibility toward others. Street Spirit is a way for people silenced by big money and big media to have a voice.

Animal Friends: A Saving Grace for Homeless People

“I wrapped her in my jacket and promised I’d never let anybody hurt her again. And that’s my promise to her for the rest of her life. In my mind she’s a little angel that saved me as much as I saved her.”

A Testament to Street Spirit’s Justice Journalism

The game was rigged against the poor, but I will always relish the fact that Street Spirit took on the Oakland mayor and city council for their perverse assault on homeless recyclers. For me, that was hallowed ground. I will never regret the fact that we did not surrender that ground.

Tragic Death of Oakland Tenant Mary Jesus

Being evicted felt like the end of her life. As a disabled woman, she saw nothing ahead but a destitute life on the streets. She told a friend, “If I’m evicted tomorrow, I have no choice but to kill myself. I have no resources, no savings, no money, and nowhere to go.”

They Left Him to Die Like a Tramp on the Street

Life is sacred. It is not just an economic statistic when someone suffers and dies on the streets of our nation. It is some mother’s son, or daughter. It is a human being made in the image of God. It is a desecration of the sacred when that life is torn down.

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow in Santa Maria Orphanage

This amazing priest not only housed 300 orphaned children from the streets of Mexico City, but he also took care of 20 homeless elders in his own house and started a home for children dying of AIDS. Father Norman also ran a soup kitchen that fed many people in the village.