Jolijn Santegoeds – Why forced psychiatric treatment must be prohibited

https://tekeertegendeisoleer.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/why-forced-psychiatric-treatment-must-be-prohibited/

Translation of Dutch article “Waarom gedwongen GGZ behandeling verboden moet worden”

Why forced psychiatric treatment must be prohibited
29 March 2016, by Jolijn Santegoeds, founder of Stichting Mind Rights[1], Co-chair of World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP)[2], board member of European Network of (Ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (ENUSP)[3]

Click here to download the article:
Why forced psychiatric treatment must be prohibited_29 March 2016

 

For centuries there has been resistance against forced admission in institutions, confinement in isolation cells, tying persons up with fixation-straps, the forced administration of medication, forced electroshocks, and other forced psychiatric treatments.

Coercion is not care
Coercion is one of the most horrific things that people can do to each other, while good care is actually one of the best things that people can offer to each other. There is a fundamental difference between coercion and care.

Coercion works countereffective to wellbeing, and leads amongst others to despair, fear, anger and grief for the person concerned. During coercion the voice of the person is ignored, and their boundaries are not respected. Coercion does not lead to more safety, or recovery of mental health. On the contrary: By suffering, powerlessness, and a lack of support, the risks for increasing psychosocial problems and escalation increase. Coercion is the opposite of care.

Coercion means a lack of care
Forced psychiatric interventions are not a solution, but are a problem for mental health care. For a long time, the existence of forced treatments, which enables caregivers to turn their back to the crisissituation and leave the person behind without actual support, is undermining the real development of good care practices.

Good care is possible
Good care can prevent coercion. By a respectful attitude and good support, problems and escalation can be prevented successfully, which makes coercion obsolete[4]. Real care is possible.

Efforts are needed
Despite the fact that all stakeholders in Dutch mental health care want to ban coercion[5], the total number of the use of coercion (the number of  legal measures RM and IBS) is rising annually. There are however specific initiatives to reduce coercion at various locations, such as the development of HIC (High/Intensive Care psychiatry)[6], where they aim to prevent solitary confinement by enabling intensive support. On the other hand there is an enormous rise in outpatient coercion (conditional measures), as well as in incidents with “confused people”. It has been concluded a number of times, that the practices are “persistent”, and that the culture is “hard to change”.

Learning from history
Europe has a long history of xenophobia against persons with psychosocial problems. Ever since the 15th century there have been special prison-like “madhouses”, where persons were chained and locked up like beasts, and exorcisms were common. After the discoveries of Charles Darwin and the Renaissance (17th and 18th century), the medical sector started to arise, followed by the arrival of the first Dutch Lunacy-law in the 19thcentury, which arranged “admission and nursing of lunatics in mental hospitals”, with the goal to provide “more humane” care as compared to the madhouses. The young medical science comprised a diversity of perceptions, and in the 20th century a lot of experiments followed, such as hot and cold baths, lobotomy, electroshock and so on. The “special anthropology”[7] or racial-science and eugenics, focussed on the search for the perfect human being, and “racial hygiene” to “avoid deterioration of the race”, openly doubting the capacities of certain populations, which resulted in genocide which didn’t spare psychiatric patients (WOII).

After these dark pages in history, universal declarations of human rights were established, emphasizing the value of each human being, and gradually the community became more tolerant. However, psychiatry hardly changed and held on to the questionable and experimental foundation, with confinement, regulation regimes, and experimental treatment methods as the unchanged core of the treatment range. Currently, efforts are still made to force persons into behavioural changes with the argument that they are “incapable of will” themselves, and not able to express preferences. This is absolutely incorrect: Every person sends signals. The challenge is to deal with that in a good way. Real care notices the person behind the behaviour. Professional care is something totally different than primitive repression of symptoms.

It is time to draw a line. It is urgently needed to recognize that mental health care got on a wrong track by history. Harsh ‘correction’ of persons until they are found ‘good enough’ is not a righteous goal of mental health care. It should be about wellbeing. Coercion is a revealed mistake of mental health care. Innovation is needed.

Worldwide need for coercion-free care
All over the world forced treatment exists. Extremely atrocious images are known from poorer parts of the world, with chained people for example in Asia[8] and Africa[9], but also in our own country with Brandon[10] and Alex[11]. As long as the western world keeps claiming that coercion is the same as good care, these scenes will be harder to ban, especially since several countries have high expectation of the western approach. It is important to come up with good solutions in the world wide search for coercion-free care.

Call by the United Nations
Since 2006, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)[12]exists, which illustrates that a worldwide change is needed towards persons with disabilities. Several UN mechanisms clarify that coercion in care is a violation of human rights[13][14][15][16], also when it comes to the Netherlands[17][18]. A change is needed.

What’s next?
This is an important question.
What do we want now? Are we finally going to make it really right?
Are we going to show ourselves from our best sides?

A real change of culture is needed. Mental health care needs to reinvent itself, and put an end to the confinement and the use of coercion. Good care is possible.

“Yes but it is not possible…”
Commonly heard reactions are “These are good ideals, but not realistic” or “There is no other way, because the system isn’t supportive” or “The community is totally not ready for this”. The implicit assumption that a culture change would be ”unrealistic”, indicates limited perspective, hope and ambition. The system is in our hands. We are the current generation. Change is possible. The world is changing constantly. Also mental health care can change[19][20], as can the public opinion. We are not powerless or insensitive. Efforts are needed to make the world better and nicer together. We can do that.

Change can feel scary. Without positive history or good practices elsewhere it may be a bit harder to imagine that everything can be different, but this cannot be a reason to just give up immediately. We do not question ourselves whether stopping all hunger in the world is realistic before we start with that. Every person counts. Real care is possible and needs to be realized, also in acute and complex crisis situations. Practices of abuse need to stop instantly. This is the task that has been given to our generation. It is worth to unite all our efforts to make the historical shift from exclusion to inclusion.

Also the remark “Yes but coercion is needed, as long as there are no alternatives”  needs to be refuted here. Coercion is not care, but it is abuse, and there is no valid excuse for abuse. Coercion is never needed. Good care is needed.

Making human rights a reality
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) gives a momentum for change. If everyone cooperates now, throughout all layers of the system, then the intended change gets an unprecedented impulse. The articles of the UN-Convention offer a guidance, which enables worldwide coherent action. The UN Convention offers vast opportunities to change the world.

Together we can ban forced psychiatric treatments. When there’s will, there’s a way. In history, confinement was put central, and by now we know better. So we have to do better too. A largely unexplored world is ahead of us.

Key points
It is not easy to change the mental health care system, and the confidence in mental health care doesn’t restore without efforts. Several things are necessary to change the situation sustainably:

-Realise good care
The old fashioned psychiatry is not founded on human rights, diversity and inclusion, but on xenophobia and exclusion. Science has focussed so far on homogenising the community, and attempts to change the people (a bodice and check box mentality). Modern mental health care should focus on enabling a heterogeneous and  diverse community, by creating the right conditions in the community and to enable self-determination, liberty and inclusion, so that everyone can be happy and live a fulfilling life in our community. A fundamental reform is needed in mental health care.

Wellbeing – or mental health – is a very personal intrinsic value, which cannot be produced by coercion. Recovery from psychosocial problems is not an isolated process of the person concerned, but is closely intertwined with the social context of the person, such as chances in life, social acceptance and inclusion. The range of care needs to be reviewed fully, and adapted to the requirements of today.

Deprivation of liberty needs to be stopped immediately. The organization of care of good quality is necessary and urgent, and cannot be postponed any longer. The previous guidelines under the law BOPZ of 1994 to use coercion “as little as possible” and “as short as possible” have failed obviously, and the numbers on the use of coercion (legal measures RM and IBS) continuously keep on rising annually, and have more than doubled in the past 10 years. This trend is unacceptable, and therefore something really needs to change now. A need for support cannot be a reason for deprivation of liberty. Good care is possible.

Without good care, the mess will only transfer. It is absolutely necessary to make all possible efforts right now to provide care of good quality, including good care in crisis situations.

– Legislation: prohibit coercion, arrange care
The legislation on forced psychiatric treatments needs to be changed. The goal of mental health care is not: Treating vulnerable persons in a rough way, but the goal is to provide good care, also in crisis situations. A transition is needed.

The lunacy law dates from 1841, from a time when the medical profession was absolutely in it’s infancy. The law BOPZ of 1994, and also the law proposal on Mandatory Mental Health Care (recent) have a similar structure of legal measures RM and IBS, and resp. confinement and forced treatment form the core. This system is not founded upon awareness of human rights, and it is not about care of good quality, and it has to change.

Forced treatment is abuse. Legislation needs to protect all citizens from abuse. When the government participates in the abuse against certain groups, this is torture[21][22], which is absolutely prohibited. The laws on coercion, such as BOPZ and the law proposal on Mandatory Mental Health Care are therefore unacceptable.

Legislation is meant to offer a fair framework for the community. A prohibition of forced treatments is necessary because of human rights[23]. Additionally, certain legislation can speed up the provision of good care and organize innovation[24]. It is possible to create laws that are really useful to the community. Wouldn’t that be great?

– Compensation: Recognize the seriousness
For years and years, the government and countless caregivers have taken over the lives of psychiatric patients, and forcefully subjected them to “care”, such as horrible forced treatment, isolation cells, forced medication, restraint-belts, electroshocks, all motivated by so-called “good intentions”. The sincerity of those responsible can now prove itself by genuine recognition of the suffering that many had to endure. A compensation would be appropriate: When you break something you have to pay for it. We consider that very normal.

* Apologies are needed to recover the relation between (ex-) users and caregivers.
* Recognition of the trauma’s by coercion, and support in overcoming these if desired.
* Compensation to show that the change of attitude is genuine.

Now it’s time to show that the Netherlands is indeed a civilized country.

Take action
I would like to call on everyone to contribute to the change in culture. Let’s ensure together that human rights will be realized for every human being, and that old-fashioned psychiatry disappears, and that mental health care only comprises good care.

Please spread this message to raise awareness.

