I try to borrow words from RxISK.org when using their logos as opposed to adding any concepts not found there. David has granted permission and here they are for easy access.
In response to the discussion on RxISK, I am posting the front and back of the cards here. I wish they were available to download and print, but perhaps someone else wants to do that. Otherwise, you can do like I did and go to the Staples website (or use something similar) to design your own and let them print them for you. I paid $20 for 500 cards.
I try to borrow words from RxISK.org when using their logos as opposed to adding any concepts not found there. David has granted permission and here they are for easy access.
On Thursday, November 2nd, All Souls’ Day is observed around the world. People remember their departed loved ones with various ceremonies being enacted in many different countries.
Last year, Heather Roberts, a woman who lost her son in 2013 due in part to his prescribed medications, suggested that those concerned about prescription drug induced morbidity and mortality observe All Souls' Day by lighting a candle and sending hopeful thoughts out into the Universe...
…for the protection of all who have been, who are being, or who may in the future be, harmed by their prescribed medications;
…for the affected and their families to be listened to, taken seriously, and properly acknowledged and assisted;
…for tremendous care to be taken when medications are prescribed, as well as immediate and consistent monitoring be given for adverse effects;
…and for this ongoing wrong to be righted.
This past year we have seen some hopeful developments. The widow of Stuart Dolin won a lawsuit in Chicago against the giant, pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, successfully holding the company accountable for her husband’s death after he suffered a medication-induced suicide.
A number of pharmaceutical companies behind the deceptive marketing of opioids have been hit with a huge wave of lawsuits in several U.S. jurisdictions, with one company founder being recently arrested and charged for his part in the scheme to bribe doctors and other prescribers.
Finally, RxISK (Data Based Medicine) has started a campaign in the way of offering a RxISK PRIZE, giving us fresh hope for finding effective treatments for many iatrogenic conditions, starting with the devastating condition of Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction and similar disorders where patients describe feeling as if they have been buried alive while suffering long-term loss of sexual functioning following drug treatments for depression, hair loss, and severe acne. RxISK, and the caring individuals joining with them, now represent an opportunity for real change.
We should take hope in these developments and perhaps again ask the Universe, or God, for this shift to continue so that goodness, honesty and decency may prevail in the face of epidemic rates of pharmaceutical-related illness -- from opioid dependence and death to the more hidden conditions that carry a similar burden of stigma -- including Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction, Post-Finasteride Syndrome, Post-Retinoid Sexual Dysfunction, and Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder. As these injuries are deeply traumatizing, causing damage to both physical bodies as well as to identities, it is once again suggested that we lift up the souls of all who have been affected and ask…
...that the misuse of pharmaceuticals, power and professional status begin to be addressed by current prescribers and those who influence them;
...that all who have suffered not be abandoned or forgotten, and that illness and loss not have the last word or define us;
...that a new awareness and understanding take root in the fortunate who have thus far been spared the experience of drug devastation, and from that, spring a new compassion;
… that patients and families and all who care discover just how powerful we can become when we find the courage to speak out publicly and commit ourselves to action so that the ghosts of these traumatic events may be finally laid to rest.
In a spirit of Solidarity with all who are or have been touched by drug devastation, and aided by those whose words and action inspire me, I will be lighting my candle at 5:00 pm Eastern Time out of love and respect for those who have suffered or continue to suffer — both the living and departed.
"Doctor, how do you know the medication is safe when so much of the science is ghostwritten?" I asked.
"Don't be silly!" he said, jabbing the needle deep into my flesh.
Inspired by this article.
Most people are aware that antidepressants can cause sexual side effects but almost no-one knows these can endure permanently after treatment stops – sometimes only emerging after treatment stops. This is a problem facing tens of thousands of people with:
Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD)
Finasteride is used in younger men for the treatment of male-pattern baldness. Isotretinoin is a retinoid used in the treatment of acne.
These conditions lead to suicide, relationship and family break-up, job loss and lead to a lot of wasted money taking risks on dangerous options held out as cures. At present there is almost no support for those affected.
