Emotional Intelligence Home Page

 

Teens and the "Mental Health" System

aka Mental Health Horror Stories

 

On this page I will start to collect the stories people have told me about their experiences with the "mental health" system

"Nothing Causes It" - How a mental health worker explained a young woman's


"Nothing Causes It" - How a mental health worker explained a young woman's

I was just talking to a 21 year old who I have know for about five years. We met in Quebec, Canada when she was around 17. That was just before I had started learning about teen self-harm and teen suicide etc. So I never thought to ask her if she had ever felt suicidal. We don't talk very often. She has been busy studying industrial engineering. But tonight we had a long chat.

In our chat she told me that she was put in a mental hospital last year. This is in Montreal, by the way. I don't have time to put all the quotes in from the chat, but here are a few things I want to say before I forget and get busy with something else.

She said she had been living with her aunt and her grandfather. She said her aunt was always screaming at her and she didn't get along with her grandfather either. Eventually, she got so stressed from living with them, and possibly other problems I didn't hear about, that she ended up being advised to go to the mental hospital. She told me this was okay with her just so she could get away from her aunt. But first they sent her to the general hospital. There she had to sit around for hours waiting. She said she was hungry and they were ignoring her. When they finally came to talk to her she was understandably upset, though they didn't show any understanding. Instead, as is so typical in hospitals of all kinds, they started ordering her around. She protested and got more upset. So what did they do?

Do you think they apologized and tried to show her some understanding?

No, not quite.

They tied her down to her bed.

And then they drugged her with a shot.

This is very typical of how intelligent, sensitive people are treated when they are upset. I've heard it so many times now. I'm not at all suprised anymore.

She stayed there for one night. The next day her father came to visit her. They had given her more drugs to "calm her down" but they had given her such a strong dose she couldn't even move her jaw to talk. When her father, who is from Lebannon, saw this he started shouting. This frightened her more. He was demanding to know "What have you done to my daughter!"

Of course we can understand why he would be upset, but this gives us a bit of insight into how she was raised. She told me later that her father used to hit her brother. Her parents divorced when she was around 3 or 4. But she saw him regularly. She used to admire him, and still does, I'd say. She used to seek his approval. I am pretty sure he is also some kind of engineer.

She told me she stayed in the mental hospital for one month. I asked her what she learned there during that time. She told me "To take my pills." I asked her what else she learned and she couldn't think of anything. I was hoping maybe they had helped her understand the connection between her childhood and adolescence and how she ended up in a mental hospital at age 20. But she said they hadn't done anything of the sort. I asked how they explained it then and she said she was told she had bipoloar disorder. She said they told her that "nothing causes it. It just comes and goes."

These are supposedly professionals. This kind of thing infuriates me when I hear it. So I said something like "You're joking, I know more than that and I don't eve work in a mental hospital." She then got defensive and I was afraid she was going to disconnect on me. But we kept talking. She has really been convinced that it is a "disease" and she needs to always take pills from now on.

As we talked more she told me she was suicidal as a teen. She said she first remembered wanting to kill herself at 13. I asked if anyone knew something was wrong and she said no, except maybe the neighbors who heard her cry.

She said she sometimes would cry in front of her mother and sometimes she would give her a hug but she said her mother was not very "demonstrative."

Here are some more details

 

what did u used to cry about
na´da says:
sometimes i jsut cried and i didnt know why
na´da says:
even if i was happy and ok
na´da says:
but that time i think i cried because we had to move out and i had to change school
na´da says:
also when my father treatened us
steve says:
how did he threaten u
when my father treatened us
steve says:
how did he threaten u
na´da says:
he jsut said that he will kill us and "enterrer nous" in holes (that means bury)
steve says:
thats pleasant
na´da says:
lol
steve says:
was he still living with ur mom then
na´da says:
he is very dramatic sometimes
na´da says:
thats when he learned that my bro was taking drugs

So we see there were a lot of problems in her family. Her father would hit her brother. He threatened to kill them and bury them. I don't think we need to look too much further to see that there is a reason she was suicidal as a teen and ended up in the mental hospital at age 20. Yet these so called "professionals" told her she has "bi-polar disorder" and that "nothing causes it."

By the way, I found all of this out in about 1 hour of chatting with her. She was in the mental health hospital for one month and left with less insight into her mental health history.