For the past 14 years, my adult daughter, who had been a useful and respected member of society in full-time employment, has been subjected to misdiagnoses, inappropriately prescribed drugs, sexual harassment, bullying from both staff and other patients, and theft of clothing and money - all of this on offer as part of inpatient 'treatment' under the mental health service.
In 1993, my daughter was finally correctly diagnosed privately as suffering from Asperger's syndrome (the more able form of autism). But due to 14 years of neuroleptic, benzodiazepine and SSRI cocktails, my daughter is no longer recognisable as the capable, relatively independent person we once knew.
Three years ago, she was diagnosed with tardive dyskinesia (involuntary tics and spasms brought on by antipsychotic drugs). Nevertheless, my daughter continues to be prescribed these dangerous, addictive, life-threatening drugs. As she suffers other, severe side-effects with these drugs, she has tried to stop taking them, but has then experienced acute withdrawal symptoms. Successive psychiatrists have refused to acknowledge these as withdrawal symptoms and misdiagnose mental illness, for which even more drugs are prescribed.
My daughter is a prescribed drug addict. I have tried to find professional support to help her through withdrawal, but none is available - and her addiction is not acknowledged. She has lost her quality of life, her health and her reputation. She is currently being prescribed risperidone, known to increase the risk of tardive dyskinesia and, for some unaccountable reason, the psychiatrist is treating her with the anticonvulsant drug lamotrigine. She is not epileptic. These drugs are both known to increase the risk of seizures and to adversely affect the eyes - just two of a legion of side-effects.
I have spent years struggling through the various National Health Service complaints procedures - without success.
Psychiatrists have immense power and are accountable to no one but each other. How long will it be before destructive psychiatry is recognised for the vile, evil, torturous medicine it truly is? - Mrs Maureen Eldred, founder member of APANA (Autistic People Against Neuroleptic Abuse; www.apana.supanet.com).