The problems affect both men and women and cause genital numbness, pleasureless or weak orgasm, impotence, loss of sex drive and other difficulties. They can start after only a few days exposure to these medications and in some cases persist for decades.
We want to change this.
On September 12, 2017, RxISK launched a campaign to raise $100,000 for a Prize which will be offered to anyone who finds a cure for PSSD, PFS or PRSD. This could be a doctor, a scientist, a drug company, a member of the public – anyone.
If you would like to support this cause you can contribute by helping get the word out to friends, family, co-workers and doctors or make a donation via RxISK.org.
On Wednesday, November 2nd, All Souls’ Day is observed all around the world. People remember their departed loved ones and there are some quite interesting ceremonies enacted in many different countries.
Heather Roberts, a woman who lost her son in 2012 in part due to his prescribed medications, has suggested that those of us concerned about pharmaceutical harms might observe All Souls' Day by lighting a candle and sending positive thoughts out into the Universe...
…for the protection of all who have been, who are being, or who may in the future be, damaged by prescribed medications;
…for all persons now affected, that they be listened to, taken seriously, and properly assisted;
…for tremendous care to be taken when medications are prescribed, and for immediate and consistent monitoring;
…for this ongoing wrong to be righted, now and in the future.
Because the drug companies seem to hold all the cards, she has suggested we ask the Universe (or God) for a shift, so that goodness, honesty and decency might prevail. I will be doing this out of love and respect for all who have suffered — both the living and departed.
Katinka Blackford Newman, author of the book, The Pill That Steals Lives, will be sharing pictures others have submitted of this event on her Facebook page. For more information please contact her at: email@example.com.
I began by writing a definition of Pharmaceutical Rape Culture and expanded it from there. Not because I wanted to shock people with the word rape, but because there were so many parallels. I have found that people who are offended by the language are not really aware of the damage being inflicted upon victims (including ongoing professional denial and retraumatization), nor do they understand the ways people are denied the right to give consent to a treatment in a fully informed manner. The definition is meant to bring clarity, is especially for victims and survivors, so we may become emboldened, act collectively, and see some kind of justice.
You can find the full six part series on DavidHealy.org or click on the cover above to order a paperback version.
I'm not ashamed for needing Reese's Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Pumpkins to rebalance the chemicals in my brain. No one judges those who take insulin for diabetes, so why judge me for getting the chocolate I need?
#KeepsMeAlive #MedicatedAndMighty #HersheysMySavior
How did I get to this point? What drove me to post my own selfie with a beloved commercial product?
My foray into the #MedicatedAndMighty debate started innocently. I clicked on a hashtag which led to several tweets of young women posting selfies with specific pharmaceutical products. I thought to myself, I’ve got to shut these bitches up.
I started off strong:
Nothing wrong with being #MedicatedAndMighty. Just be smart about risks. See http://Rxisk.org . Doctors don't always know. #Study329
And then I let them have it with:
I was #MedicatedAndMighty MAD after learning the meds were making me sick. Now I'm less medicated & more informed: http://Rxisk.org
People soon began asking us to stop posting about our “personal health conditions.” This campaign, they said, was singularly about Combating Stigma.
So I told the fuckers off with:
I was #MedicatedAndMighty SURPRISED to learn that meds can harm as much as stigma. Be informed: see http://Rxisk.org . #study329
And for good measure added:
#MedicatedAndMighty presumes doctors know all about risks and can adequately warn patients. They don't and they can't. See #Study329
As well as:
If you take close look at http://Study329.org you will see why we are all at risk. Not against meds but FOR Rx integrity.
No matter. I was told to change my #PillShaming ways.
Outraged, I tweeted back:
#MedicatedAndMighty We were once you - undisclosed harms pushed us out of the club. It's a social justice issue. See http://Rxisk.org
People reflexively call us "anti-meds" when most of us aren't. More truthful is "anti-harms."
They didn’t care.
I wondered if they might listen to military veteran, Mike Whiter, whose photography project builds awareness of the over-medicating of vets.