 

**

To reinforce the above plea, I have attached a description of my personal experiences with forced psychiatry, which can be found via this link:

“16 years old, depressed and tortured in psychiatry – A testimony on forced psychiatric interventions constituting torture and ill-treatment”

 

**

This publication is part of the ‘Absolute Prohibition Campaign’, see https://absoluteprohibition.wordpress.com

 

[1] Actiegroep Tekeer tegen de isoleer! / Stichting Mind Rights www.mindrights.nl

[2] WNUSP: World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry www.wnusp.net

[3] ENUSP: European Network of (Ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry www.enusp.org

[4] Report: Best practices rondom dwangreductie in de GGZ 2011

[5] Declaration on reduction of coercion:  Intentieverklaring GGZ: preventie van dwang in de GGZ 2011

[6] High Intensive Care HIC (HIC)

[7] Description of Racial-science e.a.: Winkler Prins Algemeene Encyclopaedie, vijfde druk, Elsevier, 1936

[8] Human Rights Watch “Living in hell – abuses against people with psychosocial disabilities in Indonesia”, 2016

[9] Robin Hammond, fotoserie “Condemned – Mental health in African countries in crisis”

[10] Brandon van Ingen, Jongen al 3 jaar vastgebonden in een zorginstelling

[11] Alex Oudman, Schokkende beelden uit isoleercel – Toen en nu

[12] UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

[13] CRPD General Comment no. 1 on CRPD article 12 Equal Recognition before the law

[14] CRPD Guidelines on CRPD article 14 Liberty and Security of Person

[15] Statement of 2 UN Special Rapporteurs “Dignity must prevail – an appeal to do away with non-consensual psychiatric treatments” World Mental Health Day, 10 October 2015

[16] A/HRC/22/53 Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan E Mendez, Torture in health care settings (2013)

[17] Communication sent to the Kingdom of the Netherlands by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health. AL Health (2002-7) G/SO 214 (53-24) NLD 2/2013, October 2013, https://spdb.ohchr.org/hrdb/24th/public_-_AL_Netherlands_08.10.13_(2.2013).pdf

[18] CAT/C/NLD/CO/5-6, CAT Concluding Observations on the Netherlands

[19] High Intensive Care HIC (HIC)

[20] Intensive Home Treatment (IHT)

[21] Torture, for full definitiion see article 1 CAT, Convention Against Torture.

[22] A/HRC/22/53 Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan E Mendez, Torture in health care settings (2013)

[23] amongst others the right to liberty, freedom from torture / Civil and political rights and CRPD

[24] amongst others the right to health care and adequate standard of living / Social, economic and cultural rights and CRPD

 

ENUSP -Forced psychiatric interventions constitute a violation of rights and disable care

Human rights context

Since 2006, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) calls for a paradigm shift to break away from paternalistic laws and paternalistic attitudes towards persons with disabilities, and shift to respectful support of decision-making based on the person’s own will and preferences. The implicit call of the UN CRPD to put an end to forced psychiatric treatments has been made explicit by several publications of the CRPD Committee, and especially by the Guidelines to Article 14. The Guidelines make clear that the detention of persons with psychosocial disabilities under domestic legislation on the grounds of their actual or perceived impairment and supposed dangerousness to themselves and/or to others “is discriminatory in nature and amounts to arbitrary deprivation of liberty.”[1]

 

Nevertheless, two UN treaty bodies currently are in conflict with the standards set by the UN CRPD: the Human Rights Committee[2] and the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) in their document “Rights of persons institutionalized and medically treated without informed consent”. Yet the Human Rights Committee admits that forced measures are harmful: “The Committee emphasizes the harm inherent in any deprivation of liberty and also the particular harms that may result in situations of involuntary hospitalization.” [3] The Human Rights Committee even recommends States parties “to revise outdated laws and practices” and says that “States parties should make available adequate community-based or alternative social-care services for persons with psychosocial disabilities, in order to provide less restrictive alternatives to confinement.” However, despite this, the Human Rights Committee acknowledges the possibility of forced measures, provided they are applied “as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time, and must be accompanied by adequate procedural and substantive safeguards established by law.”[4]

Also the SPT allows forced commitment and forced treatment, but they go even further by saying that abolition would violate the “right to health” and the “right to be free from torture and other ill-treatment”. For instance, the SPT states “…placement in a psychiatric facility may be necessary to protect the detainee from discrimination, abuse and health risks stemming from illness”[5], “The measure [treatment without consent] must be a last resort to avoid irreparable damage to the life, integrity or health of the person concerned…”[6]. In addition, the SPT acknowledges restraints as a legitimate measure: “Restraints, physical or pharmacological … should be considered only as measures of last resort for safety reasons”[7], and further allows for “medical isolation”[8].

It is interesting to note that before the publication of these two documents mentioned above, the thematic report “Torture in Health Care Settings” by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (A/HRC/22/53), urged an absolute ban on forced psychiatric interventions, in order to ensure that persons with psychosocial, intellectual and other disabilities be free from torture and ill-treatment. However his voice apparently was not heard, as well as other voices documenting numerous violations of human rights in psychiatric institutions. One of them is the report of FRA issued in 2012, which reveals the trauma and fear that people experience, and states that “the extremely substandard conditions, absence of health care and persistent abuse have resulted in deaths of residents in institutional care.”[9]

 

Therefore, it can be seen that the arguments in favour of the administration of forced measures are based on false grounds, because as has been proven by numerous sources, including CPT reports and the sources mentioned above, psychiatric institutions in no case can be considered a safe haven from discrimination, abuse, torture and ill treatment. With regard to medical considerations and care we put forward the following:

 

Forced psychiatric interventions are not care.

Care is supposed to result in improved well-being and recovery. Well-being – or mental health – is a very personal, intrinsic value, which cannot be produced by force. Caring for one another is one of the best things that people can offer to each other. On the contrary, forced psychiatric interventions are very traumatizing, and result in suffering and more psychosocial problems. It makes the situation worse, and is amongst the worst things that people can do to each other. There is a huge difference between forced interventions and care. They are the total opposite of each other.

 

Forced psychiatric interventions disable care.

Forced psychiatric interventions are counter-productive to mental health and care, and represent a “breach of contact”. This can be seen on the one hand, for example, with nurses who stop trying to communicate or provide support, and resort to forced interventions. It can also be seen on the other hand, in the feelings of misunderstanding and trauma of the person subjected to forced interventions, which disable meaningful contact. It is obvious that good contact and communication are necessary for good mental health care. The end of communication, as is induced by forced psychiatric interventions, is a very harmful practice, which makes meaningful contact, and therefore mental health care in itself, impossible.

 

Forced psychiatric interventions do not result in safety.

Due to suffering, increased psychosocial problems, and a lack of any support for recovery caused by forced psychiatric interventions, the risks of escalation increase, and can even result in an endless circle of struggle and escalation, as our experiences show. The common argument given “to protect from harm or injury to self or others”, is not based on factual evidence supporting this statement. Forced psychiatric interventions do not result in more safety, but lead to more crises, and subsequently to greater risk of escalation.

 

Forced psychiatric interventions indicate a deficiency in mental health care.

Forced psychiatric interventions are more of a mechanism for (attempted) social control embedded within an underdeveloped and structurally neglected (and politically abused) system of mental health care that is built on the horrible remnants of the past, rather than on skills to support mental health and well-being. Underdevelopment and insufficient funding of the mental health care system is in place because of the extremely low political priority given to mental health care, consequently explaining the extremely low level of funding. It is impossible to deliver quality care without proper funding and attention to quality standards. However, due to historical stigma, mental health care remains unpopular with society, i.e. voters, and therefore politicians. In case of dire shortage of funding, the best possible solution for the system is to keep things calm, by delivering lots of harmful and in many cases unwanted medication to isolated people and calling it medical care. However, real mental health care is possible when efforts are made and sufficient funding is provided.

 

A world of options between “last resort” and “no care”

Many persons, including many States, cannot see beyond a very narrow “black and white” approach regarding psychosocial crisis situations, with only two options: either forced treatments (torture), or doing nothing (neglect). This simply isn’t the full picture. Between these two extremities, there is a largely undiscovered world of options for real support and real mental health care in psychosocial crisis-situations, with aspects such as: non-violent de-escalation, prevention of crisis in the earliest stage possible, focussing on contact and openness instead of repression, building trust and providing real support in acute crisis-situations. (Ex-) users and survivors who have experienced this are the best positioned to be involved in this shift of paradigm.

 

Real development of mental health care is urgently needed.

Unfortunately for decades, the real development of good care practices has been undermined by the existence of forced treatments, which has enabled caregivers to turn their back to the crisis situation, and leave the person behind without actual care, repressed and stripped of their dignity. This should stop. Forced psychiatric interventions constitute a very serious human rights violation. They can never be called care and cannot be considered a safety and anti-discrimination measure, because they lead to exactly the opposite.

 

We believe in the creative potential of humanity and the possibility to solve complicated problems when appropriate efforts are made. But in order to allocate the appropriate resources and generate enough creative efforts, appropriate motivation is needed. The UN CRPD standards give us and should give policymakers such motivation to realize and state publicly that the status quo in psychiatry is totally unacceptable and must be changed to a humane system of real care.

 

The discrepancies in the recommendations referred to above, even among different entities of the same organization (United Nations) must be eliminated and the provisions of the CRPD must prevail.

 

This is a challenge, but by thinking and acting together, it is possible to make this a reality.

 

We must keep in mind just one thing as a basis for this objective:

 

 

Forced psychiatric interventions constitute torture and ill-treatment and

must be banned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] CRPD Committee’s Guidelines on article 14 Liberty and security of person, III, para.6 (September 2015)

[2] General Comment No.35, para.19 (30 October 2014)

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] SPT, Rights of persons institutionalized and medically treated without informed consent, para.8

[6] Id. para.15

[7] Id. para. 9

[8] Id. para.10

[9] European Fundamental Rights Agency: Involuntary placement and involuntary treatment of persons with mental health problems, 2012. Available at: http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/involuntary-placement-and-involuntary-treatment-of-persons-with-mental-health-problems_en.pdf

Pink Belette: La psiquiatrie en France/ Psychiatry in France

La psychiatrie en France, zone de non-droit (par Pink Belette)

Une patiente française sous contrainte fait son « audit » dans le cadre de la campagne pour soutenir l’Abolition totale des soins et de l’hospitalisation sans consentement en application de la CDPH de l’ONU

http://depsychiatriser.blogspot.no/2016/03/la-psychiatrie-en-france-zone-de-non.html

 

Pourquoi je suis contre les « soins sous contrainte » :

On pourrait croire que, au pays de la liberté, on a encore droit à son intégrité morale et physique.

Rien n’est plus faux. Par experience, impossible pour quiconque d’échapper à un soin sous contrainte (SPDT, « soin à la demande d’un tiers » ou « péril imminent »).

