Institutional psychiatry horror, Texas-style

6 May 2008 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in prison | No Comments »

The Rad Geek, from whom I acquired the “” domain name (thank you!!!) today has a very insightful piece on the abuses of institutional psychiatry in what he aptly terms “Texas Psychoprisons“.

The abuses that go on at these facilities are all too routine, and the mentality which perpetuates them is positively medieval. That the State’s anointed “caregivers” might need “employee empathy training” to deal with their fellow human beings only hints at just how far off the rails many of these institutions have run.

The diagnosis is horrible and Rad Geek’s prescription just as simple and obvious as it is apt:

What is really needed is a power change, so that psychiatric wards are no longer artificially packed by court order, so that patients can leave and seek help through other means if conditions become unbearable, and so that supposed patients are no longer treated against their will and held down at the mercy of their helper-captors. If you make a hospital into a prison camp, then it should be no surprise when the hospital caregivers start acting like prison camp guards. The only thing to do — the only thing you can do that will not just recreate the same problem in a superficially different form — is to respect the will of patients, to treat violence against them as a real crime worthy of punishment, to repeal the laws that privilege and protect their captors, and to break open the doors and tear off the straitjackets that hold them back from living their lives as human beings, rather than as objects of pity and coercion.

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