#MedicatedAndMighty? Mike Whiter called bullshit. @PHLstoner http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Operation-Overmed-Mike-Whiter-Medical-Marijuana-Veterans-Marine-Philadelphia-308022541.html …
Meanwhile, what looked like sock puppet accounts were popping up and hurling insults at the #MedicatedAndMighty.
I swung into hero and cop mode:
The #MedicatedAndMighty deserve RESPECT regardless of what's happened to others. Genuine concern is not offensive, bullying and taunting is.
No one gave a royal shit.
Next I tried a political approach. Someone was comparing us to the anti-choice movement saying we skewed the issues.
More like BLM disrupting Bernie Sanders. 99% doctors don't believe the Rx harmed. Once #MedicatedAndMighty, now silenced.
The Med harmed are an unheard minority who must disrupt. Those whose meds worked sit in the seat of privilege on this one.
This got me blocked.
I took a deep breath, shifted gears, and tried something philosophical:
We become eager accessories to the great hoaxes of the age. These are the hoaxes we play on ourselves. - Daniel Boorstin #MedicatedAndMighty
Yeah. Back to the drawing board.
I then tweeted:
#MedicatedAndMighty does for pharma what pharma cannot do for itself: promote drug treatments with no mention of risks. Sadly irresponsible.
#MedicatedAndMighty comes with a price. The pharma harmed are paying that price. We should have a voice here.
Soon, the#MedicatedAndMighty Feed BouncerⓇ arrived to throw me out. This. Is. Not. Your. Space. she tweeted. I began wondering if all my tweets were doing was making the sock puppets look bad.
In defeat I finally tweeted:
My #MedicatedAndMighty tweets were misguided. I will not use this hashtag again.
[Round of applause]
But then a question was posed:
@BathysphereHat tweeted: I've seen people say #MedicatedAndMighty is "irresponsible". What responsibility do they think people who take meds have towards them?
I couldn’t resist.
I posted a series of tweets:
A more balanced approach that doesn't celebrate Rx like they are harmless vitamins. Rx Cos HAVE to warn when promoting Rx.
Many go through a rape type experience because docs don't take risks seriously when prescribing and don't believe when harm.
This campaign is for us what a celebration of Bill Cosby is to rape victims. So what if he was decent to most women?
BELIEVE us. Take us seriously. Check it out and inform yourself so we can prevent this type of violation from occurring.
People deserve informed consent if taking meds and right now we aren't given enough information. All tied to profit motive.
Whoopsie Daisy. I lost them at “Bill Cosby.” #MyHeadsOnAStick
CRAZY AND IT WAS is featured in the latest issue of Nurse Prescribing, a journal for nurse prescribers in the UK. The thrust of this piece is about the need for a person-centered approach to prescribing as opposed to the one-size-fits-all protocols that are so prevalent now. The article is only viewable by subscription, but here are a few excerpts:
"Crazy And It Was: Surviving the Corporate Pharmaceutical Corruption of Western Medicine is Laurie’s recently published first-hand account of her experience tangled up in the American
health-care system (Oakley, 2015)."
"Her story, which is poignant for health professionals prescribing worldwide, includes thorough research, case notes from her medical records, personal journal entries and a brave look into her broken childhood. Laurie says she felt unsupported and disrespected by doctors, and experienced dangerous side effects; she became suicidal after taking medications that, at the time, were not recognized to cause suicidality, a side effect that is still downplayed now."
"‘I spent many years having my side effects misdiagnosed as psychosomatic complaints while the offending drug was listed right there in my medical record,’ says Laurie. ‘I was humiliated by doctors who were the ones completely missing what was happening with the drugs they were prescribing ,’ she says. ‘I spent important years of my life dealing with the physical and psychological effects of these drugs.’"
