Why are cases of mental illness and nervous breakdowns so common today
What is mental illness all about?
my life I have lived with and watched a lot of what is termed mental
illness. I suffer from depression myself, although nowhere as badly as
I did when I was in my teens, twenties and thirties, and as a much
younger man I suffered from anxiety states and drug addiction as
well.The drugs I was prescribed didn't cure my problem but actually
made it worse and I was addicted to Valium (Diazepam) for nearly seven
I have, and had - I use the past tense because many people I knew died or took their own lives - many friends who have been diagnosed as mentally ill and have spent a great deal of my time with such people, including the longest relationship I ever had with a woman called Janice, who died a couple of years ago following years of psychiatric drugs to which she became addicted.
In this article I am going to share some of my personal experiences and tell you a bit about some of the people I have known. I will use first names only so as those spoken of are not identified.
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- School shootings Antidepressants Depression & Psychiatrists - Citizens Commission on Human Right
CCHR's homepage, about psychiatry, school shootings, mental health and human rights
- Citizens Commission on Human Rights - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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- Janice Esther Mary Pugsley
A TRIBUTE SITE DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF JANICE
Scientology's campaign against psychiatry
.In my opinion the factor that all share is that the people are/ were sensitive individuals who at some point in their lives had been subjected to extreme trauma or abuse, mental or physical or both. Their "illness" is a response to what has happened to them.
L Ron Hubbard
When I was in the Church of Scientology I remember that L Ron Hubbard said that what you should not do is harm people even more when they had already been hurt. Scientology fights very hard against what it sees as wrong in psychiatry and the treatments dished out which range from psychiatric medication, ECT (electro shock therapy) and at the most extreme level lobotomy. All of these treatments harm the people who are already harmed.
Prozac and Ritalin
The Citizen's Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is a branch of Scientology that campaigns against psychiatry and the drugs and brutal treatments used. Scientologists are very concerned about the widespread use of Prozac and Ritalin. Lisa-Marie Presley is one Scientology celebrity that has been very active in this field of campaigning.
I am not claiming that I know where the answer lies but I do know it is not a matter of making the person even more ill. The film One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest spells it out loud.
Psychiatrists and psychologists are actually some of the medical people who turned me against the health industry and gave me a strong distrust in doctors and I suppose for that I should be grateful to these people.
My first girlfriend Mandy had a terrible relationship with her mother and they used to fight verbally and physically. When I used to call around the mother would often start verbally abusing Mandy and one time she hit her mother and I got banned from the house for not preventing this. In my mind Mandy was defending herself as her mother had started the fight.
I was 18 and my girlfriend Mandy was 16 and we had both been recreational drug users although at that point I was able to quit most of my use because I was happy just to be with her. Mandy used to inhale solvents - Lady Esquire shoe conditioner to be precise - and once her mother caught her on the stuff and called the authorities. I had just called to see Mandy having finished work and got to go to Whitchurch the local mental hospital with her where we were taken.
I had never met a "mental doctor" before but was disgusted by the behaviour of Dr Kellam and he was a senior doctor for mental health in Cardiff. This man called me in to interrogate and threaten me even though I was there as a friend of Mandy's. He began talking about a guy called Lee that Mandy and me both knew, who was known in Cardiff at the time as a junkie with severe problems and who often overdosed and was seen around town usually in a terrible state.
"You know Lee?" the doctor said, "well, I see you as being a lot like him and let me tell you that when he ends up here we give him a bottle of downers in the hopes he will do us all a favour and finish himself off."
I almost could not believe what I was hearing!
I asked if I could have a drink of water and was told that I couldn't. I was also told that because Mandy was under 18 a court order could be placed on her. The whole tone of this doctor was threatening, and I was there not as anyone who was ill or anyone who had been caught using drugs but simply as the boyfriend of another person. His words about Lee I have never forgotten. This was my introduction to the world of psychiatrists and psychologists.
