Just wondering if there are any others here who consider themselves part of the anti-psychiatry movement. The wiki definition of anti-psychiatry is a good one:
My biggest concern about psychiatry is the use of forced "treatment." If it's forced it's not really treatment, it's State thought control. Actually another concern that is just as big is that they can't really define "mental illness" or tell who is really "mentally ill". A while back I posted about a Nebraska man who was wrongly diagnosed as delusional for 20 years by 20 different psychiatrists.
I was also wrongly accused of being delusional and locked up for 2 years. In those years there were 2 other people who were wrongly accused of being mentally ill. One woman was locked up for 6 months and one man spent the last 4 years of his life locked in the psych hospital. Many many people were held for 24-48 hours for evaluations - without even being accused of a crime.
I am not anti-psychiatry because it would not be relevant to condemn psychiatry as a whole, given the tremendous help it brings to a huge number of people over the world. The thought that modern psychiatry serves as a tool for the state to control citizens, for example, is mere conspiracy theory. Plus psychiatry has evolved a lot since the beginning of the 20th century, a time when you better not end up in a mental institute. I'm not saying it is a good experience today but it's not what use to be.
From what I read, some people get benefits from hospitalization, while others don't and find it horrible. It seems to depend on the person, the hospital and the "disorder". I guess since you had a very bad experience, it makes you kind of biased. On the other hand you have experienced being locked up psychiatric hospitals so you know what it feels like, while I do not. Note that I do not question the fact that you were mistreated: I am not in the position to do that. I just say that maybe you have seen a bad side of modern psychiatry while not seeing "good sides".
However, you raised a very interesting point, that is the difficulty to draw the limits of madness. The way madness is defined has changed over times; the way "mad people" are considered and treated has too. Do you know Foucault ? (I saw that the wiki page you posted mentions his name). He wrote Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason,
a very famous book in which he describes the changes over time and the way mad people where separated completely from the rest of society in the modern era (i.e. before 1960 since the book was published in 1964), which was consistent with a tendency to exclude people who did not fit the norm, the "deviants".
Since the 50's things have changed. I think there is more tolerance and mentally ill people (whatever it may means) are treated better. But defining madness and mental illness/mental disorder remains problematic, which is a big issue since being diagnosed "mad" can cause you to be locked up without you approval. Still, the fact some people can be dangerous for themselves or others must be taken into consideration. A 24-48 hours evaluation does not seem inapropriate to me. I'm sure there can be mistakes, that can have dramatic consequences. And I'm sure there are still places that do not provide good care to patients (where the staff forget that it is in charge of patients and not of prisoners).
But again, I would not condemn the psychiatric system as a whole. Granted, there are a lot of issues, like the fact that big pharmas are too profit-driven and not controlled enough, or our current lack of understanding of the neurobiological basis of mental disorders and of the functioning of some meds that are prescribed. But overall a lot of people get benefits from accurate treatment, which was not the case one hundred years ago.
Why did you get locked up, if you don't mind me asking ? What did you do ?