"While Laurie had some success [with the grievance process] for some specific complaints made against individuals, her biggest complaints involved the larger systemic problem of prescribers being influenced by the profitable pharmaceutical industry and the lack of transparency surrounding clinical trials (Berenson et al, 2004; Neville, 2012). These concerns were not satisfactorily addressed as no one person or agency can be held individually accountable and answerable. Concern about the reliance of both the medical profession and researchers on pharmaceutical companies is valid; however, much of the drug research currently being undertaken could not be carried out without this funding, and it must be said that much of it does result in longer, better lives. Still, such concerns have been echoed in the UK (Kliner, 2012; Wright, 2014), and prescribers must be aware of conflicts of interest, unethical practices, and what to look for when evaluating research or prescribing for individual patients."
"Person-centred care is a standard that the NHS strives for, and it is hoped that the same fervour is extended to putting the patient at the heart of prescribing practice. This was not, however, Laurie’s experience, and her journey is a potent reminder for all health professionals with the responsibility to prescribe medications to remember whose interests must be served. She rightly says that the old paradigm of ‘doctor knows best’ must be phased out but that despite the valuable information patients have to offer, some prescribers have a hard time listening... '
"While randomized controlled trials are considered to provide the highest quality of evidence (Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, 2009), when it comes to making treatment decisions for individual patients, the patient anecdote is king."
-Aysha Mendes, freelance journalist
specializing in health, psychology
[This is my piece originally published in the Columbus Free Press newspaper (p.14) on 2/20/15. You can view it online by clicking picture at left].
In March of 2014, 19-year-old college student, Levy Thamba, jumped to his death from a Denver hotel balcony while hallucinating after ingesting six times the recommended amount of a marijuana cookie. This well-publicized incident, along with others of its kind, led to the new rules that are now being put into place by Colorado's marijuana industry. Marijuana edibles, which make up 45 percent of Colorado's cannabis market, will now be manufactured in individual dose sizes and are only available in child-proof packaging with warning labels attached. The industry describes Colorado's negative experiences with edibles as "growing pains" that have been learned from and quickly responded to.
A much less publicized incident in 2005 involved a different drug that caused the death of a 14-year-old who was also hallucinating when he jumped from a ninth floor balcony. This individual was under the care of a physician and had taken the prescription medication, Tamiflu. Like Levy Thamba, he had no history of mental illness. By the end of that year, 12 Japanese children had reportedly died while taking Tamiflu, with others experiencing hallucinations, encephalitis and other symptoms. The FDA decided to issue a warning about the drug's potential to produce skin rashes, but held off alerting the public about the potentially deadly psychiatric side effects. More than 100 new cases of abnormal psychiatric behavior, delirium and hallucinations were reported in connection to Tamiflu by the time the FDA did finally add the warning in November of 2006.*
In the wake of Levy Thamba's death, many pro-cannabis activists expressed doubt that marijuana could have been to blame for the bizarre incident. Because so many cannabis users experiences are positive, many who benefit from the drug tend to believe marijuana is across-the-board safe. However, as with pharmaceuticals, each individual will metabolize a medicine differently. It is simply unwise to say that any drug is completely safe for all people. When a person experiences an adverse event, no matter how rare, it must be taken into account. At a time when we are finding that pharmaceutical studies are being rigged to show only what drug manufacturers want them to show, it would be wise to pay attention to what is happening before our own eyes. Adverse effects do occur in some cannabis users. This new industry would do well to guard against unintentionally replicating the reckless behavior that the drug companies continue to exhibit.
If you have experienced an adverse reaction to cannabis or any other medicine, there is a free, independent drug safety website at RxISK.org where patients as well as doctors can search to find out what effects individuals have experienced while taking a medicine. One can also make a confidential report of their drug's side effects. The information is useful for patients and their doctors and can be easily forwarded on to governmental regulatory agencies. The database contains information about side effects from 5.5 million reports submitted to the FDA, Health Canada, as well as RxISK.
As the pharmaceutical industry continues to leverage scientific research to maximize profits while disregarding adverse effects, we can choose to play it safe, report our side-effects, and have each others' backs.