Il suffit que : une personne la demande (que ce soit la famille, un voisin…), qu’on soit « pas bien », déstabilisé, agité, « instable », en colère, dépressif, sur la défensive, « en opposition », « délirant », amaigri, boulimique, fumeur de shit, drogué…

Il suffit aussi qu’on refuse l’hospitalisation ou un traitement pour que les médecins se relaient pour demander un soin sous contrainte. Une fois hospitalisé, « on » vous fait comprendre que vous perdez vos droits à la personne, l’argument étant : « maintenant on est responsable de vous pour TOUT »… Par contre, vis-à-vis de vous, « on » n’est responsable de rien…

 

Depuis la loi Bachelot du 5 Juillet 2011, en particulier si on a le malheur de contester le diagnostic ou le traitement, c’est alors après la sortie d’hospitalisation qu’on ne peut plus se débarrasser de la contrainte, et c’est là que c’est le plus pervers : injections forcées, consultations obligatoires avec un praticien hospitalier non choisi (à la rigueur, on a le choix entre deux médecins).

Le pire : si on refuse de se rendre au centre médico-psychologique du secteur assigné, la police vient gentiment vous cueillir chez vous pour vous hospitaliser en soins obligatoires à un degré encore plus coercitif (SPDRE, « sur la demande de l’Etat ») et sur un temps plus long et sans contact autorisé avec l’extérieur (!) jusqu’à ce qu’il aient réussi à réduire votre volonté à néant. Ainsi, il arrive que les personnes concernées doivent abandonner leur logement pour « vivre » en psychiatrie (parfois pendant des dizaines d’années, voir le cas de Dimitri Fargette)…

 

Je suis témoin : en France, il y a réellement du souci à se faire…

  1. Il n’y a aucune alternative à la psychiatrie institutionnelle (lobbying des psychiatres ET de l’industrie pharmaceutique contre d’autres formes de thérapies) ;
  2. Aucune littérature ou culture antipsychiatrique (des « survivants », il n’y en a pas…)
  3. L’Ordre des Medecins Psychiatres qui suspend : tout psychiatre « en décalage » avec le système consensuel (d’après le Dr. O.G, psychiatre libéral et ex-chef de clinique) ;
  4. L’Ordre des Medecins Psychiatres qui suspend : un psychiatre responsable de la mort d’une patiente… seulement pour 2 semaines (voir l’affaire Florence Edaine)
  5. La « Mafia des tutelles » : tout patient faisant des séjours répétés est automatiquement placé sous curatelle ou tutelle (sans consentement, c’est renforcé)…
  6. Des mères se voient enlever leurs enfants immédiatement après la pose d’un diagnostic de maladie mentale ; jamais de scandale médiatique…
  7. On fait comprendre aux femmes en âge de procréer qu’il faut surtout adopter la contraception, en sous-entendant qu’on leur enlèverait leur enfant de toute façon. Ce qu’on ne leur dit pas, c’est que tous les neuroleptiques passent la barrière placentaire, c’est pourquoi j’ai entendu parler d’autant de cas d’avortements spontanés chez les femmes sous traitement. Dixit une infirmière, on donne de l’Haldol aux femmes enceintes, ce qui « prouverait » soi-disant « le peu de nocivité de l’Haldol » (!). Jamais d’étude là-dessus ni de scandale médiatique…
  8. Des services fermés qui regorgent de dépressifs qui ne sont pas en « péril imminent » et qui se sentent surtout mal de recevoir par exemple 4(!) antidépresseurs à la fois…
  9. Une cellule d’isolement toujours occupée (appelée « chambre de soins intensifs »!), ce qui participe du « folklore »…
  10. « Abonné une fois, abonné toujours » : les traitements qu’on ne peut plus JAMAIS arrêter ;
  11. Aucune étude à long-terme sur les effets des psychotropes…
  12. Aucun recours en cas d’abus psychiatriques (système interne de « médiation » caduc : mal vous en prend d’écrire une lettre au directeur de l’établissement…)

 

Pourquoi je suis contre ce nouveau système de « Juge des Libertés et Détentions » (relatif à la loi du 27 septembre 2013) :

On vous fait croire que c’est une voie de recours. Rien n’est plus faux, à part en cas de vice de forme (ce qui n’arrive quasiment jamais, puisque les psychiatres ont intérêt à ce que la procédure se passe en bonne et dûe forme). Au contraire, c’est un enfermement de plus…

  1. Le juge n’est pas psychiatre, il se garderait bien de remettre en question le jugement des médecins sur le fond. Par contre, on lui a expliqué que tout patient qui conteste le traitement est en « opposition », ce qui constitue déjà une preuve de « déni de maladie ».
  2. Les médecins y trouvent donc une voie bien pratique pour se décharger de leurs responsabilités, puisque « c’est le juge qui décide ». Et alors on voit défiler les patients dans le bureau du juge, accompagnés d’un soignant : « on vous amène Mme X »…
  3. On vous octroie un avocat commis d’office une semaine avant, mais qu’on ne peut pas contacter avant. Le jour de l’audience, c’est 15 minutes pour faire connaissance et se préparer, et ceci « dans les cases »…
  4. Ce qui est très alarmant, c’est qu’on ne trouve pas d’avocat en libéral, à part peut-être à Paris, et seulement pour un recours aux assises.
  5. Le juge prétexte qu’il ne peut lever le soin sous contrainte si c’est à la demande du directeur de l’établissement. Or, toutes les demandes de mise en soins sous contrainte passent par l’approbation du directeur. Tout le monde se donne bonne conscience, donc ;
  6. Une fois l’audience terminée (10 minutes), où l’on se voit déstabilisé, accusé et mis en doute, le juge « ordonne » le maintien en hospitalisation complète et de la mesure de contrainte, ce qui confère force de loi aux médecins (et donc une impunité totale) et SURTOUT donne encore plus de poids à la mesure.
  7. Inutile de préciser que si on était encore crédible avant, on ne l’est plus du tout et c’est définitif. Si on refuse de signer la feuille ou de comparaître, c’est pire, et on s’attire les foudres des médecins et du personnel soignant, qui vous mettent la pression, vous humilient et vous maltraitent. On ne peut pas non plus refuser que l’audience ait lieu.
  8. Le juge sait pertinemment qu’il s’agit d’une volonté potitique de faire taire les « récalcitrants » par voie chimique et coercitive. Il y adhère donc pleinement.

 

Pourquoi je suis contre les traitements forcés :

J’insiste sur le fait que les psychiatres hospitaliers ont les pleins pouvoirs sur le choix et le dosage des traitements, il ne s’agit JAMAIS d’un consentement éclairé. La « balance bénéfice-risque » est toujours de leur côté, même en cas de surdosage, même si la personne prend déjà 17 médicaments et pèse 200kg (ce qui est le cas d’une amie à qui on a donné Zyprexa ET Xeroquel suite à quoi elle a fait un accident vasculaire cérébral). Ils ne sont jamais responsables des effets secondaires non plus et vous orientent « gentiment » vers votre généraliste…

De plus, c’est toujours les médecins qui « décident » à votre place si vous allez bien ou non, et ce, même s’ils ne vous connaissent pas ou vous on vu seulement 5 minutes…

L’effet pervers de la chose, c’est que c’est tellement insupportable d’être enfermé et camisolé chimiquement qu’au bout d’un mois, on fait semblant d’aller mieux, on renie ses opinions et on arrête de se plaindre des effets secondaires pour pouvoir sortir, sous peine de se voir diagnostiquer en plus des « troubles du comportement » et un « déni de la maladie»…

 

J’AI ETE TORTUREE : au Zyprexa (surdosage), au Solian, au Tercian, au Risperdal (8 mg pour un poids de 50 kg), à l’Haldol (90 gouttes par jour) et « shootée » au Valium (40mg!)…

Le médecin et le personnel infirmier refusaient de prendre en compte : les troubles de l’élocution, tremblements, convulsions, dyskinésies, impatiences insupportables, angoisses mortelles, envie de mourir et tortures psychiques (« enfer » mental) qui ont apparu immédiatement et ont même empiré avec le temps. Je me suis battue en vain en plaidant que les neuroleptiques anesthésient la conscience, font perdre la mémoire, rendent docile et influençable, rendent dépressif et encore plus anxieux, affectent les capacités intellectuelles et détruisent l’âme.

J’ai également été mise plusieurs fois en isolement avec violences de la part du personnel ET des employés de la sécurité, alors que je n’ai JAMAIS été agressive. J’ai été mise sous contention, j’ai été déshabillée de force, j’ai été déshydratée, humiliée, bafouée, maltraitée…

Aujourd’hui, même si j’ai droit à un traitement moins inhumain, l’Abilify en injectable (après une 4ème tentative de suicide), je reste « accro » au Valium, traumatisée et toujours en alerte, dans l’angoisse de manquer à mes « obligations » ou de faire mauvaise impression, sans parler de l’absence totale de perspectives, de motivation et de joie dans ma vie, sans parler de ma vie affective qui est une misère (mort spirituelle, isolation, dépression, anxiété…).

Ma carrière artistique, qui avait débuté avec succès, a été définitivement brisée pendant mes meilleures années (la trentaine) et je suis aujourd’hui dans l’incapacité de créer alors qu’avant je foisonnais d’idées et me donnais les moyens pour les mettre en œuvre. Il est également trop tard et trop compliqué pour moi maintenant pour devenir mère.

Je vis dans la précarité à la charge de l’Etat.

 

Pourquoi j’ai toujours été opposée à leurs « diagnostics » pathologisants :

Je suis une personne ayant vécu les pires traumatismes dans la petite enfance (viols et abus, harcèlement), dont la plupart des souvenirs sont remontés plus de trente ans après, ce qui a grandement affecté mon équilibre psychique. J’ai malheureusement dû constater que, d’après les psychiatres (pour autant qu’ils m’aient crue…), il n’y aurait aucune relation de cause à effet entre ce que j’ai subi et mes troubles (!), ce qui est tellement énorme et risible qu’on aurait plutôt envie d’en pleurer…

J’ai pu constater, à l’instar de la Dre Muriel Salmona, seule psychiatre en France à ma connaissance qui aborde la souffrance psychique sous l’angle du trauma, qu’en France, aucune prise en charge spécifique n’est prévue ou proposée, et après 8 ans de psychiatrie, aucun médecin à ce jour ne m’a diagnostiqué un syndrôme de stress post-traumatique avec dissociation, ce qui pourtant devrait être le cas après des viols dans la grande majorité des cas selon la Dre muriel Salmona ( Association Mémoire Traumatique et Victimologie ). Je n’ai quasiment jamais pu faire de travail thérapeutique avec un psychiatre.

Quant à leur diagnostic de schizophrénie, il n’a jamais été étayé, expliqué ou argumenté, et mon dossier a été établi sur des « observations » des médecins et de simples « impressions » du personnel soignant… J’ai constaté également que parler de spiritualité conduisait immanquablement à un diagnostic de « délire mystique », donc, selon eux, de schizophrénie.