By a strange and for me sick twist of fate, several years later I was to run into Dr Kellam again. This was after I had been an outpatient myself at Heath Hospital where I had been sent following having been discovered by my parents to have a drug addiction problem when I had thrown a fit because I had run out of barbiturates. The time in question though, I was not receiving any medical treatment but was there with my current girlfriend Janice, who was in another room being seen by a Dr Taylor.
I had been asked to wait in the corridor and was sat down doing so. Dr Kellam came down the corridor and on spotting me did all he could to convince me I had come to see him. "I am a doctor and I know why you are here," he was claiming and completely ignoring what I was saying.
Eventually, sick of arguing with the man who would not acept my point of view at all, I burst into the room where Janice was talking to Dr Kellam's colleague and I said: "Dr Taylor, sorry for bursting in like this but can you please tell your colleague that you are seeing Janice and I was asked to wait outside?" He did so and I had proved my point, and it was at that point I realised the doctors were as crazy as the patients!
I had met Janice a year or so before this and had been living with her. She was an artist and a brilliant one at that but she had a history of mental problems and had been in hospital following a failed suicide attempt. When I met her she was convinced that her brain was damaged and she was also frequently very depressed and paranoid. She also used to say that her bone growth was getting bigger and bigger and she was becoming very masculine looking. This made little sense as she was a stunningly beautiful woman.
I had been very ill myself and didn't at the time see it as any reason why our relationship couldn't work. I believed in the power of love but I had to see that sometimes it simply isn't enough and that mental illness can possess its victim so badly that no one knows what to do.
I was with Janice for over three years, which is and was my longest relationship ever but it started to fall apart badly after she gave birth to our son. Janice was OK in the hospital but after she came out after a matter of days she became one of the most unreachable people I have ever known when she started suffering some strange form of post-natal psychosis.
We did have at that time, a GP, a midwife, a health visitor and a psychiatric social worker (due to Janice's past history) and these medical official people used to call at the house we were renting rooms in. Janice said they hadn't called to see the baby but to pry into her affairs and pick on her because she was a woman. She resented these people coming around.
Eventually she started acting very abnormally and then entered a state of mental strangeness that I didn't understand and had never seen before. I was stressed to the maximum trying to look after the baby and attend to Janice and my ideas about love and marriage and happy families were totally ruined.
Janice stopped talking and doing other normal stuff like eating and drinking. She would spend most of her time lying down twirling her hands around or making a shape by pointing one lot of fingertips against the other whilst staring into space. If you could get any words from her at all she would say: "I am making an emblem."
It would take me maybe an hour or more just to get her to sip a drink or to respond at all. At one point I took her to the bathroom and ran a bath but was soon to find out this was a terrible idea. I had left Janice in the bathroom and gone downstairs but as the time went on I got complaints from other tenants of the house who were unable to get in the bathroom. Eventually I had to break the door down and I will never forget seeing Janice standing naked next to the bath which had by then gone cold, and all she was doing was waving her hands around.
Another day in desperation, I had called the local GP because I was at my wits end. A doctor arrived and, again I will never forget this, he asked Janice what she was doing, as she stared at the ceiling and revolved her hands.
"I am looking at God and all of the angels," she responded. The doctor gave her an injection of Largactil and wrote a prescription, and whilst I didn't approve of such drugs I was glad to see her actually go to sleep, which was something she had also not been doing.
Finally, after a week or so of not eating and hardly speaking and hardly moving apart from twirling her hands around, Janice suddenly walked into the kitchen at the back of the house. She went straight to the fridge and started stuffing food in a ravenous way. As she did this she snarled at me and said: "I am worshipping a higher power that you cannot understand."
It was like a scene from a horror movie and she looked like she was possessed by some evil force. After cramming more food into her mouth. she added that she was leaving and she did so. There was nothing I could do to stop her and I must admit that having seen how she was acting I felt scared of the "higher power" whatever it was.