*One's chances of dying from the flu are said to be greater than the chances of dying after taking the prescription drug Tamiflu. Still, the drug maker Hoffman-La Roche's own scientific data suggests that the drug is not really that effective, and also indicates Tamiflu could have serious psychiatric side-effects in some individuals. Despite this evidence, the company has promoted Tamiflu as safe and effective.
Laurie Oakley is the author of the book, CRAZY AND IT WAS—Surviving the Corporate Pharmaceutical Corruption of Western Medicine. You can find her on Twitter, or visit her website at www.laurieoaklely.com. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
[This piece is a compilation of responses to a blog post recently discussed on DavidHealy.org titled, "Pharmaceutical Rape." Some comments were gathered with permission from a closed facebook group that provides mutual support to people experiencing mental health issues, as well as from from DavidHealy.org. The picture to the left links to the original article. Trigger Warning: contains examples of extreme pharmaceutical violation].
Pharmaceutical Rape: an act of plunder, violent seizure or abuse; despoliation; to rob of goods by force, to seize wrongfully or by force; steal.
Pharmaceutical rape culture is a concept that examines a culture in which harm from pharmaceutical products is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about medicine and health care. It is a complex set of beliefs that encourages capitalistic, pharmaceutical domination of healthcare and supports everyday harms in medical and mental health care settings. It is a society where harm is only acknowledged as rare, yet is accepted as necessary, and inevitable. In a pharmaceutical rape culture, doctors and patients unknowingly trust what are oftentimes pseudo-scientific facts put forth by drug makers about drug safety. Both doctors and patients end up disbelieving the reality of the adverse events they see and instead believe alternate explanations for such events. A pharmaceutical rape culture condones harms caused by the industry-government-medical trade alliance because the culture produces, reproduces, and is completely saturated with “information” that supports that alliance.
Examples of behaviors commonly associated with pharmaceutical rape culture include:
Denial of widespread pharmaceutical rape: a tendency to remain oblivious in the face of evidence of harm.
Trivializing pharmaceutical rape: a response to harm by denying that real damage was done.
Medical/pharmaceutical objectification/commodifcation: an attitude about patients that is limited to placing primary value on what goods or services can be employed for reimbursement or compensation. Reducing him/her to a commodity with value being limited to financial gain.
Victim blaming says: it is your fault you were hurt because you did x, y, z. If you hadn't done x, y, z, you would not have been harmed. You went to the doctor, you asked for medication, you consented to the treatment, you kept going back to the doctor, you didn't do your homework, you should have known better, you should have listened to your body, I knew better and I didn't do those things.
OR, what you experienced was your own organic illness/disease, it was your poor diet, your lifestyle, your lack of exercise, your use of alcohol or other drugs; you are sick because of your age, your family genetics, etc.
OR, your are at fault because you are a drug addict, (even though the addiction came about through or was aided by what is considered legitimate prescribing).
The refusal to acknowledge reports: only accepting controlled clinical trials and not case studies.
COMMENTS FROM TWO SEPARATE DISCUSSIONS
An Opposing View:
“Look, the problems with violating consent are parallel and that point is all well and good, but I think it's in really bad taste to approach it like this. Rape is much more personally devastating. It trivializes rape, especially since it's a riff on an article about rape. I think it's fair to borrow terms like victim-blaming that aren't rape-specific, but to use “rape” in this analogous way seems pretty fucked up. I don't think comparing pharma harms to rape is going to do us any favors in fighting that denial. ”
A Supporting View:
“What about the phrase 'rape of the land' or 'rape of the countryside?' Why is it ok for that to be used as it often is to describe violation and devastation of land, but it’s not ok to describe the devastation of a person by prescribed drugs as pharmaceutical rape? Rape is a very strong word and shouldn’t be used lightly, but if these people had seen the devastation left behind when pharma goes wrong they might understand why the word rape has been used. To rape is to violate and abuse against someone’s will and that is what is happening. The word isn’t being used as a metaphor, it is being used for what it means. Rape can take place in many different scenarios, it doesn’t mean exclusively sexual rape.”
