We get it. The people you disagree with are stupid and deserve to be insulted. And what worse insult can you think of than calling them “retarded” or “mentally ill” or “bipolar” or “schizophrenic” or “autistic”? Or perhaps just suggesting that they must be “off their meds,” need to “take their meds,” “need therapy,” “need help,” or in some way belong in an institution?
Yeah. Please stop doing that.
Psychiatric abuse is a real thing. Real people—people who have committed no crime, are not violent, and are a danger to no one—are locked away, hospitalized, forcibly drugged, restrained, sedated, and stripped of their legal rights. Every day. Listen to them sometime. Psychiatric survivor testimonies are readily available. And no, they aren’t talking about practices of 50 years ago, but those of today.
No one’s social, political, or religious beliefs—no matter how nonsensical or reprehensible you may find them—merit this kind of treatment. Not in anything resembling a free society, anyway. Please stop using real people’s traumatic, abusive experiences as a reflexive insult with all the depth and thoughtfulness of “Your mama’s so fat.”
Actual Real-Life Psychiatric Survivors
P.S. No, psychiatric freedom advocates do not bear responsibility for every violent crime committed by a psychiatric survivor which could have been prevented if only all non-neurotypical people were institutionalized like back in your good old days before Reagan. You do not get to strip the civil rights of an entire population simply because some tiny minority of them may commit crimes in the future. And no, I have no interest in debating your hypothetical scenario of a person who is immediately near death if not subjected to forced medical treatment. The vast majority of forced medical treatment is not an immediate life-or-death issue, and bringing it up every time someone suggests that institutionalization is anything other than harmless is nothing but a red herring.
P.P.S You’ll note that I explicitly did NOT take anyone to task for “trivializing serious disorders,” as most people who dare challenge you on this issue do. That’s because many of the conditions and disabilities experienced by psychiatric survivors are NOT “serious disorders.” Some are. They are rare.
P.P.P.S. If you’ve been institutionalized and liked it or feel like it helped you, fine. Wonderful. Good for you. No one is trying to take away voluntary treatments, so please don’t even bring up that red herring. Right now, I am talking about the people who have been abused and harmed by these treatments. If you were not harmed, good for you. Please consider yourself lucky, and stop standing in the way of rights for those whose experience was not as fortunate as yours.