Daily Archives: July 26, 2006

Forced drugging and autistic people.

Standard

I spent four or five years of my life forcibly drugged. Sure, some of it was technically voluntary. But here’s what they did if I showed signs of not wanting to take something:

  • Told my family (and me if they bothered) a very dire future that awaited me if I didn’t take their drugs. I was either going to die, or be homeless, or a revolving door mental patient, or be institutionalized forever.
  • Organized my family (after scaring them enough) to all “explain” this to me where possible, and to take things away from me if I didn’t take the drugs.
  • Stuffed drugs down my throat. Literally.
  • Locked me up, or if I was already locked up, locked me up even more.
  • Brought me as close as they could to death and told me this was what happened to people who didn’t do what they said, to get me to take something “voluntarily”, only letting up once I took it.
  • Injected drugs.
  • At one point, even told my family to threaten to throw me out on the street if I didn’t take something that was (literally) poisoning me.

So, I took things dutifully after awhile.

These days, I’m seeing that these drugs, particularly the neuroleptics, are being targeted at more and more autistic people than I ever saw on them when I was on them.

And, what prompted this post, I saw a post on a message board today saying, basically, “My parents are going to force me to take Abilify. What’s it like?”

And most of the other posts went under the assumption that the person had some “behavior” that was out of control, that the person just didn’t understand, and maybe needed to ask about, so that the person would understand why all these people were just trying to help them.

No.

I had pretty much every “behavior” that these drugs are used to target in autistic people. Doesn’t make it right to force a mind-altering chemical into my brain. Doesn’t mean that the solution was to meekly approach all the people who saw me and the way I acted in such a medicalistic light, and say, “Help, what’s wrong with me, what can you see that I don’t, in all your great medical wisdom can you explain to me why you want me on this drug? Oh, I understand now. I see. Yeah. That makes sense. You know me better than I do, after all.”

But that’s the line I hear all the time. In so-called “support” groups. Pretty much anywhere where large amounts of people whose lives are medicalized and who don’t care that their lives are medicalized, or don’t know there’s any other way, gather together. They talk about themselves, the way they act, the way they think, the way they feel, in terms of symptoms. And of course since “symptoms” makes everything medical, forcing pills at people sounds almost acceptable.

It’s not acceptable.

And what someone in that situation needs isn’t just words of sympathy.

MindFreedom International (which is, to dispel any myths, not a part of $cientology in any way) is an organization built to counter psychiatry. It has its problems. Mainly that psychotherapy is not targeted as a negative thing, it’s primarily biological psychiatry that’s targeted. And in targeting biological psychiatry, a lot of people have gotten wrapped up in the dogma that there is no such thing as any neurological internal difference that might cause people to act differently, and some people there honestly believe the Refrigerator Mother theory of autism.

But.

If you need help getting out of a forced drugging situation, these are the people who will do it.

The MindFreedom Shield program is all about doing that.

Ideological differences aside, these are people who do things. They go into psych wards and assist people in trying to get out. They go to court with people. Some of their members do take drugs, but they do it voluntarily — and being told “You’ll die if you don’t” is not “voluntary”. And they will help people who are being forced into psychiatric situations they don’t want to be forced into.

If you’re being forced into taking a particular drug against your will, or even heavily coerced, try contacting them. Try finding out if there’s any member groups in your area that will help you get out of that situation. If you don’t agree with them on some particular point, fine (I disagree with them on several points, the biggest of which is that they allow psychotherapists to be in too much control of the movement and its ideas rather than crazy people), but they may still be of assistance when you need it.

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