“My son was violated in the worst possible way by pharmaceutical greed and stupid, uninformed doctors. After 17 days of taking the prescribed Celexa, he killed himself and someone else – behaviour totally alien to him. He was prescribed this drug for heartbreak, so no, sadly I don’t think its the wrong word. I think it’s a fair description.”
A Mixed View:
“I think what can be compared to rape is when a person is actually forced to consume a pharmaceutical. That really is like rape. Lack of complete information- lack of informed consent due to lack of information- not quite. Pretty close because of the amount of fraud perpetrated by the drug industry, but it's not the same. For one thing, a person has the option to say no to anything they don't know everything they need to know about, research it by other means than asking the prescribing doctor, seek alternatives, etc. It's not the same. Forced drugging (such as in mental hospitals) IS the same, and people who have experienced both, say so.”
A Supporting View:
“This [definition] at least does justice to the situation by employing the language that fits the crime...Literally, this definition of *rape* quite accurately describes the situation at hand:
'an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation:' –
The connection to *sexual assault victims* is implied — the helplessness and horror – as well as the other thoughtful analogies you point out.
I have heard victims of forced psychiatric drugging, describe their experience as “brain rape.”
It is exactly because the word, *rape* evokes strong emotional responses that I believe it is both appropriate and necessary to coin the term *pharmaceutical rape* AND open the discussion of the culture that accepts or silently condones it, *pharmaceutical rape culture*.
Financial reward is indeed a perverse motive that objectifies all of us in the mind of the *pharmaceutical rapist*– In this regard , I would say that your saying patients supply financial *usefulness* , a term that implies appreciation might be shown–is not quite the way to put it. I note that the behavior of these rapists is predatory and as such their is zero inherent value assigned to their prey. Our value is determined by their satisfaction. So it goes with victims who successfully sue, or otherwise cause disruptions in the gratification cycle —still violated, raped, victimized, but not so *useful*–
It is more likely that all victims of rape, including those who have been sexually violated, will find resonance with each other emotionally; that having been stripped of their humanity via authority, power and/or force they share basic needs for both the recognition of their innate value and strong condemnation of the rapist.–What rape victims would not hesitate to do for each other, those of us with both compassion and courage should do for them.”
An Opposing View:
“I think side-effects and lies would more easily be considered a civil and human rights violation than a "rape", personally. I think it holds more weight too historically, to link it with continual historic disregard for life experiences of certain populations of people (in a very wide range, from race, to gender, to illness) as determined by an elite group who decide someone has deviated from a small set of rules in behavior or standards oddly based entirely on ability to perform for a certain length a set of work and society tasks. In my mind I connect side-effects and and pills with past medical and other traumas (I'll spare everyone triggering details, and assume you all know), which is ultimately what side-effects are. It's just a pill doing it to you rather than a direct person.”
A Supporting View:
I have witnessed someone go through withdrawal from a prescription drug and he has been ravaged and raped by it physically and mentally. Although recovered to a certain extent I don’t think he will ever be the person he was before he went on the drug. It’s as if his very self has been destroyed. He looks the same, sounds the same but he isn’t him anymore just a washed out version of his former self who no longer feels emotions in the same way, doesn’t seem to derive any pleasure from life and feels ashamed about what happened to him. So I would say he has been raped not sexually but he has been raped and pillaged of his personality. The difference being that he was assaulted in a completely legal way and no one except him will ever be held accountable or punished for it.”
An Opposing View:
“Seconding those who have pointed out that using the word rape as a metaphor for other kinds of coercion is deeply unhelpful and messes around with the definition of what happened to those who have experienced rape. It's disrespectful and unhelpful to do so. I also think it is pretty unimaginative not to come up with some other way to describe what happens with forced drugging and other malpractice with regards to psychiatric "treatment". For sure there is a massive cultural problem with the way these "illnesses" are described and dealt with. I don't dispute for a millisecond that these issues are serious and widespread and wrong. But it really is not the same kind of violation as sexual rape. To conflate the two makes me feel a bit seasick. And I think enough others have pointed out similar that it might be worth taking on board.............”