J’en conclus que l’enfermement et leurs mauvais soins n’ont fait qu’en rajouter à mes traumatismes, je ne crois pas un seul instant que leurs maladies imaginaires résultent d’un déséquilibre chimique dans mon cerveau ou d’une quelconque « maladie » biologique, je sais que les effets des neuroleptiques sont catastrophiques à long-terme et je suis totalement en accord avec de nombreux anti-psychiatres à l’international, dont le Dr. Peter Breggin, Joanna Moncrieff, David Healy, Robert Whitaker, Thomas Szazs, Peter Goetzsche et autres… (cf. le site madinamerica.com).

 

CONFORMEMENT À LA CONVENTION DES NATIONS UNIES SUR LES DROITS DES PERSONNES HANDICAPÉES, ARTICLES 12, 14 ET 15, TEL QU’INTERPRÉTÉ DANS L’OBSERVATION GÉNÉRALE NO. 1 ET LES LIGNES DIRECTRICES SUR L’ARTICLE 14, ET AUX PRINCIPES DE BASE ET LIGNES DIRECTRICES PUBLIEES PAR LE GROUPE DE TRAVAIL SUR LA DETENTION ARBITRAIRE DE L’ONU, PRINCIPE 20 ET LIGNE DIRECTRICE 20, JE PLAIDE POUR L’ABOLITION TOTALE DE LA PSYCHIATRIE COERCITIVE ET DES TRAITEMENTS FORCES.

JE REVENDIQUE TOUS MES DROITS A LA PERSONNE EN TANT QUE FEMME MAJEURE PROTEGEE, PERSONNE HANDICAPEE, EN PARTICULIER LE DROIT INALIENABLE DE DISPOSER PLEINEMENT DE MON CORPS ET DE MON ESPRIT SANS CHIMIE IATROGENE, DE MA LIBERTE INCONDITIONNELLE.

JE CONSIDERE LA PSYCHIATRIE INSTITUTIONNELLE ET SES PRATIQUES COERCITIVES COMME UN CRIME CONTRE L’HUMANITE, UNE ATTEINTE A LA DIGNITE ET A LA LIBERTE DE PENSEE 

Pink Belette, Mars 2016

 

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Psychiatry in France, NO-RIGHTS-ZONE (By Pink Belette)

A french patient under forced commitment makes her « audit assignment » as part of the campaign to support CRPD absolute prohibition of commitment and forced treatment

 

Why I am against commitment and forced treatment :

One could believe that, in the land of liberty, one is still entitled to his or her physical and moral integrity.

Experience proves it wrong. It is impossible for anyone to escape forced commitment (so-called « care on demand of a third party » or « imminent danger »).

It’s already a done deal if : one person asks for it (family, neighbour…), one is « not well », unsettled, agitated, « not stable », gets angry, is depressed, on the defensive, « in opposition », exuberant, emaciated, bulimic, shit smoker, drugged…

It is sufficient if one refuses hospitalization or a treatment for the doctors to relieve each other in order to enforce commitment. Once hospitalized, it is been made perfectly clear that one looses his or her personal rights, only argument is : « now we are responsible of you for EVERYTHING »… Thus, towards the « patient », nobody is responsible of anything…

 

Since the « Bachelot law » of July 5th 2011, particularly if one has something to object, be it diagnose or treatment, it is then after being out of hospital that one cannot get rid of commitment, which is most perverse : forced injections, mandatory appointments with an non-chosen clinical psychiatrist (or, best case, with a choice between two doctors).

And, worst of all : if one refuses to go to the assigned medical center of one’s district, the police comes to pick one up at home and rehospitalization is mandatory with an increased commitment that is even more coercive (« on demand of the State »), on a longer lapse of time and with no authorization to communicate with the outside (!) until they succeed to break one’s will and reduce one to nothingness… It so happens that people loose their home and « live » in psychiatry (sometimes for decades, see Dimitri Fargette’s case)…

 

I witness : in France, there is really matter to worry about… 

  1. There is no alternative to institutional psychiatry (lobbying of psychiatrists AND pharmaceutical industry against other forms of therapies) ;
  2. No antipsychiatric litterature nor culture (no « survivors »…)
  3. The « College of Psychiatrists » who suspends : every psychiatrist « not aligned » with this consensual system (according to Dr. O.G, liberal psychiatrist and former head of clinic);
  4. The « College of psychiatrists » suspending : a psychiatrist responsible for the death of a patient… only for two weeks (see the case of young patient Florence Edaine)
  5. The « Guardianship mafia » : every patient who is repeatedly hospitalized is automatically placed under guardianship under a certain degree (without consent, it is being reinforced…)
  6. Single mothers get their children robbed and placed immediately after a diagnosis of mental illness is established, never one scandal about this…
  7. Women in age to bear a child are being strongly recommended a contraception, with a wink that their child would be taken away from them anyway. What they are not being told is that all neuroleptics pass the placenta barrier, that’s why i have heard of so many miscarriages from women under treatment. A quote from a nurse : « pregnant women are given Haldol, which proves it’s little nocivity » (!). Never one study about that nor mediatic scandal.
  8. Closed wards full of depressive people who are not in « immediate danger » and are feeling bad mainly because they are being given for example 4 (!) antidepressants at a time…
  9. An always occupied isolation chamber (so-called « intensive care chamber »!), which participates to the « folklore »…
  10. « Once subscriber, always subscriber » : treatments one can NEVER withdraw from ;
  11. No long-term study on psychotropic medication… (All so-called studies are biased)
  12. No recourse in case of even flagrant psychiatric abuse (internal system of « mediation » obsolete : it’s a very bad idea to write a letter to the director of the institution…)

 

Why I am against this new system of « Judge of Liberties and Detentions » (related to the law of september 27th 2013) :

They are making believe it is a recourse. I was proved wrong, except for instance on a technicality (which almost never happens, because it’s in the psychiatrists’ interest that the procedure goes well and in due form). On the contrary, it’s in the sense of more legal coercion…

  1. The judge is no psychiatrist, he would never ever put into question the judgment of the physicians concerning the core. Thus, he has been briefed about the « fact » that any patient who opposes treatment is « in opposition », which establishes already a proof of « illness denial » (and as a proof of illness itself).
  2. Therein it has been found a very practical way for doctors to be discharged of their responsibilities, as « it’s the judge who decides ». And now, bunches of patients are being spotted filing up before the judges’ office, escorted by a nurse : « we bring you Ms. X »…
  3. Patients get a mandated advocate one week before the audience, but who cannot be contacted in advance. At audience day, it’s 15 minutes to meet and prepare, and, of course, in a « formated » way.
  4. Very alarming is the fact that no liberal advocate is to be found for psychiatric abuse pleas, except maybe in Paris, and mostly for a recourse before the Court of Assize.
  5. The judge pretends he cannot lift the forced commitment because it’s asked for by the hospital director. Yet, all demands for forced commitment have to be validated by the director. Hence everyone gives him- or herself a good conscience there ;
  6. Once the audience done (10 minutes), where one gets destabilized, accused and doubted of, the judge « orders » the maintaining of the person in complete hospitalization and of the measure, which confers force of law on the doctors (hence, total impunity).
  7. Not to mention the fact that if one still had credibility before, it’s no longer the case and irreversible. If one refuses to sign the convocation or to attend the audience, it’s worse, and one is being bullied by staff members and doctors alike, who put one under pressure, humiliates one… One also cannot refuse the audience being held despite of one’s absence.
  8. The judge knows pretty well that it’s a political will to make silent the « opponents » of the system, chemically and coercively. He therefore fully concurs with it.

 

Why I am against forced treatment :

I insist on the fact that hospital psychiatrists are almighty regarding the choice and dosage of treatments, it’s never about an « informed consent ». The « benefit- risk balance » is always on their side, even in case of overdosage, even if the person already takes 17 meds and weighs 400 pounds (which is the case of a friend to whom was administered Zyprexa AND Seroquel after which she had a cerebral attack with impairment). They are also never responsible for side effects and, in case of complaint, derefer to one’s generalist physician…

Thus, it is always them who « decide » on one’s behalf if one is well or not and this, even if they don’t know the person or have seen him or her only five minutes…

Perverse effect of the thing : it’s so unbearable being locked up and silenced chemically, that, after a month, one pretends to feel better, disavow his or her opinions and stops complaining about side effects in order to get out, knowing that otherwise one will be diagnosed behavioural troubles and « illness deny »…

 

I WAS TORTURED : with Zyprexa (overdosis), Amisulpride, Cyamemazine, Risperdal (8 mg for a weight of 100 pounds), Haldol (90 drops a day) and « shooted » with Valium (40mg!)…

The doctors and staff refused to take into account : speaking troubles, heavy trembling, convulsions, dyskinesia, unbearable akathisia, heavy existential fear, wish to be dead and psychical tortures (mental « hell ») which appeared immediately and even worsened as time went by. I fought in vain, pleading that neuroleptics anesthetize consciousness, occasion memory loss, make one docile and influentiable, make depressive and even more anxious, impair one cognitively and destroy the soul.

I was also put into solitary confinement several times with violences from the staff AND security agents, despite the fact I have NEVER been even agressive. I was put under contention, was violently undressed, dehydrated, humiliated, spoliated, mistreated…

Today, even if I get a « less inhumane » treatment – Abilify retard injection – (after a 4th suicide attempt), I remain addicted to Valium, traumatized and always on alert, fearing to miss my « obligations » or to make bad impression, without mentioning total absence of perspectives, motivation or joy in life, without mentioning my affective life that is a misery (spiritual death, isolation, depression, anxiety…).

My artistic career, which finally started with success has been definitively broken during my best years (in my 30′) and today I am totally unable to create despite the fact that before, I had thousands of ideas and was giving a great deal to put them into meaningful use. It is also too late and too complicated for me now to become a mother.

I live in precarity at the charge of the State.

 

Why I was always opposed to their pathologizing « diagnoses » :

I’m a person who endured the worst traumas in early childhood (rape and abuse, mobbing…), while most memories came up again more than 30 years afterwards, which greatly affected my emotional balance. I had unfortunately to experience that, according to psychiatrists (if they even believed me), there would be no cause-to-effect relationship between what I had to bear and my troubles (!), which I find so enormous and stupid that one would rather cry…

I had to notice, alike Dr. Muriel Salmona – only psychiatrist in France knowingly approaching psychical suffering under the perspective of trauma – that in France, no specific caretaking is being proposed nor planned, and after 8 years of psychiatry, not one physician has diagnosed me a post-traumatic stress disorder with dissociation which, according to Dr. Muriel Salmona (« Association Mémoire Traumatique et Victimologie ») is the case after rape and abuse.