I was devastated by the whole experience and also had to come to terms with being a single parent. The next I heard about Janice was that she had been sectioned in London after screaming at cars in Kensington.
Her mother eventually managed to get her out and Janice had produced a series of bizarre drawings of people looking like clockwork men or robots. She later told me that this was what people looked like.
I can see this as not a sign of insanity but an accurate portrayal of the true state of many humans. This is where I can see that many people who are thought of as crazy are actually just perceiving the world on a different level of awareness. Unfortunately it doesn't allow them to operate well in this system, which is perhaps even more mad when we look at the real state of society and the world at large.
Before all this happened I had also witnessed my friend Peter, who was commonly known as Piss-off Pete, descend into a state of mental strangeness whereby he became less ane less able to function and more and more difficult to communicate with.
Pete was actually a brilliant guitarist and multi-instrumentalist and with his good looks at an earlier point had no problem in attracting some of the prettiest girls in Cardiff. But Pete became increasingly homosexual in his orientation whilst at the same time acting out a bizarre version of David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and cross-dressing.
Pete said he was in love with David Bowie and Marc Bolan and Brian Eno. He sent letters to Lama Sogyal Rimpoche and HM the Queen and some of these letters were totally bizarre and entitled such things as a "Doctrine to cause world peace."
If he spoke at all he might talk about "thetans" from Scientology or claim that he was a "fragile Ladytron from Sirius" or tell people to "meditate upon the causes of corruption."
Often instead of speaking in any conventional manner he would tap on the top of his head with his fingertips whilst saying in a monotone camp voice: "neural damage," and "Tsssk tsssk - stellar intelligence."
This is actually what he once said to a clerk behind the counter at a Social Security office having been called there after they had stopped his benefit. I happen to know this because I had accompanied him there as my good deed for the day.
The counter assistant didn't know what to make of any of it and was glad to talk to me. I tried explaining my friend wasn't well because he hadn't had his money and had had nothing to live on. The Social Security clerk said they simply needed to verify the details of Pete's claim and if I could bring in or send in his rent book all would be well.
Naively I agreed only to later find that Pete hadn't actually paid any rent to his landlord for two years and that the landlord had gone to Australia. I asked what had happened to the money and Pete eventually scrawled in block capitals across the rent book: PSYCHOPATHS STOLE THE RENT SAVINGS."
Shortly after this he was taken into Whitchurch where he was first diagnosed as a mute and later as schizophrenic. Pete became the subject matter of CJ Stone's Last of the Hippies in which the author sought to find out what had happened to Peter.
Others I have known with mental illness include Keith who suffered from narcolepsy and schizophrenia and Tony who was also diagnosed as a schizophrenic.
Keith, who was a squatter when I first knew him, had the standard schizophrenic problem of voices in his head which he claimed never gave him any peace. He used to stay at my house and at one point walked right across Cardiff barefoot in the winter having thrown his boots away. He said he had been given a message to deliver to the world and had to take it to some people in Essex and he set off hitch-hiking to pass this message on.
Keith used to spend a lot of his sickness benefit on buying books on the occult and New Age subjects but he frequently used to lapse into sleep whilst looking at them, which looked like a very bad advert for the power of the material the books contained. Keith was once taken into hospital, he told me, for walking across the roofs of cars in a busy city centre street.
Tony called himself Merlin Starr and wrote books that were never published of occult material including detailed geometric designs and text to do with the Kaballah. He claimed the work was channeled to him by the angel Raziel. He nearly starved himself to death at one point and was taken into the Heath hospital where he claimed that Buddha had visited him. After many years of taking psychiatric drugs, as well as drinking a lot and not eating properly at some points in his life, Tony died young.
So did Nick, who used to say he was Jesus and the Alpha and Omega or King Arthur. The police once called at my house looking for him after he had absconded from the hospital.
Nick wrote some songs and played guitar but, like i said, he died young too. One of his songs went: "Fcking crazy people with fcking crazy cars and their fcking crazy relationships that cause grief and scars..."
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