A Supporting View:
“Doubtless some people who have been raped will be horrified at the comparison. If you compare rape to dry mouth, or constipation then of course this is a no-brainer. But what if we compare rape to the autistic spectrum disorder that steals away a child, or that gives a child spina bifida, or the frantic agitation that leads an elderly father to throw himself out a window impaling himself on the the iron railings below, or the delirium that leads a father to murder his own child or worse again children, or a 13 year old boy to hang himself in the bathroom between his parents bedroom and his own?
And has any rapist ever behaved worse that the legal team for Pfizer sending a private detective to scrape the bathroom carpet in an effort to show this was erotic asphyxiation gone wrong rather than suicide on Zoloft?
Are there really any mothers or daughters out there who think rape is the wrong word for this?”
“I can see why you use the word rape but in some cases its far worse than that. Like you said the man that killed his children, I’m sure he feels far more than raped but dangerously deceived by the real murderers. When I was pinned down naked on a cold concrete floor in a police cell I felt raped but when I stood in the courtroom doc and was told I was guilty I felt deceived and entrapped by a corrupt system.”
They have no shame, the case of that poor young boy who hung himself makes my blood boil! He must have been so desperate and frightened. Not only did his parents lose their son in such a horrific way, they then had to endure the violation of their son's memory by Pfizer who would do anything to get themselves off the hook—even slander a dead child. They disgust me.”
Two Points of Opposition:
People are actually raped in psychiatric and medical settings who need to be able to name what has happened to them and we cannot do that if someone decides that rape doesn't mean rape and things that are similar to rape are rape.
Invalidating rape causes harm. If the whole point is to show the harm from being coerced to take meds, trivializing something others live through is not the way to do it.
A Supporting View:
“It's well known that Rape victims are treated badly by the criminal justice system and that Court can be an ordeal. In the case of drug induced injury – its impossible to even get to Court outside of North America. In the US, while it's possible to win some cases, you become aware of the power of the system – how its heavily loaded against people who have legitimate cases.
Within the UK mental health system, it's almost impossible to persuade the system that treatment is producing the problems the person has – even though in an increasing proportion of cases it is. This leaves lots of people wondering whether, to secure their sanity or health, if they should leave the country.”
“ I wasn’t only stripped naked, I was assaulted several times too. I had my face rammed into the floor being suffocated, my head was then rammed into a sharp object. I had handcuffs tightened so tight I felt like shards of sharp glass were cutting into my wrists and when I screamed I was in pain they tightened them even more. I was then eventually given a gown only for that to be ripped off me again, then when I attacked them back they pulled me to the floor and rammed my head with such force into the concrete ground I thought my skull would break.
What was my crime – like others, SSRI induced alcoholism and all the problems of job loss and loss of friends and family that can go with that.
When I came out of the cell I wanted to get a machine gun go back and take everyone of them out, I also felt like ramming my car into the central barrier of the motorway the following day. I have never felt so violated, hurt and angry in all my life.
I imagine this is how a rape victim must feel also? I am therefore very concerned not to minimize what happens to them – the last thing I would want is to make a victim feel their suffering was less than something else. But while those of us who have not been raped can imagine how awful it is, it seems those who have not been violated by drugs don’t seem able to imagine what we have been through.”
Pharmaceutical rape is not a metaphor. It is not a game. It is a name for the devastation that has happened to, and is happening to, real people.
We are not saying pharmaceutical rape is synonymous with sexual assault. The word has not been divorced from a real life act in order to meet some rhetorical goal. We are saying pharmaceutical rape is a real event, a type of rape.
We are not redefining rape. We are naming our devastation—experiences of extreme violation that absolutely fit a description of rape.
The naming of these experiences “pharmaceutial rape,” while mirroring language that was written to expose the reality of a rape culture, actually serves to support and validate all rape victims in a time when many vehemently deny any rape culture even exists.
My first run-in with pharma-
this is LIFE