I could almost never do a therapeutic work with a psychiatrist.

Regarding their diagnosis of schizophrenia, it has never been illustrated, explained or argumented, and my medical records have been established on mere « observations » from the doctors and sheer « impressions » from the staff…

I also came to the conclusion that to actually speak about spirituality would eventually always end in them diagnosing a « mystical delirium » and, as such, schizophrenia.

My conclusion is that their imprisoning and bad treatments have done none but to aggravate my traumas and personal issues, I don’t believe a second that their imaginary « diseases » result in a chemical imbalance in my brain or an unknown « biological » illness, I know that neuroleptics and affiliated meds are catastrophic in the long-term (causing brain damage) and I totally agree with numerous anti-psychiatrists internationally, such as the Drs. Peter Breggin, Joanna Moncrieff, David Healy, Robert Whitaker, Thomas Szazs, Peter Goetzsche and others… (see on madinamerica.com).

 

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, ARTICLES 12, 14 AND 15, AS INTERPRETED IN GENERAL COMMENT NO. 1 AND THE GUIDELINES ON ARTICLE 14, AND WITH THE BASIC PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES OF THE UN WORKING GROUP ON ARBITRARY DETENTION PUBLISHED IN 2015, PRINCIPLE 20 AND GUIDELINE 20, I SPEAK IN FAVOUR OF ABSOLUTE PROHIBITION OF COERCIVE PSYCHIATRY AND FORCED TREATMENT.

I RECLAIM ALL MY RIGHTS TO PERSONHOOD AS A DISABLED ADULT WOMAN UNDER PROTECTION, IN PARTICULAR THE INALIENABLE RIGHT TO DISPOSE ENTIRELY OF MY BODY, MIND AND SOUL WITHOUT IATROGENIC CHEMICALS AND MY UNCONDITIONAL LIBERTY.

I CONSIDER INSTITUTIONAL PSYCHIATRY AND ITS COERCIVE PRACTICES A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY, A SEVERE HARM TO DIGNITY AND TO FREEDOM OF THINKING.

 

Pink Belette, March 2016

 

 

The contested freedom of the ‘scary’ – Karlijn Roex

The contested freedom of the ‘scary’: the use of coercion in psychiatry violates basic human rights

Detention, solitary confinement, forced drugging; throughout history, societies have had the tendency to aggressively constrain people with psycho-social disabilities and preferred an security-obsessed instrumentalism above universal human rights. But recently, the use of coercion in psychiatry is a highly debated practice in human rights circles; witness the latest report of Human Rights Watch[1] on shackling. This increased interest has gotten a great impulse by the recent release of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Drawing upon scientific work, ‘user’ narratives and moral principles, I support the call made by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to abandon the use of coercion in psychiatry.

According to authoritative documents of the Convention[2], the use of coercion in psychiatry is a form of discrimination of people with psycho-social disabilities, and violates the right of these people to enjoy autonomy and personal integrity. These principles are to be respected, regardless of any instrumental benefits that may result from applying coercive psychiatric interventions. But the perceived instrumental benefits are exactly why the use of coercion in psychiatry has long gone uncontested. And these benefits have moral significance too. People have the right to be protected against themselves, or against dangerous fellow-humans. In fact, many proponents of coercion in psychiatry follow this ethical ‘lesser evil’ reasoning. According to them, it is allowed to introduce an evil when a greater evil is prevented by this. Thus, such a lesser evil argument justifies the abandonment of some key fundamental human rights. This is dangerous, because human rights are typically abandoned during the times in which they are most needed[3]. In fact, these human rights are meant to protect our scapegoated minorities from being oppressed during times of public fear. In times of public fear, some human rights become a privilege of the non-scary, or if one prefers, of the ‘respectable section of society’[4]. In the context here, the lucky ones are the people without psycho-social disabilities. The scary, by contrast, have to deal with a contested freedom.

Coercive psychiatric interventions are decisions or actions imposed on the individual, without his/ her informed consent, based on psycho-social disability. In this regard, the CRPD has also come out against the use of this danger standard, or any other criteria, as a way of legitimizing psychiatric detention[5]. To be clear, the coercive interventions that are discussed here are not taken because of a criminal suspicion or criminal conviction. Today, most countries allow coercive psychiatric interventions only when an individual is considered dangerous to him-/herself or to others. However, the initial assessment of dangerousness is taken by psychiatrists only. A court is not yet involved in this initial decision to psychiatrically detain an individual. This is highly problematic, because the psychiatric perspective and security-obsessed instrumentalism are clearly dominating the process of key decision making, at the cost of the human rights perspective. At the moment where the psychiatrists’ initial decision is critically reviewed, marks of shame have already been added to the affected individual. Not only has this mark of shame been added through the unfavourable initial psychiatric guess, which gains much epistemological authority in our societies, but also because of the very stigmatizing practice of the detention itself[6]. It is then much harder for the affected individual to win credibility.

We therefore see that the conditions for coercive psychiatric interventions have become stricter over time, but that they fail to seriously challenge the practice of arbitrary detention. This may explain why the ‘stricter’ danger standard has not led to a decrease in the number of psychiatric detentions[7]. Probably, the innovation has rather served to silence any critical voices from the human rights corner. This silencing has been achieved by incorporating insignificant parts of the critical demands into the existing policy, without meaningfully changing any inherently oppressive and discriminatory principles[8]. Apparently, there is a high demand in society to confine people with psycho-social disabilities, and one of the main drivers behind this demand is a perceived danger.

Protecting people against themselves: the right not to be a false positive[9]

But what is wrong with this dangerous-criterion? Is it, for instance, not our moral duty to protect people from themselves when needed? Obviously, it is! But we should become reflect one more moment about our ability to assess mental states: when is someone to be considered a danger to him-/ herself? Let me take suicide as an example. As a researcher in this topic, the literature clearly shows me that assessing the risk of suicide in individuals is a very difficult task. Most people that disclosure suicidal thoughts do not commit suicide, especially women[10]. Secondly, psychiatric risk assessments are proven to be really unreliable[11], leading to many ‘false positives’: people who are considered a danger while they are actually not. The statement whether someone is a danger, is in fact a hypothesis about mental states and future behaviours. These are unobservable things that are hard to measure. Even when an individual has committed self-harming acts in the past, this does not necessarily make him dangerous for the present, or the future. Test results are likely to be biased and steered by common prejudices about people with psycho-social disabilities[12], ethnic minorities, and the poor[13]. Worse, the dangerousness claim is strictly not falsifiable, at least at a short term: how can one prove today that one will not kill himself soon? As a consequence of this, many individuals are subjected to coercive interventions because they were wrongly labelled as ‘dangerous’ and cannot easily escape this label. Escaping the dangerousness-label is made even more difficult by general mistrusting attitudes of hospital staff towards mental patients[14], and the fact that people tend to start behaving conform the stigma over time, due to its adverse effects on them[15]. The accumulation of humiliating interactions, which would frustrate every normal person, can lead to responses that can be termed as ‘aggressive’. How would you respond if you learn that you were wrongly informed about your legal status[16] concerning something as important as your freedom?

These ‘false positives’ are vulnerable people, just like people who are a real danger to themselves. But is it actually a wise strategy to expose such people to some of the very traumatic coercive psychiatric interventions? There are numerous accounts of patients or ‘ex-users’ of psychiatry that indicate how stressful and traumatic these interventions were to them. Indeed, some human rights advocates define some of these interventions as torture. There are even indications that exposure to such interventions can lead to post-traumatic stress symptoms and suicide[17]. There are user narratives that indicate that individuals without any previous suicidal tendencies became suicidal after being exposed to coercive interventions, such as solitary confinement. User narratives indicate how humiliating these experiences can be, with people losing their personal integrity, humanity and dignity. Affected individuals often carry along these feelings until long after the incidents.

Protecting people against their dangerous fellow-citizens: contesting the freedom of the ‘Other’

But what if a person is not a danger to him-/ herself, but to others? When we want to be protected against our dangerous fellow-citizens, then what is morally wrong with that? Well, nothing, but of course we have to come with reasonable grounds and evidence of this supposed danger. The mere existence of a psycho-social disorder, cannot point towards a certain danger. When an individual tells me that he is going to harm me, he can be prosecuted for threats. Most countries have also criminalized several public order disturbances. We can already prosecute anybody who has visibly undertaken preparations for committing a criminal offense, or who has clearly tried to commit a certain crime. Therefore: we already have a great law that protects us against dangerous fellow-citizens: the Criminal Law! Even greater, this law protects the citizen against the state and an over-feared community. We cannot just convict an individual because of a mere suspicion; instead, conviction requires that we have some tangible evidence against this individual.

With this great law in mind, why would we create another law especially for people with psycho-social disabilities? Because we are afraid of people with psycho-social disabilities. A mere suspicion of dangerousness in a person with mental illness is already terrifying enough, isn’t it? Why then bother about visible evidence for a criminal conviction? Mental health laws are the dubious innovation of a frightened society. These laws enable communities to incarcerate individuals with psycho-social disabilities when we suspect that they are dangerous. This suspicion is backed with test results from, again, very unreliable and biased psychiatric risk-assessments. As a consequence, we have created two types of citizenship: the ‘normal’ citizens and the scary semi-citizens. The latter group has found his freedom contested: it can be denied at any time, as soon as a suspicion of dangerousness arises. Whereas the majority of us can feel safe and count on the basic human rights principles that respect our freedom and integrity, there is a group in our society whose members can simply be detained without the regular battery of legal requirements.

This is an inconvenient leak in our modern democracies, and should concern every citizen. No citizen can find himself guaranteed at the ‘right’ side of the divide, because the boundaries between mental illness and normality are time-dependent and not nature-given. In the past, we have seen the ‘psychiatrization’ of homosexuality, political dissent, and poverty. This teaches us that mental health laws are a convenient way to subtly discipline certain categories of people; much more smoothly and subtly than explicitly prosecuting these deviants through criminal courts[18]. And although our societies are now to be considered ‘free-minded’, or ‘post-modern’, we should always be aware of the disciplinary potential of mental health laws. This disciplinary potential can be toxic in combination with the timeless fact that we are never aware of the oppressive ideas of our own time.

In all, let’s give it a shot and abandon the use of coercion in psychiatry towards history. Fear makes that we immediately grab towards the so-called ‘last resort’ of a coercive intervention, whereas there are instances in which a simple conversation would already help. Such a conversation would also help us, learning about the specific and different logics behind madness, and therefore render it a little bit less unpredictable and scary.

