Liberating People From Psychiatric Diagnoses 2: Exploring Severe Mental, Behavioral, and Emotional Disturbances Through Case Study
The second article in a series, this case study demonstrates how psychiatric diagnoses and treatment can ignore social, environmental, and personal history factors that likely caused a person’s mental disorders. We examined the life of a woman who endured physical assault and rape by her father, a series of unsatisfactory romantic relationships, marriage to a man who repeatedly brutalized their children and her, the deaths of two children, and the burden of caring for eight surviving offspring. This woman occasionally exhibited symptoms of depression and emotional outbursts that led to her psychiatric hospitalization, psychotropic drugging, and ECT. Hospitalization and psychiatric drugs provided no relief, while ECT brought on memory impairment, difficulty concentrating, and bizarre persecutory beliefs. This case study revealed how psychiatric diagnosis and treatment can be irrelevant, ineffective, and harmful, while concealing institutional failures and helping to perpetuate social problems.