SURVIVING PSYCHIATRY: A User’s Manual by Anne C Woodlen
Now for sale to you, this 60-page collection of 23 essays recently sold out at Dr. Peter Breggin’s Empathic Therapy Conference.
“The great jazz bassist Ron Carter once described good jazz as a delicate balance of the predictable and the unpredictable. Too predictable and it bores the listener, too unpredictable and it leaves the listener bewildered. Anne C. Woodlen has produced in these pages that delicate balance. She applies a superb intellect, well-articulated insight, and decades of experience that instruct us about the world of psychiatric services.”
Richard F. Gottlieb, LMSW, LMFT
Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work
“Anne Woodlen spent a total of three years incarcerated in various mental hospitals and has since then devoted herself to psychiatric reform. She’s a vivid, cogent and uplifting critic of psychiatric power and its terrible effects upon herself and others.”
Peter R. Breggin, M.D., Director
Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy
SURVIVING PSYCHIATRY: A User’s Manual contains essays about me, my observations as I journeyed through the psychiatric system, and some of my conclusions about what went wrong and what should happen next. The purpose is (a) to inform naïve patients about what happens when you enter the psychiatric system, (b) to continue the education of those who would help them, and (c) to tell their family and friends what happens after a person is diagnosed with a mental illness.
I became depressed after the death of my fiancé in 1974; thereafter, I was put on antidepressants, which I took every day for twenty-six years. Unbeknownst to me, the antidepressants were causing the suicidal feelings that I was having, as well as causing physical damage. Because I was so often suicidal, I was hospitalized about fifty times; we never suspected that the antidepressants were the cause. I spent about three years of my life locked down on inpatient psychiatry. I also was one of the patients in the NIMH study that lead to the deceitful theory that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance.
In 2001, I stopped taking antidepressants, got my brain to function again, discovered that the cure for depression is action, and became an activist in transportation, housing and medical care for people who are old, sick and/or poor. My last hospitalization was in 2004. I no longer see a psychiatrist. Testing reveals no sign of psychopathology. I’m fine, thank you—except for the hospital bed, breathing machine, wheelchair and indwelling catheter that have been made necessary by “psychiatric medications,” i.e., drug damage.
Anne C Woodlen
iTABLE OF CONTENTS
About the Author: I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed . . .
Hutchings Psychiatric Center: I’m fairly militant on the subject of mental illness. I make no bones about the fact that I have a mental disorder and am, like a good gravesite . . .
Benjamin Rush Center: In 1966 my father came to Syracuse for several months to work on a proposal for a major federal educational grant. He stayed at the Mayfair Motel . . .
CPEP: Syracuse’s Gitmo: There was an old lady who was taken to CPEP after being raped. CPEP is the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program that is . . .
St. Joseph’s Hospital Psychiatric Services
About Michael: Michael is ten years old and has freckles. He was a skinny kid wearing a tank top and too-big shorts on June 16, Father’s Day, when he came to . . .
The Perverse Pathology of Mary Corbliss: Mary Corbliss is a mental health counselor on Unit 3-6. She is small, in her mid-thirties, and has long, brown hair . . .
Fire and Freedom: Around 1970, I was employed as a mental health therapy aide on SUNY Upstate’s inpatient psychiatric unit, which had just opened. A patient pulled . . .
A Choice, of Sorts: “Voluntary” Hospitalization: This morning’s Facebook has brought a paper by Dr. Rachel Bingham about “voluntary” psychiatric hospital. She . . .
Recovery and/or Healing
Speaking of Healing: I was inpatient at Benjamin Rush Center, the kinder, gentler private psychiatric hospital where nothing bad every happened to me, however . . .
After I Stopped Taking Antidepressants, 2001-2008: In 2001, I stopped taking all drugs. Instead of drugging myself into insensitivity, I had to deal with the real, raw emotions . . .
The “Chemical Imbalance” Lie: So there I am at Peter Breggin’s Empathic Therapy Conference, in the workshop on SSRI Antidepressants Adverse Effects, and an . . .
Fixing the System
How to Complain
About CPEP: Today’s mail brought this message from Ms R: “I would like to learn how to complain. My child and I had a three-day ordeal with . . .
PAIMI and the MHLS: The CPEP director says that they can relocate an incompetent person a hundred miles away without telling anyone who might . . .
Blame the Physician, Dammit! Drugs don’t damage people; physicians who prescribe them do. Yesterday I read several messages that focused my . . .
Eleven Good Ideas for Inpatient Psychiatry: Inpatient psychiatry is dreadful, so here are some of my recommendations for changing it. Medicate the staff first. . .
Ativan, Sleep Apnea and Bad Craziness: DO NOT TAKE ATIVAN IF YOU HAVE SLEEP APNEA. It could kill you. Ativan, also known as Lorazepam and . . .
Sex, Drugs, and Pheromones: What’s wrong with your Love Life? What would you do if the drugs you are taking are the cause of your lousy love life? I was socially and . . .
Exercise or Naps for Depression? What good did hospitalization do me? What it did for me was give me rest. It wasn’t supposed to. I was supposed to get up and get dressed . . .
Cause of Death: Physician Prejudice: Physicians are so blinded by psychiatric diagnoses that they cease to be able to function as competent diagnosticians. In the eyes of . . .
The Spirit without Drugs: I took drugs every day for twenty-six years. They were all prescribed by physicians, but I make no distinction between the drugs you prescribe . . .
After the Anger, Peace: For three decades on inpatient psychiatry I was treated with disrespect, callous indifference, and physical danger. It was the kind of “treatment” . . .
A Survivor’s Birthday/Christmas: On Thursday, December 15, 2011, I asked my therapist, “What am I doing here?” She replied, “Life review.” On Friday, a friend . . .
Soul Murder: March 12, 2012: I just woke up in a nightmare. I was hospitalized in Hutchings Psychiatric Center. I had done nothing wrong, nor did I have any . . .
To purchase SURVIVING PSYCHIATRY: A User’s Manual, send your name, address and a check for $15.00 to Anne C Woodlen at 501 S. Crouse Ave., Apt. 823, Syracuse, N.Y. 13210. Thank you.