Karlijn Roex is a PhD-candidate in Sociology and human rights activist. She lives in Germany.

[1] Human Rights Watch (2016, March 20). Indonesia: Treating Mental Health With Shackles. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 21 March 2016, from: https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/03/20/indonesia-treating-mental-health-shackles

[2] See for instance: CRPD. (2015). Guidelines on Article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – The right to liberty and security of persons with disabilities. New York: United Nations; CRPD. (2014). General Comment No. 1 (2014). Article 12: Equal Recognition Before the Law. New York: United Nations; United Nations Human Rights Committee (2015, October 10). Dignity must prevail – An appeal to do away with non-consensual psychiatric treatment World Mental Health Day. United Nations. Retrieved 10 March 2016, from: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16583&LangID=E

[3] Hudson, B. (2009). Justice in a Time of Terror. British journal of Criminology, Delinquency and Deviant Social Behaviour, 5(49), 702-717; Roex, K.L. A. & Riezen, Van. B. (2012). Counter-Terrorism in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom: A Comparative Literature Review Study. Social Cosmos, 3(1), 97-110.

[4] Berger, P.L. (1992). Sociology as a Form of Consciousness. In H. Robboy & C. Clark (edit.), Social Interaction. Readings in Sociology (pp. 6-22). Richmond: Worth Publishers.

[5] See for example CRPD. (2015). Guidelines on Article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – The right to liberty and security of persons with disabilities. New York: United Nations.

[6] Goffman, E. (1961). Asylums. Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates. New York: Anchor Books; Becker, H. S. (1963). Outsiders. New York: The Free Press.

[7] At least in Europe. See: Salize, H. J., Dressing, H. & Peitz, M. (2002). Compulsory Admission and Involuntary Treatment of Mentally Ill Patients – Legislation and Practice in EU-Member States. Brussels: European Commission.

[8] This strategy to silence critics is widely analysed by the Foucaultian sociologist Mathiesen: Mathiesen, T. (2004). Silently Silenced. Essays on the Creation of Acquiescence in Modern Society. Winchester: Waterside Press. See also on this specific topic: Harding ,T.W. (2000): Human Rights Law in the Field of Mental Health: a Critical Review. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 101: 24-30

[9] Borrowed from Steadman, H. J. (1980). The Right Not to be A False Positive: Problems in the Application of the Dangerousness Standard. Psychiatric Quarterly, 2, 84-99.

[10] Cannetto, S. S. & Sakinosky, I. (1998). The Gender Paradox in Suicide. Suicide & Life Threatening Behavior, 28(1), 1-23 and Möller-Leimkühler, A. M. (2003). The Gender Gap in Suicide and Premature Death or: Why Are Men So Vulnerable? Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosc, 253: 1-8.

[11] Steadman, H. J. (1980). The Right Not to be A False Positive: Problems in the Application of the Dangerousness Standard. Psychiatric Quarterly, 2, 84-99; Madsen T, Agerbo E, Mortensen PB, Nordentoft M (2012) Predictors of psychiatric inpatient suicide: a national prospective register-based study. J Clin Psychiatry 73:144–151; Steeg S, Kapur N, Webb R, Applegate E, Stewart SL, Hawton K, Bergen H, Waters K, Cooper J (2012) The development of a population-level clinical screening tool for self-harm repetition and suicide: the ReACT self-harm rule. Psychol Med 42:2383–2394; Ryan C, Nielssen O, Paton M, Large M (2010) Clinical decisions in psychiatry should not be based on risk assessment. Australas Psychiatry 18:398–403.

[12] Link et al., (1999).Public Conceptions of Mental Illness: Labels, Causes, Dangerousness, and Social Distance. American Journal of Public Health, 89(9), 1328-1333; Perscosolido, et al. (2013). The ‘Backbone’ of Stigma: Identifying the Global Core of Public Prejudice Associated With Mental Illness. American Journal of Public Health, 103(5), 853-860.

[13] The population of involuntarily hospitalized psychiatric patients contains an overrepresentation of low-income indiivduals, black people, and people of an ethnic minority. See for example: Salize, H. J., Dressing, H. & Peitz, M. (2002). Compulsory Admission and Involuntary Treatment of Mentally Ill Patients – Legislation and Practice in EU-Member States. Brussels: European Commission.

[14] Goffman, E. (1961). Asylums. Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates. New York: Anchor Books.

[15] Becker, H. S. (1963). Outsiders. New York: The Free Press.

[16] Something that appears to happen quite often in EU countries: see Salize et al. (2002)

[17] For instance: Large, M. M. & Ryan, C. (2014). Disturbing Findings about the Risk of Suicide and Psychiatric Hospitals. Soc Psychiatr Epidemiol, 49, 1353-1355.

[18] See also the different works of Michèl Foucault on this

Contribution to the Campaign to Support the CRPD Absolute Prohibition of Commitment and Forced Treatment: María Teresa Fernández Vázquez (Mexico)

an English summary of the Spanish original posted at https://absoluteprohibition.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/aporte-a-la-campana-por-la-prohibicion-absoluta-en-la-cdpd-de-los-tratamientos-forzosos-y-los-internamientos-involuntarios-maria-teresa-fernandez-mexico/ and at https://sodisperu.org/2016/03/14/aporte-a-la-campana-por-la-prohibicion-absoluta-en-la-cdpd-de-los-tratamientos-forzosos-y-los-internamientos-involuntarios/

In this text I try to argue my support for the Campaign from three different approaches. First, from a humanistic and social perspective that sees the human person as a unique and irreducible being, whose “inexhaustible potential of existence” [1] unfolds and may unfold in infinite ways and expressions, all of which are equally valuable and precious. For centuries, however, persons with disabilities in general, and persons with psychosocial disabilities in particular, have been put down and aside, and their expressions rarely acknowledged or approved by the vast majority. Either through ignorance, fear, negligence, lust for power and control, etc., both governments and societies have been ready to repress human conducts that do not fit the socially construed parameters already embedded in unquestioned norms, habits, symbols and cultural stereotypes. So that the status quo is maintained. We should consider any attempt at repression of human expression as a form of social and political oppression that should not be tolerated. Instead, societies should open themselves to human diversity, and build with all those who are different a permanent dialogue; create – hand in hand with them – new forms of social interaction and coexistence that enrich us all. To this I bet.

Secondly, I talk from my personal experience as the sister of a man who in his adolescence was diagnosed with epilepsy and later in his life became an alcoholic. My brother was confined to health centers, “farms” and psychiatric hospitals on the recommendation of his treating physicians. I can testify the increasing deterioration suffered by my brother after each placement, which culminated with his painful and early death. His commitments were absolutely intolerable and ominous: for him, for us as his family, and for us all. I deeply regret that we did not have access to the information, advice, proper support or the services that would have allowed my brother to live his life differently, according to his needs and potential; humanly, in short. The worst of it all is that today – forty years later – things have not changed much. There is still the same lack of such: information, advice, proper support and services. People with psychosocial disabilities keep on being ill-treated and committed, even against their will; even if there is proved evidence that such treatments do not work, but, on the contrary, they do profound and irreversible harm. Both: governments (through laws, policies and lack of political will), health professionals and society as a whole continue to condemn persons with psychosocial disabilities to oblivion and to death, and do it with absolute impunity. This too is unacceptable and has to be changed. The UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities tells us how.

The third perspective I support the Campaign from is that of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, being myself a person with a physical disability and thus actively involved in its process. Complying with the Convention means respecting the dignity and individual autonomy of all persons with disabilities, as well as respecting their right to equality and non discrimination, to personal liberty and security. As the CRPD Committee declares: “forced treatment by psychiatric and other health and medical professionals is a violation of the right to equal recognition before the law (art. 5) and an infringement of the rights to personal integrity (art. 17); freedom from torture (art. 15); and freedom from violence, exploitation and abuse (art. 16). This practice denies the legal capacity of a person to choose medical treatment and is therefore a violation of article 12 of the Convention” (Par. 42).[2] The Committee also states that the segregation of persons with disabilities in institutions violates a number of the rights guaranteed under the Convention (Par. 46).

It is absolutely unacceptable, under the Convention, not to respect the dignity of persons with psychosocial disabilities, or to subject them to scrutiny and rude, authoritative assessments. Nor is admissible for anyone to attribute himself the faculty to decide in his opinion what best suits them, or to hold them in places where they loose everything: their autonomy, their freedom, and even their dignity. Places where they remain – subjected and powerless – under the absolute control of other persons’ will – never their own – and their integrity is lacerated. As the CRPD Committee clearly declares, such practices are in frank violation of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and must be eradicated.

Instead, States Parties to the Convention – as well as the whole of societies – should fulfill their moral and legal obligation to eradicate all existing barriers and take all the necessary measures to guarantee that people with psychosocial disabilities enjoy each and every of their fundamental rights and are included as active and irreplaceable parts of society on an equal basis with others.

 

[1] Boff, Leonardo. Tiempo de la trascendencia, el ser humano como un proyecto infinito, Santander, Sal Terrae, Brasil, 2000.

[2] Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, General Comment No. 1 on Article 12 (2014).

Aporte a la Campaña por la “Prohibición Absoluta en la CDPD de los Tratamientos Forzosos y los Internamientos Involuntarios”: María Teresa Fernández (México)

https://sodisperu.org/2016/03/14/aporte-a-la-campana-por-la-prohibicion-absoluta-en-la-cdpd-de-los-tratamientos-forzosos-y-los-internamientos-involuntarios/

La institucionalización de personas con discapacidad es una declaración de incompetencia de las autoridades gubernamentales y de las sociedades frente al fenómeno que representa la existencia humana. Una declaración de soberbia supina y de falta de voluntad; también, de indolencia, y también, de impunidad. Nos atribuimos la facultad de decidir si una a una de estas personas debe vivir, y cómo; o debe morir – y literalmente – encerrada entre muros estrechos e indiferentes, atada a una cama, un catre, un poste; sometida a un medicamento o a un cierto trato, el que nos venga a bien dispensarle; reducida y frustrada en sus posibilidades y sueños, sin más compañía que su propia intimidad diferente y asustada. Y nos creemos juiciosos, protectores, responsables – éticos. Nos decimos humanos y nos damos baños de pureza. Mejor sería hacerlo en el Ganges.

Mi hermano fue diagnosticado con epilepsia cuando entró en la adolescencia. Se hizo alcohólico después. Me llevaba 18 años. Fue internado varias veces en distintos centros, hospitales y “granjas”. Cada vez que salía – de más en más aminorado – había perdido algo nuevo: el brillo de sus ojos, su sonrisa franca y espontánea, alguna más de sus ganas de vivir.

Y sin embargo seguimos. Seguimos sin prestar atención a lo que filósofos, teólogos, humanistas, han venido repitiendo a lo largo de la historia: el ser humano – como sus expresiones y manifestaciones – es único e irreductible, como inagotable es su potencial de existencia. Nuestra pequeñez y cortedad de miras – aunadas a nuestras ansias de “normalidad”, de resultados y de eficacia; de absurdos absurdos, pues – no alcanza, siquiera, a preguntarse lo que esas cualidades de “único” y de “irreductible”, en relación con la persona humana, puedan significar.

Si no, ¿por qué, a pesar de los tantos “avances”:  científicos, tecnológicos, garantistas de derechos, seguimos sin ser capaces de aceptar que el ser humano tiene una existencia “condenada a abrir caminos siempre nuevos y siempre sorprendentes”[1]?, ¿por qué no nos permitimos el diálogo posible – y promisorio – con las diversas percepciones y expresiones humanas de la realidad?

Cuando un niño es inquieto, o “de más” ; o un adolescente, desinteresado, o su respuesta es glacial; cuando una mujer rompe en llanto, o monta en cólera, ante – decimos – “la menor provocación”, no tardamos en enjuiciar su conducta, y diagnosticarla, y patologizarla; no sólo su conducta, su ser por entero. Son pocos y cortos los pasos para transitar del juicio al diagnóstico y de ahí a la etiqueta – que lo será, ya para siempre, incuestionable e inamovible; y luego, a la medicalización, y al mismo tiempo, o poco después, al encierro. Y en este apresurado camino nos hemos olvidado:  de él, de ella, de la persona humana que ahí vivía.  Ya hemos llegado – y con plena conciencia – al umbral. Es la muerte. Una muerte que  – pareciera que confiamos – todo lo resolverá; o por lo menos, hemos logrado que así pensando y haciendo todo se resuelva, al menos, para nosotros. La impunidad.

Cada vez que mi hermano salía de uno de esos encierros nos decía que no quería más: que se lo llevaran, que lo encerraran, que lo amarraran, que lo durmieran, que le aplicaran electro shocks. Que lo mal trataran, que lo desnudaran, que lo despojaran, hasta de su dignidad. Era intolerable. Era ominoso. Yo era muy joven. Hoy tengo 64 años. Hace 40 que mi hermano murió en uno cualquiera de esos hospitales. Sigue vivo en mí.

Estos años me han servido para aprender que a quien le importa lo humano, se propone indagar lo que hay ahí adentro de ese otro, también humano. Descubrir su razón, su interés, su necesidad, su intención, su propuesta, su expresión – diferentes. Y vestir su piel. Y estar dispuesto a moverse y a tender puentes – y cruzar esos puentes.

Por eso me pareció extraordinario que el proceso de negociación de lo que llegaría a ser la Convención de Naciones Unidas sobre los derechos de las personas con discapacidad (CDPD, 2006),[2] hubiera asumido ese reto:  abrir sus puertas – y poner oídos atentos – a lo que las propias personas con discapacidad psicosocial tenían que decir sobre ellas mismas: que son seres humanos, iguales, íntegros e integrales, redondos; formados e  informados; presentes, pensantes, sintientes, activos y comprometidos; con las mismas necesidades y búsquedas de cualquier otro ser humano – y con los mismos derechos y obligaciones; y aún así, cada una y cada uno, con maneras y expresiones distintas, únicas, propias, privadas: las suyas. Como usted, apreciable lector; como yo también, y como todas y todos. Y tan así, que la intervención de estas personas con discapacidad en las negociaciones para la Convención conmocionó – impactó –, y fue capaz de crear posibilidades nunca antes vislumbradas, para ellas, para las y los demás: Un camino al diálogo real con la diversidad.  El inicio de un movimiento franco hacia la aprehensión – y la inclusión – de formas variadas de ser y estar en el mundo. Para desde ahí, aprender. Y desde ahí, convivir. Desde ahí, transformarse y transformar.

Hasta entonces, no había pasado todavía que alguien defendiera públicamente, y con tanta fuerza y claridad, que no es posible vivir ignorando o aniquilando a seres humanos, y por el simple hecho de no ser capaces – nosotros – de inteligir sus maneras; o porque molesta que griten fuerte y disonante cuando el mundo les duele; o porque amenazan los referentes de los útiles y cómodos statu quo.

Las personas con discapacidad psicosocial desmantelaron  – en y con la Convención – uno a uno de los mitos que nos hemos fabricado sobre ellas: su indefensión, su fragilidad, su “peligrosidad”; su incapacidad: de tomar decisiones, de asumir obligaciones y responsabilidades; de vivir en este mundo y atreverse a cuestionarlo; de aportar, de enriquecer-nos.  No es gratuito, entonces, que – en y desde la Convención –, no quepa más hacer distingos sobre ellas. O no, si para atentar en contra de su dignidad, o para propiciar que se vulneren sus derechos; tampoco para someterlas a escrutinios y valoraciones groseras, autoritarias y sin fundamento, o al menos, moral. O para que alguien pueda atribuirse la facultad de poder decidir a su juicio lo que mejor les conviene, o de recluirlas en instancias en las que todo lo pierdan, incluso su autonomía y su libertad; incluso su dignidad.  Lugares donde queden – sometidas e impotentes – bajo el control absoluto de otra u otras voluntades – nunca la suya – y se lacere su integridad. ¿Qué razón – y qué derecho – le asiste: al Estado, a los profesionales de la salud, a las familias, a la sociedad en general, para permitirse un acto semejante?, me pregunto y se lo pregunto, sí, a usted, apreciable lector o lectora.

Todas las personas con discapacidad han sido reconocidas por la Convención con la misma dignidad y derechos que el resto de las personas.  Derechos de las personas con discapacidad – “incluidas aquellas que necesitan un apoyo más intenso” (Preámbulo CDPD, inciso j)) – son que se respete su dignidad y su valor; que se respete y aprecie su diferencia, tanto como su autonomía, su independencia y su libertad para tomar sus propias decisiones  – incluso, cuando estas decisiones puedan no coincidir con las nuestras, o nuestras opiniones y creencias – o nuestra voluntad; o nuestros intereses. Es también un derecho de todas las personas con discapacidad –reconocido por la Convención– que se les proporcionen los apoyos que ellas estimen necesitar para tomar sus propias decisiones (Artículo 12.3 CDPD), incluida la de dónde y con quién vivir, y sin que se vean obligadas a vivir con arreglo a un sistema de vida específico (Artículo 19. a)CDPD). También es derecho de ellas disponer de los servicios de apoyo que faciliten su existencia y su inclusión en la comunidad y eviten que se les separe o aísle de ésta (artículo 19. b) CDPD).

El Comité de Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad (CRPD), en su Observación General No.1,[3] ha abundado sobre el alcance del derecho de las personas con discapacidad a tomar sus propias decisiones y que éstas sean respetadas: “en todo momento, incluso en situaciones de crisis, deben respetarse la autonomía individual y la capacidad de las personas con discapacidad de adoptar decisiones,” (O.G.No.1 CRPD, Párr.18). También ha afirmado que entre estas decisiones se incluyen aquellas “decisiones fundamentales con respecto a su salud” (O.G.No.1 CRPD, Párr. 8); y más específicamente, el Comité ha reconocido el derecho de las personas con discapacidad a no ser internadas contra su voluntad en una institución de salud mental y a no ser obligadas a someterse a un tratamiento de salud mental (Artículo 14 CDPD) (O.G.No.1 CRPD, Párr. 31). También el Comité CRPD ha dejado en claro que todas las formas de apoyo en la toma de decisiones que las personas con discapacidad opten por recibir, “incluidas las formas más intensas, deben estar basadas en la voluntad y las preferencias de la persona, no en lo que se suponga que es su interés superior objetivo.” (O.G.No.1 CRPD, Párr. 29, Inciso b)).

Lamento profundamente que nada de esto fuera del dominio público cuando yo era niña. Cuando mi madre, al no disponer de los recursos necesarios: información, asesoramiento, apoyos y servicios – porque no existían, o eran inaccesibles – no encontró mejor opción para él, para ella y para mí, que poner a mi hermano a disposición de los médicos. Ella creyendo que sabían lo que era debido hacer; ellos alegando saberlo, a pesar de que un número incontable de historias – entre las que después se contaría también la de mi hermano – testimoniaban fehacientemente lo contrario.

Gracias a mi involucramiento con los procesos sobre la Convención de Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad, he aprendido que es éticamente insostenible pretender – usted, yo, los gobiernos y las sociedades – seguir ignorando las incuestionables e infinitas realidades y posibilidades humanas. Que es inadmisible seguir apelando a maneras arcaicas y lugares comunes para enmascarar nuestra incapacidad de derribar barreras, estigmas y prejuicios, o nuestra falta – evidente – de voluntad. Como la que reconoce el valor de otras existencias y mantiene con ellas interacciones fecundas; la que incursiona en nuevas formas de acercamiento a las situaciones y de brindar atención y cuidados.

Hace 40 años no existían los servicios y los apoyos que habrían llevado la historia de mi hermano por otros caminos, hoy lo sabemos, menos crueles y fatales; que habrían permitido que él – con la debida asistencia – encontrara sus propias respuestas.  Al día de hoy, esos servicios y esos apoyos siguen sin estar disponibles, o aquí, en mi país. A saber a cuántas más vidas les han hecho falta también para crearse y recrearse a sí mismas; a cuántas personas más su inexistencia las sigue condenando al olvido – o a la muerte. De las grandes claves para el cambio, y algo tan sencillo y a la vez tan crucial para producirlo, hoy sigue sin ser habitado; sin siquiera ser explorado; o aquí, en mi país. Esto también es inaceptable.

Es por todo eso que yo me pronuncio – y decididamente – por la “Prohibición Absoluta en la CDPD de los Tratamientos Forzosos y los Internamientos Involuntarios”. 

Porque, en resumen, considero que estas prácticas:

  • Son reductivas de la persona humana y de la situación existencial que experimenta;
  • Van contra la dignidad, la autonomía y la libertad de las personas con discapacidad (Art. 3 CDPD);
  • “Medicalizan” problemas que son de índole social, en los que intervienen otros elementos contextuales: familiares, sociales, e incluso políticos, que entonces son ignorados, desatendidos y perpetuados; incluso, profundizados;
  • Son invasivas, autoritarias y jerárquicas, al aplicarse a las personas aún en contra de su voluntad;
  • Son cuestionables en sus fines, en sus efectos y consecuencias – muchas irreversibles y fatales –, y en su efectividad.
  • Refuerzan los estigmas y prejuicios sociales sobre las personas con discapacidad psicosocial, al utilizar categorías diagnósticas que – además de cuestionables – encasillan arbitraria y vitaliciamente a las personas, haciéndolas vulnerables a la exclusión, a la discriminación y a la muerte – la social, la biológica;
  • Son violatorias de derechos inalienables de las personas con discapacidad como, entre otros, el derecho a no ser privadas de su libertad por motivo de discapacidad (Art. 14 CDPD); el derecho a otorgar su consentimiento libre e informado sobre los tratamientos médicos que se le propongan (Art. 25. Inciso d)); el derecho a la integridad física y moral (Art. 16); el derecho a vivir de manera autónoma e independiente en la comunidad y a ser incluida como parte activa y necesaria de ella (Art.19 CDPD).

Con mi pronunciamiento en apoyo a la “Prohibición Absoluta” quiero honrar la memoria de mi hermano, sí; pero también porque yo misma soy persona con discapacidad, en mi caso motriz, y sé lo que es y significa ser discriminada y excluida por tener una discapacidad. Pero, además, porque si bien he logrado evitar ser diagnosticada o etiquetada como persona con discapacidad psicosocial, yo también encuentro muy difícil lidiar con los tantos absurdos de nuestro mundo, y acomodarme, y cada vez, en alguna de sus escasas y limitadas formas permitidas de ser y de estar en él.

Y porque sueño.  Sueño con una humanidad polifónica y multiforme; lo suficientemente abierta, crítica y dialogante para permitirse tender hacia la otredad, en lugar de ignorarla, repudiarla o temerle; una humanidad que sabe vivir junto al otro y crear –con él–  realidades e intercambios nuevos, permeables, interdependientes, nutricios. Sueño mujeres y hombres convencidos de que toda y cualquier expresión humana – por ajena o chocante que nos resulte o parezca – no puede, al final, sino complementarnos, fortalecernos, enriquecernos.

Y porque sé que tarde o temprano así se habrá demostrado.


[1] Boff, Leonardo. Tiempo de la trascendencia, el ser humano como un proyecto infinito, Santander, Sal Terrae, Brasil, 2000.
[2] ONU, Convención sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad, Resolución A/RES/61/106, Sexagésimo primer período de sesiones, Asamblea General, Naciones Unidas, del 13 de diciembre de 2006. Entró en vigor el 3 de mayo de 2008. Disponible en: http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/convention/convoptprot-s.pdf
[3] ONU, Observación General No.1 (2014) sobre el Artículo 12: Igual reconocimiento como persona ante la ley, Comité sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad, 11º período de sesiones. ONU Doc. CRPD/C/GC/1, del 19 de mayo de 2014.

Pueden leer más de la Campaña #ProhibiciónAbsolutaen: https://absoluteprohibition.wordpress.com/ 

Contribution Jules Malleus à la Campagne pour soutenir l’Abolition totale des soins et de l’hospitalisation sans consentement en application de la CDPH de l’ONU

http://depsychiatriser.blogspot.no/2016/03/contribution-jules-malleus-la-campagne.html

Merci au Comité de la Convention Droits des Personnes Handicapées.
Merci aux Usagers et Survivants de la Psychiatrie.
Vous avez su vous exprimer, vous avez su les écouter.
Grâce à vous, les bases sont en place pour faire respecter les droits de l’homme là où ils sont bafoués.
Merci du fond du cœur à chacun d’entre vous.
Je m’appelle Jules Malleus.

Sous ce nom, j’écris des articles et des contes qui sont souvent en rapport avec la psychiatrie.

Je ne prétends pas être un expert en quoi que ce soit, mais je voudrais vous expliquer ici pourquoi je participe à la Campagne pour soutenir l’Abolition totale des soins et de l’hospitalisation sans consentement en application de la CDPH de l’ONU.

https://absoluteprohibition.wordpress.com/
https://absoluteprohibition.wordpress.com/

Je souhaiterais vous parler d’une machine.
Une machine avec des engrenages et avec des pistons.
Une machine inventée par les hommes.
Cette machine, je lui en veux. Je peux même dire que je la hais.
J’accuse cette machine d’avoir détruit peu à peu ma mère, mon père, et certains de mes amis.
C’est la machine des traitements psychopharmacologiques imposés aux personnes.

Vous connaissez cette machine: C’est la machine du film Metropolis de Fritz Lang, sorti en 1927. Le héros du film recule frappé d’effroi, car il a compris que la machine est un Moloch, c’est à dire une sorte de culte maléfique auquel on sacrifie les êtres humains.En haut de l’escalier de la machine, il y a des êtres humains. Les mains liées dans le dos. Maltraités par les gardes, qui sont aux ordres des deux personnages porteurs d’une haute coiffe. Analogiquement, ce sont les patients psychiatriques traités sans leur consentement.

Ils sont poussés dans l’antre de la machine. En tous points, ils ressemblent à des esclaves. Ils ont perdus tous leurs droits  : leur corps et leur psychisme sont à la merci de la machine.

Les deux personnages à l’entrée du four portent un masque d’impassibilité  : ils ne manifestent pas d’émotion. Leur coiffe est une mitre de prétention à une connaissance supérieure  : dans l’analogie, ce sont les médecins qui désignent les prisonniers et décident de leur sort.

Quand je pense aux traitements forcés, et bien je pense à ceci  :

 
«  Toute résistance est inutile. Vous allez être assimilée.  »

La capitaine Janeway subit un traitement forcé dans l’épisode 146 de la série Star Trek Voyager. Le traitement servira à assimiler la victime dans le collectif auquel appartient le vilain monsieur.

J’ai placé cette photo parce que l’objectif d’un traitement psychiatrique est de rendre la personne moins «  anormale  », c’est à dire de la normaliser en quelque sorte. L’injection prive la victime de sa volonté  : celle-ci devient esclave du collectif.

C’est à dire que la différence, la diversité, vouloir être «  hors norme  », par exemple, est considéré comme une maladie, qu’on se propose d’éliminer, par la force.

Le traitement forcé n’est que le début  :

Dans le film «  Le Seigneur des Anneaux III  », de Peter Jackson, 2003, le héros Frodo reçoit une injection forcée de l’araignée géante Shelob, ce qui a pour effet de le faire baver et de lui faire perdre ses moyens. L’araignée entortille alors sa victime de sécrétions gluantes afin de laisser sa viande faisander quelque temps dans sa caverne.

C’est à dire que le venin sert à paralyser la victime. Les traitements dits anti-psychotiques font de même et diminuent les capacités de défense du patient. Il devient alors plus facile de briser la personnalité afin de faire consentir à ce que l’on veut.

J’ai appris la programmation informatique, afin d’essayer de gagner ma vie. Et ce que je vous propose c’est un algorithme. L’algorithme qui suit n’existe pas dans les textes, il n’est pas enseigné non plus.
Il représente davantage une sorte de boutade destinée à faire comprendre l’absurdité d’un système.

C’est mon analyse de ce qui se passe quand une institution et ses rouages se mettent à tourner sans rien prouver de concret. Le mot-clé est non-compliance. Non-compliance au traitement signifie que vous êtes aussi dans le déni du trouble, donc on vous classe dans la case psychotique.

J’ai montré cet algorithme à des survivants: certains m’ont confirmé ceci. Ils m’ont expliqué qu’ils étaient obligés de jouer la comédie du malade et de la guérison pour parvenir à sortir de l’enfer des droguages abrutissants qui leur étaient imposés.

Quand une indication n’est pas étayée par des preuves biologiques, quand la maladie supposée n’a pas été caractérisée par des pathologistes, alors il me semble légitime de qualifier le traitement d’expérimental.

J’estime aussi que la mécanique d’augmentation des doses que j’ai décrite dans cet algorithme n’est pas autre chose qu’une machine de torture.

Les victimes du traitement forcé ont été diffamées. On n’a plus confiance en elles. Elles font peur. Les personnes n’ont plus confiance en elles-mêmes. Certaines présentent des maladies iatrogènes. Beaucoup sont traumatisées par l’expérience. Elles vivent dans la peur d’un nouveau traitement forcé, elles sont menacées de «  rechuter  ». Beaucoup restent engluées dans des addictions psychopharmacologiques auto-destructrices. Il en résulte la perte de son potentiel, l’empêchement de se réaliser, l’échec, le désespoir, la culpabilité, le chômage, la précarité, et cela conduit souvent à la fuite dans l’addiction, et au suicide.

Témoignage d’Agnès:

“Ayant été hospitalisée à 10 reprises, j’ai subi des traitements
dégradants, des humiliations. Nous sommes traités là-bas comme des animaux. On nous attache, on nous met à l’isolation etc…
Ce n’est pas parce que nous sommes en crise et donc soit-disant dangereux que l’on nous traite ainsi. Non, le but est de nous casser pour nous faire avaler des médicaments et nous donner une leçon pour que nous n’arrêtions plus de les prendre. Et toute la société accepte cela comme une chose normale.”

Et voilà …

Moloch est repus. Moloch vous remercie.

Et cela va continuer à moins que …

Ensemble exigeons que les lois de santé mentale de notre pays ne permettent plus, mais au contraire abolissent, le traitement forcé.

Références:

La convention ONU relative aux droits des personnes handicapées (CDPH)
http://www.un.org/french/disabilities/default.asp?id=1413

L’Observation générale n° 1 sur l’article 12
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/GC.aspx

Statistiques 2014 Psychiatrie France
http://www.atih.sante.fr/sites/default/files/public/content/2790/rapport_2014_psychiatrie.xlsx

Statistiques judiciaires sur les hospitalisations psychiatriques sans consentement en 2014 en France
http://psychiatrie.crpa.asso.fr/2015-07-28-cm-Statistiques-judiciaires-sur-les-hospitalisations-psychiatriques-sans-consentement-en-2014?lang=fr

Le dossier de presse et les photos du rapport 2015 de la Contrôleure générale des lieux de privation de liberté en France
http://www.cglpl.fr/2016/publication-du-rapport-dactivite-2015/

Les UMD, “Unités pour Malades Difficiles”, un témoignage.
http://psychiatrie.crpa.asso.fr/IMG/pdf/2016-02-16-temoignage-sdre-epsm-rhone-alpes_2.pdf

Dimitri, 19 ans de maltraitance d’une personne adulte handicapée en institution: attaché, drogué, envoyé en UMD.
https://www.facebook.com/Soutien-%C3%A0-Dimitri-Fargette-1665872200308023/

Thomas Szasz, 1997: “Insanity: the idea and its consequences.”